Kingdom of Bosnia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kingdom of Bosnia
Bosansko kraljevstvo



Medieval Bosnian State Expansion
Capital Visoko
Languages Bosnian
Government Feudal monarchy
 -  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
History of
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Early history
Roman Dalmatia
Roman Pannonia
Middle Ages
Banate of Bosnia
Kingdom of Bosnia
Ottoman conquest
Ottoman era
(Eyalet / Vilayet)
Habsburg era
(Bosnian crisis)
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
(Drina Banovina)
World War II
SFR Yugoslavia
(SR Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Breakup of Yugoslavia
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnian War
(Herzeg-Bosnia / Western Bosnia)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina)
(Republika Srpska)
Portal icon Bosnia and Herzegovina portal

The Kingdom of Bosnia (Bosnian: Bosansko kraljevstvo, Босанско краљевство) 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.[1][2][3]



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. Over the course of several centuries, they were partly under Croatian and Serbian rule. 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 "Good Bosnians" or, alternately, "Good Christians", and belonged to the indigenous Bosnian Church.[citation needed] 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,[citation needed] 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 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.

Tvrtko I[edit]

Statue of Tvrtko I

By the mid-14th century, Bosnia reached its peak under Bosnian Ban Tvrtko I, who came to power in 1353. On 26 October 1377, Tvrtko had himself crowned as Stephen Tvrtko I, the first Bosnian king. Tvrtko, although a native Bosnian, was also the great-grandson of Serbian King Stephen Dragutin of the extinct Nemanjić dynasty through his grandmother, an awareness which led him to see potential to expand his realm into Serbian territories at a time when the only Serbian "King" was the uninfluential Marko, an Ottoman vassal. Thus after acquiring Mileševa (the monastery which held the relics of Saint Sava, 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.[4] 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.[5][6]

However, at the same time, the former Serbian courtier Lazar Hrebeljanović became the most powerful lord in the territory of the former Serbian Empire.[7] 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. Stjepan 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.[citation needed]


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 Turks in 1482. It took another century for the western parts of today's Bosnia to succumb to Ottoman attacks.

List of rulers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fine 1994, p. 146
  2. ^ Franz Miklosich, Monumenta Serbica, Viennae, 1858, p. 8-9.
  3. ^ Noel Malcolm, Bosnia: A Short History, London, 1996[page needed]
  4. ^ Dr. Željko Fajfric: Kotromanići.
  5. ^ Mile declared as national monument. 2003.
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Fine 1994, pp. 387–89

External links[edit]