Fresco from the church of st. Michael in Ston, possibly depicting Đorđe Bodinović.
Duklja and neighbouring Serbian regions during the 11th and 12th century

George I of Duklja or Đorđe Vojislavljević (fl. 1113-1131) was a King of Duklja (southern parts of present day Montenegro and northwestern parts of present day Albania) from 1113 to 1118, and again from 1125 to 1131. He was a son of King Constantine Bodin, of the Vojislavljević dynasty.[1]

With his mother, Jaquinta, he opposed the rule of his cousin, Vladimir, and Raškan influence on Duklja. Jaquinta and George had Vladimir fatally poisoned in 1118 and George was crowned king that same year. As king, he planned to liquidate his relatives who were acting as pretenders of his throne.

He unsuccessfully captured the children of knez Branislav, who had escaped to Dyrrhachium, where their uncle, Gojislav, was located. With the help of the Branislavljevići, Byzantium attacked Duklja. Upon hearing this, George was forced to withdraw to his castle, Obliquus, on the Taraboš. In the meantime, however, the Byzantines has conquered Scutari and soon the rest of Duklja. Jaquinta was captured in Kotor and as a captive was sent to Constantinople where she died.

Defeated, George had escaped to Raška, marking the end of his first rule. Byzantium had enthroned Grubeša, Branislav's son, as king of Duklja.

Several years later, in 1125, George, with the help of Rascian forces, attacked Duklja. In the ensuing battle in Bar, Grubeša was killed and George retook his kingdom. George decided to split control of Duklja with Grubeša's two brothers, Draghina and Dragila, with whom he established friendly relations with.

On Dragila's advice, George invaded Rascia and conquered it. George decided to take full control of Duklja and destroy any relative who dared oppose him. He captured Michael, Vladimir's son, and Dragila and had them both imprisoned. Draghina, on the other hand, had escaped with his nephews to Durrës, which was under Byzantine protection. They were joined by Draghina's brother, Gradhina, who was at Zachlumia at the time.

The Byzantines, with George's relatives, declared war once more on Duklja. Byzantine forces captured all Dukljan territory from Bar to Podgorica. However, the Byzantines had to halt all advances because the army's head commander had to return to Constantinople.

George used this to his advantage and unsuccessfully attacked Obliquus, where his relatives were fortified. A Byzantine offensive soon followed suit in which Rascian forces had joined, siding with Byzantium. In the presence of the Byzantine army, George and his forces withdrew to his fortress, Oblon. However, his forces started a rebellion and Oblon was captured. George was taken as a captive to Constantinople, where he was imprisoned, and died.

Gradhina was crowned as king of Duklja by the Byzantines in 1131.

See also

References

Sources

  • Кунчер, Драгана (2009). Gesta Regum Sclavorum. 1. Београд-Никшић: Историјски институт, Манастир Острог.
  • Живковић, Тибор (2009). Gesta Regum Sclavorum. 2. Београд-Никшић: Историјски институт, Манастир Острог.
  • Živković, Tibor (2008). Forging unity: The South Slavs between East and West 550-1150. Belgrade: The Institute of History, Čigoja štampa.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Župan
Vladimir
King of Duklja
1113–1118
Succeeded by
Byzantine protégé
Grubeša
Preceded by
Grubeša
King of Duklja
1125–1131
Succeeded by
Byzantine protégé
Gradhina