Piety in Practice

Urban Religious Life and Communities in Late Medieval Pressburg (1400–1530)
$50.00 / €42.00/ £36.00
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Publication date: 
September, 60 images, 30 maps, 80 charts

This study of religion in the everyday life of late medieval Pressburg (historical Posonium/Pozsony, present-day Bratislava) shows what bequests for the souls of the dead can tell about the religious thinking of fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century inhabitants, and how overlapping religious and secular communities were active in memorial activities.

Due to its geographical position, Pressburg was always an important cultural crossroads. Adjacent to Vienna, it was a commercial gateway for the medieval kingdom of Hungary to the west, and from the 1541 Ottoman occupation of Buda until the seventeenth century it was the residence of Hungary's kings. Medieval Pressburg was transcultural, an important 'Hungarian' town with a predominant number of burghers of German origin and literacy. Thanks to its abundant archival material, it is an ideal place for which to reconstruct religious and cultural customs. In interpreting its citizens' last wills, Judit Majorossy draws on art and archaeology, as well as her on urban elites, kinship networks, and social topography. Since wills have been widely studied by scholars across Europe, they provide an excellent way to compare different regions. Through them the author situates Pressburg in the wider European religious landscape and opens a window on the urban piety and church life of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary.