Janko Mitrović

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Janko Mitrović
Allegiance Republic of Venice
Years of service1645-1659
UnitMorlach army

Janko Mitrović (Serbian Cyrillic: Јанко Митровић; 1613–1659) was a harambaša (Ottoman for "bandit leader"), and the commander of the Morlach army, in the service of the Republic of Venice, from 1648 until his death in 1659. He participated in the Cretan War (1645–69), alongside Ilija Smiljanić, as the supreme commanders of the Venetian Morlach troops, of which he is enumerated in Serb epic poetry (as Janko of Kotari, Јанко од Котара). His son, Stojan Janković, followed in his father's footsteps.


Janko was the son of Mitar (born c. 1585[1]), whose family hailed from village Zelengrad or Žegar in the area of Bukovica.[a] Janko had brothers Jovan, Stjepan, Pavle, and Andrija, and probably was among the youngest brothers.[1] Vukadin Mitrović was also a harambaša in Venetian service, possibly another brother,[2] or a cousin.[1]

Mitrović in 1646 was recorded as a defender of Šibenik, and in 1649 was rewarded with a monthly payment of 4 ducats.[1] Stojan, who was Janko's eldest son, began fighting alongside him and Ilija Smiljanić early on, in the Cretan War (1645–69). Ilija, as the more experienced, was named serdar in 1648 after his father, serdar Petar Smiljanić had died.[2] In 1648, when the Ottoman army took their village, the Mitrovići and 70 other Žegar families settled in the small village of Budin near Posedarje, under Venetian control.[3] In January 1654, with 100 horsemen and 150 other soldiers prevented Ottoman's destruction of Posedarje for which was rewarded by the authorities. After the death of Filip Smiljanić, in 1656 was named as a serdar. Under his command were people of Ražanac, Vinjerac, Ljubač, Posedarje, Novigrad, Krmpoćani, as well controlled two cols at Old Obrovac [1]

In February 1659, at the Cetina river, both leaders Janko and Ilija Smiljanić succumb to wounds after battling the Turks. He was buried on 28 February 1659 in the Catholic church of St. Elias in Zadar, until mid-18th century part of the Catholic župa of Zadar Cathedral in which register of deaths (1651–1667) was recorded.[1] Janko's wife was Antonija, and they had three sons, Stojan, Ilija and Zaviša, and a daughter Ana.[1][4] According to one document, stating that they had many people of the same confession faithful to the Roman Church, it is argued that they were Roman Catholics.[1]


  1. ^ Based on 1930s work Kotarske narodne pjesme by Stjepan Grčić was argued the consideration that Mitrovići originate from Žegar, however, modern days croatian historians argues that this probably was a wrong translation of Venetian documents which said of and toward Žegar as an area and not village, which included parts of Pozrmanja, Bukovica, and Zelengrad. Mitrovići never lived in Žegar.[1][5] According to latest theory, based on tradition recorded by Andrija Kačić Miošić, Mitrovići were a branch of Kačić noble family, whose member Gašpar was a grandson of Mitar who lived in Vrana (branch called Kačić-Mitrović), and as Janković's family was related to the same place by Miošić, hence the branch was called Mitrovići. These theseses is supported by the fact the area was mostly inhabited by Catholic population, and the Mitrović's family wa therefor declared Catholics by some sources.[1] According to another thought Mitar and eponymous founder of the family, had come from the Dinara mountain, and therefor most probably was not croatian.[3]
  2. These theses are based on croatian sources that are often biased, and is not debated amongst inter ethnic and international scholars. On the contrary most of the historic sources speaks of the Mitrović family being of serbian heritage.[6] This is also backed up with the fact that the Mitrović family was Serbian Orthodox and Janko's son Stojan in 1675 commisioned the building of a Serbian Orthodox Church in the name of Saint George (Đurđevdan was slava of family of Stojan Janković).[7][8] This church was built on the families estate in islam grcki.

See also[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Ilija Smiljanić
Morlach commander
Republic of Venice

Succeeded by
Stojan Janković


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Damir Magaš; Josip Brtan (2015). Prostor i vrijeme knezova Posedarskih: Zemljopisna obilježja i povijesni razvoj Općine Posedarje (Posedarje, Slivnica, Vinjerac, Podgradina, Islam Latinski, Ždrilo i Grgurice) (in Croatian). Zadar: Sveučilište u Zadru, Centar za istraživanje krša i priobalja, Odjel za geografiju, Hrvatsko geografsko društvo Zadar. pp. 283–288. ISBN 978-953-331-059-6.
  2. ^ a b Berber, p. 3
  3. ^ a b Berber (2004), p. 2
  4. ^ Berber, p. 6
  5. ^ Ivan Stagličić (11 October 2011). "Konačni dokaz o hrvatskom podrijetlu Janka Mitrovića" (in Serbo-Croatian). Zadarski list. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  6. ^ Tea Mayhew (2008). Dalmatia Between Ottoman and Venetian Rule: Contado Di Zara, 1645-1718. Viella. p. 121. ISBN 978-88-8334-334-6. Here is presented a transcription of the original document in the possession of the Desnica family relating to the investiture of Jankovic-Mitrovic family on 1 0th August 1 670 with the houses and property of Yusuf Aga Tunic, which
  7. ^ "Eparhija-dalmatinska". Eparhija-dalmatinska.hr. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  8. ^ Јачов, Марко (1 August 1983). Историјски часопис 29-30 (1982-1983). Istorijski institut. p. 228. .....али је познато да су браћа Јанковић остала верна својој вери и саградили цркву у селу Исламу, и посветили је крсној слави Ђурђевдану.


External links[edit]