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Encyclopedia > Geza

Géza of Hungary (born around 940-945, died in 997) (possibly Gyécsa in Old Hungarian, Gejza in Slovak), was the fejedelem (ruling prince) of the Magyars from c. 970 to 997.

Géza was the son of Taksony, ruling prince of the Magyars and his Cuman wife, and was the great-grandson of Árpád, who gave his name to the ruling dynasty. Although still a pagan when he became ruler, the alliance concluded between the Holy Roman Empire and Byzantium in 972 forced Géza to convert to Christianity in order to secure a lasting peace for Hungary. He turned to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, who ordained a Benedictine monk, Bruno of Sankt Gallen, as bishop and sent him to Hungary to baptise Géza (this occured in 985 according to some sources). However, although he was mainly accepted as a Christian ruler it is doubtful that he was a Christian at heart. According to the Bishop of Merseburg he continued to worship pagan gods.

Although overshadowed by his son, King Stephen I of Hungary, Géza made considerable achievements during his reign. He established centralised rule over the entire country, except for Transylvania which remained under the seperate authority of the gyula. This allowed him to collect taxies and duties far more successfully than his predecessors and thus increase his personal wealth.

Géza's wife was Sarolt, daughter of Gyula of Transylvania, and who was brought up as a Christian. Géza had a brother named Michael (born in 955 at Esztergom), who became Regent of Poland and died about 978.

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Geza - definition of Geza in Encyclopedia (248 words)
Geza was the son of Taksony, prince of Magyars and his wife, a Cumanian lady.
Geza had a brother named Michael (born in 955 at Esztergom), who became Regent of Poland and died about 978.
Geza's father Taksony was the son of Zoltån of Hungary, Prince of Magyars (896?949), who in turn was the son of Árpåd.
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