Prince Borić

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Hungarian prince Boris Kalamanos (bs. Boril Borić, hu. Borics, Borisz) was under the rules of international legal order the first (since 1141) sovereign ruler of Bosnia[1][2][3] as her first Viceroy and Ban of Bosnia[4].

According to historian researchers of Hungary's royalty, Borić was the oldest son of Hungary's King Coloman (1095–1116) (hu. Calamanos) [5], so that his Coat of Arms contains only highest royal insignia such as bend sinister as the sign of illegitimate princes. In Europe of that time, extramarital illegitimacy of a royal heir had no legal weight, and bend sinister as a symbol was a cultural characteristic of the age, used for amusement purposes and bragging about king's manhood.[6]

As plans for alliance between Hungary and Ukraine-Russia (then under Borisz's maternal grandfather prince Vladimir II Monomakh the ruler of all Ukraine and Russia) fell through, King Coloman refused to recognize unborn Borisz as his legal child and potential heir, and expelled Borisz's still pregnant mother Byzantine princess Anna Dukaina from Hungary under false accusations of adultery so she was forced to deliver Borisz at his grandfather's court.

Hungary claims

From the 1120s until the end of the 1130s Borić has claimed the throne of Hungary and made several attempts to retake the country, claiming to be Coloman's legitimate heir.[7] The situation in Hungary became tense with death of King Béla II (1131–1141). According to a 19th century monk and writer Ivan Jukić, Ban Borić ruled Bosnia between 1141-1168,[8] which coincides with King Béla's death and the succession of Béla's son, King Géza II (1141-1162). Indeed as the Hungarian historians point out, young Géza, who was a minor at the time, got so afraid of Prince Borić retaking the throne of Hungary, that the boy and his regents arranged his coronation only three days after his father's death, without due grief period.

As the surrounding foes, Poland and Russia primarily, began taking interest in Hungary's internal affairs, Hungarian nobility stood in support of Géza. In order to stabilize the country, the young king quenched the Borić's appetites by appointing him Bosnia's Viceroy but keeping his own minor brother, Prince Ladislaus II, a nominal Duke of Bosnia - the post to which the latter boy was named in 1137, age only six.[9] Borić accepted the offer[3], so for example a 17th century chronicle by a Croatian historian Ivan Švear, while mentioning Borić's family ties to other noblemen of the time, places the Bosnian ban Borić in the period "probably earlier" than 1150.[10] Later sources refer to Borić as the common ancestor to most Bosnian rulers including reigning kings from the Kotromanić dynasty extinct due to the Ottomans in 1463[11][12], a name Borić coined for his Bosnian dynastic branch from Latin words coutor[13]+romani[14] meaning the Rome's allies.

Ruler of Bosnia

Borić thus became the first Viceroy of the newly created state known from then on as Banate of Bosnia, of which he became the sovereign ruler with the title of Ban.[15] He was the founder of the royal House of Berislavić (sometimes referred to as the House of Boričević), with possessions on both sides of the river Sava. Notably, "Borić was a respected ruler over a vast Bosnian banate".[16]

A Greek historian John Kinnamos, the imperial secretary to the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos (1143–1180), wrote:

"'Borić was not a vassal but an ally of King of Hungary. Bosnia at that time spread all the way to river Drina, which was the border to Serbia. Bosnia was not subservient to the Serbian Grand Duke. Instead, its people was independent, it had its own customs and regulations, as well as its own separate sovereign."[16]

That Borić's state was indeed vast is seen from the fact that it extended territorially westward all the way to Livno and Rama.[17] At the end of the fall of 1154, Borić led his troops and assisted his liege together with some mercenaries, palatine of Hungary and Ban Beloš Vukanović of the Serb Vojislavljević dynasty, to conquer Braničevo from the Byzantines. Emperor Manuel I dispatched a squadron of troops towards Belgrade, to cross the river Sava and chase the Bosnian Army. With Hungarian assistance, the Bosnian Army defeated the Byzantines and ended their attempt to cut off the Kingdom of Hungary's military power.

In 1163 Borić endowed the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller with property in Slavonia.[15] Borić's own biological brother Dominic was a knight Templar in the Second Crusade.[18]

Geopolitical settings

Borić's attempts to organize the first Bosnian state as Viceroy were largely affected by broader instability in Western Christendom. As Pope Adrian IV entered into alliance with the Byzantines following their 1155 invasion of Sicily, Rome has seen this as a chance to win the ongoing struggle against the mercenary Normans for power over Southern Italy too. The new pact resulted in Rome losing interest in Hungary and, by extension, Bosnia and Croatia as well.

Preoccupied with its own survival, the Holy See left Bosnia and Croatia to their destinies. Papal interest in supporting Borić has not become a priority even after the Byzantines withdrew from Sicily in 1158, as struggles over the right to papacy emerged right after that. These resulted in two subsequent Antipopes, unrecognized by the Church but supported by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Such prolonged internal instability in the Western Christendom then resulted in Rome losing interest in East European affairs.

Southern Italy in 1112. Marked is Kingdom of Sicily after death of King Roger II in 1154, covering virtually whole of Southern Italy.

The Byzantium saw this as an opportunity to gain control over Hungary. They bribed the uncles of the new child-King of Hungary Stephen_III who was crowned in 1162 at age 14. While the King's uncles were usurping Hungary to the Byzantines' benefit, the Byzantines were in hurry while the King was still a minor and so they hired German mercenaries[19] from the Gutkeleds tribe, led by knight Gottfried of Meinz, to depose Borić in 1163.

When the Hungarian king turned 18, his uncles did return the powers to him, but only after he promised to give away Bosnia and Croatia to the Byzantine Empire. He promised to do so, but as a devote Catholic the inexperienced king immediately engaged the Byzantines. When he died under unexplained circumstances soon after, in 1172 aged only 24, his brother, who was raised at the Byzantine Court, succeeded the throne of Hungary.

The Church's new pope, Alexander III then assisted his new allies the Byzantines by crowning the new King of Hungary Béla III in 1173, hoping this would help Roman papacy gain a strong footing as well. To make it all work, the Byzantines provided enormous quantities of gold and silver to the new Hungarian king, thus making him one of the richest monarchs of Europe, wealthier even than monarchs of France and England.[20] This had made the Emperor reconcile with the now widely feared pope, who was thereby allowed to return to Rome, in 1178. To honor his deal with the Byzantines, the pope immediately took interest in foreign affairs reaching as far as the Baltic, allowing for the Byzantines' territorial pretension over Eastern Europe.

So as the election of the Barbarossa's last Antipope, Innocent III, in Rome in 1179 was destined to fail, making the Emperor bound to finally reconcile with now fully stabilized Holy See, the Byzantines through their patsy[21] King of Hungary install Ban Kulin as the ruler of Bosnia, without further ado in 1180.

Bosnian repercussions

Castle of Bosnia's founding father, Viceroy Borić, with a trench, look ca. 1250. Drinovac-Cernik at Brod.[22]

As the firstborn son of King Coloman, Prince Borić saw the 1162-1163 internal struggles for the succession of Hungarian crown as another (his third) opportunity to re-claim his right to throne.

However, Stephen III, son of Géza II, won. Soon after, the new King, that is his uncles as regents hire mercenaries from a German tribe under knight Gottfried to subdue King's challengers, including Borić, in 1163. Prior to that, in return for his loyalty to Hungary as the Byzantines threatened Hungary from the east, Borić with his large and experienced army was left alone to rule over Bosnia. Germans failed in deposing Borić, and so in 1167 he is on record as having provided his combat units to the Hungarian Army in a battle against the Byzantine Empire, at Zemun near Belgrade. The Byzantines defeated Hungary in that battle however, and so Bosnia and Hungary were subdued by the Byzantine empire.[23]

Life and death

Vladimir II Monomakh, Grand Prince of Kievan Rus' (1113-1125), maternal grandfather of Prince Borić.

Borić married a Byzanzine princess Anna Dukaina from the great Rurik dynasty, the founders of Russia and Ukraine, and which were succeeded only at the beginning of 17th century by the Romanovs, the last and later on imperial dynasty of Russia. Borić fathered two sons with Anna: Calamanos Constantine and Calamanos Sztefan.[24][25] In 1163, Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus appointed Constantine Calamanos as governor of the Byzantine province of Cilicia (mainland across from Cyprus; present-day Turkey).[26] In 1170, Constantine lost the province to invading troops of the Armenian Prince Mleh. Although he could have easily secured the province back into his hands using available empire's legions[27], Constantine Colomanos returns in a hurry to Bosnia on Borić's death. There, he inherits the Bosnian throne, taking a Bosnian-localized ruling name of Kulin. Thus sources mention him as governor of Cilicia for the last time in 1173, which is then probably the year in which he took over the reign over Bosnia, and the most likely year of Borić's death.

The time and circumstances of Borić's death remain unclear, as there is no evidence that he had died in battle. Most likely, he did have a say in picking Kulin as his successor because, according to historian researchers of Hungarian royalty, Kulin was Borić's son ("Banus Culinus, Borichii filius").[28]

Historic "debate"

Cernik castle near Brod, today. Built in the footprints of the Borić's castle.

Viceroy Borić's origins and life are a matter of debate, arising largely due to numerous free interpretations and systematic negating of nearly all authors like friar Ivan Jukić, who place Borić in a precisely determined historic era and political context. As a consequence, interpretations on Borić remain largely inconclusive.

Also, some modern historians arbitrarily doubt Hungarian royal court's chronicles[29] (normally written and/or copied in Latin), instead holding extreme views such as the one that prince Borisz Kalaman never was in Hungary. Contrary to such ad hoc claims, stand numerous authentic court and other chronicles, revealing such details as: exact dates, Borić's routine relations with European courts and rulers, information on his political ties and intrigues, data on his most highest political influence on Europe of that time, and so on. On the other hand, skeptics state no evidence for their own mostly categorical negating, instead offering almost exclusively mere interpretations.

Thus in modern view, Prince Borisz (Borics; Borić) is largely veiled by secrecy, despite the fact that his biography contains too much overlapping and similarities to be discarded as a set of coincidences. Some of most striking examples that demonstrate that Borisz and Borić are the same person, are: (i) the same name, (ii) the same geographic region, (iii) the same historical era, (iv) identical closeness to the Byzantine imperial court as well as (v) highest rank at the Hungarian royal court, (vi) a son of practically the same name (hu. Kalman; bos. Kulin), where "both" sons had previous governor experience (over Cilicia; and Bosnia), (vii) partaking in same wars, (viii) allegedly unknown circumstances of death, where the prince "dies" in 1154 while the ban "appears in historic texts for the first time" in 1154, (ix) highly cautious interpretations insisting on the mysterious instead of on sources, and so on. Thus a most often note attached next to "both" the prince's and the viceroy's name is that "biography a matter of debate". This despite primary sources, such as Hungarian royal court's chronicles that unequivocally point to the fact that Kulin was Borić's own son, or the new evidence such as (xi) the coat of arms of Bosnian ruling dynasty Berislavićs, discovered in the archives of Mirogoj cemetery in Croatia's capital Zagreb (main photo in infobox), and which contains only highest royal insignias along with a rare bend sinister as an exclusive symbol of bastard princes.[6] The true identity of Borić as Hungarian Prince Borisz as seen in royal court chronicles was always clear to Hungarian historians, so much so in fact that they felt the thing needed no referencing at all. For instance, the famous Hungarian historian and politician from the period between two World wars Bálint Hóman states explicitly:

Hungarian rulers since Béla II had a valid claim over the Bosnian Princedom given by King Géza II to Prince Borisz."[3][2]

Austro-Hungary's colonel and historian of Serbian historiography Simeon Bogdanović–Siniša (Sima Bogdanović, 1833-1909), has also concluded in his research that Ban Borić and Hungarian prince Boris Kalamanos were the same person. He also claims that the princess consort of Serbia's foremost ruler Prince Nemanja, St. Anastasia, was in fact Borić's daughter Ana.[1] The manuscript of Bogdanović's lifetime work The History of Serbs was destroyed or hidden by Croatian fascist puppet state during World War 2.

Why the Big Lie?

The above-noted interpretations and debates mostly appeared in waves i.e. in an organized fashion. This means they are most likely false responses (for pulling curtains over a historic stage) to important discoveries of first-rate sources. Not less importantly, most such activities were severely biased and in favor of Vatican's geopolitical interests as they continue renting Illyria to foreigners for the past two millennia, ever since Rome occupied it in 9 A.D. Then as ever, and in Middle Ages in particular, creation of a state and therefore the origin of its statehood as well, were/are a legal matter, not a historical one.[2] This means that Bosnia (B-H) has a precisely known legal beginning, and that its origin is due to the Hungarian Crown and not some ad hoc meetings like communists-staged ZAVNOBiH, or the Dayton signed under duress, etc.

It also means that Serbia and Croatia have no legal claim over Bosnia. The obvious forgery about legal beginning of Bosnia, by separating Boris's Hungary claim from his Bosnia rule, along with savagely censoring the fact that Bosnia's second ruler Kulin was his own son, constitute a hellish plot for making Serbia and Croatia the West's (Rome's) puppets for constant fighting (for keeping the region strategically exhausted) over that which never was and never will be theirs.

Vladarske titule
Title created
Ban of Bosnia
1141-after 1168
Ban Kulin 1173-1204
Title created
Viceroy of Bosnia

Plemićke titule
Árpád dynasty
Prince of Hungary
nakon 1120-1141
Árpád dynasty

See also


  1. 1,0 1,1 Milenko M. Vukićević, Stevo Ćosović Znamenite žene i vladarke srpske, Svet knjige, 2005. pp.134. "However, one of writers from later period (Simeon Sima Bogdanović - Siniša in Annals of Matica Srpska, book 151) says also that Ana was a daughter of Bosnian Ban Borić. But he holds that Ban Borić and Boris, son of Coloman I, Hungarian king, were the same person, so Ana would have been a daughter of Boris Kalamanos and a granddaughter of Hungarian king Coloman I."
  2. 2,0 2,1 2,2 Nada Klaić (1994) Srednjovjekovna Bosna: Politički položaj bosanskih vladara do Tvrtkove krunidbe (1377 g), Grafički Zavod Hrvatske, Zagreb, p.48-49. ISBN 9536112051, 9789536112050. PDF Klaić quotes Hóman as saying Banus Boris got Bosnia from Géza II to rule as Regent, and then identifies Ban Boris as prince Boris Kalamanos. Regency was precisely on behalf of then-minor prince Ladislaus, the Duke of Bosnia, but who after coming of age in 1149 never took the possession of the province, so Bosnia became Boris's permanently.
  3. 3,0 3,1 3,2 Bálint Hóman (1938) Geschichte des ungarischen Mittelalters I, Berlin, p. 391. "In 1158, Duke Ladislaus came to Bysanz, in whose Bosnian duchy Geza had already appointed Banus Boris as a regent some years ago." His Regency was on behalf of Duke of Bosnia prince Ladislaus who was a minor when, in 1137, he got Bosnia at age 6.
  4. Joannes Cinnamus, Deeds of John and Manuel Comnenus. #95 in Edition: "Records of civilization", Columbia University Press, 1976, ISBN 0231040806 i 9780231040808; str.104
  5. István Katona. Historia Critica Regum Hungariae: Ex Fide Domesticorum Et Exterorum Scriptorum Concinnata. Stirpis Arpadianae ; T. 4, Complectens Res Gestas Stephani III. Ladislai II. Stephani IV. Belae III. Emerici, Ladislai III. Published by Weingand Et Koepf, 1781. p.48
  6. 6,0 6,1 Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles and Graham Johnston. A Complete Guide to Heraldry. London: TC & EC Jack, 1909. See in particular: Marks of Bastardy, p. 508.
  7. Karl Franz von Palm. Notitia rerum Hungaricarum. Ed. iii., novis curis recognita, 1785. p.474
  8. Zgodnja danica, 1864. p.263
  9. Pál Nagy. Historia pragmatica regni Hungariae diplomatibus, et scriptorum testimoniis illustrata, auxiliaribusque scientiis aucta. Published by Trattner, 1823. p.289
  10. Ivan Svear. Ogledalo Iliriuma, iliti Dogodovstina Ilirah, Slavinah, Straznji Put Horvatah Zvanih, Od Potopa, To Jest Godine Sveta 1656. Izdanje Franje Suppana, 1839. Reprint BiblioBazaar 2011, ISBN 1241794391, 9781241794392, pp.572. Published also by the British Library, Historical Print Editions.
  11. Karbić, Marija. Rod Borića bana: primjer plemićkog roda u srednjovjekovnoj Požeškoj županiji. PhD thesis, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, 2005
  12. E. Imamović, "Bosanska dinastija Kotromanića", p.21.
  15. 15,0 15,1 “24. The Priory of Vrana”, The Military Orders: On Land and by Sea. Pristupljeno URLu 2012-09-02.
  16. 16,0 16,1 Anđelko Barun. Svjedoci i učitelji: povijest franjevaca Bosne Srebrene, Svjetlo riječi, 2003.
  17. Perojević, "Ban Borić i Ban Kulin", p.203.
  18. Magyar Országos Levéltár
  19. Dictionary return for "mercenary"
  20. A concise history of Hungary - Google Books, Pristupljeno URLu 2009-09-20.
  21. Dictionary return for "patsy"
  22. Nadilo, Branko. Utvrde. Građevinar 56,12:775-783, 2004.
  23. The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century
  24. Raimund Kerbl. Byzantinische Prinzessinnen in Ungarn zwischen 1050—1200 und ihr Einfluss auf das Arpadenkönigreich
  25. Online enciklopedija geneaologije Mađarske.
  26. Kristó, Gyula (editor): Korai Magyar Történeti Lexikon - 9-14. század (Encyclopedia of the Early Hungarian History - 9-14th centuries); Akadémiai Kiadó, 1994, Budapest; ISBN 963-05-6722-9.
  27. Runciman, Steven: A History of the Crusades - Volume II (The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Frankish East 1100-1187); Cambridge University Press, 1988, Cambridge; ISBN 0-521-06162-8.
  28. István Katona. Historia Critica Regum Hungariae: Ex Fide Domesticorum Et Exterorum Scriptorum Concinnata. Stirpis Arpadianae ; T. 4, Complectens Res Gestas Stephani III. Ladislai II. Stephani IV. Bélae III. Emerici, Ladislai III. Published by Weingand Et Koepf, 1781. p.581
  29. Kristó, Gyula (editor): Korai Magyar Történeti Lexikon - 9-14. század (Encyclopedia of the Early Hungarian History - 9-14th centuries); Academic Publishing, 1994, Budapest.