Talk:Stephen Tomašević of Bosnia

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Stephen Tomašević of Bosnia has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
January 20, 2015Peer reviewReviewed
March 4, 2015Good article nomineeListed
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on February 10, 2014.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that King Stephen Tomašević of Bosnia (pictured) lost two realms and his head to Mehmed the Conqueror, much as he had predicted?
Current status: Good article

Peer reviewEdit

Based on agreement with GA nominator of this article (reached here) I intend to conduct a peer review here. I am not very much familiar with the subject because the subject of my interest and work on wikipedia is Ottoman Empire and its history on the Balkans. Therefore comments are very much welcome.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 18:25, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

 ??Title: The reviewer believes that the title SToB styled for himself should be presented in the lede and/or infobox. Nominator disagrees.
  • Title: The infobox and lede do not present the title he used, which is explained in the text of the article.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 18:35, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • The infobox conforms to Template:Infobox royalty/doc. The full title seems a bit too trivial to be included in the lead, especially as it would necessitate an explanation of why he held it despite having no authority over, say, Croatia or Dalmatia. In my experience, FAs and GAs on monarchs do not normally give the full title and style in the lead (cf. James VI and I). Surtsicna (talk) 16:25, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
      • I think you again refuted your position. The article about James VI and I extensively elaborate his title ("King of Great Britain and Ireland") in the lead. The lede even present a title of his great-great-grandfather. Readers of articles on medieval feudal lords usually know that titles do not necessarily correspond to reality. For those that do not, it is already explained in the text of the article and can be explained in the note. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 17:08, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
        • It is more likely that I misunderstood your position. Were you suggesting that the lead should describe him as "by the Grace of God, King of Serbia, Bosnia, the Maritime Lands, Zachlumia, Dalmatia, Croatia, and the Western lands" (which would be comparable to James's "by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland")? Surtsicna (talk) 17:32, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
          • Not exactly. I suggested that the lead (and info) describe Tomasevic the way he styled himself, comparable to how James VI and I styled himself ""King of Great Britain and Ireland" (which is presented in the lede).--Antidiskriminator (talk) 21:33, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
            • The lead now explicitly describes him as "King of Bosnia". The infobox has always done so, yet you stated that "the infobox and lede do not present the title he used", so I am not sure whether that is what you had in mind. Surtsicna (talk) 23:01, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
              • The body of thee text of the article says how he styled himself ("King of Serbia, Bosnia, the Maritime Lands, Zachlumia, Dalmatia, Croatia, and the Western lands").--Antidiskriminator (talk) 00:00, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
                • So I did not misunderstand you after all. James's use of the title "King of Great Britain" is noteworthy enough for the lead because it illustrates his desire to achieve full political (rather than merely personal) union between England and Scotland. On the other hand, the lead does not mention his use of the title "King of France", although this title was official in England (unlike the former). It was merely inherited from ancestors whose claim to the title was not entirely meaningless. Stephen also inherited this pompous string of titles, but it meant little to nothing since the death of Tvrtko I. To mention it in the lead would be either misleading or undue weight. Surtsicna (talk) 00:18, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
                  • Your comment again support my position with explanaton that both James and SToB had desire to achieve union between territories mentioned in their titles, that both of their titles did not correspond to the territories they really governed and that both of them inherited those titles. I doubt James VI and I would reach FA status if presenting the title he styled for himself in the lede would really be giving undue weight. This is not a big deal and I don't have intention to continue this discussion. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 01:04, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
                    • No, my comment does no such thing. Stephen Tomašević had no territories to unite. He only ever ruled Bosnia and Serbia. By the time he became King of Bosnia, he no longer ruled any part of Serbia. And no, James did not inherit the title "King of Great Britain". He invented it. That is why it is mentioned in the lead. The title he did inherit, "King of France", is not mentioned in the lead but in the body of the article. Stephen Tomašević's titles correspond to James's French title - being a largely meaningless claim inherited from ancestors who adopted it long time ago. Surtsicna (talk) 01:14, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
                      • I did not say SToB had territories to unite. I said he "had desire to achieve union". I don't understand how could you again misinterpret my position when I actually emphasized that his title did not correspond to the territories he really governed, just like in case of James. I think there is no point to refuse to presenting the title SToB styled for himself in the lede just because he did not inherit it. And I repeat, I don't insist on it. Both of us presented arguments that did not convince the other party which retained its original position.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 01:28, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
 CAddition of the map of the region would significantly increase informativeness of the text. Nominator agrees.
  • Map - Map of the region would significantly increase informativeness of the text, especially for uninitiated readers.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 18:38, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • That is a brilliant idea! It would certainly be of great use. I was unable to find one on the Commons, however. Although there are dozens of maps available, none appears to be relevant to this article. We would need a map focusing on Bosnia and Serbia in the late 1450s or early 1460s. This 1422 borders map is the best I could find, but it is not nearly appropriate enough for this article - by the time Tomašević had anything to do with Serbia, half the country pictured there had been annexed to the Ottoman state. Surtsicna (talk) 16:25, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
      • Thanks. Here is map of Serbian Despotate with 1459 borders.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:06, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
        • I've come across it too, but it's quite useless. Since it doesn't show any outlines of the Balkan peninsula, it does not even convey the most basic context. On top of that, it's anachronistic - there was no "Herzegovina" at the time. Surtsicna (talk) 23:00, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
 ??Reviewer presented sources which present 1438 as year of SToB's year of birth and proposed addition of this information because it corresponds with real events, but with attribution considering non-exceptional sources. Nominator is sceptical.
  • Year of birth - I found a couple of sources which mention 1438 as year of his birth. None of them sounds particularly exceptional, but maybe this information can be used with attribution:
    • (Giovio, Paolo (2005). Commentario de le cose de' turchi. CLUEB. p. 101. ISBN 978-88-491-2570-2. Stefano Tomasevic (1438-1463) and
    • Popović, Jovan Sterija; Anđelković, Sava; Subotić, Ljiljana (2007). Dejan i Damjanka, ili, padenije Bosanskog kraljevstva. Књижевна општина Вршац. p. 197. Стефан Томашевић (1438-1463)) --Antidiskriminator (talk) 18:46, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
      • This is the first time I see any year mentioned as the year of his birth. I am quite skeptical, to be honest, since authors who have written extensively about Tomašević do not mention any year as a possible year of his birth. Surtsicna (talk) 17:28, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
        • I agree. Still, this year makes sense, so it might be worth double checking the sources.. It is for sure well before 1445 when marriage between his father and mother was annuled and that he was probably an adult when he married in 1459. That is why I suggested addition of this information with attribution.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:24, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
 CThe text of the article should be expanded with details about SToB's early life. Nominator agrees and emphasize that re SToB's early life sources only describe his education.
  • Early life - The text of the article, after description of his family and name, jumps into description of his marriage. What about his early life? Are there any data about it?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 18:51, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • It appears to me that more is known about Stephen Tomašević's early life than about any other Bosnian king's, notwithstanding the fact that it's still significantly less than we know about the childhoods of contemporary Western European rulers. The pecularities surrounding his parents' relationship might be the reason. What we do know about his early life boils down to his education. Surtsicna (talk) 17:28, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
 CReviewer proposed expansion of the lede to clarify and present summarized background of political context in mid 15th century Kingdom Bosnia with all threats to its existence, without oversimplification regarding Ottoman Empire.
  • "Threatening" Ottoman Empire - The lede says: "...Bosnia, a kingdom whose existence was being increasingly threatened by the Ottomans." This might be oversimplification. Both Hungary and Ottoman Empire wanted to capture Bosnia and invaded it at certain points. Bosnia itself had problems with rival nobility struggling for the control while Herzegovinian feudal lords also had their ambitions. The activities of precedessors had certain impact. Kenneth Meyer Setton explains that Stephen lost his life because of the ambition of his father Stefan Tomash who wanted to use Ottoman Empire and to make peace or war with them, depending on his current ambitions. He pointed to the fact that in 1457 he decided to stop paying tributes to Sultan and attacked Ottoman cities in 1457. (Setton, Kenneth Meyer (1978). The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571: The fifteenth century. American Philosophical Society. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-87169-127-9.)--Antidiskriminator (talk) 18:58, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • I am not sure I understand your point. What is that you suggest? Surtsicna (talk) 17:28, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
      • I suggest to present summarized background of political context in mid 15th century Bosnia. All threats to existence of the Kingdom of Bosnia should be presented, without oversimplification regarding Ottoman Empire.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:51, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
 CKonstantinovic - It is necessary to clarify who is Konstantinovic.
  • "Konstantinović claimed that he was present ..." - Who is Konstantinovic?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 19:08, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • "The Serbian-born Janissary Konstantin Mihailović" is mentioned earlier in the article. Surtsicna (talk) 17:28, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
      • Konstantin Mihailović≠Konstantinović.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 21:53, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
        • Not quite, though I do realize it was unclear. Konstantin's father's name was Mihailo, making Konstantin Konstantinović also Konstantin Mihailović (in the same way the subject of this article was both Tomašević and Kotromanić). I will try to make this more clear. Surtsicna (talk) 22:55, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
 YThe Ottoman conquest of Bosnia was clarified.
  • The execution is traditionally considered the culmination of the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia. - This sentence is presented in the lede which should summarize the text of the article. This assertion is not cited and it does not exist in the article. I am uncertain if it is completely correct, taking in consideration that large parts of Bosnia were captured by Hungarians and remained outside of Ottoman Empire for decades.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 19:50, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • A rephrasing might be in order. While the Ottomans did not capture the entire territory of the Kingdom of Bosnia in 1463, the capture and execution of the King did bring an end to the kingdom as an independent state - a culmination. 1463 is universally accepted as the year Bosnia fell to the Ottoman Empire. Surtsicna (talk) 17:59, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
 CLack of strong resistance to the Ottomans - Its background (higher taxes and religious persecution) should be presented in the lede.
  • Lack of strong resistance to the Ottomans - I quickly searched this topic and found plenty of sources that emphasize something that already exists in the article: explanation that population of Bosnia saw that people in Serbia had much lower taxes and did not strongly resist to Ottoman conquest. The lede only mentions lack of support from surrounding Christian countries. It would be good to briefly mention this matter in lede too.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 19:56, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • The resistance was almost certainly not as strong as it could have been, but I am not sure how to incorporate this into the lead because it currently summarizes Stephen Tomašević's own actions. I will try to work something out. Surtsicna (talk) 17:59, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
 YСmнпɖɴ - Unsourced and removed.
  • Сmнпɖɴ - This has zero hits at GS and GBS (except this article). Is it supported by the sources?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 20:02, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • It is a transcription of the contemporary name Stipan. It is quite trivial, however, so it might be best to remove it. Surtsicna (talk) 18:51, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
 YToo long caption - The caption of the image in infobox is too long.
  • The caption of the image in the infobox - It has 208 characters, which is too long per WP:CAPTION. Previous and existing location of the painting are not necessary for this article, at lest not in the infobox image caption. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:46, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • I have relegated the information about the previous and present location of the painting to the reflist. Surtsicna (talk) 18:51, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Single source for large portion of text. The large portion of text (1,135 characters) in the first paragraph of Family section are supported only by one source. Work of Franciscan friar Dominik Mandic, which is at least not of the first grade reliability. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 23:23, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Religion in the infobox - The infobox presents his religion as Catholic although the text of the article clarifies that he was raised as a member of the Bosnian Church, converted to Roman Catholicism. If that is so, Bosnian Church should be presented as well.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 23:28, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
    • The article states that his father was raised as a member of the Bosnian Church. Stephen Tomašević was raised as a Roman Catholic from early childhood. Surtsicna (talk) 18:51, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
      • The text of the article does not directly support early childhood thesis. Both his mother and his father Stephan Tomas belonged to Bosnian church. Tomas converted to Catholicism only in 1445. Per my comment below, Tomasevic was first baptised then learned Lattin letters (which was not in early childhood) and then decided to embrace Catholic faith (I doubt it could happen in early childhood). Though, I admit that I haven't seen sources which directly support his membership to Bosnian church.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:34, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
        • But we have no idea when Stephen Tomašević was born. He may have been born in 1442, for all we know. Besides, the article reports what the sources say.[1] Surtsicna (talk) 00:02, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
          • Not completely true. SToB was certainly born before 1445 when his parents were divorced.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 00:20, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Source interpretation - I am uncertain if source is properly interpreted in below example:
    • The source says: "The new king claimed that as a boy he had been baptized, learned Latin letters and firmly grasped the Christian (i.e. Catholic) faith. "
    • The article says: "Stephen Thomas, raised as a member of the Bosnian Church, converted to Roman Catholicism in c. 1445; Stephen Tomašević later stated that he had been baptized into the Roman Catholic Church as a child, and that he had been taught Latin letters." - If I am not wrong, this sentence could mislead readers to believe that he later denied he was raised as member of the Bosnian Church. AFAICS The source does not mention "later", stated ≠ claimed, and Catholicism is mentioned with faith, not with baptism.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 23:52, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
      • Could it be that you are confusing the father (Stephen Thomas) and son (Stephen Tomašević)? It was the father who converted in 1445, and thereafter had his son raised as a Roman Catholic. Surtsicna (talk) 18:51, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
        • No. Stephen was born to Vojača and Stephen Tomas, both members of Bosnian Church. Stephen Tomasevic was born well before 1445 (when his father decided to convert to Catholicism). That is why it is important not to misinterpret sources to mislead readers that Stephen Tomasevic was baptised as Catholic. The source present differnt chronology which correspond to real events. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:04, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
          • He was most certainly not baptized as a "krstjanin". The Bosnian Church did not baptize minors, and the sacrament itself differed substantially from that administered by the Roman Catholic (or any Orthodox) Church. For one thing, it was performed with a holy book rather than water. Since Stephen Tomašević wrote this in a letter sent to the pope in an attempt to prove his loyalty to the Holy See, and since the baptism clearly took place in his childhood rather than in his adulthood, it seems clear that he meant Catholic baptism. Surtsicna (talk) 23:43, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
            • I think your reply again prove my point. You say: "Stephen Tomašević wrote this in a letter sent to the pope in an attempt to prove his loyalty to the Holy See" Does it mean everything he wrote in that letter was true. Of course not. That is why source uses the word "claimed" instead of "stated" you used. You misinterpreted the source and presented it as fact. The source does not mention "later", stated ≠ claimed and Catholicism is mentioned after baptism and learning Latin.
            • I know nothing about Bosnian church and its baptism procedure. Can you present some sources for your statement that Bosnian Church did not baptize minors?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 00:15, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
              • To be honest, I have no idea how I am proving your point because I am not certain what your point is or how I am misinterpreting the source. The article does not say that Stephen Tomašević was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church as a child. It says that he "stated that he had been baptized into the Roman Catholic Church as a child". He did state that, and the source says so. The verb "claim", used by Fine, means "to state to be true".[2] For all intents and purposes, the words are synonymous.
              • Here are some Google Book Search results concerning the Bosnian Church view on baptism. "They [krstjani lived an ascetic life, baptized only adults, and so forth.]" Surtsicna (talk) 00:52, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
                • Please read WP:CLAIM.
                • Thanks for the link you presented. It says: "Different historical sources show diametrically opposed images of Bosnian Church doctrine". I will try to research this issue, but the link you presented shows that your interpretation about baptising only adults is not necessary correct.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 01:07, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
                  • WP:CLAIM: "Said, stated, described, wrote, and according to are almost always neutral and accurate." So, you are saying that the wording I used is perfect. Thank you.
                  • It is not up to me to interpret anything. As a Wikipedia editor, I report what secondary sources say, i.e. their interpretations of primary sources. Secondary sources say that the Bosnian Church rejected the baptism of the children and the baptism with water. Surtsicna (talk) 01:40, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
                    • No. Another misinterpretation of my position and source which does not use neutral wording. On the contrary. It explains background to the letter of SToB to pope and use word "claim".
                    • Those who dig a pit will fall in it. Every time you try to misinterpret my position you successfully refute your position. If members of Bosnian Church indeed rejected baptism of the children, like you insist, SToB was certainly not baptised to Catholicism as child because his parents were members of Bosnian Church when he was a child. OR interpretations are not constructive. It is necessary to stick to reliable sources, which do not support "baptized into the Roman Catholic Church as a child".--Antidiskriminator (talk) 12:42, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Date of death - The date of death is not cited. --Antidiskriminator (talk) 22:20, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
    • There are two references in the paragraph about his death. One of them gives the precise date. Surtsicna (talk) 01:08, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
      • Will you please point to the reference that gives the precise date?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 01:38, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Place of burrial - The text of the article mentions circumstantial evidence about the place of burial of SToB. The only source used there is Babinger (p 222) does not support that "circumstantial evidence". On the contrary. He emphasize that "it is by no means certain" that bones shown in Franciscan monastery are bones of SToB. If that is so, the infobox should be corrected accordingly.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 23:58, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Different versions of his death - Many sources present different versions of his death (sultan strangled him personally, that his skin was ripped, that archers shot him with arrows when he was tied..... --Antidiskriminator (talk) 18:56, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Ottomans captured his half-sister Katarina and half-brother Sigismund - Many sources say that Ottomans captured his half-sister Katarina and half-brother Sigismund after they killed him.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 18:59, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Stephen Tomašević of Bosnia/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Caponer (talk · contribs) 21:11, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Surtsicna, I will begin my comprehensive review of this article within the next 48 hours. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments in the meantime! -- Caponer (talk) 21:11, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose, no copyvios, spelling and grammar):   b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):  
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (reference section):   b (citations to reliable sources):   c (OR):  
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects):   b (focused):  
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:  
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:  
  6. It is illustrated by images and other media, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free content have fair use rationales):   b (appropriate use with suitable captions):  
  7. Overall:

Surtsicna, you've authored a very comprehensive, well-written, and thoroughly researched article. Upon my review, I find that your article meets Good Article criteria, but I did have a few recommendations and suggestions that I'd like you to address before passing. Most of them are with regard to the lede. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime! Thanks! -- Caponer (talk) 14:01, 17 January 2015 (UTC)


  • "He desperately tried to secure help from Pope Pius II, King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and other neighbouring countries." In this sentence, it is stated that Stephen sought assistance from two monarchs, and other neighboring countries. Would it be more consistent to say other neighboring monarchs? ...or other neighboring leaders? Or if the countries are more notable, you could say he sought assistance from the Papal States, Hungary, and other neighboring countries. I'll leave it up to you on how best to remedy this.
    • Modified accordingly. -- Caponer (talk) 23:51, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section, the lede should be a comprehensive summary of all an article's parts, therefore, I suggest adding more content from the "Assessment and legacy" section, perhaps expounding upon your final sentence regarding the fall of Bosnia to the Ottomans.
  • With those minor exceptions, I find that your lede to this article summarizes the majority of the article's prose, so I have no other suggestions for this section.
    • This section is good to go upon final re-review. -- Caponer (talk) 23:51, 4 March 2015 (UTC)


  • This section is thoroughly referenced and well-written. I find that it clearly meets GA guidelines and have no further suggestions.
    • This section is good to go upon final re-review. -- Caponer (talk) 23:51, 4 March 2015 (UTC)


  • Per WP:CITEDENSE, internal citations should usually be reserved for the end of a sentence, even though I understand your rationale for placing an internal citation after a comma within a sentence. This isn't a deal breaker, but something to be mindful of. This is in reference to the last sentence in the second paragraph.
    • As this is only a suggestion, the inline citations can remain in their current locations of the sentence. -- Caponer (talk) 23:54, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
  • As was the "Name" section, this section is thoroughly referenced and well-written. I find that it clearly meets GA guidelines and have no further suggestions.
    • This section is good to go upon final re-review. -- Caponer (talk) 23:54, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Marriage Despotism Kingship Assessment and legacy

  • All the above sections are also beautifully written, and their inline citations are plentiful and verifiable. I've spent most of my review going through the internal citations and those texts that are available online. Again, I'd try where possible to consolidate inline citations and place them at the end of the sentences.
    • This section is good to go upon final re-review. -- Caponer (talk) 23:54, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

GAN StatusEdit

Caponer, Surticna has not edited on Wikipedia since January 11, four days before you started the review. Since it's been a month and a half since you posted your review, I think it's clear that the article isn't likely to change. You'll either have to accept the article as it is, make any needed changes yourself, or fail it—and from your comment above, the first is more likely than the last. BlueMoonset (talk) 05:04, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

BlueMoonset, thank you for the ping! I will make the updates myself in the next day or two. Thanks again! -- Caponer (talk) 23:08, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Surtsicna, as there were only minor corrections and suggestions, I've modified the article and find that it meets good article status upon final re-review. I hope you come back to Wikipedia soon and write another fantastic article soon. BlueMoonset, thank you for our attention to this review. -- Caponer (talk) 23:54, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
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