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The time has come to deal with the first Serbian organized state, the state of Nemanjic dynasty. We could this introductory lesson to begin like a story:
- Once upon a time in the 12th century, the Balkan peninsula, meaning the Serbian people, ruled by the Byzantine Empire. Its power is extended to the Danube river, since the collapse of Samuilo rebellion in early 11th century. But, since then for Balkan interested and Hungary, in the north; even Serbian lords were more insignificant as before, but they had to acknowledge the supremacy of the emperor in Constantinople. - Tihomir was a prefect of Sebia, but he's not the only one who wants power. There is also his younger brother Stefan Nemanja.

- Gathering a loyal feudal lords, Nemanja managed to beat his brother and seize the government in 1166., although Tihomir had the help of the Byzantine Emperor. However, the emperor managed to capture Stefan Nemanja, took him prisoner, as in Constantinople, where he had to admit the authority of the Emperor, as his sovereign. So this is not the only time that Nemanja finished in Constantinople. In 1190. Nemanja had to do the same in order to preserve their territories acquired as a ruler of Serbia (Raska). In this struggle against Byzantium Nemanja relied on Hungary and Venice. - For what territory Nemanja had to bend his neck before the emperor? Almost the same as the territories inhabited by Serbs in the 7th century-Raska, the area around the Great Morava and Western Morava rivers, Kosovo, north Albania, Zeta, Travunia (Trebinje), Zahumlje. In these territories, Nemanja strengthened its position and intended them to his successor.

Studenica monastery - foundation of Stefan Nemanja

- How Nemanja strengthened its position? One way is to rely on the Orthodox Church. He built their monasteries (Hilandar, Studenica, St. George poles,...), to church donated land property for subsistence, brutally killed and expelled heretics (non-believer) Bogumils. Serbian ortodox church responded by promoting his aspiration, by spreading cult of Stefan Nemanja and the cult of Nemanjiic sacrosanct dynasty.
- Aged Stefan Nemanja 1196. leave the throne to second born son Stefan , became a monk and went to Hilandar, his foundation on The holy mountain (Atos), in Byzantine empire. - Now we have to stop and ask, why he did not leave the throne to Vukan, first-born son, lord of Zeta, as it was the custom in whole Europe?

ia monastery - foundation of Stefan the First-Crowned

- The answer is simple. It's politics. Second-born son Stefan Nemanjic was married a Byzantine princess. This decision of his father led to years of brothers conflict, Vukan and Stefan, from which Stefan came out as the winner. Stefan has ruled Serbia until the 1227th.
- But not everything went smoothly for the new lord Stefan Nemanjic. 1204th crusaders, under the influence of Venice, conquered Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire had ceased to exist by 1261. Stefan realized change in the political situation, sent away his wife, and married Anna Dandolo, daughter, of Doge of Venice (the Venetians are major players in this part of Europe than). Not only that, he knows that the Byzantine patriarch will not give the royal crown, and he asks it from the Pope. Pope, wanting to spread catholicism in the Balkans, agreed and sent him crown.

- In 1217. Stefan Nemanjic became a king, known as Stefan the First-Crowned, and Serbia became a kingdom. Although Stefan was not a big conqueror , he has managed to preserve what his father left him, and to raise the prestige of kingdom of Serbia and his family.
- But, in the story appears third son of Stefan Nemanja, Rastko Nemanji ,the monastic Sava. As a churchman, he raised the reputation of Serbia and Nemanjic dinasty in a different way than his father and brother. With his work in Nicaea (the successor of the Byzantine Empire), he managed to obtain from patriarch Serbian church independence, as Archdiocese. The first Serbian archbishop became Sava (Rastko Nemanjic). Not only that, Sava, later canonized as a saint, he did educational work, opening the school, raising the churches and monasteries, translated the liturgical books, etc. - So Serbia, says the story, by efforts and desire first member of Nemanjic family, become a stable and organized state.

Hilandar monastery, founded by Stefan Nemanja