Andrew II of Hungary

Andrew II (Hungarian: II. András, Croatian: Andrija II., Slovak: Ondrej II., Ukrainian: Андрій II; c. 1177 – 21 September 1235), also known as Andrew of Jerusalem, was King of Hungary and Croatia between 1205 and 1235. He ruled the Principality of Halych from 1188 until 1189/1190, and again between 1208/1209 and 1210. He was the younger son of Béla III of Hungary, who entrusted him with the administration of the newly conquered Principality of Halych in 1188. Andrew's rule was unpopular, and the boyars (or noblemen) expelled him. Béla III willed property and money to Andrew, obliging him to lead a crusade to the Holy Land. Instead, Andrew forced his elder brother, King Emeric of Hungary, to cede Croatia and Dalmatia as an appanage to him in 1197. The following year, Andrew occupied Hum. Despite the fact that Andrew did not stop conspiring against Emeric, the dying king made Andrew guardian of his son, Ladislaus III, in 1204. After the premature death of Ladislaus, Andrew ascended the throne in 1205. According to historian László Kontler, "[i]t was amidst the socio-political turmoil during [Andrew's] reign that the relations, arrangements, institutional framework and social categories that arose under Stephen I, started to disintegrate in the higher echelons of society" in Hungary. Andrew introduced a new grants policy, the so-called "new institutions", giving away money and royal estates to his partisans despite the loss of royal revenues. He was the first Hungarian monarch to adopt the title of "King of Halych and Lodomeria". He waged at least a dozen wars to seize the two Rus' principalities, but the local boyars and neighboring princes prevented him from conquering the principalities. He participated in the Fifth Crusade to the Holy Land in 1217–1218, but the crusade was a failure. When the servientes regis, or "royal servants", rose up, Andrew was forced to issue the Golden Bull of 1222, confirming their privileges. This led to the rise of the nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. His Diploma Andreanum of 1224 listed the liberties of the Transylvanian Saxon community. The employment of Jews and Muslims to administer the royal revenues led him into conflict with the Holy See and the Hungarian prelates. Andrew pledged to respect the privileges of the clergymen and to dismiss his non-Christian officials in 1233, but he never fulfilled the latter promise. Andrew's first wife, Gertrude of Merania, was murdered in 1213 because her blatant favoritism towards her German kinsmen and courtiers stirred up discontent among the native lords. The veneration of their daughter, Elizabeth of Hungary, was confirmed by the Holy See during Andrew's lifetime. After Andrew's death, his sons, Béla and Coloman, accused his third wife, Beatrice d'Este, of adultery and never considered her son, Stephen, to be a legitimate son of Andrew.


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