Friday, April 3, 2015

C: by Crowning (26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary)

Hungarian kids don't watch horror movies. They go to history class.

Dózsa György was a soldier in the wars against the Turks at the end of the 15th century (I know you are sensing a trend here, we'll go to other eras too, I promise). He was good at what he was doing - fighting - so much that in 1514 he defeated a Turkish captain in single combat. The king honored him with money, property, and knighthood.

Later in 1514 the papal bull for a Crusade against the Turks was announced, and Dózsa was made the leader of the crusading army. After tens of thousands of peasants and soldiers gathered for the cause, for multiple reasons and general incompetency on the nobility's part, the Crusade turned into a peasants' revolt. Dózsa led his army to several successes (I told you he was good at what he was doing), but ultimately the revolt reached the ending most peasant revolts did in the Middle Ages: The army was defeated, and Dózsa was captured.

His execution is one of those images that are burned (no pun intended) deep into the Hungarian mind. He was seated on a mock throne and crowned with a glowing hot iron crown (as a parody of him leading an army against the kingdom). After that, the executioners made his closest followers eat parts of him.
Yeah, you read that right.

According to a popular version of the story the throne was burning hot too, but contemporary sources don't support that claim. It was probably made up later to add to the horror of the means of execution. Dózsa was revered later in Hungarian history as a "freedom fighter" against the oppression of nobility, and he is still an iconic character we all learn about in history class.

24 comments:

  1. Given I have such a delicate constitution I'm wondering if I can manage your whole A to Z... marvellous theme though!

    Mars xx
    Curling Stones for Lego People

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  2. Nasty way to go! I am having visions of Game of Thrones.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  3. If I was one of his followers I'd choose eat the brain; at least it'd be cooked.

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    1. Is it bad that I laughed out loud at this?...

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    2. Oh my gosh, Tim, your comment made me laugh!

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    3. Hahaha! Way to break the horrific energy that post left me with!

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  4. Being Good Friday, I somehow thought he was going to be crowned with thorns. What fiendish mind thought up the red hot crown? What a horrible way to go, having your parts eaten by your followers, although I wonder if he was still aware of what was going on at that point.

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  5. This was really horrifying. And well I hope it isn´t bad to laugh when reading Tim H´s comment...

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  6. You've got to give them some credit for the symboligical significance of their method of execution...
    Wow.

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  7. You also need to give them credit for innovation! God what a mess! I never heard of this type of death. Poor guy :( but let's just say these posts are getting better and better (I'm evil I know but you win anyway so :P )
    "Haneen/I Will Never Give you Up (479)"

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  8. I read this right after eating breakfast, not sure if that was wise today. Ha! Really, though, I enjoy these posts and can hardly wait to read them each day.

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  9. Well, medieval executions certainly didn't lack flair. Loving this theme so far. :D

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  10. When I saw the title of this blog, my first thought was something completely different! I was thinking more brain crushing as in crown of the head than hot crown!

    What a gore-tastic post.

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  11. They forced his followers to eat him? Oh gosh! That's horrid. And gag worthy. Ick!

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  12. I do not know what is more horrifying - the death or the punishment for being a follower...

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  13. It is absolutely vicious and yet ironically metaphorical -- yeah pun intended.

    I also laughed at the cooked brains for breakfast comment. Amazing how creative executions can be.

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  14. That sounds like a horrible way to go. I mean, none of the ways are perfect. LOL

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  15. Yikes! That's a hardcore way to go. o.O

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  16. Holy cow!! A hot iron crown....the cruelest of cruelties. Does make you wonder though how much was actually true.

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  17. Wowsa, that's painful to even read about! I can't imagine how horrible it was to witness to that kind of execution. Thanks for the cool history lesson. I'll look forward to reading your other posts. Happy A-Zing...
    Michele at Angels Bark

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  18. I actually read about Dozsa (and his unfortunate end) when I was doing my A to Z research about 16th-century people! So our bizarre interests come together today! Coincidence? I think not...

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  19. wow, that was a lot captured in a few words. This A to Z is real fun :) modhukori

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  20. Wow... creative, in the way only humans can be. I feel sorry for the guy, even though I'm not sure I should be.

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

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