Nowadays, thanks to the Internet all the petty news of the so-called celebrities and elites are available almost instantly. If spreading the news requires translation, it takes just few hours for a fresh gossip to be released world-wide. And people do follow, read, watch and like these gossips. They share them via forums and virtual communities. Who does not remember that years ago Prince Harry of Windsor was wearing an SS uniform at a Halloween party, or was it a masquerade? Anyway, everybody remembers because Prince Harry’s act was against good sense and good taste. And first of all, everybody remembers, because it was Prince Harry who did it. We, the people, are in a love-hate relationship with our royal celebrities, willing to know everything about them, through foul and fair, but more likely in foul. As they are so fortunate, life sometimes really has to take revenge on them as well! So newspapers carefully collect all the childish misdeeds of teenagers who were unlucky enough to be born in important dynasties.
What happened to Prince Harry, happened to many other elite teenagers in the past. My favourite black sheep of Hungarian history is king Louis II (1506-1526). He was famous for his taste for hunting, dancing, taking long hot bathes etc. Like most teenagers, sometimes he dared his friends to do very silly things. Istvánffy’s Chronicle, one of the most important sources of Hungarian history for centuries, mentions the young king daring Péter Kórogyi to eat dead dogs and living mice:
“Amongst the other youngsters in the king’s service who perished (lest we omit any of them) there was a certain Péter Kórogyi. It is uncertain whether he died flighting from the battle or fighting. He is memorable for his admirable and stupendous, and even more, iron-like nature and because of the power of his stomach to digest anything. On the request of the young King, Kórogyi used to eat and digest without any horror or shuddering living mice, cats’ cut-off tails and corpses of dogs thrown out on the streets lying in the dirt, which were putrefying and full of worms. The long lasting noble family of Kórogy died out with him. During the times of King Andrew, the first of this name, when Hungarians despised Christian religion, the Kórogyis reportedly committed the cruel and ungodly murder on Saint Gerard. The evidence of their sin was that whenever their descendants approached (willingly or otherwise) the sanctuary built in the memory of this saint on the hill in front of the city of Buda, they could hardly contain themselves. They would suffer from a sudden diarroheia and would sully themselves. The young king, oft causing trouble, wanted to test this legend on the above-mentioned Péter, not without laughter as well as astonishment of many.”
„Praeter alios e peculiari Regis famulitio juvenes, ut neque hoc praetermittamus, occubuit in fuga an in conflictu incertum, Petrus ille Corogius, admirabili et stupendo, planequae ferreo naturae, ac omnia conficientis stomachi robore memorabilis, qui poscente Rege juvene mures vivos, praecisasque felium caudas, et abjecta in plateis canum cadavera, terra sanie, et tabo vermibusque scatentia, absque horrore atque gulae contumelia manere, ac confiscere erat solitus. In eo vetusta nobilium Corogiorum progenies defecit, qui olim Andreae Regis, ejus nominis primi tempore, dum Pannonii religionem Christianam posthabuissent, Divo Gerardo, ut crudelem sic impiam necem intulisse memorabantur; ejusque rei argumento fuisse, posteros illorum in sacellum ejusdem divi memoriae in colle urbi Budensi opposito aedificatum, sponte aut secus ingressos, continere se nequaquam potuisse, quin soluta repente alvo faede contaminarentur; regemque juvenem non sine multorum risu simul et admiratione in hoc Petro ejus rei experimentum, facto saepius periculo, sumpsisse.”
Istvánffy Miklós, Historiarum liber Coloniae, 1685, p. 87.
Most probably this and all the other strange entertainments of Louis’ youth would have fallen into oblivion, if only he had survived the battle of Mohács and Hungary had remained integral and intact. But the opposite happened and consequently the history remembers Louis II as a self-indulgent puerile figure. To the perverted satisfaction of people, life took its toll for all the fortunes it previously granted to the king. All in all, he was indeed only a man, and all men must die.
by Ágnes Máté