Serbian Medieval History
Timeline of Events
South Slavs reach the Danube and make incursions into the Balkan peninsula, which they settle in the course of this century.
Slavs reached Adriatic coast. Fall of Salona (near Split) (614).
Prince Samo (623-658)
Prince Samo (623-658) unites Slavic tribes defending against the Avars.
Arabians (Mores) conquer Iberian peninsula.
Bulgarians take Sofia (809).
First Serbian princes: Viseslav, Radoslav, Prosigoj
Methodios (bef. 820-885) and Constantine-Cyrill (826-869), missionaries, "Slavic apostles", founders of Slavic literacy.
Norman conquest of England begins.
Prince Vlastimir (840s - ca. 860)
Vlastimir's sons, Mutimir, Strojmir, and Gojnik, defeat the Bulgarian army (852-857).
Serban conversion to Christianity (867-874).
Pope John VIII (872-882).
First mention of Belgrade (former Singidunum) in the April 16th letter of Pope John VIII (878).
Prince Pribislav, inherits throne from father Mutimir, but is soon overthrown by cousin Petar Gojnikovic.
Prince Petar Gojnikovic (892-917)
Caught by Bulgarians by deception, dies in banishment.
Bulgarian emperor Symeon, the most important ruler of the First Bulgarian empire, raises to throne.
Kliment and Naum, missionaries in Macedonia, spread Cyrillic literacy among Serbs (893).
X-XI c. - establishes the foundation of Serbian literature.
Constantine VII, Byzantine emperor and scholar, publishes important data about the South Slavs in his work "De administrando imperio."
Prince Pavle Branovic (917-920)
Mutimir's grandson and Hungarian vassal.
Prince Zaharije Pribisavljevic (920-924)
Overthrows Prince Pavle.
Bulgarian occupation of Serbian lands.
Prince Caslav Klonimirovic (927 - ca. 960)
Ruler of Raska (Serbia), Duklja (Montenegro), Travunija (East Hercegovina) and Bosnia.
Otto I the Great, king of Germany and first Holy Roman emperor.
Samuilo, ruler of Macedonian Slavs and Bulgarian emperor. Byzantine emperor Basil II Bulgaroktonos defeats Samuilo's army at Belasica in 1014, and annexes his state.
Hugh Capet, king of France, founds the Capet dynasty (ruled until 1348).
Prince Jovan Vladimir (990-1016) in Duklja
Founding of the archbishopric of Ohrid (1019).
Founding of the bishopric of Ras (1020).
Founding of the archbishopric of Dubrovnik (1022).
Prince Vojislav (1035-1051) in Duklja
Prince Vojislav liberates Duklja and annexes Travunija and Zahumlje (modern Hercegovina) (1038).
The uprising of Macedonian Slavs under Peter Odeljan (1040).
King Mihailo (1051-1081) in Zeta
The first Serbian king, under whom Duklja (later Zeta) was the first Serbian state to achieve international recognition, concludes favorable treaty with Byzantines (1052).
Definite schism between Eastern and Western Churches.
Seljuq Turks conquer Baghdad.
Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror begins Norman domination in England.
First Catholic bishop in Bar (Zeta) (1067).
Insurrection of Mihailo's son Bodin and Djordje Vojteh in Macedonia (1072).
Seljuq Turks take Jerusalem.
Pope Gregory VII gives Mihailo title of king (1077).
Erection of St. Mihailo's church in Ston (near Dubrovnik) (1080).
Grand zupan of Raska Vukan (1083-1122)
King Konstantin Bodin (1081-1101) in Zeta
Henry IV conquers Rome.
Bishopric of Bar elevated to archibishopric (1089).
Vukan attacks Byzantine's possessions. Clashes around city of Zvecan in Kosovo (1093).
The First Crusade. Crusaders found the Jerusalem kingdom.
Hungaria annexes Croatia.
Vukan advances against Byzantine lands (1106).
Grand zupan of Raska Uros I (1122-1143)
Serbs take the city of Ras (1127).
Grand zupan of Raska Uros II (1143-1156)
Clashes with Byzantines in alliance with Hungary.
First mention of Moscow.
Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos destroys Serbian towns Ras and Galic (1149).
Battle between Serbs and Byzantines at river Tara, near modern Valjevo (1150).
Holy Roman emperor Frederick I Barbarossa.
Grand zupan of Raska Desa (1155)
The succession of several zupans on Raskan throne under Byzantine influence.
Byzantium defeats Hungary and conquers Srem, Bosnia, Dalmatia, and Croatia.
Grand zupan of Raska Stefan Nemanja (1168-1196)
Founder of the Nemanjic dynasty.
Nemanja defeats brother Tihomir at the battle of Pantino (1170).
Nemanja accepts the overlordship of Byzantine emperor Manuel I (1172).
Hungarian king Bela III recovers Srem, Croatia and Dalmatia.
Beginnings of Inquisition.
Birth of Rastko Nemanjic (Saint Sava).
Serbs allied with Hungary against Byzantines, reached and ravaged Sofia (1182). Serbia gains full independence.
Nemanja attempts to conquer Dubrovnik and island of Korcula (1184), takes Duklja and town of Kotor, renews peace settlement with Dubrovnik (1186).
Serbian envoys in Nurenberg, negotiating with Barbarossa on the upcoming Crusade (1186).
Third Crusade (1189-1192).
Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199).
Nemanja and Barbarossa meet in Nis as crusaders pass through Morava valley (1189).
Trade agreement between Bosnia and Dubrovnik, one of the first written documents in vernacular Serbian (1189).
Rastko Nemanjic becomes prince in Hum (1190).
Serb advance checked by Byzantines at Southern Morava (1190).
Stefan Nemanjic, Nemanja's middle son, marries Byzantine princess Eudokia (1191).
Nemanja abdicates and withdraws as monk, first to monastery Hilandar, and later to monastery Studenica (1196).
Grand zupan of Raska Stefan Nemanjic (1196-1227)
King from 1217.
Nemanja, as monk Simeon, dies in monastery Hilandar (1200).
Stefan was overthrown by his elder brother Vukan (1202).
Hungarians ravage Serbia (1203). Stefan and Vukan reconcile and Stefan becomes Grand zupan again (1203).
Fourth Crusade. Crusaders conquer Constantinople and found Latin empire.
Nemanja's body transferred from Hilandar to Studenica (1206).
Sava Nemanjic becomes archbishop and settles in monastery Studenica (1206).
Stefan Nemanjic marries Anna Dandolo, Venitian doge's granddaughter (1207).
Stefan Nemanjic liberates Nis, Vranje and Prizren (1208).
Stefan Nemanjic fights wars against Bulgarians, Hungarians, and Byzantines (1216).
King Stefan, the First-Crowned
Stefan Nemanjic becomes the first Serbian king in Raska, thus called "Prvovencani" (the First-Crowned).
Sava Nemanjic withdraws to Mt. Athos (1217).
Radoslav, Stefan's eldest son, marries Ana, daughter of the despot of Epirus (1219).
Serbian church becomes independent, with Sava as first Archbishop
French king Louis IX (Saint-Louis) (1226-1270).
Sixth crusade, led by Holy Roman emperor Frederick II, conquest of Jerusalem (1229).
King Radoslav Nemanjic (1228-1233).
Archbishop Sava travels to Palestine (1229).
Pope Gregory IX formally establishes the Holy Inquisition.
Bosnian ban Matija Ninoslav (1232-1250)
Hungarian vassal, Catholic flirting with "heresy", provokes crusade against Bosnia.
King Radoslav overthrown by his brother (1233).
King Stefan Vladislav I (1234-1243)
Married to Bulgarian emperor's daughter, rules under strong Bulgarian influence.
Serbian archbishop Arsenije I (1234-1263) takes a seat from retired Sava.
Second great voyage of Sava, who dies in Trnovo, Bulgaria (1236).
German Saxon miners come to Serbia (1241).
King Stefan Uros I Nemanjic (1243-1276)
Turks conquer Jerusalem, now lost for ever for Christians.
Seventh crusade (1248-1254).
Stefan Uros marries Helen d'Anjou (1250).
Clashes between Serbia and Dubrovnik (1251-1255).
Ban Prijezda (1250-1278) in Bosnia
Founder of the Kotromanic dynasty.
King Uros takes Skoplje, Prilep and Kicevo (1258).
Michael VIII liberates Constantinople and restores Byzantine empire.
Archbishop Sava II (King Stefan's son) (1263-1271).
Charles d'Anjou (1265-1285), king of Sicily and Naples.
King Uros I unsuccessfully attacks Hungerians in Macva (1267).
Eighth crusade. Louis IX dies outside of Tunisia.
Archbishop Ioanikije I (1272-1276).
King Uros I besieges Dubrovnik (1275).
King Stefan Dragutin Nemanjic (1276-1282)
Dragutin abdicates following a hunting accident in favor of his brother Milutin at the council in Dezeva (1282) and retires to govern northern Serbia and Srem.
Serbs retake Skoplje, Polog, and areas around Belasica (1282).
King Stefan Uros II Milutin Nemanjic (1282-1321)
Serbs clash with Byzantines, reaching Hilandar and the Aegean (1283).
Milutin marries Elizabeth, daughter of Hungarian king Stefan V (1283).
Serbs take Porec, Kicevo, and Debar in Macedonia (1284).
Dragutin receives concessions from Hungarians, Belgrade for the first time under direct Serbian rule (1284).
Mongols (Tatars) ravage Bulgaria, Hungaria, and parts of Serbia, and burn the monastery Zica (1285).
Osman I, Turkish sultan (1288-1326), founder of the Ottoman dynasty.
Ban Stjepan Kotromanic (1290-1310) in Bosnia
Married to king Dragutin's daughter Jelena.
Dragutin takes Branicevo (eastern Serbia) (1291).
Hungarian king Andrew III gives Slavonija to Dragutin's son Vladislav (1292).
Archbishop Jevstatije (1292-1309).
Milutin takes Drac (Albania) (1296).
Peace settlement between Serbia and Byzantium, Milutin marries Simonida, daughter of emperor Andronikos II. Pec becomes seat of the Serbian archbishopric (1299).
First assembly of the General states in France.
Beginnings of conflict between brothers Milutin and Dragutin (1301).
Milutin gives Zeta to son Stefan to administrate (1309).
Archbishop Sava III (1309-1316), Milutin's close associate, renews churches and monasteries (1309).
Milutin sends 2,000 warriors to aid Byzantines in fight against the Turks (1313).
Stefan revolts against father Milutin. Milutin wins and has his son blinded and sent to Constantinople (1314). Queen-mother Helen (Jelena) dies (1314) and king Dragutin (1316).
War between Serbia and Dubrovnik (1317).
Archbishop Nikodim (1317-1324), monk and diplomat.
Hungary temporarily captures northern Serbia, including Macva and Belgrade (1319).
Milutin's son Stefan back from Constantinople (1320).
King Milutin dies (1321). Stefan claims miraculous return of eyesight, assumes the throne, and embarks on fight with rival contenders.
King Stefan Uros III, Decanski (1321-1331)
Ban Stjepan II Kotromanic (1322-1353) in Bosnia
The economic and political rise of Bosnia with the support of Hungary; conflicts with Serbia; Franciscans spread their mission.
Bulgarian emperor Michael Shishman (1323-1330), married to Stefan's daughter.
Archbishop Danilo II (1324-1337), diplomat and statesman, famous biographer of Serbian kings and archbishops
Bosnia annexes part of Hum (1326).
Bulgarian emperor Michael Shishman attacks Serbia with Byzantine help. Stefan decisively defeats them near Velbuzd (1330).
Emperor Stefan Uros IV Dusan Nemanjic (1331-1355) king and emperor (1345) of Serbia
Stefan's son Dusan overthrows his father.
Stefan dies in imprisonment.
Dusan marries Jelena, sister of Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria (1332).
Dusan grants Adriatic coastline through Ston and Peljesac peninsula to Dubrovnik(1333).
Dusan takes Prilep, Ohrid, Strumica (1334) from Byzantines.
Hungarian attacks Serbia and are repelled; Serbs take Macva (1335).
Hundred years war between England and France (1337-1453).
Archbishop Joanikije (1337-1354), first patriarch of Serbia.
John Cantacuzenus, Byzantine emperor, seeks alliance with Dusan in Pristina (1342).
Serbs drawn into Byzantine civil war, take advantage of the conflict (1344).
Dusan takes the important city of Serres in eastern Macedonia and Mount Athos (1345).
Dusan assumes title of emperor on Christmas day (1345).
Serbian church elevated to Patriarchy on Easter in Skoplje. Patriarch Joanikije crowns Dusan as Emperor of Serbs and Romans (Greeks).
Dusan and Jelena visit Mount Athos (1347).
Dusan annexes Epirus and Thessaly (1348).
"Black Death", the Bubonic plague, ravages Europe.
Dusan's Zakonik (state law code) published.State council in Skoplje immediately promulgates the Law code.
Byzantine anathema on Serbian church. Dusan partially recaptures Hum area (1350).
Dimotika battle; Cantacuzenus, allied with Turks, defeats rival emperor John V, backed by Serbs and Bulgarians (1352).
John V Palaeologos restored on Byzantine throne.
Turks conquer Galipoli and enter Europe.
Ban Tvrtko I Kotromanic (1353-1391) in Bosnia.
Assumes, based on Nemanjic lineage, title king Stefan of Serbia in 1377.
Dusan sends embassy to pope Innocence VI, attempting to unite the Christian powers against the Turks (1354).
Papal embassy on Serbian court (1355).
Emperor Dusan dies at age 48 (1355).
Emperor Stefan Uros V Nemanjic (1355-1371)
Dubrovnik rejects Venice and accepts Hungarian suzerainty. Power is divided between the Rector and three councils (1358).
Simeon-Sinisa Palaeologos, Dusan's half-brother, establishes virtually independent rule in Epirus and Thessaly (1359).
Serbian nobility increasingly ignores central authority (1360).
Turkish sultan Murad I.
Charles V, king of France.
Nobleman Vukasin Mrnjavcevic (1366-1371)
Crowned by Uros as a king and made co-ruler with great independence.
Despot Ugljesa, Vukasin's brother, rules the easternmost provinces of the Empire around Serres.
The battle of Marica (1371). Vukasin and Ugljesa move east to preempt Ottoman advance, but are defeated and killed.
Emperor Uros V dies (1371).
Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic (1371-1389)
Defeats rival nobleman Nikola Altomanovic and emerges as key ruler in central Serbia (1373).
Patriarch Jefrem (1375-1379). Reconciliation between Serbian and Byzantine patriarchies (1375).
Tvrtko I Kotromanic of Bosnia assumes royal Serbian name Stefan and is crowned king of Serbia in Mileseva.
German emperor Charles IV dies. The beginning of the "Great schism" in the Catholic church.
Lazar officially crowned as "Lord of the Serbs and the Danube, Stefan Prince Lazar, autocrat of all the Serbs" (1378)
Patriarch Spiridon (1379-1389)
First Turkish incursion checked by Lazar at Paracin (1381).
Charles VI, king of France.
Lazar sheds Hungarian vassalage (1382).
Turks take city of Serres from Byzantines (1383).
Lazar's son-in-law, Djuradj (George) II Stracimirovic Balsic (1385-1403), ruler of Zeta, recognizes Lazar's suzerainty; Lazar adds "and the Coast" to his title (1387)
Turks invade Toplica and take Nis (central Serbia) (1386).
Serbs defeat large Turkish raid at Bileca (Hercegovina) (1388).
The Battle of Kosovo
Major battle between invading Turks under sultan Murad I and Lazar's Serbian-led Christian army. Technically a draw, as both forces retreat and both commanders killed. Lazar's widow Milica becomes regent for young son Stefan.
Patriarch Jefrem, elected Patriarch for the second time (1389)
Hungarians under Sigismund raid Serbia from the north (1389).
Decline of Bosnian state after Tvrtko's death (1391).
Turks take Skoplje, former Serbian capital (1392).
Nobleman Vuk Brankovic (1371-1397), Lazar's son-in-law, retains southern Serbian possessions as Turkish vassal (1392).
Turks take Skadar (1393).
Turkish siege of Constantinople (1394-1402).
Djuradj Balsic recovers Skadar (1395).
Battle of Rovine (1395), Serbian king Marko Mrnjavcevic and noble Konstantin Dejanovic die as Turkish vassals against Wallachian prince Mircea.
Venice takes possession of Skadar by agreement with Djuradj Balsic.
The end of the Vidin empire (Bulgaria). Truce between France and England.
Turks route Hungarian crusaders at Nikopolis (1396); Prince Stefan Lazarevic fights as a vassal of sultan Bayezid I.
Vuk Brankovic deposed by Turks, dies in Turkish banishment; his lands pass to Stefan Lazarevic (1397).
Despot Stefan Lazarevic (1389 - 1402)
Prince Lazar's son, reconciles with the sultan.
Dethroned Richard III: the end of Plantagenet dynasty in England.
Battle of Angora between Mongols and Turks with Stefan as vassal. Mongols victorious, Bayezid captured, Stefan retreats (1402).
Stefan Lazarevic obtains title of Despot from Byzantine emperor (1402).
Patriarch Sava V (1400-1406)
Belgrade becomes capital of Serbia (1403).
Rebellion of Orthodox citizens in Skadar against Venetian rule, helped by nobleman Balsa III Balsic of Zeta (1405).
Patriarch Cyril (1407-1409).
Prince Louis de Orleans killed. Civil war in France.
Despot becomes first member of new Hungarian Order of the Dragon (1408).
Vuk Lazarevic, despot's brother, and brothers Brankovic rebel against the despot. Rebels and Turks take Pristina (1408).
Temporary division of Serbia between brothers Lazarevic (1409).
Vuk Lazarevic and Lazar Brankovic executed; despot Stefan restores southern part of Serbia (1410).
Despot Stefan actively involved in Ottoman civil war . Sultan Suleiman killed, Stefan strengthens ties with Hungary (1411).
Sultan Musa attacks Serbia. Reconciliation between despot and Djuradj Brankovic, who is declared heir to throne (1412).
Battle of Mt. Vitosa, Christian-supported Mehemmed victorious, Musa beheaded, end of Ottoman civil war (1403-1413).
Kotor surrenders to Venice (1420).
Patriarch Nikon (1420-1435).
Balsa III Balsic of Zeta (Montenegro) dies, bequeathing his lands to uncle Stefan (1421).
Turkish siege of Constantinople
Despot Stefan supports new sultan Murad II in Turkish civil, gains alliance. Peace in Skadar between Serbia and Venice (1423).
Turkish advance on Serbia, diplomatically neutralized by Stefan with Hungarian help. Bosnian attack on Srebrnica repulsed (1425).
Stefan picks Djuradj as successor at council at Srebrnica. Agreement between despot Stefan and Hungarian king Sigismund in Tati (1426).
Despot Stefan dies (1427).
Despot Djuradj Brankovic (1427 - 1456)
King Sigismund recognizes Djuradj as the new ruler of Serbia and vassal (1427).
Turks attack Serbia, take some towns, repulsed from mining center Novo Brdo. Construction of Smederevo, a strongly fortified new Serbian capital on the Danube, begins. Djuradj accepts formal Turkish overlordship (1428).
Djuradj reconferred title of Despot by Byzantine emperor John VIII.
Construction of Smederevo, new Serbian capital, mostly complete. The Konavle war between Dubrovnik and Serbian nobleman Radoslav Pavlovic.
War between Bosnia and Serbia (1431-1433), Serbia gains control of Usora region including towns of Zvornik and Teocak.
Patriarch Nikodim II (1433-1455).
Contract in Arasse, the end of civil war in France.
Peace between Serbia and Venice. Despot's daughter Mara married to Turkish sultan Murad.
Battle of Godomine field (near Smederevo). Despot Djuradj cedes Danube fotress Branicevo (1437).
First fall of Smederevo to Ottomans (1439).
Florentine union between Roman and Byzantine churches.
First Turkish siege of Belgrade fails, repulsed by Hungarian noble Janos Hunyady. Despot Djuradj moves to Zeta (1440).
Turks blind despot's sons Grgur and Stefan (1441).
Bosnian nobleman Stefan Vukcic Kosaca takes coastal town of Bar, Venetians Drivast and Budva (1442).
Stefan Vukcic takes title "Herceg (duke) of Saint Sava", invoking Serbian Nemanjic tradition; his main realm henceforth known as Hercegovina.
Pope declares crusade against the Turks. Venetians takes Bar. Skender-beg in Albania (1443-1464).
Christian Crusade ledby Hungarian king Vladislav, Hunyadi and Djuradj moves south, liberates most of Serbia and reaches Sofia.
Turkish sultan Murad formally recognizes restored Serbia with 24 towns. Hungarian crusaders defeated at Varna (1444).
Despot Djuradj restores Srebrenica (1445), his son Lazar receives hereditary rights to Despot title (1446).
Hostilities between Serbia and Venice over coastal Zeta. Hunyady defeated by Turks in second Kosovo battle (1448).
Death of sultan Murad, return of Mara Brankovic to Serbia (1451).
Peasant rebellion in Grbalj (Zeta coast) against Venice (1451-1452).
End of Hundred Years' War. Fall of Constantinople, end of the Byzantine empire.
Turkish raids on Serbia resume; siege of Smederevo. Hunyady defeats Turks near Krusevac.
Turks take Novo Brdo. Zeta lost to Serbian despotate, divided by Turks, Venetians and semi-autonomous rule of Stefan Crnojevic (1455).
Stefan Crnojevic (1455-1465), Great Vojvoda in Zeta.
Patriarch Arsenije II (1455-1463).
Failed Turkish siege of Belgrade; defending leaders, Hunyady and Cardinal John Capistrano, die in ensuing outbreak of plague. Despot Djuradj Brankovic dies at 82 (1456).
Failed Turkish siege of Belgrade; defending leaders, Hunyady and Cardinal John Capistrano, die in ensuing outbreak of plague. Despot Djuradj Brankovic dies at 82 (1456).
Despot Lazar Brankovic (1456 - 1458)
Serbian-Turkish peace (1457). Despot Lazar Brankovic makes limited advances north of the Danube, taking Kovin.
Turks conquer all of northern Serbia except Smederevo. Death of despot Lazar (1458).
Despot Stefan Tomasevic, despot of Serbia (1459), king of Bosnia (1461-1463).
Final fall of Smederevo to Turks, the central Serbian state disappears. Stefan returns to Bosnia (1459).
Ivan Crnojevic (1465-1490), semi-independent ruler in Zeta (Montenegro)
Turks take Bosnia (1463), and king Stefan was beheaded.
Turks take large parts of Hercegovina. Herceg Stefan dies, succeded by son Vlatko (1466).
Turkish advance against Zeta and Albania, Ivan Crnojevic flees to coastal lands (1477).
Final Turkish attack on Hercegovina, fall of Herceg-Novi. Ivan Crnojevic returns to Zeta as semi-autonomous ruler (1481). Establishment of Cetinje as capital of Zeta and seat of Orthodox Metropolitanate (vladika).
Djuradj Crnojevic (1490-1496), ruler in Montenegro
The Spanish captured Alhambra, the final Muslim stronghold in Spain. Expulsion of Jews from Spain (1492).
Cristopher Columbus reaches America (1492).
Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal
Openning of first South Slavic Cyrillic printing press in Obod (1494).
Vasco de Gama sails to India around Africa (1497).
Turks force Djuradj to flee, final Serbian land of Montenegro formally incorporated into Ottoman Empire (1496).