Banović Strahinja

Pomalo je takijeh junaka,                           There are few heroes
Ka’ što bješe Strahiniću bane.                  AsBan Strahinic was

These closing lines of the Banović Strahinja epic song tell us that it was a hero who was outstanding in his deeds even in the heroic  times. What is so outstanding about him? At a first glance the song does not tell us of his heroism. It is a song about a husband whose wife is abducted and who – in spite of the fact that his whole family rejects her – sets out to find her. The Ban’s wife, Anđelija (Angel), is abducted by a Turk, Vlah-Ali, and she becomes his wife – willy-nilly. In the world of heroes it does not go unpunished, so the beloved Anđelija is condemned to death. Banović Strahinja, however, thinks otherwise. He fights the Turk and the terrified woman even betrays him, striking him with a sword. But he, after defeating Vlah-Ali, forgives her and takes her home! And here, the poet cites the above given lines. It represents heroism that transcends the regular world of epic poetry, where short-tempered characters, like Kraljević Marko, rule. Banović Strahinja is more than a hero – he is a Christian hero. He is directed by a law that is supreme – the law of love, merciful love, which does not condemn a sinner, but forgives her, instead. It is the law of Christ. It is the law of Marko Miljanov and his humanity. It is humanity above heroism.


In 1983, a Yugoslav film director, Vatroslav Mimica made a film Banović Strahinja, featuring an Italian film star, Franko Nero in the leading role and  Dragan Nikolić playing Vlah-Ali.


Although the lines say, Netko bješe Strahiniću bane, / Bješe bane u malenoj Banjskoj /, U malenoj Banjskoj kraj Kosova, (Once there was Strahinić Ban, / Ruling his little Banovina / Banovina nearby Kosovo), and although there is a mention of Kruševac and Jug Bogdan, as Anđelija’s father, it has never been confirmed that Banović Strahinja was a real historic person.