Domagoj of Croatia

Domagoj of Croatia
Duke of Croatia
Reign 864–876
Died 876
Predecessor Zdeslav of Croatia
Successor Domagoj's unnamed son then Zdeslav of Croatia

Domagoj (died 876) was a duke (knez) of Dalmatian Croatia in 864–876.[1] He is the founder of the House of Domagojević.

Domagoj was a powerful Croatian nobelman, with lands around Knin. Following the death of Trpimir I in 864, he usurped the throne of Zdeslav in a civil war. Domagoj became the Duke of Dalmatian Croatia, and Trpimir's sons, Petar, Zdeslav and Muncimir, were forced into exile. During Domagoj's reign piracy was a common practice, which caused bad relations with the Venice. In 865 Domagoj was forced to make an unfavourable peace with the Venetian Republic, giving hostages to Venice as a guarantee for safe passage of Venetian ships in the Adriatic Sea.

Domagoj helped the Franks, as their vassal, to conquer Bari from the Arabs in 871. In the meantime, the Venetians also renewed their attacks on Croats. In 874, Pope John VIII intervened by begging Duke Domagoj as a Christian to restrain his Pirates.

After Domagoj's death, Venetian's chronicles named him The worst duke of Slavs (Latin: pessimus dux Sclavorum). Pope John VIII referred to Domagoj in letters as Famous duke (Latin: glourisus dux).

Statue Archers of Duke Domagoj

Domagoj's sons

After the death of Louis the German, King of the Eastern Franks, Duke Domagoj decided to raise a rebellion and free Dalmatian Croatia from Frankish rule, although his death in 876 delayed his plans. The rebellion was continued by his unnamed son, who ruled as a Prince of Croatia with his brothers. The Croatian forces razed four Frankish Cities in Istria in 876. Finally, the Croatian army was defeated by the Venetian navy. This war liberated the Croats from supreme Frankish rule with Byzantine help from the Eastern Roman Emperor Basil I. Two years later, in 878, Zdeslav returned from Constantinople and, with Byzantine help, deposed Domagoj's sons, thus finally restoring order to a Dalmatian Croatia, no longer under Frankish rule.


  1. ^ Hrvatski leksikon (1996-1997) (Croatian)
  • Hrvatska opća encikopedia (1999–2009) (Croatian)
  • Hrvatski leksikon (1996–1997) (Croatian)

Further reading

  • Klaić V., Povijest Hrvata, Knjiga Prva, Zagreb 1982.
  • John V.A. Fine, Jr., The Late Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1987.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Duke of Littoral Croatia
Succeeded by
then Zdeslav

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