New NKFIH Project at the Institute of History

A new NKFIH Project called "Commercial Sources in the Service of the Hungarian Medieval Economy" was launched on 1 December 2018 at the Institute of History, under the leadership of Boglárka Weisz, senior research fellow, and with the participation of Norbert C. Tóth, Tibor Neumann, Renáta Skorka, Bence Péterfi, István Kádas, Dániel Bácsatyai, Viktória Kovács, András Ribi and Judit Gál. The aim of the project is the preparation and edition of a collection of Latin and German documents that would contain all the basic sources of Hungarian commercial history from the Árpád era to the end of King Sigismund's reign. 

The source publication aims to collect the documents indispensable for the research of commercial history, primarily those hitherto unpublished, in thematic groups. Within the individual groups, the relevant sources refer to different sets of questions.

1. Grants of markets and fairs: how did the charter granting the right to hold fairs and markets become standardized, what additional rights were built into such licenses, and what kinds of untypical grants have come down to us; in what way did the concept of forum liberum change, how were markets and fairs relocated, and how did these generally function.

2. Staple right: the aim is to compare the licenses issued by king Sigismund on 22 January 1402, to examine their extensions, and the causes for their withdrawal. The problem of how to analyse the functioning of the staples.

3. Tolls on domestic and foreign trade: how did the circle of those enjoying grants of toll change; where were new toll gates erected, and how was the concept of tricesima modified.

4. Toll regulations: the range of items circulating in foreign and domestic commerce; the development of measurement units, transportation and packing; the possible impacts of monetary devaluations and rising prices.

5. Toll exemptions: to what did the exemption of any given social group extend in terms of content and territory; how did it change within the period examined, and when and why did there emerge that widely used legal principle touching „the idea of earlier grants”.

6. Other sources: what other regulations can be detected in the surviving source material.

7. Foreign merchants in Hungary: personal issues, activities, exploring their networks with the Kingdom of Hungary and the local towns.

8. Hungarian merchants abroad: spheres and contexts of their activity, personal networks.