Grand, Great or Chief ?upan (transl. Grand Prince, Latin: magnus iupanus, Greek: , zoupanos megas) is the English rendering of a South Slavic title which relate etymologically to ?upan (originally a pater familias, later the tribal chief of a unit called ?upa) like a Russian Grand Prince to a Knyaz (rendered as Prince or Duke depending on administration).
A decorated silver cup with a Medieval Greek inscription attests to the use of the title in 9th-century Bulgaria. The inscription refers to a certain Sivin, who appears to have held that position at the time of Kniaz Boris I (852-889). Sivin was among the Bulgarian boyars who supported the official Christianization, as the subsequently added line "May God help" suggests.
In the Middle Ages, the Serbian veliki ?upan ( ) was the supreme chieftain in the multi-tribal society. The title signifies overlordship as the leader of lesser chieftains titled ?upan. It was used by the Serb rulers in the 11th and 12th centuries. In Greek, it was known as archizoupanos (), megazoupanos () and megalos zoupanos (? ).
In the 1090s, Vukan became the veliki ?upan in Ra?ka (Rascia).Stefan Nemanja expelled his brother Tihomir in 1168 and assumed the title of veliki ?upan, as described in the Charter of Hilandar (? ? ? ). A Latin document used mega iupanus for King Stefan the First-Crowned (Stephanus dominus Seruie siue Rasie, qui mega iupanus). Afterwards, it was a high noble rank with notable holders such as Altoman Vojinovi? (fl. 1335-59).
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