Petar II Petrović-Njegoš

Petar II Petrović-Njegoš (, ; 13 November 1813 – 31 October 1851) was a Prince-Bishop of Montenegro, a Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan of Cetinje, a philosopher and poet, whose work is considered responsible for the modernization of Montenegro. Njegoš was born in the village of Njeguši, near the town of Cetinje. Growing up with illiterate peasants, he left his home at age eleven to be educated in the Cetinje monastery (at that time, the only place of learning in Montenegro). After the death of his uncle, Petar I, Njegoš became Prince-Bishop of Montenegro at age seventeen. As a ruler and reformer, one of his achievements was to persuade the clan chiefs of Montenegro to introduce fair taxation and a code of laws based on human rights into their mountain communities. Njegoš was a proponent of uniting and liberating the Serbian people, willing to concede his princely rights in exchange for a union with Serbia. Although it did not occur during his lifetime, he laid the foundation for Yugoslavism and introduced modern political concepts to Montenegro. Njegoš was prince-bishop until his 1851 death from tuberculosis at age 37. Venerated as a poet and philosopher, Njegoš is known for The Mountain Wreath, (considered a masterpiece of Serbian and South Slavic literature and the national epic of Montenegro, Serbia, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). He was buried in a small chapel on Mount Lovćen, which was destroyed by the Austro-Hungarians during the First World War. Njegoš’ remains were moved to the Cetinje Monastery and then to the rebuilt chapel in 1925; the chapel was replaced by Ivan Meštrović’s mausoleum in 1974, with the support of the Yugoslavian government. Njegoš has remained influential in Montenegro and neighbouring countries. His works have influenced a variety of groups, including irredentists, Serbian nationalists and Communists. In 2011, Njegoš was called the “Montenegrin Shakespeare” by The Independent.