Stephen, Duke of Bosnia

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Duke of Bosnia
Reign fl. 1084–1095
Issue A daughter who married Kočapar
House Vojislavljević
Religion Christianity
Occupation Vassal of Constantine Bodin
Realm of Constantine Bodin

Stephen (Bosnian: Stjepan/Стјепан, Serbian: Stefan/Стефан; fl. 1084–95), was the knez ("duke") of Bosnia mentioned in the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja ("Bosnam posuitque ibi Stephanum knezium", according to Johannes Lucius),[1] appointed in c. 1083–84 by Constantine Bodin, the King of Dioclea.[2] He was the first Bosnian ruler known by name.[2] Bodin had also appointed his relative Vukan at Rascia.[3] Bosnia, Zachlumia and Rascia were never incorporated into an integrated state with Dioclea; each principality had its own nobility and institutions, simply requiring a member of the Dioclean royal family to rule as prince or duke.[3] According to Jacob Luccari's Annals of Ragusa (1605[4]), Stephen participated in the siege of Ragusa in 1094–95, as Bodin's vassal.[2]

After Constantine died, the principalities seceded from Dioclea, and Vukan became the most powerful Serb ruler, as grand prince.[3] According to CPD, after the death of Bodin (c. 1099), one of the pretendants to the throne, Kočapar, tried to take the rule in Dioclea, relying on Vukan.[2] As Kočapar felt danger from that side as well, he took refuge in Bosnia, where he married the daughter of the "Bosnian ban" in ca. 1100–01, though he died soon afterwards while fighting in Zachlumia.[2][5] This Bosnian ban was most likely Stephen.[5] Luccari and Orbini mention Stephen's son and successor Vukmir (Vutïmir).[6] The territory governed by Stephen cannot be precisely known, apart from the fact that the name of Bosnia was identified with the region of the upper and middle basin of the Bosna river, with the area of the Sarajevo and Visoko fields.[2]


  1. ^ Klaić 1882.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Mrgić & Živković 2008, p. 52.
  3. ^ a b c Fine 1991, pp. 223–224.
  4. ^ Fine 1994, p. 630.
  5. ^ a b Živković 2006, p. 180.
  6. ^ Živković 2006, pp. 180–181.


Regnal titles
New title
First known
Duke of Bosnia
fl. 1084–1095
Title next held by