Vuk Grgurević

Vuk Grgurević
Serbian Despot

Vuk Branković the Dragon, Serbian Despot
Despot of Serbia
Reign 1471–1485
Predecessor Stephen Tomašević
Successor Đorđe Branković
Born c. 1440
Died April 16, 1485
Spouse Barbara Frankopan
Full name
Vuk Grgurević Branković
Dynasty Branković
Father Grgur Branković
Religion Serbian Orthodox Christian

Vuk Grgurević Branković (Serbian Cyrillic: Вук Гргуревић Бранковић[A]; ca. 1440 – April 16, 1485), was the titular Despot of Serbia from 1471 until his death in 1485. He inherited the title of despot (as an heir to the throne now under occupation of the Ottoman Empire), by King Matthias Corvinus, and ruled most of present-day Vojvodina, under the overlordship of the Kingdom of Hungary. He is known in Serbian epic poetry for his valour and heroism, and is called Vuk the Fiery Dragon (Змај Огњени Вук), Vuk the Dragon-Despot, or simply the Dragon; he commanded the Hungarian army (Black Army) in several of its battles against the Ottomans. He is considered the founder of Grgeteg monastery.


He was a son of Grgur Branković and a grandson of despot Đurađ Branković and Eirene Kantakouzene.

At first, Vuk Grgurević was with the Ottomans, but in 1465, he acceded into the Hungarian service and became a commander of the Serb military squads in Syrmia.

He was a despot of Rascia who worked together with alias Dojčin Petar, which demonstrates in some of his letters. An inheritance was suspected centuries later. Imperial censorship caused every copy of the 1808 issue of the Almanach de Gotha to be seized and destroyed. In fact the censorship office found the word "genealogy" to be an insult.since the Bonapartes could not produce one and the tendentious word was suppressed.[1][2]

Grgeteg monastery was founded by Vuk Grgurević

He acquired a great reputation for bravery, and gained the nickname "Zmaj Ognjeni", which could be translated into English as "Fiery Dragon" (It is interesting that his name "Vuk" means "wolf" in Serbian so his nickname, "Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk", actually means "Fiery Dragon Wolf"). He also became a hero in many Serbian national songs.

He fought with the Hungarians against Czechs, Poles, Austrians and Turks. In 1471 he gained a title of the despot of Serbia, and also gained a large possessions in the territory of present-day Vojvodina, which formerly belonged to despot Đurađ Branković. Among his possessions were Kupinik (today Kupinovo), Slankamen, Berkasovo, Bečkerek (today Zrenjanin), Irig, etc.

His most famous military forays were those in 1476, when he seized Srebrenica and fought near Šabac and Smederevo, and in 1480, when he attacked Sarajevo. In 1479, along with Dmitar Jakšić, he led Serbian light cavalry squadrons in Battle of Breadfield (Kenyérmező), near Zsibót. At the decisive moment in battle Hungarian and Serbian cavalries charged Turkish centre and broke their ranks, which decided the outcome of the battle. In 1481, he fought against Turks in Serbia, and brought from there (area around Kruševac) about 50,000 people, who were settled in Banat, mostly around Timişoara.


His territory was called "Little Rascia" (Мала Рашка).[3]



Vuk was married to Barbara Frankopan.


According to tradition, he founded the Grgeteg monastery in 1471.

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vuk Grgurević.
Regnal titles
Title last held by
Stephen Tomašević (1459)
Serbian Despot

Succeeded by
Đorđe Branković


  1. ^ Name: His given name was Vuk, his father's name was Grgur, he was a member of the Branković dynasty, hence, according to the naming culture, his full name is Vuk Grgurević Branković. His surname has sometimes been sourced as Stefanović, after his uncle Despot Stefan.
  1. Narodna starina: časopis za historiju i etnografiju južnih Slovena, svezak 3-6, str. 199-200, biskup Pavao Butorac, Josip Matasović, Muzej grada Zagreba, 1924.
  2. Secrets of the Gotha, Ghislain de Diesbach, Chapman & Hall, 1967.
  3. 1 2 Sima Lukin Lazić (1894). Kratka povjesnica Srba: od postanja Srpstva do danas. Štamparija Karla Albrehta. p. 149.


  • Dr. Aleksa Ivić, Istorija Srba u Vojvodini, Novi Sad, 1929.
  • Dr. Dušan J. Popović, Srbi u Vojvodini, knjiga 1, Novi Sad, 1990.
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