Ladislaus IV


son of: Stephen V
periods of reign: 1272-1290
spouse: Elisabeth of Sicily
succesor: Andrew III


Due to the conflicts between his father and grandfather, Ladislaus had witnessed and suffered several violent events that certainly influenced the evolution of his personality. He was hardly 2, when he had been kidnapped by his own grandfather, and imprisoned in the castle of Túróc. The civil war ended with a peace treaty signed in 1266 on the Rabbits’ Island, and Ladislaus was released.

However, the royal power had decreased dramatically by that time. A new, minor group of noble landowners had strengthened its position, having the power similar to that of the king. When Ladislaus got to the throne after his father’s death in 1272, the noblemen competed heavily to receive nationwide, local and courtiers’ positions, titles. In the following years two different interest-groups were changing their positions in the government according to the actual political interests. Unfortunately, Ladislaus was not powerful enough to put an end to the devastating civil war. Finally, in 1277 during the country assembly in Rákos Ladislaus was declared to attain majority, and the king could start taking actions in favour of the country.

Because of the anarchy devastating the country, one of the greatest monarchs of Bohemia, Ottokar II decided to grab the opportunity to invade Hungary. Nevertheless, Ladislaus entered into an alliance with Rudolf I of Germany, and defeated Ottokar in the battle on the Marchfeld on 26th August 1278, where the Bohemian monarch died.

In the second period of his reign Ladislaus IV was dealing with the conflicts with the Cumans. The Pope excommunicated the king and placed Hungary under interdict, because of the Cumans’ refusing giving up their pagan customs. The Pope also called for uprisings throughout the country against the king.  Ladislaus was striving to preserve the alliance with the Cumans, and intended to accept the Cuman laws. However, the Cumans did not prove loyal to their king, resulting in further battles with the king from 1280. In addition, the Mongols invaded the country again in 1285. King Ladislaus’ unfortunate life came to a bitter and tragic ending, when he got murdered by his beloved Cumans while sleeping.