Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z: by Zealots (26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary)

For this last post of the month, we shall continue our ongoing theme of queens being mistreated, and people getting stabbed.

Záh Felicián is mostly known in history for his attempt to assassinate King Károly Róbert (1301-1342), Queen Erzsébet, mother of Lajos I and Endre (remember him with the magic ring?), and their two sons. Záh started out as an opponent to the king, fighting alongside one of the most powerful noblemen of the kingdom... And then he turned around and joined the king with a full pardon. His daughter, Klára, became a lady-in-waiting to Queen Erzsébet.
And yet, something was not quite right. After twelve years at court, Záh Felicián did the unimaginable: He attempted to murder the royal family, in broad daylight, in the middle of a feast. He ran at then with a sword, wounded the king lightly on the hand, chopped off four fingers of the queen's right hand, and then turned to attack the two young princes. The mentors of the princes jumped between them and both died while the boys got away; and then one of the servants lunged at Záh and chopped him with a blade at the neck. The guards and servants effectively slaughtered the man on the spot.
The entire scene unfolded in great confusion and lots of blood, from what we know from the chronicles, and probably was over before people realized what was happening. Záh got away relatively easy - he died immediately, and his limbs were sent to various cities as a warning (much like Koppány's). His household was not that lucky. His son and his servant were dragged to death by horses, and their remains thrown to the pigs. His daughter Sebe was beheaded, her husband died in prison. Their children were given to crusaders and sent to Rhodes in exile. The king ordered all family members three times removed to be murdered, and took the property of the rest. Záh's other daughter, Záh Klára, was mutilated, her nose, lips and eight fingers cut off, and then paraded around the city, yelling "this is how you are punished if you turn against the king."
We are not sure what caused the assassination attempt. Some say it was probably a plot among the nobles to take the throne. A chronicle suggests that Erzsébet's brother seduced Klára, and her father was taking revenge for it (sounds familiar?). Whatever the case, it is one of the most famous attempts at a king's life in Medieval Hungary - and as you have already seen, that is quite a long list to be on.

Thus concludes this year's A to Z Challenge! Thank you for following, thank you for commenting! I hope you enjoyed the ride. Don't forget to come back on May 4th (Monday) for A to Z Reflections
If you are interested in more Hungarian weirdness, don't forget to follow the MopDog, and come back for MopDog Mondays!

Also, check out my book, titled Tales of Superhuman Powers - a collection of traditional stories that feature superpowers, from invisibility to eye beams (no, really). Available on Kindle, Nook, and print!

26 comments:

  1. Interesting that the women were treated so severely as well, over here you see lots about what happened to the men, but not a lot about the women unless they were queens. Of course that's probably just the bias in history books.
    Great month - thank you for all the gruesome details :)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  2. Really unusual theme, glad I made it to one of your posts though. I also followed your lesson on blog signatures with success. Thanks

    Have give you a shout out from my own letter Z today.

    @rosieamber1
    Rosie Amber - Book reviewer. Campaigning to link more readers to writers.

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  3. Thank you for all these grisly posts! When we read about such behaviour from medieval times, we tend to think that humanity has improved since then. Sometimes I'm not so sure.

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  4. A little thinking about the consequences would be appropos, lol.

    The royal family certainly did not want it to play out again.

    You've had a very interesting theme this month. I enjoyed it.

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  5. Congrats!
    We made it - Hurray!
    Thank you for sharing your interesting posts of your unusual and thrilling theme.

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  6. Yay for Z! I really enjoyed reading your posts. I have a dark side. ;)

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  7. I think this is the worst one of all, all the family 3 times removed! you may have enough methods of death right here to do another whole challenge!

    Congratulations on finishing! You were 1 of my favorite blogs this challenge.

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  8. That has to be the worst thought out assassination plot ever. Really? After all those years being close to the King that was the best he could come up with? Did he just really want to die (and take his whole family with him?)

    Congrats on making it to the end! Loved reading your posts about the bloody (and sometimes) silly deaths of medieval Hungary.

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    1. Yeah, I always wondered what happened there. He probably just snapped... :D
      Thank you for all the visits! I enjoyed your comments :)

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  9. Good to hear that the guards were there to mop up after the dangerous work was done.

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  10. Hi there - Congrats for making it through the challenge. :)
    BTW, I'm dropping in from a shout out to your blog from Rosie Amber's blog https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

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  11. You've made it, congratulations! I enjoyed every single post and I'm sure I will visit once in a while after the challenge.
    Evalina, This and that...

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  12. Excellent and full of drama. Thanks for a month of fabulous tales. Wish they were happier but alas you stuck to your theme. :)

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  13. that was one of the goriest out of them all! wow, what a story. the poor queen. they are all lucky not to die from infections or whatever.

    Loved hanging out on both your blogs. all your posts were fascinating.

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  14. thoroghly enjoyed your blogs. will keep coming back here. much love and thanks for the wonderful blogs.

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  15. Rough! Worse to be related to him... And to do it in broad daylight?? Out of his mind!

    Maui Jungalow

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  16. Wow, what a ride! I sure have enjoyed reading about all the different ways to die in midieval times! Thanks for all your hard work in co-hosting. Hope to see you around beyond the Reflections posts...
    All the best,
    https://angelsbark.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/z-is-for-z-z-top/

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  17. I must say I have learnt some many ways by which someone could die and not just in medieval Hungary. Lol. Enjoyed reading your posts. Congrats on making it to the end.

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  18. Definitely not a good family to be born in. What a bloody legacy!
    Congrats on finishing the a-z! Enjoyed your dramatic education of medieval Hungary.

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  19. That has to be one of the least successful assassination attempts ever! Really went to town on the punishment. I've enjoyed reading the grisly tales in your posts. Congrats!

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  20. Congrats on getting to the end of the challenge!

    Sounds like the man snapped.... though I feel maybe Hungary is where the swiftness to say "we're not related" comes from when someone in the family does something bad... :P

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  21. /possibly ignorant but self-important nitpick on

    Shouldn't there be some "c"-s in Zách? Záh just seems strange...

    /nitpick off

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    1. I have seen it spelled both ways, the chronicle spelled it with an h. In history books it's usually ch.

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  22. What a terribly planed assassination attempt, no and he cuts the queen's 4 fingers while lightly injures the king!!! perhaps it was the queen he wanted to kill after all. Man! he only killed two innocent guards, no royals, non at all!! Well, in the end that was a great theme with greater execution, I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication during this challenge, your posts have been a well of writing inspiration and knowledge, I will certainly come back for more :)

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  23. You've made me laugh every time I visited during the challenge. Thanks for the entertainment.

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  24. Lesson here: Don't be related to crazy. That's a pretty harsh punishment.

    Great A to Z! I really enjoyed all of your stories. The Hungarian history is crazy!! Congratulations on making it from A to Z!!!

    Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie

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