Cardinal, prince primate of Hungary; b. Erdoed (Szatmar), c. 1442; d. June 15, 1521. He received his education in Hungary, Poland, and the Italian cities of Ferrara and Padua, where he obtained a doctor's degree. Returning to Hungary in 1470, he became secretary and confidant to King Matthias (Hunyadi). He was appointed bishop of Györ and member of the royal council in 1490, bishop of Eger and archbishop of Esztergom in 1497, cardinal in 1500, and titular patriarch of Constantinople ten years later.
Bakócz was Hungary's principal statesman until his death, and his policies were not free of the intrigue and bribery typical of Renaissance diplomacy. Invited by Julius II to attend the general Roman synod of 1512, he became influential in the committee for the reform of the Church and the Roman Curia. In the conclave in 1513 he was supported by Emperor Maximilian and by Venice, but his chance of election failed because the Italian cardinals feared that Bakócz as pope would devote his power exclusively to the destruction of the Ottoman menace. The new pope, Leo X, appointed him legate a latere for Hungary with a bull for a new crusade. George Dózsa was commissioned to form an army, but the opposition of the nobles turned the plan into a futile and bloody peasant revolt. Discredited, Bakócz retired from public life in 1516. He was a noted and generous patron of the arts, and built the famous Bakócz chapel, one of the few remaining masterpieces of the Hungarian Renaissance, in the original basilica of his primatial see in Esztergom.
Bibliography: v. frakÓi, Ungarn vor der Schlacht bei Mohacs, 1524–26, tr. j. h. schwicker (Budapest 1886). s. domanovszky, ed., Magyar müvelödéstörténet, 5 v. (Budapest 1939–42) v. 2, Magyar Renaissance. b. homan and g. szekfÜ, Magyar történet, 5 v. (Budapest 1935–36). l. toth, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 6: 291–92. Wetzer und Welte Kirchenlexicon, v. 1 (2d ed. Freiburg 1882) 1862–67.
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