Mátyás (1440–1490) In Hungarian legend, a king noted for his just rule. He became popular among the peasants during his lifetime for his humane measures in alleviating the hard life of the serfs. Shortly after his death Mátyás became the subject of numerous legends in the manner of King Arthur or King Solomon. Up to the beginning of the 20th century Hungarian peasants believed that King Mátyás would reappear again and their lives would then be better. The belief is similar to the English belief that King Arthur will return in a dark time and restore justice, and the German belief about Barbarossa. A well-known Hungarian proverb is “King Mátyás is dead; justice has passed with him.”


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante