Sandalj Hranić

Sandalj Hranić Kosača (Cyrillic: Сандаљ Хранић Косача; 1370 – 15 March 1435) was the most powerful Bosnian[4] nobleman whose primary possessions consisted of land areas between Adriatic coast, the Neretva and the Drina rivers in Bosnia, and served the court as the Grand Duke of Bosnia sometime between 1392 and his death in 1435, although the first mention as a Grand Duke in sources comes from 16 June 1404.[5] He was married three times, but had no children. After his death, he was succeeded by his nephew Stjepan Vukčić Kosača.[6][7]

Sandalj Hranić
Grand Duke of Bosnia
Coat of armsSandalj's CoA (from marriage to Katarina Vukcic Hrvatinic - Hranic).png
Sandalj's proto-heraldic escutcheon from marriage to Katarina Vukcic Hrvatinic.[1]
PredecessorVlatko Vuković (uncle)
SuccessorStjepan Vukčić Kosača (nephew)
Died15 March 1435
Noble familyKosača noble family
FatherHrana Vuković

Rise of SandaljEdit

Blagaj Fort, Sandalj's residence.
Sandalj's duchy of in the early 15th century.

As the head of the House of Kosača, Sandalj Hranić succeeded his uncle Vlatko Vuković in 1392.

In 1403, Radič Sanković led the attacks on Dubrovnik during the Bosnian-Ragusan War in the name of King Stephen Ostoja. Sandalj Hranić captured and blinded Radič, and held him in prison until his death in 1404.[8] When King Ladislaus of Naples sold his rights to the kingdom of Dalmatia to the Republic of Venice and retreated from the Balkans in 1409, many local nobles allied themselves with Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund and accepted Stephen Ostoja as King of Bosnia. This seriously weakened the position of Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, whose niece Katarina was Sandalj's second wife. In such circumstances Sandalj also allied with Emperor Sigismund in mid 1411 and decided to establish closer connections with Sigismund's important ally Stefan Lazarević by marrying his widowed sister Jelena.[9] Sandalj divorced Katarina in December 1411 and married Jelena at the end of the same year.[10][11][12]

Marriages and foreign policyEdit

This marriage had its important political consequences because Hranić, the most dangerous enemy of Balša III, became his stepfather and protector.[13] With this marriage Hranić spoiled the relations with Hrvoje but strengthened traditionally close relations with Lazarević family.[14] Jelena went to live with her husband in Herzegovina and Balša remained as the only governor of Zeta.[15] Although Jelena was in her forties, Sandalj left a deposit in Dubrovnik for a son or daughter he hoped they would have.[16]

Assassination of Pavle and most powerful noblemanEdit

After 1419 Sandalj became the most powerful man in the Kingdom of Bosnia. After he took part in the conspiracy to kill Pavle Radenović in 1415, Hranić came in conflict with Pavlović family. In fighting against them, he allied with Ottoman Empire. In 1420 Ishak Bey organized unsuccessful campaign in Bosnia to support Sandalj's struggle against his enemies.[17]

At the beginning of February 1426 a special ceremony was dedicated to Duke Sandalj and Duchess Jelena in Dubrovnik, when they attended the feast of Saint Blaise, the city's patron saint.[18] Sandalj often had conflicts with King Stephen Tvrtko II, even refusing to attend his wedding to the Hungarian-born Dorothy Garai in 1428.

Death and legacyEdit

Sandalj died childless in 1435. He was succeeded by his nephew Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, son of his brother Vukac.

Fine believes that Sandalj was most likely the person who killed Musa Çelebi, who was inspiration for epic hero Musa Kesedžija, or contributed significantly to his murder, and should have been the epic hero attributed with fighting and killing Musa, rather than Marko Kraljević.[19][20]


Sandalj was a staunch supporter of the Bosnian Church, which he openly followed, and used every opportunity to instill its influence in all spheres of life in the kingdom. This is confirmed by Giunio Resti (Junije Restić), known as Restius, who in his chronicle points out that Sandalj was born and died in the bosom of the Bosnian Church. Accordingly, in letters from April and May 1405, Ragusans tied him to the top brass of the Bosnian Church. The presence of djed, highest ranking priest of the Bosnian Church, always close to Sandalj during the Konavle War also confirms duke's conviction in role of the Bosnian Church and its place in public life in medieval Bosnia. Like his contemporaries, Hrvoje Vukčić, Pavle Radinović and his son Radislav Pavlović, Sandalj was closely linked to the philosophy and "moral politology" of his time, represented by the shadowy patarens, or Kristjani as the members of the Bosnian Church called themselves, and whose organized structure was deeply interwoven with all aspects of human everyday life, protecting the rights, morals and elements of the state-building in its time.[2][3]


  1. ^ Amer Sulejmanagić (23 July 2015). "Grbovi Vukčića Hrvatinića". Povijesni Prilozi / Historical Contributions (in Croatian). Hrvatski institut za povijest / Croatian Institute of History. 34 (48): 33–68. ISSN 0351-9767. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b Kurtović, Esad (2010). "Sandalj Hranić Kosača - Biography of the Bosnian Magnate". Bosna Franciscana (in Bosnian). CEEOL (33): 77. ISSN 1330-7487. Retrieved 30 April 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Kurtović, Esad (2010). "Sandalj Hranić Kosača - Biografija bosanskog vlastelina" (pdf). (in Bosnian). Bosna Franciscana via CEEOL. p. 77. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  4. ^ Naimark, Norman M. (19 February 2003). Yugoslavia and Its Historians: Understanding the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Stanford University Press. p. 56. ISBN 0804745943.
  5. ^ Kurtović, Esad (2010). "Sandalj Hranić Kosača - Biografija bosanskog vlastelina". Bosna Franciscana (in Bosnian) (33): 73. ISSN 1330-7487. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  6. ^ Kurtović, Esad (2010). "Sandalj Hranić Kosača - Biography of the Bosnian Magnate". Bosna Franciscana (in Bosnian). CEEOL (33): 71–78. ISSN 1330-7487. Retrieved 30 April 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Kurtović, Esad (2010). "Sandalj Hranić Kosača - Biografija bosanskog vlastelina" (pdf). (in Bosnian). Bosna Franciscana via CEEOL. pp. 71–78. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  8. ^ Fine 1994, p. 456
  9. ^ Bešić 1970, p. 189: "Повлачење Ладислава Напуљског нагонило јебосанског краља и обласне господаре да се приближе Жигмунду.Сандаљ Хранић је већ крајем љета 1411. год. био на његовојстрани. Садшм тим успоставио је најбоље односе са српским дес-потом Стефаном."
  10. ^ Fine 1975, p. 233: "...Sandalj divorced Hrvoje's niece and shortly thereafter married Jelena..."
  11. ^ Veselinović 2001, p. 96: "Њему се прикључио 1411 и војвода Сандаљ Хранић. Крајем те исте године Балшина мајка Јелена се преудала за војводу Сандаља."
  12. ^ Spremić 2004, pp. 73–108: "...Јелена се 1411. удала за босанског војводу Сандаља Хранића. Он је у децембру исте године напустио своју прву жену Катарину..."
  13. ^ Spremić 2004, pp. 73–108: "До тада најопаснији противник Балше III, постао је његов очух и заштитник."
  14. ^ Fine 1975, p. 467: "...This marital change reflected both Sandalj's deteriorating relations with Hrvoje and his forging closer ties with Serbia. ... Good relations with Kosače and Stefan's family were not new ..."
  15. ^ Spremić 2004, pp. 73–108: "Када је пошла новом мужу, Јелена је имала четрдесетак година.... Јелениним одласком у Босну, у Зети је остао да влада Балша III, и даље веран идејама своје мајке"
  16. ^ Spremić 2004, pp. 73–108: "Када је пошла новом мужу, Јелена је имала четрдесетак година....Остављајући у мају 1413. поклад у Дубровнику, предвидео је да га може подићи ако за њим остане "или син или девојка које би имао с реченом госпођом Јеленом", што показује да се није искључивала могућност да њих двоје имају деце."
  17. ^ M. Bešić, Zarij (1970), Istorija Crne Gore / 2. Crna gora u doba oblasnih gospodara. (in Serbian), Titograd: Redakcija za istoiju Crne Gore, p. 123, OCLC 175122851, Већ сљедеће године кренуо је скопски намјесник Исхак у Босну да сатре Сандаљеве противнике, које је подржавао босански краљ.Ништа он није ни могао предузети против Сандаљевог пасторкаи вјерног султановог харачара Балше III.
  18. ^ Spremić 2004, pp. 73–108: "Дубровчани су, по посебном церемонијалу, приредили војводи Сандаљу и Јелени свечани дочек првих дана фебруара 1426. године. Том приликом, Јелена је присуствовала највећој свечаности у Дубровнику, прослави Светог Влаха"
  19. ^ Fine, John V A (1975), The Bosnian Church: a new interpretation : a study of the Bosnian Church and its place on state and society from the 13th to the 15th centuries, Boulder: East European Quarterly, p. 282, ISBN 9780914710035, OCLC 462680616, Thus the despot or Sandalj, rather than Marko Kraljevic (+1394), should have been the hero in the epic describing the death of the three-hearted Musa Kesedzija.
  20. ^ Poviest hrvatskih zemalja Bosne i Hercegovine: Od najstarijih vremena do godine 1463 (in Croatian). Hrvatsko kulturno družtvo "Napredak,". 1942. pp. 437, 438.


Further readingEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Vlatko Vuković
Grand Duke of Bosnia
Succeeded by
Stjepan Vukčić