Servia, a European kingdom in the northwestern part of the Balkan peninsula.
HISTORY.—The greater part of the territory of the present Kingdom of Servia belonged, at the beginning of the Christian era, to the Roman Province of Meesia, the western part to the Province of Dalmatia. Under Roman supremacy a number of cities arose along the Danube and the Morava, and the country attained to a considerable height of economic prosperity and intellectual development. Christianity found entrance into the Roman districts of the Balkan Peninsula at an early date and suffered but little in this region from the persecutions of the emperors. Martyrs are not mentioned until the reign of Diocletian, when several suffered death for Christ at Singidunum (Belgrade). During the migrations the country was traversed in succession by Ostrogoths, Huns, and Lombards. In 550 it was conquered by the Emperor Justinian, head of the Eastern Empire. Soon after this, the Avars fell upon the land, devastating and burning wherever they went, and turned the region into a wilderness. In the seventh century the forefathers of the present Serbs, a tribe of the southern Slays, migrated into the country, which received from them the name of Servia. During the Middle Ages and well into modern times the term included not only the present Servia, but also Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, and the northern parts of Macedonia and Albania. In the early centuries of their history the political cohesion of the Serbs was slight; the political organization was based upon the family-clan, the sadruga. The sadruga was composed of about fifty or sixty persons, who bore a common name and obeyed an elder who was the representative of the clan in dealings with outsiders or with the gods. All members of the clan had the same rights and were entitled to a share of the common possessions. Several such family-clans formed a tribe whose affairs were managed by a council of the family elders. At the head of the tribe was a Zupan, elected by the elders of the families. The religion of the Serbs was a natural religion. They worshipped their gods in the open air and accompanied their sacrifices with singing. They had neither images, temples, nor priests. In common with all Slays they believed in a life after death.
At various times during the first centuries of their history they were obliged to acknowledge the supremacy either of the Eastern Empire or of the Bulgarians. For short periods also they were able to maintain their independence. They accepted Latin Christianity in the eighth century, during the period of Bulgarian suzerainty. Until the union of Servia with the Greek Orthodox Church, the Servian Church was under the control of the Latin Archbishop of Spalato and, later, the Latin Archbishop of Antivari. After the death of the most powerful of the Bulgarian princes, Symeon (927), the Servian Zupan Ceslaw was able, for the first time, to unite several Servian tribes against Peter, the weak ruler of the Bulgarians. However, the destruction of the Bulgarian kingdom by Basil II, Bulgaroktonos, the Byzantine emperor (976-1025), reestablished Byzantine supremacy over the whole Balkan Peninsula. Although the oppressive sway of the Eastern Empire led to repeated revolts of the Serbs, the supremacy of Constantinople continued until the twelfth century. For a time indeed the Grand Zupan Michael (1050-80) was able to maintain his independence; he even received the title of king from Pope Gregory VII. In the twelfth century the family of the Nemanyich, to whom the union of the Serbs is due, became prominent in Servian history. Urosch, who was Zupan of Rassa from about 1120, entered into friendly relations with the Hungarian king, Bela II. His son, Stephen I, Nemanya (1159-95), conquered the chiefs of the other Servian tribes, with the exception of those in Bosnia, and thus founded a united hereditary and independent state. He accomplished this with the aid of the Eastern Emperor, Manuel I, to whom he swore fealty in return for recognition as grand Zupan. Free from his oath after the death of Manuel I (1180), he seized for himself those portions of Servian territory which belonged directly to the Eastern Empire.
Stephen I, Nemanja, who was a Catholic, maintained amicable relations with the popes in ecclesiastico-political affairs, especially with Pope Innocent III. He received the latter’s legates and letters in a friendly manner and repeatedly assured the pope of his attachment. His brother Vlkan, as lord of Antivari and Cattaro, was also closely connected with the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, the Greek Orthodox Church grew constantly stronger in the eastern part of the country, although in this era a sharp distinction between the Churches of the Eastern and Western Empires had not yet appeared. In 1196 Stephen abdicated in favor of his eldest son and retired to the monastery of Chilandar, which he had founded on Mount Athos. Here he died in 1199 or 1200. The work of the father was continued during the administration of the son, Stephen II (1196-1228), who had received an excellent Byzantine education and was a skillful diplomatist. In church affairs he, like his father, maintained good relations with the popes. The sixth canon of the Servian Council of Dioclea (1199) formally declared that the Servian Church regarded the Roman Church as the mother and ruler of all the Churches. During the Fourth Crusade, which ended in the establishment of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, Stephen II had the skill to maintain himself against all his neighbors and to use the favorable opportunity for increasing his power. Like the Bulgarian Kalojan, he asked Innocent III to grant him the title of king and to send a legate to Servia. However, the opposition of the Hungarian king, Emmerich, prevented the carrying out of this plan, to which Pope Innocent had given his consent. Stephen finally obtained the royal crown in 1217 from Honorius III, probably through the aid of Venice, which, since the Fourth Crusade had become a neighbor of Servia. In order to make his kingdom autonomous in religious matters he appointed his brother Sabas, who had been a monk at Mount Athos, Metropolitan of Servia, and organized the dioceses of the Servian Church in cooperation with this new metropolitan.
Stephen II had four sons and was succeeded by one of them, Stephen Radoslav (1228-34). This king was the son-in-law of the Emperor Theodore the Epirote, and as such regarded himself as a Greek. He was so incompetent that he was overthrown and banished by the nobility. His brother Stephen Vladislav (1234-1243) could not maintain his power in the confusion caused by the incursion of the Mongols into the Balkan Peninsula, and was obliged to resign the throne to a more vigorous brother and content himself with the empty title of king. Stephen Urosch I the Great (1243-76) was victorious in a war with the city of Ragusa, the bishop of which was obliged, in 1254, to renounce all ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Servian territory. He was also successful, in league with the Latin Empire of Constantinople, in a campaign against the Greek Empire of Niciea, but failed in an attack upon Hungary. After the fall of the Latin Empire the relations between the papacy and Servia grew gradually less intimate; although married to a Catholic Frenchwoman, Helena, Stephen Urosch permitted both his sons to be brought up in the Greek Orthodox religion. Of these sons Stephen Dragutin, who drove his father from the throne, soon gave up the government to his younger brother Stephen Milutin (1282-1321), while retaining for himself the title of king. The separation from Rome was completed during the reigns of these two princes and has continued from that period until the present day, although several popes have exerted themselves to reestablish the union, e.g. Nicholas IV (1288), Benedict XI (1303), and Clement V (1308).
Stephen Milutin conquered several provinces of the Byzantine Empire, and advanced victoriously as far as Mount Athos, besides receiving Bosnia, without striking a blow, as the dowry of his wife, a daughter of the Hungarian king, Stephen V. During his reign and that of his son Stephen IV, Urosch (1320-31), Servia gained a European reputation and was the leading power of Eastern Europe. The son carried on a successful war against the revived Bulgarian kingdom and broke its power forever. Stephen IV, Urosch, was willing, in 1323, to unite with Rome and abandon the schism in order to secure the aid of Western Europe against the claims to the throne of his half-brother Vladislav; but this union with Rome was only of short duration. As in the latter years of his reign he showed a preference for the son of a second marriage, his eldest son Stephen Duschan rose against him and threw him into a prison, where he was soon killed, Stephen Duschan being probably an accomplice in his death. The constant aim of this, the greatest of all the rulers of Servia (1331-55), was to establish a Greater Servia, which should unite all the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula, to conquer Constantinople, and to win for himself the crown of a new Oriental empire with its center at Constantinople. Taking advantage of the civil war in the Eastern Empire he was able, in 1336-40 and in 1345, to conquer Albania, Macedonia, Epirus, and Thessaly, and undertook thirteen campaigns against Constantinople in which he advanced as far as the imperial capital itself. In 1346 he was crowned at Skopje as “Tsar of the Serbs and Greeks”; this is translated in Latin documents as “Imperator Rasci et Romani”. At the same time, in a Servian synod, he had the Servian Archbishop of Ipek created an independent “Metropolitan of the Serbs and Greeks”, notwithstanding the anathema of the Church of Constantinople. The new head of the Servian Church had twenty metropolitans and bishops under him.
Stephen Duschan’s reign has been called the Golden Age of Servia, because he gave the country a better administration and judicial system, sought to improve education, mining, commerce, etc., and, in 1349, issued a code of laws, an important monument of the Kingdom of Servia. He was very hostile to the Catholic Church. Article 6 of his code punished with death any Servian who adhered to the “Latin heresy” or any Latin ecclesiastic who sought to make proselytes. Yet he repeatedly entered into relations with the pope in order to gain aid from Western Europe against the constantly increasing danger of Turkish invasion, and held out the prospect of union with the Latin Church. The great kingdom he had created soon fell to pieces during the reign of his weak son, Urosch V (1355-71). Vlkasin, a Servian noble, rose against Urosch as a rival and gained almost the entire country for his cause; the strength of the kingdom was frittered away by internal disorders and civil wars, and thus the way was prepared for the Turks. Vlkasin lost both the throne and his life at the battle on the Maritza River (September 26, 1371), in which he took part as an ally of the Eastern Empire. Two months later, Urosch V also died, and with his death the Nemanyich dynasty became extinct. The nobles disputed over a successor; Lazar Gobljanovitch, one of the most prominent, formed an alliance with the Bulgarians, Albanians, and Bosnians, and defeated a. viceroy of the Turkish Sultan, Amurath I. However, the Serbs suffered a severe defeat on June 15, 1389, in the terrible battle on the Plain of Kossovo (the Plain of the Blackbirds). Lazar and a large number of the most distinguished Serbs were taken prisoners and were beheaded during the night after the battle. The land was defenseless against the Turks, and Servian independence was in abeyance for four hundred years. Amurath’s successor, Bajazet, divided the country between a son and a son-in-law of Lazar, both of whom were obliged to pay tribute to the Turks and to take part in the Turkish military expeditions. In 1459 Mohammed II put an end to the sovereignty of these two rulers. Servia was formally incorporated into the Turkish Empire and was divided into pasha-lies. Many Servian families were destroyed, many others fled to Hungary, some 200,000 persons were dragged away as slaves. The Servian Patriarchate of Ipek was also suppressed, and the Servian Church was placed under the control of the Groeco-Bulgarian Patriarchate of Schrida. In 1557 the Patriarchate of Ipek was reestablished, and remained independent until its second suppression in 1766.
For more than two hundred years the name of Servia almost entirely disappeared from history. However, the Turks maintained only a. military occupation of the country; they wrung large sums of money from the people, and took large numbers of young men to be trained as Janizaries. But they did not claim any land for themselves, and thus the Serbs under the Turkish yoke were able to preserve their language, customs, religion, and the memory of the heroic age of their country until the hour of deliverance. The folksongs, which celebrated the exploits of their most famous heroes, did much to preserve the national consciousness during the worst periods of oppression, by keeping before the people the recollection of Servia’s history and past greatness. The first hope of deliverance from the Turkish yoke came from Austria which, under Charles of Lorraine, repeatedly defeated the Turks in the years 1684-86 and took possession of several provinces. When, in 1690, the Emperor Leopold I issued a proclamation declaring that he would protect the religion and the political rights of all Slavonic peoples on the Balkan peninsula, and called upon them to rise against the Turks, about 36,000 Servian and Albanian families, led by their patriarch, emigrated from Servia. After Leopold had given them the desired guarantees they crossed the Save and settled in Slavonia, in Syrmia, and in some of the Hungarian cities, where their descendants now form a considerable portion of the population. Their rights have always been protected by the emperor, and the see of a Servian patriarch was established at Carlowitz. The victories of Prince Eugene of Savoy forced Turkey to surrender all of Servia to Austria by the Treaty of Passarowitz (1718). But the Austrian Government was not able to win the sympathy of its new subjects, and, after the unsuccessful war of Charles VI against Turkey (1738-39), Servia was retroceded to that power.
Although the Serbs themselves had contributed largely to the restoration of the Turkish supremacy, their loyalty was ill repaid by the cruelties of the Janizary revolt. At the request of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Patriarchate of Ipek was again suppressed, in 1766, and the Servian Church was placed directly under the Patriarch of Constantinople, who sent as bishops to Servia almost exclusively men of Greek nationality, who were hostile to Servian efforts for liberty. During the war against Turkey carried on by Joseph II and Catherine II, in the years 1788-1790, the Serbs rose in favor of Austria. In 1804 a general revolt was provoked by the atrocities of the Janizaries. The head of the rebellion was George Petrowitch, who was also called Karageorge (Black George). A series of victories delivered the country from the Turkish soldiers, and in 1807 even Belgrade was taken. The people, however, were not sufficiently supported by Russia, and could not obtain complete freedom. By the Treaty of Bucharest, in 1812, the Serbs were guaranteed complete amnesty and granted a measure of internal self-administration, but were obliged to remain under Turkish suzerainty. As the Turks did not keep their promises a new revolt broke out in 1815, the leader of which was Milosch Obrenovitch, Karageorge having been assassinated. On November 6, 1817, Milosch was proclaimed Prince of Servia at Belgrade by an assembly of Servian nobles and ecclesiastics, and was recognized by the Porte in 1820. By the Peace of Adrianople (1829), Servia received the right to elect its own princes, the right of self-administration, in short internal autonomy, but was obliged to pledge itself to pay a fixed yearly tribute to the Porte. The Treaty of Akerman (1826) and the Peace of Adrianople (1829) also granted the people of Servia freedom of worship and the right to elect their bishops. In 1832 a concordat was made with the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople which regulated the relation of the Servian to the Greek Orthodox Church; the Archbishop of Belgrade received the title of Metropolitan of Servia, and was henceforth to be elected without the participation of the Patriarch of Constantinople; the election, however, must be announced to, and confirmed by, the patriarch, who had the privilege of confirming it and consecrating the new metropolitan. In 1830 Milosch was recognized by the Porte as hereditary prince; in 1834 the Turkish military occupation of Servia was limited to Belgrade.
Influenced by Russia, Milosch ruled as an absolute prince without calling any national assembly; he seized commercial monopolies for his own benefit, and in this way so irritated the people that in 1835 a revolt broke out. He was finally obliged to grant a constitution, which, however, the Turkish Government replaced, in 1838, by the Organic Statute (Ustav). This statute, replacing the National Assembly with a senate provided with extensive powers, satisfied neither the people nor the prince. Milosch swore to observe the Organic Statute, but did not keep his oath and, after a fresh uprising, in 1839, abdicated in favor of his eldest son Milan I. Milan died in three months and was followed by his incapable and tyrannical brother Michael, who, in 1842, was forced by his opponents to abdicate, and then fled to Austria. A national assembly convoked September 11, 1842, elected the son of Karageorge, Alexander Karageorgevitch, Prince of Servia. He was confirmed by the sultan, but only with the title of Beschbeg (overlord). In his home policy he followed Austria and, influenced by Metternich, his government was rigidly conservative, which made him unpopular among the Serbs and in Russia. When, in 1858, the Senate wished to force him to retire, he sought protection with the Turkish garrison at Belgrade. Thereupon the National Assembly (Skupshtina) deposed him as a fugitive, and called to the throne Milosch Obrenovitch, now eighty years old, who had abdicated in 1839. Milosch was followed, in 1860, by his son Michael, who had been forced to abdicate in 1842. Under him the organization of the army was carried out, notwithstanding complaints from the Porte, and the efforts of the Serbs to become entirely independent of Turkey became constantly more evident. Urged by Austria, the Turks, in 1867, withdrew their last garrison, that of Belgrade, from the country, in order to allay the national excitement. Notwithstanding the success that had been attained, a conspiracy was formed against the ruling prince, who was killed on June 29, 1868, in the park of Topschider. The Skupshtina then chose as prince the sole surviving member of the Obrenovitch family, Milan II, then a student in Paris.
During Milan’s minority a new constitution was granted to the country by the regent Ristitch. When, in September, 1874, the Christians of Bosnia and Herzegovina rose against the Turkish yoke, and the revolt constantly spread, Milan believed the occasion favorable to gain the independence of the country, while augmenting it with Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Old Servia, thus founding a Great Servia. In July, 1876, he began war against the Turks, without being able to gain any success in battle. Nevertheless, when war broke out between Turkey and Russia in 1878, he joined Russia, and the Servian army in Bulgaria captured several places which the Turks were on the point of abandoning. In the Peace of San Stefano, Servia gained not only the recognition of its complete independence, but also considerable additions to its territory, which was still further increased by the Congress of Berlin. In return it was obliged to grant unconditional equality to all denominations and assume a part of the Turkish national debt. On August 21, 1878, the independence of the country was formally proclaimed. One of Milan’s first acts was to obtain for the Servian Church complete independence from the Greek Church and its release from the obligations it had assumed in 1832. In 1879 he compelled the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, Joachim III, to recognize the Servian Church as independent and self-governing, and to renounce all rights over it. Since then the relations between the two Churches have been friendly. On March 6, 1882, Milan assumed the title of king. In 1884, to increase his territories, thinking to exploit the embarrassment of Bulgaria, which after the annexation of Eastern Rumelia was threatened by the Turks and deserted by Russia, he declared war on that principality, although ill prepared for it. Led by their courageous ruler, Alexander of Battenberg, the Bulgarians gained a brilliant victory over the Serbs at Slivnitza, and only the interference of Austria, which hastily sent Count Khevenhuller to the Bulgarian headquarters and checked Prince Alexander, saved Servia.
In his home policy, too, Milan sheltered himself under the protection of Austria and opposed his own people. The Serbs; greatly embittered by the Austrian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, became more and more favorable to the Radical and Russophile party, while the king’s position was rendered increasingly difficult by the agitation of political party leaders who were under Russian influence, and the bad financial management of his cabinets. At last Milan’s quarrels with his wife Natalie, the daughter of a Russian colonel, led to the dissolution of the marriage by the metropolitan. When the Liberal party, which had been the support of Milan and Ristitch, was defeated in the elections of 1888, and the Radicals forced a new and more democratic constitution, Milan abdicated, March 6, 1889, in favor of his only son Alexander, a minor, and then left the country. In 1892 he gave up his Servian citizenship. The sorely distracted country had still less internal peace during Alexander‘s reign. The regency during his minority was carried on mainly by Ristitch. In 1893 the impulsive king, although only sixteen years old, declared himself of age, and forced the regency to retire. Alexander recalled his father from Paris to help him against the Radicals and the menace of anarchy. Milan returned to Belgrade, January 21, 1894, at once assumed control of the administration, did away with the democratic Constitution of 1889 by a coup d’etat, restored that of 1869, and limited the constitutional liberties and the suffrage. In 1897 he also assumed supreme control of the army.
However, the friendly relations between father and son were ruptured in 1900 by the marriage of Alexander, who was mentally somewhat abnormal, with a widow of ill repute named Draga Maschin. Milan broke off all connection with his son and left the country for good (d. at Vienna, February 11, 1901). After that, Alexander ruled despotically, contrary to the Constitution. By two political stratagems a new constitution was forced on the country in 1901, but was set aside after two years. The king lost whatever sympathy was still felt for him on account of the undignified manner in which the queen, in 1901, deceived the country into expecting an heir to the throne. When at last the queen formed a plan to have one of her brothers, Lieutenant Nikodem Lunjevitza, who was hated in the army, made heir to the throne, a revolt broke out. In the night of 10-June 11, 1903, a number of officers, who had formed a conspiracy under the leadership of Colonel Mischitch, entered the palace and murdered the king and queen, the queen’s two brothers, and three ministers. The following day the army proclaimed Peter Karageorgevitch; son of the former Prince Alexander Karageorgevitch, king, and the National Assembly confirmed the choice on June 15, after restoring the Constitution of 1889.
Even under the new dynasty the country has not yet (1911) found peace and economic development. Peter’s position was from the beginning made more difficult by the fact that he was rightly regarded as an accessory to the murder of his predecessor, and was, moreover, completely controlled by the assassins during the early years of his reign. These murderers claimed the chief positions in the army and the civil service; on account of his connection with them Peter’s administration was only recognized by the Powers after the lapse of some time, the last power to recognize him being Great Britain (1906). The country was kept in disorder by the constant struggles between political parties, while cabinet changes and dissolutions of the Chamber followed in rapid succession. In foreign affairs, Servia was soon involved in an economic and political dispute with Austria-Hungary, with which it carried on its main export trade. When Servia formed a customs union with Bulgaria, in 1906, a customs war with Austria-Hungary began, which inflicted severe damage on the economic life of the country. Relations with Austria-Hungary were still further strained by the zealous agitation for a Great Servia carried on among the related peoples of Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, and even Croatia. In October, 1908, Austria completed the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina; this brought the anti-Austrian feeling in Servia to fever-heat, as the Serbs believed they had a moral claim on these countries inhabited by related peoples. The Servian Government, in a note addressed to the signatory Powers, protested against what it alleged to be an infringement of the Treaty of Berlin of 1878. It also formed an alliance with Montenegro, called out the reserves, and set about raising a war loan. Servia was openly supported by Russia, and secretly encouraged by Great Britain. It demanded from Austria-Hungary the cession of a strip of territory to connect Servia, by way of the Sandjak of Novi Bazar and Bosnia, with Montenegro and the Adriatic; it also demanded the autonomy of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the supervision of the European Powers.
In the spring of 1909 war seemed inevitable. However, the stand taken by Germany, which declared itself ready to support Austria-Hungary with arms if the latter were attacked by Russia in a war with Servia, led Russia to change its position and forced Servia to yield. Servia was obliged to acknowledge formally the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to renounce economic and territorial compensation, and to express the desire to renew friendly relations with the dual monarchy. At the same time the Crown Prince George was obliged to renounce his right to the succession in favor of his brother Alexander. George had had a large share in urging a war and was greatly disliked by the Serbs on account of his wild behavior, his extravagance, and brutal conduct. Since then the relations between Servia and Austria-Hungary have become more friendly, and the customs war was settled in the early part of 1911 by a commercial treaty.
ACTUAL CONDITIONS.—Servia has an area of 18,650 square miles; on December 31, 1900, the population was 2,492,882. Of this number 2,331,107 were by language Serbs, 89,873 Rumanians, 7494 Germans, 2151 Albanians, and 1956 Magyars. Divided by religions, 2,460,515 belonged to the Serbo-Orthodox Church, 10,423 were Roman Catholics, 1399 Protestants, 3056 Turkish Mohammedans, 11,689 Mohammedan Gypsies, while 71 belonged to various other religions. At the beginning of 1910 the population was estimated at 2,855,660. According to the Constitution of January 2, 1889, Servia is a constitutional monarchy, hereditary by primogeniture in the male line in the Karageorgevitch family. The king shares the legislative power with a national assembly, the Skupshtina; this consists of 160 deputies elected for four years. The right of suffrage is exercised by every Servian citizen who is twenty-one years of age and pays a national tax of at least 15 pence, as well as all members of sadrugas who have reached their majority, irrespective of taxation. Those voters are eligible as deputies who are thirty years old and pay an annual state tax of 30 pence. A “Great Skupshtina”, consisting of twice the ordinary number of deputies, is elected for certain special occasions, as for making changes in the Constitution, electing a king when there is no heir to the throne, etc.
The national religion of Servia is that of the Orthodox Greek Church. All denominations permitted by the Government enjoy complete freedom and protection, so far as their exercise does not contravene morals and public order. However, all attempts to influence the members of the State Church to adopt other creeds are forbidden. All church organizations are under the supervision of the Ministry of Worship and Education, which also watches the correspondence of all Servian with foreign ecclesiastical authorities. The control of the Orthodox Church is in the hands of a synod consisting of the five bishops of the country under the presidency of the metropolitan, the Archbishop of Belgrade. This synod elects all the bishops, issues all the edicts for the guidance of the Church, and has a share in drawing up all laws referring to the Church and clergy. The metropolitan is elected by a special synod consisting of the active bishops, all archimandrites and archpriests of the subdivisions of Servia, the head of the ecclesiastical seminary of St. Saba, and several lay adherents of the Orthodox Church. The choice of this synod requires the confirmation of the king. In 1907 there were 750 churches and chapels, 54 monasteries, 1042 priests, and 98 monks. The Orthodox Church is supported partly by the revenues of the church lands, partly by additional sums granted by the State. The value of the church lands is nearly 345 million marks; that of the monastery lands makes an additional 250 million marks.
Since 1848 the Catholic Serbs, who are in large part subjects of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, have been under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishop of Diakovo, in Slavonia. Although freedom of religion was constitutionally guaranteed by the Congress of Berlin, the position of the Catholic Church is a disadvantageous one, as the Orthodox clergy put various difficulties in the way of parochial work. In the course of the nineteenth century negotiations were several times begun for the erection of a Latin bishopric in Servia. Bishop Strossmayer, of Diakovo, especially, tried repeatedly to attain this end, but all efforts were in vain. In 1890 the Holy See gave its consent to the erection of a bishopric for Servia, but the movement has failed on amount of the opposition of the Servian Government and other difficulties. There are only three parochial stations for the Catholies of Servia, and the expenses of these are largely borne by the Austro-Hungarian Government. The title of Catholic Primate of Servia is borne by the Archbishop of Antivari, who, since March, 1911, has been Father Matthew Cardun of the Dalmatian province of the Franciscans.