"In her masterly work on Prince Marko, Popovic does not attempt to force her subject into an idealized mold. Instead she sets out to explain how such a self-contradictory and inconsistent hero came to be, and in doing so she provides a major contribution to South Slavic cultural history."—Speculum
"Illustrated with photographs of old Serbian frescos, drawings, and reproductions of Ivan Meštrovic’s sculptures of Prince Marko, [Popovic’s work] will contribute to a better understanding of one of the most attractive facets of Serbian cultural history."—Slavic Review
"Popovic indeed succeeds in introducing Prince Marko—more fully than ever before—to the American audience. She vividly displays the heroic past of the South Slavs, including the rich human elements that are reflected in the epic songs of Marko Kraljevic."—Sixteenth Century Journal
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.
6 x 9, 240 pages, 11 black and white illustrations