Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/911

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887
STEPHEN BÁTHORY—STEPHENS, A. H.


the mind in search of perfection during this life. Finally comes the description of the various phases of existence as the mind rises into complete union with, and ultimate absorption into, the primitive essence. The keynote to the experience of the mind is its absolute identification with Christ; but the son finally resigns the kingdom unto the Father, and all distinct existence comes to an end, being lost in the chaos of the Good” (Frothingham, p. 92). One of the most curious features of the work is the misguided skill with which the language of the Bible is pressed into the service of pantheistic speculation. In this and other respects the book harmonizes well with the picture of Stephen’s teaching afforded by the letter of Philoxenus to the Edessene priests Abraham and Orestes (Frothingham, pp. 28–48). The Book of Hierotheus is probably an original Syriac work, and not translated from Greek. Its relation to the Pseudo-Dionysian literature is a difficult question; probably Frothingham (p. 83) goes too far in suggesting that it was prior to all the pseudo-Dionysian writings (cf. Ryssel in Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte).

The unique MS. in which the book of Hierotheus survives furnishes along with its text the commentary made upon it by Theodosius, patriarch of Antioch (887–896), who appears to have sympathized with its teaching. A rearrangement and abridgment of the work was made by the great Monophysite author Barhebraeus (1226–1286), who expunged or garbled much of its unorthodox teaching. It is interesting to note that the identical copy which he used is the MS. which now survives in the British Museum.  (N. M.) 

STEPHEN (ISTVÁN) BÁTHORY (1533–1586), king of Poland and prince of Transylvania, the most famous member of the Somlyó branch of the ancient Báthory family, now extinct, but originally almost coeval with the Hungarian monarchy. István Báthory spent his early years at the court of the emperor Ferdinand, subsequently attached himself to Janos Zapolya, and won equal renown as a valiant lord-marcher, and as a skilful diplomatist at the imperial court. Zapolya rewarded him with the voivodeship of Transylvania, and as the loyal defender of the rights of his patron’s son, John Sigismund, he incurred the animosity of the emperor Maximilian, who kept him in prison for two years. On the 25th of May 1571, on the death of John Sigismund, Báthory was elected prince of Transylvania by the Hungarian estates, in spite of the opposition of the court of Vienna and contrary to the wishes of the late prince, who had appointed Gaspar Békesy his successor. Békesy insisting on his claims, a civil war ensued in which Báthory ultimately drove his rival out of Transylvania (1572). On the flight of Henry of Valois from Poland in 1574, the Polish nobility, chiefly at the instigation of the great chancellor, Jan Zamoyski, elected Báthory king of Poland (1575) in opposition to the emperor Maximilian, the candidate of the senate. On hearing of his altogether unexpected elevation, Báthory summoned the Transylvanian estates together at Medgyes and persuaded them to elect his brother Christopher prince in his stead; then hastening to Cracow, he accepted the onerous conditions laid upon him by the Polish Diet, espoused the princess Anne, the elderly sister of the last Jagiello, Sigismund II., and on the 1st of May was crowned with unprecedented magnificence. At first his position was extremely difficult; but the sudden death of the emperor Maximilian at the very moment when that potentate, in league with the Muscovite, was about to invade Poland, completely changed the face of things, and though Stephen’s distrust of the Habsburgs remained invincible, he consented at last to enter into a defensive alliance with the empire which was carried through by the papal nuncio on his return to Rome in 1578. The leading events of Stephen Báthory’s glorious reign can here only be briefly indicated. All armed opposition collapsed with the surrender of Danzig. “The Pearl of Poland,” encouraged by her immense wealth, and almost impregnable fortifications, as well as by the secret support of Denmark and the emperor, had shut her gates against the new monarch, and was only reduced (Dec. 16, 1577) after a six months’ siege, beginning with a pitched battle beneath her walls in which she lost 5000 of her mercenaries. Danzig was compelled to pay a fine of 200,000 guldens, but her civil and religious liberties were wisely confirmed. Stephen was now able to devote himself to foreign affairs. The difficulties with the sultan were temporarily adjusted by a truce signed on the 5th of November 1577; and the Diet of Warsaw was persuaded to grant Stephen subsidies for the inevitable war against Muscovy. Two campaigns of wearing marches, and still more exhausting sieges ensued, in which Báthory, although repeatedly hampered by the parsimony of the Diet, was uniformly successful, his skilful diplomacy at the same time allaying the suspicions of the Porte and the emperor. In 1581 Stephen penetrated to the very heart of Muscovy, and, on the 22nd of August, sat down before the ancient city of Pskov, whose vast size and imposing fortifications filled the little Polish army with dismay. But the king, despite the murmurs of his own officers, and the protestations of the papal nuncio, Possevino, whom the curia, deluded by the mirage of a union of the churches, had sent expressly from Rome to mediate between the tsar and the king of Poland, closely besieged the city throughout a winter of arctic severity, till, on the 13th of December 1581, Ivan the Terrible, alarmed for the safety of the third city in his empire, concluded peace at Zapoli (Jan. 15, 1582), thereby ceding Polotsk and the whole of Livonia. The chief domestic event of Stephen’s reign was the establishment in Poland of the Jesuits, who alone had the intelligence to understand and promote his designs of uniting Poland, Muscovy and Transylvania into one great state with the object of ultimately expelling the Turks from Europe. The project was dissipated by his sudden death, of apoplexy, on the 12th of December 1586.

See I. Polkowski, The Martial Exploits of Stephen Báthory (Pol.; Cracow, 1887); Paul Pierling, Un Arbitrage pontifical au xvi me siècle (Brussels, 1890); Lajos Szadeczky, Stephen Báthory’s election to the Crown of Poland (Hung.; Budapest, 1887).  (R. N. B.) 

STEPHENS, ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1812–1883), American statesman, vice-president of the Confederate States during the Civil War, was born in Wilkes (now Taliaferro) county, Georgia, on the 11th of February 1812. He was a weak and sickly child of poor parents, and from his sixth to his fifteenth year, when he was left an orphan, he worked on a farm. After his father’s death he went to live with an uncle in Warren county. The superintendent of the local Sunday school sent him to an academy at Washington, Wilkes county, for one year and in the following year (1828) he was sent by the Georgia Educational Society to Franklin College (university of Georgia), where he graduated in 1832. Deciding not to enter the ministry, he paid back the money advanced by the society. He was a schoolmaster for about two years, and then, after studying law for less than four months, was admitted to the bar in 1834. Although delicate in health, his success at the bar was immediate and remarkable. In 1836 he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives after a campaign in which he was vigorously opposed because he had attacked the doctrine of nullification, and because he had opposed all extra-legal steps against the abolitionists. He was annually re-elected until 1841; in 1842 he was elected to the state Senate, and in the following year, on the Whig ticket, to the National House of Representatives. In this last body he urged the annexation of Texas, chiefly as a means of achieving more power for the South in Congress. He was denounced as a traitor to his party because of his support of annexation, but he later became the leader of the Whig opposition to the war with Mexico. He vigorously supported the Compromise Measures in 1850, and continued to act with the Whigs of the North until they, in 1852, nominated General Winfield Scott for the presidency without Scott’s endorsement of the Compromise. Stephens and other Whigs of the South then chose Daniel Webster, but a little later they joined the Democrats. In 1854 Stephens helped to secure the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. Before the Georgia legislature in November 1860, and again in that state’s secession convention in January 1861, he strongly opposed secession, but when Georgia seceded he “followed his state,” assisted in forming the new government, and was elected vice-president of the Confederate States. He greatly weakened the position of the Confederacy by a speech delivered at Savannah (March 21, 1861) in which he declared that slavery was its corner-stone. Throughout the war, too, he was so intensely concerned about states’ rights and civil liberty that he opposed the exercise of