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Vukan Nemanjić
Grand Župan (prince) of Raška (Serbia)
caption
Prince Vukan Nemanjić of Zeta (Studenica Monastery)
Reign 1202-1204 as Grand župan
Born unknown
Died after 1207
Predecessor Stefan Nemanjić
Successor Stefan Nemanjić
Consort unknown
Offspring Djordje king of Duklja, Stefan, Dmitar
Royal House House of Nemanjić
Father Stefan Nemanja
Religious beliefs Serbian Orthodox

Vukan Nemanjić (old Serbian Вл'кан, В'лк; Latin Vulcus, Vulchus, Velcanus, Wulcanus; Greek Βολκοσ) (died after 1207) was a medieval Serbian ruler from the Nemanjić dynasty who had a prominent role in history of Serbia in late 12th and early 13th century. He was titular king of Duklja between 1195 and 1208 and Grand Župan of Serbia (Raška) 1202-1204.

Contents

Early years

Vukan was the eldest son of Serbian grand župan Stefan Nemanja (1166-1198/9) and his wife Ana, and brother of first Serbian king Stefan Nemanjić (1198/9-1228) and first Serbian archbishop Saint Sava (Rastko) Nemanjić. Vukan's father Nemanja managed to secure independence of Serbia from the Byzantine empire after the death of emperor Manuel I and to expand borders of his state on areas of Duklja, Travunija and Hum on Adriatic coast between 1180 and 1190. Following the family customs he gave various areas of his state to his brothers and sons as apanages. Nemanja's brother Miroslav received Hum, his other brother Stracimir received territories in north Serbia around Lim and West Morava rivers while his son Vukan was appointed governor of Duklja, Travunija, Hvosno and Toplica around 1190 with the title of veliki knez (great prince).[1]

Grand župan

Nemanjic's Serbia, 1150–1220 showing the location of Duklja, Travunija and Hum

Although Vukan was Nemanja's eldest son, Nemanja preferred to see his younger son Stefan Nemanjić on the Serbian throne mostly due to the fact that Stefan was married to Byzantine princes Eudocia, daughter of latter emperor Alexios III Angelos. It seems that Vukan reacted on this change in succession by declaring himself King of Duklja in 1195 probably due to the relationship of his family with old Dukljan royal house which was deposed by his father. Although he assumed royal title, Vukan remained to recognize Nemanja's authority. In 1196 at the State Council Nemanja abdicated in favor of Stefan and Vukan had to recognize his brother as new Serbian grand župan. After the council Nemanja became monk Simeon and retreated to his monastery of Hilandar in Athos. While Nemanja was alive Vukan didn't oppose Stefan's rule but as soon as Nemanja died in 1200 he started to plot against him in order to become grand župan. In his plans he found help in Hungarian king Imre (1196-1204) who was in that time in war against the Second Bulgarian Empire and wanted Serbian assistance. With the help of Hungarian troops in 1202, Vukan managed to overthrow Stefan, who fled to Bulgaria, and to became new grand župan.[2] In one inscription from 1202-1203 Vukan is titled as Grand Župan Vl'k ruler of all Serbian land, Zeta, maritime towns and land of Nišava.[3]

Last years

In return for Hungarian help, Vukan became a Hungarian vassal and promised that he would convert his people to Catholicism if the Pope would give him royal title. However, as a Hungarian vassal, Vukan soon got involved in their conflict with Bulgaria. In 1203 Bulgarians attacked Serbia and conquered the eastern part of country with the city of Niš. In the chaos that followed the Bulgarian attack, and using the Vukans's sympaties for catholicism against him, Stefan managed to return to Serbia and overthrow Vukan in 1204 becoming grand župan again. On intervention of the third brother, archbishop Sava, Stefan spared Vukan and return him to his apanage in Zeta (Duklja) where he kept his title of king. He was mentioned for the last time in 1207. It is believed that he died soon after because his son Đorđe is mentioned as king in 1208. Vukan had at least three sons by an unknown wife(s):

1.Đorđe who held title of king in 1208, but was only prince in 1242

2.Stefan who founded Morača monastery in 1252

3. Dmitar (better known by his monastic name David) who founded monastery of Davidovica and was still alive in 1286.[4]

See also

References

Preceded by
Stefan Prvovenčani
grand župan of Raška
1202–1204
Succeeded by
Stefan Prvovenčani

External links

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