Zápolya, Stephen zä´pôlyŏ [key], d. 1499, palatine (regent) of Hungary (1492–99), of a noble Hungarian family. An able general of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, he fought against the Ottomans from 1479 to 1481; from 1481 to 1485 he conquered the archduchy of Austria for Matthias, who then appointed him its governor. After Matthias's death in 1490, he supported the claims of Ladislaus II, king of Bohemia, who became king of Hungary as Uladislaus II. Zápolya's son became king of Hungary as John I.
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