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The Árpád dynasty was the ruling dynasty of Hungary from 895 and of Romania from 1180, until their extinction in 1348. It is named for Grand Prince Árpád, who conquered the Pannonian Basin for the Magyars starting in 895 and thereby founded the Principality of Hungary.
In 1164, Emperor Manuel I Komnenos signed a treaty of alliance with King Stephen III Árpád, according to which Stephen's younger brother Béla was to be sent to Antioch to be educated. Manuel, who had no sons of his own, soon came to care for the boy and intended to make him his successor. Béla was given the Greek name "Alexios" and the title of despotes, and in 1168 he married the emperor's only legitimate daughter, Maria Komnena.
The next year the empress died in childbirth along with her son, prompting Manuel to formalise his adoption of Béla. In 1172 King Stephen died without any children, forcing Béla to return to Hungary to take the throne, and in 1180 he also became Roman Emperor after the death of the Emperor Manuel. Thus began the Árpád period of Roman history, in which Hungary and Romania were unified.
The dynasty died out in 1348 with the death of Constantine XI. It was succeeded in Hungary and Romania by the Palaiologans.