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17 Oct, 23 tweets, 6 min read
The death in Dec 1437 of Sigismund of Luxemburg, king of Hungary, Bohemia & Holy Roman Emperor threw SE Europe in a period of instability & encouraged sultan Murad II decision to launch a new offensive on a wide front along & across the Danube.
First move was a campaign launched in Aug 1438 from Vidin area toward Hungary but quickly switched toward Transylvania. Vlad II Dracul, voievode of Wallachia (1436-1442 & 1444-1447) had been forced to joined after the prior year Ottoman raid against his country.

Dracula house:
Murad II avoided confrontation with main Hungarian forces to the W, sacked only 3 small S Transylvanian citadels - Câlnic👇, Sebeș & Alba Iulia but failed to take the 3 stronger ones Sibiu, Sighișoara & Brașov. Vlad II obtained the release of 50 noble prisoners but was little.
1438 campaign saw also 2 young knights of Vlach origin, Hunyadi bros John & Johnny (John the Young)😊 being dispatched by the new king of Hungary Albert II of Austria to Severin area then under command of Croatian👇

In 1439 Albert II tried a counter-offensive but failed to even help Serbian Despot Durad Brankovic who saw his realm, including the new capital Smederevo, occupied by the Turks. Brankovic found refuge with Albert who, to make a bad year worse, himself died of disentery in Oct.🙁
Hungary internal discord deepened as the widowed queen Elisabeth (the only issue of Sigismund☝️) just delivered a boy, but many Hungarian magnates wanted a "stronger" king on the throne & supported the claim of the 16yrs old Polish king Wladislaw... oy, vey...
In this situation young ban of Severin John Hunyadi joins the small nobility who preferred Wladislaw & emerges as the commander of that faction, defeating in Sep 1440 at Battaszek the grandees supporting queen Elizabeth& her newborn. Wladislaw rewards him w Transylvanian vvdship.
1440 was the year that the Ottomans put Belgrade under siege for the fist time. The garrison, commanded by Ivan Talovac☝️, resisted successfully & the danger was averted. At the end of the year John Hunyadi* &Nicholas Ujlaki are in charge of Belgrade & whole SE Hungarian border.
The 2 shared the lead of Transylvania, county of Temes& carried out in Sep 1441 an incursion in Serbia attempting to recover(unsuccessfully) Smederevo. Little John Hunyadi ☝️died in those battles & was subsequently buried in Alba Iulia's St Michael's Catholic Cathedral.
The Ottomans in response ready an army & in early March 1442 strike Transylvania through Wallachia along Old river valley, again with Vlad II Dracul allowing passage but not providing help which left both sides in conflict unhappy. Turks achieve surprise initially but are...
subsequently routed suffering heavy losses including the commander Mezid Bey. Transylvanian & Vlach forces commanded by Basarab II (son of former prince Dan II of Wallachia) launch in pursuit & also remove from power Vlad Dracul*, who is then arrested by Murad...
Murad could not let this slide & orders Shehabeddin the Beglerbeg ("Bey of beys") of Rumelia (=European Ottoman possesions) to strike back. Shehabeddin enters Wallachia with 80,000 of the best Ottoman troops & is severely defeated in Sep on upper Ialomița(Yalomitsa) river -
largest field victory of John Hunyadi's career. Most Ottoman troops are killed & almost all of their gear&arms captured.

Hunyadi then vanquished other Ottoman troops at Vidin then marched through N Serbia to Belgrade & then back to Timișoara where he had his headquarters👇.
Hunyadi had another short campaign in late 1440 in Bosnia where he defeated an Ottoman force.
Olt river (autocorrect barged in... 😊)
A meeting btwn John Hunyadi & Vlad II took place in Nov-Dec 1441 in Brasov = John pressed Vlad for respecting his vassal duty toward Hungarian crown (legitimate!) while Vlad protested Hunyadi minting debased currency in Transylvania that affected Wallachia(legitimate, too!)...☺️
a look at other aspects of the rivalry between 2 men that served Hungarian crown for long periods of time:

The victories of late 1442 brought a lot of excitement in Hungary & in the Western countries. To make matters worse for him Murad suffered a signficant defeat in Anatolia. In June 1443 🇭🇺 Diet(=Noble Assembly) decrees a new campaign in the Balkans, but other than Hunyadi's...
forces, the other Hungarian grandees are slow to raise theirs. After waiting almost 2 months in Kovin/Keve (=vis-a-vis Smederevo), Hunyadi is finally joined by king Wladislaw & Durad Brankovic (who had been in Hungary for 4 years by now) & they all cross the Danube in Sep.
Basarab II of Wallachia participated in this campaign as well, but ? the size of his contingent.

The coalition defeated 5 Ottoman armies around Nis & then occupies Sofia. Serbians, Bulgarians, Albanians join in.

This is when Skanderberg defects from the Ottoman ranks.
However Murad II manages to rally his last remaining forces in Adrianople & sets himself in march toward Sofia while advanced units under Kasim Pasha block the Zlatitsa Pass on the road from Sofia to Beroe (Stara Zagora). Here the Xtian army is unable to prevail on Dec 12th...
As a rough winter set in the coalition retreats toward the Danube. A rear guard victory at Jalovac, Serbia on Jan 2 seals the faith of this Long Campaign as a victory for 🇭🇺& its allies. Murad makes generous peace offers promising to return all lost territories to Brankovic.
Unfortunately all these gains were squandered within 1 year due to hubris & misplaced optimism at the battle of Varna.

While peace negotiations were ongoing Vlad II Dracul regained his throne in Targoviste by Apr with Turkish help, Basarab II being likely killed.

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More from @Iulian68

14 Oct
The origin of the name of the city of Craiova (for centuries the 2nd city of Wallachia & capital of semi-autonomous region of Oltenia) remains a mistery...

Some claim is from "kral" (like Serbian city Kraljevo) & some others link it with "krajna" (border area). Image
There is no other corroborating historical document, the only thing that we know is that the name came about as residence of the Craiovești boyar family who got a deed for in 1475. The family seems to have moved sometime in 1450s from the town of Strehaia.
Now within the city there are the ruins of the Dacian town of Pelendava, continued into Roman Dacia under the same name & included in Tabula Peuterigiana. The settlement continued after Aurelian withdrawal being mentioned under the name Ponsiona in a 6th century inscription.
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10 Oct
Almost everybody knows about Vlad III Dracula, but very few know about his milder, wiser 1/2 bro Vlad IV the Monk that together with his son Radu IV the Great have ruled Wallachia for 26 calm & prosperous years.

👇Radu IV with his wife Catalina de Zeta ( @ Govora monastery). Image
Vlad the Monk (1481-1495) had been put in power by Stefan the Great but as his 5 other predecessors in the same situation since 1473, had to find support with the Ottomans.

Monicker the monk comes from the fact that in his youth he had been one to protect his life.
As in 1486 Stefan the Great of Moldavia had made peace with the sultan & also accepted Ottoman suzerainty the 2 countries got closer & in 1497 a 2000 strong Wallachian contingent assisted Stefan in his campaign against the Polish king John I Albert.
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3 Apr
While not often emphasized the first instance of economic globalization came into being after 1241 Mongol raid on Eastern Europe that devastated Russian principalities, Hungary, Serbia-Bosnia & Bulgaria but subsequently allowed & encouraged...

Genghis Khan
trade between China, Middle East & Europe. Marco Polo's remarkable journey was made possible by the Pax Mongolica that was reaching through tributaries from Baltic & Adriatic Sea to Sea of Japan & Indian Ocean.
Among the 1st Westerners to venture across the Mongol empire were the Franciscans tasked by the Pope to find "Prester John's country". They collected a wealth of info about Central Asia & China. most famous among them, Flemish William of Rubruck, got to W China in 1250s.
Read 4 tweets
25 Mar
Banate of Lugoj & Caransebeș was a political territorial unit created after Hungarian defeat at the Battle of Mohacs in order to defend SW approach into Transylvania & direct successor of the Banate of Severin that had been an Hungarian frontier region since 1230s.
It's fighting force was formed by Vlachs (their 7 military districts), Serbians, Carashovans (1 military district) & Hungarians.

This Banate entered dual Ottoman & Transylvanian suzerainty in 1552 when Temesvar (Timișoara) was conquered by the former.
1524 also marks the fall & destruction of fortress of Severin after more than 400yrs of medieval existence.

A single tower was left which lead to the name of current city Turnu Severin that came into existence only in early 1800s.
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16 Mar
Petru II Cercel (=earring) of Wallachia was the first Westerniser ruler in modern Orthodox world, a fore-bearer of Peter the Great of Russia. He was a descendant of the Drăculești clan, polyglot, writer & first to bring French culture to his country (en vogue only after 1820).
He was born in 1545, legitimate son of prince Pătrașcu the Good and boyaress Voica, a wealthy & beautiful widow before re-marrying Petru's father.

He was only 12yrs old when his father died and fled with his mother to Brașov when his father's rivals took power in Dec 1557.
By 1574 was in Vienna trying to get support for his claim to the throne of Wallachia & from there in Rome where he waited 1yr to see Pope Gregory XIII.
Read 11 tweets
15 Feb
Dan II of Wallachia is one of the most overlooked figures in Romanian history. His deeds would make for a great novel.
He appears first in the records leading a contingent sent by his uncle Mircea I to assist Musa in taking Adrianople during the Ottoman civil war in 1411.
He reappears in Doukas' history in summer 1422 when defected from Ottoman camp sieging C-tinople & is entrusted by emperor Manuel II with a ship and few money to take the throne of Wallachia from Radu II who had been put in power by the Ottomans in 1420.
Dan II was the son of former voievod Dan I (1385-1386) & must have been at least 35yrs old at that point.

Dan then sails to Asprokastron(Cetatea Alba) then Moldavian territory where he is met by several Wallachian boyars & their retinues.
Read 26 tweets

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