Open main menu

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Stephen V. of Hungary

< 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica

STEPHEN V. (1239-127 2), king of Hungary, was the eldest son of Bela IV., whom he succeeded in 1270. As crown prince he had exhibited considerable ability, but also a disquieting restlessness and violence. In 1262 he compelled his father, whom he had assisted in the Bohemian War, to surrender twenty- nine counties to him, so that Hungary was virtually divided into two kingdoms. Not content with this he subsequently seized the southern banate of Macso, which led to a fresh war between father and son in which the latter triumphed. In 1268 he undertook an expedition against the Bulgarians, con- quering the land as far as Tirnova and styling himself hence- forth king of Bulgaria. Stephen was a keen and circumspect politician, and for his future security contracted, during his father's lifetime, a double 1 matrimonial alliance with the Nea- politan princes of the House of Anjou, the chief partisans of the pope. He certainly needed exterior support; for on his accession to the Hungarian throne, as he himself declared, every one was his enemy. This hostility was due to the almost universal opinion of western Europe that Stephen was a semi-pagan. His father had married him while still a youth (c. 1255) to Elizabeth, daughter of the Rumanian chieftain Roteny, with a view to binding the Rumanians (who could put in the field 16,000 men; see Hungary: History) more closely to the dynasty in the then by no means improbable contingency of a second Tatar invasion. The lady was duly baptized and remained a Christian; but the adversaries of Stephen, especially Ottakar II. of Bohemia, affected to believe that Stephen was too great a friend of the Rumanians to be a true Catholic. Ottakar endeavoured, with the aid of the Magyar malcontents, to conquer the western provinces of Hungary, but after some suc- cesses was utterly routed by Stephen in 1271 near Mosony, and by the peace of Pressburg, the same year, relinquished all his conquests. Stephen died suddenly on the 6th of August

1 Charles, the son of Charles of Anjou, was to marry Stephen's daughter Maria, while Stephen's infant son Ladislaus was to marry Charles's daughter Elizabeth. Another of his daughters, Anna, married the Greek emperor Andronicus Palaeologus.

1272, just as he was raising an army to recover his kidnapped infant son Ladislaus from the hands of his rebellious vassals.

See Ignacz Acsady, History of the Hungarian Realm, vol. i. (Hung.; Budapest, 1903). (R. N. B.)