Uroš I, Grand Prince of Serbia

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"Uroš I" redirects here. For the later King (1243–1276), see Stephen Uroš I of Serbia.
Uroš I of Serbia
Grand Prince of Serbia (Rascia)
Public Schools Historical Atlas - Europe 1135.jpg
Europe, 1135
Grand Prince of Serbia
Reign 1112–1145[b]
Predecessor Vukan
Successor Uroš II
Dynasty Vukanović
Father Marko
Born before 1083
Religion Eastern Orthodoxy

Uroš I (Serbian: Урош I) was the Grand Prince (Veliki Župan) of the Grand Principality of Serbia from about 1112 to 1145.

Biography[edit]

Origin[edit]

Uroš I was the son of Marko[a], the brother of Grand Prince Vukan, who had sworn an oath of loyalty to Constantine Bodin, the Grand Prince of Duklja, becoming his vassals.[1] Marko, as the subordinate ruler, would have had his appanage in lands north of Rascia, bordering the Kingdom of Hungary.[2] The name Uroš itself, is most likely derived from the Hungarian word úr meaning "dominus" or "princeps", which is translated into the Slavic name 'Prvoslav', or 'Primislav', as seen in the case of Uroš II in Slavic sources.[3] It is a possibility that Marko married a Hungarian wife.[3]

War with Byzantium[edit]

In 1092, the Serb Army defeated the Byzantine Army led by the governor of Durazzo, sent by Alexius Comnenus. In 1093, Alexius himself led a larger Byzantine Army and marched towards Rascia, but Vukan heard of this and immediately sought peace, which Alexius quickly accepted as new problems arose in the east where the Cumans penetrated as far as Adrianople. As soon as the Emperor had departed, Vukan broke the treaty, conquering the Vardar and taking the cities of Vranje, Skoplje and Tetovo. In 1094 or 1095, the Emperor once again marched to the Serbs, capturing Lipljan. This time Vukan met with him in his tent and gave him some twenty hostages, including Uroš I and Stefan Vukan, as an oath of peace.[4] Uroš was first mentioned in the contemporary Alexiad of Anna Komnene, a written account of the reign of her father Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos.

Following the death of Vukan in 1112, Uroš succeeded as Grand Prince.[5]

Civil War in Duklja[edit]

In 1113 or 1114, the Byzantine Army based in Durazzo invaded Duklja and captured the capital of Scutari. Duklja at the time was ruled by Prince Đorđe of Duklja (r. 1118), the son of Constantine Bodin. The Byzantines installed Grubeša Branislavljević after 1118, banishing Đorđe to Rascia. Đorđe claimed protection of Uroš, and in the 1125 the two led an army against Grubeša,[6] meeting in the Battle of Antivari. Grubeša was killed and Đorđe retained his realm, although not all of it. Small parts were ruled by cousins, among them the three brothers of Grubeša, who would soon quarrel with Đorđe. The Byzantines again invaded the coastlands of Duklja, giving nominal rule to Gradinja, resulting in a guerilla war in the woods. The second expedition captured Đorđe. He was taken to Constantinople where he died. Gradinja strengthened the ties with Serbia.[7]

Diplomacy[edit]

In around 1130, he married his daughter, Jelena, to King Béla II of Hungary. Bela II, being blind, relied entirely on Jelena who acted as a co-ruler. Jelena is sourced as having decided to massacre 68 aristocrats at the Arad assembly, who had persuaded Coloman to blind her husband.

In 1137, Ladislaus II, the son of Béla II and Jelena, became the titular Ban of Bosnia.

When Bela II died on 13 February 1141, the eldest son Géza II ascended the throne, still a child. Therefore, Helena and her brother Beloš Vukanović, whom she had invited to the court, governed the Kingdom of Hungary until September 1146 when he came of age.

Beloš was the Ban of Croatia 1142-1158, under the Hungarian crown, and held the comes palatinus (Count palatine), the highest court title of the Kingdom.

Family[edit]

Uroš was married to a Byzantine noblewoman named Anna Diogene, who through her father Constantine was a granddaughter of Romanos IV Diogenes. They had the following issue:

and possibly

Maria Serbska.jpg Chronicon Pictum P113 Az aradi véres gyűlés.JPG
Maria Helena

See also[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Vukan
Grand Prince of Serbia
1112–1145
Succeeded by
Uroš II

References[edit]

  1. ^ Geneaology: See,[8] primary source Anna Comnene,[9] Fine views Vukan as the father[4]
  2. ^ Reign: Vukan died in 1112, as Stefan Nemanja was born in 1113,[5] Fine puts the time of Vukan's death in ca 1122.[10] Fine puts Uroš II's reign "by 1145[11] to 1162[12]".
  1. ^ The early medieval Balkans, p. 223
  2. ^ Živković, hipoteza, p. 11
  3. ^ a b Živković, hipoteza, p. 13
  4. ^ a b The early medieval Balkans, p. 226
  5. ^ a b Zivkovic, hipoteza, p. 15
  6. ^ The early medieval Balkans, p. 236
  7. ^ The early medieval Balkans, p. 232-233
  8. ^ Živković, hipoteza, p. 9
  9. ^ Anne Comnene, Alexiade, I-III, ed. B. Leib, Paris 1937 - 1945, II, 184.25-27
  10. ^ The early medieval Balkans, p. 298
  11. ^ Fine, Early, p. 298
  12. ^ Fine, Late, p. 2

Sources[edit]