LADISLAUS IV., The Cumanian (1262-129o), king of Hun gary, succeeded his father, Stephen V., in 1272. His minority, 1272-77, was an alternation of palace revolutions and civil wars, in the course of which his Cuman mother Elizabeth was en gaged in a continuous struggle with rebellious vassals supported by Ottokar of Bohemia. Rudolph of Habsburg, however, on becoming emperor, sought Ladislaus' help and the young king at the battle of Diirnkraut (Aug. 12, 1278) destroyed the Bohemian power. This danger removed, Ladislaus, a talented man, but wild and reckless, was at once involved in a further struggle with his own magnates. He had married for political reasons, Eliza beth of Anjou; but neglected her for Cuman mistresses, and was accused by his enemies of undermining Christianity by preferring the Cumans to the Magyars. After an enquiry by a papal legate into his conduct, he was forced to take up arms against the Cumans whom he defeated at Hodmezo (May 1282) ; but soon relapsed, adopted Cuman dress, passed his time exclusively with Cumans, and ill-treated his legitimate wife. At last the pope,
Nicholas IV., decided to supersede him by his Angevin kinsfolk, and on Aug. 8, 1288, proclaimed a crusade against him. For the next two years all Hungary was convulsed by a horrible civil war; Ladislaus, who fought to the last with desperate valour, was driven from one end of the kingdom to the other like a hunted beast. On Dec. 25, 1289, he issued a manifesto to the lesser gentry, many of whom sided with him, urging them to continue the struggle against the magnates and their foreign sup porters; but on July 1o, 1290, he was murdered in his camp at Korosszeg by the Cumans, who never forgave him for deserting them in 1282.
See Karoly Szabo, Ladislaus the Cumanian (Hung.) (Budapest, i886) ; and Acsady, History of the Hungarian Realm, i. 2 (Budapest, 1903). The latter is, however, too favourable to Ladislaus.