Pribislav of Serbia

Prince / Archont / Knez
of Serbs / Serbia
Prince of Serbia
Reign 891–892
Predecessor Mutimir
Successor Petar
Born 867
Issue Zaharija
House Vlastimirović dynasty
Father Mutimir
Religion Eastern Christianity

Pribislav (Serbian: Прибислав, Greek: Πριβέσθλαβος[A]) was Prince of the Serbs for a year, in 891–892, before being deposed by his cousin Petar. He was the eldest son of Mutimir (r. 851–891) of the Vlastimirović dynasty, who ruled during the expanding and Christianization of Serbia.


Vlastimirović dynasty

His father had with his brothers Strojimir and Gojnik, defeated the Bulgar Army sent by Tsar Boris I of Bulgaria and led by his son Vladimir.[1] Vladimir was captured together with 12 boyars. Boris I and Mutimir agreed on peace (and perhaps an alliance[1]), and Mutimir sent his sons Pribislav and Stefan beyond the border to escort the prisoners, where they exchanged items as a sign of peace, Boris himself gave them "rich gifts", while he was given "two slaves, two falcons, two dogs, and eighty furs".[2]

In the 880s, Mutimir seized the throne, exiling his younger brothers and Klonimir, Strojimir's son to the Bulgar Khanate; the court of Boris I.[1] This was most likely due to treachery.[3] Petar, the son of Gojnik, was kept at the Serbian court of Mutimir for political reasons,[3] but he soon fled to Branimir of Croatia.[1]

Mutimir died in 890 or 891, leaving the throne to his eldest son, Pribislav.[1] Pribislav only ruled for a year when Petar returned in 892, defeating him in battle and seizing the throne, Pribislav fled to Croatia with his brothers Bran and Stefan.[1] Bran later returned and led an unsuccessful rebellion against Petar in 894.[4] Bran was defeated, captured and blinded (blinding was a Byzantine tradition that meant to disqualify a person to take the throne[5])

His only son, Zaharija, had the goals to one day rule Serbia, but remained in Constantinople for a long period before successfully seizing the throne with Byzantine aid, ruling Serbia 920–924.

Zaharija I
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Prince of Serbia
Succeeded by


The Pribislav mentioned in the Gospel of Cividale (codex aquileiensis), is most likely referring to Pribislav.[6][7]


  1. ^ Name: The first attestation of his name is the Greek Pribeslavos (Πριβέσθλαβος[8]), in Latin Pribesthlabus[9] or Preuuisclao,[10] in Serbian Pribislav or Prvoslav (Прибислав/Првослав, meaning "First-glorified"; from the words prvo - first, and slava - glory). He was a descendant of Vlastimirović, his father was Mutimir, hence, according to the contemporary naming culture, his name was Pribislav Mutimirović Vlastimirović.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 The early medieval Balkans, p. 141
  2. Southeastern Europe
  3. 1 2 Đekić, Đ. 2009, "Why did prince Mutimir keep Petar Gojnikovic?", Teme, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 683-688. PDF
  4. The early medieval Balkans, p. 150
  5. Longworth, Philip (1997), The making of Eastern Europe: from prehistory to postcommunism (1997 ed.), Palgrave Macmillan, p. 321, ISBN 0-312-17445-4
  6. Đorđe Sp Radojičić (1967). Književna zbivanja i stvaranja kod Srba u srednjem veku i u tursko doba. Matic srpska. p. 27.
  7. Die Welt der Slaven. Böhlau. 1965. p. 104.
  8. De Administrando Imperio, ch. 32
  9. Johann Grosse II (Héritiers), Nova acta eruditorum, 1764, p. 169
  10. Kos, F.; Kos, M. (1906). knj. L. 801-1000. Lenova družba. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
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