Metropolitan Danilo I Petrović-Njegoš
Danilo I Šćepčević Petrović-Njegoš (Serbian: Данило I Шћепчевић Петровић Његош) known simply as Vladika Danilo (b. 1670, in Njeguši – d. January 11, 1735, Podostrog-Podmaine monastery) was a Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan of Cetinje 1697-1735 and Prince-Bishop of Montenegro. He styled himself "vojevodič srpskoj zemlji" (Duke of the Serb land).
Danilo Šćepčević was born in circa 1670, in Njeguši. He is credited as the founder the Petrović-Njegoš dynasty in Montenegro in 1696. After coordinating defense operations and settling, at least partially, tribal (family) disputes among his people, Danilo launched a struggle against the Ottomans in 1711. During his rule political ties between Russia and Montenegro were first established.
A Russian historian, Pavel Rovinsky, has written with surprising objectivity about Montenegrin-Russian relations, without regard for the interests of his own government. Rovinsky concluded that it was the pretensions of Turkey and Austria (and at times the Republic of Venice) that turned Montenegro to Russia. Having nowhere to turn in the terrible struggle for the survival of their people, the leading spirits of the Serb land of Montenegro turned to the past, to their mythical origins—to the ancient homeland of the Slavs—all the more readily because it was not only a Great Power but an increasingly powerful factor as a counter-Turkish and counter-Austrian force.
In 1715, Danilo visited Czar Peter I at St. Petersburg and secured his alliance against the Ottomans—a journey that became traditional among his successors in Montenegro and in all the Serbian lands elsewhere in the Balkans. He subsequently recovered Zeta from the Ottomans, restored the monastery at Cetinje, and erected defences around Podostrog-Podmaine Monastery in Budva which was rebuilt in 1630 and served as a summer residence of the ruling family of Montenegro. In the text written on the manuscript gospel, his gift to Serb Patriarchate of Peć, in 1732, Danilo proudly expressed himself as "Danil Njegoš, the Bishop of Cetinje, the leader of the Serbian land."
Danilo was succeeded by two close kinsmen, first his cousin Sava II Petrović Njegoš and then his nephew Vasilije Petrović Njegoš, who for more than two decades was able to push aside the unworldly Sava and become effectively the highest authority in Montenegro and its representative abroad. Danilo's choice of Sava II Petrović Njegoš clearly had a lot to do with family ties and clan membership, Sava's family came from the Petrovići's native Njeguši. Like Danilo, Sava became a monk, serving in the Maine monastery on the coast where he was consecrated as an archpriest in 1719 by the Serbian Patriarch of Peć, Mojsije (1712–1726). From the time of his ordination onwards, Danilo sought to introduce the young Sava gradually to political life, conferring on him the title of co-adjutor in confirmation of his future role. But little about Sava's later career suggests that he gained much from early exposure to Danilo's experience, except that he continued to maintain a policy of status quo while allowing the tribal chieftains a free hand to do as they pleased.
|Metropolitan of Cetinje
- Vladika Danilo on montenet.org - in english
- Preserved Vladika Danilo's Letters - in Serbian
- Official website of the Royal House of Montenegro.
- The Njegoskij Fund Public Project : Private family archives-based digital documentary fund focused on history and culture of Royal Montenegro.
- Article in montenegrin language about metropolitan Danilo Petrović Njegoš
- Serbian Wikiquote: Danilo I Petrović Njegoš