Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L: by Lead (26 Way to Die in Medieval Hungary)

You must be wondering which version of "death by lead" I am going to talk about today. Lead poisoning? Lead bullets?...
Oh, ye of little imagination.

Vazul was the cousin of our first king, István I (997-1038) who established Hungary as a Christian kingdom (he's one of the Saint Stephens now). István, while a very prominent king, did not have an heir: Prince Imre, his only surviving son died young (we'll get to him later). Because of this, the line to the throne was much contested, and one of the strong contestants was Vazul, the son of István's uncle.
István, however, did not see Vazul as a desirable heir, and he decided instead on his nephew on the female line, Pietro Orseolo from Venice. The rivalry came down to a foreigner and a pagan, and István made the choice a Christian king would make at the time: He made sure Vazul doesn't succeed him on the throne.
According to most sources, he first captured Vazul, claiming he participated in a plot against him. True or not, he was imprisoned, and then blinded on the István's orders to make him unfit to be a king (Remember when Kálmán I tried the same thing? Here's where he got the idea). According to another source - and this is the famous part of the story - they also poured molten lead into his ears. It is unclear if they did that with the intention of making him deaf or killing him... But since we have no mention of Vazul after this, it is assumed that he died of his wounds.

PLOT TWIST! Vazul had three sons, all three in exile after their father's death, living in the Czech kingdom, Poland, and the Rus. Two of them, András and Béla, became kings after Pietro's death. It's a form of historic justice, if you think about it...

19 comments:

  1. Whoa. Death by molten lead poured in his ears? That is beyond horrible. Yikes.

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  2. Murderers were very creative in those days!

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  3. They don't have a lot of luck with ears do they? ;) I suppose at least this one was probably mean to kill him.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  4. Woah! Horrifying. Was actually thinking lead poisoning

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  5. They poured molten lead in his ears? That reminds me of when I'd have earaches (or water in my ears from swimming) and my mom would pour this warm liquid into my ears to help them heal. I hated that!

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  6. Quite imagination for cruel killings...There was no electric chair back then and hanging is kind of boring...
    Evalina, This and that...

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  7. Ouch! That is a cruel way to go.

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

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  8. poured lead into his ears! did not see that coming :)

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  9. He should have asked for unleaded. :( What a sad state of affairs.

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  10. what is it with these guys and eyes and ears? It gets depressing by the minute here. I also want to say that you're doing a great job, I really appreciate your dedication and valuable historical information.

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  11. What a sad story. Pretty sure molten lead poured in your ears would kill you. Just guessing though!

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  12. Melted lead in the ears? Ow, ow, ow.

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  13. I knew it was going to be molten but no idea it was going in the ear. ugh!

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  14. Eyaaaaa! My ears got itchy reading that. Yikes.

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  15. Darn, I was so close! I thought they poured down his throat. Um, yeah . . . I'm not sick and twisted. . . Swear. **whistling innocently**

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  16. Geeze, makes a good old beheading seem positively quaint. Even the botched ones.

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  17. Well at least they were creative, I suppose. This just sounds ever so pleasant. Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie

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  18. Harsh... I wonder if they poured it in one ear and waited for it to burn its way through and drip out the other side?

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