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Medieval History of Hungary

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Title: Medieval History of Hungary


1
Medieval History of Hungary 896-1526Todays
Relevance
  • Dr Jozsef Szakos, CBS, PolyU
  • at
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • 08.03.2010

2
Questions
  • Where do we come from?
  • Why did we settle in the Carpathian Basin?
  • What were the religious and social factors
    surrounding our nation-building?
  • How did Hungary shape the Europe of Middle Ages
    in art, politics, power?
  • Why is the study of medieval Hungary relevant for
    approaching Europe?

3
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4
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5
Where do we come from?
  • Geographically From Central Asia to Pannonia
  • Ethnically
  • Linguistically
  • Religious roots Shamanism, natural religions
  • Lifestyle hunting, nomadic

6
What awaited us Decline of Roman Empire,
Province of Pannonia
7
Pannonia, Province of Roman Empire
8
Events timeline 1.
  • 896 Crossing the Carpathian mountains, taking the
    country
  • 955 Defeated after yearly campaigns over Western
    parts of Europe (by Otto I of the Holy Roman
    Empire, at Lechfeld near Augsburg)
  • 970 Last campaigns against the Byzantine Empire
  • 970s 1301 Arpad dynasty Stephen, Ladislaus as
    examples

9
Events 2.
  • Golden Era 1308-1490
  • Charles I 1308-1342
  • Louis the Great 1342-1382
  • Sigismund of Luxemburg 1386-1437
  • Janos Hunyady era 1446-1456
  • Matthias Corvinus 1458-1490
  • Jagiellon Dynasty and Decline of Hungary 1490-1526

10
Timeline of rulers
11
The House of Arpad
12
Stephen I of Hungary
  • Born 967 in Esztergom, Grand Prince of the
    Hungarians, crowned King 1000, 1038,
  • Canonized by Pope Gregory VII together with his
    son Emeric on 20 August 1083.
  • Saint Stephen was born "Vajk" in the town of
    Esztergom. His father was Grand Prince Géza of
    Hungary his mother was Sarolt, daughter of Gyula
    of Transylvania a Hungarian nobleman who had
    been baptized in Greece. Though Sarolt was
    baptized into the Orthodox Christian faith at her
    father's court in Transylvania by the Greek
    bishop Hierotheos,she did not persist in the
    religion. According to his legends, Vajk was
    baptized a Christian by Saint Adalbert of Prague.
    He was given the baptismal name Stephen (István)
    in honour of the original early Christian Saint
    Stephen.
  • The baptised name was possibly chosen on
    purpose, as it doesn't mean only "crown" as
    mentioned, but also, and "norm, standard" in
    Hebrew. So the mission of St. Stephen was to
    grant a norm to Hungary through the Holy Crown
    (also called the Doctrine of the Holy Crown).
    However, another reason could be thought of that
    Stephen, as fiancé of a woman from the diocese of
    Passau, simply wanted to do honour to the
    then-major saint of Passau, Saint Stephen, after
    whom the Passau Cathedral is named up to today.

13
Internal politics
  • Stephen I founded several dioceses, ie, the
    dioceses of Veszprém, Gyor, Kalocsa, Vác, Bihar.
    He also established the Archdiocese of Esztergom,
    thus he set up an ecclesiastical organisation
    independent of the German archbishops. He also
    began to organize a territory-based
    administration by founding several counties
    (comitatus, megye) in his kingdom.
  • Stephen discouraged pagan customs and
    strengthened Christianity with various laws. In
    his first decree, issued in the beginning of his
    rule, he ordered that each ten villages would be
    obliged to build a church. He invited foreign
    priests to Hungary to evangelize his kingdom
    Saint Astricus served as his adviser, and Stephen
    also employed Saint Gerard Sagredo as the tutor
    for his son Emeric (also rendered as Imre).
  • Around 1003, Stephen invaded and occupied
    Transylvania, a territory ruled by his maternal
    uncle, Gyula, a semi-independent chieftain and
    after this victory, Stephen organized the Diocese
    of Transylvania. In the next few years he also
    occupied the lands of the Black Magyars in the
    Southern part of Transdanubia, and there
    organized the Diocese of Pécs. Shortly
    afterwards, it is believed that he made an
    agreement with Samuel Aba, the chieftain of the
    Kabar tribes settled in the Mátra region, who
    married Stephen's sister in his brother-in-law's
    domains, Stephen founded the .
  • Finally, Stephen occupied the domains of Ajtony,
    a semi-pagan chieftain who had been ruling over
    the territories of the later Banat. Here Stephen
    set up the Diocese of Csanád.

14
External politics
  • Stephen I allied himself with his brother-in-law,
    the Emperor Henry II against Prince Boleslaw I of
    Poland, who had extended his rule over the
    territories between the Morava and Váh Rivers.
    Stephen sent troops to the Emperor's army, and in
    the Peace of Bautzen, in 1018, the Polish prince
    had to hand over the occupied territories to
    Stephen.
  • Shortly afterwards, Stephen sent troops to help
    Boleslaw I in his campaign against the Kievan
    Rus'. In 1018, Stephen lead his armies against
    Bulgaria, in alliance with the Byzantine Emperor
    Basil II, and collected several relics during his
    campaign.
  • After the death of Henry II ( 3 July 1024),
    Stephen broke with the German alliance, because
    the new Holy Roman Emperor, Conrad II claimed the
    supremacy over the Kingdom of Hungary, while
    Stephen demanded the Duchy of Bavaria for his son
    Emeric who was the nearest relative of the
    deceased Emperor Henry II (who himself had been
    the last male descendant of the old dukes of
    Bavaria). In 1027, Stephen had Bishop , the envoy
    sent by Conrad II to the Byzantine Empire,
    arrested at the frontier. In 1030, the Emperor
    lead his armies against Hungary, but Stephen's
    troops enforced their retreat. Stephen and the
    Emperor Conrad II concluded peace negotiations in
    1031, and the territories between the Leitha
    (Hungarian (Lajta)) and Fischa Rivers were ceded
    to Hungary.

15
Wars of St Stephen
16
Last years and Legacy
  • Stephen mourned for a very long time over the
    loss of his son, which took a great toll on his
    health. He eventually recovered, but never
    regained his original vitality. Having no
    children left, he could not find anyone among his
    remaining relatives who was able to rule the
    country competently and willing to maintain the
    Christian faith of the nation. He did not want to
    entrust his kingdom to his cousin, Duke Vazul
    whom he suspected to be following pagan customs.
    The disregarded duke took part in conspiracy
    aimed at the murder of Stephen I, but the
    assassination attempt failed and Vazul had his
    eyes gouged out and molten lead poured in his
    ears. Unable to choose an heir, King Stephen died
    on the Feast of the Assumption (15 August) in the
    year 1038 at Esztergom-Szentkirály or
    Székesfehérvár, where he was buried

17
Remembering St Stephen
18
Internal organization structure of the kingdom
19
Eastern and Western Christianity
20
Original Documents by St Stephen Laws,
Foundation of Pannonhalma
21
Church organization of St Stephen
22
Pannonhalma, Tihany Benedictine Abbeys
23
King St Ladislaus
  • Saint Ladislaus I (Hungarian I. (Szent) László,
    (in Medieval English texts Saint
    Lancelot23), Croatian Ladislav I., Slovak
    Svätý Ladislav I, Polish Wladyslaw I Swiety c.
    1040 29 July 1095) was King of Hungary from
    1077 until his death, "who greatly expanded the
    boundaries of the kingdom and consolidated it
    internally no other Hungarian king was so
    generally beloved by the people".Before his
    ascension to the throne, he was the main advisor
    of his brother, Géza I of Hungary, who was
    fighting against their cousin, King Solomon of
    Hungary. When his brother died, his followers
    proclaimed Ladislaus king according to the
    Hungarian tradition that gave precedence to the
    eldest member of the royal family to the deceased
    king's sons. Following a long period of civil
    wars, he strengthened the royal power in his
    kingdom by introducing severe legislation. He
    also could expand his rule over Croatia. After
    his canonisation, Ladislaus became the model of
    the chivalrous king in Hungary

24
Hungary with Croatia 11th Century
25
Struggles inside, to West and East
  • When Ladislaus was crowned, the Counties of Moson
    and Pozsony, were still under the rule of King
    Salamon, who could count of the assistance of his
    brother-in-law, King Henry IV of Germany.
    Therefore, Ladislaus sought the alliance of the
    German king's rivals, and in 1078, he married
    Adelaide, the daughter of Duke Rudolf I of
    Swabia, who had been proclaimed King of Germany
    by the emperor's opponents.
  • In 1079, Ladislaus took the fortress of Moson
    from King Solomon, but he was not able to occupy
    Pozsony. Afterwards, he began negotiations with
    his rival, who finally abdicated in his favour in
    1081 in exchange for extensive landholdings.
    Although, the deposed king tried to plot against
    his cousin, but Ladislaus overcome the conspiracy
    and had Salamon imprisoned.
  • Upon Ladislaus' initiative, Pope Gregory VII
    ordered the canonization of the first king of
    Hungary, Stephen I and his son, Emeric (Imre). On
    the occasion of the celebrations, on the feast of
    the Assumption (August 15), 1083, Ladislaus
    allowed Salamon to go free. Salamon subsequently
    fled to the Pechenegs. In 1085, the Pechenegs
    invaded the Eastern territory of the kingdom, but
    Ladislaus defeated them. Following upon his
    victory, no-one disputed Ladislaus' right to rule.
  • The continuous struggles for the throne following
    the death of Saint Stephen I in 1038, had
    resulted in a confused internal situation when
    Ladislaus ascended the throne. Therefore,
    Ladislaus issued extremely severe decrees against
    criminal offenders that made provision for
    penalties such as mutilation, enslavement or
    execution for minor crimes against property or
    the Christian Faith.
  • King Ladislaus took an active part in the
    reorganization of the Roman Catholic Church in
    Hungary, by the setting up a new bishopric in
    Zagreb in 1087, the founding of the Archbishopric
    of Bacs by its separation from Kalocsa,6 and
    transferral of the See of Bihar to Nagyvárad,
    which was not entirely in line with the normative
    practice of the Church. Similarly, the synod of
    Hungarian prelates at Szabolcs in the year 1092
    recognized the legitimacy of the first marriage
    of the members of the clegry, which was contrary
    to canon law.
  • The collapse of the German emperor in his
    struggle with the pope left Ladislaus free to
    extend his dominions towards the south, and east
    toward the Eastern Carpathians. In 1087, he sent
    his envoys to the court of Herman of Salm, who
    had been proclaimed King of Germany by the
    opponents of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
    following the death of Ladislaus' father-in-law,
    but after he received information of Salamon's
    death, he did not intervene in the internal
    struggles in Germany.
  • In 1092, Ladislaus lead his armies against Prince
    , who had allied himself with the Cumans, and won
    a victory over him. In 1093, Ladislaus supported
    Duke Zbigniew's revolt against his father, Duke
    Wladyslaw I Herman of Poland.

26
Ladislaus the saint
  • No other Hungarian king was held in such high
    esteem. The whole nation mourned for him for
    three years, and regarded him as a saint long
    before his canonization. A whole cycle of legends
    is associated with his name. He was canonized on
    June 27, 1192.
  • A number of miracles are attributed to him. On
    the occasion of some pestilence in the country,
    he is said to have prayed for the cure before
    shooting an arrow into the air at random the
    arrow then hit the herb which would cure the
    illness. At another time, he was pursuing a
    Pecheneg force raiding the realm. According to
    the story, the king was catching up to the
    raiders, who decided to scatter the money they
    had looted before the pursuing Hungarians. The
    ruse worked as the soldiers stopped to gather the
    money. The king is then reputed to have turned
    all the gold to stone through a prayer, allowing
    him to put his army on the march again, defeat
    the raiders and free their captives.
  • C.A. Macartney, in his Hungary A Short History,
    eulogizes Ladislaus thus "Ladislas I, who, like
    Stephen and his son, Imre, was canonised after
    his death, was the outstanding personality among
    them a true paladin and gentle knight, a
    protector of his faith and his people, and of the
    poor and defenceless."

27
Mongol Invasions 1241-1242
  • The Mongols invaded Central Europe with three
    armies. One army defeated an alliance which
    included forces from the fragmented Poland and
    members of various Christian military orders, led
    by Henry II the Pious, Duke of Silesia in the
    battle of Legnica. A second army crossed the
    Carpathian mountains and a third followed the
    Danube. The armies re-grouped and crushed Hungary
    in 1241, defeating the Hungarian army at the
    Battle of Mohi on April 11, 1241. The devastating
    Mongol invasion killed half of Hungary's
    population. The armies swept the plains of
    Hungary over the summer and in the spring of
    1242, regained impetus and extended their control
    into Austria and Dalmatia and Moravia. The Great
    Khan had, however, died in December, 1241, and on
    hearing the news, all the "Princes of the Blood
    went back to Mongolia to elect the new Khan.
  • After sacking Kiev,Batu khan sent a smaller group
    of Mongols to Poland, destroying Lublin and
    defeating an inferior Polish army. Other
    elementsnot the main Mongol forcesaw difficulty
    near the Polish-Galich border. The Invasion of
    Poland and Hungary were not reconnaissance
    operations, but, rather, retaliations for the
    killing of Mongol envoyscitation needed (also
    related to the issue of escaping Cumans), and an
    occasion to plunder. The Mongols suffered
    significant casualties at Olmutz in Moravia, in a
    fight with a numerically superior pan-European
    army in terrain disadvantageous for the use of
    cavalry. As for Poland, the Mongols were just
    passing through and the efforts of king Wenceslas
    amounted to little in Mongol strategic
    considerations.
  • The Tatars then reached Polaniec on the River
    Czarna, where they set up camp. There, the
    Voivode attacked them with the remaining
    Cracovian knights, which were few in number, but
    determined to conquer or die. Surprise gave the
    Poles an initial advantage and they managed to
    kill many Mongol soldiers. When the Mongols
    realized the actual numerical strength of the
    Poles, they regrouped, broke through the Polish
    ranks and defeated them. During the fighting,
    many Polish prisoners of war found ways to escape
    and hide in the nearby woods. In part, the Polish
    defeat was due to the fact that following their
    initial success the Polish knights were
    distracted in searching for loot. The attack on
    Europe was planned and carried out by Subutai,
    who achieved, perhaps, his most lasting fame with
    his victories there. Having devastated the
    various Russian Principalities, he sent spies
    into Poland, Hungary, and as far as Austria, in
    preparation for an attack into the heartland of
    Europe. Having a clear picture of the European
    kingdoms, he prepared an attack nominally
    commanded by Batu Khan and two other princes of
    the blood. Batu Khan, son of Jochi, was the
    overall leader, but Subutai was the strategist
    and commander in the field, and as such was
    present in both the northern and southern
    campaigns against Russian Principalities. He also
    commanded the central column that moved against
    Hungary. While Kadan's northern force won the
    Battle of Legnica and Güyük's army triumphed in
    Transylvania, Subutai was waiting for them on the
    Hungarian plain. The newly reunited army then
    withdrew to the Sajo River where they inflicted a
    decisive defeat on King Béla IV of Hungary at the
    Battle of Mohi. Again, Subutai masterminded the
    operation, and it would prove to be one of his
    greatest victories.

28
Invasion of Hungary
  • Around 1241, Kingdom of Hungary looked much like
    any other feudal kingdom of Europe. Although the
    throne was still inherited by the successors of
    Árpád, the authority and power of the king was
    greatly curtailed. The rich magnates cared less
    about the national security of the whole kingdom
    than about petty feudal quarrels with their
    fellow landlords. The Golden Bull of 1222
    authorized the magnates to rebel against the king
    in some circumstances, and made the king only
    'primus inter pares'first among equals. Bela IV
    tried to restore the king's former authority and
    power without much success. Thus, Hungary lived
    in a state of feudal anarchy when the Mongols
    began to expand toward Europe.
  • The Hungarians had first learned about the Mongol
    threat in 1229, when King Andrew granted asylum
    to some fleeing Russian boyars. Magyars, left
    behind during the main migration to the Pannonian
    basin, still lived on the banks of the upper
    Volga in 1237, a Dominican friar, Julianus, set
    off on an expedition to lead them back, and was
    sent back to King Béla with a letter from Batu
    Khan. In this letter, Batu Khan called upon the
    Hungarian king to surrender his kingdom
    unconditionally to the Tatar forces or face
    complete destruction. Béla did not reply. Two
    more Mongol messages were brought to Hungary the
    first, in 1239, by the defeated Cuman tribes, who
    asked for and received asylum in Hungary, and the
    second, in February, 1241, by the defeated Polish
    princes.
  • Only then did King Béla call his magnates to join
    his army in defense of the country. He also asked
    the papacy and the Western European rulers for
    help. Foreign help came in the form of a small
    knight-detachment under the leadership of
    Frederick, Prince of Austria, but it was too
    small to influence the outcome of the campaign.
    The majority of the Hungarian magnates did not
    realize the seriousness of the Mongol danger.
    Some may have hoped that a defeat of the royal
    army would force Béla to discontinue his
    centralization efforts and thus strengthen their
    power.
  • Although the Mongol danger was serious and real,
    Hungary was not prepared to deal with it, as in
    the minds of the people (who had lived free from
    nomadic invasions for the last few hundred years)
    a new invasion seemed impossible. The population
    was no longer a soldier population. Only the rich
    nobles were trained as heavy-armored cavalry. The
    Hungarians had long since forgotten the
    light-cavalry strategy and tactics of their
    ancestors, which were similar to those now used
    by the Mongols.

29
(No Transcript)
30
Lessons learned 1.
  • Arriving at the Hornád river without having been
    challenged to a fight by the Mongols, the
    Hungarian army encamped on April 10, 1241. The
    Mongols began their attack the next night. Soon,
    it was clear that the Hungarians were losing the
    battle. The king escaped with the help of his
    bodyguard, but the rest of the army was either
    killed without mercy by the Mongols or drowned in
    the rivers while attempting an escape. The
    Mongols now systematically occupied the Great
    Hungarian Plains, the slopes of the northern
    Carpathian Mountains, and Transylvania. Where
    they found local resistance, they mercilessly
    killed the population. Where the people did not
    offer any resistance, they forced the men into
    servitude in the Mongol army. Still, tens of
    thousands avoided Mongol domination by taking
    refuge behind the walls of the few fortresses or
    by hiding in the forests or the large marshes
    alongside the rivers. The Mongols, instead of
    leaving already defenseless and helpless peoples
    behind and continuing their campaign through
    Pannonia to Western Europe, spent the entire
    summer and fall securing and pacifying the
    occupied territories. Then, during the winter,
    contrary to the traditional strategy of the
    nomadic armies which started campaigns only in
    spring-time, they crossed the Danube and
    continued their systematic occupation including
    Pannonia. They eventually reached the Austrian
    borders and the Adriatic shores in Dalmatia. At
    this time Croatia was part of Hungary, since it
    was conquered by the Kingdom of Hungary in 1091.

31
Lessons 2.
  • At least 20-40 of the population died, if not
    in slaughter then in epidemic. However the
    Mongols took control of Hungary they couldn't
    occupy any fortressed cities like Fehérvár,
    Esztergom, Veszprém, Tihany, Gyor, Pannonhalma,
    Moson, Sopron, Vasvár, Újhely, Zala, Léka,
    Pozsony -(today Bratislava Slovakia), Nitra,
    Komárom, Fülek and Abaújvár. Learning from this
    lesson, the fortresses came to play a significant
    role in Hungary.
  • King Béla IV rebuilt the country and invested in
    fortifications. With a shortage of money, he
    settled down Jewish families, investors and
    tradesmen giving them rights. The King settled
    tens of thousands of Kun (Cumans) who had fled
    the country before the invasion. This is called
    the second foundation of Hungary.
  • During the spring of 1242, Ögedei Khan had died
    at the age of fifty-six after a binge of drinking
    during a hunting trip. Batu Khan, who was one of
    the contenders to the imperial throne, returned
    at once with his armies to Asia (before
    withdrawal, Batu Khan ordered wholesale execution
    of prisoners), leaving the whole of Eastern
    Europe depopulated and in ruins. Because of his
    death, the Western Europe escaped unscathed.
  • Some Hungarian historians claim that Hungary's
    long resistance against the Mongols actually
    saved Western Europe. Many Western European
    historians reject this interpretation
  • . They point out that the Mongols evacuated
    Hungary of their own free will, and that Western
    Europe was saved by the sudden death of Ögedei
    Khan, not by the struggle of the Hungarians.
    Other European and American historians have
    questioned whether the Mongols would have been
    able to, or even wished to, continue their
    invasion into Europe west of the Hungarian plain
    at all, given the logistical situation in Europe
    and their need to keep large number of horses in
    the field to retain their strategic mobility.
  • The Mongolian invasion taught the Magyars a
    simple lesson although the Mongols had destroyed
    the countryside, the forts and fortified cities
    had survived.

32
King Bela IV
  • Béla IV (Hungarian IV. Béla), (29 November 1206
    3 May 1270), King of Hungary1 (1235-1270) and
    of Croatia (as part of the Hungarian Kingdom)
    (1235-1270), duke of Styria between 1254-1258.
    One of the most famous kings of Hungary,
    distinguished himself through his policy of
    strenghtening of the royal power following the
    example of his grand father Bela III, and by the
    rebuilding Hungary after the catastrophy of the
    Mongolian invasion in 1241. For this reason was
    called by the Hungarians "the second founder of
    our country".
  • 21 September 1235, Béla ascended the throne
    without any opposition and crowned him on 14
    October in Székesfehérvár. Shortly afterwards, he
    accused his young stepmother and his father's
    main advisor, of adultery and ordered their
    arrest.
  • Béla's main purpose was to restore the royal
    power that had weakened during his father's rule
    e.g., he ordered the burning of his advisors'
    seats, because he wanted to force them to stand
    in the presence of the king. As he also wanted to
    strengthen the position of the towns, he
    confirmed the charter of Székesfehérvár and
    granted new privileges to several key towns in
    the kingdom (Pest, Nagyszombat, Selmecbánya,
    Korpona, Zólyom, Bars, and Esztergom).
  • He sent Friar Julian to find the Magyar tribes
    who had remained in their eastern homeland. Friar
    Julian, after meeting with the eastern Magyars
    returned to Hungary in 1239 and informed Béla of
    the planned Mongol invasion of Europe. Béla
    wanted to take precautions against the Mongols
    therefore he granted asylum, in Hungary, to the
    Cumans who had been defeated by the Mongols.

33
Extern expansion struggles w son
  • in 1242, he could lead his troops against Duke
    Frederick II of Austria. During his campaign, he
    managed to reoccupy Sopron and Koszeg and he
    compelled the duke to renounce the three counties
    he had occupied during the Mongol invasion.
  • On 30 June 1244, Béla made a peace with the
    Republic of Venice and he surrendered his
    supremacy over Zadar (then called Zara) but he
    retained the 1/3 of the Dalmatian city's revenues
    of customs. In 1245, Béla provided military
    assistance to his son-in-law, Prince Rostislav
    against Prince Danylo of Halych, but the latter
    forced back the pretender's attacks.
  • Upon his request, Pope Gregory IX absolved Béla
    of his oath he had taken to the Holy Roman
    Emperor during the Mongol invasion on 21 August
    1245. Shortly afterwards, Duke Frederick II of
    Austria, who did not give up his claims to the
    western counties of the Kingdom of Hungary,
    launched an attack against Hungary. Although, he
    could defeat the Hungarian troops in a battle by
    the Leitha River, but he died in the battle. With
    his death, the male line of the House of
    Babenberg became extinct, and a struggle
    commenced for the rule over Austria and Styria.
  • Béla granted the Banat of Szörény to the Knights
    Hospitaller in 1249, when a rumour was spreading
    that the Mongols were preparing a new campaign
    against Europe. In the same year, he assisted
    again his son-in-law against Halych, but Prince
    Danylo defeated his troops by the San River.
    Finally, Béla decided to make an agreement with
    the Prince of Halych and they had a meeting in
    Zólyom in 1250 where Béla promised that he would
    not assist his son-in-law against Prince Danylo.
  • Béla decided to intervene in the struggle for the
    inheritance of the House of Babenberg and
    arranged a marriage between Gertrude of Austria,
    the niece of the deceased Duke Frederick II of
    Austria, and Roman Danylovich, a son of Prince
    Danylo of Halych. In 1252, he led his armies
    against Austria and occupied the Vienna Basin.
  • Béla had had his eldest son, Stephen crowned
    junior king already in 1246, but he did not want
    to share the royal power with his son. However,
    Stephen recruited an army against his father and
    persuaded Béla to cede him the government of
    Transylvania in 1258.
  • Béla lost his favourite son in the summer of
    1269. Afterwards, his favourite daughter, Anna
    exercised more and more influence over him. In
    his last will, Béla entrusted his daughter and
    his followers to her son-in-law, King Otakar II
    of Bohemia, because he did not trust his son.

34
Prosperity under foreign kings Charles I
(1308-1342)
  • After the destructive period of interregnum
    (13011308), the first Angevin king, Charles I of
    Hungary (King 13081342) -An Árpád descendant in
    the female line- successfully restored the royal
    power, who defeated oligarch rivals, the so
    called "little kings". Charles I was crowned as a
    child and raised in Hungary. His new fiscal,
    customs and monetary policies proved successful
    under his reign. Charles Robert also introduced
    tax reforms and a stable currency. One of the
    primary sources of his power was the wealth
    derived from the gold mines of east and northern
    Hungary. Eventually production reached the
    remarkable figure of 3,000 lb. of gold
    annuallyone third of the total production of the
    world as then known, and five times as much as
    that of any other European state.He reestablished
    the crown's authority by ousting disloyal
    magnates and distributing their estates to his
    supporters. Charles Robert then ordered the
    magnates to recruit and equip small private
    armies called banderia. Charles Robert ruled by
    decree and convened the Diet only to announce his
    decisions. Dynastic marriages linked his family
    with the ruling families of Naples and Poland and
    heightened Hungary's standing abroad.
  • Hungary was the first non-Italian country, where
    the renaissance appeared in Europe.
  • The Renaissance style came directly from Italy
    during the Quattrocento to Hungary foremost in
    the Central European region. The development of
    the early Hungarian-Italian relationships was a
    reason of this infiltration, which weren't
    manifested only in dynastic connections, but in
    cultural, humanistic and commercial relations.
    This effect was getting stronger from the 1300s.
    In the first half of the 14th century, the
    statues of ladies, knights, court musicians,
    servants and guardsmen mark not only the turn of
    the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but also
    the beginning of a new age.

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Louis the Great (1342-1382)
  • Charles Robert's son and successor Louis I of
    Hungary (1342-82) maintained the strong central
    authority Charles I had amassed. In 1351 Louis
    issued a decree that reconfirmed the Golden Bull,
    erased all legal distinctions between the lesser
    nobles and the magnates, standardized the serfs'
    obligations, and barred the serfs from leaving
    the lesser nobles' farms to seek better
    opportunities on the magnates' estates. The
    decree also established the entail system.
    Hungary's economy continued to flourish during
    Louis's reign. Gold and other precious metals
    poured from the country's mines and enriched the
    royal treasury, foreign trade increased, new
    towns and villages arose, and craftsmen formed
    guilds. The prosperity fueled a surge in cultural
    activity, and Louis promoted the illumination of
    manuscripts and in 1367 founded Hungary's first
    university. Louis extended his rule over
    territories to the Adriatic Sea, and occupied the
    Kingdom of Naples several times. Under his reign
    lived the most famous epic hero of Hungarian
    literature and warfare, the king's Champion
    Nicolas Toldi. Louis had become popular in Poland
    due to his successful campaigns against the
    Tatars and pagan Lithuanians. Two successful wars
    (13571358, 13781381) against Venice annexed
    Dalmatia and Ragusa and more territories at
    Adriatic Sea. Venice also had to raise the
    Angevin flag on St. Mark's Square on holy days.
    Louis I established a university in Pécs in 1367
    (by papal accordance). The Ottoman Turks
    confronted the country ever more often. In 1366
    and 1377, Louis led successful champaigns against
    the Ottomans (Batlle at Nicapoli in 1366),
    therefore Balkanian states became his vassals.
    From 1370, the death of Casimir III of Poland,
    Louis became king of Poland in 1370 and ruled the
    two countries for twelve years. Until his death,
    he retained his strong potency in political life
    of Italian Peninsula. While Louis was engaged in
    these activates, the Ottomans made their initial
    inroads into the Balkans.

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Sigismund of Luxemburg (1386-1437)
  • Louis's son-in-law, won a bitter struggle for the
    throne after Louis died in 1382. Under Sigismund,
    Hungary's fortunes began to decline. Many
    Hungarian nobles despised Sigismund for his
    cruelty during the succession struggle, his long
    absences, and his costly foreign wars. In 1401
    disgruntled nobles temporarily imprisoned the
    king. In 1403 another group crowned an anti-king,
    who failed to solidify his power but succeeded in
    selling Dalmatia to Venice. Sigismund failed to
    reclaim the territory. Sigismund became king of
    Bohemia in 1419. In 1404 Sigismund introduced the
    Placetum Regium. According to this decree, Papal
    bulls and messages could not be pronounced in
    Hungary without the consent of the king.
    Sigismund congregated Council of Constance
    (14141418) to abolish the Papal Schism of
    Catholic church, which was solved by the election
    of a new pope. In 1433 he even became Holy Roman
    Emperor. In response, Sigismund created the
    office of palatine to rule the country in his
    stead.
  • Like earlier Hungarian kings, Sigismund elevated
    his supporters to magnate status and sold off
    crown lands to meet burgeoning expenses. Although
    Hungary's economy continued to flourish,
    Sigismund's expenses outstripped his income. He
    bolstered royal revenues by increasing the serfs'
    taxes and requiring cash payment. Social turmoil
    erupted late in Sigismund's reign as a result of
    the heavier taxes and renewed magnate pressure on
    the lesser nobles. Hungary's first peasant revolt
    erupted when a Transylvanian bishop ordered
    peasants to pay tithes in coin rather than in
    kind. Also, Husite teachings spread among the
    population making the bishop more unpopular. The
    revolt was quickly checked, but it prompted
    Transylvania's Szekel, Magyar, and German orders
    to form the Union of Three Nations, which was an
    effort to defend their privileges against any
    power except that of the king. During his long
    reign Royal castle of Buda became probably the
    largest Gothic palace of the late Middle Ages.
    The first Hungarian Bible translation completed
    in 1439, but Hungarian Bible was illegal in its
    age. Hungary was the first non-Italian country,
    where the renaissance appeared in Europe.13
  • Additional turmoil erupted when the Ottomans
    expanded their empire into the Balkans.

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Count John Hunyadi's era
  • After Wladyslaw III, Hungary's nobles chose an
    infant king, Ladislaus V the Posthumous, and a
    regent, John Hunyadi, to rule the country until
    the former came of age. The son of a lesser
    nobleman of the Vlach ( though some historians
    suggest a Cumanic) descent, who had won
    distinction in the wars against the Ottomans.
    Hunyadi rose to become a general, Transylvania's
    military governor, one of Hungary's largest
    landowners, and a war hero. He used his personal
    wealth and the support of the lesser nobles to
    win the regency and overcome the opposition of
    the magnates. Hunyadi then established a
    mercenary army funded by the first tax ever
    imposed on Hungary's nobles. He defeated the
    Ottoman forces in Transylvania in 1442 and broke
    their hold on Serbia in 1443, only to be routed
    at the Battle of Varna (where Wladyslaw I (of
    Hungary) himself perished) a year later. In 1446,
    the parliament elected the great general János
    Hunyadi as governor (14461453) and then as
    regent (14531456) of the kingdom. In 1448
    Hunyadi tried to expel the Turks from Europe, but
    because of the treachery of Serbs and Vlachs he
    was outnumbered and routed in the 3 days battle
    of Kosovo Polje.
  • One of his greatest victories being the Siege of
    Belgrade in 1456. Hunyadi defended the city
    against the onslaught of the Ottoman Sultan
    Mehmed II. During the siege, Pope Callixtus III
    ordered the bells of every church to be rung
    every day at noon, as a call for believers to
    pray for the defenders of the city. However, in
    many countries (like England and Spanish
    kingdoms), news of the victory arrived before the
    order, and the ringing of the church bells at
    noon thus transformed into a commemoration of the
    victory. The Popes didn't withdraw the order, and
    Catholic churches still ring the noon bell to
    this day.
  • Hunyadi died of the plague soon after.

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Matthias Corvinus
  • Some magnates resented Hunyadi for his popularity
    as well as for the taxes he imposed, and they
    feared that his sons might seize the throne from
    Ladislaus. They coaxed the sons to return to
    Laszlo's court, where Hunyadi's elder son was
    beheaded. His younger son, Matthias Corvinus of
    Hungary, was imprisoned in Bohemia. However,
    lesser nobles loyal to Mátyás soon expelled
    László. After Ladislaus's death abroad, they paid
    ransom for Mátyás, met him on the frozen Danube
    River, and proclaimed him king. Corvinus
    (1458-90) was, with one possible exception (John
    Zápolya), the last Hungarian king to rule the
    country.
  • This was the first time in the medieval Hungarian
    kingdom that a member of the nobility, without
    dynastic ancestry and relationship, mounted the
    royal throne. A true Renaissance prince, a
    successful military leader and administrator, an
    outstanding linguist, a learned astrologer, and
    an enlightened patron of the arts and
    learning.András Hess set up a printing press in
    Buda in 1472.
  • Although Matthias regularly convened the Diet and
    expanded the lesser nobles' powers in the
    counties, he exercised absolute rule over Hungary
    by means of a secular bureaucracy. Matthias
    enlisted 30,000 foreign and Hungarian mercenaries
    in his standing army and built a network of
    fortresses along Hungary's southern frontier, but
    he did not pursue his father's aggressive
    anti-Turkish policy. Instead, Mátyás launched
    unpopular attacks on Bohemia, Poland, and
    Austria, pursuing an ambition to become Holy
    Roman Emperor and arguing that he was trying to
    forge a unified Western or Central European
    alliance strong enough to expel the Ottoman Turks
    from Europe. He eliminated tax exemptions and
    raised the serfs' obligations to the crown to
    fund his court and the military. The magnates
    complained that these measures reduced their
    incomes, but despite the stiffer obligations, the
    serfs considered Matthias a just ruler because he
    protected them from excessive demands and other
    abuses by the magnates. He also reformed
    Hungary's legal system and promoted the growth of
    Hungary's towns.
  • Matthias was a true Renaissance man and made his
    court a center of humanist culture under his
    rule, Hungary's first books were printed and its
    second university was established. His library,
    the Corvina, was famous throughout Europe. It was
    Europe's greatest collection of historical
    chronicles, philosophic and scientific works in
    the 15th century, and second only in size to the
    Vatican Library

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Matthias
  • 20 January 1458, Matthias was elected king by the
    Diet. This was the first time in the medieval
    Hungarian kingdom that a member of the nobility,
    without dynastic ancestry and relationship,
    mounted the royal throne. Such an election upset
    the usual course of dynastic succession in the
    age. In the Czech and Hungarian states they
    heralded a new judiciary era in Europe,
    characterized by the absolute supremacy of the
    Parliament, (dietal system) and a tendency to
    centralization. At this time Matthias was still a
    hostage of George of Podebrady, who released him
    under the condition of marrying his daughter
    Kunhuta (later known as Catherine). On 24 January
    1458, 40,000 Hungarian noblemen, assembled on the
    ice of the frozen Danube, unanimously elected
    Matthias Hunyadi king of Hungary, and on 14
    February the new king made his state entry into
    Buda.
  • Matthias was 15 when he was elected King of
    Hungary at this time the realm was environed by
    perils. The Ottomans and the Venetians threatened
    it from the south, the emperor Frederick III from
    the west, and Casimir IV of Poland from the
    north, both Frederick and Casimir claiming the
    throne.

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Culture under Matthias
  • Matthias was educated in Italian, and his
    fascination with the achievements of the Italian
    Renaissance led to the promotion of Mediterranean
    cultural influences in Hungary. Buda, Esztergom,
    Székesfehérvár and Visegrád were amongst the
    towns in Hungary that benefited from the
    establishment of public health and education and
    a new legal system under Matthias' rule. In 1465
    he founded a university in Pressburg (present-day
    Bratislava, Slovakia), the Universitas
    Istropolitana. His 1476 marriage to Beatrice, the
    daughter of the King of Naples, only intensified
    the influence of the Renaissance.
  • An indefatigable reader and lover of culture, he
    proved an extremely generous patron, as artists
    from the Italian city-states and Western Europe
    were present in large numbers at his court. The
    most important humanists living in Matthias'
    court were Antonio Bonfini and the famous
    Hungarian poet Janus Pannonius.
  • Like many of his acculturated contemporaries, he
    trusted in astrology and other semi-scientific
    beliefs however, he also supported true
    scientists and engaged frequently in discussions
    with philosophers and scholars.
  • He spoke Hungarian, Croatian, Latin, and later
    also German, Czech.
  • Matthias Corvinus's library, the Bibliotheca
    Corviniana, was Europe's greatest collections of
    secular books historical chronicles, philosophic
    and scientific works in the fifteenth century.
    His library was second in size only to the
    Vatican Library. (However, the Vatican Library
    mainly contained Bibles and religious
    materials.)11 In 1489, Bartolomeo della Fonte
    of Florence wrote that Lorenzo de Medici founded
    his own Greek-Latin library encouraged by the
    example of the Hungarian king. Corvinus's library
    is part of UNESCO World Heritage

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Jagiellon Dynasty and Decline of Hungary
(14901526)
  • The magnates, who did not want another
    heavy-handed king, procured the accession of
    Vladislaus II, king of Bohemia (Ulászló II in
    Hungarian history), precisely because of his
    notorious weakness he was known as King Dobže,
    or Dobzse (meaning Good or, loosely, OK),
    from his habit of accepting with that word every
    paper laid before him.16 Under his reign the
    central power began to experience severe
    financial difficulties, largely due to the
    enlargement of feudal lands at his expense.
  • Matthias' reforms did not survive the turbulent
    decades that followed his reign. An oligarchy of
    quarrelsome magnates gained control of Hungary.
    They crowned a docile king, Vladislaus II (the
    Jagiellonian king of Bohemia, who was known in
    Hungary as Ulaszlo II, 1490-1516) the son of King
    Casimir IV of Poland, only on condition that he
    abolish the taxes that had supported Matthias'
    mercenary army. As a result, the king's army
    dispersed just as the Turks were threatening
    Hungary.
  • When Vladislaus II died in 1516, his ten-year-old
    son Louis II (1516-26) became king, but a royal
    council appointed by the Diet ruled the country.
    Hungary was in a state of near anarchy under the
    magnates' rule. The king's finances were a
    shambles he borrowed to meet his household
    expenses despite the fact that they totaled about
    one-third of the national income .
  • In 1521 Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent
    recognized Hungary's weakness and seized Belgrade
    in preparation for an attack on Hungary. After
    that, Louis II and his wife, Maria von Habsburg
    tried to manage an anti-magnate putsch, but they
    were not successful. In August 1526, he marched
    nearly 100,000 troops into Hungary's heartland.
    Hungary's forces were just gathering, when the
    26,000 strong Hungarian army met the Turks with
    bad luck in the battle of Mohacs. Hungarians had
    well-equipped and well-trained troops, and
    awaited more reinforcements from Czechia and
    Transylvania, but lacked a good military leader.
    They suffered bloody defeat leaving 20,000 dead
    on the field. Louis himself died, thrown from a
    horse into a bog.

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OttomanHungarian Wars
  • The Ottoman-Hungarian War refers to a series of
    battles between the Ottoman Empire and the
    medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Following the
    Byzantine civil war, the Ottoman capture of
    Gallipoli and the decisive Battle of Kosovo, the
    Ottoman Empire seemed poised to conquer the whole
    of the Balkans. However, the Ottoman invasion of
    Serbia drove Hungary to war against the Ottomans,
    with the former having interests in the Balkans
    and competing for the vassalship of the Balkan
    states of Serbia, Bulgaria, Wallachia, and
    Moldavia.
  • Initial Hungarian success culminated in the
    Crusade of Varna, though without significant
    outside support the Hungarians were defeated.
    Nonetheless the Ottomans suffered more defeats at
    Belgrade, even after the conquest of
    Constantinople. In particular was the infamous
    Vlad the Impaler who with limited Hungarian help
    resisted Ottoman rule until the Ottomans were
    able to place his brother, a man less feared and
    less hated by the populace on the throne of
    Wallachia. Ottoman success was once again halted
    at Moldavia due to Hungarian intervention but the
    Turks emerged triumphant at last when Moldavia
    and then Belgrade fell to Bayezid II and Suleiman
    the Magnificent respectively. In 1526 the
    Ottomans crushed the Hungarian army at Mohács
    with King Louis II of Hungary perishing along
    with 14,000 of his foot soldiers. Following this
    defeat, the eastern region of the Kingdom of
    Hungary (mainly Transylvania) ceased as an
    independent power and served as an Ottoman
    tributary state, constantly engaged in civil war
    with Royal Hungary. The war continued with the
    Habsburgs now asserting primacy in the conflict
    with the Suleiman and his successors. The
    northern and western parts of Hungary managed to
    remain free from Ottoman rule, but the Kingdom of
    Hungary, the most powerful state east of Vienna
    under Matthias I, was now divided and at constant
    war with the Turks.

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Hungary around 1550
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Sarvar
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Szombathely Colonia Claudia Savaria
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