четвртак, 22. децембар 2011.

Despot Djuradj Brankovic as an Orthodox confessor and endower

Portrait from The Esphigmen Charter of despot Đurađ Branković, issued to the monastery of Esphigmen on Athos in 1429

Serbian medieval ruler despot Djuradj Brankovic (1427-1456, George Brankovitch) was known for his strong and decisive faith in God as well as for his faithfulness to the rich spiritual and national heritage. He refused to accept union with the Roman Catholics (Council of Ferrara and Florence 1438-1438) who gave false promises of military assistance against Turks. His significant answer to the Franciscan John Capistranus was as follows :

"Ninety years of my life I have lived with this faith poured into my soul by my ancestors and have, as a result, been considered by my people wise, although an unfortunate, man. Now you would like them to think , if I should change, that I became senile of old age and as the commoners say, infantile. I would rather agree to die then betray the Orthodox faith of my ancestors."

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Coinage of Despot Djuradj Brankovic

Djuradj Brankovic as the Endower of Athos Monasteries

Branković was deemed by contemporaries as the richest monarch in all of Europe; the French knight Bertrand de la Broquierre stated the despot's annual income from the gold and silver mines of Novo Brdo (near Gnjilane in Kosovo) amassed to about 200,000 Venetian ducats. Among other of the Despot's sources of income, there are his possessions in the Kingdom of Hungary, for which expenses were covered by the Hungarian crown. The annual income from them alone was estimated to 50,000 ducats.

Since he was one of the richest monarch of his time some of the Athos monastery pledged Despot Djuradj Brankovic for a help. By God's mercy Despot Djuradj thus became a great  endower of Athos monasteries such as the monastery Esphigmenou and Agiou Pavlou.

The Esphigmen Charter of despot Đurađ Branković

In 1447-48 despot Đurađ also provided funds to the Byzantines to repair the city walls of Constantinople..

The photo shows the marble plate of Đurađ Branković about reconstruction of the Walls of Constantinople in 1448, during the reign of Constantine XI Dragaš Palaiologos, today in Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

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