Montenegro, Middle Ages

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Summary

Montenegro ( or ; or ; Montenegrin: Crna Gora / Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east, and Albania to the south-east. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Prijestonica, meaning the former Royal Capital City.

Details

Duklja gained its independence from the Byzantine Roman Empire in 1042. Over the next few decades, it expanded its territory to neighbouring Rascia and Bosnia and also became recognised as a kingdom. Its power started declining at the beginning of 12th century. After King Bodin's death(in 1101 or 1108) several civil wars ensued. As the nobility fought for the throne the kingdom was weakened and by 1186 it was conquered by Stefan Nemanja and incorporated into Serbian realm as a province named Zeta. After the Serbian Empire collapsed in the second half of the 14th century, the most powerful Zetan family, the Balšićs, became sovereigns of Zeta.

In 1421, Zeta was annexed to the Serbian Despotate but after 1455 another noble family from Zeta, the Crnojevićs, became sovereign rulers of the country, making it the last free monarchy of the Balkans before it fell to the Ottomans in 1496, and got annexed to the sanjak of Shkodër. During the reign of Crnojevićs Zeta became known under its current name - Montenegro.

For a short time Montenegro existed as a separate autonomous sanjak in 1514–1528, another version of which existed again between 1597 and 1614.

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