Matthias Hunyadi: the Personality and the King  Cover Image

Hunyadi Mátyás, a személyiség és a király
Matthias Hunyadi: the Personality and the King

Author(s): András Kubinyi
Subject(s): History
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: In the paper, the author provides more than a summary of commonplace and well-known facts. In the first part of the work, he surveys the family relations of Matthias Hunyadi, born in 1443, then outlines his education and the circumstances of his coming to power in 1458. The reign of Matthias can be divided into three periods. Between 1458 and 1464, he strove to strengthen his royal power. He cleansed Upper Hungary of the Czech troops and established order in the country. Despite his weak position, he usually had his way. He ruled together with a coalition of nobles, and raised many families to the ranks of the aris-tocracy. It was at this time that he raised his mercenary army. In the Treaty of Bécsújhely, Emperor Frederick III accepted his rule and gave the Holy Crown back to him. The years between 1464 and 1471 mark the period of reform in his reign. He introduced a unified chancellery, and simplified jurisdiction. As a part of his treasury reform, he intro-duced, for example, silver coins of stable value and new taxes to eliminate former exemp-tions. The Czech war together with the burden of higher taxes led to discontent in the country, and a conspiracy, led by archbishop János Vitéz, was organized against him. After suppressing the rebellion, the king’s power became unshakable and was appar-ently plenipotentiary. And though the coalition government continued even after 1471, much fewer nobles were included. His marriage to Beatrice increased his international rec-ognition. Matthias realized, especially after the victory at Szabács, which had claimed many casualties, that Hungary alone could not fight successfully against the Ottoman Empire. He adopted a passive policy against the Turks and focused rather on finishing the construction of the southern line of border castles (végvárak). In the last years of his reign, Matthias apparently had ambitions to become a Holy Roman Emperor, but his position in foreign policy had weakened. He tried vigorously to secure the succession of his illegitimate son, John Corvin. Compared to contemporary Western rulers, Matthias was a man of immense erudition. His interest in arts was inspired not only by his personal fascination but also by propagan-distic aims. He realized the opportunities in printing, and meant to offset his low-rank ori-gins with patronage and the pomp of his court.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 83-100
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Hungarian