Romanians and Power in the Mediaeval Kingdom of Hungary- The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
3. Between grandeur and decadence: Hungary during the last Árpádian century and the new Angevin century
In the Middle Ages, Hungary had a “state” history of nearly five centuries and a half (from approximately 1000 to 1541). The Árpádians reigned as kings between 1000 and 1301, the Angevins between 1308 and 1382, fol- lowed by sovereigns from several other families, in a “state” troubled by numerous and, sometimes, serious problems. According to some historians, the term “state” is improper for the Middle Ages, so it has been placed here between quotation marks. It is certainly appropriate for the Roman period, more specifically for the ancient Roman world–which invented and defined it as an institution. When it returned to attention later, during the period of modernity, coeval with the formation of the nation-states of today, it re- sumed its old meaning, derived from Roman law. However, these historians are too particular about the terms and their significances, especially since the modern states are also very different from the Roman state, despite the principles of public law inherited mostly from the Roman period. And words, like communities, have their own history and undergo continual change and adaptation. The word status was copiously used throughout the Middle Ag- es, in the entire area where Latin was the language of cult, culture and chancelleries, with various meanings, but also with that of a community’s political organisation of a particular kind. Naturally, for the sake of precision and accuracy, it is better to speak of baronies, marquisates, duchies, princi- palities, knezates, voivodates, kingdoms, empires, and so on, than of...
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