B bábi, Tibor

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Báthory, Prince István (Stephen) (Somlyó, now Sumuleu, Romania, 27 September 1533 - Grodno, Poland 22 December 1586) – He was elected Reigning Prince of Transylvania (Erdély, now Romania) in 1571, and King of Poland in 1575. Following his studies at the University of Padua, Italy, he became a page at the court of Ferdinand I, and later a confidant to Queen Isabella and János (John) II (John Sigismund), King of Hungary and Prince of Transylvania. In 1564 he was made Captain of Várad (Nagyvárad, now Oradea, Romania). Between 1563 and 1565 he was an envoy to Emperor Ferdinand I, who interned him for two years. The Parliament elected him Ruling Prince of Transylvania on 25 May 1571, and he fought against the Habsburg expansion. After the Jagello House died out, the Polish Estates elected and crowned him as King of Poland in Krakow in 1576, and Reigning Prince of Lithuania as well. He proved to be an exceptional choice. He strengthened the country financially, kept Polish freedom intact, regained occupied lands from the Russians, and reinforced its bundaries. Although a foreigner, he controlled external affairs, reformed the army, the economy, the judicial system and the administrative structure. He selected capable assistants from amongst the Poles and utilized his experience in governing Transylvania to obtain effective counselors. In Polish history he is noted as an excellent commander. He defeated Ivan the Terrible of Russia, made favorable peace with Russia, and repelled a German attack. He is regarded as a bright light in Polish history, despite his short reign. He did not renounce his office as Reigning Prince of Transylvania; instead he installed a governor in his place. The more important foreign affairs issues were handled through the Transylvanian Chancellery in the Polish capital. He also planned a Polish-Hungarian-Transylvanian Alliance that would have forced both the Habsburg and Turkish powers to draw back; but due to his untimely death, this was not to be realized. He was buried in Krakow. The Poles regard him as one of their greatest kings. – B: 0883, 1122, 1257, 1445, T: 3312.→Izabella, Queen; János II, King; Békés, Gáspár; Poland, Hungarians in; Polish-Hungarian Personal Union; Lithuania, Hungarians in; Báthory, Prince Zsigmond.

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