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The Early Hungarians - THE MAGYAR HUNGARIANS

THE MAGYAR HUNGARIANS

1. Massive influx of Magyars into the Carpathian Land and the birth of Hungary-I

After the collapse of the Hun rule in Hungary (453), the major Germanic tribes of the country — Goths, Gepids and Longobards (the latter since 526 only), — set up individual principalities and quarreled violently amongst themselves. The Longobards were striving for predominance but, not having the necessary strength to achieve it, asked a Hun faction of Eastern Europe to help them defeat their rivals. With the support of this Magyar tongued faction called Avari (Avars), the Longobards drove out the Gepids, but felt so insecure in their domain that they deemed it advisable to evacuate Hungary. They actually fled to Italy in 568, together with their families. After that, the Avar Hungarians set up their own kingdom (568-803) in the entire Carpathian area. At the beginning, the Avar Kingdom extended from the Don in the East to the Enns in the West. Later it shrank and covered only the Carpathian basin, the Vienna Plain and the Bohemian Plateau.

There was much speculation about the ethnic identity of the Avars. But it seems certain that they already spoke Hungarian when they first appeared on the scene of history. Their name Avari (< H.: A vár-i) means, indeed 'Those who live in enclosures (Rings)'. And the throne-name of their first great ruler, under whose leadership they entered the Carpathian land, was Baján (< H.: Be-Jön), a homophon of 'He who comes in'. More information is available about the ethnic identity of the second Avar ethnic wave (670), composed of "White Hungarians", as is definitely stated in the Russian chronicle of Nestor. The vastness of Magyar human material that settled thus in Hungary at that time is reflected by the great number of their graves which have been excavated, 40,000. The newcomers occupied the edges of the Great Central Plain, and Transdanubia, and also southern Hungary, i.e. the best arable lands of the country. The seat of their government was in Györ (< H.: Gyürü = 'Ring'), a strategically located and well fortified stronghold at the confluence of the Raba river and the Danube. The Hungarian chroniclers never use the term Avar when speaking about them. They call them simply Hungarians, as do the majority of West-European chronicles as well. They add, at best, a few adjectives for the sake of a clarification, like "Avars who are called Hungarians" {Avari qui dicuntur Ungari); "Avars who are called Huns and Hungarians as well" (Avari qui et Huni sive Hungari).

By the same token, un Avar king is mentioned with the title of "King of Hungary". The latter has been a famous ruler because his daughter Berthe became the wife of Pepin and subsequently the mother of Charlemagne. The quoted data clearly suggest that from 670 onwards, the Magyars already formed a united nation in the Car-patho-Danubian basin and had an organized State headed by kings. That was a historical event, and this explains why Prince Arpad could set up a smoothly working State-apparatus so easily after his entry into the land. For him, the help of the Hungarians in the Rings was inevaluable.

The Avar-Hungarian kingdom lasted for about two and a half centuries. Afterwards, the reorganized Frank Empire resumed past Germanic expansion toward the East under the half-Hungarian Charlemagne (771-814) who organized a series of razzias against Hungary between 796 and 803 and destroyed its central government. Charlemagne was not much interested in territorial gains. He preferred to loot the Rings, where the nation's treasures — gold, silver and precious stones — were guarded. On a single occasion, for example, he 'collected' so much treasures that 14 wagons were needed to cart them away from Hungary. Chronicler Eginard (Einhard) commented on that big haul by saying: "According to human memory, there was no earlier war in which the Franks have become as wealthy as just now; for until now, they were poor" (cf. P 098 pp. 113, 240).

As regards the Magyar population of Avar-Hun-gary, it survived the loss of their State and continued to live almost undisturbed. The largest administrative unit which continued to function was that located around Lake Fertő, a rather swampy region in western Hungary. It was last mentioned in 873. A second surviving mini-state was the realm of Tudun, in Upper Hungary. This one endured until the coming of Arpad in 895. The harmful consequence of Frankish incursions into Hungary was the creation of a politico-military vacuum in a so vitally strategic part of Central Europe, which caused a lot of inconveniences both to the local population and to the Germans as well. Therefore, emissaries were sent to the East-European Arpad Hungarians even by the German king Arnulf who urged them to come in to help stabilize the situation. The craving for a new unifier was fulfilled in 895, with the entry on the scene of Prince Arpad. His coming opened a new chapter in Central Europe's history.

2. Hungary's ethnographic and political conditions in the IXth century

1. In the previous chapters we have explained how Magyar-speaking ethnic groups continuously poured into the Carpathian land, ever since Neolithic times. They came in successive waves, in increasing numbers and under various denominations: Magyars, Székely, Kush, Scythians, Celts, Huns, Avars, etc. Their common starting point was the Ancient Near-East and they were linked by ethnic, cultural and linguistic ties. This morphological coherence of the early Hungarians is probably the most important discovery in our recent historical science.(59) Now, it will be interesting to find out whether the earliest population and its descendants were still evident in the IXth century, at the eve of Arpad's coming.

A first indication of the presence of Magyars is that the mountain-, river- and village-names they had imparted to the geographic features of the land were still all in use. Furthermore, their identification symbols: the bird, the bee, the lion and the ram were also deeply embedded in the folklore, which was strongly impregnated with suncult and with general Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Syrian connections. All that would be impossible to explain without the continuous presence of the same population and, what is more, several other reliable sources especially mention the presence of Hungarians in the land at the said time. During the reign of Charlemagne's successors, for example, a bishop Hungarus by name, is mentioned in a charter of 888, and Louis the German, for his part, refers to a mountain called Marca Vengeriorum, in his charter of 860 and even Charlemagne had several times referred to a Hungarian stronghold in Transdanubia, Sárvár by name (P 059 pp. 241-242). And, above all, there is a recently discovered Hungarian chronicle which survived through a Turkish translation (XVIth century), which states that the Hungarians of Arpad were greatly pleased to learn, upon their arrival in that country, that its inhabitants spoke the same language as they did. Thus it is evident that Hungary was already populated with Hungarian-speaking people before the coming of Arpad.

2. Anonymus, our best informer on the IXth century events, records in his Gesta Hungarorum (c. 1200), that the Arpadians, upon entering the Carpathian basin, had found a large population there whom he calls Sclaui, Rameni and Blachi. Scholars have been baffled by these names he alone mentions, all the more since the proffered explanations led to chronological and linguistic absurdities. Who were these peoples? The etymological approach gives us the first important key to this mystery. The Sclaui name, to begin with, is a Hungarian compound word which includes the following elements: S-K-Lau-i. At its ending we notice the adjectival suffix -i, usually meaning 'Follower of, 'Coming from'. The word Lau, which precedes the suffix, is the dialectal form of the literary Ló, whose first meaning is 'Horse'. In ancient times, however, the Sungod was meant by it, who was imagined as riding upon a horse in the sky.(60) The remaining part of the word, S-K, when vocalised appears as As Ék, or in softened form: Az Ég, and means 'The Sky'. Thus the whole compound S-K-Lau-i = Az Égi Ló-i means literally 'Follower of the Heavenly God', i.e. sunwor-shippers. Consequently, the form Sclaui is not an ethnic denomination, but a religious one, meaning simply sunworshippers.

The Sclaui dwelt all over the land, but their main settlement areas were in Transdanubia and in Upper Hungary. Now, these regions were exactly the same ones where the Székely-Hungarians (,Sikeli, Sikeloi, Siculi) lived until their partial transfer into Transylvania. Incidentally, their name includes the very same three consonants, S-K-L, which are to be found in the name of

S-K-Lau-i. Furthermore, in the present-day Székely local language the word (horse) is often pronounced as Lau, and means, when used as a title, not horse, but Lord, as in the nobiliary title Ló-Fö 'Highborn Man, Marquis'. Finally, the Si-keli were also ardent worshippers of the Sun and their popular art is full of the symbols of the ancestral suncult. Their name, in the form used two thousand years earlier, was also analyzed as signifying 'Follower of the Heavenly Lord'. Upon the basis of so many similarities, we must concede that Anonymus had, no doubt, meant that group of Hungarian-speaking people under the word Sclaui, which was mentioned in earlier sources as Sikeloi, i.e. the present-day Székely, a group probably originating from the Mesopotamian cultural sphere.

According to Anonymus' narration, the Rameni were natives of Transdanubia. Their name contained the following components: Ra-Mén-i, a fine Old Hungarian word, meaning 'Follower of the Divine Stallion', i.e. again sunworshippers, but this time of Egyptian persuasion. This term probably meant a Hun faction (Huni or Honi = 'Native'), whose name he renders in Latin as habitatores terrae. — The third group of Hungarians mentioned by Anonymus in their religious context were the Blachi who used the carved script to write, remarks the chronicler. This fact alone strongly suggests that they originated from the Syrian cultural sphere. Their name confirms it, since its etymological meaning is the Hungarian Bal-Lak-i 'Originating from Baal's Dwelling', Baal being the Syrian Divinity of Fire', a local variant of sunworshippers. They are also called Balasi or Blasi, a synonym meaning 'He who comes from Baal's House'. There are many Hungarian place-names compounded with the divine name Baal, such as Bala, Balaton, Bala-vár, Bálványos, Bélkö, etc. The same name occurs outside Hungary, in such well known geographic names as the Balkan Peninsula, the Baltic Sea and region, Belgium, etc. Julius Caesar mentions in his De bello Gallico that Volok (Volcae) people were living, together with Rutheni, on the northern foothills of the Pyrenees (P 030 II p. 36 and Index and map). That all these groups of peoples were mentioned in their religious connections is revealed by a remark by Anonymus, a Christian priest, who said that the Sclaui and Blachi were the most wicked people of the whole world, simply because they served pagan divinities (viliores homines esse totius mundi quia essent Blasii et Sclaui, P 120 I p. 66).

The continuous use of Near-Eastern religious names is an obvious proof that the descendants of the Neolithic and Bronze Age inhabitants of Hungary still formed the bulk of the population in the IXth century A.D. Nonetheless, it is impossible to make an approximate calculation about their numerical strength on the eve of Arpad's coming. We can only guess their relative importance, on the basis of a specific archaeological fact: from the late Avar period, Hungary has 40,000 authentic excavated graves, whereas from the period of the reunification of the land under Arpad, we only possess 10,000. That would mean that the proportion of long settled Hungarians to the Arpa-dian newcomers, was 4 to 1. The survival of Hungarians of diverse religious affiliations in the Danube basin since the Neolithic and Bronze Ages makes them the most ancient inhabitants of Europe, who were capable of preserving their original ethnic, linguistic and cultural identity throughout millenia.

3. To complete our survey of the situation in the Danube basis toward the end of the IXth century, before the arrival of the last major Hungarian ethnic wave, we must take a look at the political build-up of the land. It was a chaotic one, because after the destruction of the Avar-Hungarian State in 803, the country's organization, in the absence of a central government, relapsed to tribalism and regionalism. In north-western or Upper Hungary, there existed a small post-Avar principality centred around the fortress of Nyitra and well protected by high mountains. Its existence was continuously mentioned in historical annals until 875, date of its conversion to Christianity. Upper Hungary's most famous ruler was Prince Tudun, whose name is last mentioned in a charter of Pope Eugene II in 826, wherein he was admonished for building Christian churches (P 109 II p. 35). Tudun is an

Oriental throne-name (< H.: Tudó-(H)Ona: Tóth-Hon) meaning 'Land of God Thot' (the Egyptian divinity). At the time of the re-unification of the country under Arpad, the ruler of that region was Prince Zobor (<H.: Az Avar) meaning 'The Avar ruler'.

South of Upper Hungary, up to the River Raba, and including the Fertő Lake, lay a second post-Avar principality. Its administrative centre was Győr ( =H.: Gyürü 'Ring'). Other minor principalities were around Lake Balaton. All these western Hungarian post-Avar principalities were given more freedom of action after the division of the Frank Empire into three nationally based political entities in 843. They utilized their liberty by seeking help from their fellow Hungarians, beyond the Carpathian arc, in Eastern Europe.

The Great Central Plain of Hungary was under the nominal sovereignty of the Bulgarian Empire and was governed by native princes. At its southern end, in the Danube-Tisza quadrangle, lived the Alan people called Yazigues; they were obedient to Prince Salan (<H. Az Alán) 'The Alan'. The separate identity of the Yazigues had already been erased in the Hun period, but their administrative autonomy subsisted until 1848. The northern portion of the Central Plain was under the authority of another local prince, Laborci by name, who ruled from his fortress-city of Hungvár, 'Hun Fortress', according to Anonymus.

To the east of the Tisza, extending up to the Carpathians three small principalities flourished. The strongest of them ruled in the region of Szamos and Körös, with a military base in the mountain fortress of Bihar. The last ruler of this principality was Mén-Marut, whose throne-name meant 'Sungod's Stallion' (Mén = Stallion; Maruth = the Hindu name of the Sungod). This monarch lived in Oriental fashion, he even sported a harem at his court, and ruled over a mixed population called Chozari (<H.: Kos-Ar-i). The second eastern Hungarian ruler, Dux Gelu or Gyula, governed the Upper Maros area in Ul-transylvania, 'Beyond the forested Land', his throne-seat being at Gyalu. He was probably a priest-king, whose symbol, a torch, was carried before him when he travelled officially (P 120 I p. 95). Another high official of this petty kingdom identified himself by wearing a sun-disk. The last Gyula maintained his quasi-sovereign status until the reign of King St. Stephen (1000-1038), who had him captured and imprisoned for life, "because he was an inveterate pagan, refusing to become a Christian and was, in many ways, an annoyance to St. Stephen", writes Anonymus. — The third and last east -Hungarian petty kingdom included the area bounded by the rivers Maros, Tisza and the Lower Danube, with a royal residence at Orsova (= Ur Szava) 'Voice of the Ruler', like the post-Hittite state in the Ancient Orient, Ar-zawa. The Prince's name in Latin script was Glad or Clad; it is the softened form of the original Hungarian word Keleti, i.e. 'Oriental'.

As has been proven in the foregone analysis, all the princes and their petty kingdoms mentioned in the historical sources of the IXth century definitely bore Hungarian names and ruled over a Hungarian-speaking population. Prof. János Me-lich, a very conscientious linguist, came to the same conclusion in his last important scientific paper (P 097). He re-examined the pre-Arpadian prince-list and found that Menmarut and Glad were certainly native Magyars and that all the other local rulers spoke "faultless Magyar". He also stated that the great majority of Hungary's population spoke Hungarian on the eve of Arpad's coming and was racially inter-related.

3. The formation of the Arpadian people in Eastern Europe

Recent historical studies emphasize that the human mass led by Arpad into the Carpatho-Dan-ubian basin, significantly differed from those Hungarians already living in that country. The Arpa-dians evolved, indeed, their ethnic constitution during the sixth to the ninth centuries only, by merging with westward-moving Hungarian and Turkish peoples, on the Eastern European Plain. This all began with the sudden entry of the Turks into the Caspian-Oxus-Aral area in 568 A.D. That first blow was followed by a second and more violent one in 597-598. As a result, all the tribes living in the southwestern corner of the great Eurasian steppe began to roll westwards.

The Turks were mostly stock-breeding, mounted nomads of inner Asiatic origin, having various independent branches, like the Bisseni, Chasari and Cumani, to mention only those with whom the Magyars were to come into closer contact. They had their own language, which has borrowed heavily from the Hungarian vocabulary, and which, most likely, also included their historical names. In fact, their names seem to have been given by Hungarians, since they all have a definite meaning in that language. The word Turki (anc. form: Tourki), seems to have resulted from the merging of four elements into a single word: Tó-Ur-Kö-i, meaning literally 'Those who dwell (-i), in the Land (Kö), of the Ruler (Ur) of the Lake (Tó)', in short 'Lake Dwellers.' The implied lake was no doubt, the Aral Sea, because it is surrounded by a lowland called Touran (< H.: Tó-Ur-Hon), 'Home of the Lake Lord'. The name Bisseni, Pissoni or Pice-Nati (< H.: Pis-Hon-i; today: Viz-Honi) means 'He who lives by the Water'; and Pice-Nati, in inverted word order (< H.: Nagy-Viz-i) 'He who lives by the Large Water', probably referring to the Caspian Sea, for originally they had actually lived on its shores. As regards the Chasars (Khazari, Chosari) their name is a compound with Kos +Ar + i, i.e. descendants from the merging of (white) Aryans and (darkish) Kush peoples, as rightly observed by the Arab writer, Abu-i-Feda, who said: "The Khazars... are of two types: some are dark-skinned, often almost black; these are considered as being of Hindu descent. The second race is white-skinned and exceedingly beautiful" (quoted in P 081 p. 56). In the beginning, the Khazars dwelt on the northern shore of the Caspian Sea, whose original 'Hyrcania' (= Aryan) name was changed into Caspis (< H.: Kush-Viz) 'Water of the Kush'. Ail this points to the important fact that the Turki peoples were a combination of the subjugated Aryan and Kush population, with a significant admixture of Mongol elements.

The first Turkish ethnic branch with which the Arpadians came into close political union were the Khazars, as was recently demonstrated by Arthur Koestler (P 079) and Vilmos Kovács (P 081). The Khazars spoke the Tchuvash dialect of Turkish and had laid the foundation of their empire in the second half of the Vlth century, more exactly in 567. They became the mightiest power in Eastern Europe in the VHth, Vlllth and IXth centuries. They had extended their domain over the entire area to the north of the Caucasian ranges, and subjected the westermost seven Magyar tribes, living between the Kuban and Don rivers, to their rule, as well as those who dwelt between the Kuma and Terek rivers, on the western coast of the Caspian. All these Magyar tribes living in Caucasia, originated from northern Mesopotamia, the

Kingdom of Urartu, and from the post-Hittite states of Syria, especially from the Kingdoms of Arpad, Karkemish and Damasek (Damask). They had to leave their old fatherlands, following the bloody expansion of the Semitic Assyrian Empire, in the second and first milleniums B.C. In our historical sources, the memory of the Hungarians at the Don has been preserved under the name of Dentu-Magaria and of those of the Kuma valley as Kum-Magaria.

The Hungarians of Dentu-Magaria have been incorporated into the Khazar Empire in 568 A.D. and their symbiosis lasted for over three hundred years. They were entrusted with the all-important task of safeguarding the western flank of the Khazar Empire and to block the descent of the Slavonic peoples toward the south. To fulfill their duties more efficaciously, the seven Magyar tribes in question were transferred later to a more suitable location, between the Don and Dnieper, above the Black Sea. The same strategic considerations led the Khazars to place the Magyar tribes under a single command, for which Arpad was selected. His installation as 'Deputy king' was carried out according to Khazar customs, by elevating him on shields. And the leaders of the seven tribes, for their part, swore allegiance to Arpad, solemnly declaring that they would faithfully carry out his orders. All that may have happened around 850, which may be considered the birth-date of the East-European Hungarian nation, the Danubian one having already been in existence for a long time.

The Khazar-Hungarian alliance worked well for about two hundred years, but when the Khazar king adopted the Judaic faith around 740 and forced it upon his court and military men, the first internal tensions were quick to appear. A civil war erupted in which the rebels were defeated. As a result, three deeply involved Khazar tribes, called Kabars, went over to Hungarian side and were absorbed into their socio-political system. Then came the renewed attack of the fearful Bisseni-Turks, who had torn away the pasture-land from the Magyars and forced them to move more westwards (889), into the Dnieper-Seret-Lower-Dan-ube area, thereby severing their secular alliance with the Khazars completely. At that time, they had already acquired enough political maturity to make their own decisions as to the best way to ensure their survival in social surroundings that were growing more and more precarious.

Their own worry, which was also shared by the Danubian Hungarians, gave rise in c. 890 to the idea of merging the two Hungarian nations into one, inside the spacious Carpathian arena which could be defended more easily than any tribal community on the unbroken, vast plain beyond the Carpathians. In the meantime, they had to fight a mysterious battle against the Cuman-Turks near Kiev, of which we have no details. It is definitely known, however, that the Cumans' seven tribes were defeated and that they swore an oath of allegiance to Arpad and then they too were absorbed into the constantly swelling Magyar conglomerate, which already consisted of seventeen tribes. Finally, the descendants of Prince Csaba, the youngest son of King Attila, also joined the Arpadians, together with their innumerable clans and cognates of the same region. After all these happenings, the people Arpad led into Hungary were considerably different from the Danubian Hungarians. Racially, they were of Aryan, Kush and Mongolian factions. By religion, they were sunworshippers, fireadorers, Ismaelits and Moslems. Ethnically, they had strong Turkish traits, bearing such names as Magyar, Khazar, Kabar, Kuman, Hun, Bisseni, etc. —a real mosaic with a Turkish veneer. In the Byzantine court they were classified simply as Turki, and not Hungarians. How did it happen then, that they could, nevertheless, build a Hungary with all its components and not a 'Turkey'?

4. The re-unification of the country and the birth of Hungary-II as a modern state

1. After the destruction of the Avar-Hungarian Kingdom by the Franks in 783-803, the whole Carpathian land relapsed into a state of political anarchy and became a battlefield for half a dozen dukedoms and neighbouring great powers. No wonder that the Hungarians already in the land, had sent emissaries to their brethren on the other side of the Carpathians, urging them to move in to rebuild, together with their united forces, the realm of their great ancestor, King Attila. The Arpadians received similar suggestions from the interested great powers, namely from King Arnulf (887-899) of Germany, and the Byzantine emperor Leo the Wise (886-912) to help achieve their own political objectives. By this means, the Arpadians had several opportunities of exploring their future land, especially in 862, 881 and 892. All our evidence points to the fact that the vital decision was already taken in 892.

The preparations for the conquest were in full swing at that time. In Kiev, where Almus, the father of Arpad was the deputy-king, all the available blacksmiths were summoned to make hundreds of thousands of horseshoes, arrows, cartwheels, swords and the like, which were all kept in storage. Three hundred lumber jacks were also engaged to clear a passage through the thick forest. A pincer movement was planned, according to which the bulk of the invaders would penetrate into Hungary under the leadership of Arpad through the Verecke-pass, which had never been used before (841 m above s.-l.), and the second army, under the command of Arpad's father Almus or his elder son Levente, was supposed to check the Bulgarian forces and penetrate into Transylvania through its passes and gorges. The invasion started in the spring of 895 and, except for the unexpected attack of the Bisseni and Bulgarians, the Hungarian armies met inside the Carpathian arc during the summer of the same year, as planned. By 900, the entire territory was in their hands, including Transdanubia.

The incoming Arpadians were greeted as liberators and most of the native populations surrendered spontaneously to the new master of the land and even helped with the unification. Those few princes and dukes who failed to change their allegiance in time, paid dearly for their mistake. Laborci, Gelu and Zubur who resisted, were killed in action. Two others, Salan and Glad, fled with their followers. The case of the sixth prince, Men-marut, was a particular one, insofar as he had wanted to resist at first, but, at the sight of Arpad's armed men, had asked for a compromise, offering his daughter in marriage to Arpad's youngest son Zsolt, while he himself swore obedience to Arpad. In exchange, he was permitted to keep his stronghold of Bihar as a fief for life. History knows of very few conquests as clean as Arpad's, which was accomplished practically without bloodshed.

As soon as the territorial unification of the land was achieved, Arpad summoned the leaders to his fortress of Csongrád and hammered out the principles ('Constitution'), according to which the reunified country was to be governed. The next step consisted of setting up nation-wide institutions, to bind all the inhabitants of Hungary together into indissoluble unity. These institutions were almost exclusively, the creation of the native, and not of the half-way Turkized Hungarians. In other words, the newcomers were culturally absorbed into the Magyar-speaking local population which formed the overwhelming majority in the land. This process is well illustrated by the following remarks. The unified country became a "kingdom" (and not a khanat according to the Turkish pattern), with a "king" as its ruler (and not a khan or kende). The highest officials were the Maior Domus Nádor and the Chief Justice, Ország-biró (and not Horka and Kádár). The king was represented as someone seated upon a throne (and not in a saddle on horseback). The symbolic animal identifying the king was a lion (and not a hyena, ram or dog). One of the most important institutions, which welded and kept the various elements of the society together, resulted from the adoption of Christianity. The new faith imposed, indeed, a common and uniform ideology, and replaced the pagan Sun-, Fire-, and Baal-cults, which had earlier kept the nation divided into several parts. Thus, the merging of all Hungarians of diverse origins, creeds and political traditions into a single nation was achieved within a relatively short lapse of time.

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Fig. 36. Decorated silver satchel-cover of a Hungarian army commander. Hungary, IXth century.

2. Prince Arpad (+ 907) was not only a military genius but a successful organizer as well. He clearly perceived the geographic unity and the strategic position of the Carpathian arena, welded between two powerful empires. Accordingly, he did not divide the country amongst the seven princes who were his deputies. On the contrary, he considered the mountainous periphery of the united land as its natural defense line and the whole country as an important element of the European equilibrium, as set forth by the treaty of Verdun in 843. He was, therefore, anxious to put an end to the encroachments of the little Moravian State and incorporated its borderland into Hungary in 902.

More fighting was needed before Arpad's strategic-political conception was recognized and accepted by the Holy Roman Empire, Hungary's dynamic western neighbour. This empire was naturally inclined to expand eastward along the Danube valley. The most opportune time for the realization of its ambitions seemed to arrive with the death of Arpad, when huge armies were dispatched on both sides of the Danube toward Hungary. They were, however, defeated right at the border, in the marshy region of Pozsony (Pres-burg). As a result of this decisive Hungarian victory, the Danubian provinces of present-day Austria were annexed by Hungary as far as the river Enns. The whole area remained under Hungarian rule until 933, when one of their armies was defeated near Merseburg, and again in 955, near Augsburg. After these events, Hungary's western borders were gradually withdrawn to the line of the Lajta and Fischa rivers, where they were stabilized for a thousand years and mutually recognized. After that, there was no obstacle for the participation of Hungary under Prince Géza at the meeting of Quedlinburg (973), called in by the German emperor Otto the Great, to discuss the common security problems of Central Europe.(61) The memory of Hungarian rule in Moravia has been kept alive until our days by numerous village-names, built upon the Hungarian vocable, such as Uhersky and Uhr-Sitz (7 such names), or with other Hungarian words, such as Sallash (= Szállás), the Hungarian for 'summer dwelling'. Similarly, many Hungarian village-names survived in the Ostmark, out of which 25 include the word 'Hungarian', such as Ungar-Bach, Ungar-Stein, Ungar-Berg, Marca Hungarica; 103 others are compounded wirh Warte-, Schiitze and 196 are built upon Ode, meaning uninhabited land, all of them being situated within the former defense line, as explained by Sándor Török (P 129 p. 22f).

The relations between Hungary and the Holy See of Rome were always cordial, as soon as the Hungarians had put their heads under the baptismal water, thereby irrevocably becoming loyal members of the new European community. Pope Sylvestre II together with the German emperor Otto III, recognized Hungary as a sovereign State. As a token, he sent a golden royal crown to the ruler, who was solemnly proclamed 'King of Hungary" on Christmas Day of the year 1001. The Pope's gesture was repeated later by the emperor of Byzantium, who also recognized the sovereign status of Hungary. The two crowns were welded together into one and symbolized the great powers' alliance with Hungary.

The Holy See of Rome also entrusted the kings of Hungary with the mission to defend, spread and propagate Christianity in the neighbouring pagan countries, especially in the Balkan Peninsula, which was full of schismatics at that time. This resulted in Hungary's expansion toward the Adriatic Sea by including Croatia (1097), Dalmatia (1105) and Bosnia (1210). Thus, at the end of the XIth century and the beginning of the XIIth, not only was Hungary's sovereign status universally recognized, but the country had become a powerful kingdom, ranking third in importance, right after the Holy Roman and the Byzantine Empires. So, after a successful start, Christian Hungary was heading toward the finest hour of its history.

Thus, the period of Ancient History of the Hungarians came to a close.

5. Epilogue: The fate of the lost Hungarian tribes

After the bulk of Hungarian-speaking peoples -Scythians, Huns, Avars and Magyars- moved out of Eastern Europe and settled in Hungary, this race ceased to play a significant political role in the oriental part of the continent. Ethnographi-cally, however, it continued to be present, since numerous large factions, which were separated from the main body, stayed behind. The reason for such detachments were varied. First it was the general custom that migrating steppe peoples must leave an adequate number of warriors and woman folk behind to stand guard over the ancient land, upon which they could fall back, should the search for new and better grazing land fail. Then, internal political tensions may also have caused secessions. Furthermore, and most frequently, they were exposed to enemy attacks which could cut off thousands of people and sweep them away from the main block. Larger Hungarian break-away tribes stayed behind in the following areas: 1. in Caucasia, 2. in the Volga region, 3. in Touran and 4. in Moldavia.

1. In Caucasia, the detached Hungarian tribes were those living between the Kuma and Terek rivers, on the northwestern side of the Caspian Sea, called Kum-Magaria. Bear witness of their tribulations eight papal edicts (Bulls) granted between 1245 and 1291. Their texts have been published by László Bendefy (P 010). Among the other contemporary documents relating to the problem we can mention an inscription carved on stone, found in the Crimean Peninsula and deciphered by the author. Finally, tradition also deserves to be mentioned, preserved by both the Danubian Hungarians and the successors of Hungarians in the East. Amongst the most important historical studies devoted to this question are the works of L. Bendefy (P Oil) and János Boros (P 018). But in spite of this apparent richness of documentation on this topic, many questions remain unanswered, so that our account is still conjectural on several points.

The Caucasian Hungarians were characterized by the fact that they lacked comprehensive political organization for a long time, having lived in chaotic conditions, each of their clans and tribes by themselves, in as many mini-states. With the emergence of the Mongol threat, however, the feeling prevailed amongst them, that for their mutual defense and survival, they must unite their forces. Accordingly, they all placed themselves under the authority of King Yeretany. This king wanted, above anything else, to give his kingdom a Christian organization. Therefore, he turned for help to the Holy See, asking for catholic priests. These antecedents led to the emission of a first papal edict by John XXII, on behalf of the "most eminent Prince Yeretany."

We read the following passage in the said edict: "Greetings to our son Yeretany and other Christian Hungarians (in Caucasia)... We have understood that thou, my son Yeretany, who art a descendant from the earliest Catholic kings of Hungary, wanted to receive, together with other Christians of the said region... a Catholic missionary (doctorem Catholicum desiratis habere>.)." The first "Catholic Doctor" arrived at Magyar-on-the-Kuma in the person of Bishop Thaddeus (1331-1334). He was followed by seven others, the last one holding office from 1366 to 1377. It is not known what became thereafter of Yeretany, but his epitaph, found in the Crimea suggests, that he was himself a priest and fled westwards, before the Mongol invasion. His inscription actually reads thus: "Here is kept, by the Armenian monks, the holy treasure of Yeretany, an Iranian lord and prince of the Don-bank. (This treasure) consists of two church-cans. Great holiness was the distinctive mark of this 'living God'." The dreaded onslaught of the Mongol armies materialized in 1395/96, when the city of Magyar was destroyed and the Kuma-Terek plain incorporated into the Kiptchak-Turk empire as a province. The few surviving Magyars then retreated into the mountains and F. Nansen, the Norvégián explorer, was the last European who spoke to their descendants in 1925.

2. The second and by far the largest Hungarian-speaking ethnic group, that of the Volga Hungarians was detached from the main body somewhere to the north of the Caspian sea in the Vlth century following the attacks of the Turks, and was pushed northwards along the river Volga. They were met be the imperial ambassador Zemarchus, who talked with the "Prince of the Hungarians, who reigned by the grace of Dizabuli khan" (On-gororum dux qui illic ex auctoritate Dizabuli impérium habebat" (P 092 p. 93 f.). They were then lost from sight and had no contact with any other Hungarian group for about 600 years. They were rediscovered quasi accidentally in 1236 by zealous Dominicans (Black Friars), who originally wanted to find the Caucasian Hungarians, for they wanted to convert them to the Christian faith. Four missionaries started on this venture in 1235, via Constantinople. However, when they arrived at the city of Matrica (the present Taman), at the entrance of the Maeotis (now Sea of Azov), they altered their itinerary for an unknown reason and instead of continuing eastwards, they turned directly to the north, journeying along the west bank of the Volga. Finally, Friar Julian, the only surviving priest, succeeded in finding a large Hungarian tribal group "near the Great River Ethyl."

There is a report on this unique journey, written in the XHIth century and submitted to the Holy See of Rome, where it is kept in the Record Office. Its text is published in the collection of medieval writings edited by Imre Szentpétery and is currently known as the "Richardus-report" (P 120 II pp. 535-542). This report describes the dramatic encounter thus: "He (Friar Julian) found them near the great river Ethyl ( = Volga). When they learned that he was a Christian Hungarian, they were greatly pleased about his coming. He was shown their houses and cottages and was pressed with questions about the king and the realm of Christian Hungarians. To everything he told them, about faith and other things, they listened attentively, because their language was entirely Hungarian and they understood him and he them (quia omnino habent Hungaricum idioma et intellige-bant eum et ipse eos'•)." Julianus then promptly returned to Hungary to impart his important discovery to his brethren at home. In the next year (1237), Julianus undertook a second journey to the Volga, but was unable to reach the Ungarian settlement because the Mongolian armies were already on the way to make new conquests. In that very year, Hungary at the Volga had been destroyed, and the nation's ethnic identity abolished for ever. The surviving individual Magyars were scattered all around within a radius of about 200km, on the Volga Heights, around the Pensa and Sura rivers, with some settlements at Saratov, Tambov and Riazan. Today, their memory is kept alive by a great number of place-names which include the Magyar name. The local inhabitants remember that they have Hungarian blood in their veins, but do not speak Hungarian any more; Turkish and/or Russian being their language (P 019 p. 229 f.).

3. The Touranian Hungarians always lived somewhat apart from the other Near Eastern Hungarians, to the east of the Caspian Sea, around the Aral Sea and in the Oxus valley. In Hungarian chronicles, this is the region which probably appears under the name of Magoria. This ethnic group first attracted the attention of our historians in the last century, when Kristóf Lukácsy devoted a fine work (P 092) to them in 1870. More recently, after World War II, the same area came once again into the forefront of research, thanks to the insistence of Erik Molnár, whose example was followed by Tibor Tóth, P.-T. Veres and Pál Lipták, who all underscored the close connections of the Ura-lian Hungarians with the Touranians. But it is Antal Bartha who deserves the credit for having discovered the earliest role of the Touranians, who were responsible for the civilization of the local population of the Ural region and that of Western Siberia, in the Und millenium B. C. The surviving traces of the lost Touranian Hungarians were also carefully recorded (Kath. Magyarok Vasárnapja, January 12,1969; Kanadai Magyarság, November 23,1968; Sorsunk, Sidney, February 13, 1960, etc.) and the villages, with 'Madiar' names, noted.

A major faction of Touranian Hungarians seem to have been swept far away, towards southeastern Asia, into what is today New-Zealand, where they continue to call themselves Maori (<Ma-Ur-i), i.e. Magyar. Their existence has been discovered by F. A. Uxbond (alias Wilhelm von Hevesy) in his sensational book, published in English in 1928 (P 130). This publication lists innumerable evidence to prove that the Maori are closely related to the European Hungarians, both racially and culturally. The Maori of to-day are highly civilized, but almost entirely absorbed into their English-speaking surroundings. The mystery of the origin of this ethnic faction has not yet been fully elucidated, which is perhaps connected with the expansion of the Kushan Empire.

4. Our record would not be complete without mentioning the break-away Hungarian group of Tchangos, now living in Moldavia, on the other side of the Carpathians, near the rivers Tatros and Sereth, numbering altogether 170,000 souls. The capital city of Moldavia is Yassy, the Hungarian Jász-Város 'City of the Yazigues'. Their full story is related in a recently published 1520-pages monumental sociographic study, by Pál-Péter Domokos (P 043). The colony started at the beginning of the Christian era, with a faction of Yazigues that did not continue its journey into Hungary for reasons unknown to us, but stayed behind, breaking all relations with their brethren who had entered Hungary and settled there. The Yazigue colony of Moldavia later received additional Hungarians, when the warlike Cuman-Turks set up a principality in Moldavia, then Cumania. To protect Hungary against the harassments of this pagan people, King András II (1205-1235) placed border-guards on both sides of the Carpathians, at several points. As a further step toward their pacification, the archbishop of Esztergom/Hungary, established missionaries in Cumania, who converted the people to Christianity. The first bishop had been installed at Milkó in 1227 and was followed by a new influx of Magyars. Until 1410, five Hungarian bishoprics were erected. An official census, carried out in the middle of the XVth century, found a total population of 47,167 in Moldavia. Out of that number, over 20,000 were Catholic Hungarians. On the eve of World War II, the Tchango-Magyars boasted 60 villages in the Tatros valley and 160 along the Sereth river.

When the northern corner of Moldavia, the district called Bukovina, was annexed by the Aus-tro-Hungarian Monarchy, general András Hadik transferred some Moldavian Hungarians into that district. Their descendants, numbering 24,000 souls, were rapatriated into mother-land Hungary, during the second World War. All the other Tchango-Magyars continue to stay in the land, and are deprived of all cultural facilities in their own language, not even having elementary instruction, despite the fact that they are the native people of the land, who settled there well before the arrival of the first Rumanians in the XHIth century.

To sum up the sad history of the lost Hungarian tribes, we may say that ethnographic factions, large or small, which broke away in Eastern Europe from the main body of Hungarians, were able to retain their identity for several centuries but most of them disappeared in the great politico-military upheaval which was brought about by the Mongol invasion in the XIIIth century.

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Clay
#5 The Early HungariansClay 2020-04-03 18:12
Thanks for finally writing about >The Early Hungarians
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Danial
#4 The Early HungariansDanial 2019-10-29 12:46
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Zoli
#3 Hungarian versionZoli 2016-10-28 08:04
Idézet - Jenő:
Do you have it in Hungarian version?


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Szeretettel: >Zoli<
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Jenő
#2 Plato116@gmail.comJenő 2016-10-28 07:51
Do you have it in Hungarian version?
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#1 The Early Hungarians - 1. The Old Hungarian scriptGuest 2016-01-14 17:11
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