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The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Serbia

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This page contains a list of the greatest Serbian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 98 of which were born in Serbia. This makes Serbia the birth place of the 35th most number of Politicians behind Mexico and Georgia.

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 86.83, Constantine the Great is the most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 124 different languages on wikipedia.

Constantine I (Latin: Flavius Valerius Constantinus; Ancient Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος, romanized: Konstantinos; 27 February c. 272 – 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor from AD 306 to 337, and the first to convert to Christianity. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterranea (now Niš, Serbia), he was the son of Flavius Constantius, a Roman army officer of Illyrian origin who had been one of the four rulers of the Tetrarchy. His mother, Helena, was a Greek Christian of low birth. Constantine served with distinction under the Roman emperors Diocletian and Galerius. He began his career by campaigning in the eastern provinces (against the Persians) before being recalled in the west (in AD 305) to fight alongside his father in Britain. After his father's death in 306, Constantine became emperor. He was acclaimed by his army at Eboracum (York, England), and eventually emerged victorious in the civil wars against emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire by 324. Upon his ascension to emperor, Constantine enacted numerous 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 reorganized to consist of mobile units (comitatenses) and garrison troops (limitanei) which were capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers—such as the Franks, the Alemanni, the Goths and the Sarmatians—and resettled territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century with citizens of Roman culture. 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, as attested by many notable Arian historical figures, 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 was deemed the holiest place in all of 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 favor 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, and he did much for pushing Christianity towards the mainstream of Roman culture. 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 the city of Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople (now Istanbul) after himself. 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 with the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Trends in modern and recent scholarship have attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship.

Photo of Slobodan Milošević

2. Slobodan Milošević (1941 - 2006)

With an HPI of 77.79, Slobodan Milošević is the 2nd most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 82 different languages.

Slobodan Milošević (Serbo-Croatian 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 within Yugoslavia from 1989 to 1997 (originally the Socialist Republic of Serbia, a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, from 1989 to 1992) and president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. Formerly a high-ranking member of the League of Communists of Serbia (SKS) during the 1980s, he led the Socialist Party of Serbia from its foundation in 1990 until 2003. Born in Požarevac, he studied law at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law and joined the League of Socialist Youth of Yugoslavia as a student. During the 1960s he served as an advisor to mayor of Belgrade Branko Pešić, and was later appointed chairman of Tehnogas and Beobanka, roles which he served until the 1980s. Milošević rose to power in 1987 by promoting populist and nationalist views, arguing for the reduction of power of Serbia's autonomous provinces and increased centralism. He was elected president of Socialist Republic of Serbia in 1989 and led the anti-bureaucratic revolution, after which he reformed Serbia's constitution by transitioning Serbia to a multi-party system, and reduced the power of autonomous provinces. Following the 1990 general elections, Milošević enacted a dominant-party rule while his party retained control over key economic resources of the state.The constituent republics of the Yugoslavia split apart amid the outbreak of the Yugoslav Wars, while Serbia and Montenegro formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Milošević played a major role in the wars, and negotiated the Dayton Agreement on behalf of Bosnian Serbs, which ended the Bosnian War in 1995. During his reign, numerous anti-government and anti-war protests took place, while it is also estimated that between 50,000 and 200,000 people deserted the Milošević-controlled Yugoslav People's Army, and that between 100,000 and 150,000 people emigrated from Serbia, refusing to participate in the wars. 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. Observers have described his political behavior as populist, eclectic and opportunist. 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 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 which used violence to remove Croats, Bosniaks, and Albanians from large parts of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. 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.

Photo of Odoacer

3. Odoacer (433 - 493)

With an HPI of 77.33, Odoacer is the 3rd most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.

Flavius Odoacer ( OH-doh-AY-sər; c. 433 – 15 March 493 AD), also spelled Odovacer or Odovacar, was a soldier and statesman of barbarian background, who deposed the child emperor Romulus Augustulus and became Rex/Dux (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) or duke (Latin: dux) in many documents, so is not clear which was his actual charge. He himself used the title of king 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. (Eleven-year-old Augustulus had been declared Western Roman Emperor by his father Orestes, 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 Decius

4. Decius (201 - 251)

With an HPI of 74.83, Decius is the 4th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 70 different languages.

Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius (c. 201 AD – June 251 AD), sometimes translated as Trajan Decius or Decius, was the emperor of the Roman Empire 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 Aurelian

5. Aurelian (214 - 275)

With an HPI of 73.16, Aurelian is the 5th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 76 different languages.

Aurelian (Latin: Lucius Domitius Aurelianus; 9 September 214 – c. October 275) was a Roman emperor, who reigned during the Crisis of the Third Century, from 270 to 275. As emperor, he won an unprecedented series of military victories which reunited the Roman Empire after it had nearly disintegrated under the pressure of barbarian invasions and internal revolts. Born in humble circumstances, near the Danube River, he entered the Roman military in 235, and climbed up the ranks. He went on to lead the cavalry of the emperor Gallienus, until Gallienus' assassination in 268. Following that, Claudius Gothicus became emperor until his own death in 270. Claudius' brother Quintillus ruled the empire for three months, before Aurelian became emperor. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war. He also defeated the Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following year he conquered the Gallic Empire in the west, reuniting the Empire in its entirety. He was also responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome, the abandonment of the province of Dacia, and monetary reform, trying to curb the devaluation of the Roman currency. Although Domitian, two centuries earlier, was the first emperor who had demanded to be officially hailed as dominus et deus ("master and god"), these titles never occurred in written form on official documents until the reign of Aurelian. His successes were instrumental in ending the crisis, earning him the title Restitutor Orbis ("Restorer of the World").

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6. Maximian (240 - 310)

With an HPI of 72.46, Maximian is the 6th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 63 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, refortifying the frontier. 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.

Photo of Constantius II

7. Constantius II (317 - 361)

With an HPI of 72.44, Constantius II is the 7th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 68 different languages.

Constantius II (Latin: Flavius Julius Constantius; Greek: Κωνστάντιος; 7 August 317 – 3 November 361) 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 heresy, 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 travelled 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 Licinius

8. Licinius (263 - 325)

With an HPI of 72.02, Licinius is the 8th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 63 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 Constantius Chlorus

9. Constantius Chlorus (250 - 306)

With an HPI of 71.68, Constantius Chlorus is the 9th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 72 different languages.

Flavius Valerius Constantius "Chlorus" (c. 250 – 25 July 306), also called Constantius I, was Roman emperor from 305 to 306. He was one of the four original members of the Tetrarchy established by Diocletian, first serving as caesar from 293 to 305 and then ruling as augustus until his death. 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. After his re-conquering of Roman Britain, he was given the title 'Redditor Lucis Aeternae', meaning 'The Restorer of Eternal Light'.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 the Apostate in 363.

Photo of Peter I of Serbia

10. Peter I of Serbia (1844 - 1921)

With an HPI of 71.27, Peter I of Serbia is the 10th most famous Serbian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.

Peter I (Serbian Cyrillic: Петар I Карађорђевић, romanized: Petar I Кarađorđević; 11 July [O.S. 29 June] 1844 – 16 August 1921) was the last king of Serbia, reigning from 15 June 1903 to 1 December 1918. On 1 December 1918, he became the first king of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and he held that title until his death three years later. Since he was the king of Serbia during a period of great Serbian military success, he was remembered by the Serbian people as King Peter the Liberator, and also as Old King. Peter was Karađorđe's grandson and third son of Persida Nenadović and Prince Alexander Karađorđević, who was forced to abdicate. Peter lived with his family in exile. He fought with the French Foreign Legion in the Franco-Prussian War. He joined as a volunteer under the alias Peter Mrkonjić in the Herzegovina uprising (1875–1877) against the Ottoman Empire. He married Princess Zorka of Montenegro, daughter of King Nicholas, in 1883. She gave birth to his five children, including Prince Alexander. After the death of his father in 1885, Peter became head of the Karađorđević dynasty. After a military coup d'état and the murder of King Alexander I Obrenović in 1903, Peter became King of Serbia. As king, he advocated a constitutional setup for the country and was famous for his liberal politics. The rule of King Peter was marked with the great exercise of political liberties, freedom of the press, national, economical and cultural rise, and it is sometimes dubbed a "golden" or "Periclean age".King Peter was the supreme commander of the Royal Serbian Army in the Balkan Wars. Because of his age, on 24 June 1914, he proclaimed his son, Prince Alexander, heir-apparent to the throne, as regent. In World War I he and his army retreated across the Principality of Albania.

Pantheon has 98 people classified as politicians born between 201 and 1992. Of these 98, 30 (30.61%) 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, Slobodan Milošević, and Odoacer. As of April 2022, 21 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Jovan Divjak, Maria of Serbia, Queen of Bosnia, and Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia.

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