Kingdom of Bosnia
|Kingdom of Bosnia
Medieval Bosnian State Expansion
|-||1377–1391||Tvrtko I (first)|
|-||1461–1463||Stephen Tomašević (last)|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|-||Coronation of Tvrtko I||26 October 1377|
|-||Ottoman conquest||5 June 1463|
|Part of a series on the|
Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Banate of Bosnia|
|Kingdom of Bosnia|
(Eyalet / Vilayet)
|Kingdom of Yugoslavia
|World War II|
(SR Bosnia and Herzegovina)
|Breakup of Yugoslavia|
|Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina|
(Herzeg-Bosnia / Western Bosnia)
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|(Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina portal|
The Kingdom of Bosnia (Bosnian: Bosansko kraljevstvo, Bosančica:Босɖɴско кϸɖʌѣєɣсmɣо) was a medieval kingdom that evolved from the Banate of Bosnia (1180–1377). Its extensive, region-wide socio-economic, political and cultural influence was of great effect in the later development of medieval Balkan states, and Balkan history in general.
The Banate of Bosnia (Bosnian: Banovina Bosna/Босɖɴскɖ бɖɴоvнɴɖ) was a medieval state based on most of what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as parts of Dalmatia, Serbia and Montenegro. Although nominally in vassalage to the Kingdom of Hungary, the Banate of Bosnia was a de facto independent Bosnian state. It existed until 1377, when it was proclaimed a Kingdom with the coronation of Bosnian King Tvrtko I. After the act of coronation the state formally changes it's status into a Kingdom.
By the mid-14th century, Bosnia reached its peak under Ban Tvrtko I of the House of Kotromanić, who was officially crowned on 26 October 1377. By having done so, he became a ruler of the newly proclaimed Kingdom of Bosnia, a state that followed the Banate of Bosnia. At its peak the Kingdom became one of the most influential and powerful states in the Balkan peninsula prior to Ottoman conquest.
Throughout the Middle Ages, Herzegovina was made up of separate small duchies: Zahumlje (Hum), centered around the town of Blagaj and Travunia-Konavli, centered on the town of Trebinje all loyal to the Bosnian Ban and later King. These states were in periods influenced by semi-independent Princes, mostly under greater control of Serbian Princes or in some cases Bulgarian. Their territories included modern Herzegovina and parts of Montenegro and southern Dalmatia. The name Herzegovina was adopted when Duke (Herceg) of St. Sava Stjepan Vukčić Kosača asserted its independence in 1435/1448.
The religion of the original Slavic and Illyrian population of Bosnia and Herzegovina was mixed: there were Catholic and Orthodox Christians, but most of the indigenous population simply called themselves Bosnians (or "Bošnjani"), and belonged to the indigenous Bosnian Church. The majority of knowledge on this church comes from outside non-adherent sources and its exact nature is a subject of much scholarly debate, particularly around its possible dualist teachings. It was accused by the Catholic and Orthodox authorities of heresy and being linked to the Bogomils (Patarens).
The bans and kings of Bosnia were Catholics during their reign, except for Stjepan Ostoja who showed some interest in the Bosnian Church while he was on the throne. There were, however, several important noblemen who were "Krstjani" (or "Christians"), such as Hrvoje Vukčić, the Radenović-Pavlović family, Sandalj Hranić, Stjepan Vukčić, and Paul Klešić. It was common for the Holy See to have the Bosnian rulers renounce any relation to the Bosnian Church or even perform conversions, in return for support.
By the mid-14th century, Bosnia reached its peak under Bosnian Ban Tvrtko I, a part of the Kotromanić dynasty, who came to power in 1353. On 26 October 1377, Tvrtko had himself crowned as Stephen Tvrtko I, the first Bosnian king. After acquiring Mileševa (the monastery which held the relics of Saint Sava in 1377, the first Serbian Archbishop) Tvrtko also crowned himself by the Grace of God, King of Serbia and Bosnia and the Seaside and the Western Lands. Today, some historians consider that he was crowned in Monastery of Mileševa, even though there is no evidence of it. Another possibility, supported by archaeological evidences, is that he was crowned in Mile near Visoko (near modern Sarajevo), in the church which was built in time of Stephen II Kotromanić's reign, where he was also buried alongside his uncle Stjepan II. This coronation is believed to have happened as a token of reaffirmation of his suzerainty over Serbia.
However, at the same time, the former Serbian courtier Lazar Hrebeljanović became the most powerful lord in the territory of the former Serbian Empire. Lazar's ideal was the reunification of the Serbian state under him as the self-proclaimed direct successor of the Nemanjićs, and Lazar had a full support from the Serbian Church for this political programme. Tvrtko, as a nominal Catholic, was not recognized by the Serbian Church. By 1390, Tvrtko I expanded his realm to include a part of Croatia and Dalmatia, and expanded his title to King of Rascia, Bosnia, Dalmatia, Croatia and the Littoral. Stephen Tvrtko I's full title listed subject peoples and geographical dependencies, following the Byzantine norm. At the peak of his power, he was King of Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Hum, Usora, Soli, Dalmatia, Donji Kraji etc.
After the death of Tvrtko I, the power of the Bosnian state slowly faded in power and influence. The Ottoman Empire had already started its invasion of Europe and posed a major threat to the Balkans throughout the first half of the 15th century. Finally, under King Stjepan Tomašević, betrayed and left to fend for itself by other European powers, Bosnia officially fell in 1463 and became the westernmost province of the Ottoman Empire. Herzegovina province fell to the Empire in 1482. It took another century for the western parts of today's Bosnia to succumb to Ottomans. After the fall of the kingdom the princess of Bosnia Catherine of Bosnia escaped to Rome on horses by fooling the Ottomans in which way she went. She stated that she is leaving the country to her sons or to the Holy See. The news about the fall of the kingdom didn't spread very fast but in late 1463 in Venice, a group of historians said that:"In the eyes of the whole world such an famous kingdom got torched down."
- Note: The Charter of King Tvrtko I of Bosnia is preserved in Bosnia while the also important charter, the one from Kulin Ban is in St.Petersburg in Russia. To avoid confusion because many historians mix these two charters.
- Note: The second copy is located in the national museum in Sarajevo.
List of rulers
- Stephen Tvrtko I
- Stephen Dabiša
- Jelena Gruba
- Stephen Ostoja
- Stephen Ostojić
- Stephen Tvrtko II
- Stephen Thomas
- Stephen Tomašević
- Fine 1994, p. 146
- Franz Miklosich, Monumenta Serbica, Viennae, 1858, p. 8-9.
- Noel Malcolm, Bosnia: A Short History, London, 1996[page needed]
- John Van Antwerp Fine. The Late Medieval Balkans: Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan press, 1994, p 44..
- John Van Antwerp Fine. The Late Medieval Balkans: Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan press, 1994, p 148..
- Richard C. Frucht. Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture, Vol. 1. ABC-CLIO, 2004, p 627..
- Paul Mojzes. Religion and the war in Bosnia. Oxford University Press, 2000, p 22; "Medieval Bosnia was founded as an independent state (Banate) by Ban Kulin (1180-1204).".
- Funk & Wagnalls Standard Reference Encyclopedia. New York, Standard Reference Works Pub. Co, 1959, p 1333; "The Hungarians later made Bosnia a banate (province) and placed it under the control of an official known as a ban. Bosnian independence from Hungarian overlordship was effected during the reign (1180-1204) of Ban Kulin".
- Dr. Željko Fajfric: Kotromanići.
- Mile declared as national monument. 2003.
- Anđelić Pavao, Krunidbena i grobna crkva bosanskih vladara u Milima (Arnautovićima) kod Visokog. Glasnik Zemaljskog muzeja XXXIV/1979., Zemaljski muzej Bosne i Hercegovine, Sarajevo, 1980,183-247
- Fine 1994, pp. 387–89