Stefan Batory

(biography, photos, videos) Stefan Batory

photograph of Stefan Batory

  • Name: Stephen Bathory ( Stefan Batory )
  • Date of birth: 27 September 1533
  • Age: 53 years
  • Date of death: 12 Dec 1586.
  • Place of birth: Giudicarlo, Transylvania
  • Activity: king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania
  • Marital status: married

    Stefan Batory biography

    King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stefan Batory was the son of the Governor of Prince of Transylvania Stephen IV and his wife Catherine, who was descended from the chief Treasurer Stephen Telegdi. Biography of Stefan Batory originates on 27 September 1533 in the Transylvanian town of Giudicarlo, which is today the Romanian town of Simleu Silvaniei. As a descendant of a noble family, he received a fundamental education in the Italian University of Padua. Bathory was not yet 40 years old when the country began a civil war, which led him to the title of Prince of Transylvania.

    Stefan Batory
    King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania | Enzyklopädien auf der Akademik

    In 1574 a relatively powerful Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was left without a ruler for the flight of Henry III of Valois. The throne began to claim different persons, for example, the West Russian nobles wanted to crown of Ivan the terrible. It is interesting that the Moscow government this candidate is not supported, and offered the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II. In the end it was decided that the foreigners to the Polish throne more is not to let.

    Stefan Batory
    Portrait Of Bathory. Author unknown, 1576.

    The choice of the local princes with the support of the Turkish Sultan Selim II went on the Batory, up to that time was considered a vassal of the Ottoman Empire. Interestingly, the king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania it is not owned by the tongues of his subjects, as he was ethnic Hungarian. He talked to approximate the Latin language learned in perfection while studying at the University.


    Despite the fact that king Stefan Batory was actually a puppet of the Ottoman Empire, he put a lot of force to strengthen Royal authority and Catholicism, fought with the moguls, and later even joined the anti-Turkish League. It Stephen is credited with the development of Zaporizhzhya Cossacks, which he is allowed to choose Hetman and endowed with all the attributes of government, including the flag, seal and Mace as a scepter. For this Batory, the Cossacks formally considered the first Hetman, though he never interfered in their Affairs.

    Coin Of Stephan Batory
    Coin of the times of Batory in 1586. | A Byzantine ark

    Unlike the rulers of neighboring States, such as Ivan the terrible or Stefan III the Great, Batory was not resorted to violent measures against his subjects, and tried to act humanely and peacefully even with dissidents and radicals. Another important merit of the Polish and Lithuanian ruler was the streamlining of monetary circulation. The king has established a major tender Polish a penny that some people were displeased, but led to the stabilization of the financial and economic situation.

    Stefan Batory at Pskov
    Stefan Batory at Pskov. Artist Jan Matejko.

    As for the army, the Batory refused to call in the militia of peasants, slaves and other commoners, who formed the basis of gentry’s troops, as their training went on for months, and the result often left much to be desired. Skeptical referring to the militia, the king is widely used by professional mercenaries and even tried to create a standing army. For three years Stefan has nullified the conquering troops of the Russian Empire during the Livonian war. His cavalry captured Smolensk and Chernigov. Until 1582, the Polish king remained the most decisive and successful military opponent of Russia. But after an unsuccessful siege of Pskov by Stefan Batory, whose army was unable to capture the city, was forced to conclude a truce with the Russian Kingdom.

    Personal life

    The only woman with whom he was officially connected personal life of Stefan Batory, was the daughter of the great Duke of Lithuania Sigismund I, Anna Jagiellonka. Actually, from a legal point of view only because of the marriage with her and Stefan was able to ascend to the throne. Interestingly, Anne had become the wife of king Henry of Valois, but when he fled to France to claim the throne of his native country, Jagellonka married Stephen. They were married on may 1, 1576, and the coronation was held in Wawel Cathedral.

    Stefan Batory and Anna Jagiellonka
    With his wife Anna Jagiellonka | Odrodzenie

    As the wife was older than the king for 10 years and at the time of marriage she was over 50, children Anne and Stephen were not. Officially, the Batory had no offspring and died childless. However, at least one person suspected that he is the illegitimate son of a Polish Lord. It is about a young man claiming to be Dmitry Ivanovich, miraculously surviving son of Ivan the terrible. In history, he is better known as false Dmitry I.


    In recent years, the life of Stefan reconstructed the Old castle in Grodno under the new Royal residence, where he settled with his wife. But in December 1586, he died suddenly at the age of 53 years.

    The Tomb Of Stefan Batory
    The tombstone of the king of Poland.

    The reason for the king’s death was acute kidney failure, called uremia. Such accurate diagnosis should not be surprising: the fact that the body Batory opened the doctors, and this operation is the first documented a similar process in Eastern Europe. Buried the Polish king to Grodno, but later his remains were moved to Cracow castle Wawel complex, where he was placed. The name of Stefan Batory at one time wore of the Vilnius University. Also in the Lithuanian capital, and in Grodno, the Central city street named in honor of Stephen.


    Stefan Batory

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