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Origin of the Hungarian Nation, part 2


Every Hungarian, educated in the old school-system of Hun­gary must shake off, almost forcibly, the fetters of the taboo that forbade, with weird menaces, the research of Hungarian origins in the Near East. The other taboo, forbidding the search for Sumerian affiliations, must be broken also, if we want to see clearly.


Not Hungarians, but Western scholars were the first to perceive the relationship of Sumerian and Hungarian. These scholars repeatedly invited the Hungarians to participate in research. For special reasons, there was no sufficient response.

The catastrophe of World War I, a war fought on Hungarian soil and resulting in terrific losses of blood and land, was detrimental to research. So were the years of the Second World War and especially the following years. It was generally accept­ed, that all efforts to link Hungarian with Oriental languages were completely unsuccessful and deservedly rejected. There was no energy in people to follow up new ideas and lead a re­volt. There was no interest in trying again.

It was not perceived, that behind the '"No Trespassing" signs, time and the research work of distant scholars has open­ed a new path.

Oppert and Lenormant had operated once with only 300 Sumerian words, known at their time. Today we have in Deimel's Glossary more than 4000 Sumerian wordroots (mor­phemes), more or less well understood. This material is in­creasing.

A good look at Deimel's and other scholars more recent Sumerian material reveals a striking quantity of correspond­ences between Hungarian and Sumerian words. Even if we presume that half of these are fortuitous, the other half is suf­ficient to establish relationship. Thus, the paucity of compara­ble lexical material, which has bedeviled the early scholars, is automatically eliminated. Here is new evidence. On basis of this evidence, we must ask for a new reconsideration of the old tradition about the Scythian origin of the Hungarian nation.



Let us remember, that in spite of their insufficient material, the pioneering of Oppert and Lenormant has already establish­ed the relatedness of grammatical constructions in Sumerian and Hungarian. Their findings were elaborated by Varga. The main points are:

1. The body of Sumerian phonemes seems to correspond to the body of Hungarian phonemes.

2. There is in both languages an almost universal thematic harmony of the vowels, to which there are but few exceptions.

3. Both languages eliminate the accumulations of consonants.

4. Both languages are agglutinative.

5. The absence of grammatical distinction between masculine and feminine is a common characteristic.

6. There is a similarity of pronouns.

7. Clear correspondences are obvious in the declension of nouns.

8. Less obvious, but important similarities are found in the use of verbs, enumerated by Zsigmond Varga.

There are other correspondences in the phonetics and gram­mar of the two languages, which will be demonstrated some day, in duly documented form, when time and circumstances permit

Here it will be more important to have a few samples of the correspondences between Sumerian words and Hungarian words.

Some Sumerian words, known from the cuneiform texts of the clay tablets, sound exactly or almost exactly like Hungarian words for the same, or related concepts.

Such are:



UR guard, protect, warrior, man, husband, strong, powerful

UR gentleman, lord, husband

ISTEN one, the only one


NAP sun god

NAP sun

HUD to shine

HÓD (prov.) moon

ZALAG bright


AMA or EME mother

ANYA mother

ADDA father

ATYA father





NIN lady, priestess, sister

NÉN aunt, older sister

USSA younger brother

ÖCCS younger brother

ES eats

ESZ eats

SIL cuts

SZEL cuts

HUN reposes

HUNY sleeps

The exceptional conservationism of the Scythian nations may explain the exceptional number of Sumerian words which have survived in Hungarian, practically unchanged for millen­nia. Yet, we must realize that in the course of this very long time, which is longer than the time span separating Latin from its daughter-languages, or old Anglo-Saxon from modern English ― the bulk of the language underwent greater changes. If a Sumerian from the third millennium B.C. came to visit us, few Hungarians could attempt to converse with him. The words have changed; sometimes every sound of the word is different. Yet it is possible to trace the correspondence, because certain patterns of phonetic changes emerge. These changes are in a way similar to those known from the Indo-European languages. There, Latin P changes into English F: pater into father. The basic difference, is that in the Indo-European languages the change is general and total. One phonetic pattern is shed altogether and another one is adopted, with the regularity of the beech-tree shedding all its leaves in the fall and growing a new foliage the next year.

The biology of the evergreen palm-tree differs from that of the beech tree. The palm does not shed its old leaves when she grows new ones. Old and new coexist ― but they are put to different uses in Hungarian.

We must not forget, that, while Sumerian was the language of humanity's first high civilization, it was still an archaic language of a few thousand words. To be an adequate language of the space-age, Hungarian had to evolve an immensely richer vocabulary. This happened by using the phonetically older wordform to express some slightly different idea from the one expressed in the new form. Large families of Hungarian words can be traced back to a single, simple, monosyllabic Sumerian ancestor. For example:

GAM in Sumerian means the basic idea of bending, some­thing bent. Almost unchanged correspondence of this word



in Hungarian GAMÓ, a somewhat archaic and provincial word for a hooklike wooden tool, used to gather ears of wheat The same word is used in another, provincial dialect for crutch. GAMÖS in the archaic Ormányság dialect of Hungarian, means the crooked staff of the shepherd. In Transsylvania GÁMOR means a fence. GÁNDZ is also archaic for harpoon. GÁNCS means a knot in lumber, it also means an impediment; the extending of a foot to make an adversary trip, thwarting, find­ing fault. GANCZOL is another provincial word for the verb "to curl".

Up to now the basic G of the Sumerian word remained unchanged. But we will find other words in Hungarian obviously belonging to the same family of ideas, beginning with the sound K: KAMÖ hook; KAMPÓ crook; KAJMÖ bent tool; KAMPÓS hooky, curved, crooked, bent; KANYAR curve, bend (of river): KANYARGÓ winding, sinuous, tortuous; KANYARÍT scrawls; KANYAROG winds, curves; KAJLA crumpled; KAJMÖS crook­ed; KAJSZA curling, bent.

According to Grimm's laws of phoenetic change, G changes to K and K changes in time to H. We may look for and indeed we may find in Hungarian a family of words, beginning with the phoneme HA and expressing different nuances of the idea bend: HAJLIK bends, bows; HAJLIT causes to bend; HAJLÁS inclination; HAJLAM propensity; HAJLÉKONY flexible; HAJ­LOTT bent, old; HOMLOK brow; HÓN axilla; HOMORÚ con­cave; HOMPOS rugged, uneven (ground).

This is still not the end. On the last rung of the phonetic evolution we may find the sibilant CS, in words like CSOMÓ, knot.

Without having totally exhausted this family of words, let us look at another one. Let us select the ancestor of a phonetic family, the Sumerian verb SAB, cut, hit, throw. The sound written with a simple S in English, as in transliterated Sumerian, is identical with the sound expressed in Hungarian writing with the double letters SZ. Sumerian SAB not only corresponds to Hungarian SZAB, cuts, but is, in every sound identical with it. The basic word has a host of derivatives in Hungarian, like SZABÁS shape, pattern, form; SZABÓ tailor; SZABLYA sword; SZABÁLYOS exact. All these are common and often used words in Hungarian. But the sibilant sound S



of the Sumerian does not always remain unchanged in Hun­garian. It has a strong tendency to evolve into another sibilant, written as CS and pronounced like the CH in the English word China. Now, peacefully coexisting with the derivatives begin­ning with the original S sound, we find a number of others, beginning with CS.

From the Sumerian SAB 'cuts, hits, throws', comes Hungarian CSAP, 'throws, flings, hurls, casts, strikes, hits'. It seems that the derivatives beginning with S undertook to carry primarily the meaning "cuts," while those beginning with CS express rather the concept of hitting, throwing, but not exclusively. CSAPÓ, fuller; CSAPÁS, blow, misfortune; CSAP, cut, branch; CSAPA trail (of game); CSAPAT, team, troop; CSAPZOTT, drenched; CSAPDA, trap; are a few of the many derivatives of this family; pages of Hungarian dictionaries are teeming with them. Meanings may be distant, but it is usually easy to see the way in which the new words branched off from the basic meaning.

In my book "Sumerian Affiliations," I described the patterns of phonetic changes from Sumerian to Hungarian. Since writing that book I have accumulated new data I hope to be able to publish in the future. However the details would be tedious for most readers of this sketch.

So, just in order to demonstrate that there is no scarcity in comparable lexical material, I will present two more word lists. The first one illustrates the change D=T, from Sumerian to Hungarian.



DAL vessel

TÁL dish

DAM spouse

TÁM help, prop

DAR splits open

TÁR opens

DAR splits, explodes

TÁR (archaic) ulcer

DAG add, increase

TÁG wide

DAB double, increase

TÁP food

DADARA dress

TAKAROS well dressed

DAN to be bright, free, enlightened

TAN teaching


TANÍT teaches


TANÍTÓ teacher


TANACS advice, counsel, council


TANU witness






TANULÓ student


TANUL learns


TANULT learned


TANULMÁNY essay, study


TANULATLAN uneducated

DAB to catch, hold

TAPINT touches


TAPAD sticks


TAPASZ plaster, putty


TAPASZT sticks, fastens


TAPASZTAL experiences


TAPOGAT feels, fingers


TAPINTAT touch, tact


TAPOD tramples (on)


TAPOGATÓ tentacle, feeler


TAPOS tread on


TAPOSÓ treader, tram pier


TAPS applause




TAPPANCS animal foot, paw


TAPLÓ tinder (catches the spark)


TAPPOGTAT rides a horse


TÁPÁSZKODIK gets on his feet


TÉP tears, plucks, picks


TEPIKE small foot (of young duck)


TEPER tramples


TEPERTŐ scraps, pressed-out lard


TIPEG steps lightly


TIPEGÉS pattering


TIPAR (arch) tears out


TIPOR tramples


TIPPANÓS clammy (mud, bread, or hand)


TOP foot (of goose)


TOPA clubfooted


TOPÁN shoe


TOPPANT stamps the feet


TOPOG goes to and fro


TOPORZÉKOL stamps, rages


TOPPAN arrives unexpectedly





De-(izi) fire

TÜZ fire

DIM binds, shuts

TOM stuffs, fills, encloses

DIMGUL stake, pole


DINGIR divine

TÜNDÉR fairy

DINGIR divine


DUDU, cranium

TETÖ top, roof

DES numeral unit

TÍZ ten

DIR sick, disturbed

TÖRÉS epilepsy

DIMMENA mound of earth

TÖMÉN (prov.) clay chair, to milk sheep on

DUG vessel

TÖK gourd


TEKNÖ trough

DUN species of ox

TINÓ young ox

DIKUD sentence

TEHÁT consequently

DU opens, penetrates, wedge

TŰ needle

DIL perfect, full

TELI full

DURUN to dwell, dwelling

TORONY tower

DUR bond, connection

TOROK throat


TORNÁC porch

DAR food offering for the dead

TOR wake, feast in honor of a dead person

DUK container, vessel

TOK case, sheath

DAL to fly

TOLL feather

DU hole

TÓ lake

DAL remove

TOL pushes

DUGGAN leather bag

TOKÁNY dried meat, military ration, carried in leather bags.

DAL be far away

TÚL over, across

DUL yoke

TULOK young ox

DUN digs the earth like a pig

TÚR digs, said of the pig

DURDUR inhabit, bond

TÁTRA the northern frontier mountains of historical Hungary (Their old name was TURTUR.)

To illustrate the need for searching soon for these correspondences of Sumerian words with rare words of the archaic Hungarian which hide in provincial pockets, may I quote a last correspondence in this series of words. When I have read in Gadd's "Sumerian Reading Book" the word DIM―MA "esp. in



the sense of skillful work; said of a spinning woman," I remembered a rare Hungarian word I have met only once in my life: TÉMŐ. But I remember my source exactly. It was in the winter of 1942, at the small Transylvanian village of Nyárad-Szent-Laszló that Mrs. Anna Ugron spoke about finding for a project of conserving folk-art, some good TÉMŐS women. She explained to me that the expression meant skill and productiveness in spinning and weaving. She herself was an expert weaver ― the word was part of her Sumerian heritage ― a treasury which humanity may lose soon if we do not attend to its preservation.

The following word-list illustrates the phonetic change from Sumerian S to the sound written in Hungarian with CS.



SAKU high

CSÁKÓ high hat

SABU road, way

CSAPÁS track, trail

SUB to throw

CSAP throws, hits, cuts

SAP army

CSAPAT group, troop

SUKRA a tool

CSÁKLYA hook, pick-axe

SAB to cut down

CSAP cut branch of tree

SA net

CSÁTÉ water plant used fo[r] weaving

SU-UB bend

CSAVAR twists

SILIG hand

CSELEKSZIK does, acts

SUM broken

CSEMPE broken


CSEPESZ headweare of the married woman

SAAR luxuriant growth

CSERE forest

SURIM stall

CSERÉNY hurdle, pen

SEIB brick

CSERÉP ceramic, pottery

SIKA pot, dish

CSÉSZE saucer

SA-GAZ killer, robber

CSIKASZ hungry wolf

SERRA (―ag) to light up


SAL to shine

CSILLOG shines, sparkles

SULU to bring up

CSILLE miner's truck, lorry

SEN clean, shiny

CSIN neatness

SIB to touch

CSÍP pinches

SI-IP lace


SEPU leg


SID to calm down

CSEND silence





SAB pot, vessel


SUHUR bouquet

CSOKOR bouquet

SEDU flood

CSŐDÜL flocks, comes in mass

SUG interest to be paid

CSÖK fine to be paid


CSÖKÖNYÖS stubborn

SUSl summit, angle

CSÜCS summit, peak, top, pointed end

SUB to let fall into ruin

CSÚF ugly, deformed

SUHUR hair

CSUHÉ husk, hair of corn

SA-GA to close in

CSUK closes

SU-GA fisher

CSUKA pike (a fish that eats fish)

SUN old


SUBA clean, clear

CSUPA clean, clear

SUM onion, bulb

CSOMÓ knot , gnarl


CSOMA bubonic plague

SEMBIRIDA a spice plant

CSOMBORD spice (Satureia Hortensis L)

SUN to break, separate, ruin

CSONKA crippled

SAR totality, mass


SUR flow, drip

CSUROG flows, drips

SUDULU to cover

CSÓTÁR shabrack, covering for horses

SE barley, com

CSÖ ear (of corn)

SUBUR earth

CSÖBÖR earth ware vessel

SABURA vessel

CSUPOR vessel

SUR to crawl

CSŰSZ crawls

SUTUG kind of reed

CSUTAK stump of cut reed

SUU a sickness of the joints

CSÜZ rheumatism

SAG low

CSÜGG hangs

SILIG hand

CSÜLÖK pig's foot

SURU stable, barn

CSÜR barn, shed

It should be emphasized that the two word lists are mere samples. A whole row of phonetic changes in fixed patterns may be illustrated with similar lists. The vast majority of the Hungarian vocabulary goes back to Sumerian roots; the ques­tion of the alleged Turkish and Slavic loanwords has to be re­considered. The Turks inherited their words from the same source as the Hungarians ― the Slavs borrowed these words from the great Scythian cultures.



If Hungarian and Sumerian are related, the question has to be raised: did the ethnic body which is the Hungarian nation, ever change its language? Such changes happened in history; the possibility cannot be excluded. Could the Hungarians, at some point of their history, perhaps for religious reasons, have adopted the language of the Zoroastrian Magoi?

There is no valid evidence of such a change.

A recently proposed theory supposes another change. The author of the theory believes, that the Hungarian conquerors of the ninth century spoke a Turkish tongue, which they abandoned in favor of the common Scythian idiom of the autochtonous Danubian population. Of this latter evolved, according to his theory, modern Hungarian.

We may accept the hypothesis, that scattered groups within the Carpathian semicircle spoke Scythian dialects before the coming of the Magyars. Yet it is difficult to believe, that the dialects of those groups were all the basis of modern Hungarian.

The written sources are explicit, that three of the stems, Kabars, who joined the Hungarians, spoke a Khazar-Turk language. But they were not the majority nor the ranking stems of Árpád's people.

All evidence points to it, that the bulk of the conquering people and especially the stem of the leader, the Megyer stem, brought along a language that was a tool fit for government, organization, lawmaking and constitution ― a language evolved and polished through millennia.

There is every reason to believe, that this was the hieratic language of the ancient Magoi, preserved by a group of priests, treasured in all adversity, as sacred tradition. This language of the Megyer stem probably had the status and potential to prevail upon all dialects of other stems and upon local autochtonous dialects.

It is in this language of the Magyars that we should look for the ancestry of modern Hungarian. Such transmission would explain the mysterious relationship of the Sumerian and the Hungarian languages.




Is the relationship of the Hungarian and Sumerian languages our only witness to a relationship of the two ethnic groups? Certainly not.

There is a resemblance of physical types. Every Hungarian who enters a museum exhibiting some good Sumerian heads, will experience a queer pang ― something quite different from the relaxed admiration of the Greek masterpieces.

In my book "Sumerian Affiliations" I have attempted to categorize the physical traits which are similar in Sumerians and Hungarians.

What may cause difficulties is, that Sumerians, Scythians and Hungarians alike were exogamists. The genetic melting pot was a great Sumerian invention; probably the cause of their high civilization.

So, if we collect a series of Sumerian types, we will find great variety. Skeletal remains are scarce and poorly preserved, so we do better if we use the rich and often well preserved statuary. But there are difficulties in this case too, especially when we deal with statues carved of stone.

Sumerians had no stone in the alluvial plains of Mesopotamia; stone had to be imported. The available stone blocks were usually too small to allow the carving of life-size statues. So the custom developed of giving the statues larger, sometimes life-size heads, but minuscule bodies. These should not mislead us into believing that the Sumerians were dwarfs, In glyptics, on the stone seals, the figures are engraved in normal proportions.

We will find short, thickset Sumerian types, resembling short, thickset Hungarians. We will find tall slender Sumerians, who recall the tall types of Hungary. When the Sumerian statue has eyes of brown seashell, we will be reminded of the "nut-brown eye" most frequent in Hungary, but when that alabaster statue looks at us through blue lapis-lazuli eyes, we will remember one of those Hungarian friends, who has blue or gray eyes, a minority of 40% in Hungary.



The striking thing is that Sumerian portrait-art, highly individualistic, always reminds one of Hungarian individuals. It is worthwhile to pair the ancient portraits with modern photographs. They are convincing.

Concerning the characteristics of physical anthropology: the Sumerians are a mixed population. So are the Hungarians. The two mixtures bear resemblance to each other.

Later Scythian art, a great decorative art, has never reached the heights of Sumerian portraiture. Nevertheless, the representations of Scythians, especially the Parthians, will evoke in Hungarians, the feelings of relationship.

What about clothing?

The basic clothing of the Sumerians was a linen loin-cloth, called GADA or K1TU. From this evolved the basic garment of the Hungarian peasant, with the name almost unchanged: GATYA. The basic female garment, the apron is called in Hungarian KÖTŐ, or KÖTÉNY. The later form shows Accadian influence; there the loincloth was called KITINTU.

The Hungarian word IMEG (prov.) 'shirt', probably comes from Sumerian IN-ag 'made of linen'. In contrast, the woolen coat of the old-fashioned Hungarian farmer, the SZIJR is certainly related to he Sumerian verb SUR 'to spin wool'. The common, unpretentious shaggy coat of the poor menfolk in Hungary was called GUBA, corresponding to Sumerian GUBBU 'clothing', while the expensive, embroidered coat, made usually of white lambskin was the SUBA. In Sumerian SUBA means: 'bright, clean'.

The Hungarian word CIPŐ 'shoe' is considered by Hungarian linguists to be of unexplained etymology. If we will condescend to consider Sumerian IB 'leather shoestrap' and Accadian SIBBU, 'leather belt', we may find the ancestry of the orphan word.

CSÁKÓ 'high hat' seems to come from Sumerian SAGSU 'helmet, hat'. The name of the traditional diadem of the Hungarian ladies, the PÁRTA, seems to derive from Sumerian BAR-du 'headband'. The wreath on the head of the bride or on the grave of the dead is called KOSZORÚ in Hungarian. Correspondences of the word are Sumerian KASER 'wrought' and Accadian KASARU 'to bind, put together'.

Regarding the patterns of the traditional folk-wear of the Hungarians, we have the testimony of a reliable German



scholar, M. Tilke, He describes Hungarian clothing in minute detail. Then, as he says in his book on Central European clothing, he set out to trace the origins of these peculiar patterns and he searched through all of Central Asia. Naturally, he started with the old prejudice, that Hungarians were nomads from Central Asia. Much to his disappointment, he did not find anything similar that far East, except on some coins of Indo-Scythian kings. But lo and behold! Quite unexpectedly, he found the analogies of the Hungarian patterns, in striking detail, among peoples of the Caucasus. This he reports faithfully, adding, to explain the unbelievable fact, that Hungarians may have picked up these patterns somehow, during their wanderings ...

Of course, the real explanation is, that, unless in the Old Stone Age, ancestors of Hungarians have never been in Central Asia. But they lived long in and around the Caucasian Mountains. They, and their Scythian relatives brought Westwards the tailored and buttoned clothes, the boot and also the felt hat, ― the clothes of the horsemen, into a world of uncut togas.

We might go on for a long time. Data on clothing alone could fill a book much thicker than the present publication. Another one might be written, about the cooking utensils, materials and general vocabulary of the kitchen. These would be interesting, because this vocabulary, used mainly by the ultraconservative housewives, shows relatively little change since Sumerian times.

There are the vocabularies of horse-breeding, sheepherding, gardening and agriculture. Quite impressive are the vocabularies of of the arts and crafts, architecture, medicine, law, government, moral concepts and religion. These speak about more than a mere relationship of languages. They speak about related, if not identical mentality.

Of the whole world of technology, let us select and consider only one typical tool, the "toothed adze" of the Sumerians, which is a sophisticated variation of the axe. It is glorified in one of the Sumerian poems as the special gift of the god Enlil to his people, it is called a tool for building strong cities; it is also a weapon to subdue the malefactors.

The adze is depicted in the hand of the chariot-driver on the famous Standard of Ur and on other monuments. Adzes of gold and silver were found in Sumer, adzes of bronze in Luristan.



Such adzes of the bronze-age were found in Hungary ― and only in Hungary, outside of Western Asia. Hungarians, especially the isolated shepherd-folk, used it until the late nineteenth century as the traditional and most efficient Hungarian weapon. Even its name FOKOS, 'the toothed one' recalls its early Mesopotamian ancestor.

The serious student of the problem may note many such analogies in technology or physical anthropology; he will find more striking analogies in more important fields.

There is the rich fairyland of the Hungarian mythology, ignored by the Western scholars, rejected by the Western publishers. The very name of the fairy in Hungarian is a giveaway: TÜNDÉR, obviously derived from Sumerian DINGIR, 'divine being'.

Every personage of the Hungarian fairy-tales has a recognizable ancestor in the Sumerian Pantheon. These divinities had their symbols, the eight-pointed star of Anu, the sky god or goddess, is one of the ever recurring motifs of Hungarian folk-art. The omega-like symbol of the goddess of healing and childbirth, BABA, who was originally a cow goddess, can be followed, evolving for seven thousand years. When the symbols of the old religion had to hide into innocent-looking floral decorations, the symbol of the great mother-goddess was christened "the tulip". It is a central motif of Hungarian decorative art, even today. Quite often this Hungarian tulip grows out of a heart-shape. That may be all what remains of the face of god Enki, the Great Stag.

In traditional Hungarian compositions, the tulip of the center is often flanked by two eyes, called peacock's eyes. Somebody seems to look at us, through those eyes. If we knew the answer, we might be able to solve the riddle of the thousands of eye-idols excavated by Sir Mallowan at Brak, in Subaraean land.

The ubiquitous snake of the Transylvanian gates is probably a late memorial to the Sumerian "Great Serpent of the Sky" the Milky way, the divine shepherd SABA (Tammuz).

This list is far from being complete. A study of Sumerian legal thought, compared to Hungarian Laws, reveals the same basic quest for order in human relations; the same intelligent, tolerant, humanistic attitude.

Behind the lack of grammatical gender in Sumerian, like in



Hungarian, is the basic conviction, that the important thing in a woman is, that she is a human being. On this fact is the emphasis, not on sexual difference. The third person singular in Hungarian is Ő and that means both 'he' and 'she'.

We don't want to imply that sex was not important to Sumerians or Hungarians. It was a part of life to be acknowledged frankly, enjoyed intensely and organised with tact and tenderness. The Hungarian wife calls her husband URAM, a derivative of that versatile Sumerian word UR, 'guardian, protector, man, husband, soldier, servant, lord'. One word for a man, who is everything. ― The wife's or woman's appellation in Hungarian is ASSZONY, from Sumerian GASAN meaning, 'mistress, queen'. The basic idea of common humanity was complemented by mutual respect. The idea of the woman on a pedestal is Sumerian too, expressed in the pictograph sign for 'goddess'. These ideas recurred in Hungary.

The Sumerian attitude towards life is respectful, positive and constructive. The Sumerian teaching to posterity is, that life makes sense and should be altogether intelligently enjoyed. The Sumerian names of animals are observant endearments ― recalling the fondness of the Hungarian pastoralist for his animals. The Sumerian pictograph sign for the word 'joy' is a potted plant. ― One thinks of the pot of geranium, which was always present, even in the window of the poorest peasant woman in Hungary.

The Sumerian loved life, but was not afraid of death. (A lot of mistaken speculations on this theme not withstanding.) Recently discovered texts show, that Sumerians expected judgment and justice after death, not in some dark hole, but in a land which the all-knowing Sun lights every day. There was also a mysterious faith in a possible resurrection. A. Moortgat wrote about this, beautifully.

If one is well acquainted with the basic character of the Hungarians, one knows that the same characteristics are there: goodwill, tolerance, courage and humanity.

These are valuable qualities, from the point of view of human evolution; life on earth would be brighter, if they could become general.

However, these same qualities are very dangerous to those who displayed them too early, in advance of general evolution.

The gifted Sumerians were squeezed out of their homeland,



killed or scattered by those who coveted their wealth. They disappeared.

On the Scythian bronzes the forces of darkness overwhelm the noble stag of light, who is then torn up by bloody little beasts. Not much remains of the once powerful and gifted Scythians.

Now the Hungarians are on the road of extinction. Should we in the West wash our hands with Pilate and say with Darwin, that those who are fit will survive?

Darwin forgot, that the maize, our most useful grain would perish within very few years, if no farmer cared for it. Our cultivated roses disappear from a neglected garden ― the burdocks take over.

Will the Hungarians follow the Sumerians?

Or is there a mysterious law in the Universe, which keeps farmers caring for the maize and gardeners caring for the roses? The Sumerians were optimists ― they believed in resurrection. So do the Hungarians.

To all these resemblances we must find an explanation from history. We will try this, going back to the earliest beginnings.




The routes of the Old-stone-age Northmen in Eurasia are not yet traced. But is seems that around the eight and seventh millennium B.C. some gifted branches of this group settled in the Fertile Crescent and established the earliest Neolith cultures, the first agricultural villages. These were in the Kurdish hills, in Anatolia, in Palestine. Great and devoted archaelogists like R. Braidwood, J. Mellaart, K. M. Kenyon are working on excavating them and tell us about the exciting times when humans first planted grain and began to settle. There is good reason to believe, that the same human element wandered South too, where, united with gifted Southmen, they created Egyptian civilization in the valley of the Nile.

The villagers of the Northeast sent young groups of colonizers down the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, to bring to southern Mesopotamia the early culture of the El Ubaid period, somewhat different from the later Sumerian high culture, though probably ancestral to it.

Sumerian civilization was urbane and sophisticated; the result of intermarriages between different ethnic groups and cultural exchange. In time, these refined, literate, urbanites of the lowlands came to regard the mountaineers as a different people. There are references in cuneiform writings to the SA or SU people, the mountaineers ― country people.

Thanks to the amount of writings they left to posterity on their clay tablets, we can reconstruct much of the Sumerian life, which was the rich, colorful, creative life of a tremendously gifted people. Their contributions to human progress are immeasurable. They worked metal; they invented the wheel for the engineer and the arch for the architect; their art was the basis of Greek art, their law was the basis of Roman law and their religious concepts are the foundation of the Jewish, Christian and Moslem religions.

The high time of Sumerian political power was the third millennium B.C. Sumerian culture, science, religion, literature have survived into the second millennium, but at that time the



Sumerian ethnic body, as well as the Sumerian character of the Mesopotamian city-states, was fading. Too much of the luxurious good life in the cities had weakened the Sumerians, those well-shaven, civilized gentlemen, who knew that war is hell. They hated to fight and when they saw that they had to, it was too late. The sacrifices of the patriots were in vain. A new element, hairy but energetic, overran Mesopotamia ― the Akkadians. They took over political power too. The Sumerian element had to die, submit or emigrate.

For a long time, smaller and larger groups of migrants seem to have left Mesopotamia. These Sumerians went in all directions of the compass in search of some free land. We can find the traces of their culture in almost every part of the ancient world. It does not seem impossible that migrant elements from Sumer settled early in Asia Minor and were the carriers of the Chatti language and the ethnic body that built the early Hittite empire. That empire collapsed under the onslaught of the "sea peoples" in 1200 B.C., again sending masses of emigrants in search of new homes. This was the time to which tradition puts the founding of the Choresmian kingdom.

One of the directions, which would certainly appeal to many refugees, was that not clearly definable land, which was once part of the Sumerian world, known as Subartu, the mountain district beyond the river Tigris, home of the SA people. In the northeastern corner of this territory a new power, that of the Assyrians began to grow, swallowing up the gifted SA element and being enriched by it. Nevertheless, there was still plenty of land out of the Assyrian reach. On this territory would later grow classic Media and modern Luristan. Media must have profited by the good SA ethnic element, which was not corrupted by urbanization.

It is natural, that the largest waves of emigrants or refugees should have left their Mesopotamian homes at the time when the cruel Assyrian power was at its height, around the X-th to the VIII-th century B.C.

At this very time a mysterious group of horsemen appears in Luristan and leaves in the earth the traces of a peculiar and characteristic culture.

For quite awhile Luristan bronzes appeared in the antique shops and intrigued the scholars. Luristan is today part of the Iranian kingdom. The mystery of the people which left behind



a wealth of beautiful, sophisticated and expressive bronze artifacts is: who were they? why do they appear in Luristan around the tenth and ninth centuries B.C.? Why do they leave, two or three centuries later?

That Luristan art is connected with Mesopotamian art, has always been known. A short bronze dagger from Luristan is the exact copy of the famous dagger of the Sumerian prince Mes-Kalam-Dug. A bronze bowl has an inscription in cuneiform. Yet, the art of Luristan is in essence different from that of Sumer.

Sumerian art was that of a well-fed, well-to-do, sedentary people. Luristan art is that of impoverished, endangered, fighting and moving people. It is an art of refugees.

The testimony of the Luristan bronzes forces me to believe, that the masters of these little masterpieces were several generations of refugees from Sumerian city-states, who hid among the hills of Luristan. They had no gold ware, but they had their crafts, their love for beauty and their intense interest in life. These are what their tormented and movemented art expresses. For Luristan art is a great renaissance of the ingenious nature of the Northmen, who had grown fat by the flesh pots of Sumer. Now they have again to struggle hard for life and they regain their resilience. They have to cope with the swift horsemen of the Assyrian cavalry ― so they became great horsemen themselves. To good horsemen, the whole Eurasian continent opens up.

Some emigrants from Sumer were luckier than that bulk which could save only their skins and their creative selves. In some fortresses, like Ziwiyeh, lived rich people, who still worked gold. But they were refugees too, menaced by a superior military organization and power. They considered that power the embodiment of evil, the force of darkness, symbolized by gryphons, leopards, dragons, and monsters. They felt that their own symbol was the stag, the majestic, beautiful but innocuous animal, the friend and carrier of the great light, the sun. The divinity that was father to a dynasty of gods, all friendly to humanity, was called in Sumer Enki-Ea, but also Dar-Mah ― the Great Stag.

This stag motif, surrounded by strong religious emotions and ancestral traditions, should be carefully observed. It is fully documented and clear in Sumer. It reappears in very



great numbers in the Chatti culture. It is the most consistently found motif of Scythian art ― and no wonder. The legendary ancestor of the Scythians is Targitaos 'the offspring of divine Tar' a name corresponding exactly to Sumerian DAR 'stag'. The miraculous stag reappears later in Hungarian folk art, folklore and legend. The first Hungarian, prince sent to Constantinople as envoy, has the name, as reported by the Greeks, Termachos. This sounds still very much like the Sumerian DAR-MAH.

But the Hungarians are not yet around. We are in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains. Here was born the art which has for its central motif the struggle of the forces of light with the forces of darkness. The roots of the idea are in old Sumer, but now the refugees feel deeply about it, and express it eloquently in their art. Soon groups of able horsemen with bronze weapons, tools, jewels and horse-bits will ride in all directions of the compass and carry along the Scythian art.

The high culture of Sumer had included an early, almost exclusive mastery in mining, smelting, casting and working metal. Since the alluvial land of Sumer had no mines, expeditions were sent to bring in the precious raw materials. Some of these expeditions by boat lasted two years ― and it is by no means impossible, that Sumerians mined tin in British mines, gold in the Carpathians and lead in the Altai Mountains. Sumerian engineers may have established the giant prehistoric canals system in present day Hungary.

Clay tablets with pictograph signs strongly related to the earliest script of Uruk in Sumer have been recently excavated by a Rumanian scholar in Transylvania. One of the pictograph signs seems to be that of a smelting oven or forge; gold and silver mines are in the vicinity, and one may presume that the tablet and other artifacts retrieved in the valley of the Maros River bespeak the presence of some early miner-colonizers. These justify also, belatedly, the Hungarian archaeologist Sophie von Torma, who was mocked in 1894, when she signaled pottery with signs of Mesopotamian character, which she excavated in the Maros valley.

It is probable that the families of late descendants of Sumerians, who remembered that someone of their family got acquainted with a distant land and liked it, would consider the



possibility of getting out of the Assyrian reach and emigrate into such a former colony.

In the meantime, most refugees would get into the southern foothills of the Zagros ― a place called in their own Sumerian language simply "the land" MADA. This was as Oppert demonstrated it, the original, Turanian or Scythian name of the place which became Media.

Herodotos (I. 95, 96) writes about the first king of Media, who put an end to the anarchy of independent settlements in Media and organized the land into a kingdom. His name is reported by the Greek historian as Dejoces. He established a capital called "the place of convention," Ecbatana, modern Hamadan. He fortified it with seven walls, sometime late in the eight century B.C.

The Medes, according to Herodotos, cultivated fertile lands and lived in six tribes. One of them was that of the religious specialists, the Magoi.

The next king, son of Dejoces was killed in battle with the Assyrians. But in 612 B.C. the three peoples, who had suffered most from the terrible Assyrian power, united forces and crushed the Assyrian capital city, Niniveh. These were: the Chaldeans of the South, who had to submit to the Assyrians, but who have never forgotten their Sumerian ancestors, the Medes and the Scythians.

While a seemingly obedient servant to the Assyrian rulers, the governor of Babylon sent his son, Nebuchadnezzar to organize a general revolt against Assyria, in Media and the scattered relatives in the Northeast, who were now called Scythians. Scythians, Medes and Babylonians struck at the same time and the capital of evil was turned into ashes. Nebuchadnezzar became king of the Neobabylonian empire and married a Median princess.

The Chaldeans in Babylon after thousand years of Semitic rule, spoke Semitic. But they had a touching antiquarian respect for the ancient tongue and the old buildings, artifacts of the Sumerians, whom they considered their ancestors.

Nebuchadnezzar sought to attract to his magnificently built capital the scattered groups of refugees and certainly some of them returned. But others would not go. They clung to their provincial fortresses in the distant Northeast ― maybe they were seeing signs in the sky or maybe they could already see



the handwriting, which was to appear on the wall, at the end of the short-lived Neo-Babylonian Empire. Power had corrupted the heirs of Nebuchadnezzar; wine and luxury weakened them. A new power rose, the Persian, and the Persians took over Babylon, Media also became subject to Persia as a result of intermarriage and cunning.

The Medes revolted against the Persian yoke and most of their leaders, the Magoi, were slaughtered. The rest accepted coexistence with the Persians ― one of them, Zoroaster, even reformed the old Magus religion for the benefit of the Persian Empire. But those independent souls, who had left Mesopotamia for the sake of freedom would stir, and begin to move again. There were fields and flocks, homes and loved ones to leave behind, but they would move again; this time towards the Northwest, away from Persia, in the direction of the Black Sea.

When the wars of the Greeks and the Persians took place, the refugees from Media were in their new mountain fortresses. Xenophon speaks about Chaldeans of the mountains ― a people which, when surrounded, commits mass suicide rather than accept life in captivity.

Xenophon was accused of inexact reporting ― Chaldeans could not live in the mountains ― says official scholarly opinion. May we contradict and believe that Xenophon has really met Chaldeans, during his Anabasis.

Greece declined, Rome rose. A new Scythian power rose too, that of the Parthians. They were a most interesting, fascinating and gifted people, who fought for centuries with Rome for the possession of what they considered the land of their ancestors, Mesopotamia. The immense organization and military power of the Roman empire prevailed against the Parthians and other Scythians too, the Huns and the Dahae. But while the possession of rich agricultural lowlands was important to the great powers, less ambitious groups could survive in less fertile and less coveted lands ― the mountains and the marshes. Mountains and marshes were always the classic lands of the freedom seekers.

There was Shubur or Subartu, the land which stretches wide northeast of the Tigris River, between Elam, the Lakes Van and Urmia, and the Caspian Sea. In the north, Subartu may be stretched until the Caucasus. The name has been explained



from the city name Sippar. But perhaps a better explanation may be derived from the Sumerian SU hand and BAR to open. Prince translates SU-BAR as 'hand losening' and Delitzsch as freilassen, to liberate. May I suggest that Sumerian SUBARTU corresponds to Hungarian SZABAD 'free'. The mountainous lands East of the Tigris were "the land of the free." Media had risen on Subartu-land and when that kingdom fell, the old idea of freedom became more of an obsession with the independent settlers of the old territory, north of Media, who called themselves Sabirs or Savards and who are often mentioned in the territory south of the Caucasian mountains, by ancient authors. Their name has been explained in several ways, none of which sounds convincing. It seems probable, that since the land was not too suited for agriculture, the majority of these Sabirs lived from animal breeding, flocks of cattle and sheep, perhaps other animals too.

The great exodus from the happy homelands of Mesopotamia had started already in the times of the Akkadians. It continued under Assyrian and Persian overlordship. But no doubt, the largest masses of people fled North at the time when the impact of the young and fanatic Arab power defeated Persia and started its brilliant capital, Baghdad in Mesopotamia. Baghdad needed male slaves for public works and female slaves for the harems. The people of Subartu or Sabiria were not willing to go to Baghdad ― and after some unsuccessful resistance, they turned Northwards.

Arab historians tell about a revolutionary leader, Upas ibn Madar, who broke out from his besieged fortress in 739 and, with his men, escaped to the North.

This may have been the fortress later rebuilt by the Byzantine forces and mentioned as fortress of the Mazars. Some refugees may have gone through the perilous passes of the Caucasian mountains, and turned towards the Caspian Sea's shores. Others went towards the not less perilous marshes of the Pontus, and tried to follow the seashore Northwards.

We have reports of a kingdom, which existed until the XII-th century of our era, in the valley of the river Kuma. A Hungarian kingdom? The capital was Mazar ― a great city built of stone. The Tartars destroyed it and massacred the inhabitants. Later travellers described the majestic ruins, with carved marbles and stone monuments, inscribed with an unknown



script. These stood, until the Russian governor Potemkin ordered the stones to be used to build the city Jekaterinoslav.

It seems, that for centuries groups of emigrating refugees have moved towards the northern shores of the Black Sea, and began to live on those shores, between the Don and the Dnieper. There we find them in the middle of the ninth century. This territory was called in antiquity "the marshes of Meotis." The old Hungarian chronicles call this place Dentumoger ― Hungary on the Don-mouth. It seems however that at this time they still called themselves Sabirs. In their new neighborhood they had to experience again the proximity of a young and powerful empire, that of the Khazars.

Between the Sabirs proper and the Khazar empire lived the Onogur-Hungarians of North-Turk affiliations, who had to accept the Khazars as overlords, but did not like the situation. Their land may have been called LEBEDIA. Those of the Western side, the Sabirs, who had kept the speech and the traditions of the great Southern civilization, seem to have remained independent. They also had the diplomatic capacities acquired through millennia and they seem to have prevailed on their relatives of Lebedia. They proposed a union of forces and planned for the united force to move westwards, away from the Khazars. This plan was carried through in 890 A.D., when the united forces of the new nation arrived to the shores of the rivers Bug and Dniester and there created a strong federation of the whole population, united under an elected monarch, Árpád. This new land was named Etelköz, which is the Hungarian equivalent of "between the rivers" or Mesopotamia. But this was a very unsafe, indefensible homeland, open to enemy attack; the rivers were no real protection. There also was the lure of the old, legendary home, first colonized by the Sumerian ancestors, the fertile lands defended efficiently by the Carpathian mountains.

The leader, the able Árpád, must have planned for many years, the move of a whole people across rivers and mountains, but finally this move was done too, in the autumn of the year 895 A.D. The number of the newcomers is put by some historians to 100,000, by others to 500,000 people. 250,000 seems to be a conservative estimate. Even if we accept this low figure, we have to admire the strategic accomplishment of moving



such a group with women, children and cattle successfully over such distance.

The new nation became known in Europe as Hungarians. The name may have come from Onogur, the name of a Turkish-like tribe, with which the Eastern wing of the confederated people was affiliated. But one wonders: is the resemblance of Hungarian to the ancient name of Sumer, KIENGIRA quite 'fortuitous?

The Byzantine emperors write about the newcomers as Turks. Konstantinos Porphyrogenitos remarks however, that, as it was stated by the Hungarian leaders themselves, their original name was SABARTOIASFALOI. To be understandable, this long name has to be cut in two. Sabartoi is the old name ― "the free ones." Asphaloi is the Greek translation of the word, meaning "unfettered." And Konstantinos knew well from the writings of his father, the Emperor Leo, that "this is a free people." They themselves called their nation Magyar. It will be a job for future linguists to establish if this was done in deference to the stem of Árpád, the Megyer tribe? Or does the name carry the memory of the distant land Mada? Or the idea of the Magoi; the army or force (AR) of the MAG?

No doubt, there are many unsolved questions connected with the problem of Hungarian origins. One of these is the problem of the Finno-Ugrian relatives. If we accept the theory of a Sumero-Scythian origin of the Hungarians, how did those get into the Urals?

There are two possibilities. There may have been somewhere in Asia, a yet unknown center from which the different peoples of Scythian character radiated in a series of waves. Serious scholars, who have more or less accepted the possibility of a Sumerian-Hungarian relationship, usually presume that there was such an early, common origin of the two peoples, and, also of other related peoples. One can accept the idea of common origin, nevertheless I am convinced that the Hungarian language bears the stamp of not an early, but of a very late stage of Sumerian culture. This is shown by the quantity of Semitic cultural loanwords in Hungarian; from Akkadian and Babylonian. These had not been around in Central Asia, but were surely part of the late Sumerian vocabulary. So I will profess, that the group which used these loanwords, was one that left Mesopotamia at a late date and



was heir to the whole heritage of the late Sumerian civilization. This, however, does not exclude the possibility of an early common center of many peoples.

Personally I am rather inclined to believe, that the near linguistic relatives of Hungarians went to their Uralian habitats forced to settle there by one of the mighty conquerors of the Middle East. There is the puzzle of the Voguls, knowing the vocabulary of horse-breeding, but having no horses. Are the Zyrians not forced settlers from Syria? They may have been simple servant folk, settled in the North to help miners, and later left to their fate in a cold world. Which of the Finno-Ugrian peoples would have important loanwords coming from the Middle East? This will have to be established and the historical truth will slowly emerge.

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