Raška (without northern Montenegro and parts in Kosovo region) and other geographical regions in Serbia
Raška (without northern Montenegro and parts in Kosovo region) and other geographical regions in Serbia
Country Serbia
  • a It is not designated as an official region.
  • b The figure is an approximation based on the territorial span and population of the districts of Raška, Zlatibor and Moravica.

Raška (Serbian: Рашка / Raška; Latin: Rascia) is a geographical region, covering the south-western parts of modern Serbia, and historically also including north-eastern parts of modern Montenegro. In the Middle Ages, the region was a center of the Serbian Principality and of the Serbian Kingdom, whose capital was the city of Ras (a World Heritage Site), from the 11th to the 13th century.[1]


The name is derived from the name of the region's most important fort of Ras, which first appears in the 6th century sources as Arsa, recorded under that name in the work De aedificiis of Byzantine historian Procopius.[2] By the 10th century, the variant Ras became common name for the fort, as attested by the work De Administrando Imperio, written by Constantine Porphyrogenitus,[3] and also by the Byzantine seal of John, governor of Ras (c. 971–976).[4]

In the same time, Ras became the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Eparchy of Ras, centered in the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The name of the eparchy eventually started to denote the entire area under its jurisdiction and later, thus becoming the common regional name.[5]

Under Stefan Nemanja, Ras was re-generated as state capital and as such it has at times been used by some[who?] in historiography to refer to Serbia from the early 12th to the early 14th century.[citation needed] It had begun its use as an exonym for Serbia in Western European sources in the early 13th century,[citation needed] along with other names such as Dalmatia and Slavonia.

The first attested appearance of the name Raška is in the Kotor charter (1186), in which Stefan Nemanja is mentioned as župan of Raška. Soon after Raška (Rascia) became an exonym for Serbia in western sources (Papacy, German, Italian, French etc.) often in conjunction with Serbia (Servia et Rascia). However, that name appears scarcely in medieval Serbian and never in Byzantine works to denote the state.

Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the term Raška (Rascia, Ráczság) was used to designate the southern Pannonian Plain inhabited by Serbs (Raci), who settled there during the late Middle Ages, the Ottoman period and the Great Serb migrations from medieval Serbia, "Rácz" has survived as a common surname in Hungary.


Middle Ages

Raška (in Latin Rascia) was a medieval region that served as the principal province of the Serbian realm. It was an administrative division under the direct rule of the monarch and sometimes as an appanage. The term has been used to refer to various Serbian states throughout the Middle Ages. It was the crownland, seat or appanage of the following states:

In Constantine Porphyrogenitus' De Administrando Imperio, Ras is mentioned as an important town of Serbia under Časlav Klonimirović (927–960) near its border with the First Bulgarian Empire.[3] Constantine's Serbia is often identified as Raška by modern historiography to differentiate it from the other provinces ruled by these early Serbs: Zahumlje, Travunia, Duklja and Pagania. Porphyrogenitus uses Serbia as a name for the mainland regions of Raška and Bosnia; although the name comes to denote "all of Serbian lands" as an exonym.


Between 1918 and 1922, Raška District was one of the administrative units of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Its seat was in Novi Pazar. In 1922, a new administrative unit known as the Raška Oblast was formed with its seat in Čačak. In 1929, this administrative unit was abolished and its territory was divided among three newly formed provinces (banovinas). The region is a part of the wider "Old Serbia" region, used in historical terms.


Some of the churches in western Serbia and eastern Bosnia were built by masters from Raška, who belonged to the Raška architectural school. They include: Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Stari Ras, and monasteries of Gradac and Stara Pavlica.[6]


Raška in the narrow sense, in southwestern Serbia


See also


  1. ^ Ćirković 2004.
  2. ^ Kalić 1989, p. 9-17.
  3. ^ a b Moravcsik 1967.
  4. ^ Nesbitt & Oikonomides 1991, p. 100-101.
  5. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 29.
  6. ^ Janićijević 1998, p. 147.


  • Bataković, Dušan T., ed. (2005). Histoire du peuple serbe [History of the Serbian People] (in French). Lausanne: L’Age d’Homme.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Ćirković, Sima (2004). The Serbs. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Curta, Florin (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Fine, John Van Antwerp Jr. (1991) [1983]. The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Fine, John Van Antwerp Jr. (1994) [1987]. The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Gigović, Ljubomir. "Etnički sastav stanovništva Raške oblasti" (PDF). Globus 2008, vol. 39, br. 33, str. 113–132. Београд. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-06.
  • Hupchick, Dennis P. (2002). The Balkans: From Constantinople to Communism. New York: Palgrave.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Ivić, Pavle, ed. (1995). The History of Serbian Culture. Edgware: Porthill Publishers.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Janićijević, Jovan, ed. (1998). The Cultural Treasury of Serbia. Belgrade: Idea, Vojnoizdavački zavod, Markt system.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Калић, Јованка (1979). "Назив Рашка у старијој српској историји (IX-XII век)". Зборник Филозофског факултета. 14 (1): 79–92.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Калић, Јованка (1989). "Прокопијева Арса". Зборник радова Византолошког института. 27–28: 9–17.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Kalić, Jovanka (1995). "Rascia – The Nucleus of the Medieval Serbian State". The Serbian Question in the Balkans. Belgrade: Faculty of Geography. pp. 147–155.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Калић, Јованка (2004). "Рашка краљевина: Regnum Rasciae". Зборник радова Византолошког института. 41: 183–189.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Калић, Јованка (2010). "Стара Рашка". Глас САНУ. 414 (15): 105–114.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Kalić, Jovanka (2017). "The First Coronation Churches of Medieval Serbia". Balcanica. 48: 7–18.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Petrović, Milić F. (2007). "Raška oblast u Jugoslovenskoj državi 1918–1941". Časopis Arhiv – godina VIII broj 1/2. Beograd.
  • Moravcsik, Gyula, ed. (1967) [1949]. Constantine Porphyrogenitus: De Administrando Imperio (2nd revised ed.). Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Nesbitt, John W.; Oikonomides, Nicolas, eds. (1991). Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art. 1. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Proroković, D., 2014. Raška oblast kao geopolitičko žarište i njen značaj po položaj Srbije i Srpske /Raska region as a geopolitical hot spot and its significance for the position of Serbia and Srpska. Politeia, 4(7), pp.175–193.
  • Stephenson, Paul (2000). Byzantium's Balkan Frontier: A Political Study of the Northern Balkans, 900–1204. Cambridge University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Stephenson, Paul (2003). The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Samardžić, Radovan; Duškov, Milan, eds. (1993). Serbs in European Civilization. Belgrade: Nova, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute for Balkan Studies.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Šćekić, Radenko; Leković, Žarko; Premović, Marijan (2015). "Political Developments and Unrests in Stara Raška (Old Rascia) and Old Herzegovina during Ottoman Rule". Balcanica. 46: 79–106.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Thurn, Hans, ed. (1973). Ioannis Scylitzae Synopsis historiarum. Berlin-New York: De Gruyter.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Whittow, Mark (1996). The Making of Orthodox Byzantium, 600–1025. Basingstoke: Macmillan.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Живковић, Тибор (2002). Јужни Словени под византијском влашћу 600–1025 (South Slavs under the Byzantine Rule 600–1025). Београд: Историјски институт САНУ, Службени гласник.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Živković, Tibor (2008). Forging unity: The South Slavs between East and West 550–1150. Belgrade: The Institute of History, Čigoja štampa.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links

  • Tourist Information About Raška region