Serbian Empire

Article

August 11, 2022

The Serbian Empire is a Serbian medieval state that existed in the middle of the 14th century. Formally, the Serbian medieval state became an empire when King Stefan Dušan proclaimed himself emperor in Ser, at the end of 1345, although aspirations towards this title have been present since the beginning of the great conquests of Byzantine territories at the beginning of Dušan's reign. The Serbian Empire ceased to exist with the death of Stefan Uroš V in December 1371. The Serbian Empire was the largest medieval Serbian state in terms of territory. Dušan's conquests came as the peak of the strengthening of the Nemanjić state, which confirmed its supremacy on the Balkan Peninsula with the Battle of Velbužde in 1330. Dissatisfied Serbian lords, eager for new possessions, overthrew Stefan Uroš III Dečanski from power and brought his son Stefan Dušan to power. Vlastela will also be the main driver of the conquest moves of the Serbian king, but it will also come as a consequence of the change in state ideology and the rise in the hierarchy of states that began since the time of Stefan Uroš II Milutin. Dušan's death made it impossible for the newly conquered territories to become an integral part of the Nemanjić state, and after his death the collapse of the Serbian Empire began, which will end with the death of his successor Uroš, which also ended the rule of Nemanjić in Serbian medieval history.

Introduction

The retreat of the great domesticist John Cantakuzin to Didymotik and his proclamation as emperor (October 1341) marked the outbreak of a new civil war. In 1342, Kantakuzin unsuccessfully tried to get in touch with Dušan, whom he had known since 1336, when he attended another meeting between the Serbian king and Emperor Andronikos. He came into contact with Dušan through Jovan Oliver and his brother Bogdan. The meeting was held in Pristina in July 1342. The negotiations ended with the conclusion of an alliance against Anna of Savoy and Aleksi Apokavka. It was agreed that everyone would keep what they won. Serbian detachments participated in the attack on Ser in 1342. They were led by Jovan Oliver and Duke Vratko. Jovan attacks him the following year as well. However, he fails to win it. The movements of Dušan's troops in 1342/3 were directed towards Albania. The king conquers Berat, Kanin and Kroja. Except Durrës, which was under the Angevins, Dušan conquered the whole of �