Ladislaus II of Hungary


Ladislaus II of Hungary

Ladislaus II (Hungarian: "II. László", Croatian: "Ladislav II.", Slovak: "Ladislav II."), (1131 – 14 January 1163), King of Hungary and Croatia (1162-1163), Duke of Bosnia (1137-1159). As a younger son, he could ascend to the throne only with the assistance of the Byzantine Empire against his nephew, King Stephen III after his brother's death. Although, the majority of the Hungarian nobles accepted his rule based on the tradition that gave precedence to the eldest member of the royal family to the deceased king's son, the Head of the Catholic Church in Hungary did not accept the legitimacy of his rule.

Early years

Ladislaus was the second son of King Béla II of Hungary and his wife, Helena of Raška. He was only a baby when his mother introduced him and his brother, Géza to the barons assembled in Arad in order to pursuade them to massacre her husband's opponents.

After the occupation of Bosnia, his father named Ladislaus the duke of the province in 1137, but the province was obviously governed by the administrators appointed by the king. When King Béla II died on 13 February 1141, Ladislaus' brother, Géza II ascended the throne. In 1152, the king organised a separated ducal household for Ladislaus and his younger brother, Stephen.

However, the two younger brother's relationship got worsened with the king, because Géza II wanted to ensure the succession of his son, Stephen. In 1157, Duke Stephen tried to organise a conspiracion against the king supported by their maternal uncle, Beloš, but Géza could overcome them, and Duke Stephen had to fleed to the court of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos. In 1159, Stephen also conspired against Géza II but following his failure, he had to follow his younger brother to Constantinople.

In the imperial court of Constantinople, Ladislaus, with contrast to his brother, did not want to surrender totally to Manuel I Komnenos, and he refused to marry a niece of the Emperor.

King of Hungary

When the Emperor Manuel I Komnenos was informed that King Géza II had died on 31 May 1162 and his son Stephen III had been crowned, he decided to make a campaign against Hungary in order to have his niece's husband, Duke Stephen ascended the throne. On hearing the Emperor's demand, the Hungarian barons sent an embassy to his camp and offered to accept Ladislaus' rule pursuant to the Hungarian costums which gave precedence to the eldest member of the royal family over a deceased king's son. The Emperor accepted the barons' offer and sent Ladislaus to Hungary.

By the time Ladislaus arrived to Székesfehérvár, his nephew, King Stephen III had escaped to Pozsony, and Ladislaus was proclaimed king. However, Lukas, Archbishop of Esztergom, who remained loyal to the young king, denied Ladislaus' coronation; therefore he was crowned by Mikó, Archbishop of Kalocsa in July 1162. On the occasion of his coronation, Ladislaus granted "Tercia pars Regni" ("i.e.", one third of the Kingdom of Hungary) to his brother, Stephen.

Archbishop Lukas still denied the legitimacy of Ladislaus' rule and excommunacated him, so he had the Archbishop arrested. On 25 December 1162, upon the request of Pope Alexander III, Ladislaus set Archbishop Lukas free, but he did not want to absolve the king.

Ladislaus may have died of poisoning. He was buried in Székesfehérvár. In medieval times, he was not counted as a king (being only an anti-king), so Ladislaus III was also counted as Ladislaus II in the 13th century.

Marriage and daughter

"# ?:" "Unknown"
* Maria (? – ?), wife of Niccolò Michieli, patrician of Venice

Ancestors

Sources

* Engel, Pat. "Realm of St. Stephen : A History of Medieval Hungary", 2001
* 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)
* G. Vég, "Magyarország királyai és királynői", Maecenas, 1990.
* "Magyarország Történeti Kronológiája I. – A kezdetektől 1526-ig", főszerkesztő: Benda Kálmán (Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1981)
* (primary source) "The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle", A. West, trans., Corvina, 1969.
* (primary source) John Kinnamos, "Deeds of John and Manuel Comnenus", C.M. Brand, trans., Columbia University Press, 1976.

Succession|preceded=Stephen III|office=King of Hungary|years=1162–1163|succeeded=Stephen IVsuccession box
title=Duke of Bosnia
before= new title
after= the title is suspended
years=1137–1159


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