Zdeslav of Croatia

Duke of the Croats
Reign 878 early May 879
Predecessor unnamed son of Domagoj
Successor Branimir
Died early May, 879
near Knin
Royal House House of Trpimirović
Father Trpimir I of Croatia
Religion Christian

Zdeslav (Croatian pronunciation: [zdêslaʋ], Latin: Sedesclavus) was a duke (Croatian: knez) of the Duchy of Croatia in 878879. He was from the House of Trpimirović.[1]


Zdeslav was the son of Trpimir I. After his father's death in 864, an uprising was launched by a powerful Croatian nobleman from Knin-Domagoj, and Zdeslav was exiled with his brothers, Petar and Muncimir to Constantinople.[2] Domagoj died in 876, and was succeeded by his son. Zdeslav overthrew him in 878 with the help of the Byzantines, expelled Domagoj's sons and restored peace with Venice.[3] He acknowledged the supreme rule of Byzantine Emperor Basil I.

In 879, Pope John VIII asked Duke Zdeslav for an armed escort and protection for his legate who was crossing Croatia on his way to Bulgaria, ruled by Boris I.[4][5] On early May 879, Zdeslav was killed by arrows near Knin in an uprising led by Branimir, a relative from Domagoj, instigated by the Roman Pope fearing Byzantine power.[1]


  1. 1 2 Hrvatski leksikon (1996-1997) (Croatian)
  2. Fine, John Van Antwerp (1991). The early medieval Balkans: a critical survey from the sixth to the late twelfth century. University of Michigan Press. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-472-08149-3.
  3. Iohannes Diaconus: Istoria Veneticorum, p. 140 (Latin)
  4. Ivo Goldstein. Hrvatski rani srednji vijek, Zagreb, 1995, p. 229
  5. Draganović, Krunoslav (1991). Povijest Bosne i Hercegovine od najstarijih vremena do godine 1463. Hrvatsko kulturno društvo Napredak. p. 191.

Further reading

Zdeslav of Croatia
Died: 879
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Domagoj's unnamed son
Duke of the Croats
Succeeded by

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