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County [ ɡəˈʃpaːnʃaft ] is the German translation of the Slavic župa ( Serbian and Croatian županija ) as well as the Hungarian ispánság , which in turn was borrowed from Slavic and provided the model for the German borrowing. In Hungarian, the term refers to the counties (also "counties"), which could also be referred to as megye or vármegye using a Magyar term .

Historical name

A župa was originally the Slavic name of a relatives who settled together. In the early Middle Ages, župa was used as a name for small-scale territorial units with different functions among the Western and Southern Slavs ( Slovenes , Daleminzers , Nisans , Great Moravia , Poles , Bohemians , Bulgarians , Croats , Serbs , Bosnians ). In many areas the term was used throughout the Middle Ages (especially in Serbia and Croatia). The head of a župa was always called župan (Eng. " Gespan ").

Around the year 1000, counties were established - especially based on the model of Great Moravia - as regional administrative units in the newly formed Kingdom of Hungary . In German they are mostly referred to as Komitate (from the Latin comitatus ), especially for the Middle Ages . Various names are initially used in contemporary Latin texts, but only the form comitatus has been used since the 13th century . The Hungarian names included vármegye , and more rarely ispánság . The headmaster's name was ispán , since the 15th century főispán (German usually Gespan; since the 15th century Obergespan). The Latin name was always comes , but initially with various additions, since the Latin expression comes ("prince, count") was initially used for various titles of nobility. The Hungarian name vármegye means - literally translated - something like castle area, castle area.

Modern meaning

Three successor states of the Kingdom of Hungary kept the traditional name.


Richard Becker: Supanie, Burgward and Pfarrsprengel in Daleminze . In: New archive for Saxon history and antiquity . tape 38 , no. 3-4 , 1917, pp. 273-300 ( online [accessed February 14, 2013]).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Holm Sundhaussen : Streiflichter from the history of Serbia . In: East-West. European Perspectives , Vol. 9 (2008), Issue 1, pp. 243-252.
  2. Vladimíra Černá: Přijetí a realizace župního zákona z roku 1920 ,