Origins of a Border Conflict between the Maramureș and Bistrița Regions


The study aims to present the genesis of the conflict between Maramureș and Bistriţa, or rather the pre-conflict which has its roots in the sixteenth century. The study can be considered a preliminary analysis of certain categories of sources pointing toward this dormant conflict. Letters exchanged by the authorities of both territories, stored in the Bistriţa City Hall collection and the Cluj County Division of the National Archives, help reconstitute the dynamics of relations between Maramureș and Bistriţa, also providing valuable information about the appearance of the conflict in the sixteenth century. Even if in 1511 documents attested to an agreement over the borders of the two neighbouring regions, in 1551 the Maramureș authorities asked Bistriţa officials to mark the mountains and keep the old borders. All these documents capture the genesis of the dispute over setting borders between the two territories. The disagreement was exacerbated by cattle raids and unauthorized grazing.In fact, the border dispute lasted until the nineteenth century and required repeated interventions by the Transylvanian authorities. However in the sixteenth century the conflict did not escalate. In this early stage, each area tried to preserve their territorial rights.

border conflict,sixteenth century, regional relations, Maramureş, Bistriţa.