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He attended primary school in Sombor, gymnasium in Belgrade during the WWII German Occupation of Serbia (1941 - 1944), and then in Sombor from 1945 to 1948. He began his studies at the Faculty of Philosophy and History Studies in Belgrade in 1948, graduating in 1952. After a short stint at the State Archives in Zrenjanin and the National Library of Serbia, he was elected as an assistant at the Institute of History in Belgrade in 1955. In 1957, he defended his doctoral dissertation Herceg Stefan Vuk?i? Kosa?a i njegovo doba and afterwards became an assistant professor at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Philosophy for the History of the People of Yugoslavia in the Middle Ages. He became a full Professor in 1968, was Vice-Dean from 1964 to 1966 and Dean from 1974 to 1975, and retired in 1994.
Activism and viewpoints
In January 1975, ?irkovi? resigned from his position as Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade following the planned suspension of the dissident Marxist HumanistPraxis group, all of whom were professors at his faculty.
He considered the theory of Kosovo Albanians being autochtonous in the territory of Kosovo to be a myth which will be pulverized by critical scientific approach.
?irkovi? considered that Bosnia and Herzegovina should not be organised as a national state and that it should be a stable factor in connecting the neighbouring countries.
According to ?irkovi?, the controversial SANU Memorandum should be considered to be "a so called Memorandum" because it was never adopted by the Academy and he claims that therefore calling the document to be a "memorandum" is a manipulation.
"Oktobarska Award" (1965)
"Prosveta Award" (1972)
"Sedmojulska Award" of the Socialist Republic of Serbia for lifetime achievement (1982)
"Orden rada sa crvenom zastavom" (1988) (Order of labor with a red flag)
Belgrade Award (2006)
Konstantin Jirecek" Medal of the German Society for Southeast Europe (2006).
In 2006, Croatian historian Ivo Banac mentioned ?irkovi? as "the most significant living Serbian historian".
Historians John R. Lampe and Constantin Iordachi describe ?irkovi? as "Serbia's leading medieval historian".
Ostaci starije dru?tvene strukture u bosanskom feudalnom dru?tvu, Istorijski glasnik 3-4, Belgrade,1958. 155-164. p.
Srednjovekovna srpska dr?ava-izabrani izvori, ?kolska knjiga, Zagreb, 1959.
O despotu Vuku Grgurevi?u, Matica srpska, Novi Sad,1970.
Zdravstvene prilike u srednjovekovnoj bosanskoj dr?avi,Acta historica medicinae, pharmaciae et veterinae 10/2, Sarajevo,1970. 93-98 p.
Istorija ljudskog dru?tva i kulture od XII do XVIII za u?enike II razreda gimnazije dru?tveno-jezi?kog smera, Zavod za izdavanje ud?benika Narodne Republike Srbije, Belgrade,1962,1964,1966,1968,1970,1971. (prevedeno na ma?arski, rumunski, bugarski i albanski jezik)
Srednjovekovna Bosna u delu Ante Babi? ,"Babi? A. , Iz istorije srednjovekovne Bosne", Sarajevo,1972. 5-8. p.
Odjeci ritersko-dvorjanske kulture u Bosni krajem srednjeg veka,"Srednjovekovna Bosna i evropska kultura", Muzej grada, Zenica,1973. 33-40. p.
^?irkovi?, Sima (2020). ?iveti sa istorijom. Belgrade: Helsin?ki odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji. p. 390.
^?irkovi?, Sima (2020). ?iveti sa istorijom. Belgrade: Helsin?ki odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji. p. 194.
^?irkovi?, Sima (2020). ?iveti sa istorijom. Belgrade: Helsin?ki odbor za ljudska prava u Srbiji. p. 168.
^Banac, Ivo; Elshtain, Jean Bethke; Weisbuch, Robert (2006). "The Humanities and Its Publics"(PDF). American Council of Learned Societies Occasional Papers (61): 9. ISSN1041-536X. If I were asked to name the most significant living Serbian historian, I would mention Sima ?irkovi?, a prominent medievalist.