A Conversation for Elizabeth Bathory - the Blood Countess

Facts of Bathory Case Unlikely to be ever Known

Post 1


From an amateur's review of Hungarian history, it is clear that any facts about Elizabeth Bathory's supposed crimes are impossible to verify. In Peter Sugar's, etal, book A History of Hungary (pages 97 and 98) and also The Hungarians by Paul Lendvai both make it clear that there was great upset with the Ottoman Turks and the Habsburgs battling and ravaging the Hungarian people and religious conflicts were a major problem at the time. The highest level aristocrats were being attacked for their wealth by King Matthias. King Matthias was a Habsburg and by prosecuting Elizabeth it appears likely that he avoided paying her a large debt which he could not afford. If he had real and true evidence it is likely that he would have seized her property. He is known to have spread lies about Vlad Dracula, which he admited when he needed Vlad to fight Turks. She was a Hungarian who was ruling estates in mostly Slovak territory and judged by Slovak-Austrian related judiciary. Sad to say, the ethnic hatred served the Kings well and was always kept alive in their countries. Direct testimonies at the trial primarily came from torture and intimidation, common in those days.Elizabeth was from a Protestant family and the later stories of blood bathing were apparently invented over a hundred years later by a Jesuit priest, possibly to attack her religion.

In any case, whether she committed these crimes is not clear. It would take a major scientific review of the physical grounds and any possible remains to begin to ascertain if these charges are true. I find it questionable why so many people want to believe these stories are true but don't have any serious evidence. Now given the times and the extreme past of these events possibly it would be impossible to have facts but nevertheless it seems clear that within the historical trends of those times it is quite possible that this was a show-trial.

Facts of Bathory Case Unlikely to be ever Known

Post 2


While I agree with you that of course the true facts of this case will never truly be known, you DO need to do some fact checking before you make claims. The King Matthias of Vlad Tepes' time was Matthias Corvinus (aka Matthias the Just) born in 1443 and died in 1490. The King Matthias who was in rule and ordered Elizabeth Bathory's trial was Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor, or Matthias II (as he was known in Hungary) born in 1557 died 1619. Did it not strike you as odd that you claimed the SAME king was in rule for over a hundred years? Considering that Vlad the Impaler died in 1476 and Elizabeth Bathory crimes weren't ordered by the king to be investigated until 1610.

Again, please make sure you check your claims before posting them as "facts"

Facts of Bathory Case Unlikely to be ever Known

Post 3


While some facts are undisputed, because of the Bathory/Nadasdy need to suppress as much of the scandal as possible the more outrageous facts have been turned into legend. Her Ladyship was alreay guilty of mass murder ("inhuman cruelty" was the ultimate charge), so adding the blood baths would only add witchcraft to her many charges and thus insure her execution. As it was, perpetual imprisonment was the best she could achieve without completely ruining the family name.
As for the torture devices and the lack of evidence of such instruments...the iron virgin necessitated constant maintenance as blood, rust and the like corroded the inner mechanics. Such master craftsmen were in short supply in Csejthe, and what was left was there until WWII when many items disappeared.

Facts of Bathory Case Unlikely to be ever Known

Post 4


Thank you for pointing this out. I did eventually figure this out later but just returned to this forum. My apologies for muddling up Matthias Corvinus with the later King Matthias of the Hapsburg family. However, I do wonder if the German broadsheets detailing Vlad Tepes's atrocities have any other documentation that is credible. Matthias Corvinus did admit, when he needed Vlad to fight Turks, that these were lies. Propaganda is not a modern invention, goes back to at least the Romans and Greeks. Anyway, the broadsheets were just popular sales stories, like National Enquirer is today. Also, the Germans in Romanian lands had reason to attack Vlad. I am not sure how to separate out Vlad's actions in fighting the HORRIBLE Ottoman Turks from his rule. It is clear that the Romanian people remember him as a hero and defender from the Turks rule of terror.

Facts of Bathory Case Unlikely to be ever Known

Post 5


Regarding the loss of physical evidence. You apparently already know what you believe, facts or historical patterns are not much interest to you. It is unfortunate that any artifacts were lost since perhaps they could have been analyzed to see if they applied to Bathory and her times. However, the general trends at that time involved show trials, similar to the Communist trials in the fifties. The Hapsburgs were using these techniques on other aristocrats, especially Protestants like Elizabeth.

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