Out of political reasons, a middle son to Stephen Nеmаnja came to the throne, as a son-in-law to the Byzantine emperor. He ruled from 1196 to 1227, from 1217 as a king. Being a skilful politician and a statesman, he managed to lead Serbia through hard times of the Crusades expedition to Constantinople. With a help of his brother, St Sava, he strengthened Serbian independence and gave the new, autocephalic Church wide authorities and significant lands. Thence on in Serbia, the secular and the religious authorities were closely connected. Stephen the First-Crowned built the Žičа Monastery. He wrote a Biography of St Simeon, his father, Stephen Nemanja. He had four sons, among them the future kings Rаdоslаv, Vlаdislаv and Urоš I, then Prеdislаv, the future Serbian archbishop Sava II, a daughter Kоmnina and another one of an unknown name. Directly before he died, he took the monk’s vows, taking the name Simon.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
The Serbian Orthodox Church celebrates him as Venerable Simon each 7 of October, or 24 September by the Julian calendar.
At the throne Stephen was succeeded by his eldest son Stephen Rаdоslаv.