Titel (Serbian Cyrillic: Тител) is a town and municipality located in the South Bačka District of the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. The town of Titel has a population of 5,247, while the population of the municipality of Titel is 15,738. It is located in southeastern part of the geographical region of Bačka, known as Šajkaška.
The Titel Plateau is an elevated region between the Danube and Tisza rivers, close to the confluence; about 16 by 7 kilometres (9.9 by 4.3 miles); roughly 80 square kilometres (31 square miles). It has an ellipsoid form and is characterized by steep slopes at the margins. It has a substantial loess cover and is often called the Titel Loess Plateau; the loess on the plateau is considered to contain the most detailed terrestrial palaeoclimate records in Europe, with a thick and apparently continuous record extending to the middle and late Early Pleistocene. It represents a major archaeological site at the Danube-Tisza confluence with prehistoric and ancient findings.
Early medieval sources are scarce. Slavs are mentioned in the area in the late 7th and early 8th century, while Magyars (Hungarians) settled the Pannonian Plain in 896, already in the next century holding the Tisa-Danube confluence. Grand Prince Árpád (r. 895–907) is believed to have defeated the Bulgars (Salan) at Titel. Titel was an important strategical location, and was included in the Bács County. Ladislaus I of Hungary (r. 1077–95) and his brother Lampert founded an Augustinian monastery here. On 17 October 1389 a Clement was inscribed at the Vienna University, who in Titel taught reading and cantillation.
In the 1400s, Titel belonged to the Serbian despot Đurađ Branković. In 1439 Albert II's army awaited in Titel military aid from the county to help Đurađ Branković defend Smederevo, but the aid never arrived.
From 1526, the town was part of the Ottoman Empire. According to the first Ottoman census from 1546, the town had 87 houses, of which most were Serb, three were Croat, one Hungarian, and one Vlach. The duke of the town was Vuk Radić. That census recorded that five of the citizens were immigrants, meaning that others lived there before Ottomans conquered the town.
From 1699, the town was part of the Habsburg Monarchy. It was included in the Habsburg Military Frontier. Between 1750 and 1763, the town was under civil administration (in the Batsch-Bodrog County of the Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary), until it was returned to the jurisdiction of the Military Frontier (Šajkaš Battalion). Between 1763 and 1873, it was the headquarters of the Šajkaš Battalion which, using small armed vessels on the Danube, defended the Austrian border from Turkish attack. However, as early as 1750, the riverboat patrols, manned by the Šajkaš regiments, had begun to operate at Titel.
When the Military Frontier was abolished, the Serbs emigrated to Russia in massive numbers. At that time, Banat and the Šajkaš area slowly began to lose its distinctive Serbian character. Hungarians, Germans, Slovaks, Ruthenians and others began to move into the region.
In 1848 and 1849, Titel was part of Serbian Vojvodina, a Serb autonomous region within the Habsburg Empire. Between 1849 and 1872, it was again part of the Military Frontier, and after 1872, it came under civil administration as a part of the Bács-Bodrog County within the Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary (part of Austria-Hungary).
In 1910 there were 5,792 inhabitants: 2,413 Serbs and 1,858 Hungarians. By religion, there were 2,353 Serbian Orthodox; 2,479 Roman Catholics; and 89 Jews.
After 1918, the town became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and subsequent South Slavic states. During the World War II Hungarian occupation, in a 1942 raid, 51 inhabitants of the town were murdered, of whom 45 were men, 1 child, and 5 old people. By nationality, victims included 49 Serbs, and 1 Jew.
Titel municipality encompasses the town of Titel, and the following villages: