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Stefan Dečanski

Stefan Uroš III (Serbian Cyrillic:Стефан Урош III, pronounced ()), known as Stefan Dečanski (Serbian Cyrillic:Стефан Дечански, Serbian pronunciation: ; c. 1276 – 11 November 1331), was the King of Serbia from 6 January 1322 to 8 September 1331. Dečanski was the son of King Stefan Milutin (d. 1321). He defeated two other pretenders to the Serbian throne. Stefan is known as Dečanski after the great Monastery of Visoki Dečani he built.

Stefan Dečanski
The fresco of king Stefan Dečanski with church model, Dečani, Serbia
King of Serbia
Reign1322–1331
Coronation6 January 1322
PredecessorStefan Konstantin
SuccessorStefan Dušan
Bornc. 1276
Died11 November 1331(1331-11-11) (aged 55)
Castle of Zvečan
Burial
Spouse(unknown)
Theodora of Bulgaria
Maria Palaiologina
IssueStefan Uroš IV Dušan
Simeon Uroš
Jelena Nemanjić Šubić
Teodora-Evdokija
DynastyNemanjić
FatherStefan Milutin
MotherJelena
ReligionSerbian Orthodox

Contents

Stefan Uroš III was the son of King Stefan Uroš II Milutin and his first wife Jelena, a Serbian noblewoman. He was born before his father took the throne in 1282. While still a youth, he was sent by his father as a hostage with his entourage to Nogai Khan of the Golden Horde, to maintain the peace between the Serbs and Tatars. He stayed at Nogai's court until the Khan's death in 1299. By 1309, king Milutin appointed his son Stefan (future Dečanski) as governor of Zeta, where he remained until 1314.

In 1314, Dečanski quarreled with his father, who sent him to Constantinople to be blinded. Dečanski was never totally blinded and was likely not blinded at all. In Constantinople, Dečanski was at the court of Andronikos II Palaiologos, indicating good relations between the states. Dečanski wrote a letter to Danilo, 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, while his half-brother Stefan Konstantin, held Zeta.

Zvečan Fortress, where Stefan died

Milutin became ill and died on 29 October 1321, leaving no formal instruction regarding his inheritance. Konstantin was crowned King in Zeta, but civil war broke out immediately as both Dečanski and his cousin, Stefan Vladislav II, claimed the throne. Dečanski revealed that his eyesight was still intact, claiming a miracle, and the populace rallied behind him believing the restoration of his sight to be a sign from God. On 6 January 1322, the Archbishop of Serbia, Nicodemus, crowned Dečanski king and his son, Stefan Dušan, the young king. Dečanski later granted Zeta to Dušan as a fief, indicating his intention for Dušan to be his heir. According to one account, Dečanski offered to split the realm with Konstantin, who refused. Dečanski then invaded Zeta, and Konstantin was defeated and killed.

In the meantime, Vladislav II had been released from prison upon Milutin's death and recovered the throne of Syrmia, which his father had established in northern Serbia. Vladislav also claimed the throne of Serbia upon Milutin's death and mobilized local support from Rudnik, a former possession of Vladislav's father. Also supported by Hungarians, Bulgarians, and Bosnians, Vladislav consolidated control over Syrmia and prepared for battle with Dečanski.

In 1323, war broke out between Dečanski and Vladislav. In autumn, Vladislav still held Rudnik, but by the end of 1323, the market of Rudnik was held by officials of Dečanski, and Vladislav seems to have fled further north. Some of Vladislav's supporters from Rudnik, led by Ragusan merchant Menčet, took refuge in the nearby Ostrovica fortress, where they resisted Dečanski's troops. Dečanski sent envoys to Dubrovnik (Ragusa), to protest the support of Vladislav. Dubrovnik rejected Dečanski's complaint, claiming Ostrovica was held by Serbs. Dečanski was not satisfied, and in 1324 he rounded up all the Ragusan merchants he could find, confiscated their property, and held them captive. By year's end, Rudnik was restored to Dečanski, who released the merchants and returned their property. Vladislav was defeated in battle in late 1324, and fled to Hungary, that was holding Belgrade since 1319. Tensions between Dubrovnik and Serbia continued: in August 1325 Vojvoda Vojin plundered Dubrovnik, resulting in a brief trade ban. On 25 March 1326 Dečanski reaffirmed privileges previously granted to Ragusa by Milutin. Tensions began again, however, when Bosnia and Dubrovnik took actions against the Branivojevići.

Dečanski generally maintained an alliance with Andronikos II, aside from occasional disruptions. He avoided taking a position in the Byzantine civil war between Andronikos II and Andronikos III Palaiologos. Nevertheless, as Andronikos III gained control, he developed an alliance with Tsar Michael Asen III of Bulgaria. Michael Asen III divorced Dečanski's sister Anna and married the Byzantine princess Theodora Palaiologina instead. The allies intended to join forces for a major invasion of Serbia in 1330. In the most significant event of Dečanski's reign, he defeated and killed Michael Asen III in the Battle of Velbazhd (1330). Prince Stefan Dušan also contributed to the victory.

Hearing of Michael's defeat, Andronikos III retreated. Dečanski's subsequent conquests pushed the Serbian border south into Byzantine Macedonia. Some of his courtiers, however, were discontented with his policies and conspired to dethrone him in favour of Stefan Dušan. In 1331, Dušan came from Skadar to Nerodimlje to overthrow Dečanski, who fled to Petrič. On 21 August 1331 Dušan captured Petrič after a siege and imprisoned his father in Zvečan Fortress, where he was strangled to death on 11 November 1331.

Stefan Dečanski with his son Stefan Dušan (lower left corner) on the icon of St. Nicholas in the Basilica di San Nicola, Bari, Italy

Dečanski was married to an unnamed wife. They had no issue.

By his second wife, Theodora of Bulgaria, Stefan Dečanski had:

  • Stefan Uroš IV Dušan, who overthrew him and took royal title, and
  • Dušica (or Dušman), who died before 1318.

By his third wife, Maria Palaiologina, daughter of John Palaiologos, Dečanski had:

Dečanski is seen as a noble character in epic poetry, and the Serbian Orthodox Church had him canonized; his feast day is 11 November (old style), thus being 24 November (new style). His remains are venerated at the church of the Visoki Dečani monastery, which he built, in the region of Metohija.

  1. Dvornik 1962, p. 111.
  2. Fine 1994, p. 221, 252, 264-270.
  3. Ćirković 2004, p. 61-63.
  4. Curta 2019, p. 670.
  5. Fine 1994, p. 221.
  6. Jireček 1911, p. 336, 348.
  7. Fine 1994, p. 221, 259.
  8. Fine 1994, p. 260, 263.
  9. Fine 1994, p. 260.
  10. Fine 1994, p. 262.
  11. Fine 1994, p. 263.
  12. Krstić 2016, p. 33–51.
  13. Fine 1994, p. 264.
  14. Fine 1994, p. 263-264.
  15. Fine 1994, p. 265.
  16. Kalić 2014, p. 78.
  17. Ivanović & Isailović 2015, p. 377.
  18. Fine 1994, p. 270.
  19. Fine 1994, p. 271.
  20. Fine 1994, p. 271-272.
  21. Ćirković 2004, p. 62-63.
  22. Bataković 2005, p. 36.
  23. Fine 1994, p. 273.
  24. Sedlar 1994, p. 53.
  25. Nicol 1984, p. 254.
  26. Thomson 1993, p. 129.
  27. Mileusnić 1998, p. 60.
  28. Todić & Čanak-Medić 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related toStefan Uroš III Dečanski of Serbia.
Stefan Dečanski
Born: 1285 Died: 11 November 1331
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Prince of Zeta
1309–1314
Succeeded by
Preceded by
King of Serbia
1322–1331
Succeeded by

Stefan Dečanski
Stefan Decanski Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Stefan Uros III Stefan Uros III Serbian Cyrillic Stefan Urosh III pronounced stɛ faːn urɔʃ trɛ tɕiː listen known as Stefan Decanski Serbian Cyrillic Stefan Dechanski Serbian pronunciation stɛ faːn dɛ tʃaːnskiː c 1276 11 November 1331 was the King of Serbia from 6 January 1322 to 8 September 1331 Decanski was the son of King Stefan Milutin d 1321 He defeated two other pretenders to the Serbian throne Stefan is known as Decanski after the great Monastery of Visoki Decani he built 1 2 3 4 Stefan DecanskiThe fresco of king Stefan Decanski with church model Decani SerbiaKing of SerbiaReign1322 1331Coronation6 January 1322PredecessorStefan KonstantinSuccessorStefan DusanBornc 1276Died11 November 1331 1331 11 11 aged 55 Castle of ZvecanBurialVisoki Decani monasterySpouse unknown Theodora of Bulgaria Maria PalaiologinaIssueStefan Uros IV Dusan Simeon Uros Jelena Nemanjic Subic Teodora EvdokijaDynastyNemanjicFatherStefan MilutinMotherJelenaReligionSerbian Orthodox Contents 1 Early life 2 Exile and return 3 Reign 4 Family 5 Legacy 6 See also 7 References 8 Sources 9 External linksEarly life EditStefan Uros III was the son of King Stefan Uros II Milutin and his first wife Jelena a Serbian noblewoman He was born before his father took the throne in 1282 While still a youth he was sent by his father as a hostage with his entourage to Nogai Khan of the Golden Horde to maintain the peace between the Serbs and Tatars He stayed at Nogai s court until the Khan s death in 1299 5 By 1309 king Milutin appointed his son Stefan future Decanski as governor of Zeta where he remained until 1314 6 7 Exile and return EditIn 1314 Decanski quarreled with his father who sent him to Constantinople to be blinded Decanski was never totally blinded and was likely not blinded at all 8 In Constantinople Decanski was at the court of Andronikos II Palaiologos indicating good relations between the states 9 Decanski wrote a letter to Danilo Bishop of Hum asking him to intervene with his father 10 Danilo wrote to Archbishop Nicodemus of Serbia who spoke with Milutin and persuaded him to recall his son In 1320 Decanski was permitted to return to Serbia and was given the appanage of Budimlje 10 while his half brother Stefan Konstantin held Zeta 11 Reign Edit Zvecan Fortress where Stefan died Milutin became ill and died on 29 October 1321 leaving no formal instruction regarding his inheritance 10 Konstantin was crowned King in Zeta but civil war broke out immediately as both Decanski and his cousin Stefan Vladislav II claimed the throne 12 Decanski revealed that his eyesight was still intact claiming a miracle and the populace rallied behind him believing the restoration of his sight to be a sign from God 11 On 6 January 1322 the Archbishop of Serbia Nicodemus crowned Decanski king and his son Stefan Dusan the young king 11 Decanski later granted Zeta to Dusan as a fief indicating his intention for Dusan to be his heir 13 According to one account Decanski offered to split the realm with Konstantin who refused 14 Decanski then invaded Zeta and Konstantin was defeated and killed 13 Visoki Decani monastery today a World Heritage Site In the meantime Vladislav II had been released from prison upon Milutin s death and recovered the throne of Syrmia which his father had established in northern Serbia Vladislav also claimed the throne of Serbia upon Milutin s death and mobilized local support from Rudnik a former possession of Vladislav s father 13 Also supported by Hungarians Bulgarians and Bosnians Vladislav consolidated control over Syrmia and prepared for battle with Decanski 13 In 1323 war broke out between Decanski and Vladislav In autumn Vladislav still held Rudnik but by the end of 1323 the market of Rudnik was held by officials of Decanski and Vladislav seems to have fled further north 13 Some of Vladislav s supporters from Rudnik led by Ragusan merchant Mencet took refuge in the nearby Ostrovica fortress where they resisted Decanski s troops 13 Decanski sent envoys to Dubrovnik Ragusa to protest the support of Vladislav 13 Dubrovnik rejected Decanski s complaint claiming Ostrovica was held by Serbs 13 Decanski was not satisfied and in 1324 he rounded up all the Ragusan merchants he could find confiscated their property and held them captive 13 By year s end Rudnik was restored to Decanski who released the merchants and returned their property 13 Vladislav was defeated in battle in late 1324 and fled to Hungary 15 12 that was holding Belgrade since 1319 16 17 Tensions between Dubrovnik and Serbia continued in August 1325 Vojvoda Vojin plundered Dubrovnik resulting in a brief trade ban 13 On 25 March 1326 Decanski reaffirmed privileges previously granted to Ragusa by Milutin 13 Tensions began again however when Bosnia and Dubrovnik took actions against the Branivojevici 13 Decanski generally maintained an alliance with Andronikos II aside from occasional disruptions 18 He avoided taking a position in the Byzantine civil war between Andronikos II and Andronikos III Palaiologos Nevertheless as Andronikos III gained control he developed an alliance with Tsar Michael Asen III of Bulgaria 19 Michael Asen III divorced Decanski s sister Anna and married the Byzantine princess Theodora Palaiologina instead The allies intended to join forces for a major invasion of Serbia in 1330 In the most significant event of Decanski s reign he defeated and killed Michael Asen III in the Battle of Velbazhd 1330 Prince Stefan Dusan also contributed to the victory 20 21 22 Hearing of Michael s defeat Andronikos III retreated Decanski s subsequent conquests pushed the Serbian border south into Byzantine Macedonia Some of his courtiers however were discontented with his policies and conspired to dethrone him in favour of Stefan Dusan In 1331 Dusan came from Skadar to Nerodimlje to overthrow Decanski who fled to Petric 23 On 21 August 1331 Dusan captured Petric after a siege and imprisoned his father in Zvecan Fortress where he was strangled to death on 11 November 1331 24 Family Edit Stefan Decanski with his son Stefan Dusan lower left corner on the icon of St Nicholas in the Basilica di San Nicola Bari Italy Decanski was married to an unnamed wife 25 They had no issue 25 By his second wife Theodora of Bulgaria 25 Stefan Decanski had Stefan Uros IV Dusan 25 who overthrew him and took royal title and Dusica or Dusman who died before 1318 By his third wife Maria Palaiologina 25 daughter of John Palaiologos Decanski had Simeon 25 later tried to usurp imperial title from his nephew and ruled as independent ruler in Thessaly Jelena who married Mladen III Subic and Teodora who married Dejan Legacy EditDecanski is seen as a noble character in epic poetry and the Serbian Orthodox Church had him canonized his feast day is 11 November old style thus being 24 November new style 26 His remains are venerated at the church of the Visoki Decani monastery which he built in the region of Metohija 27 28 See also EditNemanjic family tree History of SerbiaReferences Edit Dvornik 1962 p 111 Fine 1994 p 221 252 264 270 Cirkovic 2004 p 61 63 Curta 2019 p 670 Fine 1994 p 221 Jirecek 1911 p 336 348 Fine 1994 p 221 259 Fine 1994 p 260 263 Fine 1994 p 260 a b c Fine 1994 p 262 a b c Fine 1994 p 263 a b Krstic 2016 p 33 51 a b c d e f g h i j k l m Fine 1994 p 264 Fine 1994 p 263 264 Fine 1994 p 265 Kalic 2014 p 78 Ivanovic amp Isailovic 2015 p 377 Fine 1994 p 270 Fine 1994 p 271 Fine 1994 p 271 272 Cirkovic 2004 p 62 63 Batakovic 2005 p 36 Fine 1994 p 273 Sedlar 1994 p 53 a b c d e f Nicol 1984 p 254 Thomson 1993 p 129 Mileusnic 1998 p 60 Todic amp Canak Medic 2013 Sources EditBatakovic Dusan T ed 2005 Histoire du peuple serbe History of the Serbian People in French Lausanne L Age d Homme ISBN 9782825119587 Cirkovic Sima 2004 The Serbs Malden Blackwell Publishing ISBN 9781405142915 Curta Florin 2019 Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages 500 1300 Leiden and Boston Brill ISBN 9789004395190 Dvornik Francis 1962 The Slavs in European History and Civilization New Brunswick Rutgers University Press ISBN 9780813507996 Fine John Van Antwerp Jr 1994 1987 The Late Medieval Balkans A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest Ann Arbor Michigan University of Michigan Press ISBN 0472082604 Isailovic Neven 2016 Living by the Border South Slavic Marcher Lords in the Late Medieval Balkans 13th 15th Centuries Banatica 26 2 105 117 Ivanovic Milos Isailovic Neven 2015 The Danube in Serbian Hungarian Relations in the 14th and 15th Centuries Tibiscvm Istorie Arheologie 5 377 393 Ivanovic Milos 2019 Serbian Hagiographies on the Warfare and Political Struggles of the Nemanjic Dynasty from the Twelfth to Fourteenth Century Reform and Renewal in Medieval East and Central Europe Politics Law and Society Cluj Napoca Romanian Academy Center for Transylvanian Studies pp 103 129 Jirecek Constantin 1911 Geschichte der Serben 1 Gotha Perthes Jirecek Constantin 1918 Geschichte der Serben 2 Gotha Perthes Kalic Jovanka 2014 A Millennium of Belgrade Sixth Sixteenth Centuries A Short Overview PDF Balcanica 45 71 96 doi 10 2298 BALC1445071K Krstic Aleksandar R 2016 The Rival and the Vassal of Charles Robert of Anjou King Vladislav II Nemanjic Banatica 26 2 33 51 Mileusnic Slobodan 1998 Medieval Monasteries of Serbia 4th ed Novi Sad Prometej ISBN 9788676393701 Miller William 1923 The Balkan States I The Zenith of Bulgaria and Serbia 1186 1355 The Cambridge Medieval History 4 Cambridge University Press pp 517 551 Nicol Donald M 1984 1957 The Despotate of Epiros 1267 1479 A Contribution to the History of Greece in the Middle Ages 2 expanded ed Cambridge University Press ISBN 9780521261906 Nicol Donald M 1993 1972 The Last Centuries of Byzantium 1261 1453 Cambridge Cambridge University Press ISBN 9780521439916 Ostrogorsky George 1956 History of the Byzantine State Oxford Basil Blackwell Sedlar Jean W 1994 East Central Europe in the Middle Ages 1000 1500 Seattle University of Washington Press ISBN 9780295800646 Thomson Francis J 1993 Archbishop Daniel II of Serbia Hierarch Hagiographer Saint With Some Comments on the Vitae regum et archiepiscoporum Serbiae and the Cults of Mediaeval Serbian Saints Analecta Bollandiana 111 1 2 103 134 doi 10 1484 J ABOL 4 03279 Todic Branislav Canak Medic Milka 2013 The Decani Monastery Belgrade Museum in Pristina ISBN 9788651916536 Uzelac Aleksandar B 2015 Foreign Soldiers in the Nemanjic State A Critical Overview Belgrade Historical Review 6 69 89 External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Stefan Uros III Decanski of Serbia Cawley Charles Medieval Lands Project Serbia Medieval Lands database Foundation for Medieval GenealogyStefan DecanskiNemanjic dynastyBorn 1285 Died 11 November 1331Regnal titlesPreceded by Helen of Anjou Prince of Zeta 1309 1314 Succeeded by Stefan KonstantinPreceded by Stefan Konstantin King of Serbia 1322 1331 Succeeded by Stefan Dusan Retrieved from 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