Simeon Uroš

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Simeon Uroš Nemanjić
Tsar of Serbia,
Tsar of Epirus
and Thessaly
Loza Nemanjica Decani c 5 2.jpg
Fresco from 1346, Visoki Dečani
Despot of Epirus
Reign 1359 - 1366
Predecessor Nikephoros II Orsini
Successor Thomas Preljubović
Spouse Thomais Orsini
Issue John Uroš
Stephen Uroš
Dynasty Nemanjić Nemanjić dynasty coat of arms, Palavestra.jpg
Father Stephen Uroš III of Serbia
Mother Maria Palaiologina, Queen of Serbia
Died 1369-1371
Religion Serbian Orthodox

Simeon Uroš Nemanjić, nicknamed Siniša (Serbian Cyrillic: Симеон Урош Синиша Немањић), also known in Greek as Symeōn Ouresēs Palaiologos (Συμεών Ούρεσης Παλαιολόγος), was the Tsar of Epirus from 1359 to 1366, and of Thessaly from 1359 until his death in 1370. He governed Epirus and Acarnania under his half-brother Emperor Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia (r. 1331-1355) from 1348. After Stephen's death in 1355, Simeon ruled these regions as self-proclaimed Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks in rivalry with his nephew Stephen Uroš V of Serbia.



Young Siniša, fresco of
Visoki Dečani (UNESCO).

Simeon Uroš, nicknamed Siniša, was the son of King Stephen Uroš III Dečanski of Serbia by his second wife, Maria Palaiologina, the daughter of the John Palaiologos, a grandson of Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos.

His half-brother Stephen Dušan proclaimed himself Emperor in 1346, and conquered Epirus and Acarnania in 1348. He appointed Simeon as governor of these regions, and granted him the title of despotes, traditionally reserved for the brothers and younger sons of Byzantine Emperors. Simeon Uroš consolidated his position with the local aristocracy by marrying Thomais Orsini, the daughter of the former ruler of Epirus, John II Orsini.

Simeon Uroš's relatively uneventful governorship was interrupted when, shortly after Dušan's death in 1355, his brother-in-law Nikephoros II Orsini, the deposed ruler of Epirus, reappeared in Greece and gained the support of the nobility in Thessaly and Epirus. In 1356 Nikephoros entered Epirus and forced Simeon Uroš to flee to Kastoria. There Simeon proclaimed himself "Emperor of Serbs and Greeks" in rivalry with his nephew Stephen Uroš V. Although he was supported by some important magnates like John Komnenos Asen (the brother of Stephen Dušan's widow), Simeon was rejected by the nobility of Serbia proper and Macedonia.

After he was forced to retreat from his attempt to invade Zeta (modern Montenegro) in 1358, Simeon Uroš gave up hope of asserting himself in Serbia. The next year, however, Nikephoros II Orsini was killed in a skirmish against the Albanians, and opened up a welcome opportunity for Simeon Uroš. Consequently, he rapidly swept into Thessaly and was acknowledged as its ruler in 1359. He then invaded Epirus, where the towns, harried by the Albanian clansmen who had taken over the countryside, also recognized his authority.

Simeon's Empire.

While Simeon Uroš was in Epirus, Radoslav Hlapen of Vodena attempted to seize Thessaly on behalf of his stepson Thomas Preljubović. Simeon Uroš was forced to cut his losses by recognizing Radoslav Hlapen's conquests, turning over Kastoria to him, and marrying his daughter Maria to Thomas. Hlapen recognized Simeon Uroš's suzerainty in at least some of these lands and provided a buffer between him and the Serbian nobles to the north. Simeon Uroš established himself in Trikala in Thessaly, and spent the remaining decade of his reign in relative peace. He soon recognized two of the Albanian leaders in Epirus, Gjin Bua Shpata and Peter Losha, as despotes of Arta and Angelokastron.[1] In 1366 he turned over Ioannina, his last major possession in Epirus, to his son-in-law Thomas, who reigned there as vassal despotes.

In Trikkala Simeon Uroš presided over a court including Byzantine, Serbian, and Albanian nobles, but he showed preference for the Byzantine relatives of his wife. He also founded and generously endowed the monasteries of Meteora. He died sometime between 1369 and 1371.



By his marriage to Thomais Orsini, Simeon Uroš had three children:



Regnal titles
Preceded by
Nikephoros II
Despot of Epirus
Succeeded by
Thomas II
Preceded by
Nikephoros II
Despot of Thessaly
Succeeded by
John Uroš
Political offices
Preceded by
Nikephoros II
Governor (Despot) of Epirus
Under Stephen Uroš V of Serbia

Succeeded by
Nikephoros II