History of Montenegro

Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro
Warriors from Chevo clan marching to battle. ©Petar Lubarda
1516 Jan 1 - 1852

Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro


The Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro was an ecclesiastical principality that existed from 1516 until 1852. The principality was located around modern-day Montenegro. It emerged from the Eparchy of Cetinje, later known as the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral, whose bishops defied the Ottoman Empire overlordship and transformed the parish of Cetinje into a de facto theocracy, ruling it as Metropolitans.

The first prince-bishop was Vavila. The system was transformed into a hereditary one by Danilo Šćepčević, a bishop of Cetinje who united the several tribes of Montenegro into fighting the Ottoman Empire that had occupied all of Montenegro (as the Sanjak of Montenegro and Montenegro Vilayet) and most of southeastern Europe at the time. Danilo was the first in the House of Petrović-Njegoš to occupy the position as the Metropolitan of Cetinje in 1851, when Montenegro became a secular state (principality) under Danilo I Petrović-Njegoš. The Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro also briefly became a monarchy when it was temporarily abolished in 1767–1773: this happened when the impostor Little Stephen posed as the Russian Emperor and crowned himself the Tsar of Montenegro.

HistoryMaps Shop

Visit Shop

There are several ways to support the HistoryMaps Project.
Visit Shop
Support Page
Last Updated: : Mon Sep 25 2023