Matthias Corvinus of HungaryMatthias Corvinus (February 23 1443 - April 26 1495) (Hungarian: Hunyadi Mátyás, Slovak: Matej Korvín, Czech: Matěj Korvín, Romanian: Matei Corvin) was one of the greatest Kings of Hungary, ruling between 1458 and 1495.
Mathias was born in Kolozsvár (in Transylvania, today Cluj-Napoca in Romania) in 1443 as the first son of János Hunyadi, a famous Hungarian warlord who led a number of successful military campaigns against the Ottoman Empire in his lifetime, leaving a secure, stabile kingdom to his son.
Mathias was 15 when he was crowned king and he soon learned the finesses of power from his mentor, the Italian Bonfini, regent of Hungary until his adulthood. Mathias was educated in Italian and his fascination with the achievements of the Renaissance led to the promotion of Mediterranean cultural influences in Hungary. Buda, Esztergom, Székesfehérvár and Visegrád were amongst the townships in Hungary that benefited from the establishment of public health and education and a new legal system under Mathias' rule. He has proven a most generous patron and artist from Italy (e.g., Galeotto Marcio) and Western Europe flocked to his courts. His library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was Europe's greatest collection of historical chronicles and philosophic and scientific works in the 15th century. His reign is considered one of the most glorious chapters of Hungarian history, also marked by victorious military campaigns of his feared Fekete Sereg ('Dark Troops'), means which Hungary reached its greatest ever territorial expansions (Southeast-Germany to Dalmatia in the west, Poland to today's Bulgaria in the East). Matthias annexed to Hungary Moravia, Silesia, Lusacia (all three 1468/1469/1479-1490) and Lower Austria (1477/1485-1491). He spoke Hungarian, Croatian, Latin and later also German, Czech, Slovak and other Slav languages. King Matthias is still remembered today, his character as a ruler of justice and great wisdom plays a vital part in many stories and songs of Hungarian folklore.
Note: due to his birthplace being located in Transylvania, Romanian historians often claim that he was in fact of Romanian origin.