Born May 1, 1620, in Ozalj Castle, Croatia; died Nov. 18, 1664, in Csáktornya (Čakovec). Hungarian poet, statesman, and general. Ban of Croatia from 1647 to 1664. During the Austro-Turkish War of 1660–64, the troops led by Zrínyi inflicted a number of heavy blows on the Turkish Army (near Berzence, Babócsa, Szigetvár, and Pécs).
Zrínyi was the author of a plan by which the peoples of the Kingdom of Hungary were to expel the Turks using their own forces, without any help from the Hapsburg Empire, thus preventing the total subjugation of the country to the oppression of the Hapsburgs. His lyric poetry and the epic The Szigeti Disaster (1645–46), about the heroic struggle of his ancestor against the Turks, were published in 1651.
Zrínyi depicted battles based on his personal impressions, following the literary style of L. Ariosto, T. Tasso, and G. B. Marino. He was the author of the political tract Reflections on King Mátyás (1655), in which he defended the idea of the independence of the Hungarian state; his patriotic pamphlet Remedy Against the Turkish Opium (1660–61) is an outstanding example of old-style Hungarian publicistic prose.
REFERENCESKlaniczai, T., J. Szauder, and M. Szabolcsi. Kratkaia istoriia vengerskoi literatury, XI-XX vekov. [Budapest] 1962.
Perjés, G. Zrinyi Miklos és kora. Budapest, 1965. (Bibliography, pp. 379–85.)
Szilágyi, F. Fõnixmadár: Zrínyi, a kötõ és hadvezér. Budapest, 1968.
V. S. IVANOV
Born circa 1508; died Sept. 8, 1566. Hungarian and Croatian statesman and military leader.
Zrínyi was the ban (ruler) of Croatia from 1542 to 1566. He took part in many battles against the Turks who were invading Hungary and Croatia. He particularly distinguished himself in the battle of Pest in 1542. Zrinyi became commander in chief of Hungarian forces on the right bank of the Danube in 1563. During the campaign of the Turkish sultan Suleiman II against Vienna in 1566, Zrinyi led the heroic defense of the Hungarian fortress of Szigetvár. He was killed in the attempt to lead the garrison out of the destroyed fortress.