Today in European history: the Battle of Kosovo (1389)

Today is the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo. It’s necessary to specify the year because there have been so many “battles of Kosovo” over the centuries. But this one, in contrast with 1369’s Battle of Kosovo or 1448’s Battle of Kosovo or 1831’s Battle of…well, you get the idea, is the one most people probably think of when you say “the Battle of Kosovo.” This Battle of Kosovo, though tactically inconclusive, was a strategic Ottoman victory that both set the stage for early Ottoman domination of the Balkans and became the touchstone for Serbian national consciousness. It’s an important battle with far-reaching implications that is unfortunately not very well-documented (a common problem in early Ottoman history). But we’ll do the best we can.

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