Catepanate of Ras

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κατεπανίκιον Σερβλίας
Principality of Serbia (610-969)
Catepanate of Serbia (fl. 969-976)
Theme of Sirmium (1018-1043)
Principality of Serbia (Duklja) (1043-1101)
Grand Principality of Serbia (1101-1217)
Byzantine Empire (960-1043)
Administrative Unit of Serbia and Byzantine Empire



Location of Catepanate of Serbia
The Serb lands according to Constantine VII (945-959)
Capital Stari Ras
Government Catepanate
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Annexation 969
 -  Becomes Theme of Sirmium 976

The Catepanate of Ras (Rascia) or Serbia (Greek: κατεπανίκιον Σερβλίας) was a Byzantine province established between 971–976, during the rule of John Tzimiskes (r. 969–976).[1] It comprised the Principality of Serbia; the Ras region; the seat of the Serbian bishopric (Bishopric of Ras) and state (Stari Ras, the capital).

Data on the katepano of Ras during Tzimiskes' reign is missing.[2]

Tzimiskes conquered the area with vigorous resistance.

A seal of a strategos of Ras has been dated to Tzimiskes' reign, making it possible for Tzimiskes' predecessor Nikephoros II Phokas to have enjoyed recognition in Rascia.[3][4] The protospatharios and katepano of Ras was a Byzantine governor named John.[5]

Byzantine military presence ended soon thereafter with the wars with Bulgaria, and was re-established only ca. 1018 with the short-lived Theme of Sirmium, which however did not extend much into Rascia proper.[3]


  1. ^ Dejan, Bulić (2007). "Gradina-Kazanoviće, results of archeological research". Istorijski časopis (55): 45–62. the establishment of catepanate in Ras between 971 and 976 
  2. ^ The Byzantine province in change: on the threshold between the 10th and the 11th century. Institute for Byzantine Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. 2008. p. 189. 
  3. ^ a b Stephenson, Paul (2003). The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-slayer. Cambridge University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-521-81530-7. 
  4. ^ Byzantium in the year 1000. BRILL. 2003. p. 122. ISBN 978-90-04-12097-6. 
  5. ^ Byzantinoslavica. 65–66. Academia. 2007. p. 132.