Desa (monarch)

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Grand Prince (Veliki Župan) of Rascia
Prince (Župan) of Pomorje
Dessa Dioclie, Terbunie et Zacholmie dux)
Reign 1150–1153 (Co-ruler of Rascia)
1153–1155, 1162–1166 (Rascia)
1148–1162 (Duklja)
House Vukanović dynasty (Urošević)
Father Uroš I of Rascia
Mother Anna Diogene

Desa Urošević Vojislavljević or Desa of Serbia (Serbian: Деса) was the Serbian Župan of Duklja (Zeta and Travunija, Primorje) (1148–1162), Co-ruler of Serbia 1149–1153, Grand Župan of Serbia (Zahumlje and Rascia) 1153–1155 and 1162–1166. He was given the region of Dendra, near Niš.[1]

In 1148 Desa attacked Radoslav of Duklja and took over Duklja with Travunia and became the Župan of the coastal Principalities (Primorje) under his elder brother Uroš II of Serbia. Radoslav continued to rule Kotor, the south-west of Duklja.[2]

His brother Uroš II Primislav ruled Rascia alone from 1140 until the battle of Tara river against the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I in 1150, when the Byzantines defeated the Serbs and Hungarians. Uroš II was spared and Desa was instated as co-ruler along with Uroš.[1] He is mentioned in Venetian charters from 1150 as a Prince of Duklja, Travunija and Zahumlje, and again in 1151.[3]

In 1153 a dispute between the two brothers resulted in Desa and the Rascian court ousting Uroš II. Byzantine Emperor Manuel I intervened and re-instated Uroš II in 1155, deposing Desa.[2][4]

He tried to engage in diplomacy with Hungarian king Frederick.[5] In the summer of 1165, Manuel I sent an army to pursuit Desa.[6] Desa was granted a safe meeting with Manuel I and was escorted by a bodyguard. Desa gave oaths to Manuel I in a public humiliation after being examined in Constantinople on his diplomacy with Hungary. Manuel put Tihomir on the throne in 1166.[1][7]

Some have concluded that Desa was the father of Stefan Nemanja, this however is disputed among other theories.[7]


Desa (monarch)
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Uroš II
Grand Prince of Rascia
Co-ruler with Uroš II

Succeeded by
Uroš II
Grand Prince of Rascia
Only ruler of Serbia

Grand Prince of Rascia
Succeeded by
Royal titles
Preceded by
Byzantine vassal
Duke of Primorje
and Travunia
Succeeded by
Mihailo III
as King of Duklja

as Župan of Trebinje