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Vojislavljević dynasty

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Duklja/Doclea modern Montenegro, Herzegovina, southernmost Dalmatia

  • Doclea, Dalmatia 1034–1186
  • Rascia 1064–1091
  • Bosnia 1064–
Parent house Possibly Vlastimirović dynasty Titles
  • Prince archon
  • Grand Prince 1050–1077
  • King rex Sclavorum; 1077–1080
  • "Prince of Serbs",1 "of Serbia"2
Founded 1034 Founder Stefan Vojislav Final ruler Radoslav Gradišnić Dissolution 1186 Ethnicity SerbA Cadet branches Vukanović dynasty

The Vojislavljević Serbian: pl Војислављевићи, Vojislavljevići was a Serbian medieval dynasty, named after archon Stefan Vojislav, who wrestled the polities of Duklja, Travunia, Zahumlje, Rascia and Bosnia from the Byzantines in the mid-11th century The main line of the Vojislavljević were ousted by their cadet branch, the Vukanović which became the Nemanjić dynasty, in the late 12th century


  • 1 Background
  • 2 History
    • 21 Stefan Vojislav
    • 22 Mihailo I
    • 23 Constantine Bodin
    • 24 Decline
  • 3 List of rulers
  • 4 Family tree
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Annotations
  • 7 References
    • 71 Sources



Stefan Vojislavedit

Main article: Stefan Vojislav

Stefan Vojislav, the progenitor of the dynasty, was a Serbian nobleman in Byzantine service who had the titles of archon, and toparch of the Dalmatian kastra of Zeta and Ston34 In 1034 he led an unsuccessful revolt that resulted in his incarceration at Constantinople, he however, managed to escape and return, this time successfully gaining independence of his statelet, which he would rule as Prince of the Serbs,1 a title signifying supreme leadership among the Serbs The contemporary writers call him a Serb, but do not mention his genealogy, while a later, dubious source, calls him a cousin to previous ruler Jovan Vladimir r 990–1016B

Mihailo Iedit

Main article: Mihailo I of Duklja Fresco of Mihailo I in the Church of St Michael in Ston

Mihailo I became Grand Prince around 1050/1055 He restored independence and maintained it from the Byzantine Empire He sought closer relations with other great powers, such as the Pope and the Normans Mihailo installed his son Petrislav as Prince of Rascia After the aborted rebellion in Bulgaria, the military governor of Dyrrhachium, Nicephorus Bryennius, restored Byzantine rule to Rascia in 1073 Mihailo reportedly received royal insignia in 1077 from Pope Gregory VII, although this is still a matter of debate An image of King Mihajlo with his crown is still found in the Church of St Michael in Ston, a town in the Pelješac peninsula in present-day Croatia Mihajlo's rule ended in 1080

Constantine Bodinedit

Main article: Constantine Bodin

His successor was his son Constantin Bodin, who ruled from 1080 to 1101 Bodin fought Byzantium and Normans further to the south, and took the town of Dyrrachium He established vassal states in Bosnia under Stefan and Raška under Vukan and Marko, which recognized his supremacy Vukan and Marko, the new princes of Raška were probably sons of the aforementioned Petrislav Vukan 1083–1115 was the Grand Župan while Marko headed administration of a part of the land The Byzantine Emperor Alexios later forced Vukan to acknowledge Byzantine suzerainty in 1094 After Bodin died in 1101, incessant struggles for power among his heirs weakened the state Bodin had previously exiled Dobroslav, his younger brother, together with their cousin Kočapar In 1101 they returned, and vied for power together with another grandson of Mihajlo's, Vladimir Vladimir at one point married the daughter of Vukan of Raška


In 1114, Đorđe, son of Constantin Bodin, came to power in Duklja The next year Vukan was replaced in Raška by his nephew Uroš I ca 1115–1131 Đorđe's rule lasted until 1118

One of the sons of Uroš I was Zavida, Prince of Zahumlje His four sons would eventually bring order to the Rascian lands and found the House of Nemanja

In these struggles, the pro-Raška rulers eventually managed to rise to power in Duklja, culminating in the rise of Stefan Nemanja, one of Zavida's sons around 1166 His son Stefan Nemanjić restored the old Doclean crown in 1217 by receiving from the Pope regal insignia as "King of all Serbs and Maritime Lands"

List of rulersedit

Picture Name Title Reign Notes
Stefan Vojislav "Prince of the Serbs"1 or "of Serbia"2 toparch of the Dalmatian kastra of Zeta and Ston       1018–1034
Overthrew the Byzantine supremacy over Serbs in Duklja; founder of the Vojislavljević dynasty; in 1035 rebelled against the Byzantine Empire, but forced to sign an armistice; went to war again in 1040, which would be continued by his heir and son, Mihailo Except Duklja, his realm included Travunija with Konavli and Zahumlje
Mihailo I "Prince of Tribals or Serbs" "King of Slavs"       1050–1077
Crowned King by the pope in 1077
Constantine Bodin "protosebastos and executor of Dioklea and Serbia"5 King titular       1081–1085
Tsar of Bulgaria as Peter III in 1072

After Constantine Bodin, the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja claims that the following members of the same family ruled Duklja:

  • King Dobroslav II 1101–1102
  • King Mihailo II 1101–1102
  • King Dobroslav III 1102
  • King Kočopar 1102–1103
  • King Vladimir 1103–1114
  • King Đorđe 1114–1118, 1125–1131
  • Prince Grubeša 1118–1125
  • King Gradihna/Gradinja 1131–1148
  • Prince Radoslav 1146–1148, 1162

However, none of these are mentioned in contemporary sources6

Family treeedit

  • Stefan Vojislav
    • Gojslav
    • Radoslav
      • Branislav
        • Kočapar fl 1102–03
        • Grubeša
        • Gradinja fl 1125–46
          • Radoslav
      • Gradislav
        • Berinja
      • Saganek
      • Predimir
    • Mihailo I, King of Slavs Duklja
      • Dobroslav II
      • Vladimir
      • Konstantin Bodin
        • Mihajlo II
        • Đorđe Bodinović fl 1113–31
      • Petrislav, Prince of Rascia ca 1050–1083
        • Vukan
          • Vukanović dynasty

See alsoedit

  • List of Serbian monarchs


  1. ^ According to contemporary Byzantine sources, the members of this family was Serb7


  1. ^ a b c Scylitzes, 408-9
  2. ^ a b Cedrenus, ed Bonn, II, p 526
  3. ^ Kekaumenos, ed Litavrin, 170-2
  4. ^ Paul Magdalino, Byzantium in the year 1000, p 124
  5. ^ "Jean-Claude Cheynet, „La place de la Serbie dans la diplomatie Byzantine à la fin du XI e siècle", Zbornik radova Vizantološkog instituta , XLV, Beograd, 2008, 89–9" PDF 
  6. ^ Vizantološki institut 2006 Recueil de travaux de l'Institut des études byzantines Institut p 452 
  7. ^ Sofija Božić 1 April 2014 Istorija i geografija: susreti i prožimanja: History and geography: meetings and permeations Институт за новију историју Србије,Географски институт "Јован Цвијић" САНУ, Институт за славистку Ран p 434 ISBN 978-86-7005-125-6 According to the Chronicle, the first Vojisavljević, Stefan Vojislav 1040–1043,38 was John Vladimir's nephew, whilst his mother was a princess of Raška Chronicle, XXXVII Even if the Priest of Doclea invented this, the claim of his Serbian ethnicity was given in contemporary Byzantine authors, such as Keukamenos, Zonaras, Cedrenus and John Skylitzes However, the new history of montenegro ignores these sources and simply terms the Vojislavljević dynasty as Doclean – Montenegrin 


  • Ćorović, Vladimir 2001 Istorija srpskog naroda Internet ed Belgrade: Ars Libri 
  • Ćirković, Sima M 2004 The Serbs Wiley-Blackwell ISBN 0-631-20471-7 
  • Fine, John Van Antwerp 1991 The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century Michigan: The University of Michigan Press ISBN 0-472-08149-7 
  • Andrija Veselinović; Radoš Ljušić 2008 Srpske dinastije Službene glasink ISBN 978-86-7549-921-3 

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