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The Knightly Order of Saint George has been founded properly from the point of view of both the canon and the secular law, its foundations has never been annulled and its lawful existence has never ceased.

(2011. March 20. 13:16)

Brief notes about research.

(2011. March 20. 13:16)

The History of the Order

       Historian were behindhand in researching and introducing the records of the European chivalry for a long time. The first summarising study on the age of knights is Otto Henne am Rhyn, German culture historian's work, in which he elaborates the history of the European chivalry. /1/ It is regrettable that the dilatory works of Hungarian historians and the lack of information have all resulted that the foundation of the Hungarian orders is not very well-known.

      Béla Majláth was the first Hungarian historian to write a study about the Hungarian knightly orders - almost at the same time of the publication of the German historian's book. /2/

      Antal Pór and Gyula Schönher published the Latin foundation charter and its translation first, edited by Sándor Szilágyi in the year of the millennium in 1896. This was the first authentic vade mecum about the knights of the Order of Saint George founded in 1326. /3/

      A further important change took place in exploring the subject when Dr László Erdélyi, Benedictine monk, Head of Department, published his study in 1935, in which - comparing the secular orders abroad and the Order of Saint George - he stated that this Hungarian order was most probably the earliest in Europe. Referring to the resources, he emphasised this as the author of the summarising books, am Rhyn, considered the Plantagenet Order, founded by Saint Luis, French king, as the first. /4/ Erdélyi based his opinion on the fact that the foundation of this order had taken place 23 years in advance of the establishment of the English Order of Saint George, i.e. the Order of the Garter (1349). In his evaluation he also included a summary about the regal and royal knightly orders founded in the second half of the 14th century. Their chronological order is the following: the French Order of Star (1352), the Order of the Holy Spirit of Naples (1362), the Order of Annunciation of Savoy (1362), the Order of the Thistle of the Bourbon princes (1363), the Order of the Ermine of the Prince of Bretagne (1370), the Order of the Hedgehog of the Prince of Orleans (1381) and the English Order of Bath (1395) /5/.

      Besides the evaluation, Erdélyi gave a detailed analysis and assessment of the entrance procedure, the number of knights, the most important office-bearers, the ecclesiastical and secular duties of the members as well as the number and content of the outlined articles (articulus) of the Hungarian Order of Saint George. His work is really valuable as it gave ample information for those who wished to have exact knowledge about the first royal knightly order and about the other contemporary orders. It is also worth mentioning that Erdélyi also included the Order of Dragon founded by King Sigismund at the beginning of the 15th century as its charter contains important data about the activities of the Order of Saint George. /6/

      Bálint Hóman's big summarising historical work was also issued almost at the same time of the publication of Erdélyi's study. In the chapter dealing with the 14th century, the author treated the history of the Order of Saint George in detail. /7/ In the second part of the 20th century, besides the above-mentioned works, Jenő Szűcs, István Miskolczy, Iván Bertényi, Gyula Kristó, István Zombori, János Endrődy, Erik Fügedi and Ágnes Kurcz have works and studies with important data about the activities and assessment of the Order of Saint George. The date and circumstances of the foundation are in the centre of interest of most authors of the Hungarian specialist literature, however, they have not answered several essential questions. /8/

      In this situation Boulton, English historian's book published in 1987 meant a real breakthrough. Relying on Erik Fügedi and mainly Ágnes Kurcz's works, he reconsidered the opinions and assumptions about the features of the court culture in the Árpád and Anjou periods. His study has brought about imposing results. This is very important as the Hungarian researchers, even Erik Fügedi, were careful to accept that the Order of Saint George was the first in Europe. Thanks to Boulton's work, the foundation and the primacy of the Hungarian order have been accepted by Barber and Barker, English historians as well. /9/

      The above English historians based their agreement on the fact that among the regal and royal secular orders - which have their ancient foundation charters, statutes - and thus their activities can be reconstructed - the Hungarian Order of Saint George is the first on the familiy tree of secular orders. /10/

      It deserves special acknowledgement that an excellent Hungarian historian, expert in this field, Dr. László Veszprémy actively participated in the European research. Thanks to his activities, a year after D' Arcy Jonathan Dacre Boulton's summarising work was first published, his excellent study about the foundation of the Order of Saint George was published in Hadtörténeti Közlemények (Bulletin of Martial History). /11/ Hungarian readers can receive detailed and extensive information about the subject.


1./ Otto Henne am Rhyn, Greman culture historian: " Königlicher Rittenorden in Euróna. ( Leipzig 1895.)
2./ Majláth Béla's aricle in the periodical "Századok" Volume 1885, pp. 569-571
3./ " A magyar nemzet története" edited by Szilágyi Sándor historian: volume 3, pp 138-139.
4./ Dr. Erdélyi László Benedictine historiographer, Head of Culture-history Department of the Szeged Univeristy: "Bajtársi egyesületek a magyar lovagkorban." In : Klebersberg Festschrift,. 1925. pp. 249-258.
5./ Erdélyi i.m :p. 251.
6./ Erdélyi i.m : p. 256.
7./ Hóman Bálint : A magyar nemzet története, + Gli Angioini di Napolo Ungheria, ( Róma : 1938 )
8./ The chapter about the Hungarian Knightly Order of Saint George in D'Arcy Jonathan Dacre BOULON's book: The Knights of Crown, ( The Monarchial Orders of Knighthood in Later Medieval Europe 1325-1520 ) The Boydell Press, Suffolk, 1987: pp. 27-46. and p 478 p. 501
9./ Richard Barber and Juliet Barker : TOURNAMENTS Jousts, Chivarly and Pageants in the Middle Ages. ( First published 1989 by The Boydell Press, Woodbridge. 103-104 Page : 6 + 103-104 +134 + 223.
10./ Veszprémy László : AZ ANJOU-KORI LOVAGSÁG KÉRDÉSEI. A Szent György-lovagrend alapítása. ( Hadtörténeti Közlemények, Volume 107. 1994. No. 1.pp. 3-11.


The epigraph of the Knightly Order of Saint George:
( I am really true to this fraternal society.)