Komitat (from the Latin comitatus). An administrative-territorial unit in the kingdom of Hungary. The concept was derived from the South-Slavic zhupa (župa), an early medieval alliance of clans that later designated a group of peasant communities. The komitat (Hungarian: vármegyék) was introduced in Hungary in the 13th century. Its head was a royal official (Hungarian: ispán; Slavic: zhupan) who represented the king’s authority, administered the population, and collected taxes with the aid of various underlings and an armed force of free men. In Transcarpathia and the Prešov region, the Ukrainians under Hungarian rule lived in Szepes komitat, Séros komitat, Zemplén komitat, Ung komitat, Bereg komitat, Ugocsa komitat, and Máramoros komitat (see Maramureş region); their capitals were Levoča, Prešov, Nové Mesto, Uzhhorod, Berehove, Sevliush, and Syhit Marmaroskyi. In the last four komitats Ukrainians constituted the majority of the population. The komitats were retained in the interwar Czechoslovakia under the name of župa until 1928. The Slovak names of the Ukrainian-populated komitats were Spiš, Šariš, Zemplin, Už, Berehove, and Marmaroš.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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