Tsar - Serbia


Further information: Emperor of Serbia

The title Tsar was also used in Serbia, but only by two monarchs — Stefan Uroš IV Dušan and Stefan Uroš V between 1345 and 1371. Earlier Serbian monarchs had used the royal title Kralj/Краљ (King) since 1077, which had been granted by the Papacy during an early union with the Western Church. In 1345, Stefan Uroš IV Dušan began to style himself "Emperor of Serbians and Greeks" (the Greek renderings read "basileus and autokrator of Serbians and Romans"), and was crowned as such in Skopje on Easter (April 16) 1346 by the newly created Serbian patriarch, alongside with the patriarch and the autocephalous archbishop of Ohrid. On the same occasion, he had his wife Helena of Bulgaria crowned as empress and his son associated in power as king. When Dušan died in 1355, his son Stefan Uroš V became the next "emperor of Serbians and Greeks". The new emperor's uncle Simeon Uroš (Siniša) contested the succession and claimed the same titles as a dynast in Thessaly. After his death around 1370, he was succeeded in his claims by his son John Uroš, who retired to a monastery in about 1373.

With the extinction of Nemanjić dynasty in Serbia in 1371, the imperial title became obsolete (though it was retained by Stefan Uroš IV's widow Elena of Bulgaria until her death in 1376/1377). The royal title was preserved by Vukašin Mrnjavčević, a Serbian ruler in Macedonia, who had been associated by Stefan Uroš Several other Serbian rulers are known traditionally as tsars, although they realistically cannot be called so. They include Tsar Lazar, Tsar Jovan Nenad and Tsar Stephen the Little.

During the five-century period of the Ottoman rule in Serbia, the sultan was frequently referred to as "car", for instance in South Slavic oral tradition.

When Serbia, which had emerged as an autonomous principality after a long period of Ottoman domination, became an independent kingdom, its prince, knjaz, adopted the traditional title of king, kralj. The King's full style was, between 6 March 1882 and 1 December 1918 (New Style): По милости Божијој и вољи народној краљ Србије "By the grace of God and the will of the people, King of Serbia".

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