The Golden Bull is one of the most famous documents in Hungarian history, which draws its name from the golden seal it bore. The original document issued in 1222 by King Andrew II represents a milestone in Hungarian legal history and symbolises Hungary’s historical constitution. The 800th anniversary of its issue is a fitting moment to mark this event, by releasing a collector coin that is unique in its size and design.
It was hoped that issuing the Golden Bull in seven original copies would ensure its existence, but unfortunately none of the originals survived. The oldest full version of the text, written in 1318 and stored in the Primate’s Library, was certified by four high priests. The real significance of the Golden Bull does not relate to its own day and age, but rather to the events which later ensued. In 1351, King Louis the Great (1342-1382) confirmed and codified the text of the document from 1222, and the Hungarian nobility thus considered the Bull a guaranty of their privileges for centuries thereafter. As such, it was included in István Werbőczy’s renowned compendium of medieval Hungarian law, the Tripartitum, published in 1517. Through Werbőczy’s work, the Golden Bull became one of the fundamental elements of the Hungarian nobility’s resistance and thus of Hungarian independence, all the way up until 1848.