Saxons in the medieval court

ZakonikDonauschwaben, or German settlers are often associated with the Banat region and the Austro-Hungarian Empiore. However, German settlers and craftsmen have been active in Serbia much earlier and much deeper inside of Medieval Serbia. They had settlements in Kosovo and the Kopaonik (e.g. Rogozna) mountains and share a rich history with the local population throughout the centuries. Instead of calling them Donauschwaben they are referred to in Serbian as "Sasi"  or "Sasoni" which literly translates into Saxons.

Raška (Serbia) has a long history of diversity and relations with foreign kingdoms. Even in medieval times the Serbian kings hired craftsmen from all over Europe. The most wanted were Saxons, which had a substantial presence in medieval Serbia as early as 1230 AD. They were of such importance that Serbia's emperor, Stephen Uroš IV Dušan the Mighty, mentioned them in the famous Codex of Dušan.

It mentions them by name in article 123 as following:

 

 123. О Сасима:   
 О трговима; што су куда посекли Саси горе до овога сабора, у земљу нека имају; ако су кому властелину без права узели земљу, да се суде са њима властела по закону Светога краља, а отсада унапред Сасин да не сече, а што посече, оно да не обрађује и људе не смешта, само да стоји пуста, да расте гора; нико да не забрани Сасину гору, колико треба тргу, толико да сече.  
 
Saxons as well as other minorities were recognized and received special priviliges and protection by the emperor. There are still remnants of Catholic Churches from that time period. After Ottoman incursions in the region, large parts of the Saxon community moved into the Banat are to serve in the Austro-Hungarian Empire's army. Others however, remained.
 
More information about the codex can be found at: http://www.dusanov-zakonik.com/

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