Ladislaus I


son of: Béla I
periods of reign: 1075-1095
spouse: Adelaide of Rheinfelden 
children: Piroska of the Árpád dynasty, two girls, names unknown
succesor: Coloman


Ladislaus I, frequently called as Saint Ladislaus or Ladislav in Croatian, was king Béla I’s and queen Richeza’s second son. He was born in the Polish Kingdom. His father was Hungarian king, and his mother Polish princess. When the relationship between King Solomon and his older brother Géza got worse, Ladislaus supported his brother in the battle for the throne. Already then he was quite popular, because of his battlefield braveries. According to the chronicles he was a really strong big man, who preserved his strengths even till his late 50s. In the Middle Ages, his bravery made him more and more popular.

Although it was Géza who won the throne, he could not settle things with Salamon during his short period of reign (1074-1077). The situation did not change, not even after Géza’s death the lords elected Ladislaus as new king. Therefore, in the beginning, his main concern was to clear the situation with Solomon. By 1080 he could achieve that Solomon resigned the throne. Although Solomon attempted to regain the crown after, in fact no serious foreign danger disturbed the reign of Ladislaus. Therefore, he could dedicate himself thoroughly to the domestic matters of the country. Already around 1077 he issued his III Books of Laws that dealt mainly with the protection of private property. The expression noble (nobilis) was mentioned in this book for the first time, the privileged situation of the nobility got protected legally by him. He treated the Church really well that became very wealthy in the Middle Ages due to his generous donations. In 1083 he had King Stephen, Duke Emeric and bishop Gellért canonized.

Ladislaus I was the first to conquer new territories in the history of the Hungarian Kingdom. In 1091 he invaded Croatia that was unstable due to conflicts among various Croatian noblemen for the throne, and later also conquered Slavonia. In 1095 he helped in a military way the son of Otto, Duke of Bohemia. He had got seriously ill during that military campaign, and died near the Bohemian-Hungarian border.

The cult of the king leading his people to victory lived further long after his death. He himself was canonized in 1192.