Ioan-Aurel Pop, Matthias Corvinus, Re de Ungaria, de Dacia etc., in 1462

In early March 1462, Pius II did a highly uncommon gesture for a powerful and experienced politician: he made an open and sincere admission to the Milanese ambassador in Rome, the astute Otto de Carretto. It is in the pages of this undeniable confession of the pope (a confession initiated by the pope himself) that Matthias Corvinus, son of John Hunyadi, was mentioned for the first time as King of Hungary and Dacia. Dacia may have been a backup plan for Matthias, in case he irretrievably lost the Holy Crown of Hungary (held by the Roman-German Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg until the end of 1463). On the other hand, Matthias’ Dacia could have emerged from the bloody ambitions of John Hunyadi and Vlad II Dracul, the parents of Matthias Corvinus and Vlad III the Impaler. Unquestionably, in the Middle Ages (chiefly in the 13th and 14th centuries), on the political and confessional levels, Dacia was employed foremost to designate the Kingdom of Denmark (due to a historical-geographical confusion beyond the scope of this paper). Still, the northern territory was also correctly referred to in contemporary sources as Dania. In the second half of the 15th century, the situation began to significantly change as the name Dacia returned to the Lower Danube area, the only region where the Roman Empire had founded a province (and later several) by this name. In the spring of 1462, the Kingdom of Dacia north of the Danube was undoubtedly an European reality for the Papacy and for the Duchy of Milan. It was a reality particularly for Pope Pius II, a great admirer of John Hunyadi, and also for the Milanese duke Francesco Sforza, who had done his apprenticeship as a condottiere alongside John, the son of Voicu.

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