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 Hypothetical formal consideration in articulation of façades, Gračanica
resources, but also availability of large numbers of quali- fied builders. The general style of the majority of King Milutin’s surviving churches indicates that his builders must have come largely from the south: from Thessalon- iki, from Thessaly, even from epirus. The vast building program of King Milutin was not restricted to Serbia: in the true manner of the great emperor-patrons, Milutin strove to make his patronage universal. His buildings were to be found in jerusalem, in Constantinople, in Thessa- loniki, on Mt. athos, and elsewhere. Such generous pa- tronage not only built up Milutin’s general popularity, but secured him the staunch support of the Serbian church, which fully supported his policies.
it would be misleading, however, to think that Milu- tin’s active byzantinization of Serbia was conducted with- out any internal opposition. Milutin’s position was at first far from invulnerable. He inherited the throne from his older disabled brother, Dragutin, apparently on the con- dition that Dragutin’ s son would succeed after Milutin’s death. The problem of the legitimacy of his own rule and the question of the succession plagued Milutin through- out his reign. During the first decade of the fourteenth century, the issues between the two brothers erupted into open warfare.15 although Milutin ultimately emerged vic- torious from this struggle, the very fact that such a con- flict took place and lasted for over a decade indicates that Milutin had to cope with serious internal opposition and dissent. This became apparent again in 1314 during an abor- tive uprising led by his son, Stefan. although the contem- porary sources, and particularly the official ones, are very skimpy or completely silent on these matters, apparently
15 Mihailo Dinić, “Odnos izmedju kralja Milutina i Dragutina,” Zbornik radova Vizantološkog instituta, 3 (1955), 49–80, has shown that despite the silence of contemporary Serbian sources on this matter, civil war raged in Serbia for over a decade.
Dragutin enjoyed the support of the nobility, while Milu- tin relied on the support of the church.16 Milutin had alien- ated the nobility initially through his marriage with Si- monida and the reconciliation with the Byzantines, which marked the end of territorial expansion in the south. Moreover, Milutin was all too willing to abandon native traditions and to replace old offices and institutions with new ones borrowed from the Byzantines. Hence anti- -Byzantine sentiment mounted, fueled from the outside by the Catholic Church, which observed with great dis- pleasure the course of events in Serbia. These anti-Byz- antine feelings among the Serbian nobility were observed by Theodore Metochites during the negotiations leading to Simonida’ s marriage to Milutin. The King, wrote Met- ochites, is “surrounded by corrupt people who do not comprehend the state of affairs and what is good... The friendship which is being negotiated and the impending marital ties are causing them concern, and they have great fears.”17 The Byzantines were well aware of the role played by the Catholic Church in Serbia. its chief exponent was the Dowager Queen jelena, who until her death in 1314 remained one of the most influential figures in Serbia. indeed, the Byzantine marriage negotiators insisted on her presence at the wedding ceremony and the adminis- tration of the oath. From Milutin’s excuses in rejecting this demand, it is clear that jelena actually disapproved of the marriage.18
Despite the byzantinization which he initiated, Milu- tin’s actions, in general, were far from radical. Milutin was a shrewd diplomat. Keenly aware of the internal dissent,
16 jireček, Istorija Srba, i, 198; also Dinić, “Odnos,” p. 58.
17 Sathas, Bibliotheca Graeca, i, 165–66; also “Teodora Metohita poslanica,” pp. 36–37.
18 Sathas, Bibliotheca Graeca, i, 174–75, 179; “Teodora Metohita poslanica,” pp. 43, 46.

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