History of Nižná Šebastová

To the recent history of Nižná Šebastová
PhDr. Marián Bilý, PhD.

The origin of Nižná Šebastová, as evidenced by preserved archival documents, dates back to the Middle Ages. According to the existing historical researches relating to the settlement of the Šariš territory, the first written record of the village of Nižný šebeš (this name of the village was used until 1948) is from 1315.

Significant Slovak medievalist (an expert on medieval history), Ferdinand Uličný who studied the history of settlement of our territory, arrived, based on the analysis of archival documents and the results of archaeological findings, at conclusion that the settlement existed even earlier, at least in the 13th century, thus before the first written record.

The first written record of the village or settlement of Nižný Šebeš was associated with the historically documented proof of ownership of the property in Šariš awarded by the King Charles Robert to a local nobleman Sinka. It also included Vyšný Šebeš and Nižný Šebeš. The names of both settlements and the usual procedure of settlement up the stream valley give evidence, according to the Uličný´s opinion, that the latter of the mentioned settlements is historically older than the former one; even though the first known written record of Vyšný Šebeš dates back to 1307, when the settlement became the property of that nobleman Sinka.

The name of village of Nižný Šebeš was changing in the course of centuries. It was known as Sebus, Sebes, Alsebus, Alsosebes. The basis of all the names was the word Sebus or Sebes. The word sebes means bright, sharp in Hungarian, which could apply to a stream flowing through the village, and subsequently to a settlement established in its neighborhood. The name derived from the Hungarian word might indicate that the local Hungarian military guards operating here in the 11th century, or in the first half of the 12th century participated in establishment of the settlement.

However, according to the established historian, the possibility that the basis of the village name was not a Hungarian word sebes, but an older Slovak word, of which was later formed the Hungarian one (in analogy, as in the case of names Šariš – Saros) cannot be excluded. The Slovak origin of the name would support the presumption that there existed an ancient Slovak settlement, the remains of which could be proved by the archaeological finding from the 12th century in the given area (the remains of a room with stone fireplace, parts of bricks, pottery or working tools).

History in collaboration with other disciplines (such as archeology, linguistics, and others) helped shed light on a number of unknown or less known events of an earlier or less ancient history of our village. However, the research is still carried out. Its outcomes could more significantly contribute to the expansion of our knowledge.

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