Prince Marko: The Hero of South Slavic Epics
One of the most popular of the south European epic heroes—a counterpart of the French Roland or Spain’s El Cid—Prince Marko has not been well known in America. The historical Marko headed a small kingdom in Macedonia in the fourteenth century. A vassal of the Turkish sultans, he was a relatively minor historical figure. Yet in the oral tradition he was transmuted into a figure of legend, the great hero who protected the South Slavic people from injustice and oppression. In Prince Marko, Popovic traces the epic hero’s themes, over time and across countries. She looks at the factual and fictional images of Marko, especially as he was presented in epic poetry and popular lore. Popovic also examines the legend and history of the Prince as revealed in many epic songs. Prince Marko is a compelling account of a medieval king transformed by epic bards into a legend that will appeal to historians, anthropologists, and folklorists.
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