Tomb of 2nd Hungarian King Likely Found by Archaeologists
Ábrahám Vass 2019.07.11.
Archaeologists have most likely found two-time reigning Hungarian king Péter Orseolo’s tomb in the crypt of the Cathedral of Pécs, wire service MTI reported.
The site’s leading archaeologist Zsolt Tóth said that they found the remains of a Roman cemetery building and the walls of the first cathedral- founded by Orseolo- built over it. And in this one, it is almost certain that the king’s first, original tomb has been excavated. He also stated that the bones were not found, as presumably, they had been placed later somewhere else in the crypt.
Director of Pécs’s Janus Pannonius Museum, Boldizsár Csornay reported that besides the king’s tomb, the findings were of outstanding scientific importance because it has now been revealed that the Christian religion and culture left imprints on this particular area since the 4th century.
The site of the excavation. Image by MTI/Tamás Sóki
After the death of Saint Stephen I’s son Imre in 1031, the king chose his nephew, Péter Orseolo as his heir. Interestingly, Péter Orseolo had twice been crowned the King of Hungary, first in 1038. In 1041 however, he had to flee the country due to internal conflicts. Thanks to the intervention and help of Holy Roman Emperor Henry III, he made it to the throne once again, ruling between 1044 and 1046. After a pagan uprising, he was captured by András I, his later successor, and was blinded, making him too unfit to rule. The exact time and cause of his death is still a matter of debate: some say he died after the blinding in 1046, some think he married and died more than a decade later, in 1059. He was laid to rest in Pécs’s St. Peter and St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was built by his order.
Péter’s reign is still a matter of controversy, as during his rule Hungary became a vassal of the Holy Roman Empire, which paved the way for future interests of the Empire, and is regarded by many as a contradiction to St. Stephen’s heritage.
featured image: Orseolo giving his royal lance to Henry III; via Chronicon Pictum (Wikiwand)