Lordship of Prilep

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Lordship of Prilep

Прилепска област краља Марка
Prilepska oblast kralja Marka
Flag of Prilep, Medieval Serbia
Coat of arms
Medieval Realm of King Marko
Medieval Realm of King Marko
Capital Prilep
Government Kingdom
• 1371–1395
Prince Marko (only)
Historical era Medieval
• Marko's inheritance
September 26, 1371 1371
• Subjugation by Bayezid I
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Serbian Empire
Ottoman Empire

The Lordship of Prilep, also known as the Lordship of King Marko (Serbian: Област краља Марка / Oblast kralja Marka), was one of the provinces of the Serbian Empire, centered around the city of Prilep and covering (mainly) the region of Pelagonia and surrounding areas in western parts of the present-day Republic of Macedonia. In the middle of 14th century, the region was held by lord Vukašin Mrnjavčević, who in 1365 became Serbian king and co-ruler of Serbian emperor Stefan Uroš V (1355-1371). After king Vukašin died at the Battle of Maritsa in 1371,[1] the realm was obtained by his son and designated successor (rex iunior) Marko Mrnjavčević, who took the title of Serbian king. At that time, capital cities of the Serbian realm were Skopje and Prizren,[2] but during the following years king Marko lost effective control over those regions, and moved his residence to Prilep. He ruled there until his death in the Battle of Rovine in 1395.[3] By the end of the same year, the entire region of Prilep was conquered by Ottoman Turks.


Since 1334,[4] the city of Prilep was under Serbian rule[5] and the surrounding region was held by Serbian feudal lord Vukašin Mrnjavčević, who was crowned the king of the Serbs and Greeks in 1365 as the co-ruler of last Serbian emperor Stefan Uroš V.[6] After the death of both Vukašin and Uroš in 1371, Vukašin's son Marko Mrnjavčević, who held the title of "Junior King" (rex iunior),[7] became the sole legal ruler of the Serbian Realm and took the title of Serbian king, but his power was contested by other Serbian feudal lords who gained control over other regions leaving Marko only with the areas in western half of Vardarian Macedonia, centered in Prilep.[8]

King Marko remained effective ruler only in the region of Prilep,[9] and was also nominally recognized by some other feudal lords in surrounding areas. All of them, including king Marko, were forced to pay tribute to invading Ottoman Turks. Since he became a vassal[10] of the Turkish Sultan, Marko Mrnjavčević was obligated to answer to the sultan's call in 1395 and take part in the Battle of Rovine where he was killed.[11][12] The Turks took the opportunity to conquer the region of Prilep, adding its territory to the Sanjak of Ohrid.

Since Marko, who styled himself as Serbian King, did not reduce his title to Prilep or any other local town or region, historians have used various terms for his domain. In Serbian historiography, it is called simply: the Lordship of King Marko (Serbian: Област краља Марка)[13] or the Domain of King Marko (Serbian: Држава краља Марка).[14] In some other historiographies, it is sometimes called the Realm of Prilep (Macedonian and Bulgarian: Прилепско кралство).



  1. ^ Ostrogorsky 1956, p. 481.
  2. ^ Gavrilović 2001, p. 146.
  3. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 86.
  4. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 63.
  5. ^ Ostrogorsky 1956, p. 451.
  6. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 78.
  7. ^ Fine 1994, p. 363.
  8. ^ Fine 1994, p. 380.
  9. ^ Temperley 1919, p. 97-98.
  10. ^ Nicol 1993, p. 275.
  11. ^ Ostrogorsky 1956, p. 489.
  12. ^ Nicol 1993, p. 302.
  13. ^ Благојевић & Медаковић 2000, p. 231.
  14. ^ Ђурић 1984, p. 16.


  • Благојевић, Милош; Медаковић, Дејан (2000). Историја српске државности. 1. Нови Сад: Огранак САНУ.
  • Ćirković, Sima (2004). The Serbs. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Ђурић, Иван (1984). Сумрак Византије: Време Јована VIII Палеолога 1392-1448. Београд: Народна књига.
  • Fine, John V. A. (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan Press.
  • Gavrilović, Zaga (2001). Studies in Byzantine and Serbian Medieval Art. London: The Pindar Press.
  • Nicol, Donald M. (1993) [1972]. The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ostrogorsky, George (1956). History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Sedlar, Jean W. (1994). East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Temperley, Harold W. V. (1919) [1917]. History of Serbia (PDF) (2 ed.). London: Bell and Sons.
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