Sharysh (Hungarian: Saros; Slovak: Saris) — historic county in the northcentral part of the Hungarian Kingdom bordering on the Austrian province of Galicia to the north, *Spish/Szepes county to the west, *Abov-Torna/Abauj-Torna to the south, and *Zemplyn/Zemplen to the east. Sharysh county is roughly divided into a mountainous area in the north, inhabited largely by Rusyns, and lower foothills and plains in the south inhabited by Slovaks; it is drained by the Poprad, Torysa, Topl’a, and Ondava rivers.
Sharysh county was formed in the fourteenth century with an administrative center first at the Sharysh castle/Sarissky hrad and from the eighteenth century in the city of Presov (Hungarian: Eperjes). Also of importance as a trading center was the town of Bardejov (Hungarian: Bartfa; German: Bartfeld). In 1910 the county covered 3,821 square kilometers and had 174,600 inhabitants, of whom 101,900 were Slovaks; 38,500 Rusyns; 18,100 Magyars; 9,500 Germans; and 6,700 others. Over 12,000 were of Jewish religion. After the collapse of Austria-Hungary in late 1918 Sharysh was incorporated into Czechoslovakia; it continued to exist as an administrative entity until 1927, when the county (zupa) system was abolished. Its former territory includes the districts (okresy) of Bardejov, Svidnik, Sabinov, Presov, and part of Stara L’ubovna in present-day Slovakia.
Bibliography: Albert Berzeviczy, “Das Saroser Comitat,” in Die osterreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild: Ungarn, Vol. V, pt. 2 (Vienna, 1900), pp. 325-362; Sandor Toth, Saros varmegye monographiaja, 3 vols. (Budapest, 1909-12); Jan Mihal’ and Martin Mihaly, Horny Saris: historicky, ekonomicky a geologicky nacrt (Bardejov, 1969).
Paul Robert Magocsi
Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.