Episode 16: The Nicopolis Crusade Part 1

In 1389 the Armies of Serbia, led by Prince Lazar, and the Ottomans, led by Sultan Murad I, faced off on the plains of Kosovo. The Battle of Kosovo was a hugely destructive event where both sides suffered significant losses including both leaders. In the aftermath of the battle, Bayezid, the oldest son of the late Sultan, seized power and accepted the vassalage of Lazar’s son Stefan.

In 1396, Count John of Nevers, son of Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy, led a Crusade against the Ottoman Empire. In this first part of three on the Crusade of Nicopolis we will explore the two other major players in this crusade. The Kingdom of Hungary which initiated the call, and the Ottoman Empire, the target of the Crusade.

Time Period Covered: 1299 – 1395

Notable People: Charles Robert of Hungary, Louis the Great of Hungary, Sigismund of Luxembourg, Mircea the Elder, Osman I, Orhan I, Murad I, Bayezid the Thunderbolt, Lazar of Serbia, Stefan Lazarevic

Notable Events/Developments:  Angevin Rule in Hungary, Rise of the Ottomans, Battle of Maritsa, Battle of Kosovo

Thank you to Veronica Fortune from the Passed Podcast and Roberto Toro from The History of Saqartvelo Georgia and Tsar Power for reading the quotes for this episode.

This Map shows Europe around the middle of the 14th Century. The Kingdom of Hungary, right in the center of the map, is ruled by the Angevins at this point and is one of the strongest powers in central Europe.
This map shows Ottoman Expansion during the reign of Murad I. Under Murad, the Ottoman Empire would begin its conquest of the Balkans.


The Crusade of Nicopolis by Dr. Aziz Suryal Atiya

Nicopolis 1396 by David Nicolle

From Nicopolis to Mohacs: A History of Ottoman-Hungarian Warfare by Tamas Palosfalvi

Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman State by Cemal Kafadar

The Ottoman Empire 1300-1650: The Structure of Power by Colin Imber

Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire by Caroline Finkel

Angevin Dynasties of Europe 900-1500: Lords of the Greater Part of the World by Jeffrey Anderson

The Rise of the Ottoman Empire by Paul Wittek

Philip the Bold by Richard Vaughan

The Hundred Years War: Divided Houses by Jonathan Sumption


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