Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci

Vikentije II
Vikentije Jovanović.jpg
Oil painting.
ChurchSerbian Orthodox Church
ProvinceMilitary Frontier, Austrian Empire
MetropolisSremski Karlovci
Term ended1737
PredecessorMojsije Petrović
SuccessorArsenije IV
Personal details
Szentendre, Ottoman Hungary
(modern Hungary)
DiedJune 6, 1737 (aged 47-48)
Belgrade, Kingdom of Serbia, Habsburg Monarchy
(modern Serbia)
DenominationEastern Orthodox

Vikentije Jovanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Викентије Јовановић[a]; 1689 – June 6, 1737) was the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci from 1731 to 1737, as Vikentije II. During his diplomatic mission in Vienna in 1734, he was given permission by Emperor Charles VI to establish a hussar regiment constituted solely of Serbs and Croats. It was officially named Illyrian-Rascian regiment and inaugurated on June 16, 1735, in a grand ceremony officiated by Vikentije. The ceremony took place outside Budim where the banners which were used symbolized his importance in the Austrian Empire, but also the dual symbolism of East and West; dual coats of arms on their spears, two languages in their inscriptions (Church Slavonic and Latin), and the use of Eastern iconography and Western emblematic imagery. Vikentije's hussars went on to fight in the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735-1739).[1]


Jovanović was born in Szentendre in 1689. As a young man he took monastic vows at Rakovac monastery. He was among the first Serb graduates of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy; others were Gavril Stefanović Venclović, Simeon Končarević, Visarion Pavlović, Dionisije Novaković, Jovan Rajić, Gerasim Zelić, Arsenije Stojkov Tarbuk, and in the 19th century Nikodim Milaš, Stevan Dimitrijević, and Svetolik Ranković to name but a few.

He played a pivotal role in uniting the Metropolitanate of Belgrade with the Metropolitanate of Karlovci at the Assembly of Bishops (Sabor) in 1726. At the end of the Sabor, he was elected Bishop of Arad with Jenopolje and Veliki Varadin. On March 22, 1731, he was unanimously elevated Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci by the Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The history of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci, located in northern Serbia in the region of Vojvodina, is intimately connected to the large exodus of Serbs fleeing Ottoman persecution that followed after the Great Turkish War of 1683-1699 and the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-1718. It was in 1690 that Patriarch Arsenije III Čarnojević (1674-1706) led almost 40,000 people over the Danube River and into Vojvodina, then under Austro-Hungarian rule. A significant number of Serbs were already living there since the very beginning of the Nemanjić dynasty, if not before, and the continuity allowed the refugee to feel at home.

With renewed Turkish oppression in Ottoman Serbia, the Serbs in the Habsburg Empire found themselves also facing new challenges. This task was made an especially difficult living with predominantly Roman Catholic Austrian and Hungarian authorities and confronting daily pressure toward union with Rome. Realizing that the preservation of their spiritual identity demanded higher education, Vikentije II turned to Russia for help, like his predecessor Metropolitan Mojsije Petrović. At the time basic conditions for education, such as high schools, adequately trained teachers and books, were lacking. Orthodox Russia, sharing a similar language and alphabet with Serbs, was seen as an ideal ally. Soon, promising students were sent to Kiev, to study theology, philosophy and the sciences at the well-known Kievan Academy. By the eighteenth century, this trend would result in the systematization of education and the opening of the first Slavonic-Latin schools. Maxim Suvarov, sent by the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, became the first Russian teacher there. In 1731, Metropolitan Vikentije II opened gymnasia (high schools) in Belgrade, Osijek, Dalj and Sremski Karlovci. In Karlovci he put another Russian educator, Emanuel Kozačinski, in charge.


  1. ^ His name is also spelt as Vićentije (Serbian Cyrillic: Вићентије Јовановић).

See also


  1. ^ Вуковић 1996, pp. 70-73.


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  • Ćirković, Sima (2004). The Serbs. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Đorđević, Miloš Z. (2010). "A Background to Serbian Culture and Education in the First Half of the 18th Century according to Serbian Historiographical Sources". Empires and Peninsulas: Southeastern Europe between Karlowitz and the Peace of Adrianople, 1699–1829. Berlin: LIT Verlag. pp. 125–131.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Pavlovich, Paul (1989). The History of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Serbian Heritage Books.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Todorović, J. 2002, "The banners of the Illyrian-Rascian regiment in the context of ephemeral spectacle", Nasleđe, no. 4, pp. 79-87.[permanent dead link]
  • Todorović, Jelena (2006). An Orthodox Festival Book in the Habsburg Empire: Zaharija Orfelin's Festive Greeting to Mojsej Putnik (1757). Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Вуковић, Сава (1996). Српски јерарси од деветог до двадесетог века (Serbian Hierarchs from the 9th to the 20th Century). Београд: Евро.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci
Succeeded by
Arsenije IV