Thomas of Hvar

Last updated

Tommaso Tommasini (died in early 1463), better known as Thomas of Hvar (Serbo-Croatian : Toma Hvarski/Тома Хварски), was Bishop of Lesina (Hvar) from 23 December 1429 until his death, as well as permanent papal legate to the Kingdom of Bosnia from 1439 until 1461. [1]

Hvar island in Croatia

Hvar is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, located off the Dalmatian coast, lying between the islands of Brač, Vis and Korčula. Approximately 68 km (42.25 mi) long, with a high east-west ridge of Mesozoic limestone and dolomite, the island of Hvar is unusual in the area for having a large fertile coastal plain, and fresh water springs. Its hillsides are covered in pine forests, with vineyards, olive groves, fruit orchards and lavender fields in the agricultural areas. The climate is characterized by mild winters, and warm summers with many hours of sunshine. The island has 11,103 residents, making it the 4th most populated of the Croatian islands.

Papal legate a personal representative of the pope

A papal legate or Apostolic legate is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters.

Kingdom of Bosnia medieval kingdom that evolved from the Banate of Bosnia

The Kingdom of Bosnia, or Bosnian Kingdom, was a South Slavic medieval Kingdom that evolved from the Banate of Bosnia (1154–1377). Bosnia experienced de facto independence in the 13th and 14th centuries despite being a part of the Hungarian Crown Lands. Its difficult terrain and remoteness enabled the Bosnians to maneuver between their two powerful neighbors, Hungary and Serbia, usually managing to avoid subordination to either. Several capable rulers allowed Bosnia briefly to play the role of a regional power in the 14th century. After 1290, Bosnia enjoyed virtual independence from Hungary and gained significant territory in Dalmatia at Serbia's expense. King Tvrtko I acquired portions of western Serbia and most of the Adriatic coast south of the Neretva river: during the latter part of his reign, Bosnia briefly became the strongest state in the Balkans peninsula. However, feudal fragmentation remained strong in Bosnia, and after his death the country lost its importance. The Ottoman Empire annexed portions of eastern Bosnia in the 1440s and 1450s and went on to conquer Herzegovina until the last fortress fell in 1481.

Thomas was Venetian by birth, but he "must have known Slavic" both through his episcopate on the Croat-inhabited island and through his long contact with Bosnians. He significantly influenced the relations between the Holy See and Bosnia, as well as papal views on the indigenous Bosnian Church, but little is known about his personality, politics, activity in the kingdom or relations with Bosnian Franciscans. John Van Antwerp Fine, Jr. argues that Thomas deliberately misinformed the Papacy about the Bosnian Church, fabricating claims of dualism. [1]

Bosnian Church

The Bosnian Church was a Christian church in medieval Bosnia that was independent of and considered heretical by both the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox hierarchies.

Dualism in cosmology is the moral or spiritual belief that two fundamental concepts exist, which often oppose each other. It is an umbrella term that covers a diversity of views from various religions, including both traditional religions and scriptural religions.

Bishop Thomas of Hvar probably approached his namesake, King Thomas of Bosnia, in 1443, when Pope Eugene IV hoped to draw Bosnia into the Crusade of Varna. He probably discussed the Catholic Church's issue with heresy in Bosnia at that time. [1] In 1446, he converted the King himself from Bosnian Christianity to Roman Catholicism. [2]

Pope Eugene IV Italian pope

Pope Eugene IV, born Gabriele Condulmer, was Pope from 3 March 1431 to his death in 1447. He is the most recent pope to have taken the name "Eugene" upon his election.

Crusade of Varna

The Crusade of Varna was an unsuccessful military campaign mounted by several European monarchs to check the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into Central Europe, specifically the Balkans between 1443 and 1444. It was called by Pope Eugene IV on 1 January 1443 and led by King Władysław III of Poland, John Hunyadi, Voivode of Transylvania, and Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2016. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Related Research Articles

Dabiša of Bosnia King of Bosnia

Stephen Dabiša was as a member of the Kotromanić dynasty who reigned as King of Bosnia from March 1391 until his death. Elected to succeed the first king, Tvrtko I, Dabiša at first maintained the integrity of the Kingdom of Bosnia. He successfully resisted Hungary, Naples, and even Ottoman Turks. The latter part of his reign, however, saw the ascent of magnates and considerable loss of Bosnia's territory and influence.

Zachlumia or Zachumlia, also Hum, was a medieval principality located in the modern-day regions of Herzegovina and southern Dalmatia. In some periods it was a fully independent or semi-independent South Slavic principality. It maintained relations with various foreign and neighbouring powers and later was subjected to Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Serbia, Kingdom of Bosnia, Duchy of Saint Sava and at the end to the Ottoman Empire.

Tvrtko I of Bosnia Ban and first King of Bosnia

Stephen Tvrtko I was the first King of Bosnia. A member of the House of Kotromanić, he succeeded his uncle Stephen II as Ban of Bosnia in 1353. As he was a minor at the time, Tvrtko's father, Vladislav, briefly ruled as regent, followed by Tvrtko's mother, Jelena. Early in his personal rule, Tvrtko quarreled with his country's Roman Catholic clergy, but later enjoyed cordial relations with all the religious communities in his realm. After initial difficulties – the loss of large parts of Bosnia to his overlord, King Louis I of Hungary, and being briefly deposed by his magnates – Tvrtko's power grew considerably. He conquered some remnants of the neighbouring Serbian Empire in 1373, after the death of its last ruler and his distant relative, Uroš the Weak. In 1377, he had himself crowned King of Bosnia and of Serbia, claiming to be the heir of Serbia's extinct Nemanjić dynasty.

Stephen Tomašević of Bosnia King of Bosnia

Stephen Tomašević or Stephen II was the last sovereign from the Bosnian Kotromanić dynasty, reigning as Despot of Serbia briefly in 1459 and as King of Bosnia from 1461 until 1463.

Croatia in union with Hungary

The Kingdom of Croatia entered a personal union with the Kingdom of Hungary in 1102, after a period of rule of kings from the Trpimirović and Svetoslavić dynasties and a succession crisis following the death of king Demetrius Zvonimir. With the coronation of King Coloman of Hungary as "King of Croatia and Dalmatia" in 1102 in Biograd, the realm passed to the Árpád dynasty until 1301, when the (male) line of the dynasty died out. Then, kings from the Capetian House of Anjou, who were also cognatic descendants of the Árpád kings, ruled the kingdoms. Later centuries were characterized by conflicts with the Mongols, who sacked Zagreb in 1242, competition with Venice for control over Dalmatian coastal cities, and internal warfare among Croatian nobility. Various powerful nobles emerged in the time period, like Paul I Šubić of Bribir and Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, that secured de facto independence for their realms. The Ottoman incursion into Europe in the 16th century significantly reduced Croatian territories and left the country weak and divided. After the death of Louis II in 1526 during the Battle of Mohács and a brief period of dynastic dispute, both crowns passed to the Austrian House of Habsburg, and the realms became part of the Habsburg Monarchy.

Tomislav of Croatia King of Croatia

Tomislav was the first King of Croatia. He became Duke of Croatia in c. 910, was elevated to kingship by 925 and reigned until 928. At the time of his rule, Croatia forged an alliance with the Byzantines during their struggle with the Bulgarian Empire, with whom Croatia eventually went to war that culminated in the decisive Battle of the Bosnian Highlands in 926. To the north there were often conflicts with the Principality of Hungary. Croatia kept its borders and to some extent expanded on the disintegrated Pannonian Duchy.

Kingdom of Croatia (925–1102) (925–1102) a medieval kingdom comprising most of what is today Croatia as well as, periodically, parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Balkans

The Kingdom of Croatia, or Croatian Kingdom, was a medieval kingdom in Central Europe comprising most of what is today Croatia, as well as most of the modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina. Part of the Croatian Kingdom period ruled by ethnic dynasties, the Kingdom existed as a sovereign state for nearly two centuries. Its existence was characterized by various conflicts and periods of peace or alliance with the Bulgarians, Byzantines, Hungarians, and competition with Venice for control over the eastern Adriatic coast. The goal of promoting the Croatian language in the religious service was initially brought and introduced by the 10th century bishop Gregory of Nin, which resulted in a conflict with the Pope, later to be put down by him. In the second half of the 11th century Croatia managed to secure most coastal cities of Dalmatia with the collapse of Byzantine control over them. During this time the kingdom reached its peak under the rule of kings Peter Krešimir IV (1058–1074) and Demetrius Zvonimir (1075–1089).

Croatian–Bulgarian battle of 926

In 926 a battle was fought in the Bosnian highlands between the armies the Bulgarian Empire, under the rule of Bulgarian Tsar Simeon I, who at the time also fought a war with the Byzantine Empire, and the Kingdom of Croatia under Tomislav, the first king of the Croatian state. The battle is also known as the Battle of the Bosnian Highlands. It was fought in the mountainous area of Eastern Bosnia near the rivers Bosna and Drina, the border area between the Kingdom of Croatia and the Bulgarian Empire.

Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Middle Ages

This is the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Middle Ages, between the ancient and Roman period and the Ottoman period.

Stephen Thomas, a member of the House of Kotromanić, reigned from 1443 until his death as the penultimate King of Bosnia.

Ponsa was a Dominican friar who was appointed Bishop of Bosnia in the midst of the Bosnian Crusade. The crusade's stated objective was to purge Bosnia from heresy, in other words to exterminate the autonomous Bosnian Church. His predecessor, the German-born Dominican John of Wildeshausen, repeatedly requested to be relieved of the bishopric, and in 1238 Pope Gregory IX wrote that the crusade was a success and that he had selected Ponsa as the new bishop. Ponsa was also to be assigned jurisdiction over Zachlumia, but probably only its western part, as the rest belonged to Serbia. Gregory believed Ponsa to be very capable, and named him apostolic legate to Bosnia for a term of three years. Matej Ninoslav, Ban of Bosnia, apparently refused to accept Ponsa as bishop, which the Pope regarded as an act of defiance. The crusaders penetrated into Central Bosnia, and a cathedral called Saint Peter's was built in Brdo (Burdo) above Vrhbosna in 1238.

Kujava Radinović was the second wife of King Stephen Ostoja of Bosnia and as such she was Queen of Bosnia from 1399 to 1404 and again from 1409 to 1415. She was the daughter of the nobleman Radin Jablanić.

Banate of Bosnia

The Banate of Bosnia, or Bosnian Banate, was a medieval state based in what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although it was a part of the Hungarian Crown Lands, the Banate of Bosnia was a de facto independent state. It was founded in the mid-12th century and existed until 1377, when it was proclaimed a kingdom with the coronation of Tvrtko I. The greater part of its history was marked by a religiopolitical controversy revolving around the native Bosnian Church condemned as heretical by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, although with the Catholic church being particularly antagonistic and persecuting its members through the Hungarians.

Augustin Kažotić Croatian monk

Blessed Augustin Kažotić was a Dalmatian-Croatian Roman Catholic prelate and professed member from the Order of Preachers who served as the Bishop of Lucera from 1322 until his death. Kažotić was ahumanist and orator who had served first as the Bishop of Zagreb from 1303 until 1322. Kažotić studied in Paris before returning to his homeland where he began working in the missions and preaching in modern Bosnia. He was one of the first humanist figures to appear in southern Croatia. He was also noted for being the guide for Dante Aligheri as the poet travelled through Croatia.

Duchy of Croatia

The Duchy of Croatia, was a medieval Croatian duchy that was established in the former Roman province of Dalmatia. Throughout its time it had several seats – namely, Klis, Solin, Knin, Bijaći and Nin. It comprised the whole of the littoral – the coastal part of today's Croatia and included a large part of the mountainous hinterland, as well. The Duchy was in the center of competition between the Carolingian Empire and the Byzantine Empire for rule over the area. Rivalry with Venice emerged in the first decades of the 9th century and was to continue for the following centuries. Croatia also waged battles with the Bulgarian Empire, with whom the relations improved greatly afterwards, and the Arabs and sought to extend its control over important coastal cities under the rule of Byzantium. Croatia experienced periods of vassalage to the Franks or Byzantines and de facto independence until 879, when Croatian Duke Branimir received recognition from Pope John VIII as an independent realm. The ruling dynasty of Croatia was the House of Trpimirović, with interruptions by the House of Domagojević. The Duchy existed until around 925 when, during the rule of Duke Tomislav, Croatia became a kingdom.

Bosnia and Herzegovina–Holy See relations

Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Holy See have maintained diplomatic relations since the former declared independence in 1992. The two states have signed a concordat, and there have been three papal visits to the multiconfessional Bosnia and Herzegovina. The relations with the Holy See have generally been fostered primarily by the Bosnian Croat and Bosniak officials, but sometimes aggravated by Bosnian Serb officials.

John V. A. Fine Jr. is an American historian and author. He is professor of Balkan and Byzantine history at the University of Michigan and has written several books on the subject.

Peregrin Saxon, also called Peregrin of Saxony, was the first vicar of Bosnia, later becoming Archbishop-elect of Split and Bishop of Bosnia.

Radogost or Radigost was a Catholic clergyman who served as Bishop of Bosnia in the late 12th century. As his vernacular name suggests, he was a local cleric and was chosen by Bosnians themselves. Radogost was consecrated by Bernard, Archbishop of Ragusa, in 1189. On that occasion, Radogost brought presents for Pope Clement III from Ban Kulin, ruler of Bosnia. The historian John Van Antwerp Fine, Jr. dismisses the chronicler Mavro Orbini's date of 1171 because there is no evidence that Kulin was already Ban of Bosnia at that time.


  1. 1 2 3 Fine 2007, p. 238.
  2. Fine 2007, p. 241.


International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Lesina
Succeeded by
Nicolò delle Croci