Vuk Grgurević

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Vuk Grgurević
Serbian Despot
Змај Вук Бранковић, деспот српски.jpg
Vuk Branković the Dragon, Serbian Despot
Despot of Serbia
Reign 1471–1485
Predecessor Stephen Tomašević
Successor Đorđe Branković
Spouse Barbara Frankopan
Full name
Vuk Grgurević Branković
Dynasty Branković CoatOfArmsOfJovanStefanovicBrankovic.png
Father Grgur Branković
Born c. 1440
Died April 16, 1485
Religion Serbian Orthodox Christian
Signature

Vuk Grgurević Branković (Serbian Cyrillic: Вук Гргуревић Бранковић[A]; ca. 1440 – April 16, 1485), was the titular Despot of Serbia from 1471 until his death in 1485. He inherited the title of despot (as an heir to the throne now under occupation of the Ottoman Empire), by King Matthias Corvinus, and ruled most of present-day Vojvodina, under the overlordship of the Kingdom of Hungary. He is known in Serbian epic poetry for his valour and heroism, and is called Vuk the Fiery Dragon (Змај Огњени Вук), or simply the Dragon; he commanded the Hungarian army (Black Army) in several of its battles against the Ottomans. He is considered the founder of Grgeteg monastery.

Background[edit]

Life[edit]

He was a son of Grgur Branković, and a grandson of despot Đurađ Branković and Eirene Kantakouzene.

At first, Vuk Grgurević was with the Ottomans, but in 1465, he acceded into the Hungarian service and became a commander of the Serb military squads in Syrmia.

He was a despot of Rascia who worked together with alias Dojčin Petar, which demonstrate some of his letters. An inheritance was suspected centuries later. The Imperial censorship caused every copy of the 1808 issue of the Almanach de Gotha to be seized and destroyed. In fact the censorship office found the word "genealogy" to be an insult, since the Bonapartes could not produce one and this tendentious word was suppressed.[1][2]

Vuk Grgurević acquired a great reputation for bravery, and gained the nickname "Zmaj Ognjeni", which could be translated into English as "Fiery Dragon" (It is interesting that his name "Vuk" means "wolf" in Serbian, thus his nickname, "Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk", actually means "Fiery Dragon Wolf"). He also became a hero in many Serbian national songs.

He fought with the Hungarians against Czechs, Poles, Austrians and Turks. In 1471 he gained a title of the despot of Serbia, and also gained a large possessions in the territory of present day Vojvodina, which formerly belonged to despot Đurađ Branković. Among his possessions were Kupinik (today Kupinovo), Slankamen, Berkasovo, Bečkerek (today Zrenjanin), Irig, etc.

His most famous military forays were those in 1476, when he seized Srebrenica, and fought near Šabac and Smederevo, and in 1480, when he attacked Sarajevo. In 1479, along with Dmitar Jakšić, he led Serbian light cavalry squadrons in Battle of Breadfield (Kenyérmező), near Zsibót. At the decisive moment in battle Hungarian and Serbian cavalries charged Turkish center and broke their ranks, which decided the outcome of the battle. In 1481, he fought against Turks in Serbia, and brought from there (area around Kruševac) about 50,000 people, who were settled in Banat, mostly around Timişoara.

Vuk Grgurević died on April 16, 1485.

Family[edit]

Vuk was married to Barbara Frankopan.

Legacy[edit]

According to tradition, he founded the Grgeteg monastery in 1471.

See also[edit]

Regnal titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Stephen Tomašević (1459)
Serbian Despot
(titular)

1471–1485
Succeeded by
Đorđe Branković

References[edit]

  1. ^ Name: His given name was Vuk, his father's name was Grgur, he was a member of the Branković dynasty, hence, according to the naming culture, his full name is Vuk Grgurević Branković. His surname has sometimes been sourced as Stefanović, after his uncle Despot Stefan.
  1. ^ Narodna starina: časopis za historiju i etnografiju južnih Slovena, svezak 3-6, str. 199-200, biskup Pavao Butorac, Josip Matasović, Muzej grada Zagreba, 1924.
  2. ^ Secrets of the Gotha, Ghislain de Diesbach, Chapman & Hall, 1967.

Sources[edit]

  • Dr. Aleksa Ivić, Istorija Srba u Vojvodini, Novi Sad, 1929.
  • Dr. Dušan J. Popović, Srbi u Vojvodini, knjiga 1, Novi Sad, 1990.

External links[edit]