Ivan I Nelipac
Ivan I Nelipac or Prince Nelipić (died 1344), a Croatian prince and member of the Nelipić noble family, was a ruler of Knin and Drniš and the region around the rivers Cetina, Čikola, Krka, and Zrmanja. He ruled from his seat in the fortified town of Knin.
Prince Nelipac had a nephew Konstantin, who helped him in his reign. Soon after Nelipac's death in 1344, Konstantin also died 1355. Nelipac was married to princess Vladislava Kurjaković from Krbava and had a son Ivan II Nelipac.
Rise of Nelipac's power
The rise of Nelipac's power begins after death of Pavao I Šubić in 1312. Pavao I Šubić Bribirski was Croatian leader and member of the Šubić noble family. He was a Ban of Croatia and Lord of all of Bosnia, and the most powerful Croatian noble at the time in Croatia and Bosnia. Nelipac's domination in South Croatia comes into play, especially after the 1322 and fall of Mladen II Šubić, who was son of Pavao I Šubić Bribirski. After that, Prince Nelipac become one of the most powerful Croatian noble at the beginning of the 14th century. Complete dominance in Dalmatia region except of coastal towns, Nelipić acquired after the victory over their strongest rival, Croatian Šubić noble family in battle near Knin on 7 June 1324th year, when Šubić's lost influence in Croatia and Bosnia. During his reign, he was greatly involved in situation over Bosnia.
Hungarian and Croatian King Charles I Robert of Anjou had placed the Ban of Slavonia Ivan Babonežić as the new Ban of Croatia. After the King's return to Hungary, one of the most powerful Croatian nobleman Prince Nelipić moved fast and took Knin from the Royal Forces. He was supported by the three brothers of Mladen II Šubić; Juraj II Šubić, Grgur III Šubić and Pavao II Šubić. He did not allow Ivan to assert to his throne in Knin, so King Charles Robert deposed Ivan from his duty in 1323. He ordered the new Ban of Slavonia Nikola Omodijev and Stepan II of Kotroman to launch a joint offensive against Nelipić in Croatia. Nikola's expedition eventually failed, although, it did rise up Juraj II Šubić (brother of Mladen II Šubić) against Nelipić, as well as the Princes from Krka Frangepans, the City of Zadar and eventually, the Ban of Bosnia Stepan II himself. The movement wanted to return the Šubić dynasty to power in Croatia with Juraj II Šubić at the Throne. Stepan again changed allegiances and now fought for the Šubićs again. It all eventually turned into an all-out war when the armies of Prince Nelipac and Juraj II Šubić clashed near the waterfalls of Krka in the Summer of 1324. Stepan gave considerable support to the Šubićs, but he did not dare involve into the fight himself. It was good that he didn't, because the Šubić's party was massacred near Knin and Juraj II Šubić himself was captured by Prince Nelipić soon. Stepan had attempted to liberate Juraj II from imprisonment, but all attempts have reached failure.
Prince Nelipić immediately pushed the fight against Stepan II. Nelipić managed to conquer the city of Visuć, but Stepan's long-ago given privileges to the nobility had finally been proven useful, as Vuk of Vukoslav had helped him to retake the city. Although Stepan's military ambitions only relatively successful he continued to wage war against the enemies of the Šubićs. His target was the City of Trogir which was one of the major supporters of Nelipić's campaigning. Stepan has adopted a harsh tactic. His forces have raided Caravans from Trogir, which eventually forced its denizens to humbly sign peace and addressed to him as the high and mighty lord Stepan free ruler and master of Bosnia, Usora and Soli and many other places and Prince of the Hum. It is because of this that Stepan opened a conflict with the Republic of Dubrovnik regarding trade. Stepan was shown as a very tough negotiator and the negotiations have finally ended in 1326.
After seeing that Ban Nikola Omodejev was unable to weaken the position of Prince Nelipić, Hungarian King Charles I Robert deposed him. The new man for the job was one o his most trusted men, Mikac Mihaljević. Ban Mikac advanced to Croatia in the Summer of 1325. Bosnian Ban Stepan II sent squadrons of troops to assist him in his offensive. In 1326, Mikac took the cities of the Babonežić family advance deeper into Croatia, meeting with Stepan's reinforcements. The expedition eventually reached little success, so Mikac sent a portion of his army to Bihać which would serve as defence against possible Nelipić's counterattacks and retreated to Hungary, to the King.
- Opća i nacionalna enciklopedija u 20 svezaka, str. 226.