Géza of Hungary

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Miniature of Géza from the Chronicon Pictum, 1360.
Note: This article is about the ruling prince. There was also a king called Géza I of Hungary (1040-1077).

Géza of Hungary (born around 940-945, died in 997) (possibly Gyécsa in Old Hungarian), was the fejedelem (ruling prince) of the Magyars from c. 970 to 997.

Géza was the son of Taksony, ruling prince of the Magyars and his Cuman wife, and was the great-grandson of Árpád, who gave his name to the ruling dynasty. Although still a pagan when he became ruler, the alliance concluded between the Holy Roman Empire and Byzantium in 972 forced Géza to convert to Christianity in order to secure a lasting peace for Hungary. He turned to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, who ordained a Benedictine monk, Bruno of Sankt Gallen, as bishop and sent him to Hungary to baptise Géza (this occurred in 985 according to some sources). However, although he was mainly accepted as a Christian ruler it is doubtful that he was a Christian at heart. According to the Bishop of Merseburg he 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.

Although overshadowed by his son, King Stephen I of Hungary, Géza made considerable achievements during his reign. He established centralised rule over the entire country, except for Transylvania which remained under the separate authority of the gyula. This allowed him to collect taxes and duties far more successfully than his predecessors and thus increase his personal wealth.

Géza's wife was Sarolt, daughter of Gyula of Transylvania, who was brought up as a Christian. Géza had a brother named Michael (born in 955 at Esztergom), who became Regent of Poland and died about 978.

Preceded by:
Ruling Prince of Hungary
c. 970 - 1001
Succeeded by:
Stephen I
de:Géza (Ungarn)

fr:Géza de Hongrie he:גזה שליט הונגריה hu:Géza fejedelem nl:Géza pl:Gejza sv:Géza (ungersk furste)

Géza of Hungary

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