Eparchy of Raška and Prizren

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Eparchy of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija

Епархија рашко-призренска и косовско-метохијска
Location
TerritoryRaška (Serbia), Kosovo
HeadquartersPrizren, Kosovo
Information
DenominationEastern Orthodox
Sui iuris churchSerbian Orthodox Church
Patriarchate of Peć (Serbia)
Established13th century
LanguageChurch Slavonic
Serbian
Current leadership
BishopTeodosije Šibalić
Map
Website
http://www.eparhija-prizren.com/en
Eparchy of Raška and Prizren, which includes the region of Raška and whole of Kosovo and Metohija

Eparchy of Raška and Prizren[a] is one of the oldest eparchies of the Serbian Orthodox Church, featuring the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Patriarchal Monastery of Peć, as well as Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Visoki Dečani, which together are part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Serbia. More than 100 of the Eparchy's churches and monasteries were targeted for vandalism and destruction by Albanian nationalists after the Kosovo War and during the 2004 unrest in Kosovo.[1]

Jurisdiction of the Eparchy is reflected in its name: it has diocesan jurisdiction over Eastern Orthodox Christians in historical regions of Raška (Serbia) and Kosovo and Metohija. The official see of the Eparchy is in Prizren, Kosovo.

History[edit]

Under the jurisdiction of Archbishopric of Justiniana Prima[edit]

Within the territory of the present-day Eparchy of Raška and Prizren several older eparchies existed throughout history. One of them was the ancient Bishopric of Ulpiana also known as Iustiniana Secunda situated near the modern town of Lipljan, where the remains of episcopal Basilica dating from the first half of 6th century have been found and excavated.[2] Originally, the episcopal see of Ulpiana was under the supreme jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Thessaloniki, and in 535 it was transferred to newly created Archbishopric of Justiniana Prima. The existence of several ancient churches in Ras and area of Ras could indicate existence of an ancient episcopy, possibly connected to the ancient Bishopric of Ulpiana.[3]

Byzantine rule in that region collapsed at the beginning of the 7th century, but the church life was renewed in the same century in Illyricum and Dalmatia after a more pronounced Christianization of the Serbs and other Slavs by the Roman Church.[4][5][6] In the 7th and mid-8th century the area was not under jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[7]

Formation of bishopric[edit]

Old ecclesiastical organization was partly preserved in the region, but the initial ecclesiastical affiliation with a specific diocese is uncertain.[8] In early medieval Serbia, its ecclesiastical center and capital was probably at Destinikon.[9] By the late 9th century during the rule of Mutimir, the Church in Serbia seemingly did not have its bishop,[10] and Mutimir decided to accept Byzantine emperor Basil I's expansion and moved the Church in Serbia away from the Roman Church in favor of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[11][12][13][14]

The Bishopric of Ras was named after the old-Bulgarian-Serbian fortress of Ras, previously named in Latin as Arsa (mid-6th century).[15] The name of the entire region of Raška (lat. Rascia) is derived since the 11th century.[16] The fort was abandoned in the late 6th or early 7th century.[17] According to De Administrando Imperio, in the late 9th century it was located on the border between Serbia and the First Bulgarian Empire, and was not listed among the inhabited cities of Serbia. There is no consensus in scholarship as to whether Ras was located on the Serbian or Bulgarian side of the border,[18][19][20][21][22][23][24] although newer research indicates that Ras was renovated, inhabited and controlled by the Bulgarians since the mid-9th century, hence being "a frontier district of Bulgaria".[25][26][24][27]

Alexis P. Vlasto argued that the Bishopric/Eparchy of Ras was founded during Mutimir's rule, as a bishopric of Serbia, at Ras with the church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul.[28] In the period of major ecclesiastical events that took place around the Fourth Council of Constantinople in 879–880,[28] the decision was made by the Patriarchate of Constantinople to create an autonomous Archbishopric for Bulgaria after the Conversion of Bulgarians to Christianity and secondly, the decision of 870 confirmed the attachment of the Bulgarian Church to Eastern Orthodoxy.[29][30][31][32] The Byzantines supported the formation of many metropolises and when the Bulgarian Church received autocephalous status in 880, all the metropolises became part of it.[33] However, Tibor Živković concluded, based on primary sources of the Church of Constantinople, that there was no information regarding the establishment of any new ecclesiastical center and organization in Serbia, and that Ras was only a border fort in the mid-9th century which became the ecclesiastical center of the bishopric by 1019-1020.[9] The imperial charter of Basil II from 1020 to the Archbishopric of Ohrid, in which the rights and jurisdictions were established, has the earliest mention, stating that the Episcopy of Ras belonged to the Bulgarian autocephal church during the time of Peter I (927–969) and Samuel of Bulgaria (977–1014).[12][34] It was of a small size.[35] It is considered that it was possibly founded by the Bulgarian emperor,[36][37] or it is the latest date when it could have been integrated to the Bulgarian Church.[38] If it previously existed, it probably was part of the Bulgarian metropolis of Morava, but certainly not of Durrës.[39] If it was on Serbian territory, it seems that the Church in Serbia or part of the territory of Serbia became linked and influenced by the Bulgarian Church between 870 and 924.[40][41][42]

In the time of emperor John I Tzimiskes (969–976), after a successful campaign in 971,[43] Byzantine rule was shortly restored in the region on both the Serbian and Bulgarian part of border, with protospatharios John appointed as governor (catepan) of Ras.[44][45][46]

Under the jurisdiction of Archbishopric of Ohrid[edit]

Map depicting the Archbishopric of Ohrid in ca. 1020.

After the victorious Byzantine conquest of First Bulgarian Empire in 1018, by order of emperor Basil II an autonomous Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid was established in 1019, by lowering the rank of the autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate due to its subjugation to Constantinople, placing it under the supreme ecclesiastical jurisdiction the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[47] Imperial charters of 1019 and 1020 mention three bishoprics on the territory of present-day Eparchy of Raška and Prizren with episcopal seats in the cities of Ras, Prizren and Lipljan. All three were designated as distinct dioceses of the autonomous Archbishopric of Ohrid. Until the beginning of the 13th century, archbishops of Ohrid were regarded as Archbishopric of Justiniana Prima and all Bulgaria.[48]

Under the jurisdiction of Serbian Orthodox Church[edit]

The autocephaly of Serbian Orthodox Church was established in 1219 by Saint Sava, who was consecrated as first Serbian archbishop by the Byzantine patriarch residing at that time in Nicaea. Since then, all of the three old bishoprics of Raška, Prizren[49] and Lipljan were under the constant jurisdiction of Archbishop of Serbia. New Bishopric of Hvosno was also created in northern parts of the region of Metohija.[50] The see of Serbian archbishop was soon transferred from Monastery of Žiča to Peć in Metohija.[51]

In 1346, Serbian Archbishopric was raised to the rank of Patriarchate with its see remaining in Peć. At the same time the bishoprics of Prizren and Lipljan were raised by title to the rank of metropolitanates. Bishops of Lipljan kept under their jurisdiction the region of central Kosovo with Gračanica and Novo Brdo. Period from the beginning of 13 century to the end of 14 century was the golden age for Orthodox Church in the regions of Raška, Kosovo and Metohija with many monasteries and churches built by Serbian rulers and local Serbian nobility.

Monastery of the Holy Archangels near Prizren

In the time of Turkish conquests, in the middle of the 15th century, Serbian Orthodox Church suffered great devastation. Regions of Raška, Kosovo and Metohija finally fell under Turkish rule around 1455. Serbian Patriarchate was renewed in 1557 by patriarch Makarije Sokolović.[52] In that time (16th–17th century) on the territory of modern Eparchy there were: Patriarchal see in Peć and five eparchies: Raška, Prizren, Lipljan, Vučitrn and Hvosno. of All of the regional sees in Raška, Kosovo and Metohija remained under constant jurisdiction of Serbian Patriarchate until its abolition in 1766.[53]

During that time, two major events tragically impacted Orthodox Church in the region. In the time of Austro-Turkish war (1683–1699) relations between Muslims and Christians in European provinces of Ottoman Empire were radicalized. As a result of Turkish oppression, destruction of Churches and Monasteries and violence against non-Muslim civilian population, Serbian Christians and their church leaders headed by Serbian Patriarch Arsenije III sided with Austrians in 1689 and again in 1737 under Serbian Patriarch Arsenije IV.[54] In the following punitive campaigns, Turkish forces conducted systematic atrocities against Christian population in Serbian regions, mainly in Metohija, Kosovo and Raška, resulting in Great Migrations of the Serbs.[55]

One of the consequences of devastation and depopulation in the regions of Kosovo and Metohija during Austro-Turkish wars was the reorganization of local Serbian eparchies. The old Eparchy of Lipljan (with Gračanica and Novo Brdo) was merged with the Eparchy of Prizren and they remained united to the present day.

Modern history[edit]

Jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Peć in the 16th and 17th century

In 1766, the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć and all of its eparchies that were on territories under Ottoman rule were placed under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. That included both eparchies of Raška and Prizren. During the transfer of jurisdictions, Serbian patriarchal archeparchy of Peć was abolished, and its territory was added to the Eparchy of Prizren. In 1789, that eparchy was placed under administration of metropolitan Joanikije of Raška. In 1808, the eparchies of Raška and Prizren were officially merged into the current Eparchy of Raška and Prizren. In 1894, the region of Pljevlja was also added to this eparchy.[56] Turkish rule ended in 1912, and territory of eparchy was divided between Kingdom of Serbia and Kingdom of Montenegro. Prizren became part of the Kingdom of Serbia, and Peja became part of the Kingdom of Montenegro. Political division was followed by reorganization of church administration. In the Montenegrin part, a separated Eparchy of Peć was created. During the First World War (1914-1918) territories of both eparchies were occupied by the army of Austria-Hungary. After the re-annexation in 1918, new Kingdom of Yugoslavia was created, and included all territories of Serbia and Montenegro.[57] After the Serbian Patriarchate was renewed in 1920, Eparchy of Raška and Prizren was returned to the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church. In 1931, Eparchy of Peć was reincorporated into the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren. In 1941, Yugoslavia was attacked and occupied by Nazi Germany and its allies.[58] The territory of the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren was occupied by Germans (northern part), Italians (central part) and Bulgarians (eastern part). The Italian occupation zone was annexed to the Italian protectorate of Albania. That marked the beginning of mass persecution of ethnic Serbs in the annexed regions of Metohija and central Kosovo. Many Serbian churches of the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren were looted and destroyed. Reign of terror was enforced by Albanian fascist organization Balli Kombëtar and by Albanian SS Division "Skanderbeg", created by Heinrich Himmler.[59] By the time of the re-annexation in 1944, the Serbian population, of which most were colonizers after the 1st Balkan War, were expelled from Kosovo.

Church buildings[edit]

Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Seat of the Bishopric of Ras and the oldest known medieval church building of Serbia
Our Lady of Ljeviš
Patriarchal Monastery of Peć
Visoki Dečani
Gračanica Monastery
Sopoćani

Church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul in Ras[edit]

The Church of Peter and Paul in Ras is one of the most important Serbian Christian monuments from the Middle Age period of Serbia. The church was declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1979, and it is protected by Serbia. The church served as a seat of the Bishopric of Ras, named after near by high medieval capital of Serbia. The present church (9th–10th century) has been built on several earlier churches of which remains have been well preserved. The foundation of the church, the massive columns, ground-plan and the octagonal tower which conceals an inner cupola are examples of the circular mausolean architectural type used after Emperor Constantine (306–312). Saint Sava (1175–1235), a Serbian prince, brother of the Serbian king Stefan Prvovenčani and the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church was baptized in the church. Stefan Nemanja held the council that outlawed the Bogumils at the church. The remains of frescoes date from the 10th to the 13th century; some of them were repainted in the mid-13th century.[60]

Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Suva Reka[edit]

Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Suva Reka

Monasteries[edit]

English Serbian Cyrillic Founded
In Kosovo
Saint Archangels Monastery Манастир Свети Арханђели 1343
Banjska Monastery Бањска 1312
Binač (Buzovik) Monastery Бинач/Бузовик 14th century
Our Lady of Ljeviš Богородица Љевишка 1307
Budisavci Monastery Будисавци 14th century
Devič Monastery Девич 1434
Dobra Voda Monastery Добра вода 14th century
Dolac Monastery Долац 14th century
Draganac Monastery Драганац 1381
Duboki Potok Monastery 14th century
Globarica Monastery Глобарица 16th century
Gorioč Monastery Гориоч early 14th century
Grabovac Monastery Грабовац 14th century
Gračanica monastery Грачаница 1310
Kmetovce Monastery Кметовце early 14th century
Mušutište Monastery Мушутиште early 14th century
Patriarchal Monastery of Peć Манастир Пећка патријаршија early 13th century
Saint Barbara Monastery
Saint Marko Koriški Свети Марко Коришки 1467
Saint Uroš Monastery Свети Урош >1371
Sokolica Monastery Соколица 14th century
Studenica Hvostanska Студеница Хвостанска early 13th century
Tamnica Monastery Тамница 14th century
Ubožac Monastery Убожац late 13th century
Visoki Dečani Monastery Високи Дечани 1327
Vračevo Monastery
Zočište Monastery Зочиште before 1327

Bishops and Metropolitans[edit]

Serbian Patriarch Arsenije III, leader of the First Great Serb migration in 1690
Serbian Patriarch Arsenije IV, leader of the Second Great Serb migration in 1737
Early bishops of Ras:
  • Leontius (fl. 1123–1126)
  • Cyril (fl. 1141–1143)
  • Euthemius (fl. 1170)
  • Callinicus (fl. 1196)

Early bishops of Prizren:

  • Ioannis (12th century)
  • Avramios (fl. 1204)
  • Nicephoros (fl. 1216)

Under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople 1766–1920

Metropolitans of Prizren, 1766–1808:

  • Gavrilo (1766–1774)
  • Sofronije (around 1780)
  • Jevsevije (died 1789)
  • Joanikije of Raška, administrator of Prizren (1789–1808)

Metropolitans of Raška and Prizren, since the unification of the two eparchies in 1808:

Since the restoration of the Serbian Patriarchate in 1920:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Serbian: Епархија рашко-призренска / Eparhija raško-prizrenska, Albanian: Eparkia Rashkë - Prizren. Also known as the Eparchy of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija (Serbian: Епархија рашко-призренска и косовско-метохијска / Eparhija raško-prizrenska i kosovsko-metohijska; Albanian: Eparkia Rashkë - Prizren).

See more[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rakitić, Dušan (2014). "Envisaging a Legal Framework for Ensuring Sustainable Preservation of Holy Places with Regard to the Case of Kosovo and Metohia". In Ferrari, Silvio; Benzo, Andrea (eds.). Between Cultural Diversity and Common Heritage: Legal and Religious Perspectives on the Sacred Places of the Mediterranean. Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-47242-601-7.
  2. ^ Popović 1999, p. 296.
  3. ^ Popović 1999, p. 295–296.
  4. ^ Curta 2001, p. 125, 130.
  5. ^ Živković 2013a, pp. 47.
  6. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 44–47, 73–74.
  7. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 47.
  8. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 73, 397.
  9. ^ a b Živković 2013a, pp. 48.
  10. ^ Komatina 2015, pp. 716.
  11. ^ Živković 2013a, pp. 46–48.
  12. ^ a b Komatina 2015, pp. 717.
  13. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 47–50, 73–74.
  14. ^ Špehar 2010, pp. 203.
  15. ^ Bulić 2013, p. 216.
  16. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 29, 33.
  17. ^ Popović 1999, p. 400.
  18. ^ Popović 1999, p. 37, 297–298, 400.
  19. ^ Živković 2013b, pp. 28, 31, 34.
  20. ^ Bulić 2013, pp. 217.
  21. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 12–15.
  22. ^ Curta 2006, p. 146.
  23. ^ Novaković 1981.
  24. ^ a b Ivanišević & Krsmanović 2013, p. 450.
  25. ^ Popović 1999, p. 139–161, 400–401.
  26. ^ Curta 2006, p. 146–147.
  27. ^ Špehar 2019, p. 118–120, 122.
  28. ^ a b Vlasto 1970, p. 208–209.
  29. ^ Vlasto 1970, p. 67-68, 208–209.
  30. ^ Zlatarski, History of the Bulgarian State during the Middle Ages, vol. 1, ch. 2, Sofia, 1971, p. 159
  31. ^ Živković 2013a, pp. 45.
  32. ^ Komatina 2015, pp. 715.
  33. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 75–77.
  34. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 76, 89–90.
  35. ^ Popović 1999, p. 38.
  36. ^ Popović 1999, p. 401.
  37. ^ Ćirković 2004, pp. 20, 30.
  38. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 76–77.
  39. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 75, 88–91.
  40. ^ Komatina 2015, pp. 717–718.
  41. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 77, 91.
  42. ^ Špehar 2010, pp. 203, 216.
  43. ^ Popović 1999, p. 402.
  44. ^ Stephenson 2003, p. 42.
  45. ^ Stephenson 2003a, p. 122.
  46. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 78–84.
  47. ^ Komatina 2016, pp. 84.
  48. ^ Bulić 2013, p. 221-222.
  49. ^ Јањић 2013, p. 157-170.
  50. ^ Јањић 2009, p. 183-194.
  51. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 40-43.
  52. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 135-137.
  53. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 177.
  54. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 144, 244.
  55. ^ Pavlowitch 2002, p. 19-20.
  56. ^ Ракочевић 1983, p. 279.
  57. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 252-253.
  58. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 268-269.
  59. ^ Tomasevich 2001, p. 154.
  60. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 17, 21, 30.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]