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Louis II of Hungary

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Title: Louis II of Hungary  
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Louis II of Hungary

Louis II
Louis II painted by Titian
King of Hungary and Croatia
Reign 1516–1526
Predecessor Vladislaus II
Successor Ferdinand I
John Zápolya
King of Bohemia
Reign 1516–1526
Coronation 11 March 1509, Prague
Predecessor Vladislaus II
Successor Ferdinand I
Spouse Mary of Austria
Issue János Wass (illegitimate)
House Jagiellon dynasty
Father Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary
Mother Anne of Foix-Candale
Born (1506-07-01)July 1, 1506
Buda (now Budapest), Kingdom of Hungary
Died August 29, 1526(1526-08-29) (aged 20)
Mohács, Kingdom of Hungary

Louis II (Hungarian: Lajos, Czech: Ludvík Jagellonský; 1 July 1506 – 29 August 1526) was King of Hungary, Croatia and King of Bohemia (as Louis) from 1516 to 1526. He was killed during the Battle of Mohács fighting the Ottomans.[1]

Early life

Louis was the son of Ladislaus II Jagiellon and his third wife, Anne of Foix-Candale. His paternal grandfather was Casimir IV of Poland. On 3 March 1509 he was crowned king of Bohemia in the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.[2]

After his father's death in 1516, the minor Louis II ascended to the thrones of George, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach.


Louis owed allegiance to the Imperial Habsburgs as a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

In 1515 Louis II was married to Mary of Austria, granddaughter of Emperor Maximilian I, as stipulated by the First Congress of Vienna in 1515. His sister Anne was married to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, then a governor on behalf of his brother Charles V, and later Emperor Ferdinand I.

Following the accession to the throne of Suleiman I, the sultan sent an ambassor to Louis II to collect the annual tribute that Hungary had been subjected to. Louis refused to pay annual tribute and had the Ottoman ambassador executed and sent the head to the Sultan.Louis believed that the Papal states, other Christian States including Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor would help him. This event hastened the fall of Hungary.

Hungary was in a state of near anarchy under the magnates' rule in 1520. The king's finances were a shambles; he borrowed to meet his household expenses despite the fact that they totaled about one-third of the national income. The country's defenses weakened as border guards went unpaid, fortresses fell into disrepair, and initiatives to increase taxes to reinforce defenses were stifled. In 1521 Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent was well aware of Hungary's weakness.

The Ottoman Empire declared war on the Kingdom of Hungary, Suleiman postponed his plan to besiege Rhodes and made an expedition to Belgrade. Louis failed to coordinate and gather his forces. At the same time, Hungary was unable to get assistance from other European states, which Louis had hoped for. Belgrade and many strategic castles in Serbia were captured by the Ottomans. This was disastrous for Louis' kingdom; without the strategically important cities of Belgrade and Šabac, Hungary, including Buda, was open to further Turkish conquests.

After the siege of Rhodes, in 1526 Suleiman made a second expedition to subdue all of Hungary. Louis made a tactical error when he tried to stop the Ottoman army in an open field battle with a medieval army, insufficient firearms, and obsolete tactics. On 29 August 1526, Louis led his forces against Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire in the disastrous Battle of Mohács. In a pincer movement, the Hungarian army was surrounded by Ottoman cavalry, and in the center, the Hungarian heavy knights and infantry were repulsed and suffered heavy casualties, especially from the well-positioned Ottoman cannons and well-armed and trained Janissary musketeers.

Nearly the entire Hungarian Royal army was destroyed on the battlefield. During the retreat, the twenty-year-old king died in a marsh.[3] As Louis had no legitimate children, Ferdinand was elected as his successor in the Kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary, but the Hungarian throne was contested by John Zápolya, who ruled the areas of the kingdom conquered by the Turks as an Ottoman client.

Jagiellons in natural line

Although Louis II's marriage remained childless, he probably had an illegitimate child with his mother's former lady-in-waiting, Angelitha Wass, before his marriage. This son was called John (János in Hungarian). This name appears in sources in Vienna as either János Wass or János Lanthos. The former surname is his mother's maiden name. The latter surname may refer to his occupation. "Lanthos" means "lutenist", or "bard". He received incomes from the Royal Treasury regularly. He had further offspring.



  1. ^ "Louis II". (2009). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
  2. ^ "The Royal Route". Královská cesta. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Library of World History VI. Western Press Assoc. 1914. p. 2582. 


  • Takings, Endorser: II. Lajos kinkily fiat (A Son of King Louis II Jagiellon), Salado (Periodical Centuries), pp.& NBS;183–185, 1903

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

Louis II of Hungary
Born: 1 July 1506 Died: 29 August 1526
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Vladislaus II
King of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Ferdinand I
King of Hungary and Croatia
Succeeded by
John I
as king of Eastern Hungary
Succeeded by
Ferdinand I
as king of Royal Hungary
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