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 Matthias Corvinus

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PostSubject: Matthias Corvinus   Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:55 pm

The last strong king was the Renaissance king Matthias Corvinus (king 1458–1490). Matthias was the son of John Hunyadi. András Hess set up a printing press in Buda in 1472. This was the first time in the history of the Hungarian kingdom that a member of the nobility, without dynastic ancestry and relationship, mounted the royal throne. A true Renaissance prince, a successful military leader and administrator, an outstanding linguist, a learned astrologer, and an enlightened patron of the arts and learning.[49]

Although Matthias regularly convened the Diet and expanded the lesser nobles' powers in the counties, he exercised absolute rule over Hungary by means of a huge secular bureaucracy. He set out to build a great empire, expanding southward and northwest, while he also implemented internal reforms. The serfs and common people considered him a just ruler because he protected them from excessive demands from and other abuses by the magnates.[50]

Like his father, Matthias desired to preserve the status of Hungary as the foremost regional power and overlord, strong enough to push back the Ottomans; to that end he deemed it necessary to conquer much of the Holy Roman Empire.[citation needed] In 1479, under the leadership of Pál Kinizsi, the Hungarian army destroyed the Ottoman and Wallachian troops at the Battle of Breadfield. Abroad he defeated the Polish and German imperial armies of Frederick at Breslau (Wrocław). Hungarian power was confirmed by the Treaty of Olomouc (1479).

His mercenary standing army, the Black Army of Hungary was an unusually large army for its time, and it conquered parts of Austria, Vienna (1485) and parts of Bohemia. The king died without a legal successor. His library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was Europe's greatest collection of historical chronicles, philosophic and scientific works in the 15th century, and second only in size to the Vatican Library which mainly contained Bibles and religious material. His renaissance library is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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