Zachlumia (Croatian: "Zahumlje" Serbian: Захумље), also known as the Land of the Hum and Chelm, was a medieval Serbian principality located in today's Herzegovina (modern day Bosnia and Herzegovina), and southern Dalmatia (modern day Republic of Croatia).

Name, Geography and People

, a work from the mid-10th century of Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos, states:: "From Ragusa begins the domain of the Zachlumi and stretches along as far as the river Orontius; and on the side of the coast it is neighbour to the Pagani, but on the side of the mountain country it is neighbour to the Croats on the north and to Serbia at the front.": "The Zahumljani (Захумљани) that now live there are Serbs, originating from the time of the prince (archont) who fled to emperor Heraclius": "The land of the Zahumljani comprise the following cities: Ston (το Σταγνον/to Stavnon), Mokriskik (το Μοκρισκικ), Josli (το Ιοσλε/to Iosle), Galumainik (το Γαλυμαενικ/to Galumaenik), Dobriskik (το Δοβρισκικ/to Dovriskik)"

Zachlumia ("Zahumlje") got its name from the mountain of Hum (Za+Hum => below the Hum), above Bona, at the mouth of Buna. The Archonty of Hum had two major cities: Bona and Hum. The main settlements in Zachlumia were Ston, Ošlje, Dobar, the towns of Mokriski and Glumainik. The Principality sprang from Dalmatia (Croatia) to the northwest and Pagania to the west; to the mountain of Kalinovik and the Field of Gatak, where it bordered Travunia. The most eastern border of Zahumlje went along the line Popovo-Ljubinje-Dabar and met with the Travunian border at the City of Ragusa, which had to pay the annual tax "mogorish" of 36 pieces of gold to the Zachlumian rulers and at times accept their rule. Zachlumia was split on 9 Zhupanates: that of Ston, that of Popovo, Dubrava's, Luka, Dabar, Žapska, goričku and Večenik around Neretva. Zahumlje had access to the Adriatic Sea with the Peninsular of Rat and faced Serbia northwards. In the later stages, Zahumlje was split into two Duchies: Upper Zahumlje at the west and Lower Zahumlje at the east.

The people were Slavic migrants who colonized migrated to the regions since as early as the 6th century and mixed with the local Romanized populace. Zachlumia's hereditary dynasty, the House of Višević, the most probably descended from Slavic "Litziki" tribe populating the upper streams of Vistula in White Croatia.


The Great Principality (Archonty) of Zachlumia was founded in the 630s, when it was given by Eastern Roman Emperor Flavius Augustus Heraclius to some Serbs under the Unknown Archont that were unsatisfied with their previous homeland of "Servia" in the Theme of Thessalonica, after they complained to their friendly strategos of Singidunum on their way back across the Danube.

In 869 Byzantine Emperor Basil I's (of the Macedonian dynasty) Imperial Admiral Nikita Orifas in his missions to ally the Serbian tribes in the Ragusian hinterland and the Croats convinced the Zachlumians to join them and the Travunians (and Konavlians) in an alliance against the Saracens.

Rascian Grand Prince Petar Gojnikovic of the House of Vlastimirovic started to expand his reign at the expense of Zachlumia at the end of the 9th century, calling upon his old Grand Princely right of Zachlumia being historically only a Serbian fief. He pressed greatly the Zachlumian native hereditary Great Prince Mihailo Višević, who was pushed from the land and fell back to the islands. Grand Prince Petar was negotiating in Pagania with the Byzantines regarding an alliance against the Bulgarians at the beginning of the 10th century, and Prince Mihailo reported this to the Bulgar Khan Simeon. In 912 Mihailo kidnapped the Venetian Doge's son Peter Badoari that was returning to Venice from Constantinople and sent him to Czar Simeon as a sign of loyalty; he generally maintained a pro-Bulgarian foreign policy hoping that that will hep him to restore power in his realm. After the Bulgarians under Pavle Branovic deposed Petar, Great Prince Mihailo was able to restore the majority of control. In the following several years Mihailo Višević reigned peacefully and carefully watched the throne turbulence in the neighbouring Rascia. In 925 Prince Mihailo attended the Ecclesiastical Council in Split, together with Tomislav of Croatia. Zahumlje may have been under Croatian influence, but remained a separate political entity. Both Zahumlje and Croatia were under the religious jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Split. After the Italian city of Siponte was heavily jeopardized by the raiding Arabs and Langobards, Mihailo ousted a magnificent military victory by taking the city upon the recommendations from Constantinople and orders from his ally, King Tomislav Trpimirovic, but didn't keep it permanently. Mihailo Višević entered into into closer relations with the Byzantine Empire, after the death of Bugaria;s Tsar Simeon. He gained the title "patrikios" and "hypatos", a. k. a. viceroy, officially recognizing him as the ruler of his land in Byzantine name. The dynasty of Višević lost its importance, and with the reuniting of the Serb People under Prince Ceslav Klonimirovic, last of the House of Vlastimirovic, the Serbian character and authority is preserved.

Serbian Prince Desa took over Zahumlje in the 12th century and it was subsequently incorporated into the unified Serb state. It became the spiritual center of the Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church and gave numerous medieval Serbian dynasties; and as the most Serbian-populated part of medieval Serbia the valley of Neretva gave many Serbs. The realm was lost to the Bosnian conquest in 1322-1326, and it became a part in the 15th century of the Duchy of Herzegovina.

List of rulers

The native House of Višević from Upper Visla ruled Zachlumia throughout the Early Middle Ages:
* Prince Viš
* Great Prince Mihailo Višević (910-930/40)
* brothers Prince Dragislav and Prince Boleslav of Zahumlje
* Desa, the župan of Duklja/Zeta, Travunia and Zahumlje before 1151 and the župan of Serbia from 1155-1162
* Zavida, the Prince of Zahumlje

Unified Serbian realm:
* Miroslav, the Great Prince of Zahumlje 1162-1190. He was the brother of Stefan Nemanja, Tihomir and Stracimir. He married a sister of Ban Kulin of Bosnia. In 1166 he ruled in Tihomir's name and since 1166 in the name of Duke of All Serbia, Grand Prince of Rascia Stephen I Nemanya's name
* Rastko of Nemanja 1190 - 1192 ruling in the name of Stefan Nemanja
* Toljen, son of Miroslav 1192 - 1198
* Petar, son of Miroslav, Duke of Zahumlje 1198-1227 and a count of the city of Split 1222-1225. He married a daughter of Duke Berthold von Meran, Margrave of Istria
* Toljen II, son of Toljen, Duke of Upper Zahumlje up to 1239
* Nikola, Prince of Zahumlje. He married Katarina Kotromanić in 1238
* Andrija, son of Miroslav, Prince of the Seaside and Duke of southern Zahumlje up to 1250
* Bogdan, son of Andrija, Prince of Zahumlje up to 1249, died 1252
* Radoslav, son of Andrija, Prince of Zahumlje in 1249 - 1255
* Bogdan II 1285 - 1312
* Tvrtko 1312 - 1320
* Stefan Konstantin, Prince of Zahumlje, pretender to the Serbian throne in 1323.
* Jovan Uglješa, a descendant of the Serbian House of Mrnjavčević governed Zahumlje from approx. 1370 until his death in 1404.

Under the Bosnian-Serbian Kingdom, later sovereign Herzegovina (Duchy of Saint Sava):
* Sandalj Hranić Kosača, knez of Zahumlje and one of the Dukes of Saint Sava, rose to become became Grand Vojvoda of Bosnia until his death in 1435, from ca. 1392
* Stefan Vukčić Kosača, Grand Vojvoda of Bosnia, a Knez of Zahumlje and Primorje from 1435 until his death in 1466
* Vlatko Hercegovic from 1466 to 1481

See also

* History of Serbia
* Travunia
* Serbian Empire
* History of Croatia
* History of Dalmatia

External links


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