For other uses, see Levente (disambiguation).
Born between 1010 and 1015
Died 1047
Dynasty Árpád dynasty
Father Vazul
Religion pagan

Levente (between 1010 and 1015 – 1047) was a member of the House of Árpád, a great-grandson of Taksony, Grand Prince of the Hungarians. He was expelled from Hungary in 1031 or 1032, and spent many years in Bohemia, Poland and the Kievan Rus'. He returned to Hungary, where a pagan uprising was developing around that time, in 1046. Levente remained a devout pagan, but did not hinder the election of his Christian brother, Andrew I as king.


Hungarian chronicles have preserved contradictory information of his parentage.[1] According to one variant, Levente and his two brothers  Andrew and Béla  were "the sons of Ladislas the Bald"[2][3] and his "wife from Ruthenia",[3] that is from the Kievan Rus'.[4] On the other hand, a concurring tradition has preserved that the three brothers were sons of Ladislas the Bald's brother, "Vazul by some girl from the clan"[3] of Tátony.[4]

Modern historians agree that the latter report is more reliable[4] and unanimously write that Levente was born to Vazul and his concubine from the Tátony clan.[5][6][7] However, historians still debate whether Levente was the eldest or a younger son of his father.[5] Gyula Kristó, who says that Levente was Vazul's eldest son, writes that he was born between 1010 and 1015.[8]

In exile and return

Levente, Andrew and Béla left Hungary after their father was blinded in 1031 or 1032.[7][8] They first settled in Bohemia.[7] They left Bohemia, where "their condition of life was poor and mean",[9][10] according to the Illuminated Chronicle, and moved to the court of King Mieszko II of Poland in 1034 at the latest.[7] The youngest among them, Béla settled here, but Levente and Andrew moved to Kiev.[7][11] Andrew was baptized in Kiev, but Levente remained a devout pagan.[11][5][6]

Dissatisfied with King Peter Orseolo, who succeeded Stephen I of Hungary, Hungarian lords persuaded Levente and Andrew to return to Hungary in 1046.[12] Meanwhile, a great pagan uprising had broken out in Hungary.[13] The rebels captured King Peter.[14] The Hungarian lords and prelates preferred a Christian monarch and offered the crown to Andrew.[12] The Illuminated Chronicle states that Levente "would beyond doubt have corrupted all Hungary with paganism and idolatry".[15][16] However, the same chronicle also writes that Levente gave the crown, in the "simplicity of spirit",[17] to Andrew, suggesting that Levente voluntarily renounced the crown in favor of his brother.[13][16] Levente died in 1047 and was buried in a village on the Danube which was named after his great-grandfather, Taksony, who was "said to lie in a pagan grave" there, according to the Illuminated Chronicle.[3][16]


  1. Kristó & Makk 1996, pp. 68, 77.
  2. Simon of Kéza: The Deeds of the Hungarians (ch. 2.44), p. 107.
  3. 1 2 3 4 The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: (ch. 60.87), p. 113.
  4. 1 2 3 Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 77.
  5. 1 2 3 Tóth 1994, p. 408.
  6. 1 2 Engel 2001, p. 30.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Steinhübel 2011, p. 23.
  8. 1 2 Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 68.
  9. The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: (ch. 53.78), p. 110.
  10. Kristó & Makk 1996, pp. 68–69.
  11. 1 2 Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 69.
  12. 1 2 Kontler 1999, p. 59.
  13. 1 2 Steinhübel 2011, p. 25.
  14. Kontler 1999, pp. 59–60.
  15. The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: (ch. 60.86), p. 113.
  16. 1 2 3 Kristó & Makk 1996, p. 71.
  17. The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: (ch. 65.92), p. 115.


Primary sources

  • Simon of Kéza: The Deeds of the Hungarians (Edited and translated by László Veszprémy and Frank Schaer with a study by Jenő Szűcs) (1999). CEU Press. ISBN 963-9116-31-9.
  • The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle: Chronica de Gestis Hungarorum (Edited by Dezső Dercsényi) (1970). Corvina, Taplinger Publishing. ISBN 0-8008-4015-1.

Secondary sources

  • Engel, Pál (2001). The Realm of St Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary, 895–1526. I.B. Tauris Publishers. ISBN 1-86064-061-3. 
  • Kontler, László (1999). Millennium in Central Europe: A History of Hungary. Atlantisz Publishing House. ISBN 963-9165-37-9. 
  • Kristó, Gyula; Makk, Ferenc (1996). Az Árpád-ház uralkodói [Rulers of the House of Árpád] (in Hungarian). I.P.C. Könyvek. ISBN 963-7930-97-3. 
  • Steinhübel, Ján (2011). "The Duchy of Nitra". In Teich, Mikuláš; Kováč, Dušan; Brown, Martin D. Slovakia in History. Cambridge University Press. pp. 15–29. ISBN 978-0-521-80253-6. 
  • Tóth, Sándor László (1994). "Levente". In Kristó, Gyula; Engel, Pál; Makk, Ferenc. Korai magyar történeti lexikon (9–14. század) [Encyclopedia of the Early Hungarian History (9th–14th centuries)] (in Hungarian). Akadémiai Kiadó. p. 408. ISBN 963-05-6722-9. 
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