The study is concerned with the interpretative possibilities provided by oaths in the context of Early Modern society in the Kingdom of Hungary. Using the example of texts of oaths from the end of the 17th century and first half of the 18th century from the royal borough of Bardejov, it analyses the changes occurring in the environment of the burghers or holders of burgher rights and their political elites. Attention is devoted to the development of relationships between the centre, endeavouring to increase uniformity and incorporate the town into the structures serving the aim of establishing state power in the modern sense of the word, and the town community, which strove to maintain its particular rights. Confessional differences also played an important role in the process. The cultural and social roles of the languages in which the oath texts are recorded, are also interpreted.