John Hunyadi - Legacy


Along with his son Matthias Corvinus, Hunyadi is considered a Hungarian national hero and praised as its defender against the Ottoman threat. He was born in and had a career in the Kingdom of Hungary, Hunyadi was a member of the Hungarian aristocracy and a subject of the Hungarian crown. He no doubt was born in the Catholic faith, which his father probably had already professed. He has not only become member of the Hungarian nobility but has also risen according to their deserts to the highest positions in the land. John Hunyadi is mentioned in Szózat, a poem which is considered a "second anthem" of Hungary.

Romanian historiography gives Hunyadi a place of importance in the history of Romania too. He is remembered in Romania as a national hero mostly due to his Romaniannote 1 origin and his role as Voivode of Transylvania (a region at the time part of the Kingdom of Hungary and now part of Romania). Hunyadi was also responsible for establishing the careers of both Stephen III of Moldavia and the controversial Vlad III of Wallachia.

Pope Pius II writes that Hunyadi did not increase so much the glory of the Hungarians, but especially the glory of the Romanians among whom he was born.

The French writer and diplomat Philippe de Commines described Hunyadi as a very valiant gentleman, called the White Knight of Wallachia, a person of great honour and prudence, who for a long time had governed the kingdom of Hungary, and had gained several battles over the Turks

Hunyadi was "recognised as being Hungarian..." and "frequently called Ugrin Janko, 'Janko the Hungarian'" in the Serbian and Croatian societies of the 15th century, while another bugarštica makes him of Serbian origin He is also portrayed as an ardent supporter of the Catholicization of Orthdox peoples

In Bulgarian folklore, the memory of Hunyadi was preserved in the epic song hero character of Yankul(a) Voivoda, along with Sekula Detentse, a fictitious hero perhaps inspired by Hunyadi's nephew, János Székely.

Nicolaus Olahus was the nephew of John Hunyadi

Among Hunyadi's noted qualities, is his regional primacy in recognizing the insufficiency and unreliability of the feudal levies, instead regularly employing large professional armies. His notable contribution to the development of the science of European warfare included the emphasis on tactics and strategy in place of over-reliance on frontal assaults and mêlées.

His diplomatic, strategic, and tactical skills allowed him to serve his country well. After his death, Pope Callixtus III stated that "the light of the world has passed away", considering his defense of Christendom against the Ottoman threat. The same pope ordered the noon bell to be rung for the memory of Hunyadi's victory in siege of Belgrade, and to mark the resistance to Islamic progression inside Europe.

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