In 1329, Ban Stephen II launched an attack on Lord Vitomir, who held Travunia and Konavle. The Bosnian army was defeated at Pribojska Banja by Dušan, when he was still Young King. The Ban soon took over Nevesinje and the rest of Bosnia. Petar Toljenović, the Lord of "seaside Hum" and a distant relative of Dušan, sparked a rebellion against ...
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In 1314, Serbian King Stefan Milutin quarreled with his son, Stefan Dečanski. Milutin sent Dečanski to Constantinople to have him blinded, though he was never totally blinded. Dečanski wrote to Danilo, the Bishop of Hum, asking him to intervene with his father. Danilo wrote to Archbishop Nicodemus of Serbia, who spoke with Milutin and persuaded him to recall his son. In 1320 Dečanski was permitted to return to Serbia and was given the appanage of 'Budimlje' (modern Berane), while his half-brother, Stefan Konstantin, held the province of Zeta.Milutin became ill and died on October 29, 1321, and Konstantin was crowned king. Civil war erupted immediately, as Dečanski and his cousin, Stefan Vladislav II, claimed the throne. Konstantin refused to submit to Dečanski, who then invaded Zeta, defeating and killing Konstantin. Dečanski was crowned king on January 6, 1322 by Nicodemus, and his son, Stefan Dušan, was crowned “young king”. Dečanski later granted Zeta to Dušan, indicating him as...
Youth and usurpation
Dušan was the eldest son of King Stefan Dečanski and Theodora Smilets, the daughter of emperor Smilets of Bulgaria. He was born circa 1308, in Serbia, but with the exile of his fathers in 1314, the family lived in Constantinople until 1320, when his father was allowed to return. In Constantinople he learned Greek, gained an understanding of Byzantine life and culture, and became acquainted with the Byzantine Empire. He was more a soldier than a diplomat; in his youth he fought exceptionally i...
Contemporary writers described Dušan as unusually tall and strong, "the tallest man of his time", very handsome, and a rare leader full of dynamism, quick intelligence, and strength, bearing "a kingly presence".According to the contemporary depictions, he had dark hair and brown eyes; in adult age he grew beard and longer hair.
Serbia made some raids into Macedonia in late 1331, but a planned major attack on Byzantium was delayed as Dušan had to suppress revolts in Zeta in 1332.Dušan's ingratitude toward those who had aided his rise — the Zetan nobility may have been neglected their promised reward and greater influence — may have been the cause of the rebellion, which was suppressed in the course of 1332. Dušan began to fight against the Byzantine Empire in 1334, and warfare continued with interruptions of various...
Much like his ancestors, Emperor Dušan was very active in renovating churches and monasteries, and also for founding new ones. First, he cared for the monasteries in which his parents were buried. Both the Banjska monastery, built by King Milutin, where his mother was buried, and the monastery of Visoki Dečani, an endowment of his father, were generously looked after. The monastery was built for eight years and it is certain that the Emperor's role in the building process was huge. Between 1337 and 1339, the emperor became ill, and he gave his word that if he would survive, he would build a church and monastery in Jerusalem. At the time, there was one Serbian monastery in Jerusalem, dedicated to Archangel Michael (believed to be founded by King Milutin), and a number of Serbian monks at the Sinai Peninsula. His greatest endowment was the Saint Archangels Monastery, located near the town of Prizren, in which he was originally buried. Dušan gave many possessions to this monastery, inc...
Some historians consider that the goal of Emperor Dušan was to establish a new, Serbian-Greek Empire, replacing the Byzantine Empire. Ćirković considered his initial ideology as that of the previous Bulgarian emperors, who had envisioned co-rulership. However, starting in 1347, relations with John VI Kantakouzenos worsened, Dušan allied himself with rival John V Palaiologos. Dušan was the first Serbian monarch who wrote most of his letters in Greek, also signing with the Imperial red ink. He...
The most lasting monument to Dušan's rulership was a law code. For the purposes of Dušan's Code, a wealth of charters were published, and some great foreign works of law were translated to Serbian; however, the third section of the Code was new and distinctively Serbian, albeit with Byzantine influence and attention to a long legal tradition in Serbia. Dušan explained the purpose of his Code in one of in his charters; he intimated that its aims were spiritual and that the code would help his...
Serbian military tactics consisted of wedge shaped heavy cavalry attacks with horse archers on the flanks. Many foreign mercenaries were in the Serbian army, mostly Germans as cavalry and Spaniards as infantry. He also had personal mercenary guards, mainly German knights. A German knight named Palman became the commander of the Serbian "Alemannic Guard" in 1331 upon crossing Serbia to Jerusalem; he became leader of all mercenaries in the Serbian Army. The main strength of the Serbian army was...
He was titled Young King as heir apparent on January 6, 1322, and was entitled the rule of Zeta, thus he ruled as "King of Zeta". In 1331, he succeeded his father as "King of all Serbian and Maritime Lands". In 1343, his title was "King of Serbia, Greeks, Albania and the coast". In 1345 he began calling himself tsar, Emperor, and in 1345 he proclaimed himself "Emperor of Serbs and Romans (Greeks)". On April 16, 1346, he was crowned Emperor of Serbs and Greeks. This title was soon enlarged into "Emperor and Autocrat of the Serbs and Greeks, the Bulgarians and Albanians". His epithet Silni (Силни) is translated into the Mighty, but also the Great, the Powerful or the Strong.
Dušan was the most powerful Serbian ruler in the Middle Ages and "perhaps the most powerful ruler in Europe" during the 14th century,and remains a folk hero to Serbs. His state was a rival to the regional powers of Byzantium and Hungary, and it encompassed a large territory, which would also be his empire's greatest weakness. By nature a soldier and a conqueror, Dušan also proved to be very able but nonetheless feared ruler. His empire however, slowly crumbled at the hands of his son, as regional aristocrats distanced from the central rule. The aim of restoring Serbia as an Empire it once was, was one of the greatest ideals of Serbs, living both in the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian lands. In 1526, Jovan Nenad, in the style of Dušan, proclaimed himself Emperor, when ruling a short-lived state of Serbian provinces under the crown of Hungary. The Realm of the Slavs, written by Ragusian historian Mavro Orbin (l. ca. 1550-1614), saw Emperor Dušan's actions and works positively. The book s...
By his first wife, Helena of Bulgaria, Emperor Dušan had at least one child: 1. Stefan Uroš V, succeeded his father as Emperor, r. 1355-1371 According to contemporary Byzantine historian Nicephorus Gregoras, Dušan also had a daughter: 1. Theodora According to Gregoras, Dušan was negotiating a potential alliance with Orhan, which would have involved marrying off his daughter to Orhan himself or one of Orhan's sons in 1351. However, these negotiations broke down after the Serbian emissaries were attacked by Nikephoros Orsini - the marriage proposal was withdrawn and Serbia and the Ottoman Empire resumed hostilities.Theodora most likely died between 1352-1354. Some historians speculate that the couple had another child, a daughter. J. Fine suggested that it might be "Irene", the wife of caesar Preljub (governor of Thessaly, d. 1355-1356), mother of Thomas Preljubović (Ruler of Epirus, 1367–1384). In one theory, she married Radoslav Hlapen, Governor of Voden and Veriaand Lord of Kastori...Saint Archangels MonasteryPodlastva monasteryDuljevo monasteryDušan's CodeSerbian EmpireSerbian DespotateSerbia in the Middle Ages
- c. 1308
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After this he took the title of Lord of all of Bosnia (Latin: totius Bosniae dominus) and passed the title of Ban of Bosnia to his eldest son Mladen II Šubić, who ruled over Bosnia as a Ban under his father. However, after Paul I Šubić's death in 1312, Mladen II tried to maintain his hold over Bosnia and the other Croatian clans, but was ...
Catherine of Bosnia (Bosnian: Katarina Kosača/Катарина Косача; 1424/1425 – 25 October 1478) was Queen of Bosnia as the wife of King Thomas, the penultimate Bosnian sovereign. She was born into the powerful House of Kosača, staunch supporters of the Bosnian Church.
Archaeological evidence in Republika Srpska, as well as bordering areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, attest to pronounced human activity in the Paleolithic.Specifically, in 1976, near the modern-day town of Stolac in the then relatively hospitable Neretva basin, archaeological artifacts in the form of cave engravings in Badanj and deer bones in the area were discovered to show hunter-gatherer ...
Vladislav II's sororal nephew Stephen II, Ban of Bosnia, then started to rule Vladislav's lands in Bosnia (Soli and Usora), and around Lower Syrmia there were long battles between Serbs and Hungarians. Stephen Vladislav II was married to Constanza Morosini. Literature
Barbara of Cilli (1392 – 11 July 1451) was the Holy Roman Empress and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia by marriage to Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund.She was actively involved in politics and economy of her times, independently administering large feudal fiefdoms and taxes, and was instrumental in creating the famous royal Order of the Dragon.
His marriage in about 1268 with Katarina, daughter of Stephen V of Hungary and Elizabeth the Cuman, produced three children:   Stefan Vladislav II, king of Srem (1316–1325). Elizabeth of Serbia, married in 1284 to Stephen I, Ban of Bosnia, becoming mother of Stephen II, Ban of Bosnia. Urošic (Урошиц), died as a monk. See also
Elizabeth of Bosnia (c. 1339 – January 1387) became queen of Hungary upon her marriage to King Louis I in 1353, and was the daughter of Ban Stephen II of Bosnia.In 1370, Elizabeth gave birth to a long-anticipated heir, Catherine, and became queen of Poland when Louis succeeded to the Polish throne.