“Khan” Nogay, King Milutin and Serbian-Tatar Conflicts at the End of the Thirteen Century Cover Image

„Кан“ Ногај, краљ Милутин и српско-татарски сукоби крајем ХIII века
“Khan” Nogay, King Milutin and Serbian-Tatar Conflicts at the End of the Thirteen Century

Author(s): Aleksandar Uzelac
Subject(s): Military history, 13th to 14th Centuries, Peace and Conflict Studies
Published by: Institut za strategijska istraživanja
Keywords: 13th century; Serbian-Tatar conflict; Nogay; king Milutin; invasion; military history;

Summary/Abstract: During the last three decades of the XIIIth century, Nogay (c. 1240–1299), a member of Genghis Khan family and founder of independent Mongol state in the former western teritories of the Golden Horde gradually extended his control on the Carpathian-Danubian basin and Southeastern Europe. Serbian medieval state was also brought under his sway and from the onset of his reign, Stephen Uroš II Milutin (1282–1321) had to deal with Nogay’s Tatars on mаny occasions. When his vassals, lords of Braničevo and Vidin, suffered defeat in Serbian hands, Nogay was instigated to intervene directly in order to stop further Serbian expansion. The threat of Tatar invasion forced Milutin to accept Nogay’s suzerainty and to send his son Stephen and members of Serbian aristocratic military elite „to serve Nogay“, as stated in The Life of Milutin written by Serbian archbishop Daniel II. Conclusion, based not only upon that source, but on comparison with other contemporary and relevant texts and events, is that the arrangement among Milutin and Nogay took place in 1293–1294. Furthermore, prince Stephen returned to Serbia as early as 1297 and this happened shortly before the outbreak of war between Nogay and Tokhta, legitimate khan of Golden Horde. In those years Serbian and Tatar interests had one common trait – enmity towards Byzantium and it is therefore not surprising that contemporaries mentioned simultaneos Serbian and Tatar raids on Byzantine lands. Omnipresent Tatar factor even played a role in subsequent reconciliations between emperor Andronicus II and Serbian king. Following Nogay’s defeat and death in 1299, region witnessed mass immigrations of nomadic elements from Transdanubian lands. One group of Alans and Tatars found refuge in Serbia in 1310, while the country was torn apart by civil war between Milutin and his brother Stephen Dragutin. These nomads on horseback, previously constant and pervasive menace, entered then Milutin’s service and provided crucial victory to him in the most precarious moment of his long reign.

  • Issue Year: 2009
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 9-31
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Serbian