Vladislav (Serbian Cyrillic: Владислав;[a] 1280–1326) was the King of Syrmia from 1316 to 1325, and claimant to the Serbian Kingdom.

He was the son of Stefan Dragutin, who had ruled Serbia until 1282, when he became ill and abdicated, giving the superior rule to his younger brother Stefan Milutin. Dragutin continued to rule the royal domain of Syrmia, which was later inherited by Vladislav.

Early life

Born around 1270, Vladislav was the eldest son of the Crown Prince of Serbia, Stefan Dragutin, and Catherine of Hungary.[1] Shortly before Vladislav's birth, Dragutin was awarded with the title of "junior king" in token of his right to succeed his father, Stefan Uroš I.[2] Vladislav became the new heir to the Serbian throne after Dragutin dethroned his father with Hungarian assistance in 1276.[3] A riding accident forced Dragutin to abdicate in favor of his younger brother, Milutin, in the spring of 1282, but he could retain the northern regions of Serbia as a separate realm.[4] The Byzantine historian, George Pachymeres, recorded that the right of one of Dragutin's two sons (Vladislav or Urošica) to succeed Milutin was also confirmed.[5]

The image of Vladislav on a coin.

Vladislav's maternal cousin, Charles Martel of Anjou, who had laid claim to Hungary, awarded Vladislav with Slavonia and granted him the title of duke, implying that Vladislav and his father supported Charles Martel against Andrew III of Hungary in the early 1290s.[6] Charles Martel's father, Charles II of Naples, confirmed the grant on 19 August 1292.[6] Dragutin and Vladislav sought reconciliation with Andrew III.[6] In 1293, Vladislav married Constance who was a granddaughter of the king's maternal uncle, Albertino Morosini.[7]

Milutin made steps to appoint his eldest son, Stefan Konstantin, as his heir from around 1306.[8] He even approached Pope Clement V and offered the union of the Serbian Orthodox Church with Rome in return for the confirmation of Stefan Konstantin's right to succeed him.[9]

During the Hungarian throne fight between the Árpád (Andrew III) and Anjou in 1290–91, Dragutin and his son Vladislav joined Charles Martel of Anjou, who was the titular Hungarian king since 1292.[10] That year Vladislav, for faithful service to Anjou, was given the Banate of Slavonia, except estates held by the Frankopan and Babonić families.[10] However, support to Charles Martel ended in 1293 after Vladislav married Costanza Morosini, the niece of Andrew III.[10] Andrew III died in 1301 and was succeeded by Charles Robert, however, the Hungarian throne fight continued.[10]