LEGACY OF THE AUTHORITIES, Legacies of Stefan Nemanja ( founder of the Serbian state, 1113, died 13. February 1200)

In Serbia is better to be a beggar than to be the czar, child of mine.

Everywhere is the same. Czar dies, another came, the third kills him, the fourth dethrones the third, while the fifth is overthrown by the sixth, and so on until kingdoms and empires lasts. The worst is while neither empire nor czar exists, neither kingdom nor king, neither authority nor ruler, but only disbanded people as ours, ready to easily accept everyone for their czar and master, and even readier to throw him of and renounce like of leper.

That cannot happen to a beggar.

I have had the happiness and the unhappiness child of mine to govern the Serbia. The biggest achievement I was able to reach was to become the great head of a tribal state, which often meant to be the great servant of great emperors.

Foreign czars and emperors have not allowed us to establish our kingdom. Their greatest mercy started and ended with let me, the great head of a tribal state to govern with the people they could not cope with, because they neither can conquer us nor recognize as equal.

They needed someone to keep with this craggy people, to mobilize army for wars, to collect taxes and to protect them like human impenetrable barrier from other nations at borders of empire.

While we are doing it, we are fine; even we can become the great heads of a tribal state. If we think of our country and us, here they are with great army to punish us and demonstrate who the master is and who the servant at our own land is.

When they move into campaign against Serbia, they are more relying on our army commanders than onto theirs. Their messengers proclaim that czar will overturn the head of a tribal state and replace him with Serbian army commander or duke that helps the most.

One by one, Serbian traitors are crossing then on czar’s side; the great head of a tribal state is running away with some followers into deepest forests and caves or asking help from some other czar.

Nobody recognize the Serbian ruler, czar nor king, pope nor patriarch, either foreigner nor brother, or last cobbler of peasant shoe. There was a poor cobbler named Blaž at Dioklitija. Even he was not recognizing me. He was over his head of awl and a cord so he fled into the woods, roads, and gathers quite a bit associates all alike him. Therefore, decided Blaž to crown him and took over not only the woods and roads but also the whole country.

If a cobbler of peasant shoe can decide that, than duke or prince certainly can. At the end, everything remained as at the beginning, child of mine, only awl stayed without cobbler, principalities without princes and armies without dukes. God and all the saints were helping me.

What else our history is, child of mine, than constant appointing and removing of the rulers, innumerable attempts to establish authority and state.

When I was born I had everything, but my given name Nemanja means one that has no possessions. My second name is Stefan, the one who carries the wreath. Stefanos, the wreathed, but on my head fell no wreath or crown.  Now I am Simeon the monk; from all possesses I have had now remains this feeble body and from governance my naked soul. The body I am handing over to the earth it walked on, and my sinful soul to you child of mine, to cleanse it with your prays in front of the judge of heavens.

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Translation: Father Teodosije

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