The Turkish Dominion, 1496-1796 The lot of the Serbs under Turkish rule was different from that of their neighbours the Bulgars; and though it was certainly not enviable, it was undoubtedly better. The Turks for various reasons never succeeded in subduing Serbia and the various Serb lands as completely as they had subdued, or rather annihilated, Bulgaria. The Serbs were spread over a far larger extent of territory than were the Bulgars, they were further removed from the Turkish centre, and the wooded and mountainous nature of their country facilitated even more than in the case of Bulgaria the formation of bands of brigands and rebels and militated against its systematic policing by the Turks. The number of centres of national life, Serbia proper, Bosnia, Hercogovina, and Montenegro, to take them in the chronological order of their conquest by the Turks, had been notoriously a source of weakness to the Serbian state, as is still the case to-day, but at the same time made it more difficult for the Turks to stamp out the national consciousness. What still further contributed to this difficulty was the fact that many Serbs escaped the oppression of Turkish rule by emigrating to the neighbouring provinces, where they found people of their own race and language, even though of a different faith. The tide of emigration flowed in two directions, westwards into Dalmatia and northwards into Slavonia and Hungary. It had begun already after the final subjection of Serbia proper and Bosnia by the Turks in 1459 and 1463, but after the fall of Belgrade, which was the outpost of Hungary against the Turks, in 1521, and the battle of Mohacs, in 1526, when the Turks completely defeated the Magyars, it assumed great proportions. As the Turks pushed their conquests further north, the Serbs migrated before them; later on, as the Turks receded, large Serb colonies sprang up all over southern Hungary, in the Banat (the country north of the Danube and east of the Theiss), in Syrmia (or Srem, in Serbian, the extreme eastern part of Slavonia, between the Save and the Danube), in Ba[)c]ka (the country between the Theiss and Danube), and in Baranya (between the Danube and the Drave). All this part of southern Hungary and Croatia was formed by the Austrians into a military borderland against Turkey, and the Croats and immigrant Serbs were organized as military colonists with special privileges, on the analogy of the Cossacks in southern Russia and Poland. In Dalmatia the Serbs played a similar role in the service of Venice, which, like Austria-Hungary, was frequently at war with the Turks. During the sixteenth century Ragusa enjoyed its greatest prosperity; it paid tribute to the Sultan, was under his protection, and never rebelled. It had a quasi monopoly of the trade of the entire Balkan peninsula. It was a sanctuary both for Roman Catholic Croats and for Orthodox Serbs, and sometimes acted as intermediary on behalf of its co-religionists with the Turkish authorities, with whom it wielded great influence. Intellectually also it was a sort of Serb oasis, and the only place during the Middle Ages where Serbian literature was able to flourish. Montenegro during the sixteenth century formed part of the Turkish province of Scutari. Here, as well as in Serbia proper, northern Macedonia (known after the removal northwards of the political centre, in the fourteenth century, as Old Serbia), Bosnia, and Hercegovina, the Turkish rule was firmest, but not harshest, during the first half of the sixteenth century, when the power of the Ottoman Empire was at its height. Soon after the fall of Smederevo, in 1459, the Patriarchate of Pe['c] (Ipek) was abolished, the Serbian Church lost its independence, was merged in the Greco-Bulgar Archbishopric of Okhrida (in southern Macedonia), and fell completely under the control of the Greeks. In 1557, however, through the influence of a Grand Vizier of Serb nationality, the Patriarchate of Pe['c] was revived. The revival of this centre of national life was momentous; through its agency the Serbian monasteries were restored, ecclesiastical books printed, and priests educated, and more fortunate than the Bulgarian national Church, which remained under Greek management, it was able to focus the national enthusiasms and aspirations and keep alive with hope the flame of nationality amongst those Serbs who had not emigrated. Already, in the second half of the sixteenth century, people began to think that Turkey's days in Europe were numbered, and they were encouraged in this illusion by the battle of Lepanto (1571). But the seventeenth century saw a revival of Turkish power; Krete was added to their empire, and in 1683 they very nearly captured Vienna. In the war which followed their repulse, and in which the victorious Austrians penetrated as far south as Skoplje, the Serbs took part against the Turks; but when later the Austrians were obliged to retire, the Serbs, who had risen against the Turks at the bidding of their Patriarch Arsen III, had to suffer terrible reprisals at their hands, with the result that another wholesale emigration, with the Patriarch at its head, took place into the Austro-Hungarian military borderland. This time it was the very heart of Serbia which was abandoned, namely, Old Serbia and northern Macedonia, including Pe['c] and Prizren. The vacant Patriarchate was for a time filled by a Greek, and the Albanians, many of whom were Mohammedans and therefore Turcophil, spread northwards and eastwards into lands that had been Serb since the seventh century. From the end of the seventeenth century, however, the Turkish power began unmistakably to wane. The Treaty of Carlowitz (1699) left the Turks still in possession of Syrmia (between the Danube and Save) and the Banat (north of the Danube), but during the reign of the Emperor Charles VI their retreat was accelerated. In 1717 Prince Eugen of Savoy captured Belgrade, then, as now, a bulwark of the Balkan peninsula against invasion from the north, and by the Treaty of Passarowitz (Po[)z]arevac, on the Danube), in 1718, Turkey not only retreated definitively south of the Danube and the Save, but left a large part of northern Serbia in Austrian hands. By the same treaty Venice secured possession of the whole of Dalmatia, where it had already gained territory by the Treaty of Curlowitz in 1699. But the Serbs soon found out that alien populations fare little better under Christian rule, when they are not of the same confession as their rulers, than under Mohammedan. The Orthodox Serbs in Dalmatia suffered thenceforward from relentless persecution at the hands of the Roman Catholics. In Austria-Hungary too, and in that part of Serbia occupied by the Austrians after 1718, the Serbs discovered that the Austrians, when they had beaten the Turks largely by the help of Serbian levies, were very different from the Austrians who had encouraged the Serbs to settle in their country and form military colonies on their frontiers to protect them from Turkish invasion. The privileges promised them when their help had been necessary were disregarded as soon as their services could be dispensed with. Austrian rule soon became more oppressive than Turkish, and to the Serbs' other woes was now added religious persecution. The result of all this was that a counter-emigration set in and the Serbs actually began to return to their old homes in Turkey. Another war between Austria-Hungary and Turkey broke out in 1737, in which the Austrians were unsuccessful. Prince Eugen no longer led them, and though the Serbs were again persuaded by their Patriarch, Arsen IV, to rise against the Turks, they only did so half-heartedly. By the Treaty of Belgrade, in 1739, Austria had to withdraw north of the Save and Danube, evacuating all northern Serbia in favour of the Turks. From this time onwards the lot of the Serbs, both in Austria-Hungary and in Turkey, went rapidly from bad to worse. The Turks, as the power of their empire declined, and in return for the numerous Serb revolts, had recourse to measures of severe repression; amongst others was that of the final abolition of the Patriarchate of Pee in 1766, whereupon the control of the Serbian Church in Turkey passed entirely into the hands of the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Austrian Government similarly, perceiving now for the first time the elements of danger which the resuscitation of the Serbian nationality would contain for the rule of the Hapsburgs, embarked on a systematic persecution of the Orthodox Serbs in southern Hungary and Slavonia. During the reign of Maria Theresa (1740-80), whose policy was to conciliate the Magyars, the military frontier zone was abolished, a series of repressive measures was passed against those Serbs who refused to become Roman Catholics, and the Serbian nationality was refused official recognition. The consequence of this persecution was a series of revolts which were all quelled with due severity, and finally the emigration of a hundred thousand Serbs to southern Russia, where they founded New Serbia in 1752-3. During the reigns of Joseph II (1780-90) and Leopold II (1790-2) their treatment at the hands of the Magyars somewhat improved. From the beginning of the eighteenth century Montenegro began to assume greater importance in the extremely gradual revival of the national spirit of the Serbs. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it had formed part of the Turkish dominions, though, thanks to the inaccessible nature of its mountain fastnesses, Turkish authority was never very forcibly asserted. It was ruled by a prince-bishop, and its religious independence thus connoted a certain secular freedom of thought if not of action. In the seventeenth century warlike encounters between the Turks and the Montenegrins increased in frequency, and the latter tried to enlist the help of Venice on their side but with indifferent success. The fighting in Montenegro was often rather civil in character, being caused by the ill-feeling which existed between the numerous Montenegrins who had become Mohammedans and those who remained faithful to their national Church. In the course of the eighteenth century the role which fell to Montenegro became more important. In all the other Serb countries the families which naturally took a leading part in affairs were either extinct or in exile, as in Serbia, or had become Mohammedan, and therefore to all intents and purposes Turkish, as in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Ragusa, since the great earthquake in 1667, had greatly declined in power and was no longer of international importance. In Montenegro, on the other hand, there had survived both a greater independence of spirit (Montenegro was, after all, the ancient Zeta, and had always been a centre of national life) and a number of at any rate eugenic if not exactly aristocratic Serb families; these families naturally looked on themselves and on their bishop as destined to play an important part in the resistance to and the eventual overthrow of the Turkish dominion. The prince-bishop had to be consecrated by the Patriarch of Pe['c], and in 1700 Patriarch Arsen III consecrated one Daniel, of the house (which has been ever since then and is now still the reigning dynasty of Montenegro) of Petrovi['c]-Njego[)s], to this office, after he had been elected to it by the council of notables at Cetinje. Montenegro, isolated from the Serbs in the north, and precluded from participating with them in the wars between Austria and Turkey by the intervening block of Bosnia, which though Serb by nationality was solidly Mohammedan and therefore pro-Turkish, carried on its feuds with the Turks independently of the other Serbs. But when Peter the Great initiated his anti-Turkish policy, and, in combination with the expansion of Russia to the south and west, began to champion the cause of the Balkan Christians, he developed intercourse with Montenegro and laid the foundation of that friendship between the vast Russian Empire and the tiny Serb principality on the Adriatic which has been a quaint and persistent feature of eastern European politics ever since. This intimacy did not prevent the Turks giving Montenegro many hard blows whenever they had the time or energy to do so, and did not ensure any special protective clauses in favour of the mountain state whenever the various treaties between Russia and Turkey were concluded. Its effect was rather psychological and financial. From the time when the _Vladika_ (= Bishop) Daniel first visited Peter the Great, in 1714, the rulers of Montenegro often made pilgrimages to the Russian capital, and were always sure of finding sympathy as well as pecuniary if not armed support. Bishops in the Orthodox Church are compulsorily celibate, and the succession in Montenegro always descended from uncle to nephew. When Peter I Petrovi['c]-Njego[)s] succeeded, in 1782, the Patriarchate of Pe['c] was no more, so he had to get permission from the Austrian Emperor Joseph II to be consecrated by the Metropolitan of Karlovci (Carlowitz), who was then head of the Serbian national Church. About the same time (1787) an alliance was made between Russia and Austria-Hungary to make war together on Turkey and divide the spoils between them. Although a great rising against Turkey was organised at the same time (1788) in the district of [)S]umadija, in Serbia, by a number of Serb patriots, of whom Kara-George was one and a certain Captain Ko[)c]a, after whom the whole war is called Ko[)c]ina Krajina (=Ko[)c]a's country), another, yet the Austrians were on the whole unsuccessful, and on the death of Joseph II, in 1790, a peace was concluded between Austria and Turkey at Svishtov, in Bulgaria, by which Turkey retained the whole of Bosnia and Serbia, and the Save and Danube remained the frontier between the two countries. Meanwhile the Serbs of Montenegro had joined in the fray and had fared better, inflicting some unpleasant defeats on the Turks under their bishop, Peter I. These culminated in two battles in 1796 (the Montenegrins, not being mentioned in the treaty of peace, had continued fighting), in which the Turks were driven back to Scutari. With this triumph, which the Emperor Paul of Russia signalized by decorating the Prince-Bishop Peter, the independence of the modern state of Montenegro, the first Serb people to recover its liberty, was _de facto_ established.