John Vitéz

His Eminence

John Vitéz
Cardinal Archbishop of Esztergom
Primate of Hungary
Portrait de János Vitéz. Frontispice d'un manuscrit (Plaute, Comédies).jpg
Installed15 May 1465
Term ended8 August 1472
PredecessorDénes Szécsi
SuccessorJohann Beckenschlager
Created cardinal1471
RankArchbishop of Esztergom
Personal details
Bornc. 1408
Zredna, Kingdom of Hungary
Died8 August 1472
Esztergom, Kingdom of Hungary
NationalityHungarian, Croatian
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Coat of armsJohn Vitéz's coat of arms

John Vitéz de Zredna (Hungarian: zrednai Vitéz János; Croatian: Ivan Vitez od Sredne; c. 1408 – 8 August 1472) was a Hungarian and Croat humanist, diplomat, Latinist, mathematician, astrologist and astronomer. He served as Archbishop of Esztergom from 1465 until his death.

Early life

Vitéz was born in Sredna near Križevci in a Croat-Hungarian family which was already influential at the Hungarian court. Vitéz's mother was originated from the Garázda genus (originally from Bosnia, genus is named after Goražde). On his father's side he derived from Pilis county (his father's surname was originally Csévi).[1] His father was the secretary of the regent John Hunyadi, from 1446 to 1452. Vitéz became a prothonotary in his government.

Vitéz studied in Vienna, where he graduated in law and became knowledgeable in physics, astronomy and alchemy due to frequent contacts with other humanists. In the chancery of King Sigismund, he probably met the excellent Italian humanist Pier Paolo Vergerio. For a while (around 1437) he was the canon in Zagreb. In that period, he helped strengthen the relations between the Croatian capital and the thriving Italian cultural and scientific centers. Then he left for Hungary, where he was to play a major role in the development of cultural and scientific institutions.