Serbia, Europe, Historical Profile (1922), #004-The Visheslav Dynasty


The first Serb princes who more or less successfully united several Zhupaniyas into one state, belonged to what might be called "the Visheslav dynasty." Zhupan Visheslav lived in the beginning of the yth century, and seems to have been the descendant of that leader of the Serbs who signed the settlement treaty with the emperor Heraclius towards the middle of the 7th century. His ancestral Zhupaniya comprised Tara, Piva, Lim (the neck of land between the Montenegro and Serbia of pre-war days).

Vislieslav's son Rado siav, his grandson Prissegoy and 'his great-grandson Vlastimir, "the first clear personality" of Serbian history, continued his work. Vlastimir successfully defended the western provinces of Serbia against the Bulgarians, although the eastern provinces (Branichevo, Morava, Timok, Vardar, Podrimlye) were occupied by the Bulgars.

The Bulgarian danger, and probably the successful operations of the Greek emperor Basil the Macedonian (867-8S6), determined the Serbian Zhupans to acknowledge again the suzerainty of the Greek emperors. One of the important con-sequences of this new vassalship to the Byzantine empire was that the entire Serbian people embraced Christianity, about 879-a process begun, however, by Latin priests between 642 and 731.

In all important transactions the Serbians were led by the Grand Zhupan Mutimir Visheslavich (d. Sgo). During the reign of his heirs almost all the Serbian provinces were conquered by the Bulgarian Tsar Simeon (924). In 931 Chaslav, one of the princes of the Visheslav dynasty, liberated the largest part of the Serbian territory from Bulgarian domination, but to maintain that liberty he had to acknowledge the Byzantine emperors as his suzerains.

      "Serbia, Europe, Historical Profile (1922), #004-The Visheslav Dynasty," The Encyclopedia Britannica. (New York: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1922); digital edition, ( : posted 15 Jan 2013)

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