In his youth Bela III, king of Hungary (1172-1196) lived in Constantinople as the betrothed of the emperor Manuel Comnenus' daughter and was appointed to be heir to the Byzantine throne. There he was called Alexius probably owing to an oracle, according to which Manuel's successor's name would start with the letter alpha. However, when a son - also named Alexius - was born to Manuel, he had him crowned co-emperor and had the betrothal of Bela and Maria dissolved on the pretext of a ruling of the 1166 Synod of Constantinople, which banned marriage between relations by marrige to the seventh degree. It is this ruling that is referred to in a sentence in Cinnamus, which has been ignored this far because of the assumption that Bela and Maria were related in the eighth degree. As a matter of fact, they were related in the seventh degree by the marriage of the Hungarian king Stephen IV and Maria Comnena, daughter of Isaac Sebastokrator.
The testament of the Hungarian calligrapher George Bocskay (†1575) has been recently discovered in the Archive of the Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma. Bocskay made his will on the 4th of April 1575, in the house of the Hungarian magnate János Pethő de Gerse (III) in Vienna. The original document published here was written in Latin. The new data provided by the testament are of primary importance regarding the life and social network of George Bocskay. According to the text he left his property to his wife and children as well as his four servants, among others he bequeathed his books and instruments of calligraphy to his son, Stephen. His burial place was unknown yet. However, in his testament Bocskay ordered to be buried in the Himmelpfortkloster in Vienna. It was a significant medieval Premonstratesian cloister, founded for nuns by Constance of Hungary, the daughter of the Hungarian King Béla III, in the 1230s.
The expression corona latina concerning the upper part of the Holy Crown is used for a fictitious object. In this paper a dating from the late 12th century is accepted for the enamelled images on the curved bands, and they are considered as products of a historicizing tendency quoting models of the Ottonian period in the time of King Béla III. The crossed bands may have formed originally a reliquary of the head of Saint Stephen in Székesfehérvár, similar to the Stockholm reliquary of Saint Elizabeth. This type is reflected by the late gothic reconstruction of the reliquary of Saint Ladislas, which is perhaps an imitation based on the first, made at the end of 12th century.
After his death Béla III (r. 1172-96) was buried in the venue of coronations and burials of medieval Hungarian kings, the provost church of the Virgin in Székesfehérvár. After the Ottoman rule and the subsequent demise of the church the location of the grave fell into oblivion. The king’s and his wife’s mortal remains were found accidentally in December 1848. Custos of the National Museum János Érdy had the valuable finds and the rest of the grave goods transported to the museum. The significance of the discovery was largely enhanced when scientific research soon verified that it was Béla III’s grave, the only identified royal grave in Székesfehérvár.
During the military operations of the ongoing war of liberation of 1848/49, then in the period of retaliations after the crushing of the freedom fighting the idea of reburying the royal remains in the manner they reserved could not even be raised. In 1859 Ágoston Kubinyi, director of the National Museum commissioned Ferenc Reitter to make a plan for the extension of the museum. The arcade in classical or Rundbogenstil to be erected on the rear limit of the plot would have been terminated at either end with a chapel. Kubinyi wanted to deposit the royal remains and the grave goods in a worthy environment in the chapels. Governor of Hungary Móric Pálffy was shocked to find during a visit to the museum that the bones were in the museum and visitors were allowed to view them without, he thought, the right conditions of reverence being available. He immediately ordered the remains to be buried quietly. In vain did Kubinyi argue that the planned chapels would be worthy places of rest for them, the political situation still did not allow that the grave of the only identified king of the Árpád dynasty be buried in the museum of the nation, in such an exposed place. The remains of the royal couple were buried in the baroque crypt of the Matthias Church on 10 July 1862 in a simple funeral ceremony celebrated by archbishop of Esztergom János Scitovszky. The memorial service was held a year later on 26 March 1863 when a (new) verification process at the Academy of Sciences had confirmed that the remains did belong to Béla III and his wife.
Owing to the reconstruction of the Matthias Church begun under Frigyes Schulek’s guidance in 1873, the remains were transferred to the Anthropological Institute in 1883 where the director Aurl Török put them to scrutiny. The protraction of the renovation also kept putting off the case of reburial. The consecration of the church took place in 1896 as part of the millenary festivities. However, the theme of the festive series was much more Francis Joseph I and the restored Hungarian constitutionalism than the thousand-year-old Hungarian state, consequently the ceremonious reburial of Béla III was left out of the program, although it had been called for by the press. After 1896 at last Aurél Török launched a press campaign and a parliamentary interpellation on 13 February 1897 cata lyzed the events. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Dezső Bánffy the minister of religion and public education Gyula Wlassics organized the royal reburial in cooperation with the Monuments Commission and the building committee of the church. After a long debate the funerary monument was built in the Holy Trinity chapel of the upper church after plans by Frigyes Schulek. (At the beginning Schulek designed a more modest tomb for the crypt, but now it was out of the question.) He took the carvings of French portal pediments (Chartres, Arles) as his models. The sculptural work was done by Ferenc Mikula. A genealogical table on the monument announced that Francis Joseph I descended from the Árpád dynasty on female line. This reference is also included in the royal deed of gift by which the king granted 25 000 florins for the monument and the burial. At last on 21 October 1898 the ceremonious burial took place as a national holiday, officiated by archbishop of Esztergom Kolos Vaszary.
This study deals with the history of the carved stone monuments of the royal provostry church founded by St. Stephen in honour of the Virgin Mary in the early 11th century and destroyed in the time following the Ottoman occupation of the city. The epochs of the research (at least of the reception of the stone monuments) are distinguished in the study as follows: 18. century: the period of the final destruction of few remnants of the church, and the beginning of the first interest for stone (mainly for Roman) monuments. In the Bishop's Garden a collection of carved stones containing besides Roman Antiquities also medieval pieces is formed. The first arcgaeological research on the territory of the ruins was made in 1848, as the graves of King Béla III. and of his Queen could be uncovered in an authentic way. In the second half of the 19th century the monuments of Székesfehérvár were studied as witnesses of national splendour. Imre Henszlmann conducts three excavation campaignes in 1864, 1874 and 1872 with different impacts for his publications. In the first of these he published mainly well known pieces with a few additions of his own findings while in his later books he seems to have been interested mostly by other historic topics and not mentioning important stone findings. In earlier time mainly stones carvings in secondary use could be collected, and now important pieces found in situ came mainly on the Bishop's Palace. This collection represented the Székesfehérvár Church at the Millennary exhibition in 1896. On the basis of the idetification made by using written sources and also visual evidence a group of about 27 pieces with vegetal ornamentation, vhich can be dated certainly on the 12th century, can be probably localized on the eastern part of the medieval church and considered hipotetically as belonging to the early rood screen of the second building period.
A ma Homokmégy községhez (Bács-Kiskun megye) tartozó Szentegyházparton, a Homokmégy– Alsómégy közötti közúttól északra, kb. 200 m-re feküdt a középkori Sármégy falu. Homokmégy vidékén a 13–14. században megváltozott a településszerkezet. Az Árpád-kori sűrű településhálózattal szemben megjelentek a nagyobb kiterjedésű, de egymástól távolabb eső középkori falvak, amelyeknek azért Árpád-kori előzményük is volt. Sármégy falu 250 m hosszan és 150 m szélességben észak–déli irányban, a Homokmégy–Alsómégy közötti közúttól északra feküdt, két közeli, szinte összefüggő dombháton. A domboktól keletre, egy észak–déli irányú, hosszan elnyúló dombhát délnyugati lejtőjén helyezkedett el a 2006 augusztusa és októbere között, 400 m2 alapterületű ásatáson feltárt templomalap, valamint 163 középkori sír – ez később kiegészült a 2007 tavaszán feltárt újabb 153 sírral. A templom tájolása ÉK 9’ DNy 40’ volt. Feltárása során két építési periódust lehetett megfigyelni. A templomon belül 90, a templomon kívül 226 sír került elő öt, illetve négy rétegben. A sírok tájolása többségében DNy–ÉK-i volt, nagyrészt igazodott a templom tengelyéhez. Néhány kivételes esetben fordult elő dél–észak tájolás. A temető a több száz éves használat következtében nagyon zsúfolt volt. Sok esetben megfigyeltük a sírok átvágását. Sok bolygatott váz került elő, és sírhoz nem köthető embercsontok szórványként. A sírokban talált viseleti tárgyak többsége a 14–16. századra keltezhető. A templom pusztulása az írásos források, a pénzleletek és a temetőben előkerült sírmellékletek alapján a 16. század végén, a 17. század elején következhetett be.