Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stefan Uroš Dušan IV's Code of Laws

Stefan Uroš Dušan IV (c.1308 – 20 December1355), now called Dušan the Mighty, was King of Serbia and Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks (from 16 April 1345). Under his rule, Serbia reached its territorial peak and the Serbian Empire was one of the larger states in Europe at the time. Apart from significant territorial gains, in 1349 and 1354 he made and enforced Dušan's Code, a universal system of laws. He is also the only ruler from the house of Nemanjić (a medieval Serbian ruling dynasty) who has not been canonized as a saint. Dušan was also noted as a man of gigantic proportions, and according to Papal ambassadors, he was the tallest man of his time, estimated at close to seven feet tall. Today he would be on Serbia's national basketball team, and we hope, still mighty.

Stefan, Uroš, and Dušan (STAY-fahn, OO-rush, DOO-shahn) are still popular names for Serbian boys.


To paraphrase the inscription on the base of the statue, it reads, "All judges (must) judge according to the law, and not out of fear of the Emperor," which is Law Number 172 in Dušan's Code.

11 comments:

marley said...

Imposing statue and a good inscription to lead with.

Ribbon said...

I really enjoy your blog :-)

best wishes Ribbon

Tash said...

Looks a heavy, serious load. It's a gorgeous sculpture.
I usually enlarge the photos so as to read the print - and saw a "fotokopije & fotografije" in the background this time.

Jacob said...

That sounds like a "tall" tale.

Heh. Heh. Just kidding.

He does appear to have been a formidable person, however. Do you know upon which code his laws were based? Or do you know where we might read more about them.

Fascinating photo and commentary!

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

very interesting and today at seven feet tall he would have been a basketball player!

Chuck Pefley said...

Seven foot tall would indeed make for an imposing ruler.

Bibi said...

Oh, Chuck....what a pun....:<)

soulbrush said...

now this is a serious. solemn view for today.

B Squared said...

Most interesting.

Jacob said...

Thanks, Bibi, for the information. I feel kinda dumb, though, 'cause I could have looked up the info on Wikipedia...

But the code is fascinating to me - and the fact it was built on numerous sources would indicate the church did not have a strong influence on this Dusan the Mighty...

Babooshka said...

I think there is a modern lesson to be learnt in this code. Fascinating.