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Index of Montenegrin History
Quotes About Montenegrin History
Origins of Montenegrins
Vojislavljevics- the First Montenegrin Dynasty
Nemanjic's Rule
Balsics' Rule
Crnojevics' Rule
Old Montenegro
Prince Bishops' Rule
Prince Bishop (Vladika) Danilo - The Founder of Petrovic Dynasty
Scepan the Small
Petar I Petrovic Njegos
Petar II Petrovic Njegos
Prince Danilo Petrovic
King Nicholas I 
Unification of Montenegro and Serbia (Podgorica's  Assembly)
Montenegro in Yugoslavia


Nemanjics' period (1186-1353) 

After Bodin's death, the infighting among his potential successors weakened the Doclean state and brought about Raska's reign. Between 1183 and 1186, relying on the domestic feudal lords who betrayed the state interest, the Great Raska's chieftain Stefan Nemanja, conquered Zeta and ended the first period of the Montenegrin state.  

Stefan (Stjepan) Nemanja (King of Raska 1150-1195)Remains od Doclea near PodgoricaWith the conquest of Duklja / Zeta, as it was referred to from the 11th century, Nemanja is said to have destroyed entire coastal towns, (except Kotor), that never subsequently recovered. In the tide of destruction Nemanja also had destroyed 'monuments of Latin literacy by burning local churches and books. It is claimed that he also persecuted the Bogomils, and expelled the Greeks from Zeta'(Rovinski, Crna Gora u proslosti i sadasnjosti, Cetinje, 1993, p.279). 

The Duklja/Zeta destruction was accompanied with the forceful conversion of Zeta's population to Orthodox Christianity. In 1185, the Bar's archbishop Grgur, escaped Nemanja's reprisal, which, factually and formally, ended the existence of Archdiocese in Bar.  

'Uspenje Bogorodice' or simply Moraca Monastery (built 1252 by Stevan Nemanjic)In 1190, Nemanja's son Vukan, the first time mentioned Regent of Zeta/Doclea, asserted the Doclean King crown ('Kraljevstva od isprva'). He converted to Catholicism in order to be accepted by the Zeta's feudal lords (D.Zivkovic, ibid.). The Zeta's King Vukan, restored the Archdiocese in Bar in 1199, after approval of Pope Inocentie (Inocentije) III. In 1219, the regent of Zeta became King Djordje, the oldest son of King Vukan. He was succeeded by his second oldest son Stefan (mentioned in 1252), who built 'Uspenje Bogorodice' monastery in Moraca (D.Zivkovic, Istorija Crnogorskog Naroda, Cetinje, 1989).  

Savina Monastery in Herceg NoviEntrance with the Portal of Moraca MonasteryBetween 1276 and 1309, the Queen Helen (Jelena), a catholic (from the Kurtene family) widow of Raska's/Serbia's King Uros I, was ruling Zeta. She advanced the highest level of autonomy of the Zeta state within Nemanjic's Serbia and built and restored around 50 monasteries in Zeta, most notably St. Srdj and Vakh on the river Bojana under Shkoder (ibid.). During this period (1296), the name Crna Gora (Montenegro) is mentioned for the first time in the charter of St. Nicholas' monastery (Vranjina) issued by the Raska's king Milutin, who was the younger son of Uros I and Jelene Kurtene (D.Zivkovic, Istorija Crnogorskog Naroda, Cetinje, 1989). Crna Gora is to be understood as the highland region under mountain Lovcen, within Zeta, and under the domination of Raska (ibid.). During King Milutin's reign, at the beginning of XIV century, the Archdiocese in Bar was the biggest feudal lord in Zeta (J.Jovanovic, Stvaranje Crnogorske Drzave i Razvoj Crnogorske Nacionalnosti, Obod, Cetinje 1947, p. 18). 

From 1309 to 1321, demanded by the Zeta's lords, the state was co-ruled by the oldest son of Raska's/Serbian King Milutin, young King Stefan (later Decanski). Similarly, from 1321 to 1331, Stefan's young son Dusan (future Serbian king and tzar) co-ruled Zeta with his father.  

Detail from 'Miroslav's Gospel' - The St Peter Church in Bijelo PoljeAfter the Serbian tzar Dusan Nemanjic death in 1355, the Serbian Kingdom started to crumble and its holdings were divided among the Prince (knez) Lazar Hrebeljanovic, the short-lived Bosnian state of Tvrtko I (reigned 1353-91), and a semi-independent chiefdom of Zeta under the Balsic dynasty, who increasingly asserted Zeta's sovereignty. Zeta, thus, regained its independence under the second Montenegrin dynasty, the Balsic, whose founder Balsa I, came to power in 1360.  

Between 1186 and 1190, the first Cyrillic monument of Zeta's (Zetske)/Montenegrin edition of Old-Slavic literal language, was made (Miroslav's Gospel). Miroslav's Gospel (Miroslavljevo Jevandjelje) was probably rewritten in Kotor by order of Miroslav, Prince of Zahumlje, and a cousin (female line) of Raska ruler Stefan Nemanja (D.Zivkovic, Istorija Crnogorskog Naroda, Cetinje, 1989).


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