2/21/10

Magyar Szent Korona

On January 28th, 814, Charles the Great died.

One-hundred and eighty-six years later, a small party of men quietly worked at prying a marble lid from its foundation in the palace of Aix-La-Chapelle. As the corner seal broke free, a long swoosh of air sucked into the hollow space beneath their feet and quickly rushed back out. The workmen turned their heads and held their breath. After a few seconds they slowly exhaled and glanced furtively at each other’s faces. One of them sniffed.

The air was a little musty, but overall it was fresh.

The Holy Roman Emperor stood watching off to the side. In his hand was a scroll with a broken wax seal bearing the crossed keys of Peter. Otto III slowly moved forward as the laborers groaned and slid the top across the floor. With an intense expression marring his young face, he bent over the opening and peered down into the darkness.

“Give me light here!”

When candelabrum were lowered into the crypt, the sparkle of gold caught Otto’s eye.

Charlemagne sat in his throne the same as the day he was buried. Except for a twist of his neck which caused his head to tilt unnaturally to the side, the body was remarkably incorrupt. Atop his head was the crown.

For a moment, Otto’s youthful impetuosity almost took over.

That’s rightfully mine.

An open bible lay across Charlemagne’s lap and his finger was resting on a specific verse, Mathew 16:26. “For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?”

Otto caught his breath.

“If the Pope wants István to have it, so be it,” he said and walked out.

Since then, fifty Hungarian rulers have been found to wear this “living” crown.

10 comments:

breadgirl said...

Good morning

Very informative and interesting. I had never heard this before. Thanks for posting it and God bless you.

cyurkanin said...

Hi breadgirl, thanks!

Karinann said...

Thanks for this one Christopher. I love a good mystery!

pennyyak said...

Excellent widget for related posts. Oh, the story was good too.

You know, shiny tech things catch my eye.

Balint said...

It's nicely written. Where did you hear the story that St. Stephen's crown (which was sent to him by Pope Sylvester II) belonged to Charlemagne? Was the passage from the Bible and the open Bible in Charlemagne's lap your invention, or that came from a source? If there is a source, could you please cite it? I read about this from a chaplain at the Aachen Cathedral named István Szigeti, but I could never find a solid evidence that Charlemagne had the Crown. A circumstantial piece of evidence is that his body was well preserved (embalmed), except for his nose. The Crown is oversized for any human head, and if it slipped onto his nose and scraped it, the decay of his nose is well explained. In any case, I enjoyed your 300-word story. Thanks! (P.S.: the "Uar" in my username means gUARdian, although it is better known as "Avar", which is sometimes truncated to "Var" or "Vár." Uarhun is Avar-Hun, and in modern Hungarian: Várkony.)

cyurkanin said...

Thanks for reading Balint, check back maybe Monday morning and I'll have it for you or leave your email and I'll send it! There are gaps in the "custody" of Charlemagne but none of this was invented, I did get the idea from other sources. There was one source that told the story about the open verse and has been used by many authors in their apologetics. It being Charlemagne's crown seems to have SOME footing, at least to Hungary lol

cyurkanin said...

The story about the verse is cited numerous times, it's easy to do a google search with different combinations of the words and "Charlemagne" to come up with them all. Here's one from 1923 - http://books.google.com/books?id=t3DQrQHKHTgC&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=charlemagne+pointing+to+for+what+doth+it+profit+a+man&source=bl&ots=O1UVdZ8HUL&sig=OlHn8cGkf97gix1_nhIhk2qX-QA&hl=en&ei=3nfBS76ZI4T6lwe23rHbBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=charlemagne%20pointing%20to%20for%20what%20doth%20it%20profit%20a%20man&f=false As I remember, in trying to find more, they all quote from one specific source only, and I don't think it was necessarily historical.

As far as it being Charlemagne's crown - http://www.chicagohungarians.com/radics/Origin2f.htm among other sources.

Good luck researching more, it's a fascinating history!

Balint said...

Thank your for replying. István Szigeti claimed to have found evidence that the Holy Crown of Hungary had been recovered by Otto from Charlemagne's grave at the request of Pope Sylvester II. He was alerted to this by other Catholic priests serving at the Aachen Cathedral. However, he never properly documented it. It's a pity. Many people disregarded the story as fantasy, or fairy tale. I tend to believe it. Careful analysis of the Crown by master goldsmith Lajos Csomor indicates that it was made as a single entity in the 4th century near the Black Sea as a crown for a Hun priest-king. This necessitates an explanation how it got to the hands of Pope Sylvester II. It is known that Charlemagne conquered the Avars in the late seven hundreds, and took huge amounts of Avar gold treasure to the west. It makes good sense that the Crown was among them. The early Magyar settlers of Arpad in the late 9th century raided several cities throughout western Europe. It turns out that these cities coincided with the recipients of the Avar gold (Charlemagne's gifts, mostly to the church). Because the Magyars went as light cavalry to the raids, they had no means of transporting much "pilfered goods," and some concluded that they were trying to recover the Avar gold and especially the Crown. Grand Prince Géza's son (born as "Vajk") was baptized as a young adult, and was named István (Stephen) in baptism. The name means: the crowned one. Soon he married Gizella of Bavaria, a nice of Otto. The arrangement was negotiated by Géza, who by then probably new the location of the Crown. István sent a letter to Sylvester II written in Latin. Since Latin has no articles, the letter's translation is ambiguous. He may have requested a crown to be recognized as a sovereign king, but he also might have demanded THE CROWN, which he may have viewed as is rightful inheritance. Of course, to accept this, one needs to accept the medieval Hungarian chronicles, which unambiguously refer to a Hun-Hungarian continuity, although they make no specific reference to the Avars. Much of this is disputed by many, including the "official" version, held by the establishment scientists of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences since the second half of the 19th century (Habsburg domination of Hungary). When you touch something like this, it is akin to disturbing a hornets' nest: politically driven and highly polarized debate will ensue, where each side is accusing the other with various biases. The Academy makes accusations about the "non-scientific" methods of amateur historians, linguists, etc., who challenge the official, rigid, dogmatic view. The amateurs complain that the establishment scientists are unwilling to look into new evidence about the origins of the Magyars (and there is ample new evidence: genetics, Scythian and other graves, etc.). In any case, your story is well done, regardless of historical accuracy. However, if you have any historical support for any part of it, it would be a great help.

cyurkanin said...

Thanks for the excellent and clear explanation of the intricacies involved. I'm not an historian, just a fan of the world so everything I use to background-research these stories (which onlt take 2 - 3 hours from start to finish) comes mostly from just googling deeper and deeper. Nohing mysterious, anyone can find out the basis for what I write.

I hope you come back, you add a lot in the comments section!

Anonymous said...

hii people there is also other version more real that it was first christian king , Armenian king Trdat's crown. It was made by first Armenian Catholicos Grigor for king TRDAT 3rd.