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Pipo of Ozora (born Filippo Buondelmonti degli Scolari; known as Ozorai Pipó in Hungarian; Filippo Scolari, Lo Scolari or Pippo Spano in Italian, Филип Мађарин, Филип Маджарин or Philip Madzharin, Philip the Magyar in Bulgarian and Serbian epic songs; 1369 - December 1426) was an Italian condottiero, general, strategist and confidant of Sigismund of Hungary.


Early career

Pipo, the son of a Florentine destitute merchant, was born at Tizzano, near Florencemarker. He is first mentioned in Hungary around 1382, when he entered the service of Sigismund's treasurer and was awarded the castle in Simontornyamarker (Simonsthurm). Further services to the Crown, such as providing resources to fight the Ottomans, have led to his appointment as administrator of all gold mines in the kingdom. Present in Bosnia, in the context of a Hungarian nobles' rebellion and King Tvrtko's death, Pipo managed to subdue the main leaders of the revolt.

He took part in the unfortunate anti-Ottoman Crusade of September 1396 at Nicopolismarker (in today's Bulgariamarker), and, unlike most on the Christian side, managed to flee after the defeat. He, the King, and a number of high dignitaries sailed a small boat up the Danube, all the way to Hungarian lands.

He married Barbara, daughter and heir of Andrew of Ozoramarker, in 1398.

During the new period of trouble with the claim to the throne of Charles II's son Ladislas of Naples, Lo Scolari exposed acts of treason on the part of some noblemen. He was however forced to give in to most of their demands, as the King was taken prisoner in Visegrádmarker Castle (1401).

After a brief reasserting of control by Sigismund, the nobles openly recognized Ladislas as King. The forces of the Kingdom of Naples took Zadarmarker in 1403, and Pipo had to retreat; the same year, he gained back Veszprémmarker, and, in September, took Esztergommarker and again raided Bosnia - breaking apart contacts between Sicilian and rebel armies, forcing the invaders to flee. He persuaded the rebels to seek Sigismund's pardon.

While in Viennamarker, Pipo was made Count of Temesvármarker (Timişoara). In this capacity, he initiated the building of the Hungarian border castle system to contain the Ottoman aggression; immediately, Pipo started confronting the Turks, but also moving against the Serbian and Bosnian armies of Tvrtko II that had been besiegeing Šibenikmarker, gaining back parts of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

In Italy

In 1408, Pipo became the ban of Severinmarker (Szörény) and member of the prestigious Order of the Dragon; by that time, he had become wealthy and powerful. In 1410, Sigismund sent him to persuade Italian city-states to cut off their links with Naplesmarker: he traveled in great pomp to his native Florencemarker, then to Ferraramarker (meeting Niccolò III d'Este). In August, he was received by Pisanmarker Antipope John XXIII. In September, present in Venicemarker, Pipo Inzaghi is said to have backed a conspiracy.

As part of the anti-Venetian campaign of 1411, Lo Scolari entered Friulimarker at the head of an army, conquered Aquileiamarker and, in December, he took Udinemarker and several fortresses in Romagna, then Vittorio Venetomarker - capturing a high official from the Barbarigo family. In January 1412, the renewed attack ensured Pipo a supply of high-ranking Venetian prisoners, whom he ordered mutilated to avenge a Hungarian killed by the enemy.

He suffered minor defeats against the Malatesta armies, and the war remained undecided well into 1413. Pipo intended to besiege Paduamarker in January, but he couldn't maintain his army on the spot, and moved towards the Brenta, in Cartiglianomarker and Marosticamarker, leading an unsuccessful attack on Vicenzamarker. Further failures provoked his retreat to Friuli, and then to Hungary, in February. This outcome made Venetian accounts imply a settlement with the Most Serene Republic, and even the mythical execution of Pipo as revenge on the part of the Emperor King (he would have had molten gold poured down his throat).

Lo Scolari returned to Friuli in September, in order to aid Florence against Ladislas' troops. At Lodimarker (in Lombardy), he attended the meeting between Sigismund and the ruler of the city, Giovanni da Vignate.

Later assignments

Pipo took part in the March 1414 initial proceedings of the Council of Constancemarker, where the Emperor King charged him with guarding John XXIII - an assignment he did not fully accomplish, as the Antipope soon managed to flee. In 1415, the Count of Temesvár witnessed Jan Hus' execution in Konstanzmarker.

He fought the Turks again in 1417 in Wallachia, in 1418 around Belgrademarker, and in 1419 in Bosnia (where he agreed to a five-year truce); the King Emperor awarded him Severin, Mehadiamarker and Orşovamarker. He was called to Bohemia, where he dealt with the Hussite insurrection from 1420 (see Battle of Vítkov Hill), being severely beaten by Jan Žižka at Havlíčkův Brodmarker (see Battle of Německý Brod), in January 1422.

The rumor that Pipo had been killed in Bohemia led to an Ottoman attack in Wallachia against his ally Prince Dan II. Prompted by requests from Stefan Lazarević, he moved into Serbia and won a large-scale battle. However, he also suffered a stroke and remained impaired, being carried away to Petrovaradinmarker.

He was buried in Székesfehérvármarker (Alba Regia), next to the tombs of Hungarian Kings. His funeral was attended by Sigismund himself.

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