1. Montenegro is a part of
Zetan Dukedom in Lower Albania, near Adriatic sea. It is surrounded by
high mountains. It is separated on the few clans where exist thirty and
more villages in each.
2. Montenegro borders from the east with Podgorica Sanjakat, from the
west with Venetian Dalmatia, from the south with Skenderia, and from the
north with Herzegovina.
3. Montenegro's length is: from Venetian fortress in Kotor to Niksic area,
12 German miles straight line; and it is wide 8 miles: from Budva and Boka
Kotorska to Podgorica Sanjakat.
4. All inhabitants of Montenegro are ethnically Slav-Serbs and confessionally
Greek-Orthodox. As they are incompetent in some skills it is because of their lack
of school, but they are naturally capable, especially with weapons.
5. Many Montenegrins earn their living by arms, attacking, either Turkish, or
Venetian citizens. Raiding vicinity to feed themselves, they do not consider robbery
as a sin, but as a great honour. Their neighbours hate them because of that and they
are always in state of war with each other.
6. In many occasions Turks have tried to conquer Montenegrins, but God has not allowed
it, although they (Turks) subordinated large part of Montenegro under rule of their sultan.
7. The number of Montenegrin warriors who live free on the peaks of Montenegro, called
by Turks disobedient, does not get over 5000.
8. In Montenegro does not exist any fortress, but it is mighty because it is stony and
waterless, surrounded by impassable mountains. Thus it exists 387 (368) years after the
destruction of Serb empire. Turks have never conquered it.
9. Montenegro is very devastated by permanent Turkish attacks and because of that
Montenegro is unpopulated. The land is fertile and could be more populated.
10. There are no artisans and schools in Montenegro except at the Cetinje monastery,
within archbishop's residence, where priests learn reading and writing in Slav-Serb
language, which is paid by archbishop.
11. Montenegrins consider themselves freemen. Turks call them rebels and when they
capture Montenegrin they decapitate him or they put him on the pale alive.
12. Montenegrins count among themselves neighbouring Slav-Serbs of different provenience:
Kuci, Bratonozici, Donji and Gornji Vasojevici, Piperi, Rovcani, Moracani, Bjelopavlici, who
are Serb-Orthodox but Ottoman citizens. They, also, count Roman Catholics: Hoti, Klimenti,
Grudi, Tuzi, Skrivali, Huzi, Maltezi, Kastrati and others who outnumber Montenegrins.
13. Mentioned peoples are mostly settled within bishopric of the holy Montenegrin
metropolitans and they are subordinated to their Orthodox church as well.
14. There are no secular authority and rule in Montenegro, although present archbishop
Vasilije tries to impose them. Their greatest hero, well known, he is the first and is
becoming the leader against foes, although within Montenegro exist enough old noble Slav-Serb
families who together with other Montenegrins serve military bravely.
15. Archbishop rules in Montenegro, having his residence at Cetinje and enjoying great respect.
16. During the ancient times of Serb emperors Montenegro was run by Zetan dukes of whom
Ivan Crnojevic here established his residency and built up wonderful monastery which was
later destroyed by Turkish vizier Cuprilic.
17. Montenegrin Christians, inspired by their archbishop, erected on the same place new,
famous and always mentioned monastery dedicated to Holy Virgin Mary. The emperor Petar I
ordained annual income to monastery that is still received by archbishops.
18. The Pec Patriarch ordains Montenegrin bishop who is spiritually submitted to him.
In St. Petersburg
July 29, 1757.
Jovan Stefanov Balevic, Albano-Montenegrin
of Bratonozic clan, wrote this brief historical and geographical survey.