Elity czternastowiecznego Opola.

Anna Pobóg-Lenartowicz


For the purpose of this article, the term "elite" is defined as "a category of people who are of utmost importance in a importance in a particular community, influence the authorities and shape social attitudes". In the case of a 14th-century town, like Opole, three primary groups that can be treated as elite are distinguished: the clergy, the dukes, and the burghers. According to theestimatio In the case of a 14th -century town, like Opole, three  primary groups that can be treated as elite are distinguished: the  clergy, the dukes, and the burghers. According to the estimation of the author of the article, the town elite consisted of about 250 people,  which was 10% of the then number of citizens (according to Prof. W. Dziewulski, Opole was at that time inhabited by 2000–2500 people). The most numerous and certainly most elitist group –from our  contemporary point of view – were the clergy. They constituted almost 70% of the abovementioned elite (about 160 people). The largest group was constituted by the members of the collegiate church of Opole, and the most vivid were the archdeacons of Opole. The latter included bishops, abbots, and prominent professors from different European countries (including France, Italy, England, Aragon, the Holy Roman Empire, and Bohemia). There were also monks from the two monasteries in Opole – Dominican and Franciscan. When it comes to the 14th-century dukes, the group consisted of about 70 people. There were representatives of the families that had been connected with the Opole court since the 13th century as well as those who started their clerical careers in the 14th century.Finally, there are the burghers who started plying their political role as the last. The first Opole mayor Nicholas appeared in the sources in 1258. Since the middle of 1270s, burghers appeared around the dukes of Opole, however, only two lists of lay judges and skeletal lists of the town council from the 14th century were preserved. Opole was a settlement in which the authority of a hereditary mayor lasted  relatively long, until the beginning of the 15th century. It was the  result of a strong ducal authority which was not difficult to achieve in a small town as Opole. The analysis of the constitution of the Opole town council and lay judges until the middle of the 16th century  indicates that the city was ruled by butchers and cloth makers. Many of them were related with one other.To sum up, it needs to be stated that medieval Opole was an attractive place for many newcomers. These were mainly people from Lower Silesia, especially the nearby settlements: Nysa, Otmuchowa, Grodkowa, as well as from more distant areas such as the Lesser and Greater Poland. There were also foreigners from different uropean countries. As the time passed, Opole rulers were more and more frequently accompanied by the local people, especially cout clerks and chancery staff. It also needs to be bore in mind that some of citzens of Opole made careers in other cites, where they achiieved high posts and status.

Słowa kluczowe

Opole, duchowni, mieszcznie, elity, władza

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