Jakšić noble family

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Jaksic Coat of arms.png
Country Serbian Despotate
Kingdom of Hungary
Estates Nădlac
Titles voivode (war-leader, duke)
Founded before 1453
Dissolution after 1543
Ethnicity Serbian

The Jakšić (Serbian Cyrillic: Јакшић, pl. Јакшићи / Jakšići; Hungarian: Jaksics család) were a Serbian noble family that fought against the Ottoman Empire. The eponymous founder, Jakša, was a Voivode (Duke) in the service of Serbian Despot Đurađ Branković, and after the fall of Serbia to the Ottomans his descendants joined the ranks of the Hungarian army, Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus titled them "pillars of Christianity".



Jakša was a voivode in the Serbian Despotate, under Despot Đurađ Branković.[1] Jakša was mentioned in 1452 as Đurađ's envoy in the Republic of Ragusa.[1] As an Ottoman vassal, Đurađ was forced to send an army to participate in the siege of Constantinople (1453).[1] Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror did not tell Đurađ his intentions, but said that the cavalry would travel to Karaman.[1] The sultan slaughtered civilians on his way to Constantinople, which he quickly besieged, Jakša hearing of this, wanted to return but was warned that if they would not continue, the sultan would destroy the Serbs.[1] The cavalry reached the fallen Constantinople, which had been the cradle of Southeastern Christianity and culture, up until now serving as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The event is recorded in the writings of Konstantin Mihailović, who was in the army of Jakša.[1]

Jakšić brothers[edit]

Stefan and Dmitar Jakšić, the sons of Jakša (hence Jakšići), left Jagodina with 1200 warriors for Hungary.[1] They were hospitably received by Matthias Corvinus, who gave them Nădlac (Nagylak) and estates around Moriš, to rule as vassals in 1464.[1] The operations of the Serbian nobility in Slovakia against Germany and Poland in the second half of the 15th century, were hugely successful and as such were lavishly celebrated. Dmitar held dozens of settlements of Pomorišje, and with his cavalry detachment hidden in the woods, and great skill and courage, he led victories against the Polish armies at Humenné and Michalovce in 1473. Dmitar was the general of King Matthias in a battle of Košice in 1474, of which he has been celebrated of in Serbian epic poetry. In 1476, Dmitar took part in the battle of Pančevo, alongside Despot Vuk Grgurević. In 1479, Dmitar participated in the Battle of Breadfield with some 900 Serbs, the outcome was a decisive Hungarian victory.[2] Dmitar is remembered as one of the most distinguished generals of the Black Army of Hungary, which was primarily composed of Bohemians and Serbs.[3] The brothers had rose in the ranks of barons through their military service, as did Vuk, Ladislaus Egervari, Paul Kinizsi and many more.[4]

Stefan is remembered for his victory in a duel against a Polish swashbuckler that resulted in the withdrawal of the Polish army in 1490. The next year, in December 1491, another battle is fought at Košice between Polish King John I Albert and Hungarian King Vladislaus II. The Hungarian victory was largely due to the Serbian warriors led by Miloš Velmužević and the Jakšić brothers.

In his last fights against the Ottomans in 1501, Miloš Velmužević was deadly injured, and lost his one and only son. He wrote a testament, in the presence of monk Timotija of Chilandar, where he gave his properties to his daughter Milica, who was married to Stefan Jakšić. This document is the oldest known testament of Serbs in Hungary.

Despot Vuk, Dmitar Jakšić, and his son Jovan Jakšić, took part in the campaign of King Matthias against the Turks in 1481, when the Christian army arrived at Kruševac. Jovan's detachment liberated Golubac. With the retreat from Serbia, some 110,000 Serbs joined up, settling in the vicinity of Timişoara. Dmitar, on his way back from Turkey as a deputy of the King at the Sultan's court, was attacked and seriously wounded near Smederevo. He died from his wounds on November 8, 1486, while his brother Stefan died in 1489.[1]

Last generation[edit]

In May 1514, an uprising was instigated by György Dózsa against the Landed nobility. The uprising spread over a great part of south Hungary, over Banat, Bačka to Syrmia. It affected a part of Serbs, the properties of the Jakšić brothers in Nădlac was destroyed and a part of the former Despot's. The greater part of Hungarian Serbs aided the royalty and nobility against the kurucs. Marko Jakšić, the son of Stefan, took part in the Battle of Mohács in 1526.

The last nobility as ktetors of Chilandar, were the Jakšići. Despotissa Angelina Branković asked Vasili III for help to Chilandar. The Chilandar clerics had in the mid 16th century asked Emperor Ivan IV for protection and material aid. Ivan the Terrible became the new ktetor of Chilandar, he was the great-grandson of Stefan Jakšić. The last nobleman died in 1543.[1]

Serbian epic poetry[edit]

Post-Kosovo cycle.

  • Dioba Jakšića
  • Dioba Jakšića (iz Crne Gore)
  • Jakšići kušaju svoje ljube
  • Jakšićima dvori poharani
  • Ženidba Jakšića Mitra (iz Sinja)
  • Ženidba Jakšića Mitra (iz Srema)
  • Ženidba Teodora Jakšića
  • Ropstvo i Ženidba Jakšića Šćepana
  • Dva Jakšića i sestra im Jela



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Živanović 1959, ch. Живот Константина Михаиловића.
  2. ^ Franz Babinger (1992). Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. Princeton University Press. pp. 375–. ISBN 0-691-01078-1. 
  3. ^ Edwin Lawrence Godkin (1853). The History of Hungary and the Magyars: From the Earliest Period to the Close of the Late War. Cassell. pp. 130–. 
  4. ^ Pál Engel; Tamás Pálosfalvi; Andrew Ayton (22 July 2005). Realm of St. Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary. I.B.Tauris. pp. 312–. ISBN 978-1-85043-977-6.