A'ga— a commander, or chief officer. In the case of Alil-aga, an officer of the Sultan.
Archpriest—the priest in charge of an important church.
Ban,—the governor of a Serb province.
Beg—the governor of a small Turkish province.
Ca'di—a judge or magistrate of a Turkish town or village.
Char-dak'—a room on the upper porch or a house with a balcony, or a tower with a balcony around it.
Cornel-wood—the European dogwood.
Des'pot—a title equivalent to king or lord, common in the Byzantine Empire and in the Kingdom of the Serbs.
Di'nar—a Serbian silver coin, equivalent to the franc; about .193.
Ef-fen-di'—a Turkish tide of respect.
Fir'man—a Turkish decree.
Gia-our' (jo-ur)—the Turkish word for an unbeliever or Christian.
Ha'dji—a man who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Ho'dja—a man learned in the Moslem law.
Jan'is-sa-ries—these men were the most terrible of the Ottoman troops. They were Christian children who had been taken from home in early childhood and brought up in an army camp under Moslem supervision. They knew no one but their own group, and later on—centuries after Marko lived—these desperate men nearly captured the entire Empire and placed themselves in charge.
Khan—a Turkish inn.
Kum—a man who is bound to another by relations connected with the Church services of marriage, baptism, etc. See Weddings.
Pa'ra—a Turkish coin worth one-ninth of a cent; a Serbian coin worth one-fifth of a cent.
Po-bra-tim'—a sworn brother.
Po-bra-tim'stvo—the state of being a pobratim.
Ra'ki-ja—a form of brandy.
Ra-ma-dan'—in the Mohammedan year, the ninth month, on each day of which, from dawn to sunset, strict fasting is practised.
Sla'va—a special feast held among the Serbs on the day of the patron saint of the family. This is usually in the autumn, and all the members of the family group and their friends come to see what the saint has brought the family during the last year.
Stary Svat—see Weddings.
Vi'la—a supernatural maiden similar to a nymph.
Vlach'—Rumanians and other non-Italian groups, speaking a Latin language.
Voy-vo'da—a Serb title, literally commander of the army.
Weddings—there are a great many officials connected with Balkan wedding ceremonies. First there is the kum. He was originally the godfather of the bridegroom or of the bride, and his relationship to one or both of the couple lasted throughout his life. He is, so to speak, the spiritual father, with all the rights and nearly all the responsibilities of a real father.
Besides the kum are the two devers, two friends of the bridegroom, who have the task of bringing the bride from the wedding ceremony at her house to the home of her husband. In the case of Marko's wedding, as this was a great distance, the responsibility of the devers was also very great. The post of first dever is regarded as especially honorable, and in the stories of Marko the second dever is usually forgotten.
Then there is the stary svat (literally the senior witness, or old witness), who arranges the toasts, supervises the festivities, and acts as master of ceremonies. The chaush acts as herald and jester. His task is to keep the guests amused during the procession to the bridegroom's home and at the feasts; in return for the privileges which he has, he must himself be the butt of such jokes as the other guests may make. The privenats is the leader of the procession..
The gift of the ring and the apple from the prospective bridegroom to the bride was symbolic. The ring signified the betrothal, while the apple was for blessing and fertility in marriage.