Mehmed Pasha Sokolli
Mehmed Pasha Sokolli (SOH-koh-lih), a grand vezir at the Ottoman court. When he was ten years old, he was taken away from his Serbian parents as a part of the so-called blood tribute. He is trained in Istanbul to be a janissary, and he becomes a grand vezir, the highest position a non-Turk could attain at the court. To still his nostalgia for his home country, he orders a bridge to be built at his expense across the Drina river at the town of Viegrad, which was the last place he saw his mother, who could not cross the river and follow him any longer. He appoints his brother Makarije to the highest position in the Serbian Orthodox church. He is stabbed to death by a deranged dervish when he goes to the mosque.
Abidaga (ah-bih-DAH-gah), the first builder of the bridge on the Drina. He is known far and wide as very stern, even cruel, especially when his orders are not fully carried out. He orders a Serb laborer, Radisav, to be impaled at the bridge site because he sabotaged the building of the bridge. Abidaga is replaced when the news reaches Istanbul that he had embezzled the vezir’s money and forced laborers to work without pay.
Radisav (rah-DEE-sahv), a Serbian peasant and laborer at the bridge. He is caught destroying at night what had been built during the...
(The entire section is 572 words.)