Stephen V of Hungary

Stephen V
Duke of Slavonia, Duke of Transylvania
Stepan5 pecet.jpg
Stephen's royal seal
King of Hungary and Croatia
Coronationbefore 1246
17 May 1270
PredecessorBéla IV
SuccessorLadislaus IV
Duke of Styria
SuccessorOttokar V
Bornbefore 18 October 1239
Died6 August 1272 (aged 32–33)
Csepel Island, Kingdom of Hungary
Monastery of the Blessed Virgin on Rabbits' Island (now Margaret Island in Budapest)
SpouseElizabeth the Cuman
Ladislaus IV of Hungary
Andrew, Duke of Slavonia
DynastyÁrpád dynasty
FatherBéla IV of Hungary
MotherMaria Laskarina
ReligionRoman Catholic

Stephen V (Hungarian: V. István, Croatian: Stjepan V., Slovak: Štefan V; before 18 October 1239 – 6 August 1272, Csepel Island) was King of Hungary and Croatia between 1270 and 1272, and Duke of Styria from 1258 to 1260. He was the oldest son of King Béla IV and Maria Laskarina. King Béla had his son crowned king at the age of six and appointed him Duke of Slavonia. Still a child, Stephen married Elizabeth, a daughter of a chieftain of the Cumans whom his father settled in the Great Hungarian Plain.

King Béla appointed Stephen Duke of Transylvania in 1257 and Duke of Styria in 1258. The local noblemen in Styria, which had been annexed four years before, opposed his rule. Assisted by King Ottokar II of Bohemia, they rebelled and expelled Stephen's troops from most parts of Styria. After Ottokar II routed the united army of Stephen and his father in the Battle of Kressenbrunn on 12 July 1260, Stephen left Styria and returned to Transylvania.

Stephen forced his father to cede all the lands of the Kingdom of Hungary to the east of the Danube to him and adopted the title of junior king in 1262. In two years, a civil war broke out between father and son, because Stephen accused Béla of planning to disinherit him. They concluded a peace treaty in 1266, but confidence was never restored between them. Stephen succeeded his father, who died on 3 May 1270, without difficulties, but his sister Anna and his father's closest advisors fled to the Kingdom of Bohemia. Ottokar II invaded Hungary in the spring of 1271, but Stephen routed him. In next summer, a rebellious lord captured and imprisoned Stephen's son, Ladislaus. Shortly thereafter, Stephen unexpectedly fell ill and died.

Childhood (1239–1245)

King Béla IV
Stephen's father, King Béla IV of Hungary (from the Illuminated Chronicle)

Stephen was the eighth child and first son of King Béla IV of Hungary and his wife, Maria, a daughter of Theodore I Lascaris, Emperor of Nicaea.[1] He was born in 1239.[2] Archbishop Robert of Esztergom baptised him on 18 October.[3] The child, heir apparent from birth, was named after Saint Stephen, the first King of Hungary.[4]

Béla and his family, including Stephen, fled to Zagreb after the Mongols had annihilated the royal army in the Battle of Mohi on 11 April 1241.[5] The Mongols crossed the frozen Danube in February 1242 and the royal family ran off as far as the well-fortified Dalmatian town of Trogir.[4][6] The King and his family returned from Dalmatia after the Mongols unexpectedly withdrew from Hungary in March.[7]