Stefan NemanjaStefan Nemanja
(Стефан Немања) (Stefan I
) (ca 1132
-February 13 1199
) was the Grand Zupan of Raška
(Rascia), located in the central west region of the Balkans
. He established control over the teritories of neighbouring Serb tribes except those in Bosnia
and unified them into an independent state (medieval Serbia
). He maintained good relations with the Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus
) and his heirs. In 1185. Nemanja signed first Serbian trade agreement with city of Ragusa (modern Dubrovnik
He appointed his oldest son Vukan Nemanjic as ruler in province of Zeta (modern Montenegro) with cities of Antivari and Cattaro (today Bar and Kotor, both located at the Montenegro Adriatic coast). In 1196 Stefan relinguished his power to his son Stefan II, Nemanja , took the monastic name Simeon and joined his youngest son Rastko (monastic name Sava) on the Mount Athos. There two of them founded the monastery Hilandar.
Stefan died on February 13th 1199 or 1200. Sava moved Simeon's remains to the Studenica monastery. Monk Simeon is later canonised as Saint Simeon.
See also: List of Serbian monarchs - History of Serbia