King Stephen I Hungarian Forint

Stephen I

“Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honorable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust like the pangs of death.”

The Hungarian forint was introduced on 1 August 1946, as part of the post-World War II stabilisation of the Hungarian economy. As a member of the European Union, the long-term aim of the Hungarian government may be to replace the forint with the euro, but this does not appear likely until sometime during the 2020s.

The forint’s name comes from the city of Florence, Italy, where gold coins called fiorini d’oro were minted from 1252. Under Charles Robert, a gold-based currency was used from 1325, the florentinus. After several alternatives used during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the forint was reintroduced in 1946 to replace the pengő after the latter was rendered almost worthless by massive hyperinflation in 1945-46 – the highest levels ever recorded.

In 1946, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Hungarian National Bank) introduced banknotes. The 2014 series include King Steph I and a view of Esztergom on the reverse, the capital of Hungary from the 10th until the mid-13th century.

King Stephen I was the last Grand Prince of the Hungarians between 997 and 1000 AD, and the first King of Hungary from around 100 AD until his death in 1038 AD. He is considered to be the founder of the Hungarian state and one of the most-renowned figures in Hungarian history. He was born a pagan but was baptized and reared as a Christian. Following his father’s death, Stephen combated an insurrection lead by his older cousin, Koppany – Stephen defeated him and had him executed as a pagan. On Christmas Day, 1000 CE, Stephen was anointed king of Hungary, having received a grown from pope Sylvester II according to tradition. His coronation signified Hungary’s entry into the family of European Christian nations.

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