The "Hungary in Medieval Europe' Research Group organized - jointly with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Debrecen - an international panel of the Debrecen Symposium 2014

"Learning, Intellect and Social Roles: the Changing Character of Aristocracy"


The panel wishes to introduce new theoretical approaches and research methods in the study aristocracy, which could bring forward new innovative possibilities.

Aristocracy played an important, but continuously changing and in its major tendency decreasing role in the history of Hungarian political, social, economic and cultural elite. However, the higher nobility was never a uniform layer that can be easily grasped and described with a few simple characteristics.  As political-social relations were changing, its place and role did alike vary, further deepening its inner, existing differentiation. It is worth highlighting a more complex and balanced investigation of the social role and activity of the aristocracy, since in recent decades it has received many superficial, unfounded and ideological statements. Therefore, the session wishes to focus the way and the  spheres the aristocracy played an active public role, and in relation to this, what tasks and positions they were to be assigned upon their their intellect and learning.

The higher nobility played a decisive role in the Kingdom of Hungary and was thus allotted important tasks in the government which they duly undertook.

The speakers included scholars from Bamberg (Germany), Clermont-Ferrand (France), Torun (Poland), Kolozsvár-Cluj (Romania).