History of Montenegro

Reign of Constantine Bodin
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1081 Jan 1 - 1101

Reign of Constantine Bodin


Constantine Bodin was a medieval king and the ruler of Duklja, the most powerful Serbian principality of the time, from 1081 to 1101. Born in peaceful times, when the Southern Slavs were subjects of the Byzantine Empire, his father was in 1072 approached by Bulgarian nobility, who sought aid in their revolt against the Byzantines; Mihailo sent them Bodin, who was crowned Bulgarian tsar under the name Petar III joined the short-lived revolt, being captured the following year after initial success. He was freed in 1078, and upon the death of his father in 1081 he succeeded to the throne of Dioclea (Dukla). Having renewed his acknowledgement of Byzantine overlordship, he soon sided with their enemies, the Normans. In April 1081 He married the Norman princess Jaquinta, daughter of Archiris, leader of the Norman party in Bari which led to a Byzantine invasion and his capture. Although he quickly had himself freed, his reputation and influence waned.

In 1085, when, taking advantage of the death of Robert Guiscard and the change of forces in the Balkans, he conquered the city of Durres and the entire Durres region from the rule of the Franks. As soon as he became king, he tried to expel his rivals, Radoslav's heirs from Duklja. After the peace concluded in this way, in 1083 or 1084, King Bodin undertook expeditions to Raška and Bosnia and annexed them to the kingdom of Duklja. In Raška, he appoints two prefects from his court: Vukan and Marko, from whom he receives a vassal oath. Due to his behavior in the Battle of Durres, the king of Duklja lost the trust of Byzantium. From the captured Durres, Byzantium began an offensive on Duklja and recovered the seized cities (small episcopal cities: Drivast, Sard, Spata, Baleč). Bodin was defeated and captured, although the location of the decisive battle is not known. After Bodin's death, the power of Dukla declined both territorially and politically.

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Last Updated: Tue Jan 16 2024