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The Drougoubitai, also Drogobitai or Dragobitai (Greek: Δρο[υ]γο[υ]βῖται/Δραγοβῖται), variously anglicized as Drugubites, Drogubites, Druguvites, Draguvites etc., were a South Slavic group (Sclaveni) who settled in the Balkans in the 7th century. Two distinct branches are mentioned in the sources, one living in medieval Macedonia to the north and east of Thessalonica and around Veroia (in modern Greece), while the other lived in Thrace, around Philippopolis (modern Plovdiv in Bulgaria).


11th-century Byzantine seal of an anonymous "krites (civil governor) of the Drougoubitai"

The 7th-century Miracles of Saint Demetrius, which chronicle the Slavic invasions and settlement in the Balkans, list the first branch of the Drougoubitai along with four other Sclaveni tribes living in the vicinity of Thessalonica. According to the Miracles, they were led by kings, and were tributary allies to the Byzantines.[1] The Miracles also record their participation in two unsuccessful attacks by Sclaveni coalitions on Thessalonica, in 617/618 and 677.[2]

By 879, a bishopric of Drougoubiteia (Δρουγουβιτεία), suffragan to the Metropolis of Thessalonica, had been established. Nicolas Oikonomides has suggested that at about the same time, the tribe was placed under a Byzantine military governor with the title of strategos. In the late 10th and 11th centuries, Drougoubiteia is attested as being united with the themes of Thessalonica and Strymon into a single province.[3][4] In the early 10th century, John Kaminiates speaks of the Drougoubitai as living around Veroia, while in the 13th century, Demetrios Chomatenos mentions them as "ruling" all the land from Veroia up to Skopje.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kazhdan (1991), p. 662
  2. ^ Curta (2001), pp. 108, 112
  3. ^ Kazhdan (1991), p. 663
  4. ^ Oikonomides (1972), p. 357
  5. ^ Nesbitt & Oikonomides (1991), p. 84