So far, several dozen stone chairs have been found in the area of medieval Bosnia and Zachlumia. Some of the stone chairs are embellished with embossed motifs of symbolic and decorative character while some of them have carved cyrillic inscriptions. Many stone chairs are attached to the fortified cities and the nobility who ruled these cities.
Folk traditions name these stone chairs "Judging" or "Judicial" chairs. According to folktales, local medieval feudal lords sat on them while conducting public trials over their subjects, which is not without foundation. The places where public trials were held in the Middle Ages were also called the "table", and many of these places also had stone chairs, so the notion of the table included not only the location of a place where public trials were held, but also the stone chair.
Public judges were the nobility of different rank, such as the knyaz, the zupan, the voyevoda, the great voyevoda, the ban, the king, and so on. In accordance with this, we have names for different tables such as: kings, bans, zupan’s, tribal, lords, voyevodes, etc. The stone chair we present in this text is located in the village of Ošanići near Stolac and is linked with the noble family of Hrabren Miloradović.
Miloradovići were one of the more important Serbian medieval families from Herzegovina. Their family cemetery is located below Ošanić, in Vidovo polje, which is a well-known necropolis of stećak tombstones called Radimlje. Furthermore, Orthodox church found in Ošanići is the endowment of Hrabren Miloradović. Given Ošanići were home of Miloradovići family, they probably had their tribal table there around which they judged their subjects and held other gatherings, and this stone chair could be part of it.
Writing found on the throne begins with the sign of cross and it follows: + THIS IS THE TABLE OF VOYEVODA STIPAN MILORADOVIĆ, REPEATED BY VOYEVODA PETAR, HIS SON.
Šefik Bešlagić believed there are actually two inscriptions on the stone chair, not one. First one referred to voyevoda Stefan Miloradović: + THIS IS THE TABLE OF VOYEVODA STIPAN MILORADOVIĆ; while the other part of the text referred to dukes son Petar: REPEATED BY VOYEVODA PETAR, HIS SON. Bešlagić believes that voyevoda Petar, after death of his father, conducted additional hewing and shaping works on the stone chair. Inscription on the stone chair of Miloradović family are from the second half of the XV century and are similar to other writings in the surroundings of Stolac, especially those found in Radimlje. Duke Stefan died sometimes around 1470 and was probably buried in Radimlje while his son Petar is mentioned in 1477 as katunar of Hrabren Miloradović. Died around 1488.
Literature: Šefik Bešlagić, "Stone chairs of medieval Bosnia and Herzegovina", DIJELA, Book LIX, Sarajevo 1985.
Prepared by: Boris Radaković