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Balša I of Zeta

Person

Balša (Serbian: Балша; Albanian: Balsha 13??-1367) was a provincial lord of the Zeta region in 1360–1362, subordinate to the Serbian Emperor Uroš the Weak. He is the first eponymous ancestor of the Balšić noble family. Born of Albanian or Serbian origin, he was a nobleman and military commander during the rule of Emperor Dušan the Mighty (r. 1331–1355) but managed to expand his power after the death of Dušan (December 20, 1355) and gained control of the island of Mljet. He begins with taking lands previously held by Lord Žarko, (south of Lake Skadar, Lower Zeta), and is recognized as Oblastni gospodar (Lord) in charters of Emperor Uroš the Weak (r. 1355–1371). In 1362 his sons defeated and killed Head of Upper Zeta Đuraš Ilijić and expand further in Upper Zeta. He died the same year. He had three sons, Đurađ, Stracimir, and Balša II, two of whom ruled Zeta: Đurađ and Balša II.  ( Wikipedia article )

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