Gál, Rituals of Hungarian Royal Visits in Dalmatia, 12th-13th C

Rituals of Hungarian Royal Visits in Dalmatia in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

Judit Gál (Eötvös Loránd University)

The Kingdom of Hungary extended its territory to Croatia and Dalmatia in 1102. Coloman, the Hungarian king, was crowned in Biograd as the new king of Croatia and Dalmatia at that time, and he seized Split, Trogir, and Zadar in 1105. During the reign of the Árpád dynasty, in the next two centuries, the major question for the kings of Hungary was how to keep Dalmatia on their side against Byzantium and Venice. Dalmatia had a special place and role within the Kingdom of Hungary: the coastal towns enjoyed great autonomy and the kings or dukes of Hungary claimed to secure the loyalty of the towns with generosity and royal donations. Unlike the other parts of the country, Dalmatia hardly enjoyed the kings’ or dukes’ presence during the period examined here. Therefore, the royal and princely visits in the coastal lands were extraordinary events and played an important and special role in royal policy. This presentation will examine the rituals which took place during royal and princely visits. I will analyze the royal and princely entries, the rituals of gift-giving, and the royal oaths from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The focus will be on the ritual sites, the symbolic and practical role of the rituals and their purposes in the social context of the Dalmatian towns.