Timothy, Bishop of Zagreb

Timothy (Latin: Timotheus, Hungarian: Timót, Croatian: Timotej; died 4 April 1287) was a prelate in the 13th century, who served as Bishop of Zagreb from 1263 until his death.

Bishop of Zagreb
Term ended1287
PredecessorFarkas Bejc (elected)
Personal details
Died4 April 1287


Timothy was of Hungarian ethnicity.[1] He was styled as "magister", confirming his university degree.[2] He first appears in contemporary documents in 1259, when he was a member of Cardinal Stephen Báncsa's familia in Orvieto. There he functioned as chamberlain and also held the church position of canon of Pécs. Following that he was styled as canon of Zala, then dean of Valkó (Vuka). His benefice also contained four chapels in the Diocese of Győr.[3]

In early 1263, the Cathedral Chapter of Zagreb nominated the cardinal's namesake nephew bishop. His appointment was petitioned to the Roman Curia, where Pope Urban IV requested the opinion of Cardinal Báncsa. After consultations, Stephen II Báncsa's nomination was refused confirmation on 24 September 1263, because he was under the minimum age for a bishop. Instead of him, the cardinal suggested Timothy to become the Bishop of Zagreb.[4] Timothy was elected by some members of the chapter in the same month,[5] but other canons denied the legality of the election. King Béla IV of Hungary also protested against the pope's decision, referring to his "incapability to become a royal advisor" (possibly because of his close relationship with the cardinal, who had several conflicts with the king prior that). Béla was angered by the fact too that Pope Urban allowed to Cardinal Báncsa to be free to distribute Timothy's benefices in Hungary among his relatives.[4] In this period, royal charters considered the bishopric of Zagreb as sede vacante.[5]

In December 1263, Timothy was referred to as bishop-elect and papal chaplain. He resided in Báncsa's court at Viterbo.[2] Finally, Pope Urban confirmed his election in 1264. Already during the pontificate of Pope Clement IV, Béla IV sent a royal delegation led by his loyal clergyman Demetrius, archdeacon of Bars to Rome in October 1265 to protest against Timothy's confirmation. Demetrius expressed Timothy's incompetence before the Roman Curia, arguing with his lowborn social status. The pope was outraged by the archdeacon's claim and refused his request. Béla sent again his delegation in April 1266, but Pope Clement did not change his decision. To indicate his goodwill, he appointed Demetrius as papal chaplain. Following that Béla IV abandoned the case and acknowledged Timothy's election.[4]

Timothy was commissioned to guard the castle of Garics (Podgaric), a centre of a border ispánate in Križevci County, in 1272. He complied with that request at his own expense. By formalizing the status quo, Timothy and his diocese were granted the castle of Garics and Gerzence (Garešnica) ispánate by Ladislaus IV in March 1277.[6] Timothy was a member of that six-member diplomatic mission to Vienna in July 1277, which negotiated an alliance with Rudolf I of Germany against Ottokar II of Bohemia.

Taking advantage of the chaotic situation, which characterized the young Ladislaus' reign, the three brothers of the Kőszegi family, Nicholas, Ivan and Henry plundered the estates of the Diocese of Zagreb at various times in early 1281. According to Timothy's letter to Archbishop Lodomer, the Kőszegis and their henchmen completely devastated and pillaged the episcopal estate of Vaska (today Vaška in Croatia) and the surrounding lands. Timothy also complained that Ivan and Nicholas arbitrarily usurped the Gerzence lordship, a rightful possession of his diocese since 1277 after a donation of Ladislaus IV. According to his letter, the Kőszegi brothers unlawfully collected the tithe in the territory of his diocese, while Nicholas also captured and robbed the senior officials of the bishopric. The Kőszegis' henchman, a certain notorious highwayman Wrycz tortured the captured clerics until they gave them the treasures. For their crimes, Timothy excommunicated the three Kőszegi brothers in Virovitica on 25 March 1281.[7]

Timothy died on 4 April 1287.[8]


  1. ^ Almási & Koszta 1991, p. 15.
  2. ^ a b Kiss 2015, p. 90.
  3. ^ Kiss 2015, p. 89.
  4. ^ a b c Almási & Koszta 1991, p. 16.
  5. ^ a b Zsoldos 2011, p. 103.
  6. ^ Zsoldos 2011, pp. 153–154.
  7. ^ Kristó 1981, pp. 174–175.
  8. ^ Zsoldos 2011, p. 355.


  • Almási, Tibor; Koszta, László (1991). "Báncsa István bíboros (1205k.–1270). Életrajzi vázlat [Cardinal Stephen Báncsa (c. 1205–1270): A Biographical Sketch]". Acta Universitatis Szegediensis de Attila József nominatae. Acta Historica (in Hungarian). Szent István Társulat. pp. 9–17.
  • Dobronić, Lelja (1995). "Timotej [Timothy]". In Franko, Mirošević (ed.). Zagrebački biskupi i nadbiskupi [Bishops and Archbishops of Zagreb] (in Croatian). Školska knjiga. pp. 65–80. ISBN 953-0-60597-8.
  • Jerković, Mirko (2015). "Imenovanje papinoga kapelana Timoteja zagrebačkim biskupom 1263. godine: studija o odnosima srednjovjekovnih središta moći [The appointment of papal chaplain Timothy to Zagreb episcopal dignity in 1263: A study of relations between medieval centres of power]". Croatica Christiana periodica (in Croatian). Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb. 39 (76): 27–48. ISSN 0350-7823.
  • Kiss, Gergely (2015). Dél-Magyarországtól Itáliáig. Báncsa nembeli István (1205 k. – 1270) váci püspök, esztergomi érsek, az első magyarországi bíboros életpályája [From Southern Hungary to Italy: The Life and Career of Stephen from the Kindred Báncsa (c. 1205–1270), Bishop of Vác, Archbishop of Esztergom, the First Cardinal from Hungary] (in Hungarian). Kronosz Kiadó. ISBN 978-615-5497-63-6.
  • Kristó, Gyula (1981). Az Aranybullák évszázada [The Century of the Golden Bulls] (in Hungarian). Gondolat. ISBN 963-280-641-7.
  • Zsoldos, Attila (2011). Magyarország világi archontológiája, 1000–1301 [Secular Archontology of Hungary, 1000–1301] (in Hungarian). História, MTA Történettudományi Intézete. ISBN 978-963-9627-38-3.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Farkas Bejc
Bishop of Zagreb
Succeeded by