A brief review of the medieval European dynasties clearly shows that the ruling houses were aware of one another; they sought to make contact with one another, and in the network of relationships that was thus established, the Hungarian House of Árpád occupied a very respectable position. Besides the descendants of Árpád already mentioned, numerous other members of the dynasty joined, through marriage, virtually every ruling family of Europe, and vice versa. It is striking that both the emperors and the Kievan Rus often entered into dynastic relationships with the Árpáds, but they rarely married between each other. Perhaps this is attributable to the Árpáds’ mythical, ancient origins and power. Interestingly, the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III1 asks his tutor Gerbert of Aurillac, later Pope Sylvester II,2 to guide him not towards the rough lifestyle of his father Otto II,3 but to the refined existence of his (not blue-blooded) mother, the Empress consort Theophanu.4 In other words, the revived western imperial court (at least in the early period) displayed feelings of inferiority to Byzantium, which represented continuity with Roman statehood. Saint Stephen and his successors, however, were not burdened with any such inferiority complex.

While still heir to the throne, Vajk (Stephen I) married Gisela of Bavaria5 from the Ottonian dynasty, who at the time of marriage was a remote cousin of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, and the younger sister of the future Emperor Saint Henry II.6 A sister of Stephen’s, whose name is unknown, married the Doge of Venice Otto Orseolo,7 and their son Peter sat on the Hungarian throne twice for a short period of time. We do not know precisely who Saint Prince Emeric’s wife was, but sources mention Polish, Byzantine and Croatian ruling houses. It was also during this period that the aforementioned Edward the Exile joined the Hungarian court, and married Agatha, presumed to be Stephen’s daughter.

So besides establishing the Christian Hungarian state, during the four decades of his reign Stephen built up dynastic relationships that secured the House of Árpád’s place in the highest echelon of Europe’s ruling houses.

After Stephen had opened up to the west through his family relationships, Saint Ladislaus turned his attention eastwards, and his daughter Piroska (Irene of Hungary)8 became the wife of the Byzantine emperor John II Komnenos.9 Additional important dynastic relationships were forged by Coloman the Learned, whose wife Felicia10 was the daughter of Count Roger I of Sicily,11 and the elder sister of King Roger II of Sicily.12 This marriage gained Coloman a strong Italian ally, strengthening his hand in dealings with Venice.

Saint Ladislaus’s grandson (the son of Saint Irene), Manuel I Komnenos,13 the last great Byzantine emperor – being childless – nominated Béla, the second son of the Hungarian king Géza II, as his successor under the name of Alexios II Komnenos, because Géza’s firstborn son Stephen III of Hungary14 was already heir apparent to the Hungarian throne, which was more important to the dynasty. The heir to the imperial throne Béla (later Béla III) married Agnes of Antioch, the daughter of Raynald of Châtillon and Constance of Antioch, in Byzantium. Constance’s first husband had been Raymond of Poitiers,15 who was also the elder brother of Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of the French king Louis VII, who accompanied her husband to the second Crusade (1147–1149). Raymond and Eleanor had an affair, which led to the annulment of her marriage to Louis. Eleanor later married the Plantagenet king Henry II, and Louis remarried twice. However, this was not the end of these familial ties because, as already mentioned, Béla III’s second wife, the widowed Margaret of France, was born from the second marriage of Louis VII and Constance of Castile.16 Margaret of Hungary’s godfather, the Hungarian king Géza II, was Béla III’s father; and her first husband was Henry the Young King, the eldest son of Henry II and Eleanor, who died at a young age and ruled jointly with his father. Béla III wanted to further strengthen and diversify the dynastic relationships. His daughter Constance17 was engaged to the son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, who was also called Frederick;18 but eventually she married King Ottokar I of Bohemia.19 Frederick I’s daughter Agnes,20 meanwhile, was betrothed to Emeric, King of Hungary,21 but died before the marriage could take place. Thus, Imre took as his wife the daughter of Alfonso II of Aragon,22 Constance,23 who after the death of her first husband, in 1209, married Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor,24 who was only 14 years of age at the time.

Of the three wives of Emeric’s younger brother Andrew II,25 the second was important from a dynastic perspective: Yolanda of Courtenay26 was daughter of the future Emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, Peter II of Courtenay.27 (The Courtenay family originated from an offshoot of the Capeting dynasty.

When Andrew launched a Crusade to the Holy Land, he not only fulfilled his father’s vow, but due to his wife’s familial relationships, he himself was able to lay claim to the vacated Byzantine imperial throne.

Béla III also maintained a dynastic link with Byzantium. His eldest daughter Margaret, as I have already mentioned, was taken in wedlock by the Byzantine emperor Isaac II Angelos. Following Isaac’s murder in 1204, Margaret married one of the Crusade leaders, Boniface I,28 Marquess of Montferrat and King of Thessalonica. After Boniface was killed and since his son Demetrius29 was still a minor, Margaret became regent. After the Byzantine emperor Peter II of Courtenay was taken prisoner, she married for a third time. Her new husband was another crusader, Nicholas II of Saint Omer.30 After the death of her third husband, in 1223 she returned with her sons to the home of her brother, Andrew II, whose second wife Yolanda of Courtenay was daughter of the emperor Peter II.

A common relative of the Plantagenets and the House of Árpád was James I (the Conqueror) of Aragon.31 The grandparents of his first wife, Eleanor of Castile,32 were Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. After divorcing his second wife, he married Andrew II’s daughter, Yolanda of Hungary.33 Their granddaughter was Elizabeth of Portugal.34

The origins of the English House of Plantagenet can be traced back to France, and the counts of Anjou. The first English king of the dynasty was Henry II, whose father, the count Geoffrey V35 married Henry I of England’s36 daughter Matilda,37 the widow of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor.38 During this period there were struggles for the English throne, and a civil war was laying waste to the country. Following the death of Henry I of England in 1135, the throne was grabbed by Stephen of Blois,39 who was also a grandson of the Norman William the Conqueror.40 Matilda staked a claim to the throne on behalf of her child, and after a long and bloody struggle reached a compromise with Stephen, who named Henry as his heir. The blood of Árpád also coursed through the veins of Henry II, as Matilda’s grandmother was the aforementioned Saint Margaret of Scotland, who was the daughter of Edward the Exile and Agatha of the House of Árpád, and can also be regarded as one of the progenitresses of the English rulers. Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had divorced Louis VII, and eight children were born of this marriage.

Four of Henry II’s sons survived to adulthood, and vied with one another for the throne. In 1182 another civil war broke out. The eldest son, Henry, was crowned as co-ruler during his father’s lifetime, and married the aforementioned Margaret of the Capeting House. Henry, however, died while his father was still alive, and thus after the death of Henry II the throne passed to the second-born son, Richard the Lionheart,41 who spent most of his reign fighting in the Holy Land. The costs of the Crusades and his ransom exhausted the state treasury. His wife was Berengaria of Navarre42 a descendent of the House of Jiménez, which provided the Navarre kings; but no children were born of this marriage. After Richard’s death, the crown passed to his younger brother John Lackland,43 whose name is linked to one of the most important events in English legal history, the acceptance of the Magna Carta Libertatum. John’s first wife was the English Isabella, Countess of Gloucester,44 whom he divorced upon taking the throne, and then – primarily with the aim of acquiring property and land – he married the French noblewoman Isabella of Angoulême.45 The Plantagenet kings that followed, up to Richard II,46 were John’s direct descendants. Richard II’s elder brothers founded the houses of Lancaster and York (derived from the names of their princely titles), the main protagonists in the three-decade civil war for inheritance of the throne, better known as the War of the Roses (1455–1485). In reality, the Houses of York, Lancaster and later Tudor were all offshoots of the Plantagenet dynasty, and were bound to each other by a thousand threads. The maternal-side and second-born members of the House of Plantagenet usually married into the French nobility or German families.47

The examples above show clearly that the Plantagenets’ dynastic policy differed markedly from that of the House of Árpád, although the two ruling houses were bound by familial ties. Due to its geographical location, England was not compelled to forge foreign strategic alliances. While the House of Árpád aimed to strengthen Hungary’s international position, the marriages of the Plantagenets were mainly motivated by the desire to bolster their power in the current internal political conflicts and territorial struggles in France. For this reason, while the House of Árpád, one of Europe’s most influential ruling houses, was bound to most dynasties by strategically important familial ties, the Plantagenets rarely entered into marriages with royal or imperial offsprings, instead preferring to acquire more territory through marital unions with members of the nobility. These lands usually enriched the king’s personal estates, and they only became integral to the country in a limited extent, if at all. In contrast to this, the expansion of Hungarian territory took place through the establishment of affiliated countries that were incorporated as subjects of the Holy Crown. This may have been a reason why the Árpáds did not marry their subjects, although the sense of a mystic origin and their elevated status as descendants of the saint-kings could also provide a spiritual justification for their aloofness.

Dynastic policy was largely defined by the circumstances of the two countries. While Hungary under the Árpáds was more or less stable, England was troubled by constant struggles for the throne and civil wars that resulted in several changes of dynasty, and which led to the War of the Roses at the end of the Middle Ages. This was also what determined the fate of the houses of Árpád and Plantagenet. While the paternal branch of the Árpáds died out “naturally” with an interval of only seven years between 1301 and 1308, before the Anjous secured power, the Plantagenets were defeated by their own relatives in bloody fighting. However, both dynasties continued to rule through their maternal lines for centuries afterwards.


Comparisons can be drawn not only between the two countries’ dynasties, but also between Esztergom and Canterbury, their respective religious centres. Canterbury has been a bishopric and later archbishopric, and the centre of the English Christian Church, since the end of the 6th century. In Hungary, Saint Stephen first established the archdiocese in Esztergom in 1001, and since then it has remained the centre of Hungarian Christianity, while the bishops and later archbishops of both dioceses were also the first prelates of their countries. Over the centuries, both towns have become places of pilgrimage.

Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

Their status within the church also brought worldly development. Esztergom and Canterbury both have a rich cultural heritage; perhaps the best example of this is that two of the nations’ most important poets, Janus Pannonius48 and Geoffrey Chaucer,49 had strong ties with the archiepiscopal centres of their respective countries. Throughout their histories, both towns were very important centres of education, and in the modern age they are home to universities.

The busy relationship between the two archbishoprics is also clearly evidenced by written sources. The biographies of Canterbury’s archbishop Thomas Becket and his counterpart in Esztergom, Lucas Bánfi50 are almost Plutarchian in their parallels. Both prelates were born of the same spirit, they both pursued their studies in Paris and came to be among the most learned people of their era; both formed a close relationship with their king and remained at their post until the very end; but perhaps it was due to the difference in the spiritual background of the two dynasties that Lucas was not killed. Although the process of canonising Lucas got under way, it was never completed. He himself was a famously moral prelate, who served as Archbishop of Esztergom between 1158 and 1181, which was a critical period because of the struggles for the throne. His prescience was also similar to that of Thomas Becket, as Archbishop Lucas accurately predicted the deaths of two Hungarian rulers: Ladislaus II of Hungary51 (1162–1163) – the eldest of Géza II’s younger brothers – and the aforementioned Stephen III (firstborn son of Géza II).52 Although it cannot be proven that Lucas and Thomas knew each other (according to certain sources, they became friends in Paris), they must have known about and influenced each other.

The earliest known portrayal of Thomas Becket’s murder in Canterbury Cathedral. Becket kneels before the altar, and one of the four knights, perhaps William de Tracy, delivers the first blow, which cuts into the arm of Edward Grim, the cross-bearer; Reginald Fitzurse (identified by the muzzled bear on his shield) strikes the top of Becket’s head: Harley MS 5102, f. 32r

There are noteworthy parallels not only between the archbishops, but also between the crowned heads. Both Henry II and Béla III strove to exercise their power forcefully and in a centralised manner. Because, as mentioned earlier, a feudal system that weakened the state did not take hold in the country of the Árpáds, the Hungarian king had an easier task in this respect. Travellers who spent time in Hungary in the mid-12th century, such as Abu Hamid al-Gharnati or Otto of Freising, remarked on the king’s unusually great power.53 Béla III, with his Byzantine upbringing, only reinforced this Hungarian tradition of state governance further. Henry II, in his efforts to centralise the ruling power of the House of Plantagenet, wanted to push back against feudalism in England. To this end, for example, he entrusted the position of sheriff, who represented the king as the head of certain earldoms, not to members of the local aristocracy, but to the easily controlled officials of the minor nobility. The extension of the power of the royal court lent the Curia Regis greater importance, and it also led to a strengthening of manuscript culture.54

The face reconstruction of Béla III, King of Hungary, made by Dr Gyula Skultéty (Basel) in 1939. Sculpture works and bronze patination made by Judit Lőrincz. Szent István Király Museum, Székesfehérvár

In his own kingdom, Béla III also raised manuscript culture to a new standard, with the establishment of the court chamber of scribes. We know that the issuance of deeds in Hungary began with Saint Stephen. The reign of Béla II (the Blind) ushered in a new stage of the prehistory of the Hungarian Royal Chancellery. This was when the chamber of scribes responsible for issuing deeds, essentially a precursor to the Royal Chancellery, was established within the royal chapel. The royal chapel was headed by the Chapel Ispán, who was considered a confidante of the ruler. However – being a man of the cloth – he also owed allegiance to the Archbishop of Esztergom. Now, in the event of a conflict between the king and the archbishop, the prelate was capable of bringing the chamber of court scribes to a standstill.55 This was precisely what happened to Béla II when he returned home from Byzantium after the death of his elder brother Stephen III. He came under attack from a tough opposition led by Archbishop Lucas. The Archbishop of Esztergom refused to crown Béla in spite of multiple demands to do so from Pope Alexander III,56 so the Pope made an exception in allowing the Archbishop of Kalocsa to perform the ceremony. Béla III learned from the resistance of Archbishop Lucas: this is what prompted him to establish the Royal Chancellery, headed not by the Chapel Ispán but by clerics who were loyal to the monarch. Ultimately, Béla III thus laid the foundations for an institutionalised state manuscript culture.

Another thing Henry II and Béla III had in common was their great intellectual and physical strength. Besides this, their fates were similar in that they both prepared to go to the Holy Land, but only their sons (Richard I and Andrew II) actually went there. The fall of Jerusalem in 1187 gave a boost to the Crusader movement. An exchange of letters between the two kings has survived from their preparations for a new Crusade, giving a faithful insight into the spirit of the late 12th century.

To my honourable, dear brother Béla, by the grace of God King of Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia and Rama, with greetings and sincere affection from H[enry]… King of England, Prince of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou. Since we have long known that your Royal Majesty is a true respecter of God and the church, we wish to inform your Majesty that we and our dear friend Philip, King of France and many noblemen of the two countries, for the honour of God and in his service, have taken up the sign of the holy cross, with the strong intention that the holy city, which was once ruler of the people but today sits in sadness, may through our humble obedience with the guidance and support of God, be restored to its former condition and regal dignity. We wish to embark on this endeavour with your forward-looking advice and assistance, and therefore we ask that you, in your good faith and generosity, take steps to assure us and our followers safe passage in your country and adjoining lands, and that for the honour of God and the safety of your country you provide for the sale of sufficient provisions in the appropriate places. For this and for our other requests, which our loyal archdeacon Richard Barre shall present to Yourselves, notify him, if you please, of your contributions.

To this, the Hungarian ruler replied:

To his honourable friend and dear brother H[enry], by the grace of God the most excellent King of England, Prince of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, Béla, by the same grace of God King of Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia and Rama, wishes a long-lasting and happy reign. Be assured that we approve of and adopt your royal highness’ plan, whereby we believe and trust that the Church of God and the pillaged Holy Land shall, by virtue of your excellence and piety, and through your endeavours, receive comfort and assistance for the honour of God and your eternal glory. It is with the greatest clamour of joy that we hope for and anticipate the forthcoming opportunity to be of service and pay our respects to you. We shall place the forces and goods of our country at your disposal, accommodating your requests with helping hands and enthusiastic willingness; and, insofar as the fertility of our country permits by the grace of God, with goodwill and devotion we hereby authorise and promise the availability of abundant foodstuffs for purchase.57

This correspondence took place in 1188. By that time, neither Thomas nor Lucas were alive. However, this is where the parallels between the two prelates’ fates come to an end. Thomas Becket’s violent death was not shared by Lucas Bánfi, who quietly stepped off the world’s stage in 1181. The difference in their destinies was not unconnected to the different conduct of their respective kings. Even if we give Henry II the benefit of the doubt, and assume that there was no real malicious intent behind his outburst, and his four noblemen committed the Canterbury murder on their own initiative, it is still striking how differently Béla handled the conflict stirred up by Archbishop Lucas. We read that the Hungarian prelate even disobeyed the Pope – which is perhaps why he was never made a saint – when he refused to officiate at Béla’s coronation. When Pope Alexander III responded by permitting the Archbishop of Kalocsa to conduct the ceremony, as an exception, the ruler made a wise decision: “I, Béla, by the grace of God the King of Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia and Rama, as ordained by God hereby accept the crown from the hands of the Archbishop of Kalocsa; but I shall not prejudice the prerogative of the church of Esztergom whereby, in future, the Archbishops of Esztergom are obliged to crown the Hungarian kings”, he declared.58 In exactly the same year, 1173, when Béla III won the crown, Pope Alexander III canonised Thomas Becket, three years after his murder. In 1174, Henry II walked to Thomas Becket’s tomb to obtain absolution, just as the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV made the pilgrimage to Canossa. Archbishop Lucas, however, was shunned for a long time before he finally made peace with his king towards the end of his life. He did not live to see Béla III’s total moral victory over him, as Béla himself was not made a saint, but he himself canonised a royal ancestor. Twenty years after he had returned to Hungary under the shadow of suspicion of orthodox separatism, in 1192 Béla III successfully secured the canonisation of Ladislaus I, thus earning the highest religious honour available to a living king in the Catholic world at that time. Because the act of canonisation said as much about the initiator as it did about the initiated. What is more, Béla had succeeded in securing sainthood for a Hungarian king who had not always nurtured a good relationship with the Holy See, and who was the father of a Byzantine empress and saint (Irene of Hungary), and the maternal grandfather of a Byzantine emperor (Manuel I Komnenos).

Effigy of Henry II of England in the church of Fontevraud Abbey

Becket’s legacy took shape very quickly; at the end of the 12th century, the Archbishop Job59 and Béla III founded a provostship in Esztergom and built churches in honour of the martyr on several of the queen’s estates. A big role in this was played by Béla III’s wife, Margaret of France, who has already been mentioned several times. Becket, when still chancellor, had accompanied her up the aisle to her first husband Henry, and he remained her spiritual mentor right up until his death.

The honouring of Becket, however, was not limited to the building of churches. His own cult was also quick to emerge, as evidenced by contemporary biographies of Saint Margaret the Virgin, according to which the chronicles of Saint Thomas’s life were among her favourite readings.60 Becket’s relics arrived in Esztergom in 1220, where they were so revered that they were taken to Nagyszombat (Trnava, Slovakia) to rescue them from Turkish pillaging, then in 1856 they were built into the main altar of the Basilica of Esztergom, which was being constructed at the time. Every year on 29 December, candles are lit to commemorate Saint Thomas, who was murdered on that day. As a highlight of the two archbishoprics’ almost thousand-year relationship, in 2004 the two cities entered into a twinning agreement.


During the period under study, Europe’s rulers – including the Kings of England and Hungary – knew about and influenced one another, thus having an effect not only on events in their own countries, but throughout the continent.

The apotheosis of Thomas Becket is highly uplifting. His murder gave rise to general indignation in Europe, and in the Hungarian royal court as well. Becket’s cult expanded beyond England and into Europe; and in Hungary it has remained to the present day. The memory of Thomas Becket’s fortitude lives on today as an eternal example. When we talk about European values, we should not forget about the Christian values and ideas that drove Saint Thomas Becket and our own saint-kings.

Translation by Daniel Nashaat

(This essay is an edited version of the talk given at the 25th Thomas Becket Conference on 5 January 2019.)


1 Otto III (980–1002): member of the Ottonian Dynasty, King of Germany from 983, Holy Roman Emperor from 996 until his death.

2 Pope Sylvester II (938–1003): originally known as Gerbert of Aurillac, Pope of Rome from 999 until his death.

3 Otto II (955–983): member of the Ottonian Dynasty, Holy Roman Emperor from 967 until his death.

4 Theophanu (960–991): born in Byzantium, she was connected to the Byzantine Macedonian Dynasty by familial ties that are not precisely known. Empress consort of the Holy Roman Empire between 973 and 983.

5 Gisela of Bavaria (984–1065): daughter of Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, married Stephen I in 996. Grand princess of the Hungarians from 997, and Queen of Hungary from 1001.

6 Saint Henry II (973–1024): member of the Ottonian Dynasty, elder brother of Gisela, Queen of Hungary. King of Germany from 1002, and Holy Roman Emperor from 1014 until his death.

7 Otto Orseolo (993–1032): Doge of Venice between 1009 and 1026, he lost his power in the course of an uprising, after which he was exiled to Byzantium.

8 Irene of Hungary (1088–1134): daughter of Saint Ladislaus and Adelaide of Rheinfelden, Empress Consort of the Byzantine Empire from 1118 until her death.

9 John II Komnenos (1087–1143): member of the House of Komnenoi, Byzantine Emperor from 1118 until his death.

10 Felicia of Sicily (1076–1110): member of the Hauteville family, Queen Consort of Hungary from 1097 until her death.

11 Roger I of Sicily (1031–1101): member of the Hauteville family, Count of Sicily from 1071.

12 Roger II of Sicily (1095–1154): member of the Hauteville family, Count of Sicily from 1105, King of Sicily from 1130 until his death.

13 Manuel I Komnenos (1118–1180): member of the House of Komnenoi, Byzantine Emperor from 1143 until his death.

14 Stephen III of Hungary (1147–1172): member of the House of Árpád, King of Hungary from 1162.

15 Raymond of Poitiers (1115–1149): son of William IX, Duke of Aquitaine from 1136 until his death, Prince of Antioch from 1136.

16 Constance of Castile (1136–1160): second wife of Louis VII, Queen of France from 1154 until her death.

17 Constance of Hungary (1180–1240): daughter of King Béla III, wife of Ottokar I of Bohemia, Queen Consort of Bohemia between 1199 and 1230.

18 Frederick VI (1167–1191): member of the Hohenstaufen Family, originally known as Conrad, he took the name of Frederick after the death of his elder brother. Duke of Swabia from 1170 until his death.

19 Ottokar I of Bohemia (1158–1230): member of the Přemyslid Dynasty, King of Bohemia from 1198 until his death.

20M Agnes (1181–1184): youngest child of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor and Beatrix of Burgundy. She died as a small child.

21M Emeric (1171–1204): member of the House of Árpád, eldest son of Béla III, King of Hungary from 1196 until his death.

22 Alfonso II of Aragon (1157–1196): member of the House of Barcelona, King of Aragon from 1164 until his death.

23 Constance of Aragon (1179–1222): member of the House of Barcelona, Queen Consort of Hungary between 1198 and 1204, Queen Consort of Germany from 1210, Holy Roman Empress from 1220 until her death.

24 Frederick II (1194–1250): member of the House of Hohenstaufen, King of Germany from 1212, Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 until his death.

25 Andrew II (ca. 1175–1235): member of the House of Árpád, second son of Béla III, King of Hungary from 1205 until his death.

26 Yolanda of Courtenay (1197–1233): member of the House of Courtenay, Queen of Hungary from 1215 until her death.

27 Peter II of Courtenay (1167–1219): member of the House of Courtenay, grandson of King Louis VI of France (1108–1137), Latin Emperor of Constantinople from 1216, but in fact he never reached his empire, but was captured on the way and died in prison.

28 Boniface I, Marquess of Montferrat (1150–1207): member of the House of Aleramici, founder of the Kingdom of Thessalonica in 1204, and its first ruler until his death.

29 Demetrius of Montferrat (1205–1230): son of Boniface I, Marquess of Montferrat and Margaret of Hungary, King of Thessalonica between 1207 and 1224.

30 Nicolas de Saint-Omer: French knight, who had estates in Boeotia. Little is known for certain about his life, so the precise date of his marriage with Margaret is also uncertain.

31 James I of Aragon (1208–1276): member of the House of Barcelona, King of Aragon from 1213 until his death.

32 Eleonor of Castile (1202–1244): member of the Castilian House of Ivrea, Queen Consort of Aragon between 1221 and 1229.

33 Yolanda of Hungary (1219–1251): daughter of Andrew II, Queen Consort of Aragon from 1235 until her death.

34 Elizabeth of Portugal (1277–1336): member of the House of Barcelona, Queen Consort of Portugal between 1282 and 1325.

35 Geoffrey V (1113–1151): member of the House of Plantagenet (or the House of Anjou, according to other works), Count of Anjou from 1129 until his death.

36 Henry I (1068–1135): member of the House of Normandy, King of England from 1100 until his death, and also Duke of Normandy from 1106 until his death.

37 Empress Matilda (1102–1167): member of the House of Normandy. Her first husband, Henry V, was Holy Roman Emperor, she was Holy Roman Empress between 1117 and 1125. After Henry’s death, she married Geoffrey V in 1128.

38 Henry V (1081–1125): member of the House of Salian, King of Germany from 1099, Holy Roman Emperor from 1111 until his death.

39 Stephen, King of England (1092–1154): member of the House of Blois, King of England from 1135 until his death.

40 William I the Conqueror (1028–1087): member of the House of Normandy, King of England after his victory at the Battle of Hastings.

41 Richard I Lionheart (1157–1199): member of the House of Plantagenet, King of England from 1189 until his death.

42 Berengaria of Navarre (1165–1230): daughter of Sancho VI of Navarre, Queen Consort of England between 1191 and 1199.

43 John Lackland (1166–1216): member of the House of Plantagenet, King of England from 1199 until his death.

44 Isabella, Countess of Gloucester (1173–1217): Countess of Gloucester, the first wife of John Lackland, who divorced her upon taking the throne.

45 Isabella of Angoulême (1186–1246): daughter of a count, Queen Consort of England between 1200 and 1217.

46 Richard II (1367–1400): member of the House of Plantagenet, King of England between 1377 and 1399. Henry IV, of the House of Lancaster, usurped him and had him imprisoned. The precise cause of his death is not known.

47 For more on this, see: Bartlett, Robert: England under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075–1225. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2000.

48 Janus Pannonius (1434–1472): born János Csezmiczei, Hungarian Humanist poet, bishop.

49 Geoffrey Chaucer (1343–1400): the first English poet to write in English. His most famous work, The Canterbury Tales, is a classic of world literature.

50 Lucas Bánfi (1120–1181): a key figure in 12th-century Hungarian political and religious life, Bishop of Eger from 1156, Archbishop of Esztergom from 1158 until his death.

51 Ladislaus II (1131–1163): member of the House of Árpád, younger brother of Géza II, usurper of his nephew, Stephen III, between 1162 and 1163.

52 An account of Archbishop Lucas’s talent for divining the future is given by Walter Map, a Welsh priest who, like Thomas Becket, served the English king Henry II, in his work De nugis curialium (“Of the trifles of courtiers”).

53 Ibid.

54 Váczy, Péter: “A középkor története” [History of the Middle Ages]. In: Egyetemes történet, vol. II. Eds.: Hóman, Bálint – Szekfű, Gyula – Kerényi, Károly. Magyar Szemle Társaság, Budapest, 1936, pp. 523–525.

55 Kubinyi, András: Főpapok, egyházi intézmények és vallásosság a középkori Magyarországon [Prelates, Church institutions and piety in mediaeval Hungary]. Magyar Egyháztörténeti Enciklopédia Munkaközösség, Budapest, 1999, pp. 7–67.

56 Pope Alexander III (1105–1181): born Rolando Bandinelli, Pope of Rome from 1159 until his death.

57 Memory of Béla III, op. cit., pp. 74–75.

58 Memory of Béla III, op. cit., pp. 62.

59 Job: Hungarian prelate, Archbishop of Esztergom between 1185 and 1203. Although he was head of the Hungarian Church for a long time, and this period was one of the golden ages of Esztergom’s history, we know very little about his life. What is certain is that, like Becket and Lucas, he too studied in Paris.

60 Györffy, György: “Jób esztergomi érsek kapcsolata III. Béla királlyal és szerepe a magyar egyházi művelődésben” [The relationship of Job, Archbishop of Esztergom, with King Béla III, and his role in Hungarian church culture], Aetas, vol. 9 (1994), No. 1, pp. 58–63, 60–61.

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