History of Vojvodina - Kingdom of Hungary and Medieval Serbs - Serbian Despots

Serbian Despots

Though Serbs were part of the aboriginal Slavic population in the territory of present-day Vojvodina (especially in Syrmia), an increasing number of Serbs began settling from the 14th century onward. By 1483, according to a Hungarian source, as much as half of the population of the territory of Vojvodina consisted of Serbs. Serbian despots Stefan Lazarević and Đurađ Branković also had their personal possessions in the territory of present-day Vojvodina (and Pannonian part of present-day Belgrade), which included Zemun, Slankamen, Kupinik, Mitrovica, Bečej, and Veliki Bečkerek, which were given to the despot Stefan Lazarević (who was a tertiary vassal or a majordomo of Sigismund) in 1404 by Hungarian king Sigismund. In 1417, Apatin is also mentioned among his personal possessions. Later in the 15th century, the Serbian despot Đurađ Branković became the single largest landowner in the Kingdom of Hungary, possessing estates as far afield in the Banat, Transylvania and the region around Debrecen. For that he received the title of baron in the Kingdom of Hungary. However, after Branković's dealings with the Turks were discovered in 1455 (leading among other things to Hunyadi's defeat at the battle of Kosovo), his estates were confiscated and placed under the stewardship of Hunyadi (who was acting regent at the time).

After the Ottoman Empire conquered Serbian Despotate (in 1459), titular despots of Serbia has received from Hungarian kings territory of late Đurađ Branković and they have continued to control parts of the territory of present-day Vojvodina until Ottoman conquest in 1526. The residence of the despots was Kupinik (today Kupinovo) in Syrmia, while other important places that were in possession of the despots included Slankamen, Berkasovo, Bečkerek, etc. The Serbian despots in Syrmia were: Vuk Grgurević (1471–1485), Đorđe Branković (1486–1496), Jovan Branković (1496–1502), Ivaniš Berislav (1504–1514), and Stevan Berislav (1520–1535). The last two titular despots of Serbia, Radič Božić (1527–1528) and Pavle Bakić (1537) did not rule in the territory of present-day Vojvodina, but had possessions in the territories of present-day Romania and Hungary. According to people's tradition, Stefan Štiljanović was also an (unofficial) Serbian despot (from 1537 to 1540). His residence was in the town of Morović in Syrmia. The fact that titular Despots of Serbia controlled the territory of present-day Vojvodina, but also the presence of large Serb population, are the reasons because in many historical records and maps, which were written and drawn between 15th and 18th centuries, territory of present-day Vojvodina was named Rascia (Serbia) and Little Rascia (Little Serbia). See also Rascians.

Read more about this topic:  History Of Vojvodina, Kingdom of Hungary and Medieval Serbs