Kingdom of Serbia (medieval)
|Kingdom of Serbia|
Serbia, 1265, during the rule of Stephen Uroš I
|Religion||† Eastern Orthodoxy
(Serbian Orthodox Church)
|-||1196-1228||Stefan Nemanjić (Grand Prince↑King)|
|-||1322–1331||Stephen Uroš III of Dečani|
|-||1331-1346||Stephen Uroš IV Dušan the Mighty (King↑Emperor)|
|-||Crowning of Stefan Nemanjić The First-crowned||1217|
|-||Autocephaly of the Serbian Church (Sava, Archbishop of Serbs)||1219|
|-||Crowning of Stephen Uroš IV Dušan the Mighty (Emperor of Serbs and Greeks)||16th April 1346|
|Today part of|| Serbia
Republic of Kosovo
The Kingdom of Serbia (Serbian: краљевина Србија) or Serbian Kingdom (Српска краљевина) was a medieval Serb kingdom ruled by the Nemanjić dynasty, from 1217 to 1346. The Serbian Grand Principality was elevated with the coronation of Stefan Prvovenčani (The First-crowned) as "King of Serbia" by his brother, bishop Sava, after inheriting all territories unified by their father, Stefan Nemanja, who is regarded the most remarkable Serb according to the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It was proclaimed an Empire on 16 April 1346.
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Serbian Grand Principality
In 1083, Constantine Bodin, the King of Duklja and Ruler of the Serbs, had appointed his nephews Vukan and Marko as vassals in Rascia (historiographical name), one of the four provinces of his realm, situated in the hinterland (alongside Zachumlje and Bosnia, and the seat in Duklja). Each province had its own nobility and institutions, and acquired a member of the Vojislavljevići to head as Župan. The Byzantines launched a campaign on Duklja between 1089 and 1091, and possibly captured Bodin, and a civil war broke out in the realm among Bodin's relatives, which greatly weakened Duklja, and gave Vukan the chance to assert himself and break away. Rascia became independent in 1091, as well as Bosnia and Zahumlje; Vukan took the title of Grand Prince of Serbia. Up to this point, Duklja had been the center of the Serbian realm, as well as the main resistance to Byzantium in the Balkans. Rascia became the most powerful of the Serbian states, in hands of the Vukanović dynasty, and remained so throughout the Middle Ages. Rascia, of which was the prestige rose, replaced Duklja as the main opponent of Byzantine rule in the 12th century. Bodin's heirs were forced to recognize Byzantine overlordship, and had now only the small territories of Duklja and Travunia. During the reign of Vukan's son Uroš I, the Byzantines invaded Duklja, and sought to conquer Rascia as well, but through the diplomatic ties with Hungary, Serbia kept its independence. Uroš II initially fought the Byzantines, but gave oaths of servitude to the Emperor after defeat in war. Desa, the brother of Uroš II and initially a Byzantine ally, turned to Hungarian support, but was deposed in 1163, when Stefan Tihomir of a cadet line (which would become Nemanjić dynasty), was put on the throne by the Emperor.
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Reign of Stefan the First-Crowned
Stefan Nemanja was succeeded by his middle son Stefan, whilst his first-born son Vukan was given the rule of the Zeta region (present-day Montenegro). Stefan Nemanja's youngest son Rastko became a monk and took the name Sava, turning all his efforts to spread religion among his people. Since the Roman Catholic Church already had ambitions to spread its influence to the Balkans as well, Stefan used these propitious circumstances to obtain his crown from the Pope, thereby becoming the first Serbian king, in 1217. In Byzantium, his brother Sava managed to secure autocephaly (independence) for the Serbian Church and became the first Serbian archiepiscope in 1219. In the same year Sava published the first constitution in Serbia — St. Sava's Nomocanon (Serbian: Zakonopravilo). This legal act was well developed. St. Sava's Nomocanon was the compilation of Civil law, based on Roman Law and Canon law, based on Ecumenical Councils and its basic purpose was to organize functioning of the young Serbian kingdom and the Serbian church. Thus the Serbs acquired both forms of independence: political and religious.
Reign of Radoslav, Vladislav and Uroš I
The next generation of Serbian rulers — the sons of Stefan Prvovenčani — Radoslav, Vladislav and Uroš I, marked a period of stagnation of the state structure. All three kings were more or less dependent on some of the neighbouring states — Byzantium, Bulgaria or Hungary. The ties with the Hungarians played a decisive role in the fact that Uroš I was succeeded by his son Dragutin whose wife was a Hungarian princess. Later on, when Dragutin abdicated in favour of his younger brother Milutin (in 1282), the Hungarian king Ladislaus IV gave him lands in northeastern Bosnia, the region of Mačva, and the city of Belgrade, whilst he managed to conquer and annex lands in northeastern Serbia. Thus, some of these territories became part of the Serbian state for the first time. His new state was named Kingdom of Srem. In that time the name Srem was a designation for two territories: Upper Srem (present day Srem) and Lower Srem (present day Mačva). Kingdom of Srem under the rule of Stefan Dragutin was actually Lower Srem, but some historical sources mention that Stefan Dragutin also ruled over Upper Srem and Slavonia. After Dragutin died (in 1316), the new ruler of the Kingdom of Srem became his son, king Vladislav II, who ruled this state until 1325.
Reign of Milutin
Under the rule of Dragutin's younger brother — King Milutin, Serbia grew stronger despite having to occasionally fight wars on three different fronts. King Milutin was an apt diplomat much inclined to the use of a customary medieval diplomatic and dynastic marriages. He was married five times, with Hungarian, Bulgarian and Byzantine princesses. He is also famous for building churches, some of which are the finest examples of Medieval Serbian architecture: the Gračanica monastery in Kosovo, the Cathedral in Hilandar monastery on Mount Athos, the St. Archangel Church in Jerusalem etc. Because of his endowments, King Milutin has been proclaimed a saint, in spite of his tumultuous life. He was succeeded on the throne by his son Stefan, later dubbed Stefan Dečanski.
Reign of Stefan Dečanski
Spreading the kingdom to the east by winning the town of Nis and the surrounding counties, and to the south by acquiring territories on Macedonia, Stefan Dečanski was worthy of his father and built the Visoki Dečani monastery in Metohija — the most monumental example of Serbian Medieval architecture — that earned him his nickname. Stefan Dečanski defeated the Bulgarians in Battle of Velbužd in 1330.
Taking advantage of the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, Dušan doubled the size of his kingdom seizing territories to the south, southeast and east at the expense of Byzantium and conquered almost the entire territory of today's Greece, except the Peloponnese and the islands. After he conquered the city of Serres, he was crowned the Emperor of Serbs and Greeks in Skoplje by the Serbian Patriarch on April 16, 1346. His goal was to become the successor of the Byzantine Emperors. Before his sudden death, Dušan the Mighty tried to organize a Crusade with the Pope against the threatening Turks. He died in December 1355 at the age 47. The Imperial constitution, the Dušan's Code (Serbian: Dušanov zakonik) was enacted in 1349 and added in 1354. The Code was based on Roman-Byzantine law. The legal transplanting is notable with the articles 171 and 172 of Dušan's Code, which regulated the juridical independence. They were taken from the Byzantine code Basilika (book VII, 1, 16-17). Dušan opened new trade routes and strengthened the state's economy. Serbia flourished, becoming one of the most developed countries and cultures in Europe. Medieval Serbia had a high political, economic, and cultural reputation in Europe.
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- župas: Hvosno
Part of a series on the
|History of Serbia|
- „100 najznamenitijih Srba“, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 1993, ISBN 86-82273-08-X : He has the first place
- Fine, 233
- Fine, p. 224
- The early medieval Balkans, p. 224
- Fine, p. 225
- http://www.alanwatson.org/sr/petarzoric.pdf Alan Watson Foundation
- "Nomocanon". Search.com Reference. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
- John V. A. Fine (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. ISBN 978-0-472-08260-5. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
- S. P. Scott (1932). The Civil Law: Vol. I. Constitution.org. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
- Yves LASSARD, Alexandr KOPTEV. "The Roman Law Library". Web.upmf-grenoble.fr. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
- "Serbian Culture of the 14th Century. Volume I". Dusanov Zakonik. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
- John V.A. Fine. (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. The University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-08260-4
- John V.A. Fine. (1991). The early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the 6th to the Late 12th Century. The University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-08149-7
- Alexander Soloviev, "Greek charters of Serbian rulers" (1936), Soloviev and Makin