The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Serbia

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This page contains a list of the greatest Serbian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 76 of which were born in Serbia. This makes Serbia the birth place of the 38th most number of Politicians behind Peru and Argentina.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Serbian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Serbian Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Serbian Politicians.

Photo of Constantine the Great

1. Constantine the Great (272 - 337)

With an HPI of 90.76, Constantine the Great is the most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 121 different languages on wikipedia.

Constantine I (Latin: Flavius Valerius Constantinus; Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος, translit. Kōnstantînos; 27 February c. 272 – 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor from 306 to 337. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterranea (now Niš, Serbia), he was the son of Flavius Constantius (a Roman army officer born in Dacia Ripensis who had been one of the four emperors of the Tetrarchy). His mother, Helena, was Greek and of low birth. Constantine served with distinction under the Roman emperors Diocletian and Galerius. He began by campaigning in the eastern provinces (against barbarians, and the Persians) before he was recalled in the west (in 305 AD) to fight along side his father in Britain. After his father's death in 306, Constantine became emperor; he was acclaimed by his army at Eboracum (York, England). He emerged victorious in the civil wars against emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire by 324. As emperor, Constantine enacted administrative, financial, social and military reforms to strengthen the empire. He restructured the government, separating civil and military authorities. To combat inflation he introduced the solidus, a new gold coin that became the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile units (comitatenses), and garrison troops (limitanei) capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers—the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths and the Sarmatians—even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century. Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Although he lived much of his life as a pagan, and later as a catechumen, he began to favor Christianity beginning in 312, finally becoming a Christian and being baptised by either Eusebius of Nicomedia, an Arian bishop, or Pope Sylvester I, which is maintained by the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church. He played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared tolerance for Christianity in the Roman Empire. He convoked the First Council of Nicaea in 325, which produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus' tomb in Jerusalem and became the holiest place in Christendom. The papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the fabricated Donation of Constantine. He has historically been referred to as the "First Christian Emperor" and he did favour the Christian Church. While some modern scholars debate his beliefs and even his comprehension of Christianity, he is venerated as a saint in Eastern Christianity. The age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire and a pivotal moment in the transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople (now Istanbul) after himself (the laudatory epithet of "New Rome" emerged in his time, and was never an official title). It subsequently became the capital of the Empire for more than a thousand years, the later Eastern Roman Empire being referred to as the Byzantine Empire by modern historians. His more immediate political legacy was that he replaced Diocletian's Tetrarchy with the de facto principle of dynastic succession, by leaving the empire to his sons and other members of the Constantinian dynasty. His reputation flourished during the lifetime of his children and for centuries after his reign. The medieval church held him up as a paragon of virtue, while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference and the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity. Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign, due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Trends in modern and recent scholarship have attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship.

Photo of Odoacer

2. Odoacer (433 - 493)

With an HPI of 82.86, Odoacer is the 2nd most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 64 different languages.

Flavius Odoacer ( OH-doh-AY-sər; c. 431 – 493 AD), also spelled Odovacer or Odovacar (Ancient Greek: Ὀδόακρος, romanized: Odóakros), was a soldier and statesman of barbarian background, who deposed the child emperor Romulus Augustulus and became King of Italy (476–493). Odoacer's overthrow of Romulus Augustulus is traditionally seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire as well as Ancient Rome.Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of the emperor in Constantinople, Zeno. Odoacer often used the Roman honorific patrician, granted by Zeno, but was referred to as a king (Latin: rex) in many documents. He himself used it in the only surviving official document that emanated from his chancery, and it was also used by the consul Basilius. Odoacer introduced few important changes into the administrative system of Italy. He had the support of the Roman Senate and was able to distribute land to his followers without much opposition. Unrest among his warriors led to violence in 477–478, but no such disturbances occurred during the later period of his reign. Although Odoacer was an Arian Christian, he rarely intervened in the affairs of the Trinitarian state church of the Roman Empire. Likely of East Germanic descent, Odoacer was a military leader in Italy who led the revolt of Herulian, Rugian, and Scirian soldiers that deposed Romulus Augustulus on 4 September AD 476. Augustulus had been declared Western Roman Emperor by his father, the rebellious general of the army in Italy, less than a year before, but had been unable to gain allegiance or recognition beyond central Italy. With the backing of the Roman Senate, Odoacer thenceforth ruled Italy autonomously, paying lip service to the authority of Julius Nepos, the previous Western emperor, and Zeno, the emperor of the East. Upon Nepos's murder in 480 Odoacer invaded Dalmatia, to punish the murderers. He did so, executing the conspirators, but within two years also conquered the region and incorporated it into his domain. When Illus, master of soldiers of the Eastern Empire, asked for Odoacer's help in 484 in his struggle to depose Zeno, Odoacer invaded Zeno's westernmost provinces. The emperor responded first by inciting the Rugii of present-day Austria to attack Italy. During the winter of 487–488 Odoacer crossed the Danube and defeated the Rugii in their own territory. Zeno also appointed the Ostrogoth Theodoric the Great who was menacing the borders of the Eastern Empire, to be king of Italy, turning one troublesome ally against another. Theodoric invaded Italy in 489 and by August 490 had captured almost the entire peninsula, forcing Odoacer to take refuge in Ravenna. The city surrendered on 5 March 493; Theodoric invited Odoacer to a banquet of reconciliation. Instead of forging an alliance, Theodoric killed the unsuspecting king.

Photo of Slobodan Milošević

3. Slobodan Milošević (1941 - 2006)

With an HPI of 82.84, Slobodan Milošević is the 3rd most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 82 different languages.

Slobodan Milošević (Serbian Cyrillic: Слободан Милошевић, pronounced [slobǒdan milǒːʃeʋitɕ] (listen); 20 August 1941 – 11 March 2006) was a Yugoslav and Serbian politician who served as the president of Serbia (originally the Socialist Republic of Serbia, a constituent republic within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) from 1989 to 1992 and within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1997, and president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. He led the Socialist Party of Serbia from its foundation in 1990 and rose to power as Serbian President during efforts to reform the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia in response to alleged marginalization of Serbia, views that Serbia's autonomous provinces had too much power, making them almost independent from Serbia, and claims of political incapacity to deter Albanian separatist unrest in Serbia's autonomous province of Kosovo.Milošević's presidency of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was marked by several major reforms to Serbia's constitution from the 1980s to the 1990s that reduced the powers of Serbia's autonomous provinces. In 1990, Serbia transitioned from a Titoist one-party system to a multi-party system and attempted reforms to the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution. The constituent republics of the country split apart amid the outbreak of wars, and the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro founded the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Milošević negotiated the Dayton Agreement on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs, which ended the Bosnian War in 1995. During the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, Milošević was charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with war crimes in connection with the Bosnian War, the Croatian War of Independence, and the Kosovo War. He became the first sitting head of state to be charged with war crimes. During the 1990s, numerous anti-government and antiwar protests took place. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 200,000 people deserted the Milošević-controlled Yugoslav People's Army, while between 100,000 and 150,000 people emigrated from Serbia, refusing to participate in the wars. Milošević resigned from the Yugoslav presidency amid demonstrations after the disputed presidential election of 24 September 2000, and was arrested by Yugoslav federal authorities on 31 March 2001 on suspicion of corruption, abuse of power, and embezzlement. The initial investigation into Milošević faltered due to lack of evidence, prompting Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić to extradite him to the ICTY to stand trial for war crimes instead. At the outset of the trial, Milošević denounced the Tribunal as illegal because it had not been established with the consent of the United Nations General Assembly; therefore, he refused to appoint counsel for his defence. Milošević conducted his own defence in the five-year trial, which ended without a verdict when he died in his prison cell in The Hague on 11 March 2006. Milošević suffered from heart ailments and hypertension, and died of a heart attack. The Tribunal denied any responsibility for Milošević's death and said that he had refused to take prescribed medicines and medicated himself instead.After Milošević's death, the ICTY and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals found that he was a part of a joint criminal enterprise to remove Croats and Bosniaks from large parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) concluded separately in the Bosnian Genocide Case that there was no evidence linking him to genocide committed by Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian War. However, the Court did find that Milošević and others in Serbia had violated the Genocide Convention by failing to prevent the genocide from occurring, by not cooperating with the ICTY in punishing its perpetrators, in particular General Ratko Mladić, and by violating its obligation to comply with the provisional measures the Court ordered. Milošević's rule has been described as authoritarian or autocratic, as well as kleptocratic, with numerous accusations of electoral fraud, political assassinations, suppression of press freedom and police brutality.

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4. Decius (201 - 251)

With an HPI of 80.95, Decius is the 4th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 63 different languages.

Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius (c. 201 – June 251), sometimes translated as Trajan Decius, was Roman emperor from 249 to 251. A distinguished politician during the reign of Philip the Arab, Decius was proclaimed emperor by his troops after putting down a rebellion in Moesia. In 249, he defeated and killed Philip near Verona and was recognized as emperor by the Senate afterwards. During his reign, he attempted to strengthen the Roman state and its religion, leading to the Decian persecution, where a number of prominent Christians (including Pope Fabian) were put to death. In the last year of his reign, Decius co-ruled with his son Herennius Etruscus, until they were both killed by the Goths in the Battle of Abritus.

Photo of Constantius II

5. Constantius II (317 - 361)

With an HPI of 79.69, Constantius II is the 5th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 67 different languages.

Flavius Julius Constantius (Greek: Κωνστάντιος; 7 August 317 – 3 November 361), known as Constantius II, was Roman emperor from 337 to 361. His reign saw constant warfare on the borders against the Sasanian Empire and Germanic peoples, while internally the Roman Empire went through repeated civil wars, court intrigues and usurpations. His religious policies inflamed domestic conflicts that would continue after his death. Constantius was a son of Constantine the Great, who elevated him to the imperial rank of caesar on 8 November 324 and after whose death Constantius became augustus together with his brothers, Constantine II and Constans on 9 September 337. He promptly oversaw the massacre of his father-in-law, an uncle and several cousins, consolidating his hold on power. The brothers divided the empire among themselves, with Constantius receiving Greece, Thrace, the Asian provinces and Egypt in the east. For the following decade a costly and inconclusive war against Persia took most of Constantius's time and attention. In the meantime, his brothers Constantine and Constans warred over the western provinces of the empire, leaving the former dead in 340 and the latter as sole ruler of the west. The two remaining brothers maintained an uneasy peace with each other until, in 350, Constans was overthrown and assassinated by the usurper Magnentius. Unwilling to accept Magnentius as co-ruler, Constantius waged a civil war against the usurper, defeating him at the battles of Mursa Major in 351 and Mons Seleucus in 353. Magnentius committed suicide after the latter battle, leaving Constantius as sole ruler of the empire. In 351, Constantius elevated his cousin Constantius Gallus to the subordinate rank of caesar to rule in the east, but had him executed three years later after receiving scathing reports of his violent and corrupt nature. Shortly thereafter, in 355, Constantius promoted his last surviving cousin, Gallus' younger half-brother Julian, to the rank of caesar. As emperor, Constantius promoted Arian Christianity, banned pagan sacrifices, and issued laws against Jews. His military campaigns against Germanic tribes were successful: he defeated the Alamanni in 354 and campaigned across the Danube against the Quadi and Sarmatians in 357. The war against the Sasanians, which had been in a lull since 350, erupted with renewed intensity in 359 and Constantius traveled to the east in 360 to restore stability after the loss of several border fortresses. However, Julian claimed the rank of augustus in 360, leading to war between the two after Constantius' attempts to persuade Julian to back down failed. No battle was fought, as Constantius became ill and died of fever on 3 November 361 in Mopsuestia, allegedly naming Julian as his rightful successor before his death.

Photo of Constantius Chlorus

6. Constantius Chlorus (250 - 306)

With an HPI of 79.24, Constantius Chlorus is the 6th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 71 different languages.

Flavius Valerius Constantius "Chlorus" (c. 250 – 25 July 306), also called Constantius I, was a Roman emperor as one of the four original members of the "Tetrarchy" established by Diocletian in 293. He was a junior-ranking emperor, or Caesar, from 293 to 305, and senior emperor, Augustus, from 305 to 306. Constantius was also father of Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor of Rome. The nickname Chlorus (Greek: Χλωρός, lit. "the Green") was first popularized by Byzantine-era historians and not used during the emperor's lifetime.Of humble origin, Constantius had a distinguished military career and rose to the top ranks of the army. Around 289 he set aside Helena, Constantine's mother, to marry a daughter of Emperor Maximian, and in 293 was added to the imperial college by Maximian's colleague, Diocletian. Assigned to rule Gaul, Constantius defeated the usurper Carausius there and his successor Allectus in Britain, and campaigned extensively along the Rhine frontier, defeating the Alamanni and Franks. When the Diocletianic Persecution was announced in 303, Constantius ordered the demolition of churches but did not actively hunt down Christians in his domain. Upon becoming senior emperor in May 305, Constantius launched a successful punitive campaign against the Picts beyond the Antonine Wall. He died suddenly at Eboracum (York) in July the following year. After Constantius's death, the army, perhaps at his own instigation, immediately acclaimed his son Constantine as emperor. This act contributed to the collapse of the Diocletianic tetrarchy, sparking a series of civil wars which only ended when Constantine finally united the whole Roman Empire under his rule in 324. According to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, "Constantinian propaganda bedevils assessment of Constantius, yet he appears to have been an able general and a generous ruler". His descendants, the Constantinian dynasty, ruled the Empire until the death of his grandson Julian in 363.

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7. Maximian (240 - 310)

With an HPI of 79.19, Maximian is the 7th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 62 different languages.

Maximian (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus; c. 250 – c. July 310), nicknamed Herculius, was Roman emperor from 286 to 305. He was Caesar from 285 to 286, then Augustus from 286 to 305. He shared the latter title with his co-emperor and superior, Diocletian, whose political brain complemented Maximian's military brawn. Maximian established his residence at Trier but spent most of his time on campaign. In late 285, he suppressed rebels in Gaul known as the Bagaudae. From 285 to 288, he fought against Germanic tribes along the Rhine frontier. Together with Diocletian, he launched a scorched earth campaign deep into Alamannic territory in 288, temporarily relieving the Rhine provinces from the threat of Germanic invasion. The man he appointed to police the Channel shores, Carausius, rebelled in 286, causing the secession of Britain and northwestern Gaul. Maximian failed to oust Carausius, and his invasion fleet was destroyed by storms in 289 or 290. Maximian's subordinate, Constantius, campaigned against Carausius' successor, Allectus, while Maximian held the Rhine frontier. The rebel leader was ousted in 296, and Maximian moved south to combat piracy near Hispania and Berber incursions in Mauretania. When these campaigns concluded in 298, he departed for Italy, where he lived in comfort until 305. At Diocletian's behest, Maximian abdicated on 1 May 305, gave the Augustan office to Constantius, and retired to southern Italy. In late 306, Maximian took the title of Augustus again and aided his son, Maxentius, and his rebellion in Italy. In April 307, he attempted to depose his son, but failed and fled to the court of Constantius' successor, Constantine (Maximian's step-grandson and son-in-law), in Trier. At the Council of Carnuntum in November 308, Diocletian and his successor, Galerius, forced Maximian to renounce his imperial claim again. In early 310, Maximian attempted to seize Constantine's title while the emperor was on campaign on the Rhine. Few supported him, and he was captured by Constantine in Marseille. Maximian killed himself in mid-310 on Constantine's orders. During Constantine's war with Maxentius, Maximian's image was purged from all public places. However, after Constantine ousted and killed Maxentius, Maximian's image was rehabilitated, and he was deified.

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8. Licinius (263 - 325)

With an HPI of 78.74, Licinius is the 8th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 62 different languages.

Valerius Licinianus Licinius (c. 265 – 325) was Roman emperor from 308 to 324. For most of his reign he was the colleague and rival of Constantine I, with whom he co-authored the Edict of Milan, AD 313, that granted official toleration to Christians in the Roman Empire. He was finally defeated at the Battle of Chrysopolis (AD 324), and was later executed on the orders of Constantine I.

Photo of Claudius Gothicus

9. Claudius Gothicus (210 - 270)

With an HPI of 78.46, Claudius Gothicus is the 9th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 62 different languages.

Marcus Aurelius Claudius 'Gothicus' (10 May 214 – January 270), also known as Claudius II, was Roman emperor from 268 to 270. During his reign he fought successfully against the Alemanni and decisively defeated the Goths at the Battle of Naissus. He died after succumbing to "pestilence", possibly the Plague of Cyprian that had ravaged the provinces of the Empire.

Photo of Gratian

10. Gratian (359 - 383)

With an HPI of 77.94, Gratian is the 10th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Gratian (; Latin: Flavius Gratianus; 18 April 359 – 25 August 383) was emperor of the western part of the Roman Empire from 367 to 383. The eldest son of Valentinian I, Gratian accompanied his father on several campaigns along the Rhine and Danube frontiers and was raised to the rank of augustus in 367. Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian took over government of the west while his half-brother Valentinian II was also acclaimed emperor in Pannonia. Gratian governed the western provinces of the empire, while his uncle Valens was already the emperor over the east. Gratian subsequently led a campaign across the Rhine, attacked the Lentienses, and forced the tribe to surrender. That same year, the eastern emperor Valens was killed fighting the Goths at the Battle of Adrianople, which led to Gratian elevating Theodosius to replace him in 379. Gratian favoured Nicene Christianity over traditional Roman religion, issuing the Edict of Thessalonica, refusing the office of pontifex maximus, and removing the Altar of Victory from the Roman Senate's Curia Julia. The city of Cularo on the Isère river in Roman Gaul was renamed Latin: Gratianopolis after him, which later evolved to Grenoble. In 383, faced with rebellion by the usurper Magnus Maximus, Gratian marched his army towards Lutetia (Paris). His army deserted him. He fled to Lyon and was later murdered.

Pantheon has 76 people classified as politicians born between 201 and 1982. Of these 76, 20 (26.32%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Stjepan Mesić, Vojislav Koštunica, and Tomislav Nikolić. The most famous deceased politicians include Constantine the Great, Odoacer, and Slobodan Milošević. As of October 2020, 5 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Milan Panić, Nikola Šainović, and Sándor Gombos.

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.