Kalman

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Kalman

Colomán de Hungría called the Bibliophile (in Hungarian: Könyves Kálmán, in Latin: Colomanus) (c.1074 – 3 February 1116), ninth King of Hungary from 1095 and from Croatia from 1102, until his death in 1116. Son of Geza I and Sofia de Looz, inherited the throne after the death of his uncle St. Ladislaus I. Passed to tradition Hungarian like the hunchbacked king, lame and disdainful looking. However, it is currently doubted that his physical appearance has been as monstrous as described in several chronicles.

Kalman’s Biography

Colomán, the deformed

King Ladislaus I of Hungary elected Colomán’s brother, Álmos el ciego, as his successor. Ladislao did not completely abandon his nephew Colomán, and he was sent to a monastery, where he became a cultured man and a lover of reading, for which he received the nickname of Könyves, which means “he who has books”, “Bibliophile “, although it can also be translated as” the Sage “. Later he was appointed bishop. According to the chronicles, Colomán had to suffer some type of physical deformity that would have incapacitated him to be king according to the beliefs of the time. However, it is believed that this alleged deformity could be a falsification perpetrated by order of the descendants of Colomán’s brother, Álmos, who was blinded together with his son by order of Colomán.

Ascent to the throne

The exact circumstances of how Colomán came to be king to the detriment of his brother Álmos on the death of his uncle Ladislao are unknown. Among other difficulties, he must obtain a papal dispensation because an ordained cleric could not be proclaimed king. The sources are not clear on whether Colomán was really ordained. His last laws show that he had no problems with married clerics, then his marriages are not evidence of his religious status.


Colomán and his brother Álmos establishing peace. Hungarian Illustrated Chronicle.

Ladislao died in 1095, before he could fulfill his promise to attend the First Crusade. His nephew Colomán, who was in Poland, had returned to Hungary just in time to receive the blessing of Ladislao before it expired. Colomán did not fulfill the promise of his uncle to go to the crusade to liberate the Holy Land, but allowed the crossed armies to cross its territory. After the troops of the First Crusade took to plunder, Colomán imposed great restrictions on the following armies, such as taking hostages and assembling his own army to monitor the advance of the crossed troops. These actions caused contemporary chronicles to describe him in a clearly exaggerated way as unpleasant, horrifying or cross-eyed.

Foreign policy

While Ladislao tried to have good relations with the Holy Roman Empire when he fought in Croatia, Colomán tried to follow a foreign policy with good relations with the Papal States. Although Dalmatia was wanted by the Republic of Venice, Colomán took advantage of the great army formed by his uncle to subjugate Croatia and Dalmatia, territories that he recovered in the Battle of the Gvozd mountain in 1097 (the Croatian King Dimitar Zvonimir died without heirs, and his widowed wife, Helena of Hungary, called his brother Ladislaus I in 1091 who occupied the kingdom, and from that moment Hungary inherited the Croatian territories). After the death of King St. Ladislaus I the Croats sought to become independent by electing the noble Petar Svačić as king, but as mentioned, Colomán defeated him in 1097.

In addition, the Pope agreed to grant him the right to appoint bishops.

The court of Colomán was a center of wisdom and literature. There are several examples of the works made in the court at this time, such as a chronicle of Hungary, the “Life of St. Stephen” work of Bishop Hartvik, the shortest of the existing legends about San Gerardo Sagredo or various collections of laws. / p>

Colomán and the tolerance of the medieval Hungarian monarchs

One of its most famous laws deals with “strigas”, a kind of witches

De strigis vero, quae non sunt, nulla quaestio fiat

About witches, since these do not exist, there will be no examinations to investigate them.

There are several theories of the nature of said qualification. Parallel throughout Medieval Europe there were countless persecutions against innocent people, who in many cases professed dogmas that were heresies of Christianity, or had committed a crime, a good part were victims of their time. In Hungary, on the contrary, as will be seen in later centuries, the inquisition was conducted in an uncontrolled manner, where cases such as the first director of the Hungarian inquisition Blessed Paulus Hungarus defended the Hungarian shamans, relying more medically on them than on the own Italian doctors. In this way, ironically the first director of the Inquisition became one of the greatest defenders of the pagan Hungarians and tried to convert them and Cumanian tribes to Christianity through evangelization. All this, and many more aspects highlight the extreme tolerance and patience that the medieval and modern Hungarian monarchs always had, where although they were fervently Catholic, along with the majority of the population, there was always a place in the kingdom for those of other ethnic groups or religions.

In the case of Colomán, on the other hand, it has been theorized that, since the medieval legend existed, those people who had physical malformations were simply the result of a demonic impersonation. A witch or diabolical entity had broken into the bedroom of the healthy infant and had taken it from its cradle, replacing another imperfect one. Fearing that his legitimacy as a Hungarian king was put in doubt, Colomán sanctioned this law to protect himself against his physical condition of malformed appearance that is usually attributed to him.

Colomán and Christianity

Since it is presumed (as the chronicles say) that Colomán was born with certain physical malformations, he was delivered educated to be religious, being eventually ordained as bishop of Gran Varadino and reaching a high cultural and literary level. After the death of his uncle San Ladislao, Colomán was allowed to get rid of his habits and be crowned king, being henceforth one of the most cultured monarchs of his time and maintaining close relations with the papacy. Under his reign, supporting the Gregorian reform Archbishop Lorenzo convened between 1104 and 1105 the Council of Estrigonia I, which was regulated among many things, the behavior of medieval religious, becoming one of the first kingdoms to host such changes that caused serious conflicts in Medieval Europe. In this way Colomán was the first Hungarian king to formally renounce his rights over the investiture, but he did not allow the bishops to make their feudal oath to the pope. He also ordered the celibacy of the religious (a matter that was not yet fully defined by the middle of the eleventh century, but until after the Gregorian reform), and that people who had not studied did not reach hierarchical positions in the Church and that the members of the council canon spoke among themselves in Latin.

Family conflicts

Colomán ordering the arrest of his brother Álmos, who is protected by armed priests of Dömös.

Álmos made several attempts to seize the throne of Colomán, but all of them were unsuccessful. After having ignored many times the behavior of his brother, Colomán was forced to apply justice in 1115 shortly before his death. In this way he ordered that his brother Álmos be arrested, and no matter which priests of the city of Dömös protected him with swords, the soldiers of Colomán took the prince away. Then he commuted the death penalty that was intended for the traitors, the blindness of Álmos and his son Bela.

He got married twice. The first of them in 1097 with Felicia of Sicily – called Busila in Hungary -, daughter of Roger I of Sicily. Three children were born from this marriage:

  • Stephen II of Hungary (1102-1131)
  • Ladislao (1101-1112)
  • Sofia of Hungary (1136 – 1161)

Felicia died in 1102. In 1104 she remarried, this time with Eufemia of Kiev, daughter of Vladimir II Monomachus. However, a few months after the wedding, he divorced her due to adultery committed by his wife. He repudiated and expelled her to Kiev, where Eufemia gave birth to a son, Boris Kolomanović, in 1112.

After the death of Stephen II in 1131, Boris claimed the throne, but because Colomán did not recognize Boris as his son, the Hungarian nobles ignored his claims and gave the throne to his cousin Bela II of Hungary the Blind, son of Álmos el ciego, who had been blinded by order of Colomán I himself.

Colomán is buried in Székesfehérvár, in the center of Hungary, next to Esteban I of Hungary.

Represented by Dürer

Four centuries after his death, the character of Colomán regained prominence when Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg claimed him as an ancestor on the Hungarian throne. Because of this, Colomán was represented in works of art by several prestigious authors, such as Dürer.

More Facts about Kalman

The Kalman’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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