B bábi, Tibor

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Basta, Cart of – During the rule of General Giorgio Basta (1599-1605), the ravages of Habsburg rule brought such destitution to the common people of Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania) that in place of their confiscated animals they harnessed themselves to the cart, thus became known as “the cart of Basta”. – B: 0942, T: 7668.→Basta, Giorgio.
Basta, Giorgio (Ulpiano, Italy, 1544 - Vienna, 26 August 1607) – Soldier of Albanian descent. Rose from foot soldier to the rank of general. After fighting in almost all the battlefronts of Europe, he was stationed in Hungary in 1597. Following the death of András (Andrew) Báthory, he governed the principality of Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania) together with Voivode Mihály (Michael of Wallachia). At Goroszló in 1601, he defeated Zsigmond (Sigismund) Báthory, who wanted to regain his throne; then he ordered the assassination of Voivode Mihály (Michael of Wallachia). In the name of Emperor Rudolf of Austria, he ruled with full power and exercised a reign of terror in the devastated Principality. He was rewarded with the rank of field marshal and the title of Count. He won a battle against István (Stephen) Bocskai at Osgyán; but was forced by the Hajdú (Hayduck) units to retreat to Eperjes (now Prešov, Slovakia). He escaped from there to Vienna in the spring of 1605 with his reduced army. Hungarian and Romanian historians alike portray Basta as a treacherous, licentious and violent man, motivated by ardent hatred of Hungarians. During his rule, Transylvania descended into chaos created by his army of mercenaries and bandits. During his reign of terror a third of Transylvania’s population was lost, including most of the nobility. After his retirement, Basta wrote several military manuals. – B: 0883, 1031, T: 7687, 7103.→Basta, Cart of; Bocskai, Prince István; Báthory, Count Zsigmond; Báthory, Prince András.

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