Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Elizabeth, seeking to live according to the Christian ideal, established the first orphanage for homeless children in Central Europe and actively cared for the poor and the unemployed.
Elizabeth of Hungary was born in Sárospatak in 1207 to King Andrew II of Hungary and Gertrud of Andechs-Meran. Her mother met a tragic death in 1213, when Hungarian conspirators had her murdered. Elizabeth’s two maternal uncles, Berthold, titular Patriarch of Aquileia, and Bishop Eckbert of Bamberg, who had played a role in the assassination of Philip of Swabia and sought refuge at the Hungarian court, were high ecclesiastics. In 1211, Hermann I, Landgrave of Thuringia, sent a delegation led by Knight Walter of Vargila to Pozsony to request the hand of Elizabeth in marriage for his son, Hermann. The landgrave probably wanted to restore his weakened social and financial resources through this marriage with the Hungarian royal family. He may also have hoped to rely on the support of the Eastern monarch in the deadly struggle between Otto of Brunswick and Frederick, the new papal protégé for the German throne. Bishop Eckbert may have suggested the plan, though it is possible that Otakar of Bohemia may have also tried to establish a triple alliance by including the King of Hungary. From another point of view, family ties between one of the leading noble families in the empire and the Hungarian court might...
(The entire section is 1940 words.)
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