Peter I Orseolo

1011-1046 or 1059

son of: Otto Orseolo, Doge of Venice
periods of reign: 1038-1041, 1044-1046
spouse: 1. unknown
2. Judit of Schweinfurt, Princess of Bavaria
succesor: Andrew I


Peter Orseolo Hungarian king was the successor of Stephen I, the first king of Hungary. He ruled the country from 1038 till 1041 and from 1044 till 1046. He was the son of Otto Orseolo, Doge of Venice, and his mother was Stephen I’s sister.

After his son’s death, Saint Stephen assigned Peter as his successor, mostly because of Peter’s Western European Christian thinking. Unfortunately, a civil war arose in the country after the appointment.

In 1038 Peter acceded to the throne and continued Saint Stephen’s legacy, the spreading of Christianity. He founded several churches and cathedrals. Apart from that he also had coins minted, taxes collected, made laws and issued certificates. Nevertheless, he was still considered to be a stranger in the country. The majority of the Hungarian nobility did not acknowledge him as monarch. Peter had dismissed the former bishops, and appointed others, loyal to him. Italian and German soldiers were stationed in the castles, the Hungarian nobility was excluded from the governance. Contrary to his oath to King Stephen I, he did not care for his wife and did not respect her property. In 1041 Gisela, Stephen I’s wife, and the Hungarian nobility together rose against his power, and he fled the country. Samuel Aba was elected as the new king.

In 1044 Peter regained his power with the help of Henry III, as a return of which he had to accept the Emperor’s suzerainty. The Eastern lords rose against Peter I and Vazul’s (Stephen’s cousin) two previously exiled sons Andrew and Béla were invited to the country. Peter asked Emperor Henry III again for help in the battle against his subjects. The army of the Emperor gathered in Augsburg, Peter himself also fled to the Western border. Meanwhile, Prince Andrew was marching towards Buda with his troops, and came to the throne in Székesfehérvár in September 1046. Peter had been captured around the city of Zámoly, and was also blinded there afterwards. Not much later he died in the prison of King Andrew.