From the seventeenth century Montenegro was ruled by the Petrović-Njegoš dynasty.
Religious leaders were also secular rulers, and the period of the rule, called Bishophood, lasted for 155 years, after which the Principality was established and then the Kingdom. The Petrovićs fought severely not only for freedom, but also to draw people out of backwardness, to unite and educate them. Bishop Vasilije Petrović wrote the first history of the people of Montenegro.
Bishop Petar I wrote Letters to the tribes of Montenegro which are of great historical and literary value. Bishop Petar II Petrović Njegoš (buried on the mountain Lovćen) raised the reputation of his “small country squeezed from all sides,” with famous verses of the “Mountain Wreath” (Vienna, 1847) and other literary works. During the long reign of Prince and later King Nikola I, Montenegro’s independence was recognized at the Berlin Congress.