Spiš-Visegrád-Dăbâca-Zagreb-Kalocsa-Napoli: Career paths of a family of the lower Hungarian Nobility in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries

Peter Labanc

This article explores the specifics of medieval nepotism and favouritism (indirect nepotism) in the Hungarian Kingdom, with a particular focus on its role among the middle and lower nobility, who, on account of their poorer material holdings, were more vulnerable than the magnates, whom kings were able to oppose only rarely. The article argues that while nepotism (more often in its indirect form of favouritism) was a fundamental factor in magnates’ hold on power, and remained in place throughout their lives, the situation for families of the lower nobility was different. Patronage of a family member or friend may advance a young person at the start of their career, but they would subsequently have to rely on their own talents (and sometimes their good luck and judgement at picking the right side in times of conflict) to continue their advancement.

medieval Hungarian Kingdom, nobility, nepotism, favouritism, human resources strategy.