Episode 18: The Nicopolis Crusade Part 3

On September 25 1396, A Crusading army (Left) led by Sigismund King of Hungary and John Count of Nevers faced off against an Ottoman Army (Right) led by Sultan Bayezid the Thunderbolt at Nicopolis (Modern Nikopol). The Franco-Burgundian contingent led by the Count of Nevers is shown here charging at the archers of the Ottoman Infantry. The lightly-armored Archers were guarded by wooden spikes, but once those were removed they were no match for the heavily armored knights up close. This scene shows the first stage of the battle.

The Crusaders have reached Nicopolis! But as the Crusaders settle in and prepare for a siege the Ottoman army led by Sultan Bayezid the Thunderbolt is making it’s way north.

Time Period Covered: 1396-1398

Notable People: John the Fearless, Sigismund of Luxembourg, Mircea the Elder, Bayezid the Thunderbolt, Engeurrand de Coucy, Philip of Artois Count of Eu, Jean Le Maingre/Boucicaut, Stefan Lazarevic, Philip the Bold, Dino Rapondi

Thank you to Bry from Pontifacts and Ben from Wittenberg to Westphalia for reading the quotes for this episode.

This Map, from Dr Aziz Suryal Aitya’s book The Crusade of Nicopolis, shows Bayezid’s expansion before and after the battle of Nicopolis.


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

Philip the Bold by Richard Vaughan

The Hundred Years War: Divided Houses by Jonathan Sumption

The City, The Duke, and Their Banker by Bart Lambert

The Burgundians by Bart Van Loo

The Golden Age of Burgundy by Joseph Calmette

The Promised Lands by Wim Blockmans and Walter Prevenier


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