Catepanate of Ras

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Κατεπανάτο της Ρας
Катепанат Рас
Province of Byzantine Empire

Location of Catepanate of Ras
Serbian lands according to Constantine VII (945–959)[citation needed]
Capital Stari Ras
Government Catepanate
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Annexation 971
 •  Disestablished 976

The Catepanate of Ras (Greek: Κατεπανάτο της Ρας) was a province (catepanate) of the Byzantine Empire, established around 971 in central Serbia, during the rule of Byzantine Emperor John Tzimiskes (969–976). The catepanate was named after the fortified town of Ras, eponymous for the historical region of Raška (Latin: Rascia). The province was short lived, and collapsed soon after 976.[1]


Fortified medieval city of Ras

The earliest possible date of its creation is 971, when Byzantine armies conquered Bulgaria and re-established Byzantine supreme rule over the interior of Southeastern Europe, including the central Serbian lands, as atested by the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja. One of the newly formed administrative units was the Catepanate of Ras. It was established as a Byzantine stronghold in Serbian lands, but its territorial jurisdiction can not be precisely determined. The Catepanate was short lived, as the rest of the Byzantine rule in Bulgarian and Serbian lands. After the death of emperor John (976), a successful uprising started in the South Slavic provinces of the Byzantine Empire, led by Cometopuli, resulting in total breakdown of Byzantine power in the region.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

The sole primary source for the organization of the Catepanate is seal of a strategos of Ras, dated to the reign of Byzantine Emperor John Tzimiskes (969–976). The seal belonged to protospatharios and katepano of Ras named John, who is the only known holder of the office of Catepan of Ras.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nesbitt & Oikonomides 1991, p. 100-101.
  2. ^ Stephenson 2003a, p. 42.
  3. ^ Stephenson 2003b, p. 122.
  4. ^ Булић 2007, p. 54.
  5. ^ Krsmanović 2008, p. 189.
  6. ^ Madgearu 2008, p. 134-135.
  7. ^ Madgearu 2013, p. 43.