A special circumstance of the spread of the reformed faith in Hungary in the 16th century.

(2011. Refo 500 Conference, Zürich)

Erzsébet Horváth

    In Hungary Reformation spread fast, so much so that at the end of the 16th century 90% of the population became Protestant. More than half of the Protestants were Reformed / Calvinists and about 25% Lutherans[1].

          The reasons for this rapid success are as follows:

The people accepted the theological and practical teaching which was based on the Bible. The Gospel was taught in the vernacular, the Bible, the Hymn Book and Prayers Book were also available in people’s own language. The Gospel was proclaimed by Franciscan monks (especially by its observant branch) who, unlike the Pope, lived in poverty and did not follow the teaching and expectations of the Roman Catholic Church. Reformation was also promoted by wandering preachers and mercenaries who came to Hungary from German lands. The schools also played an eminent role (colleges[2] were founded in early Reformation times), as well as printing houses[3] with their theological publications. In the 1660s, 1670s and 1680s many tractates were published, not only in Hungary, but also in Basle, Zurich, Hanau[4] and in Geneva.

Adherents to the Reformation came from the Hungarian gentry and from the inhabitants of market-towns, as well as from serfs and border castle soldiers. Border line castles were fortresses against the Turks. But feudal aristocracy also supported the Reformation: in the estates they established cultural centres, Protestant schools. The slogan of the new aristocracy was: arte et marte (with culture and sword) which meant that they were intent on providing political and even military support for the reformers.

Along with the above mentioned factors there was a special reason for the rapid spread of Reformation. This was the defeat of Hungarians by the Turks in Mohács, in 1526, i.e., the beginnings of the Ottoman rule in the country. The Turkish advance in Europe had already begun in the time of Louis the Great (1340-1380)[5] In 1456 János Hunyadi repulsed the Turkish army in Nándorfehérvár (today: Belgrade), even though he was outnumbered by the latter[6]. The victory was celebrated in Rome by Pope III. Calixtus, and it was ordered that the churchbells should toll every day at noon in memory of the great event[7].

          The battle in Mohács

In the summer of 1526 Sultan Suleiman the Great sent 100.000 soldiers to Hungary who were faced by 24.000 Hungarian soldiers. The Hungarians resisted bravely, but were eventually defeated. The Ottoman era lasted 150 years in Hungary[8]. M. Luther was informed about the Turkish victory by his Hungarian students who studied in Wittenberg, and Calvin was also aware of the Hungarian situation[9]. Hungary lost its king, Louis II, in the battle, but other important persons of the leadership also: five bishops, two archbishops died. Only two bishops of the Roman Catholic hierarchy were still alive. So the Roman Catholic Church was considerably weakened. Alongside with the loss of important persons, the Southern part of the country belonged to the Turks who had good chances to proceed further.

Under Ottoman rule Reformation meant for Hungarians a revival, a chance to survive for individuals and for the whole of the society as well. The Reformation changed the minds of Hungarians: it shaped their attitudes toward politics and society. Accepting the redemption by the death of Christ and the life under ‘Soli Deo Gloria’ meant strengthening the society which was of vital importance in a country torn in three parts. The Eastern and West-Eastern parts of the country belonged to the Habsburg Empire, the Southern part was under Ottoman rule, and only the Northern and the Transylvanian parts were free.

           Spreading Lutheran Reformation

Before the defeat in Mohács the Lutheran branch of Reformation was spread mainly in the Northern towns of Hungary. In 1549 five towns endorsed the Confessio Pentapolitana written by Leonard Stöckel: Kassa, Lőcse, Bártfa, Eperjes and Kisszeben. In 1559 seven mining towns accepted the Confessio Heptapolitana. Among the gentry, the crown guard Péter Perényi, the country judge and later palatine Tamás Nádasdy, and the protector of the towns of Pápa and Debrecen, Bálint Török. Tamás Nádasdy published the first New Testament in Hungarian in 1541, translated by János Sylvester.

In 1521 the papal bull of the excommunication of M. Luther was read in each Church. In 1523 and 1525, the Hungarian diet condemned those who left Roman Catholicism and followed M. Luther’s teaching: they should be executed and their properties should be confiscated. However, Luther’s teaching was accepted not only by the Northern towns, but also by the young queen, Mariah of Habsburg, the wife of Louis II[10]. After 1526 that teaching spread in the Northern mine towns as in Körmöcbánya, Selmecbánya, Besztercebánya, then in Kassa, Eperjes and Bártfa, later in the South-Eastern part of the country, among the Saxons in Brassó and Szeben[11].

In Brassó the Lutheran teaching was promoted by János Honterus[12], but the Reformation was also spread by the Hungarian students who studied in Wittenberg.

Mihály Sztárai[13] wrote in 1551: “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes that the corner stone is the Christ who had been rejected not only by Hungarians but by other nations, too, and He became the head of our country which is oppressed by the Turkish tyranny and abandoned by other nations (Mt xxi 42). Praise should be to the Lord who bestowed upon us freedom instead of slavery, inner nobility within the humiliations and victory over death and hell even when the enemies of Christ seem to be victorious.”[14]

The Ottoman rule was interpreted in different manners.

Those accepting Reformation regarded it as God’s punishment for the idolatry of Hungarians in the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholics, however, explained God’s wrath by the spread of Reformation. Péter Méliusz Juhász, pastor and bishop of Debrecen, also dealt with the issue of the Turks[15]. He said that the fall of Gyula and Szigetvár had been the just punishment of God – that was the opinion of other Reformed pastors also! Méliusz believed the Turks to be a tool in God’s hand; Hungarian had gone astray in their religion. “Admit, oh lords and kings, that on account of our idolatry God tears our country apart; for its transgressions, Hungary is now torn into three parts!”[16] But Méliusz also found comfort: The Turks are also in the hand of God, so a limit is set to their atrocities.

Historians evaluated the Turkish presence in Hungary in different manners. For a long time, it was said that the Turks stood for the Reformation rather than for the Roman Catholic Church because of the purified Church buildings which were much more acceptable for Turks. But it is also true that there is no other religion than the Islam for the Turks, so they did not support any Christian denomination, neither Roman Catholicism, nor Protestantism. Indeed we know about events when the Turks ruled in favour of the Protestants. However, we also know the case of István Szegedi Kis[17] who was captured by the Turks. During his two years of captivity the Turks placed him on markets, whipped him publicly in order that the Reformed population should gather the huge amount of ransom for him.

Publications on the era, and, first of all, the letters from this time, show that the Turks were equally cruel to Roman Catholics and Reformed Christians as well[18]. If the Turks faced some setbacks, they accused the Reformed pastor in their neighbourhood and, under the pretext that he prayed against them, they arrested or harassed him. Many Church buildings were demolished and the bricks were re-used for mosques, the Church bells for cannons. Those who had been captured were sold as slaves. Many children and youth came in this way to Turkey, to galleys, but Hungarians were not willing to abandon their faith[19]. The Turks always found the ways how to force Hungarian towns or villages to tribute paying. Even Debrecen paid tribute[20]; in exchange its Church and schools remained.

Some letters may illustrate the situation of Hungarian Reformed people during the Ottoman era.

Imre Eszéki[21], teacher in Tolna, wrote a letter to Matthias Flacius Illyricus on 3rd August 1549 and reports on how the Turks promoted Reformation. Flacius translated the letter into German and published it in Wittenberg in both German and Latin in Wittenberg[22].

We know from a circular written by Pál Thuri Farkas[23] that the reality was completely different. Thuri Farkas studied in Wittenberg in 1555. In 1556 he was the rector of the School of Tolna, he was considered an ardent follower of Calvin’s doctrines. Albert Szenci Molnár published Thuri’s circular under the title ”The lives of Hungarians under Turkish occupation” in order to console the Huguenots who were banished to Germany[24]. In his circular, Thuri mentions particular cases when the Turks demolished church buildings and assaulted ministers, destroyed congregations and schools as well as the constant danger and fear Hungarians lived in. He also mentions in his letter[25] that the Turks have demanded that he should convert to the Muslim faith[26].

As Reformation spread, it was only natural that each denomination tried to win for itself as many people as possible, in this effort preachers were sent to castles as well as battlefields. As a consequence, questions of faith became deeply intertwined with questions of war: the nature of wars, the ethics of war as well as the role fighters played in wars.

Mihály Sztárai, István Szegedi Kis, István Magyari and Gál Huszár were among the reformed preachers sent to the castles and battlefields. Every preacher knew that the lives of the people they were preaching to were in danger: when they were going to battle they were going to their deaths. Péter Bornemisza’s sermons were based on texts from the Old Testament[27]. In his sermons, Bornemisza interpreted one particular passage from Scripture in the following way: throughout the battle only Aron’s two sons could blow the trumpets. The two trumpets signified God’s Law and the Gospel. The soldiers needed both God’s Law and the Good News of the Gospel. Those who understood and accepted God’s love, those who accepted Jesus Christ as their saviour were able to go to battle in order to sacrifice themselves for the freedom of their country. These soldiers were not afraid because they were certain of their salvation. Bornemisza also preached about who the army of soldiers belonged to. The army belonged to the Lord God of Hosts: whereas the king, the earthly sovereign, was only the shepherd of the flock. He leads the army as long as the trumpet is sounded. As long as the priests are at prayer at the sacred camp, the army is winning, however, as soon as evil things start happening at the camp and the leader’s intentions are not honourable, God leaves the camp, the consequence of which is certain defeat.[28]

The protestant reformation required a new standard of ethical behaviour, as a consequence, the ideal of ”vitézség” (valiancy, heroism, valour) had to be reinterpreted as well[29].

István Magyari’s sermons (similarly to Bornemisza’s) also focussed on the idea that the soldiers do not need to be afraid, they should not fear the enemy , since their lives are in God’s hands. ”If you die, remain in true faith and you shall find salvation”[30]. The soldiers who were going to battle were not only encouraged by the sermons delivered by such preachers, but their faith, their lives were also shaped by them. In the course of the reformation, the soldiers who served at the border castles became protestants, most of them followed Helvetian Reformation, depending on which castle they defended and on who the captain of the castle was.

The wars that were waged between the two kings – János Szapolyai (1526-1540) and Ferdinand Ist – as well as the wars with the Turks strengthened the spread of reformation.

In 1541 the Turks captured the town of Buda as well as the archbishopric of Kalocsa, in 1543 the archbishoprics of Esztergom and Pécs were also captured, followed by the fall of the bishopric of Vác in 1544, which was transformed into a Turkish castle. Veszprém and Csanád met the same disastrous fate in 1552, followed by the fall of the bishoprics of Várad and Gyulafehérvár after 1560. These facts underlie the importance of the role that will be played by the border castle soldiers and their bravery[31].

During the reign of Ferdinand Ist (1526-1564) several commanders were Lutheran. Most of them were captain-generals and served at border castles such as those in Győr, Komárom and Zólyom. In order to provide spiritual guidance to the soldiers, they invited Lutheran preachers to the towns. The captain-generals of Győr, Komárom and Kassa were of Lower Austrian origin. The soldiers at the border castles who served in the heavy-armed infantry, cavalry and the artillery were mostly of German origin. The general of Győr invited preachers from Wittenberg in order to grant evangelical German soldiers the free exercise of their religion. Many Hungarians joined them in worship. Tamás Nádasdy financed the publication of Kézbeli könyvecske (Little handy book) written in Hungarian by his court preacher István Magyari. Hans Rueber[32], the general of the town of Kassa, had already supported Lutheran reformation at his previous station in Győr (between 1564 and 1566), later, when stationed in Kassa, he provided financial support to the children of several citizens so that they could study in Wittenberg, moreover, he invited a German preacher for the benefit of the German soldiers. By inviting preachers and by facilitating the spread of reformation, captains at the border castles provided (in addition to arms) spiritual support to their soldiers as well as to the soldiers’ family members who were settled in the vicinity of the castles. Reformation meant a lot to the soldiers who served at the border castles: they were reinsured that they were fighting for a just cause and they had hope that they would find salvation without having to receive the final rites (final unction). It was through reformation that border castle soldiers were encouraged by the numerous poems and hymns to God, many of which, such as the poems by Bálint Balassi[33], are well-known to this very day.

The next question we have to discuss is to what extent Calvinism / the Helvetian Reformation influenced political behaviour, nation-building and national identity in Hungary.

Kálmán Benda, a scholar and authority who studied this period, states that for the border castle soldiers in the 16th century the protection of their faith served as a ”mobilizing force”[34]. They fought for Christianity, for its survival and protection. Many serfs who participated in the fights against the Turks at the border castles received an armalis, a noble certificate, but did not receive any property or land. For them, achieving social emancipation and receiving their rank involved paying tribute to their country with their blood. Their legal status had changed. By the end of the 16th century border castle soldiers enjoyed freedom of religion.

The fact that border castle soldiers consciously turned to reformation while protecting their country and the fact that they rose in their position into a new social order provide solid proof for the spread of reformation in Hungary. Border castle soldiers constituted the middle stratum of Hungarian society and at the same time provided support for the strengthening of reformation in Hungary.

Historians who studied the origins of the wars of independence in 17th century Hungary have investigated whether or not these wars had religious roots or if they were the consequence of social class differences / clashes between the orders. More specifically, the question arises if the wars can be traced back to Calvin’s notion of ius resistendi, i.e. the right to resist. Even though the Golden Bull of 1222 allows for cases when the orders (the noble orders) can resist the king if he becomes unfaithful to his people[35], it does not allow for common people to resist the king, therefore the right to resist has to be interpreted along the lines of Calvin’s teachings. Martin Luther considered any uprising against eartly authorities a mutiny. It was only in questions of faith that disobedience (i.e. passive resistance) was allowed by Luther’s teachings. Calvin, on the other hand, stated that any monarch ’s power was a power given by God, as a consequence, sovereigns not only have rights, but also obligations and are accountable to God. If a king defies God’s commands, his monarchical rule becomes illegitimate and he himself becomes a tyrant. According to Calvin, the individual owes obedience to the king, except in cases when the king demands something contrary to God’s commandments. There are two ways in which God can free the people from a tyrant’s rule: he can send a saviour such as Moses in the Old Testament: in other words a man rises against the king and becomes a saviour. The second type of active resistance that was allowed by Calvin is resistance by the magistrates. Theodore Beza, on the other hand, not only allowed magistrates to disobey their monarch, he made it their duty to do so, when it was justified. Beza’s creed was known in Hungary and was accepted at the Synod of Tarcal. The Catechism of the Church of Geneva (i.e. Calvin's Catechism) was published in Hungary by Péter Méliusz Juhász, who also ruled at the Synod of Gönc in 1566 that ministers should read and study Calvin’s and Beza’s creeds.

In 1607, during the time of the wars of liberation led by Bocskai, the Haiduk, when called upon to swear allegiance to the king after Bocskai’s death, issued the following statement: Rudolph is not their king because he is an idolater, which means that he has rejected the true faith, therefore they cannot swear allegiance to him. This statement does not make reference to the Golden Bull of 1222 but to issues of faith. To this very day, Bocskai, who was the leader of the wars of liberation that started in 1604, is thought of as a man who was sent by God as a saviour. In 1604, after his victory in Kassa, Bocskai said the following: ”It must be apparent to thy graces that it was the Almighty God’s wise counsel that called on me at such short notice … ”. He sent the following message to the Emperor: ” In this the Almighty God has acted through me. Thy grace should look upon my present state as an act coming from the Almighty God’s secret counsel.”[36] We can find in István Bocskai’s letters a Calvinist sense of duty: the idea that he deserves neither reward nor praise because he has simply been an instrument in God’s hands and all glory should be God’s alone. He firmly believed that God had had enough of the sufferings endured by the Hungarian nation and sent him as their saviour. This is why István Bocskai received the following title / name ’the Moses of the Hungarians’.


We can safely say that reformation, the protection of true faith strengthened the sense of nationhood and the survival of the Hungarian national community. It is thanks to Reformation that the Hungarian national identity gained strength. Reformed Christians could feel God’s love, which was revealed in Jesus Christ, who was sent as a saviour, and, as a result, they approached and related to worldy things in a completely different way. Whether they were noblemen or serfs, Reformed Christians shared a sense of duty and mission, a sense of responsibility and the awareness that their lives should be lived for God’s glory. It followed that they had to stand their ground for the truth, they had to fight for their freedom from tyranny. This is what our reformer forefathers István Szegedi Kis and Péter Méliusz Juhász did, this is what was done later in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries and then in the 20th century[37].

It was reformation that made Hungarian Reformed Christians remain faithful to the Gospel, devoted to the Hungarian Constitution and to the country’s freedom. Thus, the Hungarian War of Independence was not simply a national affair, it was a lot more than that. It was trust in God’s Providence that gave the nation strength to endure 150 years of Turkish occupation, to suffer the country being ripped apart and to survive, still strong. Their faith in God gave them hope, gave them optimism.

One of the reasons for the spread of reformation, as I mentioned before, was the unique political and social situation in which the Hungarian nation was willing and able to fight and act as the stronghold of Christianity, and during this fight, the Christian’s faith and the national feeling  became stronger and deeper. During the fight for its faith and for its life, the Hungarian Reformed Church found a way to build the congregation, to promote culture and education, to found printing houses, to publish scientific books and papers. All this was because they wanted to stand before God in praise of Him. Thanks be to Him.


Erzsébet Horváth, Theological Faculty of the Karoli Reformed University, Budapest

Budapest,20. 04. 2013.


[1] According to Géza Pállfy, 85-90% of the Hungarian population became protestant. Géza Pálffy, Hitkeresők: vallásváltó Magyarország (Searching for faith: a change of religion in Hungary), , IN: Ignác Romsics (ed.) Magyarország története (The history of Hungary) Budapest: Akadémia Kiadó, 2007, 370

In 1561 archbishop Miklós Oláh called all ministers to a synod. 119 ministers showed up, 62 of them were married, 42 administered Holy Communion in the evangelical way. Bucsay Mihály, A protestantizmus története Magyarországon 1521-1945 (The history of protetantism in Hungary between 1521 and 1945), Bp: Gondolat, 1985, p82.

www.rubicon.hu/magyar/.../a_kalvinizmus_sikerei_es_kudarcai, accessed on 2011. 05. 18

[2] The formation of Reformed Colleges: Sárospatak, Pápa 1531., Debrecen. 1538.

[3] Printing houses: The first Hungarian printing house was established in Újsziget, close to Sárvár, in 1537, by the (protestant) lord of the castle, Tamás Nádasdy, who was encouraged in his efforts by János Sylvester. The printing house published Grammatica Hungaro-Latina by János Sylvester in 1539 and the Hungarian translation of the New Testament in 1541. Reformed minister Gál Huszár’s printing houses were already operational in Magyaróvár, Debrecen and Pápa (1558-1561). During his short stay in Debrecen, Gál Huszár only published works by Mélius. He first published a study written by Péter Mélius Juhász about the epistles of apostle Paul, then his sermons and the Confessio catholica, which he knew as the Egervölgyi Catechism.

[4] István Szegedi Kis. Assertio vera de Trinitate… (Genevae, 1573); Speculum Romanorum pontificum… (Genevae, 1584); Theologiae sincerae Loci Communes… (Basiliae, 1588); Confessio verae fidei… (Basiliae, 1588).

[5] His successors tried to win the Pope and to launch a crusade against the Turks. The son-in-law of Louis the Great, Sigismund of Luxemburg, managed to do so, but was defeated in 1396 near Nicopolis: the army promised by Venice did not arrived in the battle! Hungary was not able to protect its country alone against the Turks, nevertheless it warded off the Turks from Europe for a long time.

[6] János Hunyadi, who only had 40000 soldiers and 400 canons at his disposal, defeated Sultan Mehmed II, who commanded 100,000 armed soldiers.

[7] Sándor Unghváry. A magyar reformáció az ottomán hódoltság alatt a XVI. században (The Hungarian Reformation under Ottoman rule). Budapest 1994. 35.

[8] King Francis I of France took the Ottoman’s side and provided financial support for Suleiman’s attacks against Hungary.

[9] Calvin’s letter to Farel from Regensburg (written in 1541) reads: ”The Turks and the French are lined up. The situation in Hungary is also distressing. After the death of King John the "Hungarian friar" became the guardian of the still minor king and appealed to the Turks for support. The Turks, who attacked Pest, Ferdinand’s city, are now gathering an army to free the city. There is rumour that the Turks are approaching with great forces. However, the Turks also bleed from many wounds: most recently the revolt in Transalpina. There is, indeed, danger. Whatever the case might be, the emperor wants to preserve the unity of Germany until he rids himself of all the troubles. This is the emperor’s point of view: ”Herminjard, Urbs est in ripa Danubii, è regione Budae ”(957.) letter, Pruzsinszky Pál, Kálvin János, Pápa, 1909.

[10] In 1521 István Verbőczy gave a dinner in honour of Martin Luther at the Imperial Diet of Worms and tried to convince him to revoke his doctrines. István Werbőczy (1458-1541). jurist, palatine of Hungary.

[11] Kálmán Benda. A kálvinizmus és a magyarságtudat kölcsönhatása történelmünkben.(The interrelationship between Calvinism and Hungarian national identity in our history) Confessio 1986. II. 7-10

[12] Johannes Honterus worked as a teacher in Brassó (Brasov) in 1543.

[13] Mihály Sztárai founded 120 congregations and composed many Church hymns.

[14] Mihály Bucsay, ibid, 27.

[15] Mélius wrote about it in his work entitled ”True and Biblical interpretation of the apparition to Saint John”. Várad, 1568   Viii (177.p.)   RMNy I. 259.

[16] István Bitskey: Caught in the crossfire of religious disputes (Hitviták tüzében), Gondolat 1978. 70.

[17] István Szegedi Kis (1505-1572). In 1561, the new bey of Pécs attacked Kálmáncsa and the population fled to the reformed church building. Szegedi was taken captive from here to Pécs where he was beaten several times. Bleeding severely, he was put on display at the marketplace in Szolnok, which had the necessary effect: in 1563 his ransom was paid with the money collected by Hungarian reformed Christians. Bálint Faragó, Protestáns Szemle (Protestant Review), 1909. 421-443.

[18] From the letters that were written by Stewerd Ákos Csányi to Palatine Tamás Nádasdy between 1549 and 1562 we learn about the way Turks conducted themselves on the Nádasdy estate. One letter states that the Turks seized the Roman Catholic rectory. (letter No. 389. 1960. 227-228. IN: Sándor Őze 500 Hungarian letters from the 16th century. Letters to Tamás Nádasdy from Ákos Csányi between 1549-1562. Volume 1. Hungarian National Museum, Budapest 1996.

[19] Kálmán Benda, A végvári harcok ideológiája (The ideology of the border castle fights), Történelmi Szemle (Historical Review), Bp. 1963. VI./1 15-18.

[20] Debrecen had to pay ransom for its religious freedom as well as for the whole city. The city had to pay tribute on several different grounds, however, the population of Debrecen (as well as other cities) did everything in their power to keep their freedom and independence as much as possible.

[21] Both Eszéki and Méliusz studied from Flacius in Wittenberg, Eszéki in 1543, Méliusz in 1566.

[22] Mihály Bucsay, Letters from Imre Eszéki to Flacius. Studia et Acta, Bp. 1973, MRE Press Office, 905-910.

[23] Circular written by Pál Thuri Farkas, (no addressee or date is given), Bucsay ibid. , 911-921, Pál Thuri Farkas died in 1574.

[24] Letter by Pál Thuri Farkas, Hanau 1616. New Edition, Géza Kathona, Akadémia Kiadó, Budapest 1974. 66-70.

[25] ibid. 66-70

[26] Thuri also writes about the four stages the Turks used as a method of assimilating the local population. The first and easiest stage for Hungarians was when public administration was not yet organized by the Turks. Christians only had to pay taxes. As a second stage, the Turks introduced police administration. In the third stage, Turks settled down in the occupied territories in great numbers, finally, as a fourth stage, they started to exercise jurisdiction. At this stage the Turkish military and Turkish civilians made a joint effort to ensure that Turkish interests and morals prevailed as well as to spread the Muslim faith. According to Thuri, the inhabitants of Tolna were already at the third stage.

[27] Péter Bornemissza. Postilles. Detrekő, 1579. RMNY 432. Péter Bornemissza also preached to the ”végvári vitézek” (border castle soldiers) about the raising of Jairus’ daughter.

[28] Bornemissza ibid. p476.

[29] István Bitskey. Virtus and religio. Miskolc, 1999. pp114-132.

[30] István Magyari. Az országban való soc romlásoknac okairól… (On the causes of the country’s many detriments) Sárvár, 1602, Kathona Tamás-Makkai László (eds.) Budapest, 1978.

[31] János Karácsonyi. Magyarország egyháztörténete (The history of the church in Hungary). Budapest, 1985. Könyvértékesítő Vállalat pp113-115.

[32] In 1572, Hans Rueber received noble rank in Hungary.

[33] One of Balassi’s poems is entitled Egy katonaének avagy a végek dicsérete (A soldier’s song in praise of the border castles).

[34] Benda ibid p16.

[35] Golden Bull of 1222, article 31

[36] Kálmán Benda. A kálvinizmus és a magyarságtudat kölcsönhatása történelmünkben.(The interrelationship between Calvinism and Hungarian national identity in our history). Confessio 1986. II. 7.

[37] Bocskai’s war of independence (1593-1606) / The war of liberation lead by Thököly (1677-1690) / The war of liberation lead by Rákóczi (1703-1711), The 1848-1849 Revolution and War of Independence from the Habsburgs / The revolution of 1956.