Miho Barada And The Myth Of The Narentines Cover Image

Miho Barada i mit o Neretvanima
Miho Barada And The Myth Of The Narentines

Author(s): Mladen Ančić
Subject(s): History
Published by: Hrvatski institut za povijest
Keywords: historiography; East Adriatic; ethnic discourse; institutions of political administration

Summary/Abstract: This essay engages with the results of Miho Barada’s early papers analysing the early Middle Ages in Central East Adriatic. It discusses the way in which Barada argued in favour of the existence of a separate ethnic/political/territorial unit named ‘the Narentines’ and points out weak and untenable points of Barada’s arguments. It furthermore describes Barada’s main methods as a historian in the specific contemporary social context. Then I reflect on the continuation of Barada’s thesis on ‘the Narentines’ in part of Croatian historiography. The story of the Narentines who had a separate ‘state’ that was ‘neither Serb nor Croat’ fitted well into the political myth of foundation produced in Yugoslavia after 1945. In the second part of this essay I analyse relevant medieval sources that mention ‘the Narentines’ and warn that these amount to no more than two narrative sources from the mid-tenth and early eleventh centuries. The appearance of the ethnonym ‘the Narentines’ in these texts I associate with the literary canons of this period and deeply ingrained Antique knowledge of the conditions on the East Adriatic coast. I conclude that the said ethnonym was ascribed to this population and it does not tell us anything about how this population called itself. Furthermore and in relation to that, I suggest that data on the official who in early medieval sources is mentioned with titles iudex Marianorum, iudex Croatorum and finally as dux Marianorum cannot be linked to the community that the mentioned two sources call ‘the Narentines’. I draw the same conclusion in relation to the title of the other contemporary official, named morsticus, and the geographicadministrative term Maronia that occasionally appears in sources until the thirteenth century.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 41
  • Page Range: 17-43
  • Page Count: 27
  • Language: Croatian