World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Jovan Oliver


Jovan Oliver

Jovan Oliver Grčinić (Serbian: Јован Оливер Грчинић; ca. 1310-1356) was a magnate of the Serbian Emperor Dušan the Mighty (r. 1331-1355), holding the titles of sebastokrator and despotes, and the rank of "great voivode", showing his prominence and status as one of the most important nobles of Dušan. Oliver supported Dušan in the succession war against his father, and was one of the supreme generals in the southern military expeditions (Macedonia, Thessaly). His province included Ovče Pole and the left bank of the Vardar. After the death of Emperor Dušan, there are no more mentions of Oliver. During the fall of the Serbian Empire, his lands were held by the Dejanovići.


Jovan was the son a vlastelin Grčin (Грчин, "Greek") who had lands in some part of the Serbian Kingdom.

Jovan is referred to in a Ragusan source as Oliver Grčinić, and his knowledge of Greek lends support to the notion of a Greek origin.[1] He ruled his domain, in the modern-day Republic of Macedonia, as a semi-independent prince, acknowledging Dušan's suzerainty but not subordinate to him.[1] He probably had supported Dušan's overthrow of his father, King Uroš III, in 1331, and after the death of his first wife, Karavida, in 1336, he married Maria Palaiologina, Dušan's stepmother. There is considerable scholarly debate as to when Jovan Oliver acquired his domains, i.e. whether he held them before Dušan's accession, whether they were granted to him by Dušan as a reward for his support, or whether he gained them as a result of his marriage to Maria.[2]

At any rate, he was one of the most powerful nobles under Dušan, and exercised considerable influence over him, as evidenced in the negotiations in July 1342 which led to the decision to support John VI Kantakouzenos in the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, in exchange for which he hoped to marry his daughter to Manuel Kantakouzenos.[3] He was also active in the 1334 war with the Byzantine Empire, and was present during the subsequent peace negotiations together with Vratko Nemanjić, when Jovan was probably named despotes by Andronikos III Palaiologos.[2] With the death of Hrelja in late 1342, when the latter's domain was split between Jovan Oliver and Dušan, he was able to further expand his lands, including the important towns of Štip and Strumica.[4]

In 1341, imitating the Serbian kings, he built the Eastern Orthodox monastery of Lesnovo as fulfilment of a zadužbina ("obligation").[4] Jovan Oliver outlived Dušan, but after his death, his sons were unable to assert themselves: possibly opposed by a coalition of other nobles, they failed to acquire any positions of importance, and most of their father's lands were taken over by Constantine and John, the sons of sebastokrator Dejan Dragaš of Kumanovo.[5]


He had 7 children:

  • Danica
  • Krajko
  • Damjan
  • Vidoslav
  • Dabiživ
  • Rusin
  • Oliver


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.