I can find only very little information on the abolition of slavery in the Kingdom of Hungary. The Wikipedia Timeline of abolition of slavery and serfdom only mentions that in 1958 Hungary ratified the 1926 "Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery". This is not the same as abolishing slavery.

The lack of information on the subject suggests that slavery was not really a thing in the KOH.

On the other hand, the review of Slavery in Early Medieval Hungary suggests that:

The use of slave labour in Hungary continued until the end of the thirteenth century when a combination of economic and political factors brought it to an end.

However, I find it unlikely that this was the definitive end of slavery, since it is more than 400 years ahead of the other European countries, and the book deals only with "Early medieval Hungary".

Furthermore, this article suggests a revival of slavery after the black death in Europe.

Was slavery legally reintroduced? If so, when was it finally abolished?

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    @MarkC.Wallace One of the reasons why I am asking the question here is actually an absence of easily googleable existing narrative. The review I linked does not provide the details of the exact law that passed. Of course, I could buy the book that I linked in my question and I could research the question for myself, but the purpose of this site is that someone smarter can share his knowledge here and spare me and other curious peoples' troubles. May 20, 2018 at 23:13
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    "more than 400 years ahead of the other European countries" - That would actually be quite late by European standards if memory serves me well. There wasn't much if any slavery elsewhere in Europe by then (though there were still serfs in the East until later). Europeans were trading slaves and using them in their colonies a few centuries later, but slavery at home was inexistent for all practical intents by then. May 21, 2018 at 11:15
  • In the regions of southern Transylvania that at some point were under Wallachian domination Romani slavery was kept under Hungarian rule (as slaves were in possession of Romanian boyars or maybe monasteries, and then within estates that adopted such structures: e.g. Bran castle). That ended, it seems, only in the 18th century, with the Austrian occupation and reforms. Romani slavery in Romanian Principalities has some very specific trends though, different from both classical and American slavery.
    – cipricus
    Jun 13, 2019 at 19:49
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    Romani slavery in the Principalities lacks one feature of classical, islamic or recent slavery: movement and trade on long distances. Roma people used to be migratory (brought as slaves by Byzantines, Mongols or Turks maybe) but in the Principalities they were not transported, but stayed in villages (in this respect somewhere between serfdom and slavery) or they moved as itinerant specialized craftsmen (goldsmiths, musicians, etc) owned by the prince. It is this type of slavery that was partially transmitted into territories of the Hungarian crown and then of the Transylvanian Principality.
    – cipricus
    Jun 13, 2019 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


I wanted to respond to Denis' post about not "much if any slavery" in Europe at that point. I was looking for the answer as to when Hungary abolished slavery, as I have been doing some research into Romani slavery in Romania. Up until the 19th century, Romania was divided into Transylvania (primarily ruled by Hungary the majority of the time since its own inception in 1000 AD), Wallachia and Moldavia (which were united to become "Romania" in 1859, while Transylvania didn't join this union until after WWI). Romanies (i.e., the "Gypsies") were held as slaves in Wallacia and Moldavia (as well as other parts of EASTERN Europe) beginning in around the 14th Century and did not officially end until 1855 in Moldavia and 1856 in Wallachia, but true freedom was only realized when land reforms were passed in 1864 and the former Romani slaves and the serfs of the country were granted land by the newly united Romania. However, there was naturally a large exodus of Romanies from Romania at the time of emancipation, and these Romanies (and many others) continued to be a persecuted minority throughout Europe, up until and beyond Hiltler's Holocaust (Romanies also were herded into Nazi concentration camps and many were killed there, along with Jews, homosexuals, Poles and other undesirables). Yes, Europe still had slaves, and Hungary was right next door to them.
Sources: "We are the Romani People" Ian Hancock, 2002, University of Hertfordshire Press, "A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia, 2nd Ed." David M. Crowe, 2007, Palgrave Macmillan, and various websites, including Wikipedia.

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    While this is interesting, it doesn't work as an answer to the question that was posed.
    – Steve Bird
    May 7, 2019 at 6:34
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    I'm not sure this currently answers the question, but I think that with minor edits it could contribute to the answer.
    – MCW
    May 7, 2019 at 8:21
  • The kind of slavery you are talking about existed only on Easter edge of Europe, often strong under Turkish, Tatar, Russian, etc. influence and culturally very different from the rest of Europe. Denis was obviously talking about Western and Central Europe, which were politically and in social structure was much closer to Hungary due to the shared religion, political alliances, rulers, etc.
    – Greg
    May 9, 2019 at 18:30

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