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Rakokzy, George Ii

RAKOKZY, GEORGE II., prince of Transylvania (1621-1660), was the eldest son of George I. and Susannah Lorantffy. He was elected prince of Transylvania during his father's lifetime (Feb. 19, 1642), and married (Feb. 3, 1643), Sophia Bathory, who was previously compelled by his mother to reject the Roman faith and turn Calvinist. On ascending the throne (Oct. ii, 1648), his first thought was to realize his father's Polish ambitions. With this object in view, he allied himself, in the beginning of 1649, with the Cossack hetman, Bohdan Chmielnicki, and the hospodars of Moldavia and Wallachia. It was not, however, till 1657, as the ally of Gustavus Adolphus, that he led a rabble of 40,000 semi-savages against the Polish king, John Casimir. He took Cracow and entered Warsaw with the Swedes, but the moment his allies withdrew the whole scheme collapsed, and it was only on the most humiliating terms that the Poles finally allowed him to return to Transylvania. Here (Nov. 3, 1657) the diet, at the command of the Porte, deposed him for undertaking an unauthorized war, but in January 1658 he was reinstated by the Medgyes Diet. Again he was deposed by the grand vizier, and again reinstated as if nothing had happened, but all in vain. The Turks again invaded Transylvania, and Rakoczy died at Nagyvarad of the wounds received at the battle of Gyula (May 1660).

See Imre Bethlen, Life and Times of George Rakoczy II. (Hung.) (Nagy-Enyed, 1829); Life (Hung.) in Sandor Szilagyi's Hungarian Historical Biographies (Budapest, 1891).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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