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INSTITUTUL "G. BARIŢIU"

The Noblemen of Maramures and Literacy in the 14th-17th Centuries


Livia ARDELEAN

Abstract:
Our presentation aims to better define some under investigated aspects of connection between social ascent due to literacy in the historic Maramureș and the nobility of Maramureș.The county of Maramureș, with its specific organization, was the homeof large number of gentry, especially of Romanian origin, who played an important role across the centuries in the self administration of the county. The officials, outside of the supreme committee, were usually locals who had access to the functions of the county (judex of circles, villages, nobles, juries, lawyers, ambassadors etc.) who used their activities more and more written documents. The necessity of learning to write and read was directly connected to holding local offices being obligatory in the case of a political career. It was observed that in some time periods, the families that owned political functions were advancing in the social hierarchy because of various reasons including literacy (ex. Petrovai family, Szaplonczai etc.) The obligation of noblemen to support and maintain schools in the county (Reformed High School, Piarist High School etc.) ensured for some people the presence of an academic institution. Attending Western schools, even though not very at hand, was also present in Maramureș (Szaplonczai Vasile, romanian nobleman who studied at Trnava) and so was the otherwise very important and very widespread presence of Moldavian monks at the courts of Maramureș. Their job was to learn the young to read and write, especially in the Cyrillic alphabet.
Keywords:
nobility, Maramures, writing, literacy, 15th -17th century