Stephen


Stephen
/stee"veuhn/, n.
1. Saint, died A.D. c35, first Christian martyr.
2. Saint, c975-1038, first king of Hungary 997-1038.
3. (Stephen of Blois) 1097?-1154, king of England 1135-54.
4. Sir Leslie, 1832-1904, English critic, biographer, and philosopher.
5. a male given name.

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I
known as Stephen the Great

born 1435
died July 2, 1504

Prince of Moldavia (1457–1504).

With the help of the Walachian prince Vlad III Ţepeş, Stephen secured the throne of Moldavia. He repelled a Hungarian invasion (1467) and later attacked Walachia (1471), by then under Turkish vassalage. He defeated invading Turks (1475, 1476) and contended with Polish and Hungarian designs on Moldavia. In 1503 Stephen signed a treaty preserving Moldavian independence at the cost of an annual tribute to the Turks.
II
or Stephen of Blois

born с 1097
died Oct. 25, 1154

King of England (1135–54).

The nephew of Henry I, he pledged to support Matilda but claimed the throne himself. In the civil strife that followed, he was unable to win the loyalty of all the barons. Matilda invaded (1139), and, in a display of chivalry, Stephen had her escorted to Bristol. She gained control of most of western England and captured Stephen in battle (1141), but her arrogance provoked a rebellion, and she was forced to leave England (1148). An agreement was reached whereby Matilda's son Henry of Anjou (later Henry II), who invaded England in 1153, was named as Stephen's successor.
III
(as used in expressions)
Stephen of Blois
Stephen the Great
Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen
Austin Stephen Fuller
Bechtel Stephen Davison
Benét Stephen Vincent
Biko Stephen
Breyer Stephen Gerald
Brook Sir Peter Stephen Paul
Case Stephen
Cleveland Stephen Grover
Crane Stephen
Decatur Stephen
Douglas Stephen Arnold
Eaton Cyrus Stephen
Field Stephen Johnson
Foster Stephen Collins
Girard Stephen
Gould Stephen Jay
Hawking Stephen William
Kearny Stephen Watts
King Stephen Edwin
Lancaster Burton Stephen
Langton Stephen
Leacock Stephen Butler
Stephen Michael Ovett
Stephen Michael Reich
Saint Laurent Louis Stephen
Sondheim Stephen Joshua
Spender Sir Stephen Harold
Stephen Nemanja
Saint Stephen
Stephen Sir James Fitzjames 1st Baronet
Stephen Sir Leslie
Stephen Saint
Wise Stephen Samuel
Adeline Virginia Stephen
Wozniak Stephen Gary

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▪ king of England
also called  Stephen Of Blois  
born c. 1097
died Oct. 25, 1154, Dover, Kent, Eng.
 king of England from 1135 to 1154. He gained the throne by usurpation but failed to consolidate his power during the ensuing civil strife.

      Stephen was the third son of Stephen, Count of Blois and Chartres, and Adela, daughter of King William I the Conqueror. He was reared by his uncle, King Henry I, and received vast lands in England, Normandy, and the county of Boulogne. With a number of other magnates he was pledged to support Henry's daughter, Matilda (q.v.), as successor to the throne. Nevertheless, many English nobles were reluctant to accept a woman ruler, and Henry's Norman subjects resented Matilda's marriage into an Angevin family. Consequently, after Henry I died in December 1135, the leading lords and bishops welcomed Stephen when he crossed the English Channel to claim the crown. In return for support from the pope, Stephen opened the way to increased papal influence in English political affairs.

      Although Stephen was brave and energetic, his affable, mild-mannered nature prevented him from providing firm leadership. The lawlessness of his Flemish mercenaries and the desperate measures he took to build a party loyal to himself only alienated the barons. Hence, in 1138 Matilda's half brother, the powerful Robert, Earl of Gloucester, took up arms in support of Matilda's claim. At first Stephen scored several military triumphs, but he lost the support of the church when he arrested Bishop Roger of Salisbury and his relatives.

      Seizing her opportunity, Matilda invaded England (September 1139). In an incredible display of chivalry, Stephen had Matilda escorted to Bristol, and she proceeded to bring most of western England under her control. Early in 1141 the Angevins captured Stephen in a battle at Lincoln. His cause might have been lost had not Matilda's arrogance provoked a rebellion of the citizens of London, where she had gone for her coronation. In November Stephen was exchanged for Gloucester, who had been captured by forces loyal to the king. Stephen gradually gained the upper hand, and in 1148 Matilda withdrew from England.

      Although Stephen at this point exercised nominal control over most of the kingdom, he had neither the resources nor the will to suppress lawlessness and to mediate between warring nobles. He hoped only to secure the succession for his son, Eustace, but to do so he had to deal with Matilda's son, Henry of Anjou, who invaded England in January 1153 to claim his royal inheritance. When Eustace died in August, Stephen lost heart; he signed a treaty designating Henry as his successor. At Stephen's death, Henry ascended the throne as King Henry II.

▪ prince of Moldavia
byname  Stephen the Great,  Romanian  Ștefan cel Mare  
born c. 1435
died July 2, 1504

      voivod (prince) of Moldavia (1457–1504), who won renown in Europe for his long resistance to the Ottoman Turks.

      With the help of the Walachian prince Vlad III the Impaler, Stephen secured the throne of Moldavia in 1457. Menaced by powerful neighbours, he successfully repulsed an invasion by Hungary in 1467, but in 1471 he invaded Walachia, which had by then succumbed to Turkish vassalage.

      When the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II launched an attack on Moldavia, Stephen defeated the invaders near Vaslui (now in Romania; 1475). He was in turn defeated at Valea Albă (1476), and he barely managed to escape with his life. His search for European assistance against the Turks had little success, but his determination “to cut off the pagan's right hand” won him the acclaim of Pope Sixtus IV as the “Athlete of Christ.”

      After 1484 Stephen had to contend not only with new Turkish onslaughts but also with Polish and Hungarian designs on Moldavian independence. Finally in the latter years of his reign he concluded with the sultan Bayezid II a treaty that preserved Moldavian independence but only at the cost of an annual tribute to the Turks. Though it was marked by continual strife, Stephen's long reign nonetheless brought considerable cultural development and was a period of great ecclesiastical building and endowment.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Stephen — Stephen1 [stē′vən] [L Stephanus < Gr Stephanas < stephanos, a crown: see STEPHANOTIS] n. 1. a masculine name: dim. Steve; var. Steven; equiv. L. Stephanus, Fr. Étienne, Ger. Stephan, It. Stefano, Sp. Esteban, Russ. Stepen; fem. Stephanie 2 …   English World dictionary

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