Thursday, April 23, 2015

T: by Throne (26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary)

This one is probably my (and most Hungarian middle schooler's) favorite.

The victim king in this one is Béla I, the youngest son of Vazul and the second one to become a Hungarian king (1060-1063). He was a great warrior who never lost in a battle, and a fairly good king too - and yet, to the general public he is really mostly known for the way he died:
After only 3 years of sitting on the throne, he was killed by it.

The chronicle says that he was crushed by the throne's canopy that collapsed on top of him, and succumbed to his wounds soon after. Some people at the time (and since) theorized that it was a failed assassination attempt that was finished up a couple of days later, probably by poison. Or maybe just a freak accident? Hard to tell after almost a thousand years. Definitely an unusual way to go.

21 comments:

  1. Death by throne - sounds so Hollywood :) It's the type of death you'd give an evil king - as he waxes lyrical about his evil deeds from his seat of office :) Only in a movie version there would have to be sharp pointy bits to do some impaling.
    Tasha
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  2. Well, I think Béla had an interesting story with the crown and the sword. :)
    After Vazul's sons defeated Peter Orseolo, András (1047-1060) became the next Hungarian King. He had a little problem: didn't have heir. Andras signed Béla as the Duke, and the following king. After years and years finally his wife born two sons: Solomon and David. András started to think their future. He invited his brother, the Duke, in his own chamber, and show the two symbols of the power: the crown and the sword. Told to his brother if he choose the crown, he would be the king, if he choose the sword, he would remain the Duke. Béla choosed the sword, because he was warned by the guard before this act, that he wanted to live than he must choose the sword. András namely ordered his men to hide in the chamber, and slaught Béla, if he choose the sword. Salamon was crowned, and bethroted with Judith, daughter of the Holy Roman emperor Henry IV.
    After surviving this event, Béla fleed to Poland, and return with Boleaslaus the Bold's army. András was helped by the Germans, but Béla was the better general: András lost two battles, and seriusly injured, and died when wanted to escape from Hungary. His sons run to the Holy Roman Empire.

    Well, the killed throne was very suspicious, because Henry IV invaded Hungary (again) to crown Solomon, and Béla wanted to stop him. But the throne was stronger, and the king died. After his death, Béla's sons fleed to Poland (like their father), and Solomon became the next Hungarian king.

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  3. Certainly gives new meaning to the phrase 'died on the throne'. Literally it seems.

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  4. Crushed by his throne. That's not a good sign.

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  5. I will admit I haven't caught every one of your posts this month... did you explain at some point why ANYONE in their right mind would even WANT to be king of Medieval Hungary?

    "Hey you, peasant: Wanna be king?"

    "No thanks, I'll take my chances with the plague and robbers in the gutter."

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    Replies
    1. And yet, people still killed each other to get on the throne... Or, eventually, under it...

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  6. There's just no winning in Hungary! Everything kills you.

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

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  7. Now this is something. Strange. I think it was a plot though.

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  8. Sounds like a Monty Python skit. Throne crushes king. "And now for something completely different." :P

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  9. I was thinking that maybe he was stuck to the throne (like literally with glue or an arrow) or had a degenerative disease that made his legs like jelly. The Surgeon General's warning: Being King Can Be Bad For Your Health. Or maybe thrones could have been labeled, "Usage of this item may lead to premature death." Not sure if you have a Hungarian equivalent for Surgeon General. Maui Jungalow

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  10. That was a thousand years ago and people still want to be kings? tsk tsk humanity.

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  11. There were a lot of perils to being king but this one hadn't occurred to me! How unfortunate.

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  12. That really is an ironic way to die!

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  13. So many ways to die. Cruhed by the throne seems painful.

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  14. whats wrong with me, why do i keep smiling at your gory stories :P

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  15. I think the bathroom was also called the 'throne room' so perhaps the middle school kids would really have a laugh.

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  16. Okay, I take it back. THIS is the most unique way to die.

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  17. Hmm. I wonder what the next king thought about all this. Was he a bit leery of sitting on the new throne? :D

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  18. There are an impossible number of puns to choose for a death like this! Hahaha.

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  19. So after that, thrones were in for a radical redesign, right?

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  20. Hiya .. I'm now getting here to read - death by a throne .. wonderful way to go .. well for story telling! Fascinating .. cheers Hilary

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