Marko Mrnjavcevic (referred to also as Prince Marko and King Marko) was a Serbian ruler who lived during the 14th century. Although Marko is said to have had the opportunity to inherit the throne of the Serbian Empire, he was not able to achieve this as a result of the Ottoman invasions. Whilst Marko succeeded his predecessor as a ruler, he became an Ottoman vassal. Many legends and folk stories have been built around Mrnjavcevic, turning him into a great hero not only in the literature and tradition of the Serbians, but also in those of the Southern Slavic peoples.
Marko Mrnjavčević is recorded to have been born around 1335. He was a member of the Mrnjavčević family, and his father was Vukašin, the king of the southern Serbian lands, the capital of which was at Prilep. Vukašin is recorded to have been the co-ruler of the Serbian Tsar Stefan Uroš V. Marko’s mother is said in one source to have been Jevrosima, the sister of another Serbian hero, Momčilo. Marko is said to have been given the title ‘Young King’, which meant that he could have been a possible successor to Tsar Uroš, who was childless.
The fresco of king Volkašin Mrnjavčević (Public Domain)
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