Árpád dynasty

Royal house
surname = Árpád Dynasty
estate = Kingdom of Hungary
coat of arms =
country = Kingdom of Hungary
titles = King of Hungary, King of Croatia, King of Halych, Duke of Styria
founder = Álmos
founding year = around 855
nationality = Hungarian
The Árpáds or Arpads ( _hu. Árpádok, _hr. Arpadovići, _sr. Арпадовићи, _sk. Arpádovci, _tr. Arpatlar) was the ruling dynasty of the federation of the Magyar tribes (9th-10th centuries) and of the Kingdom of Hungary (1000/1001-1301). The dynasty was named after Grand Prince Árpád who was the head of the tribal federation when the Magyars occupied the Carpathian Basin around 896.

Both the first Grand Prince of the Magyars (Álmos) and the first King of Hungary (Saint Stephen) were members of the dynasty. The Árpáds were also Kings of Croatia (1090-1093/1096, 1097/1102-1301). Members of the family reigned occasionally in the Principality (later Kingdom) of Halych (1188-1189, 1208-1209, 1214-1219, 1227-1229, 1231-1234) and in the Duchy of Styria (1254-1260).

Seven members of the dynasty were canonized or beatified by the Roman Catholic Church; therefore, the dynasty has been often referred as the "Kindred of the Holy Kings" from the 13th century. Two Árpáds were canonized by the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The male line of the dynasty came to end in 1301, but all the following kings of Hungary (with the exception of King Matthias Corvinus) were matrilineal descendants of the Árpáds. The Croÿ family of Belgiumcite web|title=Duchess of Croy snubbed officially|publisher="The New York Times"|url=http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9D0DE5D9103FE633A25752C1A9649D946296D6CF&oref=slogin|date=1913-12-11|accessdate=2008-04-22] [cite web|title=Croy-Leishman match a romance|publisher="The New York Times"|url=http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B0DE1D81139E633A25753C2A9629C946296D6CF|date=1913-04-20|accessdate=2008-04-22] and the Drummond family of Scotland claim to descend from illegitimate sons of medieval Hungarian kings.

9th-10th centuries

According to medieval chronicles, the Árpáds' forefather was Ügyek whose name derrived from the old-Hungarian word for "saint" "(igy)" and therefore, he was probably given this name only by the chroniclers.cite book | last = Kristó | first = Gyula | last2 = Makk | first2 = Ferenc | title = Az Árpád-ház uralkodói "("Rulers of the Árpád dynasty")" | publisher = I.P.C. KÖNYVEK Kft. | year = 1996 | location = | page = 9 | isbn = 963 7930 973] The "Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum" ("The Deeds of the Huns and Hungarians") mentioned that the Árpáds descended from the "gens" (clan) Turul.cite book | last = Kristó | first = Gyula (editor) | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Korai Magyar Történeti Lexikon (9-14. század) "(Encyclopedia of the Early Hungarian History - 9-14th centuries)"| publisher = Akadémiai Kiadó | year = 1994 | location = Budapest | page = 693| url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 963 05 6722 9] The "Gesta Hungarorum" ("The Deeds of the Hungarians") also recorded that the Árpáds' totemistic ancestor was a turul (probably a falcon).cite book | page = 693] The medieval chronicles also refer to a tradition according to which the Árpáds were the descendants of Attila the Hun; "e.g.", the "Gesta Hungarorum"'s anonymous author has Árpád sayQuote|"The land stretching between the Danube and the Tisza used to belong to my forefather, the mighty Attila."|"Gesta Hungarorum" [Citation|last=Kristó|first=Gyula|title=Hungarian History in the Ninth Century|publisher=Szegedi Középkorász Műhely|date=1996|location=Szeged|page=71|isbn = 963 482 113 8]

The first member of the dynasty mentioned by a nearly contemporary written source was Álmos. The Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII recorded in his work ("De Administrando Imperio") that Álmos was the first Grand Prince of the federation of the seven Magyar tribes "(megas Turkias arkhon)".cite book | page = 13] Álmos probably accepted the supremacy of the Khagan of the Khazars in the beginning of his rule, but by 862, the Magyar tribal federation seceded from the Khazar khaganate.cite book | page = 14] Álmos was either the spiritual leader of the tribal federation "(kende)" or its military commander "(gyula)".cite book | page = 40]

Around 895, the Magyar tribes suffered a catastrophic defeat from the Pechenegs; therefore, they had to leave their territories east of the Carpathian Mountains and they invaded the Carpathian Basin.cite book | last = Tóth | first = Sándor László | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Levediától a Kárpát-medencéig "("From Levedia to the Carpathian Basin")"| publisher = Szegedi Középkorász Műhely | year = 1998 | location = Szeged | pages = 189-211| url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 963 482 175 8] Álmos' death was probably caused by human sacrifice because of the catastrophic defeat and he was followed by his son, Árpád.cite book | page = 15]

The Magyar tribes occupied the whole territory of Carpathian Basin gradually between 895 and 907.cite book | page = 266] Between 899 and 970, the Magyars frequently conducted raids also to the territories of present-day Italy, Germany, France and Spain and to the lands of the Byzantine Empire.cite book | last = Bóna | first = István | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = A magyarok és Európa a 9-10. században "("The Magyars and Europe during the 9-10th centuries")"| publisher = História - MTA Történettudományi Intézete | year = 2000 | location = Budapest | pages = 29-65 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 963 8312 67 X] Such activities continued westwards until the Battle of Lechfeld (955), when Otto, King of the Germans destroyed their troops; their raids against the Byzantine Empire finished only in 970.cite book | pages = 62-65]

From 917, the Magyars made raids to several territories at the same time which may prove the decay of the uniform direction within their tribal federation.cite book | last = Kristó | first = Gyula | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = A magyar állam megszületése "("The origin of the Hungarian state")"| publisher = Szegedi Középkorász Műhely | year = 1995 | location = Szeged | page = 304| url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 963 482 09880] The sources prove the existence of at least three and maximum five groups of tribes within the tribal federation, and only one of them was lead directly by the Árpáds.cite book | pages = 308-309]

The list of the Grand Princes of the Magyars in the first half of the 9th century is incomplete which may also prove the lack of the central government within their tribal federation.cite book | page = 22] Although the medieval chronicles mention that Grand Prince Árpád was followed by his son, Zoltán, but contemporary sources only refer to Grand Prince Fajsz (around 950).cite book | page = 23] After the defeat at the Battle of Lechfeld, Grand Prince Taksony (in or after 955-before 972) adopted the policy of isolation from the Western countries - in contrast to his son, Grand Prince Géza (before 972-997) who may have sent envoys to Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in 973.cite book | pages = 25, 28]

Géza was baptised in 972, and although he never became a convinced Christian, the new faith started to spread among the Magyars during his reign.cite book | page = 28] He managed to expand his rule over the territories west of the Danube and the Garam (today "Hron" in Slovakia), but significant parts of the Carpathian Basin still remained under the rule of local tribal leaders.cite book | page = 30]

Géza was followed by his son, Stephen (originally called Vajk), who had been a convinced follower of Christianity.cite book | page = 32] Stephen had to face with the rebellion of his relative, Koppány who claimed for Géza's inheritance based on the Magyar tradition of agnatic seniority.cite book | page = 35] However, he could defeat Koppány with the assistance of the German retinue of his wife, Giselle of Bavaria.cite book | pages = 35-36]

11th century

The Grand Prince Stephen was crowned on December 25 1000 or January 1 1001); thus he became the first King of Hungary (1000–1038) and he was the founder of the state.cite book | page = 39] cite book | page = 290] He unified the Carpathian Basin under his rule by 1030, by subjugating the territories of the Black Magyars and the domains that had been ruled by (semi-)independent local chieftains ("e.g.", by the "Gyula" Prokuj, Ajtony).cite book | pages = 40-41, 47] cite book | pages = 216, 245] He introduced the administrative system of the kingdom, based on (counties "(comitatus)", and founded an ecclesiastic organization with two archbishoprics and several bishoprics.cite book | pages = 40-41] Following the death of his son, Emeric (September 2, 1031), King Stephen I assigned his sister's son, the Venetian Peter Orseolo as his heir which resulted in a conspiracy lead by his cousin, Vazul, who had been living imprisoned in Nyitra (today "Nitra" in Slovakia); but Vazul was blinded on King Stephen's order and his three sons (Levente, Andrew and Béla) were exiled.cite book | pages = 49-50] cite book | page = 721]

When King Stephen I died (August 15, 1038), Peter Orseolo ascended the throne but he had to struggle with King Stephen's brother-in-law, Samuel Aba (1041-1044).cite book | last = Benda | first = Kálmán (editor) | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Magyarország történeti kronológiája "("The Historical Chronology of Hungary")"| publisher = Akadémiai Kiadó | year = 1981 | location = Budapest | pages = 83-84| url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 963 05 2661 1] King Peter's rule ended in 1046 when an extensive revolt of the pagan Hungarians broke out and he was captured by them.cite book | page = 85]

With the assistance of the pagans, Duke Vazul's son, Andrew, who had been living in exile in the Kievan Rus' and had been baptized there, seized the power and he was crowned; thus, a member of a collateral branch of the dynasty seized the crown.cite book | pages = 70-71] cite book | page = 42] King Andrew I (1046-1060) managed to pacify the pagan rebels and restore the position of Christianity in the kingdom.cite book | page = 72] In 1048, King Andrew invited his younger brother, Béla to the kingdom and conceded one-third of the counties of the kingdom "(Tercia pars regni)" in appanage to him.cite book | page = 42] This dynastic division of the kingdom, mentioned as the first one in the "Chronicon Pictum" "(prima regni huius divisio)", was followed by several similar divisions during the 11-13th centuries, when parts of the kingdom were governed by members of the Árpád dynasty.cite book | last = Kristó | first = Gyula | title = A feudális széttagolódás Magyarországon "("Feudal divisions in Hungary")" | publisher = Akadémiai Kiadó | year = 1979 | location = | page = 44 | isbn = 963 05 1595 4] In the 11th century, the counties entrusted to the members of the ruling dynasty did not form a separate province within the kingdom, but they were organized around two or three centers.cite book | page = 42] The dukes governing the "Tercia pars regni" accepted the supremacy of the kings of Hungary, but some of them (Béla, Géza and Álmos) rebelled against the king in order to acquire the crown and allied themselves with the rulers of the neighboring countries.cite book | pages = 85-100]

King Andrew I was the first king who had his son, Solomon crowned during his life in order to ensure his son's succession (1057).cite book | page = 87] However, the principle of agnatic primogenuture was not able to overcome the tradition of seniority, and following King Andrew I, his brother, King Béla I (1060-1063) acquired the throne against the young Solomon.cite book | pages = 79-81] The period from 1063 until 1080 was characterized by frequent conflicts of King Solomon (1057-1080) and his cousins, Géza, Ladislaus and Lampert who governed the "Tercia pars regni".cite book | pages = 88-92] Duke Géza rebelled against his cousin in 1074 and was proclaimed king by his partisans in accordance with the principle of seniority.cite book | page = 90] When King Géza I died (April 25, 1077) his partisans, disregarding his young sons, proclaimed his brother, Ladislaus king.cite book | page = 90] cite book | page = 126] King Ladislaus I (1077-1095) managed to persuade King Solomon, who had been ruling in some western counties, to abdicate the throne.cite book | pages = 95] During his reign, the Kingdom of Hungary enstrengthened and he could also expand his rule over the neighboring Kingdom of Croatia (1091).cite book | pages = 112-124] He entrusted the government of the newly occupied kingdom to his younger nephew, Álmos.cite book | page = 94]

On 20 August 1083, two members of the dynasty, King Stephen I and his son, Duke Emeric were canonized in Székesfehérvár upon the initiative of King Ladislaus I.cite book | page = 93] cite book | page = 119] His daughter, Eirene (the wife of the Byzantine Emperor John II Komnenos) is venerated by the Eastern Orthodox Church.cite book | last = Klaniczay | first = Gábor | title = Az uralkodók szentsége a középkorban "("Monarchs' Sainthood in the Middle Ages")" | publisher = Balassi Kiadó | year = 2000 | location = Budapest | pages = 159-160 | isbn = 963 506 298 2]

When King Ladislaus I died, his elder nephew, King Coloman was proclaimed king (1095-1116) but he had to concede the "Tercia pars regni" in appanage to his brother, Álmos.cite book | page = 96] King Coloman defeated Petar Svačić who had been proclaimed king of Croatia in 1097 and thus he annexed the neighboring kingdom to the Kingdom of Hungary; henceforward, the kings of Hungary were also kings of Croatia and the two kingdoms formed a political union.cite book | page = 272]

12th century

King Coloman deprived his brother, Álmos of his duchy (the "Tercia pars regni") in 1107.cite book | page = 261] He caught his second wife, Eufemia of Kiev in adultery; therefore, she was divorced and sent back to Kiev around 1114.cite book | page = 102] Eufemia bore a son, named Boris in Kiev, but King Coloman refused to accept him as his son.cite book | page = 146] Around 1115, the king had Duke Álmos and his son, King Béla blinded in order to ensure the succession of his own son, King Stephen II (1116-1131).cite book | page = 102]

King Stephen II did not father any son and his sister's son, Saul was proclaimed heir to his throne instead of the blind Duke Béla.cite book | page = 158] Nevertheless, when King Stephen II died (March 1 1131), his blind cousin managed to acquire the throne.cite book | page = 105] King Béla II (1131-1141) strengthened his rule by defeating King Coloman's alleged son, Boris who endeavoured to deprive him of the throne with foreign military assistance.cite book | pages = 166-169] King Béla II occupied some territories in Bosnia and he conceded the new territory in appanage to his younger son, Ladislaus.cite book | page = 106] Henceforward, members of the Árpád dynasty governed southern or eastern provinces ("i.e.", Slavonia, Croatia and Transylvania) of the kingdom instead of the "Tercia pars regni".cite book | page = 261]

During the reign of King Géza II (1141-1162), the Bishop Otto of Freising recorded that all the Hungarians "are so obedient to the monarch that not only irritating him by open opposition but even offending him by concealed whispers would be considered for felony by them".cite book | page = 181] His son, King Stephen III (1162-1172) had to struggle for his throne with his uncles, Kings Ladislaus II (1162-1163) and Stephen IV (1163-1165) who rebelled against him with the assistance of the Byzantine Empire.cite book | pages = 190-196] During his reign, the Emperor Manuel I Komnenos occupied the southern provinces of the kingdom on the pretext that the king's brother, Béla (the "Despotes" Alexius) lived in his court.cite book | pages = 206-208] As the fiancé of the Emperor's only daughter, "Despotes" Alexius" was the heir presumptive to the Emperor for a short period (1165-1169).cite book | pages = 207-208]

Following the death of King Stephen III, King Béla III (1173-1196) ascended the throne but he had imprisoned his brother, Géza in order to secure his rule.cite book | pages = 117-121] King Béla III, who had been educated in the Byzantine Empire, was the first king who used the "double cross" as the symbol of the Kingdom of Hungary.cite book | last = Bertényi | first = Iván | title = Kis magyar címertan "("Short Hungarian Heraldry")" | publisher = Gondolat | year = 1983 | location = Budapest | page = 67 | isbn = 963 281 195] In 1188, Béla occupied Halych, whose prince had been dethroned by his boyars, and granted the principality to his second son, Andrew; but his rule became unpopular and the Hungarian troops were expelled from Halych already in 1189.cite book | page = 121]

On June 27 1192, the third member of the dynasty, King Ladislaus I was canonized in Várad (today "Oradea" in Romania).cite book | page = 122]

King Béla III bequeathed his kingdom unportionedly to his elder son, King Emeric (1196-1204), but the new king had to concede Croatia and Dalmatia in appanage to his brother, Andrew who had rebelled against him.cite book | page = 124]

13th century

King Emeric married Constance of Aragon and he may have followed Aragonian patterns when he chose his coat-of-arms that would become the Árpáds' familiar badget (an escutcheon barry of eight Gules and Argent).cite book | page = 70] His son and successor, King Ladislaus III (1204-1205) died in childhood and was followed by his uncle, King Andrew II (1205-1235).cite book | page = 127]

His reign was characterized by permanent internal conflicts: a group of conspirators murdered his queen, Gertrude of Merania (1213); discontent noblemen obliged him to issue the Golden Bull of 1222 establishing their rights (including the right to disobey the king); and he quarrelled with his eldest son, Béla who endeavoured to take back the royal domains his father had granted to his followers.cite book | pages = 229-245] King Andrew II, who had been Prince of Halych (1188-1189), intervened regularly in the internal struggles of the principality and made several efforts to ensure the rule of his younger sons (Coloman or Andrew) in the neighboring country.cite book | pages = 127-144] One of his daughters, Elisabeth was canonized during his lifetime (July 1, 1235) and thus became the fourth saint of the Árpáds.cite book | page = 144] King Andrew's elders sons disowned his posthumous son, Stephen who would be educated in Ferrara.cite book | page = 294]

King Béla IV (1235-1270) restored the royal power, but his kingdom became devastated during the Mongol invasion (1241-1242).cite book | pages = 254-260] Following the withdrawal of the Mongol troops, several fortresses were built or enstrengthened on his order.cite book | page = 711] He also granted town privileges to several settlements in his kingdom, "e.g.", Buda, Nagyszombat (today "Trnava" in Slovakia), Selmecbánya (now "Banská Štiavnica" in Slovakia) and Pest received their privileges from him.cite book | pages = 130, 479, 543, 598, 716-717] King Béla IV managed to occupy the Duchy of Styria for a short period (1254-1260), but later he had to abandon it in favour of King Ottokar II of Bohemia.cite book | pages = 154, 157] During his last years, he was struggling with his son, Stephen who was crowned during his lifetime and obliged his father to concede the eastern parts of the kingdom to him.cite book | pages = 294] Two of his daughters, Margaret and Kinga were canonized (in 1943 and 1999 respectively) and a third daughter of his, Jolenta was beatified (in 1827).cite book | pages = 178-179] [ [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09654a.htm CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Blessed Margaret of Hungary ] ] His fourth daughter, Constance was also venerated in Lviv.cite book | pages = 178-192]

When King Stephen V (1270-1272) ascended the throne, many of his father's followers left for Bohemia.cite book | pages = 272] They returned during the reign of his son, King Ladislaus IV the Cuman (1272-1290) whose reign was characterized by internal conflicts among the members of different aristocratic groups.cite book | page = 277] King Ladislaus IV, whose mother was of Cuman origin, preferred the companion of the nomadic and semi-pagan Cumans; therefore, he was excommunicated several times, but he was murdered by Cuman assassins.cite book | pages = 278-282] The disintegration of the kingdom started during his reign when several aristocrats endeavoured to acquire possessions on the account of the royal domains.cite book | pages = 663]

When King Ladislaus IV died, most of his contemporaries thought that the dynasty of the Árpáds came to end, because the only patrilineal descendant of the family, Andrew was the son of Duke Stephen, the posthumous son of King Andrew II who had been disowned by his brothers.cite book | pages = 282-283] Nevertheless, Duke Andrew "the Venetian" was crowned with the Holy Crown of Hungary and most of the barons accepted his rule.cite book | pages = 283-284] During his reign, Kind Andrew III (1290-1310) had to struggle with the powerful barons ("e.g.", with members of the Csák and Kőszegi families).cite book | pages = 285-288] The male line of the Árpáds ended with his death (January 14 1301); one of his contemporaries mentioned him as "the last golden twig".cite book | pages = 288] His daughter, Elisabeth, the last member of the family, died on May 6 1338; she is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church.cite book | page = 179]

Following the death of King Andrew III, several claimants started to struggle for the throne; finally, King Charles I (the matrilineal great-grandson of King Stephen V) managed to strengthen his position around 1310.cite book | pages = 188-192] Henceforward, all the kings of Hungary (with the exception of King Matthias Corvinus) were matrilineal descendants of the Árpáds.

Dynasty Tree

(i) Álmos ?-c.895 │ (ii) Árpád c.895-907 ┌────────────┴──────────┐ Jutas (iii) Zoltan │ 907-? │ │ (iv) Fajsz (v) Taksony 948, short time 948-972 │ ┌───────────┴────────────────────────────────────────┐ (vi) Geza 972-997 Mihály │ │ ┌──────────────┴───────┬─────────────┐ │ Vajk/Stephen I female female ∞ Sámuel Aba Vazul (vii) 997-1000 ∞ (3) 1041-1044 │ (1) 1000-1038 Ottone Orseolo │ │ │ ┌──────────────────────────┤ Prince St. Imre Péter Orseolo (5) Andrew I (6) Béla I (2) 1038-1041 1046-1060 1060-1063 (4) 1044-1046 │ │ │ ┌────────┴──────┐ (7) Salamon (8) Géza I (9) Laszlo I 1063-1074 1074-1077 1077-1095 │ ┌──────────────────────────┤ (10) Coloman Prince Álmos 1095-1116 │ │ │ (11) Stephen II (12) Béla II 1116-1131 1131-1141 │ ┌─────────────────────┬────────────────────┤ (13) Géza II (15) Laszlo II (16) Stephen IV 1141-1162 1162-1163 1163-1164 │ rival king rival king ┌───────────┴──────────┐ (14) Stephen III (17) Béla III 1162-1172 1172-1196 │ ┌───────────┴──────────┐ (18) Emeric (20) Andrew II 1196-1204 1204-1235 │ │ │ ┌─┴──────────────────────┐ (19) Laszlo III (21) Béla IV Pr. István 1204-1205 1235-1270 │ │ │ │ │ (22) Stephen V (24) Andrew III 1270-1272 1290-1301 │ │ (23) Laszlo IV 1272-1290


The following members of the dynasty were canonized:

* Saint Stephen, canonized in 1083 (also by the Eastern Orthodox Church, in 2000)
* Saint Emeric, canonized in 1083
* Saint Ladislaus, canonized in 1192
* Saint Elizabeth, canonized in 1235
* Saint Margaret, canonized in 1943
* Saint Kinga, canonized in 1999
* Saint Eiréne, canonized by the Eastern Orthodox Church
* Blessed Yolanda, canonized in 1631.

ee also

*List of Hungarian rulers, List of rulers of Slovakia, List of rulers of Croatia
*History of Hungary, History of Croatia, History of Romania, History of Slovakia


External links

* [http://mek.oszk.hu/01900/01955/ The Vazul-line : Kings of the Árpád dynasty after St. Stephen (1038—1301)]

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