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Duklja

Duklja

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Doclea or Duklja was a medieval state with hereditary lands roughly encompassing the territories of present-day southeastern Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, from Kotor
Kotor
Kotor is a coastal city in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The city has a population of 13,510 and is the administrative center of the municipality....

 on the west to the river Bojana
Bojana
-Places:* Bojana , a river in Albania and Montenegro* Ada Bojana / Bojana Island* Boyana, a quarter of Sofia, Bulgaria- People :* Bojana Jovanovski* Bojana Novakovic* Bojana Radulović* Bojana Popović* Bojana Atanasovska* Bojana Bobusic* Bojana Panić...

 on the east and to the sources of Zeta and Morača rivers on the north.
Duklja was at first a vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

 of the Eastern Roman Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 until it became a part of the Serbian Principality (Rascia
Rascia
Rascia was a medieval region that served as the principal province of the Serbian realm. It was an administrative division under the direct rule of the monarch and sometimes as an appanage. The term has been used to refer to various Serbian states throughout the Middle Ages...

) in the 9th century, under the Vlastimirović Dynasty
House of Vlastimirovic
The Vlastimirović Dynasty was the first Serbian royal dynasty, named after Prince Vlastimir , who was recognized by the Byzantine Empire.The dynasty starts with the Unknown Archont, who ruled during Emperor Heraclius ....

. After the Byzantine annexation of Rascia in the late 10th century, Duklja was briefly under Byzantine rule but managed to liberate itself and emerged as the most powerful province, and became the seat of the Serbian realm throughout the 11th century, ruled by the Vojislavljević Dynasty
House of Vojislavljevic
The Vojislavljević was the second Serb medieval dynasty, named after archon Stefan Vojislav, who wrestled the region from Byzantine hands in the 1040s...

.

In 1060 the Vojislavljević liberate Rascia, and when Constantine Bodin dies in 1101, Rascia once again becomes the seat of the realm, the two principalities exist side-by-side (the period is characterized by constant changing of allegiance) until 1148 when Duklja was reinstated as a crownland of the Grand Principality of Serbia (Rascia) and is since referred to as Zeta, and remained so until the fall of the Serbian Empire
Serbian Empire
The Serbian Empire was a short-lived medieval empire in the Balkans that emerged from the Serbian Kingdom. Stephen Uroš IV Dušan was crowned Emperor of Serbs and Greeks on 16 April, 1346, a title signifying a successorship to the Eastern Roman Empire...

, when it subsequently becomes semi-independent in 1362 as the Lordship of Zeta, under the House of Balšić
House of Balšic
The Balšić was a noble house that ruled Zeta and the coastlands , from 1362 to 1421, during the fall of the Serbian Empire. Balša, the eponymous founder, was a petty nobleman that held only one village during the rule of Emperor Dušan the Mighty The Balšić was a noble house that ruled Zeta and...

.

Name


"Doclea" was first the name of the Roman city of today's Podgorica
Podgorica
Podgorica , is the capital and largest city of Montenegro.Podgorica's favourable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and the meeting point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley has encouraged settlement...

 (Ribnica) after Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

 built the city, he hailed from this region in Roman Dalmatia. The Romanized Illyria
Illyria
In classical antiquity, Illyria was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by the Illyrians....

n tribe Docleatae that inhabited the area derived their name from the city. In later centuries, Romans "hyper-corrected" the name to Dioclea, wrongly guessing that an "I" had been lost due to vulgar speech patterns. "Duklja" is the later Slavic version of this region, attributed to the principality under Byzantine suzerainty.

Geography



Doclea (roughly Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 today) bordered the Byzantine Theme of Dyrrachion to the east, at the City of Bar
Bar, Montenegro
Bar is a coastal town in Montenegro. It has a population of 17,727...

 and Travunia
Travunia
Travunia was a medieval region, administrative unit and principality, which was part of Medieval Serbia , and in its last years, the Bosnian Kingdom . The county became hereditary in a number of noble houses, often kin to the ruling dynasty. The region came under Ottoman rule in 1482...

 to the west. From the Skadar Lake at the east its territory sprang down the river of Zeta
Zeta River
Zeta is a river in Montenegro. It starts near Nikšić, under the Planinica hill flows eastwards for until it confluences into the Morača River just north of Podgorica....

 all the way to the river of Piva
Piva
Piva may refer to:* Piva , a river in Montenegro* Piva, Montenegro, a region in Montenegro and the clan* Piva language, a member of the Piva-Banoni languages* Piva , an Italian folk instrument* Piva , a Renaissance dance...

 to the west. Afterwards, Scutari became the capital of the state until the end of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. The Royal Capital of Duklja was Ston
Ston
Ston is a village and municipality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia, located at the south of isthmus of the Pelješac peninsula. The town of Ston is the center of the Ston municipality.- Demographics :...

. It had only three major settlements: Gradac
Budva
Budva is a coastal town in Montenegro. It has around 15,000 inhabitants, and it is the centre of municipality...

 (Old Budva
Budva
Budva is a coastal town in Montenegro. It has around 15,000 inhabitants, and it is the centre of municipality...

), Novi Grad
Prevlaka
Prevlaka is a small peninsula in southern Croatia, at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor in the eastern Adriatic. The word prevlaka means portage. The cape Oštro, located at the tip of the peninsula, is the southernmost point of mainland in Croatia....

 and Lontodoclea. The most important City was Diocleia
Duklja (town)
Duklja or Doclea was once the principal city of the state of Duklja . The city was situated about three kilometers north from today’s Podgorica, Montenegro's capital.-History:...

 (after which the entire Archonty was named), but that city was in ruins by the 10th century from numerous invasions. Doclea was split on Zhupanates, each with its own City: Lusca, Podlugiae
Podlužje
Podlužje is a small geographical region in Serbia. It is located in south-eastern Syrmia. The western part of Podlužje belong to the autonomous province of Vojvodina, and the eastern part belongs to the city of Belgrade...

, Gorsca
Malësia
Malësia or Malësia e Madhe, is a historical geographical region in northern Albania and eastern Montenegro. It consists of an area of land that stretches from the southeast of Podgorica to northern shores of Lake Scutari, and includes much of the Malësi e Madhe District of Albania...

, Cuceva
Kucevo
Kučevo is a town and municipality located in the Braničevo District of Serbia. In 2011, the population of the town is 3,950, while population of the municipality is 15,490....

 with Budva
Budva
Budva is a coastal town in Montenegro. It has around 15,000 inhabitants, and it is the centre of municipality...

, Cupelnich, Obliquus
Oblik
Oblik can refer to:*Oblik in southern Serbia*Oblik , medieval city in Montenegro*Stage name of British DJ Jake Williams...

, Prapratna (between Bar
Bar, Montenegro
Bar is a coastal town in Montenegro. It has a population of 17,727...

 and Ulcinj
Ulcinj
Ulcinj is a coastal resort town and municipality in Montenegro. The town of Ulcinj has a population of 10,828 of which the majority are Albanians...

), Cermenica
Crmnica
Crmnica is a geographical region in southern Montenegro. It is within the municipality of Bar and is considered a division of that municipality. The capital of the region is Virpazar...

 and Gripuli. Continental Doclea, or Submontana (Podgoria), which was between the rivers of Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

 and Morača
Morača
Morača is a river in Montenegro. It originates in northern Montenegro, under Rzača mountain. It generally flows southwards for some , before emptying into Lake Skadar....

, consisted of: Onogost, Moratia
Morača
Morača is a river in Montenegro. It originates in northern Montenegro, under Rzača mountain. It generally flows southwards for some , before emptying into Lake Skadar....

, Comerniza
Komarnica
Komarnica is a small settlement in the Slovenske Gorice hills in the Cerkvenjak municipality in northeastern Slovenia. Traditionally the area was part of Lower Styria. It is now included in the Drava statistical region.-External links:*...

, Piva
Piva
Piva may refer to:* Piva , a river in Montenegro* Piva, Montenegro, a region in Montenegro and the clan* Piva language, a member of the Piva-Banoni languages* Piva , an Italian folk instrument* Piva , a Renaissance dance...

, Gerico
Gacko
Gacko is a town and municipality in southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Republika Srpska entity. It is situated in the Foča Region.-Geography:The town is in a short distance from Montenegro...

, Netusini, Guisenio
Gusinje
Gusinje is a small town in Montenegro. According to the 2003 census, the town has a population of 1,704.-History:The history and origins of Gusinje are unknown prior to the Ottoman conquests. Before the Ottoman Turks took control of the region, Plav-Gusinje was under the control of various...

, Com
Kom
The Kom are one of the principal ethnic groups of the North-West province of Cameroon, where traditional government institutions are very important. The capital, Laikom, is the seat of the ruler, the Fon, and his advisors, the Quifon, who continue to be the most respected leaders despite the...

, Debreca
Debar
Debar is a city in the western part of the Republic of Macedonia, near the border with Albania, on the road from Struga to Gostivar. It is the seat of Debar Municipality.-Geography:...

, Neretva
Neretva
Neretva is the largest river of the eastern part of the Adriatic basin. It has been harnessed and controlled to a large extent by four HE power-plants with large dams and their storage lakes, but it is still recognized for its natural beauty, diversity of its landscape and visual...

 and Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

. Ever since the 12th century, the term Zeta, a smaller geographical part of Doclea, started to replace the name of this Archonty.

Duklja in De Administrando Imperio


Duklja was settled by Slavs predominantly during the 7th century, although the area was subject to raids by Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

 and Slavs from the 6th century. According to DAI a second migration of Slavs into the Balkans, of Serbs and Croats, occurred c. 610 - 640 A.D. Being a mountainous region, it perhaps served as an area of refuge for pre-Slavic populations
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

.

The De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a Greek work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII. The Greek title of the work is...

 has been a widely used source in reconstructing the earliest histories of the South Slavic states. Porphyrogenitus wrote that Duklja had been made desolate by the Avars and "repopulated in the time of the Emperor Heraclius, just as were Croatia and Serbia" (i.e. in the first half of the 7th century). Whilst he clearly states that the neighboring principalities of Serbia, Zahumlje, Travunia and Pagania had been settled by the 'unbaptised Serbs', he mentions Duklja simply as having been settled by 'Slavs'. John Fine argues "given that Serbs settled in regions along its borders, presumably this would have also been a Serb region". According to the Royal Frankish Annals
Royal Frankish Annals
The Royal Frankish Annals or Annals of the Kingdom of the Franks ,are annals covering the history of early Carolingian monarchs from 741 to 829. Their composition seems to have soon been taken up at court, providing them with markedly official character...

 (821-822), the rebellious Duke of Pannonia Ljudevit Posavski
Ljudevit Posavski
Ljudevit Posavski was a Croatian Duke of Pannonian Croatia from 810 to 823. The capital of his realm was in Sisak. As the ruler of the Pannonian Slavs, he led an unsuccessful resistance to Frankish domination. He held close ties with the Carantanian and Carniolan tribes and with the Serbian tribe...

 fled, during the Frankish invasion, from his seat in Sisak
Sisak
Sisak is a city in central Croatia. The city's population in 2011 was 33,049, with a total of 49,699 in the administrative region and it is also the administrative centre of the Sisak-Moslavina county...

 to the Serbs in western Bosnia, who controlled a great part of Dalmatia
Dalmatia (Roman province)
Dalmatia was an ancient Roman province. Its name is probably derived from the name of an Illyrian tribe called the Dalmatae which lived in the area of the eastern Adriatic coast in Classical antiquity....

 ("Sorabos, quae natio magnam Dalmatiae partem obtinere dicitur").

The presence of Croats has also been postulated. In DAI, Porphyrogenitus states that, after settling northern Dalmatia, a part of the Croats "split off and took control of Illyricum and Pannonia". Ivo Banac proposed that the former referred to Duklja. The dubious Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja
Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja
The Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja is a medieval chronicle originally written by a Catholic monk of the Cistercian order by the name of Roger for the Croatian Ban Paul Šubić because an order form by Ban Šubić and a quote of Catholic monk have been discovered...

, compiled in 1298-1301 by a Cistercian monk in the service of Paul I Šubić of Bribir, refers to Croats in southern Dalmatia. If this is not mere Byzantine confusion over Serbs and Croats, it might allude to the existence of Croat tribes until the late 12th century.

Scholars have debated at length as to the reliability of such sources. For example, Florin Curta, among others, suggested that the DAI was a political document, rather than a strictly historical one. It probably indicates that the coastal zhupanias were under the authority of the Serbian prince, Časlav Klonimirović, in the mid 10th century.

Ultimately, the origins of Duklja are not known with certainty, for the literary evidence often rests on semi-legendary genealogies. Moreover, what actually constituted a people (gens) in the Middle Ages has been rigorously debated. There is no clear evidence that peoples known as Serbs or Croats migrated en masse as coherent nations. Rather, some sort of group identity began to form within the Balkans from the late 7th century as Slavic notables formed a system of alliances. This coincides with the final demise of Avar hegemony over the western Balkans. At the same time, the Byzantines had begun to re-establish some control in parts of the Balkans after the 7th century collapse of imperial control. The establishment of the Byzantine theme of Dyrrhachium facilitated diplomatic contacts between the East Romans and the Adriatic Sklaviniae.

Both, Florin Curta and John Fine, amongst other medievalists, have argued that ethonyms such as Serb or a Croat were primarily political labels referring to a dux and his retinue of nobles, whilst on a lower level it also referred the mass of commoners who inhabited the territory under the (often nominal and transient) rule of such leaders. There is little evidence that a modern notion of nation-type ethnicity, and the values associated with it, existed in medieval societies. Rather, for the general masses, identity was rooted primarily with one’s own clan, village and region. As Fine states, "In this large region settled by Slavs, all of whom spoke the same language, certain political entities emerged, and that is all that they were, political entities". Duklja was one such polity, and its subsequent history was closely intertwined with that of Serbia/Rascia and the Byzantine Empire, and as well as Rome and 'western' powers. Duklja is seen as one of the medieval Serb states and was the political and cultural predecessor of modern Montenegro.

Early


Little is known about Duklja prior to the 11th century. The main source on the history of early South Slavic states is De Administrando Imperio by Emperor Constantine VII (compiled before 952). The work mentions virtually nothing about Duklja apart from that it was settled by Slavs and was ruled by the Byzantine Emperors. It probably did not exist as an established, independent polity before the late 10th century. The Byzantines ruled over coastal cities such as Doclea, Bar, Kotor
Kotor
Kotor is a coastal city in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The city has a population of 13,510 and is the administrative center of the municipality....

 and the hinterland surrounding these. Archaeological evidence (a personal seal) suggests that local officials governed this small region in the name of the Emperor. The Slav regions that were not directly under Byzantine rule (such as Travunia) were organized into numerous župa
Župa
A Župa is a Slavic term, used historically among the Southern and Western branches of the Slavs, originally denoting various territorial and other sub-units, usually a small administrative division, especially a gathering of several villages...

, (roughly, a county) ruled by local families.

Slav raids on Eastern Roman territory are mentioned in 518, and by the 580s they had conquered large areas referred to as Sclavinia (transl. Slavdom, from Sklavenoi).


Prince Višeslav
Višeslav of Serbia
Višeslav was Prince of the Serbs fl. 768-814. He united various Serb tribes into an unified state.-Life:Višeslav was the great-grandson of the Unknown Archont, the leader of the White Serbs that settled the Balkans after an agreement with the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius .He ruled the Županias of...

 (fl. 768-814), the first known Serbian monarch by name, ruled the hereditary lands (Župa
Župa
A Župa is a Slavic term, used historically among the Southern and Western branches of the Slavs, originally denoting various territorial and other sub-units, usually a small administrative division, especially a gathering of several villages...

nias, counties) of Neretva
Neretva
Neretva is the largest river of the eastern part of the Adriatic basin. It has been harnessed and controlled to a large extent by four HE power-plants with large dams and their storage lakes, but it is still recognized for its natural beauty, diversity of its landscape and visual...

, Tara
Tara Mountain
Tara , is a mountain located in western Serbia. It is part of Dinaric Alps and stands at 1,000-1,500 metres above sea level. The mountain's slopes are clad in dense forests with numerous high-altitude clearings and meadows, steep cliffs, deep ravines carved by the nearby Drina River and many karst,...

, Piva
Piva
Piva may refer to:* Piva , a river in Montenegro* Piva, Montenegro, a region in Montenegro and the clan* Piva language, a member of the Piva-Banoni languages* Piva , an Italian folk instrument* Piva , a Renaissance dance...

, Lim
Lim River
The Lim is a river flowing through Montenegro, Albania, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. long, it's the right and the longest tributary of the Drina.- Montenegro and Serbia :...

. He managed to unite several more provinces and tribes into what would become the Serbian Principality. Višeslav was succeeded by his son Radoslav
Radoslav of Serbia
Radoslav was a Serbian Prince who ruled over the Serbs from 800 to 822, he succeeded his father Višeslav who united the Serbian tribes, resulting in the formation of Raška in the 8th century...

 and then Prosigoj
Prosigoj
Prosigoj was a 9th-century Serbian Prince that ruled the Serbian Principality from 822 to 836.-Biography:He was the son of Radoslav. Prosigoj or his father was the ruler of Serbia during the uprisings of Ljudevit Posavski against the Franks...

, during which time "the Serbs inhabit the greater part of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

" (Royal Frankish Annals
Royal Frankish Annals
The Royal Frankish Annals or Annals of the Kingdom of the Franks ,are annals covering the history of early Carolingian monarchs from 741 to 829. Their composition seems to have soon been taken up at court, providing them with markedly official character...

, 822). Prince Vlastimir further united Serbian tribes against the growing threat of Bulgars, his realm spanned over southwestern Serbia, much of Montenegro, eastern Herzegovina and southeastern Bosnia. Prince Petar Gojniković defeated Tišemir of Bosnia
Bosnia (region)
Bosnia is a eponomous region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies mainly in the Dinaric Alps, ranging to the southern borders of the Pannonian plain, with the rivers Sava and Drina marking its northern and eastern borders. The other eponomous region, the southern, other half of the country is...

, annexing the valley of Bosna. He then expanded along the Neretva
Neretva
Neretva is the largest river of the eastern part of the Adriatic basin. It has been harnessed and controlled to a large extent by four HE power-plants with large dams and their storage lakes, but it is still recognized for its natural beauty, diversity of its landscape and visual...

, annexing the Narentines, where he seems to have come into conflict with Michael Višević, a Bulgarian ally and the ruler of Zahumlje
Zahumlje
Zachlumia or Zahumlje was a medieval principality located in modern-day regions of Herzegovina and southern Dalmatia...

 (with Trebinje
Trebinje
Trebinje is the southernmost municipality and town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is administratively part of the Republika Srpska entity and is located in southeastern Herzegovina, some from the Adriatic Sea....

 and most of what would later be Duklja). Michael Višević heard of the possible alliance between Serbia and the Byzantines, and warned Symeon. Symeon defeats Petar and in the following years there is a power struggle between the Bulgars and Byzantines over Serbian overlordship. Prince Časlav Klonimirović
Caslav Klonimirovic
Časlav Klonimirović or Časlav of Serbia was Prince of the Serbs from ca. 927 until his death in 960. He significantly expanded the Serbian Principality when he managed to unite several Slavic tribes, stretching his realm over the shores of the Adriatic Sea, the Sava river and the Morava valley...

 ruled over a confederacy of statelets covering an expansive area, uniting the tribes of Bosnia, Herzegovina
Herzegovina
Herzegovina is the southern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While there is no official border distinguishing it from the Bosnian region, it is generally accepted that the borders of the region are Croatia to the west, Montenegro to the south, the canton boundaries of the Herzegovina-Neretva...

, Old Serbia
Old Serbia
Old Serbia is a modern name for the territory which was the core of medieval Serbia. It included Raška , Kosovo and Metohija and the Macedonia...

 and Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 (incorporated Pagania, Zahumlje
Zahumlje
Zachlumia or Zahumlje was a medieval principality located in modern-day regions of Herzegovina and southern Dalmatia...

, Travunia
Travunia
Travunia was a medieval region, administrative unit and principality, which was part of Medieval Serbia , and in its last years, the Bosnian Kingdom . The county became hereditary in a number of noble houses, often kin to the ruling dynasty. The region came under Ottoman rule in 1482...

, Konavle
Konavle
Konavle is a small region and municipality located southeast of Dubrovnik, Croatia.It is administratively part of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and forms a municipality with its center at Gruda with a total population of 8,250 people split in 32 villages, in which 96.5% are Croats...

, Bosnia
Bosnia (region)
Bosnia is a eponomous region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies mainly in the Dinaric Alps, ranging to the southern borders of the Pannonian plain, with the rivers Sava and Drina marking its northern and eastern borders. The other eponomous region, the southern, other half of the country is...

 and "Rascia
Rascia
Rascia was a medieval region that served as the principal province of the Serbian realm. It was an administrative division under the direct rule of the monarch and sometimes as an appanage. The term has been used to refer to various Serbian states throughout the Middle Ages...

" into Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, ι Σερβλια). He took over regions previously held by Michael, who disappears from sources in 925.. According to some sources, Časlav's 'state' was based from the hinterland of Kotor
Kotor
Kotor is a coastal city in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The city has a population of 13,510 and is the administrative center of the municipality....

.

Rise



After Časlav died in ca 960, Rascia (the hinterland) was annexed by the Byzantines, and Serbia dissolved into several small zhupanias, and the mentions of the first dynasty end. A Peter, whose seal has been found, was the archon Diokleias probably in the turn of the 11th century. A Serbian diplomatic mission, possibly sent from Duklja
Duklja
Doclea or Duklja was a medieval state with hereditary lands roughly encompassing the territories of present-day southeastern Montenegro, from Kotor on the west to the river Bojana on the east and to the sources of Zeta and Morača rivers on the north....

, arrives in the Byzantine capital of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and was recorded in a charter of the Great Lavra Monastery, written in 993. In the 1000s, Jovan Vladimir
Jovan Vladimir
Jovan Vladimir or John Vladimir was ruler of Duklja, the most powerful Serbian principality of the time, from around 1000 to 1016. He ruled during the protracted war between the Byzantine Empire and the First Bulgarian Empire...

 emerged as ruler of the maritime Zhupas. With his court centered in Bar
Bar, Montenegro
Bar is a coastal town in Montenegro. It has a population of 17,727...

 on the Adriatic coast, he had much of the Serbian Primorje ('maritime')
Pomorje
Pomorje or Primorje is a term used in historical contexts to describe one of the two geographical divisions that constituted Serbia in the Middle Ages...

 under his control including Travunia and Zachlumia. His realm may have stretched west- and northwards to include some parts of the Zagorje (inland Serbia and Bosnia) as well. Vladimir’s pre-eminent position over other Slavic nobles in the area explains why Emperor Basil approached him for an anti-Bulgarian alliance. With his hands tied by war in Anatolia, Emperor Basil required allies for his war against Tsar Samuel, who ruled a Bulgarian empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

 stretched over Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

. In retaliation, Samuel invaded Duklja in 1009, and pushed through Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 up to the city of Zadar
Zadar
Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Population of the city is 75,082 citizens...

, incorporating Bosnia and Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 into his realm. After defeating Vladimir, Samuel reinstated him as a vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

 Prince. We do not know what Vladimir’s connection was to the previous Serbian dynasty as much of what is written in the Chronicles of the Priest of Duklja about the genealogy of the Doclean rulers is mythological.

Vladimir was murdered by Vladislav, Samuel’s brother and successor, circa 1016 AD. The last prominent member of his family, his uncle Dragimir, was killed by some local citizens in Kotor in 1018. That same year, the Byzantines had defeated the Bulgarians, and in one masterful stroke re-took vitrually the entire Balkans.

Byzantine hegemony and Struggle for Independence (1020-1050)


The Byzantine victory over the Bulgarians was a critical development in Balkan history. The Byzantines ruled most of the Balkans - Bulgaria, Serbia, Duklja,and Bosnia all fell back under Byzantine rule for the first time since the 6th century.

Short-lived as it was, Vladimir's influence in Balkan politics shifted the centre of Croatian rule from inland Croatia to the coast. This was a "renewed Serbian state centered on Duklja". Over much of the 11th century, we hear very little about events from the interior. Central Serbia was probably under the jurisdiction of the strategos (governor) of Sirmium
Sirmium
Sirmium was a city in ancient Roman Pannonia. Firstly mentioned in the 4th century BC and originally inhabited by the Illyrians and Celts, it was conquered by the Romans in the 1st century BC and subsequently became the capital of the Roman province of Lower Pannonia. In 294 AD, Sirmium was...

 - Constantine Diogenes
Constantine Diogenes
Constantine Diogenes was a prominent Byzantine Greek general of the early 11th century, active in the Balkans.Constantine Diogenes is the first notable member of the noble Cappadocian Diogenes family, which played an important role in 11th-century Byzantium. Constantine began his career as a...

, the Duke of Thessalonica. Some historians suggest that Duklja was ruled directly by the strategos of Dyrrhachium, whilst others posit that a native prince (whose name has not survived) was allowed to remain, ruling as a Byzantine vassal. Either way, the Slavic nobility was under Byzantine control.

In the 1030s, as Skylitzes and Kekaumenos
Strategikon of Kekaumenos
The Strategikon of Kekaumenos is a late 11th century Byzantine manual offering advice on warfare and the handling of public and domestic affairs.The book was composed between 1075 and 1078 by its author, a Byzantine general of partly Armenian descent...

 have written, Stefan Vojislav, a "Travunian Serb" who held the title of "archon, and toparch of the kastra of Dalmatia, Zeta and Ston", led the "Serbs who renounced Byzantine rule". According to the CPD, he was a nephew of Vladimir. In 1034, he took "Duklja" while the Byzantines were switching thrones. The Byzantines retaliated by sending in troops from Dyrrhachium and captured Vojislav, who was taken prisoner to Constantinople. He managed to escape and began a guerrilla resistance from Duklja's mountains. He defeated several Byzantine expeditions and liberated most of Duklja. A Slav rebellion centered on Belgrade, organised by Peter Delian in the late 1030s, worked in Vojislav’s favour by diverting attention from Duklja. He used this to assert rule from his capital in Scutari, and extended his rule from Duklja to Travunia and a part of Zachlumia. He besieged the Byzantine city of Dyrrhachium and held the lands surrounding it.

In 1042, another Byzantine attack was defeated. The Byzantines had sent a "coalition" of vassal Slavic chiefs to fight Voislav. The coalition consisted of the Župan of Bosnia, Knez (Prince) Ljutovid of Zachlumia
Zachlumia
Zachlumia or Zahumlje was a medieval principality located in modern-day regions of Herzegovina and southern Dalmatia...

 and the Župan of Raska
Raška (state)
Principality of Serbia or Serbian Principality was an early medieval state of the Serbs ruled by the Vlastimirović dynasty, that existed from ca 768 to 969 in Southeastern Europe. It was established through an unification of several provincial chiefs under the supreme rule of a certain Višeslav,...

. Fine suggests that under Byzantine dominance, "Rascia" had in the 1040s emerged as yet another Serbian state (roughly centered on what is now southern Serbia and Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

. Vojislav won a great victory against his attackers. He overthrew ljutovid and placed the region entirely under his control. Duklja was undoubtedly the leading Slavic state.

The Kingdom of Duklja (1053-1100)



Vojislav probably died in 1043. Of his 5 sons, Mihailo (Michael) eventually secured rule by 1046. He was an apt diplomat, he fostered good relations with the Byzantines by marrying one of the Emperor’s relatives,earning himself the title protostrator
Protostrator
Prōtostratōr was a Byzantine court office, originating as the imperial stable master, which in the last centuries of the Empire evolved into one of the senior military offices...

. He also entered diplomatic relations with the western powers by marrying one of his sons, Constantine Bodin, to the daughter of the Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 governor of Bari
Bari
Bari is the capital city of the province of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas...

. Michael conquered Rascia from the Byzantines in the 1060s and assigned one of his sons, Petrislav as ruler. In 1072, he supported another Slav rebellion in Macedonia by sending a force led by his son Constantine Bodin. After initial success, The Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja claims that Bodin was proclaimed Tsar Peter III of Bulgaria. A Byzantine retaliation, however, resulted in Bodin’s capture, only to be freed by Venetian mercenaries hired by his father.


At some point during his rule, Michael acquired the title of King. Most scholars place this date to 1077, when he received a legate from the Pope referring to him as the King of Slavs. However, Curta suggests that Michael may have been King as early as 1053, since he proclaimed himself ‘King’ sometime after receiving the protostrator title from the Emperor. However, formal recognition as King in medieval Europe required acknowledgement either from the Pope or the Byzantine Emperor. Either way, he was King by 1077.

When Michael died in 1081, he was succeeded by his son Constantine Bodin. The Normans attacked Croatian south Dalmatia, capturing Dyrrhachium and Ragusa
Ragusa, Italy
Ragusa is a city and comune in southern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Ragusa, on the island of Sicily, with around 75,000 inhabitants. It is built on a wide limestone hill between two deep valleys, Cava San Leonardo and Cava Santa Domenica...

. Bodin was expected to aid the Emperor at Dyrrhachium, instead he remained idle (possible as part of a pre-conceived plan with the Normans) and watched the Byzantines get utterly defeated. During his early rule, energy spent consolidating his rule and meddling with Byzantine-Norman matters diverted Bodin’s attention from other parts of his realm. The "Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja" notes that Bodin sent expedition into Bosnia and Rascia. Since his father, Michael, had already captured Raska earlier, it must have slipped out of Duklja’s control. Bodin successfully marched against Raska and placed his cousins Vukan and Marko (the sons of Petrislav) as župans. He also captured Bosnia, and placed one of his courtiers, Stipan, to rule in his name. Although Bodin was recognised as King of Duklja and Dalmatia, there is no evidence to suggest that Bosnia, Zachlumia, Duklja and Rascia were incorporated into an integrated kingdom. Each region retained its own hereditary nobility, but were under the political and military sway of Duklja.

Decline


By 1085 the Byzantines got the upper hand in their wars with the Normans, recapturing Dyrrachium and Ragusa. In 1090, they punished Bodin for his impudence, possibly capturing him for the second time, and not much is known about him subsequently until he dies in c. 1101. Raska, Zahumlje and Bosnia probably broke free from Dukljan vassalage.

With Bodin gone, his Norman wife, Jaquinta (Jakvinta), feared that Bodin’s nephew, Branislav, would try to seize power before her young children could take the throne. She ordered the arrest of Branislav and his family and Branislav died in captivity, whilst his other 6 brothers and sons found asylum in Ragusa. Thus in the haste to claim the throne, seeds of family hatred were planted amongst the extended family. After Bodin died, his half-brother Dobroslav II gained the throne of Duklja. Seeing a weak Duklja, the Byzantines started to meddle, sending Kočopar, one of Branislav’s exiled brothers to capture the throne. He managed to get assistance from Vukan of Raska, and together they beat Dobroslav. However, there was a falling out between Kočopar and Vukan. Vukan drove out Kočopar, who then died in exile. The Doclean nobles then elected a Vladimir, yet another relative, who ruled in peace as a Byzantine vassal. But Jaquinta had not given up. After Vladimir died, she had Dobroslav II (who was still in jail) castrated and blinded in case he were to gain the throne, thus securing the throne for her son Đurađ (George), c. 1114-18. She had gained support from an anti-Byzantine faction of nobles. Branislav’s family again fled to Byzantine safety, this time in Dyrrhachium. There they gained support from the Byzantines, who ousted Đurađ and imprisoned Jaquinta. Grubeša, one of Branislav’s sons, was placed on the throne in 1118. He ruled peacefully until 1125. Đurađ had fled to Rascia, and secured the support of the new Rascian Grand Župan, Uroš, believed to be the nephew of Vukan. Uroš was aligned with the Hungarians, and was anti-Byzantine. He invaded Duklja and placed Đurađ back on the throne. Yet another Byzantine intervention ousted Đurađ for the second time, capturing him, and he died in captivity. Gradinja, one of Grubeša’s brothers was then placed as King, the last ruler to hold such a title in Duklja. He died a natural death in 1146, and was succeeded by his son Radoslav. Radoslav only bore the title Knez (Prince).

Duklja’s long internecine strife was devastating for its status, as it was reduced back to a Principality dependent on Byzantine support, and was increasingly losing territory to Raska. By the time of Radoslav's reign as prince, he only held a small strip of land on the Dukljan coast (From Kotor to Ulcinj). By 1166, much of Duklja was occupied by Rascia, and in 1186, Stefan Nemanja
Stefan Nemanja
Stefan Nemanja was the Grand Prince of the Grand Principality of Serbia from 1166 to 1196, a heir of the Vukanović dynasty that marked the beginning of a greater Serbian realm .He is remembered for his contributions to Serbian culture and...

 annexed Duklja in its entirety after defeating the last Doclean prince - Mihailo (Radoslav’s successor, and Nemanya’s nephew).

Religious affairs


In the 10th century, following the Synod of Split, Split
Split (city)
Split is a Mediterranean city on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, centered around the ancient Roman Palace of the Emperor Diocletian and its wide port bay. With a population of 178,192 citizens, and a metropolitan area numbering up to 467,899, Split is by far the largest Dalmatian city and...

 gained jurisdiction over much of the Croatian-Dalmatian coast, except southern regions (including most of Duklja), which were under the Archbisphopric of Dyrrhachium. However, Split’s pre-eminent position was soon challenged by other cities vying for metropolinate status- Bar and Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641...

 (Ragusa). The East-West Schism
East-West Schism
The East–West Schism of 1054, sometimes known as the Great Schism, formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively...

 would soon have a great impact upon Serbia, not only religiously, but also politically. Since Serbia was positioned at the border zone between Roman and Constantinopolitan jurisdiction, Serb rulers tried to exploit this rivalry to their advantage.

The Slavs who lived along the southern Dalmatian coast fell under the religious jurisdiction of Rome, via the Archbishops of Split, Bar and Ragusa. The rest, in the hinterland stretching to Serbia, were under the Patriarch of Constantinople via the Archbishops of Ohrid, Sirmium and Dyrrhachium. King Mihailo‘s prerogative was to establish an autocephalous Slavic Church- an independent state requires an independent church. For political reasons, he turned to Rome, since at the time he was in less than amicable relations with Byzantium. Michael presumed that the Pope would jump at the chance to expand his jurisdiction in southern Dalmatia, but Michael’s wish was not easily forthcoming. Although some studies have stated that his request to raise Bar to an Archbishopric was granted in 1067, it seems that the cited bull is not authentic.

In 1089, Constantine Bodin managed to raise the bishopric of Bar to an Archbishopric, by supporting the pope against an antipope. The suffragan bishops were to be: Kotor, Ulcinj, Svač, Skadar, Drivast, Pula, Ras, Bosnia and Trebinje
Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina
The Eparchy of Zahumlje and Herzegovina is an eparchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church with its seat in Mostar, temporarily transferred to the Tvrdoš monastery near Trebinje, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.-Early:The region was under the Metropolitanate of Durazzo, which in turn was under...

. In obtaining its promotion, it acquired a much larger diocese, including territory that earlier had not been under the pope - territories of the metropolitan of Durazzo and Archbishop of Ochrid, two sees that recognized the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople , part of the wider Orthodox Church, is one of the fourteen autocephalous churches within the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

. The Bar Archbishopric's new territory were merely theoretical - the pope's edict could only affect the churches that recognized Rome. Making Rascia a suffragan to Bar had little meaning, as most of its churches were under Constantinople, and there is none evidence of Vukan changing adherence to Rome. Durazzo and Ochrid may have suffered minimal territorial losses along the coast, Duklja was briefly a subject to Rome, however inland Duklja was not affected, and along with much of Duklja's coast (like most of Kotor) was to retain its loyalty to Orthodoxy.

List of rulers

  • Petar
    Peter of Diokleia
    Peter of Diokleia or Petar was an archon of Duklja in the 10th or 11th century. The only information on him is from a seal found in the 19th century, which is decorated on the observe with a bust of the Virgin Mary holding a medallion of Christ and flanked by two cruciform invocative monograms...

    , "Archontos Dioklias", late 10th, or 11th century
  • St. Jovan Vladimir
    Jovan Vladimir
    Jovan Vladimir or John Vladimir was ruler of Duklja, the most powerful Serbian principality of the time, from around 1000 to 1016. He ruled during the protracted war between the Byzantine Empire and the First Bulgarian Empire...

    , ca. 1000 - 22 May 1016
  • Stefan Vojislav, archon
    Archon
    Archon is a Greek word that means "ruler" or "lord", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem ἀρχ-, meaning "to rule", derived from the same root as monarch, hierarchy, and anarchy.- Ancient Greece :In ancient Greece the...

    , and toparch of the kastra of Dalmatia
    Dalmatia
    Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

    , Zeta
    Zeta
    -Science:* Zeta functions, in mathematics** Riemann zeta function* Zeta potential, the electrokinetic potential of a colloidal system* Tropical Storm Zeta , formed in December 2005 and lasting through January 2006* Z-pinch, in fusion power...

     and Ston
    Ston
    Ston is a village and municipality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia, located at the south of isthmus of the Pelješac peninsula. The town of Ston is the center of the Ston municipality.- Demographics :...

    , 1018 - ca. 1043
  • Mihailo I rex Sclavorum (King of Slavs), ca. 1046 - 1081 (King in ca. 1077)
  • King Constantine Bodin of Duklja and Dalmatia
    Dalmatia
    Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

     1081 - 1101
  • Brothers Kings Dobroslav II
    Dobroslav II
    Dobroslav II was King of Duklja 1101–1102. Dobroslav was the son of Dioclean King Mihailo I and his second wife. According to the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja, Dobroslav II was selected by the people to become king...

     and Mihailo of Duklja 1101 - 1102
  • King Dobroslav III of Duklja 1102
  • King Kočopar
    Kocopar
    Kočapar Branislavljević was a 12th-century Serb Prince that ruled Duklja 1102-1103, under the rule of Grand Prince Vukan of Rascia. He was the son of Branislav, Prince of Duklja....

     of Duklja 1102 - 1103
  • King Vladimir
    Vladimir of Duklja
    Vladimir was a King of Duklja 1103 - 1113. He was son of Vladimir, who was King Mihailo's son and King Constantin Bodin's oldest brother....

     of Duklja 1103 - 1114
  • King George
    George of Duklja
    George was a King of Duklja in 1113–1118 and again from 1125 to 1131.With his mother, Jaquinta, he opposed the rule of his cousin, Vladimir, and Raškan influence on Duklja. Jaquinta and George had Vladimir fatally poisoned in 1118 and George was crowned king that same year...

     of Duklja 1114 - 1118
  • Prince Grubeša of Duklja and Antivari 1118 - 1125
  • King George
    George of Duklja
    George was a King of Duklja in 1113–1118 and again from 1125 to 1131.With his mother, Jaquinta, he opposed the rule of his cousin, Vladimir, and Raškan influence on Duklja. Jaquinta and George had Vladimir fatally poisoned in 1118 and George was crowned king that same year...

     of Duklja 1125 - 1131 (reinstated)
  • King Gradihna 1131-1148
  • Prince Radoslav
    Radoslav of Duklja
    Radoslav Gradinjić was the Prince of Duklja, from 1146 to 1148.He succeeded his father, Gradinja, as ruler of Dioclea. However, Radoslav had to travel to Byzantine emperor Manuel Comenus in Constantinople to gain the authority to rule over Dioclea, which he did...

     1146-1148/1162


After Radoslav, the region became part of Rascia, under the Vojislavljević- and then Nemanjić dynasty. At times, a royal title including "Duklja" was adopted, however, "of the Maritime lands"
Pomorje
Pomorje or Primorje is a term used in historical contexts to describe one of the two geographical divisions that constituted Serbia in the Middle Ages...

 was mostly used throughout the Middle Ages.
  • Desa, "Dessa Dioclie, Terbunie et Zacholmie dux" 1148-1162
  • King Vukan II of Nemanja of Duklja 1196 - 1208 as a vassal
    Vassal
    A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

     of first Stephen I Nemanya
    Stefan Nemanja
    Stefan Nemanja was the Grand Prince of the Grand Principality of Serbia from 1166 to 1196, a heir of the Vukanović dynasty that marked the beginning of a greater Serbian realm .He is remembered for his contributions to Serbian culture and...

     and then Stefan II the First-crowned of Nemanja; 1202 - 1204 independent

Sources