From the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottomans to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russia, Eastern Europe has been a battleground between the East and the West and a region of fluid frontiers. In Contested Frontiers in the Balkans Irina Marin follows the history of the Banat of Temesvar, a province situated on the edges of these competing empires and currently divided among Romania, Serbia and Hungary. The history of the Banat is, on a small scale, the history of Central and Eastern Europe as a whole - with its overlapping imperial rules, redrawing of boundaries, composite identities, Procrustean nation-states straddling multi-ethnic regions, the legacy of Communism and its vagaries, and the resuscitation of regionalism within the framework of the European Union. It is also the place where the Romanian Revolution of 1989 started which brought Ceau escu's Communist dictatorship to an end. The first history of its kind, this is an important study of Serbian and Romanian ethnicity, culture and influence explored through archival documents and a transnational historical approach, and provides new insights into the major empires of history and their relationship with the Balkan lands.
Irina Marin gained her PhD at the School of Eastern European and Slavonic Studies (SSEES) at University College London.
Acknowledgements viii Note on the Use of Place Names ix Index of Maps x 1. Introduction 1 2. Medieval Bans and Banates 4 3. Under the Sign of the Crescent 8 4. Habsburg Borderland 21 5. Orthodox Peoples 39 6. The Privileged and the Tolerated 54 7. Through the Looking Glass of Revolution 67 8. Citizenship and Constitutionalism 1867 - 1918 84 9. Parting of Ways 101 10. The Banat in Yugoslavia 110 11. The Banat in Romania 125 12. The Communist Experience 140 13. Exit from Communism: the Rise of Milosevic and the Fall of Ceausescu 156 14. War and Democracy: the Banat after 1989 172 15. Conclusions 183 Notes 189 Bibliography 210 Index 220