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15 July 2019

Parallels and Connections – Hungary and England in the Time of Thomas Becket – Part I


 

INTRODUCTION

 

In the year 1188 [actually 1187] from the incarnation of our Lord, Urban the Third being the head of the Apostolic See; Frederick Emperor of Germany and King of the Romans; Isaac Emperor of Constantinople; Philip the son of Lewis reigning in France; Henry the Second in England; William in Sicily; Bela in Hungary; and Guy in Palestine: in that very year, when Saladin Prince of the Egyptians and Damascenes, by a signal victory got possession of the kingdom of Jerusalem ...”1 The Welsh historian the Archdeacon Gerald of Wales chronicled the Welsh travels of the court chaplain of the English king Henry II,2 and Archbishop of Canterbury, Baldwin of Forde. He began his work with the above summary of “world politics, considering the rulers listed here to be the most powerful in Europe and the Holy Land”. The court cleric Gerald of Wales, who travelled a great deal himself, can be regarded as one of the most informed figures of his time. This circumstance lends weight to his statements naming Hungary and its king, Béla III,3 among the leaders of the world as it was known at that time.

As one of the most important rulers in our history, King Béla III of the House of Árpád, honoured by his descendants as “King Béla the Great”, was not merely a name in a list, but a respected member of the community of 12th-century monarchs. For a while he was co-father-in-law with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick (Barbarossa),4 but this family relationship proved to be short-lived owing to the premature death of the German princess who was engaged to the heir to the Hungarian throne, Emeric. He entered into a more lasting family relationship with the Byzantine emperor Isaac II Angelos,5 who took the hand of his daughter Margaret,6 which made Béla III the emperor’s father-in-law. Béla forged ties with the Christian states of the Holy Land through his first marriage, when he took as his wife Agnes of Antioch,7 the daughter of Constance, Princess of Antioch8 and the Crusader Raynald of Châtillon.9 Béla’s first father-in-law, Raynald, was killed by the Sultan Saladin10 himself in 1187. By then, Agnes was no longer alive, and her place as queen was taken by a Capeting princess, Margaret,11 the sister of King Philip II of France.12 Interestingly, Margaret had previously been the daughter-in-law of England’s King Henry II, until his heir Henry the Young King’s13 death.14 This all shows how strongly Europe and the countries of the Holy Land were bound together with dynastic and cultural ties. And we have not yet even touched on the way Queen Margaret nurtured the cult of her former spiritual mentor, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury15 in Hungary, in the primatial seat of Esztergom no less.

Therefore, when ancient ideas and philosophy are invoked through the lens of the old Anglo-Hungarian dynastic and political relationships and parallels, this is no artificially contrived analogy, but stems naturally from the threads binding together the histories of England and Hungary in the latter half of the 12th century.

In order to come close to understanding the people and ideas of these ancient times, we must always work our way back in order to deduce what their motivations and inherited circumstances were, and what factors influenced them. The methods of even the most in-demand psychiatrists – Jung, Freud – are unsuitable for such an approach; they project certain aspects of the world of instinct onto their fellow humans; but Leopold Szondi16 gave a superb analysis of the fate of humankind, the spirit that builds up the individual. He wrote of an ancestral consciousness, which means that everyone, in the process of phylogenesis, brings with them a world of instincts and the genetic imprints of events experienced by their family. However, during his or her life, the individual albeit with some difficulty can alter this ancestral fate. This kind of humanisation – which is ultimately the purpose of life – can take place primarily once the individual recognises and takes ownership of his or her mistakes, consistently changing his or her actions. Such an individual lives for the community, or perhaps a noble ideal; and is willing to sacrifice his or her life for the community if needs be.17

 

THOMAS BECKET’S JOURNEY FROM ANCESTRAL FATE TO FULFILMENT OF HIS CHOSEN FATE

 

If we approach Thomas Becket from this perspective, his inherited fate can be summarised very briefly. The child of a well-to-do family, as a young man he lived a very worldly life. He did not consider a career in the Church; but intended to take up a worldly occupation. Thus, as was typical at the time, he envisaged his life as a member of the administration within the Church organisation. He studied in London, Paris and later Bologna. The important change in his life came when he became a relatively close friend of the English King Henry II. He became an unquestioning follower of the king, supporting Henry’s ambitions without reservation, including his efforts to reduce the influence of the Pope and the power of the Church, with the aim of realigning religious leaders with the king in the interest of increasing the power of the monarchy.

Thomas stepped out of his ancestral fate and into a chosen fate when Henry appointed him Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. Thomas Becket protested to the bitter end, because he knew full well that, as a person of sound moral character and head of the English Church, he could not serve two masters at the same time. He was precisely aware that he would soon come into conflict with the king. According to some sources, he argued against his appointment as follows: “Should God permit me to be Archbishop of Canterbury I should soon lose your Majesty’s favour, and the great affection with which you honour me would be changed into hatred. For your Majesty will be pleased to suffer me to tell you, that several things you do in prejudice of the inviolable rights of the Church, make me fear you would require of me that I could not agree to. And envious persons would not fail to make this pass for a crime, in order to make me lose your favour.”18

The chosen fate was fulfilled when he eventually did come into conflict with the king. He forewent his worldly power, relinquishing the title of chancellor. In keeping with the Cluniac spirit of the age,19 he lived an exceptionally humble life. He opposed Henry, refusing to authenticate with his seal the Royal Constitutions that removed the right of clergymen to be tried in the Church courts; then when his situation became untenable, he fled to France in 1164.

Emigration to France did not placate him. He knew that his place was in England, where he had to continue upholding the value to which he had devoted his life, and which to his mind represented the highest order of universality. In 1170 he returned to England, fully aware that he was gambling with his own life. This is evidenced by his last words to the Bishop of Paris (“I go to England to die”20) and to the French king Louis VII21 (“We go to England to risk our heads”.22)

After returning, Thomas excommunicated the prelates who had supported Henry II. The king, in the company of a handful of nobles, expressed his wish to be rid of Thomas Becket. We do not know what Henry’s true intentions were; but four knights interpreted his words as a command, went to Canterbury Cathedral and murdered Thomas Becket in front of the altar.


Stained glass window of Saint Thomas Becket at the Canterbury Cathedral, created by Samuel Caldwell in 1919. Photo by Renaud Camus

 

CONNECTIONS BETWEEN HUNGARY AND ENGLAND

 

The question is: why do we in Hungary, in 2019, still commemorate an English archbishop who was killed more than 800 years ago? There are numerous explanations for this. The relationship between England and Hungary is an exceptionally long-standing one, having been proven to date back to Saint Stephen.23 But during the time of Thomas Becket, Anglo-Hungarian relations became exceptionally intense, both directly and indirectly. Both countries built and organised their states along the lines of Christian values and the Christian Church. Both accepted the spiritual leadership of the Pope; but Hungary organised the Church independently, both within the Hungarian Empire and beyond.

The right of investiture was not disputed in the apostolic Kingdom of Hungary.24 It was also not possible for the prelates of the Hungarian Church to swear homage to the Pope. Indeed, Coloman the Learned, who went from being Bishop of Várad (today Oradea, Romania) to king of Hungary,25 and who is mistakenly associated with the tradition of waiving the right of investiture, even succeeded in limiting the worldly power of the Holy See in one respect: In 1102, following the creation of the personal union of Hungary and Croatia, the Pope was forced to implicitly recognise that Coloman had brought Croatia, which had previously sworn homage to the Pope, under the authority of the Hungarian crown. Hungarian kings were able to convene synods, such as the Synod of Szabolcs in 1092,26 or the 1414–1418 Council of Constance,27 which was convened by Sigismund of Luxembourg28 in his capacity as the Hungarian apostolic king, not as Holy Roman Emperor. There was also no disputing the Hungarian king’s jurisdiction over the clergy.

I believe that the true significance of Saint Stephen’s organisation of the Church was that he abolished the Salzburg and Byzantine forms of proselytisation, thus preventing a split in the Carpathian Basin along the lines of religious orientation and ritual. He established the centre of Hungarian proselytisation in Esztergom, and it was from here that he organised the Hungarian Christian Church. This was a good half-century before the great schism of 1054. It is no coincidence that Hungary followed the Roman ritual under Saint Stephen and his successors, but its relationships with Byzantium also remained. “What Greek would govern the Latins on the basis of the Greek traditions, or what Latin would direct the Greeks using Latin traditions? This is unheard of!”29 – this sentiment was expressed by Stephen himself, in the Admonitions written for his son.

Naturally, England was not forced to choose between the Eastern and Western brands of Christianity – if only by virtue of its geographical location, which placed it clearly in the West. Overall, in terms of the English organisation of Church, although the rulers attempted to assert jurisdiction over the clergy and right of investiture, the grounds for doing so always remained in doubt.

Saint Stephen’s method of state organisation typically involved transforming an existing steppe state into a Christian state.30 The dynasty started out with an ancient mythical origin, and its members believed themselves to be heavenly emissaries, knowing, believing and feeling that they had a mission on earth. Álmos,31 who founded the steppe state and launched the settlement of the Carpathian Basin by the Magyars in the middle of the 9th century, was descended from Attila the Hun,32 who died in 453, according to the Hungarian written tradition. Álmos’s destiny as a great ruler was foretold in a prophesy in the form of a “hawk-like bird”, the mythical “turul”.33 This sense of having a mission elevated Christianity to greater heights, creating a new myth for the dynasty and the nation.


Benczúr, Gyula (1844–1920), The Baptism of Vajk (Saint Stephen), 1875, oil on canvas, 358 x 247 cm, Hungarian National Gallery

In
that age, there were two prerequisites for possessing the title of king. One was power, and the house of Árpád had this both before and after the emergence of Christianity. The other was worthiness in the eyes of Christianity, and this was bestowed by the coronation. In previous times, this had been assured by the mythical origins of the dynasty. The kingdom organised by Saint Stephen was sovereign and integral. Later, when opportunities for expansion arose, this was not done through conquest, not through the extermination of indigenous peoples, but through the marshalling of partner states, the establishment of personal unions. The best examples of this are the inclusion of Croatia, Dalmatia, Rama etc. among the countries of the Holy Crown.34 In terms of constitutional law, this is only partly similar to the formation of the United Kingdom of more than six centuries later under the Acts of Union, as a union of England, Scotland and Wales,35 because the Kingdom of Hungary’s North Balkan expansion was based on personal unions, not on an act of union. The Kingdom of Hungary is the only state in history to be named an Archiregnum,36 and after Saint Stephen’s pledge, as a Regnum Marianum, of which Mary, Queen of Heaven, was not only the patron, but also its Regina; that is, its queen.

An important factor is that Saint Stephen founded a Frank-like state, but not a typical Frankish one. To put it another way: by establishing a Christian monarchy, he followed the Roman traditions of governance, but in his own way. One of the most important differences emerged from the existence or absence of a feudal hierarchy. In western feudal systems, the nobles first received land, for which they owed a debt of service; while in the Kingdom of Hungary the nobles first served, and then received their estates as a reward for their efforts. They – or their descendants – could later become unworthy of these estates; and they could even lose them along with their titles and status. Similar consequences of unworthiness were applied centuries later in France. In Western Europe, the feudal hierarchy – and within this the principle that “my lord’s lord is not my lord” – applied to the detriment of the state. In the Kingdom of Hungary, however, the power of the state did not permit the emergence of feudalism.

In the first three centuries of the Kingdom of Hungary, the country’s geopolitical situation was primarily shaped by the need to establish and maintain a sovereign and integral empire in the space between two superpowers, the Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. During the Árpád era, through Ladislaus I of Hungary,37 Slavonia and Croatia became part of Hungary, followed by Dalmatia under Coloman the Learned,38 “Rama” (North Bosnia) during the reign of Béla II (the Blind),39 then under the sons of Béla III (the Great), first Serbia and then Cumania (Wallachia and Western Moldavia), and for a shorter time Halych and the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, also came under Hungarian rule (the latter territories came to constitute a permanent claim in the Hungarian king’s title).

If we examine the characteristics of the English state more closely, it becomes clear that we have to distinguish between the situation prior to the Battle of Hastings,40 and after it. The English kings did not have an origin myth, unlike the Merovingians41 for example, and nor did they have a holy mission like the descendants of Álmos. The British Isles were characterised by fragmented kingdoms with constantly changing territories and power struggles, where the dynasties and barons vied against one another while also trying to fend off intruders and conquerors: the successful Anglo-Saxons, and later the partly successful Danes and Norwegians. The king was worthy, being a Christian king, but did not always command the power needed to rule.

Christianity had gained ground in the British Isles in Roman times; but it had failed to become the exclusive religion. The real challenge was converting the Anglo-Saxons who settled in the 6th century. The start of this process is credited to Augustine of Canterbury,42 who commenced conversion in 597 on the instruction of the Pope. In that same year, he baptised Æthelberht, King of Kent,43 and later established several archdioceses.44

The other main thrust of missionary activity at that time affected Ireland, while the House of Árpád takes credit for its contribution to the adoption of Christianity in Scotland: Saint Stephen’s daughter (or relative), Agatha,45 married the exiled English prince Edward,46 who found refuge in Hungary. It is a mystery why the baby Edward and his brother Edmund had to be taken through so many other kingdoms to distant Hungary. Their daughter was Saint Margaret of Scotland,47 who became the wife of Malcolm III, King of Scots.48 She was instrumental in the country’s conversion to Christianity.49 Several of their eight children became kings of Scotland. One of her sons, David,50 who is also revered as a saint, established many religious institutions in Scotland. After Hastings, the power structures in England became completely clear; the Normans introduced the Carolingian form of feudalism that was typical on the continent.

During the period under study, the Norman conquerors not only occupied the throne of England, but also retained their extensive estates in the western coastal regions of Europe. Indeed, when Henry II married Louis VII’s former51 wife Eleanor,52 his authority effectively extended as far as the Pyrenees, as not only Normandy and Lower-Poitou, but Aquitaine also fell into his hands. The English fought the French for centuries over ownership of these territories.

It is also worth examining the succession of power in both Hungary and England. The order of succession in the steppe society of Hungary was based on suitability (idoneity) and seniority: the latter meant that the oldest member of the ruling clan held supreme power, and the head of the Hungarian Princedom was always an active, adult male. After Taksony of Hungary,53 there is evidence of efforts to introduce father-to-son succession as well. The right of the firstborn to inherit (primogeniture) came into conflict with the principle of seniority on several occasions, so the early Christian Kingdom of Hungary was disrupted by several throne disputes and power struggles. In any event, in the dynastic Hungarian state, besides a myth of origin, after Saint Stephen the Christian faith became an essential prerequisite of suitability for a ruler. In spite of the struggles for the throne, the fact that the Hungarian king also had to be descended from Álmos, or to use a later expression coined by historians, could only be from the “House of Árpád”, lent stability to the state of Hungary.

In England, the order of succession of kings was determined only partly by suitability and primogeniture; the matter was effectively decided by who came out on top in the power struggles of the day. In principle, however, the king was nominated by an assembly of nobleman known as the Witan.54 The Norman conquest put an end to this; and from that time on, the principle of primogeniture took precedence. An important difference is that while Hungary was ruled by the same dynasty for some 450 years, from Álmos to Andrew III,55 in England there were frequent changes of ruling house. Thus, for example, when Henry II took the throne a new family, the Plantegenet dynasty (1154–1485) also came into power.

In both countries, the kings secured their worthiness through coronation and ceremony. In Hungary, a prerequisite for being crowned king was that the coronation be performed using the Holy Crown, by the Bishop of Esztergom, in Székesfehérvár. In England, coronation was performed using the crown of Edward the Confessor,56 by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Westminster Abbey. The first, introductory part of this ceremony was the swearing of an oath, which was followed – if only symbolically – by the acclamation, or cry of approval (expressing the choice of monarch). The king in waiting was then anointed, to bestow heavenly support and worthiness in the eyes of God, and the process culminated in the crown being placed on the monarch’s head.

There are only two holy coronation crowns in the world, the Hungarian and English ones. The Hungarian Holy Crown is the only holy crown in the history of the world to have been spiritualised and personified. The concept of the Holy Crown had already emerged in the time of Coloman the Learned (1095–1116) and the next major milestone in its development was the Golden Bull of 1222. The Holy Crown holds all power, has independent legal personality, and embodies the empire constituted by the king and the nation. These two together guarantee the Holy Crown’s rights (integrity, sovereignty, law, etc.). If either party is in breach, then the other is obliged – by force of arms if needs be – to restore the rights of the Holy Crown (the legal grounds for our earlier freedom struggles). The king rules on behalf of the Holy Crown. Later in the country’s history, the Holy Crown often fulfilled the role of unifier and saviour of the nation.57

The English crown was the crown of Edward the Confessor, and as far as we know it is Europe’s oldest coronation crown. The other aspects of constitutional law developed entirely differently to the concept of the Hungarian Holy Crown, but the coronation of the English monarch remains one of the most important factors to this day.

Similarities can be found in the evolution of Hungarian and English law. The development of Hungarian law can be traced right back to the Blood Oath. Its defining elements include Saint Stephen’s Admonitions, the concept of the Holy Crown, the Golden Bull, the laws of kings of the House of Árpád and its maternal line (Anjou, Luxemburg), up to the Tripartitum of 1514, the seminal manual of Hungarian customary law.58


The Holy Crown, the Sword and the Orb of Hungary (Globus Cruciger), Hungarian Parliament Building

In
England, the kings governed by decree right up until the Magna Carta of 1215,59 then the Acts of Union were what defined the development of English law, which differed in essence from that of the continent, but in certain respects evolved in a similar way to the law of the Holy Crown. The sharing of power dates not only to the Magna Carta in England or the Golden Bull in Hungary, but they can be traced back much further in both countries. Certainly, in both countries the seeds of democracy in the modern sense were coded into the development of law based on medieval foundations, and certain innovations and institutions that were created in the early period of their statehood have remained effective to this day.60 Examples of these in Hungary include the use of the Latin alphabet, the codified legal system and territorial system of public administration.61

THE SPIRITUAL CURRENTS OF EUROPE

 

The Europe of the age was unambiguously defined by Christianity and faith in God. After the “dark century” of the Papacy, at the beginning of the 10th century the Cluniac movement got under way, and at its height two thousand monasteries had joined. They freed themselves from the authority of the lords or rulers, adopted a strict monastic lifestyle, and rejected worldly glory and the pursuit of worldly power. In this spirit, many of its adherents were martyred due to their commitment to unadulterated faith and proselytisation. The Cluniac movement spread out in ripples from within the Church to the lay populace, and often lords and rulers too. Their main aim was for the monastic orders to depend exclusively on the Pope, and for the Pope also to be independent of all worldly powers.

The Cluniac spirit led to the appearance of the first saints in European history, in Kievan Rus, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and, in the territory of the Holy Roman Empire, Henry II.62 Neither the East Franks nor the other members of the Saxon dynasty, or the Hohenstaufen, could boast of any saints. In England, there lived the last canonised English ruler, Edward the Confessor. The Cluniac spirit, therefore, permeated the rulers and ruling classes of the age. The Cluniac spirit and lifestyle were followed in Hungary by Saint Stephen, Saint Emeric,63 and the saints of the maternal line of the House of Árpád, Elizabeth,64 Margaret65 and others. Here I should mention that although Béla III and his successors never forgot that they originated from the “Nation of the Turul”, officially they refer to their dynasty as the “people of the saint kings”, because in less than two centuries the House of Árpád produced two kings, Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus, and a prince, Saint Emeric.66 No other ruling dynasty in the world has given us so many saints, beati and people reputed to have lived a saintly life, as the House of Árpád.

The Cluniac movement formed the basis for the even more influential Lotharingian movement in the 1100s, which went beyond the Cluniac spirit. It declared that the Pope possessed the power of solvere et ligare, meaning that he had power not just over the Church, but in spiritual terms over the whole world. If worldly rulers attempted to obstruct this, they would be heretical, and declared unworthy to rule. Among Hungarian rulers, the question of unworthiness was raised in respect of Peter, King of Hungary,67 and Solomon68 due to their dependence on the Holy Roman Empire and the diminishment of sovereignty.

In England, the constant attempts to seize the throne were also justified on grounds of unworthiness in many cases; and the Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the supreme priest, either accepted or rejected such claims. It was this period that saw the emergence of a higher interpretation of the concept of taking up arms in the defence of faith, as the supreme value. This defined military conduct, and later made it possible to launch the Crusades at the Council of Clermont.69 Crusades had already been announced against heathens and heretics, but the most important Crusade at this time was launched for the liberation of the Holy Land.

The Lotharingian spirit left its stamp on chivalric culture, but one could also say that the Lotharingian spirit evolved from the chivalric culture itself, as these were parallel processes. It was in this spirit that the struggle for what is good and right, the respect and love for courage and the image of Miles Christianus, the soldier of Christ, took shape. Morality and culture emerged as the underlying meaning of battle. Loyalty, righteousness, courage, honour and contempt for death were important on the battlefield; and with this, the fear of the final judgement, when the living and the dead are called to account. Other ideals associated with this mentality were martyrdom and apotheosis.

The knight-king in all his pomp and splendour first appeared in the form of Saint Ladislaus. There were precursors to this ideal in Hungarian history: Andrew I70 “the White” or “the Catholic”, Béla I71 “the Champion”, Géza Magnus72 “the Consecrated” who, just like his great grandson Géza II,73 also displayed the characteristics of a knight-king. It is very interesting to note that the cult of chivalry emerged in Hungary some 30–40 years before it did in France, and lasted approximately that much longer, culminating in the reign of Louis I of Hungary.74

Saint Ladislaus bore the epithet of Athleta Christi, and in French sources was referred to as Elegantissimus Rex. He was not only majestic in terms of his inner qualities, but also in his outward appearance. This spirit was inherited from the Christian House of Árpád ancestors, but also on his mother’s side from the Holy Roman and Byzantine emperors.75

Chivalric culture usually developed in royal, princely and baronial courts, and was a form of social conduct and etiquette. Its proponents tried to introduce the heavenly order on earth, but without the rigour of the Cluniac movement. This culture was also characteristic of the English and French royal courts. Henry II’s wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was divorced from the French King Louis VII, was the granddaughter of one of the wealthiest figures of the era, William IX, Duke of Aquitaine.76 This form of chivalric culture overstepped the boundaries of morality, and an element of erotica emerged.

The spread of the Cluniac and later Lotharingian movements described above made a clash between the Pope and the Emperor inevitable, and this started with the Dictatus Papae.77 The investiture battle that ensued took place in several acts. The first famous struggle unfolded between Pope Gregory VII78 and the Emperor Henry IV,79 leading to the famous Walk to Canossa80 and the Concordat of Worms,81 where the Pope’s right of investiture was recognised, but the prelates also had to swear allegiance to the Emperor. The investiture struggle had several acts, but the Papacy managed to retain and strengthen its worldly power, while the Holy Roman Empire was showing signs of fragmentation by 1254.82


Translation by Daniel Nashaat

 

This essay is an edited and substantially extended version of the talk given at the 25th Thomas Becket Conference on 5 January 2019, at Hungary’s archiepiscopal seat of Esztergom.


 

NOTES:

 

1 Catalogus Fontium Historiae Hungaricae aevo ducum et regum ex stirpe Arpad descendentium, Volume II, Editor: Ferenc Gombos Albin. Acad. Litterarum de Stephani, Budapest, 1937, 1601. Rulers mentioned by Gerald of Wales (Giraldus de Barri): Pope Urban III (1185–1187), (Barbarossa) Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor (1152–1190), Isaac II, Byzantine Emperor (1185–1195, 1203–1204), Philip II of France (1180–1223), Henry II of England (1154–1189), William II of Sicily (1166–1189), Béla III (the Great) of Hungary (1172–1196), Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem (1186–1192), Saladin, sultan of Egypt (1171–1193).

2 Henry II (1133–1189): member of the House of Plantagenet, King of England from 1154 until his death.

3 Béla (the Great) III (1148–1196): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1172, one of the wealthiest and most influential rulers of the age.

4 Frederick Barbarossa I (1122–1190): member of the House of Hohenstaufen, King of Germany from 1152, Holy Roman Emperor from 1154 until his death.

5 Isaac II (1156–1204): member of the House of Angelos, Byzantine Emperor between 1185 and 1195, then between 1203 and 1204.

6 Margaret of Hungary (1175–1229): daughter of Béla III, Byzantine Empress between 1185 and 1195, and between 1203 and 1204, then Queen of Thessalonica between 1204 and 1207.

7 Agnes of Antioch (1153–1184): princess of Antioch, Queen of Hungary from 1172 to her death.

8 Constance of Antioch (1128–1163): princess of Antioch (co-ruler) between 1130 and 1163

9 Raynald de Châtillon (1125–1187): prince of Antioch between 1153 and 1160, Lord of Oultrejordain from 1075, Baldwin IV’s regent of Jerusalem from 1077 and 1085.

10 Saladin (1137–1193): member of the House of Ayyubid, sultan of Egypt from1171, and of Syria from 1174 until his death, founder of the Ayyubid Empire.

11 Margaret of Capet (1157–1197): queen of France, Hungarian queen consort between 1186 and 1196.

12 Philip II of France (1165–1223): member of the Capeting dynasty, King of France from 1180 until his death.

13 Henry Plantagenet (1155–1183): member of the house of Plantagenet, England’s youngest king from 1170 until his death.

14 For basic information see Hóman, Bálint: Magyar történet [Hungarian history], vol. I, Királyi Magyar Egyetemi Nyomda, Budapest, 1935; Memory of Béla III. Eds. Kristó, Gyula – Makk, Ferenc. Magyar Helikon, Budapest, 1981; The New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. IV, pp. 1024–1198. Eds. Luscombe, David – Riley-Smith, Jonathan. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004.

15 Saint Thomas Becket (1118–1170): English Chancellor, Archbishop of Canterbury, martyr. A symbol of Church resistance to worldly power. Canonised by Pope Alexander III in 1173.

16 Leopold Szondi (1893–1986): Physician, psychiatrist, best known for the Szondi test. In 1947 he founded the Experimental Instinct-Diagnosis and Fate-Analysis Working Community in Zürich; in 1958 the Fate-Psychology International Research Centre was established, followed in 1961 by the Szondi Institute.

17 For a detailed description of the Leopold Szondi’s method, see: Szondi Lipót: A Szondi-teszt.A kísérleti ösztöndiagnosztika tankönyve. [Leopold Szondi: The Szondi test. A textbook of experimental instinct-diagnosis]. ÚMK, Budapest, 2007.

18 Quote: Saint Thomas of Canterbury. Magyar Sion, vol. XIII (1882), pp. 161–175, 245–257, 328–343, 168.

19 The Cluniac spirit refers to the reforms that started in Cluny Abbey in the 10th and 11th centuries, which returned first the monastic orders, then the clergy and laypeople to the value of Christ, and also endeavoured to limit worldly power over monastic orders and the Church.

20 Saint Thomas of Canterbury, op. cit., p. 339.

21 Louis VII (1120–1180): member of the Capet Dynasty, King of France from 1137 until his death.

22 Saint Thomas of Canterbury, op. cit., p. 339.

23 Saint Stephen I (ca. 975–1038): member of the House of Árpád, Grand Prince of the Hungarians from 997, king from 1001, founder of the Christian Hungarian state. The only person to be revered as a saint by both denominations (Roman Catholic, Orthodox).

24 With the crown, Saint Stephen also received the apostolic title from Pope Sylvester II, which made it possible for him and his successors to exercise the right of investiture over the independent Church organisations that he had established.

25 Coloman the Learned (ca. 1070–1116): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1095 until his death. One of the most learned and enlightened rulers of the age.

26 The Synod of Szabolcs presided over by Saint Ladislaus in 1092 introduced priestly celibacy to Hungary, made decisions on church celebrations, church taxes, the punishment of pagans, the indissolubility of marriage, the defence of women’s honour, and relations of Jews and Muslims with Christians. In terms of its stance on celibacy, the Synod of Szabolcs significantly predated the 1123 Council of the Lateran.

27 This Council of Constance brought an end to the Western Schism, restoring the unity of the Papacy and Christianity.

28 Sigismund of Luxemburg (1368–1437): King of Hungary from 1387, Germany from 1411, Bohemia from 1419, and Holy Roman Emperor from 1433.

29 Sancti Stephani Regis Primi Hungariae Libellus de institutione morum sive Admonitio spiritualis, vol. I Ed.: Havas, László. Kossuth, Debrecen, 2004. p. 45.

30 György, Szabados: “Egy steppe-állam Európa közepén: Magyar Nagyfejedelemség”. [A steppe-state in Central Europe: The Hungarian great principality]. Dolgozatok az Erdélyi Múzeum Érem- és Régiségtárából. [Studies from the coin and antique store of the Museum of Transylvania], vols. VI– VII (XVI–XVII) (2011–2012), pp. 119–150.

31 Álmos (819–895): Grand Prince, one of the heads of the seven Hungarian tribes, Árpád’s father.

32 Attila the Hun (ca. 410–453): The most famous king of the Huns, and the greatest military leader of the age; he reigned from 434 or 444 until his death.

33 Szabados, György: “On the origin-myth of Álmos Great Prince of Hungary”. In: Shamanhood and Mythology. Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy and Current Techniques of Research. In Honour of Mihály Hoppál celebrating his 75th Birthday. Eds.: Mátéffy, Attila – Szabados, György – Csernyei, Tamás. Hungarian Society for Religious Studies, Budapest, 2017, pp. 413–428.

34 After the death of Demetrius Zvonimir of Croatia, Saint Ladislaus took the throne through his older sister, who was Zvonimir’s widow. Croatia was not merged into the Hungarian Empire, but became a country of the Hungarian Holy Crown through a personal union. The towns of Dalmatia capitulated to Coloman the Learned in 1105.

35 The Acts of Union of 1706–1707 provided for the union of England, Scotland and Wales, thereby creating the United Kingdom as a new state.

36 Archiregnum means arch-kingdom. Révay, Péter: De Monarchia et Sacra Corona Regni Hungariae Centuriae Septem. Thomae-Matthiae Götzii – Jacobi Lasché, Frankfurt am Main, 1659, p. 2.

37 Saint Ladislaus I (1040–1095): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1077, and of Croatia from 1091. He continued the work of Saint Stephen and was the archetypal knight-king. The halberd-carrying saint. Patronus Transsilvaniae.

38 Coloman (1074–1116): member of the house of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1095 until his death.

39 II. Béla (1108–1141): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1131 until his death.

40 On 14 October 1066, near Hastings, William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II, who fell in the battle, thus completing the Norman Conquest.

41 The Merovingians themselves are said to be descended from the Salian Frank chieftain Merovech. Members of this dynasty are often referred to as the “long-haired kings”, because in the Germanic tradition long hair was a sign of holiness.

42 Augustine of Canterbury (534–604): Italian Benedictine monk, founder of the English Christian Church, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, and one of England’s patron saints.

43 Æthelberht of Kent (552–616): King of Kent from 560 until his death, issuer of the first Anglo-Saxon code of law.

44 In 597 he established the archdiocese in Canterbury, and in 604 he founded bishoprics in London and Rochester.

45 Agatha (?–1067): probably the daughter of Saint Stephen and Gisela. She married Edward the Exile, and then they returned to the British Isles; several of her descendants became rulers.

46 Edward the Exile (1016–1057): son of the English king Edmund Ironside, he was exiled while still a baby. He married in Hungary. In 1057 he returned to England to claim his inheritance; but died in mysterious circumstances two days after his arrival.

47 Saint Margaret of Scotland (1045–1093): granddaughter of Saint Stephen, from 1069 the second wife of Malcolm III of Scotland. A progenitress of the English and Scottish lines of rulers.

48 Malcolm III (1031–1093): member of the House of Dunkeld, King of Scotland from 1058 until his death.

49 She persuaded her husband to live a moral life. In Scotland she founded churches and monasteries, and sources show that she helped all sufferers. The Scots began to revere her as a saint immediately upon her death.

50 David I of Scotland (1082–1153): member of the House of Dunkeld, King of Scotland from 1124 until his death. He is credited with the establishment of the Church organisation in Scotland.

51 Officially, Louis’s broken marriage to Eleanor was annulled by permission of the Pope on the grounds that they were close relatives (third cousins).

52 Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122–1204): one of the most influential women of the age, wife of Louis II of France between 1137 and 1152, and Henry II of England between 1152 and 1189.

53 Taksony (?–972): Grand Prince of Hungary, grandson of Grand Prince Árpád, father of Grand Prince Géza.

54 The Anglo-Saxon institution that had sole right to select the king prior to the Battle of Hastings. It was the Witan that called Edward the Exile to the throne, and its last act was to nominate his son, Edgar II, as king after the Battle of Hastings.

55 Andrew III of Hungary (1265–1301): The last (paternal line) House of Árpád ruler, King of Hungary from 1290 until his death.

56 Edward the Confessor (1005–1066): member of the House of Wessex, King of England from 1042 until his death, but with no real power.

57 For a more detailed history of the Holy Crown of Hungary and its historical role, see: Bartoniek, Emma: “Corona és regnum” [Crown and regnum], Századok, vol. LXVIII (1934), issues 7–8, pp. 314–331; Nemzeti Nagyvizit, vol. I. Ed.: Kásler, Miklós. Kairosz, Budapest, 2014, pp. 248–326.

58 István Werbőczy wrote the Tripartitum in 1504, a detailed compendium of the Hungarian customary laws, statutes and noble prerogatives.

59 In England, the Magna Carta Libertatum of 1215 summarised the rights of the nobility.

60 Current British research is also aware of the legal continuity of certain elements of the Anglo-Saxon (pre-Plantagenet) state. Campbell, James: Essays in Anglo-Saxon History. Hambledon Press, London – Ronceverte, 1986, p. 167.

61 Szabados, György: “A korai magyar államiság és időszerűsége” [Early Hungarian statehood and its timeliness]. Századvég, vol. XIX (2014), issue 73, pp. 127–163.

62 Saint Henry II (973–1024): member of the Saxon Dynasty, older brother of Blessed Gisela of Hungary. King of Germany from 1002, Holy Roman Emperor from 1014.

63 Saint Emeric (1000–1031): only son of Saint Stephen, heir to the Hungarian throne, an accomplished military leader, but died in a hunting accident during his father’s lifetime. He lived in an unconsummated marriage, and is known as the saint of the lily.

64 Elizabeth of Hungary (1207–1231): daughter of Andrew II of Hungary, wife of Louis IV, Landgrave of Thuringia. She spent her whole life atoning, nursing and assisting the needy. The “saint of roses”.

65 Margaret of Hungary (1242–1270): daughter of Béla IV, a Dominican nun who lived a saintly life.

66 For more on this, see e.g. Deér, József: Pogány magyarság – keresztény magyarság [Pagan Hungarians – Christian Hungarians]. Holnap, Budapest, 1993.

67 Peter, King of Hungary (1011–1046): nephew of Saint Stephen, King of Hungary between 1038 and 1041, and between 1044 and 1046.

68 Solomon, King of Hungary (1053–1087): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary between 1063 and 1074. Dethroned by the sons of Béla I.

69 The first Crusade to the Holy Land was announced by Pope Urban II in 1095 at the Council of Clermont. The international Christian alliance was a feeble response to the advances of the Muslim armies, during which they occupied all the North African territories of the East Roman Empire.

70 Andrew I of Hungary (1015–1060): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1046 until his death.

71 Béla I of Hungary (1016–1063): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1060 until his death.

72 Géza I of Hungary (1044–1077): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1074 until his death.

73 Géza II of Hungary (1130–1162): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1141 until his death.

74 Lewis I the Great (1326–1382): member of the House of Anjou. King of Hungary from 1342, and also King of Poland from 1370 until his death.

75 His grandmother, Richeza, was the granddaughter of Otto II and Theophanu.

76 William IX (1071–1126): Duke of Aquitaine, the first known troubadour, by creating the literary version of the Provençal vernacular, he was the first poet in Europe to write in his national tongue.

77 A work formulated by Pope Gregory VII in 1075, summarising the power arrogated to the pope in 27 statements.

78 Pope Gregory VII (1020–1085): born Hildebrand of Sovana, Pope of Rome from 1073 until his death.

79 Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1050–1106): member of the Salian Dynasty, King of Germany from 1053, Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105.

80 In 1077 Henry IV, on foot, fasting and wearing clothes of penance, made a pilgrimage to Canossa Castle to ask Pope Gregory VII, who was staying there, to repeal his excommunication.

81 The 1122 Concord of Worms divided the right of investiture between the emperor and the Pope.

82 In 1254, the Holy Roman Empire fragmented into independent provinces, a period of interregnum ensued, and the emperors’ power became only titular.




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