Seal of Demetrios Palaiologos, Despot of the Morea in 1449–1460, with the inscription "Demetrios, in Christ the God Faithful, Despot, the Palaiologos, Born-in-the-purple"

Despot or despotes (Greek: δεσπότης, translit. despótēs, lit. "lord, master")[1][2][n 1] was a senior Byzantine court title that was bestowed on the sons or sons-in-law of reigning emperors, and initially denoted the heir-apparent of the Byzantine emperor.

From Byzantium it spread throughout the late medieval Balkans and was also granted in the states under Byzantine cultural influence, such as the Latin Empire, the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Serbian Empire and its successor states (Bulgarian and Serbian: деспот, romanizeddespót), and the Empire of Trebizond. With the political fragmentation of the period, the term gave rise to several principalities termed "despotates" which were ruled either as independent states or as appanages by princes bearing the title of despot; most notably the Despotate of Epirus, the Despotate of the Morea, the Despotate of Dobruja and the Serbian Despotate.

In modern usage, the word has taken a different meaning: "despotism" is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. The semantic shift undergone by the term is mirrored by "tyrant", an ancient Greek word that originally bore no negative connotation, and the Latin "dictator", a constitutionally sanctioned office of the Roman Republic. In colloquial Modern Greek, the word is often used to refer to a bishop. In English, the feminine form of the title is despotess (from Greek: δεσπότισσα, translit. despótissa; Bulgarian: деспотица, romanized: despotítsa; Serbian: деспотица/despotica), which denoted the spouse of a despot, but the transliterated traditional female equivalent of despotes, despoina (Greek: δέσποινα, translit. déspoina, lit. "lady of the house"), is also commonly used.

Origin and history

Empress Eudokia Ingerina with her sons Leo VI (left) and Alexander (right), both called despotes (ΔECΠOTHC)

The original Greek term δεσπότης (despotes) meant simply 'lord' and was synonymous with κύριος (kyrios). As the Greek equivalent to the Latin dominus, despotes was initially used as a form of address indicating respect.[6] As such it was applied to any person of rank, but in a more specific sense to God (e.g. Revelation 6:10), bishops and the patriarchs, and primarily the Roman and Byzantine Emperors. Occasionally it was used in formal settings, for example on coins (since Leo III the Isaurian) or formal documents.[6][7] During the 8th and 9th centuries, co-emperors appear on coinage with the address despotes, but this was still a mark of respect rather than an official title.[6][n 2] Senior emperors were also occasionally addressed as despotes. Before the 12th century, the honorific was used interchangeably with the more formal title of basileus.[6]

Although it was used for high-ranking nobles from the early 12th century, the title of despot began being used as a specific court title by Manuel I Komnenos, who conferred it in 1163 to the future King Béla III of Hungary, the Emperor's son-in-law and, until the birth of Alexios II in 1169, heir-presumptive. According to the contemporary Byzantine historian John Kinnamos, the title of despot was analogous to Béla's Hungarian title of urum, or heir-apparent.[7][9]

From this time and until the end of the Byzantine Empire, the title of despot became the highest Byzantine dignity, which placed its holders "immediately after the emperor" (Rodolphe Guilland).[10] Nevertheless, the Byzantine emperors from the Komnenoi to the Palaiologoi, as well as the Latin Emperors who claimed their succession and imitated their styles, continued to use the term despotes in its more generic sense of 'lord' in their personal seals and in imperial coinage.[10][11][12] In a similar manner, the holders of the two immediately junior titles of sebastokrator and Caesar could be addressed as despota (δεσπότα).[13] The despot shared with the Caesar another appelatory epithet, eutychestatos (εὐτυχέστατος, 'most fortunate') or paneutychestatos (πανευτυχέστατος, 'most fortunate of all').[14]

Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos with his family: empress Helena Dragaš (right), and three of their sons, the co-emperor John VIII and the despots Andronikos and Theodore

During the last centuries of Byzantium's existence, the title was awarded to the younger sons of emperors (the eldest sons were usually crowned as co-emperors, with the title of basileus) as well as to the emperor's sons-in-law (gambroi). The title entailed extensive honours and privileges, including the control of large estates – the domains of Michael VIII's brother John Palaiologos for instance included the islands of Lesbos and Rhodes – to finance their extensive households. Like the junior titles of sebastokrator and Caesar however, the title of despot was strictly a courtly dignity, and was not tied to any military or administrative functions or powers.[15] Women could not hold a noble title, but bore the titles of their husbands. Thus the spouse of a despot, the despotess (despotissa), had the right to bear the same insignia as he. Among the women of the court, the despotesses likewise took the first place after the empress.[16]

The use of the title spread also to the other countries of the Balkans. The Latin Empire used it to honour the Doge of Venice Enrico Dandolo and the local ruler of the Rhodope region, Alexius Slav. After ca. 1219 it was regularly borne (it is not clear whether the title was awarded by the Emperor or usurped) by the Venetian podestàs in Constantinople, as the Venetian support became crucial to the Empire's survival.[17] In 1279/80, it was introduced in Bulgaria to placate the powerful magnate (and later Tsar) George Terter in 1279/80. During the Serbian Empire it was widely awarded among the various Serbian magnates, with Jovan Oliver being the first holder, and it was held by lesser principalities as well, including the self-proclaimed Albanian despots of Arta.[7][18] In the 15th century, the Venetian governors of Corfu were also styled as despots.[7] As the title of despot was conferred by the emperor and usually implied a degree of submission by the awardee, the Palaiologan emperors tried long to persuade the Emperors of Trebizond, who also claimed the Byzantine imperial title, to accept the title of despot instead. Only John II of Trebizond and his son Alexios II, however, accepted the title, and even they continued to use the usual imperial title of basileus in their own domains.[19]

With the death of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI on May 29, 1453, the creation of a despot became irregular. The title was granted by Pope Paul II to Andreas Palaiologos, heir to the Byzantine throne in 1465,[20][21] and by the king of Hungary to the heirs of the Serbian Despotate.


From the mid-14th century on, various territories were given to imperial princes with the rank of despot to rule as semi-autonomous appanages, some of which have become widely known in historiography as "despotates" (sing. δεσποτάτον, despotaton, in Greek); in the Byzantine world, these were chiefly the Despotate of Epirus and the Despotate of the Morea.[7][22] The close association of title and territory began already from the late 13th century and became widespread from the mid-14th century, as a steady succession of despots began to rule over the same territory.[7][23] Nevertheless, the term "despotate" is technically inaccurate: the title of despot, like every other Byzantine dignity, was not hereditary nor intrinsic to a specific territory. Even in the so-called "despotates", a son of a despot might succeed to his father's territory but could not and would not hold the title unless it was conferred anew by the emperor.[7][22] In normal Byzantine usage, a clear distinction was drawn between the personal dignity of despot and any other offices or attributes of its holder. Thus for instance John II Orsini was described as "the ruler of Acarnania, the despot John" rather than "the despot of Acarnania" by the emperor-historian John VI Kantakouzenos (r. 1347–1354).[24]


Lead seal of Constantine Palaiologos, showing him in imperial regalia, and mentioning his titles of despot and porphyrogennetos

According to the mid-14th-century Book of Offices of Pseudo-Kodinos and the descriptions given by the historian George Pachymeres, the despot's insignia in the Byzantine court were characterised by the colours purple and white, and a rich decoration in pearls.[25] In detail, the insignia were:

The despot also had the right to sign his letters with an ink of a dark red colour (the emperor's was bright red).[34]

Lists of known holders

Byzantine Empire

Note: Names in italics indicate persons who claimed the title but were never conferred it by a reigning Byzantine emperor
Name Tenure Conferred by Notes Refs
Béla III of Hungary 1163–1169 Manuel I Komnenos Son-in-law and heir-presumptive until 1169, thereafter demoted to Caesar [9]
Theodore Vatatzes unknown Manuel I Komnenos Married to Manuel I's sister Eudokia. His holding of the title is attested only in the seal of his son. [35][36]
Alexios Palaiologos 1200–1203 Alexios III Angelos Son-in-law and heir-apparent of Alexios III, second husband of Irene Angelina. Maternal grandfather of Michael VIII [37][38][39]
Theodore I Laskaris 1203–1208 Alexios III Angelos Son-in-law of Alexios III, he was probably granted the title of despot after the death of Alexios Palaiologos. He founded the Empire of Nicaea and was proclaimed emperor in 1205, although he was not crowned until 1208 and was still formally despot until then. [37][40]
Leo Sgouros 1203/1204–1208 Alexios III Angelos Ruler of much of southern Greece, he met Alexios III after he was evicted from Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. Sgouros married Eudokia Angelina and was named despot and heir-apparent by the exiled emperor [37][41]
John Chamaretos 1208 – unknown Alexios III Angelos Lord of Laconia, mentioned as despot in a letter from 1222. He was possibly awarded the title by Alexios III after Leo Sgouros' death [41][42]
Andronikos Palaiologos 1216 – unknown Theodore I Laskaris Son-in-law and heir-apparent of Theodore I. Very little is known about him with certainty. He married Irene Laskarina and was raised to despot, but died soon after. [43][44]
Manuel Komnenos Doukas 1225/1227–1230 Theodore Komnenos Doukas Brother of Theodore, he was raised to the rank of despot after Theodore crowned himself emperor. As heir to Theodore and ruler of Thessalonica, Manuel held the title of emperor (basileus) after 1230 [45][46]
Constantine Komnenos Doukas 1225/1227 – unknown Theodore Komnenos Doukas Brother of Theodore, he was raised to the rank of despot after Theodore crowned himself emperor. [47][48]
John Komnenos Doukas 1242–1244 John III Vatatzes Ruler of Thessalonica, he abandoned the imperial title and acknowledged the suzerainty of Nicaea in 1242, being rewarded with the title of despot. [22][49]
Demetrios Angelos Doukas 1244–1246 John III Vatatzes Inherited rule of Thessalonica from his brother John and was conferred like him with the title of despot. Deposed by John III in 1246. [50][51]
Michael VIII Palaiologos 1258–1259 John IV Laskaris Leader of the nobles, he was declared regent after the murder of George Mouzalon and raised first to megas doux and then, within weeks, to despot. He was crowned emperor on 1 January 1259. [52][53]
John Palaiologos 1259 – c. 1273/1275 Michael VIII Palaiologos Brother of Michael VIII, he was elevated to the rank of despot following his victory at the Battle of Pelagonia. He renounced the insignia and privileges of a despot, but not the title itself, after his defeat at the Battle of Neopatras in 1273/1275, and died shortly after. [54][55]
Demetrios Doukas Komnenos Koutroules unknown Michael VIII Palaiologos Third son of Michael II of Epirus, he married Anna, one of the daughters of Michael VIII, and was named despot. [42]
Constantine Palaiologos unknown Michael VIII Palaiologos Third son of Michael VIII, he is attested as a Despot in seals. [56]
John II of Trebizond 1282–1297 Michael VIII Palaiologos Emperor of Trebizond, he was persuaded to renounce his own claim to be "Emperor of the Romans" and accept the title of despot and the hand of Michael VIII's daughter Eudokia. John visited Constantinople in 1282, when the title was conferred and the marriage with Eudokia took place. He nevertheless retained the imperial title in an altered form. [19][57]
Constantine Palaiologos 1292–1320s Andronikos II Palaiologos Second son of Andronikos II, he was named despot on his marriage to the daughter of Theodore Mouzalon [58]
John Palaiologos 1294 – unknown Andronikos II Palaiologos Third son of Andronikos II, he was named despot on 22 May 1294 [58]
Alexios II of Trebizond c. 1297–1330 Andronikos II Palaiologos Son and successor of John II of Trebizond [19]
Demetrios Palaiologos 1306 – after 1343 Andronikos II Palaiologos Fifth son of Andronikos II, named despot in 1306 [59][60]
Theodore Palaiologos unknown Andronikos II Palaiologos Fourth son of Andronikos II, named despot at an unknown date, from 1305 Marquess of Montferrat [59]
Manuel Palaiologos unknown – 1320 Andronikos II Palaiologos Second son of Michael IX Palaiologos, named despot at an unknown date, killed by mistake by his brother Andronikos III Palaiologos [59]
Michael Palaiologos before 1341 – unknown Andronikos III Palaiologos Second son of Andronikos III, named despot at a very young age [61]
Momchil 1343/44–1345 Anna of Savoy Bulgarian ruler of the Rhodopes, awarded the title by the Empress-regent during the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, in order to detach him from John VI Kantakouzenos, who titled him sebastokrator. Effectively independent until defeated and killed by Kantakouzenos' army. [62]
Manuel Komnenos Raoul Asanes before 1358 – unknown John VI Kantakouzenos Brother-in-law of John VI Kantakouzenos, named first sebastokrator by him and despot at an unknown date [63]
John Kantakouzenos 1357 – unknown John V Palaiologos Eldest son of Matthew Kantakouzenos, named despot on his father's abdication of his imperial title [63]
Michael Palaiologos unknown John V Palaiologos Third son of John V, ruler of Mesembria, murdered in 1376/7 [64][65]
Andronikos Palaiologos 1409 – c. 1424 Manuel II Palaiologos Third son of Manuel II, Despot in Thessalonica from 1409 until 1423 (styled "Despot of Thessaly" by Doukas), shortly thereafter he entered a monastery [66]
John Palaiologos unknown Manuel II Palaiologos Son of Andronikos, Despot of Thessalonica. He is mentioned as holding the title in 1419. [67]

Despots of the Morea

Name Tenure Conferred by Notes Refs
Manuel Kantakouzenos 1347–1380 John VI Kantakouzenos Second son of John VI, named despot after the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, first "Despot of the Morea" from 1349 until his death [68]
Theodore I Palaiologos before 1376–1407 John V Palaiologos Third son of John V, from 1383 until his death "Despot of Lacedaemon" [64]
Theodore II Palaiologos 1406/1407–1448 Manuel II Palaiologos Second son of Manuel II, Despot in the Morea from 1407, and in Selymbria from 1443 to his death [69]
Constantine XI Palaiologos unknown – 1449 Manuel II Palaiologos Fourth son of Manuel II and last Byzantine emperor. Despot in Selymbria until 1443, thereafter co-despot in the Morea until 1449, when he succeeded to the Byzantine throne [70]
Demetrios Palaiologos 1425–1460 Manuel II Palaiologos Fifth son of Manuel II, despot in Lemnos from 1425 to 1449, in Mesembria from 1440, co-despot in the Morea from 1449 until the Ottoman conquest in 1460 [66]
Thomas Palaiologos 1428–1460 John VIII Palaiologos Sixth son of Manuel II, co-despot in the Morea from 1428 until the Ottoman conquest in 1460. According to Sphrantzes, however, he was not titled despot until 1449, when his brother Constantine became emperor. [71]
Manuel Kantakouzenos 1453 Grandson of Demetrios I Kantakouzenos, he was acclaimed as leader and despot of the Morea by the local Albanian and Greek inhabitants during the failed Morea revolt of 1453–1454. He was soon eclipsed by Giovanni Asen Zaccaria. [72][73]
Titular claimants in exile
Andreas Palaiologos 1465 – 1502 Pope Pius II (?) Eldest son of Thomas Palaiologos and heir of the Palaiologan line. According to Sphrantzes, he was awarded the title of Despot of the Morea by the Pope, but R. Guilland suggested that he may have already received the title before 1460. In his seal he bore the title "By the grace of God, Despot of the Romans" (Latin: Dei gratia despotes Romeorum).Claimant to the Byzantine throne from 1465 to 1494. [70][20][74][72][73]
Fernando Palaiologos 1502 – unknown Self-proclaimed Possibly an illegitimate son of Andreas Palaiologos, he adopted the title upon the death of Andreas in 1502. His subsequent fate is unknown. [75]
Constantine Arianiti 1502/07 – 1530 Self-proclaimed An Albanian nobleman, he claimed the fictional titles 'Prince of Macedonia' and 'Duke of Achaea' since the 1490s. He adopted the title of Despot of the Morea after the death of Andreas, sometime between 1502 and 1507. He was appointed governor of Fano by the Pope, and died there in 1530. [76]
Later pretenders
Gian Antonio Lazier 1720 – 1738 Self-proclaimed, recognized by Charles VI Italian impostor and pretender to the Byzantine throne who was recognized by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI. He claimed, among other titles, the title of 'Despot of the Peloponnese'. [77]
Radu Cantacuzino 1735 – unknown Self-proclaimed, possibly recognized by Charles VI Romanian prince and pretender to the Byzantine throne who was possibly recognized by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI. He claimed, among other titles, the title of 'Despot of the Peloponnese'. [77]

Despots of Epirus

Name Tenure Conferred by Notes Refs
Michael II Komnenos Doukas before 1246–1267/1268 John III Vatatzes Nephew of Manuel Komnenos Doukas, ruler of Epirus [78][79]
Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas before 1248/1250–1297 John III Vatatzes Son and heir of Michael II of Epirus, he was awarded the title on his betrothal to Maria, the granddaughter of John III. He ruled Epirus from his father's death in 1267/1268. [50][80]
Thomas I Komnenos Doukas 1297–1318 Andronikos II Palaiologos Only son and heir of Nikephoros I of Epirus [42]
Nicholas Orsini 1319/20–1323 Andronikos II Palaiologos Count palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos, he assassinated and usurped his uncle, Thomas I of Epirus, in 1318. He was named despot in 1319/20 in exchange for recognizing the annexation of Ioannina by the Byzantine Empire. [81][82]
Nikephoros II Orsini 1347–1359 John VI Kantakouzenos Son-in-law of John VI, named despot after the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, ruler of Epirus in 1335–1338 and 1356–1359 [83]
Thomas II Preljubović 1382–1384 John V Palaiologos Son of Gregory Preljub, he was given the rule of Ioannina and its region by his father-in-law Simeon Uroš in 1367. The title of despot was not formally conferred by the Byzantine Emperor until 1382 however. [84][85]
Esau de' Buondelmonti ca. 1385 – 1411 John V Palaiologos (?) An Italian, he was possibly involved in the murder of Thomas Preljubović, and succeeded him as ruler of Ioannina when he married his widow Maria. [86]
Carlo I Tocco 1415–1429 Manuel II Palaiologos Count palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos, he succeeded in obtaining Ioannina in 1411 shortly after the death of his uncle Esau de' Buondelmonti. To formalize his position, in 1415 he sent his brother Leonardo to Emperor Manuel to obtain confirmation as Despot. In 1416, Carlo re-united the old Despotate of Epirus by capturing Arta as well. [87]
Titular claimants in exile
Carlo II Tocco 1429–1448 Successor of Carlo I Tocco as Count palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos and ruler of Epirus. He claimed the traditional title of despot, but was never officially conferred it by a Byzantine emperor [88]
Leonardo III Tocco 1448–1503 Successor of Carlo II Tocco as Count palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos and titular despot of Epirus. He ruled in the islands until the Ottoman conquest of 1479, and thereafter maintained his claims in exile in Italy. [89][90][91]
Carlo III Tocco 1503–1518 Son of Leonardo III Tocco and Milica Branković, granddaughter of Thomas Palaiologos. Claimed the inheritance of "the despots of Romania and Arta" [91][92]

Latin Empire

Name Tenure Conferred by Notes Refs
Enrico Dandolo 1204–1205 Baldwin I of Constantinople Doge of Venice and the driving force behind the Fourth Crusade's capture of Constantinople, as well as behind Baldwin's election as Latin Emperor instead of Boniface of Montferrat. Named Despot as the main vassal of the Latin Empire. Şerban Marin, however, suggests that the reference to Dandolo as Despot in Greek sources was not as the court dignity, but as a Greek translation of the title dominus, indicating his lordship over three-eighths of the former Byzantine Empire. [93][94][95]
Alexius Slav 1208/9 – after 1222 Henry of Flanders Autonomous Bulgarian ruler of the Rhodopes, named Despot when he married an illegitimate daughter of Emperor Henry and became a Latin vassal. [96][97][98]
Jacopo Tiepolo 1219–1221 Yolanda of Flanders (?) Venetian Podestà of Constantinople, he may have been given the title of "Despot of the Empire of Romania" (despotes imperii Romaniae) by Empress-regent Yolanda to secure Venetian support, or he may have appropriated it himself. [99]
Marino Storlato 1222–1223 Robert of Courtenay Venetian Podestà of Constantinople [100][101]
Albertino Morosini c. 1238 Baldwin II of Constantinople Venetian Podestà of Constantinople [98]
Philip I, Prince of Taranto 1294/97–1315, 1330–1332 Charles II of Naples Husband of Thamar, the daughter of Nikephoros I of Epirus. On Nikephoros' death, he was given the title "Despot of Romania" on behalf of his wife and as the ruler of all Angevin or subject territories in Albania (the "Kingdom of Albania") and Greece north of the Gulf of Corinth (Thamar's dowry in Aetolia, and the rest of the Epirote state in its capacity as an Angevin vassal). [42][102]
Philip 1315–1330 Philip I, Prince of Taranto Eldest surviving son of Philip of Taranto, granted the title and claims of the "Despotate of Romania" in 1315 until his death. [103]
Martino Zaccaria 1325–1345 Philip I, Prince of Taranto Lord of Chios, Samos and Kos. He was awarded the title of "King and Despot of Asia Minor" by Philip in hopes of enlisting him in an effort to reclaim Constantinople. [104][105]
Robert, Prince of Taranto 1332–1346 Catherine of Valois Eldest surviving son of Philip of Taranto and the titular Latin Empress Catherine. Prince of Taranto and Achaea, after 1346 himself titular Latin Emperor. [106]

Bulgarian Empire

Name Tenure Conferred by Notes Refs
Jacob Svetoslav before 1261–1275/1277 possibly Tsar Constantine Tikh Powerful magnate and autonomous lord of Sofia, he was probably named despot by a Bulgarian ruler rather than a Nicaean emperor [107]
George I Terter 1278/1279–1292 Tsar Ivan Asen III Powerful magnate, he was given the title of despot along with the hand of the sister of Tsar Ivan Asen III to win him over in the face of the uprising of Ivaylo. George later deposed Ivan Asen and became Tsar himself. [18]
Shishman of Vidin 1270s/1280s — before 1308/1313 Tsar George I Terter Founder of the Shishman dynasty and first semi-autonomous despot of Vidin [108]
Aldimir 1280s–1305 probably by Tsar George I Terter Younger brother of George I, he was raised to the rank of despot by him, and received (possibly after 1298) the region of Kran as an appanage ("Despotate of Kran")
Michael Shishman of Bulgaria before 1313–1322/1323 Tsar Theodore Svetoslav Autonomous lord of Vidin, named despot at or soon after his father Shishman of Vidin's death. Became Tsar of Bulgaria in 1322/1333. [109]
Belaur 1323 – c. 1331 Tsar Michael Shishman Half-brother of Michael Shishman, he succeeded him as autonomous lord of Vidin with the rank of despot. He resisted the rule of Ivan Alexander and was forced to flee into exile [110]
Sratsimir unknown unknown Sratsimir was a magnate holding the territory of Kran with the title of Despot. He was the eponymous founder of the Sratsimir dynasty.
Ivan Alexander By 1330 – 1371 Tsar Michael Shishman By 1330, the importance of the city resulted in the Asen family appointing John to govern Lovech, forming the despotate of Lovech. [111]
Mihail Shishman of Vidin unknown Tsar Ivan Alexander Younger son of Tsar Michael Shishman, he probably succeeded Belaur as autonomous lord of Vidin with the rank of despot. [108]
Dobrotitsa after 1347 – 1386 Tsar Ivan Alexander Ruler of the Despotate of Dobruja

Serbian Empire and successor states

Name Tenure Conferred by Notes Refs
Jovan Oliver 1334–1356 Andronikos III Palaiologos Autonomous Serbian magnate, named despot by Andronikos III after the Byzantine-Serbian peace agreement of 1334 [112]
Simeon Uroš 1345/1346–1363 Stephen Uroš IV Dušan Half-brother of Stephen Dušan, he was named despot probably after Dušan's coronation as emperor. Governor of Epirus, he proclaimed himself Tsar in 1356 and tried to seize control of Serbia but failed. Ruler of Thessaly and most of Epirus from 1359 until his death c. 1370 [113]
John Komnenos Asen 1345/1346–1363 Stephen Uroš IV Dušan Brother-in-law of Stephen Dušan, he was named despot probably after Dušan's coronation as emperor. Ruler of the Principality of Valona until his death [114]
Ivaniš fl. 1348 Stephen Uroš IV Dušan Close relative of Stephen Dušan. Ruler of a region in Toplica. [115]
Dejan After August 1355 Stephen Uroš IV Dušan or Stephen Uroš V Brother-in-law of Stephen Dušan. Ruler of a region in the Kumanovo region. [116]
Gjin Bua Shpata c. 1360/1365 – c. 1399/1400 Simeon Uroš Palaiologos Albanian clan leader, in the early 1360s he was recognized as Despot and ruler of Aetolia (the "Despotate of Angelokastron") by the titular Serbian Emperor and ruler of Thessaly Simeon Uroš. He was de facto independent, and in 1374 annexed the Despotate of Arta and launched repeated unsuccessful attacks against Ioannina. [117][118]
Peter Losha c. 1360/1365–1374 Simeon Uroš Palaiologos Albanian clan leader, in the early 1360s he was recognized as Despot and ruler of Acarnania (the "Despotate of Arta") by the titular Serbian Emperor and ruler of Thessaly Simeon Uroš. He was de facto independent however, and attacked Thomas Preljubović at Ioannina, before coming to terms with him. He died of the plague in 1373/1374. [119][120]
Vukašin Mrnjavčević 1364–1365 Stephen Uroš V One of the most powerful Serbian magnates under Stephen Dušan, he was named despot in 1364 and then king and co-ruler by the emperor Stephen Uroš V. He became de facto independent by 1368, and was killed by the Ottomans in the Battle of Maritsa in 1371. [121]
Jovan Uglješa 1365–1371 Stephen Uroš V Brother of Vukašin Mrnjavčević, he was named despot in succession to his brother and became ruler of Serres alongside Dušan's widow Helena. From c. 1368 he was a de facto independent ruler until his death in the Battle of Maritsa. [122]
Jovan Dragaš 1365 – c. 1378 Stephen Uroš V Cousin of Stephen Uroš V and nephew of Stephen IV Dušan, with his brother Constantine Dragaš he governed eastern domain from Kumanovo to Velbužd). From the Battle of Maritsa on he was an Ottoman vassal. [123]
Serbian Despotate
Stefan Lazarević 1402–1427 Manuel II Palaiologos Ruler of Serbia as an Ottoman vassal. He was awarded the title of despot during a visit to Constantinople in 1402, and ruled the "Serbian Despotate" as an autonomous lord until his death in 1427. [124]
Đurađ Branković 1429–1456 Manuel II Palaiologos Successor of Stefan Lazarević as ruler of Serbia from 1427, he received the title of despot in 1429. An Ottoman vassal from 1428. [125]
Lazar Branković 1440s–1458 Manuel II Palaiologos Son and successor of Đurađ Branković, he received the title of despot during his father's reign. [126]
Stefan Branković 1458–1459 unknown Son of Đurađ Branković, ruler of Serbia. Deposed in favour of Stephen Tomašević.
Stephen Tomašević April–June 1459 unknown Prince of Bosnia, he became the last independent Serbian ruler after his marriage to Helena-Maria, the daughter of Lazar Branković. He assumed the title of despot (or perhaps was awarded it by Lazar's widow, the Byzantine princess Helena Palaiologina). His capital Smederevo was conquered by the Ottomans a few months later. [126]
Titular despots in exile under Hungarian suzerainty
Vuk Grgurević 1471–1485 Matthias Corvinus Grandson of Đurađ Branković
Đorđe Branković 1486–1496 Matthias Corvinus Son of Stefan Branković
Jovan Branković 1486–1502 Vladislaus II Son of Stefan Branković
Ivaniš Berislavić 1504–1514 Vladislaus II Married Jovan Branković's widow, Jelena Jakšić
Stefan Berislavić 1514–1521 Vladislaus II Son of Ivaniš Berislavić
Radič Božić 1527–1528 John Zápolya
Pavle Bakić 1537 Ferdinand I

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Literally "master of the house", from PIE *dṓm-, "house", and *pótis; cf. Greek pósis and Latin, Sanskrit pátis, "lord".[3] Despoina, i.e. "potnia of the house", is a feminine counterpart to the word. Despot is thought to be attested – on the PY Tn 316 tablet – in Mycenaean Greek Linear B as 𐀈𐀡𐀲, do-po-ta.[4][5]
  2. ^ The co-emperors Staurakios, Theophylact, Symbatios Constantine, Theophilos and Michael III are all titled despotes on coinage, but literary sources also record an imperial coronation for most of them.[8]
  1. ^ δεσπότης. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  2. ^ Harper, Douglas. "despot". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  3. ^ πόσις in Liddell and Scott.
  4. ^ Raymoure, K.A. "do-po-ta". Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B. Deaditerranean. Archived from the original on 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2014-03-19. "PY 316 Tn (44)". DĀMOS: Database of Mycenaean at Oslo. University of Oslo.
  5. ^ Chadwick, John (1976). The Mycenaean World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-521-29037-6.
  6. ^ a b c d Grierson, Bellinger & Hendy 1973, p. 178.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Kazhdan 1991, p. 614.
  8. ^ Grierson, Bellinger & Hendy 1973, pp. 352, 363, 371, 387, 407.
  9. ^ a b Guilland 1959, pp. 53–54.
  10. ^ a b Guilland 1959, p. 54.
  11. ^ Shawcross 2012, pp. 201–203.
  12. ^ Van Tricht 2011, pp. 63–71.
  13. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 54–55.
  14. ^ Guilland 1959, p. 56.
  15. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 65–67.
  16. ^ Guilland 1959, p. 66.
  17. ^ Van Tricht 2011, pp. 174–177.
  18. ^ a b Guilland 1959, pp. 77–78.
  19. ^ a b c Guilland 1959, pp. 69–70.
  20. ^ a b Harris 2013, p. 650.
  21. ^ Zakythinos 1932, p. 291.
  22. ^ a b c Guilland 1959, p. 68.
  23. ^ cf. Guilland 1959, pp. 71–77
  24. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 68–69.
  25. ^ Failler 1982, pp. 178–180.
  26. ^ Verpeaux 1966, pp. 141–143, 145.
  27. ^ Verpeaux 1966, pp. 145–146.
  28. ^ Verpeaux 1966, p. 143.
  29. ^ Verpeaux 1966, p. 146.
  30. ^ Verpeaux 1966, p. 144.
  31. ^ Failler 1982, p. 175.
  32. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 58–59, 62.
  33. ^ Verpeaux 1966, pp. 144–145.
  34. ^ Failler 1982, pp. 180–185.
  35. ^ Guilland 1959, p. 80.
  36. ^ M. Jeffreys; et al. (2011). "Theodoros Batatzes, husband of Eudokia, daughter of Ioannes II". Prosopography of the Byzantine World. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  37. ^ a b c Guilland 1959, pp. 55–56.
  38. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 114, 116.
  39. ^ M. Jeffreys; et al. (2011). "Alexios Komnenos Palaiologos, sebastos". Prosopography of the Byzantine World. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  40. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 82–83.
  41. ^ a b Macrides 2007, p. 81.
  42. ^ a b c d Guilland 1959, p. 76.
  43. ^ Guilland 1959, p. 57.
  44. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 148–150.
  45. ^ Guilland 1959, p. 74.
  46. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 96–97.
  47. ^ Guilland 1959, p. 75.
  48. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 207, 209–210.
  49. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 216, 219–220.
  50. ^ a b Guilland 1959, pp. 68, 75–76.
  51. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 222–224, 235ff..
  52. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 57–58.
  53. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 346–348.
  54. ^ Failler 1982, p. 174.
  55. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 365, 367.
  56. ^ Guilland 1959, p. 79.
  57. ^ Failler 1982, p. 173.
  58. ^ a b Guilland 1959, p. 60.
  59. ^ a b c Guilland 1959, p. 61.
  60. ^ PLP, 21456. Παλαιολόγος, Δημήτριος Ἄγγελος Δούκας.
  61. ^ Guilland 1959, p. 62.
  62. ^ Guilland 1959, p. 78.
  63. ^ a b Guilland 1959, p. 63.
  64. ^ a b Guilland 1959, p. 64.
  65. ^ PLP, 21522. Παλαιολόγος Μιχαήλ.
  66. ^ a b Guilland 1959, pp. 64, 71.
  67. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 71–72.
  68. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 62–63.
  69. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 64, 72.
  70. ^ a b Guilland 1959, pp. 64–65.
  71. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 64–65, 73.
  72. ^ a b Nicol 1993, p. 396.
  73. ^ a b Setton 1978, p. 148.
  74. ^ Zakythinos 1932, pp. 291–292.
  75. ^ Harris 2013, pp. 651, 653–654.
  76. ^ Harris 2013, pp. 653–654, 656–659.
  77. ^ a b Iorga 1933, p. 154.
  78. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 68, 75.
  79. ^ Macrides 2007, p. 97.
  80. ^ Macrides 2007, pp. 97, 249–251.
  81. ^ Nicol 1984, p. 89.
  82. ^ PLP, 224. <Ἄγγελος> Νικόλαος.
  83. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 62, 77.
  84. ^ Nicol 1984, p. 143.
  85. ^ Soulis 1984, pp. 122–123.
  86. ^ Nicol 1984, pp. 157ff., 173.
  87. ^ Nicol 1984, pp. 173, 183–187.
  88. ^ Nicol 1984, pp. 197ff..
  89. ^ Nicol 1984, p. 213.
  90. ^ Zečević 2014, p. 130.
  91. ^ a b Miller 1921, p. 513.
  92. ^ Zečević 2014, p. 141.
  93. ^ Van Tricht 2011, pp. 174–175.
  94. ^ Setton 1976, pp. 18–19.
  95. ^ Marin 2004, pp. 122ff..
  96. ^ Guilland 1959, pp. 78–79.
  97. ^ Van Tricht 2011, p. 177.
  98. ^ a b Shawcross 2012, p. 195.
  99. ^ Van Tricht 2011, pp. 175–176.
  100. ^ Van Tricht 2011, p. 176.
  101. ^ Shawcross 2012, pp. 194–195.
  102. ^ Topping 1975, pp. 106–107.
  103. ^ Longnon 1949, p. 320.
  104. ^ Setton 1976, p. 120.
  105. ^ Nicol 1993, p. 171.
  106. ^ Setton 1976, p. 159.
  107. ^ Fine 1994, p. 175.
  108. ^ a b Fine 1994, p. 273.
  109. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 268–269.
  110. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 269, 273.
  111. ^ Mladenov, Momchil. "Before the Throne: Early Years of Tsar Ivan Alexander Asen (1331–1371)". Journals.uni-vt.
  112. ^ Fine 1994, p. 299.
  113. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 310, 347–348, 350–351.
  114. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 310, 347, 357.
  115. ^ Miloš Blagojević (2004). Nemanjići i Lazarevići i srpska srednjovekovna državnost. Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva. p. 288. ISBN 9788617121882.
  116. ^ Soulis 1984, p. 190.
  117. ^ Nicol 1984, pp. 142, 146–169.
  118. ^ Soulis 1984, pp. 116, 122, 126–127, 130, 132.
  119. ^ Nicol 1984, pp. 142, 145–146.
  120. ^ Soulis 1984, pp. 116, 122, 125–126.
  121. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 362–364.
  122. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 364–364, 377–381.
  123. ^ Soulis 1984, pp. 100, 101.
  124. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 428–429, 522–526.
  125. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 526–528.
  126. ^ a b Fine 1994, p. 575.