109 Facts About Matthias Corvinus


Matthias Corvinus, called Matthias I, was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1458 to 1490.


Matthias Corvinus was the son of John Hunyadi, Regent of Hungary, who died in 1456.


In 1457, Matthias was imprisoned along with his older brother, Ladislaus Hunyadi, on the orders of King Ladislaus the Posthumous.


Matthias Corvinus began his rule under his uncle's guardianship, but he took effective control of government within two weeks.


Matthias Corvinus signed a peace treaty with Frederick III in 1463, acknowledging the Emperor's right to style himself King of Hungary.


Matthias Corvinus soon realized he could expect no substantial aid from the Christian powers and gave up his anti-Ottoman policy.


Matthias Corvinus introduced new taxes and regularly set taxation at extraordinary levels.


The next year, Matthias Corvinus declared war on George of Podebrady, the Hussite King of Bohemia, and conquered Moravia, Silesia, and Lusatia, but he could not occupy Bohemia proper.


Matthias Corvinus sent reinforcements to Stephen the Great, Prince of Moldavia, enabling Stephen to repel a series of Ottoman invasions in the late 1470s.


In 1476, Matthias Corvinus besieged and seized Sabac, an important Ottoman border fort.


Matthias Corvinus concluded a peace treaty with Vladislaus Jagiellon in 1478, confirming the division of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown between them.


Matthias Corvinus waged a war against Emperor Frederick and occupied Lower Austria between 1482 and 1487.


Matthias Corvinus established one of the earliest professional standing armies of medieval Europe, reformed the administration of justice, reduced the power of the barons, and promoted the careers of talented individuals chosen for their abilities rather than their social statuses.


Matthias Corvinus patronized art and science; his royal library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was one of the largest collections of books in Europe.


Matthias Corvinus was the second son of John Hunyadi and his wife, Elizabeth Szilagyi.


Matthias Corvinus' education was managed by his mother due to his father's absence.


Under these scholars' influences, Matthias Corvinus became an enthusiastic supporter of Renaissance humanism.


Elizabeth settled in the Hunyadis' estates but Matthias Corvinus was sent to the royal court, implying that their marriage was a hidden exchange of hostages between their families.


Matthias Corvinus was held in captivity in a small house in Buda.


Matthias Corvinus's election was the first time that a member of the nobility mounted the royal throne in Hungary.


Matthias Corvinus made his state entry into Buda five days later.


Matthias Corvinus ceremoniously sat on the throne in the Church of Our Lady, but was not crowned, because the Holy Crown of Hungary had been in the possession of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor for almost two decades.


Matthias Corvinus held more than 25 Diets during his reign and convoked the Estates more frequently than his predecessors, especially between 1458 and 1476.


The Diets were controlled by the barons, whom Matthias Corvinus appointed and dismissed at will.


Matthias Corvinus made a raid into Ottoman territory and defeated the enemy forces in minor skirmishes.


Matthias Corvinus authorized his new vassal's son Stephen Tomasevic to take possession of the parts of Serbia that had not been occupied by the Ottomans.


At the turn of 1458 and 1459, Matthias Corvinus held a Diet at Szeged to prepare for a war against the Ottoman Empire.


Skirmishes along the western borderlands lasted for several months, preventing Matthias Corvinus from providing military assistance to Tomasevic against the Ottomans.


Matthias Corvinus sent his daughter to Buda offered his assistance.


Matthias Corvinus seized a newly erected fort from the Czechs but he could not force them to obey him.


Matthias Corvinus entered into an alliance with the Emperor's rebellious brother Albert VI, Archduke of Austria.


Matthias Corvinus launched a new campaign against them after the Diet authorized him to collect an extraordinary tax in mid-1461.


Matthias Corvinus surrendered all the forts he held in Upper Hungary to the King's representatives; as compensation he received a large domain near the Tisza and Arad and 25,000 golden florins.


Matthias Corvinus did not conquer the country but the Wallachian boyars dethroned the anti-Ottoman Vlad Dracula, replacing him with the Sultan's favorite, Radu the Fair.


Matthias Corvinus led his troops to Bosnia and conquered Jajce and other forts in its northern parts.


Matthias Corvinus was assisted by Stjepan Vukcic Kosaca, Grand Duke of Bosnia, who controlled the area of modern and Old Hercegovina.


Matthias Corvinus dismissed his Chief Chancellor Archbishop Szecsi, replacing him with Stephen Vardai, Archbishop of Kalocsa, and John Vitez.


Matthias Corvinus appointed Albert Hangacsi, Bishop of Csanad as the first Chief Justice.


Matthias Corvinus besieged Zvornik but the arrival of a large Ottoman army forced him to withdraw to Hungary.


Matthias Corvinus convoked the Diet to make preparations for an anti-Ottoman campaign in 1466.


However, Matthias Corvinus had realized that no substantial aid could be expected from the Christian powers and tacitly gave up his anti-Ottoman foreign policy.


Matthias Corvinus did not invade Ottoman territory and the Ottomans did not make major incursions into Hungary, implying that he signed a peace treaty with Mehmed II's envoy who arrived in Hungary in 1465.


Matthias Corvinus routed them and had Svehla and his 150 comrades hanged.


Matthias Corvinus entrusted the administration of the Crown's customs to John Ernuszt, a converted Jewish merchant.


Matthias Corvinus assembled his troops immediately and hastened to the province.


The rebels surrendered without resistance but Matthias Corvinus severely punished their leaders, many of whom were impaled, beheaded, or mercilessly tortured upon his orders.


Matthias Corvinus suffered severe injuries, forcing him to return to Hungary.


Matthias Corvinus said he wanted to help the Czech Catholic lords against their "heretic monarch" whom the Pope had excommunicated.


Matthias Corvinus expelled the Czech troops from Austria and invaded Moravia and Silesia.


In fear of being captured, Matthias Corvinus opened negotiations with his former father-in-law.


In 1469, Matthias Corvinus sent an army to Croatia to prevent the Venetians from seizing the Adriatic coastal town Senj.


Matthias Corvinus soon ordered the collection of an extraordinary tax without holding a Diet, raising widespread discontent among the Hungarian Estates.


Matthias Corvinus was staying in Moravia when he was informed that a group of Hungarian prelates and barons had offered the throne to Casimir, a younger son of King Casimir IV of Poland.


Matthias Corvinus held a Diet and promised to refrain from levying taxes without the consent of the Estates and to convoke the Diet in each year.


Matthias Corvinus appointed the Silesian Johann Beckensloer to administer the Archdiocese of Esztergom.


Matthias Corvinus nominated the wealthy baron Nicholas Ujlaki as King of Bosnia in 1471, entrusting the defence of the province to him.


Matthias Corvinus supported the Austrian noblemen who rebelled against Emperor Frederick in 1472.


Matthias Corvinus tried to unify the government of Silesia, which consisted of dozens of smaller duchies, through appointing a captain-general.


Matthias Corvinus prevented the besiegers from accumulating provisions, forcing them to raise the siege.


Matthias Corvinus confirmed this decision, although Tovacovsky had been Vladislaus Jagiellon's partisan.


Matthias Corvinus sent reinforcements under the command of Blaise Magyar to Stephen the Great.


Matthias Corvinus fled to Vienna and offered his funds to the Emperor.


Matthias Corvinus accused the Emperor of having incited the Archbishop against him.


Matthias Corvinus invaded Lower Austria and imposed a blockade on Vienna.


Emperor Frederick only paid off half of the indemnity due to Matthias Corvinus according to their treaty of 1477.


Matthias Corvinus entered into an alliance with Archbishop of Salzburg Bernhard II of Rohr, who allowed him to take possession of the fortresses of the Archbishopric in Carinthia, Carniola and Styria.


Matthias Corvinus united the command of all forts along the Danube to the west of Belgrade in the hand of Paul Kinizsi to improve the defence of the southern frontier.


Matthias Corvinus set up five defensive provinces, or banates, centred around the forts of Szorenyvar, Belgrade, Sabac, Srebrenik and Jajce.


The next year, Matthias Corvinus initiated a criminal case against the Frankapans, the Zrinskis and other leading Croatian and Slavonian magnates for their alleged participation in the 1471 conspiracy.


In 1481, for a loan of 100,000 florins, Matthias Corvinus seized the town of Mautern in Styria and Sankt Polten in Lower Austria from Friedrich Mauerkircher, one of the two candidates to the Bishopric of Passau.


Matthias Corvinus claimed Cem's custody in the hope of using him to gain concessions from Bayezid, but Venice and Pope Innocent VIII strongly opposed this plan.


Matthias Corvinus summoned the Estates of Lower Austria to Vienna and forced them to swear loyalty to him.


Matthias Corvinus decreed that in cases of the monarch's absence or minority, the Palatine was authorized to rule as Regent.


Matthias Corvinus set up his chancery for Lower Austria in 1486 but he never introduced a separate seal for this realm.


Matthias Corvinus assumed the title of Duke of Austria at the Diet of the Lower Austrian Estates in Ebenfurth in 1487.


Matthias Corvinus appointed Stephen Zapolya captain-general, Urban Nagylucsei administrator of the Archdiocese of Vienna, and entrusted the defence of the occupied towns and forts to Hungarian and Bohemian captains, but otherwise continued to employ Emperor Frederick's officials who accepted his rule.


Matthias Corvinus started negotiations with Duke Albert III of Saxony, who arrived at the head of the imperial army to fight for Emperor Frederick III.


Matthias Corvinus offered Emperor Frederick and his son prince Maximilian, the return of Austrian provinces and Vienna, if they would renounce the treaty of 1463 and accept Matthias Corvinus as Frederic's designated heir and probable the inheritor of the title of Holy Roman Emperor.


Matthias Corvinus had Archbishop Peter Varadi imprisoned in 1484 and ordered the execution of his Chancellor of Bohemia Jaroslav Boskovic in 1485.


Matthias Corvinus imprisoned Nicholas Banfi, a member of a magnate family, in 1487, although he had earlier avoided punishing the old aristocracy.


Banfi's imprisonment seems to have been connected to his marriage to a daughter of John the Mad, Duke of Glogau because Matthias tried to seize this duchy for John Corvinus.


Pope Innocent VIII soon protested, but Matthias Corvinus refused to reject the overture, stating that the link between him and the town would never harm the interests of the Holy See.


Matthias Corvinus sent an auxiliary troop to his father-in-law, who was waging a war against the Holy See and Venice.


Matthias Corvinus asked Beatrice's brother Alfonso, Duke of Calabria, to persuade her not to strive for the Crown, stating that the "Hungarian people are capable of killing up unto the last man rather than submit to the government of a woman".


Matthias Corvinus participated in the lengthy Palm Sunday ceremony in Vienna in 1490, although he had felt so ill that morning that he could not eat breakfast.


Matthias Corvinus was the first non-Italian monarch promoting the spread of Renaissance style in his realm.


Matthias Corvinus is the main character in Aurelio Lippo Brandolini's Republics and Kingdoms Compared, a dialogue on the comparison of the two forms of government.


Matthias Corvinus was proud of his role as the defender of Roman Catholicism against the Ottomans and the Hussites.


Matthias Corvinus initiated theological debates, for instance on the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and surpassed both the Pope and his legate "with regard to religious observance", according to the latter.


Matthias Corvinus issued coins in the 1460s bearing an image of the Virgin Mary, demonstrating his special devotion to her cult.


Matthias Corvinus was contemplating establishing a new university in Buda but this plan was not accomplished.


Matthias Corvinus appointed the Italian Chimenti Camicia and the Dalmatian Giovanni Dalmata to direct these projects.


Matthias Corvinus commissioned the leading Italian artists of his age to embellish his palaces: for instance, the sculptor Benedetto da Majano and the painters Filippino Lippi and Andrea Mantegna worked for him.


Matthias Corvinus hired the Italian military engineer Aristotele Fioravanti to direct the rebuilding of the forts along the southern frontier.


Matthias Corvinus had new monasteries built in Late Gothic style for the Franciscans in Kolozsvar, Szeged and Hunyad, and for the Paulines in Fejeregyhaza.


The court of Matthias Corvinus had a musical establishment of high quality.


Matthias Corvinus started the systematic collection of books after the arrival of his first librarian, Galeotto Marzio, a friend of Janus Pannonius from Ferrara in around 1465.


Matthias Corvinus enjoyed reading, as demonstrated by a letter in which he thanked the Italian scholar Pomponio Leto who had sent him Silius Italicus's work of the Second Punic War.


Matthias Corvinus enjoyed the company of Humanists and had lively discussions on various topics with them.


Galeotto Marzio described him as "king and astrologer", and Antonio Bonfini said Matthias Corvinus "never did anything without consulting the stars".


When Matthias Corvinus was 12, his family arranged for him to marry Elizabeth of Celje who was a child when their marriage took place in 1455.


Matthias Corvinus's second wife Catherine of Podebrady was born in 1449.


Matthias Corvinus approached Emperor Frederick to suggest a new bride for him among Frederick's relatives.


Matthias Corvinus's third wife Beatrice of Naples was born in 1457.


Matthias's only known child John Corvinus was born out of wedlock in 1473.


Matthias Corvinus's conquests were lost within months of his death.


The saying "Dead is Matthias Corvinus, lost is justice" became popular soon after his death, reflecting that commoners were more likely to have received a fair trial in Matthias Corvinus's reign than under his successors.


Matthias Corvinus is the subject of popular folk tales in Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovenia.


King Matthias Corvinus receives the Papal Legates.