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Giorgio Basta
Born 1544
Died 1607
Employer Holy Roman Emperor

Giorgio Basta, Count of Huszt (1544-1607) was a general of Albanian descent, employed by the Holy Roman Emperor to command Habsburg forces in the Long War of 1591-1606 and later to administer Transylvania as an Imperial vassal.


On his orders, his ally Mihai Viteazul was murdered near Torda (now: Turda) in 1601 only days after a joint victory in Battle of Guruslău.

Hungarian and Romanian historians alike portray Basta as a treacherous, licentious and violent man, motivated by a pathological hatred of Magyars. During his brief period of control over Transylvania, the principality descended into chaos. In the anarchic terror imposed by his marauding, lawless armies of mercenaries and bandits, Transylvania lost a third of its population, including most of the nobility.

After his experiences of warfare in Eastern Europe, Basta wrote several military manuals, the best known of which is his Il maestro di campo generale...(Venice 1606), and his posthumous work Il governo della cavalleria leggiera (Venice 1612).


See also

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