Maramureş (historical region)

Maramureş (historical region)

Maramureş (in Romanian; Hungarian: "Máramaros"; Latin: "Marmatia"; _uk. Мармарощина / "Marmaroshchyna", Мараморщина / "Maramorshchyna", Марамуреш / "Maramuresh"; _yi. מאַראַמאָראָש ("maramurush")) is a historical region in northern Transylvania, along the upper Tisza River. The territory of its southern section is now parts of Maramureş County in the northern Romania; its northern section is included in the Zakarpattia Oblast of western Ukraine. Prior to this division, which occurred in 1920, the region coincided with Máramaros "comitatus" of the Kingdom of Hungary.

Alternatively, the name Maramureş is used for the Maramureş County of Romania, which countains the southern section of the former historical region and also small parts of the interbellic Satu Mare County and Sălaj County (former pre-WWI Szatmar and Szolnok-Doboka "comitata").


Unlike the surrounding areas, Maramureş is a large valley totally enclosed by mountains, with a thin opening at Khust, with several dozen small mountain rivers and creeks flowing into the river Tisza (Tisa). It is forested and not easily accessible.


Maramureş was under loose Hungarian control from the 11th century, nominally a part of the comitatus of Borsova. However, it remained an autonomous regionFact|date=August 2007, gradually losing its privileges, until it was fully included in the Hungarian Kingdom in the 14th century. It was allowed to preserve its political organization, the "Voevodate", consisting of many small autonomous parts. The King long struggledFact|date=August 2007, to convince the Voivodes to accept the title of Count, with the implied dependency in political and financial matters, which to the locals meant losing their independence – a thing they could not bear. During the Middle Ages, the people in many mountain villages, where each family by definition had a considerable domain, were called "nameşi", i.e. free peasants taking pride in their family (the term points to their belonging to a small clan, from Romanian "neam" = extended family). Another possible explanation to the term "nameşi" is that in the Hungarian Kingdom, free people possessing land were called "nemes" in Hungarian.


In the southern area, the majority of the population are Romanians. There are also some Hungarians, Ukrainians and Roma. In the northern area, the majority are Ukrainian, with smaller Hungarian and Romanian communities.


1.^ Atlas and Gazetteer of Historic Hungary 1914, Talma Kiadó ISBN 9638568348

2.^ Museum of Tolerance

3.^ Sighetul Marmatiei, Culture and Tourism 2007, Teofil Ivanciuc ISBN 973-7663-12-8

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