The Emergence of Montenegro

Zeta, a Serbian principality largely covering modern Montenegro, had been conquered by Stephen Nemanja, Grand Zupan of Raska (Serbia) in 1186. After the death of Tsar Stephen Dusan of Serbia in 1355, Zeta again was separated from Serbia proper.
Culturally, Zeta was not different from Serbia - the people spoke the same language and were Serbian-Orthodox christians.
The disastrous defeat of the Serbs in the BATTLE OF KOSOVO POLJE in 1389 affected Zeta, as it's ties with Serbia proper were loosened. In 1421 the Balsic Dynasty of Zeta ended, and Zeta was an area contested by Serbia, Venice, with the Ottomans and Hungarians also interfering. When Serbia was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1459, Zeta, although losing border territories, was able to hold on to it's independence.
An attempt to secure the support of the Venetians failed - the Venetians had occupied KOTOR on the Montenegrin coast. IVAN CRNOJEVIC established the Principality of MONTENEGRO in 1484, with the capital at CETINJE, as what was left of free Zeta. At Cetinje he established a monastery, among the monks of which the metropolitan of Montenegro (Cetinje was made the residence of the newly created bishopric of Montenegro in 1485) was chosen. This bishop was to rule the country in the absence of the prince, and with the end of the Crnojevic Dynasty in 1516, it was the bishops who succeeded them.
Montenegro, a rugged and remote region, was too small to fend off the powerful Ottoman Empire. Stevan II. Crnojevic had to accept Ottoman sovereignty in the late 15th century.
Montenegro emerged as a center of Serbian culture - close contact with the Venetians at Kotor had brought the printing press to Cetinje.

History of Montenegro : The Balsic Dynasty(1356-1427); The Crnojevic Dynasty (1435-1516), from Montenet
Zeta (Duklja) under the second Montenegrin dynasty, the Balsic (1356-1427); Zeta (Montenegro) under the third Montenegrin dynasty, the Crnojevic (1427-1516); from
REFERENCE Fred Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples, Cambridge University Press (1985) 1999

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 7th 2004

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