B bábi, Tibor



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Bocskai, Prince István (or Bocskay; Stephen) (Kolozsvár, now Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 1 January 1557 - Kassa, now Košice, Slovakia, 29 December 1606) – Reigning Prince of Transylvania (Erdély, now Romania) (1605-1606), scion of an untitled landed gentry f amily. He was a page at the Vienna court; and upon returning to Transylvania he became Captain of Várad (later Nagyvárad, now Oradea, Romania) and was a leading member of the anti-Turkish party. In 1595, the Transylvanian and Wallachian (Erdély & Havasalföld) armies led by Bocskai, defeated the Turks. However, without the assistance promised by Vienna, Transylvania alone could not withstand the might of the Turks. Zsigmond (Sigismund) Báthory abdicated and the entire Principality became a devastated battleground. When Bocskai protested against the reign of terror imposed by the Austrian General Basta in 1602, the Viennese Court interned him in Prague for two years. Disillusioned by the Habsburg rule, he retreated to his estates and observed that the Emperor’s troops treated the Hungarians as enemies instead of allies. Prince Gábor (Gabriel) Bethlen, representing those who fled from Turkish rule, urged Bocskai to oppose Vienna and assemble an army with Turkish assistance. However, the plan was discovered and reported to the Emperor, who sent an army against Bocskai. Surprisingly, with a ragtag army of Hajdúks and 5,000 disarrayed troops, Bocskai defeated the Emperor’s army between Álmosd and Diószeg, triggering the start of the upsising. In 1605, the Diet of Marosszék elected him Reigning Prince of Transylvania, and later in the same year, the National Assembly of Hungary at Szerencs elected him Reigning Prince of Hungary. Bocskai raised the participating Hajdús out of feudal status and settled them in newly created cities with special freedom. The ancient privileges of the Szeklers were also restored. In November 1605 he met the Turkish Grand Vizier, Lala Mohamed in the Vác region. After many hours of discussion about the Transylvanian situation he spoke at a banquet in the presence of the Turkish hosts and the Hungarian guests about friendship with the Turks being more valuable than the forever promising but never delivering assistance of Austria. He was presented with a saber inlaid with precious stones, a royal miter, a flag, as well as a crown that was placed on his head. He immediately removed the crown and declared that Hungary can only have one duly elected royal head. He was an excellent soldier; but at the same time realized that Hungary needed peace above all. Thus he forged the Peace Treaty of Vienna (Bécsi Béke) in 1606 with King Rudolf I, whereby he secured the independence of Transylvania, the freedom of the Protestants, and even a peace between the two adversary powers, the Turks and the Austrians, which resulted in Hungary regaining her strength. He stipulated in his will the continued independence of Transylvania that would secure the unity of the country and its status as a national kingdom under favourable circumstances. He died very young in 1606, only after a short reign. Circumstances suggest that he may have been poisoned. – B: 0931, 0883, 1138, T: 3312.→Hajdús; Bethlen, Prince, Gábor; Basta, Georgio; Basta Cart, Bocskai Crown; Freedom Fight of Bocskai, Prince István; Bécsi Béke (1606); Bocskai, Prince István, Death of.



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