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Royal Estate Management: Spatial Aspects of the 11th-century Monastic Estates, by Beatrix F. Romhányi (Károli Gáspár Calvinist University)

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

The monastic network of the medieval Hungarian Kingdom emerged parallel to the foundation of the kingdom itself around the year 1000. Many of the sources of the countries early history are foundation charters and estate registers – original, transcribed or forged documents – issued by or in the name of 11th-century rulers and some other prominent personalities of the age. Since most of the monasteries in question were de facto royal foundations, their estates were donated out of the royal estates. In some cases, the same is true for private foundations, too, the only difference was that the estate was first given to the later founder of the monastery, as it happened for instance at the foundation of the Százd Abbey. Since due to the system of private churches (Eigenkirche), the estates entrusted to the monasteries were not definitely and strictly separated from the rest of the royal estates, managed by manor-houses or royal castles, it is worth analysing the early monastic estates in a complex way, for to detect elements of the concept and strategies of the royal household.


Beatrix F. Romhányi, professor at the Károli Gáspár Calvinist University and doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, holds degrees in medieval archaeology, classical philology and medieval studies from ELTE and CEU. Her fields of interest and range of publications include medieval church history, especially monastic history, economic history, and historical demography. Among others, her research focuses on the economic activity of the Paulines and the mendicant orders in Hungary and in Central Europe, on changes of the medieval monastic and settlement network, as well as on questions of historical demography as the population distribution and spatial organisation of the Carpathian Basin between the 5th and 16th centuries. She participated in several international research projects (e.g. MARGEC, VISCOM) and is principal investigator in the research group publishing the Sermones de sanctis of the late medieval Franciscan preacher Oswald Laskai.