Géza of Hungary

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Géza (c. 945 – 997), Grand Prince of the Hungarians (before 972 - 997).[1]

Géza was the son of Taksony of Hungary, Grand Prince of the Hungarians and his Pecheneg or Bulgar wife.[2] Géza's marriage with Sarolt, the daughter of Gyula of Transylvania, was arranged by his father.

After his father's death (before 972), Géza followed him as Grand Prince of the Magyars. Shortly afterwards, a Benedictine monk of the Abbey of Sankt Gallen, Bruno, who had been ordained Bishop of the Hungarians, arrived to his court where he baptised Géza.

Although Géza probably never became a convinced Christian, during his rule Christianity began to spread among the Magyars. According to Thietmar of Merseburg, Géza continued to worship pagan gods; a chronicle claims that when he was questioned about this he stated he is rich enough to sacrifice to both the old gods and the new one.

In 973, twelve illustrious Magyar envoys, whom probably Géza had assigned, participated in the Diet held by Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor.

In 983, when Henry II, Duke of Bavaria rebelled against the then child Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, the Magyars occupied Melk. However, Melk was reoccupied, already in 985, by Leopold I, Margrave of Austria. When Henry II lead his armies to the Vienna Basin in 991, the Hungarians were obliged to evacuate the territories West of the Leitha (Hungarian: Lajta) River.

Géza arranged the marriage of his son Stephen I of Hungary to Giselle of Bavaria, the daughter of Henry II. He started the construction of the Abbey of Pannonhalma.

Marriage and children

before 972: Sarolta, a daughter of Gyula of Transylvania (? – after 997)

He married his brother's widow Adelajda sister of Prince Mieszko I of Poland c. 985. He repudiated his first wife Sarolta shortly after 975.[citation needed]

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