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Slobodan Ćurčić
  Ground plan showing later exonarthex, Gračanica
in-law of the Byzantine emperor and as dowry obtained Byzantine concession of the lands which he had con- quered. For andronicus ii, the marriage was an act of sheer political desperation: his daughter, only a child, was given away against the strong opposition of the Patriarch john Xii in an obvious attempt to appease the Serbian ruler and thus to stop Serbian expansion by diplomatic means.
Serbian conquest of a large portion of Byzantine ter- ritory and Milutin’s marital ties with the Byzantine court were to have far-reaching effects on the development of Serbian culture after 1300. The Serbian ruler deliberately retained and built upon the local governmental and so- cial structure inherited from the Byzantines in the con- quered portion of Macedonia.9 The ultimate result was an intense cultural byzantinization of Serbia, the clearest products of which are to be seen in contemporary art and architecture.10 Milutin’s admiration of Byzantine culture, which he so willingly embraced, was intimately related to his keen interest in Byzantine imperial institutions, soon manifested in the form of plain mimicry. King Milutin, dressed in garments studded with precious gems and glittering gold, received Theodore Metochites in a sump- tuous chamber furnished in silk and gold. Duly impressed, Metochites wrote: “in short, everything was arranged in accordance with the Roman taste, and in the manner of
10 The art of the period of King Milutin has long been considered one of the high points of Late Byzantine art in general. Most recently Vojislav Djurić, “L’art des Paléologues et l’État serbe : Rôle de la cour et de l’église serbes dans la première moitié du XiVe siècle,” Art et société à Byzance sous les Paléologues, ed. a. Grabar (Venice, 1971), pp. 179–91.
the ceremonial of the imperial court...”11 By special per- mission of andronicus ii, the King wore a crown similar to the emperor’s own.12 Contemporary portraits of the emperor and his son-in-law graphically illustrate this re- markable similarity.13
Milutin was genuinely interested in emulating the em- peror in substance, not merely in image. One of the most effective ways which he chose to accomplish this goal was through the generous patronage of the church. King Mi- lutin is credited with having built more churches than all his predecessors on the Serbian throne together.14 This building frenzy implies not only considerable economic
11 Konstantinos Sathas, Bibliotheca Graeca mediiaevi (Venice, 187 2), i, 17 2–7 3; also in Serbian translation, “Teodora Metohita po- slanica,” trans. M. apostolović, Letopis Matice srpske, 216 (1902), 42.
12 Nicephorus Gregoras, Byzantina Historia, ed. Ludwig Schopen, i. Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae No 19 (Bonn, 1829), Book Vii, Chapter 5, p. 242.
13 Compare, for example, the portrait of emperor andronicus ii on the Monemvasia Chrysobull of 1301 (Byzantine Museum, athens) with the portrait of King Milutin at Bogorodica Ljeviška in Prizren, dated 1307–9. For the former see Tania Velmans, “Le portrait dans l’art des Paleologues,” Art et société à Byzance sous les Paleologues, ed. a. Grabar (Venice, 1971), fig. 13 and p. 104; for the latter see Draga Panić and Gordana Babić, Bogorodica Ljeviška (Belgrade, 1975), pl. i and pp. 58–59.
14 Stanojević, “Kralj Milutin,” p. 43. For the most thorough discussion of King Milutin’s patronage of church architecture see Vasilije Marković, Pravoslavno monastvo i manastiri u srednjeve- kovnoj Srbiji (Sremski Karlovci, 1920), pp. 88–98. The principal primary source regarding King Milutin’s patronage is his Biography, written by the monk Danilo, the later Serbian archbishop Danilo ii- arhiepiskop Danilo et al., Životi kraljeva i arhiepiskopa srpskih, ed. Dj. Daničić (Zagreb, 1866), pp. 102–61 passim. Danilo attributes fifteen churches to King Milutin and lists them in the following order (pp. 132–51): (1) The main church of Hilandar (Hilandari) monastery on Mount athos; (2) a church in a monastery of Prodromos in Con- stantinople; (3) a church of Sv. Nikola (St. Nicholas) in Thessaloniki; (4) a church of Sv. Georgije (St. George) in Thessaloniki; (5) The church of Dormition of the Mother of God, now better known as Bogorodica Ljeviška (the Mother of God of Ljeviša) in Prizren; (6) The church of annunciation, actually Dormition of the Mother of God at Gračanica; (7) a church of the Three-handed Mother of God in Skoplje; (8) a church of St. George on a Serava River (the identity of this river has not been determined); (9) a church of St. Constantine in Skoplje; (10) The church of St. George at Staro Nagoričino; (11) The church of joachim and anna, now also known as the King’s Church at Studenica; (12) a church of St. George at Orahovica in Dabar; (13) The church of St. Nicetas near Skoplje (in the village of Čučer); (14) a church in jerusalem; and (15) The church of St. Stephen, King Milutin’s mausoleum church at Banjska.
This list of churches does not seem to have been compiled in any particular order. Clearly, neither chronological, nor geographic, nor hierarchical order was adhered to. Of the fifteen churches on the list, only seven that survive have been positively identified (Hilandar, Bogorodica Ljeviška, Gračanica, Staro Nagoričino, the King’s Church at Studenica, St. Nicetas at Čučer, and Banjska). attempts have been made to attribute a number of other churches to King Milutin, but most of these attributions are based on later sources and other information of questionable reliability. a list of these churches was compiled by Slobodan Nenadović, Bogorodica Ljeviška: njen posta- nak i njeno mesto u arhitekturi Milutinovog vremena (Belgrade, 1963), pp. 18–19.
 Vladimir Mošin, “Vizantiski uticaj u Srbiji u XiV veku,” Jugoslo- venski istoriski časopis, 3 (1937), 149 ff.

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