Mutimir of Serbia
|Prince / Archont / Knez
of Serbs / Serbia
|Balkans, late 9th century
|Reign||ca. 850 – 891|
Mutimir of Serbia (Serbian: Мутимир, Greek: Μουντιμῆρος[A]) was Prince of the Serbs from ca. 850 until 891. He defeated the Bulgar Army, allied himself with the Byzantine Emperor and ruled the First Serbian Principality when the Christianization of the Serbs took place and the Eparchy of Ras was established.
He was the eldest son of Knez Vlastimir, great-great-grandson of the Unknown Archont, who managed to unite the Serb tribes into a state. He initially ruled together with his two younger brothers, but they revolted against him and he exiled them to Bulgaria, as guarantors of peace.
It is thought that the rapid extension of Bulgars over Slavs to the south prompted the Serbs to unite into a state. It is known that the Serbs and Bulgars lived in peace until the invasion in 839 (the last years of Theophilos). Vlastimir united several Serbian tribes, Emperor Theophilos (r. 829–842) probably granted the Serbs independence, and they acknowledged nominal overlordship of the Emperor. The annexation of western Macedonia by the Bulgars changed the political situation, Malamir or Presian may have seen a threat in the Serb consolidation, and opted to subjugate them in midst the conquest of Slav lands.
Khan Presian I of Bulgaria (r. 836–852) invades Serbian territory between 839-842 (see Bulgarian–Serbian Wars). The Bulgars of Malamir may have felt a threat in the Serbs, alternatively the Byzantines wanted to divert the attention so that they could cope with the Slav Uprising in the Peloponnese. The invasion led to a 3-year war, Vlastimir was victorious; Khan Presian made no territorial gain, was heavily defeated and lost many of his men, he was driven out by the army of Vlastimir.
The war ended with the death of Theophilos in 842, which released Vlastimir from his obligations to the Byzantine Empire, on the other hand gave the opportunity to the Bulgarians to attack and annex the areas of Ohrid, Bitola and Devol in 842–843.
Vlastimir went on to expand to the west, taking southeast Bosnia and northeast Herzegovina (Hum). In the meantime; Braničevo, Morava, Timok, Vardar and Podrimlje were occupied by the Bulgars.
Vlastimir was born between 845-850, his rule was divided between his three sons: Mutimir, Strojimir and Gojnik. Although they ruled in an oligarchy, Mutimir had the supreme rule, and the two brothers acted as vassals to him.
In 853 or 854, the Bulgar Army led by Vladimir, the son of Boris I of Bulgaria, invaded Serbia in an attempt for vengeance for the previous defeat of Presian 839-842 against Vlastimir. The Serbian Army was led by Mutimir and his brothers, which defeated the Bulgars, capturing Vladimir and 12 boyars. Boris I and Mutimir agreed on peace (and perhaps an alliance), and Mutimir sent his sons Pribislav and Stefan to the border to escort the prisoners, where they exchanged items as a sign of peace, Boris himself gave them "rich gifts", while he was given "two slaves, two falcons, two dogs, and 80 furs".
An internal conflict among the brothers resulted in Mutimir banishing the two younger brothers to the Bulgarian court. He, however, kept the son of Gojnik, Petar, in his court, for political reasons. Petar soon fled to Croatia. The reason of the feud is not known, however, it is postulated that it was a result of treachery.
The Saracens attacked Ragusa in 869. The Ragusians asked Basil I for help, which he answered, sending a large flotilla with his admiral Niketas Ooryphas. Ooryphas manages to add the neighbouring tribes of Zahumlje, Travunia and Konavli (Serbian Pomorje) in the operation. The tribes were to aid with both fleets and land forces. At the same time, the Croats join Louis II of Italy. The pagan Narentines sacked a ship with emissaries returning from Constantinople, which enraged Basil I, resulting in him sending a fleet, subsequently subduing them. By 878, all of Dalmatia were under the Byzantine overlordship (Theme of Dalmatia), also most of the lands were under the religious jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Serbs were baptized by Constantinopolitan missionaries sent by Basil I, after Mutimir had acknowledged Byzantine suzerainty. Basil may have also sent a bishop. The Christianization was due partly to Byzantine and subsequent Bulgarian influence. It is important to note that at least during the rule of Kotsel of Pannonia (861–874), communications between Serbia and Great Moravia must have been possible. This fact, the pope was presumably aware of, when planning Methodios' diocese as well as the Dalmatian coast, which was in Byzantine hands as far north as Split. There is a possibility that some Cyrillomethodian pupils reached Serbia in the 870s, perhaps even sent by Methodius himself. Serbia is accounted Christian as of about 870. The lasting christian identity is evident in the tradition of theophoric names in the next generation of Serb royalty; Petar Gojniković, Stefan Mutimirović and Pavle Branović, Petros and Stephanos are both noticed as characterly Byzantine.
The first Serbian bishopric was founded at the political center at Ras, near modern Novi Pazar on the Ibar river. The initial affiliation is uncertain, it may have been under the subordination of either Split or Durazzo, both then Byzantine. The early church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul at Ras, can be dated to the 9th–10th century, with the rotunda plan characteristic of first court chapels. The bishopric was established shortly after 871, during the rule of Mutimir, and was part of the general plan of establishing bishoprics in the Slav lands of the Empire, confirmed by the Council of Constantinople in 879–880. The Eparchy of Braničevo was founded in 878 (as continuation of Viminacium and Horreum Margi).
Mutimir maintained the communion with the Eastern Church (Constantinople) when Pope John VIII invited him to recognize the jurisdiction of the bishopric of Sirmium in a letter dated to May 873. The Serbs and Bulgarians subsequently adopt the Old Slavonic liturgy instead of the Greek.
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (September 2011)|
See also 
- History of Serbia
- Seal of Strojimir: On July 11, 2006, A Golden seal of Strojimir dated to 855-896 was bought by the Serbian state from an auction in Munich, Germany, by an unknown Russian. It was sold for a total 20,000 €, outpaying the Bulgarian offer of 15,000 €. It is of Byzantine handcraft (from Athens, Thessaloniki or Constantinople), weighs 15,64 g, has a cross and Greek inscriptions that say: "Strojimir" and "God, Help Serbia".
- History of Serbia
- List of Serbian rulers
- ^ Name: The first attestation of his name is the Greek Muntimiros (Μουντιμῆρος), in Latin Muntimerus (Muntimer), in Serbian Mutimir. He was a descendant of Višeslavić, his father was Vlastimir, hence, according to the contemporary naming culture, his name was Mutimir Vlastimirović Višeslavić.
- The wars of the Balkan Peninsula: their medieval origins ISBN 0-8108-5846-0
- J. B. Bury, p. 372
- L. Kovacevic & L. Jovanovic, Историjа српскога народа, Belgrade, 1894, Book 2, p. 38—39
- S. Stanojevic, Историjа српскога народа, Belgrade, 1910, p. 46—47
- The early medieval Balkans, p. 108
- Известия за българите, p. 42—43
- The early medieval Balkans, p. 110
- M. Th. Houtsma, E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936 p. 199. ISBN 90-04-08265-4, ISBN 978-90-04-08265-6
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: a new survey of universal knowledge, Volume 20, p. 341: "the eastern provinces (Branichevo, Morava, Timok, Vardar, Podrimlye) were occupied by the Bulgars."
- Steven Runciman, A history of the first Bulgarian empire, p. 93: "Vlastimer’s death (about 845-50)", Primary source: De Administrando Imperio, pp. 154—5
- The early medieval Balkans, p. 141
- Đekić, Đ. 2009, "Why did prince Mutimir keep Petar Gojnikovic?", Teme, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 683-688. PDF
- Southeastern Europe
- The Serbs, p. 15
- De Administrando Imperio, ch. 29 [Of Dalmatia and of the adjacent nations in it]: "...the majority of these Slavs [Serbs, Croats] were not even baptized, and remained unbaptized for long enough. But in the time of Basil, the Christ-loving emperor, they sent diplomatic agents, begging and praying him that those of them who were unbaptized might receive baptism and that they might be, as they had originally been, subject to the empire of the Romans; and that glorious emperor, of blessed memory, gave ear to them and sent out an imperial agent and priests with him and baptized all of them that were unbaptized of the aforesaid nations..."
- Pokrštavanje Južnih Slovena
- A history of Christianity in the Balkans, p. 73
- The entry of the Slavs into Christendom, p. 208
- The entry of the Slavs into Christendom, p. 209
- Gabriella Schubert, Serbien in Europa: Leitbilder der Moderne in der Diskussion, p. 23
- De Administrando Imperio, ch. 32
- Johann Grosse II (Héritiers), Nova acta eruditorum, 1764, p. 169
- De Administrando Imperio by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, edited by Gy. Moravcsik and translated by R. J. H. Jenkins, Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, Washington D. C., 1993
- J. B. Bury, History of the Eastern Empire from the Fall of Irene to the Accession of Basil: A.D. 802-867. ISBN 1-60520-421-8, ISBN 978-1-60520-421-5. Google Books
- Fine, John Van Antwerp (1991). The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-08149-7., pages: 108, 110, 141.
- Ćorović, Vladimir, Istorija srpskog naroda, Book I, (In Serbian) Electric Book, Rastko Electronic Book, Antikvarneknjige (Cyrillic)
- Tibor Živković, Portreti srpskih vladara (IX—XII), Beograd, 2006 (ISBN 86-17-13754-1), p. 11
- Ferjančić, B. 1997, "Basile I et la restauration du pouvoir byzantin au IXème siècle", Zbornik radova Vizantološkog instituta, no. 36, pp. 9–30.
- Vizantološki institut SANU (Božidar Ferjančić), „Vizantijski izvori za istoriju naroda Jugoslavije (II tom)“ (fototipsko izdanje originala iz 1957), Beograd 2007 ISBN 978-86-83883-08-0