Zadar, the Angevin Center of Kingdom of Croatia and Dalmatia

Judit Gál
Research Centre for the Humanities
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 11 Issue 3  (2022):570–590 DOI 10.38145/2022.3.570

When royal power started weakening in Hungary in the last third of the thirteenth century, the Hungarian royal authority in the Dalmatian towns also started to lose influence, and by the first third of the thirteenth century, most of the towns previously under Hungarian rule had become Venetian territories. The reoccupation of these towns and even more lands on the Eastern Adriatic coast could be connected to King Louis I of Hungary, who defeated Venice in 1358 in the war between Hungary and the Italian city state. This study focuses on the king’s exercise of power in Dalmatia, particularly the economic aspects of royal policy and the place of Zadar in this policy. My analysis also focuses on the formation of a Hungarian center in Dalmatia from the twelfth century and on how King Louis turned away from the policies of the previous kings of Hungary. My intention is to highlight the economic importance of Zadar, the process of the formation of an economic and trade center of Hungary, and also the formation of the Dalmatian elite, with a particular focus on the citizens of Zadar, who were in the closest circles of the Hungarian king. The focus will be also on the integration of the coastal territories into the mainland of Hungary under the reign of King Louis I. 

Keywords: urban history, Kingdom of Hungary, Dalmatia, economic history, Angevin dynasty

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Tender Contracts, Speculation, and Monopoly: Venice and Hungarian Cattle Supply between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

Andrea Fara
Sapienza University of Rome
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 11 Issue 3  (2022):647–672 DOI 10.38145/2022.3.647

The livestock production and trade structures that connected the Italian peninsula and, in particular, the city of Venice with the vast Hungarian lands have been the subject of various inquiries in the secondary literature. Nevertheless, many questions remain. In this essay, I analyze the meat market in Venice (where the complex supply chain and slaughterhouse activities had considerable economic and social importance) in relation to the production and exchange structures of meat in the Hungarian lands (where the breeding of livestock and, in particular, cattle underwent considerable growth and specialization over the course of the centuries). I contend that Venice was an important end market for Hungarian beef exports. In other words, growing Venetian demand and the similarly growing Hungarian export of beef met and connected with mutual satisfaction, although not always in an entirely efficient way, giving rise to several cases of shortage and sometimes starvation and famine on the lagoon city markets. And this is a second point to investigate. If the individual and institutional Italian and Hungarian intermediaries that were interested in beef as an item of commerce can in a large part identified, many questions still surround the involvement of these economic operators in food crisis phenomena and economic practices aimed to give rise to famines in order to obtain greater profits (such as hoarding, raising prices, speculation, and export to more profitable markets). In this sense, I seek to clarify the link between the activities of operators and companies involved in the cattle trade from Hungarian territories and the famines (understood as “high price phenomena”) created in part by the lack of beef on the Venetian markets. I also examine the causes and functions of legislation and practices adopted in response to (and to prevent) starvation and/or famine and the roles of the attitudes of specific groups and economic actors involved in the meat market. Ultimately, I seek to further a more nuanced assessment of the connections between the Hungarian markets and the Italian markets between the late Middle Ages and early modern period.

Keywords: cattle trade, market, speculation, crisis, famine, Hungary, Venice

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Silver and Spices in the Runtinger Trade with Prague

Isabel Scheltens
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 11 Issue 3  (2022):622–646 DOI 10.38145/2022.3.622

In the late medieval period, a prominent trade route led from Prague through Regensburg to Venice. Silver mined in the Bohemian hinterland was traded for luxury items from the Near East. The Regensburg merchant house of Runtinger made vast profits by buying cloth and luxuries cheaply in Venice—in particular spices from India—and selling them in exchange for comparatively large quantities of silver in Prague. This study treats their ledger, Das Runtingerbuch (1383–1407), as a case study for an analysis of the Prague economy. The Runtingers sold the same types of spices and cloth in Regensburg and in Prague during the same span of years, which makes it possible to use their records as sources with which to compare the two markets. The Runtingers are shown to have market power in the Prague spice market but no market power in the Prague cloth market or the Regensburg markets. The reasons for these market differences are theorized in reference to the socioeconomic positions of the Regensburg and Bohemian elites. Luxury items were traded for silver or silver coins, constituting a continuous drain of silver from Bohemia towards Regensburg, which led to a degree of stagnation in the local economy in Bohemia.

Keywords: Runtingers, Das Runtingerbuch, silver, spices, long-distance trade

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“The King in the Saddle”: The Árpád Dynasty and Itinerant Kingship in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries

Pavol Hudáček
Slovak Academy of Sciences
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 11 Issue 3  (2022):505–544 DOI 10.38145/2022.3.505

The rulers of the Árpád dynasty spent a great deal of time on the road traveling from one royal castle, palace, mansion, monastery, or bishop’s seat to another. The ruler’s travel and personal presence were an important way of exercising power during this period. However, few sources have survived from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, making it difficult for historians to do much research on the travel of the Árpád kings. The Kingdom of Hungary was a large country and it is necessary to determine what was the main power center and where the periphery territories were located. For the most part, the Árpád kings stayed in the central region, where the most important royal settlements, the oldest monasteries, and the first bishoprics were located, and they visited the peripheral parts of the country only sporadically. The king met every year with his faithful magnates, bishops, abbots, and so on, and these important events was included various ceremonies, rituals, banquets, court proceedings, conferences with political elites, and gifts or donations.

Keywords: Kingdom of Hungary, house of Árpád, itinerant kingship, royal travel, royal power

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Administration and War Finance: Extraordinary Taxes in Hungary at the Beginning of the Reign of King Matthias (1458–1466)

István Kádas
Research Centre for the Humanities
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 11 Issue 3  (2022):591–621 DOI 10.38145/2022.3.591

In the first decade of the reign of King Matthias Corvinus, extraordinary taxes were imposed to provide revenues with which the state could recover the Holy Crown, fund the campaigns against “Czech” mercenaries who were causing upheavals in the northern parts of the kingdom, and make preparations for imminent conflicts in the south because of the continuous threat of Ottoman attacks. The extraordinary taxes were mostly used for military purposes, more specifically, to finance the wars and military campaigns against the Czech warbands and the Turks. However, the manner in which these taxes were administrated varied considerably, as did their scope. During the period in question, there were particular taxes for some counties or rather regions (especially for the northeastern) and countrywide levies. Furthermore, it was possible for the nobility to be granted an exemption from the obligation to serve in the military in person or provide soldiers for the military (the so-called militia portalis) by paying an extraordinary tax (and thus essentially purchasing this exemption). There was a close connection between the administration of the extraordinary tax and the process of recruitment. Members of the royal court who served as officers in the royal army often took part in the taxation as tax collectors, and they probably used these taxes directly to pay their mercenaries.

Keywords: Taxation, extraordinary tax, medieval Hungarian Kingdom, Matthias Corvinus, militia portalis, military obligation of the nobility, royal campaigns

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The Town of Gölnicbánya in the Árpád Era

Péter Galambosi
Research Centre for the Humanities
galambosi.peter@abtk.hu

Hungarian Historical Review Volume 11 Issue 3  (2022):545–569 DOI 10.38145/2022.3.545

In this article, I describe the emergence and early development of Gölnicbánya (today Gelnica, Slovakia) from a settlement-historical and historical-geographical approach, mainly based on the diploma material of the Árpád and the early Angevin Eras concerning the settlement and its region. I examine the origin of the town in the context of the northern expansion of the royal forest-estate of Torna and the economical upgrading of Szepes, which dates to the beginning of the thirteenth century. I show how Gölnicbánya became the primary center of the county’s southern part in the second half of the thirteenth century thanks to mining and holding markets. I offer a detailed analysis of the provisions of the privilege charter from 1287, emphasizing that the border description covered a larger area far beyond the original extent of the settlement. I contend that although the charter refers the donations of two predecessor kings, the points set new provisions. Finally, I show how the economic importance of Gölnicbánya became apparent during the internal wars following the extinction of the Árpád dynasty and the consolidation that was underway in the early fourteenth century.

Keywords: Settlement history, urban history, historical geography, regional social history, economic history.

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“Let These be our Colonies: Dalmatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina!” Rezső Havass and the Outlook of Hungarian Imperialism at the Turn of the Century

Mátyás Erdélyi
Research Centre for the Humanities
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Hungarian Historical Review Volume 11 Issue 2  (2022): 359-386 DOI 10.38145/2022.2.359

Hungarian imperial thought after the fall of the Habsburg Monarchy became a fantasy of past times, and thus the imperial propaganda of Rezső Havass was long irrelevant by the time of his death in 1927. In spite of this, Havass was called the “wholehearted devotee of Hungarian imperialism” in his obituary, a man who believed in further Hungarian expansion with the faith of prophets and whose goal was to resurrect the imperium of Louis I of Hungary. The present study analyzes the career trajectory of Rezső Havass and his multiple and overlapping identities in order to uncover the different faces of Hungarian imperialism before the Great War. Havass was a “bourgeois citizen,” a “Hungarian fanatic,” “a scholar,” and a “clerk and chairman of business companies,” or in other words, he had an array of identities which made him capable of using historic, legal, political, and economic arguments to aid the advancement of Hungarian imperialism. For Havass, the Hungarian Kingdom was undoubtedly a would-be-colonial empire with well-defined political goals (the colonization of Dalmatia), and his texts mixed and vulgarized elements of the sciences subordinated to political goals. For instance, it is relevant that the empire was a facilitating factor for geographical scholarship in the case of Havass, besides the obvious political leanings. My main research question concerns the modalities of imperial thought in Hungary through the case study of Rezső Havass. What did it consist of? How did it compare to other notions of imperialism and economic expansionism? And how widespread was it in the public sphere in Hungary?