Stefan Milutin
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Stefan Milutin
Stefan Milutin
King of all the Serbian and Maritime Lands
Milutinst.jpg
King Milutin, founder's portrait (fresco) in "King's Church" of the Studenica monastery, painted during his lifetime, around 1314
Reign1282-1321
Coronation1282
PredecessorStefan Dragutin
SuccessorStephen of De?ani
BornUro? II Milutin Nemanji?
1253
Died29 October 1321(1321-10-29) (aged 68)
Burial
St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia (relocated in 1460)
IssueStephen Constantine
Stephen Uro? III De?anski
HouseNemanji? dynasty
FatherStefan Uro? I
MotherHelen of Anjou
ReligionSerbian Orthodox
SignatureStefan Milutin's signature

Stefan Uro? II Milutin (Serbian Cyrillic: ? II ?; c. 1253 - 29 October 1321), known as Stefan Milutin ( ?), was the King of Serbia between 1282–1321, a member of the Nemanji? dynasty. He was one of the most powerful rulers of Serbia in the Middle Ages. Milutin is credited with strongly resisting the efforts of Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos to impose Roman Catholicism on the Balkans after the Union of Lyons in 1274. As most of the Nemanji? monarchs, he was proclaimed a saint by the Serbian Orthodox Church with a feast day on October 30.[1]

Early life

Young prince Milutin, Fresco of Sopo?ani

He was the youngest son of King Stefan Uro? I and his wife, Helen of Anjou. Unexpectedly he became king of Serbia after the abdication of his brother Stefan Dragutin. He was around 29. Immediately upon his accession to the throne he attacked Byzantine lands in Macedonia. In 1282, he conquered the northern parts of Macedonia including the city of Skoplje, which became his capital. Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos began preparations for war but he died before their completion. The next year Milutin advanced with his brother deep into Byzantine territory all the way to Kavala.

In 1284, Milutin also gained control of northern Albania and the city of Dyrrachion (Durrës). For the next 15 years there were no changes in the war. Peace was concluded in 1299 when Milutin kept the conquered lands as the dowry of Simonis, daughter of Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos who became his 4th wife. In Nerodimlje ?upa Milutin had three courts, in Nerodimlje (protected by Petri?), Svr?in and Pauni.[2]

War with the Bulgarians and Mongols

At the end of the 13th century Bulgarian feudal lords Darman and Kudelin were jointly ruling the region of Brani?evo (in modern Serbia) as independent or semi-independent lords. They regularly attacked Stefan Dragutin's Syrmian Kingdom, in Ma?va, an area previously under the sovereignty of Elizabeth of Hungary. The Hungarian queen had sent troops to claim Brani?evo in 1282-1284, but her forces had been repelled and her vassal lands plundered in retaliation.

Victory of king Milutin over Tatars. Lithograph by Anastas Jovanovi? on 1853.

Another campaign, this time organized by both Dragutin and Elizabeth, failed to conquer Darman and Kudelin's domains in 1285 and suffered another counter-raid by the brothers. It was not until 1291 when a joint force of Dragutin and the Serbian King Stefan Milutin managed to defeat the brothers and, for the first time ever, the region came under the rule of a Serb, as it was annexed by Dragutin. Responding to Dragutin's annexation of Brani?evo the Bulgarian prince named Shishman that came to rule the semi-independent principality of Vidin around 1280, began to attack the Serbian domains to his west.

Shishman was a vassal of Nogai Khan, Khan of the Golden Horde and sought to expand his territories to the west, invading Serbia coming as far as Hvosno, the Bulgarians failed to capture Zdrelo (near Pe?) and were pursued back to Vidin by the Serbs. Milutin devastated Vidin and the rest of Shishman's dominion, making Shishman take refuge on the other side of the Danube. The two however became allies after Milutin married Serbian ?upan Drago? to the daughter of Shishman, later Milutin would give his daughter Neda (with title Anna) to Shishman's son Michael who would become the Tsar of Bulgaria in 1323.

Novo Brdo Fortress was built by Stefan Milutin in 1285.

Milutin and Nogai Khan would soon come into conflict because of the war with the Tsardom of Vidin. Nogai launched a campaign against Serbia but Milutin offered peace sending his son Stefan De?anski to Nogai's court. Stefan stayed with his entourage there until 1296 or Nogai Khan's death in 1299.

Feud of the brothers

Disputes began between Milutin and his brother Stefan Dragutin after a peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire was signed in 1299. Dragutin in the meantime held lands from Brani?evo in the east to the Bosna river in the west. His capital was Belgrade. War broke out between the brothers and lasted, with sporadic cease-fires, until Dragutin's death in 1314. During this war Milutin appointed Stefan De?anski as regent in Zeta, modern Montenegro. This meant that Stefan De?anski was to be heir to the throne in Serbia and not Dragutin's son Stefan Vladislav II.

Battles and supreme leadership

He captured Durres in 1296.[3] On 15 March 1306 Milutin issued a charter to Ratac in which he appointed his son Stephen as his future successor.[4]

1. Milutin's state; 2. Stefan Dragutin's state; 3. Milutin's acquisitions up to 1299; 4. Temporary loss of land in Hum.

The Battle of Gallipoli (1312) was fought by Serbian troops sent by Stefan Milutin to aid Byzantine Emperor Andronikos in the defense of his lands against the Turks. After numerous attempts in subduing the Turks, the rapidly crumbling Byzantine Empire was forced to enlist the help of Serbia. The Turks were looting and pillaging the countryside and the two armies converged at the Gallipoli peninsula where the Turks were decisively defeated. Out of the gratitude to Serbia, the town of Kucovo was donated.

Upon Stefan Dragutin's death in 1314 Milutin conquered most of his lands including Belgrade. But in 1319 Charles I of Hungary regained control over Belgrade and banovina Ma?va while Milutin held control in Brani?evo. In the year 1314 Milutin's son Stefan De?anski rebelled against his father, but was captured, blinded and sent to exile in Constantinople. For the rest of Milutin's reign his youngest son Stefan Constantine was considered as heir to the throne, but in the spring of 1321 Stefan De?anski returned to Serbia and was pardoned by his father.

Time of his reign was marked hostility to Catholicism and conversion of Catholics which provoked rebellion of Catholic nobility. Pope John XXII called Stefan Milutin as "the enemy of the Christian faith".[5]

Family

By his first wife, Jelena, a minor Serbian noblewoman, he had two children:

By his second wife, Helena, daughter of sebastokrat?r John I Doukas of Thessaly, he had no children.

By his third wife, Elizabeth, daughter of King Stephen V of Hungary and Elizabeth the Cuman, Milutin had:

  • Zorica, known as Tsaritsa (Empress)

By his fourth wife, Anna, the daughter of George I of Bulgaria, Stefan Uro? II Milutin had the following children:

By his fifth wife Simonis, the daughter of Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, he had no children.

Relics of Milutin in the St Nedelya Church, Sofia


Aftermath and legacy

At the end of Milutin's life Serbia was second in strength in Southeast Europe after Hungary. During his reign many court ceremonials were taken over from the Byzantine court and Byzantine culture overflowed into Serbia. Milutin was also well known as the founder of many monasteries: Gra?anica monastery, Our Lady of Ljevi?, the church of Vavedenje in Hilandar and many more.[7] After his death a short civil war followed, after which the Serbian throne was ascended by his eldest son, Stefan De?anski.


He is included in The 100 most prominent Serbs.

Endowments of Stefan Milutin

King Stefan Milutin founded a hospital in Constantinopole, which later became a medical school.[8]

Image Name Location Date
 ?   .JPG Bukovo monastery Negotin, Serbia 13-14th century
   - ? ? ? 01.jpg Church of St. Nicetas Banjane, North Macedonia ca. 1300
Our Lady of Ljevi?, Prizren, 2010. View from clock tower.jpg Our Lady of Ljevi? Prizren, Kosovo[a] 1306-1307
Monastir Studenica II.JPG "King's Church" of the Studenica monastery Kraljevo, Serbia 1313-1314
Church of Saint George in Staro Nagorichino, south side.jpg Church of St. George Kumanovo, North Macedonia 1313-1318
Banjska.jpg Banjska monastery near Zve?an, Kosovo[a] 1318
Hilan2.jpg "Church of Entrance of the Theotokos" of the Hilandar monastery Mount Athos, Greece 1320
Gracanica 1.jpg Gra?anica monastery Gra?anica, Kosovo[a] 1321
  6.JPG Korogla? monastery near Negotin, Serbia 14th century
Manastir Vratna2.jpg Vratna monastery near Negotin, Serbia 14th century

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 97 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 112 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.

References

  1. ^ ?irkovi? 2004, p. 49-52, 61-62.
  2. ^ Popovi?, Bogdan; Skerli?, Jovan (1932). Srpski knji?evni glasnik. p. 388. Retrieved 2013. ... ? ?- ?.?, ? ...
  3. ^ "[Projekat Rastko - Skadar] Stanovnistvo slovenskog porijekla u Albaniji". Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ Zbornik radova Vizantoloshkog instituta. Institut. 2009. p. 338.
  5. ^ Dijana Pinjuh, VJERSKE PRILIKE KOD KATOLIKA U HERCEGOVINI (OD TURSKOG OSVAJANJA DO KONCA 17. STOLJE?A), 2013 Doctoral Dissertation, #page=14-15
  6. ^ Nicol 1984, p. 254.
  7. ^ Todi? 1999.
  8. ^ ?orovi?, Vladimir. Istorija srpskog naroda I. p. 335.

Sources

Stefan Milutin
Born: 1253 Died: 29 October 1321
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Stefan Dragutin
King of Serbia
1282–1321
Succeeded by
Stefan Uro? III De?anski

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