Personal Names in Medieval Hungary
Mariann Slíz

Beiträge zur Lexikographie
und Namenforschung 9 (BLN 9)

2016 · kartoniert · 220 Pages

ISBN 978-3-935536-09-7

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The book demonstrates the history and characteristics of medieval Hungarian personal name giving. Middle Ages can be regarded as the most important period in the history of Hungarian personal names: this was the time when canonical names of the shared European name-stock countervailed against the old Hungarian name-stock and when the Hungarian family name system took shape.

The book is more than an up-to-date summary of the main results of Hungarian historical anthroponomastics: the author thoroughly introduces the 13th to 14th-century name-stock and the medieval naming strategies in Hungary as well. This survey depends upon the author’s corpus of 14,000 name data, collected from 14th-century charters from the whole territory of the Hungarian Kingdom.

Apropos of given names, besides demonstrating the social, territorial and temporal distribution of the name-stock and its diversity by origin, the book also outlines the changes in the Hungarian name giving habits after joining in the European Christian culture. Introducing these habits, it enlightens the factors which made an impact on name choice (e.g. the influences of the inheritance of names, magical frames of mind, cults of saints and chivalric literature).

As for family names, the author reveals the causes and time of the emergence of this name type in Hungary and introduces the Hungarian family name system. She gives an elaborate description of the typology of bynames (the antecedents of family names) encountered in 14th-century documents, of the question of their usage and of the language of their recording.

Regarding the use of different name structures, the analysis pays respect to several factors such as the social standing and gender of name-bearers, their role in the legal process and the 14th-century practice of charter-writing. The author, beside the traditional devices of historical onomastics, also takes advantage of the opportunity given by textology, pragmatics and communication theory.