The medieval social topography of Szeged

  • Zsolt Máté


As the name historical social topography implies it comprehends the ancient location and distribution of particular groups and layers of inhabitants in a settlement. It is important since ethnic, religious and occupational groups are able either to impose particular characters of settlement structure, or significantly influence their location and ground use. Several social data of a Christian tithe list made for the diocese of Bács in the year 1522, and a defter (i.e. a Turkish tax list) from 1546 were placed on the medieval map of Szeged previously reconstructed by the author - resulting in an extremely rich social topographic picture of a large medieval peasant market town. It can be observed that the well-heeled intelligentsia and the wealthy burgesses, - priests, judges, schoolmasters etc, and the craftsmen of privileged trades such as goldsmiths, and the vineyard owners - lived near the centres, mainly in the fortified Palánk or around the churches in Felsõváros and Alsóváros. It is obvious that those, whose trades were connected with agriculture or animal husbandry, lived on the outskirts, making use of good transportation and storage possibilities there. The fine manufacturers and the ones working with great value were clustering in certain areas, probably as a consequence of the guild system. The processed and mapped 411 data of 403 tax payers cover more than a quarter of the 1574 listed households.
Keywords: social, topography, medieval, market town, settlement
How to Cite
Máté, Z. (2009) “The medieval social topography of Szeged”, Periodica Polytechnica Architecture, 40(1), pp. 29-35.