The Elefánthy

The Hungarian Nobleman and His Kindred
Publication date: 
184 pages , 31 figures, 3 tables

In an exploration of the life and customs of the Hungarian nobility, this book compares historical reality and legal literature on the example of one noble kindred the Elefánthy kindred from northern Hungary (present-day Slovakia). The author begins by outlining the customary laws regarding noble status, inheritance and marriage, as summarized in the famous code of Stephen Werböczy (1514). He then compares these norms with the documentary evidence and establishes the fact that the legal literature differs in regard to social mobility and kindred solidarity.

With this frame of reference in mind, the fate of the Elefánthy family is traced through several generations, enabling the author to make some general statistical statements on inheritance, the rise and fall of various branches, marriage strategies, and the "survival skills" of the kindred. In his summary, the author outlines some of the major avenues for further research, including the peculiar Hungarian form of retainership (familiaritas), and the relationships between noble families and between the nobility and local communities.

Foreword (János M. Bak)
1. The "Lesser Nobility "
2. Seventeen Hundred Case
3. Genus and Generatio
4. Historical Anthropology
5. A Note on Genealogical Terminology
6. Werbőczy as a Frame of Reference

The Tripartitum and Reality .

Werbőczy's System
1. The Kindred
2. Father and Guardian
3. The Mother
4. The Offspring
5. The Ancestral Estate
6. Una Eademque Nobilitas

In the Light of the Records
1. A Military Elite
2. The Landowner
3. Marriage
4. The Solidarity of the Noble Kindred
4.1. The Right of Free Disposition and Limited Grant
4.2. Prefection
The Self-government of the County

The Elefánthy Kindred
1. History
1.1. Origins
1.2. Between Matthew Csák and the Angevin King
1.3. A New Generation
1.4. The Fifteenth Century
2. Questions and Issues
2.1. Reproduction
2.2. Marital Strategy
2.3. The Estate
2.4. Giving and Using Names
2.5. Military Service and Familiaritas
2.6. The Church and the King
2.7. The County

1. Epilogue
1.1. Stratification
1.2. Saturation and Impoverishment
1.3. Familiaritas as aStrategy
Notes to Foreword
Notes to Chapter 1
Notes to Chapter 2
Notes to Chapter 3
Notes to Epilogue
List of Abbreviations
Gazetteer of Geographical Names
List of Figures
List of Tables