Matthias

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Matthias,

1557–1619, Holy Roman emperor (1612–19), king of Bohemia (1611–17) and of Hungary (1608–18), son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II. He was appointed governor of Austria (1593) by his brother, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf IIRudolf II,
1552–1612, Holy Roman emperor (1576–1612), king of Bohemia (1575–1611) and of Hungary (1572–1608), son and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.
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. He formed a close association there with the bishop of Vienna, Melchior KleslKlesl or Khlesl, Melchior
, 1552–1630, Austrian politician, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. The son of a Protestant baker, he was converted to Catholicism by the Jesuits and became chancellor of the Univ.
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, who later became his chief adviser. In 1605, Matthias forced the ailing emperor to allow him to deal with the Hungarian Protestant rebels. The result was the Peace of Vienna (1606), which guaranteed religious freedom in Hungary. In the same year Matthias was recognized as head of the house of Hapsburg and as future Holy Roman emperor, as a result of Rudolf's illness. Allying himself with the estates of Hungary, Austria, and Moravia, Matthias forced (1608) his brother to yield rule of these lands to him; Rudolf later ceded (1611) Bohemia. After Matthias's accession as Holy Roman emperor, his policy was dominated by Klesl, who hoped to bring about a compromise between Catholic and Protestant states within the empire in order to strengthen it. Matthias had already been forced to grant religious concessions to Protestants in Austria and Moravia, as well as in Hungary, when he had allied with them against Rudolf. His conciliatory policies were opposed by the more intransigent Catholic Hapsburgs, particularly Matthias's brother Archduke Maximilian, who hoped to secure the succession for the inflexible Catholic archduke Ferdinand (later Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand IIFerdinand II,
1578–1637, Holy Roman emperor (1619–37), king of Bohemia (1617–37) and of Hungary (1618–37); successor of Holy Roman Emperor Matthias.
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). The start of the Bohemian Protestant revolt in 1618 provoked Maximilian to imprison Klesl and revise his policies. Matthias, old and ailing, was unable to prevent a takeover by Maximilian's faction. Ferdinand, who had already been crowned king of Hungary (1617) and of Bohemia (1618), succeeded Matthias as Holy Roman emperor.

Matthias

 

Born Feb. 24, 1557, in Vienna; died there Mar. 20, 1619. Austrian archduke; emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 1612 to 1619. Son of Emperor Maximilian II.

From 1593, Matthias was viceroy for his brother, Emperor Rudolf II, in Upper and Lower Austria. He took part in an internecine struggle against the mentally ill Rudolf and forced his brother to cede to him Austria, Hungary, and Moravia in 1608 and Bohemia, Silesia, and Lusatia in 1611. By appointing as his successor in Bohemia and Hungary the fanatical Catholic Ferdinand of Styria, Matthias touched off the Bohemian uprising of 1618-20, which was the start of the Thirty Years’ War of 1618’48.

Matthias

of his brother, for twenty years’ false imprisonment. [Ger. Opera: Kienzl, The Evangelist, Westerman, 264]

Matthias

1. 1557--1619, Holy Roman Emperor (1612--19); king of Hungary (1608--18) and Bohemia (1611--17)
2. Saint New Testament the disciple chosen by lot to replace Judas as one of the 12 apostles (Acts 1:15--26). Feast day: May 14 or Aug. 9