Tsar Stefan Dušan the Mighty as a patricide and a lawbreaker: negative points in the image of the ruler in Serbian historical memory of the 14th – 21st centuries Cover Image

Царь Стефан Душан IV Сильный как отцеубийца и нарушитель заповедей предков: негативное в образе правителя в сербской исторической памяти XIV–XXI вв.
Tsar Stefan Dušan the Mighty as a patricide and a lawbreaker: negative points in the image of the ruler in Serbian historical memory of the 14th – 21st centuries

Author(s): Tatyana Germanovna Chernykh
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, Ethnohistory, Political history, Middle Ages
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: Stefan Dušan the Mighty; Serbian empire; the Middle Ages; anathema; Stefan Dečanski; patriarchate;

Summary/Abstract: Stefan Dušan is one of the most famous heroes of Serbian medieval history. He is brilliant statesman, conqueror, legislator, monastery founder and the most powerful representative of Nemanjich dynasty. He made a lot of effort for the development of Orthodoxy in his state and he established the Serbian Patriarchate. Nevertheless, Dušan turned out to be one of the few from his dynasty who are not canonized. The author of this article analyses views of the authors of the 14th – 21st centuries on the two most contradictory moments of Dušan’s biography, and either can be reasonable enough for Dušan to stay as faithful tsar and being not canonized. First moment is his struggle with his father, Stefan Dečanski, for supreme power in the country and sudden death of the latter. Second subject comprises the establishment of the Serbian Patriarchate and Dušan’s imperial coronation without the approval of Byzantine empire and Constantinople Patriarchate. These events eventually resulted in the pronounce an anathema against Dušan and Serbian church in general and in the long breaking between Serbian and Byzantine church which was over only in 1375, twenty years after Dušan’s death. Studying medieval sources and works of historians and literary men of the 17th – 21st centuries, the author shows several different ways of looking into both subjects and deals with the reasons of all evaluations of Dušan’s actions. The author comes to the conclusion that Serbian authors still have undying interest in the personality of Serbian tsar as well as in the reasons opposing to his canonization. Apparently, although both moments in question can be crucial for the denial of becoming a saint for Dušan, it does not diminish neither his achievements as a ruler nor his value as a symbol of the greatness of medieval Serbia.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 113-127
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Russian