Stephen II


son of: Coloman
periods of reign: 1116-1131
spouse: Cristiana of Capua, Adelaide of Riedenburg
succesor: Béla II


Stephen II’s father was Coloman the Book Lover, his mother queen Felicia Duchess of Sicily. In 1105 King Coloman, had him crowned as a child, thus denying the crown to his uncle Álmos. The king also had the pretenders to the throne Duke Álmos and his son Béla blinded to prevent them from the throne.

Stephen II took over the power when the country was in a rather unstable political situation, regarding her foreign matters. At that time Hungary had deteriorated relation with the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia, and due to his father’s Dalmatian invasions, with Venice as well. When Stephen got to the throne, battles had already been going on against Venice in Dalmatia, therefore Stephen the new king promptly began peace talks with Vladislaus I Duke of Bohemia. Unfortunately, instead of consolidating the relations, a fierce battle had begun where the armies of Stephen II were defeated. In the meantime, in Dalmatia, the troops of Venice, supported by the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires, also overcame the Hungarians. As a result of this, these territories got under Venetian suzerainty.  Stephen was not willing to give over easily the territories acquired by his father, but finally he was forced to hand over these Dalmatian territories to Venice in Spring 1125. King Stephen II also had intervened in the internal battles of the Russian principalities, but later he was forced to lift the siege and return to Hungary. Because of the serial failures of his military expeditions, the Hungarian lords went over to blind Álmos and wanted to gain the throne for him. In 1125-26 however, Stephen II hindered their attempts.

The peace agreement in 1122 finally put an end to the fights between the Holy Roman Empire and the Pope. As a result of this, Stephen had the opportunity to settle the relationship of the country with her Western enemies. However, at the same time, the conflict between Hungary and the Byzantine Empire got more severe. In 1127 Stephen led a successful military campaign against the Byzantines, but unfortunately suffered serious defeat later in 1128. Finally, with the peace treaty signed in 1129, the original territory allocation was acknowledged.

In 1128-1129 King Stephen II was informed about his blind nephew still being alive.  They made peace with each other. By that time the king’s health had deteriorated, he died of dysentery at hardly 30. Having no lineal descendant, Stephen II was followed by Béla II on the throne, who previously had been blinded by King Coloman, in order to be incapable for the throne.

Source: Wikipedia