Mrnjava (Serbian: Мрњава[a]) was a Serbian provincial nobleman, born in Zahumlje, a frontier province in the western Serbian Kingdom. Mrnjava is the eponymous founder of the notable Mrnjavčević family; his son Vukašin Mrnjavčević became the co-ruler of the Serbian Empire (1365–1371) as king during the fall of the Serbian Empire.
Mrnjava's father was "Mrnjan" (Latin: Mergnanus; fl. c. 1280-1289), a financial chancellor (Latin: camerarius, sr. kaznac, lit. chamberlain) that served King Stephen Uroš I of Serbia and his wife, Queen Helen of Anjou at the court at Trebinje (in the royal province of Travunia). Mavro Orbini wrote that the family hailed from Hum, and that the poor Mrnjava and his two sons, who later lived in Blagaj, quickly rose to prominence under Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia who sent for them to come to his court. Possibly, the family had left Hum, which had been part of the Serbian Kingdom, after the Bosnian conquest of Hum (1326), and settled in Livno (where Vukašin was allegedly born). The family most likely supported Dušan's Bosnian campaign (1350), in which he saw to reconquer Hum.
The name of his wife is unknown. It is known that he had at least two sons:
- Jovan Uglješa (1320–1371), despot of Serres 1365–1371
- Vukašin Mrnjavčević (1320-1371), Lord of the Serbian Land, of the Greeks, and of the Western Provinces (co-ruler of Emperor Stephen Uroš V, 1365–1371)
- Gojko Mrnjavčević (d. 1371), logothete at the Serbian Imperial court (disputed[b])
- ^ Name: His name has also been rendered Marnjava, Mrnja or Mrnjav. Mikhail Khalanskii claims that his real name was Nenad, while Mrnjava was a nickname.
- ^ Gojko Mrnjavčević: Some historians do not acknowledge Gojko as being the third son, though Benedictine monk and historian Mavro Orbini registered Mrnjava as father of the three sons, supported by Pavel Jozef Šafárik.
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