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Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić

Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić (ca. 1350–1416) was a Ban of Croatia, Grand Duke of Bosnia and Duke of Split. He was the most prominent member of the noble House of Hrvatinić and one of the major feudal noblemen in Medieval Bosnia. He was Grand Duke of Bosnia under three Bosnian kings: King Tvrtko I, King Stephen Dabiša and King Stephen Ostoja. In 1403 he was named regent for Hungary, Croatia and Dalmatia, and was made Duke of Split.

Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić
Ban of Croatia, Grand Duke of Bosnia and Herzog of Split.
Hrvoje Vukcic Hrvatinic.jpg
Hrvoje Vukčić in Hrvoje's Missal (1404)
Noble familyHouse of Hrvatinić
Spouse(s)Jelena Nelipčić
Balša Hercegović
FatherVukac Hrvatinić


Family ConnectionsEdit

Hrvoje was the eldest son of Duke Vukac Hrvatinić. He had three brothers: Vuk (who was Ban of Croatia), Dragiša and Vojislav. He was married to Jelena Nelipčić,[1] granddaughter of the powerful Croatian noble Ivan I Nelipac (Prince Nelipić) and sister of Ivan III Nelipac (Ivaniš Nelipić). He is first mentioned in 1376 as being prince and knight during the reign of Hungarian king Louis I. The territories over which he reigned were the Lower Edges in Medieval Bosnia, facing Croatia and Slavonia westwards.

Rise of Vukčić's powerEdit

Realm of Hrvoje Vukčić in the early 15th century

In the year 1380 he was made Grand Duke of Bosnia by Bosnian King Stjepan (Stephen) Tvrtko I of House of Kotromanić, granting him a seat in Lašva. In 1387 Hrvoje's first action as Grand Duke was leading a squadron of Bosnian troops to Croatia to raise the siege of Bishop Ivan Horvat in Zagreb. After the death of king Louis I he participated in the battles of succession between Sigismund of Luxembourg and Ladislaus of Naples. He sided with Ladislaus with the promise of becoming ban of Croatia and Dalmatia in 1391. During the reign of King Stephen Dabiša of Bosnia, he participated in the fights against the Ottoman Turks in Bosnia in 1392 - earning Dabiša's eternal gratitude. Hrvoje became Dabiša's main guarantee of staying at the throne - as he declared that he is a faithful servant of the Hungarian King in all cases but those that might damage King Dabiša in 1393. In the heat of internal struggles in Bosnia in 1397 during the reign of Queen Jelena Gruba Hrvoje invited the Ottomans to offer assistance. As an opposer of Queen Jelena, he participated in the selection of Stephen Ostoja as the new King of Bosnia in May 1398. Opposing King Sigismund's Hungarian pretensions, Hrvoje greatly influenced King Ostoja and was the real ruler of Bosnia[speculation?].

Jajce fortress, seat of Hrvoje Vukčić, southwest entrance with the Kingdom of Bosnia coat of arms

Duke Hrvoje opposed King Sigismund's rule in Bosnia and actively worked to bring Ladislaus of Naples as the new King of Hungary - that would leave Bosnia alone since 1389, and the same year King Sigismund invaded Bosnia. Duke Hrvoje defeated his forces before they reached the City of Vrbas and chased them across the river Una, invading and conquering the župa of Dubica. King Sigismund counterattacked in the fall by assaulting Bosnia. Here, Duke Hrvoje led the forces for King Stephen Ostoja, together with Duke Sandalj Hranić and Duke Pavle Radenović. By the end of 1402, Duke Hrvoje made all Dalmatian cities with the exception of Dubrovnik to recognize King Ladislaus' rule.

After the crowning of Ladislaus as the Hungarian King in Zadar in 1403, Hrvatinić was appoint regent of Croatia (with Dalmatia) and Slavonia as a political enemy of the former King Sigismund - and he exerted his influence over Bosnia. He was also named Duke of Split and given the islands of Brač, Hvar and Korčula. From then on he carried the title of Herzog (duke) of Split, viceroy of Dalmatia and Croatia, Duke of Bosnia and Prince of the Lower Edges. In 1406 Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić fortified and strengthen Prozor Fortress over the Vrlika valley in Croatia, also given to him by Ladislaus of Naples. He was able to forge his own coins.

During this time the Hval Manuscript and Hrvoje's Missal were written in cyrillic and glagolitic respectively. The Hval Manuscript is now kept at the University of Bologna while Hrvoje's Missal is kept at the Topkapı Palace Museum Manuscript Library in Istanbul).

He came into conflict with King Ostoja and participated in the plot to remove him from the throne and replacing him with Tvrtko II Kotromanić in 1404. Together with Tvrtko II he formed a movement against Hungary and Sigismund of Luxembourg. After Sigismund's military intervention in 1408 and the massacre of the Bosnian army, he allied himself with Sigismund. However, Hungary's victory in Bosnia and the retaking of the throne by King Ostoja weakened him severely. He soon lost control over the islands he had been given, as well as Split. At this point he sought help from the Ottoman Empire. The Hungarian army was defeated at Lašva in 1415, but this would open the door to Ottoman expansion into Bosnia. Hrvoje died the following year and his widow, Jelena Nelipčić, married King Ostoja.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sveučilište u Zagrebu. Institut za hrvatsku povijest; Radovi, 1987


Military offices
New title Grand Duke of Bosnia
Succeeded by
Vlatko Vuković