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Hunyadi family

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Title: Hunyadi family  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, Hunedoara, Subotica, Debrecen, Matthias Corvinus, Hunyadi, Playmobil, Baia Mare, Nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary, Ślepowron coat of arms
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hunyadi family

The Hunyadi family (also Hunyady in historical sources) was a Hungarian[1] noble family strongest in the Late Middle Ages. According to the majority of sources they were of Walachian (Romanian) ancestry.[2][3] This is claimed by medieval authors,[4][5] and by many modern historians,[6][7][8][9] however there are also theories about Cuman[10] or Slavic ancestries.

The first recorded member of the family was Serbe (also called Serb, Serban or Sorb), most likely from Wallachia, who settled in Hunyad county in Transylvania, Kingdom of Hungary. The name Serbe might be of Turkic or Slavic origin because there are researches suggesting Tatar-Cuman[11][12][13][14][15] or Slavic[16][17][18] descendance. His son Vojk (alternatively spelled as Voyk or Vajk in English, Voicu in Romanian, Vajk in Hungarian), adopted the name László and practiced Catholicism (a common practice among Romanian cnezes from Transylvania;[19] from the Angevin Dynasty on, Hungarian nobles were barred from practicing Orthodoxy).[20] Vajk was the second known in the Hunyady family to be a Roman Catholic. He was ennobled in 1409 and received the estate of Hunyad Castle (now Hunedoara in Romania, then Hunyadvár, now Vajdahunyad in Hungarian) which was to become the hereditary seat of the family. Many Hungarian noble families had Vlach (Romanian) ancestry and intermarriage between the two did not even become controversial until after the Ottoman wars.

The royal donation had elevated the Hunyadi family to the top ranks of the lesser (nonbaronial) group of Hungarian nobility. Proprietors of a domain containing 40 villages, they were considered as well-to-do as but ranked far below the great magnates who formed the king’s council and exercised the real power in the country.

Origin of the name Corvin

The origins of the name Corvin are still unclear. There exist a number of theories on the etymology of the Corvin name. The most widely accepted theory is that Corvin refers to the Corvus which appears on their coat of arms, however a connection to the Kovin/(Kubin, Keve in Hungarian; Covinum in Latin) town - "in Corvino vico, as Bonfini wrote" - is also possible.

The origins of the Coat of Arms of the Hunyadi family, which depicts a raven holding a golden ring in its beak, are unclear. The Silesian Annals state that when a raven carried off a ring King Matthias had removed from his finger, Matthias chased the bird down and slew him, retrieving the ring, and in commemoration of this event he took the raven as a symbol for his signet sign.

Others think that the Coat of Arms was derived from another property of the family, Raven’s Rock (Hollókő in Hungarian). Another legend says that when young Matthias was in prison in Prague his mother was able to send him a letter with a raven (that is why the Hungarian Postal Service had a raven as its symbol for more than a century).

Hunyadi family tree

Woyk de Hunyad[21]
Magos [22]
John, Governor
John, Jr.
Ladislaus (László)
John Corvinus

Hunyadi battleship

The second battleship of the Ersatz Monarch class of the Austro-Hungarian Navy (officially known as Schiff IX) was to be named Hunyadi. The ship was never completed due to the outbreak of World War One which interrupted all major warship construction in Austria-Hungary.

Notable members


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