Not to be confused with his cousin, Cardinal Antoine Bohier Du Prat. Antoine Duprat was a French Cardinal and politician, chancellor of France. Duprat was born in Issoire in Auvergne. Educated for the law, he won a high position in his profession and in 1507 became first president of the Parlement of Paris. In 1515 Francis I of France made him chancellor of prime minister. In 1517, after his wife's death, he took holy orders and rose in the Catholic Church hierarchy: first as bishop of several dioceses held by him in plurality. Duprat's influence extended much beyond the departments of justice and finance placed under his direct control. French historian Gabriel Hanotaux, in the introduction to his Recueil des instructions, calls Duprat one of the most notable men of ancient France, second only to Richelieu in the decisive influence he exercised on the destinies of his country; this influence was exerted to strengthen royal absolute power. Duprat left no writings, but took a leading part in the compilation of the "Coutumes d'Auvergne".
Duprat's influence was manifested, together with his orthodoxy, in those measures which affected the relations of France with the Church, the signing of the Concordat of Bologna, the checking of nascent Protestantism. The Concordat, which Duprat himself negotiated with Pope Leo X at Bologna, did away with the principles of the "Pragmatic Sanction". Duprat's uncompromising attitude towards Protestantism was dictated both by his political sense, as well as his Catholic orthodoxy; the Protestant sympathies of Marguerite d'Angouleme, the Duchesse d'Etampes, the Minister du Bellay failed to move him. The Sorbonne and the Parlement were instructed to exclude the writings of the innovators. Despite being archbishop of Sens for several years, the first time he entered the cathedral there was for his own funeral; this shows how he abstained from some of his responsibilities, thus leading us to acknowledge clerical ignorance and absenteeism of the time. Catholic Encyclopedia article Biography This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed..
"Duprat". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France from 1560 until his death in 1574 from tuberculosis. He ascended the throne of France upon the death of his brother Francis II in 1561. Charles was the twelfth king from the House of Valois, the fifth from the Valois-Orléans branch, the fourth from the Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch. After decades of tension, war broke out between Protestants and Catholics after the massacre of Vassy in 1562. In 1572, after several unsuccessful peace attempts, Charles ordered the marriage of his sister Margaret of Valois to Henry of Navarre, a major Protestant nobleman, in the line of succession to the French throne, in a last desperate bid to reconcile his people. Facing popular hostility against this policy of appeasement, Charles allowed the massacre of all Huguenot leaders who gathered in Paris for the royal wedding at the instigation of his mother Catherine de' Medici; this event, known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, was a significant blow to the Huguenot movement, though religious civil warfare soon began anew.
Charles sought to take advantage of the disarray of the Huguenots by ordering the Siege of La Rochelle, but was unable to take the Protestant stronghold. Much of his decision making was influenced by his mother Catherine de' Medici, a fervent Roman Catholic who sought peace between Catholics and Protestants, but after the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre supported the persecution of Huguenots. Charles died of tuberculosis without legitimate male issue in 1574 and was succeeded by his brother Henry III, he was born Charles Maximilian, third son of King Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici, in the royal chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Styled since birth as Duke of Angoulême, he was created Duke of Orléans after the death of his older brother Louis, his parents' second son, who had died in infancy on 24 October 1550; the royal children were raised under the supervision of the governor and governess of the royal children, Claude d'Urfé and Françoise d'Humières, under the orders of Diane de Poitiers.
On 14 May 1564, Charles was presented the Order of the Garter by Henry Carey. His father died in 1559, was succeeded by his elder brother, King Francis II. After Francis's short rule, the ten-year-old Charles was proclaimed king on 5 December 1560; when Francis II died, the Privy Council appointed his mother, Catherine de' Medici, as governor of France, with sweeping powers, at first acting as regent for her young son. On 15 May 1561, Charles was consecrated in the cathedral at Reims. Antoine of Bourbon, himself in line to the French throne and husband to Queen Joan III of Navarre, was appointed Lieutenant-General of France. Charles' reign was dominated by the French Wars of Religion, which pitted various factions against each other; the Huguenots, the French adherents of Calvinism, had a considerable following among the nobility, while their enemies organised into the Catholic League, were led by the House of Guise, a cadet branch of the House of Lorraine. Queen Catherine, though nominally a Catholic tried to steer a middle course between the two factions, attempting to keep the peace and augment royal power.
The factions had engaged in violence before Charles' accession: in 1560 a group of Huguenot nobles at Amboise had planned to try to abduct King Francis II and arrest the Catholic leaders Francis, Duke of Guise, his brother Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine. The plot was found out ahead of time, the Guises were prepared, executing hundreds of Huguenots; this was followed by cases of Catholic reprisals. The regent Catherine tried to foster reconciliation at the Colloquy at Poissy and, after that failed, made several concessions to the Huguenots in the Edict of Saint-Germain in January 1562. Nonetheless, war broke out when some retainers of the House of Guise, hoping to avenge the attempt of Amboise. In Wassy, France on 1 March 1562, Duke of Guise and his troops attacked and killed or wounded over 100 Huguenot worshipers and citizens; the tragedy is identified as the first major event in the French Wars of Religion. Louis of Bourbon, Prince of Condé, brother of the Lieutenant-General and the suspected architect of the Amboise conspiracy, had prepared for war and, taking Wassy as the pretext, assumed the role of a protector of Protestantism and began to seize and garrison strategic towns along the Loire Valley.
In return, the monarchy revoked the concessions given to the Huguenots. After the military leaders of both sides were either killed or captured in battles at Rouen and Orléans, the regent mediated a truce and issued the Edict of Amboise; the war was followed by four years of an uneasy "armed peace", during which Catherine tried to unite the factions in the successful effort to recapture Le Havre from the English. After this victory, Charles declared his legal majority in August 1563. However, Catherine would continue to play a principal role in politics and dominated her son. In March 1564, the King and his mother set out from Fontainebleau on a grand tour of France, their tour spanned two years and brought them through Bar, Salon-de-Provence, Toulouse, Bayonne, La Rochelle, Moulins. During this trip, Charles IX issued the Edict of Roussillon, which standardised 1 January as the first day of the year throughout France. War again broke out in 1567 after reports of iconoclasm in Flanders prompted Charles to support Catholics there.
Huguenots, fearing a Catholic attack was imminent, tried to abduct the king at Meaux, seized various cities, massacred Catholics at Nîmes in an
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife, executed two-and-a-half years after Elizabeth's birth. Anne's marriage to Henry VIII was annulled, Elizabeth was declared illegitimate, her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters and the Roman Catholic Mary, in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside and Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey. During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels. In 1558 upon Mary's death, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister to the throne and set out to rule by good counsel, she depended on a group of trusted advisers, led by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley.
One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement was to evolve into the Church of England, it was expected that Elizabeth would produce an heir. She was succeeded by her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland, she had earlier been responsible for the imprisonment and execution of James's mother, Queen of Scots. In government, Elizabeth was more moderate. One of her mottoes was "video et taceo". In religion, she was tolerant and avoided systematic persecution. After the pope declared her illegitimate in 1570 and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life, all of which were defeated with the help of her ministers' secret service. Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, manoeuvring between the major powers of Spain, she only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands and Ireland.
By the mid-1580s, England could no longer avoid war with Spain. England's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history; as she grew older, Elizabeth became celebrated for her virginity. A cult grew around her, celebrated in the portraits and literature of the day. Elizabeth's reign became known as the Elizabethan era; the period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. Some historians depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor in an era when government was ramshackle and limited, when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones.
After the short reigns of her half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity. Elizabeth was born at Greenwich Palace and was named after her grandmothers, Elizabeth of York and Elizabeth Howard, she was the second child of Henry VIII of England born in wedlock to survive infancy. Her mother was Anne Boleyn. At birth, Elizabeth was the heir presumptive to the throne of England, her older half-sister, had lost her position as a legitimate heir when Henry annulled his marriage to Mary's mother, Catherine of Aragon, to marry Anne, with the intent to sire a male heir and ensure the Tudor succession. She was baptised on 10 September 1533. A canopy was carried at the ceremony over the three-day old child by her uncle Viscount Rochford, Lord Hussey, Lord Thomas Howard, Lord Howard of Effingham. Elizabeth was two years and eight months old when her mother was beheaded on 19 May 1536, four months after Catherine of Aragon's death from natural causes.
Elizabeth was deprived of her place in the royal succession. Eleven days after Anne Boleyn's execution, Henry married Jane Seymour, who died shortly after the birth of their son, Edward, in 1537. From his birth, Edward was undisputed heir apparent to the throne. Elizabeth was placed in his household and carried the chrisom, or baptismal cloth, at his christening. Elizabeth's first governess, Margaret Bryan, wrote that she was "as toward a child and as gentle of conditions as I knew any in my life". Catherine Champernowne, better known by her married name of Catherine "Kat" Ashley, was appointed as Elizabeth's governess in 1537, she remained Elizabeth's friend until her death in 1565. Champernowne taught Elizabeth four languages: French, Flemish and Spanish. By the time William Grindal became her tutor in 1544, Elizabeth could write English and Italian. Under Grindal, a talented and skilful tutor, she progressed in French and Greek. After Grindal died in 1548, Elizabeth received her education under Roger Ascham, a sympathetic teacher who believed that learning should be engaging.
By the time her formal education ended in 1550, Elizabeth was one of the best educated women of her generation. At the end of her life, Elizabeth was believed to speak Welsh, Cornish and Irish in addition to the languages men
Brittany is a cultural region in the northwest of France, covering the western part of what was known as Armorica during the period of Roman occupation. It became an independent kingdom and a duchy before being united with the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province governed as if it were a separate nation under the crown. Brittany has been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain, it is bordered by the English Channel to the north, the Celtic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Bay of Biscay to the south. Its land area is 34,023 km². Brittany is the site of some of the world's oldest standing architecture, home to the Barnenez, the Tumulus Saint-Michel and others, which date to the early 5th millennium BC. Today, the historical province of Brittany is split among five French departments: Finistère in the west, Côtes-d'Armor in the north, Ille-et-Vilaine in the north east, Loire-Atlantique in the south east and Morbihan in the south on the Bay of Biscay. Since reorganisation in 1956, the modern administrative region of Brittany comprises only four of the five Breton departments, or 80% of historical Brittany.
The remaining area of old Brittany, the Loire-Atlantique department around Nantes, now forms part of the Pays de la Loire region. At the 2010 census, the population of historic Brittany was estimated to be 4,475,295. Of these, 71 % lived in the region of Brittany. In 2012, the largest metropolitan areas were Nantes and Brest. Brittany is the traditional homeland of the Breton people and is recognised by the Celtic League as one of the six Celtic nations, retaining a distinct cultural identity that reflects its history. A nationalist movement seeks greater autonomy within the French Republic; the word Brittany, along with its French and Gallo equivalents Bretagne and Bertaèyn, derive from the Latin Britannia, which means "Britons' land". This word had been used by the Romans since the 1st century to refer to Great Britain, more the Roman province of Britain; this word derives from a Greek word, Πρεττανικη or Βρεττανίαι, used by Pytheas, an explorer from Massalia who visited the British Islands around 320 BC.
The Greek word itself comes from the common Brythonic ethnonym reconstructed as *Pritanī, itself from Proto-Celtic *kʷritanoi. The Romans called Brittany Armorica, together with a quite indefinite region that extended along the English Channel coast from the Seine estuary to the Loire estuary, according to several sources, maybe along the Atlantic coast to the Garonne estuary; this term comes from a Gallic word, which means "close to the sea". Another name, was used until the 12th century, it means "wide and flat" or "to expand" and it gave the Welsh name for Brittany: Llydaw. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, many Britons settled in western Armorica, the region started to be called Britannia, although this name only replaced Armorica in the sixth century or by the end of the fifth. Authors like Geoffrey of Monmouth used the terms Britannia minor and Britannia major to distinguish Brittany from Britain. Breton-speaking people may pronounce the word Breizh in two different ways, according to their region of origin.
Breton can be divided into the dialect of Vannes. KLT speakers pronounce it and would write it Breiz, while the Vannetais speakers pronounce it and would write it Breih; the official spelling is a compromise with a z and an h together. In 1941, efforts to unify the dialects led to the creation of the so-called Breton zh, a standard which has never been accepted. On its side, Gallo language has never had a accepted writing system and several ones coexist. For instance, the name of the region in that language can be written Bertaèyn in ELG script, or Bertègn in MOGA, a couple of other scripts exist. Brittany has been inhabited by humans since the Lower Paleolithic; the first settlers were Neanderthals. This population was scarce and similar to the other Neanderthals found in the whole of Western Europe, their only original feature was a distinct culture, called "Colombanian". One of the oldest hearths in the world has been found in Finistère, it is 450,000 years old. Homo sapiens settled in Brittany around 35,000 years ago.
They replaced or absorbed the Neanderthals and developed local industries, similar to the Châtelperronian or to the Magdalenian. After the last glacial period, the warmer climate allowed the area to become wooded. At that time, Brittany was populated by large communities who started to change their lifestyles from a life of hunting and gathering, to become settled farmers. Agriculture was introduced during the 5th millennium BC by migrants from the east. However, the Neolithic Revolution in Brittany did not happen due to a radical change of population, but by slow immigration and exchange of skills. Neolithic Brittany is characterised by important megalithic production, it is sometimes designated as the "core area" of megalithic culture; the oldest monuments, were followed by princely tombs and stone rows. The Morbihan département, on the southern coast, comprises a large share of these structures, including the Carnac stones and the Broken Menhir of Er Grah in the Locmariaquer megaliths, the largest single stone erected by Neoli
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de Medici, daughter of Lorenzo II de' Medici and Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne, was an Italian noblewoman, queen of France from 1547 until 1559, by marriage to King Henry II. As the mother of kings Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III, she had extensive, if at times varying, influence in the political life of France. From 1560 to 1563, she ruled France as regent for King of France. In 1533, at the age of fourteen, Catherine married Henry, second son of King Francis I and Queen Claude of France. Throughout his reign, Henry excluded Catherine from participating in state affairs and instead showered favors on his chief mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who wielded much influence over him. Henry's death thrust Catherine into the political arena as mother of the frail fifteen-year-old King Francis II; when he died in 1560, she became regent on behalf of her ten-year-old son King Charles IX and was granted sweeping powers. After Charles died in 1574, Catherine played a key role in the reign of her third son, Henry III.
He dispensed with her advice only in the last months of her life. Catherine's three sons reigned in an age of constant civil and religious war in France; the problems facing the monarchy were complex and daunting but Catherine was able to keep the monarchy and the state institutions functioning at a minimum level. At first, Catherine compromised and made concessions to the rebelling Calvinist Protestants, or Huguenots, as they became known, she failed, however. She resorted, in frustration and anger, to hard-line policies against them. In return, she came to be blamed for the excessive persecutions carried out under her sons' rule, in particular for the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572, in which thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris and throughout France; some historians have excused Catherine from blame for the worst decisions of the crown, though evidence for her ruthlessness can be found in her letters. In practice, her authority was always limited by the effects of the civil wars.
Her policies, may be seen as desperate measures to keep the Valois monarchy on the throne at all costs, her patronage of the arts as an attempt to glorify a monarchy whose prestige was in steep decline. Without Catherine, it is unlikely; the years during which they reigned have been called "the age of Catherine de' Medici". According to Mark Strage, one of her biographers, Catherine was the most powerful woman in sixteenth-century Europe. Catherine de Medici was born on 13 April 1519 in Florence, Republic of Florence, the only child of Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino, his wife, Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne, the countess of Boulogne; the young couple had been married the year before at Amboise as part of the alliance between King Francis I of France and Lorenzo's uncle Pope Leo X against the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. According to a contemporary chronicler, when Catherine was born, her parents were "as pleased as if it had been a boy". Within a month of Catherine's birth, both her parents were dead: Madeleine died on 28 April of puerperal fever or plague, Lorenzo died on 4 May, his title over Urbino reverting to Francesco Maria I della Rovere.
King Francis wanted Catherine to be raised at the French court, but Pope Leo had other plans for her. Catherine was first cared for by Alfonsina Orsini. After Alfonsina's death in 1520, Catherine joined her cousins and was raised by her aunt, Clarice de' Medici; the death of Pope Leo in 1521 interrupted Medici power until Cardinal Giulio de' Medici was elected Pope Clement VII in 1523. Clement housed Catherine in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence; the Florentine people called her duchessina, in deference to her unrecognised claim to the Duchy of Urbino. In 1527, the Medici were overthrown in Florence by a faction opposed to the regime of Clement's representative, Cardinal Silvio Passerini, Catherine was taken hostage and placed in a series of convents; the final one, the Santissima Annuziata delle Murate was her home for three years. Mark Strage described these years as "the happiest of her entire life". Clement had no choice but to crown Charles Holy Roman Emperor in return for his help in retaking the city.
In October 1529, Charles's troops laid siege to Florence. As the siege dragged on, voices called for Catherine to be killed and exposed naked and chained to the city walls; some suggested that she be handed over to the troops to be used for their sexual gratification. The city surrendered on 12 August 1530. Clement summoned Catherine from her beloved convent to join him in Rome where he greeted her with open arms and tears in his eyes, he set about the business of finding her a husband. On her visit to Rome, the Venetian envoy described Catherine as "small of stature, thin, without delicate features, but having the protruding eyes peculiar to the Medici family". Suitors, lined up for her hand, including James V of Scotland who sent the Duke of Albany to Clement to conclude a marriage in April and November 1530; when Francis I of France proposed his second son, Duke of Orléans, in early 1533, Clement jumped at the offer. Henry was a prize catch for Catherine; the wedding, a grand affair marked by extravagant display and gift-giving, took place in the Église Saint-Ferréol les Augustins in Marseille on 28 October 1533.
Prince Henry danced and jousted for Catherine
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area. Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the established Kingdom of Italy; the Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini. The city attracts millions of tourists each year, the Historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982; the city is noted for Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.
The city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, still exerts an influence in the fields of art and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Florence is an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. Florence originated as a Roman city, after a long period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune, it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th to 16th centuries; the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, still is, accepted as the Italian language. All the writers and poets in Italian literature of the golden age are in some way connected with Florence, leading to the adoption of the Florentine dialect, above all the local dialects, as a literary language of choice.
Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War, they financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European history's most important noble families. Lorenzo de' Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century: Leo X and Clement VII. Catherine de Medici married King Henry II of France and, after his death in, reigned as regent in France. Marie de' Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future King Louis XIII; the Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de' Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici in 1737.
The Etruscans formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole, destroyed by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 80 BC in reprisal for supporting the populares faction in Rome. The present city of Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for his veteran soldiers and was named Fluentia, owing to the fact that it was built between two rivers, changed to Florentia, it was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the main route between Rome and the north, within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement became an important commercial centre. In centuries to come, the city experienced turbulent periods of Ostrogothic rule, during which the city was troubled by warfare between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines, which may have caused the population to fall to as few as 1,000 people. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century. Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital.
The population began to grow again and commerce prospered. In 854, Florence and Fiesole were united in one county. Margrave Hugo chose Florence as his residency instead of Lucca at about 1000 AD; the Golden Age of Florentine art began around this time. In 1013, construction began on the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte; the exterior of the church was reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128. In 1100, Florence was a "Commune"; the city's primary resource was the Arno river, providing power and access for the industry, access to the Mediterranean sea for international trade. Another great source of strength was its industrious merchant community; the Florentine merchant banking skills became recognised in Europe after they brought decisive financial innovation to medieval fairs. This period saw the eclipse of Florence's powerful rival Pisa, the exercise of power by the mercantile elite following an anti-aristocratic movement, led by Giano della Bella, that resulted in a set of laws called the Ordinances of Justice.
Of a population estimated at 94,00
Voivode of Transylvania
The Voivode of Transylvania was the highest-ranking official in Transylvania within the Kingdom of Hungary from the 12th century to the 16th century. Appointed by the monarchs, the voivodes – themselves the heads or ispáns of Fehér County – were the superiors of the ispáns of all the other counties in the province, they had wide-ranging administrative and judicial powers, but their jurisdiction never covered the whole province. The Saxon and Székely communities – organized into their own districts or "seats" from the 13th century – were independent of the voivodes; the kings exempted some Transylvanian towns and villages from their authority over the centuries. So, the Voivodeship of Transylvania "was the largest single administrative entity" in the entire kingdom in the 15th century. Voivodes enjoyed income from the royal estates attached to their office, but the right to "grant lands, collect taxes and tolls, or coin money" was reserved for the monarchs. Although Roland Borsa, Ladislaus Kán and some other voivodes rebelled against the sovereign, most remained faithful royal officials.
Because of the gradual disintegration of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary in the 16th century, the last voivodes of Transylvania, who came from the Báthory family, ceased to be high-ranking officials. Instead they were the heads of state, although under Ottoman suzerainty, of a new principality emerging in the eastern territories of the kingdom. Accordingly, Stephen Báthory, the voivode elected by the Diet of the new realm abandoned the title of voivode and adopted that of prince in 1576, upon his election as King of Poland; the origin of the office is unclear. The title voivode is of Slavic origin with a meaning of "commander, lieutenant". Although Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos wrote of the voivodes or chieftains of the Hungarian tribes around 950, he seems to have adopted the term used by a Slavic interpreter; the border position of Transylvania led to the formation of the voivodeship, since the monarchs could not maintain direct control over this remote region. Thus the voivodes remained provincial officials of the kings.
The voivodes were heads of Fehér County from 1201, which may indicate that their position had its origin in the office of that county's ispán. Two royal charters issued in 1111 and 1113 mention one Mercurius "princeps Ultrasilvanus", but he may have been only an important landowner in Transylvania without holding any specific office; the title voivode was first documented in 1199, but Leustach Rátót voivode living some years earlier was mentioned by a document from 1230. In addition to voivode, royal charters used the titles banus and herzog for the same office in the next decades, showing that the terminology remained uncertain until the second half of the 13th century; the territories under the jurisdiction of the voivodes are known as Voivodeship of Transylvania or Voivodate of Transylvania. Voivodes were the chiefs of the ispáns of the Transylvanian counties. Although the counties in Transylvania were first attested from the 1170s, earlier references to fortresses at their seats and archaeological finds suggest that a system of counties existed in the 11th century.
For instance, Torda County was first mentioned in a charter of 1227, but a royal castle at Torda had been documented in 1097, three burials coin-dated to the reign of Stephen I of Hungary were unearthed in the same fortress. The ispáns of the Transylvanian counties of Doboka, Kolozs, Küküllő and Torda were not listed among the witnesses of royal charters from the beginning of the 13th century, hinting that their direct connection to the monarchs had by that time been interrupted. Thereafter they were employed by the voivode who dismissed them at will. Only the heads of Szolnok County remained directly connected to the monarchs for a longer period, until their office was united with the voivodeship in the 1260s; the voivodes were the ispáns of the nearby Arad County between 1321 and 1412. The kings exempted some communities from the jurisdiction of the voivodes; the Diploma Andreanum, a royal charter of 1224, placed the territory of the Saxons between Broos and Barót under the authority of the Count of Hermannstadt, appointed by and directly subordinate to the monarchs.
A special royal official, the Count of the Székelys, administered the Székely community from around 1228. In the latter case, the two offices were united by custom in 1462: from on each voivode was appointed Count of the Székelys. Following the Mongol invasion of 1241 and 1242, King Béla IV of Hungary exempted the inhabitants of Bilak, Gyulafehérvár, Tasnád and Zilah. King Charles I of Hungary granted immunity to the Saxon communities of Birthälm, Mediasch in 1315, but the same monarch annulled other communities' similar privileges in 1324. Altrodenau and Bistritz received immunity in 1366; the office of voivode was one of the most important royal honours in the kingdom. All income from lands attached to the Transylvanian royal castles was collected for the voivodes, they enjoyed the income from fines, but royal revenues from taxes and mines remained the kings' due. During most of the 14th century, the voivodes held the castles at Bánffyhunyad, Boroskrakkó, Csicsóújfalu, Déva, Hátszeg (Haț