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Bela(bē`lə), in the Bible. 1 First king of Edom. 2 Benjamin's first son. An alternative spelling is Belah. 3 City later called ZoarZoar
, in the Bible; at first named Bela
, it was the only one of the Cities of the Plain (see Sodom) to escape destruction. Lot and his daughters took refuge here. It is probably now submerged in the southern end of the Dead Sea.
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Kings of the Árpád dynasty in the Hungarian kingdom.
Béla I. Born 1016; died 1063. Ruled from Dec. 6, 1060.
Béla II the Blind. (Vak). Born 1108; died Feb. 13, 1141. King from 1131. In 1112 he was blinded on the order of King Kálmán, his uncle. He seized part of Dalmatia with the city of Split (1133) and subordinated Bosnia (1137).
Béla III. Born 1145; died Apr. 23, 1196. King from 1172. Son of Géza II. He enjoyed the support of the Byzantine emperor Manuel I and introduced Byzantine orders and customs into the administration of the country. After the death of Manuel I, he conquered Srem, Croatia, and Dalmatia (1180), which earlier belonged to Byzantium.
Béla IV. Born 1206; died May 3, 1270. King from 1235. The son of Andrew II. He tried to destroy the system of granting royal domains to the barons (1235), expecting to call a halt to the development of feudal fragmentation. During the time of the Mongol invasion (1241), he fled to Dalmatia.
After the departure of the conquerors (1242), he took energetic measures for the restoration of the economy and the defensive capacity of the country. He granted a series of privileges to the petty and middle gentry (the Bull of 1267). He fought with Venice over the Dalmatian cities (1243–44) and with the Czech king Przemysl II over Austria and Styria (1235–54 and 1260).
REFERENCEWertner, M. Az Árpádok családi története. Nagybecskerek, 1892.
V. P. SHUSHARIN