Considerations about town administration from Wallachia (century XIV-XVI) Cover Image
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Consideraţii privitoare la administraţia orăşenească din Ţara Românească (Sec. XIV–XVI)
Considerations about town administration from Wallachia (century XIV-XVI)

Author(s): Laurenţiu Rădvan
Subject(s): History
Published by: Editura Academiei Române
Keywords: Wallachia; medieval towns; urban administration

Summary/Abstract: Similarly to Transylvania, in Moldavia and in Wallachia existed two types of administrative authorities as well. First of all, as a result of the urban settlements’ autonomy, we find the institutions that were meant to govern and represent the city: the small council (consisting of the magistrate – „judeţ” – and the twelve „pîrgari”) and the big council. Then, due to the right of dominium eminens of the central authority, we find, as royalty representatives: the royal magistrate (the „pîrcălab”), the head of the residence (the „vornic”) and the less important officials, that had fiscal attributions. The city representative institutions proceed, in most of the cases, from the Saxons, which came to Transylvania from Central Europe. The Saxons had a very important contribution at setting up the first cities in Wallachia, the above mentioned organizing system appearing in all the cities situated south of the Carpathian Mountains (from the beginning of the 15th century). The first mention in the historical sources is that of the magistrate and the „pîrgari” of Târgovişte (February 28th, 1424), of Râmnicu Vâlcea (July 17th, 1425) and of Floci (January 15th, 1467). At the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century (unknown dates), we find the mentions of the magistrate and the „pîrgari” of Brăila, Argeş and Câmpulung (the last ones probably existed before the 15th century). The attributions of the magistrate („judeţ”) and of the twelve „pîrgari” were mostly judicial, fiscal and administrative. They also represented the city community before the prince court and in the relationships with the other cities. The mentions of the central authority representatives, the „pîrcălabi” and the „vornici”, begin during the reign of Mircea cel Bătrân (the Dârstor „chefalia”) and we can find them even in the 17th century. These officials had fiscal, judicial and military attributions. The two institutions were interdependent during this period, both contributing to the development of the medieval city situated south of the Carpathian Mountains.

  • Issue Year: VII/1999
  • Issue No: 1+2
  • Page Range: 131-143
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Romanian