Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor

Matthias (24 February 1557 – 20 March 1619) was Holy Roman Emperor from 1612 to 1619, Archduke of Austria from 1608 to 1619, King of Hungary and Croatia from 1608 to 1618, and King of Bohemia from 1611 to 1617. His personal motto was Concordia lumine maior ("Unity is stronger than light").[2][3]

Portrait by Lucas van Valckenborch, 1583
Holy Roman Emperor
King of Germany
Reign13 June 1612 – 20 March 1619
Proclamation26 June 1612, Frankfurt
PredecessorRudolf II
SuccessorFerdinand II
King of Bohemia
Reign11 March 1611 – 16 May 1617
Coronation23 May 1611, Prague
PredecessorRudolf II
SuccessorFerdinand II
Archduke of Austria
Reign25 June 1608 – 20 March 1619
PredecessorRudolf II
SuccessorFerdinand II
King of Hungary and Croatia
Reign25 June 1608 – 1 July 1618
Coronation19 November 1608, Pressburg
PredecessorRudolf II
SuccessorFerdinand II
Born24 February 1557
Vienna, Austria
Died20 March 1619(1619-03-20) (aged 62)
Vienna, Austria
(m. 1611; died 1618)
FatherMaximilian II
MotherMaria of Austria
ReligionRoman Catholicism

He played a significant role in the familial opposition of the Habsburgs against his brother Emperor Rudolf II. After gaining power, he showed little political initiative of his own. The course of his politics was determined by Cardinal Klesl until his fall in 1618. As a consequence of his failed religious and administrative policies the Bohemian Revolt, the initial theatre of the Thirty Years War set off during the final year of his reign.[4]