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Ladislas I

Ladislas IBorn: 27-Jun-1040
Died: 29-Jul-1095
Location of death: Nitra, Slovakia
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Royalty

Nationality: Hungary
Executive summary: King of Hungary, 1077-95

Ladislas (or Ladislaus, Wladislaus, László, etc.) King of Hungary, the son of Béla I, king of Hungary, and the Polish princess Richeza, was born in Poland, where his father had sought refuge, but was recalled by his elder brother Andrew I to Hungary (1047) and brought up there. He succeeded to the throne on the death of his uncle Geza in 1077, as the eldest member of the royal family, and speedily won for himself a reputation scarcely inferior to that of Stephen I, by nationalizing Christianity and laying the foundations of Hungary's political greatness. Instinctively recognizing that Germany was the natural enemy of the Magyars, Ladislas formed a close alliance with the pope and all the other enemies of the emperor Henry IV, including the anti-emperor Rudolph of Swabia and his chief supporter Welf, duke of Bavaria, whose daughter Adelaide he married. She bore him one son and three daughters, one of whom, Piriska, married the Byzantine emperor John II Comnenus. The collapse of the German emperor in his struggle with the pope left Ladislas free to extend his dominions towards the south, and colonize and Christianize the wildernesses of Transylvania and the lower Danube. Hungary was still semi-savage, and her native barbarians were being perpetually recruited from the hordes of Pechenegs, Rumanians and other races which swept over her during the 11th century. Ladislas himself had fought valiantly in his youth against the Pechenegs, and to defend the land against the Rumanians, who now occupied Moldavia and Wallachia as far as the Alt, he built the fortresses of Turnu-Severin and Gyula Féhervár. He also planted in Transylvania the Szeklers, the supposed remnant of the ancient Magyars from beyond the Dnieper, and founded the bishoprics of Nagy-Várad, or Gross-Wardein, and of Agram, as fresh foci of Catholicism in south Hungary and the previously uncultivated districts between the Drave and the Save. He subsequently conquered Croatia, though here his authority was questioned by the pope, the Venetian republic and the Greek emperor. Ladislas died suddenly in 1095 when about to take part in the first Crusade. No other Hungarian king was so generally beloved. The whole nation mourned for him for three years, and regarded him as a saint long before his canonization. A whole cycle of legends is associated with his name.

Father: Béla I (King of Hungary)
Mother: Richeza
Brother: Andrew I
Wife: Adelaide
Daughter: Piriska (m. John II Comnenus)

    King of Hungary 1077 to 29-Jul-1095
    Canonization 1192


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