Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 9th, 2017, 11:24 AM   #1

Maki's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Republika Srpska
Posts: 1,474
Medieval Serbia before the Nemanjić


This is very interested yet often neglected period of history. Serbs settled the Balkans in the 7th century and the Nemanjić only appeared in the 12th century. In these 5 centuries very important things happened. I'll list a few:

c.780 - first known Serbian prince named Višeslav
ca. 850 - 891 - reign of prince Mutimir and the start of Christianization in Serbia and the establishment of the Ras Eparchy
892 - first Serbian prince with a Christian name, Petar Gojniković
924 - Bulgaria conquers Serbia and displaces the population
927-960 - reign of Časlav, last of the Vlastimirović dynasty, Časlav's realm also included parts of modern-day Bosnia and Croatia and is often seen as the high point of pre-Nemanjić Serbia

Then came a period of subjugation under Samuilo and the Byzantines before in 1042, Stefan Vojislav defeated the Byzantines at Bar killing around 30, 000 Byzantine soldiers and established an independent Duklja.

Duklja would go on to be so powerful in the region that in 1077 Mihailo Vojislavljević would be crowned king and Duklja would be recognized as an independent nation. Mihajlo's son Bodin would expand Duklja to include Rascia and parts of Bosnia. This period also saw an establishment of a Grand Principality of Serbia under the Vukanović and then under Stefan Nemanja.

The Grand Princes such as Vukan would conduct offensives against the Byzantines (Vukan at one point captured Skopje).

This period would also see the rise of culture and architecture for example the Temnić inscription, one of the earliest Cyrillic manuscripts.

Click the image to open in full size.
Monuments of architecture include the Church of the Holy Apostles at Ras, Kotor Cathedral (now replaced by a 12th century church) and many other churches such as Church of St. John the Baptist at Zaton (now destroyed) etc.

This period is very much ignored when talking about Serbian history. Although this is the period when the Serbs adopted Christianity, created their first states and kingdoms, and developed their culture.
Maki is online now  
Remove Ads
Old January 16th, 2017, 12:18 PM   #2

Tsar's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Apr 2015
From: Serbia
Posts: 1,633
Blog Entries: 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
This is very interested yet often neglected period of history.
It is not really neglected. The early modern period is neglected. The pre-Nemanjić period simply doesn't have many reliable sources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Serbs settled the Balkans in the 7th century and the Nemanjić only appeared in the 12th century.
This is debatable. The whole "Nemanjić dynasty" thing is a construction. They never called themselves Nemanjić (at least in preserved sources) and it is impossible to say if they were or weren't related to previous rulers. Jovanka Kalić wrote a number of works proving that there are many indications that the "Nemanjićs" are simply continuation of previous dynasty/dynasties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
ca. 850 - 891 - reign of prince Mutimir and the start of Christianization in Serbia and the establishment of the Ras Eparchy
A very debated issue. See Lj. Maksimović, Pokrštavanje Srba i Hrvata, Zbornik radova vizantološkog instituta XXXV (1996), 155-174.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
892 - first Serbian prince with a Christian name, Petar Gojniković
With a Greek name. The names of previous rulers aren't necessarily non-Christian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
924 - Bulgaria conquers Serbia and displaces the population
927-960 - reign of Časlav, last of the Vlastimirović dynasty, Časlav's realm also included parts of modern-day Bosnia and Croatia and is often seen as the high point of pre-Nemanjić Serbia
If "Bulgaria" displaced the population, Serbia wouldn't have been easily restored, I mean the soldiers are part of population too? What I said about the "Nemanjićs" applies to the "Vlastimirovićs" too. Also, I don't see why would Časlavs' rule be the "high point of pre-Nemanjić" Serbia, considering that the population was devastated before his rule (one would be compelled to say DURING his rule, considering the fact that the source that talks about the aforementioned displacement also talks that Symeon of Bulgaria forced Zaharija to abdicate to Časlav - that is the so-called "Bulgarian conquest of Serbia" in the older literature).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Then came a period of subjugation under Samuilo and the Byzantines before in 1042, Stefan Vojislav defeated the Byzantines at Bar killing around 30, 000 Byzantine soldiers and established an independent Duklja.
So the battle of Bar was as massive as the battle of Manzikert? I somehow find that hardly believable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Duklja would go on to be so powerful in the region that in 1077 Mihailo Vojislavljević would be crowned king and Duklja would be recognized as an independent nation.
There is no proof of some gigantic power of Duklja at the time, and I wouldn't know why you think that the great power is the conditio sine qua non for becoming kingdom. Also, the claim that they were "recognized as an independent nation" is based on supposition that there was some kind of international authority that would recognize them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Mihajlo's son Bodin would expand Duklja to include Rascia and parts of Bosnia.
Not true. The dubious source on which the claim is based claims that Konstantin Bodin simply installed two new rulers in Bosnia and "Rascia" (actually Serbia). There is no confirmation even for that claim in any other source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
This period also saw an establishment of a Grand Principality of Serbia under the Vukanović and then under Stefan Nemanja.
Is there any real evidence that Serbia of the "Vukanovićs" doesn't have continuity with the Serbia of the "Vlastimirovićs"? I don't think so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
The Grand Princes such as Vukan would conduct offensives against the Byzantines (Vukan at one point captured Skopje).
His offensives (including the "capture" of Skopje) were simple raids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
This period would also see the rise of culture and architecture for example the Temnić inscription, one of the earliest Cyrillic manuscripts.

Monuments of architecture include the Church of the Holy Apostles at Ras, Kotor Cathedral (now replaced by a 12th century church) and many other churches such as Church of St. John the Baptist at Zaton (now destroyed) etc.
Existence of one manuscript doesn't prove the rise of culture. There are no even rough numbers of churches, monasteries, books and inscriptions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
This period is very much ignored when talking about Serbian history. Although this is the period when the Serbs adopted Christianity, created their first states and kingdoms, and developed their culture.
This is certainly not true. Some of the oldest works of Serbian historiography included the pre-Nemanjić era, not to mention the 20th century works. See for example these two works:

Dimitrije Davidović, Istorija naroda srbskog, Beograd 1846:
?????????? ?????? ??????

Nikola Krstić, Istorija srbskog naroda, Beograd 1862:
https://books.google.rs/books?id=J9J...epage&q&f=true
Tsar is offline  
Old January 16th, 2017, 12:45 PM   #3

Maki's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Republika Srpska
Posts: 1,474

Quote:
It is not really neglected. The early modern period is neglected. The pre-Nemanjić period simply doesn't have many reliable sources.
It is still neglected and not studied very thoroughly.

Quote:
This is debatable. The whole "Nemanjić dynasty" thing is a construction. They never called themselves Nemanjić (at least in preserved sources) and it is impossible to say if they were or weren't related to previous rulers. Jovanka Kalić wrote a number of works proving that there are many indications that the "Nemanjićs" are simply continuation of previous dynasty/dynasties.
So what? They were related to each other so we call them a dynasty. Đurađ Branković called himself Đurađ Vuković etc. And they are descended from a previous dynasty, it's just that Nemanja is so important that his reign is considered to have ushered in a new dynasty.

Quote:
A very debated issue. See Lj. Maksimović, Pokrštavanje Srba i Hrvata, Zbornik radova vizantološkog instituta XXXV (1996), 155-174.
Constantine Porphyrogenitus said that the Serbs (at least the ruling class) adopted Christianity under the reign of Basil I, which roughly corresponds to Mutimir's reign.

Quote:
With a Greek name. The names of previous rulers aren't necessarily non-Christian.
First really Christian name, previous names were Slavic and not explicitly Christian.

Quote:
If "Bulgaria" displaced the population, Serbia wouldn't have been easily restored, I mean the soldiers are part of population too? What I said about the "Nemanjićs" applies to the "Vlastimirovićs" too. Also, I don't see why would Časlavs' rule be the "high point of pre-Nemanjić" Serbia, considering that the population was devastated before his rule (one would be compelled to say DURING his rule, considering the fact that the source that talks about the aforementioned displacement also talks that Symeon of Bulgaria forced Zaharija to abdicate to Časlav - that is the so-called "Bulgarian conquest of Serbia" in the older literature).
Yeah, he forced Zaharija to abdicate to Časlav, but then Simeon annexed Serbia completely. Ćorović even states that Simeon lured the Serbian nobility to swear loyalty to Časlav and then he killed or imprisoned them. Časlav didn't begin his reign until 927, which is the year Simeon died. And there was at least some sort of displacement seeing that many Serbs fled to Croatia. However, I will admit it was probably exaggerated. Under Časlav however, Serbia stabilized and according to De Administrando Imperio it included northern Albania all the way to the Adriatic coast. He certainly held some parts of today's Bosnia.

Quote:
So the battle of Bar was as massive as the battle of Manzikert? I somehow find that hardly believable.
Well, the Strategikon says that the Byzantines lost 40,000 soldiers. I can even quote it if you wish.

Quote:
There is no proof of some gigantic power of Duklja at the time, and I wouldn't know why you think that the great power is the conditio sine qua non for becoming kingdom. Also, the claim that they were "recognized as an independent nation" is based on supposition that there was some kind of international authority that would recognize them.
Duklja was the most powerful Serb nation at the time and the title of king proves that. The Pope wouldn't give the crown to anyone, and Mihajlo was certainly powerful enough to declare himself king. And there was at least one recognized authority: the Pope.

Quote:
Not true. The dubious source on which the claim is based claims that Konstantin Bodin simply installed two new rulers in Bosnia and "Rascia" (actually Serbia). There is no confirmation even for that claim in any other source.
He installed his men, his relatives to the thrones. He may have not annexed it directly, but he certainly had influence there. Pop Dukljanin isn't the best source but Vukan was certainly real.

Quote:
Is there any real evidence that Serbia of the "Vukanovićs" doesn't have continuity with the Serbia of the "Vlastimirovićs"? I don't think so.
Is there evidence to the contrary?


Quote:
His offensives (including the "capture" of Skopje) were simple raids.
It shows that the Byzantines weren't all that powerful in the region and that Serb Grand Princes could at least strike against them and achieve some successes. Alexios I did eventually force them to submit to his rule though.

Last edited by Maki; January 16th, 2017 at 01:23 PM.
Maki is online now  
Old January 17th, 2017, 06:35 AM   #4

Tsar's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Apr 2015
From: Serbia
Posts: 1,633
Blog Entries: 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
It is still neglected and not studied very thoroughly.
On the contrary, it is one of most thoroughly examined periods of Serbian history relative to sources available. The publications such as "Vizantijski izvori za istoriju naroda Jugoslavije" (Byzantine Sources for History of the Peoples of Yugoslavia), "Istorija srpskog naroda" (History of the Serbs), "Istorija Crne Gore" (History of Montenegro) and the works such as those of Tibor Živković, Đorđe Bubalo, Mihailo Dinić, Jovanka Kalić, Sima Ćirković, Jadran Ferluga, Božidar Ferjančić, Ilija Sindik, Gordana Tomović, Đuro Tošić. There are far more historians than just Ćorović.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
So what? They were related to each other so we call them a dynasty. Đurađ Branković called himself Đurađ Vuković etc. And they are descended from a previous dynasty, it's just that Nemanja is so important that his reign is considered to have ushered in a new dynasty.
We call them a dynasty because our older generations of historians were mostly students of western universities, where they got conceptions that were applied to the Serb medieval society. That's exactly why one should pay special attention to the synthesis of Konstantin Jiriček, no matter how outdated it is.

As for the relation of the "Nemanjićs" with the previous "dynasty", unless you have some new epochal evidence, there's not much that would allow a historian to claim that the "Nemanjićs" are offspring of the previous "dynasty". As for the reign of Stefan Nemanja, I fail to see why is his rule so epochal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Constantine Porphyrogenitus said that the Serbs (at least the ruling class) adopted Christianity under the reign of Basil I, which roughly corresponds to Mutimir's reign.
He did write that Basil I converted the Serbs, indeed, but the problems are following: Basil I was Constantine's grandfather, so he can hardly be taken as an objective observer; In the same work, Constantine wrote the following text: [During the time of Emperor Michael III] "the Croats, the Serbs, the Zahumljani, the Travunjani, the Konavljani, the Dukljani, the Neretljani discarded the reign of the Romans and became autonomous and independent, bowing down only to their archontes. Showing complete apostasy, most of them abandoned the Holy Baptism, thereby keeping no friendship and servitude to the Romans" (Vita Basilii, 56); The same writer also writes that it was Heraclius who sent the missionaries from Rome to the Slavic countries; Also, many of the ecclesiastical terms in Serbian language are of Latin origins, and the seat of the bishops of Ras is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul. With all these in mind, I find the writing of Constantine in Vita Basilii highly unlikely.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
First really Christian name, previous names were Slavic and not explicitly Christian.
Just because someone has a Slavic name, it doesn't mean that he is not Christian. Vladimir the Great is a good example.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Yeah, he forced Zaharija to abdicate to Časlav, but then Simeon annexed Serbia completely. Ćorović even states that Simeon lured the Serbian nobility to swear loyalty to Časlav and then he killed or imprisoned them. Časlav didn't begin his reign until 927, which is the year Simeon died. And there was at least some sort of displacement seeing that many Serbs fled to Croatia. However, I will admit it was probably exaggerated. Under Časlav however, Serbia stabilized and according to De Administrando Imperio it included northern Albania all the way to the Adriatic coast. He certainly held some parts of today's Bosnia.
If Symeon "annexed" Serbia, why did he keep Časlav, a pretender to Serbian throne, in life? Also, Časlav came back from Bulgaria only in 933. Wouldn't the explanation that Časlav was a simple vassal be far more plausible, especially considering how much accent Constantine was putting on Byzantine help to Serbia? He says that the Empire was helping Serbia against Bulgaria, but he fails to mention that the Byzantine-Bulgarian relations after 927 were more than friendly, while both countries became endangered by Hungary. And if we take that dubious Gesta Regum Sclavorum into account, Časlav did die while battling Hungarian riders around 943. There is also a slight possibility that more than one ruler named Časlav existed at the same time, but I won't make this too complicated.

As for present-day northern Albania, I honestly don't know where you saw that in the DAI. Same goes for the claim that "many Serbs" fled to Croatia.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Well, the Strategikon says that the Byzantines lost 40,000 soldiers. I can even quote it if you wish.
You can quote it, but I do hope that you understand how much 40.000 soldiers is. Had the 40.000 soldiers died in the battle of Bar, the battles such as Manzikert, Crecy and Vienna (1683) laughable in comparison. Such a gigantic battle would be on pair with the WW1 battles!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Duklja was the most powerful Serb nation at the time and the title of king proves that. The Pope wouldn't give the crown to anyone, and Mihajlo was certainly powerful enough to declare himself king. And there was at least one recognized authority: the Pope.
This couldn't be further from the truth. The Pope Gregorius VII called Mihailo "Sclavorum rex" in his letter (8th of January, 1078). The letter was a response to the request for crown and other insignia by Mihailo (Т. Živković, Portreti srpskih vladara (IX-XII vek), Beograd 2006). That means that Mihailo had to become king with papal approval. The date of this letter lets one suppose that Gregorius seized the moment after the Byzantine defeat at Manzikert and Slavic rebellions in inner areas of the Balkans to spread his influence.

Also it seems that during the reign of Stefan Nemanja the title of the grand župan held more prestige than the royal one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
He installed his men, his relatives to the thrones. He may have not annexed it directly, but he certainly had influence there. Pop Dukljanin isn't the best source but Vukan was certainly real.
Vukan indeed existed, but the problem with your source is that it was made by a Catholic priest who was a fan of the so-called "Vojislavljević" dynasty. Also, the Gesta Regum Sclavorum don't mention that they were relatives, but the courtiers of Konstantin Bodin ("Posuitque ibi duos iupanos de curia sua, Belcano et Marco, qui etiam iuraverunt ei ut ipsi et filii eorum essent speciales homines regis Bodini et filiorum vel heredum eius"). It is not known whether Mihailo received royal insignia or not, but after 1075 the Dukljan rulers appear as Byzantine vassals again (Ibid, 112). What is also problematic, however, is that no other source is aware of such connection between Bodin and Marko/Vukan.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Is there evidence to the contrary?
First you say that you didn't claim that, and then you correct it, asking for the evidence to the contrary.

Anyways, yes, there is: He was already titled "iupan" (župan) when Konstantin Bodin "sent" him to Serbia. Tibor Živković made a great article (Sinovi Zavidini), deducing that Vukan was originally a noble that held Upper Polimlje. Gesta Regum Sclavorum say that after Časlav died, his throne was inherited by his son-in-law, Tihomil with the title of grand župan (Post haec remansit terra sine rege et bani coepe runt dominari terram suam unusquisque super provincias et regiones subiugaveruntque sibi iupanos et ab eis tributa accipiebant sicut rex solebat accipere. Nomen vero regis nemo audebat sibi imponere. Tycomil etiam defuncto socero dominabatur totam Rassam, sed nec regem nec banum ausus est se vocare, sed tantum iupanum maiorem et ideo quo niam praeerat ceteris iupanis Rassam. Sicque dominaverunt terram multis temporibus).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
It shows that the Byzantines weren't all that powerful in the region and that Serb Grand Princes could at least strike against them and achieve some successes. Alexios I did eventually force them to submit to his rule though.
Of course Byzantium wasn't too powerful, we're talking about some three decades after the Manzikert, but the point is that Vukan evaded any bigger conflict, contenting himself with occasional raids.
Tsar is offline  
Old January 17th, 2017, 07:54 AM   #5

Maki's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Republika Srpska
Posts: 1,474

Quote:
On the contrary, it is one of most thoroughly examined periods of Serbian history relative to sources available. The publications such as "Vizantijski izvori za istoriju naroda Jugoslavije" (Byzantine Sources for History of the Peoples of Yugoslavia), "Istorija srpskog naroda" (History of the Serbs), "Istorija Crne Gore" (History of Montenegro) and the works such as those of Tibor Živković, Đorđe Bubalo, Mihailo Dinić, Jovanka Kalić, Sima Ćirković, Jadran Ferluga, Božidar Ferjančić, Ilija Sindik, Gordana Tomović, Đuro Tošić. There are far more historians than just Ćorović.
Compared to the Nemanjić period, it is not as nearly as studied. Sure, there are not much sources, but it is still five centuries. When someone thinks Serbia in the Middle Ages, it will most likely default him to the Nemanjić and Kosovo periods.

Quote:
We call them a dynasty because our older generations of historians were mostly students of western universities, where they got conceptions that were applied to the Serb medieval society. That's exactly why one should pay special attention to the synthesis of Konstantin Jiriček, no matter how outdated it is.

As for the relation of the "Nemanjićs" with the previous "dynasty", unless you have some new epochal evidence, there's not much that would allow a historian to claim that the "Nemanjićs" are offspring of the previous "dynasty". As for the reign of Stefan Nemanja, I fail to see why is his rule so epochal.
Nemanja's father Zavida was a member of the Vukanović dynasty. I never said he was descended from the Vlastimirović. Nemanja is famous because he enlarged his state, strenghened the Church by fighting the Bogomils and because his descendants formed a cult of personality around him.
Quote:
He did write that Basil I converted the Serbs, indeed, but the problems are following: Basil I was Constantine's grandfather, so he can hardly be taken as an objective observer; In the same work, Constantine wrote the following text: [During the time of Emperor Michael III] "the Croats, the Serbs, the Zahumljani, the Travunjani, the Konavljani, the Dukljani, the Neretljani discarded the reign of the Romans and became autonomous and independent, bowing down only to their archontes. Showing complete apostasy, most of them abandoned the Holy Baptism, thereby keeping no friendship and servitude to the Romans" (Vita Basilii, 56); The same writer also writes that it was Heraclius who sent the missionaries from Rome to the Slavic countries; Also, many of the ecclesiastical terms in Serbian language are of Latin origins, and the seat of the bishops of Ras is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul. With all these in mind, I find the writing of Constantine in Vita Basilii highly unlikely.
Michael III ruled before Basil, and I can't see the point in the fact that they abandoned the Baptism. Constantine also wrote:

...the majority of these Slavs [Serbs, Croats] were not even baptized, and remained unbaptized for long enough. But in the time of Basil, the Christ-loving emperor, they sent diplomatic agents, begging and praying him that those of them who were unbaptized might receive baptism and that they might be, as they had originally been, subject to the empire of the Romans; and that glorious emperor, of blessed memory, gave ear to them and sent out an imperial agent and priests with him and baptized all of them that were unbaptized of the aforesaid nations...

And I don't know what you mean by the fact that they have Latin origins.
Quote:
Just because someone has a Slavic name, it doesn't mean that he is not Christian. Vladimir the Great is a good example.
It was a first name that had roots in Christianity. It shows that at least the elite had adopted the new religion.


Quote:
If Symeon "annexed" Serbia, why did he keep Časlav, a pretender to Serbian throne, in life? Also, Časlav came back from Bulgaria only in 933. Wouldn't the explanation that Časlav was a simple vassal be far more plausible, especially considering how much accent Constantine was putting on Byzantine help to Serbia? He says that the Empire was helping Serbia against Bulgaria, but he fails to mention that the Byzantine-Bulgarian relations after 927 were more than friendly, while both countries became endangered by Hungary. And if we take that dubious Gesta Regum Sclavorum into account, Časlav did die while battling Hungarian riders around 943. There is also a slight possibility that more than one ruler named Časlav existed at the same time, but I won't make this too complicated.

As for present-day northern Albania, I honestly don't know where you saw that in the DAI. Same goes for the claim that "many Serbs" fled to Croatia.
Simeon kept Časlav as a captive in Bulgaria. Not as a vassal. And btw. if Časlav was a vassal, why wasn't he in Serbia during Simeon's life? And Časlav died much later around 960.


Quote:
You can quote it, but I do hope that you understand how much 40.000 soldiers is. Had the 40.000 soldiers died in the battle of Bar, the battles such as Manzikert, Crecy and Vienna (1683) laughable in comparison. Such a gigantic battle would be on pair with the WW1 battles!
ὁποῖον ἐποίησεν ὁ Τριβούνιος ὁ Σέρβος τῷ κατεπάνω Δυρραχίου Μιχαὴλ τῷ τοῦ λογοθέτου υἱῷ εἰς Διοκλείαν καὶ ἀπώλεσε τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἐπέκεινα τῶν τεσσαράκοντα χιλιαδῶν ὄντα.

Translation:
Thus the Travunian Serb did in Duklja to the katepano of Dyrrhachium, Michael, son of logothete, and he destroyed his army that numbered more than 40,000.

And Byzantium was capable of sending large armies to the field, Byzantine army at Manzikert numbered from 40,000 to 70,000 men, and that's after Romanos sent 40,000 men with Joseph Tarchaneiotes to Khlat.

Quote:
This couldn't be further from the truth. The Pope Gregorius VII called Mihailo "Sclavorum rex" in his letter (8th of January, 1078). The letter was a response to the request for crown and other insignia by Mihailo (Т. Živković, Portreti srpskih vladara (IX-XII vek), Beograd 2006). That means that Mihailo had to become king with papal approval. The date of this letter lets one suppose that Gregorius seized the moment after the Byzantine defeat at Manzikert and Slavic rebellions in inner areas of the Balkans to spread his influence.
And...the Pope recognized him as a king and recognized his state. I will repeat: the Pope wouldn't give a crown to anyone, Mihajlo was certainly powerful enough to exercise influence over some parts of the Balkans, otherwise what was the point of the Pope giving him the crown.

Quote:
Also it seems that during the reign of Stefan Nemanja the title of the grand župan held more prestige than the royal one.
Really, then why did his son want a royal title?


Quote:
Vukan indeed existed, but the problem with your source is that it was made by a Catholic priest who was a fan of the so-called "Vojislavljević" dynasty. Also, the Gesta Regum Sclavorum don't mention that they were relatives, but the courtiers of Konstantin Bodin ("Posuitque ibi duos iupanos de curia sua, Belcano et Marco, qui etiam iuraverunt ei ut ipsi et filii eorum essent speciales homines regis Bodini et filiorum vel heredum eius"). It is not known whether Mihailo received royal insignia or not, but after 1075 the Dukljan rulers appear as Byzantine vassals again (Ibid, 112). What is also problematic, however, is that no other source is aware of such connection between Bodin and Marko/Vukan.
According to some sources, Vukan was the son of Petrislav, son of Mihailo I. He was a relative of Bodin. Anyway, they were Bodin's vassals and until Bodin's death, they were subservient to Duklja.

Quote:
First you say that you didn't claim that, and then you correct it, asking for the evidence to the contrary.
I misread what you wrote. That's why I corrected it.

Quote:
Anyways, yes, there is: He was already titled "iupan" (župan) when Konstantin Bodin "sent" him to Serbia. Tibor Živković made a great article (Sinovi Zavidini), deducing that Vukan was originally a noble that held Upper Polimlje. Gesta Regum Sclavorum say that after Časlav died, his throne was inherited by his son-in-law, Tihomil with the title of grand župan (Post haec remansit terra sine rege et bani coepe runt dominari terram suam unusquisque super provincias et regiones subiugaveruntque sibi iupanos et ab eis tributa accipiebant sicut rex solebat accipere. Nomen vero regis nemo audebat sibi imponere. Tycomil etiam defuncto socero dominabatur totam Rassam, sed nec regem nec banum ausus est se vocare, sed tantum iupanum maiorem et ideo quo niam praeerat ceteris iupanis Rassam. Sicque dominaverunt terram multis temporibus).
Yes, and so what. After Tihomir died, the Catepanate of Ras was established, so Rascia became Byzantine territory, and would later be incorporated into Samuilo's empire, then once again Byzantine as the theme of Syrmium. Until Vukan, we have no mention of another Grand Prince. And I doubt that he is a descendant of the Vlastimirović because there is no evidence for that.

Quote:
Of course Byzantium wasn't too powerful, we're talking about some three decades after the Manzikert, but the point is that Vukan evaded any bigger conflict, contenting himself with occasional raids.
Because that was a safe strategy. Even with those raids, he managed to achieve successes. Fine claims that the emperor himself had to lead an army to subjugate the Serbs. Vukan had the advantage that Byzantium was preoccupied with fighting the Pechenegs, but still we should not downplay his achievements.

Last edited by Maki; January 17th, 2017 at 08:16 AM.
Maki is online now  
Old January 17th, 2017, 10:00 AM   #6

Tsar's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Apr 2015
From: Serbia
Posts: 1,633
Blog Entries: 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Compared to the Nemanjić period, it is not as nearly as studied. Sure, there are not much sources, but it is still five centuries. When someone thinks Serbia in the Middle Ages, it will most likely default him to the Nemanjić and Kosovo periods.
It is at least studied as much as the "Nemanjić period". When you don't have sources, you don't have sources. Doesn't matter how long the period or how large the area is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Nemanja's father Zavida was a member of the Vukanović dynasty. I never said he was descended from the Vlastimirović.
And your claim that Zavida was a member of the "Vukanovićs" is based on what sources?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Nemanja is famous because he enlarged his state, strenghened the Church by fighting the Bogomils and because his descendants formed a cult of personality around him.
He didn't enlarge anything. He did conquer many territories, but he left them as loose collections of župas, without even a common ruler (Vukan being the king of Duklja and a ruler in half of Serbia, and Stefan being the grand župan over Serbia, and various relatives being semi-dependent rulers in various župas). It was only King Stefan Uroš I who turned all the possessions of the Nemanjićs into Serbia. As for the Bogomils, there is hardly any evidence as to who those heretics were. It is not likely that they were Bogomils, especially since they seem connected with Ban Kulin of Bosnia, where no Bogomilism is proven to have existed. Stefan Nemanja did barely anything to strengthen the Church. And one would have to ask himself, which church would he strengthen? He was baptized as Roman Catholic, and there was no autocephaly of the bishops in his domains. He could've only helped Ohrid by that, and that would've been against his interests. The work on the Church organization was done by Sava and Stefan only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Michael III ruled before Basil, and I can't see the point in the fact that they abandoned the Baptism. Constantine also wrote:

...the majority of these Slavs [Serbs, Croats] were not even baptized, and remained unbaptized for long enough. But in the time of Basil, the Christ-loving emperor, they sent diplomatic agents, begging and praying him that those of them who were unbaptized might receive baptism and that they might be, as they had originally been, subject to the empire of the Romans; and that glorious emperor, of blessed memory, gave ear to them and sent out an imperial agent and priests with him and baptized all of them that were unbaptized of the aforesaid nations...

And I don't know what you mean by the fact that they have Latin origins.
If they abandoned the Holy Baptism, it means that they received the Holy Baptism in the first place. As I already said, Constantine wrote in his most famous work, the DAI, that Heraclius baptised the Serbs: the emperor brought elders from Rome and baptized them and taught them fairly to perform the works of piety and expounded to them the faith of the Christians (DAI, 32). As we can see, the missionaries were from Rome. As you know, many ecclesiastical terms in Serbian language come from Latin (altare—олтар, аrca—рака, compater— кмотр—кум, oleum—олај, sanctus—сант, crux-crusi-krus—крст). Until the reign of Leo III, what would become Serbia was entirely under juridiction of the Pope. ِAnd on top of all that, the seat of bishops of Ras was dedicated to St Peter and Paul. The cult of St Peter and Paul is entirely western in origin, and the architecture is almost identical with contemporary Italian monuments. With all of that in mind, it is more likely that the Christianity in Serbia has origins from the missions of Heraclius than Basil. One also has to bear in mind that, unlike Vita Basilii, the DAI wasn't written with public purposes in mind.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Simeon kept Časlav as a captive in Bulgaria. Not as a vassal. And btw. if Časlav was a vassal, why wasn't he in Serbia during Simeon's life? And Časlav died much later around 960.
First of all, unlike Symeon, Časlav did have claims to the throne of Serbia. Keeping vassals as hostages on your court was nothing unusual. Some later Serbian rulers, like King Stefan Uroš III, Emperor Stefan Dušan or Despot Stefan did that as well.

As for the death of Časlav only in 960, that's hardly probable. In 943 the Hungarian troops were in Thrace, and Constantine himself never mentioned that Časlav was his servant (Constantine became emperor in 945).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
ὁποῖον ἐποίησεν ὁ Τριβούνιος ὁ Σέρβος τῷ κατεπάνω Δυρραχίου Μιχαὴλ τῷ τοῦ λογοθέτου υἱῷ εἰς Διοκλείαν καὶ ἀπώλεσε τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἐπέκεινα τῶν τεσσαράκοντα χιλιαδῶν ὄντα.

Translation:
Thus the Travunian Serb did in Duklja to the katepano of Dyrrhachium, Michael, son of logothete, and he destroyed his army that numbered more than 40,000.

And Byzantium was capable of sending large armies to the field, Byzantine army at Manzikert numbered from 40,000 to 70,000 men, and that's after Romanos sent 40,000 men with Joseph Tarchaneiotes to Khlat.
So you're telling that the battle of Bar was on pair with Manzikert?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
And...the Pope recognized him as a king and recognized his state. I will repeat: the Pope wouldn't give a crown to anyone, Mihajlo was certainly powerful enough to exercise influence over some parts of the Balkans, otherwise what was the point of the Pope giving him the crown.
There is not a single reason to conclude that the Pope didn't want to give the crown to him. I've listed both the letter where Mihailo asked for the royal insignia and where the Pope called him king. Had the Pope not recognized his title, he would've been just one of many impostors. The whole point of the papal decision was most likely to return influence in the lands usurped by Leo III (the Diocese of Illyricum).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Really, then why did his son want a royal title?
Because of the political context after 1204. After 1204, Stefan remained without the protector, and found himself surrounded by Hungarian king that aspired to subdue him, Venice that aspired to take the Adriatic coast, and the Crusaders that aspired to take everything possible. Stefan needed papal recognition, as the Pope was the highest political authority for the Catholics.

As for the situation before 1204, after the conquest of Duklja, Vukan became the king of Duklja, not Stefan Nemanja. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
According to some sources, Vukan was the son of Petrislav, son of Mihailo I. He was a relative of Bodin. Anyway, they were Bodin's vassals and until Bodin's death, they were subservient to Duklja.
According to which sources exactly? I don't see either Byzantine sources or the GRS mentioning him and his brother Marko as Konstantin Bodin's relatives. As for the vassalage, I've already said that only the source that stems from the pro-"Vojislavljević" enviroment mentiones that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Yes, and so what. After Tihomir died, the Catepanate of Ras was established, so Rascia became Byzantine territory, and would later be incorporated into Samuilo's empire, then once again Byzantine as the theme of Syrmium. Until Vukan, we have no mention of another Grand Prince. And I doubt that he is a descendant of the Vlastimirović because there is no evidence for that.
The only source for the whole existance of the "Catepanate of Ras" is one ring with inscription of Strategos John. The Strategoi in the 11th century were confined to the military duties, so the inscription doesn't necessitate the existance of the "Catepanate of Ras". The fact that the Samuel occupied Serbia doesn't necessarily mean that he had to overthrow the nobility, especially if the nobility was Slavic. As for the so-called "Theme of Syrmium", there is practically zero evidence of its existance. Also, Vukan hasn't been mentioned as the "Grand Prince" in the sources as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Because that was a safe strategy. Even with those raids, he managed to achieve successes. Fine claims that the emperor himself had to lead an army to subjugate the Serbs. Vukan had the advantage that Byzantium was preoccupied with fighting the Pechenegs, but still we should not downplay his achievements.
Alexius had to lead the army personally because Duklja was connected to the Normans in the South Italy and because his officers were often bribed by the Hungarians. Had Vukan made some lasting success, we could talk about some kind of strong Serbian ruler. But all I see is plunder and running after more significant army appears.
Tsar is offline  
Old January 17th, 2017, 11:28 AM   #7

Maki's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Republika Srpska
Posts: 1,474

Quote:
And your claim that Zavida was a member of the "Vukanovićs" is based on what sources?
Sources are slim and we don't really know, but John V.A. Fine in his book The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest proposes that Zavida is probably the son of Uroš I. But we don't really know since some propose that Zavida is Vukan's son.


Quote:
He didn't enlarge anything. He did conquer many territories, but he left them as loose collections of župas, without even a common ruler (Vukan being the king of Duklja and a ruler in half of Serbia, and Stefan being the grand župan over Serbia, and various relatives being semi-dependent rulers in various župas). It was only King Stefan Uroš I who turned all the possessions of the Nemanjićs into Serbia. As for the Bogomils, there is hardly any evidence as to who those heretics were. It is not likely that they were Bogomils, especially since they seem connected with Ban Kulin of Bosnia, where no Bogomilism is proven to have existed. Stefan Nemanja did barely anything to strengthen the Church. And one would have to ask himself, which church would he strengthen? He was baptized as Roman Catholic, and there was no autocephaly of the bishops in his domains. He could've only helped Ohrid by that, and that would've been against his interests. The work on the Church organization was done by Sava and Stefan only.
He built many churches and monasteries and gave gifts to the church. The church wasn't autocephalous yet, but Nemanja was seen as a righteous ruler by the Church. Those heretics were probably Bogomils seeing that the eastern Balkans were the birthplace of Bogomilism, and Nemanja did persecute them. Domentian and Stefan Prvovenčani both mention it. And I think that the Bosnian Church was created by mixing Bogomilism with the existing religious traditions there. But this is a controversial topic we don't need to discuss here. He was baptized as a Catholic, but in his biography by Stefan he mentions that he was re-baptized in Ras as an Orthodox Christian.


Quote:
If they abandoned the Holy Baptism, it means that they received the Holy Baptism in the first place. As I already said, Constantine wrote in his most famous work, the DAI, that Heraclius baptised the Serbs: the emperor brought elders from Rome and baptized them and taught them fairly to perform the works of piety and expounded to them the faith of the Christians (DAI, 32). As we can see, the missionaries were from Rome. As you know, many ecclesiastical terms in Serbian language come from Latin (altare—олтар, аrca—рака, compater— кмотр—кум, oleum—олај, sanctus—сант, crux-crusi-krus—крст). Until the reign of Leo III, what would become Serbia was entirely under juridiction of the Pope. ِAnd on top of all that, the seat of bishops of Ras was dedicated to St Peter and Paul. The cult of St Peter and Paul is entirely western in origin, and the architecture is almost identical with contemporary Italian monuments. With all of that in mind, it is more likely that the Christianity in Serbia has origins from the missions of Heraclius than Basil. One also has to bear in mind that, unlike Vita Basilii, the DAI wasn't written with public purposes in mind.
So Basil I rebaptized them. De Administrando Imperio mentions that as well as the missions sent by Heraclius. What we can see is that this is the time when rulers with Christian names start to appear as I already mentioned with Petar Gojniković.

Quote:
First of all, unlike Symeon, Časlav did have claims to the throne of Serbia. Keeping vassals as hostages on your court was nothing unusual. Some later Serbian rulers, like King Stefan Uroš III, Emperor Stefan Dušan or Despot Stefan did that as well.
But if Časlav was Simeon's vassal, then why wouldn't Simeon send him to rule Serbia under Bulgarian overlordship. Why was Časlav held in Bulgaria? Every source I could find (Ćorović, Fine, DAI...) conclude that Serbia was indeed annexed by Bulgaria at that time.

Quote:
As for the death of Časlav only in 960, that's hardly probable. In 943 the Hungarian troops were in Thrace, and Constantine himself never mentioned that Časlav was his servant (Constantine became emperor in 945).
943 is too early. Ćorović, Fine and Ostrogorsky all date his death at around 960, and the fact that Constantine didn't mention the end of his reign is pretty likely due to the fact that Časlav died after Constantine finished his works.

Quote:
So you're telling that the battle of Bar was on pair with Manzikert?
No, I'm telling you that Manzikert was much bigger, at least 30,000 soldiers bigger. Btw. I already provided a quote that states that Byzantines had had 40,000 soldiers. That quote is also used by Ostrogorsky in his book Byzantine Sources for the History of the Peoples of Yugoslavia 3.

Quote:
There is not a single reason to conclude that the Pope didn't want to give the crown to him. I've listed both the letter where Mihailo asked for the royal insignia and where the Pope called him king. Had the Pope not recognized his title, he would've been just one of many impostors. The whole point of the papal decision was most likely to return influence in the lands usurped by Leo III (the Diocese of Illyricum).
I think we are actually in agreement here. The Pope did want to give Mihailo his crown and you are right that this was probably due to Pope's wishes to expand his authority, but I argue that Pope chose Mihajlo because Mihajlo had the strongest state in that region and could influence events in the Balkans.

Quote:
Because of the political context after 1204. After 1204, Stefan remained without the protector, and found himself surrounded by Hungarian king that aspired to subdue him, Venice that aspired to take the Adriatic coast, and the Crusaders that aspired to take everything possible. Stefan needed papal recognition, as the Pope was the highest political authority for the Catholics.
http://www.istorijasrba.info/download/II.pdf
This book on the page 129 states than Stefan asked the Pope for the royal title in 1200. But I don't know how accurate it is.

Quote:
As for the situation before 1204, after the conquest of Duklja, Vukan became the king of Duklja, not Stefan Nemanja. Why?
Most likely because Vukan was given Duklja to govern, and Duklja already had royal tradition. We don't know if Nemanja even approved of this. And Vukan was probably influenced by the fact that at the same time, his brother Stefan was getting to a Byzantine princess. Vukan probably (rightfully so) feared that his father wanted Stefan to succeed him.


Quote:
According to which sources exactly? I don't see either Byzantine sources or the GRS mentioning him and his brother Marko as Konstantin Bodin's relatives. As for the vassalage, I've already said that only the source that stems from the pro-"Vojislavljević" enviroment mentiones that.
https://books.google.ba/books/about/...8C&redir_esc=y
p. 213 and 223. The source isn't really good but this is one theory at least, we simply don't know more.

Quote:
The only source for the whole existance of the "Catepanate of Ras" is one ring with inscription of Strategos John. The Strategoi in the 11th century were confined to the military duties, so the inscription doesn't necessitate the existance of the "Catepanate of Ras". The fact that the Samuel occupied Serbia doesn't necessarily mean that he had to overthrow the nobility, especially if the nobility was Slavic. As for the so-called "Theme of Syrmium", there is practically zero evidence of its existance. Also, Vukan hasn't been mentioned as the "Grand Prince" in the sources as well.
This only means that the Catepanate didn't last long, and it really didn't. 5 years at best before Samuilo took over. And theme of Syrmium did exist. John Skylitzes mentions a revolt by Stefan Vojislav in 1034 which was put down by Theophilos Erotikos "strategos of Serbia". Later the theme was often ruled by local nobles such as Ljutovit who styled himself strategos of Serbia and Zahumlje.

Quote:
Alexius had to lead the army personally because Duklja was connected to the Normans in the South Italy and because his officers were often bribed by the Hungarians. Had Vukan made some lasting success, we could talk about some kind of strong Serbian ruler. But all I see is plunder and running after more significant army appears.
He was not Milutin or Dušan-type strong, but he was facing strong opposition. Byzantine Empire was getting revitalized by Alexios Komnenos and the fact that the Emperor had to intervene twice against Vukan shows that Vukan was an unruly vassal at best.
Maki is online now  
Old January 19th, 2017, 12:20 PM   #8

Tsar's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Apr 2015
From: Serbia
Posts: 1,633
Blog Entries: 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Sources are slim and we don't really know, but John V.A. Fine in his book The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest proposes that Zavida is probably the son of Uroš I. But we don't really know since some propose that Zavida is Vukan's son.
The only thing that is known about Zavida is his name (thanks to inscriptions in the Church of St Peter and Paul in Bijelo Polje and in the Miroslav Gospel). What is especially interesting is that he is mentioned both times only as Prince Miroslav's father - we don't even have direct evidence that he was Stefan Nemanja's father. Stefan Nemanja's son, Stefan, doesn't even mention the name of his own grandfather. Fine adopted the thesis of Jan Lesny. The other two hypotheses is that Zavida was son of Vukan (created by Ljubomir Kovačević) or his brother's son (Stanoje Stanojević)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
He built many churches and monasteries and gave gifts to the church. The church wasn't autocephalous yet, but Nemanja was seen as a righteous ruler by the Church. Those heretics were probably Bogomils seeing that the eastern Balkans were the birthplace of Bogomilism, and Nemanja did persecute them. Domentian and Stefan Prvovenčani both mention it. And I think that the Bosnian Church was created by mixing Bogomilism with the existing religious traditions there. But this is a controversial topic we don't need to discuss here. He was baptized as a Catholic, but in his biography by Stefan he mentions that he was re-baptized in Ras as an Orthodox Christian.
He has indeed built many churches, but so did his brothers. But he didn't contribute anything to the organization of the church, even less so to the autocephaly, so him being patron of churches cannot be seen in the context of creating the Serbian autocephalous hurch.

As for the Bogomilism, Sima Ćirković proved that the Church of Bosnia and her predecessor were not Bogomilist (Istorija srednjovekovne bosanske države, Beograd 1964).

As for the sources, Stefan only mentions "three-times-cursed" heretics, an atribute used for the believers of Church of Bosnia in latter sources. As Stefan writes, Stefan Nemanja was approached by a noblewoman who was married to foreign heretic noble "according to marriage laws". She says that the noble "thought that our country (Serbia) is of the same faith". It leaves an impression that she was married to a nobleman whose faith was accepted in his own country. Judging by the political situation, the only country that would be acceptable at that period would be Bosnia. (Chapter VI)

The other source for Stefan Nemanja, St Sava, doesn't mention this persecution at all. As for Domentian, I don't know to which passage are you referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
So Basil I rebaptized them. De Administrando Imperio mentions that as well as the missions sent by Heraclius. What we can see is that this is the time when rulers with Christian names start to appear as I already mentioned with Petar Gojniković.
Where is Basil I mentioned in the DAI? I know only of Heraclius. Since you know Medieval Greek, here's a part of the chapter 32:
Click the image to open in full size.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
But if Časlav was Simeon's vassal, then why wouldn't Simeon send him to rule Serbia under Bulgarian overlordship. Why was Časlav held in Bulgaria? Every source I could find (Ćorović, Fine, DAI...) conclude that Serbia was indeed annexed by Bulgaria at that time.
As I've already said, keeping unruly vassals as hostages was not uncommon practice in both Serbia or Bulgaria. The whole narrative of "annexation" of Serbia is based on the DAI so there's no much point of listing Ćorović and Fine. There is no debate whether or not Serbia was under de facto rule of Symeon (for about one year) and Peter (for about six years), but it is highly unlikely that they ruled Serbia without Časlav as de jure ruler of Serbia. It is hard to find explanation as to why would he be kept in life so long. We know that Jovan Vladimir had died in Samuel's dungeon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
943 is too early. Ćorović, Fine and Ostrogorsky all date his death at around 960, and the fact that Constantine didn't mention the end of his reign is pretty likely due to the fact that Časlav died after Constantine finished his works.
Ćorović, Fine and Ostrogorsky didn't pay enough attention to Hungary. We have enough data to conclude that there were no Hungarian raids between 933 and 943 (T. Živković, Portreti srpskih vladara ranog srednjeg veka. Od Vlastimira do Borića, Beograd 2006, 65-6). After that there was a huge Hungarian raid that must've went through Serbia and that went as far as to Thessaly and Thrace. As Časlav (I'm sticking to the "one Časlav hypothesis") died in the battle with Hungarians, this year is the most likely year of his death. If he was a "vassal" of Constantine VII, I doubt that he would skip to mention that.

Here's a decent map:
Click the image to open in full size.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
No, I'm telling you that Manzikert was much bigger, at least 30,000 soldiers bigger. Btw. I already provided a quote that states that Byzantines had had 40,000 soldiers. That quote is also used by Ostrogorsky in his book Byzantine Sources for the History of the Peoples of Yugoslavia 3.
It's not Ostrogorsky's book, it was a work of tens of byzantologists. As for the numbers, I must be under impression that the Byzantine military was laughable compared to the Achaemenid one, which sent 2.6 million soldiers, alongside the same number of supporting troops, to Thermopylae (Xerodotus VII, 186). All the historians of this period I've read say that the number is overestimated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
I think we are actually in agreement here. The Pope did want to give Mihailo his crown and you are right that this was probably due to Pope's wishes to expand his authority, but I argue that Pope chose Mihajlo because Mihajlo had the strongest state in that region and could influence events in the Balkans.
I doubt that Mihailo could've influenced the region, after he was defeated in the 1072-1075 war (T. Živković, Dukljansko-vizantijski rat 1072-1075, Istorijski časopis 47 (2002), 45-47). But after 1075 it seems that he intensified contacts with the Normans and Venice, disregarding the fact that he became Byzantine "vassal" after war.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
URL]http://www.istorijasrba.info/download/II.pdf[/URL]
This book on the page 129 states than Stefan asked the Pope for the royal title in 1200. But I don't know how accurate it is.
It is accurate, but the context is similar. Since 1198 Hungary led a big offensive in present-day Mačva, Šumadija, Braničevo and Južna Morava. Fearing that Hungary might attack him, Stefan asked Pope Innocent III to crown him as king. The pope responded favorably (A. Theiner, Vetera monumenta Slavorum meridionalium historiam (sacram), Typus Primus, Romae 1863), but the Hungarian king succeeded to prevent this from happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Most likely because Vukan was given Duklja to govern, and Duklja already had royal tradition. We don't know if Nemanja even approved of this. And Vukan was probably influenced by the fact that at the same time, his brother Stefan was getting to a Byzantine princess. Vukan probably (rightfully so) feared that his father wanted Stefan to succeed him.
Even if we don't know, do you really think that Vukan had enough strength to oppose a man who crushed Duklja when even the legal ruler ruled it? Vukan could not have been influenced by Stefan's marriage, because he became king before such plans even took place. And considering that Vukan became ruler of whole Duklja and a half of Serbia, I don't see real reasons for discontent. On the example of his father it can be concluded that the succession was at least similar to the gavelkind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
https://books.google.ba/books/about/...8C&redir_esc=y
p. 213 and 223. The source isn't really good but this is one theory at least, we simply don't know more.
Fine cites the work from Istorija Crne Gore I (History of Montenegro, volume I), but this work in turns quotes nothing:
Click the image to open in full size.

It is just another baseless claim, so often employed in Yugoslav historiography.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
This only means that the Catepanate didn't last long, and it really didn't. 5 years at best before Samuilo took over. And theme of Syrmium did exist. John Skylitzes mentions a revolt by Stefan Vojislav in 1034 which was put down by Theophilos Erotikos "strategos of Serbia". Later the theme was often ruled by local nobles such as Ljutovit who styled himself strategos of Serbia and Zahumlje.
It is highly probable that Serbia fell under the rule of Samuel instantly in 976. As the ring is dated in 975, it could've meant that John was actually a "strategos" of Samuel. As for the themes, I'd provide a map from S. Ćirković, Srbi u srednjem veku, Beograd 1995, 30:
http://i.imgur.com/RvfeiNE.jpg

The sole existance of Ljutovid is disputable, as the charter where he's mentioned is a likely forgery (J. A. V. Fine, When Ethnicity Did Not Matter in the Balkans, Michigan 2009, 89-90).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
He was not Milutin or Dušan-type strong, but he was facing strong opposition. Byzantine Empire was getting revitalized by Alexios Komnenos and the fact that the Emperor had to intervene twice against Vukan shows that Vukan was an unruly vassal at best.
Being unruly vassal is pretty different than mighty hero who razes central Balkans and isn't afraid of anything.
Tsar is offline  
Old January 22nd, 2017, 06:38 AM   #9

Maki's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Republika Srpska
Posts: 1,474

Quote:
The only thing that is known about Zavida is his name (thanks to inscriptions in the Church of St Peter and Paul in Bijelo Polje and in the Miroslav Gospel). What is especially interesting is that he is mentioned both times only as Prince Miroslav's father - we don't even have direct evidence that he was Stefan Nemanja's father. Stefan Nemanja's son, Stefan, doesn't even mention the name of his own grandfather. Fine adopted the thesis of Jan Lesny. The other two hypotheses is that Zavida was son of Vukan (created by Ljubomir Kovačević) or his brother's son (Stanoje Stanojević)
Miroslav's gospel mentions Miroslav, son of Zavida.


Quote:
He has indeed built many churches, but so did his brothers. But he didn't contribute anything to the organization of the church, even less so to the autocephaly, so him being patron of churches cannot be seen in the context of creating the Serbian autocephalous hurch.
Nemanja's reputation was probably embellished by his successors, but his persecution of heretics and giving lands and building churches gave him a good reputation in the church.

Quote:
As for the Bogomilism, Sima Ćirković proved that the Church of Bosnia and her predecessor were not Bogomilist (Istorija srednjovekovne bosanske države, Beograd 1964).
One theory, but there was definitely something fishy about the Bosnian Church considering the fact that both Catholics and Orthodox considered it heretical.

Quote:
As for the sources, Stefan only mentions "three-times-cursed" heretics, an atribute used for the believers of Church of Bosnia in latter sources. As Stefan writes, Stefan Nemanja was approached by a noblewoman who was married to foreign heretic noble "according to marriage laws". She says that the noble "thought that our country (Serbia) is of the same faith". It leaves an impression that she was married to a nobleman whose faith was accepted in his own country. Judging by the political situation, the only country that would be acceptable at that period would be Bosnia. (Chapter VI)
Well, I disagree. I don't think it is ever implied that the noble was a foreigner, just a heretic. And it states that her husband was Nemanja's vassal.

Quote:
The other source for Stefan Nemanja, St Sava, doesn't mention this persecution at all. As for Domentian, I don't know to which passage are you referring to.
Domentijan mentions it in his own version of Nemanja's biography.


Quote:
Where is Basil I mentioned in the DAI? I know only of Heraclius. Since you know Medieval Greek, here's a part of the chapter 32:
Click the image to open in full size.
http://homepage.univie.ac.at/ilja.steffelbauer/DAI.pdf
Chapter 29


Quote:
As I've already said, keeping unruly vassals as hostages was not uncommon practice in both Serbia or Bulgaria. The whole narrative of "annexation" of Serbia is based on the DAI so there's no much point of listing Ćorović and Fine. There is no debate whether or not Serbia was under de facto rule of Symeon (for about one year) and Peter (for about six years), but it is highly unlikely that they ruled Serbia without Časlav as de jure ruler of Serbia. It is hard to find explanation as to why would he be kept in life so long. We know that Jovan Vladimir had died in Samuel's dungeon.
Časlav could have been simply held as a hostage. But he did not rule Serbia at that time. Also, you know that it is also described how Jovan Vladimir married Samuilo's daughter Kosara and was restored as ruler of Duklja.

Quote:
Ćorović, Fine and Ostrogorsky didn't pay enough attention to Hungary. We have enough data to conclude that there were no Hungarian raids between 933 and 943 (T. Živković, Portreti srpskih vladara ranog srednjeg veka. Od Vlastimira do Borića, Beograd 2006, 65-6). After that there was a huge Hungarian raid that must've went through Serbia and that went as far as to Thessaly and Thrace. As Časlav (I'm sticking to the "one Časlav hypothesis") died in the battle with Hungarians, this year is the most likely year of his death. If he was a "vassal" of Constantine VII, I doubt that he would skip to mention that.
Then why didn't Constantine mention his death in the DAI if he died in 943, which was before Constantine finished the DAI. We don't know in which exact battle Časlav died. Pop Dukljanin describes Časlav's final battle, in which Tihomir supposedly killed Kisa, a Magyar leader etc.


Quote:
It's not Ostrogorsky's book, it was a work of tens of byzantologists. As for the numbers, I must be under impression that the Byzantine military was laughable compared to the Achaemenid one, which sent 2.6 million soldiers, alongside the same number of supporting troops, to Thermopylae (Xerodotus VII, 186). All the historians of this period I've read say that the number is overestimated.
Well, Strategikon of Kekaumenos says that the Byzantines sent 40,000 men to fight Vojislav.

Quote:
I doubt that Mihailo could've influenced the region, after he was defeated in the 1072-1075 war (T. Živković, Dukljansko-vizantijski rat 1072-1075, Istorijski časopis 47 (2002), 45-47). But after 1075 it seems that he intensified contacts with the Normans and Venice, disregarding the fact that he became Byzantine "vassal" after war.
Yes, he was defeated and his son captured, but his country was not overrun. He kept his throne. Nikephoros Briennion didn't enter Duklja, and even advanced into areas around Dubrovnik. (Veselinović, Ljušić, Srpske dinastije)

Quote:
It is accurate, but the context is similar. Since 1198 Hungary led a big offensive in present-day Mačva, Šumadija, Braničevo and Južna Morava. Fearing that Hungary might attack him, Stefan asked Pope Innocent III to crown him as king. The pope responded favorably (A. Theiner, Vetera monumenta Slavorum meridionalium historiam (sacram), Typus Primus, Romae 1863), but the Hungarian king succeeded to prevent this from happening.
King of Hungary claimed Serbia. Stefan wanted to be crowned king to prevent Hungary from claiming Serbia. If the Pope granted him the title, it would at least in theory invalidate Hungarian claims.

Quote:
Even if we don't know, do you really think that Vukan had enough strength to oppose a man who crushed Duklja when even the legal ruler ruled it? Vukan could not have been influenced by Stefan's marriage, because he became king before such plans even took place. And considering that Vukan became ruler of whole Duklja and a half of Serbia, I don't see real reasons for discontent. On the example of his father it can be concluded that the succession was at least similar to the gavelkind.
Vukan was already calling himself king in 1195, given the inscription at the church of Kotor. (https://www.scribd.com/doc/123474499...aroda-knjiga-1, page 279). Stefan was already married to Eudokia Angelia when he took power in 1196, and the marriage was probably already arranged years prior, possibly even as early as 1186.

Quote:
Fine cites the work from Istorija Crne Gore I (History of Montenegro, volume I), but this work in turns quotes nothing:
Click the image to open in full size.

It is just another baseless claim, so often employed in Yugoslav historiography.
It is one theory. We don't know who Vukan's father was. So every theory could be correct.

Quote:
It is highly probable that Serbia fell under the rule of Samuel instantly in 976. As the ring is dated in 975, it could've meant that John was actually a "strategos" of Samuel. As for the themes, I'd provide a map from S. Ćirković, Srbi u srednjem veku, Beograd 1995, 30:
http://i.imgur.com/RvfeiNE.jpg
Catepanate was formed only in 971, after Boris II's abdication and lasted until 976.

Quote:
The sole existance of Ljutovid is disputable, as the charter where he's mentioned is a likely forgery (J. A. V. Fine, When Ethnicity Did Not Matter in the Balkans, Michigan 2009, 89-90).
It mentions Ljutovid's award of Babino Polje as a forgery. But Ljutovid is mentioned in 1039 by a charter proclaiming Ljutovid as "protospatharius epi tou Chrysotriklinou, hypatos, strategos" of Serbia and Zahumlje. (https://books.google.ba/books?id=2jJ...page&q&f=false, page 150, Stephenson 2003, pages 42-43)

Quote:
Being unruly vassal is pretty different than mighty hero who razes central Balkans and isn't afraid of anything.
I didn't claim that Vukan was the most powerful ruler of the Balkans, simply that he had some success against the Byzantines and forced the Emperor to personally intervene.
Maki is online now  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History

Tags
medieval, nemanjić, nemanjić, serbia



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Medieval Serbia and the house of Nemanjić ImperiumSerbonum Medieval and Byzantine History 126 January 9th, 2017 07:53 AM
Hello from Serbia! TwoHeadedRaptor New Users 1 November 11th, 2016 02:11 PM
Medieval Bosnia, Ragusa and Serbia Tsar Medieval and Byzantine History 17 March 12th, 2016 04:57 AM
Hello from Serbia Shpanac New Users 5 September 18th, 2014 02:47 PM
Hello from Serbia!!! vesic milan New Users 10 July 9th, 2008 12:56 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.