The origin of the town's name is explained in different ways. Its Greek name
was Antibareos, the Romans called it Antibarum and its Slavic name is Bar.
Its turbulent, interesting, "glorious" and often tragic history bears
witness to frequent changes in conquerors and rulers.
In the year 1042 it was liberated by the ruler of Zeta, Vojislav, who defeated
a huge Byzantine army in the famous 'Battle of Bar'on the slopes of Mount Ru-
mija.The son of Duke Vojislav, Mihailo, was crowned king here in 1077, and he
received a royal designation from the pope. His son and heir Bodin ruled Bar
in the period 1082-1101 . In the middle of the 11th century it became a part
of Duklja (Dodea), and after that, until 1183, it was again under Byzantine
rule, when it was joined to the Nemanjic state, together with the rest of Zeta.
It remained under the rule of the Nemanjic Dynasty until 1360. During that period
it truly flourished. It had city autonomy, a statute, a coat of arms and its
own money. Stevan Nemanja Prvovjencani (the First-Crowned), in his biography
about his father, mentions "the glorious city of Bar' and that is the first
recorded Slavic name for the city.
During the 1360's, Bar accepted the supreme power of the Balsic Dynasty, a family
that created an independent territory in the area of Skadar (Shkodra).
Jelena, Durad's widow, and Balsa III considered Bar their capital. At the beginning
of the 15th century a time of wars and regional rulers started. Bar passed from
hand to hand: from 1404 it was in the hands of the Venetians; in 1412 it fell
again into the hands of the Balsic Dynasty; from 1421 it was under the patronage
of Despot Stefan Lazarevic; and from 1427 it was under the patronage of Despot
Durad Brankovic, when Bar was again the capital of the state of Zeta.
In 1443, the Venetians conquered the city together with the coastal zone, taking
it over from Stefan Vukcic Kosaca and, in 1571 Bar was captured by the Ottoman
Turks. During the battles to liberate the city, Bar was largely destroyed. In
that period the majority of the population moved close to the seashore, where
the first sea port was founded at the beginning of the 20th century, and later
a new city was built. In 1908, the Ministerial Council of the Principality of
Montenegro passed a decision that the new city, on which construction had just
been started, should be named Bar.
In the 12th century in Bar, a famous literary and historical text, 'The Chronicle
of the Priest of Duklja" or 'The Bar Genealogy' was written. This is the
oldest document of its kind in South Slavic heritage. It records folk narratives
and historical legends from the arrival of Slavs until the mid-12th century,
mainly describing the history of Duklja (Zeta).