The Jugoslavs form a national unit and are
ethnologically part of the Slavonic race. Jugoslav literature begins with
translations of the Bible by Cyril and Methodius, the “Slavonic Apostles,”
about the middle of the Ninth Century. During the first period of the nation’s
literary history, from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century, several
biographies and chronicles were produced.
Toward the end of the Fourteenth Century
and until the beginning of the Nineteenth Century the Jugoslavs fell under the
domination of the Turks, who practically arrested national life. There were,
however, those who, despite this catastrophe, tried to carry on the traditions
of their literature.
The deliverance from Turkish rule brought
with it a gradual revival. At first, however, little was written in the
Jugoslav languages (Serbian, Croatian, and Slovenian), because the printing
presses throughout the country had been destroyed by the Turks. The books
imported from Russia were pr