Banate of Bosnia
|Banate of the Kingdom of Hungary|
Coat of arms
|Today part of||Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia Montenegro Serbia|
The Banate of Bosnia (Bosnian: Bosanska banovina, banovina Bosna) was a medieval state based in what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although it was a part of the Hungarian Crown Lands, the Banate of Bosnia was a de facto independent state. It was founded in the mid-12th century and existed until 1377, when it was proclaimed a kingdom with the coronation of Tvrtko I. The greater part of its history was marked by a religiopolitical controversy revolving around the native Bosnian Church condemned as heretical by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, although with the Catholic church being particularly antagonistic and persecuting its members through the Hungarians.
In 1136, Béla II of Hungary invaded Bosnia for the first time and created the title "Ban of Bosnia", initially only as an honorary title for his grown son Ladislaus II of Hungary. During the 12th century, rulers within Bosnia acted increasingly autonomously from Hungary and/or Byzantium. In reality, outside powers had little control of the mountainous and somewhat peripheral regions which made up Bosnia.
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Ban Borić appears as a prominent figure in 1154, as an ally of the King of Hungary. He was involved in offensives against the Byzantines, in alliance with Hungary and Serbia, reaching as far south as Braničevo.
Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos conquered Bosnia from the Hungarians in 1166 and appointed native Kulin as the governor of Bosnia. Kulin was Bosnia's second Ban, and he managed to free Bosnia from Byzantine influence through the alliance with Hungarian king Béla III, Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja and his brother Miroslav of Hum, with whom he successfully waged a war in 1183 against the Byzantines. Bosnia secured peace, although it continued as a Hungarian vassal. Kulin had a powerful effect on the development of early Bosnian history, under whose rule an age of peace and prosperity existed. In 1189, Ban Kulin issued the first written Bosnian document, now known as the Charter of Ban Kulin, in Bosnian Cyrillic, regarding the trade relations with the city of Ragusa (Dubrovnik).[better source needed] Kulin's rule also marked the start of a controversy involving the indigenous Bosnian Church (a branch of Bogomilism), a Christian sect considered heretical by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church.
In 1203, Serbian Grand Prince Vukan Nemanjić accused Kulin of heresy and lodged an official appeal to the pope. Kulin cunningly saved Bosnia from a crusade that the pope was preparing to launch, stating that he was always a faithful Catholic. In response to Hungarian attempts to use church politics regarding the issue as a way to reclaim sovereignty over Bosnia, Kulin held a council of local church leaders to renounce the heresy in 1203. Despite this, Hungarian ambitions remained unchanged long after Kulin's death in 1204, waning only after an unsuccessful invasion on Bosnia in 1254. Kulin's policy was poorly continued since the Ban's death in 1204 by his son and heir, Stjepan Kulinić, who seems to have remained aligned with the Catholic Church. Stjepan was eventually deposed in 1232.
The Bosnian Church forcibly replaced Kulinić with a nobleman called Matej Ninoslav (1232–50). This caused bad relations with Serbia as the previous ruler was related to the Nemanjić dynasty. Around this time, a relative of Ninoslav, Prijezda I, converted back to Catholicism (he previously switched to the Bosnian Church for a short period of time). Ninoslav quickly changed his fanatical Catholic and anti-Bosnian Church attitude and eventually became a protector of the Bosnian Church. In 1234 Hungarian king Andrew II gave the Banate of Bosnia to Duke Coloman. To make matters worse, the legitimate successor for the Bosnian throne of the Kulinić dynasty, count Sibislav of Usora, son of former Ban Stjepan, started to attack Ninoslav's positions, attempting to take Bosnia for himself. Pope Gregory IX replaced the heretical Bosnian bishop in 1235 with John of Wildeshausen, then Master General of the Dominican Order and later declared a saint, and confirmed Duke Coloman as the new legitimate Ban of Bosnia. The Bosnian Crusade led by bishop John and Coloman lasted for five full years. The war only funnelled more support to Ninoslav, as only Sibislav took the Pope's side in the Crusade. Ninoslav issued an edict to the Republic of Ragusa on 22 May 1240, stating that he placed it under his protection in case of an attack by Serbian king Stefan Vladislav. The support from Ragusa was essential to support Matej Ninoslav's warfare.
It was also a response due to the very bad relations between Bosnia and Serbia, as Serbia sent no aid to Ninoslav contrary to the traditional alliance. Coloman passed the governorship of Bosnia to Ninoslav's distant cousin, Prijezda, who only managed to hold it for two or three years. In 1241, the Tatars invaded Hungary, so Coloman had to fall back from Bosnia. Matej Ninoslav immediately retook control over Bosnia, while Prijezda fled to Hungary in exile. The edict to Ragusa was re-issued in March 1244. Ninoslav was involved in the civil war that erupted in Croatia between Trogir and Split, taking Split's side. King Bela IV of Hungary was greatly frustrated and considered this a conspiracy, so he sent a contingent to Bosnia, but Ninoslav subsequently made peace. In 1248, Ninoslav cunningly saved Bosnia from yet another papal crusade requested by the Hungarian archbishop.
Ninoslav's sons fought for the Bosnian title, but the Hungarian king managed to reinstall Prijezda. Ban Prijezda ruthlessly persecuted the Bosnian Church. In 1254 the Croatian Ban shortly conquered Zahumlje from Serbian king Stefan Uroš I during Hungary's war against Serbia, but peace restored Zahumlje to Serbia.
During the reign of Stjepan II Kotromanić all three churches were active in Bosnia.
By the mid-14th century, Bosnia reached its peak under ban Tvrtko Kotromanić who came into power in 1353, and had himself crowned on 26 October 1377.
- Fine 1994, pp. 44, 148.
- 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).".
- Bringa, Tone (1995). Being Muslim the Bosnian Way. Princeton University Press. p. 15.
- Curta, Florin (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250. Cambridge University Press. pp. 433–34.
- Malcolm 1996.
- Miklosich 1858, pp. 1-2
- Fine, John Van Antwerp, Jr. (1991). The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-08149-3.
- Fine, John Van Antwerp, Jr. (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472082605.
- Bataković, Dušan T. (1996). The Serbs of Bosnia & Herzegovina: History and Politics. Dialogue Association.
- Malcolm, Noel (2002). Bosnia: A Short History. Pan Books. ISBN 978-0-330-41244-5.