Gabriel Báthory

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Gabriel Báthory
Prince of Transylvania
Reign 1608–1613
Predecessor Sigismund Rákóczi
Successor Gabriel Bethlen
Born August 15, 1589
Várad, Principality of Transylvania
(now Oradea, Romania)
Died October 27, 1613(1613-10-27) (aged 24)
Burial Nyírbátor
Spouse Anna Horváth Palocsai
Father Stephen Báthory
Mother Zsuzsanna Bebek
Religion Calvinism

Gabriel Báthory (Hungarian: Báthory Gábor; 15 August 1589 – 27 October 1613) was Prince of Transylvania from 1608 to 1613. He was the nephew of Andrew Báthory, who was prince of Transylvania in 1599. After his father died in 1601, the wealthy Stephen Báthory became his guardian, who converted him from Catholicism to Calvinism. He also sent Gabriel to the court of Stephen Bocskai in Kassa in Royal Hungary (now Košice in Slovakia) in early 1605. Gabriel inherited Stephen Báthory's estates, which made him one of the wealthiest noblemen in Bocskai's realm. Bocskai, who was elected prince of both Transylvania and Hungary, allegedly regarded Gabriel as his successor, but Bálint Drugeth was named as his heir in his last will in December 1606.

Gabriel laid claim to Transylvania, but the Diet of Transylvania elected the elderly Sigismund Rákóczi (Bocskai's former governor) prince in February 1606. Gabriel sought assistance from Rudolph, the king of Royal Hungary, promising to strengthen the position of the Roman Catholic Church if he were elected prince. The irregular Hajdú troops rose up in rebellion in the autumn of 1607. Gabriel concluded a treaty with them in February 1608, promising to grant landed property to them and to expel the Catholics and Unitarians from the royal council. Rákóczi abdicated without resistance and the Diet elected Gabriel prince. Both the Sublime Porte, and Rudolph's successor, Matthias II, acknowledged Gabriel's election.

Keeping his promise, Gabriel settled about 30,000 Hajdú warriors in Partium. However, rumours about his promiscuous lifestyle and greed started circulating. A group of mostly Catholic noblemen hired an assassin to murder him in March 1610, but the assassin betrayed them. The Diet confiscated the conspirators' estates. Gabriel captured Szeben (now Sibiu in Romania), which was the wealthiest town of the Transylvanian Saxons, in December. He also invaded Wallachia, but the Ottoman Sultan, Ahmed I, ordered him to return to Transylvania. The invasion of Wallachia outraged both Matthias and Ahmed. Michael Weiss persuaded the burghers of Brassó (now Braşov in Romania) to rise up against Gabriel. Radu Șerban, Prince of Wallachia, broke into Transylvania, forcing Gabriel to withdraw to Szeben in July. Zsigmond Forgách, the commander-in-chief of the royal troops of Upper Hungary, also invaded Transylvania. His invasion provoked the intervention of the Ottomans, forcing Forgách and Radu Șerban to leave Transylvania. However, negotiations between the envoys of Gabriel and Matthias outraged the Ottomans. At the request of Michael Weiss, the sultan decided to replace Gabriel with a Hajdú captain, András Géczi, but Gabriel defeated their united troops in October.

Gabriel signed a treaty with Matthias, promising to support Royal Hungary against the Ottomans. Ahmed appointed Gabriel's former supporter, Gabriel Bethlen, to replace Gabriel. Ottoman, Crimean Tatar, Wallachian and Moldavian troops broke into Transylvania in the autumn of 1613. After Gabriel withdrew to Partium, the Diet of Transylvania dethroned him and elected Bethlen prince. Gabriel was murdered by Hajdú assassins in Várad. He was ceremoniously buried years after his death.

Early life[edit]


Gabriel was born in Várad (now Oradea in Romania) before dawn on 15 August 1589.[1][2] His father, Stephen Báthory, was a cousin of Sigismund Báthory, Prince of Transylvania.[3] Stephen was captain of Várad when Gabriel was born.[1] Gabriel's mother was his father's first wife, Zsuzsanna Bebek.[4] She had already given birth to four children, but none of them survived infancy.[1] Sigismund Báthory dismissed Gabriel's father from Várad in the summer of 1592.[5] Gabriel's family moved to the Báthorys' ancient castle in Szilágysomlyó (now Șimleu Silvaniei in Romania).[5]

Sigismund Báthory wanted to join the Holy League against the Ottoman Empire, but most Transylvanian noblemen opposed his plan.[6] Gabriel's uncle, Balthasar Báthory, was one of the leaders of the opposition.[6] Balthasar was captured and murdered at Sigismund's order in late August 1594.[6] Gabriel's father fled from Transylvania to Poland, leaving his family behind in Szilágysomlyó.[7] The five-year-old Gabriel was imprisoned together with his mother and newborn sister, Anna.[5] Stephen and Balthasar's brother, Cardinal Andrew Báthory, who lived in Poland, persuaded Pope Clement VIII to intervene on their behalf.[8] At the pope's request, Gabriel, his mother and sister were set free and allowed to join Stephen in Poland.[8] Gabriel's mother fell seriously ill and died around the end of 1595.[9][10]

Sigismund Báthory abdicated in favor of Gabriel's uncle, Andrew, in early 1599.[11] Gabriel's father accompanied Andrew back to Transylvania, and his family followed him.[11] Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, invaded Transylvania and defeated Andrew with the assistance of Székely troops.[12] After Székely commoners murdered Andrew, Michael the Brave took possession of Transylvania.[12] Gabriel's father fled to Kővár (now Remetea Chioarului in Romania) and swore fealty to the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph (who was also king of Hungary).[13] Gabriel's father died on 21 February 1601.[13]

Under guardianship[edit]

A corpulent man riding a horse, surrounded by footmen, each holding a lance
Stephen Bocskai and his Hajdú warriors

The orphaned Gabriel and Anna were put under the guardianship of their father's childless cousin, Stephen Báthory.[13][14] They lost their father's most estates: Szilágysomlyó was seized by the royal treasury, their scattered estates in Szatmár, Szabolcs and Kraszna Counties by Peter Szaniszlófi.[15] The talented scholar János Czeglédi educated him in Nagyecsed.[16] The wealthy Stephen Báthory converted Gabriel from Catholicism to Calvinism.[17] Gabriel also pledged that he would chase all Catholics, Lutherans and Unitarians from his estates.[17]

Stephen Bocskai rose up against Rudolph with the support of irregular Hajdú troops.[18][19] Stephen Báthory did not openly support Bocskai, but sent Gabriel to Bocskai's court in Kassa (now Košice in Slovakia).[20][19] The sixteen-year-old Gabriel participated in a battle against the royal army near Sárospatak in early February 1605.[21] Three years later, the poet János Rimay accused Gabriel of having cowardly fled from the battlefield.[22]

Rimay also stated that Gabriel mostly spent his days drinking wine in Kassa.[23] He allegedly also had an affair with his aunt, Kata Iffjú (who was more than thirty at that time).[23] Gabriel's strength was legendary: he was said to break horseshoes with his bare hands.[2] Bocskai was elected prince of Transylvania on 21 February and prince of Hungary on 20 April 1605.[24] Bocskai's realm included most regions of Transylvania proper, Partium and Upper Hungary.[25]

Rise to power[edit]

Stephen Báthory died on 25 July 1605.[26] He had willed his most estates to Gabriel who thus became one of the wealthiest noblemen in Bocskai's realm.[27] Bocskai made remarks which implied that he regarded Gabriel as his successor.[28] For instance, Bocskai ordered Bálint Drugeth, commander-in-chief of his army in Upper Hungary, to "hold Gabriel Báthory in the highest esteem among the Hungarian lords" if he did not return from his meeting with the Ottoman Grand Vizier, Lala Mehmed Pasha,[29] in November 1605.[28] Young noblemen (including his future enemy, Gabriel Bethlen) and military officials also supported Gabriel.[28] Years later, Gáspár Bojti Veres would write that Gabriel made feasts to win popularity with Bocskai's courtiers and commanders.[28] Gabriel's relatives, Mihály Káthay (Bocskai's chancellor) and János Imreffy (Kata Iffjú's husband) were his principal supporters.[30] His position weakened after Káthay was imprisoned for treachery in early September 1606.[31] Káthay's opponents, Simon Péchi and János Rimay, persuaded the dying and often unconscious Bocskai to name Bálint Drugeth his successor in his last will.[32]

Four fortresses connected with a bridge to each other in a marschland
The Báthorys' fortress at Nagyecsed in 1688

Bocskai died in Kassa on 29 December 1606.[33] The mob accused Káthay of having poisoned Bocskai and lynched him on 12 January 1607.[34] Gabriel had demanded the Principality of Transylvania for himself already on 2 January in a letter to the grand vizier, Kuyucu Murad Pasha.[34] Bocskai's deputy, the elderly Sigismund Rákóczi continued to administer the principality with the consent of the Diet of Transylvania.[35] Gabriel sent Bethlen to János Petki, the captain-in-chief of the Székelys, to secure his support, but Bethlen was imprisoned at Rákóczi's order on 26 January.[36] Rákóczi also dismissed Dénes Bánffy, the captain of Várad, who was the fiancé of Gabriel's sister, Anna.[37]

The delegates of the Three Nations of Transylvania wanted to demonstrate their right to freely elect the prince.[38] The Diet first passed a decree which prohibited a minor be elected prince, preventing the election of the young Gabriel.[39] The Diet also ignored Bocskai's last will and elected Rákóczi prince on 12 February.[38] Gabriel mustered troops, but when the Diet warned him, he stated, he only wanted to protect Transylvania.[40] He demanded the cancellation of the Transylvanian decrees that had ordered the confiscation of the estates of his father and uncles in 1595.[41]

The Diet expelled the Jesuits from Transylvania.[33] Gabriel approached Rudolph I's councillors, offering that he would defend the Catholic Church in the principality if he ascended the throne.[42] He also stated that he was ready to reconvert to Catholicism.[43][44] Rudolph made him governor of Transylvania in June, but the appointment had no actual effect on Gabriel's position.[44] About two months later, Gabriel married Anna Horváth Palocsai, who was related to Bocskai.[45]

After receiving no salary for months, the Hajdús rose up in the autumn of 1607.[46] They offered their support to Drugeth, but he refused to took up their leadership.[46] Gabriel likewise treated them with disdain and promised that he would protect Transylvania against them at the end of October.[47] He mustered his troops and marched to Upper Hungary to fight against the Hajdús.[47] Gabriel again approached the royal court, asking Rudolph to make him voivode of Transylvania.[44] The representatives of the Hajdús and the noblemen of Upper Hungary made a truce for fifty days in Ináncs at the end of the year.[47]

Gabriel started negotiations with the Hajdús and concluded a treaty with them on 8 February 1608.[48][49] He pledged that he would settle the Hajdús in privileged villages in Partium in exchange for their support to seize Transylvania.[50][43] He also promised that he would expel all "heretics and idolaters" (namely, Unitarians and Catholics) from the royal council.[50][43] The Ottoman grand vizier also decided to support Gabriel, according to Nagy Szabó's memoirs.[51]

Gabriel sent Imreffy to Rákóczi, offering that he would help Rákóczi to seize two important domains in Upper Hungary if Rákóczi abdicated.[52] On 13 Februar, Gabriel informed Rudolph's commissioner, Zsigmond Forgách, that Rákóczi had already agreed to leave Transylvania.[53] The Hajdús took control of the northwestern region of Partium, but Gabriel forbade them to break into Transylvania proper.[54] János Petki announced Rákóczi's abdication at the Diet in Kolozsvár (now Cluj-Napoca in Romania) on 5 March.[54]



An elderly bearded man with a hat in his hand wearing a coat decorated with furs
Michael Weiss, mayor of Brassó (now Brașov in Romania)

The Diet elected Gabriel prince on 7 March and sent delegates to him to Nagyecsed.[55] His election was formally free, but he controlled the strongest army in the principality, making all resistance impossible.[55] Before accepting his election on 14 March, he pledged, he would respect the laws of the principality, especially the privileges of the Three Nations.[56] He was ceremoniously installed in Kolozsvár on 31 March.[56] The Diet granted him the domains of Fogaras (now Făgăraș in Romania) and Kővár as hereditary estates.[57] He started to settle the Hajdús in Partium.[58] To those who had been forced to leave Nagykálló, he granted Böszörmény; others received parcels in Bihar County.[58] On the whole, Gabriel settled about 30,000 Hajdú warriors during his reign.[59]

Gabriel wanted to assert his suzerainty over Wallachia and Moldavia.[60][61] He decided to dethrone Radu Șerban, Prince of Wallachia, but the royal council and Michael Weiss, the mayor of the important Transylvanian Saxon town of Brassó (now Brașov in Romania) dissuaded him.[60][61] Radu Șerban voluntarily swore fealty to Gabriel in the presence of his envoys on 31 May.[60] On 18 July, the thirteen-year-old Prince of Moldavia, Constantin I Movilă, also acknowledged Gabriel's suzerainty and promised to pay a yearly tribute of 8,000 florins.[60] In the same month, Gabriel visited Brassó.[62] His feasts infuriated the burghers, who described him as a drunkard or a greedy new Sardanapalus in deflamatory poems.[63][64] He was also notorious for his promiscuous lifestyle.[65] Gossips claimed that he seduced young women and promoted the noblemen who were willing to offer their wives to him.[65]

Gabriel sent Bethlen to Istanbul and Imreffy to Kassa to secure his recognition both by the Sublime Porte and the royal court.[66] After short negotiations, Imreffy and the representatives of Rudolph's brother, Matthias (who had already persuaded the king to abdicate in his favor), signed two treaties on 20 August.[67][66] The first document summarized the privileges of the Hajdús in both Royal Hungary and the Principality of Transylvania.[66] The second treaty recognized Gabriel as the lawful ruler of Transylvania, but also prohibited him to secede from the Holy Crown of Hungary.[66] Bethlen returned from Istanbul in late November, accompanied by the sultan's delegates who brought along the ahidnâme confirming Gabriel's election.[66] The sultan also exempted Transylvania of paying the customary tribute for three years.[68]

The Romanian Orthodox priests approached Gabriel, seeking his support against the noblemen who treated them as serfs.[63] At their request, he liberated them from paying levies and performing services to the landowners in June 1609.[63] He also granted them the right to freely move in the whole principality.[63][67] At Gabriel's initiative, the Diet abolished all previous grants that exempted certain noblemen's estates from taxation in October.[67]

Assassination attempt[edit]

While Gabriel was sleeping in István Kendi's house in Szék (now Sic in Romania) during the night of 10–11 March 1610, a man entered in his bedroom.[63][69] The intruder wanted to stab Gabriel, but changed his mind and confessed that Kendi and other (mostly Catholic) noblemen had hired him.[69][70] Kendi soon fled to Royal Hungary, but his accomplices were captured.[69] The Diet sentenced the conspirators to death and their estates were confiscated on 24 March.[71] Gabriel made Imreffy chancellor and Bethlen the captain-in-chief of the Székelys.[72]

The motivations behind the conspiracy are unclear.[70] The contemporaneous Tamás Borsos wrote, the conspirators wanted to murder Gabriel, because his undisciplined Hajdú troops had destroyed many villages.[70] The Calvinist pastor, Máté Szepsi Laczkó, stated, the Catholic noblemen wanted to get rid of the Protestant prince.[73] Others claimed, Boldizsár Kornis, captain-in-chief of the Székelys, joined the plot, because Gabriel had tried to seduce his young wife.[74]

Gabriel met György Thurzó, Palatine of Hungary, in Királydaróc (now Craidorolț in Romania) in June, but they could not reach an agreement.[75] Gabriel even remarked during the negotiations, that he was a sovereign, while the palatine was only a "lord's serf".[76] After returning to Transylvania, he planned to reunite Royal Hungary and Transylvania under his rule with Ottoman support.[77] He ordered the princes of Moldavia and Wallachia to send reinforcements and the Saxons to pay an extraordinary tax of 100,000 florins, but the prince of Moldavia did not send troops and the Saxons only paid 10,000 florins.[77] Imreffy again went to Royal Hungary to negotiate with Thurzó in Kassa.[77] By 15 August, they reached a compromise which settled most contentious issues.[78] However, Matthias II did not ratify the agreement, because it declared that Transylvania was not required to provide military assistance to Royal Hungary against the Ottomans.[79]


Dozens of houses and towers surrounded by a double line of walls
Szeben (now Sibiu in Romania) in the 17th century

Gabriel went to the wealthiest Saxon town, Szeben (now Sibiu in Romania), on 10 December.[80] Only 50 soldiers accompanied him into the town, but his army was stationed on the outskirts.[81] On the following day, Gabriel stopped at the gate of the town, pretending that he only wanted to study it.[81] While the gate was kept open, his army unexpectedly marched to Szeben and captured the town without resistance.[80] Gabriel stated that he wanted to secure his free entry to Szeben, because the Saxons could refuse the monarchs' entry to their towns.[82] According to the contemporaneous Diego de Estrada, Gabriel wanted to transfer his capital to the wealthy town from Gyulafehérvár (now Alba Iulia in Romania) which had been destroyed.[82] On 17 December, the Diet declared Szeben the capital of the principality.[82] The Diet also limited the privileges of Szeben, authorizing the noblemen to acquire real estate in the downtown and the Calvinist priests to preach in the Lutheran churches of the town.[83][84]

Gabriel launched a military campaign against Wallachia on 26 December.[72][85] Radu Şerban fled from the country, enabling Gabriel to take possession of Târgoviște without resistance.[72][86] Gabriel styled himself prince of Wallachia in a charter on 26 January 1611.[87] His troops pillaged the countryside, bringing death and destruction, according to Radu Popescu's chronicle.[88]

Gabriel sent his envoys to Istanbul, asking Ottoman Sultan, Ahmed I, to confirm his rule in Wallachia.[87] He outlined a plan of the conquest of Poland.[72] He also demanded a compensation for the salary of his Hajdús from the Ottomans, who started to call him "Deli Kiral" (or Mad King) because of his acts.[86] The Ottoman governors of Buda and Temesvár (now Timișoara in Romania) invaded the Hajdú villages in Partium, forcing them to hurry back to defend their homes.[89][90] Ahmed I granted Wallachia to Radu Mihnea and ordered Gabriel to return to Transylvania in March.[91][92] The sultan's decision outraged Gabriel, but he had no choice, but to accept it.[92]

Radu Şerban ousted Radu Mihnea from Wallachia at the head of an army of Cossack and Moldavian mercenaries.[92] The Diet ordered the mobilization of the Transylvanian army and authorized Gabriel to collect an extraordinary tax in April.[93] However, Michael Weiss (who had already regarded Gabriel a new Nero) stirred up the burghers of Brassó to rose up against the monarch.[94] Gabriel dispatched András Nagy, a captain of the Hajdús, to lay siege to Brassó, but Weiss bribed Nagy to lift the siege.[95] Radu Şerban broke into Burzenland (now Țara Bârsei in Romania) unexpectedly and routed Gabriel's army near Brassó on 8 July 1611.[96] Gabriel could hardly escape from the battlefield to Szeben[97][98]

Matthias II considered Gabriel's attack against Wallachia as a treachery, because he regarded Transylvania and the two Romanian principalities as realms of the Hungarian Crown.[99] Zsigmond Forgách, commander-in-chief of Upper Hungary, invaded Transylvania in late June.[100][90] Nagy and the Hajdús under his command supported Forgách, but most Protestant noblemen refuted to join the invasion.[101] Most Transylvanians regarded the invasion as an unlawful action, only the Saxons were willing to support Forgách.[102] Forgách and Radu Şerban laid siege to Szeben, but they could not capture it.[103] Gabriel sent envoys to Istanbul, seeking assistance from the Sublime Porte.[104] Nagy and his Hajdú troops deserted Forgách and routed the reinforcements sent to him from Upper Hungary in mid-September.[105] After learning of the arrival of Ottoman troops to support Gabriel, Radu Şerban withdrew from Szeben, forcing Forgách to lift the siege.[106][90] The Transylvanian army routed the retreating royal troops and captured hundreds of soldiers.[106]

Gabriel lead his army from Szeben to Várad, but the Ottoman troops did not accompany him.[107] The delegates of the counties and towns of Upper Hungary persuaded Thurzó to start negotiations with Gabriel.[108] Their envoys signed an agreement in Tokaj in December.[108] Gabriel pledged that he would send delegates to the Diet of Hungary and would not allow the serfs to join the Hajdús.[109] However, the princes of the Holy Roman Empire persuaded Matthias II not to ratify the treaty until Gabriel reached an agreement with the Saxons.[110]

Gabriel had meanwhile dispatched a Hajdú captain, András Géczi, to Istanbul to express his gratitude for the Ottoman support.[111][112] Géczi, however, made an agreement with Michael Weiss in Brassó and asked the removal of Báthory on behalf of the Three Nations of Transylvania in Istanbul in November.[113][112] The Imperial Council of the Ottoman Empire accepted the proposal and decided to replace Gabriel with Géczi.[112] After the burghers of Brassó refused to surrender, Gabriel broke into Burzenland and captured seven Saxon fortresses in late March and early April 1612.[114] In May, the Diet of Transylvania urged the Saxons of Brassó to surrender, but the delegates of the Three Nations did not punish the noblemen who had fled to the town.[115] A month later, Gabriel proposed at the Diet, that the principality should renounce the sultan's suzerainty, but the Diet also refused this proposal.[112]

Géczi sent letters to András Nagy, who promised to murder Gabriel, but Nagy's letter was captured.[110] Gabriel either killed Nagy, or had him executed in August, according to various sources.[110] Gabriel Bethlen (who had always been the leading figure of the pro-Ottoman policy) fled to Ottoman territory on 12 September.[112] He visited the Ottoman governors of Temesvár, Buda and Kanizsa.[116] With their help, he made contact with the grand vizier, Nasuh Pasha.[117] Weiss who wanted to instal Géczi as prince in Gyulafehérvár left Brassó at the head of an undisciplined army on 8 October 1612.[118] Gabriel attacked Weiss and his troops and annihilated them on 14 October.[118][119] Weiss was beheaded on the battlefield, but Géczi withdrew to Brassó.[120] The Diet sentenced Géczi and Bethlen to death, but granted an amnesty to those who had surrendered.[120]


A walled town on a peninsula surrounded by houses
Várad (now Oradea in Romania) in 1617

The Diet authorized Gabriel to start negotiations with Matthias II.[121] Their envoys signed a treaty of alliance in Pressburg (now Bratislava in Slovakia) on 24 December.[121] Matthias sent his delegates to Transylvania to urge the Saxons to surrender to Gabriel.[121] The treaty outraged Ahmed I who decided to replace Gabriel with Bethlen in March.[117][122] Matthias and Gabriel's envoys made a new treaty on 12 April.[121] Matthias acknowledged Gabriel's hereditary right to rule Transylvania.[123] In a secret agreement, Gabriel promised to support Matthias even against the Ottomans.[123] Gabriel granted a royal pardon to the Saxons and their allies, including Géczi, who was made the commander of Gabriel's guard.[124]

Gabriel Bethlen left Istanbul in August, accompanied by Skender, Pasha of Kanizsa.[117] Radu Mihnea invaded Transylvania from Wallachia in early September.[117] Canibek Giray, Khan of the Crimean Tatars, broke into the principality three weeks later.[117] By early October, Ottoman troops arrived to support Bethlen.[117] Gabriel fled from Transylvania proper and withdrew to Várad to seek assistance from Royal Hungary against Bethlen and his allies.[125] Zsigmond Forgách sent an army of 2,000 troops under the command of Miklós Abafy to Várad.[126]

Skender Pasha convoked the delegates of the Three Nations to a Diet at Gyulafehérvár.[117] The Diet dethroned Gabriel on 21 October, urging him in a letter of farewell to voluntarily accept the decision.[127] Two days later, the Diet elected Bethlen prince.[117]

András Géczi and Miklós Abaffy soon hatched a plot to murder Gabriel in Várad, according to Máté Szepsi Lackó.[128] On 26 October, they entered Gabriel's room and persuaded him to give his sword to them, but they did not dare to attack the strong prince, because he still had a dagger on him.[128] On the following day, Abaffy told Gabriel that the troops from Royal Hungary wanted to see him.[129] After visiting Abaffy's army, Gabriel returned to Várad in a carriage.[129] Suddenly, horsemen attacked the carriage, forcing it to turn into a narrow street.[129] Gabriel jumped out of the carriage, but he was soon shot.[129] He tried to resist at a willow near the Pece Stream, but dozens of Hajdús attacked and killed him.[130]

Balázs Nagy, captain of the Hajdú infantry, took Gabriel's corpse first to Nagyecsed, then to Nyírbátor.[131] His corpse laid unburried in the crypt of the church in Nyírbátor.[131] Gabriel was ceremoniously buried at Bethlen's order only in 1628.[122]


Gabriel's wife, Anna, was the daughter of György Horváth Palocsai and Krisztina Sulyok.[134] She was "a big fat woman", according to the contemporaneous Ferenc Nagy Szabó, who also mentioned that Gabriel "did possibly not love her too much".[134] Michael Weiss stated that Gabriel's separation from his wife was one of the reasons of the Saxons' rebellion, because it contradicted to divine law.[135]

Bethlen accused Gabriel of having had an incestuous affair with his sister, Anna.[136] Bethlen first mentioned this rumour in Istanbul in 1613, in an attempt to achieve Gabriel's deposition.[136] The accusation was repeated during the secret lawsuit against Anna, whom Bethlen accused of witchcraft in 1614.[137]


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  • Szabó, Péter Károly (2012). "Báthory Gábor". In Gujdár, Noémi; Szatmáry, Nóra. Magyar királyok nagykönyve: Uralkodóink, kormányzóink és az erdélyi fejedelmek életének és tetteinek képes története [Encyclopedia of the Kings of Hungary: An Illustrated History of the Life and Deeds of Our Monarchs, Regents and the Princes of Transylvania] (in Hungarian). Reader's Digest. pp. 204–205. ISBN 978-963-289-214-6. 

External links[edit]

Gabriel Báthory
Born: 15 August 1589 Died: 27 October 1613
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sigismund Rákóczi
Prince of Transylvania
Succeeded by
Gabriel Bethlen
Preceded by
Radu Şerban
Voivode of Wallachia
Succeeded by
Radu Mihnea