Code of Stefan Dušan

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Code of Stefan Dušan


a collection of laws in medieval Serbia, introduced by the emperor Stefan Dusan and adopted by the diet of 1349 (amended in 1354). Twenty-four copies of the code are extant; the oldest is the 14th-century Struga manuscript in the Lenin Library in Moscow. The genealogy and the dating of several of the manuscripts have been subjects of controversy among historians.

The Code of Stefan Dusan defined relationships within the upper class and the relationships between it, the peasantry, and the central power. The code prescribed a harsher penalty for a peasant than it did for a feudal lord for the same crime. It defined categories of peasants and standards of feudal obligations. In addition, much of the code was devoted to structuring the judicial process and providing state protection to the Orthodox Church and its institutes.


Zakonik cara Stefana Dusana 1349 i 1354. Belgrade, 1960.


Florinskii, T. D. Pamiatniki zlakonodatel’noi deiatel’nosti Dusana, tsaria serbov i grekov. Kiev, 1888.
Zbornik u čast šeste strogodišnice Zakonika cara Dušana, Belgrade, 1951.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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