The episode of the murder of Hungarian King Ladislas IV’s officer in the Chronicle of Spišska Sobota and its significance

Adrien Quéret-Podesta

Abstrakt

Written around 1460, the Chronicle of Spišska Sobota is a rather short narrative in Ostmitteldeutsch which relates in a somewhat abbreviated form the history of the Kingdom of Hungary from the end of the tenth century, with a special emphasis on the past of the German- speaking communities of the Spiš (in Hungarian Szépes) region where it was created. Among information concerning local history, the chronicler relates briefly the murder of an officer of the Hungarian King Ladislas IV (1272–1290):

Czu dises koniges geczeiten, Anno d(omi)ni MCLXXVIII adyr eyn Jor dirfuer, Ist eyn her gewest ym Czips des koniges diner, der hatte den Czipsern gros widerdris und smocheit gethon, dorume dirschlugen sy yn und das ist geschen in Donnerstmargt, went In dem Jor Christi pey MCCCCXXVIII, do man den pron vuer der kirchen offente dervon langen Joren verdeckt was, do fandt man in dem selben pron vil menschen peyn und panczer und in dy keller fand man auch peyn, dorume musten dy Czipser disem konig Lasla gros gelt geben.

The crime is also mentioned in the historical works of Joachim Leibitzer (1566–1623) and Israel Leibitzer (1602–1646), but the brief Latin note dedicated to this event (‘MCCLXXXVIII Incolae Quintofori hominem Regium interfecerunt, pro cujus morte notabilem summam pecuniarum dare compulsi sunt’2) is clearly an abbreviated version of the excerpt of the Chronicle of Spišska Sobota. This chronicle is thus the only source of information available concerning this thirteenth-century crime. In order to better understand the representation and the significance of the episode of the murder of Hungarian King Ladislas IV’s officer in the Chronicle of Spišska Sobota, this essay is divided into three parts. The first part presents the report of the murder in the chronicle, whereas the second part focuses on the motive for the crime. Finally, the last part focusses on the chronicler’s localization of the crime.
Słowa kluczowe: Hungarian King Ladislas IV, Chronicle of Spišska Sobota, the murder