Zrinyi, Miklos (b. Jan. 5, 1620, Csakvar, Hung.--d. Nov. 18, 1664, Csaktornya [now Cakovec, Croatia])
Statesman, military leader, and author of the first epic poem in Hungarian literature.
Born into an extremely wealthy aristocratic family, Zrinyi was educated by the Jesuits and became viceroy of Croatia in 1647. At the time, the Ottoman Turks occupied much of Hungary, and Zrinyi's chief concern was driving them out of the country. He spent his entire life fighting the conquerors, becoming the outstanding Hungarian military leader of his century. In 1664 he started an organization to oppose the Habsburgs, who ruled the unoccupied part of the country, but he was killed that same year by a wild boar.
Zrinyi's finest literary work, and one of the major works of Hungarian literature, is his epic Szigeti veszedelem (1651; published as "The Peril of Sziget"), which deals with the heroic defense of the fortress of Szigetvar in 1566 against the armies of the sultan Suleyman I. The commander of the fortress, the central figure of the epic, was the poet's great-grandfather, who fell during the siege.