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Ritual Brotherhood Across Frontiers in the Eastern Adriatic Hinterland, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries

Bracewell, W; (2016) Ritual Brotherhood Across Frontiers in the Eastern Adriatic Hinterland, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries. History and Anthropology , 27 (3) pp. 338-358. 10.1080/02757206.2016.1155990. Green open access

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Abstract

Ritual brotherhood, or pobratimstvo, is attested by a range of sources dealing with the Adriatic hinterland between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Read one way, pobratimstvo shows us a border society characterized by cohesion and tolerance, where Christian and Muslim frontiersmen find ways to overcome religious and political boundaries, recognizing their common interests and shared values. Read another way, however, the same institution (and sometimes even the same documents) also offers an insight into the persistence of frontier conflict and the pervasiveness of its violence, drawing attention to other, no less bloody divisions between predators and victims. In teasing out some of the possible meanings and uses of ritual sworn brotherhood on this early modern frontier, I attempt to give due weight to the complexities of a specific place and culture. But the problems highlighted by the institution of pobratimstvo are more widespread: the troubling ambiguities of friendship, with its quality of simultaneously including and excluding; the boundaries between affection and interest, or between camaraderie and desire; the obligations (and the potential resentment) conferred by gifts; the moral dilemmas posed by cross-cutting obligations.

Type: Article
Title: Ritual Brotherhood Across Frontiers in the Eastern Adriatic Hinterland, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2016.1155990
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2016.1155990
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in History and Anthropology on 17 March 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02757206.2016.1155990
Keywords: Pobratimstvo; Ritual Brotherhood; Blood-Brotherhood; Friendship; Frontier Warfare
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1481631
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