Hungarian princely family stemming from the ancient Magyar clan of Gut-Keled.
Andrew (András), Bishop of Nagyvárad (1333), was the confidant of King Charles Robert of Hungary and builder of the famed Gothic cathedral of Nagyvárad, which was later destroyed by the Turks.
Ladislaus (László), Bl., a member of the Order of the Hermits of St. Paul, lived in the first half of the 15th century. He translated the Bible into Hungarian.
Stephen (István) (1533–86), an outstanding soldier and diplomat, was unanimously elected to the vacant sovereignty of Transylvania in 1571. In 1575 he was elected king of Poland, thus ending the interregnum following the abdication of the Polish King Henry III (Valois). Stephen's marriage to the Polish Princess Anne of Jagello strengthened his position. He fought the Muscovites with skill, repeatedly defeating Ivan the Terrible. His other triumphs over the invading Turks and Tartars restored Poland to a leading position in northeastern Europe. He gave strong support to the Catholic reform movement, encouraged the Jesuits, and abolished the edict that gave equal rights to the Protestants. He also introduced the Gregorian calendar into Poland. Upon the death of Ivan the Terrible in 1584, Báthory prepared for a possible Polish-Muscovite union, but he died unexpectedly in 1586.
Sigismund (Zsigmond) (1572–1613) was elected sovereign of Transylvania in 1581, assuming power at the age of 16. He was a talented statesman and general, and scored a decisive victory over the Ottoman general, Sinan Pasha, in 1595. Four years later, upset at the desertion of his wife, Maria Christina of Austria, and perhaps affected by an inherent eccentricity, he suddenly abdicated in favor of Emperor Rudolf II in exchange for the Duchy of Oppeln. His abdication was not approved by the Transylvanian estates; therefore in that year he offered the throne to his cousin Andrew, and it was accepted.
Andrew (András) (1566–99), cardinal bishop of Ermland. In 1599 he left his diocese to assume the sovereignty of Transylvania offered by his cousin Sigismund, but he died in battle.
Bibliography: i. acsÁdy, A magyar birodalom története, 2 v. (Budapest 1903–04) 2. b. hÓman and j. szekfÜ, Magyar történet, 8 v. (Budapest 1928–34). i. lukinich, Erdély területi változásai a török hóditás korában, 1541–1711 (Budapest 1918). polska akademia umiejetnÓsci, Etienne Báthory, roi de Pologne, prince de Transylvanie (Cracow 1935). s. szilÁgyi, ed., Monumenta comitialia regni Transylvaniae (1540–1699), 21 v. (Budapest 1875–98). l. toth, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 6:1323–25.
[g. c. paikert]