BUT, HERE COMES LJUTICA BOGDAN. History and tradition in interpretations of a biography

Among the songs from Vuk’s collections, Ljutica Bogdan is best known as an opponent
of Kralljević Marko. However, multiple lyrical-epic adaptations of international motives
are connected to his name and family relations. In addition, older generations of scholars of
Serbian oral poetry have sought to recognize the historical background from which Bogdan’s
character developed. On this occasion, a review of such approaches was presented. After the
literary-historical synthesis, poems about Ljutica Bogdan were analyzed (older records, Vuk’s
corpus, material printed during the 19th century). The types of characterizations, conditioned
by the poetics of the genre and the archaic layers of the Serbian tradition, which could
give impulses for the construction of this poetic biography, are pointed out in this paper.


The Bulgarian hajduk (rebel) and later Byzantine despot and sebastokrator, the
epic „Duke Momčilo“, is a figure who left a big mark on South Slavic epic singing, among other
things, as a fictional uncle of Marko Kraljević. He is one of the few people who remained
in folklore memory for over six centuries. Biographical elements determined the later singing
about this hero („tall as a minaret“; death at the gates of a closed city), and key details of the
established epic biography undoubtedly determined the range of Momchil՚s domains and his
further appearance in epic patterns, mostly in Bulgaria.