The article by Mihajlo Dinić (1899-1970) - one of the significant names in Serbian and Yugoslav historiography from the second and third quarter of the XNUMXth century, academician (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts) - is cited here not only because of its relative inaccessibility.

The Annals of the Monk of Saint-Denis [Abbey] as a Source for the Battles of Kosovo Field and Rovine

Mihailo Diniћ "Chronicle of Saint-Deniscog kaluћera as a source for battles of Kosovu and Rovinama". In: Appendix for literature, language, history and folklore, vol. 17 vol. 1: 1937 // 51-66. I'm obsessed
Mihailo Dinić "Chronicles of the monk from [the abbey of] Saint-Denis as a source for the battles of Kosovo Field and Rovine". In: Appendix for literature, language, history and folklore, vol. 17 vol. 1: 1937 // 51-66. A separate imprint

The article by Mihajlo Dinić (1899-1970) - one of the iconic names in Serbian and Yugoslav historiography from the second and third quarter of the 1380th century, academician (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts) - is cited here not only because of its relative inaccessibility. Although today the few Bulgarian historians who use as a historical source the Chronicle of the Monk of Saint-Denis for the reign of Charles VI from 1422 to 1380 (in French La Chronique du religieux de Saint-Denys, contenant le règne de Charles VI de 1422 à 1389) to be unanimous that its anonymous author mixed up some data about the battles of Kosovo field (1395) and at Rovinj (85), thereby confusing the two events, the information about Bulgarian and Serbian history in this historical source remains extremely important. In his article, Dinich takes a broad look at the main events of the end of the medieval Bulgarian states. In order to assist the reader in familiarizing him with a scholarly work from more than 15 years ago, we also give a brief overview of the Battle of Kosovo (June 1389, 634), which was exactly XNUMX years ago yesterday.

* * *

The last quarter of the 1383th century began very alarmingly. Quarrels between the Bulgarian kings Ivan Sratsimir and Ivan Shishman continued, and their domains were already shrunk beyond Stara planina. There is also the Dobruja despotism. It even seems that the ruler of Vidin had a hand in the invasion of the Wallachian voivode Dan I (1386-XNUMX) into the lands of the Tarnovo kingdom. To the south of the mountain, the Ottomans are deployed.

As early as 1383, Syar fell, and immediately after that, the entire area of ​​the Struma River. The lord of Velbazhd, Konstantin Dragash, became a faithful vassal, and in the southern parts of Rila, the Rila Monastery paid the Turks a tax for their possessions, obtained with the Rila Charter of Tsar Ivan Shishman. Before 1385, Sredets and its entire surroundings fell, and during the second siege of Thessaloniki, the city was captured (1387). The Bulgarians who survived the Ottoman raids settled the high parts of Pirin, the Western Rhodopes and along the upper reaches of the Mesta River.

After Pirot and Nis were captured in 1386, the Serbian lands were directly threatened. Uncertainty reigns on the last remaining overland trade route from Tarnovgrad and Vidin to Dubrovnik. The predominant part of the trade of the Tarnovo and Vidin Kingdoms takes place on this road through today's Kosovo region, and its interruption would lead to huge losses for the Bulgarian economy. Which, along with government spending on defense, can only deepen the already severe economic crisis.

Timid hopes for the Bulgarian states managed to awaken the following year, 1387. The Bosnian king Tvardko, the Moravian Serbian prince Lazar and the Tarnovo king Ivan Shishman created a powerful alliance to resist the Ottoman invasion. In a fierce battle at the medieval town of Plocnik (southwest of Nis), the allied army inflicted the first major defeat on the Turkish forces since the start of their Balkan campaign in 1352.

Indeed, Tsar Ivan Shishman failed to send a military unit for the battle, but according to a number of sources, the local Bulgarian population created militia units. It is sad that the rest of the Balkan countries did not join the anti-Ottoman coalition even after this glorious victory. Byzantium and its ill-fated weak-willed emperor John V Palaeologus, huddled in their few remaining strongholds, would not even consider costly wars - they were already deep in debt to the Venetians. Ivan Sratsimir, king of Vidin, never managed to overcome the insult of his father's unjust decision, which deprived him of the Tarnovo throne. The principality of Dobrudja, and its haughty rulers, continues to hope that the storm will pass it by. The Wallachian voivodes, newly independent, continued to consider themselves invulnerable to Ottoman invasion.

The victory at Plocnik remained the only one, but the experience of the alliance was applied once more two years later. Certainly, this initiative received a strong impetus after the tragic campaign of Ali Pasha for the Bulgarian states in 1388. In the Kingdom of Tarnovo, the cities and fortresses can already be counted on the fingers of the hands almost - except for Tarnovgrad and parts of its once powerful fortified area, under the power of Tsar Ivan Shishman was only a few Danube fortresses. During the campaign, the principality of Dobrudja was also destroyed for the first time. Tsar Ivan Sratsimir from Hungarian became an Ottoman vassal. Now only a miracle can save Bulgaria.

Such a miracle was about to happen in the following year 1389. Encouraged by the successes of Ali Pasha in 1388 and tormented by the memories of the defeat at Plocnik, Murat I set out in the early spring to deal with the Moravian Serbian principality and its ruler .
Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic managed to raise his domain after the death in 1371 of the last Serbian ruler - the childless Stefan Uros V, son of Tsar Stefan Dušan and Ivan-Alexander's sister Queen Elena. A strong alliance was created for the battle of Kosovo field. In addition to the old players from the alliance for the Battle of Plocnik - Prince Lazar and King Tvardko, it includes the ruler of Pristina, Skopje and Prizren Vlak Branković (according to the spelling of his first name in his modern historical sources).

After the unfortunate year 1388, Tsar Ivan Shishman could not even think about sending troops to the Kosovo field. However, as at Plocnik, significant Bulgarian detachments participated on the left flank of the allied Christian army, together with the Bosnians and under the command of King Tvardko. In the center are placed Serbs, Vlachs, Czechs and again Bosnians, as well as the Croatian detachments of Ivan Palijne, all of them under the personal leadership of Prince Lazar. Serbian and Albanian (?) detachments led by Vlak Branković are lined up on the victorious right flank.

Plan of the battle on June 15, 1389 (according to D. Angelov and B. Cholpanov - see {1})

The Ottoman army resisted on the southern heights of the Lab river. Janissaries and cavalry are arranged in the center, for the first time bombardiers are placed in battle order. On the left flank, the Rumelian Azebi and Spahii oppose the troops of Vlak Branković. Against the Bosnian and Bulgarian troops of King Tvardko, Anatolian spahis and infantrymen were brought into action.

The Union troops went on the offensive almost immediately after the battle began. The main thrust was entrusted to Branković's right-flank troops, who quickly encircled the main Ottoman forces in the center, pushing back the Ottoman left flank. A strong pressure of the Anatolian troops, however, bent the ranks of the Bosnian and Bulgarian troops of King Tvardko. The Rumelian Spahii launched a counteroffensive. Threatened in turn by encirclement, the allied troops began to retreat towards the Sitnitsa river.

The Moravian prince Lazar (b.1329-†1389). Wall painting from the "Lyubostinia" monastery, Kralevsko, around 1405. The archival photo is from 1934, when the ruler's face was still preserved; today, despite careful restoration, the face of the prince is irretrievably lost. See {2}

At the end of the Kosovo battle, Prince Lazar was captured and beheaded. His son Stefan Lazarevic and the widow princess Militsa, as regent, became Bayazid vassals. For the Bulgarian states, for the kings Ivan Shishman and Ivan Sratsimir, the last years are coming. It will now take more than a miracle for deliverance to occur.

The Battle of Kosovo Field was the last independent attempt by the Balkan states to resist the Ottoman conquest. All subsequent attempts to liberate the peninsula - Sigismund's campaign, and Vladislav Varnenchik's campaign, and the help for the uprising of the heirs to the throne Konstantin Sratsimir and Fruzhin Asen - were organized only for the purpose of replacing the turban with a papal tiara, and the legal heirs to the Bulgarian throne - with small Central European substitutes:


“There was a Sanjakbeg named Deli Balaban. He [Sultan Murad I] sent him against Syar, which they besieged. Then Lala Shahin went and conquered Kavala, Drama, Zakhna and Syar. . . From there he marched to Manastir [Bitola] and also conquered it. They also conquered the area of ​​Thessalonica as far as the area of ​​Kavala. This conquest they carried out in the year 787 [=1389]. Then they drove to Serbia.
From the "Old Ottoman Nameless Chronicle" (XNUMXth century)
Translation from the Old Ottoman of Fr. giesse,
translation from German by V. Gyuzelev

“Then [after 1372] a great multitude of Turks gathered. . . [They] also conquered all the Arbanian land, since the Christian states were weak and there was no one to resist them.
After a few years, therefore, they went against the Serbian land, and there a war broke out, in which a great number of them were killed - an innumerable army - and bloodshed ensued. . . Then one of the warriors named Milos spoke, being very brave. . . he pierced the impious Amorat [Sultan Murad I (1362-1389)], threw out with his spear all his entrails and his sacrilegious soul. The Turks killed the Serbian prince Lazar [Hrebeljanovic (1371-1389)] in the summer of 6897 [=1389], the month of June. Bayezid [I (1389-1402)] seized the kingdom of his father Amorat, subdued the Serbian land under his authority, forced them to pay him tribute, send him an army and go [to war] with him, and the despot [until 1402 d. prince; despot from 1402 to 1427] Stefan [Lazarevich (1389-1427); during his childhood, his mother Princess Militsa (b. ca. 1335-†1405)] ruled over her father's throne over the Serbs. . .”
From the "Bulgarian Nameless Chronicle" (beginning of the XNUMXth century)
Translation of Iv. Duychev

"And the battle that opened in the place called Kosovo was like this: among the soldiers who lined up under the banners, there was a certain very noble man [unnamed], who out of envy had slandered before the master [Prince Lazar Hrebelyanovich] as a traitor. And he, in order to show fidelity and bravery, finding an opportune moment, went straight to the greatest military leader [Sultan Murad I] pretending to flee, they gave him a way to pass. When he came near, he immediately descended and plunged his sword into that very proud and terrible autocrat [Sultan Murad I], but there he too fell slain by the Turks.
First they overcame those who were with [Prince] Lazarus, and they held the victory. But the time for deliverance had not yet come. Because of this, the son of that king strengthened himself in the same battle and prevailed, because God so willed that this great prince Lazar, together with those who were with him, should be crowned with a martyr's crown... This battle took place in 6897 [=1389 ] year on June 15.'
Konstantin Kostenechki "From the life of Stefan Lazarevich". In: "Old Bulgarian pages. Anthology". Bulgarian writer, Sofia: 1968 // pp. 288-289
Translation by B. Angelov and M. Genov

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