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For other uses, see Levente (disambiguation).
Dynasty Árpád dynasty
Father Vazul
Born between 1010 and 1015
Died 1047
Religion pagan

Levente (between 1010 and 1015 – 1047) was a member of the House of Árpád, a great-grandson of Taksony, Grand Prince of the Hungarians. He was expelled from Hungary in 1031 or 1032, and spent many years in Bohemia, Poland and the Kievan Rus'. He returned to Hungary, where a pagan uprising was developing around that time, in 1046. Levente remained a devout pagan, but did not hinder the election of his Christian brother, Andrew I as king.


Hungarian chronicles have preserved contradictory information of his parentage.[1] According to one variant, he and his two brothers – Andrew and Béla – were "the sons of Ladislas the Bald"[2][3] and his "wife from Ruthenia"[3] (that is from the Kievan Rus').[4] On the other hand, a concurring tradition has preserved that the three brothers were sons of Ladislas the Bald's brother, "Vazul by some girl from the clan"[3] of Tátony.[4] Modern historians agree that the latter report is more reliable[4] and unanimously write that Vazul was Levente's father.[5][6][7] However, historians still debate whether Levente was the eldest or a younger son of his father.[5] Gyula Kristó – who says that Levente was Vazul's eldest son – writes that he was born between 1010 and 1015.[8]

Levente and his brothers left Hungary in 1031 or 1032 after their father had been blinded.[7][8] They first settled in Bohemia.[7] In 1034 at the latest, the three brothers left Bohemia, where "their condition of life was poor and mean",[9][10] and moved to the court of King Mieszko II of Poland.[7] The youngest among them, Béla settled here, but Levente and Andrew again set out and settled in Kiev.[7][11] Here Andrew was baptized, Levente remained a devout pagan.[11][5][6]

Hungarian lords who were dissatisfied with King Peter Orseolo and his foreign courtiers incited Levente and Andrew to return to Hungary in 1046.[12] By the time their arrival, a great pagan uprising broke out in Hungary,[13] and their partisans in short time captured King Peter.[14] Thereafter the Hungarian lords and prelates who preferred a Christian monarch proclaimed Andrew as king.[12] The Illuminated Chronicle expressly states that Levente "would beyond doubt have corrupted all Hungary with paganism and idolatry".[15][16] However, the same chronicle also writes that it was Levente who gave the crown, in the "simplicity of spirit",[17] to his brother.[16] The latter report suggests that Levente voluntarily renounced of the crown in favor of Andrew.[13][16] Levente died in 1047 and was buried in a village on the Danube named after his great-grandfather, Taksony who himself was "said to lie in a pagan grave" there.[3][16]


  1. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, pp. 68, 77.
  2. ^ Simon of Kéza: The Deeds of the Hungarians (ch. 2.44), p. 107.
  3. ^ a b c d The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: (ch. 60.87), p. 113.
  4. ^ a b c Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 77.
  5. ^ a b c Tóth 1994, p. 408.
  6. ^ a b Engel 2001, p. 30.
  7. ^ a b c d e Steinhübel 2011, p. 23.
  8. ^ a b Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 68.
  9. ^ The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: (ch. 53.78), p. 110.
  10. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, pp. 68–69.
  11. ^ a b Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 69.
  12. ^ a b Kontler 1999, p. 59.
  13. ^ a b Steinhübel 2011, p. 25.
  14. ^ Kontler 1999, pp. 59–60.
  15. ^ The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: (ch. 60.86), p. 113.
  16. ^ a b c d Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 71.
  17. ^ The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: (ch. 65.92), p. 115.


Primary sources[edit]

  • Simon of Kéza: The Deeds of the Hungarians (Edited and translated by László Veszprémy and Frank Schaer with a study by Jenő Szűcs) (1999). CEU Press. ISBN 963-9116-31-9.
  • The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: Chronica de Gestis Hungarorum (Edited by Dezső Dercsényi) (1970). Corvina, Taplinger Publishing. ISBN 0-8008-4015-1.

Secondary sources[edit]

  • Engel, Pál (2001). The Realm of St Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary, 895–1526. I.B. Tauris Publishers. ISBN 1-86064-061-3. 
  • Kontler, László (1999). Millennium in Central Europe: A History of Hungary. Atlantisz Publishing House. ISBN 963-9165-37-9. 
  • (Hungarian) Kristó, Gyula; Makk, Ferenc (1996). Az Árpád-ház uralkodói [=Rulers of the House of Árpád]. I.P.C. Könyvek. ISBN 963-7930-97-3. 
  • Steinhübel, Ján (2011). "The Duchy of Nitra". In Teich, Mikuláš; Kováč, Dušan; Brown, Martin D. Slovakia in History. Cambridge University Press. pp. 15–29. ISBN 978-0-521-80253-6. 
  • (Hungarian) Tóth, Sándor László (1994). "Levente". In Kristó, Gyula; Engel, Pál; Makk, Ferenc. Korai magyar történeti lexikon (9–14. század) [=Encyclopedia of the Early Hungarian History (9th–14th centuries)]. Akadémiai Kiadó. p. 408. ISBN 963-05-6722-9.