|Bal?a III Stracimirovi?|
|Lord of Zeta and the Coast|
Coat of arms
|Reign||April 1403 - 28 April 1421|
|Died||28 April 1421|
Belgrade, Serbian Despotate
Bal?a Stracimirovi? (last name is sometimes Bal?i? or ?ur?evi?) or Bal?a III (1387 - 28 April 1421, in Belgrade) was the fifth and last ruler of Zeta from the Bal?i? noble family, from April 1403 to April 1421. He was the son of ?ura? II and Jelena Lazarevi?.
In April 1403, the seventeen-year-old Bal?a became the ruler of Zeta when his father ?ura? II died as a result of the injuries he had suffered at the Battle of Tripolje. As he was young and inexperienced, his main advisor was his mother, Jelena, a sister of the ruler of Serbia at the time, Stefan Lazarevi?. Under the influence of his mother, Bal?a reverted the order of the state religion, passing a law declaring Orthodox Christianity as the official confession of the state, while Catholicism became a tolerant confession.
Bal?a waged a 10-year war against Venice, the First Scutari War. In 1405, Ulcinj, Bar and Budva were seized by the Venetians. Bal?a then became a vassal to the Ottoman Turks. In 1409, however, Venice had purchased the rights to Dalmatia from King Ladislaus of Naples and began fighting for control of Dalmatian cities. After a huge effort, Bal?a seized Bar from the Venetians in 1412. Venice, pressed with difficulties, had no choice but to agree to return territories it had previously seized. In 1413 he built a church dedicated to Saint Nicholas in Praskvica Monastery. According to a chapter Bal?a issued in 1417 he was probably a ktitor of the Mora?nik Monastery.
Bal?a had waged a new war against Venice, which was connected to the war with the Hungarians and the Turks. In 1418, he conquered Shkodër from the Venetians, but lost Budva and Lu?tica with its salt works. In the next year, 1419, he made an unsuccessful attempt to recapture Budva. He went to Belgrade to ask for aid from Stefan Lazarevi?, but never returned to Zeta. In 1421, before his death and under the influence of his mother, he passed the rule of Zeta to his uncle, Despot Stefan Lazarevi?.
In 1407 Bal?a III married Mara, a daughter of Niketa Thopia. In his second marriage, Bal?a III married Bolja, a daughter of Koja Zaharia, in 1412 or at the beginning of 1413. They had two daughters, Jelena (named after Bal?a's mother) and Teodora.
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"Moracnik Monastery" is located on the island of Moracnik on Skadar Lake. It was first mentioned in 1417, in the Charter of Balsa III. The monastery complex consists of a church dedicated to the Holy Mother of God, an accommodation building
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