November 27, 2013 by AK
Thomas Laqueur in the LRB, reviewing Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914:
Clark, however, begins with an earlier terrorist act, the grotesque murder in 1903 of the Serbian King Alexander and his wife, Draga, by a small group of officers acting as part of a larger conspiracy…
One of the plotters – Dragutin Dimitrijević, ‘Apis’ (the Serbian word for ‘bull’) as he was known – would in 1911 become a founding member of the secret, ultra-nationalist organisation Union or Death, a.k.a. the Black Hand.
Apis? That’s some ancient bull-god as far as I could remember. Egyptian, in fact. How come it was adopted by Serbian, of all languages? Google Translate gives “bik” and “vo” but no mention of Apis. Nothing like Apis in Greek, Turkish, Albanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Croatian. That’s as far as Google Translator goes, of course, since I don’t have proper dictionaries for these languages.
But it looks to me that Dragutin Dimitrijević was nicknamed Apis after that horned god.