Géza II.

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Géza II.
Géza II. Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber after a drawing by Moritz von Schwind , ca.1828.

Géza II. , Croatian Gejza II. , (* 1130 in Tolnau ; † 31 May 1162 ) from the Arpaden family was king of Hungary , Croatia , Dalmatia and Rama from 1141 . He was the son and successor of Bélas II and Ilonas , daughter of the Serbian Grand Župan Uroš I.

His way to the throne

On February 13, 1141, Béla II died, who had previously had many possible heirs to the throne killed in order to secure the succession to the throne for his son. Géza was crowned on February 16, 1141 in Székesfehérvár . Since he was only eleven years old at the time, his maternal uncle, Belos, ruled instead. He was appointed Ban during Géza's II reign .

Struggles and government

Like his father before, Géza II had to contend with the claims to the throne of Boris, a son of Koloman , who he regarded as illegitimate . From 1146 in particular, he began to pursue his claim to the throne more vigorously. During this phase there was a change in the alliance system that had developed in the context of this dispute for the succession to the throne:

Duchess Helena of Austria, daughter of King Gézas II of Hungary. (Excerpt from the Babenberger family tree , Klosterneuburg Abbey)

The Russian princes switched from Boris' to Géza's side, while Boris, in addition to Poland, also Bohemia , Austria and Bavaria and the German King Konrad III. could win for his side. Konrad was in turn allied with Byzantium , which prompted Géza to lead six campaigns against Byzantine allies among the Russian princes between 1150 and 1156. In addition, the campaigns had the aim of underlining the Hungarian claims to the area around Halitsch that had been made in the years before .

In 1147 the crusaders passed through Hungary, which Géza used to forge an alliance with Louis VII of France .

Géza's reign also saw the first major wave of settlements of an estimated two to three thousand immigrants from the Rhine and Moselle regions as well as from Wallonia . They settled in the east of Hungary, in Transylvania .

The reform of the Hungarian Church under Bishop Lukas von Gran began in the final years of Géza's reign.

Marriage and offspring

Géza was married to Euphrosina of Kiev . He had the following children with her:

  • Elisabeth (* 1144/45; † after 1189), ⚭ Duke Friedrich of Bohemia
  • Stephan III. (* 1147; † 1172), King of Hungary
  • Béla III. (* 1148; † 1196), King of Hungary
  • Géza († 1209)
  • Adele ⚭ Svatopluk of Bohemia, brother of Duke Frederick
  • Ilona (Helene) (* 1158; † 1199), ⚭ Duke Leopold V of Austria
  • Margarethe (* 1162; † 1208), ⚭ 1st Isaak Makrodukas and ⚭ 2nd Andreas Gespan von Somogy


predecessor Office successor
Béla II./I. King of Hungary
Stephan III./IV.
Béla II./I. King of Croatia, Dalmatia and Rama
Stephan III./IV.