The Serbian Despotate was a medieval Serbian state in the first half of the 15th century. Even then, it continued to exist in exile in the medieval Kingdom of Hungary until the mid-16th century, Pavle Bakić was the last Despot of Serbia to be recognized by both the Ottoman and the Habsburg Empires. After Prince Lazar of Serbia was killed in the Battle of Kosovo on June 28,1389, being a minor, his mother Princess Milica ruled as his regent. A wise and diplomatic woman, she managed to balance the Ottoman threat as the Ottoman Empire was in a turmoil after the Battle of Kosovo and she married her daughter, Olivera, to his successor, Sultan Bayezid I. After the battle, in 1390 or 1391 depending on source, Serbia became a vassal Ottoman state and he did so in the Battle of Rovine in May 1395 against the Wallachian prince Mircea I and the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396 against the Hungarian king Sigismund. After that, Sultan Bayezid awarded Stefan with the majority of the Vuk Brankovićs land on Kosovo, when Timurs army entered the Ottoman realm, Stefan Lazarević participated in the Battle of Ankara in 1402, in which the Ottomans were defeated and their leader Bayezid was captured.
Returning to Serbia, Stefan visited Constantinople where the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos granted him the title of despot, already in Constantinople, Stefan had a dispute with his nephew Đurađ Branković, son of Vuk Branković who was accompanying him and was arrested by the Byzantine authorities. Stefans brother Vuk Lazarević was in his escort and as they were returning over the Kosovo, they were attacked by the Branković army at Tripolje, near the Gračanica monastery. Vuk headed the Lazarević army, which was victorious, but reaching Novo Brdo, the next few years are marked by events in Stefans personal life. He managed to liberate his sister and Bayezids widow Olivera, in 1404 he made peace with his brother Vuk, in 1405 he married Caterina Gattilusio, daughter of Francesco II Gattilusio, ruler of the island of Lesbos. Also in 1405 his mother Milica died, in 1408 brothers disputed again and Vuk, together with sultan Suleyman and the Branković family, attacked Stefan in early 1409.
Being besieged at Belgrade, Stefan agreed to give part of Serbia to his brother. Suleymans brother Musa rebelled against him and Stefan took Musas side in the battle of Kosmidion in 1410, through Constantinople, where Emperor Manuel II confirmed his despotic rights, Stefan returned to Belgrade and annexed Vuks lands. In 1410 King Sigismund of Hungary seized several territories in north-eastern Bosnia, as a reward for Stefan Lazarevićs help and loyalty, he transferred Srebrenica with its surroundings to the Serbian Despotate in 1411 or 1412. When Musa became self-proclaimed sultan in European part of the Ottoman Empire, Stefan invited the ruler of the Anatolian part of the empire, sultan Mehmed Çelebi to attack Musa together. Securing Hungarian help, they attacked Musa on 5 July 1413 at Çamorlu, near the Vitosha mountain and defeated him, as a reward, Stefan received the town of Koprijan near Niš and the Serbian-Bulgarian area of Znepolje. For next twelve years, Stefan remained in good relations with Mehmed, on 28 April 1421, Stefans nephew and ruler of Zeta, Balša III died without an heir, bequeathing before death his lands to his uncle.
With this and territorial gains from the Kingdom of Hungary, Serbia restored majority of its ethnic territories it occupied before the Battle of Kosovo, in 1425, the Ottoman Empire invaded Serbia and pillaging across the Southern Morava valley
Battle of Kosovo
The army under Prince Lazar consisted of his own troops, a contingent led by Serbian nobleman Vuk Branković, and a contingent sent from Bosnia by King Tvrtko I, commanded by Vlatko Vuković. The battle was fought on the Kosovo Field, in the territory ruled by Branković and its site is about 5 kilometers northwest of the modern city of Prishtina. Reliable historical accounts of the battle are scarce, the bulk of both armies were wiped out in the battle, both Lazar and Murad lost their lives in it. Although Ottomans managed to annihilate the Serbian army, they suffered high casualties which delayed their progress. The Serbs were left too few men to effectively defend their lands. Consequently, one after the other, the Serbian principalities that were not already Ottoman vassals became so in the following years. Prince Lazar, ruler of the part of the former empire, aware of the Ottoman threat, began diplomatic. After the defeat of the Ottomans at Pločnik and Bileća, Murad I, from there, the party traveled across Velbužd and Kratovo.
Though longer than the route through Sofia and the Nišava Valley. From Kosovo, Murads party could attack the lands of either Prince Lazar or Vuk Branković, having stayed in Kratovo for a time and his troops marched through Kumanovo, Preševo and Gjilan to Pristina, where he arrived on June 14. While there is information about Lazars preparations, he gathered his troops near Niš. His party likely remained there until he learned that Murad had moved to Velbužd and this was the best place Lazar could choose as a battlefield, as it gave him control of all the routes that Murad could take. Reliable historical accounts of the battle are scarce, however, a comparison with historically contemporaneous battles enables reliable reconstruction. Murads army numbered from 27,000 to 40,000 fighters. These 40,000 included no more than 2,000 Janissaries,2,500 of Murads cavalry guard,6,000 sipahis,20,000 azaps and akincis and Dragaš, although Ottoman vassals, did not participate in the battle. The Ottoman army was supported by the forces of the Anatolian Turkoman Beylik of Isfendiyar, Lazars army numbered from 12,000 to 30,000.
Also present were Knights Hospitaller led by the Croatian knight John of Palisna, the armies met at the Kosovo Field. Murad headed the Ottoman army, with his sons Bayezid on his right, one of the Ottoman commanders was Pasha Yiğit Bey
Croatia in union with Hungary
With the coronation of King Coloman of Hungary as King of Croatia and Dalmatia in 1102 in Biograd, the realm passed to the Árpád dynasty until 1301, when the line of the dynasty died out. Then, kings from the Capetian House of Anjou, who were descendants of the Árpád kings. Various powerful nobles emerged in the period, like Paul I Šubić of Bribir and Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić. The Ottoman incursion into Europe in the 16th century significantly reduced Croatian territories and left the country weak, the last common king was Louis II from the Jagiellonian dynasty. After his death in 1526 during the Battle of Mohács and a period of dynastic dispute. Some of the terms of Colomans coronation and the status of the Croatian nobles are detailed in the Pacta Conventa. In addition, the Croatian nobles retained their lands and titles, the diplomatic name of the kingdom was Kingdom of Croatia and Dalmatia until 1359 when a plural form kingdoms came to use. The change was a consequence of the victory of Louis I against the Republic of Venice, the kingdom was still mostly referred to as the Kingdom of Croatia and Dalmatia until Venice regained the Dalmatian coast in 1409.
The most common Croatian language form of the name was Hrvatska zemlja, Demetrius Zvonimir was the King of Croatia of the Svetoslavić branch of the House of Trpimirović. He began as a Ban of Slavonia and as Duke of Croatia in the service of Peter Krešimir IV, Peter declared him his heir and, in 1075, Demetrius Zvonimir succeeded to the Croatian throne. Zvonimir married Helen of Hungary from the dynasty in 1063. Helen was a Hungarian princess, daughter of Béla I, and they had a son, who died in his late teens or early twenties. After Zvonimirs death in 1089, he was succeeded by Stephen II, stephens rule was relatively ineffectual and lasted less than two years. He spent most of time in the tranquility of the monastery of St. Stephen beneath the Pines near Split. Stephen II died peacefully at the beginning of 1091, without leaving an heir, since there was no living male member of the House of Trpimirović, civil war and unrest broke out in Croatia shortly afterward. The widow of late King Zvonimir, tried to keep her power in Croatia during the succession crisis, according to some sources, several Dalmatian cities asked King Ladislaus for assistance, presenting themselves as White Croats on his court.
Thus the campaign launched by Ladislaus was not purely a foreign aggression nor did he appear on the Croatian throne as a conqueror, in 1091 Ladislaus crossed the Drava river and conquered the entire province of Slavonia without encountering opposition, but his campaign was halted near the Iron Mountains. Since the Croatian nobles were divided, Ladislaus had success in his campaign, yet he wasnt able to establish his control over entire Croatia, although the exact extent of his conquest is not known
Battle of Varna
The Battle of Varna took place on 10 November 1444 near Varna in eastern Bulgaria. The Ottoman Army under Sultan Murad II defeated the Hungarian-Polish and Wallachian armies commanded by Władysław III of Poland, John Hunyadi and it was the final battle of the Crusade of Varna. Đurađ Branković contributed to Ottoman victory by giving the Sultan information on the Christian advance, the Hungarian Kingdom fell into crisis after the death of King Sigismund in 1437. His son-in-law and successor, King Albert, ruled for two years and died in 1439, leaving his widow Elizabeth with an unborn child, Ladislaus the Posthumous. The Hungarian noblemen called the young King Władysław III of Poland to the throne of Hungary, after his Hungarian coronation, he never went back to his homeland again, assuming rule of the Hungarian Kingdom next to the influential nobleman John Hunyadi. After failed expeditions in 1440–42 against Belgrade and Transylvania, and the defeats of the campaign of Hunyadi in 1442–43. After he had made peace with the Karaman Emirate in Anatolia in August 1444, on receipt of this news, Mehmet II understood that he was too young and inexperienced to successfully fight the coalition.
He recalled Murad II to the throne to lead the army into battle, angry at his father, who had long since retired to a contemplative life in southwestern Anatolia, Mehmed II wrote, If you are the Sultan and lead your armies. If I am the Sultan I hereby order you to come and it was only after receiving this letter that Murad II agreed to lead the Ottoman army. The Hungarian advance was rapid, Ottoman fortresses were bypassed, while local Bulgarians from Vidin, Oryahovo, on October 10 near Nicopolis, some 7,000 Wallachian cavalrymen under Mircea II, one of Vlad Draculs sons, joined. Late on November 9, a large Ottoman army of around 50,000 men approached Varna from the west, at a supreme military council called by Hunyadi during the night, the Papal legate, cardinal Julian Cesarini, insisted on a quick withdrawal. However, the Christians were caught between the Black Sea, Lake Varna, the wooded slopes of the Franga plateau. Cesarini proposed a defense using the Wagenburg of the Hussites until the arrival of the Christian fleet, the Hungarian magnates and the Croatian and Czech commanders backed him, but the young Władysław and Hunyadi rejected the defensive tactics.
Hunyadi declared, To escape is impossible, to surrender is unthinkable, let us fight with bravery and honor our arms. Władysław accepted this position and gave him the command, andreas del Palatio states that Hunyadi commanded the Wallachian army indicating a large Romanian component in Hunyadis personal army. In the morning of November 10, Hunyadi deployed the army of some 20,000 –30,000 crusaders as an arc between Lake Varna and the Franga plateau, the line was about 3.5 km long. Two banners with a total of 3,500 men from the kings Polish and Hungarian bodyguards, Hungarian royal mercenaries, the Wallachian cavalry was left in reserve behind the center. The right flank that lined up the hill towards the village of Kamenar numbered 6,500 men in 5 banners, Bishop Jan Dominek of Varadin with his personal banner led the force, Cesarini commanded a banner of German mercenaries and a Bosnian one
John Hunyadi was a leading Hungarian military and political figure in Central and Southeastern Europe during the 15th century. According to most contemporary sources, he was the son of a family of Romanian ancestry. He mastered his skills on the southern borderlands of the Kingdom of Hungary that were exposed to Ottoman attacks. Appointed voivode of Transylvania and head of a number of southern counties, Hunyadi adopted the Hussite method of using wagons for military purposes. He employed professional soldiers, but mobilized local peasantry against invaders and these innovations contributed to his earliest successes against the Ottoman troops who were plundering the southern marches in the early 1440s. John Hunyadi was an eminent statesman and he actively took part in the civil war between the partisans of Wladislas I and the minor Ladislaus V, two claimants to the throne of Hungary in the early 1440s, on behalf on the former. Popular among the nobility, the Diet of Hungary appointed him, in 1445.
The next Diet went even further, electing Hunyadi as sole regent with the title of governor, when he resigned from this office in 1452, the sovereign awarded him with the first hereditary title in the Kingdom of Hungary. He had by this time one of the wealthiest landowners in the kingdom. This Athleta Christi, as Pope Pius II referred to him, his victories over the Turks prevented them from invading the Kingdom of Hungary for more than 60 years. His fame was a factor in the election of his son, Matthias Corvinus. Hunyadi is a historical figure among Hungarians, Serbians, Bulgarians. A royal charter of grant issued on 18 October 1409 contains the first reference to John Hunyadi, in the document, King Sigismund of Hungary bestowed Hunyad Castle and the lands attached to it upon Johns father and Voyks four kinsmen, including John himself. According to the document, Johns father served in the household as a court knight at that time. Two 15th-century chroniclers—Johannes de Thurocz and Antonio Bonfini—write that Voyk had moved from Wallachia to Hungary upon King Sigismunds initiative, László Makkai, Malcolm Hebron, Pál Engel and other scholars accept the two chroniclers report of the Wallachian origin of John Hunyadis father.
In contrast with them, Ioan-Aurel Pop says that Voyk was a native of the region of Hunyad Castle. According to this anecdote, John was actually not Voyks child, the story became especially popular during the reign of John Hunyadis son, Matthias Corvinus who erected a statue for King Sigismund in Buda. The 16th-century chronicler Gáspár Heltai repeated and further developed the tale, but modern scholars—for instance, Hunyadis popularity among the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula give rise to further legends of his royal parentage
Lands of the Bohemian Crown
Under the rule of Ferdinand I from 1526, the lands of the Boheman Crown became a constituent part of the Habsburg Monarchy. Later they passed to the Austrian Empire and the Cisleithanian half of Austria-Hungary, by the Czechoslovak declaration of independence in 1918, the remaining Czech lands became part of the First Czechoslovak Republic. The Bohemian Crown was neither a personal union nor a federation of equal members, the Kingdom of Bohemia had a higher status than the other incorporated constituent countries. There were only some common institutions of the Bohemian Crown. The most important of them was the Bohemian Court Chancellery which was united with the Austrian Chancellery in 1749, the Lands of the Bohemian Crown are called země Koruny české or simply Koruna česká and České země in Czech language, the adjective český referring to both Bohemian and Czech. The German term Länder der Böhmischen Krone is likewise shortened to Böhmische Krone or Böhmische Kronländer, native names include Silesian, Korana Czeskigo Krůlestwa, Lower Sorbian, zemje Českeje krony, and Upper Sorbian, kraje Čěskeje Króny.
The denotation lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas refers to the Crown of Saint Wenceslas, in the 10th and 11th century the Duchy of Bohemia, together with Moravia and Kłodzko Land were consolidated under the ruling Přemyslid dynasty. Duke Ottokar I gained the royal title in 1198 from the German king Philip of Swabia for his support. The regality was ultimately confirmed by Philips nephew King Frederick II in the Golden Bull of Sicily issued in 1212 and he achieved the enfeoffment with the Upper Lusatian lands of Bautzen and Görlitz by the German king Louis IV. King Johns eldest son Charles IV was elected King of the Romans in 1346, Charles IV created the Bohemian Crown, together with the incorporated provinces in 1348. The Luxembourg dynasty reached its point, when Charles was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1355. By his Imperial authority he decreed that the united Bohemian lands should endure regardless of dynastic developments, in 1367 he purchased Lower Lusatia from his stepson Margrave Otto V of Brandenburg.
With King Wenceslaus, the decline of the Luxembourg dynasty began, the joint rule of the Bohemian Lands outlived the Hussite Wars and the extinction of the Luxembourg male line upon the death of Emperor Sigismund in 1437. In 1479 both kings signed the Treaty of Olomouc, whereby the unity of the Bohemian crown lands was officially retained unchanged, upon the death of King Matthias in 1490, Vladislas ruled the Bohemian crown lands and the Kingdom of Hungary in personal union. Attempts by the Bohemian Protestant estates to build up an autonomous confederation dashed at the 1620 Battle of White Mountain, whereafter the administration was centralised at Vienna. In the modern era, the crown lands of Bohemia and Austrian Silesia became constituent parts of the Austrian Empire in 1804. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Austrian Silesia with the Hlučín Region is today known as Czech Silesia, with the exception of eastern Cieszyn Silesia which passed to the Second Polish Republic in 1920.
The Brandenburg Electorate, acquired by Charles IV from Margrave Otto V in 1373, Charles son Sigismund lost Brandenburg in 1415 to Frederick I, Elector of Brandenburg
Eastern Europe, known as East Europe, is the eastern part of the European continent. There is no consensus on the area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of geopolitical, cultural. There are almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region, a related United Nations paper adds that every assessment of spatial identities is essentially a social and cultural construct. One definition describes Eastern Europe as an entity, the region lying in Europe with main characteristics consisting in Byzantine, Orthodox. Another definition was created during the Cold War and used more or less synonymously with the term Eastern Bloc, a similar definition names the formerly communist European states outside the Soviet Union as Eastern Europe. Historians and social scientists generally view such definitions as outdated or relegating, several definitions of Eastern Europe exist today, but they often lack precision or are extremely general. These definitions vary both across cultures and among experts, even scientists, recently becoming more and more imprecise.
The Ural Mountains, Ural River, and the Caucasus Mountains are the land border of the eastern edge of Europe. Eurovoc, a multilingual thesaurus maintained by the Publications Office of the European Union, provides entries for 23 EU languages, of these, those in italics are classified as Eastern Europe in this source. Other official web-pages of the European Union classify some of the countries as strictly Central European. The East–West Schism is the break of communion and theology between what are now the Eastern and Western churches which began in the 11th century and lasts until this very day and it divided Christianity in Europe, and consequently the world, into Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. Since the Great Schism of 1054, Europe has been divided between Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in the West, and the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches in the east, due to this religious cleavage, Eastern Orthodox countries are often associated with Eastern Europe. A cleavage of this sort is, often problematic, for example, Greece is overwhelmingly Orthodox, the fall of the Iron Curtain brought the end of the East–West division in Europe, but this geopolitical concept is sometimes still used for quick reference by the media.
The Baltic states have seats in the Nordic Council as observer states and they are members of the Nordic-Baltic Eight whereas Eastern European countries formed their own alliance called the Visegrád Group. Estonia Latvia Lithuania The Caucasus nations may be included in the definitions of Eastern Europe, the extent of their geographic or political affiliation with Europe varies by country and source. All three states are members of the European Unions Eastern Partnership program and the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, on 12 January 2002, the European Parliament noted that Armenia and Georgia may enter the EU in the future. Georgia — in modern geography, Georgia has been classified as part of Eastern Europe. Under the European Union’s geographic criteria, Georgia is viewed as part of Eastern Europe and is the only Caucasus country to be actively seeking EU membership and it is a member of Council of Europe and Eurocontrol
After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans the Ottoman Beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror, at the beginning of the 17th century the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states. Some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries. With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, while the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians. The empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy, however, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian Empires. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent.
Starting before World War I, but growing increasingly common and violent during it, major atrocities were committed by the Ottoman government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks. The word Ottoman is an anglicisation of the name of Osman I. Osmans name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān, in Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı İmparatorluğu or Osmanlı Devleti, the Turkish word for Ottoman originally referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, and subsequently came to be used to refer to the empires military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term Turk was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond. In Western Europe, the two names Ottoman Empire and Turkey were often used interchangeably, with Turkey being increasingly favored both in formal and informal situations and this dichotomy was officially ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name.
Most scholarly historians avoid the terms Turkey and Turkish when referring to the Ottomans, as the power of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman, osmans early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River and it is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their neighbours, due to the scarcity of the sources which survive from this period. One school of thought which was popular during the twentieth century argued that the Ottomans achieved success by rallying religious warriors to fight for them in the name of Islam, in the century after the death of Osman I, Ottoman rule began to extend over Anatolia and the Balkans.
Osmans son, captured the northwestern Anatolian city of Bursa in 1326 and this conquest meant the loss of Byzantine control over northwestern Anatolia. The important city of Thessaloniki was captured from the Venetians in 1387, the Ottoman victory at Kosovo in 1389 effectively marked the end of Serbian power in the region, paving the way for Ottoman expansion into Europe