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Croatian medieval sources on the status and function of župan (iupanus) between the ninth and sixteenth centuries
Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (1 MB)
APA 6th Edition
Smiljanić, F. (2007). O položaju i funkciji župana u hrvatskim srednjovjekovnim vrelima od 9. do 16. stoljeća. Povijesni prilozi, 33 (33), 33-100. Preuzeto s https://hrcak.srce.hr/18748
MLA 8th Edition
Smiljanić, Franjo. "O položaju i funkciji župana u hrvatskim srednjovjekovnim vrelima od 9. do 16. stoljeća." Povijesni prilozi, vol. 33, br. 33, 2007, str. 33-100. https://hrcak.srce.hr/18748. Citirano 22.10.2018.
Chicago 17th Edition
Smiljanić, Franjo. "O položaju i funkciji župana u hrvatskim srednjovjekovnim vrelima od 9. do 16. stoljeća." Povijesni prilozi 33, br. 33 (2007): 33-100. https://hrcak.srce.hr/18748
Smiljanić, F. (2007). 'O položaju i funkciji župana u hrvatskim srednjovjekovnim vrelima od 9. do 16. stoljeća', Povijesni prilozi, 33(33), str. 33-100. Preuzeto s: https://hrcak.srce.hr/18748 (Datum pristupa: 22.10.2018.)
Smiljanić F. O položaju i funkciji župana u hrvatskim srednjovjekovnim vrelima od 9. do 16. stoljeća. Povijesni prilozi [Internet]. 28.12.2007. [pristupljeno 22.10.2018.];33(33):33-100. Dostupno na: https://hrcak.srce.hr/18748
F. Smiljanić, "O položaju i funkciji župana u hrvatskim srednjovjekovnim vrelima od 9. do 16. stoljeća", Povijesni prilozi, vol.33, br. 33, str. 33-100, prosinac 2007. [Online]. Dostupno na: https://hrcak.srce.hr/18748. [Citirano: 22.10.2018.]
The author discusses the development of the notion of župa, as well as of the office
of župan from the clan chief, via the royal dignitary, to the official at various levels
of government within the territory named in sources as regnum Croatiae, later the
Kingdom of Croatia.
The sources use terms supannus, iupanus, zupan and špan. The term in use depends
on the practice of the chancellery that produced the document. The territory under
the jurisdiction of a župan is termed županija. The term župan is semantically related
to the term županat, which recognizes the authority that the župan had over the
territory under the jurisdiction of a fort. The same term was used to denote duties
collected by the bishop in Lika. Trogir sources mention duties collected in the bishop’s
županija. There one may find information on the land estates governed by the
In addition to the royal župan, the available sources point to the existence of another
institution: the clan župan, who played a key role in the formation and development
of the medieval Croatian state. The oldest documents from the ninth century
describe the relationship of župan towards the duke with the expression fideles.
This shows that župan served the ruler at his court as well as within the territorial
organization of his reign. This is why župan as well as other witnesses present at the
signing of these documents are named primates populi. The term designates them
as members of clan aristocracy, from among whom the ruler recruits dignitaries to
represent his authority.
The roots of the institution of župan in the organization of the public rule cannot
be considered as a proof for the claim that the only support to the public rule was
the clan structure. Any free man could take up this duty. The examined sources have
shown that the duties of župan remained unchanged regardless of the type of government
in which he performed this role: clan, ducal, royal, church or communal. In
time, older duties came to be supplemented with new ones, which depended on the
social development. Yet župan remained, in the first place, the steward of the estate,
the judge and the person of public faith. His position and his reputation are probably
best described by the term gospodin župan (master župan, dominus jupanus), inuse from the thirteenth century. It clearly denotes his position as a free member of
the community and the person performing a public function.
The position of župan could be an honour or a service, depending on the organization
of the royal or other public rule. The acquired honour of župan would remain
in župan’s possession even after the end of his royal service. In the cases where
županija was given in permanent and inheritable ownership, the honour of župan
was inheritable too. By contrast, the title of župan earned by serving a lord, church
or urban commune was neither permanent nor inheritable.
The župans of rural and urban lay confraternities require separate treatment. The
institution of the župan as a principal of such confraternities, conferred by either
dukes or bishops, confirms the hypothesis that laymen in communes and rural gentry
at estates used such organization to ensure their independence.
Middle Ages; Croatia; župan; županija; governing system; territorial rule
Hrčak ID: 18748
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