Bálint Károlyi

Streaming 24 March

Officials and patronage in the 17th century

Bálint Károlyi, PhD Candidate in Early Modern History, Eszterházy Károly Catholic University, Hungary




I studied History (BA) at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University, then History focused on the Early modern period (MA) at the Eötvös Loránd University. Currently I am doing my PhD at the Eszterházy Károly Catholic University in Early Modern History. 

My work previously focused on the Hungarian aristocracy and directly the political role and correspondence of István Zichy (1616-1693). Now my research is dealing with Zichy and his predecessors at the Hungarian Chamber. My first goal is to compare the carrier of Zichy with the carriers of the other presidents and directors of the Hungarian chamber. The second is to demonstrate the officials of the chamber who served between 1608 and 1672.

My PhD project is dealing with a short period history of the Hungarian Chamber between 1608-1672. This was the first period when the Catholic Church lost control over the most important financial institute of the Hungarian Kingdom.  During the 16th century, the reforms of Ferdinand Habsburg created a relatively unified system at the institutional level, and because of this there is a good opportunity for me to make a comparison between the individual institutions. In the course of my work, I do not focus on the institutional operation but on the officials serving. Therefore, research also has implications for office history, sociology, cultural history, and family history. Although the work focuses primarily on the Kingdom of Hungary, due to the different relations it covers almost the entire Habsburg Monarchy.

Beside my doctoral research, I am also interested in the correspondence of the Hungarian nobility. Because of this I’m working with the letters of István Vitnyédy (1612-1670) the famous Hungarian lawyer who was also known as the secretary of Count Nikolaus Zrínyi, the Ban of Croatia. With these sources I could build up the network of a conspirator from the 17th century history of the Habsburg Monarchy. Beside this I can do social and cultural research. 

As a third interest and research field I’m working with 16-17th century book catalogues and book lists. This research focuses on the culture, the erudition and the literacy of the Hungarian official elite and the lutheran lesser nobility.