more than 300 years the Patriarch of Aquileia, who was a Prelate of
the Roman Catholic Church, had ruled Friuli, the region north of Venice
along the Adriatic coast, as a temporal fief. Abetted by the Counts
of Gorizia, the Patriarch frequently sided with the King of Hungary,
his eastern neighbor, in Hungary's recurring disputes with Venice.
Finally, in 1418 a major dispute erupted between Venice and the King
of Hungary over sovereignty of Dalmatia, the region lying opposite
Venice on the eastern coast of the Adriatic.
rashly decided to personally lead an invading Hungarian army attacking
Venice from the north through Friuli. With the assistance of a dissident
Friulano military commander, Venetian forces quickly seized the initiative,
capturing Feltre and Belluno. By 1420 the Patriarch found his forces
hemmed up and besieged at Udine. His calls to the Hungarian king for
reinforcement were futile, because the King was by then embroiled
in other serious military challenges in Bohemia in the west and with
the Turks on his eastern flank.
The fall of
Udine left the Patriarch no alternative to accepting a humiliating
peace. He ceded to Venice all of Friuli, except for Aquileia itself
and two other towns. Gorizia also agreed to Venetian sovereignty.
Venice had succeeded in doubling the size of her mainland territory
in a single campaign. At the same time, a naval expedition reestablished
Venetian control of the Dalmatian coast, resolving the issue that
had precipitated the war in Friuli.