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A Croat’S View Of Ottoman Bosnia: The Travelogue Of Matija Mažuranić From The Years 1839-40

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Chapter Summary

In 1839 Matija Mažuranic (1817-1881), a twenty-two-year-old Croat from Novi (Vinodolski), embarked on a journey from his country, which was then a part of the Habsburg Empire, to the Ottoman province of Bosnia. In order to understand what motivated young Mažuranic to embark on his journey, a few words should be said about his background and the political trends in Croatia at the time. The European traveller looks condescendingly upon the inhabitants of the Eastern country. He lightly ascribes to them all kinds of negative attributes: they are lazy, superstitious, dirty, and ignorant. Mažuranic frequently tells stories of dangers that threaten foreigners in Bosnia, thus presenting his readers with the impression of a life of utmost insecurity, and of an omnipresent, blind violence which does not choose its victims.

Keywords: Habsburg empire; Matija Mažuranić; Ottoman Bosnia



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