Svetomir Nikolajevid (1844-1922) : The first Serbian historian to write about Rigas Velestinlis

Part of : Balkan studies : biannual publication of the Institute for Balkan Studies ; Vol.39, No.2, 1998, pages 263-270

Section Title:
The subject of this study is the first Serbian historical work about theGreek national martyr Rigas Velestinlis. It is a monograph titled Rigas Feraios:Greek Patriot and Poet, which was written by Svetomir Nikolajevic(1844-1922), Professor of General History of Literature in the Great School(precursor of the University) of Belgrade, and politician, and was first publishedin Belgrade in 1889.The writer begins with some biographical information about Nikolajevic,and then proceeds to a close examination of the content and the credibility ofthe monograph, in which he detects a certain amount of inaccurate information. The reason for this is that, when the monograph was written (in 1889),the existing literature was very scanty. Abundant information about the lifeand work of Rigas Velestinlis (whom the Serbs erroneously call Feraios) wouldbe available later on from documents in the Austrian archives, which werebrought to light by Émile Legrand and Spyros Lambros in 1891, KonstandinosAmandos in 1930, and Dusan Pantelic in 1931. The study also poses thequestion of why a Serb, a foreigner, was so interested in Rigas Velestinlis atsuch an early date; and it becomes clear that it was because Nikolajevic was astaunch philhellene and a fervent champion of Rigas’s ideas.
Subject (LC):
Svetomir Nikolajevid (1844-1922), Ρήγας Βελεστινλής