Portrait of Stephen Báthory (1533-1586), King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1576-1586), Voivode of Transylvania (1571-1576), 1585
Stephen Báthory (Polish: Stefan Batory; Lithuanian: Steponas Batoras; 27 September 1533 – 12 December 1586) was Voivode of Transylvania (1571–76), Prince of Transylvania (1576–86), from 1576 Queen Anna Jagiellon's husband and jure uxoris King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1576-1586). The son of Stephen VIII Báthory and a member of the Hungarian noble family, Báthory was a ruler of Transylvania in the 1570s, defeating another challenger for that title, Gáspár Bekes. In 1576 Báthory became the third elected king of Poland. He worked closely with chancellor Jan Zamoyski. The first years of his reign were focused on establishing power, defeating a fellow claimant to the throne, Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, and quelling rebellions, most notably, the Danzig rebellion. He reigned only a decade, but is considered one of the most successful kings in Polish history, particularly in the realm of military history. His signal achievement was his victorious campaign in Livonia against Russia in the middle part of his reign, in which he repulsed a Russian invasion of Commonwealth borderlands and secured a highly favorable treaty of peace (the Peace of Jam Zapolski). Stephen Báthory was born on 27 September 1533 in the castle at Somlyó. He was the son of Stephen VIII Báthory (d. 1534) of the noble Hungarian Báthory family and his wife Catherine Telegdi. After Zápolya's death in 1571, the Transylvanian estates elected Báthory Voivode of Transylvania. Bekes, supported by the Habsburgs, disputed his election, but by 1573 Báthory emerged victorious in the resulting civil war and drove Bekes out of Transylvania. He subsequently attempted to play the Ottomans and the Holy Roman Empire against one another in an attempt to strengthen the Transylvania position. In January 1576 Báthory passed the mantle of Voivode of Transylvania to his brother Christopher Báthory and departed for Poland. On 1 May 1576 Báthory married Anna and was crowned King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. After being chosen as king in the Polish–Lithuanian royal election, 1576, Báthory also began using the title of the Prince of Transylvania.
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