Amadeus Aba

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The native form of this personal name is Aba Amadé. This article uses the Western name order.
Pečať palatína Omodeja.jpg
Area ruled by Amadeus Aba

Amadeus Aba or Amade Aba (Hungarian: Aba Amadé; ? – 5 September 1311) was a Hungarian oligarch in the Kingdom of Hungary who ruled de facto independently the northern and north-eastern counties of the kingdom (today parts of Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine). He held the office of Palatine (nádor) several times (1288–1289, 1290–1291, 1293, 1295–1296, 1297–1298, 1299–1301, 1302–1310), and he was also judge royal (országbíró) twice (1283, 1289). He was assassinated at the south gate in the city of Kassa by Saxon burghers.

Early career[edit]

Amadeus Aba was born in Kassa, today Košice, Slovakia, as the son of David, a member of the genus (clan) Aba and a powerful Hungarian oligarch. He fought in the Battle of Marchfeld in the troops King Ladislaus IV of Hungary sent to King Rudolph I of Germany against King Ottokar II of Bohemia (26 August 1278). In 1280, Aba became the head of Hermannstadt (today Sibiu in Romania), i.e., the royal officer appointed to administer the Transylvanian Saxons. King Ladislaus IV appointed him to the office of judge royal in 1283. In February 1285, he fought successfully against the Mongols who were pillaging the north-eastern parts of the kingdom. He received land and special privileges in Poland from Wladyslaw Lokietek King of Poland, and was referred to as Amadej in Polish.

The powerful magnate[edit]

After 9 August 1288, Amadeus Aba became Palatine and he hold the office for the first time until 1289 when he received the office of judge royal again. Later, he rebelled against the king whose troops occupied one of his castles, Tokaj (before 27 May 1290). Following the king's death (10 July 1290), Aba became the loyal supporter of King Andrew III of Hungary who appointed him Palatine. Although the king appointed a new Palatine already in 1291, he still continued to use the title until his death, and later he was confirmed in the office several times by the kings. After 1297, Aba was among the most powerful supporters of King Andrew III and he even made a formal alliance with the king and his other followers in the second half of 1298.

When King Andrew III died (14 January 1301), some of the powerful aristocrats (Aba was among them) became the supporters of Wenceslaus, the crown prince of Bohemia, while others supported the claim of Charles, a member of the Angevin dynasty. However, Wenceslaus left the kingdom (August 1304), and shortly afterwards, Aba concluded an agreement with Charles and Duke Rudolph III of Austria against Wenceslaus' father, King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia. In 1304 and 1305, he gave military assistance to Duke Władysław of Cuiavia against King Wenceslaus II who had occupied Lesser Poland.

Amadeus Aba was present at the Assembly of Rákos (10 October 1307) where the participants confirmed Charles' claim for the throne. Charles was proclaimed king at the Assembly in Pest (27 November 1308), in the presence of Aba. In 1308, he became the head (ispán) of Szepes. He was present when King Charles was crowned in Buda (15 June 1309). Afterwards, he mediated between the king and Ladislaus Kán, the powerful Voivod of Transylvania who made a promise that he would transfer the Holy Crown of Hungary to the king.

Last years[edit]

King Charles deprived him of his offices around May 1310. In the course of the year, Amadeus occupied several castles. He wanted to expand his influence over Kassa, but the citizens rebelled against him and they killed Amadeus in a skirmish.

Dominion Aba[edit]

Amadeus and his brother, Finta inherited Nevicke (today Nyevickoje, Ukraine) from their father, where Amadeus had a castle built. They may also have inherited Szokoly (today Sokol' in Slovakia). His dominion developed gradually in the course of the last decades of the 13th century. In 1288, King Ladislaus IV granted him the County Ung, thus he could hold the former royal possessions in the county until his death. Around 1300, he acquired Boldogkő Castle and Gönc, later he also held Regéc. In 1310, he occupied Lubló (today Stará Ľubovňa in Slovakia) and Munkács (today Mukachevo in Ukraine).

He usurped royal prerogatives in his dominion, e.g., he granted lands and nobility to his followers. He governed his possessions from his North-Eastern Hungarian castle in Gönc.

Following his death, his sons could not maintain his power, and after their defeat at the Battle of Rozgony (today Rozhanovce in Slovakia) his dominion disintegrated. Some of his castles and possessions were obtained by members of the Drugeth family in the 1320s-1340s.


  • Markó, László: A magyar állam főméltóságai Szent Istvántól napjainkig - Életrajzi Lexikon (The High Officers of the Hungarian State from Saint Stephen to the Present Days - A Biographical Encyclopedia); Magyar Könyvklub, 2000, Budapest; ISBN 963-547-085-1.
  • Engel, Pál: Magyarország világi archontológiája (1301–1457) (The Temporal Archontology of Hungary (1301–1457)); História - MTA Történettudományi Intézete, 1996, Budapest; ISBN 963-8312-43-2.
  • Archives of Archbishopric of Eger