Ishak Bey Kraloğlu

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Ishak Bey Kraloğlu
House Kotromanić dynasty
Father Stephen Thomas of Bosnia
Mother Catherine of Bosnia
Burial Serres, Ottoman Empire
Religion Islam
previously Roman Catholicism

Sigismund of Bosnia, also known as Ishak-bey Kraloğlu (Bosnian: Ishak-beg Kraljević/Исхак-бег Краљевић), was one of the last known members of the Kotromanić dynasty and a high-ranking official of the Ottoman Empire.


Sigismund was the son of King Stephen Thomas of Bosnia by his second wife, Catherine of Bosnia. He was baptized as Sigismund. Upon King Stephen Thomas's death in 1461, the crown passed to Sigismund's elder brother, Stephen Tomašević.[1][2]

Conquest of Bosnia[edit]

The reign of Sigismund's brother was cut short by the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia in 1463, when Mehmed the Conqueror had him beheaded alongside their uncle Radivoj and cousin Tvrtko. His mother fled to Dubrovnik, where she deposited her husband's sword with instructions that it be preserved for Sigismund, and eventually reached Rome. The Kingdom of Bosnia was annexed. It has been suggested that Sigismund was between twelve and fourteen years old at that moment, but he may have been as young as seven. He and his younger sister Catherine were captured.[1] Isa-Beg Isaković, who may have been his mother's paternal uncle, converted Sigismund to Islam in Sarajevo. Having taken the name Ishak upon conversion, he was raised in Karahisar and Constantinople.[2]


In her last will, written shortly before she died in 1478, Queen Catherine left Bosnia to the papacy, unless her children abjured Islam and became Christians again. Ishak, however, became Mehmed the Conqueror's companion; they often dined together and played games, with Ishak entertaining the sultan with "crude jests". In recognition of his royal status, he was referred to as Kraloğlu - "the King's son". He eventually became sanjak-bey of Bolu.[1] Ishak continued serving under Mehmed's son and successor, Bayezid II, whose grand vizier was Ishak's maternal uncle, Hersekzade Ahmed Pasha, also a convert to Islam; Bayezid's daughter Fatima was Ishak's aunt by marriage.[3] Ishak fought for the Empire during the Ottoman–Mamluk War (1485–91), under his uncle's command. He was taken captive by the Egyptians following a naval battle in August 1488. After his release, Ishak took part in the 1493 Battle of Krbava Field alongside Gazi Husrev-beg, a fellow Bosnian Muslim and a grandson of Bayezid II; the battle resulted in a decisive defeat of the Croatian army.[2]

The German historian Franz Babinger presumes that Ishak Bey died in Bolu, which he administrated in the Sultan's name;[1] he is known to have been buried in Serres, Macedonia (Greece). The year of his death is unknown.[2] Europäische Stammtafeln claims that he had issue but does not give any information about them.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Babinger, Franz (1992). Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. USA: Princeton University Press. pp. 222, 224. ISBN 0-691-01078-1. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ljubez, Bruno (2009), Jajce Grad: prilog povijesti posljednje bosanske prijestolnice, HKD Napredak, p. 149 
  3. ^ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1994), The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest, University of Michigan Press, p. 589, ISBN 0472082604 
  4. ^ Europäische Stammtafeln II, page 158

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