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The Medieval Bosnian state is one of the oldest in Europe


The Medieval Bosnian state was autonomous until it was conquered by the Turkish Ottoman Empire back in 1463, an invasion lead by a major historical figure, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.

The population was mainly affiliated with the Bogumil religion; they did not recognise rule by the Catholic Pope, nor did they recognise the Orthodox Church.

Before ultimately falling under Turkish rule, two major powerful forces were scrambling to take Bosnia: the Hungarian and the Turkish Empires. Placed in-between the hammer and the anvil, too small and too weak to defend itself, but also divided by religious intolerance, the Bosnian state finally fell under the Turkish Empire, which would continue its rule for the next 500 years.

Once the Bosnian kingdom fell, the last Bosnian royal dynasty also fell. Throughout its tumultuous history, even after the departure of the Turks, Bosnia would be ruled by many states, and various ideologies would refract across its territory.

Sarajevo professor, archeologist and historian Enver Imamovic, from the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, recently completed a genealogical tree of the Bosnian royal families. The project was presented to the public, attracting huge interest.

During its statehood, Bosnia's ruling family was the Kotromanics. Imamovic's tree shows all of the kings, queens, and their children — princesses and princes.

“Even before me, a number of historians clearly determined that the Kotromanic family dynasty is of fully domestic roots in Bosnia. They were our rulers, rooted in the early Middle Ages, on the territory of the present Central Bosnia, in the area surrounding the towns of Fojnica, Kresevo and Kiseljak,” Imamovic said.

“This area used to be called ‘royal land’ in the Middle Ages. This was royal property, and because the area was exceptionally rich in the Medieval period, involving mines of gold, silver, copper, iron and lead, this family first grew economically, and then politically. The kingdom expanded until the whole of Bosnia was unified,” he said.

The result of many years of research was presented in an artistic placard showing the history of Bosnia in the period spanning the past 700 years. Two academic painters from Sarajevo were also involved in the project.

The documents required to put the placard together came from the archives of Dubrovnik, Ankara, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria.

“I spared [neither] effort nor money and I can see it has all paid off. We have a wonderful document, very significant, from the historical, political, educational and artistic aspect. I have been told that kindergartens are interested in purchasing this placard, because children want to see Bosnian princesses,” the professor said.

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com

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  1. Povratni ping: germany land archives

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