XIII, 2017, 1

Hungarian Chroniclers’ Rendition of Moldavian Voivode’s Paying Homage Ceremony and Moldavian-Hungarian Relations at the Time of Stephen the Great | p. 51–57

dominus naturalis, Hungary, Moldavia, Poland, vassalage


The study examines the relationship between the king of Hungary and the Moldavian voivode in the second half of the 15th century from the perspective of the paying homage ceremony and that of political thought. Our conclusion is that there was no tradition of corporal homage, but a mere recognition of the king as dominus naturalis. This formula was preferred because the king of Hungary did not have the same dynastic rights over Moldavia as the king of Poland, and in the latter’s case a corporal tribute was essential. In the context of the Polish-Hungarian rivalry over Moldavia and the military alliance between Stephen the Great and Matthias Corvinus, Hungarian chroniclers of the second half of the 15th century imagined the occurrence of an event at the end of the 14th century, a ceremony by which Prince Stephen I was forgiven by Sigismund of Luxembourg for his disloyalty. In a context in which suzerainty over Moldavia was to be the subject of a Polish-Hungarian assembly discussion, King Matthias resorted to this legal artifice to be considered the Moldavian voivode’s suzerain. Although his action was not taken seriously, Matthias gained the necessary time to certify the idea that Stephen the Great was his vassal.