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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume IX: September. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

September 2

St. Stephen, King of Hungary, Confessor

        From his life written by Chartuiz and from the historians Bonfinius, in Hist. Hungar. l. 1. Hermannus Contractus, &c. See also Czuittinger, Specimen Hungariæ Litteratæ, p. 1, t. 1. The Elzivirian edit. of Resp. et Status Hungariæ, pp. 117, 154. Antonius Pagi in Baron. and Gabriel de juxta Hornad, L. De Initiis Religionis Christianæ inter Hungaros. Francofur. 1740.

A.D. 1038.

GEYSA, the fourth duke of the Hungarians, 1 by conversing with certain Christian captives, and afterwards with certain holy missionaries, as Piligrinus, bishop of Passaw, St. Wolfgand, bishop of Ratisbon, &c., or their disciples, became infinitely delighted with the sanctity of the maxims of our holy faith, and was convinced of its divine truth and original by the motives and arguments which are, as it were, the stamp which God has put upon his revelation in order to confirm it to us. And though he had reason to fear great disturbances from the ferocity of his people upon a change of religion, he despised such dangers, and was baptized together with his wife Sarloth, and several of his officers and courtiers. Sarloth was so penetrated with the wonderful mysteries of religion, and so strongly affected with the great ideas of eternity, that she walked in the paths of heroic perfection with a fervour not inferior to that of the saints. Being some time after with child, she was assured by St. Stephen, the protomartyr, in a dream, that she bore in her womb a son who should complete the work she and her husband had begun, and abolish idolatry in that nation. The child was born in 977, at Gran, the ancient Strigonium, at that time the metropolis of the country, and on account of the above-mentioned vision was christened Stephen. St. Adalbert, bishop of Prague, who for some time preached the gospel to the Hungarians, and, according to the German historians, baptized St. Stephen, had certainly no small share in the honour of his education; and Theodatus, an Italian count of singular piety, was his tutor; these two holy persons by their example and instructions were, under God, the great instruments of his future sanctity. Geysa died in 997, and Stephen, who had been chosen waywode—that is, leader of the army, or duke, some time before, then took the reins of the government into his hands.
  His first care was to settle a firm peace with all the neighbouring nations. This being done, he turned his thoughts wholly to root out idolatry, and as much as in him lay to make Christ reign in the hearts of all his subjects. Performing himself the part of a missionary, he often accompanied the preachers, and pathetically exhorted his people to open their eyes to the divine truth. Many, however, were so obstinately attached to the superstitions of their ancestors, as to take up arms in defence of idolatry; and having at their head a count of great interest and valour named Zegzard, with a numerous army, they laid siege to Vesprin. St. Stephen placed his confidence in the Lord of Hosts, and prepared himself for the engagement by fasting, almsdeeds, and prayer, invoking particularly the intercession of St. Martin and St. George. Though inferior to the rebels in the number of his forces, by the divine assistance, he gave them a total overthrow, and slew their leader. To give to God the entire glory of this victory, he built near the place where the battle was fought, a great monastery in honour of St. Martin, called the holy hill; and besides estates in land, he bestowed on it one-third part of the spoils. It is immediately subject to the holy see, and is called in Hungary the Arch-abbacy. St. Stephen having quelled the rebels, found himself at liberty to prosecute his design; which he did by inviting into his dominions many holy priests and religious men, who, by their exemplary lives and zealous preaching, sowed the seed of faith, civilized that savage nation by the precepts of the gospel, built churches and monasteries, and some of them obtained the crown of martyrdom.  2
  The zealous prince founded the archbishopric of Gran or Strigonium, and ten bishoprics, and sent Astricus, or Anastasius, the newly elected bishop of Coloctz, to Rome, to obtain of Pope Sylvester II. the confirmation of these foundations and of many other things which he had done for the honour of God and the exaltation of his holy church; and, at the same time, to beseech his holiness to confer upon him the title of king, which his subjects had long pressed him to assume, and which he now only asked to satisfy their desires, and that he might with more majesty and authority accomplish his great designs for promoting the glory of God, and the good of his people. Miceslas, duke of Poland, upon marrying a Christian princess, the daughter of Boleslas, duke of Bohemia, had embraced the faith in 965. About thirty-four years after this, he sent an embassy to Rome to obtain the title of king confirmed to him by the authority of the apostolic see. Sylvester II., who was then pope, was disposed to grant his request, and prepared a rich crown to send him with his blessing. 2 But the extraordinary zeal, piety, and wisdom of St. Stephen deserving the preference, his holiness delivered this crown for him to his ambassador Astric, together with the present of a cross, granting, by a special privilege, that it should be carried before him in his armies. At the same time he, by a bull, confirmed all the religious foundations which our holy prince had made, and the elections of the bishops. St. Stephen went to meet his ambassador upon his return, listened standing, with great respect, to the pope’s bulls whilst they were read, and fell on his knees as often as the name of his holiness was repeated. To express his profound sense of religion, and to inspire all his subjects with a holy awe for whatever belonged to the divine worship, he treated the pastors of the church with honour and respect. The same prelate who had brought the crown from Rome, anointed and crowned him king with great solemnity and pomp in the year 1000. 3  3
  The good prince, by a public act, and with extraordinary devotion, declared that he put all his dominions under the special patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and never ceased most earnestly offering his daily prayers to implore her powerful intercession for obtaining the divine blessing upon all his subjects. Whence, in many medals and coins of this kingdom, she is styled patroness of Hungary. It is incredible with what ardour the king exhorted his people, especially his domestics, to the practice of all virtues. With a view to propagate on earth the divine honour and praise beyond his own life, and to the end of time, he filled Hungary with pious foundations. At Alba he built a stately church in honour of the Mother of God, in which the kings of Hungary were afterwards both crowned and buried. This city St. Stephen made his usual residence, whence it is called Royal Alba, to distinguish it from Alba Julia, or Weissemberg, in Transylvania. He founded, in old Buda, the monastery of SS. Peter and Paul, and in Rome on mount Cœlio, the church of St. Stephen, with a college of twelve priests; also an inn and hospital on the Vatican-hill for the entertainment of Hungarian pilgrims; and he built a church at Jerusalem; not to mention the magnificent monastery of St. Bennet, and many other churches in Hungary. Throughout all his dominions he commanded tithes to be paid to the churches, though these are redeemed to this day in many places by the noblemen for a certain sum of money.  4
  St. Stephen, who would seek no alliance but by which piety might be strengthened in his realm and family, took to wife Gisela, sister to St. Henry, king of Germany, who was shortly after crowned emperor; and that holy prince admirably seconded and assisted our saint in all his pious designs. St. Stephen abolished many barbarous and superstitious customs derived from the ancient Scythians, and by severe punishments repressed blasphemy, murder, theft, adultery, and other public crimes. To put a stop to incontinence and idolatry he commanded all persons to marry, except religious and churchmen, and forbade all marriages of Christians with idolaters. He was of most easy access to people of all ranks, and listened to every one’s complaints without distinction or preference, except that he appeared most willing to hear the poor, knowing them to be more easily oppressed, and considering that in them we honour Christ, who being no longer among men on earth in his mortal state to receive from us any corporal services, has substituted and recommended to us the poor in his place and right. The good king provided for their subsistence throughout his whole kingdom, and took them, especially the helpless orphans and widows, under his special protection, declaring himself their patron and father. Not content with his general charities and care for all the indigent, he frequently went privately about to discover more freely the necessities of any who might be overlooked by his officers. One day it happened, that, whilst he was dealing about his plentiful alms in disguise, a troop of beggars set upon him, threw him down, beat him, plucked him by the beard and hair, and took away his purse, seizing for themselves what he intended for the relief of many others. The king esteemed himself happy to suffer in the service of his Redeemer, and addressed himself in these words to the Blessed Virgin: “See, O queen of heaven, in what manner I am requited by those who belong to your Son, my Divine Saviour. As they are his friends, I receive with joy this treatment from their hands.” He learned, however, from this accident no more to expose his person, but he renewed his resolution never to refuse an alms to any poor person who asked him. His nobles rallied him on this occasion; but he rejoiced in all humiliations, and God was pleased to testify how agreeable his sincere and heroic piety was, by conferring on him many extraordinary graces, with the gifts of prophecy and many miraculous cures.  5
  How difficult soever it may seem to practise extraordinary severities and humiliations in the midst of a court, and surrounded by the most flattering objects of softness and pride, where such gospel maxims are seldom heard, yet the extraordinary fervour of our saint found means for the exercise of both. He desired to serve and wash the feet of poor men in public; but the fear of giving offence to his subjects, whose minds were not yet framed to imbibe such ideas of a prince’s humility, made him only do it privately. He lost no part of his time in vain amusements or idle company; but divided himself between the duties of religion, and those of his station. To the former, he regularly allotted many hours every day; and the latter he sanctified by religious motives, and by the constant recollection of his soul. Thus, if he was not able always to praise God with his tongue, he did it without intermission by his life, all his actions being directed to the same point of God’s holy will and greater glory. His charitable and zealous application to all external duties of life, and to the government of his kingdom; his alms-deeds, mildness, temperance, patience, and other virtues, succeeding one another in their victories and repeated heroic acts, sanctified his whole life, and made it, as it were, one uninterrupted sacrifice to God. The least faults of frailty and inadvertence by which its perfection might be impaired, he laboured to expiate by daily penance and tears. The shining example of his virtue was a continual most powerful sermon to those who conversed with him. His happy influence over his children, was most sensible in the virtuous courses they pursued. St. Emeric, his eldest son, walked in his steps with so much fervour as to be in his youth the admiration of Christendom. Rising always at midnight he recited matins privately on his knees, pausing a little in devout meditation at the close of every psalm. Many wonderful things are related of his virtues and miracles; to comprise his character in one word, nothing could be more amiable, more pious, or more accomplished than this young prince. His father trained him up not only in the perfect practice of the most heroic piety, but also formed him in the art of government.  6
  St. Stephen’s excellent code of laws, to this day the basis of the laws of Hungary, are inscribed to his son, Duke Emeric. In fifty-five chapters the pious legislator has comprised the wisest and most holy regulations of the state. He pathetically exhorts his son to sincere humility (which he calls the sole exaltation of a king), to patience, meekness, assiduous and devout prayer, charity, compassion for the poor, the protection of all who are in distress, &c. He forbids, on pain of severe punishment, all grievous public crimes, especially of impiety and irreligion, as a violation of the Sunday or a fast-day, talking in the church, a culpable neglect to call in the priests to assist dying persons, &c. He commands the most religious respect to be paid to all holy things, and to the clergy. 4 These wholesome laws he caused to be promulgated throughout his dominions, and had them always most strictly observed; as on the exact execution of the laws the tranquillity of the state depends.  7
  The protection of his people engaged him sometimes in war, wherein he was always victorious. The prince of Transylvania, his cousin, invaded his dominions; St. Stephen defeated him in battle, and made him prisoner; yet gave him his liberty, and restored him his dominions, requiring of him this only condition, that the gospel should be allowed to be freely preached in them. The saint was never the aggressor in any war; that with the Bulgarians was obstinate; but they were at length overcome, and obliged to receive the laws which he prescribed them. There is no saint whose virtue is not exercised by tribulation. Sickness deprived St. Stephen of all his children. St. Emeric, the eldest was carried off the last. He had then begun to sustain a great part of the burden of the state, and to be both a comfort and an assistance to his father. The interest of the state, and that of the infant church of his kingdom, conspired with nature to make this stroke more severe; but the good king bore the loss with entire resignation, adoring in it the holy will of God. St. Emeric was canonized by Benedict IX. and is honoured among the saints on the 4th of November. This affliction weaned the king’s heart more and more from the world, and he desired, if it had been possible, to reserve to the care of his own soul the remaining part of his life, that, being freed from all worldly concerns, he might be preparing for his last passage. But, as the affairs of both the church and state did not allow this, he continued to endure the toil of business, knowing that he was accountable to God for the least neglect or omission in the particular duties of his station towards his Creator, his subjects, or himself. He endeavoured, however, to redouble his fervour in all his religious exercises, and applied himself particularly to those which are more immediately preparatory for a happy death, to which he principally directed his devotions and charities.  8
  Though brave and expert in war, he had always been a lover of peace; but, from this time, he took a resolution to spill no blood in war, in which he earnestly begged the interposition of Divine Providence, which did not fail him. For to hostilities he, after this, opposed no other arms than fasting, prayers, and tears, and by them alone was ever victorious. The Bessi, a fierce nation of Bulgarians, the most implacable enemies of the Hungarians, made a furious irruption into his territories; but moved with veneration for the sanctity of the holy king, they on a sudden repented of their enterprise, begged, and easily obtained his friendship, and returned peaceably home. St. Stephen, by an act of justice, caused some of his own subjects to be hanged on his frontiers, for having plundered them in their retreat. After the death of our saint’s good friend St. Henry, the emperor, his successor Conrad II. invaded Hungary with a powerful army in 1030, and advanced so far, that St. Stephen was compelled to lead out his army against him, though still trusting in God that the effusion of blood would be prevented. All things seemed to be disposed for a decisive battle when St. Stephen again recommended himself and his earnest desire of peace to the Blessed Virgin; and to the surprise of all men, the emperor on a sudden turned his back with his army, and without having executed any thing, marched home into Germany with as great precipitation as if he had been defeated.  9
  St. Stephen laboured three years under a complication of painful distempers. During this time four palatins, exasperated at the strict execution of justice which he caused to be observed, entered into a conspiracy to take away his life. One of them got into the king’s chamber in the night with a dagger under his cloak; but let it fall in a fright upon hearing the king ask who was there? Seeing himself discovered, he threw himself at the feet of his sovereign, and obtained his pardon; but his accomplices were executed. The saint perceiving that his last hour drew near, assembled his nobles, and recommended to them the choice of a successor, obedience to the Holy See, and the practice of Christian piety. He then again commended his kingdom to the patronage of the Blessed Virgin, and after having received the sacraments of penance, the viaticum, and extreme unction, happily expired on the feast of the Assumption of our Lady, the 15th of August, in 1038, being threescore years old, of which he had reigned forty-one from the death of his father, and thirty-eight from the time he had been crowned king. His sacred remains were honoured with miracles, and forty-five years after his death, by an order of the pope, at the request of the holy king St. Ladislas, were enshrined and placed in a rich chapel which bears his name within the great church of our Lady at Buda. He was canonized by Benedict IX. in the manner described by Benedict XIV. 5 Innocent XI. appointed his festival on the 2nd of September, in 1686, with an office of the whole church, the emperor Leopald having on that day recovered Buda out of the hands of the Turks, after many signal victories over those infidels. In Hungary his chief festival is kept on the 20th of August, the day of the translation of his relics.  10
  Virtue is the most excellent dignity, and the only good of rational beings, as St. Austin observes. 6 Genius, learning, power, riches, and whatever else a man enjoys are only good when made subservient to virtue. Hence the ancient Stoics called such external goods conveniences, not good things, because, said they, virtue alone deserves the name of good. 7 This is our glory, our riches, and our happiness in time and eternity. To acquire and continually improve in ourselves this inestimable treasure is the great business of our lives. Yet how careless are the generality of mankind in this particular! Many spare no pains to cultivate their minds with science, or to excel in accomplishments of the body, and in every qualification for the world, yet neglect to reform and regulate their heart. Half that attention which they give to their body or studies, would make them perfect in virtue. An hour, or half an hour a day, employed in holy meditation, pious reading, and self-examination would be of infinite service in this most important and noble study. This would teach us the divine maxims of virtue, inspire us with its sublime sentiments, and instruct us in its exercises; and a constant attention and watchfulness in all our actions would inure us to the practice, and ground us in perfect habits of it. Were we but thus to learn well one virtue every year, we should soon be perfect saints. Holy kings upon the throne never suffered any avocations or business to be an impediment to this earnest application to the science of a Christian. Virtue no sooner gains the empire in the hearts of men but it rules and sanctifies the whole circle of their actions, makes all the employments of their state an uninterrupted exercise of its various acts, and advances daily in fervour and perfection.  11
Note 1. The Huns, far the most numerous and famous of all the ancient barbarous nations, have subsisted above two thousand years, and are unquestionably the same people with the present inhabitants of Great Tartary, as is demonstrated by Joseph Assemani and Deguignes. Some of their colonies are at this day possessed of China, Corea, Japan, and several other kingdoms in the eastern parts of Asia; others, under the name of the Turkish tribes, seized on Persia, and still reign there; others, who have been called the Ottoman Turks, extinguished the power of the Saracen caliphs, to whom they left only a limited religious authority in matters relating to the Mahometan superstition, whilst upon the ruins of their monarchies in Syria and Egypt, and of the Grecian empire, they erected the present Ottoman empire. Other migrations of these Huns had the greatest share, next to the Goths, in the destruction of the Roman empire in the West. See Histoire Générale des Huns, des Turcs, des Mogols, et des autres Tartares Occidentaux, par M. Deguignes, Interprète du Roy pour les Langues Orientales, &c., 4to. in five tomes, Paris, 1756, 1757. In this work, the learned author has obliged the world with a new and original history of China, and these other Asiatic kingdoms, compiled with great care and judgment from the most authentic Chinese and Arabian histories and monuments.
  The ancient Huns were divided into Asiatic and European; the latter dwelt upon the banks of the Volga, and about the Palus Mœtis. The implacable hatred which the Goths bore them, and the difference of these Huns, both from the Goths and Normans, and from all the ancient German nations, both in complexion and the frame of the body, and in dress, manners, and language, demonstrate them to have been very different nations in their original foundation. The skins of beasts served the Huns for clothes with the fur turned outwards, as the Hungarians and Poles use to this day in their caps. The goodness and beauty of these skins or furs made the distinctive ornaments of their nobility, and the skins of martens (pelles murinæ) were sought after far and near. (See Helmoldus, Chron. Slav. l. 1, c. 1, and Jos. Assemani, Comm. in Kalend.) The Hungarian language is a dialect of that of the Huns, and differs equally from the Sclavonian and Teutonic. Ammianus Marcellinus, (l. 31, c. 2.) St. Jerom, (ep. Fab.) the Abbot Regino, the Annals of Metz. an. 889, &c., assure us the Huns and the Hungari came from Scythia beyond the Tanais, near the foot of Mount Caucasus. Zonaras, Cedrenus, Eurapolates, Jornandes, and Samocatta, call the Hungarians Huns and Turks. They therefore are mistaken, who with George Eccard (Franciæ Orient. l. 31, n. 82,) pretend that the Hungarians were of a Sclavonian or Sarmatian original.
  Attila, the famous leader of the Huns in their greatest European expedition, left them at his death, in 453, possessed of Pannonia. Soon after this country fell a prey to the Goths, called Gepidæ, and afterwards to the Hunni Abares, who were so called, according to Paulus Diaconus, from a king of that name. They were driven from their original seats near the Volga, by a tribe of the Turci, as Somocatta, Evagrius, and Theophanes mention; and broke into Pannonia together with the Longobardi, whose king was called Auduin. This prince’s son and successor Alboin, being invited by Narses into Italy, led thither the Longobardi in 568, leaving all Pannonia to their allies the Abares, as Paulus Diaconus relates, l. 1, de Gestis Longobard. Charlemagne extinguished the kingdom of the Lombards in Italy in 774, after it had lasted two hundred and six years under twenty-four kings; and also that of the Abares in Pannonia in 799, after a furious war of eight years’ continuance, in which all the princes and noblemen of that nation were slain, and most of the strong cities levelled with the ground, as Eginhard relates in the life of Charlemagne. From that time these Abares continued subject to the French or German empire till the invasion of the Hunni Iguri, Hunnoguri, or Hungari. See Jos. Assemani. (in Kalend. t. 1, par. 2, c. 6.) These were another nation of the Huns, so called, either from Ogor their leader, or from their country Iguria, the same that is at present known by the name of Jura, as Hebersteinius (Rer. Muscow. Comm. p. 63,) proves from the languages, manners, and many customs of the two nations at this day. This province lies beyond the Hyperborean mountains, many miles from Moscow, from the coasts of the frozen ocean towards Siberia, to Mount Caucasus, as we learn from Paulus Jovius (l. de legatione ad Muscovit. p. 123,) and from Gaugnini, who lived many years a commanding officer in those parts. (In descript. Muscoviæ, p 167.) These Hungarians were driven from that country about the year 680, by a numerous swarm of the Patzinacitæ from the borders of Asia; and after wandering some years in the deserts about the Danube, where they lived by fishing, hunting, and plundering other countries, they gathered all their strength, and entering Pannonia in 889, defeated the imperial forces, subdued the Hunni Abares, and settled themselves in that country, as the annals of Metz and those of St. Bertin relate. (See Joseph Assemani Comm. in Kalendar. Univ. t. 3, p. 2, c. 2, p. 220.) De Peysonnel, who was long French Consul in Crim Tartary, and afterwards at Smyrna, and travelled over all these countries to make observations on their antiquities, remarks, that the Hungarians, though surrounded with nations most of which derive their dialects from the Sclavonian or old Sarmatian, use a language which has no affinity with it, or with any other known language in the world, except a sensible analogy with the Circassian, spoken from the sea of Asoph to the Caspian sea. The Turks also acknowledge an affinity between their language and the Hungarian, and call the Hungarians their brothers. This is to be understood of the original words of their primitive language; for the modern Turkish is chiefly composed of Persic and Arabic, as may be seen in the modern dictionaries of the Turkish language, printed at Vienna, principally that by Miniski of the Arabian, Persian, and Turkish languages, at Vienna, in 1680, and reprinted at London by the care of Mr. Jones of Oxford, in 1771. These Hungari are called by some of the Byzantine historians, Magiars and Turks, which word signifies any vagabond people. The ancient Scythians were in the middle ages called Huns, and often Turks; which names they changed at home in later times into that of Tartars, this last denomination being derived from the name of a famous great king Tatar or Tartar, who reigned among them in Asia, and gave his name first to a particular tribe among them near the confines of China. (See the new Universal History, t. 20, Jos. Assemani (loc. cit.) et Peysonnel Observ. Hist. et Geogr. in 4to. Paris, 1763.) Jo. Pray, Annales Hunnorum, Avarum et Hungarorum, Viennæ, 1770. fol. 4 vol.
  Arpadus was leader and general of the Hungarians, when they settled in Pannonia, from whom St. Stephen was the fifth in a lineal descent. Constantine Porphyrogenetta (c. 40, 41,) describes the boundaries of their conquests and kingdom to have been on the East Bulgaria and the Patzinacitæ, who about the same time made themselves masters of the country towards the mouth of the Danube and north to Valachia and Transylvania; on the west Moravia, where then reigned Sphendoplocus; and beyond Belgrade the Dalmatians. (See Joannes Eberhardi Fischeri Questiones Academicæ. 1. De Origine Hungarorum. 2. De Gente et Nomine Tartarorum. 3. De Nominibus variis Imperii Sinensis. 4. De Hyperboreis, Gottingæ, 8vo.) Abulgasi informs us, that the original Tatars or Tartars inhabited the country near the lake Boronor, now Kokoner, between the sandy deserts of Gobi and Tibet, mentioned by Du Halde. Boro and Koko have almost the same signification in the language of the Kalmouks, the present inhabitants of that region, the descendants of these most ancient of the Tartars. The white Tartars, who are employed by the Chinese in keeping their wall, are a different people, inhabit the country from the eastern coast of the Caspian sea to the borders of Siberia, speak the Turkish language, and are Turks or Huns. All these were called Scythians. The great conqueror Gingiskan, or rather Diskinchis-kan, was not a Tartar, but from Mogol. With an army partly of Indians from Mogol, but chiefly of Tartars, of two millions of men, he overran all the East, as the Armenian, Persic, and Arabic Annals inform us. (Ib. Disquis. 2.) See F. Desericius, De Initiis et majoribus Hungarorum, Budæ, 1748; and Deguignes, Hist. des Huns, l. 6, p. 512. [back]
Note 2. The Poles, Bohemians, Dalmatians, and Istrians, are originally Sclavonians, who seized those countries in several migrations. The ancient country of the Slavi or Slavonians lay in certain provinces of that part of Sarmatia which is at present called Great Russia, or Muscovy, as Joseph Assemani shows, (t. 1, part 2, c. 5, p. 292.) See D’Anville, p. 32. These Slavi were a people very different from the rest of the Scythians called Huns, no less than from the Goths, as the same learned author proves, (ib. c. 8, et t. 2, c. 9,) though the Slavi have been sometimes confounded with the Hunni. Lechus led a numerous colony of these Slavonians into Poland, became the founder of that nation, and built Genesna about the year 550. His brother Zechus settled another colony of the same people in Bohemia, expelling hence the Marcomanni who in the reign of Augustus had subdued the Boii, a nation which had been possessed of that country five or six hundred years, and whose name it still retains. (ibid.) Miceslas duke of Poland died in the year 999, whilst his ambassadors were at Rome. His son and successor Boleslas I. surnamed Chabri or the Great, took the title of king of Poland in the year 1000, and was acknowledged in that quality by the Emperor Otho III., the pope, &c. This prince vanquished the Bohemians and Moravians, subdued Red Russia, took Kiow, and raised Poland to that pitch of grandeur which it has ever since maintained, and which received a great accession in 1316, by the marriage of Jagello, called afterwards Uladislas V. duke of Lithuania, with Hedwige, heiress of Poland. [back]
Note 3. This is expressly affirmed by Ditmar, Turoczius, and all contemporary writers, and demonstrated by Stilting, § 19, p. 504, et § 20, p. 507, against Schwartzius and some other Protestants. The salutary laws which St. Stephen enacted, and which were confirmed in a general assembly of the bishops and noblemen of his kingdom, are recorded by Stilting, § 34, p. 547, and others. [back]
Note 4. Decreto 2, c. 4; Decreto 1, c. 2, 3. [back]
Note 5. L. 1, De Servorum Dei Beatific. et Canoniz. c. 41. [back]
Note 6. L. 19, De Civ. Dei, c. 3, p. 544. [back]
Note 7. Ib. l. 9, c. 4, p. 220. [back]