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Prince Rostislav in the Court of Béla IV

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image of Russian History

During the Mongol invasion Prince of Chernihiv Mikhail and his son Rostislav fled to the Hungarian Kingdom. Rostislav Mikhailovich married Anna, the daughter of Hungarian King Béla IV. After the unsuccessful campaign in Halych (1245) Rostislav remained in Hungary in a special status, as the son-in-law of the king, living at the royal court. In accordance with this status he was created a special post, dominus de Macho. Rostislav’s dealings covered much of Eastern Europe, from Little Poland to Bulgaria and from Halych to Bohemia.Looking at Rostislav from the perspective of the Hungarian royal family, it is significant that throughout he appears as his father-in-law’s unconditional follower: he participated in Béla’s military campaigns and realised Béla’s project in the south, but in the royal court it was not he but his wife Anna who was unusually active. Anna’s position in court was strengthened by differences in age: Stephen was more than ten years older and the younger brother Béla was the same age as Anna’s children. Anna and Rostislav, and in the 1260s their sons, were clearly on the side of Béla as opposed to the younger King Stephen.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Medieval History, University of Pécs, Hungary


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