Solomon, King of Hungary
|Solomon of Hungary|
|Spouse||Judith of Swabia
A daughter of Kuteshk
|Father||Andrew I of Hungary|
|Mother||Anastasia of Kiev|
Solomon (Hungarian: I. Salamon; 1053–1087) was King of Hungary from 1063 until 1074. He was crowned as a child during his father's lifetime in order to ensure his succession, but his uncle Béla managed to dethrone his father and ascend to the throne. Some years later, Solomon forced his cousins, Géza, Ladislaus and Lampert to accept his reign with the military assistance his brother-in-law, King Henry IV of Germany provided him. During the following years, Solomon and his cousins cooperated efficiently in order to strengthen the position of the Kingdom of Hungary, but finally they broke with each other. Following his cousins' open rebellion, the major part of the kingdom accepted his cousins' rule and Solomon could maintain his power only in the Western part of Hungary. Finally, he had to accept his cousin, Ladislaus' reign. He spent his last years in exile fighting against Hungary with the assistance of the Pechenegs.
Solomon was the first son of King Andrew I of Hungary and Anastasia, a daughter of Grand Duke Yaroslav I the Wise of Kiev. Before his birth, his uncle, Béla was the designated heir to the crown, who was governing the Tercia pars regni (i.e. one third of the kingdom). However, Solomon's birth changed the situation radically, because King Andrew decided to ensure his son's inheritance and he had Solomon crowned in 1057.
After the child's coronation, Duke Béla left the royal court. In September 1058, when King Andrew concluded peace with King Henry IV of Germany, the child Solomon was engaged to the German ruler's sister, Judith. In 1059, according to the chronicles, King Andrew called back Duke Béla to his court, and placed before him a crown and a sword, representing royal and ducal power, respectively, and asked his brother to take his choice. Having been forewarned by a courtier that choosing the crown would mean his life, Duke Béla instead selected the sword. Shortly afterwards, Duke Béla fled to Poland and returned followed by Polish troops placed at his disposal by King Bolesław II of Poland.
When King Andrew was informed on his brother's return, he sent his wife and children to Melk in Austria. Afterwards, the king lost two battles against his brother, and died before 6 December 1060, when Béla I was crowned.
Following his father's death, Solomon lived in the imperial court three years, during which his followers tried to acquire assistance against his uncle, but it was only in August 1063 when the Imperial Diet decided in Mainz to send troops to Hungary. King Béla I died in a suspicious accident before the imperial army entered to the kingdom, and his three sons (Géza, Ladislaus and Lampert) left for Poland.
King of Hungary 
After his uncle's death and his cousins' escape, Solomon returned to Hungary where he was crowned again and he married the German king's sister in September 1063 in Székesfehérvár. When the German army left Hungary, his three cousins came back followed by Polish troops. The parties, however, wanted to avoid the civil war; therefore they accepted the mediation services of the bishops, and they made an agreement on 20 January 1064 in Győr. Under the agreement Dukes Géza, Ladislaus and Lampert accepted Solomon's rule, and they received their father's former duchy, i.e., one third of Hungary. Following the conclusion of the peace, the king and his cousins celebrated Easter together in Pécs. However, when a fire broke out, the two parties accused the other's followers of incendiarism. The bishops had to intervene again in order to appease the king and the dukes.
In the next years, Solomon and his cousins collaborated successfully. In 1067, they lead an army together to provide assistance to the dukes' brother-in-law, at that time ban of Croatia, Dmitar Zvonimir against Venice. In 1068, when the Pechenegs had overrun the territories of Transylvania, Solomon and the dukes went together against them and they won a victory at Chiraleş.
In 1071, Solomon and the dukes lead a campaign against the Byzantine Empire and laid siege to the fortress of Belgrade (Nándorfehérvár). The siege lasted two months, and the Greek commander surrendered the fort to the dukes not to the king. Moreover, Duke Géza denied to hand over the king's share of the booty and set the Greek captives free without the king's permission. Having the Byzantine troops reoccupied Belgrade in the next year, Solomon and Duke Géza lead their armies together against the Greeks, but Géza left his two brothers behind, because he was worrying about that the king's partisans would try to occupy their duchy during their absence. The campaign was a total failure, because the king and the duke were not able to cooperate during the siege any more.
Struggle for the throne 
During 1073, both the king and his cousins were preparing for the coming struggle; Solomon sent his envoys to his brother-in-law, King Henry IV of Germany, while his cousins were seeking the help of their Polish and Czech relatives. In the beginning of 1074, before the Polish and Czech troops arrived, Solomon led his armies against the dukes' territory and defeated Duke Géza on 26 February at Kemej. However, after the arrival of the reinforcement from Poland and Bohemia, the dukes' armies started a counter-attack and they won a decisive victory over Solomon's troops on 14 March in the Battle of Mogyoród.
After his defeat, Solomon run to the Western borders of Hungary and sought help from the German king, whose supremacy he accepted, while his eldest cousin, Géza was declared king, supported by the Hungarian tradition which preferred seniority. In August 1074, the imperial troops invaded the Northern part of the kingdom and advanced till Vác, but the German king was obliged to return to his domain because of the Saxons' uprising. King Solomon could only maintain his rule over the Counties (megye) of Moson and Pozsony.
However, Solomon could beat off the troops Géza sent to siege Pozsony and Géza, who became more and more ill, was thinking of his abdication and the acceptance of Solomon's rule. But after Géza's death on 25 April 1077, his followers proclaimed his brother, Ladislaus king. In 1079, King Ladislaus I managed to occupy the fortress of Moson from Solomon's adherents, and he also repealed the German king's troops. Solomon also lost the support of the clergy when Pope Gregory VII, because of his alliance with the German king, acknowledged the legitimacy of King Ladislaus' rule.
Solomon had to realize that he did not have any chance to win over Ladislaus and he abdicated in 1081. In exchange for the acceptance of Ladislaus' rule, Solomon received extensive landholdings.
Conspiracy and failure 
Solomon, however, did not give up his ambitions and tried to plot against the king, but he was betrayed and Ladislaus had him imprisoned. On 15 August 1083, on the occasion of the canonization of Stephen I, the first King of Hungary, Solomon was released. His release was attributed to the newly canonized Saint Stephen's intercession, whose coffin could only be opened when Solomon retrieved his freedom.
Solomon left for Regensburg, where he tried to obtain military assistance from his brother-in-law, the German king, but his attempts failed. Afterwards, following a long wandering, Solomon made an alliance with Kuteshk, the leader of a Pecheneg (besenyő) tribe that had settled in the territory of the future principality of Moldavia. Solomon married Kuteshk's daughter, even though his first wife was still alive (she had left Solomon years before). Solomon promised to hand over parts of the kingdom of Hungary to Kuteshk in exchange for his new father-in-law's military assistance. In 1085, Solomon lead an army of Pecheneg troops against Hungary, but King Ladislaus I defeated them.
In 1087, Solomon took part in the Pechenegs' campaign against the Byzantine Empire. He was killed in battle near Hadrianopolis. Later chronicles claimed that Solomon escaped from the battlefield and went to Pula, where he lived as a monk. His remains are interred at the Pula Cathedral.
- 1063: Judith of Swabia (c. 1054 – c. 1092/1096), daughter of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Agnes de Poitou
- 1084/1085: (bigamiously) Unnamed daughter of Kuteshk, leader of a Pecheneg tribe
Salomon did not father any children.
See also 
- 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)
Solomon, King of HungaryBorn: 1053 Died: 1087
|King of Hungary