The history of Slavs in general, and their southern branch in particular, is largely clouded in mystery until the dawn of the Middle Ages - specifically, the early 6th century A.D. - and partially obscure for yet some centuries thereafter. Incidentally, it was the Slavic tribes later labeled as Southern - and presumably the ancestors of today's Serbs and Croats - that have, by leaving an earlier collective homeland (generally assumed to be somewhere between today's southwest Ukraine and eastern Poland), actually precipitated this change. By moving south, during the great Eurasian peoples migrations, over the Carpathian mountain range and into the lower Danube region, they finally came into direct contact with the Greco-Roman Christian Empire - the leading Euromediterranean civilization of its day, which left us numerous lasting records of these historical events.

To be sure, even in earlier times there are occasional references in ancient chronicles - starting with "the father of history" Herodotos (5th c. B.C.) - of various peoples at the edge of the "known world" or beyond, thought to be inhabiting areas between the Black and Baltic seas, and possibly representing or related to Slavs; but these accounts are usually vague or legendary, and typically use tribal denominations (e.g. Scythians and Sarmatians) very loosely. It is thus only in the 6th c. histories of Procopius and his immediate successors, that Slavs emerge with that name and a definite historical identity.

Indeed, studying these writers at times reveals fascinating facts about Slavs and their traits - some favorable and others less so, and many apparently persistent even to this day. For example, Procopius states how "these tribes are not ruled by one man, but from ancient times they live in democracy", and that they have public gatherings to decide on policy. They were not savage in any way, he describes, and did not keep prisoners long in slavery - preferring to either return them quickly home for ransom, or let them live freely amongst themselves. Emperor Maurice, on the other hand, in his famed military manualStrategikon, says how "they differ in opinion, so they either disagree, or even if they can agree, many soon breach the agreement, as they are all zealously against each other and unwilling to yield to others." Their love for freedom has been often noted - as in the legendary sarcasm in reply to the Avar khagan's envoys: "Who is the man under this sun that might make us bow or succumb?" - yet paradoxically, this was also a key factor in precluding them from organizing a state or other structure capable of securing resistance and collective interests.

And so, having crossed the Danube-Sava frontier, they had entered the Byzantine Balkans for good. In the early 500s these crossings were more in the form of raids and thus temporary, but towards the end of the century the settling of various tribes becomes permanent. Ironically again, the lack of organizational structure proved to be also an advantage in the wars with the Byzantines, as there was no single tribe or leader to defeat, bribe or sign treaties with, to any lasting effect. This period is also marked with the initial incursions of the Asiatic warrior Avar tribe, interspersed with later Slavic ones; and indeed, here we see successive waves of arrivals, rather than just a single one. Thus, the main characteristics of this initial stage of South Slavic historical presence could be summarized as: permanent colonization of the Balkans, all the way to the Peloponnesus; loose tribal organization; often a subordinate position to the Avars; and shifting relations with the dwindling but still present Byzantine authority.

Early sources mention a formidable list of individual tribal names when referring to the arriving and settled South Slavs. Many of these seem obscure today, and many yet were merely based on the settled locale. However, some appear to predate the migrations; the most notable of these are those of Serbs and Croats, which over time were to encompass virtually all of the rest. The etymology of these names remains controversial; it is often claimed that they are not of Slavic, but Iranian origin, thus suggesting the hypothesis of the existence of separate Iranian tribes of these names, which in pre-migration times were pushed eastward into blending with the Slavs. Unfortunately, the first accounts that reliably mention these two names are only from the 10th c. AD on, and are often based on oral traditions of events long passed. The two key sources are De administrando imperio of emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos, and the mid-12th c.Chronicle of the Priest of Dioclea.

According to Porphyrogenitos, Serbs originally used to live in what was called White Serbia (neighboring White Croatia) in present-day Poland; then, in the early 7th century, half the population migrated to the Balkans under the leadership of two brothers. There, after some indecision, they accepted emperor Heraclius' invitation to settle in a broad area of the central peninsula, called "Baptized Serbia" - probably in reference to early attempts to convert them to Christianity.

Early on, Serbs created several loose state entities: the region of Neretva (Pagania) between rivers Neretva and Cetina, with the islands of Brac (pr. brahch) and Korcula (KOR-chu-la); Zahumlje (ZAH-hoom-lye), between Neretva and Dubrovnik, with the island of Mljet (pr. mlyet); Travunija (trah-VOO-nee-ya; related to the town name Trebinje) and Konavle between Dubrovnik and Boka Kotorska Bay; Duklja (DOO-klya; later called Zeta, then finally Montenegro), between Boka and river Bojana (BO-ya-na); further inland, Raska (RAH-shka) and later Bosnia (between the rivers Drina and Bosna).

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The first Serbian dynasts are legendary and known purely by name - Viseslav, succeeded by Radoslav, then Prosigoj and finally his great-grandson Vlastimir, whom we have more facts on. Until the times of Vlastimir, who ruled in the central part of "Baptized Serbia" with the title of "grand zupan" (ZHOO-pan) - a hereditary prince recognized as chief among other zupans - Serbs lived under nominal suzerainty of the Byzantine state, and generally in good terms with their Bulgarian neighbors to the east.

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A great-grandson of prince Vlastimir, Caslav was born and raised in the Bulgarian capital Preslav, at the court of tsar Symeon. Sharing the fate of numerous medieval princes and throne pretenders, his grandfather was exiled there following dynastic struggles upon Vlastimir's death, and his father in turn made a fatal bid for the Serbian throne in the 890s.

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The disintegration of Caslav's Serbia precipitated the rise of other Serbian principalities, most notably that of Duklja. This slavicized name comes from the ancient designation for a town (outside today's Podgorica) and part of the southern Adriatic and littoral - Dioclea. The region is to be called Zeta from the late 11th c., and eventually, since the late 15th c. - Montenegro ("Crna Gora" in Serbian).

Jovan (John) Vladimir appears during the protracted war between Byzantium and tsar Samuilo - the heir to the Bulgarian empire. In a situation reminiscent of earlier Serbian rulers, he is pressed by Bulgarian expansion, while being courted by the Byzantine emperor. Here Samuilo prevailed, taking Vladimir prisoner. His fate in captivity is the subject of one of the most romantic tales of early Serbian literature - the story of Vladimir and Kosara, an oral tradition reported in the 12th c. Chronicles of the Priest of Dioclea. The tale tells how Samuilo's daughter fell in love with the handsome captive, and begged her father for his hand. He obliged, returning to his new son-in-law Duklja and adjoining Trebinje. Thereafter, Vladimir apparently ruled in peace, evading involvement in the major conflict that culminated with Samuilo's defeat by the Byzantines in 1014. During that time, Slavic Macedonian literacy and other ecclesiastic influences of the Ohrid patriarchate spread through his realm.

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Having reached its pinnacle during the long reign of emperor Basil II, the Byzantine empire enters, following his death in 1025, a steady decline that is shortly to become evident - and specifically so in the Balkans. There, the elimination of the perennial Bulgarian threat, combined with insensitive taxation policy reversals, helped spur liberation movements. Around 1035, Stefan Vojislav asserted full independence for Duklja. At first defeated and taken prisoner to Constantinople, with his realm annexed, he managed to escape, return and rekindle the struggle.

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initially with four brothers; assumes title of King

The first Serbian king, under whom Duklja was the first Serbian state to achieve more widespread international recognition. Originally, Mihailo (Michael) appeared to have shared power (or perhaps been "the first among equals") with his four brothers. An early threat by a breakaway rebellion in Trebinje was faced by coordinated action of the brothers, and the agreement that bound them in so doing, brokered by their mother, is perhaps the oldest known treaty in Serbian history.

While in no imminent danger from that side, Mihailo found it favorable to further strengthen ties with Byzantium around 1052, gaining a patrician title and marriage to a Greek princess in the process. This might have implied titular recognition of Constantinople's authority, but no real concessions on his part. It corresponded to the current balance of forces, and bought some 20 years of peace and prosperity to his land.

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Certainly one of the more colorful medieval Balkan historical figures - though described by some chroniclers as a "very belligerent and rather sinister" man - Bodin first appears during the 1072 anti-Byzantine Slavic rebellion in Macedonia. Hailed by the rebels as the new Bulgarian tsar Petar until their defeat, he was captured and imprisoned, only to be eventually rescued by his father around 1078.

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first with brothers Miroslav and Stracimir

simeon_icon.jpeg Nemanja (pr. NE-ma-nya; arguably related to 'Nehemiah') was born in Podgorica (POD-go-ree-tsa; modern capital of Montenegro), sometime after 1113. Although his early years are somewhaat obscure - even his year of birth and the actual identity of his father Zavida are both widely disputed - Nemanja nonetheless appears to have been at least indirectly related to the Raskan ruling family. Yet, the state institutions and subsequent spiritual legacy established by him and his sons marked such a break with earlier practices, that these (probably more so than uncertainties of his lineage) marked him as a founder of a brand new dynasty - indeed, one that was to become virtually synonymous with the glory of medieval Serbia.

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assumes title King in 1217

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As the founder of the Nemanjic dynasty retired to a life of spirituality and reflection, the challenging task of continuing his work fell on his hand-picked successor and middle son, Stefan Nemanjic. Navigating through the often troubled political waters of early 13th century southeastern Europe, Stefan managed during his reign of over 30 years to claim considerable accomplishments, having elevated the state to an internationally recognized and independent kingdom, and the church to an autocephalous archbishopric. However, the reign and deeds of Stefan are also intextricably tied to the name of St. Sava; indeed, the twin state-church achievements of this period the result of complementary statesmanship of the two brothers.

Early during Stefan's rule, the international context appeared favorable, as relations with the hitherto main threat - the Byzantine state - were cordial. Solidified by the grand zupan's marriage to emperor Alexios III's daughter, the former's prestige was further boosted by an unprecedented granting to a foreigner of the high Byzantine title of sebastocrator. But the venerable splendor of the Constantinopolitan court could not mask its decay, and this became painfully evident following its sack by Venetian-sponsored Latin Crusaders (1204). Stefan's problems began even earlier, emanating mainly from Hungary's expansionism, and its overt support for a rebellion by his seemingly disgruntled elder brother Vukan (1202). Having dislodged Stefan as legitimate zupan, Vukan ruled under Hungarian suzerainty for a couple of years, but by 1205, with Bulgarian help, Stefan managed to regain the throne, relegating his brother to his traditional Zeta appanage.

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urosi_icon.jpgThe third son of Stefan Prvovencani in a row to take the Serbian throne, Uros I (pr. OO-rosh) appeared to have been the ablest of them all, and in eny event - his rule was longer, more stable and ultimately more prosperous than those of his elder brothers Radoslav and Vladislav combined. For one thing, he led a more independent foreign policy than the two, who were forced (or chose) to exercise policies that relied heavily on their Epeirote Greek and Bulgarian neighbors, respectively. To be sure, the regional and international situation had objectively changed as well, as Uros I acceded to the throne in the wake the Tatar invasions; their devastation affected all of southeastern Europe, but was more pronounced in Hungary and (in particular) Bulgaria.

Foreign conflagrations during this rather long reign were mostly limited to those with Dubrovnik over the littoral Hum area and its surroundings during the early 1250s, and with Hungarians over the northwestern province of Macva in 1268; none of them resulted in significant changes. As a result, Uros was free to concentrate on issues of internal policy and state prosperity, which he ably proceeded to do. Economic growth was obvious, and a direct result of the renewed exploitation of rich mines (silver and gold, but also iron, copper and lead), and the trade activity and monetary economy that followed it. Specifically, the operation of the earliest mines of Brskovo (near present-day Kolasin in Montenegro) and Rudnik in central Serbia (Sumadija) is relatively well documented, and these were also the sites from which the first standard minting of silver coinage (originally after the Venetian monetary system) commenced. The mining settlements and marketplaces became veritable townships, changing the rural landscape of some Serbian areas. Saxon miners, Ragusan traders and other distinct ethno-economic groups with specific roles in this process were stimulated by appropriate privileges.

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after abdication King of Northern Serbia and Srem to 1316

dragutin_icon.jpgA pious and honest man according to his biographers, Stefan Dragutin (pr. drah-GOO-tin) was always troubled by the shady circumstances surrounding his assumption of power from his father. Consequently he took a broken leg in a hunting accident six years later as a divine warning and serious bad omen, which coupled with some other factors, led to the council at Dezevo and his effective abdication in favor of younger brother Milutin (1282). However, Dragutin did not disappear from the political scene, having retained appanages from both Hungarian and Serbian lands in the northwestern part of the state, which included Macva, Srem and the strategic city of Belgrade, parts of eastern Bosnia and Sumadija, and other areas further south.

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milut_icon.jpeg The long reign of one of the most illustrious and powerful medieval Serbian figures - the "Holy King Uros", (Milutin by given vernacular name; pr. mee-LOO-tin) - marked the elevation of Serbia to a dominant Balkan position, and saw cultural and economic prosperity and advances along many lines.

The first 17 years or so of the new king's rule witnessed considerable international activity - through much warfare and some diplomacy - most of it south and east against the ailing Byzantine state, some against decentralized Bulgarian interests in the northeast. Much of that was brought to a close with the Serbo-Byzantine peace treaty of 1299, which recognized the new realities of Serb expansion into the mostly South Slavic ethnic space in Macedonia. The agreement was sealed by a high-level royal marriage between the king and emperor Andronikos' minor daughter Simonida (Simonis), and assured a generally cordial relationship between the two courts for the rest of Milutin's reign. Helplessly caught in the middle of court diplomacy was the unhappy young princess; her unlikely moral vindication ultimately came through her fine portrait, well preserved and juxtaposed to the much older king at Gracanica monastery: her firm forceful gaze, having mostly defied visible Ottoman attempts at vandalism and eradication, remained for generations a famous reminder and symbol - as much of defiance as the transcendental triumph of real values over time.

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decanski_icon.jpgSqueezed between the long reigns of his father and son is the important 10-year rule of Stefan Decanski (pr. DE-chan-ski) - a tragic but significant figure of the Nemanjic dynasty. Sent at an early age by his father as a hostage ensuring Tatar neutrality, he managed an escape much later and was granted a traditional appanage in Zeta. Despite his father Milutin's long reign, succession issues were left murky for a long time, exacerbated by the fact that Milutin himself was technically perhaps just a regent for his elder brother, and had at least two male heirs from his four wives. Forced to rebel against his father by an aggressive nobility in 1314, Stefan was defeated, blinded and exiled, to be pardoned and returned only towards the end of Milutin's rule, in 1320. His father's sudden illness and death the next year triggerred the predictable dynastic struggle. But Stefan - his eyesight having been restored, tradition has it, by the miraculous intervention of St. Nicholas - came out assertive and victorious, after a three-year fight.

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Stefan Dusan (pr. DOO-shan) can be considered the most important conqueror and statesman in Serbian medieval history, but his character, due to limited evidence, is still relatively unknown for reign of a quarter-century and such stature. The medieval Serbian state reached its zenith during his rule.

Oddly, although his military prowess was well-known from the battle of Velbuzd where he skillfully commanded mercenary archers instrumental to the victory of his father's army, his vast expansion at the Byzantine expense was accomplished without major warfare or open-field battles; rather, it appears more as an opportunistic - or wise - exploitation of circumstances that were in his favor. However, once in charge of these new territories, Dusan acted with a sense of responsibility and organization; this ambitious undertaking was ultimately undermined by his premature death.

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uros5_icon.jpgEmperor Uros (pr. OO-rosh) was forced to take the Serbian throne at the age of 18, following his father's unexpected death. Known in the epic tradition as Uros "the Weak", he was not capable of keeping his father's empire intact. The powerful landlords and magnates, enjoying their growing independence, were unwilling - or unable - to find guidance and cohesion in Dusan's heir. Dusan's half-brother Simeon (Sinisa) was the first to assert independence from the emperor in Epirus and Albania. His secessionist aspirations northward were checked in 1358, but centrifugal forces persisted elsewhere. Serbian nobility still loyal to the emperor considered themselves the masters of their territories and often styled themselves as his "allies and friends".

Regional lords, in fact, behaved like rulers on a small scale - they minted money and exacted tolls, depriving the emperor and central government of his rights and revenues. Many monastic estates were abandoned, and we are told that merchants setting out for Serbia frequently turned back. Emperor Uros was ultimately forced to divide his power with the most powerful among the Serbian noblemen - Vukasin Mrnjavcevic, the master of northern and eastern Macedonia - giving him the title of king and the rights of a co-ruler in 1365. While the fact that Uros was childless (eldest sons being the traditional junior rulers in the Nemanjic monarchy), coupled with political necessities, probably mandated the selection of a ruling colleague and heir apparent, 1365 in some sense marks a precedent and an end to the Nemanjic empire as traditionally understood until then. Nevertheless, during the latter part of Uros' reign the core of the state was nominally still there, though truncated by the loss of southernmost Greek areas (most of Albania, Epirus and Thessally); it contained the central Serbian core under direct rule of Uros, western nobles (Zeta and beyond), and the south-east areas (Macedonia and Serres), the latter two nominally loyal to the central government.

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The isolated and mountaneous Dinaric region of Bosnia emerges in the 12th century as a sort of "no-man's land", intermittently claimed by Hungarian and Byzantine rulers, but populated chiefly by Serbo-Croatian stock and administered by a relatively independent local nobility, the most prominent of which held the title of "ban". Some more information comes from the turn of the 12th century and time of ban Kulin, in the context of his resistance to political and ecclesiastic pressures from Vatican and Hungary, and cordial relations with the Dubrovnik Republic; but data remains scarce for the next century, though the political pattern appears simliar.

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assumes title King Stefan in 1391

The relative strength and coherence that Bosnia had achieved under ban Stjepan II Kotromanic (1314 - 1353) at first did not survive him. The following two decades of the rule of his teenage nephew and successor, Tvrtko I, were marked by typical strong hostility from wayward feudal lords and an emboldened Hungarian neighbor. The previous benevolence of the Hungarian king Lajosz (Louis) gave way to political pressures, including papal treaths against the "heretic" Bosnian Church. As a result, Tvrtko had to accept considerable territorial losses and Hungarian overlordship in 1357. Over the next decade, his dealings with powerful northen suzerain were of mixed nature - they included a 1363 attack by two Lajosz' armies, which the ban managed to repulse, and a 1366-7 revolt of Bosnian feudal lords under Tvrtko's brother Vuk that saw the ban flee to Lajosz for safety - only to return victorious the following year. By the early 1370s, his reign restored and relatively stabilized, Tvrtko turned his eyes eastward, where the disintegration of the Serbian empire was unfolding.

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with title of King

vukas_psac.jpg A relatively important but shadowy figure from the twilight of the Serbian empire, Vukasin's (pr. voo-KAH-sheen) traditional reputation is tarnished, both in ecclesiastic and oral sources. However, more recent scholarship has shed some positive light on the life and careers of both him and his younger brother, despot Jovan Ugljesa (pr. OO-glye-sha). Their origins are obscure, though by some accounts they came from a modest family in the Hum-Trebinje region, and were forced to emigrate to central Serbia following border altercations with Bosnian nobles. From about 1350 we can witness Vukasin's rise through several imperial offices (ranks), until the well-known 1365 promotion of him to king, and Ugljesa to despot. Though not an act of usurpation - apparently having been initiated by the still childless czar Uros himself - this elevation is often taken as the turning point which eliminated the tennets of the old Nemanjic state. But serious problems had existed already before that, and more were to come. To be sure, evidence indicates the new king took upon himself prerogatives surpassing those appropriate for the emperor's "junior colleague" - for example, minting money and issuing international charters with no reference to Uros - but there were ample precedents for this in Byzantine court history, and ultimately it might have been motivated by the noble goal of filling a power vacuum at a point of looming anarchy.

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assumes royal name Stefan

lazar_icon.jpg The name and deeds of Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic are inextricably tied to the Kosovo legend - in many ways the cornerstone of continuous Serbian national consciousness as it has developed from the late Middle Ages to date. Far more than just popular folklore, this complex of relevant history, ecclesiastic generalization, epic embelishment and poetic expression, to this day rings fresh with moral fortitude and spiritual depth, having profoundly inspired even European greats like Goete, Jacob Grimm and Pushkin along the line.

Lazar came from a family of petty nobles, and his father served diligently on Dusan's court, having held several offices of medium importance. This opened the doors for his son, who held the court office of "stavilac" under both emperors, and by some accounts, may have been elevated to the statewide post of "prince" (possibly even "grand prince") around 1363.

Having retired from government service to his fiefdom around the Morava river basin early in the fateful year of 1371, Lazar was biding his time. Soon, however - through a combination of diplomacy, military action and family alliances - he was able to establish himself as the preeminent among the Serbian nobles. In that sense, even at this early stage, he gave the impression of an able and farsighted statesman, albeit one fighting against increasingly difficult odds.

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assumes title Despot

stefan_icon.jpg Following the Kosovo battle where Prince Lazar had perished, his son Stefan, still a minor, inherited rule over Serbia. After a Hungarian raid on Serbia in late 1389, his mother, acting as regent on his behalf, accepted a vassal relationship with the Turks. In that capacity Stefan later diligently fought at Rovine (1395) against the prince of Wallachia Mircea, and at Nikopolis (1396) against the Crusaders, and the sultan - now his brother-in-law - duly rewarded him for these services with Vuk Brankovic's possessions. With him Stefan was later also in the famous Battle of Angora (1402), where the Turks were defeated by the Mongols under Tamerlane, and Bayezid himself captured, despite Stefan's valiant attempts to save his lord. Returning from Asia Minor he visited Constantinople where he received the title of Despot from the Byzantine emperor John VII. This marks the end of the initial period of disintegration of Serbian state institutions following czar Dusan's death and the begining of a recovery - now precipitated by the Ottoman Angora debacle - which, although ultimately temporary, would prove to be of great significance.

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djuradj_icon.jpgThe long reign of despot Djuradj (pr. JOO-raj; George) Brankovic was rich and eventful - including many tragic moments which he valiantly countenanced until his last days - and destiny indeed made of him one of the most eminent European personalities of his era.

Immediately upon assuming the throne after the death of his uncle despot Stefan, in accordance with the latter's agreements with Hungarians, Djuradj had to restore Macva and Belgrade to them; and the fortress of Golubac surrendered to the Turks. Before his death, despot Stefan was obliged to surrender, also, Nis and Krusevac. Pressed from two sides, Djuradj decided to renew the vassal contract with Murad II. Deprived of several important towns and desperately in need of a capital, Djuradj managed to built a new, well fortified city on the Danube - Smederevo - in only two years; its monumental walls and towers, despite heavy damage in the two world wars, largely remain to this day.

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Upon the definitive Ottoman conquest of the central Serbian realm, the southwesterly province of Zeta was initially spared - it continued a semi-independent existence for another four decades, facing and often relying on the Venetian presence in the southern Adriatic. This was accomplished under the leadership of princes from the house of Crnojevic, the most prominent member of which was Ivan (sometimes referred to as Ivan-beg).

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The law of the true-believing Tsar Stephan. In the Year 6857, Indiction 2, at the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, on the 21st Day of the Month of May

We enact this Law by our Orthodox Synod, by His Holiness the Patriarch Kir Joanikije together with all the Archpriests and Clergy, small and great, and by me, the true-believing Tsar Stephan, and all the Lords, small and great, of this our Empire. These Laws provide:

1. On Christianity

First, concerning Christianity. In this manner shall Christianity be purged.

2. No lords or any other persons shall marry without the blessing of their own archpriest, or of those chosen and appointed as priests by the archpriests.

3. And no wedding shall take place without nuptials. If any marry without the blessing and permission of the Church, such persons shall be legally separated.

4. On Spiritual Matters

And in spiritual matters, every man shall show submission and obedience to his archpriest. And if any person be found committing a sin against the Church, or transgressing against any rule of this Law wittingly or unwittingly, such a one shall yield and submit himself to the Church. But if he disobey and evade the discipline of the Church and be not willing to follow the orders of the Church, he shall be excommunicated.

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1. О хришћанству:
Најпре за хришћанство. Овим начином да се очисти хришћанство.

2. О женидби:
Властела и други људи да се не жене без благослова од свога архијереја, или да се благослове од оних које су архијереји поставили изабравши их за духовнике.

3. О свадби:
Ниједна свадба да се не учини без венчања, а ако се учини без благослова и упита цркве, такови да се разлуче.

4. О духовној дужности:
И за духовну дужност нека се сваки човек покорава своме архијереју и нека га слуша. Аколи се ко нађе сагрешивши цркви или преступивши што било од овога Законика, хотимице или нехотице, нека се покори и исправи цркви, а аколи се оглуши и уздржи од цркве и не усхтедне испунити црквена наређења, тада да се одлучи од цркве.

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car_dus_lesnovo.jpgSerbian rulers' ceremonial costume emerged from its Byzantine counterpart at the very moment when Serbian rulers chose to get close to Byzantium, politically as well as in matters of religion. That costume clearly shows the manner in which governmental power was comprehended and considered at the time, while simultaneously being filled with profound religious meaning.

Artist: Tanja Vuleta, Belgrade, Serbia

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