THE LEGEND OF THE HOLY CROWN a film by Gabor Koltay
The pagan insurrections, the campaigns abroad, and the succession struggles during the years following the death of Hungary’s state-founder King Stephen I (1038) immensely exhausted the country. Law and order practically ceased to exist, and political and moral corruption threatened to topple King Stephen’s independent state. Andrew and Béla, the children of Vazul-who had revolted against Stephen, who subsequently had him blinded-were succeeded by Solomon, who was crowned king with German help. However, Solomon was unable to take control over the situation.
With the help of his cousins, Princes Géza and Ladislas (sons of King Béla), the Magyar armies were able to repel the Kun attacks (1068), but Solomon’s scheming triggered a fratricidal war in the divied kingdom. Géza and Ladislas defeated Solomon (1074) and with the crown received as a gift from Byzantium, Géza was crowned King. The chaste King Géza was unable to establish unity during the brief reign – a task that awaited his younger brother Ladislas, who succeeded him on the throne in 1077. Ladislas’s severe laws bridled the passion and anger that had been unleashed, and taking sides with the Pope he managed to adroitly maintain a balance between the influence of the Church and the Germans. Ladislas initiated the canonisation of Stephen, the King who had been unleashed, and taking sides with the Pope he managed to adroitly maintain a balance between the influence of the Church and the Germans. Ladislas initiated the canonisation of Stephen, the King who had his grandfather blinded, and whose political legacy he identified with. Ladislas joined the Greek hoop crown with the Latin crown of Hungary, today a symbol of millennial Hungarian statehood. Some of his contemporaries referred to him as “Elegantissimus rex” others as the “Knight King” His popularity soared, and his reign gave rise to many tales and legends.