Ladislaus the Posthumous

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Ladislaus the Posthumous
Anonymous - Ladislaus the Postumous.jpg
Anonymous painting, 1457
King of Hungary and Croatia
Reign 10 November 1444 – 23 November 1457
Predecessor Vladislaus I
Successor Matthias I
King of Bohemia
Reign 18 October 1453 - 23 November 1457
Coronation 28 October 1453, Prague
Predecessor Albert
Successor George
House House of Habsburg
Father Albert II, King of the Romans
Mother Elizabeth of Luxembourg
Born (1440-02-22)22 February 1440
Komárom, Kingdom of Hungary
Died 23 November 1457(1457-11-23) (aged 17)
Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia
Burial St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague

Ladislaus the Posthumous (22 February 1440 – 23 November 1457) was Duke of Austria from 1440, King of Hungary (as Ladislaus V) from 1444 and King of Bohemia from 1453.[1][2]


The only son of Albert II, King of the Romans, and Elizabeth of Luxembourg, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. He was called Ladislaus Postumus (Czech: Ladislav Pohrobek, Hungarian: Utószülött László, Slovenian and Croatian: Ladislav Posmrtni) because he was born at Komárom (then part of Hungary, now Komárno in Slovakia), four months after his father's death. He succeeded immediately as Duke of Austria and head of the House of Habsburg, and he also became nominal King of Bohemia. But his second cousin Frederick V, ruler of Inner Austria, was chosen to succeed Albert II as King of the Romans.

The estates of Hungary elected Vladislaus III of Poland as King Vladislaus I in succession to Albert II; but the infant Ladislaus's mother had the Holy Crown of Hungary stolen from its guardians at Visegrád and brought to Wiener Neustadt by a lady of the court, Helene Kottannerin. According to legend, the cross on the crown is askew because it was damaged in transit as a result. Elisabeth arranged for Ladislaus to be crowned at Székesfehérvár on 15 May 1440.

For safety's sake, she placed Ladislaus under the guardianship of his Habsburg relative Frederick V, who proceeded to hold him as a virtual prisoner in Schloss Ort and rule Austria himself. On the death of Vladislaus I at the Battle of Varna on 10 November 1444, the Hungarian estates, despite considerable opposition, elected Ladislaus Postumus as their king and sent a deputation to Vienna to induce Frederick to surrender the child and the Holy Crown, which he refused to do. In the meantime, John Hunyadi acted as regent for Ladislaus in Hungary, while George of Poděbrady performed the same office in Bohemia.

From 1450 the pressure of the Austrian estates to free Ladislaus grew. In 1452, they entered into the Mailberg Confederation under the leadership of Ulrich, Baron of Eyczing (de), and Ulrich II, Princely Count of Celje, and freed Ladislaus by force. Ulrich of Celje, a Slovenian magnate and heir to Bosnia, the cousin of Ladislaus's mother, prevailed against Eyczing and became the new guardian of the child, effectively ruling in his stead.

On 28 October 1453, at the age of thirteen, Ladislaus Postumus was finally crowned King of Bohemia, after which he lived mainly in Prague or Vienna. Ulrich of Celje and Ladislaus remained indifferent to the threat posed in Hungary by the Turks, and Ulrich became increasingly hostile towards John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János), who was bearing the main burden of the battles against the Ottomans. On the death of Hunyadi, Ladislaus made Ulrich governor of Hungary in October 1456 at the Diet of Futtak. After the Siege of Belgrade, Ulrich was killed by Ladislaus Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi László). Ladislaus appointed the young Hunyadi as Lord Treasurer and capitan-general of the kingdom. After Hunyadi traveled to Buda to accept the new positions, Ladislaus ordered himm to be beheaded on 16 March 1457 for unproven allegations of plotting against the crown and without the standard due process. This was not approved very much in Hungary, and it raised such a storm that the king had to flee to Prague, where he spent the last months of his life.

He died suddenly in Prague on 23 November 1457 while preparing for his marriage to Magdalena of Valois, daughter of Charles VII of France. It was rumored at the time that his political opponents in Bohemia had poisoned him; but in 1998 an examination of his remains showed that that Ladislaus died of juvenile leukemia, not a recognized disease in that period.[how?]

Ladislaus's cousins Frederick V and Albert VI succeeded him in Austria; Hungary elected Matthias Corvinus, the brother of Ladislaus Hunyadi, as king; and Bohemia elected George of Poděbrady, the only Hussite ruler of that kingdom.




King of Bohemia, Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, Rama, Serbia, Cumania, Bulgaria, Galicia and Lodomeria; Duke of Austria; Margrave of Moravia and Lusatia; Prince of Silesia

See also[edit]


  • G. Vég, Magyarország királyai és királynői, Maecenas, 1990.
  • Maya C. Bijvoet, Helene Kottanner: The Austrian Chambermaid. In: Katharina M. Wilson (ed.), Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation. Athens, Georgia/London 1987, 327-349
  • Gertrud Buttlar: Die Belagerung des Ladislaus Postumus in Wiener Neustadt 1452. Wien 1986
  • Karl Mollay (Hrsg.): Die Denkwürdigkeiten der Helene Kottannerin (1439–1440). Vienna 1971.
  • Historia seu epistola de miserabili morte serenissimi regis Ungarie, Dalmacie, Bohemie... Ed. F. Wachter. In: Scriptores rerum silesicarum 12. Breslau 1883, pp. 87–92.
  • Andreas Rüther: Königsmacher und Kammerfrau im weiblichen Blick. Der Kampf um die ungarische Krone (1439/40) in der Wahrnehmung von Helene Kottaner. In: Jörg Rogge (Hrsg.): Fürstin und Fürst. Familienbeziehungen und Handlungsmöglichkeiten von hochadeligen Frauen im Mittelalter. Ostfildern 2004, pp. 225–247.
  • Barbara Schmid: Raumkonzepte und Inszenierung von Räumen in Helene Kottanners Bericht von der Geburt und Krönung des Königs Ladislaus Postumus (1440–1457). In: Ursula Kundert, Barbara Schmid, Regula Schmid (Hrsg.): Ausmessen-Darstellen-Inszenieren. Raumkonzepte und die Wiedergabe von Räumen in Mittelalter und früher Neuzeit. Zürich 2007, pp. 113–138.
  • Sabine Schmolinsky: Zwischen politischer Funktion und Rolle der «virgo docta»: Weibliche Selbstzeugnisse im 15. Jahrhundert. In: Fifteenth Century Studies. Band 24, 1998, pp. 63–73.
  • Horst Wenzel: Zwei Frauen rauben eine Krone. Die denkwürdigen Erfahrungen der Helene Kottannerin (1439–1440) am Hof der Königin Elisabeth von Ungarn (1409–1442). In: Regina Schulte (Hrsg.): Der Körper der Königin. Geschlecht und Herrschaft in der höfischen Welt seit 1500. Frankfurt 2002, pp. 27–48.
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Ladislas the Posthumous at Wikimedia Commons

Ladislaus the Posthumous
Born: 22 February 1440 Died: 23 November 1457
Regnal titles
Title last held by
Albert (V)
Archduke of Austria
Succeeded by
Frederick V
King of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Vladislaus I
King of Hungary and Croatia
Succeeded by
Matthias I