Birth of Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus

23 Feb 2021  Tue

Matthias, I was king of Hungary from 1458 to 90. He attempted to reconstruct the Hungarian state after decades of feudal anarchy, chiefly by means of financial, military, judiciary, and administrative reforms.

Matthias established one of the earliest professional standing armies of medieval Europe (the Black Army of Hungary), 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 patronized art and science; his royal library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was one of the largest collections of books in Europe. With his patronage, Hungary became the first country to embrace the Renaissance from Italy. As Matthias the Just, the monarch who wandered among his subjects in disguise, he remains a popular hero of Hungarian folk tales.

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

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