The Crusade of Varna (1443-1445) and the Bulgarians. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international conference "Southeast Europe : History, Culture, Politics, and Economy", Veliko Tarnovo, 18th February 2019. Eds. Dimitar Dimitrov, Milko Palangurski, Nadezhda Hristova Veneta Hristova, Vihren Bouzov. – Bologna : Filodiritto Publisher, 2019, pp. 12-18. ISBN 978-88-85813-37-3
The paper aims at the Anti-Ottoman crusades of King Władysław III (Ladislaus I in Hungary) and János Hunyadi in 1443-1444, their advance deep into the Ottoman Empire, and
the battle of Varna on 10 November 1444. Despite the military campaigns of King Władysław III against the Ottomans have been widely discussed and basically well-studied, the role of the local Bulgarian population and the aristocracy in the campaigns of 1443 and 1444 is still
understudied. Analyzing some written and other sources of information, the author formulates the following questions: What were the strategic and the tactical goals of the Crusades and were they achieved in the military campaigns of King Władysław III and János Hunyadi in 1443 and 1444? What were the place and the role of the Bulgarian lands in the crusaders’ plans? What were the real results of the Long March of 1443? Why was the route of the autumn campaign in 1444 completely different from that of the previous 1443? What was the role of the Bulgarians in the course of the two campaigns of 1443 and 1444? Was the issue of
the legacy of the former Bulgarian Tsardom and crown still actual during the Anti-Ottoman Crusade? And finally: Did the Bulgarians cooperate with the crusading army in 1443-
1444? The author seeks to answer these questions by analyzing written information and criticizing some traditional views on the attitude of Bulgarian local population and aristocracy towards the Crusaders and the Ottomans during the dramatic historical events of 1443-1444.
Keywords: King Władysław III, János Hunyadi, medieval Bulgaria, Ottoman conquest, Anti-Ottoman Crusades, Crusade of Varna, Battle of Varna of 1444