Stephan Posthumus of Hungary

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Historical coat of arms of the Duchy of Slavonia

Stephan Posthumus of Hungary (* 1236 in Wehrda , Thuringia , † after April 10, 1271 in Venice ) was the youngest son of King Andrew II of Hungary and his third wife Beatrix von Este . He was Duke of Slavonia and a patrician of Venice.


Stephan was Prince of the House of the Arpads and Duke of Slavonia. He was born as the youngest son after the death of his father, King Andrew II of Hungary. That is why he was given the nickname Posthumus . The legitimacy of his birth was, however, questioned by his much older brothers (the later) King Bela IV and Kálmán († 1241). Bela, who was additionally incited against Beatrix by his Greek wife Maria Laskaris von Nicaea , regarded the child as a bastard and refused to recognize him as a member of the Arpaden House. They accused his pregnant mother Beatrix von Este of having broken marriage with a courtier and imprisoned her. On the day of Andreas II's funeral, an imperial delegation appeared (on behalf of Emperor Friedrich II ), which enabled her to flee to Germany . She came to Wehrda (which then belonged to Thuringia ) and gave birth to her son there in 1236.

Six months later she rode from Thuringia to her Italian homeland, Ferrara , the whole time she was holding the newborn baby in a basket in front of her on her horse saddle.

Beatrix died in 1245 in Gemola Monastery (near Baone ) when the boy was only nine years old. Therefore he was brought up at the court of his great-uncle Azzo VII. D'Este and trained as a knight. At that time he met numerous Hungarians who were returning from a pilgrimage from Rome to their homeland. From these he learned about the political situation in Hungary. It was on such occasions that he became aware of his royal descent from the house of the Arpad, which nourished his desire to ascend to the Hungarian throne.

Azzo's only son, Rinaldo I (* 1221, † 1251) led a very dissolute life, he was a drinker and a staunch opponent of Emperor Frederick II. That is why he was captured by him together with his wife Adelaide da Romano and in prison in 1251 poisoned.

However, Rinaldo had an illegitimate son with a Neapolitan laundress - later he was named Obizzo . The grandfather took the four-year-old child with him and made him heir and heir to the throne and fought for his recognition. Pope Innocent IV legitimized him in 1252 shortly after his mother was drowned. This ruined the hopes of Stephen (who was the only legitimate male heir to the House of d'Este at the time) for the throne. Stephan tried to assert his claims to the throne with the help of loyal followers and planned an attack on Ferrara. However, this was foiled by Azzo VII. Stephan then fled to the court of Peter Traversari in Ravenna . There he married his daughter Elisabeth in 1263, to whom he had been engaged since childhood at the request of his mother. Elisabeth died after a short marriage giving birth to her son Stephan in 1264.

After the Battle of Parma , Ravenna was also occupied by the Guelphs with whom Azzo VII was allied (it was the time of the Northern Italian wars between Emperor Friedrich II and the Popes), Stephan was forced to join the family of his half-sister Violante of Hungary , the Queen of Aragon was about to flee.

On his return he went to Venice, where he married Tomasina Morosini, the daughter of a Venetian patrician. The marriage produced a son. He was named Andreas after Stephen's father. Later he went as King Andrew III. of Hungary in the history books.

In 1270 there was another conflict between the Bohemian King Přemysl Ottokar II and King Stephen V of Hungary . Stephan Posthumus joined the army of the Bohemian King in the hope that he would succeed in conquering the Hungarian royal throne in this way. A peace made between the two warring parties in Pressburg , however, dashed his hopes, as the Bohemian king was forced to dismiss him as an ally due to the peace negotiations. Stephan returned to Venice disappointed, where he died shortly afterwards.

Stephan was buried with great pomp in the Morosini family crypt in the Church of St. Michael in Venice.

In 1882, historians found a will from Stephen in an archive in Venice , which was dated April 10, 1271. In this will he made his son Andreas the universal heir, and he also gave two illegitimate sons higher amounts of money.

Report from the Chronica de Gestis Hungarorum (the Hungarian illustrated chronicle by Markus von Kált from 1358)

After the death of King Andrew, the queen wanted to return to her relatives. So she called the greats of the Kingdom of Hungary, the archbishops and bishops , and she showed them obvious evidence that she was of a blessed body, and so she returned to her land of Estonia. There she gave birth to a son with her father , who was named Stephan when he was baptized. He was raised and educated as a son of the Hungarian king. When his grandfather was very old, the grandson tried to usurp his margraviate with cunning, but the grandfather recovered and drove him away. So Stephan fled to Spain to James, the king of Aragon, who had a sister of Stephen , the daughter of the Hungarian king Andreas, as wife. He lived there for a while, and then returned to Italy, where he was elected to their podium by the citizens of Ravenna . After he was expelled there, he came to Venice. Then a man, a citizen of the city of Venice, who was very powerful and rich, gave him his daughter as a wife and he also shared all his goods with him, since this man knew of him that he was really the son of the Hungarian king. With this woman, Stephan had a son, whom he named 'Andreas' after his father.

Pedigree on maternal side

Stephan Posthumus descends on his mother's side from the noble family of the d'Este family :

Azzo VI. d'Este (* 1170, † November 18, 1212)

1. Marriage in 1189 with Elisa Sophia Aldobrandini († 1192)

  • Aldobrandino I. d'Este (* 1190, † October 2, 1215) ∞?
    • Beatrix d'Este (* 1215, † 1245), Queen of Hungary ∞ on May 14, 1234 with Andrew II of Hungary
      • Stephan Posthumus (* 1236, † 1271), Duke of Slavonia ∞ (2nd marriage) with Thomasina Morosini (* ~ 1250, † ~ 1300)
        • Andreas III . King of Hungary (* ~ 1265, † January 14, 1301)

2nd marriage in 1192 to Sophia of Savoy (* 1165, † 1202)

3rd marriage on February 22, 1204 to Alice Chatillon (* 1180)

  • Constanza
  • Azzo VII. D'Este (* 1205, † February 16, 1264) ∞ (1st marriage) with Giovanna?
    • Rinaldo I. d'Este (* 1221 / or 1230, † 1251) ∞ Adelaide da Romano († 1251)
      • Obizzo II. D'Este (* ~ 1247, † February 13, 1293), was an illegitimate son of Rinaldo I with a Neapolitan laundress.
    • Beatrice II. D'Este, Abbess of the San Antonio Convent in Polesine

Family and offspring

Stephan Posthumus was married twice:

1. Marriage to Elisabeth Traversari, daughter of a patrician from Ravenna († 1264)

  • Son Stephan (* 1264; †?)

2. Marriage to Tomasina Morosini, daughter of a patrician from Venice (* ~ 1250, † ~ 1300)

two children out of wedlock (mothers unknown)

  • N (son)
  • N (son)


  • Wertner Mór: Az Árpádok családi története (Hungarian). Nagy-Becskerek: Pleitz Ferencz Pál Könyvnyomdája (1892).
  • Hungarian illustrated chronicle by Markus von Kalt, (Chronica de Gestis Hungarorum), German edition, Corvina Verlag Budapest 1961
  • Magyar életrajzi lexikon (MEL), 4 vols., Budapest 1981; ISBN 963 05 2497 X (Hungarian)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Between 1122 and 1247 the area belonged to the rule of the Ludowingers , the counts of Old Thuringia.
  2. a b c Wertner, p. 546ff (see literature)
  3. His father Azzo VI. d'Este (* ~ 1170, † November 1212) was married three times. Stephen's grandfather Aldobrandino I. d'Este (* 1190, † 1215; he was the father of Beatrix von Este) came from his first marriage and the younger brother Azzo VII. D'Este came from the third marriage of Ezzo VI. with Alix from Châtillon .
  4. Nothing is known about the further fate of this son.
  5. The conflict arose from the conflict between the emperor and the pope for supremacy in Italy , which was divided into Ghibellines loyal to the emperor and friendly Guelphs . For many years there was bitter fighting for supremacy in Italy.
  6. At the time of the flight, his half-sister Violante was already dead († 1251), but he was probably taken in by the king and his family.
  7. The signing of the Pressburg peace certificate took place on July 14, 1271 by Ottokar in Prague and on July 31, 1271 by Stephan V in Pressburg. (Quoted from: Theodor Ortvay : Geschichte der Stadt Preßburg, Preßburg 1892, vol. 1, p. 335f)
  8. Ortvay writes about it: ... Ottokar offered not to take the Hungarian emigrants into any further protection and not to hinder the siege of their castle by Stephan (V) . They vowed , that no one will take them around the Hinkunft the refugees from the territory of the other. (quoted from Theodor Ortvay: History of the City of Preßburg, Preßburg 1892, Vol. 1, p. 335)
  9. MEL, Volume 1, p. 782 (see literature)
  10. Nothing is known about the fate of these two illegitimate sons, nor about their mothers.
  11. Beatrix of Este
  12. Correction: uncle; historically the story is incorrect because Stephan was born in Germany (see above).
  13. It's not about the grandfather, but about Stephen's great-uncle, Azzo VII. D'Este
  14. James I of Aragon
  15. Violante of Hungary , Queen of Aragon
  16. Before Stephan went to Aragon, he stayed in Ravenna , where he married. After his return from Aragon, he took part in the municipality of Ravenna, but without having been elected Podestă.
  17. Alberto Morosini
  18. Hungarian Picture Chronicle, p. 240f (see literature)
  19. The records of the chronicler Markus von Kalt date from the year 1358 and are in many respects imprecise from today's perspective and have been refuted or corrected by modern historians.
  20. The Morosini have been recorded in Venice since the 10th century, so they belong to the case vecchie . In addition to several generals and admirals, the family has two cardinals, a patriarch and a total of four doges.