Samuel Aba


son of: unknown
periods of reign: 1041-1044
spouse: 2 girls
succesor: Peter I (Orseolo)


Samuel Aba was the third King of Hungary, and the first crowned King Saint Stephen I’ sister’s husband.

He had a peculiar name that was mentioned in many ways by ancient sources such as Aba, Obó, Ovo or Samuel. Moreover, on the minted coins he is featured as Samuel Rex. It was only Anonymus who referred to these names as the same person.

After marrying Sarolta, Saint Stephen I’s sister, he converted to Christianity. Stephen had Aba Samuel’s estates annexed to the Hungarian Kingdom, this way establishing the Bishopric of Eger. Samuel Aba himself was appointed by King Stephen to his palatine, the head of the royal court. As the right-hand man of the king he hoped to be designated as his successor, but Stephen chose Peter Orseolo. Peter put great emphasis on the foreign influence in the country, he even appointed German and French lords to the major political and military positions. Both the Hungarian lords and Stephen I’s rose against him. They dethroned Peter in 1041 and elected Samuel king.

After being dismissed, Peter found shelter and support in the Holy Roman Empire. In response, Samuel stormed Austria in 1042, provoking a retaliatory invasion by the German monarch, Henry III in Autumn 1042. Finally the Emperor pulled back due to the presents of great value he had received from Samuel Aba. However, he still continued putting off the peace agreement for long. This was considered to be a weakness by the king’s followers, who therefore executed 50 lords at the parliamentary summit in 1043. A group of the lords fled to Germany supporting Henrik and Peter Orseolo, and inviting him back to the throne. King Henry III invaded Hungary again in 1044 to restore Peter’s reign. Finally, Samuel Aba was forced to flee after the battle of Ménfő. Later he was captured and executed. He was buried in the monastery in Sár that had been founded by him previously. He was followed again by Peter Orseolo on the Hungarian throne.