Thököly, Imre

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Thököly, Imre

(ĭm`rĕ tö`kölyə), 1656–1705, Hungarian rebel, of a noble family of N Hungary. His father, Stephen Thököly, took an important part in the unsuccessful conspiracy of Francis I RákóczyRákóczy
, noble Hungarian family that played an important role in the history of Transylvania and Hungary in the 17th and 18th cent. Sigismund Rákóczy, 1544–1608, was elected (1607) prince of Transylvania to succeed Stephen Bocskay.
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 and Peter ZrinyiZrinyi
, noble Hungarian family of Croatian origin. Nicholas Zrinyi, 1508–66, distinguished himself in the defense of Vienna (1529) against Sultan Sulayman I, took part in the campaign of Ferdinand I of Austria (later Holy Roman emperor) against John Zapolya, who
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 against Holy Roman Emperor Leopold ILeopold I,
1640–1705, Holy Roman emperor (1658–1705), king of Bohemia (1656–1705) and of Hungary (1655–1705), second son and successor of Ferdinand III.
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 and died (1670) while defending his castle against imperial troops. Thököly fled to Poland. The severe reprisals meted out by the Austrian governor of Hungary led to a general uprising, supported after 1674 by Louis XIVLouis XIV,
1638–1715, king of France (1643–1715), son and successor of King Louis XIII. Early Reign

After his father's death his mother, Anne of Austria, was regent for Louis, but the real power was wielded by Anne's adviser, Cardinal Mazarin.
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 of France. Thököly took command (1678) of the rebel army and in 1680 made a truce with Leopold. The emperor restored (1681) religious and political freedom in Hungary, but Thököly rejected his concessions as insufficient and began to plot with the Ottoman Empire to make himself master of his country. In 1682 he married Helen Zrinyi, daughter of Peter Zrinyi and widow of Francis I Rákóczy, and late in the same year he was recognized by Sultan Muhammad IV as "king of Upper Hungary" under Ottoman suzerainty. It was largely at his instigation that the sultan undertook his expedition against Vienna, and in 1683 Thököly joined the Ottoman forces under Kara MustafaMustafa
or Kara Mustafa
[Turk. kara=black], d. 1683, Turkish grand vizier (chief executive officer) under Sultan Muhammad IV of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). He succeeded his brother-in-law, Ahmed Köprülü.
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 in the siege of that city. The Ottomans blamed their rout on Thököly and imprisoned him briefly (1686) at Adrianople, but in 1690 they appointed him prince of Transylvania. He was driven out (1691) of Transylvania by the imperial force under Louis of Baden. The Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), by which the whole of Hungary passed to Leopold, also stipulated that Thököly was to be interned by the Ottomans in Asia Minor. He spent the remainder of his life near Constantinople. The name is also spelled Tokoly.
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Thököly, Imre


Born Sept. 25, 1657, in Késmárk, now Kežmarok, Slovakia; died Sept. 13, 1705, in Izmit, Turkey. Leader of the anti-Hapsburg war of liberation of 1678–85 in the Kingdom of Hungary. Count.

In 1678, Thököly united and led separate detachments of kurucok (peasants who struggled against feudalism) that by 1681 had liberated the northeastern regions of Hungary, including ethnically Slovak and Ukrainian territories. In 1682, Thököly, whose troops controlled 13 comitats in the northeastern part of the kingdom, declared himself prince of the territory captured from the Hapsburgs. In that year he became a vassal of the Turkish sultan, who recognized him as the king of Hungary. With the sultan’s aid, he undertook military operations against the Hapsburgs.

Thököly’s rapprochement with Turkey decreased his popularity with the masses and the nobility. The defeat of the Turkish army near Vienna in 1683 also weakened the position of Thököly’s army. In 1685, Thököly’s principality was overthrown. Suspected of treason by the Turks, Thököly was seized and incarcerated in a Turkish prison, where he remained until 1690.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.