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Original scientific paper

A Diplomatic Analysis of the Charters of the Bans of Slavonia from the Period 1323–1381

Éva B. Halász ; MTA-SZTE-MOL, Magyar Medievisztikai Kutatócsoport, Szeged, Madžarska

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The article deals with the diplomatics of the fourteenth-century Bans of Slavonia from the period between 1323 and 1381. The first date refers to the year when the restoration of the royal power of King Charles I started. In 1381, for the first time in the Angevin period, two men, John and Stephan Banfi, were appointed together as the Bans of Slavonia. During the period under discussion, the bans held various titles: at first they held the title of banus tocius Sclavoniae, then that of banus tocius Sclavoniae et Croatiae (1345–1356) and later that of banus Sclavoniae only. Between 1350 and 1356 and between 1371 and 1372 there were also Dukes of Slavonia, first Stephan of Anjou (1351, 1353–1354) and his wife Margaret (1354–1356), and later Charles of Durazzo (1371–1372).
All together there are 402 charters issued by the Bans of Slavonia in the aforementioned period, partly issued on paper and partly on parchment. The handwriting of their charters can be easily read in cases of privileges, but is sometimes rather illegible in those of the mandates and of the litterae patentes. The seals of all the bans are known, except those of Bishop Stephan Kanizsai, who held the title of the gubernator tocius Sclavoniae et episcopus Zagrabiensis between 1363 and 1365.
The internal characteristics of these charters are similar to those of the charters that were issued by the royal chancery. However, there were certain differences in their development: the parts of the contextus became simpler and more formulaic towards the end of the century (for example, at the beginning of the period under research some charters contained the arenga as well as the narratio, but, conversely, in the 1370s these formulas can no longer be found). The charters became more and more uniform over the course of the period. In the charters of the bans the terms invocatio and subscription do not appear, and all of the dates are given according to the Liturgical Calendar.
The head of the bans’ chancery held the title of prothonotarius. Only some of them are known by name, and not all of them were priests. It is certain that besides them in the office there worked also some other notaries. They wrote the charters, but they are generally unknown by name. In the second half of the period, the notes mentioning such notaries appeared in the bans’ charters. In the chancery there was also a register, modelled on the example of the papal chancery.
The article concludes with the typological analysis of bans’ charters, which may be divided according to privilegia, litterae patentes and mandata.


the fourteenth century, Slavonia, diplomatics, ban, ban’s chancery

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