Dalmatian history, 921 AD to end of 16th century
|From:||Frank George Valoczy <valoczy@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, March 21, 2001, 23:00|
(place names are those of *here*...)
The earliest known record of a Dalmatian state dates to 921AD, when
king Aurial I united the people of a more-or-less common tongue living on
the Adriatic islands from Krk in the north to Hvar in the south, and on
the coastal mainland from Split to Ploce.
Over the next 50 years Aurial I engaged in a series of successful
campaigns at the end of which the territory of Dalmatia covered the area
having a border line of Krk-Zagreb-Slavonski Brod-Doboj-Uzice-Tivat. In
977, the expansion-minded Hungarians attacked the northern outpost of
Zagreb, and in the ensuing battle Aurial died, but the Dalmatian defenders
successfully repelled the Hungarians. Aurial's son, Paulu, who was one of
the army's top generals, became king. Paulu then continued the expansion,
advancing as far east as Belgrade and as far south as Shkoder by 1009.
In 1017 the Hungarians again attacked Zagreb and were routed, and in
punishment Paulu led an expedition to Timisoara, razing the town
completely and returning with a large amount of plunder and a great number
of prisoners. Paulu I died in 1019, and his son, also Paulu, became king.
Over the course of Paulu II reign few large battles were fought, and
during this time the Dalmatian state congealed into a cohesive
whole. Paulu was a wise and just ruler, and during this time arts
Paulu II died in 1064, leaving his son, Marcialu, to rule the powerful and
rich Dalmatian empire. Marcialu was a stable but unspectacular king, as
were his successors Aurial II, Paulu III and Yon I. Yon I died in 1202
without a son, and his daughter Eliza became queen at the age of 15. Up
until Yon's death Dalmatia was going through its first "golden age", and
Dalmatian art from this period is held in great esteem.
Eliza married a Montenegrin prince in 1211 and gave birth to a son,
Sergianu, in 1212. Eliza maintained stability and ruled until Sergianu was
old enough to become king, at the age of 16, in 1228. Sergianu's reign saw
another large increase in the territory of Dalmatia. At the time of his
death in 1261, the border was
Krk-Cakovec-Pecs-Belgrade-Zajecar-Uzice-Presevo-Skopje-Durres. When he
died, his son Ciprianu was crowned king. Ciprianu was a prize royal
imbecile, and after suffering defeats under him, and consequently losing
Pecs, Osijek and Novi Sad, his top general, Yon Corneyici, assassinated
him and had his brother, Stefanu, crowned in 1329. Under Stefanu Osijek
was recaptured in 1343. In 1351 Stefanu led an army against Florina but
was repelled by the Turks, who by this time had expanded to cover all of
Greece and Bulgaria. The Turco-Dalmatian frontier ran
Dimitrovgrad-Gyueshevo-Skopje-Vlora. North of Dimitrovgrad, Dalmatia
bordered on Hungary. Stefanu was killed in the battle of Florina, and his
14-year-old son became king Cornaiyu I.
During Cornaiyu's reign, the Turks became more belligerent, and the lands
of southern Albania were lost, the Turks advancing as far north as
Elbasan, while in Macedonia the Turks advanced as far as Tetovo. In 1389,
the Turks and Dalmatians faced off in what was up till then the largest
battle in Dalmatian history, at Campa da Miarleyea (Kosovo Polje). The
Dalmatians successfully repelled the Turkish attack, but were abdly mauled
in the battle. When the fighting had completely subsided there were nearly
40,000 corpses strewn about the fields, included those of the Turkish
general Ali Pasha and king Cornaiyu.
The next century was very bad for Dalmatia, being "blessed" with three
straight imbecile rulers, Aurial III, Cornaiyu II and Tomu. During this
time the Turks led a series of successful campaigns, and by the time of
Tomu's death in 1571 the territory of Dalmatia was reduced to
Tomu's son Agafon became king upon his father's death, and in 1588 Agafon
signed a treaty with the Austrian empire, which established a new state,
the Austro-Dalmatian dual monarchy.
More to come, later.
Ferenc Gy. Valoczy
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