The Serbs were converted to Orthodox Christianity by the Byzantines in 891, before becoming a prosperous independent state under Stevan Nemanja (1167-96). A Serbian Patriarchate was established at Pec during the reign of Stevan Dušan (1331-55). Dušan’s attempted conquest of Constantinople failed and after he died many Serbian nobles accepted Turkish vassalage. The reduced Serbian state under Prince Lazar received the coup de grace at Kosovo on St Vitus’ Day, 1389. However, Turkish preoccupations with a Mongol invasion and wars with Hungary delayed the incorporation of Serbia into the Ottoman Empire until 1459.
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