Vladika Danilo Petrovic established the hereditary theocracy in the Petrovic family of the Erakovic clan. Since Vladikas, as Orthodox Bishops, were celibate, the office of Vladika passed from uncle to nephew. Danilo led Montenegrins in many battles against the Turks. He won a decisive, major battle at Carev Laz in Ljesanska Nahija, on July 14-28, 1712 . The Turkish army of between 30,000 and 40,000 men was defeated with approximately 5000 casualties. (Momir Markovic, Crnogorski rat, Podgorica, 1993, 106). This battle is a landmark in the Montenegrin history of wars for independence. In 1701, Danilo built the monastery of Saint Petar of Cetinje (Sveti Petar Cetinjski) on the site of the former court of Ivan Crnojevic. And while the Monastery has been rebuilt and enlarged, its basic structure has not changed.
Danilo was succeeded by Vladika Sava and Vladika Vasilije. Vasilije was particularly active in fighting the Turks and in trying to solicit Russian support for Montenegro. He also wrote one of the earliest historical books ("History of Montenegro") on Montenegro.
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www.montenegro.org Last updated on 20 June 1996.