Stephen Uroš I of Serbia

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For the Serb Grand Prince ca. 1112–1145, see Uroš I of Rascia. For other Serb monarchs, see Stefan Uroš.
Stephen Uroš I
UrosI.jpg
Stephen Uroš I with his son Dragutin
King of Serbia
Reign 1243–1276
Coronation 1243
Predecessor Stephen Vladislav
Successor Stephen Dragutin
Issue Stephen Dragutin
Stephen Milutin
House Nemanjić dynasty
Father Stefan Nemanjić
Mother Anna Dandolo
Born c. 1223
Died May 1, 1277 (aged 55)
Sopoćani monastery
Religion Serbian Orthodox

Stefan Uroš I (Serbian: Стефан Урош I[a]; ca. 1223 – May 1, 1277), known as Uroš the Great[1] was the King of Serbia from 1243 to 1276, succeeding his half-brother Stefan Vladislav. His full style and title was King in Christ, God faithful, King of Serbia and Maritime Lands.[citation needed]

Background[edit]

Life[edit]

Maglič Fortress, built by King Uroš I 1243 - 1276.
Silver Dinar of King Uroš I

Stephen Uroš was the youngest son of Stefan the First-Crowned and Anna, the granddaughter of Enrico Dandolo, Doge of Venice.

In spring 1243 the Serbs rebelled and deposed their King Stephen Vladislav I of Serbia, replacing him with his younger brother Stephen Uroš I. The new king remained on good terms with his predecessor, who is mentioned in some of his charters.

Sopoćani Monastery was built by King Uroš I 1243 - 1276.

The reign of Stephen Uroš I coincided with the decline of Serbia's primary rivals in the Balkans, Epirus and Bulgaria. This helped Serbia become an influential local power. That development was actively fostered by its king, who encouraged rapid economic development. Saxon miners from Hungary were introduced to work and develop the Serbian silver mines at Brskovo and Rudnik. The Saxon communities were allowed a level of self-government and the right to worship in Catholic-rite churches.

Economic prosperity was also fostered by the related intensification of trade with the Dalmatian cities of Dubrovnik and Kotor. The increase in the mining of silver and in trade naturally led to the introduction of larger quantities of royal coinage, modeled after the Venetian standard.

In 1252–1253, Uroš I was at war with the Republic of Dubrovnik, which bordered the Hum, which was held by his kinsman Radoslav Andrijić. Radoslav swore to fight Dubrovnik as long as it was in conflict with Serbia, at the same time boasting relations with Béla IV of Hungary. Dubrovnik took up an alliance with Bulgaria. Peace was ensured in a charter dated May 22, 1254, and the crisis ended.

During the second half of the 1260s a new war broke out with Dubrovnik, which was secretly favored by the Serbian queen. A treaty was signed in 1268, specifying the amount of protection money that Dubrovnik was expected to supply annually to the Serbian king. The arrangement remained largely unbroken for the next century.

In 1268 the Serbian king invaded the Hungarian possessions south of the Danube in Mačva, what is now western central Serbia. In spite of some initial success, Stefan Uroš was captured by the Hungarians and forced to purchase his release. A peace treaty was signed between the two kingdoms, and Stephen Uroš's son Stephen Dragutin of Serbia was married to Catherine, the daughter of the future king Stephen V of Hungary.

By the end of his reign, Stephen Uroš apparently succeeded in suppressing the autonomy of Zahumlje, where the local princes became virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the nobility. In his effort to achieve centralization, the king appears to have alienated his eldest son by refusing to grant him an appanage. The conflict between father and son exacerbated, and the king apparently considered making his younger son, the future Stefan Milutin, his heir.

Worried about the inheritance and his very life, Stephen Dragutin finally demanded to be associated on the throne in 1276. When Stephen Uroš refused, Dragutin rebelled and received help from his Hungarian relatives. The allies defeated the Serbian king and Stefan Uroš was forced to abdicate and retire to an unidentified monastery in Hum where he died a year or two later. His remains were later moved to his monastic foundation of Sopoćani.

Aftermath[edit]

Family[edit]

By his wife Helen, who was either an Angevin princess or a daughter of the Latin Emperor of Constantinople, Stephen Uroš I had at least three sons:

Stephen Uroš I of Serbia
Born: 1223 Died: 1 May 1277
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Stefan Vladislav I
King of Serbia
1243–1276
Succeeded by
Stefan Dragutin

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Name: Stephen Uroš I in English. He is called "Stefan the Great" (Стефан Велики), or "Uroš the Great" (Урош Велики). He is also called Uroš Hrapavi (Урош Храпави) or Stefan Hrapavi (Стефан Храпави), hrapavi means "rugged" or "rough".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jireček 1967, p. 310: "König Stephan Uros" I. (1243 — 1276) wird von den Männern der serbischen Kirche, von Domentian und Daniel, der „Große" (veliki) genannt,"

Sources[edit]

  • Fine, John V.A. (1994). The late medieval Balkans: a critical survey from the late twelfth century to the Ottoman Conquest. Ann Arbor, Mich: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-08260-4.