County [ ɡəʃpa nʃaft ː ] is the German translation of the Slavic concept župa - Serbian / Croatian županija - as well as the Hungarian term ispánság / ( vár ) megye. Etymologically, the word is derived from the Hungarian word, which in turn was borrowed from Slavic.

Historical name

A župa was originally the name of a common Slavic settled kinship association. In the early Middle Ages župa was as a designation for small-scale territorial units with different functions in the Western and Southern Slavs used ( Slovenes, Daleminzer, Great Moravia, Poland, Bohemia, Bulgarians, Croats, Serbs, Bosnians ). In many areas, the term was used during the Middle Ages ( particularly in Serbia and Croatia). The head of a župa was always Župan (German, bailiff ').

Around the year 1000 were counties - built as a regional administrative units within the new Kingdom of Hungary - especially along the lines of Great Moravia. In German they are called especially for the period of the Middle Ages mostly as counties ( from the Latin comitatus ). In the contemporary Latin texts first several names are used since the 13th century but only the form comitatus. The Hungarian names denominated inter alia Vármegye, rarely also ispánság. The head was Ispán, főispán since the 15th century (Eng. usually bailiff ', since the 15th century, Lord Lieutenant '). The Latin name was always comes, however, at first with various additives, as the Latin expression comes (, prince ') was initially used for various titles of nobility.

Modern meaning

Three successor states of the Kingdom of Hungary have retained the traditional name.

  • In the Republic of Croatia, the districts are still called županija ( County ) and its Board of Directors Župan ( bailiff ). See also: Administrative divisions of Croatia
  • The First Slovak Republic (1939-1945) was divided into six counties. In today's Slovakia, the old terms župa ( county ) or Župan ( bailiff ) are sometimes kraje alternative names for the Samosprávny ( self-governing municipal associations) or their head used. See also: Administrative divisions of Slovakia
  • In modern Hungary, the administrative districts megye hot now, but today (again) mostly translated into German by county. See also: List of historic counties of Hungary and list of counties of Hungary
  • In Slovenia, the meaning has changed, however. As Župan the mayor is called.