In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Latin Literacy in Medieval Hungary

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews by Philologists
  • General Overviews by Church Historians and Literary Historians
  • General Overviews by Historians
  • Dictionaries
  • Manuscripts
  • Codex Fragments
  • Source Collections
  • Translations
  • Cathedral Schools
  • Laws
  • Charters

Medieval Studies Latin Literacy in Medieval Hungary
Elod Nemerkenyi
  • LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 15 December 2010
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0058


The study of Latin literacy in medieval Hungary is at the crossroads of philology and history—as is any other field of study related to medieval Latin. Given the influence of classical, patristic, and early medieval texts on the formation of Latin literacy in medieval Hungary, one has to address various branches of scholarship and adjust to their traditional methods. Latin, being the major language of written communication in the medieval kingdom of Hungary (1000–1526), manifested itself in a wide range of genres as well as social and institutional circumstances. In addition to the use of dictionaries of medieval Latin, manuscripts, codex fragments, source collections, and translations, the overviews of the subject provide an insight into these circumstances where cathedral schools played a significant role. The Admonitions of King Saint Stephen of Hungary and the Deliberatio of Bishop Saint Gerard of Csanád are important examples from the formative stages of Latin literacy, as well as the genres of hagiography, historiography, laws, and charters.

General Overviews by Philologists

Initially, the general treatment of Latin literacy had an obvious philological edge in Hungarian scholarship, as in Huszti 1939, Mészáros 1940, and Horváth 1954.

  • Horváth, János. Árpád-kori latinnyelvű irodalmunk stílusproblémái. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1954.

    Still one of the most useful surveys of the literary devices used in charters, laws, chronicles, and hagiographic writings in Hungary from the 11th to the 13th century.

  • Huszti, József. A Szent István korabeli latinság. Budapest: Stephaneum, 1939.

    A philological study addressing some peculiar features of the Latinity of sources produced in Hungary in the 11th century.

  • Mészáros, Ede. De cultu litterarum et de lingua Latina Hungariae medii aevi. Rome: Istituto di Studi Romani, 1940.

    A philological study addressing major pieces of the literary production of medieval Hungary.

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