Catepanate of Ras

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κατεπανίκιον Σερβλίας
Principality of Serbia (610–969)
Catepanate of Serbia (fl. 969–976)
Theme of Sirmium (1018–1043)
Principality of Serbia (Duklja) (1043–1101)
Grand Principality of Serbia (1101–1217)
Byzantine Empire (960–1043)
Administrative Unit of Serbia and Byzantine Empire



Location of Catepanate of Serbia
The Serb lands according to Constantine VII (945–959)
Capital Stari Ras
Government Catepanate
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Annexation 969
 •  Becomes Theme of Sirmium 976

The Catepanate of Ras (Rascia) or Serbia (Greek: κατεπανίκιον Σερβλίας) was a Byzantine province established between 971–976, during the rule of John Tzimiskes (r. 969–976).[1] It comprised the Principality of Serbia; the Ras region; the seat of the Serbian bishopric (Bishopric of Ras) and state (Stari Ras, the capital).

Data on the katepano of Ras during Tzimiskes' reign is missing.[2]

Tzimiskes conquered the area with vigorous resistance.

A seal of a strategos of Ras has been dated to Tzimiskes' reign, making it possible for Tzimiskes' predecessor Nikephoros II Phokas to have enjoyed recognition in Rascia.[3][4] The protospatharios and katepano of Ras was a Byzantine governor named John.[5]

Byzantine military presence ended soon thereafter with the wars with Bulgaria, and was re-established only ca. 1018 with the short-lived Theme of Sirmium, which however did not extend much into Rascia proper.[3]


  1. ^ Dejan, Bulić (2007). "Gradina-Kazanoviće, results of archeological research". Istorijski časopis (55): 45–62. the establishment of catepanate in Ras between 971 and 976 
  2. ^ The Byzantine province in change: on the threshold between the 10th and the 11th century. Institute for Byzantine Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. 2008. p. 189. 
  3. ^ a b Stephenson, Paul (2003). The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-slayer. Cambridge University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-521-81530-7. 
  4. ^ Byzantium in the year 1000. BRILL. 2003. p. 122. ISBN 978-90-04-12097-6. 
  5. ^ Byzantinoslavica. 65–66. Academia. 2007. p. 132.