King Coloman of Hungary, or Coloman the Learned, was the King of Hungary from 1095-1116 AD and is the first Monarch to kick off Monarch Monday. Here’s seven facts about King Coloman of Hungary and his life in 11/12th Century Hungary
1) He was born in 1070 to King Geza I of Hungary and Giza’s first wife, Sophia (possibly, this has never been confirmed or denied). Upon King Giza’s death in 1077, Ladislaus I, Giza’s brother, claimed the throne and intended to declare Coloman’s younger brother, Almos, King when he came of age. Coloman, who it is said was physically impaired, was to have a career in the Church and became the Bishop of Eger in the 1090’s.
2) While Almos was named the heir to the throne at the beginning of 1095, when Ladislaus died on July 29 1095 it was Coloman and not Almos who ascended the throne. It is not known why this came to be but Almos was given a Duchy, in place of the throne, by his brother.
3) King Coloman was the first Hungarian King to renounce the control of appointing prelates within his territories.
4) Coloman allowed the passage of the first organised Crusader army through his lands in 1096 only after their leader, Godfrey of Bouillon, Duke of Lower Lorraine, agreed to having his younger brother Baldwin and his family become guests of the King’s during the journey through Hungary. This allowed Coloman to ensure that the rioting and massacring which had been wrought previously by the Peoples Crusader groups was avoided. Baldwin later went on to become the first titled King of Jerusalem.
5) Between 1113-1115 AD Coloman, tired of Almos’s continual attempts to usurp the throne, had Almos and his young son blinded. It is said that Coloman also ordered the infant to be castrated but that the soldier tasked with carrying out the duty refused to do so. With neither Almos nor the child now able to rule, Coloman’s own son could now ascend his fathers throne without fear of losing it to his uncle or cousin.
6) Coloman didn’t believe in witches and enacted a law which prevented witch trials from taking place during his rule.
7) Coloman is known as Coloman the Learned due to his being one of the most learned sovereigns of the Middle Ages, making him an eminent legislator and administrator.