Bela, the name of several Hungarian kings of the lineage of Arpad. - Bela I. reigned from 1061 to 1063. As prince he was twice obliged to escape to Poland, on account of domestic dissensions occasioned by his brothers; but in 1061, supported partly by Poles, partly by Magyars, he succeeded in seizing the throne. He subdued the remains of paganism and strengthened the royal power, but his reign was too short to carry out all the reforms which Magyar annalists ascribe to him. - Bela II. reigned from 1131 to 1141. In his youth he was Winded by his own uncle, for which he took terrible revenge on a number of his enemies when king. - Bela III. reigned from 1173 to 1196. He warred successfully against the Poles, Austrians, and Venetians, and reconquered from the last named some cities in Dal-matia. He was married to a sister of Philip Augustus, king of France. - Bela IV. reigned from 1235 to 1270. He was son of Andrew IT., was crowned in childhood, and when his father went to Palestine received the title of rex junior, and finally joined in the opposition of the nobility against him.
The greater part of his reign was stormy; the nobility continued in its turbulence, and Hungary was dreadfully devastated by the invasion of the Mongols (1241), before whom he had to fly to Dalma-tia. (See Hungary).