Géza, son of Géza II of Hungary

Géza (1150s–1210) was a Hungarian royal prince and the youngest son of the King Géza II of Hungary. Prince Géza was brother to the Kings Stephen III and Béla III of Hungary. He traveled to the Holy Land during the Third Crusade with an army of 2,000 Hungarian warriors.

Géza
Bornc. 1151
Diedc. 1210
SpouseA Byzantine woman
Issuesons, including Alexius
DynastyÁrpád dynasty
FatherGéza II of Hungary
MotherEuphrosyne of Kiev
ReligionRoman Catholic

BiographyEdit

Prince Géza was born in the early 1150s, the third son of King Géza II of Hungary and his wife, Princess Euphrosyne of Kiev.[1] After King Géza II died, there were several conflicts over the royal succession. Two brothers of King Géza II briefly seized the crown, reigning as Ladislaus II and Stephen IV of Hungary. The prince's elder brother was crowned Stephen III of Hungary after defeating his uncle in battle.

During the reign of Stephen III, the wars against the Byzantine empire continued. Byzantine emperor, Manuel I Komnenos, had previously competed with Géza II on many occasions, as he was determined to expand his influence over Hungary. Manuel I's mother was Saint Piroska of Hungary, daughter of Saint Ladislaus I of Hungary, and he always had a great interest in the internal affairs of Hungary. Manuel I and Stephen III eventually resolved this through a peace accord signed in 1163, in which the Hungarian King's younger brother Béla, was to be sent to Constantinople in surety. During Stephen III's rule, he kept his mother Euphrosyne, and his youngest brother, Prince Géza, at court.

After Stephen III's death in 1172, his next eldest brother, Prince Béla, was recalled from Constantinople to ascend the throne and forestall any attempt at accession by his younger brother, Prince Géza.

Within a few months, he was crowned Béla III of Hungary but faced opposition from his own mother, the Queen Dowager, and his brother, Prince Géza, who began conspiring against him to obtain the Crown of Hungary. After a couple of failed attempts, Béla III had them arrested. He imprisoned his mother, but Prince Géza fled to Henry II, Duke of Austria in 1174 or 1175 to seek protection.[2] When Henry refused to extradite Géza, Béla launched plundering raids into Austria, together with Soběslav II, Duke of Bohemia.[3] A year later, Prince Géza tried to persuade Soběslav II of Bohemia to help him meet Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, but Soběslav seized Géza and handed him over to Béla in 1177.[3]

Béla once again imprisoned his brother, and he also put their mother, Euphrosyne, in confinement.[4][3] Prince Géza languished in prison from 1177 to 1189. Freedom arrived for him in 1189 due to preparations for the Third Crusade. That year, Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, arrived in Hungary and was received by King Béla III. Learning of Prince Géza's predicament, the German emperor asked Béla III to allow the imprisoned Géza to lead a small Hungarian army to the Crusade as an escort.[5][6] Béla III allowed this, and 2,000 Hungarian soldiers left for the Holy Land under the leadership of Géza and Archbishop Ugrin Csák.

After the Third Crusade, and the death of the German emperor, Béla III ordered Géza and his men to return to Hungary, but the Prince and his guard decided to remain in the Holy Land. It is known that Géza took a Byzantine noblewoman as wife between 1190 and 1191. Historians estimate that Géza died about 1210 because that was the last time he was mentioned by medieval chronicles.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 190, Appendix 3.
  2. ^ Makk 1989, p. 109.
  3. ^ a b c Makk 1989, p. 111.
  4. ^ Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 213.
  5. ^ Makk 1989, p. 122.
  6. ^ Engel 2001, p. 54.

SourcesEdit

  • Engel, Pál (2001). The Realm of St Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary, 895–1526. I.B. Tauris Publishers. ISBN 1-86064-061-3.
  • Kristó, Gyula; Makk, Ferenc (1996). Az Árpád-ház uralkodói [Rulers of the House of Árpád] (in Hungarian). I.P.C. Könyvek. ISBN 963-7930-97-3.
  • Makk, Ferenc (1989). The Árpáds and the Comneni: Political Relations between Hungary and Byzantium in the 12th century (Translated by György Novák). Akadémiai Kiadó. ISBN 963-05-5268-X.