Louis I of Hungary
Louis the Great is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

, soon to be followed by her second husband, Louis of Taranto
Louis of Taranto
Louis I of Naples , of the House of Anjou, was the Prince of Taranto from 1346 and King of Naples from 1352. He was a son of Philip I of Taranto and Catherine II of Valois, Princess of Achaea. His paternal grandparents were Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary...

. Having established himself in Naples with little difficulty, Louis was nevertheless forced to withdraw quickly by the arrival of the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

. In his rush to leave ravaged Italy, he appointed two Hungarian officials to hold the regency. They soon lost the support of the local barons and opened the way for the return of Joan and her husband.

Two years later, early in 1350, King Louis landed at Manfredonia
Manfredonia is a town and comune of Puglia, Italy, in the province of Foggia, from which it is 35 kilometres northeast by rail. Manfredonia is situated on the coast, facing east, to the south of Monte Gargano, and giving its name to the gulf to the east of it...

. After serials of successful battles city and castle sieges, he was again able to control the Kingdom of Naples and its capital city. On this Napolitan journey, Louis the Great carried gold coins equal to Hungary's six, and Europe's two years, of total gold production, with countless silver pieces piled atop them. However, the Kingdom of Naples was namely a vassal state of the Papacy, and the Hungarian-Neapolitan union would have harmed papal interest. Louis could not become the legal king of Naples without the assent of Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI , bornPierre Roger, the fourth of the Avignon Popes, was pope from May 1342 until his death in December of 1352...

; therefore he soon called off the campaign at the insistence of his exhausted troops and renounced all claims on the Neapolitan crown. Before leaving Italy, he had the papal curia of Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

 begin an inquest into the murder of Andrew, but the papal court found Joan innocent, largely for political reasons, as Joan agreed to ceded her temporal rights over the city of Avignon to the papacy. The conflict with Naples was finally settled in 1381, one year before Louis’ death. Pope Urban VI
Pope Urban VI
Pope Urban VI , born Bartolomeo Prignano, was Pope from 1378 to 1389.-Biography:Born in Itri, he was a devout monk and learned casuist, trained at Avignon. On March 21, 1364, he was consecrated Archbishop of Acerenza in the Kingdom of Naples...

  stripped the royal title from Joan and authorized king Louis to execute his decision. He was too ill to go personally, but his nephew, Charles of Durazzo
Charles III of Naples
Charles the Short or Charles of Durazzo was King of Naples and titular King of Jerusalem from 1382 to 1386 as Charles III, and King of Hungary from 1385 to 1386 as Charles II. In 1382 Charles created the order of Argonauts of Saint Nicholas...

, with the help of Hungarian gold and troops, seized the throne and killed Joan, who was smothered with pillows, in revenge for the method of Andrew's assassination.)

From 1357 to 1358, Louis waged a new war against Venice for the rule of Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

. After successfully organising an anti-Venetian league, Louis put the cities of Dalmatia to fire and the sword, expelling all the Venetians. By the Treaty of Zara
Treaty of Zara
The Treaty of Zadar, also known as the Treaty of Zara, was a peace treaty signed in Zadar, Dalmatia on February 18, 1358 by which the Venetian Republic lost influence over its Dalmatian holdings...

 (1358), all of Louis's demands over the Adriatic region were recognized. He immediately built up an Adriatic fleet. After the third Venetian war (1372–1381) Venice had to pay annual tribute to Louis (Peace of Turin
Peace of Turin
The Peace of Turin signed on August 8, 1381, ended the War of Chioggia, the last stage of the larger Venetian-Genoese War. Neither the Republic of Venice nor the Republic of Genoa succeeded in gaining the upper hand, and Venice temporarily lost some territories...

, 1381). The Venetians also had to raise the Angevin flag on St. Mark's Square on holy days. In 1381 Louis obtained from the Republic of Venice the relics of St. Paul the Hermit, which were taken with great ecclesiastical pomp to the Pauline monastery near Buda.

Louis' Italian army contained German mercenary heavy infantry and English longbowmen, Hungarian heavy knights and light cavalry from Hungary, Louis party Italians and Italian nobles.

Northern wars

In the North, Louis's diplomacy, moreover, was materially assisted by his lifelong alliance with his uncle, King Casimir III of Poland
Casimir III of Poland
Casimir III the Great , last King of Poland from the Piast dynasty , was the son of King Władysław I the Elbow-high and Hedwig of Kalisz.-Biography:...

, who had appointed him his successor. Louis waged successful wars against the pagan Lithuanians
Lithuanians are the Baltic ethnic group native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,765,600 people. Another million or more make up the Lithuanian diaspora, largely found in countries such as the United States, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Russia, United Kingdom and Ireland. Their native language...

, Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, and against Bohemians. The young Louis had become very popular in Poland due to these campaigns. In Poland, Louis defeated Lithuanians (1350–1352) and the Mongols(Golden Horde), and conquered Galicia (Central-Eastern Europe). After the serials of victories over the Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

, the Hungarian sphere of influence stretched eastward as far as the Dniester
The Dniester is a river in Eastern Europe. It runs through Ukraine and Moldova and separates most of Moldova's territory from the breakaway de facto state of Transnistria.-Names:...

. In 1345 Bohemians besieged Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, the Polish capital. Louis arrived in time and dispelled the Bohemian army. In the wars between 1345–47, Louis defeated the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

. After uncle Casimir's death in 1370, Louis organised a very lavish Angevin-style funeral for uncle Casimir to demonstrate his power and wealth in Poland. The Poles elected Louis King of Poland in compliance with the agreement made in Visegrád during his father's reign. In accordance with the 1355 dynastic agreement, he was crowned King of Poland at Kraków 17 November 1370 by Iaroslav Archbishop of Gniezno, primate of Poland. Being the ruler of Poland, however, was not an unqualified pleasure. After he became king of Poland Louis ruled the country through regents.

Louis had commissioned (his mother) Elizabeth of Poland as Regent of Poland (1370–1375) to conveniently eliminate her from his Court. Still, Queen Elizabeth had some justification for taking part in the affairs and quarrels of Poland, being a Polish princess. The Poles hated to pay taxes and loved to quarrel among themselves and with the Court, especially with the domineering dowager Elizabeth. Elizabeth's regency turned out to be a failure, her background notwithstanding. In 1375, the Poles killed 160 of her Hungarian bodyguards and the mother Queen escaped to Hungary. Louis reconed with the rebels, and strengthened his power again, at his mother's expense. In 1378, Louis appointed his loyal vassal and friend: prince Władysław of Opole as his regent in Poland.

Balkan and Turkish wars

In 1344 Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

 became Louis's vassal.

Louis with his ernomous 80,000 strong army repelled the Serbian Dušan's
Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia
Stephen Uroš IV Dušan the Mighty , was the King of Serbia and Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks until his death on 20 December 1355. Dušan managed to conquer a large part of Southeast Europe, becoming one of the most powerful monarchs in his time...

 armies in vojvodine of Mačva
Mačva is a geographical region in Serbia, mostly situated in the northwest of Central Serbia. It is located in a fertile plain between the Sava and Drina rivers. The chief town of this region is Šabac. The modern Mačva District of Serbia is named after the region, although the region of Mačva...

 and principality of Travunia
Travunia was a medieval region, administrative unit and principality, which was part of Medieval Serbia , and in its last years, the Bosnian Kingdom . The county became hereditary in a number of noble houses, often kin to the ruling dynasty. The region came under Ottoman rule in 1482...

 in 1349. when Czar Dusan broke into Bosnian territory he was defeated by Bosnian Stjepan II with the assistance of King Louis' troops, and when Dušan made a second attempt he was decisively beaten by his luckier rival, King Louis the Great himself, in 1354. The two monarchs signed the peace agreement in 1355.

His latter campaigns in the Balkans were aimed not so much at conquest and subjugation as at drawing the Serbs, Bosnians, Wallachians and Bulgarians into the fold of the Roman Catholic faith and at forming a united front against the looming Turkish menace. In 1366 the Kingdom of Bosnia recognised the Hungarian authority, but Louis had himself crowned as King of the Serbians and Bosnians. After facing the Hungarian King Louis I in several locations, the last military campaign of the Hungarian monarch was decisive and in 1367 Lazar of Serbia
Lazar of Serbia
Lazar Hrebeljanović , was a medieval nobleman that emerged as the most powerful Serbian ruler after the death of the previous, childless, Emperor Uroš the Weak, which resulted in years of instability in the Serbian realm. As Stefan Lazar, he was Prince of Serbia from 1371 to 1389, ruling what is...

 recognised his authority over the Serbians. Louis annexed Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 in 1352 and established a vassal principality there, before conquering Vidin in 1365. The spread of Hungarian influence in the future Moldavia also contributed to an increasing Romanian presence in the territory, because the Romanian elements that would organize Moldavia, migrated there from the Kingdom of Hungary, from the region of Maramureş. In the spring of 1365, Louis I headed a campaign against the Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

n Tsardom of Vidin and its ruler Ivan Sratsimir
Ivan Sratsimir of Bulgaria
Ivan Sratsimir or Ivan Stratsimir was emperor of Bulgaria in Vidin from 1356 to 1396. He was born in 1324 or 1325, and he died in or after 1397. Despite being the eldest surviving son of Ivan Alexander, Ivan Sratsimir was disinherited in favour of his half-brother Ivan Shishman and proclaimed...

. He seized the city of Vidin
Vidin is a port town on the southern bank of the Danube in northwestern Bulgaria. It is close to the borders with Serbia and Romania, and is also the administrative centre of Vidin Province, as well as of the Metropolitan of Vidin...

 on 2 May 1365; the region was under direct Hungarian rule
Hungarian occupation of Vidin
The Hungarian occupation of Vidin was a period in the history of the city and region of Vidin, today in northwestern Bulgaria, when it was under the rule of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1365 to 1369....

 until 1369. Louis took Ivan Sratsimir and his family into captivity. Later, in 1369, Louis reinstalled Ivan and the country got vassal status. In 1366 Byzantine Emperor John V visited Hungary to beg for help against Turks. John V came to the Hungarian capital of Buda, where according to one account he acted arrogantly while he was asking for military help. Other accounts dispute this but the rulers parted on bad terms, John V had to leave one of his sons as hostage. It was relatively easy to subdue Balkanian Orthodox countries by arms, but to convert them was a different matter. Despite Louis' efforts, the peoples of the Balkans remained faithful to the Eastern Orthodox Church and their attitude toward Hungary remained ambiguous.

The rulers of Serbia, Bosnia, Walachia, Moldavia, and Bulgaria became his vassals.
They regarded powerful Hungary as a potential menace to their national identity. For this reason, Hungary could never regard the Serbs and Wallachians as reliable allies in her subsequent wars against the Turks. The Ottoman Turks confronted the southern vassal states in the Balkan region ever more often. However Louis defeated the Turks when Hungarian and Turkish troops clashed for the first time in history at Nicapoli in 1366. The Hungarian Chapel in the Cathedral at Aachen
Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

 was built to commemorate this victory. He defeated the Turkish army in Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 in 1374.

But it is easily arguable that his Balkan enterprises brought Hungary, on balance, more of a loss than benefit.

Inheritance of Poland and death

In 1370, the Piasts of Poland
Piast dynasty
The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland. It began with the semi-legendary Piast Kołodziej . The first historical ruler was Duke Mieszko I . The Piasts' royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir the Great...

 died out. The last dynast, Casimir the Great, left only female issue and a grandson. Since arrangements had been made for Louis's succession as early as 1355, he became King of Poland upon his uncle's death in right of his mother, who held much of the practical power until her death in 1380 .

When Louis died in 1382, the Hungarian throne was inherited by his daughter Mary
Mary of Hungary
Mary of Anjou was queen regnant of Hungary from 1382 until her death in 1395.-Childhood:...

. In Poland, however, the lords of Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland is one of the historical regions of Poland, with its capital in the city of Kraków. It forms the southeastern corner of the country, and should not be confused with the modern Lesser Poland Voivodeship, which covers only a small, southern part of Lesser Poland...

 did not want to continue the personal union with Hungary, nor to accept Mary's fiancé Sigismund as a regent. They therefore chose Mary's younger sister, Hedwig
Jadwiga of Poland
Jadwiga was monarch of Poland from 1384 to her death. Her official title was 'king' rather than 'queen', reflecting that she was a sovereign in her own right and not merely a royal consort. She was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, the daughter of King Louis I of Hungary and Elizabeth of...

 as their new monarch. After two years of negotiations with Louis widow, Elizabeth of Bosnia, who was regent of Hungary, and a civil war in Greater Poland
Greater Poland
Greater Poland or Great Poland, often known by its Polish name Wielkopolska is a historical region of west-central Poland. Its chief city is Poznań.The boundaries of Greater Poland have varied somewhat throughout history...

 (1383), Hedwig finally came to Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 and was crowned "King" (not Queen) of Poland on 16 November 1384. The masculine gender in her title was intended to underline the fact that she was a monarch in her own right and not a queen consort.

Peace in Hungary in a turbulent Europe

Although he waged a host of campaigns outside Hungary, Louis did keep peace within Hungary itself. In an era when Spain was harassed by the Arabs, France targeted by the English, Germany tormented by the rivalries of its princes, Italy the scene of bloody conflicts among its city-states, Poland and Russia the objects of Lithuanian and Tartar attacks, and Byzantium and the Balkan states subject to Turkish raids and expansion, Hungary flourished as an island of peace.

In death as in life, Louis expressed his wish to lie eternally by his idol's side. Accordingly, he was laid to rest in Nagyvárad beside the tomb of King Saint Ladislaus.



King of Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, Rama, Serbia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Jerusalem and Sicily from 1342, King of Poland from 1370
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