Even the best laid plans for an assassination can go awry, as one of the most famous military commanders of the Middle Ages, Vlad III, realized when he attempted to cut off the Ottoman Empire at the head.   The Night Attack at Targoviste came at the end of a particularly violent struggle between the …

  • June 18, 2021
  • History
  • Comments Off on Guerrillas in the Mist of Targoviste

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First Jelena Branković lost her father.  Then before four months could pass, in 1459 at the age of 11, she was married to the son of the King of Bosnia.  Stjepan Tomasević had not even met Jelena, but they were married on 1 April 1459.  Given that Tomasević had been casting around the Balkans for …

  • April 28, 2021
  • History
  • Comments Off on The First to Accept the Storm

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If a church is corrupt enough and gives little enough care to its adherents, at some point its followers will be tempted to follow something else.   This was the case in tenth century Bulgaria, where the Orthodox Church provided a breathtakingly rich pageantry full of jewel encrusted costumes, but gave little care to the …

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“At first we were confused. The East thought that we were West, while the West considered us to be East. Some of us misunderstood our place in the clash of currents, so they cried that we belong to neither side, and others that we belong exclusively to one side or the other. But I tell …

  • June 18, 2020
  • Bulgaria
  • Comments Off on A Tale of Two Churches

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“Hard times create great men. Strong men create good times.  Good times create weak men.  And weak men create hard times.” G. Michael Hopf The golden age of Bosnia is generally accepted to center around one particular man – Ban Kulin.  Certainly he didn’t come to power in easy and posh world-circumstances – when he …

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In 1455 the Ottomans approached the fortress at Novo Brdo in Serbia, the last city to remain standing during the first invasion of the Turks.  The Christians inside the fortress managed to hold on for forty days, but on June 1, they could delay it no longer.  Knowing the price of surrender, it was still …

  • May 20, 2020
  • Serbia
  • Comments Off on Memoirs of a Former Janissary

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