principal (princeps Transsilvaniae)

Signature and seal of István Báthory
Seal of Zsigmond Báthory
The title principal appeared in the Speyer treaty first, where Zsigmond János gave up his title of elected king (electus Rex), and in exchange took up the title principal of Transylvania, Hungary and the annexed provinces. The Transylvanian orders declared their right to elect a principal in 1567, and the first time they really used this right was in 1571, when they elected István Báthori, although he was elected voivode, he used the title principal after he was elected Polish king (1575). When a principal was appointed, it was usually acknowledged by Constantinople beforehand, and the elected principal could mount his throne when they had the letter of appointment from the Turkish Sultan (athname). Besides this they received royal emblems from the Sultan, such as a gold banner, stick and a horse. The power was in the hands of the principal: foreign, domestic and military affairs and finance. He received this power symbolically when he was inaugurated. At this time he had to take an oath in which he promised to uphold the conditions (conditio) that are required by the orders. At the same time the orders were obliged to take an oath of allegiance to the person of the principal.