Interpretation of the Poem “The Sick Dojčin”. Etymology of Dojčin


  • Lidija Stojanović


Dojčin, sickness, etymology


The aim of this investigation is to present a different interpretation of the poem of Sick Dojčin, one of the most unique Balkan heroes.

The interaction between sin, punishment, and repentance, (the metanoia), in typified songs about sinful heroes and Sick Dojčin may be compared to Medieval Christian morality texts. An interesting etymological solution deserves mentioning (Dojčin: “breastfeeding, breast”), since it takes us back to the origins of the interaction of humankind, God, and religion. As a protagonist in the epic, Dojčin appears as a character in need of protection, safety, and moral correction, which he later receives from his sister. The breast (dojka) is a symbol of protection and of measure. In the figure and the narrative of the Sick Dojčin epic, all the qualifiers of interpretatio Christiana can be identified.

The views presented in this analysis and interpretation of Dojčin allow for the recognition of interplanar levels. It points to a creation located on the borderline between the heroic song and the ballad, and it expresses a military ideology. In later stages of feudalism, this was the Christianized ideology of knighthood, identifiable in both types of songs dedicated to Dojčin, as well as in the songs dedicated to heroes similar to him, where the adversary takes on the form of the Arab, the Turk, or some other antagonists.


Lidija Stojanović

Prof. Lidija Stojanovic, PhD, research advisor at the Institute of folklore "M. Cepenkov" - Skopje, 

Departement of folk literature

Insitute of Folkore "Marko Cepenkov"
University St Cyril and Methodius - Skopje, Macedonia





Stojanović, L. (2014). Interpretation of the Poem “The Sick Dojčin”. Etymology of Dojčin. Zeitschrift für Balkanologie, 50(2). Abgerufen von