Matthew Corvinus was the son of the renowned Hungarian general, John Hunyadi, who defeated the Ottoman conqueror of Constantinople, Murad II, at the Battle of Belgrade (1456). Elected Hungarian king by its parliament at just 14 (largely through papal influence, out of regard for his father’s achievements in protecting Christendom), Matthew spent his early years consolidating his power. He then embarked on a frenetic succession of military campaigns, against the Ottomans, Austria, Bohemia, the Holy Roman Emperor: if not at war, he was usually crushing revolts of his nobility against the onerous taxes he levied to support his campaigns. Although suffering a number of reverses, including being imprisoned, and gravely wounded in combat, he generally emerged victorious, conquering Austria, Moravia and Silesia. His battles with the Ottomans yielded first the Jajca region of Bosnia, early in his reign, then the vassalage of Wallachia and Moldavia as reward for their liberation.
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