The Ministry of Culture has bought the stamp belonging to Serbian Prince Strojimir for almost 20,000 euros at an auction in Munich 11 July 2006. The stamp is evidence of the existence of the Serbian state in the ninth century, which is three centuries earlier than what former existing evidence have shown.
BELGRADE - Serbia has received a "new" oldest feature of its statehood - Seal of Serbian Prince Strojimir from the ninth century. The ministry of culture has bought the seal of Prince Strojimir for almost 20,000 euros at an auction in Munich 11 July., No one in Serbia knew of the existence of this stamp, which has been privately owned. Our collectors learned about this valuable item from their Russian colleagues.
The oldest material evidence that Serbia have prior to this finding to testify about its statehood, are documents left from the Rulers of the Nemanjic-line, dating from the twelfth century
- We had difficulty getting to this oldest preserved symbol of Serbian statehood. List price of the stamp at first was 6,500 euros. However, the Bulgarians, who for historical reasons find this stamp very important, they offered 15,000 euros to prevent the item to be on auction that day. Which is just to show how attempts are made to hide historical truths from the world and that history is being manipulated with and used in political battles.
Fortunately, our consulate in Munich reacted swiftly and bought the stamp for 16,000 euros. Taking into account the fees of the auction house, the total cost for us was nearly 20,000. It's a small price to pay if we bear in mind the importance of the stamp for the Serbian history - says the Minister of Culture, Dragan Kojadinović.
The seal will be kept at the Historical Museum of Serbia, which will be moved to Vlajkovic street - explains Kojadinovic
Dr. Djordje Jankovic, president of Serbian Archaeological Society and head of the Department of National Archaeology of the Middle Ages, Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, in the material that was sent to the Serbian prime minister explained that Prince Strojimir was the son of Serbian prince Vlastimir, who ruled the middle of the ninth century, and one of three brothers who shared Serbia and ruled it. Also, he was the grandfather of Prince Časlav, who ruled Serbia from 927 until after 950.
"So the prince, owner of the seal belonged to the oldest known Serbian dynasty rulers. It is possible that from the same dynasty also originates subsequent dynasties Vojislavic, large prefect, and even the Nemanjic:s ", according to the explanation which was forwarded to Kostunica.
Part of Byzantine goldsmiths from Athens, Thessaloniki, OR Constantinople
Professor Jankovic explains that the stamp was probably compiled by Byzantine goldsmiths in Athens, Thessaloniki or Constantinople, which testifies to the political ties with the Serbian Empire, which was important because it conflicts with the Bulgarians. The existence of the stamp proves that the Serbian prince had court office records and administration that monitors the state. The Prince is obviously a Christian as was his ancestors.
God help Serbia
Stamp of Prince Strojimir is made in gold, weighing 15.64 grams, hight 1, 9 inches, conical shape and a knocker on top. It has a circular inscription field with a cross, surrounded by the Greek inscription "God help Serbia."
Source: Glas Javnosti