The Idea of a Greater (United) Croatia by Pavao Ritter Vitezović: An Early-Modern Model of the National Identity and Creation of the National State of the Croato-Slavs (end)
The paper will examine the model for the creation of a ‘Greater Croatia’ designed by the Croatian noblemen, publicist and historian Pavao ritter Vitezović (1652–1713). Many historians have viewed Vitezović’s
political thought and his developed ideological framework of a united south slavic state as part of a
wider pan-slavic world. according to the prevailing notion, Vitezović was a precursor of the idea of ‘yugoslavism’ (a united southern slav nation state) and even ‘Pan-slavism’, a pan-slavic cultural and political
reciprocity. yet a closer look at Vitezović and his contemporaries’ writings suggests an alternative model
for outlining the borders of modern ethnic states among the southern slavs. Vitezović argued for the creation of a Croat national state, based on the integration of the Croat ‘ethnic territories’ and their consolidation along ethno-linguistic lines.The analysis of Vitezović’s understanding of nationhood explains how the
borders of an envisioned early modern Croat ethnic state had been perceived as including vast territories
from the adriatic sea to Moscow and from the Baltic sea to the Black sea. in this respect Vitezović’s views
on the Lithuanians and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth will show that the argument used to substantiate his claims for a Croatian nation state was based on an ethno-linguistic kinship.
Key Words: Croatia, Croats, slavs, Lithuania, Lithuanians, national identity, Balkans.