Danilo II (Serbian Cyrillic: Данило II) was the Archbishop of Serbs 1324 to 1337, under the rule of Kings Stephen Uroš III (1321–1331) and Dušan the Mighty (1331–1355, crowned Emperor in 1345). As a Serbian monk, he was also a chronicler, active in court and Church politics, holding the office during the zenith of the Nemanjić dynasty-era; he wrote many biographies which are considered part of the most notable medieval Serbian literature. He was proclaimed Saint Danilo II (Свети Данило II) of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and is celebrated on the same day as Saint Ignatius of Antioch on 2 January [O.S. 20 December].
Life and Work
Born around 1270, his given name is not recorded, only that he belonged to a Serbian noble family. He was endowed with a fine intellect and a noble disposition; he had received an excellent education at the hands of the most learned men in Medieval Serbia and in Byzantium. Danilo wrote biographies of Serbian medieval kings and archbishops, including the biography of Jelena, the wife of King Stephen Dragutin of Serbia (1276–1282). His monumental work is referred to in the poetry of Serbian folklore as knjige starostavne (the ancient books) and knjige carostavne (the royal books). As a result of his work, many historical details concerning both the rulers of medieval Serbia and the members of the Nemanjić dynasty have been preserved.
He is included in The 100 most prominent Serbs.