Post-classical history

Andrew II of Hungary (d. 1235)

King of Hungary (1205-1235) and first Hungarian ruler to take an active part in the crusading movement.

Andrew was born around 1177, the second son of King Béla III (1172-1196) and Anne (Agnes) of Châtillon. Around 1200 he married Gertrude of Andechs-Meran (d. 1213); they had five children, including Elisabeth, who was engaged (1211) and later married (1221) to Ludwig IV, son of Landgrave Hermann I of Thuringia. Partly because of his dynastic relations with Thuringia, in 1211 Andrew settled the Teutonic Order in a border region called Burzenland, but in 1225 he forcibly expelled it for allegedly pursuing independence from the kingdom of Hungary. In 1215 he married Yolande, daughter of Peter of Courtenay. After the death of Peter’s brother-in-law Henry, Latin emperor of Constantinople (1216), Andrew unsuccessfully endeavored to obtain the vacant imperial throne in order to further Hungarian expansion toward the Balkans and Byzantium. He participated in the first part of the Fifth Crusade (1217-1218) in order to fulfill a crusade vow inherited from his father, and during his journey back from the Holy Land, Andrew arranged political-diplomatic ties by means of dynastic marriages between members of his family and those of other ruling dynasties, notably those of Theodore I Laskaris, emperor of Nicaea; King Leo II of Armenia; and Ivan Asen II, tsar of Bulgaria. He donated a great deal to the Templars and Hospitallers and later left a copy of the Golden Bull of 1222, his charter of privileges for the Hungarian nobility, in their custody. He died on 21 September 1235 and was buried in the Cistercian abbey of Egres.

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