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By Martyn Rady (auth.)

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Extra resources for Nobility, Land and Service in Medieval Hungary

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55 As we have already noted, except in a very few cases, no clear link can be established between the leading kindreds of the tenth century and those which appear in the historical record in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The lands of the overwhelming majority of these later kindreds were confined to a single county and rested in a single line. Only a few had properties dispersed over a wide area of the kingdom or more than several collateral branches, which might be taken as an indication of their longevity.

19 The granting of ‘perpetual ispánates’ was strongly resisted, however, in the thirteenth century and is largely a feature of a later period. 20 Moreover, the list of counties recorded as alienated in the thirteenth century comprise for the most part Croatian lordships, most of which do not qualify as counties in the accepted Hungarian sense. The consolidation of landed estates affected not only the crown but also the class of freemen. Already, in the earliest years of the twelfth century, King Koloman had found it necessary to impose financial disincentives on freemen who worked the estates of others, and to force landowners to return the properties of freemen which they had previously acquired.

The lands which the castle-warriors and other servitors had held were accordingly converted into properties held directly of the king. Servile obligations which had previously attached to their parcels of estate, were obliterated as a consequence of this new relationship. Where the beneficiary was not already in possession of an estate, then he might be awarded one out of the royal fisc. Acceptance into the ranks of royal servientes was often accompanied by the grant of a charter indicating the new status which the recipient had been afforded and the lands of which he was the owner.

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