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Irene of Hungary

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Father  Ladislaus I of Hungary
Name  Irene Hungary
Mother  Adelaide of Swabia
House  Arpad dynasty
Irene of Hungary hungariaorguploadedimages200411230015407jpg
Tenure  1104 – 15 August 1118(alongside Anna Komnene)
Reign  15 August 1118 – 13 August 1134
Issue  Alexios KomnenosMaria KomneneAndronikos Komnenos, SebastokratorAnna KomneneIsaac KomnenosTheodora KomneneEudokia KomneneManuel I Komnenos, Byzantine Emperor
Role  Empress of the Byzantine Empire
Died  August 13, 1134, Constantinople
Spouse  John II Komnenos (m. 1104)
Children  Manuel I Komnenos, Alexios Komnenos
Parents  Adelaide of Swabia, Ladislaus I of Hungary
Similar People  Ladislaus I of Hungary, John II Komnenos, Manuel I Komnenos, Bela I of Hungary, Alexios I Komnenos

Saint Irene of Hungary, born Piroska, (1088 – 13 August 1134) was a Byzantine empress.

Family

She was a daughter of Ladislaus I of Hungary and Adelaide of Swabia. Her maternal grandparents were Rudolf of Rheinfeld and his second wife Adelheid of Savoy. Adelheid was a daughter of Otto of Savoy and Adelaide of Turin. She was the mother of the future emperor Manuel I Komnenos.

She was born in Esztergom. Her mother died in 1090 when Piroska was about two years old. Her father died on 29 July 1095. Ladislaus was succeeded by his nephew Coloman of Hungary who apparently was the new guardian of orphaned Piroska.

In an effort to improve relations with Alexios I Komnenos of the Byzantine Empire, Coloman negotiated the marriage of Piroska to John II Komnenos. John II was the eldest son of Alexios I and Irene Doukaina. He was already co-ruler of his father since 1 September 1092 and was expected to succeed him. The negotiations were successful and Piroska married John in 1104. The marriage was recorded by Joannes Zonaras and John Kinnamos.

Following her conversion to the Eastern Orthodox Church and settlement in Constantinople, Piroska was renamed Irene. She and John had eight children. The primary source about their order of births is the chronicle of Niketas Choniates:

  1. Alexios Komnenos (February 1106 – 1142), co-emperor from 1122 to 1142. His birth is recorded in the Alexiad by Anna Komnene.
  2. Maria Komnene (twin to Alexios), who married John Roger Dalassenos.
  3. Andronikos Komnenos (died 1142).
  4. Anna Komnene, married Stephanos Kontostephanos.
  5. Isaac Komnenos (died 1154).
  6. Theodora Komnene (died 12 May 1157), who married Manuel Anemas.
  7. Eudokia Komnene, who married Theodoros Vatatzes.
  8. Manuel I Komnenos (died 1180), emperor from 5 April 1143 – 24 September 1180.

Irene played little part in government, devoting herself to piety and her many children. Irene died on 13 August 1134 and was later venerated as Saint Irene.

References

Irene of Hungary Wikipedia


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