Géza II of Hungary
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|Géza II of Hungary|
|King of Hungary|
|Reign||13 February 1141 – 31 May 1162|
|Coronation||16 February 1141|
|Regent||Helena of Rascia|
|Spouse||Euphrosyne of Kiev|
Elisabeth, Duchess of Bohemia
Odola, Duchess Sviatopluk of Bohemia
Helena, Duchess of Austria
|Father||Béla II of Hungary|
|Mother||Helena of Raška|
|Died||31 May 1162 (aged 31–32)|
Géza II (Hungarian: II. Géza, Croatian: Gejza II), (1130, Tolna – 31 May 1162), was King of Hungary, King of Croatia, Dalmatia and Rama (1141–1162). He ascended the throne as a child, his mother and uncle having governed the kingdom before then. He was one of the most powerful monarchs of Hungary, and intervened successfully in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries.
Géza was the eldest son of King Béla II of Hungary and his wife, Helena of Raška. He was only a baby when his mother introduced him and his brother Ladislaus to the barons assembled in Arad in order to persuade them to massacre her husband's opponents.
He was crowned three days after his father's death on 13 February 1141. As he was still a minor, his mother served as regent of the kingdom, helped by her brother (his uncle), Beloš. She faced challenges from Boris, the son of King Coloman's adulterous queen, who disputed Géza's claim to the throne.
In April 1146, Boris managed to occupy the fortress of Pozsony. Hungarian troops eventually reoccupied the fortress, but Henry II, Duke of Austria, intervened in the struggles on behalf of the pretender. Géza personally led his armies against the Austrian troops and defeated them on 11 September.
King of Hungary
As an adult, Géza had a reputation as a well-respected king, whose nobles did not dare to scheme against him. The power and valor of his army was also commented upon, and Géza did not hesitate to involve himself in politics.
In June 1147, the Crusader Army of King Conrad III of Germany passed through Hungary without major conflicts, then King Louis VII of France arrived in the country, followed by the pretender Boris, who had secretly joined the French Crusaders. Although King Louis VII refused to extradite the pretender to Géza, he did promise to take him abroad under close custody.
In 1148, Géza sent troops to his brother-in-law Iziaslav II against Prince Vladimir of Chernihiv. In 1149, he assisted his maternal uncle, Duke Uroš II of Raška against the Byzantine Empire. In 1150, Géza sent new troops to Iziaslav, who had been struggling against Prince Yuri I of Suzdal, but his brother-in-law was not able to maintain his rule in Kiev. In the same year, the Serbian and Hungarian armies were defeated by the Byzantine troops, therefore Duke Uroš II had to accept Byzantine rule over Raška.
In the autumn of 1150, Géza led his armies against Prince Vladimirko of Halicz (son-in-law of the late King Coloman), but the prince managed to persuade Géza's advisors to convince their king to give up the campaign. It can be found in a Ruthenian chronicle Hypatian Codex, where at the date of 1150 one can read: The Hungarian King Géza II crossed the mountains and seized the stronghold of Sanok with its governor as well as many villages in Przemyśl area. In 1152, Géza and Iziaslav II joined together against Halych, and defeated Volodymyrko's armies at the San River. Géza had to return to his kingdom because, during his campaign, Boris attacked the southern territories of Hungary supported by Byzantine troops. However, Géza would defeat the pretender and made a truce with the Byzantine Empire.
In 1157, Géza's younger brother, Stephen conspired against him supported by their uncle, Beloš. After Géza defeated their conspiracy, Stephen fled to the court of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor. Géza sent envoys to the emperor and promised to assist him with troops against Milan prompting Frederick to refuse any support from Stephen, who then fled to Constantinople. Stephen was followed, in 1159, by Géza's other brother, Ladislaus, who had also conspired against Géza.
In 1161, inspired by the new Archbishop of Esztergom, Lukács, Géza not only acknowledged the legitimacy of Pope Alexander III instead of Antipope Victor IV, who had been supported by Emperor Frederick I, but he also renounced the right of investiture.
He was buried in Székesfehérvár.
Marriage and children
Géza and Euphrosyne had the following children:
- King Stephen III of Hungary (1147 – 4 March 1172).
- King Béla III of Hungary (1148 – 23 April 1196).
- Elisabeth (c. 1149 – after 1189), wife of Duke Frederick of Bohemia.
- Duke Géza (c. 1150 – before 1210).
- Arpad, died young.
- Odola (1156 – 1199), wife of Duke Sviatopluk of Bohemia.
- Helena (c. 1158 – 25 May 1199), wife of Duke Leopold V of Austria.
- Margaret (Margit) (1162 – ?), born posthumously; wife firstly of Isaac Macrodukas and secondly of András, Obergespan of Somogy.
King of Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia and Rama
- Engel, Pál. Realm of St Stephen: a History of Medieval Hungary, 2001
- Kristó Gyula — Makk Ferenc: Az Árpád-ház uralkodói (IPC Könyvek, 1996)
- Korai Magyar Történeti Lexikon (9–14. század), főszerkesztő: Kristó Gyula, szerkesztők: Engel Pál és Makk Ferenc (Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1994)
- Magyarország Történeti Kronológiája I. – A kezdetektől 1526-ig, főszerkesztő: Benda Kálmán (Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1981)
Géza II of HungaryBorn: 1130 Died: 31 May 1162
|King of Hungary and Croatia