Vlada Stanković

Assoc. Prof. PhD, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, RSerbia

Beloved Son-in-Law: Charters of Byzantine Emperors to the Hilandar Monastery after the Marriage of King Milutin to Symonis

  • Summary/Abstract

    The article discusses the events in the Balkans by the end of the 13th century when the Serbian ruler Milutin managed to get special status after marriage to a five-year-old daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II, Simonis. The marriage of Emperor Milutin with the emperor’s daughter radically changes the position and policy of the Serbian king. After 1299, Milutin emerged as a strong opponent of the empire to be defeated by military force, but at the same time, potentially very valuable friend and ally, by whom Byzantine influence can be spread more and more widely in the Balkans. After that King Milutin becomes governance model for his successors, especially for her grandson Stefan Dušan, who ascend even higher in the hierarchy of Balkan rulers. Dušan declared himself emperor in 1345 at the height of the civil war in Byzantium, with claims to dominate both in Serbia and over Byzantium. Dušan managed to get from the nineteen-year-old emperor John the Fifth Palaeologus, the son of Andronicus III, recognition of his imperial status by formula (which follows closely the model prepared for Milutin): for John the Fifth Dušan was an emperor of Serbia and "favorite uncle", but this is not a temporary solution to the young and inexperienced emperor. This formula is forced under political pressure and is expression of Byzantine official position to the neighbor ally and confirms the evolution to the Serbian rulers by Byzantine emperors and the change, which is implemented earlier through Milutin’s policy.

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