History of Christianity in Hungary
The history of Christianity in Hungary began in the Roman province of Pannonia where the presence of Christian communities is first attested in the 3rd century. Although the territory was under the successive control of the Huns, Germanic peoples, Avars from the 5th century, Christian communities may have survived in the region of Lake Balaton up until the 9th century. Accordingly, Christianity had existed in the present-day territory of Hungary before the Hungarians settled there around 900 AD, but the question of continuity is unresolved; the Byzantine Christianity had a significant influence on the Hungarians, but the decisive steps towards the adoption of the new faith were taken by Géza, the head of the Hungarian tribal federation who supported Western missionaries. The reception of Christianity was enforced by legislation in the reign of Géza's son, Stephen I. Although some tenets of pagan belief were incorporated into the Christian vocabulary of the Hungarian language, nearly all the basic words of its religious terminology are of Slavic origin.
The earliest religious texts written in vernacular survived from the end of the 12th century, while the first Hungarian translation of the Bible was prepared in the 1430s by Hussite preachers. The multiethnic Kingdom of Hungary emerged on the frontier of the Roman Catholic and pagan worlds, thus Hungarian monarchs assisted the Papacy in its efforts to expand the borders of Catholicism by waging wars against their country's pagan, "schismatic", or "heretical" neighbors. The importance of the Catholic Church in the medieval state was comparable to its position in other parts of contemporary Europe: the Church administered schools and hospitals, its prelates participated in both legislation and public administration and fulfilled judicial functions, financed these activities via its own sources of income, such as tithes. Protestant ideas, namely Lutheranism, started to spread in the German-speaking towns in the 1520s. Despite Lutheranism's initial success, the majority of the kingdom's population adhered to the more radical theology of Calvinism by the second half of the century.
The idea of freedom of religion was first enacted in this period by the "Decree of Torda" of 1568. Although the Catholic Church regained its preeminent position due to the support it received from the Habsburg monarchs, in the 17th–18th centuries, significant Protestant groups survived the Counter-Reformation; the equal status of the "received" denominations – the Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Evangelical and Unitarian Churches – was first declared in 1848. Although in 1947 all discrimination against other denominations was abolished, Church activities soon became subject to state supervision due to the introduction of the Communist regime. Following the regime's fall, state interference in Church affairs ceased by the passage of a new law concerning religion in 1990. Transdanubia, the territory of modern Hungary west of the river Danube, became part of the Roman province of Pannonia in 8 AD. To other parts of the Roman Empire, most altars in the province were dedicated to Jupiter, who in this respect was followed by Silvanus.
Aquincum became an important center of the cult of Mithras in the region. Local Christian communities were first attested in 303 when Bishop Quirinus of Sescia was executed in Savaria under the Diocletianic Persecution; the new faith struck firm roots after its position had been consolidated throughout the Roman Empire in 313. The large Christian necropolises in Sopianae and Savaria are dated to this period. However, due to barbarian invasions, refugees from Pannonia started to arrive in other parts of the Roman Empire from the early 5th century. Among these displaced peoples were the inhabitants of Scarbantia who fled to Italy taking Saint Quirinus's relics with them. Martin of Tours, the patron saint of France, was born in Pannonia; the towns of the province were ruined around 430 by the Huns, but the Hun Empire itself was destroyed in the 450s by the revolt of Germanic peoples. Thereafter parts of the former province were controlled by the Ostrogoths, while the Gepids established themselves east of the river Tisza.
A tablet of lead from this period discovered at Hács bore the Gothic text of parts of the Gospel of John. To the Goths, the Gepidic nobility adopted Arianism, as strain of Christianity; the "Reihengräber cemeteries" found in the territory under Gepidic control, for instance at Szentes, are characterized by inhumation graves laid out in rows with an east–west orientation. Transdanubia was occupied in the early 6th century by the Lombards whose original cremation rite was replaced with a new habit of burying unburnt bodies in this period. In 567 the Avars subdued the Gepids, in the next year forced the Lombards to flee to Italy. According to Paul the Deacon, the last remnants of the local Christian population left Pannonia around that time; however a number of assemblages from the "Early Avar period" point to such a considerable Roman or early Bzyantine influence that they are grouped into the specific "Keszthely culture". They have been found in the southwestern regions of Transdanubia. For example, a disc brooch decorated with an archangel's portrait was found at Nagyharsány, three other specimens with the image of Christ were unearthed at Keszthely and Pécs.
In a fort at Fenékpuszta near the Lake Balaton a three-aisled basilica was erected in the second half of the 6th century. Although it was destroyed around 630, "Keszthely cemeteries" continued well into the early 9th century at the lake's westernmost end. One of the Avar leaders, the tudun received baptism in A
The Székelys, sometimes referred to as Szeklers, are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living in the Székely Land in Romania. A significant population descending from the Székelys of Bukovina lives in Tolna and Baranya counties in Hungary and in certain districts of Vojvodina, Serbia. In the Middle Ages, the Székelys, along with the Transylvanian Saxons, played a key role in the defense of the Kingdom of Hungary against the Ottomans in their posture as guards of the eastern border. With the Treaty of Trianon of 1920, Transylvania became part of Romania, the Székely population was a target of Romanianization efforts. In 1952, during the Socialist Republic of Romania, the former province of Mureș, was designated as the Hungarian Autonomous Region, it was superseded in 1960 by the Mureș-Hungarian Autonomous Region, itself divided in 1968 into three non-autonomous counties, Harghita and Mureș. In post-Cold War Romania, where the Székelys form half of the ethnic Hungarian population, members of the group have been among the most vocal of Hungarians seeking an autonomous Hungarian region in Transylvania.
They were estimated to number about 860,000 in the 1970s and are recognized as a distinct minority group by the Romanian government. Today's Székely Land corresponds to the Romanian counties of Harghita and central and eastern Mureș. Based on the official 2011 Romanian census, 1,227,623 ethnic Hungarians live in Romania in the region of Transylvania, making 19.6% of the population of this region. Of these, 609,033 live in the counties of Harghita and Mureș, which taken together have a Hungarian majority; the Hungarians in Székely Land therefore account for half of the Hungarians in Romania. When given the choice on the 2011 Romanian census between ethnically identifying as Székely or as Hungarian, the overwhelming majority of the Székelys chose the latter – only 532 persons declared themselves as ethnic Székely; the Székelys derive their name from a Hungarian expression meaning "frontier guards". The Székely territories came under the leadership of the Count of the Székelys a royal appointee from the non-Székely Hungarian nobility, de facto a margrave.
The Székelys were considered a distinct ethnic group and formed part of the Unio Trium Nationum, a coalition of three Transylvanian estates, the other two "nations" being the nobility and the Saxons burghers. These three groups ruled Transylvania from 1438 onward in harmony though sometimes in conflict with one another. During the Long Turkish War, the Székelys formed an alliance with Prince Michael the Brave of Wallachia against the army of Andrew Báthory appointed Prince of Transylvania; the origin of the Székelys has been much debated. It is now accepted that they are descendants of Hungarians transplanted to the eastern Carpathian Mountains to guard the frontier, their name meaning "frontier guards"; the Székelys have claimed descent from Attila's Huns and believed they played a special role in shaping Hungary. Ancient legends recount that a contingent of Huns remained in Transylvania allying with the main Hungarian army that conquered the Carpathian Basin in the 9th century; the thirteenth-century chronicler Simon of Kéza claimed that the Székely people descended from Huns who lived in mountainous lands prior to the Hungarian conquest.
After the theory of Hunnic descent lost scholarly currency in the 20th century two substantial ideas emerged about Székely ancestry: Some scholars suggested that the Székelys were Magyars, like other Hungarians, transplanted in the Middle Ages to guard the frontiers. Researches could not prove. In this case, their strong cultural differences from other Hungarians stem from centuries of relative isolation in the mountains. Others suggested Turkic origin as Kabar or Esegel-Bulgar ancestries; some historians have dated the Székely presence in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains as early as the fifth century, found historical evidence that the Székelys were part of the Avar confederation during the so-called Dark Ages, but this does not mean that they were ethnically Avar. Research indicates. Toponyms at the Székely settlement area give proof of their Hungarian mother tongue; the Székely dialect does not have more Bulgaro-Turkish loan-words derived from before the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin than standard Hungarian does.
If the Székelys had been a Turkic stock they had to have lost their original vernacular at a early date. An autosomal analysis, studying non-European admixture in Europeans, found 4.4% of admixture of non-European and non-Middle Eastern origin among Hungarians, the strongest among sampled populations. It was found at 3.6% in Belarusians, 2.5% in Romanians, 2.3% in Bulgarians and Lithuanians, 1.9% in Poles and 0% in Greeks. The authors stated "This signal might correspond to a small genetic legacy from invasions of peoples from the Asian steppes during the first millennium CE." Among 100 Hungarian men, the following haplogroups and frequencies are obtained: The 97 Székelys belong to the following haplogroups: It can be infer
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the 20th century. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the coronation of the first king Stephen I at Esztergom around the year 1000. By the 12th century, the kingdom became a European middle power within the Western world. Due to the Ottoman occupation of the central and southern territories of Hungary in the 16th century, the country was partitioned into three parts: the Habsburg Royal Hungary, Ottoman Hungary, the semi-independent Principality of Transylvania; the House of Habsburg held the Hungarian throne after the Battle of Mohács until 1918 and played a key role in the liberation wars against the Ottoman Empire. From 1867, territories connected to the Hungarian crown were incorporated into Austria-Hungary under the name of Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen; the monarchy ended with the deposition of the last king Charles IV in 1918, after which Hungary became a republic.
The kingdom was nominally restored during the "Regency" of 1920–46, ending under the Soviet occupation in 1946. The Kingdom of Hungary was a multiethnic state from its inception until the Treaty of Trianon and it covered what is today Hungary, Slovakia and other parts of what is now Romania, Carpathian Ruthenia, Vojvodina and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders. From 1102 it included Croatia, being in personal union with it, united under the King of Hungary. Today, the feast day of the first king Stephen I is a national holiday in Hungary, commemorating the foundation of the state; the Latin forms Ungarie. The German name Königreich Ungarn was used from 1784 to 1790 and again between 1849 and the 1860s; the Hungarian name was used in the 1840s, again from the 1860s to 1946. The unofficial Hungarian name of the kingdom was Magyarország, still the colloquial, the official name of Hungary; the names in the other native languages of the kingdom were: Polish: Królestwo Węgier, Romanian: Regatul Ungariei, Serbian: Kraljevina Ugarska, Croatian: Kraljevina Ugarska, Slovene: Kraljevina Ogrska, Slovak: Uhorské kráľovstvo, Italian, Regno d'Ungheria.
In Austria-Hungary, the unofficial name Transleithania was sometimes used to denote the regions of the Kingdom of Hungary. The term Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen was included for the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, although this term was in use prior to that time; the Hungarians led by Árpád settled the Carpathian Basin in 895, established Principality of Hungary. The Hungarians led several successful incursions to Western Europe, until they were stopped by Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in Battle of Lechfeld; the principality was succeeded by the Christian Kingdom of Hungary with the coronation of St Stephen I at Esztergom on Christmas Day 1000. The first kings of the kingdom were from the Árpád dynasty, he fought with Bavarian help, defeated him near Veszprém. The Catholic Church received powerful support from Stephen I, who with Christian Hungarians and German knights wanted a Christian kingdom established in Central Europe. Stephen I of Hungary was canonized as a Catholic saint in 1083 and an Orthodox saint in 2000.
After his death, a period of revolts and conflict for supremacy ensued between the royalty and the nobles. In 1051 armies of the Holy Roman Empire tried to conquer Hungary, but they were defeated at Vértes Mountain; the armies of the Holy Roman Empire continued to suffer defeats. Before 1052 Peter Orseolo, a supporter of the Holy Roman Empire, was overthrown by king Samuel Aba of Hungary; this period of revolts ended during the reign of Béla I. Hungarian chroniclers praised Béla I for introducing new currency, such as the silver denarius, for his benevolence to the former followers of his nephew, Solomon; the second greatest Hungarian king from the Árpád dynasty, was Ladislaus I of Hungary, who stabilized and strengthened the kingdom. He was canonized as a saint. Under his rule Hungarians fought against the Cumans and acquired parts of Croatia in 1091. Due to a dynastic crisis in Croatia, with the help of the local nobility who supported his claim, he managed to swiftly seize power in northern parts of the Croatian kingdom, as he was a claimant to the throne due to the fact that his sister was married to the late Croatian king Zvonimir who died childless.
However, kingship over all of Croatia would not be achieved until the reign of his successor Coloman. With the coronation of King Coloman as "King of Croatia and Dalmatia" in Biograd in 1102, the two kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary were united under one crown. Although the precise terms of this relationship became a matter of dispute in the 19th century, it is believed that Coloman created a kind of personal union between the two kingdoms; the nature of the relationship varied through time, Croatia retained a large degree of internal autonomy overall, while the real power rested in the hands of the local nobility. Modern Croatian and Hungarian historiographies view the relations between Kingdom of Croatia and Kingdom of Hungary from 1102 as a form of a personal union, i.e. that
History of the Jews in Hungary
Jews have a long history in Hungary, with some records predating the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin in 895 CE by over 600 years. Written sources prove that Jewish communities lived in the medieval Kingdom of Hungary and it is assumed that several sections of the heterogeneous Hungarian tribes practiced Judaism. Jewish officials served the king during the early 13th century reign of Andrew II. From the second part of the 13th century, the general religious tolerance decreased and Hungary's policies became similar to the treatment of the Jewish population in Western Europe; the Jews of Hungary were well integrated into Hungarian society by the time of the First World War. By the early 20th century, the community had grown to constitute 5% of Hungary's total population and 23% of the population of the capital, Budapest. Jews became prominent in the arts and business. By 1941, over 17% of Budapest's Jews were Roman Catholic conversos. Anti-Jewish policies grew more repressive in the interwar period as Hungary's leaders, who remained committed to regaining the territories lost at the peace agreement of 1920, chose to align themselves with the governments of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy – the international actors most to stand behind Hungary's claims.
Starting in 1938, Hungary under Miklós Horthy passed a series of anti-Jewish measures in emulation of Germany's Nürnberg Laws. The vast majority of 18,000 foreign Jews who were rounded up in Hungary and deported were massacred on August 27–28, 1941 by the German SS. In the massacres of Újvidék and villages nearby, 2,550–2,850 Serbs, 700–1,250 Jews and 60–130 others were murdered by the Hungarian Army and "Csendőrség" Gendarmerie in January 1942. Following the German occupation of Hungary on March 19, 1944, Jews from the Hungarian provinces outside Budapest and its suburbs were rounded up and the first transports to Auschwitz began in early May 1944 and continued as Soviet troops approached. During the last years of World War II, they suffered with 420,000 to 600,000 perishing between 1941 and 1945 through deportation to Nazi German-run extermination camps. A Jew living in the Hungarian countryside in March 1944 had a less than 10% chance of surviving the following 12 months. In Budapest, a Jew's chance of survival of the same 12 months was about 50%.
The 2011 Hungary census data had 10,965 people who self-identified as religious Jews, of whom 10,553 declared themselves as ethnic Hungarian. Estimates of Hungary's Jewish population in 2010 range from 54,000 to more than 130,000 concentrated in Budapest; the intermarriage rates for Hungarian Jews is around 60%. There are many active synagogues in Hungary, including the Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest synagogue in the world after the Temple Emanu-El in New York City, it is not known when Jews first settled in Hungary. According to tradition, King Decebalus permitted the Jews who aided him in his war against Rome to settle in his territory. Dacia included part of modern-day Hungary as well as Romania and Moldova and smaller areas of Bulgaria and Serbia. Prisoners of the Jewish Wars may have been brought back by the victorious Roman legions stationed in Provincia Pannonia. Marcus Aurelius ordered the transfer of some of his rebellious troops from Syria to Pannonia in 175 CE.
These troops had been recruited in Antioch and Hemesa, which still had a sizable Jewish population at that time. The Antiochian troops were transferred to Ulcisia Castra, while the Hemesian troops settled in Intercisa. Stone inscriptions referring to Jews were found in Brigetio, Aquincum, Triccinae, Savaria and elsewhere in Pannonia. A Latin inscription, the epitaph of Septima Maria, discovered in Siklós refers to her Jewishness; the Intercisa tablet was inscribed on behalf of "Cosmius, chief of the Spondilla customhouse, archisynagogus Iudeorum " during the reign of Alexander Severus. In 2008, a team of archeologists discovered a 3rd-century AD amulet in the form of a gold scroll with the words of the Jewish prayer Shema' Yisrael inscribed on it in Féltorony. Hungarian tribes settled the territory 650 years later. In the Hungarian language, the word for Jew is zsidó, adopted from one of the Slavic languages; the first historical document relating to the Jews of Hungary is the letter written about 960 CE to King Joseph of the Khazars by Hasdai ibn Shaprut, the Jewish statesman of Córdoba, in which he says that the Slavic ambassadors promised to deliver the message to the King of Slavonia, who would hand the same to Jews living in "the country of Hungarian", who, in turn, would transmit it farther.
About the same time Ibrahim ibn Jacob says that Jews went from Hungary to Prague for business purposes. Nothing is known concerning the Jews during the period of the grand princes, except that they lived in the country and engaged in commerce there. In 1061, King Béla I ordered that markets should take place on Saturdays instead of the traditional Sundays. In the reign of St. Ladislaus, the Synod of Szabolcs decreed that Jews should not be permitted to have Christian wives or to keep Christian slaves; this decree had been promulgated in the Christian countries of Europe
Ottoman Hungary was the territory of southern and central Medieval Hungary, ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1541 to 1699. Ottoman rule was scattered and covered the southern territories of the former medieval Kingdom of Hungary as the entire region of the Great Hungarian Plain and Southern Transdanubia. By the sixteenth century, the power of the Ottoman Empire had increased as did the territory controlled by them in the Balkans, while the Kingdom of Hungary was weakened by the peasants' uprisings. Under the reign of Louis II Jagiellon, internal dissentions divided the nobility. Instigating war by feigned diplomatic insult, Suleiman the Magnificent attacked the Kingdom of Hungary and captured Belgrade in 1521, he did not hesitate to launch an attack against the weakened kingdom, whose smaller, badly led army was defeated on 29 August 1526 at the Battle of Mohács. Thus he became influential in the Kingdom of Hungary, while his semi-vassal, named John Zápolya and his enemy Ferdinand I both claimed the throne of the Kingdom.
Suleiman went further and tried to crush Austrian forces, but his Siege of Vienna in 1529 failed after the onset of winter forced his retreat. The title of king of Hungary was disputed between Zápolya and Ferdinand until 1540. After the seizure of Buda by the Ottomans in 1541, the West and North recognized a Habsburg as king, while the central and southern counties were annexed by the Ottoman Sultan and the east was ruled by the son of Zápolya under the name Eastern Hungarian Kingdom which after 1570 became the Principality of Transylvania. Whereas a great many of the 17,000 and 19,000 Ottoman soldiers in service in the Ottoman fortresses in the territory of present-day Hungary were Orthodox and Muslim Balkan Slavs, Southern Slavs were acting as akıncıs and other light troops intended for pillaging in the territory of present-day Hungary. In these times, territory of present-day Hungary began to undergo changes due to the Ottoman occupation. Vast lands remained covered with woods. Flood plains became marshes.
The life of the inhabitants on the Ottoman side was unsafe. Peasants fled to the marshes, forming guerrilla bands, known as the Hajdú troops; the territory of present-day Hungary became a drain on the Ottoman Empire, swallowing much of its revenue into the maintenance of a long chain of border forts. However, some parts of the economy flourished. In the huge unpopulated areas, townships bred cattle that were herded to south Germany and northern Italy - in some years they exported 500,000 head of cattle. Wine was traded to the Czech lands and Poland; the defeat of Ottoman forces led by Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha at the Second Siege of Vienna in 1683, at the hands of the combined armies of Poland and the Holy Roman Empire under John III Sobieski, was the decisive event that swung the balance of power in the region. Under the terms of the Treaty of Karlowitz, which ended the Great Turkish War in 1699, the Ottomans ceded to Habsburgs much of the territory they had taken from the medieval Kingdom of Hungary.
Following this treaty, the members of the Habsburg dynasty administered a much enlarged Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary. In the 1540s the total of the four principal fortresses of Buda, Pest, Székesfehérvár and Esztergom were 10,200 troops; the number of Ottoman garrison troops stationed in Ottoman Hungary vary, but during the peak period in the mid-16th century it rose to between 20,000 and 22,000 men. As a force of occupation for a country the size of Hungary confined to central portions it was a rather low-profile military presence in much of the country and a large proportion of it was concentrated in a few key fortresses. In 1640 when the front remained quiet, 8,000 Janissary supported by an undocumented number of local recruits was sufficient to garrison the whole of the Eyalet of Budin; the territory was divided into Eyalets, which were further divided into Sanjaks, with the highest ranking Ottoman official being the Pasha of Budin. At first, Ottoman-controlled territories in present-day Hungary were part of the Budin Eyalet.
New eyalets were formed: Temeşvar Eyalet, Zigetvar Eyalet, Kanije Eyalet, Eğri Eyalet, Varat Eyalet. Administrative centers of Budin, Zigetvar and Egir eyalets were located in the territory of present-day Hungary, while Temeşvar and Varat eyalets that had their administrative centers in the territory of present-day Romania included some parts of present-day Hungary. Pashas and Sanjak-Beys were responsible for administration and defense; the Ottomans' only interest was to secure their hold on the territory. The Sublime Porte became the sole landowner and managed about 20 percent of the land for its own benefit, apportioning the rest among soldiers and civil servants; the Ottoman landlords were interested in squeezing as much wealth from the land as as possible. Of major importance to the Sublime Porte was the collection of taxes. Taxation left little for the former landlords to collect. Wars, slave-taking, the emigration of nobles who lost their land caused a depopulation of the countryside. However, the Ottomans practiced relative religious tolerance and allowed the various ethnicities living within the empire significant autonomy in internal affairs.
Towns maintained some self-government, a prosperous middle class developed t
John Sigismund Zápolya
John Sigismund Zápolya or Szapolyai was King of Hungary as John II from 1540 to 1551 and from 1556 to 1570, the first Prince of Transylvania, from 1570 to his death. He was the only son of John I, King of Hungary, Isabella of Poland. John I ruled parts of the Kingdom of Hungary, with the support of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman; the two kings concluded a peace treaty in 1538 acknowledging Ferdinand's right to reunite Hungary after John I's death, but shortly after John Sigismund's birth, on his deathbed, John I bequeathed his realm to his son. The late king's staunchest supporters elected the infant John Sigismund king, but he was not crowned with the Holy Crown of Hungary. Suleiman invaded Hungary under the pretext of protecting John Sigismund against Ferdinand; the capital of Hungary, fell to the Ottomans without opposition in 1541, but Suleiman allowed the dowager queen, Isabella, to retain the territory east of the river Tisza on John Sigismund's behalf. Isabella and John Sigismund moved to Lippa.
Before long, they took up residence in Gyulafehérvár in Transylvania. John Sigismund's realm was administered by his father's treasurer, George Martinuzzi, who wanted to reunite Hungary under the rule of Ferdinand. Martinuzzi forced Isabella to renounce her son's realm in exchange for two Silesian duchies and 140,000 florins in 1551. John Sigismund and his mother settled in Poland, but she continued to negotiate for John Sigismund's restoration with Ferdinand's enemies. Ferdinand could not protect eastern Hungary against the Ottomans. Urged by Suleiman, the Transylvanian Diet in 1556 persuaded John Sigismund and his mother to return to Transylvania, she ruled her son's realm until her death in 1559. A wealthy lord, Melchior Balassa, rebelled against John Sigismund in late 1561, which contributed to the loss to Ferdinand of most counties outside Transylvania; the Székely people, whose liberties had been restricted in the 1550s rose up against John Sigismund, but he crushed the rebellion. During the ensuing war against the Habsburgs, the Ottomans supported John Sigismund, he paid homage to Suleiman in Zemun in 1566.
The 1568 Treaty of Adrianople concluded the war, confirming John Sigismund in the eastern territories of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. John Sigismund initiated a series of theological debates among the representatives of the concurring theological schools of the Reformation in the 1560s, he converted from Catholicism to Lutheranism in 1562 and from Lutheranism to Calvinism in 1564. Around five years accepting the Anti-Trinitarian views of his physician, Giorgio Biandrata and court preacher Ferenc Dávid, he became the only Unitarian monarch in history. In 1568, the Diet passed the Edict of Torda, which emphasized that "faith is a gift of God" and prohibited the persecution of people for religious reasons; the edict expanded the limits of freedom of religion beyond the standards of late 16th-century Europe. John Sigismund abandoned the title "elected king of Hungary" in the Treaty of Speyer in 1570. Thereafter, he styled himself "Prince of Transylvania and Lord of Parts of the Kingdom of Hungary".
He died childless. The Catholic Stephen Báthory succeeded him. John Sigismund's father, John Zápolya, was the wealthiest Hungarian lord in the early 16th century. After the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Hungarian army in the Battle of Mohács, the majority of the noblemen elected John Zápolya king in 1526. However, a group of influential lords proclaimed Ferdinand of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, king in the same year. Hungary fell into a civil war. John paid homage to Suleiman at Mohács in 1529 to secure Ottoman support against Ferdinand. However, neither John nor Ferdinand could win control of the whole country during the next years. To conclude the civil war, the two kings' envoys signed the Treaty of Várad on 24 February 1538, which confirmed both kings' right to retain the lands that they held. John, childless acknowledged Ferdinand's right to take control of his realm after his death. John stipulated, if he fathered a son, his son would inherit his ancestral domains.
Ferdinand, proved unable to protect John's realm against an Ottoman invasion. At age 52 John married Isabella Jagiellon, the 22-year-old daughter of Sigismund I the Old, King of Poland, on 2 March 1539; the humanist scholars Paolo Giovio and Antun Vrančić emphasized that Isabella was one of the most educated women of their age. John Sigismund was born in Buda on 7 July 1540. On learning of his birth, his father, on campaign in Transylvania, rode to his soldiers' camp to inform them of the good news; the following day John fell ill, he died on 21 or 22 July. Before his death he persuaded those present at his death bed to take an oath that they would prevent the transfer of his realm to Ferdinand. Soon after John Zápolya died, his treasurer, George Martinuzzi, hurried to Buda to secure John Sigismund's inheritance. On Martinuzzi's proposal, the Diet of Hungary elected John Sigismund king on 13 September 1540, but he was not crowned with the Holy Crown of Hungary; the Diet proclaimed Queen Isabella and George Martinuzzi, along with two powerful lords, Péter Petrovics and Bálint Török, the guardians of the infant monarch.
In August, Ferdinand's envoys had demanded the transfer of the late John Zápolya's realm to Ferdinand in accordance with the Treaty of Várad. Peter Perényi, the commander of Zápolya's troops in Upper Hungary, Franjo Frankopan, Archbishop of Kalocsa, soon
House of Habsburg
The House of Habsburg called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740; the house produced emperors and kings of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Illyria, Second Mexican Empire, Kingdom of Ireland, Kingdom of Portugal, Kingdom of Spain, as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian principalities. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they maintained close relations and intermarried; the House takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, by Count Radbot of Klettgau, who chose to name his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title.
The House of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th, 12th, 13th centuries. By 1276, Count Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg moved the family's power base from Habsburg Castle to the Duchy of Austria. Rudolph became King of Germany in 1273, the dynasty of the House of Habsburg was entrenched in 1276 when Rudolph became ruler of Austria, which the Habsburgs and their descendants ruled until 1918. A series of dynastic marriages enabled the family to vastly expand its domains to include Burgundy and its colonial empire, Bohemia and other territories. In the 16th century, the family separated into the senior Habsburg Spain and the junior Habsburg Monarchy branches, who settled their mutual claims in the Oñate treaty; the House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century. The senior Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon; the remaining Austrian branch became extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, in 1780 with the death of his eldest daughter Maria Theresa of Austria.
It was succeeded by the Vaudémont branch of the House of Lorraine, descendants of Maria Theresa's marriage to Francis III, Duke of Lorraine. The new successor house styled itself formally as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, because it was confusingly still referred to as the House of Habsburg, historians use the unofficial appellation of the Habsburg Monarchy for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1521 and 1780 and by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918; the Lorraine branch continues to exist to this day and its members use the Habsburg name. The Habsburg Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities, its industrial base was thin, its naval resources were so minimal. It typified by Metternich. Along with the Capetian dynasty, it was one of the two most powerful continental European royal families, dominating European politics for nearly five centuries.
Their principal roles were as follows: Holy Roman Emperors, kings of Germany, kings of the Romans) Rulers of Austria Kings of Bohemia Kings of Hungary and Croatia Kings of Spain Kings of Portugal Kings of Galicia and Lodomeria Grand princes of Transylvania Numerous other titles were attached to the crowns listed above. The progenitor of the House of Habsburg may have been Guntram the Rich, a count in the Breisgau who lived in the 10th century, forewith farther back as the early medieval Adalrich, Duke of Alsace, father of the Etichonids from which Habsburg derives, his grandson Radbot, Count of Habsburg founded the Habsburg Castle, after which the Habsburgs are named. The origins of the castle's name, located in what is now the Swiss canton of Aargau, are uncertain. There is disagreement on whether the name is derived from the High German Habichtsburg, or from the Middle High German word hab/hap meaning ford, as there is a river with a ford nearby; the first documented use of the name by the dynasty itself has been traced to the year 1108.
The Habsburg Castle was the family seat in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Habsburgs expanded their influence through arranged marriages and by gaining political privileges countship rights in Zürichgau and Thurgau. In the 13th century, the house aimed its marriage policy at families in Upper Swabia, they were able to gain high positions in the church hierarchy for their members. Territorially, they profited from the extinction of other noble families such as the House of Kyburg. By the second half of the 13th century, count Rudolph IV had become one of the most influential territorial lords in the area between the Vosg