Świat antycznej mitologii w poemacie Jovana Rajicia Boj zmaja sa orlovi



The purpose of this article is to analyse the usage of ancient mythology in Jovan Rajić’s epic poem The Battle of the Dragon with the Eagles written to commemorate the Austro-Turkish and Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1791/1792. The introduction of ancient deities into the poem allows the Serbian writer to refer to classical epic and to maintain a connection with it, despite omitting some elements constitutive of the genre. In his poem ancient gods perform a specific function as interlocutors for the protagonist, Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and thus they help to establish his character. Together with Muhammad they form a separate world, contrasted with the sphere of human actions. In contrast to classical epic, deities in Rajić’s work do not have the power to decide human fate. The ability to do so is the prerogative of the Christian monarchs and army leaders who command armies fighting against the Turks. Rajić emphasises very clearly the conventional character of the mythological references, stressing their belonging to the literary tradition.

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