Hermits in 11th-century Hungary Cover Image

Remeték a 11. századi Magyarországon
Hermits in 11th-century Hungary

Author(s): László Koszta
Subject(s): History
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: In the first half of the 11th century, Hungarian monasticism, which was just about to take shape, was subject to influences from many parts of Europe: by German, Italian and Kievan eremitism. It is widely known that the church of the Holy Roman Empire played an important part in the development of the Hungarian church system and monasticism. The Lotharingian monastic reform reached Hungary through Bavarian monasteries. As far as Italy is concerned, after 1004 Bruno of Querfurt visited Hungary twice trying to convert the population. He set out on his mission from the colony of hermits in Pereum. In the second decade of the 11th century, a group of hermits was sent to Hungary by Saint Romuald. The hermits living in the vicinity of Nyitra, just like St. Gellért, who had come from Venice, followed the Italian eremitic tradition. The third direction from where eremitic life received incentives was the territory of Byzantine Christianity, and most of all Kiev, which provided the population for two hermit colonies in Hungary under Andrew I. Even though eremitism in Hungary were inspired by three different regions in the first half of the 11th century, these were easily connected. It is a characteristic feature of 11th-century Hungarian eremitism that it was always closely connected to monastic communities. In the neighborhood of the monasteries, the hermits did not live alone, in solitude but rather smaller hermit colonies were formed. Complete seclusion was not part of eremitism in 11th-century Hungary, and it was often connected to proselytism and church organization as well as apostolic life. The veneration of hermits living at the beginning of the 11th century is noticeable as early as the second half of the century. Three of them were even canonized in 1083. In spite of this, by the end of the 11th century almost nothing was heard of the presence of eremitic life in Hungary. Even those two hermits, who had lived in the vicinity of Nyitra, were not canonized because of their ascetic life but rather because Saint Ladislaus held them in high esteem. The Hungarian church reform of the early 12th century did not support eremitic li-fe, it exclusively meant to propagate monastic communities. The consequences, marked by the foundation of the eremitic order of the Pauline Fathers, became noticeable from the beginning of the 13th century.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 42-55
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Hungarian