Petar II Petrovic-Njegoš (Serbian Cyrillic: ????? II ????????-?????, pronounced [petar drûgi petro?it? ?êgo?]; 13 November [O.S.
1 November] 1813 – 31 October [O.S.
19 October] 1851), commonly referred to simply as Njegoš (?????), was a Prince-Bishop (vladika) of Montenegro, poet and philosopher whose works are widely considered some of the most important in Serbian and Montenegrin literature.
Njegoš was born in the village of Njeguši, near Montenegro's then-capital Cetinje.
He was educated at several Montenegrin monasteries, and became the country's spiritual and political leader following the death of his uncle Petar I.
After eliminating all initial domestic opposition to his rule, he concentrated on uniting Montenegro's tribes and establishing a centralized state.
He introduced regular taxation, formed a personal guard and implemented a series of new laws to replace those composed by his predecessor many years earlier.
His taxation policies proved extremely unpopular with the Montenegrin tribes, and were the cause of several revolts during his lifetime.
Njegoš's reign was also defined by constant political and military struggle with the Ottoman Empire, and by his attempts to expand Montenegro's territory while gaining unconditional recognition from the Sublime Porte.
He was a proponent of uniting and liberating the Serb people, willing to concede his princely rights in exchange for a union with Serbia and his recognition as the religious leader of all Serbs (akin to a modern-day Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church).
Although unification between the two states did not occur during his lifetime, Njegoš laid some of the foundations of Yugoslavism and introduced modern political concepts to Montenegro.
Venerated as a poet and philosopher, Njegoš is well known for his epic poem Gorski vijenac (The Mountain Wreath), which is considered a masterpiece of Serbian, Montenegrin and South Slavic literature, and the national epic of Serbia, Montenegro and Yugoslavia.
Njegoš has remained influential in Montenegro and Serbia, as well in neighbouring countries, and his works have influenced a number of disparate groups, including Serbian, Montenegrin and South Slav nationalists, as well as monarchists and communists.