Coloman

1074-1116  

son of: Géza I 
periods of reign: 1095-1116
spouse: Felicia of Sicily, Eufemia of Kiev
children: Sophia, Stephen II, Ladislaus, Boris(?)
succesor: Stephen II

 

Coloman’s father was King Géza, his mother Queen Sophia, daughter of Belgian – Limburg Duke Arnulf. Although Coloman was considered to be the most educated monarch in Europe even during his reign, he was also described by the chronicles as an ugly and tongue-tied person. Probably he was not that athletic and battlewise as his younger brother Álmos, but being smart and well-educated soon proved that he was eligible for the throne. This is where his nickname Coloman the “Book Lover” comes from.  He was also famous for his enlightened thinking in contemporary Europe.

Coloman’s uncle, King Ladislaus I wanted Coloman to be a priest. Finally he became the heir, because Ladislaus I wanted to consolidate his relationship with the Pope this way. As compensation the original heir, Duke Álmos became the Governor of Croatia.

In the first period of his reign, Coloman mainly focused on the armies of the crusaders passing through the country. Although from goodwill he let the troops into the country, he had to defeat them in a military way due to their continuous plunder and pillage. Bouillon Gottfried was the first to cross the country in peace, accompanied by Hungarian troops. In order to strengthen his power on maritime territories as well, he married the daughter of Count Roger I of Sicily. In 1105 he conquered Dalmatia, but also granted each Dalmatian town its own "charter of liberties" to secure their loyalty.

His younger brother Álmos raised against him after realizing that he was unlikely to get to the throne. He had searched for German and later Polish assistance against Coloman, but finally he attacked Hungary with Duke Svatopluk of Bohemia. Nevertheless, the attack that had lasted for several months proved to be unsuccessful. In 1113 Coloman had Álmos and his son Béla blinded in order to prevent them from the throne, and also to protect his son from future battles for the throne.

Coloman’s first wife and older son died around 1110. His new wife was Eufemia, daughter of Vladimir Monomakh, Prince of Pereyaslavl. Later Coloman repudiated her on a charge of adultery. The king did not acknowledge his son Boris born during their marriage. After Ladislaus’ death, Coloman appointed his other son Stephen II as his successor on the throne. Coloman died on 3rd February 1116.

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coloman,_King_of_Hungary