The Balkan Route: Historical Transformations from Via Militaris to Autoput. Edited by Florian Riedler and Nenad Stefanov

This volume approaches the topic of mobility in Southeast Europe by offering the first detailed historical study of the land route connecting Istanbul with Belgrade. After this route that diagonally crosses Southeast Europe had been established in Roman times, it was as important for the Byzantines as the Ottomans to rule their Balkan territories. In the nineteenth century, the road was upgraded to a railroad and, most recently, to a motorway. The contributions in this volume focus on the period from the Middle Ages to the present day. They will explore the various transformations of the route as well as its transformative role for the cities and regions along its course. This not only concerns the political function of the route to project the power of the successive empires. Also the historical actors such as merchants, travelling diplomats, Turkish guest workers or Middle Eastern refugees together with the various social, economic and cultural effects of their mobility will be in the focus of attention. The overall aim is to gain a deeper understanding of Southeast Europe by foregrounding historical continuities and disruptions from a long-term perspective and by bringing into dialogue different national and regional approaches.

Language: English

Publisher: De Gruyter

Copyright year: 2021


Bordering and Mobility as an Approach to the History of the Balkan Route

Florian Riedler and Nenad Stefanov

The Via Militaris in Transition: From Late Rome to the Crusades

Matthew Larnach

Continuity of Travel and Transport Infrastructures from Antiquity to the Middle Ages: The Case of Via Militaris in the Morava and Nišava Regions

Vladimir Aleksić

Transforming the Landscape of the Constantinople Road in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (Section Niš–Dragoman)

Tatjana Katić

The Istanbul–Belgrade Route in the Ottoman Empire: Continuity and Discontinuity of an Imperial Mobility Space

Florian Riedler

Cities along the Route: Plovdiv Becoming “Modern” at the End of the Nineteenth Century

Dobrinka Paruševa

Tsaribrod, a Dot on the Line: A Microhistorical Approach to Societal Change along the Route in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Nenad Stefanov

Park ve Restoran: About Oblivion, Obstinate Mobility and Temporary Infrastructures on the Road

Nenad Stefanov

Voices of the Via Egnatia: Deliberating Migratory Pull-Factors along the Roman Road in the Western Balkans

Sandra King-Savić

Balkan Transit: Conclusion and Outlook

Florian Riedler and Nenad Stefanov