Friday, March 15, 2013

The Battle of Riade on the Unstrut, 15th March 933

Today, 1080 years ago, King Henry I of Germany inflicted a crushing defeat on the Magyars on the banks of the Unstrut River--the Battle of Riade.

The battle happened after Henry spurned the Magyar's demand for the tribute they were given each year to desist from their murderous raids. When the Magyar envoys came for their money, Henry had a dead dog thrown at their feet instead.

The victory was the first serious check the Magyars got and put a stop to their raids far into Germany--although their final defeat had to wait until 966, coming at the hands of Henry's son, Emperor Otto I.

In both battles the Holy Lance played a crucial role. The Lance, said to be the one Centurion Longinus used to pierce Jesus' side on the cross (the blood curing his blindness and convincing him to convert), had been given to Henry by its previous custodian, King Rudolf II of Burgundy.

A hugely significant relic in terms of establishing the credibility of the Ottonians, it was displayed during the sessions of prayer held before both battles.

2 comments:

Gordon Dent said...

Was this K├Ânig Heinrich der Vogler, who was recruiting sodiers from Brabant when he got caught up in the events recounted in Lohengrin?

Hero von Esens said...

Yes indeed it is the Fowler! But I think Wagner's storyline has little to do with what the Fowler really did...