Pavle of Serbia

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Pavle
Prince of the Serbs
Pavle, Prince of the Serbs.jpg
Prince of Serbia
Reign 917–921
Predecessor Petar
Successor Zaharija
Born ca. 870
Ras
Died 921
House Vlastimirović
Father Bran
Religion Eastern Christianity

Pavle (Serbian: Павле, Greek: Παῦλος[a]; c. 870–921) was the Prince of the Serbs from 917 to 921. He was put on the throne by the Bulgarian Tsar Symeon I of Bulgaria, who had murdered the previous prince, Petar, after he had become a Byzantine ally. Pavle ruled for four years, before being defeated by Zaharija, his cousin. Pavle was the son of Bran, the middle son of Mutimir (r. 851–891) of Vlastimirović dynasty.

Pavle was born in the 870s,[1] between 870 and 874[2] to Bran Mutimirović, the middle son of Mutimir. His Christian name, in relation to the previous generation of pagan names, shows the spread Christianization of Serbs.[3] After Mutimir, his grandfather, had died in 891, Pribislav succeeded as prince. Pribislav ruled briefly for a year, when Petar returned and defeated him. Pribislav fled to Croatia with his brothers Bran (Pavle's father) and Stefan.[4] Bran later returned and led an unsuccessful rebellion against Petar in 894[5] Bran was defeated, captured and blinded (as per Byzantine tradition).[6]

Vlastimirović dynasty

In 917, a Byzantine army led by Leo Phokas invaded Bulgaria, but was decisively defeated at the Battle of Achelous on 20 August 917.[7] After Achelous,[5] Symeon sent an army to Serbia led by Pavle (after he had heard of a Byzantine–Serbian alliance), to take the Serbian throne, however, unsuccessfully as Petar proved a good opponent. Symeon then sent generals Marmais and Theodore Sigritsa, persuading Petar (through an oath) to come out and meet them, then captured and took him to Bulgaria where he was put in prison, dying within a year.[5] Symeon put Pavle on the Serbian throne.[5]

In 920, Zaharija, the exiled son of Pribislav (the eldest of Mutimir's sons), was sent by Romanos I Lekapenos (r. 920–944) to seize the throne. Zaharija was the rightful pretender. Pavle defeated and captures him, handing him over to Symeon, where he is held for future tactics. In the meantime, Pavle switches to Byzantine support and Symeon now dispatches Zaharije with Bulgarian troops in 921. Zaharija wins the battle, and quickly revows his Byzantine alliance. There are no more mentions of Pavle.

See also[edit]

Annotations[edit]

  1. ^ His name is attested as Greek Paulos (Παῦλος). In historiography, he is known as Pavle Branović (Павле Брановић).

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Primary sources
Secondary sources
Pavle
Born: 870–874 Died: Unknown
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Petar
Prince of Serbia
917–921
Succeeded by
Zaharija