Preface to the Series and Acknowledgments

The present volume is a component of a series that is intended to present a comprehensive survey of the many aspects of East Central European society.

The books in this series deal with peoples whose homelands lie between the Germans to the west, the Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians to the east and north, and the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas to the south. They constitute a particular civilization, one that is at once an integral part of Europe, yet substantially different from the West. The area is characterized by a rich diversity of languages, religions and governments. The present three-volumes opus — the most ambitious undertaking of this series ever done — deals with Transylvania, a prototypical East-Central European region. The study of this complex area demands a multidisciplinary approach, and, accordingly, our contributors to the series represent several academic disciplines. They have been drawn from universities and other scholarly institutions in the United States and Western Europe, as well as East and Central Europe. The authors of the present volume are prominent experts of their theme, researchers of the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, more than one presents in this volume his life-long labor, some of them already passed away.

The editors are responsible for ensuring the comprehensiveness, cohesion, internal balance, and scholarly quality of the series they have launched. We cheerfully accept this responsibility and intend this work to be neither justification nor condemnation of the policies, attitudes, and activities of any person involved. At the same time, because the contributors represent so many different disciplines, interpretations, and schools of thought, our policy in this, as in the past and future volumes, is to present their contributions without major modifications.

Ms. Andrea T. Kulcsár gave extensive help in arranging, refining, type-setting, making up, and indexing of the text. The Biographies was made with the help of Tamás Pálosfalvi. The Bibliography was cut down by Tamás Vitek. I wish to express our gratitude to them.

Budapest, March 15, 2001

Béla K. Király
Editor in Chief