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L, 2013

Recueil des travaux de lInstitut dtudes byzantines L, 2013

: 94:929.75](497.11)"13"
DOI: 10.2298/ZRVI1350713P


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The inscription by the portrait of Jovan Oliver, the founder, in the main church
of monastery Lesnovo, contains the earliest data on high Byzantine court dignities he
held. The founder is portrayed invested as a sebastokrator, the inscription is written over
an older one which it partially repeats and gives the information on the two Byzantine
titles of Jovan Oliver: in the first part of the inscription there is reference on his title
of sebastokrator in Serbs, while in the second part he is mentioned with the title of
despotes of all Serbian and maritime regions and uestnik (sc. particeps) of Greeks.
In the inscription both of the dignities are connected with the king Stefan Duan. The
analysis of the data of the founders inscription, when put into the context of the civil
war that lasted in Byzantium from 1341 to 1347, enables the conclusions on the exact
Byzantine origin of his titles and approximate chronology of his investment.

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714 L (2013) 713724

Keywords: Jovan Oliver, sebastokrator, despotes, Stefan Duan, uestnik (sc.


particeps) of Greeks, John Kantakouzenos, Anne Paleologos.

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1
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, 12 (1970) 6178 ( = , , . . , 2008,
95111); , 384, , . 10 (1998) 173189
( = , 133149); Lempire de Stefan Duan: gense et caractre, Mlanges Gilbert
Dagron, TM 14 (2002), 415428 ( : , 191206);
, 43 (2006) 1123; ,
, 44/2 (2007) 371379. ,
. D. Obolensky, The
Byzantine Commonwealth, London 1971 ( : , 1991).
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Nicephori Gregorae Byzantina historia III, ed. L. Shopenus, Bonnae 18291830; III, ed. I.
Bekkerus, Bonnae 1855. Ioannis Cantacuzeni eximperatoris historiarum libri IV, cura L. Shopeni, Bonnae
18281832.
: 715

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Listine o odnoajih izmeu Junoga Slavenstva i Mletake Republike, II, ed. . Ljubi, Zagreb
1870, 192; Gregoras, II, 642. , , S. irkovi,
Between Kingdom and Empire: Duan`s state 13461355 Reconsidered, ed. E. Papadopoulou, D. Dialeti,
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n. 16, 372 n. 57, 421 n. 198, 380382, n. 90, 256 n. 99, 465 n. 345.
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1977, no. 2218, 172173, no. 2221, 174; Listine o odnoajih izmeu Junoga Slavenstva i Mletake
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LIST OF REFERENCES
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., . ,
3 (2004) 4570 [Vujoevi ., Hrisovulja kralja Stefana Duana manastiru Sv. Petra
i Pavla na Limu, Stari srpski arhiv 3 (2004) 4570].
25
, , 163 .
722 L (2013) 713724

Ioannis Cantacuzeni eximperatoris historiarum libri IV, cura L. Shopeni, Bonnae 18281832.
Les regestes des actes du patriarcat de Constantinople, Vol. I, Fasc. V, ed. J. Darrouzs, Paris 1977.
Listine o odnoajih izmeu Junoga Slavenstva i Mletake Republike, II, ed. . Ljubi, Zagreb 1870.
, . . . , 1988 [Srpski gramoti od
Duanovo vreme, pr. V. Moin L. Slaveva, Prilep 1988].
Nicephori Gregorae Byzantina historia III, ed. L. Shopenus, Bonnae 18291830; III, ed. I. Bekkerus,
Bonnae 1855.

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Bartusis M., Chrelja and Momilo: Occasional Servants of Byzantium in Fourtheenth Century Macedonia,
Byzantinoslavica 41 (1980) 201221.
., . , , VIIXIV , 1999 [Boilov I.,
Gjuzelev V., Istorija na srednovekovna Blgarija, VII-XIV vek, Sofija 1999]
., . , 1998 [Gabeli S., Manastir Lesnovo.
Istorija i slikarstvo, Beograd 1998].
., , 9 (1966) 95119 [Dini M., Relja Ohmuevi
u istoriji i predanju, Zbornik radova Vizantolokog instituta 9 (1966) 95119].
., , 1994, 153157 [orevi I., Zidno slikarstvo
srpske vlastele, Beograd 1994, 153157].
Hunger H., Die hochschprachliche profane Literatur der Byzantiner, IIII, Mnchen 1978 (
: , . , 1992).
., , . . , 2008, 95111 [Maksimovi Lj.,
Vizantijski svet i Srbi, ur. T. ivkovi, Beograd 2008, 95111].
., , 12 (1970) 6178 [Maksimovi Lj.,
Grci i Romanija u srpskoj carskoj tituli, Zbornik radova Vizantolokog instituta 12 (1970) 6178].
., , , 44/2
(2007) 371379 [Maksimovi Lj., Srbija i ideja univerzalnog carstva, Spomenica Gojka Subotia,
Zbornik radova Vizantolokog instituta 44/2 (2007) 371379].
., , 384, , . 10 (1998)
173189 [Maksimovi Lj., Srpska carska titutla, Glas SANU 384, Odeljenje istorijskih nauka, knj.
10 (1998) 173189].
., , 43 (2006) 1123 [Maksimovi Lj,
Sueljavanje i proimanje dvaju svetova, Zbornik radova Vizantolokog instituta 43 (2006) 1123].
Maksimovi Lj., Lempire de Stefan Duan: gense et caractre, Mlanges Gilbert Dagron, TM 14 (2002),
415428.
Obolensky D., The Byzantine Commonwealth, London 1971 ( : . ,
, 1991).
., , 1959 [Ostrogorski G., Istorija Vizantije, Beograd 1959].
., , , 44/2 (2007)
381409 [Pirivatri S., Ulazak Stefana Duana u Carstvo, Spomenica Gojka Subotia, Zbornik
radova Vizantolokog instituta 44/2 (2007) 381409].
., V , 1993 [Radi R., Vreme Jovana V Paleologa, Beograd
1993].
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(19561957) 113130 [Strievi ., Jedna hipoteza o titularnom imenu srpskih despota XIV veka,
Starinar 78 (19561957) 113130].
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., . ,
38 (1999/2000) 373384 [Todi B., Natpis uz Jovana Olivera u naosu Lesnova. Prilog
hronologiji lesnovskih fresaka, Zbornik radova Vizantolokog instituta 38 (1999/2000) 373384].
., , 1960 [Ferjani B.,
Despoti u Vizantiji i junoslovenskim zemljama, Beograd 1960].
., , , . VI,
1986 [Ferjani B., Jovan Kantakuzin, Vizantijski izvori za istoriju naroda Jugoslavije, t. VI,
Beograd 1986].
irkovi S., Between Kingdom and Empire: Duans state 13461355 Reconsidered, ed. E. Papadopoulou,
D. Dialeti, Byzantium and Serbia in XIV century, Athens 1996, 110120.
., , 384, , . 10 (1998) 143
153 [irkovi S., Srbija i Carstvo, Glas SANU 384, Odeljenje istorijskih nauka, knj. 10 (1998)
143153]

Sran Pirivatri
(Institute for Byzantine Studies of the SASA, Belgrade)

THE BYZANTINE TITLES OF JOVAN OLIVER.


A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ISSUES OF THEIR ORIGIN
AND CHRONOLOGY

The inscription by the portrait of Jovan Oliver as the founder in the main church
of monastery Lesnovo contains the earliest data on Byzantine court dignities he held.
The founder is pictured at the narthex invested as a sebastokrator, the inscription is
written over an older one which it partially repeats and gives the information on the
two Byzantine titles of Jovan Oliver: in the first part of the inscription there is refer-
ence on his title of sebastokrator in Serbs, while in the second part he has the title of
despotes of all Serbian and maritime regions and uestnik (sc. particeps) of Greeks.
In the inscription both of the dignities are connected with the king Stefan Duan. The
analysis of the data of the founders inscription, when put into the context of the civil
war that lasted in Byzantium from 1341 to 1347, enables the conclusions on the exact
Byzantine origin of his titles and approximate chronology of his investment.
The principle presumption in this analysis is that an investment with the court
dignities of sebastokrator and despotes could have been bestowed upon a person only
by an imperial authority. Since Jovan Oliver received his two high dignities at the time
of king Duan that fact enables an important basic conclusion: the titles had been be-
stowed upon him by Byzantine imperial authorities before the imperial proclamation
of Duan, i.e. before January of 1346 at the latest. His title uestnik (particeps) of
Greeks, connected to his dignity of despotes, suggests that he was given this title and
dignity by the regency of the queen-mother Anne Palaiologos, presumably as a part
724 L (2013) 713724

of the agreement that the regency made with king Duan in August of 1343 (although
a later date during the period August 1343 January 1346 should not be excluded).
King Duan used the same title uestnik (particeps) of Greeks, or its similar varia-
tions, exclusively in the period after his agreement with the regency in August 1343
up to his imperial proclamation. This fact puts a firm chronological frame for the
problem of bestowment of the title of despotes to Jovan Oliver and confirms the con-
clusion that his earlier title of sebastokrator has been bestowed upon him by another
Byzantine imperial authority of the period, that of John Kantakouzenos, probably in
August 1342 at the moment when he made alliance with king Duan.
As the founder of the monastery of Saint Archangel Michael in Lesnovo, Jovan
Oliver was portrayed at the narthex as sebastokrator with a relevant inscription that
narrated on his curriculum vitae. After receiving his new title of despotes, he ordered a
new, different inscription to be made, the one that is now our principle source for this
research, but his portrait on which he is presented in the garments of a sebastokrator
remained unchanged.
The fact that contemporary Constantinopolitan historiographers Gregoras and
Joasaph-Kantakouzenos didnt make any reference to the two investments of Jovan
Oliver, which we consider as having been of Byzantine imperial origin, can be ex-
plained by a specific treatment that such practice of imperial authorities had in their
texts. It may be noted that both of the historiographers had rather opted to remain
silent on the cases of Byzantine imperial bestowal of foreign potentates with the high
court dignities, with the only exception of their specifical, elliptic account on sebas-
tokrator and despotes Momilo.