Miklós Istvánffy

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Miklós Istvánffy
Baron of Baranyavár and Kisasszonyfalva
Nicolas Istuanfius (1538-1615).jpg
Palatinal Governor of Hungary
Reign 19 January 1582 – November 1608
Predecessor Imre Czobor
Successoroffice abolished
Full name
Baron Miklós Istvánffy de Baranyavár et Kisasszonyfalva
Born December 8, 1538
Kisasszonyfa, Kingdom of Hungary
Died April 1, 1615(1615-04-01) (aged 76)
Vinica, Kingdom of Croatia
Noble family House of Istvánffy
Spouse(s) Erzsébet Both de Bajna
See below for issue
Father Pál Istvánfi
Mother Hedvig Gyulay

Baron Miklós Istvánffy de Baranyavár et Kisasszonyfalva (Latin : Nicolaus Istuanfius; 8 December 1538 – 1 April 1615) was a Hungarian politician, Humanist historian and poet, who served as Palatinal Governor of Hungary (Hungarian : nádori helytartó) from 19 January 1582 to November 1608. [1]

Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it. The term was coined by theologian Friedrich Niethammer at the beginning of the 19th century to refer to a system of education based on the study of classical literature. Generally, however, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of human freedom and progress. It views humans as solely responsible for the promotion and development of individuals and emphasizes a concern for man in relation to the world.

Hungarian language language spoken in and around Hungary

Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in Hungary and parts of several neighbouring countries. It is the official language of Hungary and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarians in the countries that today make up Slovakia, western Ukraine (Subcarpathia), central and western Romania (Transylvania), northern Serbia (Vojvodina), northern Croatia and northern Slovenia. It is also spoken by Hungarian diaspora communities worldwide, especially in North America and Israel. Like Finnish and Estonian, Hungarian belongs to the Uralic language family. With 13 million speakers, it is the family's largest member by number of speakers.


He is often called as "Livy of Hungary", because of his historiographical activity and, because, he studied in Padua, the birthplace of the great Roman historian (then called Patavium ).

Livy Roman historian

Titus Livius – simply rendered as Livy in English – was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people – Ab Urbe Condita Libri – covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional foundation in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own lifetime. He was on familiar terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and even in friendship with Augustus, whose young grandnephew, the future emperor Claudius, he exhorted to take up the writing of history.

Padua Comune in Veneto, Italy

Padua is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 214,000. The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE) which has a population of c. 2,600,000.


He was the second son of Pál Istvánfi ("son of István"), who functioned as Ispán (Count; comes) of Baranya County and was also a member of the Royal Council. His mother was his father's second wife, Hedvig Gyulay. One of his brothers, István (d. 1585) held the office of Vice-ispán (Viscount; vicecomes) of Veszprém County. [2] The family had to leave Baranya County, when the Ottomans invaded and occupied Pécs in 1543 (the Christian armies were able to recapture the town only in 1686). Istvánffy served archbishop Pál Várdai as his henchman in Nagyszombat (today: Trnava, Slovakia). After the death of Várdai (1549), he became a protegee of Nicolaus Olahus. He studied at the universities of Bologna and Padua after 1551; at the latter place he learned Latin philology from the great Humanist scholar János Zsámboky.

The ispán or count was the leader of a castle district in the Kingdom of Hungary from the early 11th century. Most of them were also heads of the basic administrative units of the kingdom, called counties, and from the 13th century the latter function became dominant. The ispáns were appointed and dismissed by either the monarchs or a high-ranking royal official responsible for the administration of a larger territorial unit within the kingdom. They fulfilled administrative, judicial and military functions in one or more counties.

Baranya County (former)

Baranya was an administrative county (comitatus) of the Kingdom of Hungary. Its territory is now in southern Hungary and northeastern Croatia. The capital of the county was Pécs.

Veszprém County (former) former administrative county in Hungary (Veszprém County before 1950)

Veszprém was an administrative county (comitatus) of the Kingdom of Hungary. Its territory, which was smaller than that of present Veszprém county, in western Hungary. The capital of the county was Veszprém.

Miklos Istvanffy (Vasarnapi Ujsag, 1857) Istvanffy Miklos.jpg
Miklós Istvánffy (Vasárnapi Újság, 1857)

Istvánffy returned home in 1556 and presumably became a soldier of Nikola Šubić Zrinski (Hungarian : Zrínyi Miklós), the hero of Szigetvár. Between 1558 and 1559 he functioned as the secretary of Olahus, who served as Chancellor of Hungary from 1543. Istvánffy became an official of the Chancellery after 1559. Olahus was appointed Royal Governor of Hungary in 1562. He died in 1568.

Nikola Šubić Zrinski Croatian nobleman and general

Nikola Šubić Zrinski or Zrínyi Miklós was a Croatian-Hungarian nobleman and general in the service of the Habsburg, ban of Croatia from 1542–56, and member of the Šubić and Zrinski noble family. He was known across Europe for his involvement in the Siege of Szigetvár and is today seen as a hero by both Hungarians and Croats.

Siege of Szigetvár

The Siege of Szigetvár or Battle of Szigeth was a siege of the fortress of Szigetvár, Kingdom of Hungary, that blocked Suleiman's line of advance towards Vienna in 1566 AD. The battle was fought between the defending forces of the Habsburg Monarchy under the leadership of Nikola Šubić Zrinski, former Ban of Croatia, and the invading Ottoman army under the nominal command of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

He tried to acquire new estates and lands to the place of his former possession, but failed. In 1576, he was a royal envoy to Pasha of the Budin Eyalet to returning to occupied castles in peacetime, unsuccessfully. He had been a Royal Councillor since 1578. After the death of Imre Czobor, he was appointed Palatinal Governor (or Vice-palatine) by King Rudolf on 24 June 1581, however the Diet of Hungary approved the appointment only in January 1582. Istvánffy was responsible for the judicial affairs. He was appointed Castellan of Sopron Castle in 1585. He served as envoy, along with Péter Heresiniczy, the bishop of Győr and Chancellor of Hungary, to the Kingdom of Poland to releasing Archduke Maximilian, between December 1588 and March 1589.

Budin Eyalet Ottoman province

Budin Eyalet was an administrative territorial entity of the Ottoman Empire in Central Europe and the Balkans. It was formed on the territories that Ottoman Empire conquered from the medieval Kingdom of Hungary and Serbian Despotate. The capital of the Budin Province was Budin.

Imre Czobor Hungarian noble

Baron Imre Czobor de Czoborszentmihály was a Hungarian noble and statesman, who served as Palatinal Governor of Hungary from February 1572 to 8 June 1581.

King of Hungary

The King of Hungary was the ruling head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 to 1918. The style of title "Apostolic King of Hungary" was endorsed by Pope Clement XIII in 1758 and used afterwards by all Monarchs of Hungary.

During the Fifteen Years War, he was unlawfully authorized to recover the war tax in Slavonia. He participated in the Battle of Pákozd on 3 November 1593, and the Siege of Petrinja in the summer of 1595. He was one of Rudolf's three delegates who took over the control of Transylvania from Prince Sigismund Báthory in 1598. He was also present at the Siege of Nagykanizsa (1600), when the town fell to Tiryaki Hasan Pasha and became the capital of the newly established Kanije Eyalet. One year later, the Christian armies tried to recapture the town but suffered a heavy and decisive defeat.

Slavonia Historical region of Croatiaa

Slavonia is, with Dalmatia, Croatia proper and Istria, one of the four historical regions of Croatia. Taking up the east of the country, it roughly corresponds with five Croatian counties: Brod-Posavina, Osijek-Baranja, Požega-Slavonia, Virovitica-Podravina and Vukovar-Srijem, although the territory of the counties includes Baranya, and the definition of the western extent of Slavonia as a region varies. The counties cover 12,556 square kilometres or 22.2% of Croatia, inhabited by 806,192—18.8% of Croatia's population. The largest city in the region is Osijek, followed by Slavonski Brod and Vinkovci.

Principality of Transylvania (1570–1711) semi-indipendent state between 1570 and 1711

The Principality of Transylvania was a semi-independent state, ruled primarily by Hungarian princes. Its territory, in addition to the traditional Transylvanian lands, also included eastern regions of Hungary, called Partium. The establishment of the principality was connected with Treaty of Speyer. However Stephen Báthory's status as king of Poland also helped to phase in the name Principality of Transylvania. It was usually under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire; however, the principality often had dual vassalage in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Prince of Transylvania was the head of state of the Principality of Transylvania from the last decades of the 16th century until the middle of the 18th century. John Sigismund Zápolya was the first to adopt the title in 1570, but its use only became stable from 1576.

Istvánffy served as Master of the doorkeepers (Hungarian : főajtónállómester, Latin : magister janitorum) from 1599 until his death. In 1603, he drafted the judgment under which the Lutheran István Illésházy was illegally sentenced to death and confiscation of property. As a result, he attracted the hatred of the Protestant aristocrats. In 1605, he was one of the members of the Habsburg delegation which was responsible for the termination of cooperation between Ahmed I and Stephen Bocskay. He was one of the signatories of the Peace of Zsitvatorok (1606) which ended the Fifteen Years or Long War. In 1608, István Pálffy and Miklós Istvánffy traveled to Hainburg to invite Archduke Matthias before the Diet of Hungary. During that he suffered a stroke and his right arm was paralyzed.

He was one of the four candidates for the position of Palatine in the same year, but defeated by his former opponent István Illésházy. He suffered a stroke again and retired from the public life. He died in 1615 and was buried in Vinica.


Istvánffy married Erzsébet Both de Bajna in 1569, [2] daughter of George Both de Bajna and Borbála Hásshágy. [3] They had four children:

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  1. Markó 2006, p. 232.
  2. 1 2 3 Marek, Miroslav. "Istvánffy de Baranyavár et Kisasszonyfalva family". Genealogy.EU.
  3. Magyar királyi Kancellária. királyi Könyv.3kötet.1070-1071.p


Political offices
Preceded by
Imre Czobor
Palatinal Governor of Hungary
Succeeded by
office abolished
Preceded by
Ferenc Révay
Master of the doorkeepers
Succeeded by
László Pethe