Ladislaus the Posthumous

Ladislaus the Posthumous

Ladislaus the Posthumous (February 22, 1440 – November 23, 1457) ruled Bohemia as Ladislav I, Hungary as László V (and Croatia as Ladislav IV), and Austria as Duke Ladislaus.


The only son of Albert II, King of Germany, and of Elizabeth, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, he was called "Ladislaus " (in Czech "Ladislav Pohrobek"; in Hungarian "Utószülött László"; in Slovenian "Ladislav Posmrtni") because he was born at Komárom (then part of Hungary, now Komárno in Slovakia) four months after his father's death. He succeeded immediately as Duke of Austria and head of the House of Habsburg, and he also became nominal King of Bohemia. But his second cousin Frederick V, ruler of Inner Austria, was chosen to succeed Albert II as King of the Romans.

The estates of Hungary elected Władysław III of Poland as King Ulászló I in succession to Albert II; but the infant Ladislaus' mother had the Hungarian crown stolen from its guardians at Visegrád and brought to Wiener Neustadt by a lady of the court, Helene Kottannerin. According to legend, the cross on the crown is askew because it was damaged in transit as a result. Elisabeth arranged for Ladislaus to be crowned at Székesfehérvár on 15 May 1440.

For safety's sake, she placed Ladislaus under the guardianship of his Habsburg relative Frederick V, who proceeded to hold him as a virtual prisoner in Castle Orth and rule Austria himself. On the death of Ulászló I at the Battle of Varna on 10 November 1444, the Hungarian estates, despite considerable opposition, elected Ladislaus Postumus as their king and sent a deputation to Vienna to induce Frederick to surrender the child and the Holy Crown, which he refused to do. In the meantime, János Hunyadi acted as regent for Ladislaus in Hungary, while George of Poděbrady performed the same office in Bohemia.

From 1450 the pressure of the Austrian estates to free Ladislaus grew. In 1452, they entered into the Mailberg Confederation under the leadership of Ulrich of Eyczing and Ulrich of Celje and freed Ladislaus by force. The Princely Count of Celje, a Slovenian magnate and heir to Bosnia, the cousin of Ladislaus' mother, prevailed against Eyczing and became the new guardian of the child, effectively ruling in his stead.

On 28 October 1453, at the age of thirteen, Ladislaus Postumus was finally crowned King of Bohemia, after which he lived mainly in Prague or Vienna. Celje and Ladislaus remained indifferent to the threat posed in Hungary by the Turks, and Celje became increasingly hostile towards János Hunyadi, who was bearing the main burden of the battles against the Ottomans. On the death of Hunyadi, Ladislaus made Celje governor of Hungary in October 1456 at the Diet of Futtak. When, after the Siege of Belgrade, Celje was murdered by László Hunyadi in revenge for his assassination attempt on him on 9 November, 1456, Ladislaus had the young Hunyadi beheaded on 16 March 1457. This raised such a storm in Hungary that the king had to flee to Prague, where he spent the last months of his life. He died suddenly in Prague on 23 November 1457 while preparing for his marriage to Magdalena of Valois, daughter of Charles VII of France. It was rumored at the time that his political opponents in Bohemia had poisoned him; but in the 20th century it was proved that Ladislaus died of leukemia, not a recognized disease in that period.

Ladislaus's cousins Frederick V and Albert VI succeeded him in Austria; Hungary elected Matthias Corvinus, the brother of László Hunyadi, as king; and Bohemia elected George of Poděbrady, the only Hussite ruler of that kingdom.


SLF=Ladislaus the Posthumous
FAT=Albert II of Germany
FAF=Albert IV, Duke of Austria
FFF=Albert III, Duke of Austria
FFM=Beatrix of Nuremberg
FAM=Johanna Sophia of Bavaria
FMF=Albert I, Duke of Bavaria
FMM=Margaret of Brieg
MOT=Elisabeth II of Bohemia
MOF=Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
MFF=Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
MFM=Elizabeth of Pomerania
MOM=Barbara of Celje
MMF=Hermann II of Celje
MMM=Anna of Schaunberg

Popular Culture

* Ladislaus appears in the game Legendary Warriors, where he is called "lausilav". He is portrayed as a very young character, around 10 years old. As such he is considerably shorter in stature than most characters. He is also unique in that his entire face is always covered by a heavy helmet. He wields a naginata.


* G. Vég, "Magyarország királyai és királynői", Maecenas, 1990.
* Pausch, Oskar, "Imperator. Kaiser. Cyesars. Die dreisprachigen Vokabulare für Ladislaus Postumus und Maximilian I," Wien, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2004, 352 p., 28 pl. (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse Denkschriften, 321. Band, Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Schrift- und Buchwesen des Mittelalters reihe IV, Monographien, Band 3).

External links

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