Stephen Bathory

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Stephen Báthory
A 19th-century of a portrait
King of Poland
Grand Duke of Lithuania
Reign1 May 1576 – 12 December 1586
Coronation1 May 1576
Wawel Cathedral
PredecessorHenry of Valois
SuccessorSigismund III
Co-monarchAnna Jagiellon
Prince of Transylvania
PredecessorJohn Sigismund Zápolya
SuccessorSigismund Báthory
Born(1533-09-27)27 September 1533
Szilágysomlyó, Eastern Hungarian Kingdom
Died12 December 1586(1586-12-12) (aged 53)
Hrodna, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
BurialMay 1588
First Hrodna, then Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
Anna Jagiellon (m. 1576)
FatherStephen Báthory of Somlyó
MotherCatherine Telegdi
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignatureStephen Báthory's signature

Stephen Báthory (27 September 1533 – 12 December 1586) was a Hungarian Prince of Transylvania (1571–1586), then King of Poland (1576–1586) and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1576–1586).

The son of Stephen VIII Báthory and a member of the Báthory family. He was married to Queen Anna Jagiellon and worked closely with Chancellor Jan Zamoyski. During his reign, he focused on consolidating power, defeating rivals like Maximilian II, the Holy Roman Emperor, and quelling rebellions, including the Danzig rebellion. He had a successful reign, especially in military matters. His most significant accomplishment was his victorious campaign against Russia in Livonia, where he defended the Commonwealth's borders and secured a favorable peace treaty called the Peace of Jam Zapolski.

Early life[change | change source]

Personal coat of arms

Stephen Báthory was born on 27 September 1533, in Szilágysomlyó, Hungary.[1] His father was Stephen VIII Báthory, and mother was Catherine Telegdi.[1] He had two brothers and three sisters.[1]

Around 1549–1550, he was studied in Italy.[1] He later joined the army of the Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and fought against the Turks. He was captured by the Turks after 1553, and when Ferdinand I refused to pay his ransom, he switched sides, supporting John II Sigismund Zápolya in his quest for power in Eastern Hungary Kingdom.[1] Báthory took on various roles as a feudal lord, military commander, and diplomat during this time. At one point, he was put under house arrest in Vienna for two years, causing him to fall out of favor at Zápolya's court.[2] However, he still held influence and was considered a potential successor to Zápolya.[2]

After Zápolya died in 1571, Báthory became the Voivode of Transylvania through an election by the Transylvanian peoples.[2] He had to deal with opposition from Gáspár Bekes, who had support from the Habsburgs. In 1573, Báthory successfully defeated Bekes in a civil war and forced him out of Transylvania.[2] He then worked to navigate a balance between the Ottomans and the Holy Roman Empire to make Transylvania stronger.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Besala and Biedrzycka (2005), p. 114
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Besala and Biedrzycka (2005), p. 115
  3. Besala and Biedrzycka (2005), p. 116

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • Jerzy Besala; Agnieszka Biedrzycka (2004–2005). Stefan Batory (in Polish). Vol. XLIII. {{cite encyclopedia}}: |work= ignored (help)