Višeslav of Serbia

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Višeslav I
Prince / Archont / Knez
of Serbs / Serbia

Knez of Tara, Piva, Lim
Knez viseslav full 2.jpg
Prince of the Serbs
Reign fl. 768–814
Predecessor Unknown Archont
Successor Radoslav
Issue Radoslav
House House of Vlastimirović
Born 2nd half of 700s
Died early 800s
Religion Slavic paganism

Višeslav or more correctly Vojislav (Serbian: Вишеслав, Greek: Βοϊσέσθλαβος[A]) was Prince of the Serbs fl. 768–814. He united various Serb tribes into a unified state.


Traditional historiography had interpreted his name as Višeslav, however there was alternate interpretation that this was an error, present mainly due to rewriting. Modern interpretations are more along the lines that it is due to an error in transliteration, his real name being rather Vojislav.[1]


Višeslav was the great-grandson of the Unknown Archont, the leader of the White Serbs that settled the Balkans after an agreement with the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (610–641).[2]

He ruled the Županias of Tara, Piva, Lim, his ancestral lands.[2][3][4]

Višeslav united various Serbian provinces (kneževine) and tribes of the Byzantine Sclaviniae in the 8th century into the Principality of Serbia (known anachronistically in western sources as Raška).[5] In 785, Constantine VI conquers the Sclaviniae of Macedonia ('Sclavenias penes Macedoniam'), situated to the south.

He ruled Serbia as Prince (Greek: ἄρχων, "archont", equivalent to knez) fl. 768–814 (During the rule of Charlemagne[6][7]).[3][8]

He was succeeded by his son Radoslav, who was the ruler of Serbia during the uprisings (819–822) of Ljudevit Posavski against the Franks. According to the Royal Frankish Annals, in 822, Ljudevit went from his seat in Sisak to the Serbs somewhere in western Bosnia who controlled a great part of Dalmatia ("Sorabos, quae natio magnam Dalmatiae partem obtinere dicitur").[9][10]

See also[edit]

Višeslav I, Ruler of Serbia
Regnal titles
Last known title holder:
Unknown Archont
as Archont of Serbs
Prince of Serbia
Tara, Piva, Lim

fl. 768–814
Succeeded by
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  1. ^ Name: The first attestation of his name is the Greek Voiseslavos (Βοϊσέσθλαβος[11]), in Latin Boisestlavus,[12] in Serbian Višeslav, Viš, Vojšeslav or Vojislav[13] (Вишеслав, Виш, Војшеслав, Војислав).
  1. ^
  2. ^ a b A Short History of Russia and the Balkan States
  3. ^ a b Servia and the Servians
  4. ^ John Anthony Cuddon, The companion guide to Jugoslavia (Google Books), page 454
  5. ^ The mountains of Montenegro
  6. ^ Histoire du peuple serbe
  7. ^ Serbs in European civilization, page 24: "Vojislav or Višeslav, who ruled around 780... at the time of Charlemagne"
  8. ^ Serbien und Montenegro (German)
  9. ^ Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250
  10. ^
  11. ^ Vizantijski Izvori Za Istoriju Naroda Jugoslavije, p. 50: "...(Βοίσέσθλαβοζ) и од њега Радослав (Τοδόσθλαβος) и од њега Просигој (Προσηγόης)...
  12. ^ Corpus scriptorum historiae Byzantinae, Volume 4
  13. ^ Mittelalter im Labor, p. 390, footnotes '289':