Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A: by Adultery (26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary)

I am starting off this challenge by breaking my own rule: Adultery, technically, is not a way to die. But it was definitely a motive.

Magyar Benigna* was the daughter of one great general, and the wife of another. Both Magyar Balázs, her father, and Kinizsi Pál, her first husband, are legendary for their accomplishments in the fights against the Ottoman armies (Kinizsi is kind of a folk hero as well). Benigna was born in the middle of the 15th century, and married to Kinizsi sometime in the 1480s. She had a great dowry, and Kinizsi was respected by the king, so they were fairly wealthy; after her husband's death, especially with no heir, Benigna was rich enough to attract new suitors. Husband number 2 is not very interesting to us - but husband number 3 is.
He was a young gold-digger (what, it's not like the 21st century invented the idea) called Kereki Gergely. Not much good is written about him in the chronicles: His alleged crimes included forgery, church robbery, and even murder. In the end, however, he was brought down by a much smaller crime: According to legend, he made the mistake of cheating on his wife.
Benigna was a wealthy noble lady from an illustrious family, at this point probably in her 50s, and famous for her none-too-friendly character. When she found out she had been cheated on, the deed could not go unpunished: She had her young husband thrown from the tower of their home.
(I did not type "dumped" on purpose...)
Other sources claim she did it because Kereki was trying to get his hands on all of her property. Whatever the case, she got away with it, probably due to her own and her previous husbands' good family name. The king did take away her property, though, and she never married again. I wonder why...

* Throughout the challenge I will be using Hungarian names in their original order - family name first.

33 comments:

  1. Now, that is an interesting story! Would make a good movie. Has all the elements: power, lust, infidelity, revenge, crime, intrigue...
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp's Troops with the
    A to Z Challenge

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  2. Interesting! I think the king came out on top in that story.
    Miriam (A-to-Zing on writing historical fiction)

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  3. Well that's one way of dealing with a cheating rat - sounds like he deserved it. Of course you do have to wonder if he was painted in a very bad light because she was a noble lady and got away with his murder.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  4. Now that is a great theme! Unique and interesting...and there's a Puli? You've got it all...

    Thanks,
    Cherdo
    www.cherdoontheflipside.com

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  5. Talk about bad luck with men. Third time definitely was not a charm. All in all though, I feel like she got pretty lucky with getting away with the murder (sans property, of course).

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  6. I like that she "had him" thrown from the tower. What a lady! Didn't want to get her own hands dirty! I hope she tipped the servants well for disposing of their master.

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    1. Right? :D I always imagined her patting her hands together and then walking away.

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  7. Such a silly mistake to make!

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  8. Well, adultery is still a reason for murder in this century. But that is one lady no man would want facing in a battlefield :) can't wait for the rest of the posts."Haneen/I Will Never Give you Up (479)"

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  9. What an awesome first post. Definitely think he needed punishment for straying.

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  10. Oh gosh! Thrown out? Yours is an interesting theme and this one is a great start..

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  11. Exciting story, I enjoyed reading it. I guess the moral is, don't mess with the King.

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  12. Adultery is certainly a common cause for murder! Love this Blog and Hungary is on my wish list. #DreamingofBudapest Thanks for swinging by my blog

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  13. These are going to be some interestng posts during April and what a great story to kick it off. Can't think why she never married again! ;-)

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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  14. That is a neat peace of history. I wonder if a man would have had his property taken away if he had 'dumped' his wife for the same reasons?

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  15. Epic theme! Certainly pulled me in :)

    Can't wait to see what you do with the other letters!!

    Mars xx
    Curling Stones for Lego People

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  16. What an amazing theme! I'm really going to enjoy your posts!
    Congrats on the kick off for the A-Z

    Kai
    Author, Interrupted

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  17. I agree with another commenter, the King seemed to have got the golden egg this round! Great post!

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  18. Sounds like a story Shakespeare would have loved! Fun start to the A-Z!

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  19. Fantastic! I absolutely LOVE your theme! :D

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  20. This is a phenomenal, vivid story. What a joy (and kind of creepy) to read! A month of Hungarians... what a joy for you!

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  21. This has got to be the most unique theme ever:-) fascinating stuff.

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  22. A great start on the challenge! I really enjoyed the story with the dumping end. It sounds like Benigna was a creepy and stone-cold woman.

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  23. That's a nice new take on "My old lady threw me out" and "the bitch dumped me."

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  24. Adultery can certainly indirectly be a way to die--or at least a cause.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  25. Great theme and great post! I can hardly wait for tomorrow's episode. Staying tuned.

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  26. Man, that is scary. He really got dumped. It just goes to show that cheaters never prosper.

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  27. Good for her! She probably had enough with husbands - dying, cheating and who knows what with that 2nd one.

    The vision of the Hulk is intruding on me here. Ack!

    http://findingeliza.com/archives/19253

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  28. Wow! great post! looking forward to the rest of your A-to-Z stories.

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