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Géza of Hungary
Grand Prince of the Magyars
Miniature of Géza from the Chronicon Pictum, 1360.
Reign before 972 - c. 997
Predecessor Taksony
Successor Vajk
Spouse Sarolt of Transylvania
Issue
Judith of Hungary
Margareth, Tsaritsa of Bulgaria
Saint Stephen
Maria, Dogaressa of Venice
Gizella, Queen of Hungary
Father Taksony
Mother Unknown relative of Tonuzaba
Born c. 945
Died c. 997

Géza (c. 945 – 997), Grand Prince of the Magyars (before 972 - 997)[1].

First Hungarian coin, by Duke Géza circa the end of 970s.


Géza was the son of Taksony of Hungary, Grand Prince of the Magyars and his Pecheneg or Bulgar wife[2]. Géza's marriage with Sarolt, the daughter of Gyula of Transylvania, was arranged by his father.

After his father's death (before 972), Géza followed him as Grand Prince of the Magyars. Shortly afterwards, a Benedictine monk of the Abbey of Sankt Gallen, Bruno, who had been ordained Bishop of the Magyars, arrived to his court where he baptised Géza.

Although Géza probably never became a convinced Christian, during his rule Christianity began to spread among the Magyars. According to Thietmar of Merseburg, Géza continued to worship pagan gods; a chronicle claims that when he was questioned about this he stated he is rich enough to sacrifice to both the old gods and the new one.

In 973, twelve illustrious Magyar envoys, whom probably Géza had assigned, participated in the Diet held by Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor.

In 983, when Henry II, Duke of Bavaria rebelled against the then child Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, the Magyars occupied Melk. However, Melk was reoccupied, already in 985, by Leopold I, Margrave of Austria. When Henry II lead his armies to the Vienna Basin in 991, the Magyars were obliged to evacuate the territories West of the Leitha (Hungarian: Lajta) River.

Géza arranged the marriage of his son Stephen I of Hungary to Giselle of Bavaria, the daughter of Henry II. He started the construction of the Abbey of Pannonhalma.

Marriage and children

before 972: Sarolt, a daughter of Gyula of Transylvania (? – after 997)

Sources

  • 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)

References

  1. ^ His name was possibly "Gyeücsa" or "Gyécsa" in Old Hungarian.
  2. ^ The Gesta Hungarorum mentions that Géza's father married a woman "of the territories of the Cumans", but the Cumans had not crossed the Volga River before the 11th century.
Géza of Hungary
Born: c. 945 Died: 997
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Taksony
Grand Prince of the Magyars
before 972-997
Succeeded by
Stephen I (Vajk)
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