Vladan Đorđević

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Vladan Đorđević
Prime Minister of Serbia
In office
October 11, 1897 – July 12, 1900
Monarch Alexander I
Preceded by Đorđe Simić
Succeeded by Aleksa Jovanović
Personal details
Born (1844-11-21)November 21, 1844
Belgrade, Principality of Serbia
Died August 31, 1930(1930-08-31) (aged 85)
Baden bei Wien, Austria
Nationality Serbian
Political party Serbian Progressive Party

Ipokrat "Vladan" Đorđević (pronounced [ʋlǎːdan d͡ʑɔ̝̌ːrd͡ʑe̞vit͡ɕ], Serbian Cyrillic: Владан Ђорђевић, November 21, 1844 – August 31, 1930) was a physician, prolific writer, organizer of the State Sanitary Service, and politician who was mayor of Belgrade, Minister of Education, Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister of Foreign Affairs.[1][2]


Ipokrat Đorđević (Ипократ Ђорђевић) was born in Belgrade, the son of pharmacist Đorđe Đorđević and Marija (née Leko).[3] He had Aromanian descent from Macedonia.[4] He had two siblings.[3] He was named after Hippocrates by his godfather Kosta German.[4] He later changed his name to Vladan, which had been his nom de plume, upon the suggestion of his professor at the Lyceum, Đuro Daničić, who Serbianized many names of his students.[4]

His father, a pharmacist, came from a family that had long been established in Serbia. Vladan Đorđević's mother died when he was only seven years old, but his father brought him up in Sarajevo, where he moved to open the first European-style pharmacy. Vladan received an early Serbian education in Sarajevo, where he already showed a strong taste for natural history. For his work Kočina krajina while attending the Sarajevo Lycee he received a prize from the Matica Srpska in recognition of his historical monograph. Đorđević attended the Panslavist Congress at Moscow in 1867, and spoke against the idea of linguistic unity. The medical profession having been selected for him, he began his studies at the prestigious University of Vienna's School of Medicine with a stipend from the Serbian government. While on a scholarship in Vienna he exposed the evils of Austrian rule, and consequently had his scholarship taken away from him. A chance meeting with Prince Mihailo Obrenović in Vienna who sympathized with Đorđević and his scholarship was given back to him. After graduating as a surgeon he volunteered his services in the Franco-Prussian War. After the conflict, he came back to Belgrade where he made a name for himself as a competent physician. He received the rank of major and chief medical officer in the Serbian Army. In 1879 he was in charge of Serbian Kingdom's health sector and one of the first physicians to work on public health within the state administration, obtained parliamentary support for a law on the establishment of a national health fund. By securing financing for the health service, Đorđević not only ensured its creation but also received official recognition for hygiene being a public good that should be advanced by means of state contributions. In 1880 he married his Viennese sweetheart Paulina, who bore him fifteen children. He was the principal founder of the Serbian Red Cross, the Royal College of Physicians, and its organ, Arhiv, to which he contributed several papers of marked ability. He also led the Progressive Party with Milutin Garašanin, the son of Ilija Garašanin.

Đorđević kept up his interest in literary and historical matters by an extensive correspondence, and his home at Belgrade was the centre of a dissitinguished literary circle. With friends and colleagues he helped found a new journal, Otadžbina, in which some of his earlier writings, mainly practical hygiene and economic subjects, were published.

In 1900 however Alexander Obrenović decided, despite the bitter opposition of his father and of Đorđević, to marry his mistress Draga Mašin.

Vladan Đorđević's years as prime minister is his Kraj jedne dinastije would thus optimisitically define his authoritarian government (1897–1900) as a regime of "order and labour", Red i Rad.

During his stay in Belgrade he proclaimed martial law, and carried out his measures of reform with unrelenting sternness, banishing from the town anyone who attempted resistance or stood in his way. When all the reforms were made, he was removed from his post as Mayor of Belgrade. Đorđević fell afoul with the authorities afterwards. He was accused in 1906 of giving out government secrets in his book Kraj jedne dinastije: prolozi za istoriju Srbije (The End of a Dynasty: Constributions to the History of Serbia, 3 vols., Belgrade, 1905, 1906), and convicted to six months in prison. He served his sentence stoically in the overcrowded Belgrade city gaol.

In 1894 he retired from his position, and went to live in Paris. No sooner had he arrived when he was called back to Belgrade and made an envoy to Constantinople.

By his generation, therefore, Đorđević was recognized as a man after their own heart. He was liked because he was brusque, vigorous, relentless, straightforward and open. He was made major in the Serbian Army and he fulfilled all their expectations. After a short period he gave up his commission, and in 1880s became a member of the council, in which capacity he distinguished himself by his ability in financial affairs, and his zeal in social reform.


He is included in The 100 most prominent Serbs.


No Serbian historian has written a more extensive account of the Serbo-Bulgarian War than Vladan Đorđević who published his two-volume "Istorija Srpsko-Bugarskog rata 1885" in 1908.

  • Otadžbina (Fatherland), Beograd: Štamparija kraljevine srpske, 1890
  • Srbija na Berlinskom Kongresu, Beograd: Štamparija kraljevine srpske, 1890
  • Grčka i srpska prosveta, Srpska kraljevska akademija, 1896
  • Kraj jedne dinastije: 1899–1900, Štamparija D. Dimitrijevića, 1906
  • Moja odbrana pred sudom (My defense before the court), Beograd: Narodna štamparija, 1906
  • Srpsko-turski rat: uspomene i beleške iz 1876, 1877 i 1878 godine, Volume 1, Izdanje Ignjata Daničića, 1907
  • Istorija srpsko-bugarskog rata 1885: Od Slivnice do Pirota, Nova štamparija "Davidović", 1908
  • Evropa i Crna Gora, Sv. Sava, 1912
  • Evropa i Balkan: Evropa i Rumunija, Sv. Sava, 1911
  • Arnauti i velike sile, Izdavač trgovina Jevte M. Parlovića i kompanija, 1913
  • Mladi kralj, Štamparija kraljevine srbije, 1913
  • Car Dušan: istorijski roman iz XIV-oga veka, Volumes 1,2 and 3, Naklada Hrvatskog štamparskog zavoda, 1920
  • Golgota: silazak sa prestola, Beograd, 1933


  1. ^ "Vladan Đorđević". Serbian Academy of Science and Art. Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ "The List of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs since the Forming of the First Government in 1811 to This Day". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Serbia. Retrieved November 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b NIN. Nedeljne informativne novine. Politika. July 2005. p. 1. 
  4. ^ a b c Glasnik Srpskog istorijsko-kulturnog društva "Njegoš". 25-26. Njegoš. 1970. p. 72. 


Сузана Рајић, Владан Ђорђевић. Биографија поузданог обреновићевца, Београд 2007.

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