2018-04-30 18:08:23 UTC
While doing some research on King Stephen V of Hungary, I came across an interesting fact about his wife Elizabeth the Cuman that I thought would be nice to share with the group, since a large amount of us descend from Elizabeth the Cuman. Through her daughter Mary, she is the ancestress of Philippa of Hainault, wife of King Edward III.
At the Gate of Christendom: Jews, Muslims and 'Pagans' in Medieval Hungary, c. 1000 to c. 1300, Nora Berend: “As a result, he had his son, (already crowned, and ruling over a part of the country as “younger king”), marry the daughter of the Cuman king. During the wedding feast, ten Cuman lords swore over a dog ‘cut into two by a sword, as is their custom, that they would hold the land of the Hungarians, as men faithful to the king, against the tartars and barbarous nations’. That swearing an oath while cutting a dog to pieces was a Cuman custom is confirmed by Jean de Joinville’s account, whose source, the eyewitness Philippe de Toucy, recounted a similar ceremony”.
Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages: A Cultural History, Piotr Goreck and Nancy W. Deusen: “The ceremony also known from the Steppe was then performed, cutting a dog in two by a sword, as is their custom, that they would hold the land of the Hungarians, as men faithful to the king, against the tartars and barbarous nations’.
Central Europe in the High Middle Ages: Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, c.900–c.1300, Nora Berend, Przemysław Urbańczyk, Przemysław Wiszewski: “Their baptism and the marriage of a Cuman chieftain’s daughter to Bela’s son Istvan, during which Cuman leaders swore an oath over a dog cut in two, was meant to guarantee the Cuman’s fidelity to the king”.