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Travunia in the 9th century, according to [[De administrando imperio]]
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Greek map of Serb lands in the 9th century, according to [[De administrando imperio]]

"The Zahumljani (Zachlumoi) that now live there are en:Serbs, originating from the time of the prince (archont) who fled to emperor en:Heraclius [...] The land of the Zahumljani comprise the following cities: en:Ston (το Σταγνον), Mokriskik (το Μοκρισκικ), Josli (το Ιοσλε), Galumainik (το Γαλυμαενικ), Dobriskik (το Δοβρισκικ)".

Constantine VII, De Administrando Imperio, Chapter: 32 [[1] (]

Bordered by Serbia to the north, Travunia. encompassed what is now Southern Dalmatia. Today it is part of [[Dubrovnik-Neretva county]]. Its center is Dubrovnik. Other larger towns are Metković and Ploče in the Neretva river delta (hence the mention in the county name). It includes the larger islands of Korčula, Lastovo, Mljet, Љipan, Lopud and Koločep.

Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos descibes the Zhumljans in De Administrando Imperio as a Serb tribe which settled in the area at the start of the 7th century. It must be noted that the Zahumlje, Travunia and Duklja, whose territories spread much further inland and southward than the current Dalmatia does, were self-ruled by their Slavic population that was mixed pagan and Christian, and also quite likely mixed Croat and Serb. They were not central to the formation of these two Slavic nations (the main part of medieval Croatia was to their northwest and the main part of medieval Serbia was to their northeast), but they did more often than not fall under their respective influences.

Zahumlje entered into confederations with the Serb princes of Raska early on. The Serb prince Caslav Klonimirovic of the House of Vlastimirovic fully incorporated this area into his domain between 927 AD and 940. After the death of Caslav in 960, Zahumlje was contested between Byzantium and Bulgaria.

Croatian academics have pointed out that Travunia could have been Croat, but this is not generally accepted since these claims rely on Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja, which has been discredited as unreliable and full of errors. It is now accepted in most academic circles outside of Croatia that Zachumlie / Zahumlje, the Bosna River Valley and Pagania / Paganija and Zeta / Duklja were settled with Serb tribes, as it states in De Administrando Imperio.

It must be noted however, that De Administrando Imperio itself is full of errors. Especially the most politically controversial chapters, 30, 31 and 32 are mutually contradictory. Chapters 30 and 31 tell two different versions on the arrival of Croats, and chapter 32, about the arrival of Serbs, shows striking similarity to the chapter 31, which is probably the emperor's story on the Croats. Many historians have deduced that chapter 32 is just a retelling of the migration pattern found in chapter 31. As far as chapter 30 is concerned, it is accepted that it was written by an anonymous author who had conveyed genuine Croatian mythic story on their origin. The chapters 31 and 32 tell essentially the same story of a people who came upon invitation of Byzantine emperor Heraclius, with virtually exact scheme appearing in both cases-Croat and Serb. On the other hand, anonymous who composed chapter 30, portrays the mythic Croatian origo gentis: a narrative on 5 brothers and 2 sisters as leaders of Croatian tribe- something entirely different from chapter 31. Also, one must bear in mind that the described events took place some 300 years before this work, and that "De Administrando Imperio" is the first description of arrival of the mentioned peoples, hence greatly reducing the credibility of the narrative.

It appears the acceptance of DAI in academic circles is it remains the only surviving authoritative text of its kind about the region and era; is the direct or indirect work of an advanced diplomatic bureaucracy; and is attributed to the famously most erudite of Byzantine Emperors


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