BANAT-L ArchivesArchiver > BANAT > 2005-03 > 1110126526
From: "Nick Tullius" <>
Subject: RE: [BANAT-L] villa dominalis = puszta ?
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2005 11:29:04 -0500
The context is certainly all-important in putting this discussion to
bed. For another angle, I would like to add the perspective of somebody
who grew up in a "Kontraktualgemeinde" in the Banat.
The village was created about 1833 on the basis of a contract between a
'seigniorial landowner' (generically described by the inhabitants as
"die Herrschaft") and the inhabitants of the village. The landscape in
which the village was to be located was called "Pakatzer Pussta". Most
of it was pasture with some buildings, but the people of the time would
refer to the enterprise as a "Herrschaftsgut" (loosely translated as
I could easily see this described in Latin as "villa dominalis".
As for Pussta/puszta/pusta, you can see from the old maps identified on
this website that many sections of the Pannonic lowlands designated as
-puszta. At the same time, the large farms maintained by some land-rich
villagers (outside of the agricultural land that was part of the
village) were called (owner's name)-Pussta.
The village of Alexanderhausen/Sandorhaza/Sandra had the following:
Buding-Pussta, Hackbeil- Pussta, Sadorf- Pussta, Schiel- Pussta, Dohr-
Pussta, Gerber- Pussta, and Schmatt- Pussta (Reference: the book
Alexanderhausen Banat, HOG Alexanderhausen, München 1987).
From: cornelia_kassem [mailto:]
Sent: March 6, 2005 7:04 AM
Subject: Re: [BANAT-L] villa dominalis = puszta ?
I agree with lsdshaw, who has answered the question in his posting dated
Fri, 4 Mar 2005 18:19:02 -0500 with the header "dominalis": seigniorial
My Latin has never been very good, but my sense tells me that " villa
dominalis" simply means the house of the owner of the estate. To tell
one should know the context in which the term occurs - which I can`t
Regarding "puszta" - to my knowledge, the term applies to the land (the
geographical formation - the definition of the flat, "empty" land has
given by Vladimir) and the single farms scattered on it are called in
hungarian puszta "tanya", each tanya having an own name.
I've just bought a wonderful book with photographs of Janos Stekovics,
seems to have spent a few years taking pictures of this now
form of life, the tanya in the puszta. His main characters are two
bachelor(singles they are called nowadays)twin brothers (shown also on
cover). When first leafing through the pages of this book, I was so much
fascinated by them, that I turned off the tv (the two Hollywood actors
the film that was running looked worn out and insignificant next to
two "Junggesellen"). If you can afford to buy it, and if you are
in this part of the world, you will not regret it. The quality of the
pictures (all big format, black and white) and of the book itself is
If the link doesn't open, go to www.amazon.de and type in the search box
"junggesellen". I have discoverd this book while searching for the
picture book mentioned by another member of this list.
One more thing: Vladimir, your Major/Mejer derives from the German
"Meierei", which means a dairy farm.
Wish you all a pleasant Sunday.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Vladimir Bohinc" <>
Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2005 7:06 PM
Subject: Fw: [BANAT-L] villa dominalis = puszta ?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Vladimir Bohinc" <>
> To: "Teddy Forsyth" <>
> Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2005 5:17 PM
> Subject: Re: [BANAT-L] villa dominalis = puszta ?
>> There was a long thread about puszta as I remember.
>> Let me give you some thoughts about this word;
>> - it probably is not of magyar origin but of slavic origin, so as
>> words, which you can find in the hungarian language. This word Puszta
>> in a slovak dictionary means "pustatina", or pusc, which means
>> like a desert (pusc is a desert), meaning there is nothing. An empty
>> no trees etc. Something close to a prairie.
>> Slavic languages have lots of words which have this "pust" root and
>> means something connected to minus (:-)
>> i.e. Opusteny = deserted
>> opustit = to leave (something like a place or a person)
>> izpustiti = to let go
>> pusc or puscava = desert
>> opustosenje = devastation
>> If something is described with the word which includes "pust", then
>> something is missing.
>> So this was the word for the hungarian equivalent for the prairie.
>> Hungarian language does not have that many words that would use the
>> "puszt" for the same meaning, which is a clear indication, that it
>> over from the Slavs.
>> Now, if a farm was built there to grow cattle, this farm was also
>> Puszta. Meaning, the name Puszta for the Farm came from the
>> term, rather than from the term that would suggest the utilization of
>> Puszta usually was far away from any civilization. A slovak
>> it is Majer, with a hungarian counterpart Major. If you look at old
>> you can find a lot of such Majors everywhere and also places called
>> These were all big farms ( or ranches in US terminology) with
>> what they needed. Workers lived there with their families and with
>> some of them vanished, some of them became greater villages or even
>> A Villa dominalis was and can be anywhere, also in the middle of
>> which often was the case, so this can not be equaled with Puszta just
>> that. If it was in the Puszta, then yes, but not always.
>> The meaning of Villa Dominalis has nothing to do with Puszta per se.
>> merely says, that the Landlord ordered an agricultural settlement to
>> up at some particular location.
>> Very often, the place names were derived from some local
>> But, what characteristics can you find in a puszta where there is
>> but grass and wind? So they called it Puszta.
>> El Rancho, if you will :-)
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Teddy Forsyth" <>
>> To: <>
>> Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2005 3:57 PM
>> Subject: [BANAT-L] villa dominalis = puszta ?
>> > Could be VILLA DOMINALIS the Latin form for the
>> > Hungarian PUSZTA ?
>> > T.
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