An Old Realm in a New Monarchy: Habsburg Coronations in Early Modern Hungary

Tuesday 6th June, Senior Parlour, Gonville and Caius College, 5 – 6:30pm

Dr Géza Pálffy (Institute of History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

There were three preconditions for the legitimate coronation of kings in medieval Hungary. The king should be crowned with the Holy Crown of Hungary, the ceremony should be conducted by the Archbishop of Esztergom, the head of the Catholic Church in Hungary, and finally, the ceremony should be in Székesfehérvár, in the old coronation city. Hungarian historical consciousness often extends these three conditions to all of Hungarian history, despite the fact that decisive changes in power, state and politics in the aftermath of the Battle of Mohács in 1526 brought about numerous radical twists and turns in the three basic conditions. The paper will examine these important innovations . Owing to new challenges, especially the Ottoman advance and the integration of the old Realm of St Stephen into the new composite Habsburg Monarchy in Central Europe, the old traditions were gradually combined with new methods and institutions in the ritual and organization of the coronation ceremony in early modern Hungary.