Kingdom of Hungary Early Medieval
Stephen's State Administration
1002 Jan 1

Stephen's State Administration

Esztergom, Hungary

Stephen developed a state similar to the monarchies of contemporary Western Europe. Counties, the basic units of administration, were districts organized around fortresses and headed by royal officials known as ispáns, or counts. Most of the early medieval fortresses were made of earth and timber. Stephen founded dioceses and at least one archbishopric, and established Benedictine monasteries. He prescribed that every tenth village was to build a parish church. The earliest churches were simple wood constructions, but the royal basilica at Székesfehérvár was built in Romanesque style. With the introduction of the Catholic church hierarchy, Latin emerged as the dominant language of ecclesiastic life and state administration, although some royal charters were likely written in Greek.The bishops were required to supply the local clergy with liturgical books, and the kings regularly donated codices to monasteries.