The Roles and Loyalties of the Bishops and Archbishops of Dalmatia (1102–1301)
This paper deals with the roles of archbishops and bishops of Dalmatia who were either Hungarian or had close connections with the Hungarian royal court. The analysis covers a relatively long period, beginning with the coronation of Coloman as king of Croatia and Dalmatia (1102) and concluding with the end of the Árpád dynasty (1301). The length of this period not only enables me to examine the general characteristics of the policies of the court and the roles of the prelates in a changing society, but also allows for an analysis of the roles of the bishopric in different spheres of social and political life. I examine the roles of bishops and archbishops in the social context of Dalmatia and clarify the importance of their activities for the royal court of Hungary. Since the archbishops and bishops had influential positions in their cities, I also highlight the contradiction between their commitments to the cities on the one hand and the royal court on the other, and I examine the ways in which they managed to negotiate these dual loyalties.
First, I describe the roles of the bishops in Dalmatian cities before the rule of the Árpád dynasty. Second, I present information regarding the careers of the bishops and archbishops in question. I also address aspects of the position of archbishop that were connected to the royal court. I focus on the role of the prelates in the royal entourage in Dalmatia, their importance in the emergence of the cult of the dynastic saints, and their role in shaping royal policy in Dalmatia. I concentrate on the aforementioned bishops, but in certain cases, such as the examination of the royal entourage or the spread of cults, I deal with other, non-Hungarian bishops of territories that were under Hungarian rule. This general analysis is important because it provides an opportunity for a more nuanced understanding of the bishopric role and helps highlight the importance of the Hungarian bishops, who constitute the main subject of this essay.
Keywords: Church history, Dalmatia, roles of bishops, Kingdom of Hungary, royal policy
Stephen II, the last descendant of the Croatian royal dynasty, died in 1091 without an heir. After his death, the Hungarian king Ladislas I (1077–95) attempted to acquire rule over Croatia and Dalmatia during a chaotic period in which different groups fought for the throne of Croatia. The Hungarian king had family ties to the late king of Croatia and Dalmatia, Zvonimir, as Ladislas’ sister was his wife. Ladislas managed to take hold of part of Croatia, but an attack by the Cumans against Hungary hindered his advances in Croatia and Dalmatia in 1091.1 That year, he made Álmos, his nephew, king of Croatia and Dalmatia, but Álmos’ rule was probably only titular, and his title symbolized the aspiration of the Árpád dynasty to assert its rule more than it did the Árpáds’ actual control of the territory.2
The Hungarian kings did not attempt to seize Croatia and Dalmatia in the following few years mostly because Ladislas I died (1095). Furthermore, the first crusade went through Hungary (1096) and King Coloman (1095–16) had to deal with internal affairs.3 The struggle of the Árpád dynasty to establish its rule over this region ended with the victory of King Coloman. First he led his army to Croatia, where he defeated Peter, who had claimed the throne of Croatia in 1097. After his victory, Coloman struggled with internal affairs, so he could not confront Venice. The internal and external circumstances let Coloman reassert his rule over the region, and he was crowned king of Croatia and Dalmatia in Biograd in 1102.4
Coloman seized Zadar, Šibenik, Split, Trogir, and the islands in 1105, three years after his coronation.5 The king of Hungary had to contend with Venice for control of the coastal lands, and the Italian city state attacked and a year later seized the part of Dalmatia that was under the rule of Coloman’s son, Stephen II (1116–31). The king tried to recapture the coastal territories in 1118, but he failed, compelling him to make peace with Venice for five years.6 When the five years of the peace had elapsed, the king of Hungary led an army to Dalmatia in 1124 and seized control of north and central Dalmatia, except for Zadar. The success was only temporary, because Venice retook these lands in 1125.7
King Béla II (1131–41) was active in Dalmatia, since he seized Central Dalmatia in 1135/36. He probably also captured certain Bosnian lands during this military campaign. The relationship between Dalmatia and Hungary changed significantly during the first years of Stephen III’s (1162–72) reign. He was constantly at war with Byzantium between 1162 and 1165. Manuel I Comnenos, the Byzantine emperor, seized Central Dalmatia, and his ally, Venice, captured Zadar by 1165.8 Stephen III tried to restore his rule in 1166/67, and he managed to maintain control over Šibenik and the surrounding territories for a short time. The emperor seized this land again in 1167.9
When Manuel died in 1180, King Béla III (1172–96) took control of the territory again. First, he captured Central Dalmatia in 1181. A year later, Zadar also fell under Hungarian rule. Venice tried to seize the city in 1187 and 1192/93, but the attacks were unsuccessful. After Béla III’s death, his son Emeric succeeded him. He had to struggle with his brother for rule. Duke Andrew defeated him in Mački (Slavonia) in 1197, and he maintained control over Croatia, Dalmatia and a part of Hum between 1197 and 1204.10 The fight with Venice continued in 1204 when the Italian city seized Zadar during the fourth crusade. King Béla IV (1235–70) attempted to retake the city in 1242, but he was defeated in 1244, and Zadar remained under Venetian rule throughout the rest of the period under discussion.11 After the death of Béla IV, royal power weakened in Hungary and groups of noblemen competed for rule, using the young king, Ladislas IV (1272–89). The kings of Hungary did not pay much attention to Dalmatia. After the death of Béla IV, in all likelihood no Hungarian king visited the coastal territories. The lack of royal power also let the local elites strengthen their authority, and this period was the time when the Šubić noble family took the control over a great part of North and Central Dalmatia.
The Role of the (Arch)bishops in Dalmatia before the Rule of the Árpáds
Before launching into an analysis of the role of bishops in royal policy, it is important to consider the roles that bishops had before the beginning of the rule of the Árpáds in Dalmatia. The bishops and archbishops played important roles in the cities in the tenth and eleventh centuries, since they took part both in the ecclesiastical and the secular lives of their communities. They had important positions in the secular administration of the cities and in their foreign affairs as well. The cities often sent the bishops to serve as diplomats, such as in case of the negotiations before King Coloman entered Dalmatian cities in 1105.12 Their role was based on the landholdings of the Church, which were acquired by donations and purchases.13 The charters were dated by the bishops’ tenure of office. Even as early as the tenth and eleventh centuries, in municipal documents their names were given honorary mention after the kings or princes and before the cities’ priors and other magistrates. They were members of the decision-making assemblies and witnesses to or issuers of the charters in internal affairs. The bishops seem to have taken part in the resolution of all questions that required the judgment of the magistrates. They promoted the founding and the defense of monasteries, and they were members of the city council. The Croatian royal dynasty, the Tripimirović dynasty, also maintained very close relationships with the cities’ bishops. The Croatian rulers gave donations to the Church as early as the ninth century, but with increasing intensity as of the mid-tenth century.14 The bishops had very important roles in diplomacy, especially in communication between the cities and their rulers.15
The Bishops and Archbishops
The majority of the (arch)bishops under discussion in this study belonged to the archbishopric of Split. When the city was under the rule of the kings of Hungary, the Church of Split always had Hungarian archbishops or archbishops who had close ties to the royal court. The first Hungarian archbishop of Split, Manasses (cc. 1113–16), was a nobleman. He became the archbishop of the city around 1113, and his tenure in office came to an end when Venice seized Split in 1116.16 When King Béla II recaptured Split in 1136, Gaudius (1136–53) became the archbishop of the city, and he belonged to the elite of Split.17 According to Thomas the Archdeacon, he had close ties to the kings of Hungary.18 His tenure in office ended when he consecrated the bishop of Trogir uncanonically, and Pope Eugen III removed him from the administration of his orders in 1153.19 It should be mentioned that in official documents Gaudius was referred to as the archbishop of Split until 1158.20 While Gaudius was still alive, a Hungarian prelate, Absalom (1159–61), was elected as the archbishop of the city instead of him.21 When he died, he was succeeded by Peter Lombard (1161–66), who was the former bishop of Narni.22 As Split came under the rule of Byzantium, the city had archbishops appointed by Pope Alexander III.23 When Béla III took back the city, he insisted on the former custom of the election of the archbishops.24 A certain Peter, who was a member of the Kán family (one of the most powerful families in Hungary, with close ties to the southwestern part of the country),25 became the archbishop around 1185, a position he held until 1190.26 When he left Split and became the archbishop of Kalocsa, he was succeeded by another Peter (1191–96), who was the former abbot of the monastery of Saint Martin in Pannonhalma.27
When Duke Andrew and King Emeric were fighting for the throne of Hungary, the former stayed in Dalmatia for a relatively long period in 1197 and 1198, when he seized control of part of Hum. Andrew not only exerted an influence on the secular life of the region, he also made decisions in ecclesiastical cases. While the kings of Hungary did not order the direct election of a certain bishop or archbishop in Dalmatia, Andrew intended to install loyal archbishops in Split and Zadar. He wanted to win the support of the cities against his brother, so he gave ducal grants to the Church more often than had been done in the past, and he tried to influence the cities through his own prelates.28 Andrew ordered a certain A. to be the archbishop of Split and Nicolas, the former bishop of Hvar, to be the archbishop of Zadar.29 Regarding the archbishop of Split, we know only the first letter of his name and that he was the leader of the city’s Church for a short time, because Pope Celestin III ordered Bishop Dominic of Zagreb, Archbishop Saul of Kalocsa and Bishop Hugrin of Győr to investigate the ducal elections in 1198. The results of the investigation were clear, since, following the death of Celestin, Pope Innocent III, excommunicated both of the elected archbishops.30 The archbishopric see of Split became vacant after the excommunication, and it remained so until 1200. The first document to make mention of the vacancy of the archbishopric of Zadar was a letter issued on March 2, 1201.31
Duke Andrew held Dalmatia, Croatia and a part of Hum under his rule during the fight with King Emeric,32 so when Bernard of Perugia (cc. 1200–1217), the former educator of Emeric, became the archbishop of Split in 1200, this was supposed to be a huge help and advantage for the king.33 According to Thomas the Archdeacon, Bernard was loyal to Emeric, and he was never hostile towards Duke Andrew and served his interests as well. He was a learned prelate who fought against heretics in Bosnia and Dalmatia. Bernard died in 1217, when King Andrew II was leading a crusade and staying in Split.34 The king asked the citizens and the clergy to elect his candidate for archbishop, a certain Alexander the physician, but they refused him.35 In the course of the following two years, the archbishopric see was empty in Split. There is mention in the available sources of a certain “Slavac”36 and at least six other archbishop-elects, but either they were not confirmed or they did not want to become archbishops.37 When Andrew II returned from the crusade, Guncel (1219–1242) was elected as the leader of the archbishopric in Split. He was a member of the Kán family and, more importantly, he was related to Nicholas, ban of Slavonia (1213, 1219, 1229–1235),38 who helped him become the archbishop of Split.39 Guncel died in 1242, around the time of the Mongol invasion of Hungary. The citizens and the clergy of Split elected Stephen, the bishop of Zagreb.40 He was a member of the Hahót-Buzád family, another important noble family from southwestern Hungary, and he fled from Hungary with King Béla IV and other magnates during the Mongol invasion. When he was in Split, the citizens and clergy elected him archbishop, but he was never confirmed.41 He was followed by Hugrin (1244–48), another Hungarian prelate from the rich and powerful Csák family. His uncle, also called Hugrin, was the former archbishop of Kalocsa, and the family was also connected to southwestern Hungary.42 He served both as the archbishop of Split and the count of the city, appointed by Béla IV.43 When he died, the suffragans of the archbishopric of Split elected a certain Friar John (1248–49) as archbishop.44 In the following year, Pope Innocent IV promoted Roger of Apulia (1250–66) instead of John and sent him to Split. These two prelates were exceptional, because they were elected without the Hungarian kings’ counsel or consent. Thomas the Archdeacon mentions that Béla IV was displeased by this.45 The last archbishop to serve in the period in question was John (1266–94), who was a member of Hahót-Buzád family, like Stephen, the former archbishop-elect of Split and bishop of Zagreb.
During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, there were only three consecrated archbishops and eight archbishop-elects who were elected without the kings’ participation in Split. When Split was under the rule of Byzantium, Girard of Verona and Rainer were the archbishops of the city. A certain Slavac and six unknown archbishops were elected between 1217 and 1219, when Andrew II went on a crusade. A certain John was elected by the suffragans of the archbishopric after Hugrin died in 1248, but he was never consecrated. The last exception is Roger of Apulia, who was elected through the intervention of Pope Innocent IV in 1250.
The archbishopric of Split was probably the most important ecclesiastical center for the kings of Hungary, because this archbishopric was the metropolitan see of almost all of the lands under Hungarian rule in the Eastern Adriatic. In addition to the archbishopric of Split, other ecclesiastical centers also frequently had Hungarian bishops. Samson became the bishop of Nin in 1242, and he served until his death in 1269.46 In all likelihood, King Béla IV had been able to exert some influence on his election to the position, because Nin had a strategically important position near Zadar, when the latter city fell under Venetian rule in 1244. His name is mentioned in five charters.47 Two of them were confirmations of the royal privileges of the city of Nin48 and one was a confirmation of Ban Roland about a grant to the Church.49 He was given land by King Béla IV while he was the bishop of Nin, an estate referred to as Lepled in Somogy County.50 The bishopric of Senj had two bishops of Hungarian origin in the thirteenth century. Thomas the Archdeacon mentioned John, but this is the only reference to his tenure in office. The available sources indicate only that he was appointed by Archbishop Guncel and he was Hungarian.51 The other bishop of Senj was Borislav, who is mentioned in charters from 1233 and 1234.52 The dearth of sources does not allow us to draw many conclusions regarding the lives of these bishops, but it is reasonable to assume that the important geographical position of Senj drew the attention of leaders, secular and ecclesiastical, to the Church of the city. Senj was important because one of the most important medieval roads to Dalmatia went through it, and also because the lands that were under Venetian rule were situated in Northern Dalmatia. Thomas Archdeacon also mentioned a certain John whom Archbishop Guncel of Split wanted to appoint before his death in 1242.53 Trogir had two bishops who were connected somehow to the royal court. However, it is also worth mentioning the name of Treguan (1206–1254), who followed Bernard of Perugia from Hungary to Split. Later, he was asked to be the bishop of Trogir, but he was different from the other bishops under discussion. His election was not influenced by the royal court, and while he served as the leader of the Church of Trogir, he was not given this position simply because he was close to the king. The second bishop was Stephen, a former canon from Zagreb County, who held office between 1277 and 1282.54
The Election of the Bishops and Archbishops
The dearth of sources makes it difficult to draw any far reaching conclusions regarding the process of the election of each of the bishops and archbishops in question. The diplomatic sources provide little information about the elections, especially in the twelfth century. Only Thomas the Archdeacon gave a detailed description of the process in Split during the period under examination, up until 1266. But it should be noted that he was an eyewitness to these events only between 1217 and 1249, since he was born at the beginning of the thirteenth century and died in 1268.55 I will focus primarily on the elections that took place in Split during this time.
The election of the archbishops and bishops in Dalmatia was not merely an ecclesiastical matter in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Both the laity and the clergy took part in the process, because the bishops of the cities were involved in secular administration and had considerable influence on the life of the city. The election of the prelates was a communal decision which sometimes resulted in arguments between the chapter of Split and the laity.56 Split had the right to elect its own archbishop, a privilege that was confirmed by the kings of Hungary as well.57 In spite of this, the Church of Split always had an archbishop with a close relationship to Hungary when the city was under the rule of the Árpáds, and the royal court influenced the decision. How can one explain this apparent contradiction between the privilege of the city on the one hand to elect its own archbishop and the fact, on the other, that Hungarian archbishops were consistently elected? It order to arrive at an understanding of this, it is important to analyze the election of the archbishops who were contemporaries of Thomas and to whose election he himself was a witness.
Archbishop Guncel was elected in 1219 after a period of two years, during which at least seven archbishops were elected but never received the pallium (the ecclesiastical vestment that in earlier centuries was bestowed by the pope on metropolitans and primates to indicate the authorities granted them by the Holy See). Prior to his election, the chapter of Split did not agree about the new archbishop, and some of the canons led by Peter the deacon sought to elect a Hungarian archbishop to ensure the favor of the king towards the Church and the city. In spite of the protest of the other part of the chapter, which wanted to elect a prelate from amongst themselves, the citizens and the clergy elected Guncel.58 His appointment and election were supported by Ban Gyula of the Kán family, a relative of Guncel, who sent a letter to the city in support of Guncel’s election.59 This kind of support from the Hungarian elite was not unusual, or more precisely from the bans of Slavonia. When the bishopric see of Trogir was vacant in 1274, Ban Henrik wrote a letter to Trogir to attempt to convince them to elect Thomas, who was part of his retinue.60
When Guncel died, the laity and the clergy decided to elect Bishop Stephen of Zagreb, who was in Split because he had followed King Béla IV during the Mongol invasion.61 A year later, he withdrew from the election. The canons, together with Franciscan and Dominican friars, tried to elect a new archbishop, without the participation of the laity. The new archbishop was Thomas the Archdeacon himself. This was the first attempt of the chapter to hold an election in which only the canons and the clergy were allowed to take part. The whole process came to a close at the beginning of the fourteenth century, and the chapter succeeded in electing the archbishops without the participation of the laity.62 The community protested against this new process. A general assembly was convened and they threatened the clergy with possible sanctions if the laity were to be excluded from the election.63 Around that time, war had broken out between Split and Trogir, and King Béla IV supported the latter. As a result of the royal support, Split sent envoys to the king, who asked them to elect Hugrin, the former provost of Čazma, as the new archbishop. Under pressure from the laity, the chapter finally elected Hugrin, who was also appointed by the king to be the count of Split.64 After the death of Hugrin, the laity did not take part in the election of a certain Friar John and Roger of Apulia. The former was elected by the chapter and the suffragans of the archbishopric, and Roger was appointed by the pope with the disapproval of the king, who later criticized the failure to obtain royal consent as part of the process of the election.65 Indications of direct royal influence in the aforementioned elections can be found only in the case of the election of Hugrin.
These elections, the diplomatic sources, and the earlier parts of Thomas’s work reveal a few major characteristics regarding influence of the Hungarian court on the processes of the elections. First, the election of an archbishop who was close to the royal court was not only in the kings’ interest. Since archbishops played a major role in the city’s diplomatic affairs, it was necessary to have someone who would be able to curry the favor of the court. Second, the election of the bishops with the participation of the clergy and the laity was not the practice in the Kingdom of Hungary, where the kings influenced the election of the prelates.66 Third, the process of the election could become customary during the period under examination. Until the mid-thirteenth century, when the archbishopric became vacant, a general assembly was convened in which the clergy and the laity decided about the archbishop.67 The role of the king during the election probably can be found in the description of Thomas the Archdeacon of King Béla IV’s second visit to Split. Thomas mentioned that King Béla IV was angry when he visited Split because of the circumstances of Roger’s election. He claimed that the city should have asked for his consent, and the archbishop should have been someone from the Hungarian Kingdom.68 The unwritten rule of the election of an archbishop from Hungary and the necessity of making a request for the king’s consent probably became a custom by the last decades of the twelfth century at the latest. Probably both were part of the process in the case of the archbishopric election at the beginning of the 1180s. In 1181, Pope Alexander III ordered King Béla III not to intervene in the election of the archbishop, because the city had the right to elect its own prelate.69 The king probably tried and later managed to enforce the royal custom, because Peter became the archbishop of Split.
Some understanding of the legal situation in Hungary also sheds light on the contradiction between the privilege of Split on the one hand and the influence exerted by the court in Hungary on the elections on the other. First, as noted, the process by which the archbishops were elected in Split was unknown in the Kingdom of Hungary. Second, the royal privilege of towns to elect their own archbishops, a privilege that was confirmed by the kings, did not exist in Hungary.70 Third, the unwritten custom law was strong during the period under examination, and it was more important than the written word in Hungary.71 These three elements and the natural interests of Split in currying the favor of the court explain the apparent (but only apparent) contradiction: the city and the royal court had common interests with regards to the office of the archbishop. The main conflict of interest existed not between the king and Split during the majority of the period, but lay rather between the aspirations of the chapter of Split (or a certain part of the chapter) and the city, because the former sought to elect a local archbishop from amongst themselves, while the city’s and kings’ political interests led to the election of the aforementioned bishops. This does not mean that the city and the kings never had arguments about the elections (indeed this probably took place in 1181 and in 1217), but at least until the mid-thirteenth century the election of a new archbishop was not merely a matter of the interests of the kings.
Moreover, the nobility which had a strong position in southwestern Hungary, was also able to influence the elections, and not merely in the case of the archbishopric of Split. Many of the archbishops of Split belonged to noble families, such as the Csák, Kán, and Hahót-Buzád families, and in two cases the bans of Slavonia tried to convince cities to elect relatives or beneficiaries of their sympathies. This took place for the first time in Split in 1219 and for the second time in Trogir in 1274. Alongside the archbishops of Split, there were other bishops in Dalmatia who were Hungarian. The election of these bishops could be influenced by the archbishopric of Split, because they all belonged to its metropolitan see. The royal court and the Hungarian magnates could also influence the events, and this may have been another factor, alongside the desire of the cities to have Hungarian bishops, that prompted the election of figures with ties to Hungary, but the dearth of sources do not allow us to draw any far-reaching conclusions.72
Dalmatian Bishops in the Royal Entourage
Regular and occasional visits to Dalmatia had several functions for the kings and dukes of Hungary. The personal presence and related representative acts could have functioned as means of securing and expressing the rule of the kings over the region symbolically.73 Their solemn presence, supported by the royal army and the entourage (including high magnates and prelates from the kingdom), was visual proof of the presence of royal power in Dalmatia. The king was surrounded by bishops and archbishops, and secular leaders were also part of his entourage.74 When the kings or the dukes of Croatia and Dalmatia visited the coastal territories, their entourages not only played practical roles, but also had representative and symbolic functions. The decisions regarding the people who accompanied the kings and dukes during their visits from the kingdom were important, as were the decisions concerning who, from the local region, joined their retinues. In this part of this essay, I examine the royal entourage, and especially the role of the Dalmatian bishops and archbishops in it.
King Coloman definitely visited Dalmatia in 1102, 1105, 1108, and 1111. During his visits, several prelates and high officials followed him to the new territory of the kingdom. In 1102, he was accompanied by, at the very least, the bishops of Eger and Zagreb.75 Three years later, in 1108, several counts, the count palatine, and the archbishop of Esztergom accompanied him.76 In 1111, the archbishops of Esztergom and Kalocsa, the bishops of Vác, Pécs, Veszprém, Győr, and Várad (Oradea), several counts, the count palatine, and other noblemen and prelates were among Coloman’s entourage from the kingdom, more precisely from the territory of the kingdom not including the recently seized lands.77 There is not much information regarding the officials and prelates who followed the king from Dalmatia during Coloman’s reign. In 1105, at the very least Archbishop Gregory of Zadar and Cesar the count of the city were with him when he entered and stayed in Zadar.78 After Coloman’s death, one can assume that Béla II and Géza II also visited Dalmatia. The latter probably traveled to Dalmatia at least once in 1142.79 The archbishops of Esztergom and Kalocsa and the bishops of Veszprém, Zagreb, Győr, Pécs, and Csanád were with Béla II in Dalmatia.
Stephen III probably also visited this territory around 1163, and he was accompanied by local bishops from Nin, Skradin, and Knin, the count of Split, and other secular officials of the region in 1163. The charter that was issued that year was the first source that provided information about the “Dalmatian” entourage of the kings. During the conflict between King Emeric and Duke Andrew, the latter spent a relatively long time in Dalmatia in 1198 and 1200. Andrew had his own court, including a ban, while the king also appointed his own officials to Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia, so the number of office-holders doubled between 1197 and 1200.80 In addition to the members of his own court, Duke Andrew was accompanied by the prelates and secular leaders of Dalmatia, including the archbishop-elect of Zadar, the archbishop of Split, the bishops of Knin and Skradin, and the count of Split and Zadar.81 When Andrew II led a crusade and visited Dalmatia in 1217, he was accompanied by the magnates from Hungary and the bishops of Dalmatia, who surrounded the king during his visits in Dalmatian towns. Later, Duke Béla and Duke Coloman were also escorted by Guncel (the archbishop of Split), the bishops of the region, and the local secular elite when they visited Dalmatia in 1225 and 1226.82 The entourages during the period in question included both the highest elite from Hungary and the Dalmatian archbishops and bishops, together with the secular leaders of the region. The role of the Church was significant during these visits. Hungarian and Dalmatian prelates surrounded the kings, and this entourage may have created a sacral atmosphere around the rulers of the land. Moreover, when the kings and dukes made solemn entries into Dalmatian cities during the period under examination, the archbishops and bishops of the coastal region played an important role in the ceremonies. Duke Andrew made ceremonious entries into Trogir in 1200 and Split in 1217 as king, and the accounts of these events are the most detailed sources regarding these solemn occasions. In both cases, the duke and the king were surrounded and escorted by the local bishops, and they led him into the cities, while the secular elite did not play any significant role comparable to that of the prelates.
The Bishops and the Cult of Saint Stephen of Hungary in Dalmatia
The cult of saints of the royal dynasty could be used to legitimize the new ruling dynasty in Croatia and symbolize royal power over the lands. One of the two sources that testify to the appearance of the cult of saints of the Árpád dynasty in Dalmatia can be connected to the archbishopric of Split. A capsella reliquiarum was found during the archeological excavations in Kaštel Gomilica between 1975 and 1977 at the church of Saints Cosmas and Damian.83 This territory is situated a few kilometers from Split, and the church was built in the mid-twelfth century. The foundation and construction of the edifice can be connected to two archbishops of Split who were connected to the royal court of Hungary. Archbishop Gaudius launched the construction and Absalom, the archbishop-elect, consecrated the church in 1160.84 The most interesting part of this church from the perspective of the focus of this essay is the aforementioned capsella reliquiarum, which contains the following inscription:
HIC SVNT RELIQUI/E · SCE MARIE VIR/GINIS SCCS MA/RTIRV · COSME · / ET DAMIANI / ET SCI STEFA/NI REGIS··85
According to this source, the cult of Saint Stephen of Hungary appeared in Split relatively soon after the coronation of Coloman. The spread of the cult of the dynastic saint was more significant in Slavonia, but it also had some influence in the coastal lands.86 Promotion of the dynastic cult was an important part of the symbolic royal policy, and the appearance of the cult of Saint Stephen was probably connected to the role of the (arch)bishops in royal policy. Saint Stephen’s relic could have been brought to Split either by Gaudius or Absalom, because according to Thomas the Archdeacon Gaudius enjoyed the favor of the king.87
The reliquary in Kaštel Gomilica is not the only piece of evidence indicating the early appearance of the cult of Saint Stephen in Dalmatia. In Knin, a bishopric that belonged to the metropolitan province of the archbishopric of Split, a church that was dedicated to Saint Stephen of Hungary was probably built during the twelfth or the thirteenth century.88 Since the first written piece of evidence regarding this church is from the fourteenth century, one can assume but not conclude with certainty that this church belonged to the early period of Hungarian rule in this territory. The construction of a church in Knin dedicated to St. Stephen, a city that had served as the center of the Croatian bishopric (episcopus Chroatensis) as of 1078, could have been a symbolic gesture of considerable importance.89 It is impossible to reconstruct the exact role of the bishops of Knin in the spread of the cult of St. Stephen, but it can be assumed that the role of the Church was significant, as it was in the case of the archbishopric of Split.
The Archbishops and Bishops of Dalmatia between the Cities and the Royal Court
Most of the Hungarian bishops in Dalmatia were connected to the archbishopric of Split, because it was the ecclesiastical center of northern and central Dalmatia and the lands under the rule of the kings of Hungary. Most of the sources can also be connected to this ecclesiastical center, and we can assume that the other bishops of Hungarian origin played similar role in their cities. The role of the archbishops of Split emerged after King Coloman of Hungary seized the city in 1105 and a new Hungarian archbishop was elected in 1113. The basis of the new (arch)bishopric role may have been connected to their previous importance in foreign cases. They were the representatives of their cities, like the bishop of Trogir, who mediated between Trogir and King Coloman in 1105. The (arch)bishops under examination here were not only the ecclesiastical leaders of their cities and played important roles in the secular life of the communities, they also became instruments in the effectuation of royal policy in Dalmatia.
According to Thomas the Archdeacon, the archbishops of Split often left their see and went to the royal court.90 I would venture the hypothesis that during these visits they served as ambassadors sent by the city to the king. The available sources reveal little regarding the details of these visits, but it seems likely that the archbishops of Split were not the only representatives of the Church to visit the court. They were probably also joined by other bishops. For example, Trogir sent Bishop Treguan to Ancona to negotiate with the city,91 and one can safely assume that cities were also able to send their bishops to the royal court if necessary. Bishop Grubče of Nin visited the mainland when he was journeying with Guncel from Hungary, but the aims of his visit are unclear.92 It can be assumed that the bishops and archbishops were the connection between the cities and the king. The archbishops of Split and possibly other bishops visited the royal court not merely as envoys of their cities, but also as participants in royal events. Archbishop Bernard of Split, for instance, was among the visitors at the coronation of King Ladislas III in 1204.93
In addition to the role played by the archbishops and bishops as mediators between the royal court and the coastal lands, the prelates also had roles of particular importance for the royal court in other cases. The bishops and archbishops of Dalmatia were not part of the royal council and the royal court. The reason for this lies in the policy of the court, which did not want to integrate Dalmatia into the Church organization of the mainland, with the exception of an attempt initiated by Duke Coloman.94 This policy notwithstanding, the bishops and archbishops in question here played important roles for the court. They served not only as ecclesiastical leaders, but in many cases also as representatives of the kings. When Venice attacked Zadar during the fourth crusade, Archbishop Bernard of Split hired ships for the defense of the city. Bernard paid with the king’s money, probably because King Emeric ordered him to do so.95 It can be assumed that Bishop Samson of Nin played a role in the foreign policy of King Béla IV. After Venice seized Zadar, by 1244 Nin had emerged as an important city, since it is situated only fifteen kilometers from Zadar. Samson, as probably the first Hungarian bishop of the city, was elected during the king’s stay in Dalmatia, and the Church of Nin received royal grants in subsequent decades.96 Archbishop Hugrin of Split was a key figure during the peace negotiations between Trogir and Split in 1245.97 Hugrin acted according to the wishes of Béla IV, and peace was made in favor of Trogir.98
The archbishops of Split played important roles in the royal policy concerning Bosnia throughout the twelfth century and at the beginning of the thirteenth. The Bishopric of Bosnia fell under the jurisdiction of the archbishopric of Split in 1192 (it had been under the jurisdiction of the metropolitan province of Dubrovnik).99 The change in ecclesiastical organization can be connected to the royal policy towards Bosnia, since the subordination connected the Kingdom of Hungary and Bosnia on the ecclesiastical level, which was an expression of royal aims in the region. According to the sources, the bishop of Bosnia tried to ignore this change and still visited the archbishop of Dubrovnik for consecration in 1195.100 The kings attempted to compel Bosnia to recognize their authority and the jurisdiction of the archbishopric of Split until the 1210s, but their lack of success led to a change in royal policy. The bishopric of Bosnia became the suffragan of the archbishopric of Kalocsa in 1247.101
The bishops and archbishops had important roles in and considerable influence on the lives of their towns, and they held office for life, while the secular leaders of the towns were usually only elected for a year.102 The kings of Hungary did not influence the election of the secular leaders of the cities until the 1240s, when King Béla IV appointed Hugrin count in Split, and until 1267 Trogir and Split had Hungarian counts, who were the bans and in certain cases dukes of Slavonia at the same time. Apart from this short period, for the rest of the period under discussion the most direct and permanent representatives of the royal court were the bishops and archbishops in Dalmatia.
The royal grants that were given by the kings of Hungary to the Church in Dalmatia also indicate the importance of the ecclesiastical centers and their prelates in the political relationship between the royal court and Dalmatian cities in the period up until the mid-thirteenth century.103 It should be noted that in the case of the archbishopric of Split the archbishops were given honorary mention and highlighted in the royal grants given to the Church of Split, while this was not the practice in Hungary or Dalmatia.104 As is clear, the most important political centers often had Hungarian archbishops and bishops, and most of the royal grants that were bestowed were given to the Church in these cities. Until communal development led to the separation of the secular and ecclesiastical powers in towns, the Church had considerable sway over the cities, and the Hungarian prelates could influence them or secure their loyalty to the royal court.105
The bishops and archbishops played important roles in the lives of the Dalmatian cities, and after the beginning of the rule of the Árpád dynasty in Dalmatia these roles became more significant and structured. Until the mid-thirteenth century, the (arch)bishops of Dalmatia had an important place in the royal entourage in Dalmatia. They may have played a role in the appearance of the cult of Saint Stephen, and they were representatives of the kings in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, except for a short period between 1245 and 1267. The bishops and archbishops were not only representatives of the kings, they were also entrusted by their cities with important tasks and expected to maintain good relations with the king. If the interests of the court and the interests of the community in question were similar, the loyalty of the bishops and archbishops was essentially an irrelevant question. It was only an issue when the kings and the cities had quarrels or differing interests in contentious cases. During the period in question, probably the most significant example of the latter was the war and the peace negotiations between Trogir and Split in 1245, when Archbishop Hugrin did the bidding of the royal court and reached a settlement in favor of Trogir.
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1 Gyula Pauler, A magyar nemzet története az Árpád-házi királyok alatt, vol. 1 of 2 (Budapest: Magyar Könyvkiadók és Könyvterjesztők Egyesülése, 1899), 201.
2 Márta Font, “Megjegyzések a horvát–magyar perszonálunió középkori történetéhez,” in Híd a századok felett. Tanulmányok Katus László 70. születésnapjára, ed. Péter Hanák (Pécs: University Press, 1997), 12.
3 Nada Klaić, Povijest Hrvata u razvijenom srednjem vijeku (Zagreb: Školska knjiga, 1976), 486–91.
4 Pauler, A magyar nemzet, 214–15.
5 Ferenc Makk, The Árpáds and the Comneni. Political Relations between Hungary and Byzantium in the 12th Century (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1988), 14.
6 Ibid., 18–20.
7 Ibid., 21.
8 Ibid., 96–98.
9 Tadija Smičiklas, Codex diplomaticus regni Croatiae, Sclavoniae et Dalmatiae, vol 2 of 18 (Zagreb: JAZU, 1904–1934.), 115–16. Hereafter CDC.
10 György Szabados, “Imre és András,” Századok 133 (1999): 94.
11 Makk, The Árpáds, 122–23.
12 Damir Karbić, Mirjana Matijević-Sokol, and James Sweeney. Thomae archidiaconi Spalatensis Historia Salonitanorum atque Spalatinorum pontificium (Budapest: CEU Press, 2006), 96. Hereafter Historia Salonitana.
13 Joan Dusa, The Medieval Dalmatian Episcopal Cities: Development and Transformation (New York: Peter Lang, 1991), 71–72.
14 Neven Budak, “Foundations and Donations as a Link between Croatia and the Dalmatian Cities in the Early Middle Ages (9th–11th c.),” Jahrbuch für Geschichte Osteuropas 55 (2007): 490.
15 Ivan Strohal, Pravna povijest dalmatinskih gradova (Zagreb: Dionička tiskara, 1913), 280–323; Dusa, Episcopal Cities, 76–83.
16 On Manasses see: Tamás Körmendi, “Zagoriensis episcopus. Megjegyzés a zágrábi püspökség korai történetéhez,” in “Fons, skepsis, lex”. Ünnepi tanulmányok a 70 esztendős Makk Ferenc tiszteletére, ed. Tibor Almási, Éva Révész, and György Szabados (Szeged: Szegedi Középkorász Műhely, 2010), 250–52.
17 Slavko Kovačić, “Toma Arhiđakon, promicatelj crkvene obnove, i splitski nadbiskupi, osobito njegovi suvremenici,” in Toma Arhiđakon i njegovo doba. Zbornik radova sa znanstvenoga skupa o držanog 25–27. rujna 2000. godine u Splitu, ed. Mirjana Matijević-Sokol and Olga Perić (Split: Književni krug, 2004), 47.
18 Historia Salonitana, 104–05.
19 Ibid., 104–07.
20 CDC, vol 2, 86.
21 Absalom was mentioned as minister around 1160. See: CDC, vol. 2, CDC, vol. 2, 90–91.
22 Historia Salonitana, 106.
23 Mirjana Matijević-Sokol, Toma arhiđakon i njegovo djelo. Rano doba hrvatska (Zagreb: Naklada Slap, 2002), 172–76.; Slavko Kovačić, “Splitska metropolija u dvanaestom stoljeću, Krbavska biskupija u srednjem vijeku,” in Zbornik radova znanstvenog simpozija u povodu 800. Obljetnice osnutka krbavske biskupije održanog u Rijeci 23–24. travnja 1986. godine (Rijeka: Kršćanska sadašnjost, 1988), 18–20.
24 CDC, vol 2, 175.
25 István Katona, A kalocsai érseki egyház története (Kalocsa: Kalocsai Múzeumbarátok Köre, 2001), 109–10.
26 Matijević-Sokol, Toma arhiđakon i njegovo djelo, 178.
27 László Erdélyi, A pannonhalmi főapátság története, vol 1 (Budapest: Szent István Társulat, 1902), 120, 613.
28 Szabados, “Imre,” 98.
29 CDC, vol. 2, 307.
30 Szabados, “Imre,” 99; CDC, vol. 2, 307.
31 Ibid., vol. 2, I 3–4.
32 Vjekoslav Klaić, “O hercegu Andriji,” RAD 136 (1898): 206.
33 Szabados, “Imre,” 100; Ivan Armanda, “Splitski nadbiskup i teološki pisac Bernard iz Perugie,” Kulturna baština 37 (2011): 33–48.
34 Attila Bárány, “II. András balkáni külpolitikája,” in II. András és Székesfehérvár, ed. Terézia Kerny and András Smohay (Székesfehérvár: Székesfehérvári Egyházmegyei Múzeum, 2012), 144.
35 Historia Salonitana, 162–63.
36 Slavac (Slavicus Romanus) is mentioned as electus or electus archiepiscopus between 1217 and 1219. See: CDC, vol. 2, I 164, 170, 172.
37 CDC, vol. 2 , I 182.
38 Attila Zsoldos, Magyarország világi archontológiája (1001–1301) (Budapest: MTA BTK TTI, 2011), 43–44.
39 Historia Salonitana, 168.
40 Stephen is mentioned as archielectus from July 1242 until November 1243. See: CDC, vol.4, 155, 183, 196, 205.
41 Historia Salonitana, 306–07.
42 Ibid., 292–93.
43 Ibid., 350.
44 John is mentioned as archielectus between December 1248 and May 1249. See: CDC, vol.4, 373, 394.
45 Historia Salonitana, 350–51, 366–67.
46 Ibid., 305. 9. j.
47 CDC, vol. 4, 202, 240; vol. 5, 390, 426, 505–06.
48 Ibid., 202, 230.
49 CDC, vol. 5, 390.
50 Ibid., 505.
51 Historia Salonitana, 304.
52 CDC, vol. 2 , I 459–60.
53 Historia Salonitana, 354.
54 CDC, vol. 4, 168–69, 309, vol 6, 407.
55 Historia Salonitana, xxiv.
56 Grga Novak, Povijest Splita, vol. 1 (Split: Matica hrvatska, 1957), 373.
57 György Györffy, “A 12. századi dalmáciai városprivilégiumok kritikája,” Történelmi Szemle 10 (1967): 47.
58 Historia Salonitana, 166–69.
59 Ibid., 168.
60 Archive of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, LUCIUS XX-12/13, fols. 3–4.
61 Historia Salonitana, 306.
62 Novak, Povijest Splita, 373.
63 Historia Salonitana, 327.
64 Ibid., 350.
65 Ibid., 366.
66 About the problem see Kornél Szovák, “Pápai–magyar kapcsolatok a 12. században,” in Magyarország és a Szentszék kapcsolatának ezer éve, ed. István Zombori (Budapest: METEM, 1996), 21–47.
67 Novak, Povijest Splita, 373.
68 Historia Salonitana, 366.
69 CDC, vol. 2, 175.
70 Katalin Szende, “Power and Identity. Royal Privileges to Towns of Medieval Hungary in the Thirteenth Century,” unpublished manuscript with the permission of the author.
71 Monika Jánosi, Törvényalkotás Magyarországon a korai Árpád-korban (Szeged: Szegedi Középkorász Műhely, 1996), 45–66.
72 Historia Salonitana, 305–07.
73 Teofilio F. Ruiz, A King Travels: Festive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2012).
74 Mladen Ančić, “Image of Royal Authority in the Work of Thomas Archdeacon,” Povijesni prilozi 22 (2002): 29–40.
75 CDC, vol. 2, 9.
76 Ibid., vol. 2, 19.
77 Ibid., 24.
78 Ibid., 15.
79 Ibid., 49–50.
80 Szabados, “Imre,” 97.
81 CDC, vol. 2, 308–09; 309–10.
82 Ibid., I 251, 259.
83 Joško Belamarić, “Capsella reliquiarum (1160 g.) iz Sv. Kuzme i Damjana u Kaštel Gomilici,” in Studije iz srednjovjekovne i renesansa umjetnosti na Jadranu, ed. Joško Belamarić (Split: Književni krug, 2001), 201.
84 Daniele Farlati, Illyricum sacrum IV (Venice: Sebastiano Coleti, 1769), 172, 180.
85 Belamarić, “Capsella,” 201.
86 Tajana Sekelj Ivančan, “Župna crkva … sancti Stephani regis circa Drauam – prilog tumačenju širenja ugarskoga političkog utjecaja južno od Drave,” Prilozi Instituta za arheologiju u Zagrebu 25 (2008): 97–118.
87 Historia Salonitana, 104.
88 Mladen Ančić, “Knin u razvijenom i kasnom srednjem vijeku,” Radovi Zavoda za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Zadru 38 (1996): 84–85.
89 On the “Croatian bishop” see Miho Barada, “Episcopus chroatensis,” Croatia Sacra 1 (1931): 161–215.
90 Ivan Ostojić, Metropolitanski kaptol u Splitu (Zagreb: Kršćanska sadašnjost, 1975), 21.
91 Farlati, Ilyricum, IV 339
92 Historia Salonitana, 206.
93 Ibid., 140–41.
94 About Coloman’s reform see Ivan Basić, “O pokušaju ujedinjenja zagrebačke i splitske crkve u XIII. stoljeću,” Pro tempore 3 (2006): 25–43.; György Györffy, “Szlavónia kialakulásának oklevélkritikai vizsgálata,” Levéltári Közlemények 41 (1970): 234.
95 Historia Salonitana, 148–49.
96 CDC, vol. V, 636–37.
97 Novak, Povijest Splita, 124.
98 Ibid., 123–24.
99 CDC, vol. 2, 251–53.
100 John V.A. Fina, The Bosnian Church. Its Place in State and Society from the Thirteenth to the Fifteenth Century (London: Saqi, 2007), 111.
101 Katona, A kalocsai egyház, 148.
102 Novak, Povijest Splita, 373.
103 Judit Gál, Hungarian Horizons of the History of the Church in Dalmatia: the Royal Grants to the Church. (MA Thesis, Central European University, 2014).
104 For example: CDC, vol. 2, 47, 54; IV 243.
105 Ludwig Steindorff, Die dalmatinischen Städte im 12. Jahrhundert. Studien zu ihrer politischen Stellung und gesellschaftlichen Entwicklung (Vienna: Böhlau, 1984), 157–59; Ludwig Steindorff, “Stari svijet i nova doba. O formiranju komune na istočnoj obali Jadrana,” Starohrvatska prosvjeta 16 (1986): 149–50; Irena Benyovsky Latin, Srednjovjekovni Trogir. Prostor i društvo (Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest, 2009), 41; Novak, Povijest Splita, 279.