The Private Law of the Principality of Transylvania (1540–1690)


  • Attila Horváth Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Law


Transylvania, norms of private law, divergence from the norms applicable in the Kingdom of Hungary, law of persons, property law, family law, inheritance law


In the period following the fragmentation of the Kingdom of Hungary (between 1540 and 1690) the Principality of Transylvania determined through its own legislative bodies the norms that governed the legal relations of private law, resulting in the gradual divergence of normative solutions in Transylvania from those of the Kingdom of Hungary, originally used. This study aims to present the phenomenon and results of this divergent evolution, and then of a new convergence between Transylvanian private law and that of the Habsburg Monarchy in its absolutist, imperial form, after the extension of Habsburg domination over this principality. These phenomena of the evolution of laws can be most easily followed by studying the regulations of private law applicable to the regime of property, persons and family, the laws applied to contractual relationships and the legal relations specific to the field of inheritance law. In the present study, the rules derogating from the common private law of the time, applicable to the Szeklers, Saxons and Transylvanian Romanians are also presented.