Hungarians and Europe in the early Middle Ages: an introduction to early Hungarian history 9789639116481

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Hungarians and Europe in the early Middle Ages: an introduction to early Hungarian history

Table of contents :
PREFACE (page xiii)
II. THE SOURCES (page 43)
CHART OF RULERS (page 491)

Citation preview




First published in Hungarian as A honfoglalé magyar nép in 1996 by Balassi Kiado, Budapest

English edition 1999 by Central European University Press

Oktober 6. utca 12 H-1051 Budapest Hungary 400 West 59th Street New York, NY 10019 USA

Translated by Nicholas Bodoczky Maps by DIMAP

© 1996, 1997 by Andras Rona-Tas English translation © 1999 by Nicholas Bodoczky

Distributed in the UK and Western Europe by Plymbridge Distributors Ltd., Estover Road, Plymouth PL6 7PZ, United Kingdom All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the permission of the Publisher.

ISBN: 978-963-9116-48- I

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A CIP catalog record for this book is available upon request

To my parents and grandchildren


PREFACE .. 0... 2.0.2... ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee Xi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............ 0.000 eee eee ee ee ee ee eee XIX TRANSLATOR’S NOTES ......... 000 ee ee ee ee eee ee ee we te ee ee) XX



INTRODUCTION... ....000.. 00. 0. ee ee ee ee te ee ee ee eee BZ

1. Terminology, methods ........... 0... eee eee ee ee ee ee ee B a) History, proto-history, ancienthistory .................20--44 3 b) Peoples, ethnic groups, language, ethnic names, culture, nation ......... 5

2. Chronology and chronological assumptions ..................... 16

a) The geohistoricaleras 2.2... ee ee ee ee 1G b) The geobotanical zones 2... ee ee ee ee ee

c) The Stone and MetalAges .. 1.0... 0... eee ee ee 2 20 d) Some co-ordinates in world history ..................-.....-22

e) Chronology and continuance ............0.. 00-0 ee 23 3. The role of the natural sciences in establishing chronology............. 24

a) The determination ofage .............-0 2.220 eee eee ee D4

b) The determination of origin. 2... 1... ee ee c) The determination of environment ..............00 08 eee ee 2d d) The determination of production and technology.................30 4. Other ancillary disciplines in establishing chronology ............... 30

a) Numismatics... ...0.0..0. 2.00. eee ee ee ee ee ee eee ee ee BO

b)Archaeology ... 20... 0... ee ee ee

C)Linguistics 2... ee ee ee te eee ee ee ee BD

Notes 0. ee te ee ee ee ee ee eee ee A BI

vill Contents

HW. THESOURCES 2... ee ee ee £3

1. The concept of source material. 2. B 2.Source criticism 2.0 et ee eee te ee 4A

3. The written sources... 0. ee ee 45 a) Byzantine sources «6... ee ee eG b) Latinsources 2... et ee ee ee ee ee ee OS Sources from outside Hungary... ........0.. 2.0000 eee eee DD

Hungarian sources ... 2.2... 0. eee ee ee ee eee ee ee OB

c)Slavonicsources .. 0.0... ee tee ee ee 0 The beginnings of Slavonic literacy ....................-.2.. 60 The legends of Cyril and Methodius. ...................... 60 Other early Bolghar accounts ................+62+2-2-2-.. 61 The Bulghar regal list 2... .....0...2.-.-2..2.-02.0-0-2-2-24.. 61 Ancient Russian chronicles ............20 02 eee eevee eee. 62 d) Middle lranian sources ......0.. 0.000. cee eee ee ee ee ee se » 63

e) Sources by Muslim authors... 2... ee OF Sources in Arabic... 2... ee ee ee ee ees 67

Sources in Persian... 0... ee ee ee ee ee eee TB

f) Syrian sources... ee ee ee ee AA g) Armenian sources 2... 0... ee ee ee ee ee ee HG

h) Georgian sources... 2... ee ee ee AY i) Turkicsources. 2... ee ee ee eee ee 80

j) Tibetan sources... 1 ee ee ee ee 82 k) Chinese sources ... 0 eee ee ee ee ee ee ee 2 85

A brief history of China... 1 1. ee ee ee ee ee BS

Chinese script... 0... ee ee ee ee ee 8G

Transcription of Chinese script... .........0... 220000242... 88 Chinese historical sources ... 0... 2.002.000 eee eevee eee. 89 l) The Hebrew sources .. 0.00 eee eee eee ee eee ee 90

4. The language asasource ... 2... ee WD

5. The archaeological sources... 2... ee ee ee ee ee 1G

6. Ethnographicsources... 2.2... .. ee ee ee eee 140 7. The anthropological sources... 1... ee ee ee 153

Notes... et eee ee ee ee eee ee 164

Contents Ix -PARTTWO ,


IW. THE RELATIVES. 2 ee ee ee ee eee ee II \. Linguisticrelationship 2.2... .. ee ee ee ee ee ee eee WI 2. The Uralic languages and peoples .................+++-22+.. 14 a) The proto-language ......... 2... eee eee ee ee ee ee es IAA b) The Samoyedic languages and peoples ...................... 7 c) The Ob-Ugrian languages and peoples ...................... 178 d) The Permian languages and peoples ..................+-.2.2. 179 e) The Volga Finno-Ugrian languages and peoples ................. 181

The Cheremis language and people ...................... I81 The Mordvin language and people ...................... 182 f) Extinct Finno-Ugrian languages and peoples ................... 182 g) The Balto-Finnic languages and peoples ..................... 183

The Finnish language and people ...............200440.4. 183 The Estonian language and people ..................2..4... 184 Minor Finnic languages and peoples of the Baltic .............. 184

Notes 2. ee ee te ee ee ee eee ee eee ee 185 IV. THE NEIGHBOURS «01... ee ee ee ee eee ee 187 1. Early Indo-European languages and peoples ..................-.. 187 a) The beginnings of Indo-European languages and the early migrations .. . . . 187

b) The Tocharian language and people........................ 192 c) The Iranian languages and peoples ...............22-2+2-4. 195

d)TheAlani..... 0. ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee 200 e) The Ostrogoths of the Crimea... ...........2.-0000-442. 203

2. The Xiongnu andthe Huns... 2... ee ee ee ee ee ee 203

3. The early Turkic peoples... 2... ee ee ee ee 209 a) The emergence of the Oghur peoples and the Avars ............... 209

b)TheSabirs.. 2... ee ee ee ee ee ee eee eee ee 2d

c) The Ruanruan and the EuropeanAvars.............---2.220.. 293

d) The Turk people in Europe... ............ eee eee eee eee 214

e)TheBulghars .. 0... ee ee ee ee QIN Khuvrat’s Bulghar state 2... 1 1 ee eee ee ee ee QNI The Volga Bulghars .......... ee eee eee eee ees 220 The Danube Bulghars .... 0.0.2... 0000 ee eee eee ee ee ee 227

f)The Khazars 2. ee ee ee eee ee es 228

g)The Pechenegs .. 0... ee ee ee 234

X Contents

| 4. The Slavonic peoples 2... ee ee ee ee 239 a) The Southern Slavs... 1. ee ee ee ee 2 . b) The Alpine and the Western Slavs... 0.0... 0.000000 0 5 eee ues 242 c) The Slavs of Pannonia, the Moravians

and the Slavonic conversion... 0... ee ee ee te ee ee 243

d) The Eastern Slavs and the Rus of Kiev... ............000004.4. 246

Notes... ee ee ee ee ee ee LE V. EURASIA IN THE 9TH AND 10TH CENTURIES... .....0.2..0.......262.2.4.. 251

1. The end of the Uighur Empire... 0... 000 eee eee eee es 252

2. The Khitaiand China... 0... et ee te ee ee 253 3. The Kharakhanids and the Black Khitai .. 2... 0.0. ..0.....0.0.2.. 255

4. The Oghuz and the Seljuk... ee ee es 256 5. The KhazarsandtheRus ........0..0.0 00000 eee ee ee ee eee ee 257

6. Byzantium and the Danube Bulghars ........................257

7.Romeand the Franks .. 0... 0 ee ee ee ee LSI

8. The Avars and Slavs in the Carpathian Basin. .................... 261 9. The Carpathian Basin on the eve of the Conquest.................. 263

Notes 2. 0. ee ee ee ee ee 266 PART THREE


THE FOUNDATION OF STATE ........0.2. 000 eee ee ee ee ew we ee DAT

1. Ethnic names: characteristics and origins ...................... 271

2.Turk 2... ee ee ee ee ee DIF 3. Onoghur, Ungar, Hungarus, Hungarian. ...................... 282

4.SavartiAsfali.. 0... ee ee ee ee ee eee 288

5.Bashkir. 2... ee ee ee eee ee 289

6. Majgar. ee ee ee ee ee 294 I, Magyar... te ee eee ee ee LI 8. Other names of the Magyats .........0..00 00000 ee ee ee ee + 308

a) Scythian. 2 eee ee ee eee 308 C)AVAar te tt et ee eee es 309

d)Othernames........2..2.2.. 20... 0000 eee ee ee ee ee es 309

9.A historical summary... 0... ee ee ee ees 310

Notes... eect tent e eee BH

Contents Xi Vil. URHEIMATS AND MIGRATION . 2... .0.00 0... 0. 2 eee ee ee ee eee ee BTS

1. General questions... 0... ee ee ee ee ee BG 2. The migrations of the proto-Magyars ...........00.000000002-4 3d 3. The migration of the Magyars from the Urals to the Carpathians ......... 319

Notes... 6 ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee SDF VIN. THE CONQUEST 2. ee ee ee ee ee 325 1. The Magyars in the Etelk6z 2... 1. ee ee ee ee ee 325 2. The historical preliminaries of the Conquest .................... 330

3.TheConquest . 0... ee ee te ee ee ee eee BBD

Notes cee tee eee eee eee es 338 IX. THE MAGYARS IN THE CARPATHIAN BASIN... .........000-200. 339

1. The name of the Magyar tribal confederation. ..................,+ 34

2. Political organisation .. 2... 1... ee ee ee ee ee SA

3.Social structure 2... ee ee ee es 354

4,.Economy. 2... ee ee ee ee ee ee « 360

5. Religion, lore, culture... 2. ee ee ee ee 3E4

Notes 2. ee eee ee ee es 3D X. THE INTEGRATION OF THE MAGYARS WITHIN EUROPE. .............. 373 1. The integration of peoples, the types of ethnic change in the Middle Ages . . . . 373

2. The third integration of the Magyars ........................ 380

Notes... ee ee ee ee ee ee ee 383

XI, SUMMARY OVERVIEW 1... 0 1. ee ee ee ee ee ee 385



ANCIENT HUNGARIAN HISTORY .............2...2-.-.224624.-.. 395


HUNGARIAN CHRONICLE... 0... ee ee ee ee ee ee eee AB

Notes... ee ee eee eee ee ADM


Notes... ee ee ee HD) AND THE HUNNISH-MAGYAR KINSHIP .............2.628 0204806. 423


ANDYUGRIA............ 00 eee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee KDI

Notes... 0.0.00. eee te et ee ee ee ee eee ee 436

XVI. THE SZEKELY RUNIFORM SCRIPT... .......-. 000 eee ee eee ee ee 437

Notes .......0 0.00 cee ee ee ee ee ee ew ew ee FFF APPENDICES

BIBLIOGRAPHY. .............. 0 cee eee ee ee ee ee te ee ee ee ee ew FF] CHART OF RULERS. .......2..20.20202020 2.2.2... ee ee ee ee ee ee we ew FIT

CHRONOLOGICALINDEX ............. 2... 0 eee ee ee ee ee we ee ee FOS INDEX OF PROPER NAMES ................ 00800 ee peewee ee ees DIS INDEX OF WORDS, ETHNIC AND TRIBAL NAMES .................... 539 LIST OF MAPS, FIGURES AND PLATES ..................820+02-.2.. 561 SOURCES OF MAPS, FIGURES AND PLATES ...............+8+0888284. 565


This book is a modified and extended version of my book A honfoglalé magyar

nép [The conquering Magyar people] which appeared in 1996. The first Hungarian edition was out of print within three months, the second edition appeared in early 1997, and the third edition is going into print soon. In 1974, some sixty scholars joined forces in Szeged to lay the foundations

of a new approach to the ancient history of the Hungarians, or ‘Magyars’, as they call themselves. A five-volume study appeared as a result, entitled Bevezetés a magyar ostérténet kutatasanak forrasaiba (Introduction to the sources of Hungarian proto-history), published in Hungarian between 1976 and 1982. The team had very little time to complete the task, and faced great difficulties. The outcome had many shortcomings, only some of which can be

mentioned here. The publication lacked overt theoretical foundations, on account of the fact that the period the study was conceived in was still laden with Marxist ideology. Also, the scholarly standards were uneven, for we were unable to win or find the most suitable scholars to write certain chapters. Some

of the chapters were not completed in time and had to be covered from second-hand literature. The research group received no financial support whatsoever, and the volumes were eventually published as university textbooks. Nevertheless, despite all of its shortcomings, the work was a great SUCCESS.

The focusing of the volumes of the Szeged Proto-History Research Group (Magyar Ostérténeti Munkakozoésség) on source materials was not a matter of chance. It was justified to broaden the concept of “source material” and to encompass all data that would contribute to historical reconstruction. Not only the written sources, but also all linguistic, archaeological and anthropological

data had to be considered—the latter with the same rigour as the written sources. We ourselves were astonished by the fact that in the past decades no new sources had been discovered, and the critical evaluation of the known sources had long since been a neglected field. Instead of new critical editions, the literature tended to combine, over and over again, the existing data, often cited inaccurately. A few of these combinations were truly ingenious, but most

XIV Preface of them were unprofessional. Therefore, it became very important to collect, select and introduce new sources. It was also clear that the study of these sources had to regain its position in the curricula of the universities. For decades no scholars had been trained in this very difficult field of research. This accounted for the fact, among others, that the work was published as a university textbook. I myself began to teach early history and its connected fields in 1974 at

the Attila Jozsef University of Sciences in Szeged. In many respects this book was a summary of my lectures. It was, however, addressed to a broader readership, to university students, to teachers of history and to intellectuals interested in the early history of the Eurasiatic continent. The first part concentrates on methodology and the sources. One of the most difficult issues regarding this type of history is that the assessment of the different sources requires different competencies. Evidently, no single scholar has equal competence in all of the different fields. Therefore, the solution to the problem is collaboration. Collaboration, however, must follow a few basic principles. Firstly, the collaborators must understand the critical methods and basic constraints of each others’ fields of research. Secondly, the fewer hypotheses a scientific claim requires, the greater probability and acceptability it has. In other words, the fewer “asterisked” hypotheses needed, the more probable the result is. Of course, the use of a limited number of well-defined hypotheses is permissible, but one should not confuse hypotheses with facts, and one should certainly never take for granted a hypothetical claim of one related discipline in another related discipline and use that claim to construct another hypothesis. The third principle 1s that, although one should avoid infertile hyper-criticism, severity of criticism 1s most needed in those fields where the scantiness of the sources could prompt one to take advantage of obscurity. It 1s better, perhaps, to confess where present-day knowledge ends, and state openly if one cannot be sure. Open or unsolved questions can help, not hinder, the development of scholarship. Finally, as a fourth principle, it must be accepted that all related disciplines have their own methodologies which must be applied with full severity, without giving in for the other related disciplines’ sake. Besides drawing on the research and results of the members of the Szeged

Proto-History Research Group, this book also relies on the work of other Hungarian and foreign scholars. This is self-evident—the reason why I nevertheless have to point it out here is because, limited by its genre, this book cannot give an overview of the state of the art, and does not wish to argue with other views. | have intentionally neglected to mention authors by name in the main body of the text, for the reason that in various scientific articles and essays, 1.e. in works of a different genre, ] have already presented our debates, as well as the assessment of their opinions and arguments—or intend to do so

Preface XV in future. I am fully aware of opinions differing from my own, and the text should certainly make that clear. I believe that non-Hungarian readers would find most of such discussion uninteresting. However, 1n the reference sections after each chapter I have given a brief overview of the literature (more elaborate and different to the same parts in the Hungarian version). Those who

are interested in the last few decades of research in Hungary should read Chapter XII. My approach to the research of the early history of the Magyars and Eurasia differs from similar, previous undertakings. Firstly, 1 avoid the term “prehis-

tory” where possible. I give my reasons on p. 4. I have taken a different approach from my colleagues to the Hungarian chronicles written in Latin. The earliest Hungarian chronicle that has come down to us is a work written

in the last years of the 12th century, most probably a few years after the Hungarian King Béla III’s death in 1196. The anonymous author of this work

(called “Anonymus’), and the authors of the later chronicles, for instance Simon de Kéza or the author of the Chronicon pictum (Illuminated Chronicle) almost certainly drew on earlier works. Nevertheless, these chronicles—the texts of which have come down to us only in later copies—contain the early history of the Magyars as it was conceived 300 years after the Conquest. The

critical study of the Hungarian chronicles has been undertaken in Hungary, with good results. Nevertheless, in discussing the conquering Magyars and the history of the Magyar Conquest, I have taken a new approach vis-a-vis the

accepted—yet hardly regular—practice. I find it inadmissible to accept as genuine that portion of a given chronicle which fits the concept in mind. This does not mean that chronicles are useless as sources. At a closer look, they can reveal important elements of truth. It is the procedure, in my view, that should be reversed. An attempt should be made to reconstruct history with the help of contemporary sources, or with the help of those which are nearest to

the events. This approach gives a more meagre history, which then can be collated with the chronicles. The truly authentic portions of the later chronicles will be those that are identical with the reconstruction. Those which, at best,

do not run counter to it will remain food for thought. Hence the fact that the reader will not find anything in this book which entered historiography from the chronicles only. It fails to consider many picturesque parts of early Hungarian history recounted in some Hungarian and non-Hungarian handbooks. It is one of ancient Hungarian history’s peculiarities that it has many un-

written sources, as well as a great many sources written in a number of different languages. The research of language history and of the sources has developed at a great pace in international science, but not, alas, in many fields in Hungary. Due to this, long-obsolete opinions, provably incorrect data, and

XVI Preface results achieved by methods unacceptable today are currently in circulation in Hungary. In Hungary much of the investigations of the Magyars’ early history have been conducted by linguists. This was and 1s, as we shall see, unavoidable. We cannot fail to consider linguistic facts, such as proper names,

even in periods for which we do have written sources. However, the role of

linguistics in the reconstruction of the Magyar Conquest has often been exaggerated in the past. The “furor etymologicus” has hampered research heavily. Even if the Turkic etymology of one or another name of a tribe turns out to be correct, 1t does not mean that the tribesmen necessarily spoke a Turkic

language. We must not lose sight of the evidence revealed by the study of proper nouns—that is, the names of peoples and tribes, personal and place names. Provided their reconstruction 1s correct, they are linguistic facts. In historical reconstruction, however, they can only be used within limits. This is primarily because proper names do not have a literal meaning, but only a denotative function, which is why their etymology is rather vague. The fact that some kings of the House of Arpad were called Andras (Andreas, Andrew)

does not imply that the House of Arpad had a Greek origin, not even if the mothers of these kings were Greek. However, the Greek origin of the name can be safely established. Yet it remains to be answered how it infiltrated into the Hungarian language, and how the name that originally meant ‘man’ became a personal name also in Hungarian. Even very early on, popular etymology was at work in many proper names. For instance, Isidorus of Sevilla (565—636) has hundreds of these, not to men-

tion the Hungarian Anonymus who, like in many other things, succumbed to the current fashions. People simply cannot accept that proper names have a deictic function only, and will, therefore, assign a “proper” meaning to truly meaningless proper names. We shall see some clear examples later. Naturally, any language is in itself a veritable treasure trove of the history of those professing that language. But still, one must remain strictly critical.

The Hungarian words férd ‘knee’, kar ‘arm’, and gyomor ‘stomach’ are of Turkic origin, yet it does not mean that the Magyars were laden with physical defects before they encountered the Turks. In treating the linguistic sources I have sought to keep ambiguous statements at bay—as in all of the chapters. Hence, the reader will miss many linguistic explanations and rationale currently in circulation. I have included in the book a methodological introduction to the use of linguistic data for purposes of historical reconstruction. This is more detailed than the treatment of the methodology for using the other source types. Unfortunately, at times, not only linguistics, but archaeology also transgresses its field of authority. In Hungarian cemeteries, from the 1960s, cremation became more common than interment. This, combined with the oc-

Preface | XV1l cupation of Hungary in 1945 by the Red Army, could easily lead one to the assumption that the ethnic composition of the Hungarians changed, and a major new population settled in Hungary. The fact 1s, that no such change occurred. Archaeological sources in themselves cannot function as evidence of ethnohistoric change. Very often, erroneously, archaeological cultures have been identified with ethnic groups. At the same time, archaeology 1s a discipline which operates with an ever-increasing number of finds and always with new acquisitions, consequently all new archaeological facts require clarification. For this reason, I have devoted special attention to the methods of establishing chronology in archaeology, as well as to other methodological issues related to archaeological finds. However, I have neglected to discuss many archaeological cultures whose ethnic identification I could not deem guaranteed.

In this book, I considered the ethnic group as the subject of historical changes. In the methodological chapter I sought to make clear my concept of

ethnicity and ethnic history. I emphasised that it was never the origin, but rather, the historical change of an ethnic group that was relevant to history. In this respect I argue with the ethnographic approach taken by the earlier Hungarian schools of cultural anthropology. Descriptions offered by ethnology or comparative cultural anthropology can

be used as analogies, in certain cases. I have made good use of my earlier field-work among the nomads of Central Asia, especially of the ethnography of the Mongols. However, the use of analogies is restricted. Some customs

can change within a very short period of time, while others may remain unchanged for hundreds of years. I used such analogies with due caution and only when it was unavoidable.

Some of the Hungarian handbooks on early Magyar history do not give account of the broader context of the history of Eastern and Central Europe in the early Middle Ages. Yet many of the handbooks on the early Middle Ages were unable to include the Turks and the Hungarians in general history. Although the focus of my study is the early history of the Magyars, I have

sought to place their history in the context of their contemporary global history.

I have dealt with many details of the topics treated in a more general way in this book in several of my papers. I shall refer to them only in the notes or the general bibliography. Many of them were published in languages other than Hungarian, and are thus accessible to the non-Hungarian reader. As this book is being published, I am writing a monograph discussing Turkic loan words in the Hungarian language, the new results of which I have also used in this book.

XVIII Preface I felt I had to discuss some of the topics referred to in this book in greater detail. These I placed in Chapters XIJI-X VI. I also had to introduce some conventions. I have distinguished the Turkic-speaking Bulghars from the Slavonic-speaking Bolghars by the two variants of the same name, although | might have done it the other way round. I have to dwell here upon a seemingly terminological question. In Hungar-

ian historiography the events between 885 and 902 are referred to as the honfoglalas, which 1s a loan-translation of (but not entirely equivalent to) the German Landnahme. In the English-language literature these same events are in most cases described as the Conquest—although, of course, the historical

connotations of the acts of William the Conqueror in 1066 and those of the Magyars in the Carpathian Basin are not the same. The Hungarian term honfoglalas literally means ‘the settlement in the fatherland’, and is a term fully devoid of connotations suggesting ‘taking by force’. Some scholars writing in English have used the term “original settlement’, or simply “settlement”. However, ‘settlement’ has connotations which include the ‘settlement of a nomadic people’, ‘to become settled 1n villages’, etc. which, as we shall see, was not exactly the case. It has also been suggested to retain the Hungarian word (as, for instance, the German word Urheimat), in modern English. This would have made the text very awkward to read. Having weighed up the pros and cons I decided to use the accepted terminology of the British and American literature—with the caveat that the terminology is never a perfect reflection of the actual historical events. However, to distinguish 1t from other conquests, I have spelt it with a capital ‘C’. Finally, 1 would like to stress that I do not consider this book as a scholar-

ly monograph. Its aim is to inform rather than to argue. Some of the new claims in this book are dealt with in greater detail in Chapters XIII-XVI. The educated European and American reader may be interested who these Magyars are, where they came from, and last but not least, where our knowledge about the formation and early history of the Magyars comes from. I sincerely hope that this knowledge will find its way to textbooks and encyclopaedias which presently contain much obsolete information about the topics dealt with in this book.


I would like to express how greatly indebted I am to my professors for introducing me to this elaborate field of science. I learnt the basics of Turkology and Hungarian prehistoric research, as well as the methodology, from Jultus (Gyula) Németh. The fact that hardly any of his results have withstood the test of time is, paradoxically, a result of his very own work as a scholar and teacher. His studying the formation of the conquering Magyars, and not their origins was decisive, as he thus established the basis for future attempts. Louis (Lajos) Ligeti greatly expanded the pool of sources, while at the same time introducing significantly more severe critical methods. From Istvan Talasi, I received the basics in the application of ethnography in his-

torical studies. Gyula Ortutay introduced me to the field of comparative universal folkloristics. Of my many colleagues, whose scientific work and personal assistance was decisive in the course of my work, I shall only mention those who contributed greatly to this book. Their names, in alphabetical order, are: Lorand Benko, Istvan Bona, Ildiké Ecsedy, Gyérgy Gyorffy, Péter Hajdu, Janos Harmatta, Gyula Kristo and Gyula Laszl6. The bibliography of this book attests to the fact that it was not merely courtesy that persuaded me to mention their names. I would like to remember Jené Sztics who, in many respects, effected a turn in the research of ancient Hungarian history, and whose theoretical work is considered significant to this day (see pp. 396-397). Former students of mine, currently colleagues, also contributed to this work. Eva Csaki, Eszter Lénart and Janos Sipos gave immense help in editing and

formatting. Being the first educated readers of the book, they made many useful comments. Istvan Zimonyi has compiled a new translation of his selection of Muslim authors. I thank him for making available his then unpublished manuscript. Since then, these texts, translated by Zimonyi and others, have been published 1n a book edited by Gyula Krist6, containing the written sources of the conquest period (Krist6é, 1995d). Klara Agyagasi helped me find my bearings in contemporary Slavistic literature.

XX Acknowledgements Arpad Berta and Istvan Vasary very kindly agreed to read this book from the expert’s viewpoint. I would like to take the opportunity to thank them for their invaluable work and their opinions and comments which inspired reconsideration. Many of these I was able to incorporate in the book, but some of them I did not adopt—for lack of space, or because they had not convinced me. | have learnt much from the discussions that followed the publication of my Hungarian book. Two workshops were dedicated to this work, one at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the other at the Attila Jozsef University, Szeged. Some of my colleagues gave me their contributions also 1n a written form, among them Istvan Béna and Samu Szadeczky-Kardoss. I owe sincere thanks to all of them and I have done my best to correct some mistakes and inaccuracies mentioned by them. Ferenc Makk wrote a lengthy book review (Makk 1997) which gave stimulus for rethinking certain issues. My answer (Rona-Tas 1998e) and his rejoinder (Makk 1998) started a discussion. The preparation of the English version was in fact a re-writing of the original Hungarian, since the expected readers and their background are different from the Hungarians. The English edition offered a possibility to correct some of the mistakes which unavoidably crept into the first two editions. Since 1995 ] reached some new results, especially in the study of the history of the Khitans and the Bulghars which I included in the English version. I added a few new subchapters as well. All this was much helped by the Research Prize award-

ed by the Humboldt Foundation in 1995. I offer my sincere thanks to the Georg-August University, Gottingen, to my host Professor Dr. Klaus Rohrborn and to the Humboldt Foundation for their generosity. I would like to offer

my sincere thanks to Nicholas Bodoczky, the translator of this book, with whom we worked long months together. The help of Péter Tamasi and his team was indispensable in the extremely difficult work of editing the text and the indexes.

I was greatly inspired by the fact that the Szeged Proto-History Research Group, which came to life in the process of creating this work, was supported by Domokos Kosary, the then President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, by Laszlé Keviczky, Secretary General of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and by Rezsé Mészaros, the Rector of the Attila Jézsef University of Sciences. It 1s no fault of theirs, and neither is it a question of a lack of funds, that the research team was to set out in early 1996 with one member only. May the names of those who, during the past decades, made considerable efforts to prevent this work from coming into being, be conveniently shrouded in obscurity.

Szeged, December 1998

The author


All foreign words are transcribed into English, with the exception of those which were originally written in a Latin alphabet. In almost all cases, the usage found in the English literature has been adopted. Sounds usually transcribed in the scholarly literature as ¢, 5, Z are transcribed here as ch, sh, zh respectively. The affricate j is rendered by a simple /.

All Chinese names, titles and words are transcribed according to the socalled pinyin system which is the official Latin transcription in China. Where necessary, the transliteration of the original (non-Chinese) names or words are included, in parentheses. The bibliography includes the scientific transliteration of the names written in non-Latin alphabets, and the index includes the scientific transliteration of the proper names where necessary. The Hungarian names in the book, such as Almos, Termecsii, Etelk6z, etc., are spelt according to the modern Hungarian orthography. For readers unfamiliar with Hungarian pronunciation, here is a list of Hungarian sounds with their transcription according to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):

Consonants The consonants b, d, f| g, h, k, |, m, n, p, t, vandz are pronounced as in English, but unaspirated; r has an Italian-like trill.

cCS ts gets tf chip dz dz lends

Hungarian consonant Transcription English (or German) equivalent

jlyj jyes yes

dzs dz jar gy dj duke

XXII Translator’s notes

ny p new S f she SZ S sit

Hungarian consonant Transcription English (or German) equivalent

ty tj tumour ZS %, decision

aeéa e:a:ea name hot park bed 1 1 sit i0 12: See a) core com Vowels

6 D German Bohmen 0 g: German schén

u u hook u u: soon ui y German wiirde u y: German kihn





a) History, proto-history, ancient history History 1s the chronological existence of human societies. Historical science describes social existence above all—but not exclusively—from that viewpoint. The existence of human societies and their groups is continuous, which does not imply, however, that the history of a community lacks important or

less important events, or that certain communities do not emerge, prosper and decline, or even disappear. Yet the period names used in historical science—such as ‘antiquity’, ‘the Middle Ages’ or ‘the Neolithic Age’—are cat-

egories which serve description, understanding, education and communication between historians, rather than terms adequately reflecting real changes in history. The primary role of historical science 1s to reconstruct the stories of socie-

ties. Naturally, myriads of points of view and methods are available in this reconstruction process which will nevertheless always bring about abstraction and the highlighting of significant elements and relations, or those held to be significant. Moreover, reconstruction 1s always reduction too, for it does not describe every single event, but merely some of them. In the course of reconstruction, historical science nevertheless seeks to allow for as many

conclusions as possible regarding things that it does not and cannot describe—deductible from the few things that it can describe. A great many viewpoints and methods are available in the reconstruction of history, but because it 1s impossible to simultaneously take contradicting viewpoints into consideration (only complementing ones), it 1s expected of a

historian to make his own viewpoints or system of viewpoints clear in the introduction of his work. This book focuses on a certain category of people, to be defined below. Above all, it examines how that people was formed. It wishes to concentrate research on the formation and transformation of the people, not on origin. To this end, it draws on all the data contained in the sources, and if it becomes unavoidable, it makes up for the lack of sources with close analogies. It regards the formation of the people as a lengthy historical process, and examines it in the very context of world history which the formation of that people was itself part of. In the case of the Hungarians,

4 Methodological introduction and the sources this means, primarily European, more specifically Central and Eastern Euro-

pean history; one cannot, however, disregard the Eurasian steppe or the non-European parts of the Mediterranean, owing to the fact that the former saw major migrations, and the latter the expansion of the Muslim world. Conventionally, history is divided into two large periods. The first period covers the time from which no written sources have come down to us, hence it is only reconstructible with the help of indirect—non-written—sources. This period is conventionally called proto-history. However, the only arguments to support this bipartite division of history seem to be convention and practicality. The historical processes themselves are unlikely to change merely

because records are made of them, or of certain elements of them. Furthermore, classifying a phase in the history of a people as proto-history on the grounds that no written records of it exist, will not change the events of the past even if such written sources are later discovered. Naturally, our knowledge about that phase will change, but then, the discovery of non-written sources can also change our knowledge. The reason why this needs to be stressed 1s because the technical terms “proto-history” (in Hungarian: dstérténet) and “Hungarian proto-history” have gained ground in Hungarian historical science, and even outside the bounds of the science. For want of better expressions, | myself tend to use them, but they are hardly adequate. Hungarian proto-history is generally held to have ended in the 9th century AD—at a time when other, neighbouring peoples had long since entered their period of written history. The use of technical terms is not, of course, especially important. Still, I agree with those who prefer to say ‘ancient Hungarian history’ or ‘early Hungarian history’, rather than ‘Hungarian proto-history’ or ‘Hungarian prehistory’. The two questions regarding ancient Hungarian history are, then: when did it begin and when did it end? One can now give an answer, bearing in mind that this classification is, in effect, auxiliary rather than rudimentary. The closest answers we can get are by clarifying whose history we are talking about, that is, who the subject of this historical process is. But to set some kind of time limit for our discussions before focusing on the details, we should establish at the outset that the history of the Magyars began when they became a people proper. Anything before that will be considered the prehistory

of the Magyars. As the following chapter will point out, that is not a simple question either. Several events can mark the end of the ancient history of the Magyars, one of them being the conquest of the Carpathian Basin, the other the founding of the Hungarian state. Clearly, the elements of statehood date back to pre-Conquest times, and the Conquest was a major step towards the founding of a state. It is also clear that, as regards the founding of state, the coronation of Saint Stephen was, above all, a symbolical and legal act and an

Introduction | 5 outstanding event in setting up the state, but naturally the development of statehood did not stop there. After explicit and manifold deliberation, one can establish that ancient Hungarian history lasted from the Magyars becoming a

people proper to the founding of the Hungarian state, the date of which is associated with the symbolic and legal event of the coronation of Saint Stephen in 1000 AD, in fact on the first of January, 1001.

b) Peoples, ethnic groups, language, ethnic names,

culture, nation The use of various concepts and technical terms requires great care. We use words to denote concepts and technical terms: and those words have meaning and usage. Pertaining to the signifier (1.e. the word), meaning is, in effect, none

other than the complex entirety of the rules that describe how and to what purpose a word can be employed. This is important to establish, because the same word may be used differently according to the period and the context. Published in 1972, the Dictionary of the Hungarian Language provides five meanings of the word nép ‘people’, with examples in all cases. The example quoted to illustrate the fourth meaning, ‘a large group of people’, is hadi nép ‘armed group’, ‘army’. This particular use of the fourth meaning of the word is now obsolete in the Hungarian language, yet it lives on in compounds like népbetegség ‘pandemic disease’. One of the most common mistakes in the use of technical terms is to project the modern meaning and the rules of usage of a word back to a period when the concept denoted by that word either did not exist yet, or both word and

concept existed, but the word had a different meaning and different rules of usage. Unfortunately, no real distinction is made between the technical terms people and nation. Assuming that the concepts denoted by ‘people’ and ‘nation’ were identical in the 11th century, for instance, can bring about major misapprehension. Actually, what we call people today was different then, and what we call nation today did not exist. Social groups, as well as the name of

necessarily identical. | those groups, have a history of their own, yet the two are by no means

Next, let us examine the various uses of the word nép ‘people’ in Hungarian compounds currently in use. Here are some examples: if a statistician takes a

population census (népszamlalas), he must provide himself a definition of what he is about to count. If a literary scholar sets out to study Hungarian populist writers (népi irdk), he is focusing on something quite different than the expert of economic geography who will delve into the issues of depopulation (elnéptelenedés). When a historian studies the migration of peoples

6 Methodological introduction and the sources (népvandorlas), he has a quite different notion of people than a psychologist who concerns himself with the problems of popularity (népszeruség). But an ethnographer (néprajzos) is also looking at something different, depending whether he opts for the traditional approach, or takes up a modern one. In the former case he will examine the media of peasant culture, while in the latter he will make his subject communities of any profession, definable by common customs and culture. Taken from the Hungarian language, the above examples attest to the fact that even the various sciences tend to use terms differently. And as one shifts from the more rigorous sciences to the realm of everyday language, the meaning of technical expressions really fades, and the boundaries of usage rules dissolve. What this suggests 1s that such terms cannot be applied, or they cannot be used to develop theories. The majority of scientific debates are a hopeless drift of words, due to the lack of consensus regarding the concepts and the words denoting concepts. There are two ways to resolve the situation. Either some kind of definition is created which the users of the expression agree on: here and now, in this book, in this science, or at this meeting we define, for instance, the word people

thus. Or, alternatively, one may attempt to avoid polysemous words, and introduce a scientific term. It is undoubtedly more convenient to introduce the Greek word ethnos, although virtually disregarding what the word once meant

in Athens, or how the Greeks themselves used it in the time of Alexander the Great. What justifies the latter procedure is that our conclusions will be influenced less by the use of a Greek word than the history, meaning and usage of a proposed word of a present-day language. However, nothing exempts us from defining the meaning we denote ethnos. And once we have defined it, we are free to affirm that we shall be using the

word people the same way in this context. The term ethnos and the word people—as a technical term—will hereafter be considered identical. The first will be used in a theoretical context, the other in the narrative sections. Ethnos, or, in context, people, will mean a historically evolved group with a common semiotic system, whose members consciously distinguish themselves from other ethnic entities, and which possesses a permanent self-designation. Of all semiotic systems, language is the most important. The reason why ethnos is not defined as being a group with a common language (among others) is not merely because people and language must be distinguished from one another. We shall consider culture, too, as a semiotic system: a system of signs _ and symbols which the members of the given group use to communicate and to identify each other. Also, there are some exceptional cases when ethnic identity does not presuppose linguistic identity. The semiotic system may include costume which, for instance, reveals not only ethnic belonging, but

Introduction 7 also marital and social status. Costume is more than dress/clothing in that it forms part of such systems. Semiotic systems also include burial customs, greetings, etc. It is easier to see that identical language does not necessarily mean identical ethnos, although that is preponderantly the case. The Americans and the English, the Spanish-speaking South American Indians and the Spaniards of Spain, or the Germans of Switzerland and of Germany are evidently different ethnic entities. When several different groups belong to the same ethnos, their different languages notwithstanding, the situation is more complicated. There are two types of such cases. In the first case, a people shifts from one language to another, retaining its ethnic identity. The French, for instance, fall into this

category. The Celtic and Germanic locals were subdued by a governing stratum of Roman origin. The majority then adopted the language of the minority. Not only did the biological community remain identical, but also many elements of custom and culture. The change of one portion of a semiotic

system does not necessarily entail the change of its other parts. Making its way towards the east from the Iberian Peninsula, the Jewish community reached the Rhine region in the 10th century. Here it abandoned its native Hebrew tongue to the German dialect characteristic of that region, which naturally features Hebrew elements, some Old French picked up during the

journey, as well as some Slavonic from later on. This Yiddish-speaking community retained its ethnic identity despite the change of language. If the shift of language takes place slowly, in three or four generations, for instance, then the ethnic group can “translocate”, through the language shift, all those elements of its formerly common system of signs which were not strictly bound by language, and can thus preserve its name, ethnic identity, and its isolation from the others. In many cases the language shift 1s followed by ethnic change, at a slower pace. The Cumanians of Hungary became part of the Hungarian ethnos much slower than they lost their Turkic language. Until very recent times, they have formed an independent ethnic group within the Hungarian ethnos. Inhabitants of the Mongolian Empire did not attribute significance to the fact that they spoke Turkic and not Mongolian; not only did they call themselves Tatars, but also considered their group to have had Mongolian ancestors in their legends of origin. As a prerequisite, they were, to a certain extent, bilingual. This type of bilingualism was more common in the past than it is today. Political loyalty or political mimicry must have brought about such alterations of consciousness which, despite the use of a different language, resulted in an identical semiotic system manifesting itself in common self-

8 Methodological introduction and the sources confinement and self-designation. Such cases are, however, rare and hardly, if ever, lasting. Among the important characteristics of ethnos or people is the fact that it has a common ‘we-consciousness’ which sets it apart from the other communities of a similar order. These we-consciousnesses are, naturally, intermingled or constructed on one another, and hence one may share the we-consciousness of a hamlet, a village, the land, the country or the continent. With ethnic groups, however, this always comes with an ethnic name, a self-designation which is a permanent characteristic of that community. Permanence is very important, because groups, moreover ethnic groups, can change their self-designation. There are three types of Uighurs living in China today. The so-called Yellow Uighurs, the descendants of the ancient Uighur people, live in the Chinese province of Gansu. One group of theirs preserved its old Turkic language, another group became Mongolianised and currently speaks modern Mongolian. The large population of Uighurs living primarily in China and also, in fewer numbers, in Russian Turkestan adopted this ethnic name as a result of a decision made by the leading members of the local literati. The name of the Turkic-speaking south Siberian Oyrots was changed to Altai by a decree. Identical ethnic name does not necessarily mean identical ethnic content. This point, and ethnic names in general, will be discussed below. Although the most important properties of ethnos are a common semiotic system, common we-consciousness and a permanent self-designation, there are a great many other traits which appear together with groups definable as ethnos. These include, among others, common origin, or the consciousness of common descent. It must be stressed that the consciousness of common descent, 1.e. the belief that the community has a common forebear, very rarely reflects actual facts. It originates from the “enlargement” of the family as a key social group. Like a family (the paternal line) is a descendant of one ancestor, likewise common descent plays a role in the identity of the larger units, in for instance the clans, tribes, or the people as a whole. But the larger and more complex the unit is, the vaguer the identity of actual biological descent. However, “in return” the consciousness of descent becomes more significant, and this has a legitimising

role, i.e. it contributes to community bonding and the establishment of community rights. The consciousness of common descent is always artificial in the sense that it is propagated by the authoritative members of the given community. It is fashioned and passed down within the community by certain groups responsible for sustaining and mediating culture: shamans, priests, chroniclers, bards, i.e. the “mediums” of ancient societies. While common descent is not, generally speaking, genuine, the existence, operation and role

Introduction 9 of descent consciousness is very much genuine; moreover, it plays an important role in the development of ethnic identity. The “forebears” of common descent are real or mythical persons, but are often animals or even plants. The term we use in the latter case is totem. In the history of ethnos, instances of tracing back to several different common ancestors also often occurs, due to the fact that the logic—or, to borrow Karoly Marot’s term, the pre-logical reasoning—that prevails in these processes of consciousness is rather unique or, one might say, mythological. This accounts for the fact that the leading strata of the conquering Magyars believed that they were of Attila’s progeny, while they concurrently held that the forebear of the ruling Magyar dynasty was a hawk (see Chapter XIV). As it will be

pointed out, the descent from Attila is not a historical fact, but rather, a legitimising “reference”. Prior to the time of Chingis Khan, the leading strata of a number of nomadic steppe peoples believed they were descended from Attila, just as Christian peoples in the Middle Ages were convinced they were the progeny of the sons or grandsons of Noah while, at the same time, their very own rulers held they were the offspring of Caesar or Charlemagne.

The consciousness of common descent of different peoples, however, greatly varied during the ages—partly depending on the characteristics of their given cultures. And until the end of the Middle Ages, the belief in a common ancestor was not a prerequisite of ethnic identity, but rather, a frequent concomitant.

Common land plays an important role in the continuity of an ethnos. Evidently, if one part of the group moves away, or the communication between certain groups of the ethnos 1s hindered by natural obstacles (such as a large

river, or insuperable mountains and forests), the common culture and language, that is, the semiotic system, will shatter. Any innovation conceived in one place will not spread over to the isolated group. This process is not irreversible, because the groups can maintain connections and “keep in touch” for some time. This must have happened to the various segregated groups of Magyars prior to the Conquest. Common land 1s not then a prerequisite of a common ethnos, but if the common land ceases to exist, the splintered groups of that ethnos will peel off to develop as separate ethnic entities, and eventually differences will outnumber similarities. A common political organisation can also play a role in maintaining the unity of an ethnos, whether it is a tribal confederation, a nomadic empire, or a primaeval state. A political organisation’s chief significance can be 1n forming the common we-consciousness. Underlying the endless fights is always the “them” versus “us” opposition. The fights for hunting and grazing grounds, for trade and levying taxes called for the constant reinforcement—or often alteration—of the consciousness of group identity. At the same time, belong-

10 Methodological introduction and the sources ing to one ethnos is not identical, or is not necessarily identical, with belonging to the same political organisation. Nomadic political organisations were

powerful forces in fostering ethnic identity: ethnic mimicry can be well observed here, as for instance, in the Mongolian Empire. The power of these nomadic establishments, or Oriental empires, lay in the fact that they would, from time to time, allow ethnic separation. Making fairly steady headway under unchanged circumstances in the long term, the otherwise extremely slow process of ethnic assimilation can be achieved, as a matter of fact, by the toleration of separation. China or the Ottoman Empire are good examples here. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the demarcation of the Jewry living under the Ottoman Turkish Empire was much better tolerated than in many European Christian states. The Nobel Prize winning writer Elias Canetti gives a very vivid account of this. The status of the Magyars within the Khazar Empire must have been especially interesting in this respect, because despite the fact

that the Magyars maintained manifold ties with the culture of the Khazar Empire, they eventually succeeded in preserving their ethnic identity. Political organisations have yet another role regarding ethnic groups. The “us” versus “them” opposition demands “borders” of some description. “That is where our area ends”, “this is up to where we dwell’, “this is how far ‘our land’ extends”. These borders are very diverse, and projecting the notion of modern frontier lines back to ancient times would be a great mistake. However, the “management” of geographical space is one of the functions of political organisations. Political organisations play a very important role in separation. The “management” of geographical space, and the staking out of the im-

portant points of space not only occurred at the perpetually debated points of the borders, but also in the choice of the “holy places” of an ethnos and in reinforcing its cult. The holy mountain of the Turks, the Otiiken (in the Hangai mountain range of the Republic of Mongolia) assumed a very important role in the identity of the Turkic people between the Sth and 7th centuries, as attested by early-8th-century ancient Turkic inscriptions. The real or presumed

grave of the founder of an empire or religion can also become an important community symbol, an intrinsic part of identity. The grave of Attila, Genghis Khan, or Muhammad can serve concurrently as a symbol of religious and community identity. Naturally, religion or religious beliefs can play a part in the identity of an ethnos. The common identity of people who worship the same divinities or god is also distinguished by the fact that another community adores other gods and performs different rites. Having ascertained that it was not religious difference that made the members of one ethnos form a separate ethnos, likewise it 1s easy to see that the members of different religions can nonetheless belong to one ethnos, on account of the identicalness of their other constituent

Introduction 1] semiotic systems. Protestantism and Catholicism did not bring about ethnic segregation among Hungarians, yet the situation with the Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim faiths in the former Yugoslavia 1s quite a different matter. Let us now examine how contemporaneous sources describe the concept of ethnos. In the winter of 558-559, the Byzantine emperor Justinian tried to persuade the prince of the Turkic Utrigur people to attack the Kutrigur, who posed a threat to Byzantium at that time. The most detailed description of the event was recorded by Menander Protector. The emperor promised the ruler of the Utrigur that, provided he defeated the Kutrigur, he would inherit the money the emperor annually paid the ruler of the Kutrigur. However much he would have liked to have maintained ties with Byzantium, the prince of the

Utrigur nevertheless refused, arguing that it would be an execrable and improper thing to eliminate the Kutrigur, his relatives who belonged to the

same people (phyle), for “they not only speak the same language as we [homoglossoi], and have dwellings [homoskenoi], clothing and a way of life [homoia hrontai stole kai diaite| similar to our own, but they also have the same descent [ksyngeneis]. Yet we shall certainly take away the horses of the Kutrigur for our own use (which Justinian himself had also demanded), to prevent them from riding them in their forays on the Romans”. Undoubtedly, what we are witnessing here is a Greek’s interpretation of the way the Turkic nomads of the East European steppe saw the notion of identical ethnic group. To the Magyars, who then already lived in a Turkic environment, these re-

lations must have been essentially similar. Over and above the common semiotic system—1.e. language, similar dwellings, clothing and way of life— the consciousness of common descent was also important. And even if they were ruled by different chieftains, and they occasionally stole each other’s horses, they nevertheless belonged to one ethnos, and to a certain extent they outwardly acted together. Regino, whose scholarly activities are highly significant in connection with the Conquest-period history of the Hungarian people, wrote his Synodalibus causis around 906. In it, he establishes that the difference between peoples

lies in that they differ in origin, morals, language and laws (se discrepant genere, moribus, lingua, legibus). If, however, we take a look at the names of peoples listed or mentioned by Regino, we find that either he names peoples according to the land where they dwell (austrasiti, aquitani, carantani, pannonii), or he returns to the old tribal names (e.g. saxones, baioarii). Actually, in the 10th century the only significant question, which made a difference, was whether a people was Christian (populus christianus), or an enemy of the faith, fierce and disgraceful (ferocissima, nefondissima). The language and mor-

als of the latter type were simply classified as barbaric (lingua et moribus barbari), and differentiation between them was not considered worthy of dis-

12 Methodological introduction and the sources cussion. Of course, if those barbarian peoples were to become allies, their differences immediately gained significance. There may have been a difference between the 10th-century chroniclers and the 6th-century Greek authors in attitude, but certainly not in fundamental principles!

To summarise: the definition of the concept of ethnos used in this book comprises some indispensable elements. These include a common semiotic system, we-consciousness and a permanent self-designation. These are the constituent elements. Yet there are various other factors that play an important part in the subsistence or decline—i.e. in the life—of an ethnos which, however, are not necessarily preconditions to the identity of a people, and whose absence does not alter the fact that we are talking about an ethnos. These

primarily include the consciousness of common descent, common territory, common political organisation and common religion. These are the formative

elements. |

Finally, it must be stressed that although ethnos is a general category, its varieties, operational structures and the priority of its elements are, neverthe-

less, highly diverse and variable in space and time. Ethnos is, therefore, a historical category. Consequently, a broader definition can now be given: ethnos—people—is a general category, but in substance historical. Ethnos is that historically formed aggregate of people which has a common semiotic system; whose members think of themselves as being separate; which

possesses a permanent self-designation; and in whose formation the consciousness of common descent, common territory, common political organisation, common religion and other factors can play an important role. The existence of the latter can only help—their absence hinder—the existence of an ethnos. The science concerned with ethnos has a subsidiary discipline which is concerned with the genesis of peoples. For a long time in the past, ethnogenesis gave priority to the origin of a people, to the detriment of the formation of a people. Researching into the origins means focusing on the forebears, while examining the formation of a people involves studying the components and processes. The rather illusive idea underlying research of the forebears 1s that any person or community has an ancestor from which it 1s descended in a single, direct line. What this suggests is that the ancestor in a patrilineal society is the father, the father’s father, etc., and the ancestor of the ethnos, too, can be traced back along similar lines. This approach goes back to the early legal system which regulated the inheritance of property and power by registering paternal descent. But what actually is the situation? Let us take as an example a currentday Hungarian. He or she has, or had, two parents, four grandparents and eight great-grandparents. Let us suppose, for the sake of simplicity, that four

Introduction 13 generations succeed one another in every century, 1.e. everyone has a child at the age of 25. This means forty generations in a thousand years, that is, a millennium ago each individual should have had 2*° ancestors. Which is the equivalent of 1,099,512,000,000—roughly 1100 billion individuals. Given that the Earth has 4 billion inhabitants today, the above number 1s 270 times the Earth’s population. In reality, the number of actual ancestors 1s, naturally, lower—due to the fact that society generally disallows (or, at least, penalises) marriage between second and third cousins, but not between fourth, fifth and remoter cousins. Consequently, the children born in such marriages may have had the same ancestor—five generations down, for instance. This means that 2° (64), the theoretical number of anéestors, must be reduced by two in the sixth generation, provided the parents were fourth cousins. In such cases, then, the number of ancestors 1s not 64, but only 62. This so-called reduction number is not significant in the sixth generation yet, but it increases squarefold, since cousinhood remoter than the fourth degree is rarely recorded, and marriage is not forbidden. The calculation of the exact number of ancestors would require social statistics, such as exact childbirth and marriage rates.

Six ancestors will be counted 1f one confines oneself to the paternal line in tracing back one’s forebears six generations down, and if there was no reduction, fifty-eight ancestors will have been neglected. That, naturally, leads to major distortions not only biologically, but also culturally. What this means in effect, is that not only every individual has significantly

less ancestors than is mathematically possible, but also that all individuals have a large number of common ancestors. This is why ethnogenesis theories today are much more concerned, among others, with when and how a new ethnic group emerged, given the many formative factors. The instance of ethnic formation and decay is extremely diverse. Reinhard Wenskus, for instance, sought to answer why the Chinese Empire assimilated the nomadic peoples and why the Roman Empire did not. According to Wenskus, the imperial identity in the Roman provinces was weaker than the ethnic identity of the “barbarian” nomadic (e.g. Germanic) hordes. Thus, the ethnic identity of the Germanic tribes changed in substance, but nevertheless remained unshaken. As Jeno Sziics pointed out, the “first wave” of Germans—as well as the Avars, Turks and finally the Magyars who arrived much later—lost (or, in the case of the Magyars, preserved) their ethnic identity in different ways. One of the most exciting issues in the history of the conquering Magyars is why the Magyar people was able to keep its head above water, while other peoples before them in the Carpathian Basin (the Huns, the Gepidae, the Longobardi, the Avars and a great many smaller peoples) simply

disappeared. Walter Pohl established three categories of Eastern European ethnogenesis: the Avar, the Bolghar and the Slav types. One may confidently

14 Methodological introduction and the sources add the Magyars to his list. The Avars disappeared, the Bulghars yielded to Slavonic influence, and the Slavs themselves failed to achieve a uniform state.

The Magyars, however, survived without changing their language, and also they managed to establish a state. This issue will be discussed in detail in Chapter X (see pp. 373-383). We must now touch upon the category of nation. Nation 1s a relatively recent

political category, although its preliminaries go back a long way, and its elements were present in earlier times. In the Middle Ages, the crystallisation of the nation began earlier with those peoples whose ethnic and state boundaries roughly coincided. Looking for a date, one can say that the modern nation was created in 1791 when the French constitution ruled that sovereignty was the nation’s own. True, it is customary to talk about the political nation and the cultural nation. Common state establishment is suggested to bind the nation in the former, while culture in the latter. Although the concept of the cultural nation appeared first in Rousseau and only later in Herder, it primarily reflected those German, Italian and Polish efforts that sought to establish a common state under the

pretext of culture. While the political nation is politics materialised, the cultural nation 1s the politics of materialisation. Clearly, political sovereignty,

too, is becoming restricted, and in today’s global world, in the European Union, or even in the Benelux states sovereignty is nowhere near unlimited. But even if the substance of sovereignty is undergoing change, it is unlikely that the concept of nation will be significantly affected. But it would be a mistake to project back to the past an unchanged present-day, past or future concept, and to thus term as “nation” such formations that did not and could not meet the criteria. Mention was made of culture being a system of signs. We must also refer to archaeological culture. Archaeological culture is not only the collective term for certain types of objects, but also for burial and—if observable—set-

tlement customs. It is usually named after the most important or the first excavated site of a specific type. An archaeological culture has scope in time

and space which newly excavated finds may modify. The succession of archaeological cultures in a given place is important, for it provides for chronological observations. In many instances, an archaeological culture has, or can have, local varieties, chronological layers of different ages. Whether archaeological cultures can be associated with peoples is a serious problem. Opinions regarding the issue range from full rejection to blind faith. Fallacious reasoning can be extremely detrimental. A person, for whatever reason, believes that such and such people lived in such and such geographical environment at such and such time. He or she finds that archaeologists have

identified a given culture of the same age and locality, which leads to the

Introduction 15 assumption that the people he or she happens to be studying may be the vehicle for the archaeological culture in question. In the next round, the archaeologist takes this identity for granted, and claims without any further proof whatsoever that the archaeological culture in question was created by the mentioned people. Then the next scholar, linguist or historian comes along and refers to the fact that “as X archaeologist has pointed out” the archaeological culture in question confirms the existence of the given people.

The truth is that, as in many cases, costume and customs may change without the change of the people who possess them. Fashion has always had some kind of a role, even if its history did work slightly differently in the past than it does nowadays. It may be true that burial ceremonies and the related beliefs are extremely hardy, yet it 1s equally true that fundamental beliefs and customs can change without the transformation of the population. In many European countries, but foremost in Hungary, interment was superseded by cremation in front of our very eyes, without any migration activity accounting for it whatsoever. Often immigrants will, for many reasons, adopt the costume or burial customs of the locals, but conversely, the locals, too, often adapt to minority immigrants who enjoy a high prestige. Identifying archaeological cultures with ethnic entities is easiest where the present-day cemeteries of a group of people living in one locality can be traced back in time. Naturally even that 1s no full guarantee. However, the settling in of a people which introduces a new way of life, can be very telling. For instance, if an equestrian, nomadic people settles in a local fishing and hunting community, the population will definitely change, but next to nothing can be found out about the extent of that change. Occasionally, inscriptions inform us about the deceased in a cemetery. For instance, the famous Volga Bulghar epitaphs tell us all about

the inhabitants of the Volga—Kama region in the 13th and 14th centuries. It was among these that the ethnic name Magyar appeared. However, the large religions like Christianity and Islam on the one hand unify burial customs, and on the other, they reduce (or often eliminate) the features that imply ethnic difference. Fortunately, where the great religions cropped up, so did literacy—which, given an adequate critical approach, we are left to rely on in identifying peoples.

16 Methodological introduction and the sources 2. CHRONOLOGY AND CHRONOLOGICAL ASSUMPTIONS _ First and foremost we must establish a chronological setting, and name the ~

periods in which the ancient history of the Magyars took place. Coal

a) The geohistoricaleras i The geohistorical period we shall be concerned with is the most recent one, the Quaternary. Its first epoch was the Pleistocene which began two, or two | and half million years ago. The reason why the Pleistocene is important in our context is because it was in this epoch that mankind evolved. True, it was then | Homo sapiens fossilis, or the Neanderthal Man that inhabited one part of the

Earth. This race died out, and was superseded by today’s races. Often in | geological history great parts of the Earth were covered in ice. The most recent glacial period, the so-called Wiirm Period lasted until the end of the Pleisto-

cene, until ca. 10 000 BC. These two events delimit the prehistory oflanguages and peoples. The Neanderthal Man probably had a sign system of some description comprising sounds, with which he was able to convey his thoughts, | but it was different in every respect from later human speech. Also, we must

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| 1. Terminology, methods It is extremely difficult to translate the Hungarian term dstérténet. The word has a historically conditioned connotation. Literally it can be rendered both as ‘the history of the ancestors (ds ancestor’) and as ‘prehistory, the time before history’. In most cases it denotes the ‘origins’, the ‘history of the origins’. The term dstérténet was not in favour for a long time, while beginning with the 1980s it has become a fashion. This is behind the fact that in some cases"

40 Methodological introduction and the sources | have used proto-history, in others prehistory for translating the Hungarian dstorténet. The issues of ethnicity, people, nation and linguistic relationship, as well as the earlier literature,

are discussed in Réna-Tas (1978a) which was an extended version of my dissertation for the : DSc degree at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Later I developed my views and they have been summarised in Réna-Tas (1988a), a paper read before the Academy of Rhein-Westphalia, see also Réna-Tas (1989). My views were greatly influenced by the works of Jené Sztics who first outlined his ideas in Sziics (1966). His ideas can be followed in Sziics (1981) in German, and in Sztics (1986) in French. His book on the “three historical regions of Europe” had a great impact on Hungarian historical and political thinking. The English version was published in 1983, the German in 1990. For his other works see the bibliography. The Hungarian Komoréczy

discussed the concept of ethnicity and nation in Komordéczy (1992). Packed with important conclusions, his studies unfortunately disregard the differences between ethnos and nation. See also E. Canetti’s (1977) autobiographical novel. The full Hungarian translation of Mendander Protector’s text is available in Lukinich (1905, pp. 59-60), which I adopted with minor modifications in Réna-Tas (1989, p. 9 = Réna-Tas 1995a, p. 175). The famous place is also cited by Pohl (1988, p. 21). The Greek original is available in De Boor’s edition Excerpta(1903, pp. 170-171). Wenskus (1961) is a fundamental work in the field. H. Wolfram continued the work Wenskus had begun, see, for instance, Wolfram (1979b, 2nd edition 1980), as well as the publications of the Vienna scientific circle, hence Wolfram—Daim (1980); Wolfram— Schwarcez (1985); Friesinger—Daim (1985); Wolfram—Pohl (1990); Friesinger—Daim (1990). For Wolf-

ram’s article on the types of ethnogenesis see Beumann—Schréder (1985, pp. 97-152). For Pohl’s article on the types of ethnogenesis see Wolfram—Pohl (1990, pp. 113-124). For further research consult Entstehung (1985); Girtler (1982). The works of some German scholars of this field are published in Studien zur Ethnogenese I-II, 1985, 1988. Of the articles published in these volumes, special mention must be made of the study of W.E. MithImann (Studien I, 1985, pp. 9-28); J. Untermann (Studien I, pp. 133-164) discussed the relations of language and ethnic history. The same publication includes Réna-Tas (1988a, pp. 107-142 = Rona-Tas 1995a, pp. 275-310). Although not fully devoid of ideological constraints, van den Berghe (1987) gives a good overview of the issues of ethnicity. Bromlej (1976) is outdated, but interesting. Anderson

(1990) represents a modern trend in nation research. He claims that modern communication technology has significantly contributed to the emergence of nations. See also Gellner (1987).

The latest overview available to me on the issues of nation and nationalism was Greenfield ,

(1992), the topic is, however, inexhaustible and the bibliography endless. ,

and |

2. Chronology and chronological assumptions

3, The role of the natural sciences in determining age

I wrote these chapters primarily drawing on the studies contained in Hajdi—Krist6—R6na-Tas __ (volume IV), and especially the chapters written by Mrs Magda Komlos Jarai, Laszl6 Kordos, Sandor Somogyi, Janos Tardy and Péter Marton. I would hereby like to take the opportunity to thank these authors for their contribution. For a summary see Rona-Tas (1979). I am aware that research has progressed in the last decades. For an up-to-date natural geographical outlook on

Introduction | | 4] the Carpathian Basin and the Etelkéz, see Gyérffy—Zélyomi (1994, pp. 34-37) which also has an ample bibliography. Consult R6na-Tas (1978a) on linguistics as an ancillary discipline used for establishing chronology. For the latest literature in historical linguistics, a review of research, and a bibliography, see Bynon (1977) and Anttila (1989). Sociolinguistics lends fresh help to historical linguistics and here the works of Labov are of eminent importance. There exist a handful of university textbooks on sociolinguistics and most deal with historical changes as well. See Labov (1994). The spreading of coniferous and deciduous trees, and the questions of

the Urheimat of the Uralic peoples have been discussed in detail by Hajdi (1971, 1976), - Hajdt—Domokos (1978, pp. 45-57; 1987, pp. 273-299). The Swadesh method was first propounded in Swadesh (1950); the first decade of the method was reviewed by Hymes (1960). Literature and Hungarian opinions are available in Fodor (1961) and Réna-Tas (1978a, pp. 243-251). The questions of k > h chronology were first discussed by Barczi (1952, 1965, 1971, 1972). See also Ligeti (1986, pp. 27-28), and Rona-Tas

(1988d) and below (p. 106). |



| |. THE CONCEPT OF SOURCE MATERIAL | _ In this work the concept of “source material” is broader than usual. This expanded concept was first employed in 1976 in the volumes of the Szeged Proto-History Research Group. We consider as sources, all factual material from which information can be obtained, directly or indirectly, regarding the

ancient history of the Magyars. Since written material on the period is relatively scarce, naturally the significance of other sources is greater. Besides written sources we have used language itself as a historical source, and also archaeological research, physical anthropology, ethnography and numerous

other scientific methods. This complex or interdisciplinary approach was _ always utilised in research. One great problem is that the scope of some researchers—due to the rapid “expansion” apparent in these sciences—simply

cannot cover all the different source fields. The use of incomplete, old or simply out-of-date results from neighbouring branches of science also poses a threat. Sometimes we experience very specific selections. Among the results of related sciences there is a tendency to withhold those findings which either do not agree or could only with difficulty be reconciled with individual “pet”

theories. At other times we can observe that type of indirect proof which is merely mentioned somewhere as a potential hypothesis but which is accepted as proof in another science, and as such, theories are then built on the back of it. After this, the person who put forward the idea as a hypothesis in the first _ place then quotes the findings of his colleagues as proving his idea. It is not possible to completely eliminate these difficulties as they go hand in hand with

any study of a complex science such as this. Even so, every effort must be made to avoid these pitfalls. This is only possible if one has a good under- — standing of the nature of the sources, and their limitations, and thus in our work we endeavour to speak not only about the evidence provided by the sources but also about the limitations of these sources, and in every case we complete a source critique. Naturally this does not mean that every person, in every case, has to start everything right from the beginning, but a sober critical

approach always provides greater safety. a a

44 Methodological introduction and the sources 2. SOURCE CRITICISM Every source type and every individual source demands a different critical approach, and there are certain general principles which are equally valid for large source groups. Let us take a simple historical event, for instance the rise | to power of a ruler. The event itself occurs in a temporal frame, and it is by no

means certain that the entire process will be observed, rather perhaps only | highly symbolic events (election, coronation, etc.). The event is recorded, the record passes into the written source, the written source is completed, the _ author finishes or maybe edits his work, and then later he may even transcribe

or enlarge the document. After completion, and sometimes within the lifetime of the author and under his supervision, it is copied, the final work is then later __ still copied again, while later writers take extracts or quote from it. These nine

stages describe merely the simplest of cases. It is not uncommon to find corrections, omissions and later additions, etc. made to details in the source. The majority of copies are made long after completion of the original, and thus it is necessary to reconstruct retrospectively the original text from the — copies. Occasionally, to decide what exactly was in the original, it is necessary

to compare the copies and their provenance. And we are yet to mention forgeries, errors and mistakes, whether intentional or from sheer ignorance. _ Clearing up all these presumes an understanding not only of the language of | the sources but of the writing, the specific orthography and abbreviations as well. Naturally, historians must often rely upon those who professionally edited the sources, because they are simply unable to complete source critiques

in every case. However, an effort must be made to use critiques, and if the historian is unable to complete such, it must be clear exactly what problems

the source brings with it. Source criticism cannot only enquire into the understanding of the language and writing, the palaeography of the source, | but the publisher must be in possession of those facts upon which unclear, problematic aspects can be interpreted and explained. With the advances being

made by researchers, science is constantly being enriched by ever newer discoveries, and for this reason source critiques should be continually updated

for some time to come, even if the original work was completed in a fully

professional manner in its time. - | | | Source interpretations must be separated from critiques, and this is true even

if the task is not always straightforward. The interpretation of source infor-

interpretation. |

mation, of course, influences (or can have an influence on) the critique. | However, it is methodologically pertinent to differentiate between critique and Unfortunately, one has to note that among the written sources covering ancient Hungarian history there are only very few where the critical analysis

The sources | | | 45 has been carried out to a satisfactory and modern standard. A notable exception is the publication of the De administrando imperio. — Sources can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. In the sources themselves, the quantity and quality of information directly related to the Magyars, as well as data which can be linked to this topic, are restricted. For the period prior to

the Conquest we have sufficient sources relating to the neighbours of the Magyars to be able to reconstruct the history of the area subsequently also settled by the Magyars. In the following we attempt to sketch out an Eastern European history in which the pre-Conquest Magyars undoubtedly had a part. Thus we have only taken into consideration what the sources have to say about the area bounded by the Eastern European steppe and forested steppe belt, the Ural mountains and river, the region defined by the Caucasus, the Black Sea and the eastern side of the Carpathians, and those details relating to the Balkan region. Those sources relating to the state of the Carpathian Basin prior to the Conquest, respectively to the Conquest itself, constitute a separate group. __

3. THE WRITTEN SOURCES — | The brief outline of written sources is presented according to the language of the source, and if necessary, within this subdivided according to the type of writing. In the survey of sources, we generally do not go back earlier than the 5th, and in some cases the 6thcentury BC. The works of early writers frequently alluded to such sources which possibly could be related to the Magyars or their predecessors, but from our point of view these can be disregarded. The Yiirka people mentioned by Herodotus (d. 425 BC) are generally related to the Ugor people and the ancestors of the Magyars on account of the similar sound of

_ the names and their location. Behind the names of peoples mentioned in different steppe descriptions, others claim to see the Magyars or peoples related to the Magyars. We will not deal with these matters here. However, it is important to mention Ptolemy who lived in ancient Alexandria and who put together a collection of maps from earlier work by Marinos of Tyros compiled between 107 and 114 AD, bringing them together in an eight-volume cosmography. The collection was completed between 151 and 178 AD, and although there 1s no direct Magyar connection, the name of the Finnish people appears here for the first time. The Ptolemy work served as a basis for later geographi-

cal works, and the Arabs also adopted it. Although the structure and the descriptive principles of the original work were slowly modified, it still fundamentally defined geographical studies right through to the end of the Middle Ages, and as such, also those works which are important from our

AG , Methodological introduction and the sources point of view. The other early sources are only important because in many cases quotations taken from them colour, but of course also corrupt, works by

later writers. | eases : a) Byzantine sources |

The Byzantine Empire was established on the basis of Roman law, in a Greek-speaking area and professing Christianity as a state religion. Dual rule of the Greek-Roman Empire lasted for some time. After the downfall of the West Roman Empire (476), Byzantium became fully independent. In 740 it halted the advancing Arabs, but it lost Ravenna in 751. In 843 the civil war between the iconoclasts and iconodules (the Iconoclastic Controversy) was finally terminated, a struggle which had considerably weakened the Byzantine Empire. The year 867 marked the break from the Roman Church (for details see pp. 257-260), although the date of official rupture was 1054. Leo the Wise took to the throne in 886, and the Byzantine Empire underwent a resurgence. The southern shore of the Black Sea, today’s Anatolia, and the Balkans to the Danube were under the sphere of influence of Byzantium. Important trading — towns were located in the Crimean Peninsula under Byzantine rule. To the east, the empire bordered on Sasanian Persia, and between these two worlds lived such peoples as the Armenians, Georgians and Syrians. Efficient protection of the Byzantine Empire’s northern borders and trade routes demanded

information about happenings in the steppe. Frequently, protection meant forming an alliance with one group or people against another. In order todo this it was necessary to have a good grasp of the history, power relations,

location, military strength and tactics of these peoples. |

The most important genres in Byzantine historical literature are written works covering the history of the empire, ecclesiastical historical works and route itineraries. But we also find historical references in such genres as

courtly verses praising the emperors, the panegyrics. OS Byzantine works were written in Middle Greek. By this time the reading of characters and character clusters had deviated from that of the classical Greek period. At the same time, however, writers with a predilection for the use of contemporary syntax and grammar employed classical rules as well, and these

Empire. |

were all mixed in numerous works (see Figure 7 on page 50). . |

To present an example of just the sort of variable results a single source can provide, it is worth taking a brief look at the work entitled The Governing of

| Among those sources that the author, Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (913-959), used were original texts, reports, accounts and already completed summaries which were extracted for him. These were transcribed

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The sources , | | | . 49 and copied for the emperor, who generally dictated or sometimes wrote himself using these sources. Thus were those parts completed which were then

originally brought together in two works with the titles On Peoples and On Provinces. These works, may have been completed around 945, but immediately afterwards the emperor re-edited the whole work, and the final version was only ready by around 952. The court scribe, or scribes, then made copies of the work. These have been lost, but a new copy was made around 979, This

was lost too, but some time between 1059 and 1081 yet another copy was — made, and luckily this has survived. Currently it is stored in Paris. Among its many readers there were those who added their own remarks, those who made corrections, and those who made notes in the margin of the codex. Occasional

unknown or indecipherable words were supplemented or corrected. Two copies were made of the Paris document. There are notes and corrections which date from before the copies were made, while others date from later. A copy stored in the Vatican was completed in 1509, and one in Modena between 1560 and 1568. Not long after the Vatican manuscript was completed, a new

copy of it was made between 1509 and 1529. | | |

_ The work was first published by Meursius in 1611 on the basis of the Vatican manuscript, and then in 1711 by Bandur, who knew the Paris manuscript and was able to read those parts which are unreadable today. Bekker’s 1840 edition

is based on Bandur’s text. |

The critical edition of the text by Moravcsik and Jenkins is based on an understanding of this background to the material, and it endeavoured to reconstruct the most accurate picture possible of the original text. Assistance was provided by the fact that The Governing of Empire contains quotations from earlier written works. Among these, we know of some which derive from other textual traditions, and thus it is possible to establish how copies were > made during the imperial age. But naturally, some parts of The Governing of Empire from around 952 were of a quite variable quality, there are parts edited precisely and parts negligently, some with a great deal of attention and others

with less care. | | | a |

In approaching such a text, there are two extremes. The excessive critic

cannot, in the end, accept any parts of the work as authentic. On the other hand

the naive reader considers every letter, every assertion noted down, as the absolute truth. At the same time it is not just a matter of finding a middle way, but rather to back up reasoned criticism with philological argument. We should

not blithely correct the text as we please, but then again we cannot accept it as fact carved in stone and completely unalterable. The basic principle remains

the principle of the least possible change. Any alteration must always be in harmony with the entire work, its spirit and details, and furthermore with those

facts deriving from other sources. | ae

50 Methodological introduction and the sources

, Transliteration Transcription accord-

OLQv a auer Ot aiau,ae ee av

to classical Greek pronunciation —

B b | Vv | Y yK 8 8g | VW gg ong | gkh gk | nk YX nh , 5C d qd. € eEVZz | EleuGC el i , eu,Z eV Yt, € gtie — yti, €

n é é iy lLlErK}thkmiXx| |thmiksak-, O oO | O | Ol oi i Ov ou | u t0,6 p p | p r r no S S T t t | Vv ii VL ui i ty ph f x kh ho Vv ps ps Lut mp omb,b

VT | nt nd

@ Figure 6 O7 |

Transliteration and transcription of Greek characters and clusters

The sources | | | OSL The appearance of the Huns was dealt with by several Byzantine writers, the most important being Priskos the Rhetor born between 410 and 420 AD. He accompanied senior ambassadors calling on the court of Attila in 448-449, compiling in eight books the events of the period from both his own notes and other sources. The work in all likelihood covered the period between 411 and 472. He copied up notes on his trip to the Huns immediately upon his return home, and slotted in the description to his work, finally completed 23 years later. The original work is lost, and we only know about it through extracts. Several made abridgements, for instance Cassiodorus who died around 580, from whose work these parts are only known to us from the quotations of Jordanes. The main source, summaries prepared by Constantine, dates from around 950. Copies of the summaries that we know about are no earlier than

from the 16th century. _ |

_ Following the disintegration of the Hun Empire, the first references appeared in Byzantine literature to definite Turkic-speaking peoples, among them the Onogurs. From among the sources covering the period between the appearance of the Turk peoples and the Avars, it is worth mentioning the cosmography compiled around 540 by world traveller Cosmas Indicopleustes. The oldest known copies of his work can be dated to the 8th or 9th century. The remaining part of the 18-volume world chronicle of John Malalas, in the existing copy, ends at the year 563. The author probably died in 578, and so it is possible that the lost parts contained further chapters. Many have abridged

this work. One manuscript contains the complete remaining text, this being an 11th-century copy of contemporary extracts from the original. Quotations from the work are still with us in the works of numerous other writers. One of the most significant historians of the age was Procopius; we know of three works by him. The eight-volume History detailing the wars of Justinian could have been completed around 553. His second work later became known as the

Anecdota, or the Secret History, while the third work gave an account of imperial constructions. The earliest known copy of the historical work—with _

the exception of one part from the 13th century—originates from the 14th | century. Agathias continued the work of Procopios, treating the period between 552 and 558, and noting the appearance of the Avars. The earliest known |

copy of this work dates from the 10th to 11th centuries. _ ce a The appearance of the Turk peoples and the Avars only elicited greater attention in writers of the following period. A ten-volume history by Theophanes Bizantius, covering the years between 566 and 581, survived only in a few short extracts. The work by Protector Menander followed events until 582. Similarly, his work did not survive the passing centuries, but extracts (copies from the 16th century) by later Byzantine writers, Theophilactus -

Simocattes and Constantine, preserved much of the work. |

52 Methodological introduction and the sources Menander’s work was continued by Theophylactus Simocattes, in whose book events were followed until 602, and the death of Emperor Maurice. The oldest extant copy dates from the 11th—12th centuries. Under Maurice a work on military tactics (Strategicon) was prepared, including notes on nomadic warfare. Although the work included many elements taken from classical Greek tradition, such as commonplaces on the Scythians, the text also included _ notes on the Turk peoples. Certain information reflects the position in the last" decades of the 6th century. Besides extracts, the work survived in several copies. The oldest known copy has been dated to the 10th century. During the rule of Heraclius (610-641) Byzantium developed close ties with the Avars and various Turkic peoples. In the constant campaigns waged against Persia, the empire took advantage of military assistance from steppe dwellers. Heraclius replied to a combined attack made up of an alliance of Persians, Avars and Slavs by going on the offensive, and in 627, with help

from the Khazars, he inflicted a decisive defeat on the Sasanian Persian | Empire. A work by an unknown writer, known as the Easter Chronicle because it also gave details on calculating Easter, dealt with the period. The chronicle introduces earlier periods on the basis of works by other authors, although it

contains independent information regarding the contemporary period up to

628. The earliest existing manuscript dates from the 10th century. _ | The Avars are mentioned in a book of sermons by Theodorus Sinkellos originating from around 627 (10th—11th-century copy) and in a history in verse by Georgius Pisides (14th-century copy, including extracts by other authors).

The Introduction, completed before 715, written for the Agathon alludes to | historical events surrounding the Khazars and the Bulghars driving into the Balkans. The work, documenting the life of the patron saint of Thessaloniki, Saint Demeter (martyred before 305), also contains numerous later historical facts. The part covering 7th-century historical events can be dated to the end of the 7th century (copy from the 12th century). Byzantine sources list contemporary sees, such as the one of the Crimean metropolitan, several times. _

815). |

We know of such a list from the 8th century (between 733 and 746, copy from the 14th century) and from the beginning of the 9th century (between 805 and

Theophanes who died in 818 wrote his highly influential historical work Chronographia between 810 and 814, which he compiled 1n part by incorporating extracts of the works of predecessors, while he gathered information partly from his contemporary writers and partly eyewitness accounts for those __ chapters connected to the 7th and 8th centuries. The work was translated into Latin some time between 873 and 875 (copy from the 10th century). Broadly speaking, Patriarch Nicephorus (d. 829) worked from the same sources. His

The sources | | | 53 centuries). | , | | short history covers the period between 602 and 769 (copy from the 12th—13th

Writers of the following period were able to report on the events leading up to the Conquest and provide information related to the Conquest. These works — were completed under two emperors, Leo the Wise (886—9 12) and Constantine Porphyrogenitus (913-959). Philotheas, who wrote a handbook on the protocol of the Byzantine court in 899, and Arethas, author of a speech praising Leo the Wise in 902, were the first to mention the Magyars under the name Turki (Turkoi), that is Turk. Around this time, the Magyars were frequently mentioned in brief and by different names. A few works on strategy also probably termed the Magyars as Turk. But Leon Diakonus mentioned the Magyars as — Huns and Scythians in his work originating from around 992, and which covers ~ events between 959 and 976 (12th-century copy). Meanwhile, in connection with the Italian raids the Chronicle of the Popes (copy from the 13th century), documenting the period between 891 and 929, mentions in the events of 922. the Magyars under the name Ungri, terminology also employed in the work Miracles of Saint George and in an 11th-century surviving copy of the Life of

Saint Basil (Basileios, d. 944). - :

A treatise entitled Tactics by Leo the Wise completed around 904 used as its main source the similar work by Maurice, as well as experiences from the emperor’s own time. Leo the Wise made additions in at least six places to the — Maurice work relating to the Magyars. The work refers not only to Magyar warfare but also to their way of living, their role in the Bulghar—Byzantine war (894-896), as well as to the alliance with them. The earliest copy dates

from the 10th century. | re oO | | Nicholas Misticus, patriarch of Constantinople who died in 925, referred to the Magyars as “Western Turk peoples” in a letter to the Bulghar ruler Simeon

(10th-century copy). | | | | |

The most important Byzantine source regarding the conquering Magyars is a work by Constantine Porphyrogenitus. He received the name Porphyrogeni-

tus (Born in Purple) after the purple marble chamber where the ruler’s first-born son, heir to the throne, was born. However, such a name was given to others born heir to the throne as well. He was only seven when his father |

died (912), and thus first his uncle, and then following his uncle’s death the admiral of the fleet, Romanus Lecapenus, took over the reins of power. Constantine only exercised true power from 944 after Romanus Lecapenus was sent into exile. In the intervening period Constantine retreated from public life and devoted himself to the sciences. He worked together with a large staff who collected and abridged works of earlier writers. This collection of extracts preserved the works of numerous historical chroniclers. Constantine himself

was a prolific writer, and it is difficult to say which, from among the many

54 Methodological introduction and the sources works, he actually wrote himself. In any case these works survived under the name of the emperor. As far as we are concerned the most important work was _ | originally unnamed; a Greek inscription revealed that the author presented the work to his son, who was then already an emperor. The work was given the title De administrando imperio by Meursius, the first publisher, in 1611. Since — | then, this work in Greek is commonly referred to by its Latin name. The work took its final form in 951-952, and in all likelihood Constantine presented it to his son in 952. Originally each part was written separately and at a different

time. Based on internal dating, it is possible to ascertain that it was written |

dently of one another. | |

starting from 948, furthermore that certain parts were completed indepenIt appears that originally Constantine wished to write a large encyclopaedic

summary of peoples (peri ethnon), but he later changed his mind in favour of | putting together a scholarly collection dedicated to his son. The majority of those parts written to meet the original intent were retained in the work, and it is worth noting that they did not always suit the later structure. Constantine

strove for exactness in his use of sources, and where there has been an opportunity to check back, it is possible to establish that he followed earlier works very precisely. He not only employed written sources, but reports of emissaries and eyewitness accounts as well, and it 1s evident that some of these

were actually noted down by his own scribes. , fog

Those sections concerning the Magyars are derived from several sources. Among these were two Magyars, Termecsti and Bulcsu, who, obviously with | the help of an interpreter, gave answers to questions posed about their people. It appears as though these were highly specific questions. At the end of Chapter |

| 40, six sentences begin with ‘it is known’ (‘isteon). These were answers given to such questions as “who is who in Hungary”. It is quite possible that there were other records on the Magyars in the imperial court, and not everything came from the same source. The text of De administrando imperio—as we have seen above—only survives to this day in an 11 th-century Byzantine copy. Porphyrogenitus’s other project was in reality a collection of works, also © generally known by the Latin name given by the publisher: De cerimoniis aulae Byzantinae. The work documents court ceremonies, but it also covers numerous other topics as well. After thorough examination it became evident

that the available original 12th-century manuscript cannot be the work of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, as his burial place is also mentioned within, and | it cannot be a direct copy of the original work either. On the other hand, other

parts of the work contain the introductory words to the emperor’s son. : Georgius Monachus wrote a World Chronicle on the history of the world

known by him until the year 842. This work was then continued by an unknown writer. It closes with the death of Romanus Lecapenus, and it would

The sources 55 appear that it was somewhat hostile towards Constantine, who was at that time rather ignored. This is important because it is likely the writer was not from among the group surrounding Constantine. Two compilations of the Continuation of the Chronicle by George the Monk (Georgius monachus continuatus)

survived. Version B is later and somewhat more extensive than version A.

Both have 11th-century copies. | | ce

There were also continuations of the original Theophanes world chronicle extending to 813. These writers divided the works into six volumes covering

events up to 961 (Theophanes continuatus). According to the title it was prepared for Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who also provided sources for the compilation. The main source for the part covering the period 886-948 was

the above-mentioned Continuation of the Chronicle by George the Monk ©

version B. The Vatican has a copy dating from the llth century. | _ Later Byzantine works only supply occasional references to the history of the conquering Magyars. A few works copied or abridged some earlier sources as well, the majority of which are important sources of the history of Hungary

in the age of the Arpad dynasty. a

Db) Latin sources | a | Sources from outside Hungary Ancient Latin sources do not contain any information that we can use. There are occasional references to the names of Finnish and Estonian peoples. The Yiirka people found by Herodotus were absorbed into material, although in places they appear in the form Turcae, but these sources are interesting only from the point of view that in later sources containing material interesting from our aspect there are many quotations taken from the ancient classics.

The earliest author writing in Latin—and worth citing here—was the Roman writer of Gothic origin Jordanes, who completed his work (De origine— actibusque Getarum, or in brief Getica) in the middle of the 6th century. His

work is certainly an adaptation of the history of the Goths by Cassiodorus. The now lost work of Cassiodorus covered the history of the Goths until 533, followed by Jordanes’s own work for the period up until 551. The latter’s Latin did not always meet the norms of classical grammar. This work, which is also

important as regards the relation between the Huns and the Goths, was frequently used by later literary, thus Hungarian-related sources as well. The history of the sword of Attila also derives from Jordanes. A near contemporary -

copy has survived. | | :

56 Methodological introduction and the sources A 7th-century work by an unknown writer, usually quoted as being entitled the Exordia Scythica, is important for us because a later copy was one of the —

dotus. | i me sources employed by the Hungarian chronicler Anonymus. The work 1s

actually an abridgement of a 2nd-century work, strongly influenced by Hero-

The Cosmographia was possibly created around 700, in Ravenna, edited by an unknown writer (Geographus Ravennas). A monk from Pisa took an | extract from the work in 1118. The work includes references to Onogoria and

the Khazars. | At the end of the 8th century we find a work written under the nom-de-

plume of Aethicus (Ethicus) Ister. The work, a fantastic description of the | world (Cosmographia), mentions the Turk people living in the Black Sea region. Appended to the work is an alphabet, about which the first publishers stated that it contained invented characters. In attempting to refute this, several experiments were carried out unsuccessfully, which aimed to show a connec-

tion with Turkic or Avar runiform script. | | '

The end of the Merovingian dynasty was signalled in 751 withthe crowning _ | _ of Pepin the Short as “king ofall the Franks”. Under the rule of his son, Charles the Great (Charlemagne) (768-814, emperor from 800), the new Carolingian

Empire began to flourish, and ever closer ties were established with the Avar | Empire. Thus, sources from this time have important information to tell us about the eve of the Conquest and details related to the Conquest period. On the orders of Aldwin, archbishop of Salzburg (859-873), an unknown >

monk wrote the Conversion of the Bavarians and Carantans (Conversio | bagoariorum et carantanorum) in 870. The purpose of the work was to support the Salzburg see’s legal claim to Lower Pannonia. The work, which analyses the missionary activities of the Salzburg see, contains much important infor-

mation about the history of Pannonia prior to the Conquest. The nine manu- | script copies which are available to us today date from the 12th century. An early extract was also prepared from the Conversio at the turn of the 12th—13th centuries (Excerptum de karentanis) in which there are a few words which do

not originate from the Conversio. , a | Among other sources it 1s important to highlight the Annales iuvavenses maximi, in the original text of which there is mention ofa joint attack launched by the Magyars and Khavars around Vienna in 881.

Theotmar, archbishop of Salzburg (873-907), fell in battle fighting the | Magyars at Pozsony. A letter (long regarded as a fake) written to Pope John

IX in the spring of 900, contained important information not only about . arguments raging with the see of Passau, but also relating to the history of the |

Avars, the Slavs and the Magyars.

The sources | 57 Between 892 and 899, Regino (d. 915) acted as abbot of the Priim monastery situated 100 km west of Koblenz. He resided in Trier from 899 until his death. Here he completed his World Chronicle, the last year being 906. The chronicle

documents events following the death of Charles the Great on the basis of verbal statements and contemporary sources. The Magyars are mentioned for the first time in the year 889, and here the author summarised everything he knew about the conquering Magyars. Copies of this work date from the 10th

century. Later writers frequently took extracts. | |

Among the many monastic annals, that of the Fulda monastery is critically important. Notes written year after year were occasionally collected together in “instalments”. The last instalment of the annals—which covered events from 680 to 901—and in which we can find details related to the Magyars,

was not actually prepared in Fulda but in Bavaria. | : After this came the western Latin sources, authorities on the age of incursions. However, a few writers used the surprise caused by the sudden appearance of the Magyars to portray these newcomers, and to record earlier events. Among the resultant works the one by Liudprand who died in 972 as bishop of Cremona stands out as particularly significant. As minister of Berengar II,

king of northern Italy, Liudprand travelled to Byzantium in 949 and met Constantine Porphyrogenitus as well. Three years after the battle of the Lechfeld he moved from Italy to the court of King Otto, where he wrote Antapodosis (Repayment) (i.e. in answer to slights he suffered at the court of Berengar). There are details of raids by Magyars in Italy, but references are also made to earlier periods. In addition, more information is given about the raids in two other works (Historia Ottonis and Relatio de legatione Constan-

tinopolitana), 10th-century copies of which have survived. - | Between 1077 and 1079, Lampert of Hersfeld (1025-1081) wrote about the history of the Hersfeld monastery in his annals. He noted that in 1071 King Henry IV visited the monastery, and on his departure one of his captains, © Leopold of Merseburg, fell awkwardly from his horse in such a way as to die from injuries he sustained from his own sword. The king returned to Hersfeld and granted the monastery 30 villages so that the monks would pray for the salvation of the soul of Leopold. In relation to the incident, Lampert notes that the sword which caused the accident was the very sword which Anastasia,

wife of the Hungarian King Andrew I and mother of Salamon, originally presented as being the sword of Attila to the Bavarian prince Otto in return for helping her son to the throne in 1063. Lampert himself travelled to Hungary

in 1058, learning at first hand about circumstances there. _ Many charters originated from the Frankish Empire and the eastern border region (Ostmark). Among them, several are directly related to the history of the Carpathian Basin before the Conquest or at the time of the Conquest. In a

58 | Methodological introduction and the sources few rare cases the original document itself has survived, for instance the deed

of foundation of the abbey of Krems from 777. In this we can find the first _ reference to the office of zhupan (zsupan) in the form jopan. The charter of the king of the eastern Franks, Louis of Germany, dated 8 May, 860 in Regensburg, granted land to the monastery next to Mattsee. In the charter one

of the borders is denoted as uuangariorum marcha, “the marches of the

people (see p. 285). ao

Vangaros”, which we will come across again in the discussion on the ungri

Besides the charters, other types of sources can also be of assistance. Some |

time before 923 a letter in Latin was despatched to Dado, bishop of Verdun, in which the author wrote of the origins and names of the Magyars who were then present in the area. We will quote from this letter later (see p. 282). We _ will also refer to monastery registers in connection with the ungri people’s

name (see p. 285). |

Hungarian sources | | The Latin-language sources written in Hungary date from after the Conquest. We do not have the opportunity here to provide even a brief survey of the two main groups, narrative sources and charters. From our point of view, we only have to note the following. It is certain that the compilation of a chronicle was started in the royal court of the House of Arpad in the 11th century, based on

western models. What was important in the so-called ancient chronicle | was—underlining the acclimatisation of the Magyars in Europe—the reliance

| on western sources. Authors and writers of western chronicles frequently travelled to Hungary in the 11th century, in the process transmitting examples _

and sources. Court clerics travelled abroad, becoming well versed in the chronicles prepared in the courts of foreign rulers, documents which also | served to legitimise claims. This should not be taken as meaning that early — Hungarian chronicles were completely of western origin, but just that they

were prepared on the basis of western patterns and styles. ; Text-wise, extant or known chronicles can, broadly speaking, be split into two groups. In essence the first group comprises Anonymus’s Gesta. Anonymus used a version of the ancient gesta. To a certain extent, 1t was independent

of other chronicle traditions. The latter traditions lead on the one hand tothe _ chronicles of Simon de Kéza written between 1282 and 1285 through a version which although lost can in part be reconstructed, and on the other hand to the Illuminated Chronicle written in 1358. Besides the [//uminated Chronicle and

continuations, the Buda Chronicle of 1473 has preserved details which are not | to be found in the chronicle of de Kéza or the J//uminated Chronicle tradition. -

The sources | 59 Furthermore, this chronicle branch has secondary branches: versions in which we occasionally find specific events which cannot be found elsewhere. At this point we should therefore briefly mention the work of the notary to King Béla III, named in the chronicle as Master P., but generally known as Anonymus. Today researchers agree that the author of the Gesta was notary to King Béla III, and the work was written a few years after the death of Béla Ill, that is after 23 April 1196. Thus the Gesta dates from the last years of the 12th century. In style it is a historical romance, allowing many of the leading nobility of the age to play a role. Anonymus was able to combine on the one hand noble family traditions, and on the other historical legends connected to

place names or made up by the author. The structure on which he strung together his stories must have been that of a copy of the lost ancient chronicle. From this he linked Almos, Arpad and his dynasty to Attila. Anonymus lived some three hundred years after the Conquest, and that is why we have learned more about the conquering Magyars from contemporary western sources than from Hungarian. Even so, Anonymus remains a primary source for information on the language, geography and the history of names

of his own period. The work can be used only very occasionally for direct information regarding the conquering Magyars, and then only with the greatest

care. There again, indirectly—because of the rich linguistic material—it is

still an indispensable source for us. _ oe

Likewise, charters from the age of Arpad are important for their linguistic and geographical information. The last few years have seen enormous strides

taken in the critical editions of the Arpad-age charters. The earliest such charters were drawn up in the 11th century, but few of them are original. Of

surviving copies there are a few authenticated documents, but because of obvious interests surrounding ownership rights, many are fakes or have been corrupted with insertions. Over time, the number of sources increased, but naturally these can only be used indirectly for details regarding the conquering Magyars. By the middle of the 11th century, descendants of the conquering Magyars were already in the sixth—eighth generation. Personal names or names that survived in place names and which appeared in charters reflect a fundamentally altered historical circumstance. It is conspicuous in this ma-

terial just how many obviously Turkic-origin personal names there are. The question immediately arises as to whether these were surviving personal names dating from before the Conquest, or should we be seeking other linguistic reasons. The continuation of clan and tribal names is much more obvious. The names of the conquering tribes, clans and the peoples who joined them can be reconstructed after the critical evaluation of charters from the age

of the Arpad dynasty. | | | |

60 Methodological introduction and the sources

c) Slavonic sources | a | The beginnings of Slavonic literacy — | Today, scientists fully agree that the creator of Slavonic writing was that Constantine who prior to his death in 869 in Rome adopted the monastic name Cyril. There is also no dispute about the fact that the original alphabet invented by Cyril was the so-called Glagolitic alphabet, which was employed to record

the first Christian religious texts. The alphabet was probably compiled in Moravia around 863. This was later succeeded by a type of writing, later called Cyrillic after Cyril, and which is closer to Greek. A few characters from the Glagolitic alphabet were transferred into the Cyrillic alphabet. Early Glagolltic texts were later rewritten in Cyrillic. The origin of the Glagolitic alphabet

is of interest to us because according to sources, the Slavs had a runiform script, elements of which Glagolitic writing partly used to record Slavonic phonemes which had no equivalent in Greek or in any other writing system known to Constantine. This putative runiform alphabet may be linked to both.

the Avar and the Székely runiform letters (see Chapter XVI). os Although the first records of Glagolitic writing were in Moravia, it was not used there for long. Following the death of Methodius in 885, his followers |

were driven out of Moravia. They were given refuge by Bolghar ruler Boris | (852-889) who was baptised in 864, and with the enthronement of Simeon (893-927) the Slavonic old Bolghar language became the official language of Bulgharia in 893. From then on first translations, and later independent works _ _ were written in the so-called Old Church Slavic or Old Bolghar language. _

The legends of Cyril and Methodius a

Legends. | So

The lives of the two Slavonic apostles are generally called the Pannon The Legend of Constantine, a life of Constantine who later adopted the

monastic name Cyril, was originally written around 870 in Rome after his death. The legend is probably the work of his brother, Methodius. In all likelihood it was drafted for the ceremony of canonisation, and was written in Greek. The Slavonic-language version prepared by Methodius cannot be from much later. The latter was probably recorded first in Glagolitic script and later transcribed into Cyrillic. Of the 50 known copies, not one is earlier than the

Serbian redactions. | 15th century. These copies can be divided into two groups, Russian and

The sources | 61 _ The life of Methodius was preserved in the Legend of Methodius, probably written by a follower, and dating from some time before the expulsion of the

followers from Moravia, that is before the end of 885. Of the eight known |

copies in existence the oldest is from the 12th century.

Other early Bolghar accounts oe. a The lives of earlier Slavonic saints are contained in a collection dedicated to a soldier who lived during the rule of Boris and Simeon, Bolgharia’s first Christian rulers. The work tells of the soldier’s miraculous escape from the Magyars (ugrvi) in relation to events taking place between 894 and 896. Naum was among several followers of Methodius who fled to the Bolghar

ruler Boris; Naum continued his activities in Preslav, then capital of the Bolghars. A record of his life dates from about 924. In it we can read of the Magyar Conquest, and of how the Moravians fled before the Magyars to the Bolghars. The work was originally written in Greek, but it survived only in an Old Church Slavic translation. The oldest extant copy dates from the 15th

century. | | | | ee

A longer narration relates the foundation of the Bolghar church and the split between the Latin people and the Greeks. The work was originally penned in Greek, and can be traced to around the 12th century, but certain parts originate from 10th—11th-century sources. The Greek text has not survived, but it was

translated into Old Church Slavic, probably some time in the 14th century. The text traces the baptism into the Christian faith of the different peoples,

and it is here that we find reference to the word the Magyars used for _ themselves, magere. According to the source, two Magyar chieftains travelled to Constantinople to be baptised. Some believe these two were Termecsti and

Bulcsut. | .

| ~ The Bulghar regal list mn The work contains a list of the Danube Bulghar rulers. After the name of each ruler there is a number written in letters indicating for how many years the prince reigned, and after this the name of the ruling clan. There then follows a phrase “his year (/et yemu) was XXX”. The text, translated probably from Danube Bulghar into Old Church Slavic, has survived in three manuscripts, the oldest dating from the end of the 15th century and the other two from the 16th century. The texts have been severely corrupted, allowing much room for speculation. The first name in the list 1s Avitohol, most probably Attila,

62 Methodological introduction and the sources the dynasty’s legitimising founder; the second Irmnik, Attila’s son; the fourth

Khuvrat, ruler of Greater Bulgharia; and the sixth name is Asparukh, who | | actually founded the Danube Bulghar Empire. The first nine rulers belonged to the Dulo dynasty, the last four to the Vokil dynasty. The clearly Danube Bulghar expressions—which generally consist of two words—coming after the phrase “his year” have sparked the greatest debate. Most of those persons appearing in the list of princes can be identified in Byzantine sources. Of the Danube Bulghar words, only a few have been deciphered with any certainty.

Ancient Russian chronicles ee The conversion of the Kiev state to the Christian faith is commonly dated from

the baptism of Vladimir in 988, although Christianity had appeared much earlier, at least during the rule of Igor (913-945). In any case, it was only several decades after 988 that the metropolitan seat was actually established, and monks installed here began to chronicle events. Russian annals are generally considered to have been started between 1037 and 1039. The first material was put into chronological order by igumen, that 1s abbot, Nikon

of the Kiev cave monastery in the Ilth century, supplemented with fur- | ther material to 1073. This early work was expanded with information from chronicles from other monasteries to 1095. It is generally termed the primary compilation (nachalniy svod ). Nestor, a monk in the Kiev monastery, used this primary compilation as a base in 1113 for his new version of the chron-

icle. This new version was in turn then revised for Vladimir Monomakh, an enemy of Nestor’s commissioner, Svatopolk. Following Svatopolk’s death, Monomakh seized the Kiev throne. The revised chronicle was completed in 1116 by Silvester, abbot of the Vidubec monastery. This became the chron-

icle’s second edition. However, the Kiev monks, seeking the patronage of Monomakh, began to rework the text once again, submitting ittothenewruler in 1118. This was the third and last edition of the early chronicle. Copies found

their way to different monasteries where they were either copied further or | supplemented with local events, in other words, the chronicle was continued. —

The oldest surviving copy is from the 14th century. _ i Material for the Russian primary chronicle relating to the 9th and 10th centuries was taken partly from local tradition, and partly from Byzantine sources.

The chronicle was earlier known as the Nestor Chronicle, while today itis more often called by its Russian title, Povest (Povest vremennyh let). |

caution. | |

As one can see from the above, information in the old Russian primary

chronicle related to the pre-Conquest Magyars has to be treated with extreme

The sources | | «63 | d) Middle Iranian sources ' | The Middle Iranian period ran from the 4th—3rd centuries BC until the Arab conquest, that is to the 7th century, although according to the reckoning of

some, until the 9th century. Within this, the period at the beginning of the 3rd century AD 1s clearly defined by the ruling Sassanids in Persia (Ardashir | 227-241). The rule of the Sasanian dynasty was brought to an end by the Arabs in 637. At this time, of the peoples living in Iran the Persians, the Sogdians, the Sakas, the Bactrians and the Hephthalites had their own forms of writing. These scripts were used to record religious and lay texts, as well as inscriptions on medals and other objects. Although to date, no information directly related to the Magyars has been discovered in these sources, they do

still throw important light on the Turkic peoples—among them the Khazars—from the 6th century. At that time these Turkic peoples were neighbours

or close allies of the Magyars. | . —

Middle Persian literature was written in Pahlavi. Pahlavi is one continuation of the Aramaic branch of the Semitic family of writing, containing so-called

ideograms. This means that words written in Aramaic were retained in the Persian texts, but they were not read letter for letter. Rather the word was read and understood according to the meaning of the Aramaic word, in Persian, as for instance, in an English text the French word written roi would be read as king. One of the most important sources is the Book of Rulers (Hvaday namag)

which although now lost was drawn on by many Middle Persian and new

_ Persian (e.g. Sahname) sources. — | OO oe

Another genre was the apocalyptic literature relating the vision of the end of the world, through which many peoples were introduced, among them the

_ Turks. The Bahman Yast is one such representative of the genre. _ | Important historical references are to be found in Zoroastrian religious

literature, among them the Denkard and the Bundahishn.

Persian religious leaders played a particularly significant role in the dissemination of Manichaeism throughout Central Asia, an influence which also reached the Turkic peoples. Texts were generally written in the so-called Manichaean script, a version of Palmyrian from the Semitic family of alphabets, further developed by Mani. Texts in Middle Persian Manichaean speak

about, for example, the court titles of the Uighurs. | Doe A few Middle Persian texts have survived only in Syrian or Arab translation. These also contain information about Turkic peoples, for instance the Kangars. The Sogdian material is particularly illuminating. Material written in Sogdian script (which refers back to Aramaic) dating from the 2nd and 3rd cen-

turies records steppe history, and here, for example, we find the Xiongnus

64 Methodological introduction and the sources mentioned with the name Hun. Today we know that the court language of the — |

First Turkic Khaghanate was Sogdian, and therefore it played a role in the middle of the 6th century similar to that of Latin in mediaeval Europe. Inscriptions created during the First Turkic Khaghanate were also completed in the Sogdian language. Among these inscriptions, we know of but one that has

survived: the Bughut inscription. There are multi-language inscriptions from _ the time of the Uighur Khaghanate which also contain text in the Sogdian language: the Kharabalghasun inscription. Charters and letters in Sogdian _ reflecting the everyday life of Turkic society are also important. oe The Sakas organised their lasting rule from Khotan in Turkestan; the state survived until the Muslim invasion in 1000. They followed the Buddhist faith, and their written documents can be traced as a Central Asian offshoot of Indian

writing. oe |

Khotanese rulers intermarried with the Turkic leading strata, and were

related to those Turkic peoples who had settled in Afghanistan, but they also had affinities with the Turkic peoples of the steppe. Thus we find much in Khotanese texts about the Turkic peoples, and we know ofa Turkic-Khotanese

glossary dating from the 10th century. |

e) Sources by Muslim authors ee In 622 AD, Muhammad (muhammad ‘praised, glorious’) was forced to flee Mecca for the safety of Medina where he sought alliances against his own tribe, the Kuraysh. Not only does Arab history start with his exodus (hegira), but among the Muslim religious world, dates are also reckoned from this point, and even today in every Muslim country time is counted from this focal event. By the time of Muhammad’s death in 632, he had succeeded in uniting the main tribes of the Arab Peninsula. His first successor, the first caliph (Arabic kalafa ‘to follow’ > kalifa ‘successor’) Abu Bakr, and his troops reached the borders of Syria and Persia. The second caliph, Omar, established the foundations of the Arabic world empire. Omar took Damascus (635) and Jerusalem

(636), and then turned against Persia. He captured Ctesiphon (636), and delivered the final blow to the Sassanid Empire at Nehavend in 642. His generals then drove the Byzantine troops from Alexandria. In 644, the next caliph continued the conquest of the known world. He attacked Byzantium, and established a fleet of Arab warships. In 656, Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law,

in a bid for power, opened hostilities against the widow of Muhammad, following which the Muhammadan world suffered its first and still lasting ma-

jor split into those following Ali, the Shiites, and the Sunnis, supporters of the , successor dynasty, the Umayyads. In 661 Mu’awiya founded the Umayyad

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(6 Chiinese script

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d th Th porary pronunci unciati ‘of

88 | Methodological introduction and the sources a given Chinese character must thus be separately determined according to the age in question. Scholars have carried out reconstructions with the aid of contemporary rhyme dictionaries and other sources, and today it can be > reconstructed with a more or less reliable degree of accuracy how a given character was pronounced in a given period of history. Each character, then, has a current pronunciation and numerous earlier pronunciations. The current pronunciation is dependent upon the region of China where the word is spoken, since the various dialects of contemporary China are so farremoved fromeach _ other as to be mutually incomprehensible to their respective speakers. Never-

theless, they are connected in their use of a common written form, albeit pronounced in a variety of ways. For this reason, it is extremely difficult to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet. The official pronunciation of the language today is that of the capital Peking (Beijing). In simpler Chinese dictionaries, the pronunciation of Chinese characters is rendered into Roman script according to the spoken dialect of Peking, and this 1s also the version used by international scholarship. If, however, a more ancient pronun-

ciation of a given character must be reconstructed, then only a scholarly phonetic transcription will suffice. Sinology makes a distinction between Ancient Chinese, Middle Chinese, Early Modern Chinese and Contemporary | Chinese pronunciation. Ancient Chinese, formerly known as Archaic Chinese, | derives from the earliest period from which tangible evidence remains, the

Han period. Middle Chinese pronunciation has an earlier variant, roughly

reflecting the state of the language as it evolved around 400 AD and was set | down around 600 AD, as well as a later variant, reconstructed based mostly on sources from the Tang and Song dynasties. This latter is not only a later variant, but represents a different dialect. Early Modern Chinese gives us a phonetic

picture of the so-called Mandarin, or clerical language current in the Yuan

dynasty, which is closely related to Modern Chinese. | a

Transcription of Chinese script oe There are many known methods of transcribing Chinese script into the Roman alphabet. Recently, however, use of the so-called pinyin system of transcrip-

tion into Latin script, as officially adopted by the Chinese themselves, has been gaining ever increasing ground. The characters it uses must generally be

| pronounced as they would be by an English speaker. However “q”’ 1s like ch, | “r” like zh, “x” like hs. In this book all Chinese proper nouns and other words

occur in pinyin transcription. |

The sources — 89 | Chinese historical sources es , Among surviving Chinese inscriptions, the greatest amount of historical data

is contained in grave epitaphs and titles of privilege. These latter relate | historical events where, by virtue of their participation, the person concerned

gained certain privileges. | ” | : - During the reign of each successive dynasty, official court records were continuously kept, arranged according to years. When an important individual

passed away, a biography would be prepared. Of great importance as a literary | genre in the Chinese state was the petition, in which zealous functionaries or subjects would call the attention of the Emperor and his court to certainevents and tasks at hand. The court itself would publish a variety of documents, copies of which would be stored in the imperial archives. These contemporary writings would also be consulted after the fall of each dynasty, when the succeed-

ing dynasty would have its historians set down the history of its predecessor. ; Chinese historical writing employed a rich schematic system. Particularly _

| when describing the history of foreign, barbarian peoples, it showed a special predilection for formulas adopted from earlier times. Thus it was not always | of vital importance to record the exact provenance of a newly emerged people, | nor to reveal from which earlier people they might be descended, nor even what might be the real nature of their customs, but rather to adapt one of the -

already recognised models to their description of the newcomers.

| Chinese historical literature proper begins with the work of Sima Qian | (145-86 BC) known as the Shigi, prepared by order of the Han dynasty in | around 90 BC. In this the author sets down the history of China from its mythical beginnings up to his own time. The basic structure of the work breaks

down into five chapters: (1) Main chronicles; (2) Chronological charts; (3) Monographs (on ceremonies, music, the calendar, astronomy, etc.); (4) Hereditary families; (5) Biographies. In essence this structure became the model for subsequent works, while the Shigi’s depiction of barbarian peoples simi-

larly served as a model for later authors to follow. The history of the Early Han dynasty was compiled prior to 92 BC, and that of the Late Han dynasty in around 300 AD. The history of the Three Kingdoms was prepared in around

289, and that of the Yin dynasty (Western Yin 265-419) only aslateasbetween 644 and 646. The chronicle of the Song dynasty was completed in 488, that of | the Southern Chi in around 530, and those of the Liang and Chen dynasties in

636. The annals of the Mongol-descended Tuoba Wei dynasty were finished | in about 554, and those of the Northern Chi and Zhou dynasties in 636. A comprehensive history of the northern and southern dynasties was also put together in 659. An older chronicle of the Zang dynasty was completed in 945,

| and a newer, revised and updated version, the new Tang chronicles, in 1060. |

90 Methodological introduction and the sources Besides these dynastic histories, mediaeval China also saw the compilation of several encyclopaedias, similarly rich in historical material arranged according to topics or peoples. As early as the 11th century, collections of historical documents were assembled, wherein copies of earlier records were

stored in thematic order. | | | |

These dynastic chronicles and other historical sources have not survived in

| their original form, and modern critical editions have been prepared based on a variety of multiple copies, block prints and revised versions. Recent archae-

fragments thereof. | 7 |

ological excavations, however, have turned up a number of older editions or

The dynastic chronicles, which were always put together by the succeeding | dynasty, partly to seal the legitimacy of its own rule, are generally reliable with regard to the area which concerns us, the history of the steppes. Although the Chinese court was not always consistently ‘far-sighted’, there were periods when it was able to follow events as far as Europe’s border, all the way to the

Caucasus or the River Volga. The chronicles of the Mongol dynasty even give | an account of the Tatar invasion of Hungary in 1241-1242. Besides military expeditions, a succession of Chinese travellers, envoys and Buddhist mission-

aries, who roved far and wide and then returned home with tales of distant | lands, greatly contributed to China’s knowledge of the outside world. Many | of these reports have survived, as they were filed away among official records. The names of peoples and places featured in Chinese sources are exceedingly

difficult to make consistent with the names in western sources, having been

passed down through a variety of different speakers. The Chinese form often |

or neighbour. , does not provide the local pronunciation of a place name or people, but rather

reflects the form used in the language of some intermediary merchant, people |

l) The Hebrew sources a The Jewish people scattered far and wide in large numbers in the 3rd century, into the various provinces of the Roman Empire. Their situation was particularly favourable in the Caliphate of Cordova. Although by the 10th century Jews had established settlements in almost every country in Europe, the major

migration took them up from the Iberian Peninsula into the regions of the Rhine, where a section of the Jewry adopted a local German dialect which later evolved into Yiddish. The more significant Jewish centres in the Caliphate of Cordova, France and Italy, and subsequently in the Rhine provinces, kept in close contact with each other, building up a fully-developed trading network organised by the Radanite merchant house from its seat in Marseilles.

The sources | 9] The Cordovan ruler Abdul Rahman III (912-961), under whose reign the ~ Cordovan state blossomed, maintained contacts with every significant country ©

in the world, and even managed to take over the institution of the caliphate _ from the failing Abbassid dynasty. His minister of finance, the Jew Hasday ibn Shaprut, learned that there existed a country 1n the east, the Khazar Empire, _ whose ruler was of the Jewish faith. First through the mediation of Byzantium, | and when this failed, via Europe and hence through Hungary, he dispatched a letter to Joseph, the sovereign of the Khazars. The khaghan received the letter

and replied to the greater part of the queries contained within, although evading those of a military nature. A lengthy debate has evolved around the letter and the question of its authenticity. The original must have been written _ before 962. The reply of the kKhaghan Joseph, meanwhile, is extant in both a shorter and a longer version. Although the manuscripts currently known are certainly copies, the texts are quoted in detail as early as the first decade of the 12th century by the Catalonian Judah ben Barzillai, and so even if they were to prove to be forgeries, they are still documents of considerable age. A number of errors in the text point to an intermediate Arab source. The St.

Petersburg manuscript of the longer version may originate from the 13th | century, while the shorter redaction of Hasday’s letter and khaghan Joseph’s reply survives only in the form of a 16th-century manuscript kept in Oxford. The St. Petersburg manuscript was brought from Cairo in the 1860s. The entire correspondence was published as early as 1577, together with the other two. texts also based on the Cairo copy. Several other Hebrew documents are also known from the 10th century. Important among these is the letter from Kiev known as the Schechter text, mentioned in regard to the alleged Savarti Asfali

name of the Hungarians (see p. 288). This is a letter to Hasday from an unidentified Jew concerning the Khazars. The Sepher Yosippon was written

clearer. a . os in Italy around 940. In the light of these works, the question of the authenticity —

of other contemporary correspondence regarding the Khazars also became

The Jews were driven out of England in 1290, and from France in 1394. In 1492, the year of the discovery of the New World, the armies of Ferdinand and Isabella put an end to Arab rule in Spain. The great majority of the Jewry,

which had until then lived under the shelter of Arab rule, fled eastward to escape the new inquisition. Passing through the Ottoman Turkish Empire, they

reached the territory of today’s Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania, where they © met with Jews who had been continuously migrating there through Germany since the 12th century. East European Jews thus migrated from the west to the

_ Khazar Empire. | -

east of the continent, and were not descended from the inhabitants of the -

92 Methodological introduction and the sources

Cee hl Ce eee eee [ 5 ew ] EG a \ 3) ‘ThespreadofJews

Be .ae.(aft ea Ti rte iri |fyas- OF 6 a! aey L— 6th 11th centuries | xem CUS foe co fae | 5 Lay Ss Kd 11th - 13th centuries | ja =. & 14th ce : oe a | et century : ee A A ee ce LP Beene | j | | OE Becca See ..lmrmllrlU americat fn |ecco ld lig oy :; |e Se emer ee Ine ee 8 ae PaAmericag ste) AL NL ag ME 15th - 16th centuries |

ee aeeg pe knSegom ee Rote ee a , SAL, Sey Rae, “gk‘ Bee ENGLAND ¢eeoT egee \ a” BERS a eS ~— ey rs eeae eee ne Raa

fle a Ve a abe oe OR eRoultt e, || Lae amenCle mee Oe Crp UCC Ckpe | FO Oe Dans 6 pene CU

tapes * mes, eat ee SRR S| fg a Re rs—Ci‘ClC*iCi “ RC “She

of DY FRANCE © = 6 ; a. _o . o Qo ae ae | Pg RE a:ee. i8 5.eee ack .-x ee, oe het, cetA gn Pe oo sate ;i : PASS reeon 13 fe&oo ESS Se |pepoe. 6 aN | Meer — YS tee “Sy, ORY : ¢ eee ee a), ole” t wwe 8 i * ge. oune: ani So i HY Constaytinople sc" tages a 7! £7 oP eA Othman (UNS lS, Istanbyt _— aon ey,| es : ie rT a ee gee” Be 8 ovens NG CoC.oai Napl oe lonikig’ 4E* —% E eb : CadizeZ” is '\7% =MPIR | ee MO ga ck haa 5 fe Re ee See ern ee Se FM “ie RS : _ 7 —m_mmijim—m é Vesta | Es... fre “eof Tangier aie N Algiers a Nii er oI 4 Be fone’, (Damascus : a|==Ashkenazi oFez % el co #5 | migration \ owe Ofte! ll OG | , 6 me Oa es 16th - 20th centuries co a. o's we: | Js | | Sephardi maj), given that the /nch/ in kincs has been preserved. _ Meanwhile, the word gazdag ‘rich’ was adopted into Hungarian from an

Iranian language, namely the ancestor of Ossetic (compare the Ossetic | gdzdig), at a point when the status of /g/ as an initial had become established. The borrowing of Turkic words also began at this time. These, however, can be demonstrably shown to have passed into the Hungarian language during the second half of the Ancient Hungarian period. It would appear, then, that

the speakers of the Hungarian language, following their split from the larger Ugrian community, lived for a time in a region where they had very little or

no contact with Iranian or Turkic peoples, but then all of a sudden saw their | language inundated with an increasing number of Iranian, and still greater

number of Turkic words. a 7

The question is: does any trace of this period remain in the language? The

Hungarian language preserves not only the traces of contact with other, different families of languages, but also of relations with kindred peoples. As | far as earlier periods are concerned, such evidence 1s difficult to reconstruct, just as it is difficult to demonstrate the existence of Dutch loan words in German, or Ukrainian words in Russian, but the task 1s not impossible. It seems that the Hungarian language holds on to traces of its contact with the Permian languages, i.e. the common ancestor of the Zyryan and Votyak languages, two

such types of traces being distinguishable. On the one hand, Hungarian has a number of borrowed words such as eziist ‘silver’ and kenyér ‘bread’. Even more interesting is the adoption of certain elements of a word’s construction. Thus the latter phonetic element of the Hungarian numerals kilenc ‘nine’ and

harminc ‘thirty’ can be attributed to a Permian word meaning ‘ten’ (in | simplified terms: [-mis] > [-ns] > [-nc]). Kilenc ‘nine’ is the number ‘outside’ | ten, (the number before ten), while harminc ‘thirty’ is equal to hdrom tiz ‘three

tens’. Meanwhile, the numeral nyolc ‘eight’ has merely taken an analogical phonetic ending. It seems likely that the order of numerals in today’s Hungarian may have taken its final shape at this time. At the same time, the emerging of voiced plosives (/b/, /g/ and /d/) in word initial position occurred solely in | the Permian languages and Hungarian, while nasal consonants preceding other consonants disappeared, thus effecting the following changes in the Permian languages and Hungarian: /nt/ > /d/, /mp/ > /b/, /nk/ > /g/, and /nch/ > /;/. For

example, the word agyar ‘tusk’ harks back to the form *onychara of the Finno-Ugric age. From this came the Ancient Permian *vojer (in today’s Zyrian *vodzer, in Votyak vajer), and so too in Hungarian ojar, and thence to

the modern form agyar, while the closest linguistic relatives, the Voguls,

The sources | | 990 have anjer, and the Ostyaks anzhar, thus preserving the nasal consonant. These mutations may of course have occurred entirely independently ofeach other, and also took place in other linguistic families. All the same, it does appear that, at least in this case, we are dealing with what amounts to a regional linguistic phenomenon, in other words a phenomenon which occurred simultaneously over a large area and among peoples speaking a variety of languages.

This is known as an areal phenomenon. , | |

As we have indicated in the above, while in the Old Iranian period—i.e.

| between 800 BC and 300-200 BC—scarcely any Iranian loan words can be found in Hungarian, at the same time some surprising signs point to increased Iranian contact with the speakers of the Ancient Permian languages. Indeed,

the stock of Iranian loan words in the Permian languages begins to swell considerably at this time. Speakers of the shared ancestral language of the Zyrians and Votyaks adopted about five times as many Old Iranian words as __ the ancestors of Ugrian language speakers did. This indicates that the Per| mians came somewhere between the Hungarians’ ancestors and the Iranians, __ or in other words, we must suppose an advance of the Iranian peoples which brought significant groups of Iranians into the vicinity of Permian language | speakers, but which did not take them into the territories of Hungarians’

ancestors. | | | a | This much the language has to say as a historical source of information ©

regarding the period at hand. The second half of the Ancient Hungarian period

| again saw increasingly significant contacts with the Iranian peoples. This time also saw the beginning of Turkic-Hungarian communication. To make clear | _ how this process can be conceived in terms of the history of the Hungarian language, we will use here a schematic model. In the diagram, the letter C represents every possible consonant in the given language, while the letter V represents every possible vowel. The Greek letter gamma [y] represents a voiced spirant consonant, such as the Hungarian /h/ pronounced as voiced. The Greek letter eta [yn] symbolises the sound which we find on the end of the Hungarian words harang ‘bell’, borong ‘be sorrowful/cloud over’, and Jang

| ‘flame’, where we pronounce a sound somewhere between /n/ and /n + g/, as opposed, say, to our word /dngos ‘a large, savoury fried doughnut’, where the /n/ and the /g/ are pronounced separately. The raised Y signifies that a vowel is more closed, i.e. an /o/ becoming /v/, or an/6/ becoming /ii/, etc., atthe same time being spoken shorter. This short, closed vowel has now disappeared from

the end of words in Hungarian (for instance: hodu > had ‘army/war’). — |

100 Methodological introduction and the sources | Formation of guttural word finals in Hungarian os

0 1 2 3 4 5 Category | | | -

Period Finno-Ugrian Ancient Old Middle |

Hungarian Hungarian Hungarian _

CVKVKV , | , | CVKVCV | CVnVCV | _ »> evKKV > CVKKV > CVKY > CVKY > CVK ©


» CVnKV > CVnGV > cvGY > cvGcyY > CVG ,

Category II | ae | |

CVKV > CVKV > cvGv > cvw > cvNY > cw

Examples: | | CVnV > CVGV > CVyV > Cvyw > cv > CVV

1. PFU *pdkke > faikke > fak¢ > fe:k' > fék ‘halter’ ou 2. PFU *punke > funge > fog* > fog'> fog- ‘to grasp’. | )

3. PFU *yoka > yogo > yog” > yoh" > jo (in its former sense of ‘river’,e.g. |

in the latter part of the river names Saj6, Hej) co

4. PFU *pdnd > fage > fag* > fah' > fej/fo “head’/‘main’ | |

These examples of course stand in for other words as well. Thus as far as the configuration of phonetic sounds within the word is concerned, the word mancha, which in the late Ancient Hungarian period became maja (and later -

magy of magyar ‘Hungarian’), belongs under the second example. _ ce We can see, then, that two subperiods can be distinguished within Ancient Hungarian (see columns 2 and 3 of the above diagram), and one of these, the _ period numbered 2, we shall classify as early, while the other period, numbered 3, we shall classify as late Ancient Hungarian. We have observed that words adopted from both Middle Iranian and Old Turkic entered the language in the third period in the diagram, 1.e. in the late Ancient Hungarian period. The fact __ that the Ancient Hungarian, Old Turkic and Middle Iranian periods are here revealed as contemporaneous should not bother anyone, since these chronological designations are connected to different periods within each language’s

history, and there would be no point, merely for the sake of consistency, in

: The sources , 101 altering designations which are already accepted in Hungarian, Turkic and Iranian linguistic science respectively. However, for the sake of easy compa-

rability, we have presented these periods in a table (see Figure 3 on p. 21). As the Iranian-derived word kincs ‘treasure’ and Turkic-derived kantar ‘bridle’ or kender ‘hemp’ demonstrate, these words entered the Hungarian | language after the cluster /nch/ became /j/, and /nt/ became /d/. That is, if they had entered earlier they would have taken part in the above linguistic processes, and would be spelt in today’s Hungarian as *kij, *kadar and *keder,

respectively. _ | | We have arrived, therefore, at the second, later phase of the Ancient

Hungarian period (see the column marked 3 in the above diagram). We do not know precisely when it may have begun, but we have found that it was after Hungarian—Permian contacts began. From the Iranian point of view, given that _

the Middle Iranian period began in the 2nd century BC, we can locate this | period to after the 2nd century BC. From the Turkic point of view, meanwhile,

the chronology of this time cannot yet be supported by written evidence, and thus we must briefly present here the set of linguistic tools which can help us

to establish a Turkic linguistic chronology. We will return afterwards to the question of precisely when Old Turkic borrowed words may have entered __

Hungarian. | |

The question of an Altaic linguistic affinity at this point is unavoidable. | | Certain scholars believe that the Turkic languages make up one branch of the Altaic family of languages. According to this view, the Turkic language began — |

an independent life of its own having split from the other Altaic languages. | The Altaic family also contains, besides the Turkic languages, the Mongolian _

and Manchu-Tunguzian linguistic subfamilies. Renewed attempts have been | - made to include Korean and Japanese in the sphere of languages with an Altaic linguistic affinity, but such theories, although proclaimed loudly, are still only at a very elementary stage. Various arguments supporting relationships within

the Altaic linguistic family tend to collide with hard historical facts. Itis indisputable that there 1s a great deal of early regular correspondence between the Turkic, the Mongolian and the Manchu-Tunguzian languages. The question, however, is to what can these correspondences be attributed? After all, the fact

of their antiquity and regular correspondence remains valid whether these | languages are actually related, or whether the correspondences are merely the consequence of early contacts among the respective peoples. Letus examine —_— two examples. In the Turkic family, the word meaning ‘ox’ 1s spoken in most |

languages as dkiiz, or some standard linguistic variant of this. However, in | Chuvash, the minor language spoken in the vicinity of the River Volga, we find

a form of the word derived from the earlier form of dkiir. Meanwhile, among © names given to various peoples, the name Oghuz was used simultaneously _

102 Methodological introduction and the sources — with the name Oghur, in other words in one group of the Turkic languages the

word ended in /z/, while in the other it ended in /r/. On this evidence, it has _ become the custom to refer to the Turkic languages either as z-Turkic, Oghuz or common Turkic; or r-Turkic, Oghur, or sometimes Chuvash or BulgharTurkic. In addition, we find the form ziker in Mongolian (or hiiker in Middle Mongolian). Two explanations are possible. On the one hand, we begin with __ the view that the /r/ is the original final of these words, which opens up two possible chains of development. The first is that the form dkiir is an ancient

Altaic form, which became iiker in Mongolian and dkiir in Turkic, the latter | then changing from 6kiir to 6kiiz in the majority of Turkic languages. It is also conceivable that 6kiir is the ancient Turkic form, which was then borrowed © by Mongolian. The second explanation is that the dkiiz form is the elder of the _

two. In this case, however, only one chain of development is possible, namely that Mongolian (and Hungarian) borrowed this word from a Turkic language | in which the /z/ > /r/ transformation had already taken place. Thus, there are |

, I I] , It. ,

in fact a total of three possible explanations: SS i Altaic r Turkic r—> Mongolianr Turkic z> Turkic r Mongolian r

“eso r Turkicz Turkicr Turkic z Turkic r

Turkicz Turkicr nnres Debate over this question has been raging for almost one hundred years, during which time a great deal of minor details have been clarified. It would

appear that in recent times explanation III has finally proven most able to

withstand the criticisms of general linguistics and language history. Debate only seems to revolve around whether the /z/ or the /r/ is the original. This is to say that in Turkic there exists another /r/, found, for example, in such

common Turkic words as kara ‘black’ or er ‘man’. These words contain an | /r/, and nowhere a /z/, in all Turkic languages. The argument is thus based around what the original state of the language was: whether it was when the /z/:/t/ phonemic opposition existed; or if it was when there was only an /r/, which in certain words subsequently became a /z/, and in others remained an /r/, Although researchers have attempted to avoid answering this question by postulating the existence of two kinds of /r/, there is no evidence or likelihood of this, nor any parallel in other languages. At the same time, from a methodological point of view this is irrelevant, since if the original oppositions of two types of /r/ had disappeared in the Oghur or Chuvash languages, this would |

The sources 103 still mean that this was a secondary, or later change, since an originally existing

opposition would have ceased to exist. | | mal | According to this view, then, there originally existed a /z/:/r/ phonemic opposition in the Turkic languages, which disappeared from the Oghur subgroup of Turkic languages. It was subsequent to this process that the Mon- __ golians, and later the Hungarians began to borrow words from this language. _

We must therefore attempt to determine exactly when this /z/:/r/ dichotomy | disappeared from the Oghur languages. A suitable example to help us here may be the Turkic word for ‘stirrup’. The stirrup is not a particularly ancient | innovation, and however inconceivable it may seem, neither the Romans nor _ the Huns were familiar with them. The stirrup was originally a simple loop of leather, which merely helped the rider climb onto the horse’s back. However,

| once horsemen began to use such loops on both flanks of the horse, cavalry | warfare was revolutionised, as it thus enabled the rider to rise up in the saddle

- and turn around to fire arrows at his pursuers. Leather loops were soon replaced by metal stirrups which at first imitated the shape of the leatherloops. __

_ This made combat still easier for the horseman, facilitating the use of the _ sword and lance. The appearance of stirrups can be dated relatively accurately.

A number of examples of metal stirrups have been found in Eastern Asia dating from the 3rd century AD, and they can be seen both in Chinese illustrations and graves from this time onward. They were introduced into Europe by the Avars. We must, however, take into consideration that the — | antecedent of the metal stirrup, the leather stirrup, may have preceded the — metal version by several hundred years. Weighing up the entire body of data, |

we cannot date the appearance of the stirrup to earlier than a few centuries before the birth of Christ. ne | | 7 The stirrup has the same name in every language of the Turkic family, but =—s_—©

with an /r/ in accordance with the rules of r-Turkic, and with a/z/in z-Turkic (taking the respective forms of irenge, and izenge or tizengii). On the one hand,

this means that the branching off of the various Turkic languages occurred

after the appearance of the stirrup, and on the other hand it indicates that the : much-debated phonetic change may also have occurred only after the appear- | ance of the stirrup, 1.e. in the last centuries BC, since the word meaning stirrup | was involved in this process of change. We can of course no longer posit the existence of a still uniform Altaic proto-language at this time. Consequently,

| explanation I can be ruled out for historical reasons. From a historical aspect, — explanations II and III would also mean that the Chuvash- or Oghur-type languages evolved in the centuries before Christ. At the same time, as wehave _ | seen above, out of general linguistic considerations, we must assume that the /z/:/x/ dichotomy disappeared from the Oghur languages. This chronology is __

104 Methodological introduction and the sources | supported by other data. Thus the earliest Turkic loan words in the Samoyed —

| language must have entered the then still uniform common Samoyedic before _ the separation of the Samoyedic languages, in other words in the centuries around the birth of Christ. Among these there are words which already bear the r-Turkic form. It was at this time that the bulk of r-Turkic forms may also have entered the Mongolian language. This view is also supported by the existence of early Tocharian loan words in the Turkic language, around which

a lively debate has flared up in recent times. LY

All this must be clarified because the overwhelming majority of loan words | which entered the Hungarian language in the Ancient Hungarian period were of r-Turkic or Chuvash-type Turkic origin. Moreover, this could only have happened after the Oghur-type languages had separated from the other Turkic |

languages, around or shortly after the birth of Christ. This thus serves to _ confirm two independent linguistic sources, namely the words adopted from

the Middle Iranian and Chuvash-type Old Turkic, which may both have | entered the Hungarian language only in the early centuries after Christ’s birth, | or in terms of the history of the Hungarian language, during the later Ancient _

Hungarian period. | a

In this way, we have of course merely obtained a date after which (post quem) contacts may have been established. We must further look into the question of whether linguistic data can be isolated which might indicate when

and where the Hungarian language adopted these words. | The current convention is to differentiate between the following Middle | Iranian languages: (1) Western Middle Iranian or Middle Persian (southwest-

ern) and Parthian (northwestern); (2) Eastern Middle Iranian, including | Khotanese Saka, Bactrian, Sogdian, Khwarezmian and Alanian. With the exception of Alanian, we know of self-penned texts in each of these languages. The last three have significance as far as the history of the Hungarian language

is concerned. Of these, a particularly important role is played by the Alanian language, of which several dialects may have existed. The Jasz (Jazygian) people who migrated to Hungary spoke one dialect of the Alanian language, and continued to speak it even as late as the 15th century, as we can see from a Hungarian Jasz glossary. At the same time, a very close relative is the

Digor. | | Caucasian language of the Ossets, of which the two main dialects are Jron and

A very helpful contribution to the historical investigation of the conquering Hungarians is provided by the words borrowed from Turkic, which, as has long been recognised by Hungarian scholarship, have done much to assist the | exploration of details and major interrelationships. With regard to the Turkic loan words in the Hungarian language, the question to ask is how much can

The sources | 105 these help to determine where and for how long the Hungarians dwelt prior to the Conquest, what was the nature of their social and political structure and

| culture, with which Turkic peoples did they come into contact, and whatkind

of conditions did they find in the Carpathian Basin. | : The Turkic words in the Hungarian language are usually divided into three _

main groups: words adopted before the Conquest, those borrowed from : immigrants following the Conquest, and those taken from Ottoman Turkish. Words which entered the language during the Turkish occupation (16th-17th =

centuries) we may set aside here, as they do not help to clarify questions | relating to the conquering Hungarians. The languages of the Cuman, Pecheneg — | and Uzian groups which migrated to Hungary are of greater interest. On the one hand, they are important sources regarding the language of the Turkic — | peoples who lived east of the Carpathians, while on the other hand knowledge of them may be essential in singling out the borrowed words of the pre-Conquest period. In many cases, unfortunately, there are no criteria that reveal whether a Turkic loan word belongs to the first or the second period. In the case of the words borrowed from Turkic before the Conquest, chronological queries also arise: such as when did Turkic-Hungarian contacts begin, what periods can we divide this era into, where the adoption of words might have occurred, whether we can isolate the language of the Turkic groups which attached themselves to the Hungarians or not, and if it can be successfully —s_—© determined whether a Turkic language was spoken in the Carpathian Basinat =>

the time of the Conquest. re | | Linguistic criteria can be divided into three principal groups. The firstgroup

contains criteria which unequivocally point to a Chuvash-type language. In | the second category, we may include criteria which point only indirectly to Chuvash origin. There are characteristic features which occur in some words alongside unequivocal Chuvash criteria, thus indirectly indicating a Chuvash type, but which of themselves are typical not only of the Chuvash language, | but of other Turkic languages as well. Finally, the third group includes those |

| words which, while displaying none of the above criteria, nevertheless possess | chronological criteria which unequivocally show that they cannot be Turkic | loan words adopted after the Conquest, or which in terms of linguistic

| geography are so widespread among the Turkic languages as to make it probable that they were adopted from a Turkic language of Chuvash type. There are currently around 450 borrowed words belonging to the pre-Con_ quest or pre-Ottoman categories. These 450 words are of course not of equal value as far as the reliability of their etymology is concerned. We shall mention here only those words of a certain or very probable Turkic origin, which also

assist us in our historical reconstruction. : | as _

106 Methodological introduction and the sources Unequivocal Chuvash criteria can be found in the following types of words:

1. Where in common Turkic there is a/z/, we find an /r/in Hungarian: borju ‘calf’ < burgu, — *buragu, cf. Eastern Old Turkic (abbreviated henceforward

as: EOT) buzagu, (/rj/ < /rg/ being a Hungarian change). On gee 2. Where in common Turkic there is an /sh/, we find an /I/ in Hungarian: kélyék ‘kid’, ‘young animal’ < kdlek, — *kélek, cf. EOT késhek (/ty/ < //

being a Hungarian change). ; Sy 3. Where in common Turkic there is an /s/ before an /i/, we find an /sh/ in

Hungarian: serke /sherke/ ‘nit’ < sirke — *sirke,cf.EOT sirke. = | 4. Where in common Turkic there is an /s/ located before a long /a/, we find

an /sh/ in Hungarian: sar /shar/ ‘mud’ < *siar OCh *humuki - LAH *humuki > OH homok ‘sand’ | PT * kuruk > OCh *hurgk — LAH *huruku >OH hurok ‘loop’ |

animal’ | oe Second period, LAH II | | PT * késheke > OCh *kéleke — LAH *kéléke > OH kolyok ‘kid’, ‘young

of fish’ as > ing ‘shirt’ |

PT *sivrik> OCh *shiirik > *shiirig > LAH *shiirege > OH *séreg ‘a type PT *6ngmek > OCh *é6mek > *6meg — LAH *timege > OH *timeg > imeg

Iranian jelek — Old Turkic *jelek > OCh *szjelek > *szjeleg — LAH |

*silege > OH siweg > siiveg ‘cap’ |

First period, LAH I | , oo PT jiztik > OCh *jurik > *jiirtig — LAH *jirtigti > OH gyuru ‘ring’ |

‘hops’ | | | | | (a fish)’ a PT kajuk > OCh *hajuk > *hajug —- LAH *hajugu > OH hajo ‘ship’ | PT kumlak > OCh *kumlak > *kumlag — LAH *kumlagu > OH komlo

PT tisek > OCh *silek > *sileg — LAH *silege > OH *sileu> silld‘zander

The sources | : 109 | The following example belongs to the second period, but cannot be derived

beginning of the word: es | > szuinyog ‘mosquito’ | | | , from a Chuvash-type language, since we would expect an/sh/phoneme atthe =

PT singek > Old Turkic sinak > sinag LAH sinagu > sunagu> OH sunog, — |

We can see that the /-k/ at the end of a word was preserved in the most | | recently adopted words, while in the middle period it became a /g/, and in the . oldest words disappeared through a diphthong. In the second period at least, Hungarians had already come into contact with speakers of non-Chuvash type

Turkic languages as well. | a | _ | | Thus it is that the Chuvash-type words adopted during the Late Ancient — | Hungarian period flowed into the Hungarian language over sucha longtime | that, using the tools of linguistics, we can distinguish three subperiods within this period. A strikingly large number of the adopted words indicate that the _ Hungarian people must have lived for a comparatively long time with these Turkic speakers of a Chuvash-type language. All this occurred simultaneously _

: with a significant transformation in the way of life of the Hungarians. — | The adoption of a word signifying an object does not necessarily mean that

_ the object was previously unknown to speakers of the recipient language. As we have already pointed out, the Hungarian words térd ‘knee’, kéldék ‘navel’

and gyomor ‘stomach’ are of Turkic origin, which of course does not mean | that before their encounter with the Turks the Hungarian people had no knowledge of their own bodies. Nevertheless, these words did not enter the Hungarian language as names for parts of the human body but, concurrent with the increased and intensified practice of animal husbandry, were adopted as the names for animal parts, and were only later used more generally to

specify parts of the human body. The Hungarian word birka ‘sheep’ is of Moravian origin, and was introduced into Hungary by Czech-Moravian shep-

herds together with a new form of sheep farming, which of course is notto say that the keeping of sheep had not for a long time been a familiar enough _

activity among Hungarians. The adoption of the word eke ‘plough’, mean- > while, does not mean that Hungarians had no previous knowledge of agricul- __ ture or the plough, but means rather that they learned to use a new, much more

efficient type of plough. | | a However, before we get down to the business of reviewing the various __

semantic groups of borrowed Turkic words, we must also note that conspicu-

ous gaps exist. For example, there are no technical terms connected to the names or processing of metals among the Turkic loan words inthe Hungarian

| language. This is no wonder, given that the Iron Age may have reached the Hungarians in the middle of the Ist millennium BC, and as we have seen,

110 Methodological introduction and the sources contact between the Hungarians and Turks occurred later than this. Among Hungarian words of Turkic origin many terms can be found belonging to the area of animal husbandry, but there are no terms related to the keeping of horses (except perhaps csddor ‘stallion’). At the same time, there are many names for parts of the harness (arkany ‘pole lasso’, béklyé ‘hobble’, gyeplo ‘reins’ and kantdr ‘bridle’). Significantly, however, the word kengyel ‘stirrup’

is not of Turkic origin. Given that in Eastern Europe the stirrup entered widespread use after the 6th century (see p. 103), the word kengyel may well

have been a Hungarian innovation, just like the German word for stirrup (Stegreif). This might reinforce the view that the Hungarians were already an

equestrian people when they came into contact with the Turks. The nature of |

the horse’s use, however, changed fundamentally. | In any event, it is certain that the Hungarians were introduced to completely | new forms of animal husbandry and agriculture. This assumption is backed up by the store of Hungarian words of Turkic origin connected to the practice

of animal husbandry, such as alacs ‘spotted (of an animal)’ arkany ‘pole lasso’, artany ‘(castrated) hog’, barom ‘cattle’, bélyeg ‘brandmark’, bika | ‘bull’, borju ‘calf’, diszno ‘pig’, gyapju ‘wool’, ird ‘buttermilk’, Karam ‘pen

(for animals)’, kecske ‘goat’, komondor ‘(one type of) sheepdog’, képii ‘churn’, kos ‘ram’, kuvasz ‘(one type of) sheepdog’, dkdr ‘ox’, d/ ‘sty’, allo ‘kid (a young goat)’, serte ‘bristle’, tarka ‘piebald’, teve ‘camel’, tind ‘young ox’, toklyo ‘year-old lamb’, tro ‘cottage cheese’, tuk ‘hen’, tino ‘heifer’, tirti ‘sheep’, tivecs ‘ewe’, and valyui ‘trough’, as well as words related to agriculture, such as alma ‘apple’, arat ‘to harvest’, drok ‘ditch’, arpa ‘barley’, dszok

‘gantry’, bor ‘wine’, bors ‘pea’, buza ‘wheat’, csepti ‘thresher’, csiger‘abad wine’, dara ‘groats’, did ‘walnut’, eke ‘plough’, gyom ‘weed’, gyiimdélcs ‘fruit’, kender ‘hemp’, kepe ‘stook’, kérddzik ‘to ruminate’, kert ‘garden’, komlo ‘hop (the plant)’, kdkény ‘sloe’, kélyui ‘pounder’, kdrte ‘pear’, ocsu ‘tailings’, orso ‘reel’, dré/ ‘grind’, tarlo ‘fallow land’, tilo ‘swingle’, torma ‘horseradish’, sarlo ‘sickle’, szor ‘to throw’ or ‘to separate tailings from wheat’, som ‘dogberry’, szd/6 ‘grape’, ‘vine’, and szzir ‘to filter (wine)’. _ We have observed that dating further back than these borrowed Turkic words connected to the keeping of livestock are Hungarian words of Ancient Iranian origin such as tehén ‘cow’, tej ‘milk’ and fejni ‘to milk’, while the basic terms of equestrianism also date from the Ugrian period. Still, compared to the circumstances of these earlier adoptions, the transformation in animal

husbandry was of a fundamental nature. We can measure its significance if

Slavic languages. | os

we compare this store of words with the Hungarian words borrowed from the Within the Hungarian language’s vocabulary relating to animal husbandry a number of words of Slavic origin can be found, including abrak ‘fodder’,

The sources | | | aoe | akol ‘sheep-pen’, barany ‘lamb’, birka ‘sheep’, bivaly ‘bison’, csorda ‘herd | of cattle’, gdcsér ‘drake’, iga ‘yoke’, jerke ‘ewe’, kacsa ‘duck’, kakas ‘cock- |

erel’, kKanca ‘mare’, malac ‘piglet’, mangalica (a type of pig), miskarolni‘to geld’, dsztéke ‘prod’, pdasztor ‘herdsman’, pata ‘hoof’, patkd ‘horseshoe’, suta

Hungary. | | a

‘doe’ and tarho ‘curds’. Although these words reflect a method of keeping |

animals based around the stable, several levels of this practice existed in The situation is different as far as the Hungarian words of Slavic origin, relating to agriculture, are concerned, such as asztag ‘stack (of corn)’, bab

‘bean’, barack ‘peach/apricot’, bardzda ‘furrow’, borona ‘harrow’, cékla ‘beetroot’, cirok ‘broomcorn’, csép ‘thresher’, cseresznye ‘cherry’, csoroszlya

‘coulter’, dinnye ‘melon’, gabona ‘grains’, garat ‘hopper’, hajdina “buckwheat’, kakat-szeg ‘a nail in the plough’, kalangya ‘haystack’, kalasz ‘ear (of wheat)’, kapal ‘to hoe’, kasza ‘scythe’, kazal ‘haystack’, konkoly ‘corn cockle’, korpa ‘bran’, lapat ‘spade’, len ‘flax’, molnar ‘miller’, pajta ‘stable’, parlag ‘fallow land’, paszuly ‘bean’, pohdnka ‘buckwheat’, répa ‘beet’, retek

‘radish’, rozs ‘rye’, szalma ‘hay’, szamorodni (a kind of vine), szecska ‘chaff’, | széna ‘hay’, szuszék ‘wheat container’, tarack ‘stolon’, uborka ‘cucumber’, ugar ‘fallow land’, villa ‘pitch-fork’ and zab ‘oat’. These reflect significant _

changes tn agricultural technology. | os | |

| If we consider the Hungarian words of Turkic origin relating to agriculture, it becomes abundantly clear that the basic vocabulary relating to the cultivation of wine is of Turkic origin. Such words include: szd/d ‘vine/grape’, bor

‘wine’, csiger ‘a bad wine’, sepro ‘dregs’, aszok ‘gantry’ (for supporting barrels) and szzir ‘to filter (wine)’. These words can only have been adopted

_in the vicinity of the River Kuban or on the northern shores of the Black Sea. _ There was no cultivation of vines or fruit in the territories of the Middle Volga and Kama rivers at this time. As regards the words kérte ‘pear’, alma ‘apple’, — dio ‘nut’ and som ‘dogberry’, it can of course be postulated that the Hungarians encountered these on commercial travels northward (just as the Hungarians did not come to know the orange in the place ofits cultivation), butthese words together nevertheless indicate a horticultural or fruit-growing culture, or at least a phytogeographical environment to which these plants were indigenous. _ This must again have been the Kuban river region and the northern environs

of the Black Sea. The data relating to viticulture and fruit are mutually | supportive. In point of fact, the Hungarian word kert ‘garden’ is probably of __ Indo-European origin, perhaps Iranian, although coming through the media-

tion of the Turks. | ,

Of the Hungarian words of Turkic origin, the number of terms belonging to the terminology of the state, public life and religion 1s strikingly large. Such ©

words include: al ‘false’, bator ‘brave’, bér ‘payment’, bet ‘letter (charac-

112 Methodological introduction and the sources ter)’, bilincs ‘handcuffs’, bird ‘judge’, bocsat ‘to pardon’, boszorkany ‘witch’, bun ‘sin’, buibaj ‘charm’, bd ‘wealthy, noble’, bdjt ‘lent’, bd/cs ‘wise’, bértdn ‘prison’, bucsu ‘farewell’, csata ‘battle’, csész ‘field-guard’, egyhdz ‘church’, érdem ‘merit’, erkélcs ‘morals’, eskii ‘oath’, gyaldz ‘to slander’, gyanti ‘suspicion’, gydn ‘to confess’, gyildl ‘to hate’, imad ‘to adore’, ir ‘to write’, kin ‘pain’, koldul ‘to beg’, koporso ‘coffin’, kélcsén ‘loan’, orvos ‘doctor’, sereg ‘army’, sir ‘tomb’, tandcs ‘counsel’, tanu ‘witness’, telek ‘plot’, terem ‘hall’, — tolmacs ‘interpreter’, tor ‘feast’, 6mény ‘abundant’ (originally ‘ten thousand’, -a military unit), térvény ‘law’, ur ‘lord’, tidiil ‘to rest’, tinnep ‘festival’. For

such a large quantity of this type of term to have entered the Hungarian language, the Hungarian people would have to have been full participants in

some kind of Turkic political system, tribal confederation, empire or state. | In this regard, the Sabirs, the Turks, the Onoghur-Bulghars and the Khazars may, in principle, each come into consideration, being Turkic-language ethnic formations of a kind which headed a political structure for shorter or longer periods on the territory here considered feasible based on other considerations of linguistic geography. The Turks may be ruled out on phonetic grounds, as

we are well familiar with their language from Turkic inscriptions. Their significance was anyway only transitional in Eastern Europe. We are unable to take the Sabirs into consideration as we know nothing of their language.

The few “Sabir” personal names which have survived in Byzantine sources | are insufficient for the identification of it. Anyway, we may set aside the question of the Sabirs since, although they played an important role in Eastern

Europe in the first half of the 6th century, their significance swiftly declined in 558, following their defeat at the hands of the Avars, and by the seventh decade of the 6th century they had disappeared from the scope of written _

sources. They could thus have scarcely played a significant role in the , formation of the vocabulary of the Hungarian language. In effect, only the Bulghar-Turkic and Khazar Empires are worthy of consideration. Naturally we cannot allow ourselves to forget that these nomadic empires embraced | many languages, and in each Turkic empire there dwelt both foreigners and speakers of a variety of Turkic languages. Nevertheless, when foreigners suchas _ the Hungarians, for example, succeeded in mastering one of the languages of an empire, then this would most assuredly be the language of the ruling group.

The Onoghur-Bulghars were in fact participants in Eastern European his- | _ tory from the second half of the 5th century. However, no direct evidence of their language has survived. Two branches of this people played a role following the dissolution of the Bulghar Empire of Khuvrat. One group were | the people of the Danube Bulghar Empire. We have a handful of sources relating to this language. These are:

The sources | | 113 1. Inscriptions in Greek script and in Greek language from the territory of the Danube Bulghar Empire. These inscriptions contain a few titles and names. There are close to one hundred inscriptions, or fragments of inscriptions,

surviving, and a few dozen common words can be found among them. .

However, a portion of these are official titles. | | 2. Fragments of Danube Bulghar texts in Greek script. These contain the

| names of weapons. There are scarcely any Turkic words among them. | 3. The so-called Danube Bulghar regal list. This enumerates the Danube Bulghar princes, giving the dates of their rule after each name. The problem with this list, however, is that the 10th-century original has survived in copies |

; from the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century in Cyrillic script. The copiers so distorted the words, which were unknown to them, as to make them unsuitable for a scholarly reconstruction of the text

(see pp. 61-62). | 4. Runiform fragments. These are practically undeciphered, and because of their brevity there is little prospect of them being deciphered in the near future. As far as the history of writing in Eastern Europe is concerned, however, they

are very interesting. _ | | cy 5. Loan words which entered Old Church Slavic or Bolghar Slavicfromthe __ Danube Bulghar language. _ _ ee

Without any doubt, the language of the Bulghars was Turkic, nevertheless | _ the question of which Turkic language they spoke cannot be answered for the time being. The word for an official title appears among the inscriptions in the — |

form of kolovros. If this is taken to be the Grecised form of kolovur, andcan be identified with the common Turkic title of kulavuz (which is actually probably of Iranian origin), then we have an example of the Danube Bulghar | /r/ equivalent of the common Turkic /z/. Still, this one piece of data—even if -

| it proves correct—is not enough to construct a theory around. oy | The earliest evidence of the Volga Bulghar language, aside from a few personal and place names, are the names of rivers and other words recorded | by Ibn Fadlan, followed by the so-called Volga Bulghar epitaphs, which we shall discuss shortly in relation to the names given to the Hungarians, and © thirdly, the loan words adopted by the neighbouring Finno-Ugrian and Turkic

languages. In the Arabic-language grave epitaphs, both the date and certain | _ parts of the name, and sometimes one or two other phrases, are in Turkic. We know of two types of inscription, one of which uses a Turkic language of the Chuvash type. The earliest dated relic is from 1281, while the Chuvash-type —

inscriptions disappear from around 1360. oe ee

_ The Chuvash elements of the Volga Bulghar grave epitaphs reflect not the __ direct antecedents of today’s Chuvash language, but rather a separate, now

114 Methodological! introduction and the sources extinct, Chuvash dialect. The two dialects, the Volga Bulghar and the predecessor of today’s Chuvash, were nevertheless very closely related. For this _

reason, the Chuvash of today can be used in reconstructions, albeit witha

certain amount of reservation and precaution. 7: Oo

The view is held by some that the Chuvash-type inscriptions are not those —

of the Volga Bulghars. The Volga Bulghars left behind the other type of inscriptions in the common Turkic language. This suggests that the Volga Bulghar r-Turkic inscriptions perhaps reflect the language of surviving mem- |

bers of the Khazar people who fled northward, and would mean that the

Chuvash are also the descendants of the Khazars. |

Unfortunately, reconstruction of the Khazar language is also making only slow progress, since we have almost no data at our disposal. The recognised titles of officials and personal names are scarcely adequate for the determination of linguistic affiliation. The onomastic material consists of the names of four tribes, and some 40 personal names and titles (the latter two not always distinguishable). These throw a certain amount of light on the state of the Khazar language, but not one is suitable for more precisely determining the

language of the Khazars. The situation is somewhat more promising with regard to the place names and geographical names. Among these, there are one or two of an unmistakably Chuvash hue. Such, for example, are the names

for the Fortress at Sharkel, built in the year 838 beside the River Don with

Byzantine help, and the Khazar name of a river, the Hara siu. Oe For a long time researchers believed that the name of the Khazars as 2 people ruled out the theory that they spoke a language of the Chuvash type, since the

word Khazar was coined by the Khazars themselves, and contains a /-z-/. However, recently discovered Old Turkic runiform inscriptions and other data have unequivocally proven that the Turkic name for the Khazars was kasar. ‘This means that Khazar cannot be ruled out as belonging to the Chuvash group

of languages, altering the previous assertion that meant only the Bulghar-

Turks were taken into consideration. a | In the final analysis, then, both sources are feasible. Using the methods of linguistics we are not even able to exclude the possibility that loan words _

which entered the Hungarian language prior to the Conquest period may

include those of both Bulghar-Turkic and Khazar origin. Be Yet more complex is the question of whether Turkic-speaking peoples lived in the Carpathian Basin at the time of the Hungarian Conquest. It appears that research today is able to produce fresh results in this area as well. Much has been said of the language of the Avars and the peoples who lived under Avar rule, but the surviving material again comprises mostly personal and official

names, which are not really suitable for determining the nature of a language. While it is certain that Slavic peoples lived in the Carpathian Basin at the time

The sources | 115 of the Conquest—something we shall discuss later—there are a number of

phenomena which cannot be explained merely by a Slavic presence. Among the official ranks at the time of Arpad, an important role was played by the ispdn (a type of local steward or governor). The older form of this word,

span [shpan], can be easily traced, and in Hungarian evolved into ispan in | much the same way as the Latin scola became iskola [ishkola] ‘school’, and Stephan became Istvan [ishtvan]. However, this span form cannot be attributed to the Slavic. It is clearly identical with the official title of zhupan, which can be shown to have been an important rank in the Carpathian Basin from — 777 onward. The dropping of the vowel -w- cannot, however, be explained by the Slavic, and Hungarian could not have developed ispan from the form of | zhupan. The key to the mystery can clearly only be held by a language in which — the stress in the word was placed on the final syllable, and in which the vowel

-u- was reduced in an unstressed position, and finally disappeared. Zhupan cannot be a Turkic word, because in Turkic a word could not begin with /zh/. Neither could the Slavic zhupan form be explained by a Turkic choban form. |

shpan. . | i ee |

If, however, a Turkic people had borrowed the form zhupan from a Slavic language, then it may have quite properly become shupan, and later perhaps _ Several unsolved problems also revolve around the Hungarian official title

ndadorispan ‘palatine’. Among the early forms of the word can be found | nadorispan, nandorispan, and landorispan. If, from among these, the nadndor | prefix 1s taken as the original, then this might be the Hungarian name for the Danube Bulghar-Turks or the Onoghundurs: just as the city of Belgrade was __ known in Early Hungarian as Nandorfejérvar (literally, “White City of the

Nandor’, i.e. the Bulghars). | , os ,

Itis arare, but not unique, occurrence for a title to be derived from the name

| of a people. The eastern Slavic Boyars is the name for the ancient feudal noble Class of the boyarin (as opposed to the court nobility, the dvoryanin), the old | form being bolyarin. This is the ethnic name Bo/ghar together with the Slavic affix [-in]. The [-lg-] > [-ly-] change occurred in the region of the Volga as well, where the old place name Bulghar became Bulyar, then Bilyar or Bular (according to the Hungarian Anonymus: Bular). The title of nandorispan was

therefore originally the ‘Onoghundur (Bulghar) zhupan’, the chief of the Turkic population, just as the székelyispan was the head of the Székely people.

Just as the Latin name Caesar gave us the titles Kaiser, Czar and the Hungarian csaszar (while the original Turkic form of the Khazar name was Kasar), thus the name of khaghan Bayan, the founder of the Avar Empire, _

gave the title of bdn ‘Ban’. The name of khaghan Bayan is Turkic, not Mongolian. Although in the Turkic languages, the word meaning ‘rich’ always"

takes the form bay, in Chuvash it is puyan, which can be traced back to an — |

116 Methodological introduction and the sources. earlier bayan form. This may suggest that at least the leading stratum of the | Avars spoke a Chuvash-type Turkic language. We shall return to this when discussing the Avars in more detail. In Turkic, however, the [-y-] 1s not dropped from between the two vowels. It may in fact have been dropped only

in certain Slavic languages, for example in Croatian, while the Slavic of Pannonia may also have followed this change. We are therefore dealing here

with the Slavic form of a Turkic word. — - 7 7

The Conversio bagoariorum et carantanorum compiled in 870, withregard to a Church consecrated in 866 in the region of Lake Balaton, mentions the — place name of Termperhc. This same place name features in a document drawn

up in 860. The second element of the place name is the German word -berg ‘hill’. The name also appears in Baranya county in a document from 1332 in the form of Teremhegy. The word terem, here meaning ‘palace’, is most likely

of Greek origin, but was also current among the Turks and the Slavs. In this : event, it entered the Slavic through the mediation of the Turkic. The title of palatinus ‘palatine’, or palotagrof was termecsii, which became the personal | name Termecsii, borne by the grandson of Arpad who visited Constantinople in around 950. The title of termecsii 1s only indirectly related to the Khazar title of fermecs ~ tarmacs recorded from 730. The Hungarian word bélyeg ‘stamp’ meant a mark branded onto an animal _ with a red-hot iron. In Turkic we must begin from the form belek. The Slavic , word of identical meaning, beleg, is also derived from the Turkic. By linguistic means we are able to demonstrate that the word entered Hungarian either from

the Turkic, or from the language of a Turkic people who were becoming Slavicised. This Slavic-oriented Avar-Turkic language also lent words to

Hungarian, although not in very great numbers. os

5. THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOURCES | ee While the discovery of fresh linguistic sources of data is a very rare occurrence, advancement of research in this area being confined mainly to the refinement of methodology, the situation is entirely different in the case of archaeology. New material is constantly emerging from the bowels of the earth, while other relics gathering dust in the depositories of museums become ever more readily accessible. The difficulty with archaeological material lies not merely in the problems of determining age, as we have seen in the above, but also in attaching each archaeological culture, group of finds or objects to a given people. Researchers do not always succeed in finding the sober middle

road between too rapid conclusions and total scepticism. |

The sources | | 417 The treasure of archaeological findings relating to the conquering Magyars is well known to science, and even if certain matters of detail remain unre- |

solved, this is chiefly the result of advancements in methodology, which __

although producing more results, also generate more problems. | For a long time Hungarian archaeologists were sustained by the hope that

the comparatively easily identifiable store of archaeological finds from the Conquest period could be traced back in time, that the place from which the Magyar tribal confederation launched its Conquest of the future homeland would be easy to locate. After all, we are familiar with relics from even the. earliest generations following the Magyar Conquest, and by no means can it ©

be assumed that the possessions or burial customs of the first-generation conquering Magyars buried in the Carpathian Basin would have been signifi- = cantly different from those of their fathers’ or grandfathers’, laid to rest in the

pre-Conquest Etelk6z region. Before the First World War, a number of attempts were made to unearth this material, but not only was it a case of trying | to find a needle in a haystack, but moreover, the ‘haystack’ at this time, namely the archaeological findings from southern Russia, were not systematically __

categorised, and thus it was impossible to know the local context of each © | potentially interesting find. Burial sites from the pre-Conquest period were not found (or if rumour of such a site began to circulate, it would later prove to be false), and for a long time it was believed that the reason for this was the _

closing down of frontiers with the emerging Soviet Union in the 1920s, which | prevented Hungarian archaeologists from carrying out their field work. The complaint was ever more frequently heard, albeit not through official channels, that Soviet archaeologists, partly with regard to their professional stand-

| ards, and partly because of their particular prejudice against nomadic peoples, __ scarcely carried out any excavations in these regions, and if they did actually find anything, would fail to recognise or be unwilling to identify it as Hun-

garian. For this reason it was impossible to identify Magyar material from before the Conquest period. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, Hungarian archaeologists were given the opportunity to embark on research expeditions, and -

from the 1970s joint excavations took place. An incredibly rich treasure of archaeological material began to emerge from southern Russia, the Volga and _ northern Caucasus regions, and while the publication of finds was not always |

- of a desirable standard, after a time both the sheer abundance of material and

parallels. oo a a a

the sporadic nature of publications began to hinder research into Magyar |

| From the end of the 1970s, however, the surprising conclusion began to

emerge that despite all endeavours, and even with possession of a great store

| of comparative material, it was still impossible to trace back, either in time or | space, the archaeological relics of the pre-Conquest Magyars. __ OS

{18 Methodological intreduction and the sources , |

.me.a2% 1 + , mR . | a oe i — *Lvov mo pl Sts MO sof ng. ~ ; Kirovograde ® oe | |

—., a ;ae rn. ~~ Orr SeerRogae, 7 : _— 3aa View \Kigo eKrivoi I.Py— oeNs Saha ey ae — tig, toon wm oo m4cr 4 :,

_Cr“are b yan ed ed | of oyfpcy joriia “a Po & A _/ | ae Po pn . vu, a ee ee kaghoe Kweee Odegsert ei, i

—— [ae en eee to a eer — pF PF pe Rate % ? fe1cee ,rrtsCiCS gS _*, |g Kolozsvar a i. > JY . ~™ ? (Chi) JopOr 7. eae fae Crimea paca \ &E 5 i.e.|

_ Maggi ge ENO Cf _ _ DES ( G2 rrrr—sS

= aS Le ; cn 1) 7 ek

| payuber/ p Bucharest oT 7 Ur’ |

Figure 16 oe

anaes = =)h3—hs—lhltrti‘(‘COWrs—~—SO

Conquest-period sites beyond the Carpathians: (1) Przemysl; (2) Sudova

Vishnya; (3) Krilos; (4) Frumusica; (5) Probota; (6) Grozesti; >

(7) Bucharest-Tei; (8) Subbotici | : |

directions. | |

This state of affairs then became more precisely defined, and in three In the eastern lower reaches of the Carpathians, burial sites did nevertheless

begin to emerge which yielded archaeological material displaying wellfounded similarities with relics of the conquering Magyars. This strip of territory embracing the Carpathians from the east, from Przemys} in the north to Bucharest in the south, has thus far provided us with six archaeological sites (Przemysl, Sudova, Krilos, Probota, Grozesti and Bucharest-Tei). There can scarcely be any doubt that we are dealing here with lookout garrisons posted from the Carpathian Basin, 1.e. after the Conquest of the homeland, and that here we find evidence of the inhabitants of sentry posts set up to watch over the outermost reaches of the newly founded settlement, not the graves ofthose __ who were making their way toward the Carpathian Basin. It is somewhat more

| difficult to determine the nature of two other sites located further to the east,

The sources | | | oo - — «119 one in Moldavia (Frumusica), the other beside the River Ingul (Subbotici). The

chronology and other circumstances of the finds are yet to be adequately ascertained, and these may be the remains of groups which were either left behind, or chose to settle, or perhaps even returned from wanderings else-_ where. In all events, these sites do not help solve the problem of finding a location for the Magyar people prior to the Conquest of their homeland.

The second direction in which renewed waves of emerging data point is | concerned with the individual types of archaeological relics of the conquering

Magyars, the various ornamentation and techniques applied, one or other of which can be found on each archaeological object found outside of the Carpathian Basin. Here we are looking not for the antecedents of individual __ stylistic elements, but for instances of exact likeness. Recently, for the occa-

sion of an exhibition in Hungary, the celebrated Sword of Kiev, often used in | - comparison with Hungarian archaeological finds, underwent a successful | restoration in Budapest. Thus, much has been determined of this, by now scrutinised, masterpiece that “its blade may have been fashioned somewhere | in the region of the Rhine, and its hilt end and cross-piece ornamented by Viking master craftsmen, while its plate of silver—decorated in very close _

conformity to Hungarian taste—was in all probability attached to the hiltin Kiev”. In any event, it is a good example of just how complex a historical _ background can be revealed when an object is subjected to thorough exami-

nation, and suggests that we can take for granted a similar resulteven where such a thorough examination is not possible. In the case of the Hungarian- | styled silver plate on the Sword of Kiev (see Plates I/1 and I/2), we still do not |

know where the craftsman lived, for whom he was working, and to which workshop he belonged. Caches of coins have already proved that as early as | the decade following the Conquest, merchants arrived from the region of the Caspian Lake, and that such contacts were clearly reciprocal. Each object, as _ a piece of merchandise, may have travelled quite considerably, even as far as ~ Sweden, while either voluntarily or of necessity, craftsmen were also capable

of journeying very great distances. To what degree they would have then retained the Magyar style in their new location obviously depended partly on their new masters. For this reason, from the Caucasus to Scandinavia, certain

individual objects displaying unmistakable Hungarian parallels, or the orna- _ mentation to be found on such objects, can be regarded exclusively as providing clues to the history of the given object itself, and not as sources of information regarding a people’s history—although they may serve well to indicate the trading routes, connections and economic contacts of the age.

While we are unable to take a firm stand regarding the ethnic provenance of |

these craftsmen, it is conceivable that among them there were not only _ Magyars, but also wandering craftsmen belonging to other peoples. This —

120 | Methodological introduction and the sources question may be further complicated by the possibility that associates of a craftsman arriving in Hungary from a foreign workshop might have continued to manufacture the same type of object in their original workplace which their colleague who had emigrated to Hungary had introduced, and perhaps brought into general use in the Carpathian Basin. Under these circumstances, we can again obtain important information regarding economic channels and trading

contacts, but nothing about the movement of peoples. The third group of evidence is the much-debated body of archaeological material which has come to light at Bolshie Tigani, near to the confluence of © the Volga and Kama rivers. The finds uncovered here bear a very close resemblance indeed to the Hungarian finds from the Carpathian Basin, and experts

are in little doubt that the Bolshie Tigani burial site contains the remains of Magyars. The similarities are unquestionably striking, particularly as regards | the partial burial of horses. Unfortunately, however, the determinationofexact __ or partial correspondences has not been followed by a thorough analysis of | the dissimilarities. There are no metal sabretache plates, for example, while the three-leaved belt-end decoration is far removed from palm-leaf ornamentation, and so on. There has scarcely been any debate with regard to the dating of the cemetery. The most recent coin found in the graves was minted in 900 AD, and evidently ended up in the earth a few years or decades after. Debate is centred around how we may reconstruct the history of this small ethnic group which is regarded as Magyar. There is agreement that these people may be identical with those whose descendants were met by Friar Julianus not far from the capital of the Volga Bulghars in the year 1235, and whose

pp. 301-302). a | |

| name appears in an inscription from 1311 which we shall discuss later (see

From this point on, however, there are two divergent opinions which have | two diametrically opposed sets of precedents. There is some argument as to when this group of Magyars arrived in Bolshie Tigani and the environs of the _

River Kama. The first opinion states that it was from here that the Magyar people set out on their final peregrination ending in the occupation of the ultimate homeland, while the group based around Bolshie Tigani remained in

the former homeland. The second opinion, meanwhile, has it thatthis Magyar people drew back northward from the south, having gone their separate ways further south, with a section of the Magyar people proceeding westward, and __

the other section, joining up with the Volga Bulghars as they withdrew | northward, migrating into the region of the Volga and Kama confluence. It is clear that whichever point of view we choose to stand by, as far as the early history of the Magyars and of Eastern Europe in general is concerned, we have hit upon a question of vital importance. Here it is only archaeological arguments that we are holding up for comparison. The argument which takes the

The sources | 121 view that the Magyars in the Kama region “remained in place”, in other words

~ in the one-time Urheimat, thus reasons that the Bolshie Tigani culture was not | isolated. Strikingly similar burial practices can be inferred from earlier archae- _

ological material unearthed in the vicinity, namely that belonging to the Kushnarenkovo culture. This theory dates the beginning of the Kushnaren-

kovo culture to the 6th century, thus allowing the local antecedents of the |

Bolshie Tigani culture to be traced backward. | |

The burial sites at Kushnarenkovo, 50 km to the northwest of Ufa, and | Sterlitamak, some 130 km to the south of Ufa, together with the archaeological

culture which has come to be connected with them, have long occupied the minds of experts in the field. The type of ceramic objects unearthed at these

sites can also be found on the far side of the Urals, and for this reason some | have traced the origin of this culture to western Siberia. However, the uni_ formity and chronology of this culture are still the subject of dispute, although

it can at least be said with certainty that it still existed in the 9th century. This is important because the territory it occupied is by and large identical to the territory where Ibn Fadlan encountered what he named the Bashkir people in the | year 922. Bashkirian researchers wasted no time in identifying the Kushnarenk- _

ovo-Sterlitamak culture as Old Bashkirian. The remains of the people who populate the 150 or so graves of the Bolshie Tigani cemetery may thus actually | reveal a connection with this territory. While the archaeological relics of Bolshie | _ Tigani reveal a link with the Kushnarenkovo finds, the testimony provided by the Bolshie Tarhani and Tankeyevka burial sites cannot be disregarded; these latter

displaying an unequivocal connection to the Volga Bulghars. ae Bolshie Tarhani is located at the Kuybishev bend, and is the earliest known | burial site of the northbound Volga Bulghars, while the cemetery at Tankeyevka is one of those very few Volga Bulghar burial grounds lying on the right, or northern side of the River Kama, and belonged to the garrison posted to the far side of the Kama, the river which roughly constituted the Volga Bulghars’ line of defence. Accurate dating of the Bolshie Tarhani burial site 1s as- —

sisted by caches of coins, the most recent of which may date from 787-789, | and which can hardly have ended up in the ground much earlier than 800. |

| Meanwhile, two dirhem coins found in the Tankeyevka cemetery can be respectively dated to 846 and 892-902. This means that the Volga Bulghars

may have crossed the line of the Kama in around the year 900. a The Bolshie Tigani cemetery can be dated to between 850 and 920. The question 1s: where and when did those buried here come into contact withthe Volga Bulghars? Given that the territory of Bolshie Tigani was reached by the

| Volga Bulghars only after 850, then either contacts began at around this time,

or the two groups arrived simultaneously. The first alternative can be ruled out on archaeological grounds. Linguistic arguments we will deal with sepa- |

122 Methodological introduction and the sources rately later. The second alternative is, however, feasible. Throughout the territory bordered by the Volga, Kama, Cheremshan and Mayna, there are more than one thousand archaeological sites that can be dated to between 800 —

and 1200 AD, and these are all Volga Bulghar sites. This region is the most | thoroughly explored territory in Russia in archaeological terms. While it is no small feat that archaeologists have succeeded in finding traces of the Magyars in this ocean of evidence, nowhere can there be found any archaeological relic which would prove to be not only connected to the finds of Bolshie Tigani—as is the material unearthed in Kushnarenkovo, Bolshie Tarhani or Tankeyevka

(entirely understandably if such links came about through marriage)—but which might also be revealed as an antecedent of Bolshie Tigani. The highly specialised horse burial revealed in the grave at Sterlitamak is of course worthy

teristic form of burial. : Fe

of attention, but only because it may shed light on the origins of this characThe matter of funereal shrouds is also not without interest. A great number

of such funereal shrouds or face coverings have been found in Conquest-pe- | riod Magyar cemeteries, where the position of the eyes and the mouth is indicated by pieces of metal sewn onto canvas, or sometimes leather (see Plate II/2). :

In exceptional cases, as in Rakamaz-Strazsadomb (NE Hungary), the face mask is made of metal, with openings indicating the position of the eyes and | the mouth (see Plate II/1). Two types are known in the province of the Rivers | Volga and Kama. One is a gilded silver or plain silver cerement covering the entire face, and leaving openings for the eyes and mouth (such as that found in Bolshie Tigani), while another merely places plates of a precious metal | sewn onto leather or canvas over the eyes and mouth. The variant leaving openings and the type where the eyes are covered reveal two differing spiritual

beliefs. One “protects” the deceased against evil spirits which might break through openings, while the other “eternalises” the deceased, setting the face in perpetuity. The theory that these represent ancient Finno-Ugrian or Ugrian burial rites, which the Magyars brought with them from the region of the — Kama, scarcely withstands close scrutiny. Such funereal shrouds and masks are far more widespread, and cannot be attached to any particular ethnic group. Even if plates such as those designed to be placed over the eyes and the mouth were taken separately in an attempt to prove such an ancient connection, the

problem would still remain that this type appears in the territory of the Urals | only in the 8th century, in the later Lomovato culture. It is quite impossible, therefore, that we are dealing here with some kind of “ancient” Finno-Ugrian

_ phenomenon, as was claimed by some scholars. SF Archaeological arguments, therefore, do not support the theory that the Magyars emerged from this region. We shall, however, return to the question | in connection with Magyar groups left behind in the east (see Chapter XV).

The sources | | 123 | The burial site of the Magyars of Bolshie Tigani does nevertheless provide us with one other piece of testimony. If taken to be the resting place of Magyars

who migrated northward from the south or southwest together with Volga Bulghars in the 8th century, then this would suggest that the burial customs

of the Magyar people had already become fairly uniform by the time the | Magyar groups separated. A parallel phenomenon was the preservation of self-designation in both groups (see pp. 297-308). If, however, this can be established, as it most certainly can, then once again we find ourselves facing

the problem of why no Magyar archaeological evidence can be found in the one-time Etelk6éz and Levedia regions, or indeed anywhere the Magyar people

dwelt in earlier times. At the same time, the theory that the archaeological __ culture of the Magyars took shape in the Carpathian Basin itself also falls by |

the wayside. | | oo |

_ In order to examine the archaeological culture of the Magyar people, we _ must briefly survey the archaeological antecedents in the Carpathian Basin. Although archaeological evidence, and even inscriptions, of Celts, Romans, Huns, Gepidae, Longobardi and other peoples can be found in greatabundance _ _ in the Carpathian Basin, from the point of view of the Magyar people only the

direct significance. |

_ Avars who immediately proceeded them in the Carpathian Basin have any _

_ Rather than the archaeological relics of the Avars themselves, it is more appropriate to speak here of the archaeological relics of the Avar period, since

in this way we use terminology which does not attach such relicstoa specific _— people. As a result of the most recent research we can divide the period in question into four subperiods: (1) Early Avar period; (2) transitional period;

(3) Late Avar period; (4) closing phase of the Avar period. fh | In the year 567, the king of the Longobardi formed an alliance with the = Avars as they arrived from the east, inflicting an annihilating defeat on the —

_Gepidae who then lived in the eastern half of the Carpathian Basin. Sub- © sequently recognising their strategic position, the Longobardi withdrew to northern Italy after Easter in 568 to the region of Spoleto, Benvenuto and to — Lombardy which bears their name to this day. The Avars followed in their footsteps into the Carpathian Basin, and with them arrived a new archacologi-

| cal culture. This lasted until the 640s, when the Bulghars of Khuvrat from the | east, and the Slavic tribes of Dalmatia from the southwest, joining forces with

_ the subject peoples of the empire, dealt a decisive defeat on the Avar Empire. It was at this time that the characteristic archaeological culture of the early Avar period came to a close, and the relics of several subsequent decades _

reveal transitional forms. | | Around 670, the Khazars overthrew the Onoghur-Bulghar empire of Khu-

vrat, after which one group of the Onoghurs migrated to the Balkans, while

124 Methodological introduction and the sources another departed for the territory of the Avar Empire. The Onoghur chieftain was elevated to a high rank in the Avar Empire, and archaeological remains of his entourage can be found separately along the banks of the River Sid and

in the Mezéség region. : os,

At the end of this major internal transformation, 1.e. around the year 700, power was once again consolidated in the Avar Empire, leading to the flow-

ering of an archaeological culture which we shall call the Late Avar period. Charles the Great (Charlemagne) and the Frankish Empire launched

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126 Methodological introduction and the sources | attacks against the Avar Empire in around 791. Internal strife, the conversion

pp. 263-266). |

to Christianity ofa section of the Avar leadership and fresh Carolingian attacks

ultimately brought the end to the empire (as described in greater detail on However, in the last years of the 8th century—contrary to many opinions

until now—life did not come to an end, and the land of Pannonia was not , reduced to devastation. On the one hand, a Slavic centre was created in Pannonia with Zalavar (Mosaburg) as its seat, while on the other the Frankish influence began to increase, an influence subsequently reflected in the archaeological material. Besides this, a group of archaeological finds can be distin- — guished which is contemporary with the ceramic finds of Carinthia, or with

the culture known to some scholars as the Nagyszentmiklds-BlatnicaMikuléice parallel, which was, more correctly, proposed the designation of “closing phase of the Avar period”. Evidence of this culture can be found in Transdanubia, and in all likelihood it was also present 1n the region between

the Danube and Tisza rivers. |

Later, around 830, the Danube Bulghars, who had in no small part contrib-

uted to the downfall of the Avar Empire, seized possession of the Maros (Mures) valley, mainly in order to secure themselves the salt-mines, and in all probability gold-mines in the vicinity. Here, a characteristic body of Danube Bulghar archaeological material can be found. Among the clearly distinguishable relics of the Early Avar period, we find a number of press-forged belt hoops (see Plate IV). It was from this period that we find long and loop-sided stirrups, straight-bladed swords with P-shaped

handles, scaled armour fashioned from wrought iron plates linked together, __ and quivers with edges trimmed with carved battens of bone. In the female graves, meanwhile, were discovered plain bone needle-cases and spherical or |

prism-shaped hanging earrings. .

In the middle, transitional period, a number of new objects appeared, including cellular, circular brooches inlaid with glass, and cylindrical, lathe-

hilted, single-edged sabre. - | turned needle-cases, while among weapons, the sword gave way to a straight-

In the late Avar period, we find that types of objects from the transitional period continued to be made, the lathe-decorated needle-cases among them, and runiform inscriptions also begin to appear on them. The most striking finds, however, are the belt mounts cast of bronze, and often gilded or plated with silver (see Plate V). On the ends of larger belts can be seen scenes of animal struggles, griffins, hunting scenes, the Tree of Life, and man fighting lion, while on other belt-ends, or sometimes on the reverse side of the larger belts, we find creepers, vine leaf clusters and again the Tree of Life. Belt hoops are rectangular and decorated with creepers, plant elements being the preva-

‘hs ’ 1S reaso . iIn-cre it > erift n these kn 3 eper arch Ane yp gical : ny veolo camefsa t ) The sources

ent feature. For thi

;racelets ocr Per area culture. A and newprecious olay appeared, elets decorated with ri ve =p ora d Stibeonsand sore

nen with ribbons and Nore sn esr recrous st pearl or glass, and ones , zarvas (Béké stern . s

aeological cul = to the seoanHun bis ares , eastern a prismatic vise of sheen bes eth8 centn und»its cule, Gatun ond half of the Was four sides. T sen oto ton ny ) cri

scratched 1 . The whole inscripti , with a line of 1 ption on

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Nee \ ee s eBeMela “os Gree:Vee ©_; oe x. ZRa PR 4Ss |gos OS aee oF Ee Be ee a ee co Bek. Eee: Se heGe oe | FOS, —(BEB ee

a Be Se get ee Oe a Seg Eager RS Sg aaeget ee Re Rago pcs SRE a Re a CER § a SS

ek BeeesfmeCo ON SR be «= Be eee pe eos The28 peeOR ee ee oes _ Pes oe a i Be "hee Bee re to | {oe _ CT Seu com 8icass 0Se uta2ee oe ree ae ae ave—EES BS: By See ne je ooo - og Ss es oat oeae pec] ss © aRE oe fee i.2Rees eeeee a. Beg oe Baye ge Mw4 4} Ne“aHe EN gs-had es eae 83 peice Be , oe 1 ae ee a \ee AAA ioee PeOo 3oseee 3 oo pee eee FL ee ros a. te. [= Lf} -_ . ~~ : oe oog a.oo a~~Se (ae ge ShLSaoe Beg a[Be oe ee oeaP . aeeee. bogee OAS BE ee Be poe oRoo EE. oe AE ed oe i— y os ae ye Be Re ee ed Sl oo ean L . Po Sie ve See ve Rages ee i ee eee RES Soe Mew ek ee FF \ og f oe.anseeSeae

- eRe ae ee a ice 8 Becomes EER ESR to Se eke ae ER Soe! BB ei CHE RES ae OR EES eee 2 ERR pam SABES SEESEESS Serge pees:

Re ae Se me ee , en $ lee oe eae Ree gi Bie — wey ae eo 1 RARSSESE SS Beas Bes pe ne, Ba Beg | = SF 7G Be BBE SS eae Ee Be ~~ Re Se a Seoe a oeaiia eee Fistor LEER SESE SE ES eee Bes # Se Se . ee 3 Re Bopace a. 2aege oes a ESesBS csAe a— oe a]

— a oe ee ae een ne ee BOA ee ee BE ES “Ress LES: eee aa

The Buyla Figure 19Na gyszentmiklos plplate a inscript! iption on the *


128 Methodological introduction and the sources

¥4 ADB? 4944902

Yn yy, Nos t\O7

eer 3 oO 4

JZV iN A) oS >?

POV yy 5-6

SK 1988 OB Figure 20

Inscriptions of the Nagyszentmiklds treasure | (1-6) |

OM | WA a. re

The sources - 129 >

bow MDA Br BA

asQOee | 400 gs) 42 M A2

yAs AY4 es AS Se ante

Figure 21 Sg ee Inscriptions of the Nagyszentmiklos treasure II (7-14) and the tent (15) |

130 Methodological introduction and the sources -

fa ee e bo f ae a . Ot ie geek |cS BoePee | | Cet AR TN g. “SN *) a ge aes ~m es 2 ee Lee _seannsntbtegcouoonitnnenenen

aa te Pee 1[ee ee = Pe uk 4 c i 2 ae | WSs] | a z 5 ee ay Pe rar -—,€ ee ut P0258 as ee. ae:4 uy 37Fj{(,, om 3 Cee ao eee oan oR Me potion | a NS ” eee a) nn —ne pe 4 PN

Bree sees C0—_e———, wn, 5: as, ee —n harem

pe ee ae —— — on —

i. | oa = ea ™ [| oe = eee ., = Lee = ae a — > Oo oe Pe Ne et Oo. ee. qT ? ¢ \ be oe a it ee fi AS i aAee Fm ee N AMA. = E>» S| a ; Loa v eee ee eee ee ™ eel —_— = al ‘elegy N & ce toe ets. = Eo ee ee — ») . =) is) ae » eae OO N Geese 4Rae 2Sfy. ae er aN ine “‘ 1, fo eee * Y god | pies FoR gee La geet) | io Ta Rk pes) || WS aT © bot —_ ee : S $e eeer ad ee oe ne | > o>) ee Ce f-™~| ® Fee | ' ih ms a ow | yn ae —— N 4 e Pe ; | a ee | a“ ie SS on es” ee gS ese |aes eehe= RNS (ee | — W oe © oT ee leWNT" XY] 8_ = 2| So z es ees | SS ie af oS / * oo | ° — a

ae ee | | 2 Qu oes ee_ 7o= os oS \ ;coe ae |72 VT -NUS ———_ i[oe oe ees ee Cc Pe aay en oO oe be ee eee pe oS Se pee:BN a eSere PP8RR Oe aepoo ee aaa e

ger - Se ee |

The sources | os | —1. to that of the runiform inscription revealed in the other important find of the period, the treasure of Nagyszentmiklés. During a fresh examination of the earlier find material, it emerged that runiform inscriptions can be found on other needle-cases and various other objects. The late Avar period cemetery of Szarvas which gave us the bone case also produced another inscription on

a belt-end. | | | |

The treasure of Nagyszentmiklés is a gold hoard of 23 buried objects, __ whose age and origin have remained uncertain since its discovery in 1799. _ The objects originate from a variety of periods, and several objects have copjes in the hoard. The treasure includes a Greek-language inscription in Greek

characters, as well as a non-Greek inscription using Greek letters, and a number of runiform inscriptions. Among the runiform inscriptions, there are a number which occur several times. A total of 14 types of inscription canbe distinguished, together with a sketch depicting nomadic tents. One particular. inscription appears five times, while two others each feature twice. Based on

analogies with the above-mentioned bone needle-case inscription of Szarvas, whose date of origin can be established comparatively accurately, we are now

| able to date the inscriptions from the Nagyszentmiklds hoard to the second —

half of the 8th century. Oe es a es The most recent survey of the treasure has succeeded in establishing not only the chronological relationship between the individual objects, but also | the phases of alteration carried out on these same objects. Perhaps the most | important finding is that the inscriptions were scratched onto the objects at a | comparatively late date, while the clasps to be found on a number of the objects, which would have enabled them to be suspended froma belt,arealso

of later origin, as indeed are the handles of several drinking vessels. Distinc- _ tions have been made between the earlier and later attachment of such clasps. _ . The craftsman who carried out the attachment of clasps paid no regard to the sole engraved inscription to be found among the objects. A cross also appears on one of the objects, and in this we have been able to distinguish the various phases of the treasure’s transformation. However, in some cases it can be ©

proved that the object and its inscription are of the same age. Those inscrip- | tions which are repeated on several occasions are also contemporaneous. In _ any event, the history of the treasure includes a “Christian” phase, a “runiform” phase, and a third phase during which alterations were made to the

objects so that they could be hung from belts. | |

From the non-Greek-language inscription which uses Greek letters, two names and titles can clearly be read: Buyla zoapan and Butaul zoapan. The title of zoapan is written unusually, on one occasion with an Omega, and on the other with an Omikron. The two personal names are without doubt Turkic,

but the language of the inscription, as with the language of the runiform

132 Methodological introduction and the sources

SS ao | —6(0 —icm |

Figure 23 | Hair pin, Przemys| 7

inscriptions, has so far not been satisfactorily deciphered. It is very probable

that they are in a Turkic language, but the inscriptions are too short, and we | have no bilingual inscriptions at our disposal. For this reason, attempts to decipher the inscriptions have so far proved inconclusive. Much is certain, —

however, that both the Szarvas and the Nagyszentmiklos inscriptions were written in the language of one of the peoples of the late Avar period, and that this people employed a form of writing that did not use Roman characters. It | was a writing used by a people whose local leaders had Turkic names and bore

Slavic titles. This constitutes a substantial step forward as regards the identi- | fication of the peoples of the late Avar period. The runiform inscriptions, in respect of type, belong to the family of Eastern European runiform writing. Archaeological finds containing Eastern European runiform writings have multiplied considerably over recent decades. These finds can be divided into the following geographical groups: (1) the Northern Caucasus and River Kuban region; (2) the territory of the Volga and Don rivers; (3) the region of Dobruja; (4) Eastern Bulgharia; and (5) the Carpathian Basin. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of over one hundred inscriptions have not been

reliably published. All are very short, and we know of only two inscriptions longer than that on the Szarvas needle-case, and even these contain only afew © characters more (Elista, Mayak), while there exist no inscriptions in two lan-

guages. It is certain that we are dealing here with several local variants of one script, and it is a striking fact that this alphabet appeared in the land of the Khazars and the Onoghur-Bulghars. Not long ago in Siberia, where Eastern Turkic inscriptions can be found, three inscriptions were discovered which are

of writing. :

not a part of the already deciphered and well-known body of Eastern Turkic | inscriptions, but which belong to the above-mentioned Eastern European type

These writings are important from several aspects with regard to the

conquering Magyars. On the one hand, the greater part of finds have come to

The sources | | , - | 133 | light in territories which had, or may have had, some connection with the conquering Magyars. On the other hand, to this day the origin of runiform inscriptions found in the Székely region (of eastern Transylvania) has remained unresolved (see Chapter XVI for details). A significant breakthrough was the discovery of a runiform inscription from the Conquest period on a bone-covered quiver opening that emerged from excavations at Homokmégy— Halom near Kalocsa (southern Hungary), which added a new link to the chain of inquiry. In Hungarian, both the verb ir ‘write’ and the noun beti ‘letter (of

the alphabet)’ are of Turkic origin, and it is just possible that the Magyars adopted this version of runiform writing in Turkic, probably Onoghur-Khazar, surroundings, just as they did the majority of the borrowed words. The Székely

runiform script, however, contains characters of Greek origin as communicated through Slavic, and we are now better able to explain the problem ofits _

| origin in the light of new archaeological finds (see Chapter XVI).

: The rich supply of archaeological material from the late Avar period _ gradually began to dry up in the 9th century as it became mixed with Slavic.

and Frankish material. It appears, however, that at least in certain regions, a _ localised archaeological culture of the closing part of the Avar period became —s_—»

_ established for a short time, and lived to see in the Magyar conquerors. One | typical feature of this culture was the secondary utilisation of objects from the late Avar period, as can also be observed in a number of graves from the

Conquest period. OS | | oS |

We must probably reckon on the presence of Slavic peoples as early as the beginnings of the Avar Empire. Still, the task of isolating archaeological finds pertaining to the Slavs meets with not inconsiderable difficulties. The gener-

ally held view is that, as opposed to the Avars’ skeletal form of burial, the _ cremation of the dead and subsequent burial of ashes in urns is indicative of

a Slavic-type settlement. This form of burial, however, by its nature leaves little trace, and thus the smaller number of finds and paucity of grave goods —

may actually be a consequence of this particular burial practice. A separate chapter should be devoted to the excavations carried out in Zalavar (at the southwest end of Lake Balaton in western Hungary) and its environs. The castle complex found here survived to see the Magyar Conquest,

and saw further extensions during the era of Arpad. Its foundations were in all probability laid for Pribina between 840 and the consecration of the church |

in 850. Debate is constantly raging regarding the attachment to a particular : ethnic group of those who lived around Zalavar and the objects which they left behind. Historically speaking, the presence of both southern and northern

(Moravian) elements can be expected. In any event, the majority of this population were among those who settled in around the year 840, and their | range of influence certainly cannot have been as great as that of other Slavic

134 | Methodological introduction and the sources groups which by then were undoubtedly common elsewhere in the Carpathian Basin. More or less simultaneously with the Conquest came the appearance of a culture which came to be known as the culture of Biyelo-Brdo, after a settlement in the old county of Veréce beside the River Danube. Common among

the finds from this location are S-ended hair bands, while the burial customs , are of several types. Grave goods, however, are very meagre indeed. Previously the entire culture had been regarded as a legacy of the Slavs, but is

now thought of as comprising the burial sites of common Magyars. | Following all these archaeological antecedents, the Magyars appeared, leaving behind them an entirely characteristic, easily distinguishable archaeological legacy. Archaeological evidence of the conquering Magyars does not | cease immediately upon the founding of the state of Saint Stephen, and graves from as late as the 6th and 7th decades of the 11th century have been excavated which, although dated by coins from the age of Arpad, preserve in one way

or another the characteristics of archaeological finds of the Conquest period. : From this time on, however, this type of burial site rapidly disappeared, giving way everywhere to the practice of Christian burial without grave goods. These

graves thus contain material evidence from a period of some 180 years in length.

It is worthwhile making special mention of the graves of marauding Magyars, or at least those with coins looted, acquired or received during the period of the Magyar raids on Western Europe. At the same time, it 1s surprising that practically no foreign objects have been found 1n these graves.

Metal articles were in all probability melted down. ,

What, then, are the historical questions which are answered, or might be answered by this rich and thoroughly processed body of archaeological data

from the Conquest period? | |

First of all, let us emphasise that the archaeological material reflects the situation at a given time. Although this situation carries traces of its historical antecedents, we cannot expect too much from this. While it is true that burial |

customs and concepts of the afterlife are very durable, and may remain unchanged for a long time, they nevertheless do go through surprisingly rapid change on occasions, and such changes are not always motivated by historical or ethnic transformations. For instance, as was stressed above, it would be a mistake to assume that the ethnic origin of the population of Budapest could

be determined from the proliferation of burials by cremation here, as coincid-. | ing with the presence of Soviet troops. Similarly, it would be a mistake to conclude from a rapid increase in the wearing of jeans that a significant influx | of Americans has occurred. Customs and dress are characteristics of an ethnic group, but only in the context of the prevalent environment. We can see the

The sources ne (135 signs of a surprisingly uniform culture on the steppes of the 9th and 10th centuries, which nevertheless has rapidly changing elements at the local level. At the same time, military expeditions, merchants and prisoners of war both imported and exported objects, ideas, fashions and technical developments. The archaeological excavator, no matter how rich the material, is at the mercy

of chance. For this reason, periodic efforts among archaeologists to make ethnic-based differentiations between each object, phenomenon or even group of phenomena from the Conquest period (e.g. the Khavars) have so far proved

unsuccessful. : | a |

The Conquest period graves of course speak volumes to an expert in the | field. They reveal to what degree the leading strata of society were isolated from the simple, common people. The exceptionally rich graves (such as at Kenézl6, Geszteréd, Rakamaz and Karos), which are usually known as princely, chieftains’ or tribal leaders’ graves, can in some cases be easily dated _ precisely because of their opulence. Wherever dating was possible, archae-

ologists have been able to establish that the graves originate from the first half | of the 10th century. From these it is possible, to a certain extent, to isolate the

archaeological material of typical Conquest period military escorts, and that | of independent clan leaders and members. Finally, the remains of common | people, who lived a life of servitude and bore the hardships of everyday work, |

can also be found among the graves. | |

Social standing was probably indicated by objects other than those which designated military rank. Objects distinguishing rank mainly included belts, __

harnesses, sabretaches, sabres, bow holders and quivers. | , Belts had a special role for men. In the Turkic language, the word meaning | ‘belt’ and the word meaning ‘rank’ or ‘social status’ are identical (kur). The | Turkic polymath and lexicographer Khashghari, who was almost a contem- | porary of the Magyar Conquest, wrote around 1074 that the sentence meaning _ “my belt is large” (mening kurim ulug) also means “I have a high rank”. In the similarly Old Turkic Khutadghu bilig (Wisdom of Royal Glory) written in 1069 in the mirror-for-princes style, we read the phrase: “do not allow the __

| small-belted ones to mix with the large”, in other words, do not let those of low rank mingle with those of high rank; while the expression “he has the belt of a beg” (bu beglik kuri) means that the person in question holds the rank of | a beg. The Old Turkic word kurdash—literally ‘belt-mate’—means ‘one of identical rank, belonging to the same social stratum’. In Mongolian, one way

of describing a woman is ‘beltless’, as opposed to the belted men. | The conquering Magyars wore embossed belts cast of silver (see Plates VI-—VII), which in the case of those of common rank were unornamented and held together with an iron clasp. Each belt had a clasp, and a number of ob-

jects would have been suspended from the strap, including a sabre, bow | |

hook. _ | 136 Methodological introduction and the sources

holder, quiver and sabretache (see Plates VIII/I-4, IX). The sabretache was closed with a small slat of bone and attached to the belt with an embossed

| Besides belt accessories, the sabretaches are the most characteristic finds

from the graves of the Conquest period. They were strengthened with metal plates, generally of silver. At the side of each bag, a strap was threaded through, _ and both this strap and that which attached the bag to the belt were decorated with mountings. The sabretache, which fulfilled the function of a pocket, would have held fire-making tools: flint, steel and tinderbox (see Plates X/1—2,

XI/1—-2, XH, XIII, XIV and XV). ;

A slightly curved-bladed sabre is typical of the graves of the early conquerors, while later graves see the appearance of double-edged straight swords, interestingly enough often found in commoners’ cemeteries. The thoroughlyfinished reflex bows were reinforced with plates of horn, and often had braces fashioned from stag antler. Battle hatchets and lances, meanwhile, are surpris-

ingly rare. | | — Harnesses can be well reconstructed from the finds of the Conquest period graves, as can saddles (see Plate XVI) and stirrups. The typical, but not ex-

clusive, form of the latter was a pear shape. Several methods of suspending |

the stirrups have also been demonstrated. | | :

Based on the objects unearthed from female graves, a good picture of the clothing and jewellery of the conquering Magyars’ women can be obtained. © They certainly wore head-dresses and hair adornments, mostly decorations | braided into the hair, and earrings. Their clothes were ornamented with metal pendants, and they wore necklaces and bracelets. Their dresses opened in the middle and reached to the knee, and were adorned with collar decorations, and various other embossed embellishments and buttons sewn on.

The ornamentation of objects of the Conquest period 1s very varied indeed, | but the main characteristic feature is a stylised flower consisting of 3—5 petals, where the edges of the leaves are shaded with grooves. The leaves, leaf-stems

and creepers which join them together, often intertwining in a complicated pattern, cover the whole surface of a given object. This style of ornamentation

is typical of the archaeological relics of the Magyars. Oo Among the depictions of animals is often found a creature with the body of

a horse, and the head and tail of a griffin, and sometimes heavily stylised

portrayals of predatory birds or other animals. | | Clearly, in the years following the Conquest, great value was attached to the various craftsmen, some of whom may have come in with the conquering Magyars, or might have moved in at the Magyars’ invitation, but of whom the majority were obviously locals, joining up with the Magyar people in the hope of protection and accommodation, and striving hard to fulfil their masters’

ORB sep

The sources | | | | 137 ee o oe | 2 ue | | Pd 4| g | 2 SN ow? . 4 eo

6itttVy-\12 aes eves : ah MER ? . 2 ish “tT 5 " ak a 6s——: Sarre! AN ,HH ® | ‘| [A x Ot —3 #4 (3 hn So OQ

et : ; 1.4 yf: - — , , |

| Nn, ee a | ga ,!14—wt, c | , an — ote—13 | ec, oa | Figure 24 Figure 25 ‘Drawing ofa Conquest-period grave. Drawing ofa Conquest-period grave. Mindszent (Csongrad county, Hun- Kenézlé (Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen

gary)}—Koszoridiilé, Grave 2 county, Hungary)—Farkaszug, Cem-

| etery I, Grave 11 , |

The reconstructed objects and grave goodsof Reconstructed objects and grave goods of a

a mounted archer: (A) saddle under his = mounted archer with a harness decorated head: (1) pair of stirrups, (2) snaffle, (3) with coins: (A) arrow-quiver placed over the twenty-one silver plates decorating the har- left thigh: (1) locket, (2) cover plates of ness or the saddle cover; (B) relaxed bow: (4) quiver mouth with 8 arrowheads, (3) lockets bone plates covering the nocks and (5) the —_ of quiver, (4) nails of the quiver bottom; (B) grip; (C) arrow quiver: (6) two arrowheads, _ saddle placed on the thighs: (5) snaffle fora _

(7) bone plates enframing the quiver opening, foal, (6) pair of stirrups, (7) strap buckle, (8) , (8) remains of the iron straps of the quiver, sixteen perforated Italian silver coins from | (9) iron braces supporting the quiver, (10) the rule of Berengar I (888-915) and the quiver’s locket; other: (11) belt buckle, (12) joint rule of Hugo of Provence and Lothar I]

horse skull and leg bones. (Based on (931-945) fixed to the straps of the harness,

Csallany.) (9) the dislocated seventeenth coin; (C) bow , , quiver: (10) cover plate of quiver mouth, (11) , plait ring, (12) mounts of the belt, (13) dislocated buckle and locket, (14) horse skull and

| , leg bones. (Based on A. Josa.)

138 Methodological introduction and the sources , demands. Metallurgy must have been continuously practised even following

the Conquest, while potters manufacturing earthenware vessels were also. important craftsmen. Evidence of these is well documented by archaeological

excavations. Among the body of ceramic objects of a rich variety of forms, _

the suspendable clay pots are particularly conspicuous. The grave pits were of west-east orientation and of a rounded rectangular shape, the deceased placed within with face and legs pointing toward the east.

With regard to the orientation of both graves and tents, the steppe can be divided into two large regions. Southern orientation 1s typical of the eastern

half of the steppe, and is observed at the sites of the Mongolians and their | neighbours. Eastern orientation, on the other hand, while known at the sites of every nomadic Turkic people, is also found among the burial customs of other peoples. The bodies were placed on their backs and in an elongated position in these graves. Among the graves of those of higher rank, two forms

of horse burial were discovered. | |

The more common form saw the butchered horse flayed, with the skin and still intact head and limbs placed in the grave, very often alongside the legs _ of the deceased. More rare were burials of stuffed horse skin. From the bones. it can be ascertained that the deceased person’s favourite steed was buried (and not an old nag or—perhaps because of its meat—-young horse), on rare occasions alongside women and children. We have already discussed the shrouds. _ It is not a characteristic of the graves of the Magyar conquerors that items of

food or drink were given for the long journey into the next world. Besides independently-lying, single-occupant graves, there also exist burial sites of small groups (clans or extended families), or of larger communities. There is some doubt as to how much the layout of cemeteries reflected the order of rank in society. It is possible that once the head of a clan had been buried, the other members of the clan would then be buried one after the other

in a row beside him, but it is also conceivable that in the centre of such a row-like cemetery arrangement, a place was left free for the senior members |

discernible. | ;

of the clan. However, besides examples which suggest this scheme, there are

numerous other cemeteries where no burial according to an “order ofrank” is | The archaeological finds of the Conquest period, as we have seen, are

primary sources of data regarding the material culture of the conquering | Magyars, while also indirectly helping us reconstruct their society and system of beliefs. The fact that this archaeological culture came to an end in the 11th century, giving way to an entirely different system of burial, does not of course

mean that a new people moved into the Carpathian Basin at this time. The new-style cemeteries which grew up around the churches were the reflection |

of a fundamental transformation in society.

The sources | | 139 We have observed the failure of an attempt to trace back the body of sy Hungarian archaeological finds, themselves well defined, in a direction op- —

posed to the westward advance of the Magyar people. oe , Given that from the point of view of ethnic identity the archaeological _ findings are of no use prior to the Conquest (the material from the region of the Kama proving an exception), we may make use of this archaeological

material as a source of information with regard to the early history of the

Magyars in two other ways. - | As we shall see from an examination of the various names given to the Magyars, it is possible to determine the identity of the Magyars’ neighbours

before the Conquest of the final homeland. For this reason, the archaeology | of the Eastern Europe of the 6th—9th centuries is also significant, even if we

are unable here to directly pinpoint Magyar groups. On the one hand, the | archaeological relics of the Onoghur-Bulghars, Khazars and Slavs assist in oe the reconstruction of the history of these peoples, and thus indirectly the history of the Magyars. On the other, they may serve to indicate the generally © | prevailing level of economic activity, technological development and culture,

which may be expanded more broadly to apply alsotothe Magyars.§ = = | | An important place among these archaeological cultures 1s occupied by , the so-called Saltovo-Mayak culture, whose beginning can be traced to the _ middle of the 8th century, and conclusion to the end of the 9th and early 10th

centuries. By now three variants of this culture have been distinguished, a - northern, a southern and an eastern territory, of which the southern territory a is usually attached to the Onoghurs, and the eastern to the Khazars. It cannot yet be proven that the northern territory is connected to the Alanians (see

pp. 200-203). oo |

_ The Saltovo-Mayak culture, or cultures, indicate(s) an intensely agricul-. tural, livestock-breeding, semi-nomadic economic system. In other words,a __

system such as that reflected in the Turkic loan words to be found in the —

Hungarian language. | | ons oe |

Very intensive excavations are in progress over the territories of today’s Finno-Ugrian peoples, and in many cases these have helped to successfully trace back in archaeological terms the continuous history of peoples living in

| those regions today. Unfortunately, however, local archaeologists in this region are not entirely without certain prejudices, making the evaluation of local data somewhat more difficult. The identification of one archaeological _ culture or another with the “Ugrians” or with the “Permians” is generally backed up by linguistic arguments and local, autochthonous theories, but these

have little real archaeological basis. re :

Despite all this, it is worthwhile paying attention to those archaeological cultures which in both space and time are genuinely close to locations and ©

Methodological ogical iintroduc Clon and ] *

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: , i J nd g \ é gf |

pre) 6 eS SY pe sy Mo fo PNoeOE 7 ie.Paes ee Lake — \mn, ;me = Dt ay -Loe sereSOR g Balkhash aren, a Amen . :,Ne|:;ae %: gy ¥ ah eS ae oe r ,. & Soe ES “Ss 7 i Oe a | po po || ag ALE e Sh \ aw BLO ‘oF CS. SS Oe oe , — Byommen | sn ; f “Ze eae en a a | :

ae ‘ :

Le Ee , 7 _ ,

: - , Sa A et / UE Ural neolithic culture |

| a | Kelteminar neolithic culture |

Figure 34 Z ; | ,

The Ural and the Kelteminar cultures in the 4th—-2nd millenniaBC =—


The proto-Uralic, similarly to other proto-languages, was certainly not sw completely homogeneous. Some differences between later separate languages _

could have already existed in basic-language dialects and carried over into | languages as they split off. Geographical areas containing identical linguistic phenomena are delineated by lines called isoglosses. Some of these isoglosses encompass dialects that later became separate languages, but there are some

176 Relatives and neighbours lc crc er Lc Li i EL iE CE EF FY SeKara ; wok —“rr‘COCOCOCCO#C#C#COCB Arent: KeoOF Qs i 2

aCOC i.lrrs—S «=. |esoC t, ¢wi| sea % weran 4 LE get Nghe a . ie=,. ~~ jAa pag, ee oe8,Pricing, gree

OS r—~i. | 9.2Akkadian Semen

eee4S Oeoo .rrti“isOSOSCSCSsHhC rca%“xSAL a fee ——hrC CUCL tes Saetiny |. Frr—~—r—“C—i—CiCSCi—i‘“‘“‘OséOCSSS iti i, a ae

| Mediterranean Sea | | Sumerian 2]

, egyptian , _ Figure 38 | a | Ancient Indo-European languages, Hittite, Luwian and Palaic, among Anatolian and Middle-Eastern non-Indo-European languages

The neighbours — oe os 189 a

1 2 —- oa 8 4“CGreek> 567 : , --( Graeco- | ~ , , :7. ,Armenian | Aryan “Tndo| | Slavic | | oo) BR European ~-A-7 Germanic ,

rao * a a A Tocharo| ItaloItalo-: Cttaic )

| | Anatolian | | Figure39 ee

The evolution of Indo-European languages, after Gamkrelidze and Ivanov |

Semitic name of the axe is the noun derived from the verb made up of the roots p-l-k, and meaning ‘to split’, i.e. that which splits, or what we split with. This

existed as the forms pilakka in Akkadian, pelka in Old Syrian and pilka __

in Mandean. The Indo-European languages adopted this as *peleku and > | *phelekhu. The word is certainly very old, because it already existed in the

Mycenaean and Cretan culture, and also occurs in Homer in the form pelekiis. | _ The word also passed into the Turk languages, appearing in the form balga in Old Turkic. Through another route it arrived in Mongol in the form *paluka,

from which haluka and the modern Mongol form aluka were derived, every- | where with the meaning ‘axe’ or ‘hatchet’. The word was passed down from the basic Indo-European language into Indo-Iranian, and here it started with

the form peleku, from which it progressed regularly to paraku > parathu> _ partha. It was borrowed from Old Persian by Ossetic and Tocharian. This form _

also probably passed through Finno-Ugrian to Chuvash where it now appears | ‘regularly in the form purta. There was a time and an Iranian dialect, however, _ in which the /r/ sound became /I/. It was from this language that the palta form

entered Turk, and the Turk balta into Magyar where it remains as balta. Oo

190 Relatives and neighbours _ This loan word does not stand alone. The Hungarian word szekerce ‘hatchet?

cut’. |

derives from Southern Slavonic. Its Slavic basic word, sekira, goes back _

through the Latin securis ‘weapon, chariot’ to an Indo-European word *sekur

which may be of Semitic origin; see the Akkadian shukurru ‘lance, piercing

weapon’, and the Hebrew segor ‘axe’, influenced by Indo-European sek- ‘to _

This all needed saying because these are important, typical loan words for tools carrying cult associations. The axe turns up frequently in Volga Bronze- __ Age figuration. The Hungarian word for ‘seven’, hét, was originally of the form *ét, with the / attached by analogy with the word for ‘six’, hat. The word

fy : | 1119 . ) iW 1 | 19a ft| ‘6, .| (" N 3 44! W | | | .

| also exists in the other Ugrian languages, and it is possible to reconstruct the

18, 1 2 3 oo

Germanic Baltic Slavic | |

_———— —9 775 Se,Tocharian SS 8| | | , | 4 , g | S | | Hittite | | ee

l! |!a| Albanian

| NI TN TL, Ce

741-3 L 22—_J < |

! et = ——=1 Indic

Iranian \ | a

2 | 35 14 : | 12 162325 10JIDIN 8167 14 |23 1\4 | 2

Figure 40 | Oo

Isoglosses of the Indo-European languages, after Anttila (1-24 phonetic and morphological isoglosses)


| tate

The neighbours | 19]

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| Development of the Persian Empire (6th—Sth centuries BC)

By the time the Turkic tribes arrived in the western region of the steppe, the — |

only old Iranian nomads that they found were the Alani. The other three Iranian peoples, the Sogdians, the Khwarezmians and the Sakas had settled at the main

trading stations. . e_ ®


In 227 AD, a new dynasty took up power in Persia, the Sasanians, who held themselves to be the successors of the Achaemenids, and revived the Zoroastrian religion. For a short while (217—277), state support was also received by the religion of Mani, Manichaeism, which proclaims the dualism of the world. Around 350 AD, a new migration took place from the north into the old land of the Sogdians between the two rivers that flow into Lake Aral, the Oxus and |

* e ° ° *e *‘e' s. .. :*e .

. . * e ‘ ‘ ; .°:::e

.: , e e.°.e..«e. .:.e*e;.:®en:e. uN :.

the Yaxartes (also known as the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya). The peoples involved are mentioned under the names of Var, Hyon, and Hephthalite or Ephthalite. The Hephthal or Ephthal dynasty had the upper hand from the middle of the Sth century. The latter are sometimes referred to in the literature — as the White Huns. This nomad empire spread its domination to the Caspian


Lake and besieged the borders of Persia. The Sasanian Persian Emperor, _ Shapur II (309-379) fought them hard and with varying degrees of success. |

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a4 eeSeerennits ES 2F3 ‘ge Be%em aS oe oe Ss epore rnen renee: Bob RRNA SE chi, copyists wrote it as

| akaiziroi. The more reliable manuscripts give it as akatir. This only later — |

the wood’). | 2

became akatsir in Jordanes and Cassiodorus. The popularity of the form — __ akatsir is due to the Turkic etymology produced for it (agach eri, ‘people of __

| The most important evidence, hitherto ignored precisely because of its _ reading, 1s an appendix already quoted: the Syrian geographical description —

written for the ecclesiastical history of Zakarius the Rhetor also lists the Khasar people among the peoples living north of the Caucasus. As we have ©

seen, this dates from 555, | | |

Michael the Syrian wrote the history of three peoples in his chronicle. The __ ancestors of the three peoples are three brothers, called Hazarig, Bulgharios and Pugur. The form of the third name is a produce of text corruption, but can |

be read correctly as Wugur, one form of the ethnic name Oghur. Bulgharios | and his people migrated to the Danube, and the other two peoples went tothe __ land of the Alani, which they called Bersilia. Michael the Syrian wrote his

230 | | Relatives and neighbours chronicle before 1199, but adapted old Byzantine and Middle Persian sources.

What is important for us is that it refers to events around 670, in which the _ Khazars and the Ughurs appear together in the foundation of an empire. _ The Khazars’ first prominent historical appearance can be put at around 620. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (610-641) secured their alliance for a campaign against the Persians. The Khazars assembled 40,000 soldiers for the siege of Tiflis in 627. The ruler of the Khazars at that time bore the title jebgu or jebu, versions of jabgu. Their major cities were Balanjar and Samandar, below the Caucasus. After the collapse of Western Turk power (about

630) the Khazars finally secured their independence and the Khazar ruler adopted the title Khaghan. The first known mention of this is in 652-653. This more or less coincided with the death of Khuvrat. Between 650 and 670, the Khazars abolished the Bulghar Empire. As was discussed earlier, one part of the Bulghars went west and the other submitted. The writ of the Khazars at that time ran up to the Crimean Peninsula, where the Byzantines managed

to retain the city of Kherson in the middle of the 7th century. In 695, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II was banished to Kherson, where he married the Khazar Khaghan’s elder sister, who was baptised as Theodora. The Khazars did not offer Justinian support, however, although he ultimately |

| regained his throne with Bulghar assistance (705-711). The leader of an | uprising against him in Kherson, Philippikos Bardanes, was assisted by Khazar forces, and in 711 put an end to Justinian’s second reign.

After their conquest of Persia, the Arabs advanced further to the east and also landed at Gibraltar to invade the Iberian Peninsula, which they marched right through, only to be halted by Charles Martel near Poitiers in 732, as we saw (p. 66). In 737, they defeated the Tiirgesh in Central Asia, and in 751, in

the battle of Talas Valley the Chinese and their allies, although here their advance was finally halted. The Arabs soon grouped below Constantinople, and attacked the Khazars via the Caucasus. The Khazars played an important part in averting this threat to the whole of Europe. They won a major battle against the Arabs near Ardabil in 730 and

forged an alliance with Byzantium. In 732, the son of Emperor Leo III of Byzantium, Constantine, married the daughter of the Khazar Khaghan, who was called by the Turkic name Chichek, meaning ‘flower’, but in Christendom she received the name Irene. Their son Leo IV (775-780) was also known as

“Leo the Khazar” for this reason. The Byzantine—Khazar alliance did not endure, however. We saw above that the Arabs managed to force the Khazar __ Khaghan to take up the Islamic faith for a short time in 737. In 760, the Arabs

made peace with the Khazars, and this time they sealed the alliance with a marriage. But it seems that the Arabs only wanted a temporary peace, because after the death of the Khazar princess, Khazar—Arab fighting broke out anew

The neighbours 231 : and lasted until 764. The last Khazar attack against Arab Transcaucasia was in 798. In the meantime, the Khazars extended their power to embrace the Ostrogoths of the Crimea, but ceded them considerable independence under

their own toparch. | | |

The sources are very poor regarding the subsequent period. It is known that _ at the request of the Khazars, under the direction of Petronas, the Fortress at

Tsimlyansk. | | | |

Sharkel was built on the lower course of the Don, in the area of modern The Russians, under Kiev leadership, launched military expeditions inthe

_ middle of the 9th century to police the trade routes to the Caspian Lake. These

proceeded along the bank of the Volga but probably only met the Volga south | of the Samara Bend. Such military expeditions are known to have taken place in 860, 880, 909-910 and 911-912. Some of the expeditions were mounted in —

alliance with the Khazars, or at least with their knowledge. After large quantities of booty had been obtained, however, relations between the Princi- _ ; pality of Kiev and the Khazars deteriorated. Despite the Khazars’ employment of Khwarezmian mercenaries, they were only able to hold out for a short time against a decisive attack by Svyatoslav in 965. By the end of the century, the _

Khazar Empire had gradually disintegrated. |

The religion of the Khazars in the 7th century was Tengrism. This was _ described quite thoroughly by the bishop of the Caucasian Albanians, Israel, who visited the “North Caucasian Huns” in 681. The description has survived in the text of Moses of Dashuranci. The Khazars soon converted to the Jewish

faith, however. The political reasons for this were clear: choosing a third | religion between the Islam of the Arabs and the Christianity of Byzantium

enabled them to avoid becoming dependent on either. Many details of the | conversion and the nature of the Khazars’ Judaism were until recently dis- |

puted, however. | | ' | In contrast with the widespread view that Judaism was not a proselytising faith, there are examples of it being adopted by various ethnic groups in certain | historical periods. In the period around the birth of Christ, the royal house and

people of the small Syrian kingdom Adiabene (or Edayab in the Syrian | sources), in the vicinity of modern Mosul, converted to Judaism to secure their independence from both the Romans and the Parthians. In 6th-century Yemen, — the royal house converted to Judaism for political considerations, in order to _ distance themselves from Christian Ethiopia. At this time, on the larger scale,

this implied opposition to Byzantium and friendliness in relation to Persia.

Towards the end of the Ist millennium, two movements emerged within Jewry. One, the “Spanish line”, rigidly opposed conversion, whereas the other, which spread through France and Germany, and as far as Kiev, was more favourably

disposed to it. This dispute also influenced the decision of the Khazars. |

232 Relatives and neighbours The Khazars’ conversion proceeded in several stages. The earliest source (Masudi) claims that the first conversion took place during the time of Caliph Harun al-Rashid (786-809). According to the Khazars’ Jewish tradition, the first converted king was Bulan, but the faith only started to spread after his third successor, Obadiya, had “revived the empire and strengthened the true faith” around 800. Bulan ruled around 730, and it is highly improbable that any kind of official conversion took place at this time, or if it did, then only for a very short period. In his work written in 864 in Westphalia, Druthmar of Aquitain noted that “all of the Gazars follow Judaism.” This is, in fact, one of

the most disputed issues. Oo | | In the initial period, Judaism started to spread among the upper circles of the Khazars. The view of the Arab sources which discuss the issue in detail 1s quite straightforward. If very short reports on the Khazars are discounted, then it clearly emerges that the Khazar Khaghan, nobles and high officials followed the Jewish faith. “The religion of the remainder is similar to that of the Turks”, wrote Ibn Rusta. The Jewish nobility was joined by immigrants and refugees. At this time, there was probably a Jewish community living in the Crimea, in

Phanagoria (according to Theophanes, or in Samkars according to Ibn al | Fakih), and a smaller diaspora in the North Caucasus. Jews arrived from , Muslim cities, and there was a continuous stream fleeing sporadic eruptions of Jewish oppression in Byzantium and Persia. Ibn Fadlan wrote that the Muslims demolished a synagogue in Dar al-Babunaj, and in return the Khazar Khaghan destroyed the capital city’s mosque and had the muezzin killed. The

flow of refugees stepped up in 943, when Romanus I Lacapenus, the de facto | Byzantine ruler (920-944) started to forcibly convert the Jews. After official

a whole. | | oe

conversion in the 9th century, then, the Khazar Jewish population had a diverse composition but was still very small in number compared to the population as

There were two basic strands within the Jewish religion of the time. There was the Karaim (“the literate”, plural, singular karai, giving the name Karaite) which only recognised the five books of Moses, and Rabbinic Judaism, which © also followed later holy scriptures, the Talmud. Although it is possible that there were small Karaim communities in Khazaria, the religion adopted by the ruling Khazar circles was Rabbinic Judaism. From historical and linguistic | evidence, it is unlikely that the small Turkic-speaking Karaim Jewish ethnic group living in modern Poland and Lithuania, of which one branch also lived | in the Crimea, are the descendants of the Khazars. At most, it is conceivable

language. 7

that the smaller Karaite community which lived in Khazaria gained the _ Kipchak type Turkic language, that they speak today, through an exchange of |

The neighbours — 233 | From Masudi, it is known that Muslims, Christians, Jews and pagans lived

together in the Khazar capital. a a The sources give a detailed description of the Khazars’ “double kingship”. The king of the Khazars was held to be holy and inaccessible, andresponsible __

for the flourishing of the empire through his mystical power, 1.¢e. his khut (see |

pp. 149 and 150 for more on this). Real affairs were directed by the mili- | tary leader, whose title was Khaghan-beg, beg, shad, or yilig. According to

Ibn Fadlan, the Hakhan-beg was followed by the Kiindii (miswritten as Kiindiir) Hakhan and the Jaushigir. The titles Kiindti, Beg and Yilig are also found among the Magyars of the Conquest, partly as titles and partly as names.

The intricacies of double kingship and its customs as they stood in the | second half of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th centuries are described by Muslim authors such as Jayhani, Ibn Rusta, Gardezi and Ibn Fadlan. How © the double kingship, which must have had a bearing on the spiritual world as a whole, and the Khazars’ Jewish faith regarded each other is a question which | prompts some speculation. A review of the evidence shows that the official adoption of the Jewish faith around 800 did not affect in the slightest the double | kingship and its associated rituals. A different view is obtained, naturally enough, from Jewish sources, particularly a letter from Khaghan Joseph. This

parties inthe court. | | | | was written around 960, however, and clearly represents the attitude of Jewish

The Khazars certainly received a pilgrimage from Cyril and Methodius in 861, obviously with a proselytising aim. According to the legend of Cyril, the chief adviser to the Khazar king was a Jew (who according to the missionaries was “minded to adopt Christianity”) but he also had a Muslim adviser. It may

be concluded from the Cyril mission’s lack of any great success that the -

Judaisation of the ruling circles was complete by around 860. sits Whereas there is considerable literature on the Khazars’ Jewish faith, less attention has been paid to the spread of Christianity. Christianity had considerable influence in the Khazar Empire from the 7th century onwards. This was

partly, but not exclusively, due to the proselytising activities of the Christian Albanians of Caucasia. There lived Christian communities in the Crimea, the home of the “Onoghur bishopric”, among them Ostrogoths. It was at this time that the iconoclasm dispute was raging, and the many people from the factions

who lost out, especially from among the iconodules who had opposed the | iconoclasts, fled to the Crimean Peninsula and to the safety of Khazaria, which

controlled the Crimea. As mentioned above, Constantinus (Cyril) and Methodius also attempted to spread the faith among the Khazars. According to legend, two hundred Khazars were baptised on hearing the brothers preach. It 1s not impossible, however, that Constantinus made translations into Khazar |

during his Khazar studies. | |

234 Relatives and neighbours The Khwarezmians, who assumed an increasing role in Khazar administration, retained their Islamic faith. Ibn Fadlan gives the title of their leading —

figures as hazi (h.z. in the manuscript), which is the Khazar version, withinitial h-, of the Arabic kadzi ‘cadi (judge)’. These Khwarezmian Muslims later —

emerged in Hungary under the name Kaliz. | |

| g) The Pechenegs The origins of the Pechenegs and their relationship with the Kangars need not concern us for the moment (see pp. 416-421). When considering the conquering Magyars, only the situation at the beginning of the 9th century 1s important.

At this time the Oghuz lived in the vicinity of Lake Aral, the Kimeks beside the River Irtysh and the Kharlukhs somewhere in the area of the Rivers Talas

and Chu. The Kharlukhs moved west after their defeat by the Uighurs near

the source of the Selenga in 755. | ,

Alliances had been made, and wars fought, between these four peoples in the past, but at this time there was a Kimek—Kharlukh—Oghuz coalition against the Pechenegs. The fight was clearly for the strategic area between Lake Aral

and the Urals through which the nomadic peoples proceeded westward. Quite substantial records have survived of the Kimeks. They were, like all peoples, a mixture. The tribal division described by Gardizi mentions seven tribes: the /mi, the Imek, the ZJatar, the Blandr, the Kifchak, the Lanikaz, and the Ajlad. According to the Hudid al-alam, eleven chieftains inherited control over the regions from their fathers. The origin of the /mek or Yimek tribal name is identical to that of the Kimek tribal name: disappearance of the initial k- is a peculiarity of the Kipchak language. In reality, the Kipchak tribe was also a

member of the alliance. The Lanikaz was probably the Alan-i-kaz(ar),i1.e.the “Khazar” Alani, and blandr was interpreted as Bayandur, but it could also have been blandur, i.e. the Persian version of vlandur, derived from the name of the Onoghundurs. There are similar descriptions of the Kharlukhs and the Oghuz. The Hudid al-dlam also writes of the Kimeks that, when they were at

peace with the Oghuz, they visited them in winter (in the south). | Gardizi also describes the route to the Pechenegs. He set off from Giirgench (now Urgench), passed the Khwarezm mountains and Lake Aral, and crossed

a dry desert where for nine days he came upon a well daily or twice daily. Here, he had to climb down a rope to draw water for the animals. On the tenth day the traveller reached springs, and then the river. Here lived all kinds of birds and wild animals, but little grass. This country took sixteen daystocross, _ and the traveller arrived at the Pechenegs on the seventeenth day. The route

was almost identical to that taken by Ibn Fadlan. '

, The neighbours | ; 235 The desert must have been the Kharakhum, and the river the Irgiz. The > Sakaliba (Saklab) mentioned by Gardizi could only have been the Volga

Bulghars, as the name of the people was also used by Ibn Fadlan. | This is consistent with what was written by Porphyrogenitus on the home

of the Pechenegs which was originally beside the River Etil and beside the : | River Yeyik [Ural], and shared borders with the Khazars and the so-called Uz

[Oghuz] (see p. 237). , : In spring 922, after leaving the Oghuz, Ibn Fadlan visited a Pecheneg

community. He describes them as very poor in comparison with the Oghuz. He only stayed with them for one day, and his next stop was at the River Yeyik

(Ural), which he crossed to reach the Bashyird. | | |

The Pechenegs are also located here by an Uighur emissary’s report, of which an extract survives in a Tibetan translation, giving the name of the

Pechenegs in the form be-cha-nag. | | _

| These four independent sources indicate where the Pechenegs lived, the _ place that might be termed their Urheimat. The date was naturally not 922, but earlier; however, but some Pecheneg tribes remained in the area—and there are sources attesting to this—after the majority migrated west. Such _ major operations led to factions dissatisfied with the leadership breaking away, just as happened among the Avars and the Magyars. This is what caused Ibn Fadlan in 922 to find a very poor “remnant” group, and indeed the local Pechenegs succumbed to Oghuz control around that time, or a little later.

| Porphyrogenitus also writes that right up until his own time there were some Pechenegs living under Oghuz rule. He writes that when the Pechenegs were _ banished from their original homeland, “some of them of their own wish and by personal decision stayed behind, joining with the so-called Uz, and live among them to this day”. There follows a description of their clothing, which was cut short as a reminder that they had cut themselves off from their own

people. These were the Pechenegs who remained in their old lands. — a Khashghari also talks of two Pecheneg tribes. One lived near Byzantium, |

and the other was an Oghuz tribe. | | , | The Hudiud al-alam also distinguishes two kinds of Pechenegs, calling one

of them ‘Turk’, and the other ‘Khazarian’. : | 7 Description of the Pechenegs continued with Gardizi. The length of the Pechenegs’ country was a long thirty-day journey, and was bounded by the Kipchak to the north, the Khazars to the southwest, the Ghuzz (Oghuz) to the east and the Sakaliba people to the (north)west. These neighbours had been © manipulated by the Pechenegs into fighting each other and taking prisoners _ who were subsequently sold into slavery by the Pechenegs. These Pechenegs were very rich, and had many horses and sheep. They also had a great quantity of gold and silver vessels and many weapons; they wore much silver and had

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language was Turkic, but not of the Chuvash-type Turkic. Later-recorded | “Kaipchak” features cannot be detected among them. This could of course in | theory be ascribed to their not yet having evolved. Whatever the case,anew _

' analysis of the Pecheneg province names will yield interesting results. _ | Overall, it can be said of the Pecheneg story that the contents of the Pech-

eneg chapter in the work De administrando imperio must be regarded as authentic, and an explanation must be found as to why there are conflicting facts in the chapter on the Magyars. What can be definitely stated here is that

in 895. | :

the Pechenegs migrated west from their eastern home straddling the Urals,

and that this migration ended with the expulsion of the Magyars from Etelk6éz

4. THE SLAVONIC PEOPLES | | The long prehistory of the proto-Slavonic speakers who broke away from the Baltic-Slav population can for our present purposes be ignored. The individual _

features of the three great Slavonic language groups, the Western (Czech, Slovak, Polish, Slovenian, Sorb), the Southern (Serbian, Croatian, Bolgharian)

and Eastern (Ukrainian, Belorussian, Russian) evolved relatively late. Although their diverging tendencies can be detected in the 8th and 9th centuries, it is difficult to determine the origin of individual elements of the languages.

The dispersal of the Old Slavonic people was slow and continuous. The | Iranian loan words of the proto-Slavonic language roughly determine that they must have lived in the land of the modern Ukraine before dispersing. The _ origin of the name Slav is uncertain, but as for a long time they were the source

_ ofa large number of slaves, their name gave rise to sclavus ‘slave, servant’,

or in the Arabic sources saklabi (singular) and sakaliba (plural).

— 240 Relatives and neighbours

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| NEY Ager iG] | [U.N oR SY 20g SX 4 yf Mme neOTeM PERE oe! (| | |Soof Meg, on EO PERSIAN EMPIRE Figure 60 The distribution of the Slavs between 450 and 550

a) The Southern Slavs The name of the Slavs is first mentioned in the middle of the 6th century by Procopius who writes of the year 527 that the Ants and the Sklavens attacked Byzantium’s Baltic provinces. In the second half of the 6th century, there may already have been some scattered Slav settlements south of the Danube, but the larger Slav groups gradually pressed west and north. A major change was | brought by the coming of the Avars. The Avars took Slavs with them as allies

under their organisation, and their military expeditions opened the way for | autonomous movements of Slav groups. In part, they caused Slavs to flee from their attacks and move to new areas. A contributory factor was Byzantium’s

preoccupation with fighting the Persians (and later the Arabs). In 582, the Avars captured Sirmium, opening up a gap through which the Slavs could drive their way into the Balkans. By the end of the 6th century there were major Slav settlements in the northeastern regions of the Balkans. The Byzan-

tines recaptured Sirmium in 600, but they could not halt the advance of the | | Slavs. With Heraclius (610-641) held down by the Persians, new Slav populations were able to settle in the Balkans. By the beginning of the 7th century,

The neighbours | — 241 ggg heCE ie Bees OEE LAKE Qne ,¥ eT .a $ in|; =i a “am Wy fmo fA Ppwen fF“4 OW ee OG | é| .-_— gf : =ARS ca8__, % fe aw «(Of SRS peGe : 3 Se So & a Soy See ie: ay “ oe & i 4 |:2 )880 fern os gh Ow Yr -« Ba Sef a | | , sco ae % re ee en | | FS - Pee L,My Be aNe, beOY FL fk | iy CS Kod Ht] ON | me Beep pBaltic“@ on |a he BNE ee ites 6 i? ta Liral> - a, PL, SPERM RoMaAN 9, Yo | . ~~ #$£=*®eaeo.-> | oe f é#i — a GlrmrmrCrC..CUC, Kf Gils , ee, ‘= Khazars *s :

a ., i. we N EMP 5 , | , Figure 61 a | | | The distribution of the Slavs between 600 and 700 :

large populations had reached the Adriatic coast. The incoming Slavs gradually assimilated the native Balkan population, and so it is difficult to follow _ the ethnic processes archaeologically. In any event, the Slavs were operating _ autonomously next to the Avars in the 7th century, and on occasion actually clashed with them. The western sources note the rising independence of the Slavs, and record their military expeditions, led by the Frankish trader Samo, — against the Avars in the 620s. In 626, the Persians allied with the Avars and the Slavs against Byzantium. There are records of a Slav—Avar war around ©

629, which was rapidly followed by an attack on the Avars by the then | Croatian-led Slavs in conjunction with the Turkic Onoghundur Bulghars from the east. Local Serb and Croatian princes emerged as independent forces in the 620s. Their origin is disputed, some opinions claiming that they came from the areas of “the white Serbs and the white Croatians” in the north, but in any

event they organised the Balkan Slavs. | | | | The account of events related by Saint Demeter’s Miracles offers information on the Slavs which would take a separate chapter to analyse. It follows

the affairs of Kuver, a leader whose origins were in the Avar Empire, but was" |

242 Relatives and neighbours

him. : |

probably Onoghundur-Bulghar, and the Slavs who made their appearance with _

In the 670s, the Bulghar Turks driving into the Balkans settled among the local Slav population, and in general followed the same policy as the Avars,

i.e. they relied on the leaders of local communities. | | | Slavs were involved in the brief period of anarchy which followed the dying

out of the Bulghar ruling line in 739. Although Krum and Omurtag (814-831) | managed to reimpose central control, and a leading role was still played by the Bulghars, the Slavs gained increasing influence in the Danube Bulghar _

Empire. | | 5 !

The Slavs living next to the River Timok (the Timochans) came into conflict

with the Serbs, who had built up their strength at the beginning of the 9th = century. The Bulghars also struggled against the new Serb power. They led |

839 and 850. | |

military expeditions against the Serb chieftain Vlastimir in the period between

In 827, Bulgharian forces attacked and captured the Timochans’ lands around Sirmium and eastern Slavonia. Under Bulghar pressure, the Slav tribe | Abodrit crossed the Danube, and drove into the Temesk6z, but around 830, Omurtag dealt them a defeat and spread his control up to the line of the River Maros. There are no reliable sources concerning the following period. It is certain that the Bulghar rulers exercised control over the Maros valley salt

mines in 892, and thereby held sway over the local Slav population. |

b) The Alpine and the Western Slavs | The Western Slavs, taking advantage of the temporary weaknesses in the centres of power, fought successfully for their independence. They were at the western side of a Slav world which was gradually taking shape to the east of the Elba—Salzburg—Aquileia line, and being penetrated from the west by the

Franks, and from the east first by the Avars and Bulghars, and then by the : Magyars of the Conquest. In the 6th and 7th centuries, the Slavs were not yet especially prominent in the Carpathian Basin. Their stature grew first in | Transylvania, at the beginning of the 7th century. At the same time, at the eastern perimeter of the Alps, in Dalmatia and in the southwestern area of the modern Czech Republic, and the west of Slovakia, unified Slav blocks took

shape from the 620s and 630s which soon started to organise themselves | politically. Porphyrogenitus mentions around 950 the Lenzen tribe (p. 237), which was tributary to Kiev. This name is the origin of the Hungarian name ©

for the Poles, Lengyel, which they learned in the Etelk6z. |

The neighbours | 243 c) The Slavs of Pannonia, the Moravians and the Slavonic conversion

It was first recorded in 822 that the Slavs living in the Moravian region sent | | an emissary to the Frankish court. The successor of the first autonomous ruler Moymir (830-846) was his nephew Rastislav (846-870), who had been raised ©

} in the Frankish court, and after acceding to the throne soon attempted to secure | independence from the Frankish king. By around 860, he had built up military strength and it became clear that he could count on major allies if he adopted

Christianity. However, he also wanted to prevent the influence of Frankish | missionaries from rising, so in 862 he sent to Constantinople for proselytising

time. | | |

priests. This he dared to do because a favourable situation had been created: | _ the son of Louis the German, Carloman, rose up against his father, and Ras- | tislav called on the alliance of the Magyars to free himself from Frankish dependence. To understand what followed, we must take a step backwards in | In the Nitra area, Prince Pribina, in pursuit of more independent power,

clashed with Moymir, who had absolutist aspirations, and was forced to flee.

He was backed by Ratbod, the baron of the eastern fringe of the Frankish Empire. In 833, Ratbod introduced Pribina as a Frankophilic Slav tribal chief

to Louis the German, grandson of Charlemagne. However relations between | Ratbod and Pribina rapidly deteriorated, and Pribina had to flee once more. _ This time he turned to the Bolghar king, Malamir, who had fought hard against

the Franks in the past, but had made peace with them in 832. Pribina was 7 unable to persuade Malamir to act against the Franks, and continued his flight. | At the western end of the Drava there was another small Slav possession. |

Its ruling noble, Salaho, had great influence in the Frankish court. When Pribina finally came to him, he was accepted and Salaho persuaded Louis the German to order Ratbod to come to a settlement with Pribina. The Frankish court very probably wished to curtail Ratbod’s power, and in addition was seeking an ally against Moymir, and so 1n 840 Pribina was granted extensive __

| estates beside the River Zala (in present Western Hungary). | Shortly afterwards, a battle was started against the Moravian chieftain Moymir. Pribina obviously played a prominent role in the fight, and in 846,

after victory over Moymir, gained further estates near Wulka in modern Burgenland (Austria). He was also granted a title to go with his lands, becoming the border guard baron of the Drava region. His duty was to gather, __ and keep loyal to the Franks, groups of Slavs fleeing from various directions and causes. To carry this out he built a new stronghold in the swampy land next to the River Zala, which was called Mosaburg (present Zalavar). In 850, | a church was built in homage to Mary. Of the prominent personages who

244 Relatives and neighbours arrived for the consecration, fifteen had Slav names, sixteen German, and one Latin. Uncertainty surrounds Pribina’s death. Possibly the Frankish prince Carloman, who rose against his father, captured him and handed him over to the Moravians. Pribina’s son Kotsel fled to Louis the German in Regensburg. _ Louis the German conducted a bitter struggle against his son Carloman, and only after victory over him was he able to instate Kotsel in his father’s place.

Kotsel received both his father’s lands and titles, and exercised control over _

Transdanubia. He first of all had to settle the matter of church taxes. These were controlled by the Bishop of Salzburg, who was not regarded favourably in the circles surrounding Kotsel, and the time seemed right for establishing a bishopric in Pannonia. Kotsel pursued this by petitioning Rome directly. The

Pope, Nicholas I (858-867), immediately recognised the significance of establishing a bishopric loyal to Rome in Slav lands, since the Bolghars had for a long time been negotiating with both Rome and Constantinople. The Pope had earlier succeeded in bringing Dalmatia into his sphere of influence. Kotsel’s loyal follower, Oswald, was actually appointed as Bishop of Pannonia by the Pope, but the Bishop of Salzburg, Aldwin, wasted no time in having

Oswald captured and locked up in a monastery. | It was then that Moymir’s successor Rastislav, Prince of Moravia, sent to

the Byzantine Emperor for proselytising priests. The Emperor did not atthat moment wish to provoke the ire of the Franks, and so instead ofa proselytising | bishop, only sent the Moravian chieftain a pair of brothers from Thessaloniki, Constantinus and Methodius. The two brothers arrived in the Prince’s capital in 863. Both were bilingual because—although there is some dispute as to

their origins—they received a bilingual Greek and Slav education in the town | of their birth. However, Louis the German did attack, and in 864 defeated the independence-building Rastislav near Dévény (Devin). Rastislav had to renew his vow of loyalty, and as security sent his nephew, Svatopluk, Prince of Nitra. (who appears in Frankish sources as Zventibald).

In the meantime, the Bolghars were subjected to pressure from Byzantium, — from which they wished to escape by turning to Rome with a plan for establishing an independent Bolghar church. They won support from the Bishop of Passau, who had had prior relations with the Bolghars. There was bitter rivalry between the bishops of Passau and Salzburg, however, and the

Salzburgers persuaded Rome to restrain Passau. _ | | With the even greater military might that followed victory over the Arabs,

Byzantium tured against the Bolghars, dealing them a mortal blow, and stipulated in the peace treaty of 868 that the Bolghar church should be set up under their supervision. The Bolghar Khan Boris again sent to Rome in secret,

but it was decided there that the situation did not permit intervention, =|

The neighbours — 245 It was in this confused state of affairs that Constantinus and Methodius had to make what headway they could in the Moravian court. They decided that _

they could most clearly settle their affairs if they travelled to Rome, which | they did in 867. The central aim of their petition was the granting ofpermission __ _ for a Slavonic liturgy, and to create a written language involving the alphabet they had invented (this was the Glagolitic and not the Cyrillic alphabet—see |

pp. 60-61) into which they could translate the holy texts. At stake was the conversion of the Slavs. Consequently, Pope Hadrian II (867—872) reached an accord with the brothers on a Latin-Slav liturgy, and gave them his permission __ for its use. The two brothers, on their way to Rome from the Moravian court,

visited Kotsel in Mosaburg. Kotsel received them with great respect, because with his Frankophile Slav past he clearly understood the significance of the _

proselytising brothers’ journey. He ordered pupils from his circle to study | under them, and allegedly learned to read in Glagolitic script himself. Some | have claimed that it was he who persuaded the brothers to first seek support =| from Rome, in which he was clearly influenced by his previous attempt to _

establish an independent Pannonian bishopric. , an on Constantinus, who in the meantime had adopted the religious nameofCyril, died in Rome in 869, and Methodius returned to Kotsel. But he was not > appointed as Bishop of Pannonia, because complex scenarios were being played out in Rome and Constantinople. Methodius was once more sent by

Kotsel to Rome, whereupon he was consecrated as Bishop of Sirmium (Mitrovica). In the meantime the Bolghar church affair had been settled, and Boris, who inclined to Rome, had to concede: Bulgharia, in 870, subjected itself in ecclesiastical affairs to the authority of Constantinople. The Bolghars |

captured Sirmium and established it as a see. ns

In the same year, the Moravian Rastislav once again confronted the Frankish king. However, his nephew Svatopluk captured him and turned him over to

the Franks, who blinded him and locked him in a monastery in 870. To | definitely prevent a comeback, they also took Methodius prisoner, brought him before the ecclesiastical court in Regensburg on trumped-up charges, and _ sentenced him. Although Methodius was released from imprisonment a few

years later, it was the end of the dream of a Slavonic-liturgy church loyal to Rome, since Pope John VIII (872-882) prohibited the use of the Slavonic | liturgy. The Salzburg and Passau church leaders’ rivalry had succeeded in _ strangling the experiment at birth. When Methodius was released, Kotsel was

already dead, and his successor, Gozwin, did not support him. _ 7 The Moravian nobles did not put up with Frankish supremacy, however, and Svatopluk supported them secretly at first, and then openly. The war ended | with the peace of Forchheim in 874. Svatopluk invited the Bishop of Passau __ to reorganise the Moravian church, and brought in Methodius at the same time.

246 Relatives and neighbours It was this situation that sparked off the conflict. Rome summoned Methodius.

to face accusations, and although he was absolved in 880, his opponent, Wiching, was made bishop of Nitra. Methodius lived for another five years and was active in Svatopluk’s court, but after his death in 885 his pupils were

banished, most of them fleeing to the Bolghars, marking a new beginning for |

the Old Church Slavic tradition, this time in Bulgharia. 7 | | Louis the German died in 876. Bavaria and the eastern flanks gave their allegiance to Carloman, who died in 880. His successor was Charles III, who reunited the empire after the death of his brothers Carloman and Louis III, but was forced to abdicate in 887. His successor Arnulf, son of Carloman, was

crowned emperor by the Pope in 896. | Exploiting the warring between Louis the German’s sons, Svatopluk laid waste to Transdanubia, but made peace with the heir to the throne, Arnulf, in 885. This did not last long. Arnulf, remembering that Rastislav had achieved | success by calling in the Magyars, himself commissioned Magyar support in attacking Svatopluk in 892. Svatopluk died in 894. His country was divided among his sons, among them Moymir II and the Frankophile Svatopluk II.

The days of the Moravian Empire were numbered. |

d) The Eastern Slavs and the Rus of Kiev | The land of the modern Ukraine, Belorussia and European Russia was occupied by Finno-Ugrian and Slav peoples. To the east, the border with Slav tribes around 900 was the Nizhniy Novgorod—Ryazan line, 1.e. the valley of the River | Oka. To the south, during the age of migrations, the Slavs were not present on the steppe of their own accord, but as slaves or conscripted soldiers. The forest region and river valleys, however, provided the security which enabled tribes known as the Polyane (people of the fields), Severyane (northerners), Krvichi, Vyatichi or Slovene to survive. The Polyans, the Severyans and the Vyatichs for a while paid tribute to the Khazars. At other times tributes were extracted by the rulers of the steppe at the time, and slaves were taken from them for

sale. 7

In the 9th century, the flourishing of the Arab Empire and Byzantium |

stimulated trade, which was controlled by the trading houses and shipping companies. Well-organised free bands incorporating northern (Norman) Germanic warriors acquired great wealth, and it also became important to them that the north-south routes, and the transport of goods along the rivers, be secure. Certain sources mention a Rus Khaghanate in the 830s and 840s

which clearly had strong links to the Khazars, but whose precise location | cannot be determined. The title of later Kiev rulers also contained that of —

The neighbours ! 247 khaghan. As towns became established, the northern Germanic Varangians set up trading depots and centres. In Novgorod, the “new town”, one of the leaders of the Varangians, Rurik, was proclaimed emperor. Runk and his two , accomplices, Askold and Dir, captured Kiev. After Rurik’s death (around 879), | power passed to his relative Oleg, who occupied Kiev in 880-882, executed Askold and Dir, united the surrounding tribes, and by 907 attacked Byzantium. Rurik’s work was continued by his son Igor, who succeeded him to the throne

in 913. Igor also started by attacking Byzantium, but subsequently made a trading agreement, and thus the road to the conversion of Kiev was opened. Igor died in 945, and his widow took up the Christian faith in 957. The Kiev Prince Svyatoslav (961-972) defeated the Khazars and the Danube Bulghars, but on his way home in 972 was killed by the Pechenegs at the instigation of Byzantium. His successor Vladimir consolidated his power with the assistance

Christianity in 988. | | |

| of the Varangians, and after taking a Byzantine wife, was converted to

, NOTES — | Two excellent accounts of research into Indo-European peoples and languages are Gamkrelidze-Ivanov (1995) (the Russian original 1984) and Mallory (1989). The Gamkrelidze—Ivanov book and its new results have been covered in several dozen articles and studies. For its Altaic aspects, see Réna-Tas (1988c). Good further bibliography is given in Mallory’s book, see also Harmatta (1971). For Indo-European words, e.g. those meaning ‘axe’ and ‘hatchet’, see Gamkrelidze—Ivanov (1984, p. 716), Poppe (1954), Németh (1934, p. 85; 1942-1947, p. 87) , and Benk6é (1967-1984). For the Hittite form /stanu, see Gamkrelidze—Ivanov (1984, pp. 684 and 897). For the Iranian names for the Sun see Jeremias—Maroth (1977). The form and spread of the Hittite form for the word ‘apple’, see Gamkrelidze—Ivanov (1984, pp. 637-639). The

most recent works on the word for ‘apple’ are Joki (1963) and Erdal (1993a). | For the Indo-European equivalents of the Turkic word for ‘ox’ (Old Turkic dktiz, Ancient Oghur dkiir) see Ramstedt (1947, p. 25; 1957, p. 104), Doerfer (1963-1975, pp. 538-540). The Turkic word dkiiz has been linked to the Tocharian okso, following Munkacsi, by Németh (1934, _

p. 168), in German (1942-1947, p. 94). — , |


I suggested the re-examination of Tocharian—Turkic links in Réna-Tas (1974a). The correspondences discussed there have recently been re-examined by Reinhart (1990). The latest results of Tocharian research are presented by W. Thomas (1985), see also van Windekens

The etymological dictionary of the Ossetian language (Abaev 1958-1989), is now complete. It is striking that although there are Turkic loan words at several levels in the Ossetian language, , no words of certain Chuvash-type origin have yet been found. The ancient Ossetian Nart epic refers to the Agyr/Agur people, which is in all probability an equivalent to the ethnonym Oghur ,

(Abaev 1958, pp. 36-37). Z

248 Relatives and neighbours For the Chinese sources relating to the Alani, see Chavannes (1900) and Liu(1958). Arabic and Byzantine sources are quoted by Dunlop (1954/1967) and Marquart (1903). Concerning

notes to the Hudid al-alam. | , | , | Michael of Syria, see Réna-Tas (1982a). Minorsky (1937) discusses the Alani in detail in the

For the language of the Goths of Crimea, see Stearns (1978). For the European Huns and the early history of the steppe in general see Golden (1992). The best monographs on the European Huns are Maenchen—Helfen (1978 which is the expanded German edition of the English-language original of 1973) and B6na (1990a, 1991).

The issue of the name of the leading tribe of the Ruanruan is touched on in H. Franke’s (1969) article on the Khitai language. The identity of the tribal names was dealt with earlier by

Chavannes and Otto Franke. I discuss the Turkic elements of the Khitai language and the Turkic-origin Khitai tribal names in an as yet unpublished study. Information from Chinese sources on the Ruanruan has been collected and made available in Hungarian by Csongor (1993). For the appearance of the Khitai in the history of the Ruanruan in 553, see Csongor (1993, p. 46). The issues of the Priskos literary heritage are covered by Moravcsik (1983, pp. 485-486). For information on the tribal names of the Oghur, Ughur, Onoghur, etc. peoples and | tribal names see Moravesik (1983), under the corresponding headings. The events of 350 on the Khazakh steppe are discussed by Czeglédy (1969, pp. 92-93). Németh has also expressed his opinion in several places that the ethnic name Utrighur can be traced to *utur (see Chuvash vatar, Turkic otuz), and kutrigur can be linked to the numerals tokhur ‘nine’ (Chuvash tahhdr,

Turkic tokuz), see recently Németh (1991, p. 132). , I used the Greek text of Theophilaktus Simokattes in the 1972 Boor—Wirth edition. For the part on the Oghurs, see page 258 of that edition. For a translation, see Schreiner (1985, p. 187). The former pronunciation of the Chinese name hua as var is discussed by Czeglédy (1969, p. 141). The Hua country has been covered most recently by Csongor (1993, pp. 67-68). The

p. 257). , ,

Chinese pronunciation is more precisely hvar. The identification of the second syllable of the - town name of Bakath is covered by Czeglédy (1969, pp. 92 and 138), and Harmatta (1992, For the latest views on the name of the Sabir people see Harmatta (1992a, pp. 257-262).

Harmatta considers the tribal or ethnic name Sabir to be of Iranian, or more exactly Saka, origin. The question and literature of the “Eastern Silver” is covered by Balint in Hajdt—Krist6— _

Rona-Tas (1976, vol. I/1, p. 91). , , , For the identification of Khuvrat’s grave, see Werner (1984) and Balint (1984), but both are

of the view that Khuvrat only moved to the place of his subsequent burial shortly before his death. The location of Khuvrat’s Bulgharia was identified essentially correctly from text analysis by Lauterbach (1967). The history of the Bulghars is given in Zimonyi (1990). An earlier treatment is Smirnov (1951). For a review of research history, with particular regard to the Volga Bulghar inscriptions, see Réna-Tas—Fodor (1973). The more recent publications are Hakimzjanov (1978), Tekin (1988) and Erdal (1993b), For the Bolshie Tarhani excavations see Gening—Halikov (1964). The chronological classification and complete discussion of the Volga Bulghar archacological finds is given by Fahrutdinov (1975), with excellent maps. I analysed

[bn Fadlan’s Volga Bulghar language evidence in Réna-Tas (1982c, pp. 210-214), | The inscriptions and language of the Danube Bulghars have already been mentioned above (see pp. 113 and 167). Fine (1983) and Golden (1992) give treatments of the history of the

Danube Bulghars and the rich historical literature relating to them. a oe I considered the ethnonym Khazar in Réna-Tas (1982a and 1983a) (with English summaries). See also Bazin (1981-1982). For the Khazars, see Dunlop (1954), Golden (1980) and

The neighbours | | 249 Ludwig (1982). Conversion of the Khazars to Judaism is covered in Dunlop (1954), Pritsak

(1978) and Golden (1983). | :

The history of research into Pecheneg—Magyar contacts is covered by Kristé (1980, pp. 97-115). For Gyérffy’s opinion see Gyérffy (1971). I used Gardizi in Martinez’s 1982 edition. The best edition of Khashghari is Dankoff—Kelly (1982-1985). The Huddd al-alam edition

used by me is Minorsky (1937), I did not access more recent editions. | For the history of the Balkan Slavs, see Fine (1983). An account of the Slav-Sklavin—Sakaliba issue and the lessons of the Muslim sources 1s given by Golden (1993b, pp. 872-878). The | Rus issue and the beginnings of the Principality of Kiev are also covered by Golden (1993a, —

pp. 617-630). Several aspects of Slav history in connection with the Magyars are discussed by , Boba, among others, as in Boba (1967, 1982-1983, 1984, 1993). For the Slavs of Pannonia see

Cs. Sés (1973) and the literature given there, and Bona (1984a, 1990d). As regards Constan- | tinus-Cyril and Methodius, see above (pp. 60-61); on their assumed Magyar connections

consult H. Téth (1981) and Kirdly (1974). : Recently a dispute has developed over the “Great Moravia” issue. Some were of the opinion that there also existed a “Southern” Moravia. Since the arguments in favour of the “Southern” Moravia did not convince me, I considered it unnecessary to deal with the question in relation |

to the Conquest. The issue is, however, far from being solved. | This has been recently done by Martin Eggers in two excellent works (Eggers 1995, 1996). I got the two books only after having closed the work on the English version of this book. His

analysis gives a detailed background of the ethnic history of the Carpathian Basin, of the history | of Moravia and its rulers. Eggers refutes the argumentation of Imre Boba who was, if not the __ first, but the most ardent (and learned) protagonist of the idea of the two Moravias and especially of “Southern” Moravia. Having read the two monographs of Eggers, I see no urgent need to change anything in my wording. I hope, however, that I can use his data and reasoning in the preparation of a second edition and/or a German publication. The chapter on the ethnic diversity


in the Carpathian Basin on the dawn of the Hungarian Conquest will profit much from his



This book cannot give more than a bird’s eye view of the historical situation

of the two continents, and in doing so, only of the events that are directly or | indirectly related to the history of the Magyars. Such a superficial overview

seems to be nevertheless important in order to understand the historical framework within which the fundamental changes of the history of the Magyars occurred. The 9th and 10th centuries saw major changes in the relations of the nomadic and settled peoples. The emergence of a new military

force, the light cavalry of the nomads, as well as the special system of 7 incursions, can be connected to the use of a new invention, the stirrup. The | stirrup was invented in the first centuries around the birth of Christ. For a long | time it was used almost exclusively by sick or elderly people and pregnant women, primarily for getting into the saddle and to prevent them from falling off. It was first made of a leather strap, occasionally of wood, and only later, from the 3rd century AD, of metal. Before the Avars appeared it was not part of the regular military equipment and was not used in battle at all, but from

| the 6th—7th centuries it began to play a decisive role in nomadic warfare. The | stirrup made firing an arrow backwards easy, and this led to the development

of the unique tactics hailed or disparaged by many contemporary authors. | Following an initial attack, the nomads would turn back and pretend to flee. After a time, however, the warriors would turn round in their saddles and ©

unleash a hail of arrows at the pursuing enemy. The technique of shooting | backwards from the saddle is a lot older than the stirrup itself; however, _

standing up on the stirrup made the turn backwards and shooting more | effective. The settled people managed to make the most of the new invention,

| and consequently at the end of the 8th century the power of the Turks and the Avars dominating the central parts of Eurasia began to decay. Of course, the stirrup was not the only factor that influenced the changes. The astonishing | expansion of the Arab-Muslim world, which reached its first peak in the 8th century, changed the situation both in Asia and in Europe. The birth of a new European order under Charles the Great, the pax khazarica in Eastern Europe

252 Relatives and neighbours _ also had an impact on the history of the 9th and 10th centuries. Eurasian trade | underwent some significant changes. We shall now give a more detailed _

description of this procedure. | 1. THE END OF THE UIGHUR EMPIRE

In alliance with the Kharlukhs and the Basmils, the Uighurs defeated the | second Turk Khaghanate in about 740, but then turned against their allies and ousted the Basmils and Kharlukhs from power. The Kharlukhs moved westwards. After 744, the Uighur Khaghanate flourished for about hundred years. Its high culture, rich towns and role in the trade of Central Asia were praised _ both by the Arabs and the Chinese. The Uighur Khaghans were involved in domestic Chinese affairs, and during the course ofa visit to the Chinese capital in 762, Bégii Khaghan converted to Manichaeism which was then one of the strongest religions in China. At the same time Buddhist monks also found their way into the prosperous Uighur Khaghanate. In 832, the Uighur khaghan was murdered by some of his ministers, and domestic discord was augmented by

attacks of the Khirghiz and the Tibetan armies. In 840, the Uighur tribal | confederation broke up, and some groups fled to the west, some to the south. | Those of them who wandered to the south founded several small principalities.

Mention must be made of the Uighurs of the Five Cities (Beshbalik, Penjikent), the Khocho Uighurs, and the Uighurs of the Gansu province in China.

During the following centuries the Uighurs played an important role in the | cultural life of Central Asia—a role which was more prominent than their political significance. It could be of importance in connection with the history of Eastern Europe that one Uighur tribe had the name Khasar, which rings a

bell, being quasi-identical with the Turkic name of the Khazars. Another tribe |

had the name Uturkar or Huturkar which may be connected with either the | Utrigurs or the Kutrigurs of the Oghur tribal confederation. Such facts, however, are insufficient in themselves to establish a closer connection between the Uighurs and the Khazars; what they do show is that tribes often segregated, and the various splinter groups could surface in places very far from each other. It is possible that the Khasar tribe of the Uighurs was an older

unit and remained in Central Asia, while other parts migrated to Eastern Europe; but equally, it is possible that a group of Khazars migrated to Central Asia and joined the Uighurs, like the Khavars did the Magyars. The debate continues about this enigmatic issue and whatever the outcome will be, there is one thing for sure: the Oghur groups played a role of some description in

the Uighur tribal confederation. However, we have face up to the fact that although source material regarding this issue is expanding, no linguistic

Eurasia in the 9th and 10th centuries ; 253 evidence has yet been singled out from the otherwise rich Uighur material. What could account for this 1s that the written documents were, perhaps, based. |

on a non-Oghur dialect. Ro an The Khirghiz, who played an important role in the collapse of the Uighur

Khaghanate in present Mongolia, did not build up a new power. They lived in , - South Siberia where they left runiform inscriptions behind. Later, a part of

them moved to the region which is now called the Khirghiz Republic. _ Interestingly enough, traces of their Siberian homeland can be found even in

the modern Khirghiz language. | | The tribal confederation which followed the Khirghiz spoke a Mongolian

language and became known as the Khitaior Khitan, a

| 2. THE KHITAI AND CHINA | It has been established that the Mongolian language was indubitably spoken _

even before the appearance of the Khitai. The tribal confederation called | , Xianbei by the Chinese sources first cropped up in the 3rd century BC. Among

them we find tribes whose names bear comparison with the name of the —_Mongols. Much is recorded about the groups which occupied parts of China _

| and founded dynasties. Among them we have to mention the Tuoba who founded the Wei dynasty in 386 AD. The 7uyiihun, one branch of the Xianbei, __ moved to the south and formed an empire in the vicinity ofthe northern borders _

_ of Tibet. This small state flourished between 541 and 700. In the Tibetan | sources this group was called Azha. The title of khaghan appeared almost at | | the same time among the Ruanruan and the Tuyiihun. The Tuyitihun had — | another title, khapagan, which is noted by the Chinese sources at the end of the 6th century. The latter is the same title we come across among the Avars

of the Carpathian Basin. a Do Fee

The Khitai reached the peak of their power at the beginning of the 10th century. Their name figures in sources since the Sth century. Wecanreadabout _ them not only in the Chinese sources, but also on the stelae, written by the —/ Turks in Turkic runiform script. Their name features as Khitany on the stelae.

In most Turkic languages the final -ny (palatal /n/) became -y, but also -7 in | some of them, as well as in Mongolian. This accounts for the two variants Khitai and Khitan. The Russian name of China, Kitay, reflects the first form, | and the Cathay of the travellers of the Middle Ages, who visited Mongolia or China after the Mongols of Chingis Khan came to power, is a variant of the __

same name. _ 7

The head of the Khitai tribal confederation founded the Liao dynasty in916.

The conquest of the north of China happened at almost the same time as the |

254 Relatives and neighbours Magyars’ Conquest of the Carpathian Basin. Although both of these conquests

were a case of peoples with a nomadic background encountering settled civilisations, the set of circumstances, the underlying processes and the

outcomes were different. | | | Nevertheless, the comparison of these two histories can afford some inter-

esting results. Firstly, it must be stressed that Khitai society featured a_ significant Turkic element, most probably of Uighur origin. The clan from which the Khitai emperors took their wives was Turkic, and the Turks also | played an important role in the political life of the Liao Empire. Fortunately, copious evidence about them has come down to us. The assessment of the

Khitai Liao dynasty wholly depended on the succeeding dynasties. The Chinese Song dynasty in the south reigned simultaneously with the Liao dynasty. The “national” historical tradition claims that the Liao were usurpers,

and consequently their history can only be reconstructed with the help of the | Song Annals. However, the Jurchen Jin dynasty, followers of the Khitai, and later the Mongolian Yuan dynasty, who ruled over the whole of China after 1280, considered the Liao as their righteous predecessors. This caused problems in the compilation of the dynastic history of the Liao, the Liao shi. It was.

rewritten, amended and censured many times over. The Jurchen scholars added to the confusion, by replacing the Old Mongolian (Khitai) terms and © titles with Jurchen ones (even in retrospective), with not so much as alluding to the “corrections”. Giving full consideration to these textual problems will leave us with a highly detailed description of the society, culture and political _

life of the Khitais. - ee

The description of Liao society, summarised 1n a monograph by Wittfogel and Féng Chia-Shéng, is very informative. The smallest unit of Khitai society was what the Mongols called ayil, and the Turks aui. Its Khitai equivalent has _ not come down to us, all we know is that it was replaced by the Jurchenname =—s— ghasha. The ghashas of related kinsmen formed a branch, and related branches

were members of a clan. Clans were grouped into subtribes and several subtribal components formed a tribe. The members of a clan bore the same | clan name, they venerated the same ancestor and marriage was forbidden __ amongst the members of the same clan. The subtribes had special rights and

sometimes they or their head were accorded tribal rights. The title of the | second leader of the subtribe was darkan. This well-known title, which existed among many Turkic peoples as well, gave the name to the Magyar tribe Tarjan

(read as Taryan). | - |

The history of the tribal system of the Khitai is particularly enlightening.

Around 600 AD, the number of the Khitai tribes increased from eight to ten. , In the 7th century the ten tribes were reduced to eight, but two new tribes _ joined, leaving the previous total of ten unchanged. After the Khitai conquest

Eurasia in the 9th and 10ch centuries , 255 of North China the tribal confederation was reorganised on many occasions. It was divided into “Inner Tribes” and “Outer Tribes”. The “Inner Tribes” were

the original members of the Khitai tribal confederation, while the “Outer Tribes” were those who joined the confederation later. Also, there were various types of dependent tribes or peoples. The rulers always belonged to the Khitai Yelyu clan, and their consorts to the X1ao clan. The Xiao clan was of Uighur

origin. The “Inner Tribes” were divided in two subgroups, those associated with the ruler and those with the queen. The Yelyu subgroup was further divided into the ruling tribe of the Emperor, and the groups of his paternal uncles. Reorganisation meant dividing or merging existing tribes, or creating new —_y}

ones from subtribes. Tribes were organised from prisoners of war or other foreign groups who joined the tribal confederation for whatever reason. This tribal system naturally had a hierarchy. Of the ten tribes which existed at the time of the foundation of the Liao dynasty, the first was the tribe led by the Yelyu clan (which gave the Emperor), while the nine others were tribes of the

Yaolien clan, who had fallen from power in a struggle against the Yelyu. Consequently, the nine Yaolien tribes were lower in rank, had limited rights, and even as a whole they had less power than the sole tribe of the Emperor.

This may have been the case with the Magyar tribes as well, where the tribe - |

the others together, | oO | | |

| of the later Arpad dynasty, the Megyer, had greater power and rank than all |

There is an interesting tribe in the Khitai confederation which appears, in |

Chinese transcription, under the names Wuguli, Yuguli, Yujielyu, and Yujueli. | These are transcriptions of the original tribal name which sounded ‘Ughur’ or : “Yughur’. We can trace this name back to the Ruanruan era in which the same tribe assumed a leading role (see p. 210). As a matter of fact, this happens to be a late form of the name Oghur, and as we have seen (pp. 211-212), the Ten Oghur or Onoghur were an important tribal confederation in Eastern Europe. Their name was transferred to the Magyars, from which—through Slavic

mediation—the name Ungri and Hungarian finally came into existence. | Extremely important is the description of how the Khitai shifted from their |

original “nomadic” agricultural economy to the one prevailing among the |

different. | | -

Chinese. Their agricultural roots must have strongly resembled the Magyars’, |

but their traditions took a different direction, and so the outcome was quite |

3. THE KHARAKHANIDS AND THE BLACK KHITAI 7 As seen above (p. 252), following the victory of the Uighurs over the Turk Khaghanate, the Kharlukhs (former allies of the Uighurs) were also overthrown and driven westwards. After sporadic fights with the neighbouring

256 Relatives and neighbours peoples, they settled around Balasaghun and Khashghar. The founder of the — | new empire, Satuk Bughra khan, died in 955. He was the first significant Turkic ruler to convert to the Islamic faith. His son extended the realm, and

hence the religion of Muhammad. The Islamisation process brought into existence a new culture and literacy in Arabic, and shortly, in the 11th century, —

important works were conceived about the language and customs ofthe Turks. _ Mahmud al-Khashghari wrote a great lexicon which contained a glossary of

many hundreds of words translated into Arabic, giving ample examples of | word usage; also a vivid description of the everyday life of the Turks of the | 11th century was included. Khashghari’s work is a truly invaluable source, as is Khass Hajib’s Wisdom of Royal Glory which he wrote in 1069. Although | both works were written by followers of the Islamic faith, they conjure up the archaic world of the Turks prior to Islamisation, which was, importantly, contemporary to the Magyars’ Conquest of the Carpathian Basin. In the lexicon we find the title yugrush, a position which (similar to the Kharakhanids) came next. after the khaghan of the Avars; and the tudun, another important title among the Avars. Khashghari referred to many other titles, some of which occurred among the Magyars, such as yabgu and tarhan. Khashghari described the tribal and kinship organisation of the Turks and their

“pagan” system of beliefs. From the works of Khass Hajib and Khashghari we can reconstruct the political organisation and the everyday life of the Turks

in that region. The Kharakhanid empire was overthrown in the 12th century __ by the Black Khitai, a branch of the Khitai tribal confederation. The Black Khitai did not submerge in Chinese culture, but migrated west when the Khitai Liao was overpowered by another nomadic people, the Jurchen, the language

of whom was related to the Manchus’ language. wy | 4. THE OGHUZ AND THE SEUUK | In the 9th century the Oghuz people had their dwellings on the shores of Lake Aral. Their centre was located in the north Aral area. When the Samanid ruler crushed the Kharlukhs in 893, the Oghuz tribes gained greater importance. Their name features in the sources also as Uz or Ghuzz. Oghuz is identical to the tribal name Oghur, with the difference that the former was used among

those Turks who spoke the so-called z-Turkic language. One group of the Oghuz, under the name Seljuk, set out to build a new empire which flourished under Togril khan, who died in 1063. The name Toghril has the meaning of __

‘predator bird’ which happened to be the totemic animal of the Arpadian Magyars, and whose Hungarian name, turul, was borrowed from Turkic. The

Eurasia in the 9th and 10th centuries | | | 257 0 Oghuz people played an important role in the history of the Magyars, in so far

as they defeated, in 893, those Pechenegs who subsequently invaded the

Magyars in the Etelk6z (see pp. 330-331). | |

5. THE KHAZARS AND THE RUS In the second half of the 9th century, the history of the Khazar Empire saw | some important changes. The upper social stratum, which had converted to Judaism, became isolated from the rest of the people. Their army was only a moderately supported by the wealthy nobles, so they had to engage mercenaries. Most of these soldiers came from Khwarezm, and followed the Islamic faith. Although the great Arab threat had been broughttoanend,newenemies —s_—| rose in the east. Of these, the Oghuz or Uz and the Pechenegs were unable to overthrow the Khazars, but nevertheless engaged considerable forces. The Khazars’ erstwhile allies, the Byzantine emperors, now sided with the nomads,

with the help of whom they tried to bring down the Khazars. a Their relationship with the warrior-trader groups of the Rus was more complicated. From the middle of the 9th century they maintained friendly relations, and organised joint raids in the region of the Caspian Lake. Later, however, the Rus gained the upper hand in these raids, and the Khazars were left with only a share of the booty. They then tried to tax the Rus military adventurers. As the Persian source, the Hudiid al-Glam, remarked “the wealth and the well-being of the king of the Khazars are mostly from the maritime customs”. The trade relations changed to a substantial degree. The Khazars _

, were weakened not only by the secession of the Khavars (which, in turn, _ strengthened the Magyars), but also by the dissidence of other groups who joined the Arabs or went to seek their fortune in the Byzantine court or army. As viewed from the outside, the Khazars’ Empire prospered in the last decade - | of the 9th century and both the economy and culture had reached their zenith. However, due to the workings of the powers behind the scenes, decay had already began. In this procedure, the Magyars and later the Volga Bulghars

played an important role. Their cautious but persistent move towards inde- __ pendence took advantage of the Khazar central power’s loosening grasp. _

6. BYZANTIUM AND THE DANUBE BULGHARS From the beginning of the 7th century Slavic groups migrated to the Balkans and Greece. It took the Byzantine emperors two hundred years to moderately keep them at bay, or to settle them down. Efforts to “reoccupy” Peloponnisos

and Hellas from the Slavs were only rewarded with success in the early 9th

258 Relatives and neighbours century. Cities such as Thessaloniki remained bilingual. The aboriginal inhabitants of Thrace and Macedonia were fully Slavicised, and the Turkic rulers

of Bulgharia faced the same fate. The leader of the so-called Thomas-rebellion = (820-823) was a Slav soldier in the Byzantine army. In the 9th century, the struggle against the Arabs continued, but Crete (826) and Malta (870) fell into

the hands of the Arabs. However, in 843 the Empress Theodora, acting on behalf of her son Michael III, finally put an end to the domestic struggles surrounding the icons which had begun in 726. The Iconoclast fraction was defeated, and the people were satisfied with the outcome. Nevertheless, social problems could not be solved straight away. Rooted in social confusion, the | movement of the Paulikians was put down only in 872. It had been one of the

first tasks of the new Macedonian dynasty in Byzantium, whose first ruler was , Basil I, father of Leo the Wise (although certain sources claim that Leo’s actual father was Michael III). Leo ascended to the throne in 886. He was not only wise and learned, but was also an excellent organiser. He defended success- __ fully the empire against the Arabs in Syria, he beat back the Arab pirates in

the high seas where they had attacked the Greek navy, and he protected the | small islands, as well as cities like Thessaloniki. Leo was no warrior, he did not take part in military actions personally. As a pupil of the Patriarch Photius, he took great interest in literature and scholarship, hence his sobriquet “the Wise’’. His greatest challenge came, however, from the north. In 893, Simeon became ruler of the Danube Bulghars. This brings us to the events which will be discussed in connection with the Magyar Conquest (see pp. 330-335). The details will be dealt with below, but it must be stressed that the tension between the Bulghars and Byzantium was ofan economic nature. The Bulghar ruler Krum proposed in 812 to regulate trade between Bulgharia and Byzantium, and the measures taken by Leo the Wise included trade restrictions to

the disadvantage of the Bulghar merchants. oe

The return of image-worship did not ease the problems with the papal Rome. Behind dogmatic discussions, claims of supremacy and the calculations of Eastern and Western Emperors prevented reconciliation. The fate of the Cyril and Methodius legacy (see pp. 244-246) gives an idea of the everyday aspects of the problem. Things were dealt with far from Rome and

Constantinople. The very shaky equilibrium between Byzantium and the Danube Bulghars on the one side, and with Constantinople and Rome on the

other, framed the events of the Magyar Conquest.

Eurasia in the 9th and 10th centuries | | 259

7, ROME AND THE FRANKS | | To understand the situation in North Italy and the eastern part of the Frank ©

Empire, we have to go back a few steps in history. As we have seen, in Byzantium Basil I consolidated the central power. He was also successful in his struggle with the Arabs. One of the first acts of Basil was the deposition _

_ of Patriarch Photius (867) and the reinstatement of the former Patriarch of | Constatinople, Ignatius (847-858, 867-877). As one of their first acts Basil and Ignatius acknowledged the authority of Rome. Pope Nicholas I, who died on the 13th of November 867, could not witness this gesture and the fruit of

his energetic activity, because the letter with the great message arrived after | his death. One of the most important reasons for the clashes between Rome and Constantinople was the situation of the Bulgharian Church. On request of

the Bulgharian ruler Boris I, Pope Nicholas I sent missionary bishops to Bulgharia and among them was the bishop of Porto, Formosus, the name of | whom we shall meet later. This was unacceptable for Photius who convoked a synod to Constantinople in August 867, which excommunicated the bishop of Rome. In fact this was an answer to the synod of Lateran (863), which

| excommunicated Photius. The successor of Nicholas I was Hadrian II who | had other problems. The prince of Spoleto, Lambert, devastated Rome, while King Louis II fought against the Arabs in South Italy. Basil tried to form an alliance with Louis II, but this failed. The Byzantine occupation of Bari and Tarentum and the successful operations of General Nicephoros Phocas against | the Arabs in South Italy naturally increased the Byzantine influence around

the end of the reign of Basil, and with this, the importance of the western | alliance decreased. At the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869) Photius was officially deposed and anathematised in the presence of the legates of the Pope. _ But then an unexpected turn followed. Three days after the end of the Council,

| the delegates of the Bulgharian ruler Boris I arrived. They asked for a decision, where their diocese should belong, to Rome or to Constantinople. This was a

good strategy of the Bulgharian ruler who wanted an independent Bulghar __ Church. The Council reassembled and under the influence of the eastern patriarchs decided in favour of Constantinople. Boris also had problems with Rome, because Rome refused two of his candidates for the new archbishopric in Bulgharia. One of them was Formosus. The Popes in Rome were afraid of

the growing influence of Formosus. This made Basil’s hand free, and he | succeeded in achieving the removal of the Latin priests from Bulgharia. This

sealed the fate of Bulgharia and the Bulgharian Church, which has remained in the sphere of the orthodox Church until the present time. On the other hand, | the fate of the Bulgharian Church was a negative example for the Hungarians

in the 10th century. In compensation for the loss of the Bulgharian Church |

260 Relatives and neighbours Hadrian supported the missionary activities of Cyril and Methodius (see pp. | 244-246). Hadrian died in 872 and his successor John VIII (872-882) took

part in the political life of the Frank Empire. In 875 he crowned Charles the

Bald, and not Louis the German, as Emperor in Rome. In the next year he excommunicated Formosus, the Bishop of Porto as a potential rival. The son of Louis the German, Carloman, invaded Italy and Charles the Bald had to flee. He died the same year (877). Carloman asked for the crown. John VIII tried to gain time. The allies of Carloman, among them the prince of Spoleto, however, imprisoned the Pope, who nevertheless refused to offer the crown to Carloman and fled to Provence. In 881 John VIII crowned the brother of Carloman, Charles the Fat. In Byzantium Emperor Basil recognised that it was a mistake to dismiss Photius, and recalled him. First he was entrusted with the education ofthe Emperor’s children, among them the later Leo the Wise. After the death of Ignatius, the Emperor offered Photius the patriarchal throne, who

accepted it and convoked a council in Constantinople. The relationship =| between Constantinople and Rome worsened step by step. The Council of Constantinople nominally accepted the rights of Rome in Bulgharia, however,

now with the important reservation that the missionary work of the Greek priests should not be limited. In a counter move John VIII allowed the use of the Slavic language in the Church liturgy for Methodius (880). The next Pope, Marinus I (also called in some sources Martinus II), withdrew the excommunication of Formosus and his followers in order to get help from Charles the Fat. He could also persuade Charles to remove Prince Guido III from Spoleto, who tried to exert his power in Rome. Marinus died in 885 on his way to Worms, where he was expected to arrive and help the ille-

gitimate child of Charles in the struggle for power. The following Pope, | Stephen V (VI), after the abdication and death of Charles (888) asked Arnulf | to protect him against the inner enemies and the Arabs. Arnulf had, however, first to secure his power and could not send troops at once. Therefore Stephen changed his alliance and asked for the help of Guido III of Spoleto. The price was the coronation of Guido as Holy Roman Emperor in 891. In 886 Leo the Wise followed Basil and being afraid of the great popularity of Photius, he deposed the patriarch and raised his own brother Stephen to the patriarchal throne. Stephen of Constantinople was warmly accepted by Stephen of Rome. On the other hand, Pope Stephen ended the Slavic liturgy and backed Wiching, the great enemy of Methodius and his followers (see p. 246). Pope Stephen

died in 891. | an

The Bishop of Porto, Formosus, was over 75 when he was elected in 891 as the next Pope. The House of Spoleto exerted its patronage and Formosus —

had again to crown Guido, and his son Lambert as co-regent in 892. The tyranny of the dynasty of Spoleto was so intolerable that in the autumn of 893

Eurasia in the 9th and 10th centuries | , 261 Formosus turned to Arnulf, who one year earlier asked for the help of the Hungarians (see pp. 246, 331). Arnulf first had to secure his kingship (894) and then marched to Rome in 896. In February 896 Arnulf was crownedin Rome, __ but soon he had to leave, and Formosus died. Bonifatius, the next Pope, ruled only 15 days. The next Pope Stephen VI (VII) was first on the side of Arnulf,

but then changed to the House of Spoleto and became an ally of Lambert of Spoleto. It was he who organised the macabre “Synod of the Corpse”. _

They exhumed the corpse of Formosus and sat him on the throne. The Synod made a legal process against the dead. He was found guilty and his corpse was thrown into the Tiber. About the next two Popes, Romanus and Theodorus II], |

we know practically nothing. Pope John IX (898-900) was a protégé of Lambert of Spoleto. A Synod of Rome withdrew the sanctions against Formosus, _ but also questioned the legitimity of the coronation of Arnulf. At the same =—s—> time it was ruled that in the future the Pope should be consecrated in the presence of the emissaries of the Emperor. A second Synod in Ravenna — regulated the relations between the House of Spoleto and the Holy See. John |

could not calm down the fights in Rome between the parties of the late Formosus and his enemies. Pope John died in January 900. The situation became so confused that it is unclear when the next pope, Benedict IV, was elected. The date can be put to either May or June. The political situation was also very shaky. Lambert died on the 15th of October 898 and left no male

descendants. The pretender to the Holy Crown of the Roman Emperor was |

King Berengar I of Friaul, from 888 King of Italy. | |

defeated Berengar. | | : In the winter of 899/900 the Hungarians as allies of Arnulf, however, |

As we can see, in the years around the Hungarian Conquest, Rome, North — Italy and the eastern part of the Frank Empire were weak and deeply involved

in internal troubles. , |


As referred to above (p. 213), the Avars had advanced up to the Caucasus area

| Around 560, the ruler of the Avars was called Bayan whese name features Chuvash-type linguistic traits. We also know that the Oghur or Ughur people, who spoke a Chuvash-type language, assumed a major role in the formation of the European Avars (see pp. 213-214). In 562, one group of Avars fought the Frankish ruler Sigibert I at the River Elba. Its attacks were repelled, but in

566 the Avars defeated the Frankish armies, captured Sigibert who paida ransom of food supplies, and finally concluded an alliance with the Avars. In

262 | | Relatives and neighbours 562, the Avars reached the Lower Danube, and sought to contact Byzantium. Ascending to his throne in 565, the Byzantine emperor Justine II refused to comply with the Avars’ demands. Concurrently with this the Gepidae fought the Longobardi in the Carpathian Basin. The Gepidae asked for and received support from Byzantium against their foes, on condition that they ceded Sirmium. However, having defeated the Longobardi, the Gepidae did not live up

occupied. | | | ee

to their promise made to Constantinople. In 566, in alliance with the Avars, the Longobardi crushed the Gepidae kingdom which the Avars subsequently

However, the Longobardi were wary of the proximity of the Avars, so they solemnly agreed to withdraw, an event which took place on Easter Day in 568.

The Avars, then, took possession of the entire Carpathian Basin. — , In the 570s the Avars made frequent raids on Byzantium, at that time — involved in its campaign against Persia. In 574, they triumphed over Tiberius who had been elected emperor in the meantime, and whose immense annual _ taxes only could buy peace from the Avars. In the following years, however, _ Byzantium’s Balkan estates suffered a series of Slavic incursions, and in 582 __ the Avars took Sirmium. Bayan, who died around 583, was succeeded on the throne by one of his sons. Around 583, various groups fleeing from the West

Turks sought refuge with the Avars. | |

There was a growing Avar and Slav pressure on Byzantium until 591 when | the Byzantine emperor concluded peace with the Persian ruler, and was consequently able to disengage forces and launch them against the Avars. Following fights of varying success, Byzantium advanced up to the line of the River Tisza, so the Avars joined forces with the Longobardi in North Italy and

with the Franks. — | |

Meanwhile, having taken up the fights with Persia again, Byzantium sought to buy peace from the Avars by increasing its annual taxes. Until 620, Byzantium suffered a new series of Avar and Slavic campaigns, to prevent which, even higher taxes were agreed on. In 626 Avar and Slavic

armies besieged Constantinople, without success, however. —_—/ In 627, the Byzantine emperor Heraclius triumphed over Persia with Khazar

support. In 630, Byzantine—Frankish diplomatic contacts were established which contributed to the reinforcement of Byzantium’s position. Soon, internal fights broke out within the Avar Empire. The conflict of Avarand Bulghar

pretenders ended with the victory of the Avars, and one group of the defeated Bulghars fled to Bavaria in 631; however, the Bavarians massacred them. It has been suggested that the mediaeval mass-grave at Sankt Florian, near Linz —

in Austria, contains the bones of these slaughtered Bulghars. | | Following Khuvrat’s death around 670, one of the Onoghundur—Bulghar migratory waves reached the Avar Empire. In 679, an Avar group of envoys

Eurasia in the 9th and 10th centuries | — 263 participated in the festive events in Constantinople, celebrating victory over | the Arabs. In 682, Kuver and his group decided to move from the Avar Empire, | and joined the Bulghars. In 768, an Avar delegation visited the court of the

freshly crowned Charles the Great (Charlemagne), king of the Franks. | 9. THE CARPATHIAN BASIN ON THE EVE OF THE CONQUEST In 788, the Franks crossed the River Enns from where they launched all of their anti-Avar military operations. The Avars, who at that time possessed significant advanced posts in the Vienna Basin, made an abortive attempt in 790 to come to an agreement with the Franks regarding frontier matters. In 791, the armies of Charles the Great launched an attack against the Avars. One

episode of the war featured Erik, prince of Friaul, who, taking advantage of the Avar’s fragile position, made a surprise attack on the unprotected seat of the khaghan, robbing the town of many treasures which the prince transported to Aachen, to the court of Charles the Great. In that year the khaghan died, as well as a person bearing the title of yugurush. It seems that concurrently with the Frankish and Bulghar attacks, the Avar Empire was being weakened by

an increasingly violent domestic feud, too. Notwithstanding the fortunes of | war, until 802 the Avars managed to hold onto their advanced positions as far | as the Vienna Forest. The domestic fights ended with the victory of the faction

that supported peace with the Franks, and in 796 the Avar Empire’s second | man, the tudun, visited the Frankish court where he was christened. In the following year the role of the Salzburg archdiocese increased within the Avar mission. It seems that, seeing the weakening of the Avar Empire, the Bulghars did not remain idle either. Leaping into action, the Bulghar ruler Krum launched significant attacks upon the Avars. Probably not wholly independently of this, in 804 the Avar ruler, Khapkhan Theodorus, also journeyed to the Frankish court. His name, which has an East Christian ring, attests to the fact that the Avars sought allies in Byzantium and its associates. © However, Theodorus soon died. His successor, Abraham, was christened in

the River Fischa in 805. Some sources refer to his son as Isaac. | Following a brief period of respite, the Avar domestic struggles broke out

again. In 811, several Avar officials visited the Frankish court. Probably as a |

| result, Charles the Great sent troops to support the Avar faction loyal to him. | Eleven years later, in 822, the Avar khaghan and his train arrived at the imperial

assembly in Frankfurt to vouch for his loyalty to the Franks. The Christian mission became a much-debated issue on the agenda of Avar—Frankish nego-

tiations. In 829 the Franks’ outposts in the east were shared between the ,

264 , Relatives and neighbours Salzburg archdiocese and the Passau bishopric. The territories southeast of —

the River Raba were ceded to Salzburg, the areas up to the Raba to Passau. | As from the 820s the population of Transdanubia underwent significant changes. South Slav refugees settled from the Drava region, especially

the so-called Timochani, from the River Timok area. As seen above (see pp. 243-244), local power was seized by the Slavs after 840, and it was at that time that Pribina acquired his estates at Zalavar (Mosaburg) where a church

was consecrated in honour of the Virgin Mary. It was no mere chance that in | the 860s Transdanubia often featured as Sclavinia in the sources. The name Karinthia was extended at that time to Transdanubia due to Church political reasons. The Carantans mentioned in the Conversio (described above, see p. 56) were, in effect, the people that populated Transdanubia. Created in 870, the Conversio is probably the last source in which the Avars occur as a separate entity. It defined the inhabitants of the territories under the supremacy of the Salzburg archbishop as being “the people that remained of the Huns and the

Slavs in those parts” (populum qui remansit de Hunis et Sclavis in illis partibus). Naturally, the designation ‘Huns’, as used by the author of the Conversio, 1s here to be understood as meaning the Avars. In the middle of the 9th century the political organisation of the Avars must certainly have collapsed. This, however, did not entail the immediate disappearance of the Avars from the Central European scene. We have linguistic evidence in support of the fact that the gradual assimilation of the Avars into the Slavic community lasted at least three generations. Alongside the Slavs, |

it was this near-bilingual (i.e. speaking a Turkic and Slavic language) popu-

settlers. |

lation undergoing Slavisation that the conquering Magyars encountered—in Pannonia at least. The Slavs were divided into groups of South Slavs and West Slavs. Their centres were inhabited by Frankish, Bavarian and other Germanic

_ While much information has come down to us in the written sources regarding the Slavic-Avar population of Transdanubia, evidence of these peoples in the Alféld (Great Hungarian Plain) region is scanty. It is almost | certain, however, that yielding to Christian-Frankish rule, the Avars held groups which sought to shirk unpleasant duties. These groups disappeared in | the Alféld. The Avar wilderness (solitudo avarorum) denotes these barren

Alféld lands occupied by the Avars. a |

The treasure find known today as the Nagyszentmiklos treasure may have been the wealth of a fleeing Avar high dignitary. We do not know when it was hidden, but parallels with the Szarvas finds bearing similar runiform inscrip-— tions, seem to indicate that the treasure was last “used” in the latter halfofthe 8th century or possibly the first half of the 9th. It has been established that the | treasure underwent a “Christian phase”, but later the jugs were converted so

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ft E ; ee Yr 2 . * sy ’ cn : . |; @ 4 &® = “xQO| ss ofsoSON. elenena | Oo % a Sesbo on ar :, |:: CG oa BRR OS ot 6=Bw :r) Moon E|ee“ns 3 te, “,Be“ee *MTey “a: 4 oR ponent Reseeget! om ‘a ,OS Sh te , ae © one ws oeSe oe oe a 4; , a ) ‘| ra} Oo ew re) 4 Pa ‘re =,. By myMa 2 |537p) Ss NI .>*, we ;me, 7An Be, 4 une Sséi Sz 5 a | poner q o had been | completed via a rounded-lips /a/ vowel similar to that in Hungarian. The original /j/ consonant developed differently depending on the intermediate languages and the dialect of Russian. Ultimately, however, all of the data _

derive from a form of Majar. |

In Russian sources relating to the area, the ethnic name Majar also occurs | in documents applying to the Volga Magyars. The oldest such datum appears in a contract of 1483: after the Besermyan and Mordvin people, the Mocharin

people are mentioned. | , 7 ae

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gy fe N44 ca Ch U[C[6U6 Ue t—~— bélcs ‘wise’. But the basic word | : biigti also entered the Hungarian, surviving only in the verbs biivél ‘to be-

witch’, elbivél ‘to charm’ and in the noun composition bibaj ‘charm’, ‘attractiveness’. The bdlcs ‘wise man’ was a person who knew and practised _ bu ‘magic’. These words took different courses of development, but their etymologies shed light on the fact that they are actually related. The person _ who originally had supernatural knowledge simply became a person who had

knowledge and ‘wisdom’. ao |

The Magyars in the Carpathian Basin | 365 | _ The javas ‘witch-doctor’ and the orvos ‘medicine man, today: physician, | doctor’ were also members of the ancient Magyars’ system of beliefs. Javas comes from the ancient Finno-Ugrian word-stock, and orvos is, perhaps, of __

| Iranian origin (as for instance the Sakha aruva, arva ‘medicine’ < ‘plant’, | Indo-European *ar- ‘to sow’). The Turkic arva- meant ‘to practise magic,

| wizardry’, arvish ‘wizardry’ and arvishchi ‘wizard’, but the Finnish language | has similar words, like arpa ‘oracle stick’. The Hungarian baj ‘grace’, which originally meant ‘magical bond’, is of Slavic origin (and not Turkic), but its meaning in the Slav language changed under Old Turkic influence. The word

| yardzs ‘charm’ is also of Slavic origin. Javas and orvos, then, had co-existing |

from other cultures. | | | functions, both were healing folk, the latter perhaps the medicine man known

_ There is no equivalent in present-day Hungarian to the ‘rainmaker’. It is __

_ likely, however, that along with the taltos, the boszorkany, the bdlcs, the javas

_ and the orvos, the rainmaker also featured among the conquering Magyars. Chinese sources talk about the Turkic nomads whose tactics included the — production of a storm or rain. Various other sources confirm this. Forinstance, == _—>

a Muslim traveller, a certain Tamim ibn Bahr, wrote in 821 aboutthe Uighurs: “Among the miracles of the land of the Turks are pebbles which they possess, __ and with which they can create rain, snow and cold at will. The history of these pebbles in their possession is well known and widespread, and no Turk has

any doubts about them. And these pebbles are primarily in the possession of | _ the king of the Uighurs, and their other rulers do not possess any.” Gardizi, too, speaks about the rainmaking stone, and the story he relates is about the Oghuz, the Kharlukhs and the Khazars fighting for the possession of such a stone. Yet, another source claims that the Oghuz and the Turks clashed for the

same reason. The magicians of the “Caucasus Huns” were able to produce | rain and storms from the shelter of their oak tree consecrated to the deities. The name of the rainmaker in Turkic was yatchi or jatchi. The root word, yat,

| according to Khashghari, meant ‘magic made with stones to create rain and _ tempest’. In all probability these rainmaking stones in the graves of the

Conquest-period Magyars will be identified shortly. a |

These different forms of beliefs were not singularly characteristic of one people only, local versions occurred practically everywhere. Hence we cannot | venture further than establishing that the archetypical forms of folk belief existed among the Magyars, too. These included the veneration of holy shrines and trees. Such elements are to be found in the system of beliefs of the Volga Finno-Ugrian and Turkic peoples (for instance the Chuvash Keremets), as well

as in the written sources of the Khazars. OS Holy objects also included protective amulets, many of which bore inscrip- _ tions. The Hungarian word be?ii ‘letter (symbol)’ exists in Chuvashinthe form _

366 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin of petii, whose second meaning is the equivalent of ‘amulet’ which used to _ mean ‘protective writing’. A pendant with a Greek-letter Christian prayer inscribed on it came to light from the Conquest-period grave at Piliny. The Magyars’ graves contained a number of other protective objects, too, such as a small saw, a set of bear’s fang and animal bones. Similar protective objects

were found in excavations in the former Khazar Empire. SS a Movses Dashuranci speaks of the “Caucasus Huns” having as a holy tree _ the oak which they consecrated to the god of the heavens. Therefore, when these Caucasus Huns were converted to Christianity, the old symbol was also converted and a cross was carved out of the holy oak tree. The tree consecrated

| to the god of the heavens, Tengr1, is, of course identical with the tree of worlds

which leads to the shaman other world. | | Khashghari was a follower of the Muslim faith, but nevertheless gives a

detailed account of the pagan Turkic world in the typical manner of his time. | In his report of 1074, he calls Allah by his Turkic name, Tengri (as opposed to a near contemporaneous source, the Khutadghu bilig). Having established this, and cited some sayings and poems related to Tengri, he continues thus: “the infidels—may God destroy them!—-call the sky Tengri, also anything that is imposing in their eyes they call Tengri, such as a great mountain or tree, and

they bow down to such things. [...] We take refuge from error in God”

(translated by Dankoff and Kelly). | |

This account reveals a syncretism of shamanism and Tengrism. The world in the shaman’s cosmic concept is tripartite; it rests on the threesome of the other world, this world and the nether world. The tree of worlds connects these worlds. Depictions of this tree of worlds have come to light from Conquestperiod excavations, on for instance the woman’s harness found in a woman’s grave at Szakony. Other symbols of the cosmic world concept, such as the sun and the moon, can also be found on archaeological finds from the Conquest period. The memory of holy trees and holy groves are preserved by many place

names. Anonymus held that the silva Igfon, that is, the Igyfon forest, was located between the Maros and the Szamos. The earliest Hungarian written laws mention sacrifices held near springs, stones and fountains. The igy constituent in the name Igyfon is identical with the egy ‘holy’ (a word of Turkic

origin) in the Hungarian word egyhdz ‘church, holy house’, and the second

constituent fon derives from the old Hungarian word meaning ‘densely woven’ (i.e. /gyfon, a holy, dense forest). The word meaning ‘holy’ also appears in the Hungarian word iinnep ‘festival’, ‘holiday’ (< id nap ‘holy

day’). | | | co

The ethnographic sources, discussed in Chapter II.6, include Ibn Fadlan’s description of the gods of the Bashkirs. They had the sun as one, but the god of the heavens was even greater (see p. 148). This account of Ibn Fadlan is

The Magyars in the Carpathian Basin — a 367

compiler. _ |

applied to the Khazars by the Persian Amin Ahmed Razi, a 14th-century

| Mention has been made of the adoration of a sun-god (see pp. 151, 191). As yet, we have been unable to track down the passage of the Hettite name of the sun-god /shtenu, from its Hatti origin, via the Caucasus Mountains and the

Khazars, to the pre-Conquest-period Magyars (isten in modern Hungarian stands for ‘god’). However, as we have seen (pp. 187-191), a number of similar itinerant cultural terms, such as the cultic objects of balta ‘axe’ and

_ szekerce ‘adze’, wandered to the Magyars from afar. a It has been the subject of much debate whether the real or symbolic wound- | ing of the crantum—so-called trepanation—actually served as a remedy, or

whether it was related to beliefs. Among the data cited in support of this is the |

| Hungarian word agya/furt, now meaning ‘cunning’, but derived from agy | ‘brain’, ‘skull’ + fur ‘to drill, to bore’. Only a couple of personal names (such _ as Lehel and Lél; related to the words /ehel ‘breathe’ and /é/ek ‘soul’) and later

sources offer some insight into the Arpad-era Magyars’ concept of the soul. | Still, we have good reason to believe that their system of beliefs included the | “life-soul” which ceased to exist after death, as well as the soul which departed

_ at death, and was reincarnated in the form of a bird, for instance. | | Impersonated nature, the veneration of remarkable natural phenomena, healing persons who also practise homeopathic magic, their whole system of __ beliefs, and the tripartite division of the world are some of the elements ofthe Magyars’ religion. The great world religions—primarily Christianity—were _

built upon and combined with these. | '

As we have seen (p. 233), the Khazar Empire, too, had Christian groups. We know of Khazar princesses, married to Byzantine emperors and Caucasian :

rulers, who were christened; and also of Byzantine and Armenian princesses in the Khazar court. Christian communities existed in the Crimea and the Caucasus, too. Gothic and Byzantine Christianity flourished alongside the Khazars in the Crimea. It is very hard to believe that Cyril and Methodius were | the only Christians to have met the Magyars prior to the Conquest. Although

not mentioned in the sources, the Magyars living in the Etelkéz must have sent several envoys to the Byzantine court. We do not know whether any

pre-Conquest princely Magyar youths of the Etelkéz were educated in the | Byzantine court—Khuvyrat, the ruler of the Bulghars in any case, is known to

have been. Nevertheless, based on authentic evidence, we can fairly safely establish that the pre-Conquest Arpadian Magyars had heard about Christianity even before they crossed the Carpathians. Moreover, it is possible that certain Magyar groups were actually converted. Going by present-day Hungarian terms like gyasz ‘bereavement’, érdem ‘merit’, tdrvény ‘law’, bocsanat ‘pardon’, biicsi ‘indulgence’, drék ‘eternal’, biin ‘sin’, gyén ‘confess’, igy/egy

368 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin ‘holy’, which are of Turkic origin, our suspicions are further confirmed. It has been argued that these words were borrowed after the Conquest from the local Bulghar-Turks who lived to the south of the River Maros, due to the mediation of the Transylvanian gyula s daughter Sarolt (Saint Stephen’s mother) and her

environment. This view is difficult to uphold. It is certain, however, that | shortly after the Conquest the local lords of the southern regions began a series

of visits to Byzantium; Gyula and Bulcst were baptised; Byzantium sent a missionary bishop to Hungary, namely Hierotheus, who arrived among the Magyars around 952 as a monk, and was shortly ordained Bishop of Turkey [Hungary]. Although the Danube Bulghars had been baptised around 865, the language of the liturgy was Greek and later Slavic. There 1s one Hungarian

word which comes from this Bulghar-Turkic ecclesiastic terminology: kép _ ‘image’. The original Turkic meaning was ‘shape’, ‘form’, ‘image’, ‘likeness’. _ This existed among the Danube Bulghars where it meant ‘pagan idol’, ‘pagan image’. Tagged with a Slavic affix, its derivation kapiste, was the name of the pagan sacrificial shrine, which attests to the fact that the word must have had

a pagan meaning related to religious faith. The earliest occurrence of the Hungarian derivation 1s in Christian texts (from ca. 1315: “‘szent oltarun kuner

kepeben” [in form of bread on the holy altar]). | oe The other part of the Christian vocabulary of the Magyars was of Slavic origin. Words including kereszt ‘cross’, karacsony ‘Christmas’, szent ‘saint’,

pap ‘priest’, barat ‘monk’, pokol ‘hell’, were borrowed from the Greek-rite Slavs, as opposed to apdca ‘nun’, apat ‘abbot’ which entered the Hungarian language from the Latin-rite Slavs. To this word-stock was added later the standard Latin terminology, as well as a number of Latin terms via German

and Italian mediation. | :

Traces of Christianity are to be found in the archaeological finds of the _ Conquest-period Magyars. The sabertache plate of Bezdéd which features an intertwining cross and a tree of life is a “pet” reference of scholars. From the 10th century crosses made of cast bronze or sheet metal began to appear in

the Magyars’ graves. | es

We have much knowledge of the burial customs of the Magyars. The ©

deceased was laid on his or her back, with the legs facing east, according to -

the Turk tradition (see p. 138). The hands were rested on either side of the _ body, or were placed on the pelvis (see Figures 24 and 25 on p. 137 and Plate

II/3). A simple coffin is apparent (the Hungarian word koporso ‘coffin’, of | Turkic origin, had the meaning ‘casebox’). The bottom of it was lined with moss or cloth. Covered with leather, they placed the bones of the deceased’s

horse at the foot of the grave. Occasionally they would stuff the flayed horse-skin with hay or foliage. |

The Magyars in the Carpathian Basin | 369 Around 681, the Albanian bishop Israyel notes of the so-called “Caucasus _ Huns” (actually the Khazars) that they sacrificed a horse to the god of the heavens, Tengri; and that they burned the horse. It well might be that the remains of the burned animal and its skin were interred with the deceased to

~ as a synechdochic symbol (pars pro toto). | | | In spring 900, the Bishop of Salzburg, Theotmar, wrote a letter to Pope John IX, in reply to the accusations of the Moravian clergy. The Moravian bishops were seeking to gain independence for their own Moravian bishopric, and to

break off from Salzburg. Theotmar quotes from the complaining letter the Moravians had written to the Pope: “As it happens, the said Slavs accuse us of offending the Catholic faith with the Magyars, of having pronounced oaths | over dogs and wolves and other unholy pagan creatures, and of making peace with them; also of paying them money to go to Italy: if we were to discuss our

matters in your holy presence, then, before the almighty Lord who knows all | things even before they happen, and before your apostolic holiness, their _ falseness would come to light and our innocence gain proof. Because they [the _

Magyars] have always threatened Christians in lands afar, have devastated _ them, and yet we only gave them worthless money and linen clothes to pacify their wildness to keep away their raids [...] Many times for many years have | they [the Moravians] committed the sin which they now falsely accuse us with. They took unto their people large numbers of the Magyars, and shaved their — own false Christians’ heads in the fashion of these Magyars, and sent them [the Magyars] against our Christian peoples.” Evidently, the text refers to the

campaigns of 881 and 894 when, in league with Svatopluk, the Magyars | launched an attack against the Franks (see pp. 331-332), and the campaign of 892, fought in alliance with Arnulf. It matters little whether the Magyarsswore =>

by dogs or wolves, the description nevertheless, gives a good idea about the |

~ customs of the Arpadian Magyars. sy | | _ The fact that the conquering Magyars were familiar with Christianity does —

not mean that a significant a number of Magyar groups, or the leading strata — , actually practised it. There is not a shred of support to confirm this; moreover,

there is one thing that contradicts the idea. Conversion to any of the world

religions always involves the appearance of literacy; the Word must be | committed to writing. Writing among the pre-Conquest Magyars could have been anything from Hebrew to Greek. We cannot dismiss the suggestion that there were people among the Magyars who knew one or more of these scripts,

and many of them might even have acquired some Latin during the course of the raids on the west. Or, the Magyars might have had clerk prisoners or servants. But writing did not spread. A runiform script, however, was probably | fairly widely used. As will be pointed out in Chapter XVI, the Székely runiform script was without doubt related to the other Eastern European

370 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin runiform scripts, even if we are not sure how. Also, it is clear that runiform letters of Slavic origin entered the Székely runiform script, which could hardly ~ have happened before the Conquest. Thus, the Magyars entered the Carpathian | Basin with a simple runiform writing which cannot, perhaps, have differed

greatly from the Szarvas—Nagyszentmiklos writing. |

NOTES — | | The institution of the sacral and dual kingship, as that of the Hungarians, has been much debated

recently by Gydérffy, Czeglédy and Kristé (see Gydrffy 1955, 1973, 1984, 1993a, 1993b; Czeglédy 1966, 1974, 1975; Kristé 1980, pp. 207-228, 1993a, 1993b, 1996; as well as Bakay , 1978; Dimmerth 1971, 1977; Herényi 1982; Makk 1985; T6th 1988; and Uhrman 1987— 1988).

I have also dealt with the problem in my inaugural lecture as an ordinary member at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, delivered on 12th February 1996. The text is now in print © and will be published in 1999. The idea came from Czeglédy who referring to a work of Roheim written in 1917 elaborated a theory. Czeglédy projected the system of the Khazars on the Magyar structure and under his authority the existence of the sacral kingship among the Hungarians of the Conquest gradually became generally accepted. However, Gyérffy considered Kursan to have been the sacral king, while according to Kristé, Kursan should be regarded as gyula, that is, the sacral king must have been Almos and his son Arpad. The fact that there never existed

a sacral dual kingship among the Magyars was recently also argued by Keszi (1995) with a | German summary. For Ibn Rusta’s text, published by Zimonyi, see Kristé (1995). I have quoted Gardizi from Martinez (1982). A comparative description of the sacral kingship with untenable

conclusions is Waida (1976). - , ,

The Hétmagyar ‘Seven Magyars’ issue has been discussed in Németh (1991, pp. 181-213)

which, by now, has a great many untenable arguments. For the group of Turkic tribes with

“numerical” names, see Czeglédy (1963). , ,

S. L. Téth (1995) is a very recent account of the location of the Magyars between 895 and |

899, complete with an overview of past opinions. _ : ,

Porphyrogenitus’s sentence about the bilingualism of the Khavars and the Magyars is analysed by Moravesik in Jenkins (1962, p. 150; see also, Moravesik 1984, p. 46, note 33). ee Suggestions for the numbers of the conquering Magyars vary greatly. For more recent

pp. 211-223). | ae

opinions see Kovacsics (1995b), Gydrffy (1995), and Kristé (1995a). No truly reliable source exists in support of this issue. The size of the Khazar population is discussed in Ludwig (1982,

For the religion of the Khazars and its sources consult Dunlop (1954) and Ludwig (1982). The distribution of livestock in the individual Mongolian regions is excellently illustrated _

by a map in BadamZav (1966), an adaptation of which I have included in this book (see Figure 71 on p. 361). For Mongolian animal rearing, see Réna-Tas (1961a), its Russian edition ap-

peared in 1964, there exist also a Polish and a Japanese translation of the book. For the livestock oe figures of South Russia and the Conquest period, see Janos Matolcsi’s archaeozoological chapter in Hajdi—Krist6é—Rona-Tas (1976, vol. I/1, pp. 164-201). Krist6, who claims that the Magyars were pure nomads, does not discuss the make-up of livestock of the conquering Magyars (Krist6 1995b); he is mainly concerned with reconstructing the Magyars’ way of life

The Magyars in the Carpathian Basin 37) | via the written sources. Kristé does not take into consideration the fact that the Arpadian Magyars brought several types of economic systems with them, and insists on the Magyars being nomadic pastoralists. It must be said, however, that as regards nomadism, his viewpoint

has significantly changed in comparison to his earlier works. - , I have discussed the old Avar—Magyar title termes in connection with the name Termecsii _ in Rona-Tas (1995c and 1996g), the origins of the Hungarian word ur ‘lord’ in Rona-Tas (1994a,

1995b). The comments of Kara (1995) on the etymology of the Hungarian ur attest to scanty , knowledge regarding the nature of word borrowing, and reflect the practice of forming linguistic

assumptions with only the help of dictionaries. The Hungarian word for ‘piglet’, malac, has the meaning ‘piglet, pigling’ in none of the Slavic languages, where it means ‘young’, and the semantic narrowing occurred in Hungarian. The same happened with the Turkic word wri. Benk6 (1998) questioned my suggested etymology of Termachu. He did not take into account | that the second vowel, which is a closed e in Hungarian, was not a closed one in the original , language. The present Hungarian structure of the word is a relatively late development. Thus __

the Greek transcription of the second vowel by alpha is possible. | See more about old Magyar traditions of iron forging in Gémori (1994), with further bibliography. For the particulars of Magyar agriculture, see Balassa (1994). Dienes (1972a, 1972b) and Balint (1976) discuss the relevant archaeological finds, Fodor (1994, p. 54) the

sword of Kiev. | . ,

, Molnar (1993, English version: 1994) writes about the rainmaker. The finds of Piliny and other Conquest-period objects are presented in Dienes (1972a, p. 48). Data about the religious

world of the “Caucasus Huns” were collected by Ludwig (1982, pp. 305-332). The best Khashghari edition is by Dankoff—Kelly (1982-1985). For the ornaments on the woman’s harness of Szakony, see Dienes (1972a, p. 49). Read about symbolic or real trepanation in Ery (1994, p. 222), and about the Hungarian word agya/irt ‘cunning, literary: bored brain’ and its literature in Pais (1975, pp. 7-10). Consult Dienes (1978), Mesterhazy (1994) for an interpre-

tation of the archaeological matter of the Conquest period with special emphasis on the reconstruction of the system of beliefs. These works, however, cannot always avoid the pitfall — of over-interpreting the data. On the oeuvre of Dienes see the obituary written by Bona (1997a).

sources is Szegfti (1996).

An attempt at the reconstruction of the old Hungarian world of beliefs with help of written Latin , Taking up the research of Melich, Németh (1940a) holds the Hungarian Christian word-stock (of Turkic origin) to be Danube Bulghar. The literature of the Hungarian word ferem *womb (of Virgin Mary)’, which has the meaning ‘tabernaculum’ in the Codex Cumanicus, is discussed in Ligeti (1986, pp. 275-276), and Rona-Tas (1995c, 1996g). For the oath over a dog see Balint (1971), Vajda (1979) and Sinor (1992).

For Theotmar’s letter see the Hungarian translations in Gydrffy (1975c, pp. 217—223), Krist6é (1995d, pp. 185-187), the text in Gombos (1937, pp. 1469-1747), and LoSek (1997).



The chapter heading is not a mistake. We are looking at the integration of the Magyars not into Europe, but within Europe.

_ As we saw in the previous chapters, the Magyars have always lived in

- Europe, if we take as the border of Europe the geographical border of the _ continent today, that 1s, the Ural Mountains. We have to relate how the | _ Magyars adapted to historical circumstances at least three times. Firstly when

they transferred to a highly developed nomadic life style in such a way that : preserved their ethnic identity; secondly when they preserved their tribal structure and further developed their ethnic identity on the Khazar-controlled

steppe where the majority of the population was Turkic; and thirdly when they | arrived in the Carpathian Basin where once again they were able to adapt to circumstances and survive. Thus the Magyars have integrated within rather

than into Europe. | | | |

These very facts, however, do not give an answer to the questions “how?” | and “why?”. The question is endlessly raised as to how and why the Magyars survived, when the Huns, the Avars, the Alani, the Cumans or the Pechenegs all disappeared off the historical stage, or sunk in the sea of peoples—espe- __

cially when the Magyars’ history and language marked them out sharply from

| anything that is usually called European. In this section of my book I would |

like to point out certain facts relating to this. | 1, THE INTEGRATION OF PEOPLES, a

| THE TYPES OF ETHNIC CHANGE IN THE MIDDLE AGES _ The integration of peoples with each other takes many different forms, sothat _ no complete typology can be drawn up from any one point of view. However, __ it is worth considering certain types that may be of importance to us, since in their similarities and differences they both help us to understand Magyar

history and show points of contact in time and space. |

374 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin It has long been noticed that there were considerable differences inthe way

nomadic tribes were integrated in China and around the Mediterranean sea. | The relations between the nomadic tribes and China varied greatly. If we start with the Turks, who play an important role in the history of the Magyars, too, we discover that the integration of some of the Turkic tribes into China began

early on. | — On the gravestone of the Khaghan K6] Tegin, who died in 732, we can read: [After the famous khaghans died] “then the younger brothers succeeded to the

throne and the sons succeeded to the throne. But, apparently the younger brothers did not resemble their elder brothers, and the sons did not resemble _ their fathers. Consequently, unwise khaghans succeeded to the throne, bad khaghans succeeded to the throne. The buyruks, too, were unwise and bad. — Since lords and peoples were not in accord, and the Chinese people were wily | and deceitful, since they were tricky and created a rift between younger and _ elder brothers, and caused the lords and the people to slander one another, the

Turkic people caused their state which they had established to go to ruin, and | their khaghan whom they had crowned to collapse. Their sons worthy of becoming lords became slaves, and their daughters worthy of becoming ladies _

became servants to the Chinese people. The Turkic lords abandoned their Turkic titles. Those lords who were in China held the Chinese titles and obeyed the Chinese emperor and gave their services to him for fifty years. For the benefit of the Chinese, they went on campaigns up to the land of the Biikli [Korean] khaghan in the east, where the sun rises, and as far as the Iron

Gate in the west. For the benefit of the Chinese emperor they conquered

countries.” (Translated by Talat Tekin.) / - |

Indeed the Chinese divided the Turks, taking the majority into their service. | The process of Turk assimilation thus began, their political autonomy was lost, and their ethnic autonomy was endangered. A group of Turks, ledbyK61Tegin | and his minister, Tonyukhukh escaped from here and established the Second Turk Khaghanate. Others assimilated into the Chinese population. It is interesting that one of the main arguments in favour of independence was that trade

was better carried out from a distance, whereas being close to the Chinese softened them. The warning was expressed in the following terms: “If you _ stay in the land of Otiiken and send caravans from there, you will have no trouble. If you stay at the Otiiken Mountains, your power, Turk people, will

last for ever and you will live well!” i |

The Khitais—a people speaking an old Mongolian language—offer another | type of integration. As we have seen (pp. 253-255), they are mentioned as early as the Sth century, but reached the zenith of their power in the 10th century. At the same time as the Magyars entered the Carpathian Basin, the Khitais occupied the north of China. In 916, their rulertook the titleofemperor

The integration of the Magyars within Europe - | | 3750 and founded the Liao dynasty, which ruled until 1114. During this period, in southern China smaller dynasties seized control one after the other, without |

being able to maintain their position. The rule of the Khitai dynasty was brought to an end by another nomadic people, the Jurchens, relations of the Manchus. They founded the Jin, or Golden dynasty. Many of the Khitai had : already become assimilated Chinese under the Liao dynasty, but one group | resisted this process and headed west, where they appeared as Black Khitais, or Kharakhitais. In 1125, their ruler took the title of Gurkhan, and they ruled

from the Caspian Lake to the Chinese border. a

The Chin dynasty was brought down by the descendants of Chingis Khan, the Mongols. Unlike previous nomads, who had seized only parts of China,

the Mongols brought the whole of the country under their control, and established the Yuan dynasty. At this point the assimilation of the Mongols | began, although Chinese culture also developed continually under the mutual —

influence of Mongolian and barbarian dynasties. When the Ming dynasty — ended the rule of the Yuan dynasty in 1368, the Mongols made four different choices. Some withdrew to the steppes with the last Mongol emperor. Some _ remained in the Chinese Empire in common areas in tight-knit groups, where — they acted as a border defence against their former Mongol brothers. A third

group remained together, but having lost any connection with the other Mongols and mixing with non-Chinese groups, they abandoned first their language and then their culture, but did not lose their identity. And finally, individual families moved into Chinese-dominated areas, and while they completely assimilated, their members preserved, up to the 20th century, the

knowledge that their forefathers were Mongols. |

| We can see that the Chinese attempted to assimilate foreigners in different ways. This was not as successful as it might seem from the outside. The pro-— cess took many forms, was slow, and produced varying results. Nonetheless, because of the undifferentiated nature of Chinese society the integration of — foreigners was a one-way process, from which the only escape was to break

away and go back to the steppes. |

The Roman Empire developed differently. It, too, was faced with roving tribes. It beat back the early attacks of the Germanic tribes, and those of the Huns, too. But the Germans kept appearing again and again. The change in Roman—Germanic relations, which went back a long way, came in the Sth century. It is worth examining these events in some detail, if we want to understand the question of how and why the Magyars integrated within Europe

for the third time. |

From the Sth until the 13th century anew world emerged which can roughly | be divided up into three main periods. The first period, from the 5th to the 9th century, consisted of the ‘civilised’ Romans pitted against the ‘barbarian’

376 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin Germans. The decisive factor was the fact of belonging to the Roman Empire. _

This brings to mind Saint Paul’s proud declaration, civis romanus sum ‘lam a Roman citizen’. Belonging to the Roman Empire was more important than one’s real origins or social situation. However, Rome was increasingly dependent on the Germans for their military defence. First Odoaker, and then Theoderich took over real power in Rome. But Rome preserved its autonomy, and Theoderich ruled formally on behalf of the Roman Emperor. The Romans

and the Germans settled into a kind of cohabitation. ; | In the meantime, the contrast between civilised and barbarian was transformed. Wulfila christened some of the Goths and spread Christianity among the Germans in their own language. For a time 1t seemed that the civilised—bar-

barian contrast would become transformed into one between orthodox Chris- : tianity and the Arian doctrines held by the Germanic tribes. At the same time,

this world came under new attack from the outside. From the north the Norman- Vikings, in the Carpathian Basin the Avars, and in the Balkans the Turkic Danube Bulghars came into conflict with the Roman—German world. From the south the Arabian great power emerged, bringing Persia under its

power and moving into the Iberian Peninsula. | | While it seemed as though the centre of gravity in the Roman Empire was moving to Constantinople, the Germanic tribes underwent a total transformation between the Sth and 9th centuries. Some of the tribes, like the Franks and the Saxons, survived, but now territorial ties and loyalty to the ruling houses

played an increasing role in questions of identity. The contrast between orthodoxy and Arianism did not prove to be a lasting one. The religious and

| non-religious organisations developed and operated in parallel. The members of the Merovingian dynasty played a major role in this process, especially Clovis (483-511), who used the support of the Catholic orthodoxy to strengthen his power over the Arians. The universal Church and the dif-

ferent peoples—gentes—created a community system in which, alongside | the sharing of morals, customs and institutions (mores, leges, instituta), there was also a shared written language, Latin. The introduction to the Lex salica in the middle of the 8th century mentions that the fact that God chose the Frank people, gens francorum, to defend Christianity, bestows a legitimacy on that

people. The belief in the king and belief in God (fidelis regis, fidelis Dei) became one and the same thing. The word francus moved towards meaning ‘free’, referring to the free warriors of the empire, i.e. it gained a sociological rather than a tribal or ethnic content. Out of the tribal name was formed a

standard word in English: frank used to mean ‘free’, and then ‘generous, __

liberal’, and today it means ‘sincere, candid’. |

At the end of the process a Romanised world existed next to a Germanised world. In Italy, France and the part of the Iberian Peninsula not occupied by

The integration of the Magyars within Europe 377 | the Arabs, neo-Roman cultures developed, absorbing the different eastern and _ western German groups as well. The local German groups between the Rivers

Rhine and Elbe remained in the majority, as can be seen in the balance of | power, too. The local population was hardly aware of this, and the awareness of the clerical literati can only be caught in slips of the tongue or in mistakes | over terminology or content. Tribal origins were barely a memory, and groups were differentiated according to their social position and their lords. The crowning of Charles the Great (Charlemagne) in Rome at Christmas 800 marked the end of an ethnogenetic process: the end of the integration of

| the German tribes, so that the firm pillars of the new European order in the 9th—11th centuries could take shape. It is not mere chance that while the ethnic name Frank moved from meaning

‘bold’ to ‘free’, at the other end of Europe we can observe exactly the opposite | process. The name for the Slavic peoples, Sclaveni, Slavii, similarly takes on

a social dimension, meaning ‘slave’. In Latin we find sclavus, in German Sklave, and in English slave. The Norman-Viking traders played a role in

this, but so did the Pechenegs and the Magyars. Naturally this process only | lasted until the Slavic tribes formed units wielding their own political power.

The ethnic name Croatian first appears in 852, while the name Serb appeared somewhat earlier. It is worth paying attention to the appearance of these | tribal names, since the Slavs had been around for centuries by then. Their names always referred to the geographical surroundings: Polyane (the plane dwellers), Derevlyane (the woodlanders), Timochani (the people living by the River Timok), etc. This is actually how the primary Russian chronicle observed the events: “Since they settled down by the River Morava, they called

themselves Moravians” (sedosha na retse imenem Morava i prozvasha sya Morava). In Chapter 31 of the work by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, he writes | of the Croatians that they were descendants of the pagan white Croatians who _

used to live in the area behind Turkia, i.e. Hungary. He writes in a similar

fashion about the Serbs in the next chapter. He adds that in the time of Heraclius some of them were settled down in the Balkans. “This part behind | Turkia”, which the Serbs called Boyki in their own language, covered the area

of present day Saxony, where Slavs still live, in Cottus and Bautzen near | Lausitz. This region was formerly Czech, and the people who now live here, the Sorbs, speak a western Slavic language. Another interesting point is that the Emperor said of the ethnic name ‘Serb’ that in the language of the Romans this means ‘slaves’ (douloi). Whatever the origin and etymology of the word Serb is (some claim it is Iranian in origin), here again we find the interpretation of ‘Slav as slave’, even if this is popular etymology, referring to the Latin word servus.

378 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin One group of the Slavs was organised by the Frank trader Samo in the first half of the 7th century, in the region that later became Moravia. Another Slavic group was organised by the Turkic Danube Bulghars. We have seen how varied

were the origins represented by the Pannonian Slavs under Pribina and Kocel. The Kievan Rus Empire organised by Norman-Viking armies came about in | the same pattern. In some ways we could say the Slavic ethnic formation was

delayed by foreigners. / |

The development of the Slavic peoples was completed by the 9th century.

The Moravians and Czechs, organised on the Frankish model, the Serbs and the Croatians, organised by the ‘white’ Croatians and ‘white’ Serbs, the Bulghars, organised by the Turks and increasingly assimilated as Slavs, and the Kiev Slav region, organised by the Vikings and indeed populated by Slavs,

were joined in the second half of the 10th century by the Poland of the Piasts. Out of tribes organised on a territorial basis developed peoples with ties to the ruling dynasties of each territory.

The third type of development is represented by the Turkic peoples in Eastern Europe. The usual system among the Turks was a confederation of

tribes, as we can see on the Inner Asian steppes amongst the Turks, the Uighurs, the Khirghiz, the Kharlukhs and other Turkic tribes. This held true for Eastern Europe as well. The strength and historical advantage, and at one and the same time the disadvantage of this tribal confederation, lay in its flexibility (see above, pp. 341-348). This structure allowed new tribes to join, enabled the gradual development of loyalties, and made it possible to change

the structure quickly and easily. While new names constantly appeared, in | many cases the sum of the tribes changed little. New tribes came to the fore, others were pushed to the back, some sections Joined other confederations,

but taken as a whole, the mass remained unchanged. | These confederations managed to consolidate their power in different ways. _

One was the construction of a nomadic empire, of which the Khazar Empire , is an example. In this case, the tribal confederation found itself in circum- | stances which made the concentration of power essential. The internal tribal structure was suitable for this from the beginning, since its needs could be fulfilled outwardly. Marauding campaigns aimed at trade were a common

feature of the Early Turkic period. The aim of these was partly to force

Arabs. |

exchanges, and partly to seize treasures. The Khazars were able to conduct _ constant campaigns to the north against the Slavs and to the south against the _ Caucasian peoples. At the same time, control over the trade routes also brought

in wealth, giving the tribes an interest in trading with Byzantium and the

The temporary decrease in pressure from the east contributed to the consolidation of power, and in the course of time the dual kingship settled into a

The integration of the Magyars within Europe a 379 stable form and took on the proportions of a cult. However, this undermined the tribal confederation. The role of the sacral king, the war ruler, the armed retinue, the hiring of mercenaries and the settling of the people on the land all robbed the tribal confederation of any role or weight. The representatives of the confederation came into conflict with the centralised authorities, and once

defeated, left the empire. oo | The Avars and the Danube Bulghar Empire offer two examples of how tribal ; confederations can develop in a different direction. In both cases a leading | stratum emerged. Once again, marauding trade campaigns played a significant role, but here the direction was only the Byzantine and the Roman—German

world. However, there was little long-term future in this, both because the ©

counter-attacks came from an enemy that enjoyed far greater reserves, and | because Byzantium and the Frankish rulers could exercise a far wider degree of political diplomacy. A decisive feature of the campaigns was the fact that _ the armies were only in part Bulghar and Avar: a considerable proportion was Slav. This strengthened the position of the Slavs within both empires. In the case of the Bulghar Empire, the process resulted in the Slavification of the Bulghars, although the framework of the state was preserved with the help of

the conversion to Christianity. The basis was laid down probably by the laws _ of Krum (803-814), which did not survive themselves, but can be pieced together from later references, which suggest that this was the period when power was centralised and tribal power curtailed. The same Slavification took place among the Avars, too, but the conversion to Christianity took place too

late, and the frames of the empire could not be saved. | | | |

We can distinguish three main types of integration in mediaeval Europe: the German, the Slavic and the Turkic types. The German and the Slavictypes __ were similar in that they went beyond the tribal structure: the differentiated

, society was able to organise on the basis of territorial communities and loyalties, and could develop a new system of taxation. The difference between _ the two lay in the fact that while the Germans dismantled the tribal structure,

the Slavs either did not develop it, or if they did, outside forces soon brought , it to an end. In both societies clanhood played a major role, as the clan repre-

sented a unit both in terms of taxation and military service. | The Turkic type was based on the tribal confederation. This had both

advantages and disadvantages. Overall, it obstructed mediaeval ethnic development, since it undermined loyalties. Let us disregard here other examples ©

, of mediaeval Turkic development, such as those of the Volga Bulghars, the Seljuks, the Cumans, and the Ottomans. Let us also disregard those types

| represented by the “sea nomads”, the northern peoples such as the Vikings, _ who bore some similarity to the Turks. In the three development processes in 9th—10th-century Eastern Europe that we have examined, that of the Khazars,

380 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin the Danube Bulghars and the Avars, we could see that the processes of the ending of the tribal confederation arid the development of territorial power had already begun. This, and only this, could make it possible to introduce a new system of taxation, and in this way ensure that the system would not collapse due to any fiasco of a marauding campaign. A system where the main

source of income was collected or forced out of foreigners quickly reached

the brink of collapse. The break-up of the tribal confederation of the three | Turkic peoples took place in different ways: the Khazars and the Bulghars managed to consolidate their empires “from above’, in both cases sanctifying this by converting, the Khazars to Judaism, and the Bulghars to Christianity. For the Avars this did not succeed, even though their leaders were christened before the Bulghars. Nonetheless, both peoples were gradually assimilated into the Slavic peoples. It was the Bulghars that delivered the fatal military

blows to the foundations of the Avar Empire. | 2. THE THIRD INTEGRATION OF THE MAGYARS _

The Magyars fitted once into the nomadic world, once acclimatised to the Khazar Empire, and once accommodated themselves to the new circum-

stances created by the Conquest. As we have seen, the key to the different | European integrations, and thus to the emergence of mediaeval peoples in Europe, was how they achieved a European system organised on a territorial basis, socially stratified and based on feudal loyalties. Each of these factors in different ways represented an end to the system based upon the tribe and the tribal confederation. This took place among the Magyars, too. Many of the details of the process may remain enlightened guesswork, but in the light of the preceding analyses,

we are justified in drawing the outlines of the process. | During the Conquest the Magyars appear as the Seven Magyar tribal con-

federation. We know that there were not only seven tribes, and that they were not only Magyars. However, before the Conquest the power relations within the confederation were decisively shaped first by its dependence upon the Khazar khaghanate, then its gaining of independence, later by the joining

of the Khavars, and finally by the House of Almos and Arpad. 7 An important point in the development of the Magyar peoples was noted by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who wrote: “These eight clans (okto geneai)

of the Turks do not obey their own particular princes, but have a joint agreement to fight together with earnestness and zeal upon the rivers, wher- _ | ever war breaks out. They have for their first chief (Kephalé proté) the prince who comes by succession of Arpad’s family, and two others, the gylas [gyula]

The integration of the Magyars within Europe | 381 and the karhas, who have the rank of judge: and each clan (genea) has a prince”

(translated by Jenkins). Thus instead of writing that the tribal princes, who | had no power in times of peace, lead each tribe into battle, he says they did not obey their tribal princes, and in times of war fought together, and incidentally adds that every tribe had its arkhon. This would suggest that the tribal

confederation no longer had a military role in the middle of the 10th century. The very rapid break-up of the tribes and the Magyar tribal confederation _ is indicated by the so-called “tribal place names” that are found in the earliest Hungarian documents, 1.e. those place names that consist of one of the names of the seven tribes, unadulterated by any affix (Megyer, Gyarmat, Nyék, Kiirt, etc.). These place names are in great number scattered over the Carpathian | Basin. These point to the fact that in their surroundings, their tribal background was considered to be sufficient identification. The dispersing settlement could have happened after 1000 AD, i.e. on the orders of Saint Stephen, but the facts suggest otherwise. The spreading out of communities suggests that there was something to spread out for—that there was a moving force behind this action: —

the will of the central power to break up the tribal confederation, and the

process began before 1000 AD. | 7 a co _ In the literature on the Magyars’ incursions on the west I did not find any __

reference to the participation of the Slavic populations of the Carpathian | Basin, as was carefully documented about the Danube Bulghars and the Avars. This means that they did not participate in military power, although it is true that there had not been much time for this. Thus Slavic leaders did not reach

important military positions. This was a major factor in the fact that the | Magyars, unlike the Bulghars and the Avars, did not become assimilated. As we have seen, a key question in the types of ethnic development was the change in loyalties. Tribal affiliations were of special importance where, like on the steppes or among the Germans, the neighbours belonged to the same people and the enemy spoke the same language. The Magyars on the Khazar steppe and later in the Carpathian Basin, however, faced enemies who neither

_ spoke Hungarian nor had Magyar traditions. The dissatisfied groups left the tribal confederation and went off with the Bulghars to the Volga—Kama region. _

As the tribal confederation as an organisation rapidly disappeared in the Carpathian Basin, the people once again emerged. The notorious raids of the Magyars were hardly organised on a tribal basis. In the note by Ibn Hayyan about the 942 campaign of the Magyars in Spain is an interpolation about the seven leaders of the Magyars, which goes back to focal sources from anearlier _ period which had probably drawn on the Byzantine sources (see pp. 73 and —

277). | |

The reasons why the conquering Magyar people reached the threshold of |

creating a state and was quickly able to fall in with European development are

382 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin — many and complicated, and are interwoven with historical chance. But some of the reasons can be picked out: the rapid destruction of the tribal confederation, the exclusion of the native population from initial military activity, and the fact that the vast majority of the conquering peoples spoke Hungarian. | In the Middle Ages, the ability to speak more than one language was more natural than we think today. Not only did the Khavars learn the language of

thing. | _

the Magyars, but some Slavic groups are also known to have joined the | invading Magyars before the Conquest. Many of the Magyars are known to

have spoken the language of their neighbours, and of some of the local peoples. However, the knowledge of languages and linguistic identity are not the same

That the Magyar people and the Hungarian state developed in East-Central

Europe in so short a time is undoubtedly partly explained by the fact that on | the eve of the Conquest there was no unified and organised political formation | in the Carpathian Basin, and that its population at the time lay on the edge of other political units, that of the Moravians, the Franks, the Bulghars, the Croatians and the Serbs. Another factor lay with the Slavified Turkic Avars, who hoped that the Magyars would help them revive the Avar Empire. The Turkic chiefs of the Bulghar Zhupas also played a role in the building of the Hungarian state, hoping their new masters would support them against the

local Slavic population. an 7

These reasons may represent only a part of the historical picture, but can help reveal the enigma of how the conquering Magyars were able to form their . 7

own state 1n less than one hundred years. |

The formation of the Hungarian state was not an isolated event in mediaeval

Europe. At almost the same time, new states emerged on the fringes of the Carolingian Europe such as Norway (986), Denmark (960-976), Poland (after

960), the Czech Kingdom (921-935) and the Kievan Rus (from 983). The events of the years 973-997 in Hungary, as well as 1001, the coronation of the first Hungarian king, Saint Stephen, marked not only the foundation of a new State, but also led to the birth of a new historical region.

The formation of ethnic groups did not come to an end, but proceeded | under fundamentally different circumstances. Thus, a historical transition had

ended, providing place for new forces and new formations. |

) — NOTES a

The integration of the Magyars within Europe | 383 | For the translations of Turk inscriptions see Tekin (1968). The best source on the Khitai is still Wittfogel—-Féng Chia-Shéng (1949), even if one might sometimes disagree with their conclu-

sions and interpretations of the linguistic material. a

There is considerable literature on the development and the ethnogenesis of the “barbarians”. ©

Of the international literature, I refer here only to the works cited in the Notes to Chapter]. I gave a lecture on the types of ethnic development at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Committee for Magyar Proto-History conference in 1995, the text of which appeared in Magyar

Tudomdny (Rona-Tas 1996c) and an extended version in the volume containing the papers of

the conference (see Réna-Tas 1997c). , , | , The unsuffixed tribe names of the Hungarian tribal confederation as place names (as e.g. Megyer, Kér, Keszi, etc.) are dispersed in the Carpathian Basin in a great number. This fact has been recognised and widely discussed in the literature. There is agreement on their antiquity and on most questions of details. The only point yet discussed is whether the dissolution of the tribal system began only after 1000 or much earlier. This tangles the question of the eventual role of the tribes and the tribal system in forming the new Hungarian state. The “Turkic” tribal system began to dissolve before the Conquest. The process accelerated in the middle of the 10th century. The organisation of the new Hungarian state was based on the “Finno-Ugrian”

clan system and this was one of the reasons why the Hungarians as Finno-Ugrians did not disappear. On the tribal names and their surfacing as place names see Héman (1938), and

Kristé-Makk—Szegfii (1973). | , |



text. , ,

- We have attempted to place the history of the conquering Magyars in a new framework. The main tools of this endeavour have been the theoretical base, stricter methodology, broader source materials and a broader historical conWe defined the concept of people. A people is the group of individuals who share a common semiotic system or code, and whose members conscientiously differentiate themselves from other peoples, and have a common self-desig-

nation, an ethnic name. The most important component of these shared systems is language. However, anyone can become a member of a linguistic

community by changing his or her language. Other factors, such as the knowledge of shared lineage, shared territory, shared political organisation,

shared religion and religious beliefs all contribute to the development of a people. If we consider the Magyars as a whole, there is no reason to assume | | a change of language. However, numerous other groups did become a part of

the Hungarian people by changing their language. | We set the limits of ancient Magyar history by defining it as beginning in the 1st millennium BC when the Magyars left the community of related peoples. Thus we can talk about independent Magyar history from the 5th

or even the 8th century BC. This early period comes to a close when the |

Hungarian state is founded in 1001 AD. _ | , ,

We have given a broad interpretation to the sources on ancient Magyar history, drawing not only on written sources, but also on the findings of linguistics, anthropology, archaeology and physical anthropology. With the written sources we have endeavoured to draw on the latest critical interpreta-

tions. In our use of linguistic sources we have been especially critical, since, in this respect, Hungarian research is fifty years behind the times. We have indicated the methodological problems and limits in employing the results of archaeology, ethnography and physical anthropology, and have attempted to meet the methodological demands of using such varied sources. In our initial examination of the Conquest and the historical events that preceded it, we excluded the Magyar chronicles as secondary and later sources, drawing upon

386 | | From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin them only when it fitted in with the primary sources. In areas where contem- | porary sources did not give enough direction, we used contemporary analogies

to form hypotheses. At the same time we tried to keep to a minimum the number of assumptions, preferring to state where the picture was not clear or where there was no definite answer to questions—rather than constructing a

shaky house founded on guesswork. | We presented the history of related peoples speaking Finno-Ugrian lan- |

guages, and we have paid more attention than before to the history of the neighbouring peoples, especially the Eastern European and the nomadic

steppe. | | | a |

peoples of the steppes. We have attempted to present early Magyar history as a part of the history of Europe, or more particularly of Eastern Europe and the

Moving on to the history of the conquering Magyar people, we first of all examined the names of the Magyars before and at the time of the Conquest. We established that the names prior to the Conquest reflected the names given by the Magyars’ 9th-century neighbours, rather than the period between the

6th and 9th-centuries, as had hitherto been believed. We ascertained that the | Byzantines called the Magyars Turks, the Slavs called them Onughurs, the Volga Bulghars Bashkirs, and most probably the Khazars Majgars. The origin

and use of the ethnic name Savarti Asfali are unclear. Certainly by the _ 7th century, but probably much earlier, too, the Magyars called themselves Magyars or more precisely Magyers. This name originally was formed out of two tribal names, the Manys (later Magy) and the Er. Foreigners have called them Magyars since the Tatar invasion, probably influenced by the interpreters _

who came from the Magyars into the Volgaregion. __ | The proto-Magyars came from the region between the Ural Mountains and

the Kama. In the region of the Ugrian Urheimat deforested land cultivation, primitive animal-keeping, and bronze crafts all played a major role alongside hunting on horseback in the life of this community of closely related peoples. The history of the Ugrian community, which was shorter than we previously thought, and the ancient history of the independent peoples that emerged from that community all took place in the wooded region of the Urals and around the Volga. While the proto-Magyars had long and very close relations with the Iranians, the independent Magyars had in the first period only trade relations

with them, while having a loose but far from negligible contact with the Permian peoples, ancestors of the Zyryans and the Votyaks. It was during this | period that the Magyar people was formed out of the Manys and Er groups. The independent Magyars moved southwards, once again developing close _

relations with the Iranians, who controlled the steppe. At this point the — Magyars began the transition to a nomadic way of life, a process that we _

believe took much longer than was previously thought. For centuries, the |

Summary overview | | 387 Magyars lived in the southern region of the Urals in such a way that some groups cultivated the land, reared animals and hunted on horseback, while others participated more fully in the steppe life, joining the nomadic military | campaigns of the Iranians, and subsequently those of the Turks. The Hunnish

period, which fitted in between the Iranian and the Turkic periods in the 3rd—4th centuries, may have affected the Magyars to some extent, but a more

essential change came in the 5th century, when the steppe was under the | control of the Turkic tribes, or more precisely, of the different Oghur groups. Even then, the shift to a nomadic way of life was gradual, rather than sudden.

The decisive change came only at the end of the 6th century when the Magyars moved from the southern Urals to the Kuban-Maeotis region, which . had been vacated by the Onoghur Bulghar-Turkic groups. They remained there

until the end of the 7th century. | | |

We presented a new picture of Onoghur—Bulghar history. The centre of / Khuvrat’s Bulgharia was situated around the River Dnieper, and more broadly

the Rivers Dniester and Don. In the 7th century, the Magyars took part in the | Khazar defeat of the Bulghar Empire. The Bulghar tribes west of the Dnieper moved to the Lower Danube, the Carpathian Basin, and the two shores ofthe __ Adriatic Sea. Those who remained moved northeast to the banks of the Don. The Magyars occupied the region between the Dnieper and the Lower Danube

Etelk6z. | oe

(the Etelkéz). Contrary to earlier belief, the latest research leads us to think | that Levedia was not an independent, former Urheimat occupied by the Magyars; rather, the tribal territory of Prince Levedi, within the borders of the

The Magyars lived here, between the Dnieper and the Lower Danube, from the end of the 7th century until the Conquest. Their close but varying relations with the Khazars, the Bulghars, the Alani, the Byzantines and later the Pechenegs and the Slavs fundamentally shaped the conquering Magyars. In

power. | |

this period the Magyars became increasingly independent, and by the second | half of the century they had become an autonomous and significant European —

We paid particularly close attention to the history of the Pechenegs—how

they positioned themselves at the end of the 9th century—and the events | leading up to and surrounding their attacks on the Magyars. _ Leading the changes that took place in the Magyar tribal confederation were | the leaders of the western half of the region, the Almos—Arpad clan which _

gradually took over power and assumed the role of supreme commander. | Relying partly on their military entourage, and partly on the Khavars, who transferred allegiance from the Khazars, they dethroned the last leader of the | eastern lands close to the Khazars, Levedi, who had been completely stripped

of power. They succeeded in winning the subsequent recognition of the

388 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin surrounding powers, including the Khazars. There is no indication in the sources that the special set-up of the dual kingship, the sacral kingship, developed after the Conquest. Making the most of the pax khazarica at the

Franks. Oe, | OS end of the 8th century, the Magyars established close relations with the Turkic

and Slavic peoples in the Carpathian Basin and the Balkans, and with the We endeavoured to place the events of the Conquest in the broader context of the 9th-century history of Eurasia from the eastern fringes of the steppe to

, the Franks. In the background of the Conquest the main power divide of the period was between the Frank—Bulghar—Pecheneg coalition and the emerging

Byzantine—Moravian axis, although the reality was far more complex than this. The conflicts between the Franks and Moravians and later the Avars, and

between the Byzantines and the Bulghars were constantly changing. Also exercising strong political influence on events were the Papacy, the Constantinople patriarchy, the Archbishop of Salzburg, and the Bishop of Passau, who

used political tools in their rivalry to convert the peoples of the region. We examined the peoples of the Carpathian Basin, the short life-span of Slavic rule in Pannonia and the Slavification of the Avars, the latter a slow process that had not been completed by the time of the Conquest. From the beginning of the 9th century the Magyars played an increasingly important role in these

events. — | | -

We divided the Conquest itself into three periods following the battles of

lasting up to 902. | '

894. The first is from 895 until 898, the second from 899 to 900, and the third.

The main body of the Magyars came from the northeast, travelling along the River Tisza to attack the Bulghars with the aim of occupying the strategically crucial salt mines under Bulghar control in the Maros region. Our sources

do not allow us to say for certain whether they spent the winter of 894-895 in the Upper Tisza region, whether they withdrew to the Etelkéz and crossed the Verecke pass again in the spring, or again whether some encamped for the _ winter around the Tisza and were joined by others in the spring. What we can say 1s that in spring 895, the main body of the Magyar army was in the eastern

half of the Carpathian Basin. The Byzantines did not support the military | campaign conducted from here by attacking the Bulghars from the south. The Bulghars defeated those from the Etelk6z attacking the Lower Danube, while the Pechenegs attacked the Magyars in the Etelk6z. Those that remained fled _

to join the main Magyar army in the Carpathian Basin, | Between 895 and 898, the western border of the Magyar forces was the River Tisza, sending at most reconnaissance parties foraying into the region between the Tisza and the Danube. The international situation favoured the

Magyars. The Moravians under Moymir II, trusting in the support of the

| Summary overview | : 389 © Magyars, set up their own political and independent church structures. The | Franks, however, in league with the Czechs—Moymir’s brother Svatopluk II and the Frankophile ruler of Transdanubia, Braslav—endeavoured to prevent them. Making the most of this fraternal strife Arnulf, the Frank ruler who had

been crowned in 894, severely weakened the Moravian Empire.Hethenmade | a deal with the Magyars as part of his plans to extend his power to Italy. _ Consolidating the position and structure that they had achieved so far, the _ Magyars sent troops to attack northern Italy in 899-900. Berengar, who held

| sway there, bought the withdrawal of the Magyars by offering food and _ hostages. In December 899 Arnulf died. The returning army from Italy and | - the main Magyar army crossing the Danube caught the Moravians inapincer | movement, who were busy devastating Transdanubia, and occupied that re- | gion. By the end of 900 the Bavarians were building defensive lines on the

River Enns. | ; The Magyars, who were consolidating their control over the Carpathian

Basin, sent peace delegations in order to secure the gains they had made. These were rejected by the court of Louis the Infant, Arnulf’s successor, whereupon the Magyars occupied the Kisalf6ld (Northwest Plain) and pressed westwards

along both banks of the Danube. Their advance was halted by the armies of the Bishop of Passau. By 902, the Magyars finally occupied Moravia, which marked the end of the migration and accompanying military actions that Hungarian historians term the Honfoglalas, literally meaning “homeland occupation’, but translated as ‘Conquest’, for want of a better word. _ The Conquest was led by the Megyer tribe, headed by the House of Almos | and Arpad. We have put forward the view that Kusal (Kursan, Kiisen) was a | member of this dynasty, and probably Arpad’s brother. The historical circumstances and the lack of time meant that the dual kingship could not come into being again after the dethroning of Levedi, and the sacral kingship even less _ so. The Magyar tribal confederation was a multiply differentiated system, in which the tribe of the prince played a prominent role, with the other tribes being subordinate to the leading tribe at various levels. The seven Magyar tribes were joined by three Khavar tribes that unified to form one tribe, and | probably other groups also joined them. Of the tribe names, only the etymology of Jeno and Tarjan is certain, but the linguistic origin of tribe names tells us nothing about the ethnic and linguistic make-up of the tribes. The Magyar tribal confederation undoubtedly spoke Hungarian, and the Magyarisation of the Khavars occurred very quickly, while some groups of the Magyars were

for a while bilingual, speaking Turkic as well. a

After the Conquest, the Magyars were able to preserve their ethnic and linguistic identity, because the people in the Carpathian Basin were not unified; Slavic and Slavified Avar groups, Frank and Bavarian settlers, and

390 From the Urals to the Carpathian Basin perhaps other fragments of people from earlier periods lived in a mottled community. It was not just the lack of ethnic and political unity among the Slavs that meant they could not assimilate the Magyars in the same way as they had the Bulghars and the Avars; they were also excluded from any military role in the Magyars’ campaigns beyond the region. This shut them out from any positions of power and hindered any organised defence of the

Carpathian Basin’s Slavs. | |

The conquering Magyars were led by the prince, by the supreme commander, gyula, and the karha, who kept control over the peoples who had

joined the Magyars or had been subjugated by them. Initially, the conquerors left intact the political and social structure of the Carpathian Basin, the main features being a county system formed by small Slavic groups, with Avar and Bulghar zhupans at the head of the counties. The head of the Bulghar zhupans was the ‘Nandur zhupan’ which meant ‘Bulghar zhupan’. This title was taken _

by the Magyars, and became used as nadorispan. |

Magyar agriculture was characterised by the cohabitation of a strong | nomadic animal-rearing group that employed ‘migrating cultivation’ and an animal-rearing group that also cultivated the land. This settled upon the local

farming of the Avars and Slavs. oo , In terms of culture, there was Shamanism as wellas Tengrism andnumerous _ elements of the main world religions which the Magyars had gained acquaintance with in the Etelk6z, in the vicinity of the Khazars and Byzantium. We

have a good picture of their material culture and their customs. It is almost |

certain that they also had runiform writing. a The main question concerning the Conquest is the unparalleled, uniquely efficient integration of the Magyars, which took place very quickly—histor1-

cally speaking. | re mo

The Magyars adapted to historical circumstances three times in the Ist millennium. First of all when they made the transition to nomadism, comprising

the rearing of large animals, on the border of the steppe and the forests; secondly when they integrated into the economic and political system of the _ Khazar Empire; and thirdly when they abandoned their tribal confederation | in the Carpathian Basin and integrated into the European feudal system. — We described three main European paths towards mediaeval ethnic formation. A common feature of the German, Slavic and Turkic types was that the tribe ceased to exist as a political and economic unit; empires or states were formed on a territorial basis, or the people as such ceased to exist. However, |

there were major differences in the processes of developing as a people. The - | Turkic path was characterised by the tribal confederation which among the Khazars developed into an empire, but was not able to end completely the tribal system. Among the Bulghars, in parallel to the process of ethnic

Summary overview - 391 assimilation, central power was able to end the tribal confederation and lay

the foundations of a state, and this was strengthened by conversion to Christianity. The Avars failed to end the tribal system and lay the foundations of a

state due to internal and external factors. | | | Several factors facilitated or ensured the successful development of the Magyars in the Carpathian Basin. Of these, we should mention the politi- | cal transformation that took place over a long—longer than previously assumed—and relatively quiet period in the Etelk6z, in which the dethroning of the House of Levedi was just one episode. This period marked the beginning of the end of the tribal organisation, although at this time the process followed

the Khazar model. This continued after the Conquest, but under different conditions. Adapting the Slavs’ territorial organisations while excluding them from military power proved to be an effective combination. The divisions among the local Slavs, the particular role of the Slavified Avars, the internal

problems of the Danube Bulghars, the collapse of Moravian rule, Frankish ambitions in Italy, the new policy of the Macedonian dynasty in Byzantium, | the internal problems of the Papacy, the appearance of the Czechs and the

forming of Kievan Rus all represented the historical context. | From the end of the Conquest around 902 to the establishment of the Hungarian state by Saint Stephen in 1001, there was a period of about one hundred years. The position of the Magyars at the time of the Conquest merely

laid the basis for their efforts to make the most of their opportunities in spite : of every internal and external difficulty and in spite of their campaigns and , defeats. How they managed to do so, and 1n this way create a European state, © may be the subject of another book.





The research of ancient Hungarian history goes back to the beginnings of __ | Hungarian historiography itself. Due to the limitations of space, I cannot give a survey of research history here, but merely a summary of the research of the —

past few decades. I am fully aware of the presence of bias both in the selection of the titles and in my comments. I shall only give thought to those issues __ relevant to the subject of this book; in doing so, however, I cannot be exhaustive. This chapter is more or less identical with the preface of my book A korai magyarsag torténete [The ancient history of the Magyars]. Since 1am |

writing here of the research work of others and myself, I am giving the

bibliographical references in the main text. | | |

Ever since my college years I have been interested in the ancient history

of the Magyars, and in the emergence of Hungarian culture. My profes- __ sors—Gyula Ortutay, Istvan Tdlasi, Lajos Ligeti and Gyula Németh—convinced me that unless I really became involved in the study of the broader context, I would never achieve even the slightest result. 1 was undaunted, however, by the fact that direct involvement in this field was impossible for

two reasons. | | ,

Especially in the 1950s and 1960s in Hungary, the research of ancient Hun- |

garian history was a very haunted field indeed. Ideological expectations, political prohibitions and justified and unjustified fears put huge pressure on scholars, rendering their work well-nigh impossible, and hindering genuine progress. Packed with tragicomic scenes, the so-called Erik Molnar debate

_ would make a separate chapter in scientific history. The Hungarian Society _ for Linguistics held a debate on Hungarian prehistory on Ist December 1953 in the auditorium of the Lorand Eétvés University which was attended by many. However, the most significant talks and remarks were not published until two years later (A magyar ... 1955). The other obstacle to research was the unhealthy atmosphere that prevailed

monopolist factions. | |

in Hungarian scientific life; the scientific scene was controlled by a few

396 Recent research and studies , It was no mere chance, then, that until the latter half of the 1960s little happened in the field of ancient Hungarian historic research. Questions and ideas were conceived in a constrained situation. Scholars from many countries came up with the idea of writing a new European mediaeval history. Eastern _

European efforts were led by scholars of the German Democratic Republic

who went beyond the standard procedure of scientific co-operation and got | the non-scientific authorities involved, too. The resulting work should have been the Enzyklopddie der Friihgeschichte der europdischen Volker which

had originally sought to give the Marxist version of the entire history of mediaeval Europe, but latterly contented itself with a more modest Eastern —

European survey. But it very soon transpired that the Eastern European scholars, encouraged to collaborate by the central committees of their respec- | tive communist parties, were unable even to share out the headwords. So the ©

editors made a strict and simple—yet completely unscientific—decision. Every country could write only those headwords which related to mediaeval events that occurred within the present-day boundaries of that country. The story of this stillborn scheme would certainly merit a short study; still, some

scholars were inspired by it. However, it transpired that despite all of the commonly shared ideological constraints, the researchers of the different eastern countries disagreed even on the most fundamental issues. The use of — a common terminology was simply out of the question therefore; moreover, SO was a mutual discussion of the terminology. The Hungarian scholars seized

the first opportunity to quit, and made an abortive attempt to publish a Hungarian encyclopaedia. Saving what they could, they compiled and edited

the ready articles, and finally in 1994 published the Lexicon of Ancient

Hungarian History (Kristé 1994c). | | | | Simultaneously attempts were made to bring together the scholars of two countries to discuss mutual problems. Although such scientific meetings were

unsuited for the development of a common language, there were some remarkable attempts. For instance, between the 4th and 6th of May 1971 a Czech—Slovak—Hungarian meeting was organised in Bratislava, with the aim of establishing the conceptual-historical background of the historical formation preceding the modern nation (Spira—Sztics 1972). Jené Sztics’s paper A “Nemzetiség”’ és “nemzeti 6ntudat” a kézépkorban. Szempontok az egységes

fogalmi nyelv kialakitasahoz [“Nationhood” and “national identity” in the Middle Ages. Aspects for the development of a uniform terminology] (Spira— _

Sztics 1972, pp. 9-17) was published from the proceedings of the meeting. Although this was not the first article Sziics had written on the same issue (see Sztics 1966, pp. 245-269), we are aware today that his work meant a turning

point in Hungarian research. Sztics closed his dissertation in 1970 and pub-

An overview of the study of ancient Hungarian history | 397 lished his work in 1971 (Sztics 1971). He was a follower of Wenskus, and gave a new theoretical context to the related issues.

Formerly, scholars had focused on the origins of nation and people. Gyula | Németh’s work, A honfoglalé magyarsdg kialakuldsa [The formation of the conquering Magyars], written in 1930, reflects a significant change of attitude,

on account of its focusing on formation, as opposed to origin. A monolineal proto-history was superseded by a complex ethnic history which gave consid- | eration to the fact that the history of a language did not (necessarily) coincide with the history of its speakers—not even given thatthe mostimportant source _ of the historical reconstruction process is language. “Only ‘in general terms’ does the research of the origin of a language shed light on the origins of the

people; due to the fact that the concept of linguistic affiliation is not identical |

with ethnic affiliation,’ Németh wrote in 1930. Sztics went further, and considered the study of the history of ethnic identity to be important. In the 1970s and 1980s he put much effort into his chosen subject, and his results appeared in a number of publications. He considered ethnicity to be a subject of ethno-sociology, which could not be understood without the reconstruction of the phenomena and history of ethnic identity. In Sztics’s view the Roman Empire, the early “barbarians”, the Germans and the later steppe peoples— among them the conquering Magyars—represented three types of ethnic | self-reflection. His many-sided research provides a social historical basis for

the study of these historical groups. Sztics’s dissertation appeared long after | his tragic death in 1988. Together with an unfinished paper, it was published _ in 1992 bearing a more suggestive title than the original: A magyar Ostérténet vazlata [An outline of Hungarian proto-history] (Sztics 1992). In 1970, I submitted to the Hungarian Scientific Degree Committee my __ academic doctoral thesis entitled Az altaji nyelvrokonsag vizsgalatanak alapjai (A nyelvrokonsdg elmélete és a csuvas-mongol nyelvviszony) [The foun_ dations of the research of Altaic linguistic relationships (A theory of linguistic relationship and the Chuvash—Mongolian linguistic relations)]. While Sztics |

had sought to clarify the terminology from an ethno-historical viewpoint, _ I aimed at doing the same in the field of linguistic relationships. The chapters on linguistic relationship were published in 1978 (see Rona-Tas 1978a). | While Szitics’s research did not cause much of a stir (see my remarks about — it in Rona-Tas 1985c, pp. 133-136), another scientist’s new theory provoked a real storm. In 1969, Gyula Laszl6 propounded his new theory at a talk he gave in Budapest. He published a summary of his ideas in two studies in 1972,

and in a small brochure in 1973 (see Laszlé 1970a, 1970b, 1973). The theory | of a double conquest contends that when the Magyars entered the Carpathian Basin in 895, they came across significant Magyar groups who were supposed _

to have come to their new homeland in 670. The second migratory wave of |

398 Recent research and studies | Magyars is supposed to have “avoided” the Magyars of the first Conquest. Laszlé’s theory was debated at the 4th Congress of Finno-Ugrian Scholars in 1975 (published in Laszlé 1975), and in 1978 he published a new summary

(Laszl6 1978, 1982). The initial clamorous response to the theory calmed | down after a while. Several publications appeared in response to the new theory, but most of these dismissed Laszlo’s views. Laszl6 replied to many, for instance in the Szombathely periodical Eletiink [Our life]. Later a collection of his writings from this paper, together with an interview, were published

in several editions (Laszl6 1987). The last noteworthy contributions to this

debate were written by Imre Boba (1982-83), Gyula Kristé (1983a), Istvan | Bona (1984a) and Csanad Balint (1989a). As a whole the theory was not accepted. It must be said for Gyula Laszlé, however, that he drew the line between the early and late Avar cultures. Thus, albeit indirectly, he helped to

make clear a number of issues of the Magyar Conquest. | Essentially at the same time that Gyula Laszl6 propounded his theory ofa © double Conquest, Gyula Németh (Julius Németh in his publications other than _

in Hungarian) came out with a revision of the views of Gombocz. In 1912, | Gombocz (1912, pp. 201-208) established that Magyar—Turkic interaction took place in the Volga—Kama region, and contended that the Chuvash-type Turkic loan words in Hungarian must have entered the language at this locality, between 600 and 800. Even in this work he did not deny that the Kama © Magyars might have wandered north from their southern homeland. Gombocz later modified this theory, and claimed that Magyar—Turkic interaction took place farther south, in the Caucasus region, and a lot earlier. Published in 1917,

his first study was followed by many others (Gombocz 1917-1927, 1920, 1921). Németh (1966a, 1966b, 1966c), in two articles in Hungarian and one in German, added five new Bashkir—Magyar tribal name parallels (Nyék, Gyula, Kér, Keszi, Magyar) to Pauler’s formerly accepted list of two (Gyarmat, Jeno).

Based on these parallels he revised Gombocz’s latter theory, and suggested _ that the Magyar Urheimat was actually in the Kama—Belaya region (where Gombocz had initially put it), and that the Magyars did not become politically

involved with the Khazar Empire until rather late, “towards 800”. Németh | (1972, pp. 70-74) further elaborated his theory, and included it in his monograph about Gombocz. Németh died 1n 1976, with an unpublished monograph in his manuscript legacy. Németh bequeathed me this, as well as his other _ unpublished manuscripts and notes. These are available today at the library

of the Department of Altaistics of the Attila Jozsef University in Szeged, Hungary. Written about the formation of the Magyars, the monograph is an

almost completely revised version of Németh’s original 1930 work. It was finally published, with great care and scrupulous philological attention, by my

An overview of the study of ancient Hungarian history | 399 | pupil, Arpad Berta, in 1991 (see Németh 1991, on the Bashkir—-Hungarian

tribal names, pp. 182-215; on Németh, see Réna-Tas 1990c). The reactions to Gyula Németh’s views were mixed. A former student of _ his, Laszl6 Rasonyi (1964, 1976b), set out enthusiastically to find Magyar to-

ponyms in Bashkiria. Unfortunately his results cannot be accepted. Németh’s | younger students clearly saw the immense problems related to parallels of tribal and place names. Ligeti (1964b), for instance, had already expressed his doubts about the tribal names Gyarmat and Jeno. Vasary (1976, 1985) and Mandoky-Kongur (1976, 1986, 1988) subjected the problems to careful scru-

tiny. I personally discussed two different aspects of the Bashkir question (Rona-Tas 1982c, 1987c). Berta (1989, 1990a, 1990b, 1991, 1992a, 1992b) | elaborated a new system for the explanation of Magyar tribal names. | Istvan Fodor’s work brought a breath of fresh air to research. Until the end — of the Second World War, Hungarian scholars had been barred from entering

archaeological sites in the Soviet Union (save one forgettable visit to the Ukraine), and had consequently based their research on the works of Talgren (1914, 1919). However, following the Second World War, Soviet periodicals and various other publications became more widely available, and as from the

latter half of the 1950s Hungarian archaeologists were allowed to travel to the | Soviet Union to explore the latest finds. Istvan Fodor’s activity was outstand- — ing in this respect. Setting out from Khazan in 1967 (always collecting local publications) he focused on sites where Finno-Ugrian finds were thought to have been excavated. In the Soviet Union archaeological work was associated with the construction of the hydroelectric power plants on the River Volga. A fraction of the immense construction budget (large sums of money, even so) was allocated to archaeological excavations. What this meant in terms of the

research of ancient Hungarian history was that substantial amounts (on an © international level) went to the archaeological research of peoples historically | related to the Magyars. Khazan archaeologists greatly benefited from this opportunity and launched significant archaeological excavation schemes through-

out the vast region from the Urals to the right bank of the Volga. It was partly these | new findings that Istvan Fodor (1973) published in his survey entitled Vazlatok a finnugor Ostérténet régészetébdl [Sketches from the archaeology of

Finno-Ugrian prehistory]. Published in 1975, Fodor’s monograph (Fodor 1975; in German: 1982a; in English: 1982b) aimed at giving an overall idea

| about the origins and migrations of the Magyars, and the Conquest. The — chapters on the ancient periods in this book are especially enlightening. | Two archaeologists, Béla Ktirti and Csanad Balint, published an excellent

survey of the archaeological cultures thought to be related to the Finno-Ugri- | ans, the Magyars and the other steppe peoples they might have maintained

connections with (Hajdi—Krist6—-Rona-Tas 1976, vol. I, ch. 1). en |

400 Recent research and studies Istvan Fodor propounded his historical concept in an academic degree thesis _ which he defended in 1982. Fodor claimed that the Magyars wandered from their West Siberian Urheimat to the Kama region in the Sth century. Leaving behind a small group, the greater part of the Magyars migrated from this region in the early 8th century. Being one of the official examiners of Fodor’s thesis, I commented (R6éna-Tas 1988e, pp. 153-165) on the excellent qualities of his _

work, the fresh findings he had operated with, his new approach and high |

scientific standards; but took issue with Fodor’s arguments. = Fodor had constructed his paper partly on Istvan Dienes’s (1963) reasoning, which claimed that parallels of the funeral shrouds found in Conquest-period

graves can only be found among the Ob-Ugrians. Fodor held that the use of such shrouds gained ground in the Kama region in the 8th century amid the

Permian peoples (among others), which was where the Magyars had brought | them from to the Carpathian Basin. Not counting the chronological problems of the issue, one cannot fail to acknowledge the inter-ethnic character and the spread of these shrouds. We do not know, however, which ethnic group or

| joined people used them in Hungary (see M. Benko 1992/93). an The finds of the graves excavated by E.A. Halikova at Bolshie Tigani and _

outside Tankeyevka (see Halikova 1976, 1978; Halikova—Kazakov 1977; | Halikova—Halikov 1981) have a fair number of Hungarian parallels, and Fodor

(1977), too, holds that these locations were the burial sites of the Magyar — ethnic group. Yet by 1977, Fodor realised that—for chronological reasons— the cemetery cannot have been the last burial site of the Magyars before they set off westwards. Rather, it must have served those that stayed behind, on account of the fact that the Tankeyevka cemetery was first used in the 9th century, and the same population continued to bury its dead there well into the 11th century. However, Fodor did not give consideration to the possibility of Magyars (previously a satellite people of the Volga Bulghars), who had at that

time arrived from the south, being buried there. In my comments I gave a | detailed exposition, arguing that the numismatic material unearthed in these sites attests to the fact that the Volga Bulghars must have reached the Bolshie

Tarhani area (which is where the earliest Bulghar-Turkic finds were excavated) in the late 8th century (see Gening—Halikov 1964), and only around | 900 did they reach the Kama region (Smirnov 1951; Fahrutdinov 1975; Kazakov—Starostin—Halikov 1987). If Magyar—Bulghar—Turkic cohabitation took

place in the Volga—Kama region, Fodor’s chronology would be just too short—on account of the fact that Magyar—Turkic interaction cannot have begun in the latter half of the 8th century. The great influence on the Magyars’

language and culture would seem to contradict this, however. But assuming |

north, fits the picture. | |

that a group of the Magyars, a satellite people of the Volga Bulghars, marched

An overview of the study of ancient Hungarian history — , _ 401 | | Fodor refers to an article of Karoly Czeglédy (1976). Unfortunately, the | study in question offers two arguments only: the above-mentioned Bashkir

theory of Gyula Németh, and Fodor’s viewpoint. _ The year 1976 marked the beginning of the publication of a five-volume series of university textbooks (Hajdi—Krist6é—Rona-Tas 1976, 1977, 1980, 1982), edited by Péter Hajdu, Gyula Krist6 and myself. In these volumes we

gave a broad meaning to the term “source material”, so as to include all knowledge and data which we felt had direct or indirect bearing, as a source, on the ancient history of the Magyars and their language. We also admitted

anything indispensable for the evaluation of these sources. Half of the first volume is devoted to the archaeological, archaeozoological, anthropological _and ethnographic sources, and half to the linguistic and written sources. The —s_—©

second volume contains illustrations of the archaeological sources, and the indices. The third volume discusses numismatics, and the different systems

of writing and of chronology. The fourth volume is devoted to the material | and methods of the natural sciences—hence chronology and age-dating, historical geography, climatology, phytogeography, zoogeography, soil science, geophysics, the map sources, and a small lexicon of terminology. We

| supplied every volume with a bibliography to facilitate further research. In retrospect, it must be said of this giant work, which extended to almost every | branch of science and involved the work of some sixty Hungarian scholars and scientists, that its standards are uneven, and it cannot be denied thatsome parts of it were written in haste. Notwithstanding these shortcomings, the — series was soon to become an invaluable study tool and research reference,

cal studies. - a i and it was widely used in Hungary and abroad in the teaching of Hungarologi-

Concurrent with the production of this handbook, the University of Szeged offered students courses in ancient Hungarian history, and the Csoma KGrési

Society organised lectures in proto-history. | | | :

My lectures were collected in manuscript form by the Csoma Kérési Society (Rona-Tas 1979). In them, I give a detailed interpretation of the concept of “source material”, an account of research methods, of the history _ of the natural geography of Eurasia, of the designations of the Magyars, their

formation and migrations. I also discuss my views regarding the southern _ origin of the Magyars found in Magna Hungaria, in the Volga—Kama region.

| In 1973, we organised a national conference on the issues of Hungarian proto-historical research. The volume entitled Magyar dstérténeti tanulmanyok [Studies in Hungarian proto-history] (Bartha-Czeglédy—Rona-Tas 1977) contains the talks given at this conference, and a handful of other studies. The

book sought to give an overview of the state of research. In my article on the

character of Magyar—Bulghar-Turkic interactions I examined the unique |

, 402 , Recent research and studies phenomenon whereby the greater part of Hungarian words of Turkic origin feature in the Mongolian language, too. I sought to give an explanation, and at the same time I outlined the highly debated issues of the relationship among __ the Altaic languages (Rona-Tas 1977b). Referred to as the “silver book”, on account of the colour of its cover, this book reports on the 1973 symposium (Ecsedy 1977) and on the work of the Szeged Proto-History Research Group © (see Rona-Tas 1977a). I shall highlight only one article here, about a field

which has seen much progress recently. | | ae The origins of the melodies of Hungarian folk music have long been the focus of research. Béla Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly were particularly interested _ in these issues. Bart6k came to know some Cheremis folk songs which Yrj6 Wichmann’s Hungarian wife had collected back in 1906. Bartok immediately

recognised the similarity with the Hungarian pentatonic “fifth-shifted” me-_ lodic construction. Kodaly became acquainted with a further 311 Cheremis |

folk songs, published by V. M. Vasilyev in 1919, which, together with the | Chuvash folk songs collected by Lach and Maximov, he analysed in 1937. This vast stock of folk songs revealed that one of the oldest strata of Hungarian folk music displayed profound similarity with Turkic, and especially Chuvash folk music. However, Kodaly (1937) found the closest parallel with Cheremis melodies on the basis of the data available to him at the time. In 1947, Kodaly

(1947) published a small booklet containing Chuvash folk songs, claiming that the only explanation for the remarkable Magyar—Chuvash similarities was that the forebears of the Magyars and the Chuvash, the Bulghar—Turkic peoples must have lived together prolongedly in the Caucasus region. Kodaly was fully aware that his results were preliminary, so in 1958 he sent a student

of his, Laszl6 Vikar, to the Volga region to collect folk music among the | Finno-Ugrian and Turkic population. Vikar’s work was most successful. To-

gether with a number of articles, he published monographs on Cheremis (Vikar—Bereczky 1971), Chuvash (Vikar—Bereczky 1979) and Votyak (Vikar—

Bereczky 1989) folk music respectively. a

Vikar’s on-location research persuaded him that the correspondences be-

tween Hungarian and Cheremis folk music were secondary. The music ofthe so-called “Mountain Cheremis” groups stood closest to Hungarian, and the

farther north or east he went, the lesser the similarities were. The South Cheremis groups are under a strong Chuvash influence, and the Cheremis folk

melodies which Vikar had known before his visit (southern ones) had acquired their traits calling Hungarian folk music to mind as a result of this Chuvash influence. Thus, the only argument supporting Hungarian folk music’s Finno- | Ugrian origin was rejected. At the same time, Vikar faced a unique, deceptive

duality. How was it possible that while the Hungarian language was of Finno-Ugrian origin, Hungarian music displayed Turkic characteristics? In _

An overview of the study of ancient Hungarian history 403 effect, Kodaly himself had given the answer in the epilogue of his 1947 | publication of folk melodies. The Hungarian melodic world was transformed _

under Turkic influence, similarly to many areas of the Magyars’ animal husbandry, agriculture, spiritual and social culture. I appraised Vikar’s book

on Chuvash folk songs with regard to proto-history 1n an article (Rona-Tas | 1980c). I reckoned that 1t was remarkable that, of the Cheremis melodies, the ; South Cheremis ones were more closely related to Hungarian music, and that of the Chuvash melodies those that were sung in the northern regions of the Chuvash language area, that is, near the border between the two groups, also

featured close similarities. We are witnessing, then, a melodic world that emerged from a Finno-Ugrian—Turkic interaction by secondary processes. I | called Gyula Laszlo’s attention to this, knowing that he was looking out for | arguments in support of his own theory of numerous dualities in ancient

| Magyar culture. Alas, to no avail. _ |

| _ Vikar continued his research and in 1988 he defended his doctoral thesis : on the music of the Finno-Ugrian and Turkic peoples of the Volga—Kama |

stan. , |

region (see Vikar 1993). His monograph on the Tatar folk music of Khazan will appear in 1999. Vikar’s work is closely connected with Janos Sipos’s

(1994, 1994-1995) recent collections of folk music in Turkey and Khazakh- | |

Pal Liptak wrote a survey of physical anthropological research in the |

Szeged textbook and in the “silver book”. Liptak investigated the historic aspects of the types which he had established by classifying bone dimensions, : skull shape and proportions. In his most recent study he sought to place these.

in a proto-historic context, and to establish connections between the bone | matter of the Carpathian Basin and that of Eastern Europe. He discussed the © issue of the bones of the leading Magyar strata differing from laymen’s bones

| (for the principles and methodology, see Liptak 1971; see also Liptak 1977, 1983). The researches of Liptak and his school are highly limited by the paucity of Conquest-period skeletal finds. A mere 199 sets of male bones, and 154 female ones have been identified at the grave sites. Recently Kinga Ery

(1983, 1994, 1995) gave an overview of the state of research. | | Nemeskeéri and his colleagues had long included serology in their research | in physical anthropology. In 1990, however, they took a completely new

_ approach. In some of his earlier articles, in Magyar Tudomdny [Hungarian | Science], as well as at the 1990 Finno-Ugrian Congress in Debrecen, Tamés | Tauszik (1990a, 1990b) proposed a new theory. He based his research onthe methodology developed by Hideo Matsumoto (1988; for further bibliography, see also Tauszik 1990a, 1990b). This method is founded on the 28 markers —T/ identified in the gamma-globulin component of blood. Matsumoto not only developed a technique for identifying these markers, but also sought to group

404 Recent research and studies them. He found that the co-occurrence of certain markers was characteristic of the so-called “greater” races, that is, the Mongoloid, the Europoid and the Africanoid anthropological subspecies. Subjecting to close scrutiny the occurrence and geographical distribution of marker groups, Matsumoto was keen to draw inferences regarding the origins of the Japanese. His laboratory, however, was international, and processed blood samples from Hungary, too. Tauszik’s new approach caused quite a stir. In 1989, I visited Matsumoto in Osaka, and thoroughly discussed the historical applicability of his data and

methods. Following my visit I wrote a summary of the debate about the method, and expressed my own views on the issue (Rona-Tas 1990a, 1990b).

In my opinion, the examined synchronous data were unserviceable for the straightforward explanation of historical processes. Matsumoto held that the Mongoloid race had its origins in the northern Baikal area, from where it spread throughout Eurasia. He based this conclusion on the study of the blood samples of the Buryat people who live north of Lake Baikal. However, these Buryats have only been living in this area since the 16th century. Matsumoto

termed one specific group ‘Uralian’ on account of the fact that the blood samples had come from a hospital in the Ural Mountains. Hungarian scholars _ next tried to draw inferences regarding the Uralic peoples. Tauszik observed that a 5% group of the Magyars, widely distributed throughout the country, featured the traits of the Mongoloid subspecies. One half of this group shared the features of the North Mongoloid group, the other of the South Mongoloid. We do not know, however, how this 5% (or rather, 2 x 2.5%) Mongoloid group — mingled with the Magyars. Did it happen at once or in several “instalments”;

did a higher ratio reduce gradually to 5%, or was it a smaller ratio that gradually increased to the current level? Although the method has proved unsuccessful (as yet), scholars should continually update their knowledge of the results of the natural sciences. For instance, great progress has been made in the tests determining the blood properties of a deceased from fossil bones

(see, for instance Lengyel 1975). |

On 27th April 1983 Irén Juhasz, archaeologist of the Museum of Szarvas, brought to light a bone needle-case at an Avar cemetery near Szarvas. The case had strange runiform writing on it. Juhasz (1983, 1985) published her find in the 1983 volume of Acta Archaeologica. The find dates back to the Late Avar period, and Juhasz holds it to be a late-8th-century work. Two things were

clear from the outset: the writing was quasi-identical with the runiform inscription on the Nagyszentmiklés treasure; and there was a possibility of the

find contributing to solving the riddle of the origin of the Székely runiform | script, hence answering a number of questions related to ancient Magyar history. Archaeology had long known runiform inscriptions dating from the Avar era (for an overview and a bibliography, see Vasary 1972); this inscrip-

An overview of the study of ancient Hungarian history | | 405 | tion, however, featured at least 59 individual symbols. The next task was to prepare a thorough palaeographic publication. Commissioned by Juhasz, | subjected the find to a series of microscopic tests, and with the help of some good photographs I published the inscription (Rona-Tas 1985a, see Figure 22

on p. 130). Several attempts were made to decipher the text (by Janos Harmatta, Gabor Vékony and myself), but the truth 1s that none of these

attempts were convincing enough. | | |

It seems that deciphering this inscription will have to wait for some time.

However, a whole series of objects with short runiform inscriptions came to | | light, most of which were published by Janos Harmatta (1983a—c, 1984a, 1984b, 1985a, 1985b, 1988, 1992c). Gabor Vékony (1987a, 1987b) hada go at deciphering some of these inscriptions. In 1992 in Szeged, we organised a small conference on the runiform inscriptions of the Carpathian Basin (see Sandor 1992b), at which two new inscriptions were presented. Irén Juhasz (in Sandor 1992b, pp. 15—19) found a new, shorter inscription at this same site of _ Szarvas. Istvan Dienes established that the inscription on the flap of a bone quiver unearthed at the excavation at Homokmégy-Halom (near Kalocsa, _ Hungary) was written during the Conquest period (Dienes 1992, 1994); Gabor Vékony (in Sandor 1992b, pp. 41-49) made an attempt to read it in Turkic.

Even if there is no consensus between scholars concerning the linguistic | aspects of the inscriptions, there is unanimous agreement about the signifi-

cance of the new finds with regard to the history of Hungarian literacy. Scholars felt that the research of the history and formation of Central European

mediaeval scripts had come to a turning point. This called for the reconsideration of the origins of Hungarian literacy (see Rona-Tas in Sandor 1992b,

pp. 41-49), and placing the Nagyszentmiklés and Szarvas writings in a broader, Eastern European historic context (Rona-Tas 1988b). The classification of Eastern European runiform scripts, as well as the new finds, necessitated the analysis of the system and origins of the Turk runiform inscriptions of Central Asia. Scholars were able to determine the phases of the — formation of Turk runiform writing, and established the Semitic origins of its _ very first forms (Rona-Tas 1987b). The new systematisation of Central Asian Turk runiform inscriptions and the discovery of new samples substantially changed the situation of research. Mention must be made of the works of D.D. © Vasilev (1983a, 1983b), I.L. Kyzlasov (1990) and I.V. Kormu8in (1975), as well as S.G. Klyashtorny) who discovered many new Turkic inscriptions in Mongolia, the most important among them being those of Bugut, Tez and Terh

(see Rona-Tas 1996d). | |

Given these circumstances, keen interest in the Székely runiform script developed internationally. Istvan Vasary (1974) gave an excellent survey of the state of the art which served as a very good starting point. The Székely

406 | Recent research and studies | runiform writing reached its first peak in the 15th century at the court of the

Hungarian King Matthias I. New results have been published on the earliest | occurrence of this script, dating back to the Matthias era (Rona-Tas 1985,

1986). | : | | Oo .

Klara Sandor gave a new and thorough philological analysis of the longest Hungarian runiform inscription, now kept in Bologna, in a monograph pub-

lished by the Szeged workshop (Sandor 1991). Géza Ferenczi (1992) gave an | overview of the research of the old and latest discovered writings at a — symposium in Szeged in 1992, and the new trends of research were summa- | rised in studies by Ferenc Kosa (1992) and Klara Sandor (1992a). Because _ | first mention of the Székely runiform writing occurs in the Hungarian Kézai’s _ Chronicle only, we came to the conclusion that the time span separating the Székely runiform script and earlier scripts had significantly diminished, and we saw hope of a turning point in the research of the origins of the Székely

writing in the near future. | Te Little headway has been made in the study of the written sources. It is a

well-known fact that even at the time it was published, in 1900, A magyar honfoglalas kutfoi [The sources on the Magyar Conquest] was not quite up to par, scientifically speaking. The situation is best with the Byzantine sources. Moravesik’s fundamental work of 1943 saw two new editions in 1958 and ©

1983 (see Moravesik 1983). The new edition of Constantine Porphyrogenitus’s work published in collaboration with Jenkins (see Moravcsik—Jenkins

1967), is a significant international scholarly work. Moravcsik’s other works, , as well as his Introduction contain many novelties (Moravcsik 1976). In 1984, his students published a critical edition of Byzantine sources relevant to the

ancient history of the Magyars (Moravcsik 1984). Following the death of Moravesik (in 1972), Samu Szadeczky-Kardoss, Ferenc Makk and Teréz Olajos continued to explore the Byzantine sources. The investigation of the Hungarian crown and its inscriptions presents a unique but important chapter

in the research of the Greek sources. | | a

Mention must be made here of Gyula Krist6’s (1980) monograph in which, based on Constantine Porphyrogenitus, he gives a survey of the ancient history of the Magyars from the 830s until the foundation of state in 1001. Kristo set

830, the year in which the Fortress at Sharkel was constructed, as his starting | point; this and his discussion of the events leading up to that date rest on the

research of Fodor and Czeglédy. It has been suggested that the Fortress at Sharkel was built against the Magyars; however, there is little evidence to support this. Certainly the well-informed Byzantine sources do not contain such an assertion. The claim is rooted in an erroneous interpretation of one of Ibn Rusta’s descriptions. I commented on the rectification of this error in a

An overview of the study of ancient Hungarian history 407 ,

— 1995d, p. 34, note 50). | | | talk, and my pupil, Istvan Zimonyi, discussed the matter in detail (see Kristé

_ While the research of the Byzantine sources is a very active field indeed, the same cannot be said for the Latin sources from outside Hungary. Since

Gombos (1937-1943) published his practical overview, source research has | _ made almost no headway whatsoever. Péter Kiraly’s (1987) compilation is an exception. He collected a group of personal names like Ungarus, Hungaer, etc.

which can be found in the 8th—9th centuries, in the pre-Conquest-period | western monastery accounts and charters. Kiraly, probably with good reason,

reckons that some of these may have a bearing on the homeland of the | Pannonian Turkic Onoghurs. A very small team devotes most of its time to researching the Latin sources of Hungary. This does not mean, however, that

| no works were written about the Latin sources from outside Hungary that -_- might modify current knowledge. In 1984, I gave a talk at the Rhine-West- | phalia German Academy in which I made an attempt to reconsider two sources

(Réna-Tas 1988a, pp. 275-310). One of them was the letter written prior to 923 which derives the Hungarians’ designation from the Old High German Hungar which, similarly to English, means ‘hunger’. The other is a source _

dated 1071 which speaks of a gift presented by Anastasia (the widow of the | Hungarian King Andrew I) to the Bavarian Prince Otto. The queen refers to

this gift as ‘the sword of Attila’. Naturally, I was neither the first nor the last | to consider the matter. We owe many excellent studies in the field of source | processing and interpretation to Tamas Bogyai, Szabolcs Vajay, Imre Boba and, of course, Gyérgy Gyéorffy. Their works, however, fall outside the —

chronological limits of this survey. |

| Little progress has been made in the publication of the Oriental (Arabic, Persian, Armenian, Georgian, Chinese, Tibetan and other) sources. In 1969, : a research group was Set up at the Department of Arabic Studies of the Lorand —

Eétvés University, initially to focus on the Arabic and Syrian sources. The team was extended to include experts of other fields, and in 1977 Karoly Czeglédy, the director of the group, decided that the publication of their results

could go ahead (see Czeglédy 1977). Initially planned to consist of six — volumes, the series was extended with volumes containing the Byzantine, Latin, Slavic, Tibetan, Chinese, Turk and Iranian sources, due to be published _ starting 1978. We know today that nothing came of this ambitious scheme.

| However, many works have appeared on these sources and their various aspects. Od6n Schiitz wrote about the Armenian sources, and Margit Biré of many of the Georgian ones. The 7th—10th-century Tibetan sources are espe-

cially important regarding background information. Géza Uray’s worksinthis field are of outstanding significance (see Réna-Tas 1992-1993, for Uray’s bibliography, see Steinkellner 1991, pp. xv—xxxiv). The Chinese sources were |

| 408 | Recent research and studies treated in many books and studies by Ildiké Ecsedy. Many Slavist scholars discussed the problems of the Cyril and the Methodius legends (see Kiraly

1974; H. Toth 1981). | | a | ae

Even the results of the above-mentioned pieces of research cannot compensate for the series which was never published. But that is only one side of the problem. The tense circumstances around the publication of the series hin-

dered further research and the continuation of the scheme. Consequently, the | first volume of Mihaly Kmosk6’s collected works was published only in 1997 (see Kmosk6 1997, Zimonyi 1991). These survived in manuscript form and were for a long time locked away. A German edition by Istvan Zimonyi and

Hansgerd Géckenyjan 1s going soon to press. | |

Nothing much happened in the field of publishing critical editions of the foreign sources until the publication ofa highly popular book (intwoeditions), —sy designed to meet the general public’s long-felt want (Gyérffy 1975c—first edition 1958). One of the oddities of this book was, however, that Gyula Németh’s name appears on the list of contributors on the book title-page, although he is not represented with his source translations either in the first, or in the second edition; moreover, he did not write a single line in the book. The Turk inscriptions of Orkhon were translated by Zsuzsa Kakuk, who also

features on the title-page. | |

Only one of the rich and as yet unexplored body of Islamic sources has

reached Hungarian researchers, namely a recently published source about the Magyar raids in Spain, written by an 11th-century author around 1075 (Chalmeta 1976, 1979). Unfortunately Chalmeta’s edition 1s not a critical one; it lacks, for instance, the analysis of the source, and neither does it discuss the peculiarities, or attempt to reconstruct the antecedents of the unique, 1 3th-cen- | tury Rabat manuscript. The book does not give thought to the place names other than those related to the Mediterranean; the spelling of the author and

the copyist was not considered—to mention but a few problems which make the edition impossible to appraise with regard to the Magyars. Conse- 7 quently, the research did not in the least bit benefit from the debate (see Czeglédy 1979, 1981; Gy6érffy 1993a) provoked in Hungary by the data

contained in the book. | | |

Another Arabic work—edited by Dubler (1953) and also published by T. Lewicki (1938, 1956) and Hrbek (1955a, b) with comments on its Hungarian aspects—met an even stranger fate. Abu Hamid al-Garnati (born in Granada)

arrived in Hungary from the land of the Volga Bulghars and spent three years | among the Hungarians between 1150 and 1153. The Hungarian translation of | his writings was based on the 1971 Russian edition. The foreword, the introductory study, the historical comments and the notes were translated from the Russian, and the Arabic text was translated by Tamas Ivanyi. The transla-

An overview of the study of ancient Hungarian history 409 tion was collated with the original by Karoly Czeglédy who also supplemented | the notes. However, nothing was contributed to the discussion of text philological problems (see BolSakov—Mongajt 1985). The bibliography lacks _ Hrbek’s (1955b). article which appeared in Acta Orientalia Hung., although __ in his notes covering four and a half pages Czeglédy keeps referring toHrbek’s __ works. Evidently this work does not put an end to philological problems. I made an attempt to solve one such problem in connection with Abu Hamid al-Garnati’s work (see Rona-Tas 1992b, pp. 221-226; in English: 1994b). Correctly analysed, the text sheds light on the Magyars’ designation ‘Bashkir’, | and on the names the Volga Bulghars called the Volga Magyars. This brings

us to one of the key issues of ancient Hungarian history. | | | One difficulty with the Oriental sources is identifying the persons, events and places which appear in the different sources. Karoly Czeglédy has made significant progress with his research works in this field. His articles written

1983a). | | |

in Hungarian were republished in 1985 1n a collected edition (Czeglédy 1985). |

His book about the sources relating the early migrations of the nomadic

peoples (Czeglédy 1969) was translated into English by P. Golden (Czeglédy

There are three ways to approach ancient Hungarian history: from the

beginnings, the contemporaries, and the ensuing periods. Taking a closer look —

at the ensuing periods—that is, the Conquest and the Arpad era following the | foundation of state—we find that both the narrative sources (primarily the Hungarian chronicles) and the deeds can offer us information regarding the preceding, well-nigh “sourceless” period. Edited by Gyérgy Gyorffy (19631998), the first four volumes of a series of seven contain a wealth of information on the geographical sources. In the context of the Hungarian language, many geographical and personal names preserve the phenomena of past ages. 9th—10th-century Magyar tribe, clan and personal names can only be reconstructed from the Hungarian deed sources, increasing in number from the 11th | century on (Kristo-Makk—Szegfii 1973-1974). At the same time these deeds supply a background to the Hungarian narrative chronicles which, in turn,

cannot be interpreted without knowledge of the related deeds and charters. _

The source value of the mediaeval Hungarian chronicles is a hotly debated | issue, especially regarding those chronicles that are related to the Conquest and the 9th and 10th centuries. Following Csaba Csapodi’s (1978) summary the debate about Anonymus (Gyérffy 1988) flared up again. Gyérffy reconsidered most of his earlier articles and, having supplemented or added epilogues to them, and indicated the parts affected by his changes of view, he : published a collected edition of them (Gy6drffy 1990, 1993b). Unfortunately, the Turkological parts are, in many respects, outdated. Gyérffy summarised

410 — Recent research and studies

(1975c). | a oa

his views on proto-history in his preface to the second edition of Gyorffy This survey would not be complete without mention of four works which consider the history of the word-stock of the Hungarian language. These are A magyar nyelv torténeti-etimologiai szotara [A historical-etymological dictionary of the Hungarian language] (Benk6é 1967-1984), A Magyar szokészlet finnugor elemei [The Finno-Ugrian elements of the Hungarian vocabulary] (Lako—Rédei 1967-1978), the Uralisches etymologisches Wérterbuch (Réde1 1988-1994) and the Etymologisches Worterbuch des Ungarischen (Benk, L. 1992-1995). The Turkic sections of the first were compiled by Zsuzsa Kakuk

and revised by Lajos Ligeti; in the other three the Turkic, as well as the Mongolian and Manchu connections, were compiled by the editors and revised by myself. The editors often followed my suggestions in unresolved questions;

at other times, quite naturally, they went along with their own ideas. This publication work and the rapid progress of Turkological research necessitate the compilation of a monograph on the Turkic loan words in the Hungarian

language. | - as

Lajos Ligeti’s last work deserves a special place in the research of ancient _ Hungarian history (Ligeti 1986). The book is difficult to read for scholars

unfamiliar with Turkology or the history of Central Asia. Meticulously elaborated chapters which summarise the work of a lifetime intertwine with extemporaneous ideas which came to the author’s mind when writing the book—all of this makes it hard to understand for the uninitiated. Yet once anyone sets foot in this field, Ligeti’s monograph simply cannot be avoided. Since the publication of the Hungarian original of my book in 1996 many

works appeared on the origin and the early history of the Magyars. Most of | them will remain inaccessible to the non-Hungarian reader. I shall mention here therefore only three works. The dissertation published in Italian of Di Cave (1995) gives a good overview on the Hungarian research. The monograph of Kristo (1996) is not a translation of one of his works but a new one.

For those who would get an introduction into his views this work can be recommended. Less fortunate is the book of Laszlé (1996), which was originally addressed to the Hungarian reader and the, otherwise excellent, | translation could not help to make familiar the reader with the context of the problems. It has a second part titled Reader on the Magyars of the Conquest-

Period Hungary on pages 173-363 which contains English translation of sources, of scholarly and less scholarly literature, and even of poems. The — extracts are published without any comment or context. For those who are interested in the rich world of the recently deceased scholar, who made a great impact on Hungarian scholarship and way of thinking, may read this selection with interest.

An overview of the study of ancient Hungarian history 411

NOTES _ On the theory of a double conquest, see my remarks in Réna-Tas (1980d). I would also like to

call attention in this context to a paper which was prepared for the Seminar of the Department |

of Altaic Studies at the University of Szeged (Madaras 1975). i On the change of Gombocz’s opinion, see my remarks in Réna-Tas (1991d, pp. 199-205). In connection with the Hungarian Holy Crown, let me note that the US Government gave it back to Hungary in 1979. On the materials of a conference on the Crown, which followed this

, event, see Studien zur Machtsymbolik ... (1983). | |



One of the most widely discussed issues of the ancient history of the Magyars

is the question of when the Magyars arrived in their last Urheimat before moving to the Carpathian Basin. As I have pointed out above (pp. 215-219,

325-326), this must have happened around 670 when the greater part of the | Bulghars moved to the west and a smaller part evaded to the north after having

been defeated by the Khazars and the Magyars. The Magyars occupied the region formerly ruled by the Bulghars between the Dnieper and the Lower Danube which was later called Ete/kéz in Hungarian, that is Mesopotamia, the. “Region between the Rivers”. The word Etil or Etel is of Turkic origin, it had the meaning of ‘river’, and in many cases ‘the River’, that is, the greatest river in the region. It used to be the Turkic name for the Volga, but other great rivers

were also called Etil (e.g. the Dnieper) by peoples speaking Turkic dialects (see p. 434). The word was borrowed by Ancient Hungarian, and remained in use until the Middle Hungarian linguistic period, when it disappeared. The second part of the word -kiizii (or -kéz in modern Hungarian) has the meaning of ‘intermediate space’, and is an old Hungarian word of Finno-Ugrian origin.

When the Magyars arrived in the Etelk6z is heavily debated. Most scholars | consider a relatively late arrival and suggest the second half or end of the 9th century. When a significant, politically organised group of people moves to a new homeland, there are three feasible outcomes. (1) People B pushes people ~ A out of its land. In this case people A turns up in a new place, and the sources record its migration. (2) People A moves (for whatever reason) and evacuates the region which is then occupied by the newcomer, people B. In this case,

too, the sources tell us something about the migration of people A. The causality, albeit different in the two cases, may appear more puzzling to the | contemporary chroniclers than to the modern-day historian. (3) People B occupies the territory inhabited and ruled by people A. The latter does not — move away, but remains under the suzerainty of people B. In such cases peo-

ple A disappears from the sources altogether. Of course, these examples are | simplified, and there must have existed mixed cases when one part of people A moved away and another part remained under the rule of the newcomer

414 | | Recent research and studies , people B. For instance, this happened with the Bulghars (see p. 220). Itis, however, very important that between 670 and the Magyar Conquest the — otherwise well-informed Byzantine sources do not mention westward move of any people, and neither do the similarly well-informed Latin chronicles. If the Magyars had arrived in the Etelk6z in the second half of the 9th century, they would have to have driven out the people living there, or filled up the _ locality of the people who left, or conquered people who remained here. None

| of these three alternatives is reported in any of the sources. The ancestors of the later Volga Bulghars moved further northward after 737 (see pp. 220-227). Therefore, we have only two options left. (1) The Magyars occupied the land

of the Bulghars between 670 and 680. One part of the Bulghars moved westward, and was to become the Danube Bulghar group, or those Bulghars who joined the Avars, or the group that moved to Dalmatia and even Italy; the other part of the Bulghars fled to the northeast, and later migrated further to the Volga—Kama region. (2) The future Volga Bulghars remained in their old — homeland, came under Khazar authority, and the Magyars occupied their place only after the Bulghars had moved to the northeast. This would mean that the Magyars occupied the Etelk6z in the 740s. The first scenario seems to be more plausible, but the second cannot be ruled out either. In any case, the arrival of the Magyars in the Etelkéz must be dated much earlier than was previously

suggested. The Slavs’ designation of the Magyars prior to the Conquest was | Ungri (see pp. 282-287) which is a derivation of the name Onoghur-(Bul- | ghar). This could only have been possible in the Etelkéz. Two hundred years elapsing between the Onoghurs’ migrating west in 670 and the arrival of the

Magyars would make this designation inconceivable. The linguistic analysis | of early Turkic loan words in the Hungarian language adds to the arguments _

supporting the early arrival of the Magyars in the Etelk6z. oe The only source hitherto cited in favour of the late occupation of the Etelkéz is the work of Porphyrogenitus, which again brings us to this frequently dis-

one of them. |

cussed report and its sources. The question arises: what were the sources of the report about the Magyars? Different ones, evidently. Let us take a look at The Hungarian primary chronicle or gesta was written some 270 years after the Conquest. It is certain, however, that at the court of the princes and later of the kings, the traditions were known even before the first written version

appeared. At the royal courts chroniclers would perform the history of the royal clan. The performer usually relied on his memory when giving his | rendering of the historical traditions, but it is equally possible that he had recourse to some written source, such as a drawing, a rune, or a colourful, canonical version of the history. We know of many such stories from the Eurasian peoples. The epic traditions of the Turks and Mongols can offer some

The Levedi question and the earliest Hungarian chronicle 415 informative parallels regarding the passing down of such historical traditions.

Many similar traditional texts have been recorded and analysed, from the famous 13th-century Secret History of the Mongols to 20th-century Bash-

kirian Shejeres or clan legends. | _ | |

The 11th-century author(s) of the first History of the Hungarians (Gesta Hungarorum), written under Béla I (1060—1063) or Solomon (1063-1074), must have drawn on several sources. Such sources included the western traditions of chronicle-writing. These might have served as examples, since they too related stories about kings, and served to historically legitimise the power of royal clans or archbishoprics. The European chronicles contempo| rary to the Hungarian ones were packed with samples of reasoning which the Hungarian authors might easily have used to justify the power of their own rulers. Thus the western sources gave the Hungarians some idea of how a chronicle should be written and what elements it should or should not include.

The raw material, which next had to be slotted into the “ready-made” formula, | was taken from the living, old Hungarian nobiliary and royal traditions. The — chroniclers sought, though not always successfully, to weed out all elements

concerning the Magyars’ pagan past, as well as anything else that did not fit |

, the new European model. We know very little of the historical traditions _ relating the times before and after the Conquest. A number of parallels, however, give us some idea of what they must have been like. Thus, for instance, The Secret History of the Mongols gives a description of how Chingis

_ khan defeated the Tangut people. It then continues: “After he had plundered the Tangut people and, making Iluku Burkan change his name to Shidurku (the Subdued), had done away with him; and after he had exterminated the Tangut people’s mothers and fathers down to the offspring of their offspring, maiming and taming Chingis khaghan gave the following order: » While I take

the meals, you must talk about the killing and destruction of the Tangut, and | say ‘Maimed and tamed, they are no more’«” (from Chapter 268, translated __ by Igor de Rachewiltz). It is historical fact that the Tanguts, “whose every member had been killed”, shortly afterwards rebelled against the khan, and it was in the second war against the Tanguts that Chingis eventually died. However, the bard or chronicler had to perform the deeds of Chingis khan during | a sumptuous repast. The Hungarian Anonymus, too, talks of the glorious deeds"

being recited during meals (Chapter 22). / | -

The History of the Hungarians has not come down to us, but we have a

number of clues that tell much about its character. The tradition which Termecsti and Bulcsu recounted to the Byzantine court mustundoubtedlyhave originated from a similar royal court history. Such as, for instance, the Levedi |

story. Here is the story in full: | | | |

416 | | Recent research and studies From De administrando imperio, Chapter 38: Of the genealogy of the nation

of the Turks, and whence they are descended. | ; “The nation of the Turks had their old dwelling next to Khazaria, in the place called Levedia after the name of their first voivode, which voivode was called by the personal name of Levedi, but in virtue of his rank was entitled

voivode, as have been the rest after him. Now in this place, the aforesaid Levedia, runs the River Chidmas [Hidmas], also called Chingilous [Hingilus]. They were not called Turks at that time, but had the name ‘Savarti Asfali’, for _ some reason or other. The Turks were seven clans, and they had never had

over them a prince, either native or foreign, but there were among them ‘voivodes’, of whom the first voivode was the above-mentioned Levedi. They lived together with the Khazars for three years, and fought in alliance with the _

Khazars in all their wars. Because of their courage and their alliance, the khaghan-prince of Khazaria gave in marriage to the first voivode of the Turks, called Levedi, a noble Khazar lady, because of the fame of his valour and the

illustriousness of his race, so that she might have children by him; but, as it fell out, this Levedi had no children by this same Khazar lady. Now, the | Pechenegs who were previously called ‘Kangar’ (for this ‘Kangar’ was aname

signifying nobility and valour among them), these, then, stirred up war against | the Khazars and, being defeated, were forced to quit their own land and to settle in that of the Turks. And when battle was joined between the Turks and the Pechenegs who were at that time called ‘Kangar’, the army of the Turks was defeated and split into two parts. One part went eastwards and settled in the region of Persia, and they are to this day called by the ancient denomination _ of the Turks ‘Savarti Asfali’; but the other part, together with their voivode and chief Levedi, settled in the western region, in places called Etelk6z, in

which places the nation of the Pechenegs now lives. A short while afterwards | that khaghan-prince of Khazaria sent a message to the Turks, requiring that Levedi, their first voivode, should be sent to him. Levedi, therefore, came to the khaghan of Khazaria and asked the reason why he had sent for him to come to him. The khaghan said to him: » We have invited you upon this account, in

| order that, since you are noble and wise and valorous and first among the ~ Turks, we may appoint you prince of your nation, and you may be obedient to our word and our command.« But he, in reply, made answer to the khaghan: » Your regard and purpose for me I highly esteem and express to you suitable

thanks, but since I am not strong enough for this rule, I cannot obey you; on | the other hand, however, there is a voivode other than me, called Almoutzis [Almos], and he has a son called Arpad: let one of these, rather, either that Almoutzis, or his son Arpad, be made prince, and be obedient to your word.« _ That khaghan was pleased at this saying, and gave some of his men to go with him, and sent them to the Turks, and after they had talked the matter over

The Levedi question and the earliest Hungarian chronicle 417 with the Turks, the Turks preferred that Arpad should be prince rather than Almoutzis, his father, for he was of superior parts and greatly admired for wisdom and counsel and valour, and capable of this rule; and so they made him prince according to the custom, or ‘zakanon’, of the Khazars, by lifting him upon a shield. Before this Arpad the Turks had never at any time had any

other prince, and so even to this day the prince of Turkey [i.e. Hungary] is | from his family. Some years later, the Pechenegs fell upon the Turks and drove them out with their prince Arpad.” (Translated by Jenkins.) _ This story has a strong element of truth to it. Shortly before the Conquest _

a change of dynasty occurred among the Magyars. The original leading clan, | Levedi’s, was superseded by the new prince Almos’s son Arpad. This historical fact requires some explanation, however. The appearance of a new dynasty

always brought about a crisis of legitimacy. The new ruler—who had come | to power by force or possibly with the help of allies—needed to explain what happened to the previous clan, why its rule had come to an end, and on what

grounds had he put forward his claim to the throne. At that time, the legitimacy : of power in the steppe meant being recognised by the Khazars. What the story of Levedi tells us is that Levedi relinquished his claim to the throne voluntarily, and that the Khazars followed his recommendation by warranting Almos or

his son, Arpad, the nght to power. | The Secret History of the Mongols relates a similar story. After the death of

Chingis khan, Ogédei took over power. (Ogédei is known as Okhtay khan from the history of the Tatar devastation of Hungary in the 13th century.) He was not the eldest son, and he ascended to power after some struggle. This is the reason why a supplementary chapter was inserted into The Secret History of the Mongols which tells us that Ogédei had actually been appointed ruler in the lifetime of Chingis khan, and that Ogédei’s two older brothers Jochi and Chagatai had voluntarily relinquished, for the benefit of Ogédei, their claim to the throne of the great khan. The same chapter contains a peculiar section,

where Ogdédei speaks of his fear of begetting an inapt son: “ ‘Later, if per chance some among my descendants will be born so worthless that / Even if | _ one wrapped them in fresh grass / They would not be eaten by an ox; / Even | if one wrapped them in fat, / They would not be eaten by a dog, will they not—[like the unskilled hunter]}—miss the elk breadthwise just as the rat

lengthwise.’ So he spoke and at his words Chingis khaghan declared as follows: ‘If Ogédei speaks such words, that will do’” (Chapter 255, translated by Igor de Rachewiltz). So he then turns to Tolui, the youngest prince, who © assures his brother of his loyalty. Eventually, however, after Ogddei died and

the Mongols devastating Hungary hurried home to sort out matters of power, | the throne was not passed down along Ogédei’s branch, as would have been expected, but rather, Tolui’s son was elected great khan. The entire Ogddei

418 | Recent research and studies

branch. | oe |

story is a later interpolation which served purely the legitimacy of the Tolui | Porphyrogenitus’s text itself contains some giveaways suggesting that we |

are looking at a legitimisation story originating from the chronicles of the House of Arpad. At the very outset the Emperor establishes that the Turks -[Magyars] “had never had over them a prince, either native or foreign, but _ there were among them ‘voivodes’”, and that Levedi was the first among the voivodes. The ‘first’ (protos) in this instance could have the meaning ‘first in. time’. But why was he given a Khazar wife? In this respect, the steppe customs

, did not significantly differ from the contemporary European ones. Chinese sources claim that the Turks rebelled against their lords, the Ruanruan, because

their ruler had refused to marry his daughter to the leader of the Turks. | Then, when Arpad is lifted upon a shield, the text reads: “Before this Arpad __ the Turks had never at any time had any other prince, and so even to this day the prince of Turkey [1.e. Hungary] is from his family.” This undoubtedly

sounds like an interpolation, and it is very likely that it was taken from the oral traditions of the Gesta Hungarorum passed down at the court of Arpad

and recited during feasts. The part which relates Levedi facing up to his _ incompetence, and recommending Almos or Arpad instead of himself, lacks | even the smallest fragment of credibility. Levedi’s wife might have been infertile, but at that time polygamy was common practice among the leading strata. Ibn Fadlan claims that the Khazar khaghan had twenty-five wives, as well as sixty concubines and slaves. And even if Levedi truly had no son, his

brother or his brother’s son would have succeeded him as prince. | In the light of this, the least we can say is that the Levedi story was mere Arpadian convention pertaining to an earlier event, and that all the confusion - and misinterpretations of text and context are caused by this interpolation. —

claims: | |

This same tradition recounts the Savarti Asfali story. This is what the text (1) The Magyars used to have a home. (2) This place was called Levedia. (3) It was named after their first voivode, Levedi. (4) In this land runs the River Hidmas, also called Hingilous. (5) The Magyars were not called Turks | at that time, but, for some reason or other, had the name ‘Savarti Asfali’. (6) The Turks consisted of seven clans, and they had never had over them a prince, _

either native or foreign. : | This story features elements which cannot have originated from the Ma- |

gyars. ‘Levedia’ could hardly have been a country or place name. It is unlikely that a place is named after a person who, having been defeated, left it. In those _

days, it was common practice among the Magyars to name small localities | after persons (we know plenty of these); however, the -a or -ia suffix is not a

Hungarian one, and significantly large areas were never named after persons |

The Levedi question and the earliest Hungarian chronicle 419 by the Magyars. Consequently, the designation ‘Levedia’ cannot be Hungarian. But neither could the claim that the Magyars were, for some reason or another, called Savarti Asfali have been based on a Hungarian account. Firstly, because if it had been an established fact and the Magyars had previously called themselves by this name, they would surely have given some explana- — tion for it. At least the name kangar is fully explained in the very same chapter: | the Pechenegs were previously called ‘Kangar’ “for this ‘Kangar’ was a name

| signifying nobility and valour among them”. Secondly, on account of the Greek word Asfali (asphales ‘strong’, ‘reliable’). And thirdly, it is utterly — | impossible that the Magyars should have claimed that they used to be known | by a different name. The identicalness of a people’s self-designation is vital ,

to ethnic identity. | | | | | ne

: Savarti Asfali and the like are foreign-type names which the peoples they sy designated never actually used themselves. Consequently, we can safely assert

that the Savarti Asfali story is of Byzantine origin. a The story falls into the category where a newly emerged people is connected | with an existing, known one (which so often happened with the Magyars in the western chronicles), on the grounds that the report recounts about an — eastern group of Magyars. The correct translation of this part of the text would

be this: “One part was settled in the east [1.e. lives there, and not went eastwards and settled! The Greek original does not have the word ‘went’ in |

it} in the region of Persia, and they are to this day called by the ancient denomination of the Turks ‘Savarti Asfali’; but the other part, together with their voivode and chief Levedi, was settled in the western region, in places [the Greek text uses the plural] called Etelk6z, in which places the nationof

the Pechenegs now lives.” | | |

So the Magyar envoys informed the Emperor that one part of the Magyars lived in the east. After the Conquest is described, the text continues thus: “To the aforesaid nation of the Turks that settled in the east, in the regions of Persia [literally, ‘towards the borders of Persia’], these Turks aforesaid who live toward the western region still send merchants [pragmateutas] who look them up, and often bring back official messages from them.” Again, thiscomes from _ the Magyar report of Termecsii and Bulcst. We know that even in the 12th | century the Magyars travelled to and from their eastern relatives, and that they

maintained trade links, too. | | | The question arises, then: what is this Greek report doing in the story, and why were the East Magyars called Savarti Asfali? The key to the mystery is

a work attributed to Porphyrogenitus, but actually finished after his death, __ entitled De ceremoniis aulae Byzantinae [Of Byzantine court ceremonies]. This text refers to the Sevortii (Sevortioi) who are said to consist of three tribes. | This Armenian-named tribe (or whose name is interpreted to be Armenian) is

420 — Recent research and studies known to many Arabic authors (Masudi, Dimask1), as well as the Armenian © sources. These write that the Sevortii lived to the north of the Caucasus, in the

region of the River Kur. This people’s name in the Armenian sources is Sevordik, literally “Of Black Descent’. The Byzantine source translates the name Sevortii, and explains that these were the ‘Black Boys’ (maura paidia)—which goes to show that the Byzantines knew this Armenian popular ethnic name etymology. The sources mention them in the 8th century, but it is possible that the tribe survived even into the 10th. There is no guarantee, _ naturally, that this designation is indeed Armenian; we only know for certain | that it was read as Armenian, or according to a popular ethnic name etymology.

| ‘Black’ and ‘White’ frequently feature in Turkic (and early Magyar) namegiving. In this iconography white stood for ‘new’, ‘high’, ‘noble’ while black usually meant ‘old’, ‘retarded’ or ‘simple’. In Turkic the black people (kara bodun) were the commoners. The Slavic primary chronicle mentions Black

Magyars (Ugri) and White Magyars alike. | | |

In the chapter on the Pechenegs the Emperor writes that “Kangar’ was not | a common designation for all of the Pechenegs, but only for the people of three _ provinces. These were more valorous and noble than the rest. In the chapter on the Magyars, Porphyrogenitus claims that the Pechenegs were “previously” called ‘Kangar’. What exactly he meant by “previously” is a good question. Researchers must have been puzzled by the peculiar course ethnic names took

in those days. The ethnic name ‘Kangar’ has been shown to have existed in the Caucasus region as early as in the 6th century, before the emergence of the Turkic peoples. It cannot be inferred from the Syrian sources which report on

the Kangars exactly what their ethnicity and language was. Possibly they encountered the Pechenegs later, but there is no evidence to support this. If, however, such a tribal name cropped up among the Pechenegs, the Pechenegs _ would certainly have associated it with their word kongor ‘brown (colour of a horse)’. In which case we are again looking at the case of an ethnic name established by means of a popular etymology, as in the case of the ethnic name

Turk (see also pp. 279-281). , | | Based on the comparison of the above analysis of the Pecheneg story with 7 the sources, I feel that the reconstructed events are a lot simpler than was previously supposed. The fact that the “Pechenegs who were previously called __

‘Kangar’” attacked the Magyars means that those three Pecheneg tribes who | attacked first were, so the other chapter tells us, called ‘Kangars’. This attack must have shaken Levedi’s power. Almos and Arpad’s clan must have then

seized the opportunity and taken over power. The sources are silenton when this happened exactly—unless we take for granted Regino’s information of 889, according to which the Magyars were driven from their old place by the Pechenegs (Pecinaci). This information has little chronological value, owing

The Levedi question and the earliest Hungarian chronicle 421 to the fact that it was customary in those days to include the information about the newly emerged peoples—somewhere in the annals. The fact that the year 889 happens to be ‘somewhere’ is of no real consequence regarding the ac-

tual chronology of events. It was probably when Regino first heard of the — Magyars—perhaps apropos of the change of dynasty. It does not mean, | therefore, that every event under the heading 889 actually happened 1n that

year. In any case, it is remarkable that the well-informed Regino (who natural- | ly cites every thinkable mediaeval rhetoric figure about the Magyars) only knows of a single Pecheneg attack. The fact that the Pechenegs set out in 894 to launch their decisive attack on the Magyars and the attack happened in 895, does not mean that they did not make raids on the Etelkéz Magyars earlier

for booty or reconnaissance. | coe The Emperor inserted the account of the Pecheneg—Kangar attack in be-

tween the part about the East Magyars and the part about Levedi’s “renunciation”. To remain on the more or less definite side of our sources, all that can be said of this is that the first Pecheneg—Kangar attack must have occurred under the rule of Levedi, and the second after the Arpadian dynasty had taken

over rule. However, there was no mention of this in the Gesta Hungarorum. | |

| | ~ NOTES | The part of the text referring to Levedia and Etelk6z, and to Levedi, has been analysed recently by a number of scholars. See the bibliography about the Etelkéz (p. 324). I insert here one of the key parts of the Greek text and the translation from Moravcsik—Jenkins (1967, p. 170,

line 26 — p. 172, line 31): ae , , , Kai 10 pév &v pépos Tpdc AVATOAHV Eic 10 Tig Mepoidoc LéEpos Kat~KNGEV, O7 Kai

WEY PL TOD VOV KATE THY TOV TOOPKOV apy aiav Enovopiav KaAOdVTAL LaPaptor doparor,


TOV Matlwaxitev E8voc KatOUKEl. | |

“One part went eastwards and settled in the region of Persia, and they to this day are called by the ancient denomination of the Turks ‘Sabartoi asphaloi’; but the other part, together with their voivode and chief Lebedias, settled in the western region, in places called Atelkouzou, in which places the nation of the Pechenegs now lives.” (Moravesik—Jenkins 1967, pp. 171-173.)

As can be seen from the Greek text, there is no word which would mean “went”. The text says that one part of them was settled [lived] (katokésen) eastwards in the region of Persia, and they are called by the ancient denomination of the Turks Savarti Asphali, but the other part, together with their voivode and chief Levedias was settled [lived] (katokése) in the western

422 , Recent research and studies region, in places called Atelkuzu, in which places the nation of the Pechenegs now lives (katoikei). As was pointed out by Harmatta (1985c, pp. 46—47) the verb katoikeo is used in the

DAI (according to him always, according to me in most cases) in the sense ‘to live somewhere, | to be settled somewhere’ and the meaning ‘to go somewhere, to migrate somewhere’ is

expressed, among other verbs, by kataskéno. , | ,

—p. 174, line 65): , _

There is one exception to this in the following text (Moravcsik—Jenkins 1967, p. 172, line 61


tig Mepoidocg pépn péxpt tod viv mpayratevtas anootéAAOvoL ovtoL oi Tpdc T0_— SUTLKOV LEPOC OiKODVTES MPOPPN VEVTES TODPKOL, KAI BAETOVOLV KDTONG, KAI ATOKPIGELG

NAPA HUTGV Wpdc Adtods NOAAAKIC dnoKOPiCoVvOLV. a | | “To the aforesaid nation of the Turks that settled in the east, in the region of Persia, these

pp. 173-175.) | |

Turks aforesaid, who live toward the western region still send merchants who look them | up, and often bring them back official messages from them.” (Moravcsik—Jenkins 1967,

But in this text the verb kataskéno is equivalent to the verb oikeo in the next sentence. And in fact also here, the author says that to the Turks (Hungarians) who live in the east those Hungarians who live in the west send merchants with official assignment (pragmateutés), etc. The preposition eis ‘into’ also has the meaning of en ‘in’ in Late Greek. The results of Harmatta were questioned by Vékony (1986, pp. 43-45). He cited a handful of places where the verb katokéo means ‘to go somewhere’. Olajos (1995, pp. 44-46) discussed the issue recently. She has shown that many of the places quoted by Vékony do not pertain to _ our question, and only three cases have, according to her, the meaning ‘to go over, to settle somewhere in’. Olajos argues that the aoristus indicativi (kKatoksén) reflects an aspect which is “incohative, ingressive, metaptotic” (Olajos 1995, p. 45) and thus it cannot mean that the Hungarians lived there, but only that they moved there. Her views were unconvincing to Harmatta (1996a, 1998). Harmatta stressed that the Greek aoristus is neutral to the aspect, and thus its use cannot be an argument in favour of the claim of Olajos. I think that the mislead- _

ing point was the translation of Moravesik—Jenkins, who included the word “went” intheir translation without giving any reason or calling for attention. Most of the more recent editions.

of the DAI follow here the authority of Moravcsik—Jenkins.

notes on p. 313. , a

For information on the Savarti issue, see Chapter V1.4 of this book (pp. 288-289), and the ,



, The notion of Hunnish—Magyar kinship appeared gradually in the Hungarian _ chronicles, and it was soon to become part of the Magyars’ historical consciousness. There is no mention of the Hunnish—Magyar kinship in Anonymus, and the chronicler never even mentions the name ‘Hun’. Instead, he claims that the Magyars were descended from the Scythians. Magog was the son of the Old Testament Japhet, and Magog’s progeny begot the “valorous _ and immensely powerful King Attila” who marched to the land of Pannonia heading the people that came out of the land of the Scythians. Later, the — Magyars “heard from trickling tidings”’ that this land (Pannonia) was the land

of King Attila, from whose line Almos, Arpad’s father, was descended. Anonymus holds Magog to be the Magyars’ namesake and ancestor, and Attila appears as the historical personality legitimising the Conquest. Deriving the

Magyars’ designation from Magog was not Anonymus’s idea. As we have | seen above (p. 282), in his letter written before 923 to Dado, the Bishop of Verdun, a German monk makes mention of the rumours regarding the Ma- __

| gyars’ descent from the progeny of Gog and Magog. In his work entitled Pantheon (ca. 1189), Gottfried of Viterbo claims—drawing on Isidorus of _ Seville (565—636)—that the Goths had acquired their name from their ancestor Gog. It has been often discussed that Gottfried of Viterbo holds the people of Scythia to be named after Magog. The view that Gottfried of Viterbo, chaplain

and scribe to Frederick Barbarossa, maintained contacts with Anonymus, has recently gained currency. In any case, we know that Frederick Barbarossa arrived in Hungary in late May 1189, and was received ceremoniously by the Hungarian King Béla III who probably also accompanied him to Buda. In the same year Frederick Barbarossa’s envoys went to the court of Béla III in — Obuda. Anonymus remarks that Attila set up his seat in Buda, renovated the - buildings he had found there and erected a protective enclosure wall. The

Magyars called this Budavar ‘Buda Castle’ (Buduuar) in their own tongue, while the Germans referred to it as Ecilburg (Ecilburgu). This German name

is actually none other than Attila’s castle in the Nibelungen (Eizelen biirge). | All of the contemporary sources relating Frederick Barbarossa’s marching

424 Recent research and studies across Hungary and his meeting with the Hungarian king agree that the royal |

appointment was held in “Attila’s castle”. | :

This attests to the fact that by the end of the 12th century the descent from _ Attila was known to the royal courts of Hungary. To this tradition was added the Hunnish—Magyar kinship “theory” of the Hungarian chroniclers, who had

drawn on elements of the western sources. Comparative analysis of the | Hungarian chronicles and the contemporaneous European sources has revealed that not only the idea of a Hunnish-Magyar kinship, but also the arguments supporting it and the actual phrasing originate from the western

sources. This is one detail which Hungarian historians tend to agree on. However, the descent from Attila and the notion of a Hunnish—Magyar kinship

must be treated as separate issues. This descent theory has a great many aspects. The Arpadian rulers’ claim to be descended from Attila is not identical with the notion of the Magyars’ descent from the Huns. In the Middle Ages

the rulers, the nobility, the feudal lords and the people were not necessarily of the same stock. Moreover, we must separate the actual facts of lineage from beliefs, and the actual facts from the facts that the mediaeval Hungarians knew.

In our view the actual facts, the knowledge of and claims about these facts are | three different things. The contemporary sources, of course, never made such

a distinction. |

The descent from Attila served to justify the Arpaédian dynasty’s claim to

the throne. The question arises of why the descent from Attila furnished the | | Arpadian dynasty’s legitimacy, given Attila’s historical reputation of being the “sword of God”, God’s punishment or, at any rate, the “scourge” of the

| Christian world (flagellum Dei)? The question has been widely dealt with. To | sum up a wealth of research, it can be said that at the time the Magyars’ historical traditions emerged, the European tradition’s notion of “enemy of the faith” was replaced by the less severe “instrument of God”. This made this legitimisation acceptable. However, it still does not follow why they referred _

to Attila. For that matter they might have traced back the Arpad dynasty’s lineage to the Romans, the Troyans (Anonymus actually mentions them), Charles the Great or anyone else. There are two reasons for the Magyars’ linking themselves with Attila. Firstly, the fact that Attila had his seat in Pannonia was in itself a good enough reason. Also, it followed from the order of the steppe where Attila was the standard source of legitimacy until Chingis

khan. Thus the western sources provided the Hungarians with a literary tradition, and accepted their reasoning, but did not claim (lacking the grounds) , that the Hungarian ruling dynasty had actually descended from Attila. This followed later, after the emergence of the Hun story, in Thomas of Spoleto (died ca. 1268), and in the Hungarian chronicles, foremost in de Kéza’s Chronicle (1282-1285).

Historical traditions, Attila and the Hunnish-Magyar kinship 425 The descent from Attila was an idea rooted in the Arpadian traditions even before Anonymus. The Hungarian King Andrew I died in 1060. His widow, Anastasia, of Kievan origin, and their son Solomon, were forced into exile. —

They fled to the Frankish Emperor Henry IV. The Frankish armies interfered |

: in this power struggle, and supported Solomon and his allies against the pretender Béla, who could not cope with his royal duties, and died when marching against the Frankish forces. Supported by the Franks, Solomon was

crowned king at Székesfehérvar in 1063. On this occasion the queen mother, _ | Anastasia, made a gift of a sword to the Bavarian Prince Otto II in gratitude | for having helped Solomon to the throne. A contemporary chronicler, Lampert of Hersfeld, gives a detailed account of the sword in his annals (1077-1079). The sword came to view when the Emperor Henry IV stopped over in Hersfeld in 1071, on his way to Mainz. In Hersfeld, one of the Emperor’s knights fell

| from his horse and suffered a lethal wound from his own sword. The Emperor then bestowed to the monastery of Hersfeld 30 peasant-estates in return for | their prayers for the memory of the unfortunate knight. Lampert mentions that _ the sword that wounded the knight was identical with the one Anastasia had presented to Otto, which was none other than Attila’s sword. This comment, _ too, has been much discussed. After the mention of Attila’s sword, by way of

an explanation, Lampert inserted Jordanes’s story of the sword. This story relates how a peasant boy accidentally came across it. There is no doubt about the fact that Anastasia presented her benefactor with the sword, referring to it

as being Attila’s. Naturally, we do not know what Anastasia actually thought about the sword; whether it was really Attila’s or whether it was just pure imagination. It is certain, though, that Lampert of Hersfeld did not invent the story himself. The fact is that the story relates the account of an eyewitness of the Emperor’s offering a gift to the monastery. Lampert of Hersfeld would never have risked discrediting the Emperor’s deed by including in his account a story which even in those days could be proved to be false. Yet we know that in 1058 Lampert of Hersfeld visited Hungary, and in the course of this visit he might have acquired knowledge of the living royal Hungarian traditions. The source of his annals (written down 14 years later) was first-hand; but had his account been fabricated, the Frankish lords might have verified its

| falsity at any time—a risk not to be taken. The gift of the sword as being Attila’s cannot have been derived from either the western, or the eastern (for instance, Kievan) sources; there is certainly no trace of this, and neither 1s it very probable. All we can say is that the Attila tradition enjoyed a vogue in the Hungarian royal courts at least 150 years before Anonymus, and over 150

years after the Conquest. | The chronicles relate the Magyar royal clan’s totemistic legend of origin. Mediaeval people felt no contradiction between this story, which claims that

426 Recent research and studies Almos’s clan was descended from a magical hawk (turu/), and the Magyars’ descent from Attila or Japhet’s son Magog. The different legitimating elements finely complemented each other. The Bible is full of similar contradictions, but we might also refer to the Norman chronicler William of Jumiége who arrived in England with William the Conqueror. Very quickly he had to assign the new royal dynasty a place in the European royal lineage system. He needed, on the one hand, to establish connections with the glorious Roman emperors—who, so Virgil claimed, originated from the Troyans—and, on the other hand, he needed the Church’s blessing too; so he boldly claimed that William the Conqueror himself had descended from the Troyans, while at the same time, he traced back the new king’s lineage to Japhet’s son, Magog. The

defeated Anglo-Saxons had to keep up with this extraordinary genealogy. An | early Irish-English chronicle (which had many versions in circulation by 1168) tells us about the conquest of Ireland. The author(s) simply inserted into Magog’s family tree a Scythian person called Partholon who “came unto the isle of the Irish 1300 years after the deluge”. The message was that the Irish

had a longer line of descent—hence older nghts—than the Normans. In his chronicle started between 1136 and 1138, Galfred of Monmouth writes that Brutus, the son of the Troyan Aeneas’s son Ascanius, founded Britain (the etymology of the name differs little from the Hungarian etymologies Anony-

mus comes up with), but on arrival on the island he met a giant named Goemagog whom he encountered in a duel. Another author holds this Goemagog to be the forebear of the Danes and the Normans. We refer to these genealogies to demonstrate that such descent traditions were intrinsically part

of mediaeval European thought. | rn The next question is where the Magyars had recourse to the idea of

originating their people from Attila. We know that the Danube Bulghars’ list of rulers was headed by an Attila (Avitohol and his successor Irnik, Attila’s

son). As has been pointed out, the Magyar Conquest was partly triggered by | a joint Pecheneg—Danube Bulghar attack; it would seem logical, therefore, that the real “argument” was about whose royal dynasty was “really” descended from Attila, or whose lineage was more distinguished on the descent chart

of Attila’s progeny. | -

Thus the Attila tradition did not mean that the Hungarian royal dynasties were actually descended from Attila, but rather, that they considered themselves to be his descendants; or more precisely, their self-proclaimed lineage

was a chapter of 1 0th—12th-century royal court traditions. This formed part of the multiply transformed “romance” which served as a source for the Hungarian primary chronicle. We can assume, although there is no evidence to support it, that the Attila tradition had existed among the Magyars of the Conquest.

Historical traditions, Attila and the Hunnish-Magyar kinship 427 At the end of the 12th century, Anonymus only mentions Attila, the lordof the people that “came out from the land of Scythia”. However, a Hunnish

chronicle—a story of the Hunnish descent of the Magyars—gradually _

Magyars. | | |

emerged in the 13th century. A certain Hunor cropped up alongside Magor.

But that is another story which is not related to the ancient history of the |

NOTES The issues of the Hunnish—Magyar kinship were dealt with by many authors. From the more recent literature Gydrffy (1948, 1993b), Szics (1973, 1985), Kristé (1983b, 1996) are important; see also Kordé, in: Kristé (1994c, pp. 274~—275). For the historiographical and ideological aspects of the Hun—Magyar question, see Réna-Tas (1991 d). For the Hungarian story of Attila’s sword, see Réna-Tas (1988a, pp. 112—114). For genealogical theories in mediaeval Europe, see |

Réna-Tas (1978a, pp. 45-46). | |




The question of the so-called “Bashkirian Urheima?’ in the ancient history of the conquering Magyars deserves special attention. Due to the limitations of space, we cannot give a survey of its literature, which would undoubtedly fill

ceptions. | | | |

libraries. We can merely attempt to sum up the facts and dispel some miscon- |

The sources unanimously confirm that on his first journey to the east in winter 1235-1236, the Hungarian friar Julianus met a Magyar woman in the capital of the Volga Bulghars. She explained to him that the Magyars’ Julianus had set out to find lived two days’ walk from there. “And he findeth these by

the great River Etil.” The doubts regarding the authenticity of the story | recorded by Friar Riccardus have been proved to be unfounded. Etil is the name of the River Volga; however, in those days they held the Kama to be the upper course of the Volga, and thought that the river today

| called Volga flowed into it. The Bashkirian clan legends share these views, and even in the early 20th century Ashmarin wrote that the Chuvash of the Chistopol region called both the Volga and the Kama Adil (< Etil). In 1237, _

when the Tatars devastated Volga Bulgharia, the Magyars of the Kama scattered, crossed over to the west bank of the Volga, and many of them moved even farther. As we have seen (see p. 298), memories of this scattering have been preserved in a number of place names. An epitaph unearthed 1n Chistopol

(near the Kama) distinguishes between father and son by tagging onto the father’s name the ethnic name Magyar (see pp. 301-302). The cemetery excavated outside Bolshie Tigani is also important, because it contains grave

goods, and features burial customs similar to the Arpadian Magyars’ (see pp. 120-122). Also, we have seen examples of the Magyars being called

Bashkirs by the Volga Bulghars (see pp. 289-294). | | | These facts and finds were a magnet for researchers, and quite under-

7 standably the view gained wide currency that the prolonged presence of Magyars in the Volga—Kama—Ural region between the 10th and 13th centuries

meant that this was in fact the Magyar Urheimat from where they set out to

conquer the Carpathian Basin. , | ,

430 Recent research and studies Among many arguments, it was hinted at the end of the last century that © Magyar tribal names could be found among the Bashkirs. Foralongtimeonly _ the correspondences of two Magyar tribal names, the Gyarmat and the Jeno, were discussed, but later attempts sought to connect other Magyar tribal names with Bashkir ones. The truth is that even if these correspondences of tribal names were correct, they would not tell us much about the former homeland of the Magyars. The wanderings of nomadic tribes are very rarely traceable with the help of the written sources; moreover, there is no way of knowing when and how similar tribal names entered today’s Bashkiria. Nevertheless, itis worth investigating whether or not these names indeed refer to identical tribes; also, it is worth

finding out more about the history of the names, and of the tribes they designate. These issues are worth looking into regardless of whether the

etymology of these tribal names is correct or not. | ote The oldest Bashkirian—Magyar tribal name correspondence was established __ between the Bashkirian Yurmati and the Magyar Gyarmat; and the Bashkirian

Yeney and the Magyar Jend. os

The first raises severe phonetic problems. The word-final -i in the Hungarian might have disappeared, its absence would not mean any problem; it is striking, though, that Porphyrogenitus does not add it on (kurtugermatos), yet _

Kiirt does take on a word-final -u. The absence of a word-final -i can be | explained by the fact that the word is disyllabic, or that it was thus “processed”

by the Greek language. The difference of the vowels of the first syllable, _ however, cannot be accounted for. The Greek form reflects the form Yermat —

which could be the transliterated form of the Magyar Jermat oreven Gyermat. The /e/ occurring in the first syllable of the oldest Hungarian form may have two explanations. Either it featured in the original tribal name, in which case _

Jarmat > Gyarmat was brought about by processes of late assimilation; or Jarmat (with a) was the original form, and the e was secondary. Again, this could be due to assimilation, or merely a transcription problem. The applica-

tion of some orthographic procedure was necessary to transcribe the word-

initial j-, in order for the Greek g- to be read as y- or j-. Ge The first syllable of the Magyar name cannot have had anooranu.The names Gormot and Gurmot, which feature in the early Hungarian sources, are Latin transcriptions; the reason why they nevertheless contain these vowels is due to the inability of the Latin orthography to reproduce the Hungarian labial /a/. For want of a better alternative, they transcribed this sound with the letter o, aS in Anonymus’s rendering of ‘Magyar’ (Moger). Such early Hungarian data do not point to the existence of a form *Gyormot; the Greek data, too, contradict this. However, the u in the present-day Bashkirian language goes — back to an early o. The tribal name Yurmati was * Yormati, then. The word- —

The East Magyars, the Bashkirian tribal names and Yugria «431 initial consonant is also a problem. If we are indeed looking at the Hungarian

tribal name Gyarmat, then the Bashkirian language—which lacks the wordinitial /j/sound—would surely have replaced it by some other consonant, most probably by ch. This /ch/ shifted to /s/ in vernacular Bashkirian words and in

the early loan words, after the old /s/ had changed to /h/: -

Old Bashkirian */ch/ > /s/ | SS

| Old Bashkirian § */s/>/h/ Consequently, if the Hungarian Jarmat was borrowed early on, it would

now sound *Sarmat in modern Bashkirian. , | |

Assuming that the old Bashkirs were less aware of the mysteries of phonetic history than today’s scholars, the replacement of the Hungarian /- with y- is improbable. It is unlikely that they knew that the Hungarian j- went back to the same j- that occurred in the Turkic languages (where, even earlier, it used

to be y-) and so, regardless of the fact that they heard the sound /j/, they replaced it with y-. If, however, y- was the original word-initial sound, the Hungarian language would have preserved it on account of the fact that it accepted that consonant in a word-initial position. Thus the adopted tribal name would have been *Yarmat. The only possible assumption would be that the ancestors of the Yurmati maintained close ties with a j-Turkic group

| which had the form Jarmati, which then became Jormaiti in that language. Then they adopted the tribal name, but “processed” the phonetic difference by systematic analogy (reasoning that “when they utter jok, we say yok; so if they say Jormati, we must pronounce it Yormati”). Suchaneighbouring people could only have been a Turkic-speaking one. Under the given circumstances,

the Volga Bulghars are the only option. :

It is remarkable that the Bashkirs have clan names like Yurma, Yurmi and Yumran (and the latter also has a variant Yumuran). Yurmat is the left tributary of the Bashkirian River Ik; Yurmit the left tributary of the River Metev; Yurmi the right tributary of the River Cheremshan and also of the Usen which flows into the Ik; also, the Bashkirs have a brook called Yurmi-az in the Biri district, and a rivulet named Yurmash which is tributary to the River Ufa. It is hardly conceivable that these river names originated from tribal names. It would be

possible vice versa, but would have to be proved. a Recently, Bashkirian scholars published the Yurmati tribe’s legend of origin. There are two interesting points about it. One is that this group traces

, its lineage back to the Golden Horde, and accordingly, the story begins with Chingis khan. The other is that in the 15th century the Yurmati group moved south from the Shishme and the Zey regions to the area of today’s Sterlitamak.

432 | Recent research and studies —

the Volga Magyars. ) re

Nowhere does the text allude to the tribe having connections with, for instance, | The Hungarian Jend goes back to the Old Hungarian form Yeneh (Genah,

in Greek transliteration). In this latter the word-initial y- (the letter j is pronounced [y] in Hungarian) is in fact a prothetic y- which derives from the old form *ineg (see p. 351). In the Bashkirian language the word-final -eg of original words and old borrowings shifted to -ey. So, if either the Hungarian _ or any Turkic language had the form * Yeneg, it would have been transformed to Yeney in the Bashkirian by means of systematic change. It is striking that _ while Yurmati has a widespread family of names (Yurma, Yurmi, Yumran,

etc.), Yeney does not; not even among the water names. By analogy with the Turkic ilteber title featuring as yiltever (with a prothetic y-) in the Volga Bulghar language around the 10th century (see p. 226), 1t might be assumed | that the Turkic *ineg existed in the form *yeneg among the Volga Bulghars.

The title name, perhaps, became a tribal name, then. | One of the subtribes of the Tabin tribe is called Kese Jabin in Bashkirian. Kese in Bashkirian has the meaning of ‘small’ (etymologically the Hungarian _ kicsi ‘small’ and the Bashkirian word have the same origin); the Turkic kichi _ became kese in the Bashkirian language by process of systematic change. Thus, Kese Tabin means ‘Small Tabin’. The adjective small occurs among other Turkic peoples, too. Comparison with the Magyar tribal name Keszi 1s

impossible both phonetically and morphologically. | The name Nagman, one branch of the Bashkirian Uhergen tribe, derives _ from a personal name of Arabic origin. Comparison with the Hungarian tribe

name Nyék (via the putative forms *Nekimen > *Negmen > *Ndgmdn

> *Nagman) poses insuperable phonetic difficulties. Ses The ethnic name Misher 1s also supposed to be connected to the Magyars.

Misher is the name of a group of Tatars in the Volga region. A Hungarian Mejer > Bashkirian Misher shift has been suggested, but the Hungarian Mejer

could only have become *Miser in the Bashkirian language (via the form *Mecher); however, no such form exists. The *Mecher form might have transformed to Misher in certain Tatar dialects—but only very late and strictly in a few dialects only, and not in Bashkirian. As has been pointed out above (see p. 306), the ethnic name Misher derived from the ethnic name Meshcher. — In spite of the etymology of the Magyar tribal names, of whether they derive from common words, and of the original language of these common words,

| only the parallel of the Hungarian Jen6 tribe is flawless. The Bashkirian tribal name Yeney can be of Magyar or Volga Bulghar origin. Only provided the Bashkirian Yurmati derived via Volga Bulgharian can it be linked with the Hungarian tribal name Gyarmat. The correspondences of all other tribal names

pose insurmountable difficulties. |

The East Magyars, the Bashkirian tribal names and Yugria | 433 Some geographical names are usually referred to in support of Bashkirian—Magyar correspondences and the Bashkirian Urheimat theory. These can | be grouped threefold. The first group contains names like Magash, which has been identified with the Hungarian word magas meaning ‘high’, ‘tall’; however, the word is of Iranian origin, and means ‘mosquito’. Since Magash also

occurs as the name of a stream—where the meaning ‘high’ or ‘tall’ can be excluded—it seems as though we are looking at a designation like Komdrom (a town in northwest Hungary) which derives from the Slavic komar ‘mos-

quito’. In the 10th century, Masudi wrote of the Alanians’ capital being called | Magash. The 10th-century author of Hudiid al-alam discusses at length the mosquitoes in the country of the Alanians. The Bashkirian Magash belongs to that group of geographical names which originate from the Iranian tribes,

and which resemble a Hungarian word by accident only. | a The second group of Bashkirian geographical names includes words like | Kondoros. Kundur in the river name Kundurcha may etymologically be related to the word kondor in the Hungarian river name Kondoros. The root word of this river name does not exist as an independent word in the Hun-

7 garian, but is a Chuvash-type equivalent of the Turkic kunduz and the Bashkirian kondoz ‘beaver’, and postulates the form *kundur. The word-final

| -sh suffix in Kondoros is purely Hungarian; the root of the Bashkirian river

name Kondorosh, however, is Volga Bulghar, not Old Bashkirian. Modern Bashkirian has two plant names: kondorak ‘Agrostis (a water plant)’ (=Tatar kondirak); and kondorsok which goes back to the form kondorchuk, and is

likewise the name of a water plant. These plant names would translate as ‘beaver-grass’. The -sh suffix is very frequent in the Bashkirian language. Thus the root of Kondorosh is a geographical name originating from the Volga Bulghar period, and only indirectly has a bearing on similar sounding Hungarian place names—only in that the roots in both languages are loan words.

The third group of geographical names includes words like Bikesh which, : in Russian transcription, also has the form Bekash. It is a village name which has the above-mentioned Bashkirian -sh suffix tagged on and which derives from the Bashkirian bik ‘lord’ (Old Turkic bek < berk, and not beg). The place

name bears a reminder of the one-time owner of the village, and has nothing

to do whatsoever with the Hungarian word békds ‘of frogs’. Bikkol is a | frequent Bashkirian place name. The second constituent, ko/, means ‘servant’,

| ‘villein’, and the name thus means ‘Bik’s (lord’s) servant’. This very strongly reminds us of a highly widespread Turkic-type personal name pattern (for — , instance Mahmudkuli ‘Muhammad’s servant’, etc.), many of which became | geographical names. The seeming similarity of the Bashkirian Bekash and the

Hungarian Békds is very misleading; and the geographical name belongs toa _ recent group of geographical names of Bashkirian origin.

434 Recent research and studies Weighing up the evidence, it can be said that no Hungarian toponyms have

been located in the Volga—Kama region. | | Finally, it must be mentioned that by now we have a very thorough knowledge of Bashkirian language. Many of us have investigated the possibility of

a group of Hungarian loan words in Bashkirian, or a Hungarian influence in the language. Research results have been negative so far. The Bashkirian language belongs to the Kipchak language group whose speakers must have arrived to the Belaya region in the 13th century. The Bashkirian name of the Belaya is Agizel, that is, ‘White River’; whose ize/ constituent, meaning ‘great

river’, is etymologically identical with the word £7zil that features in the Hungarian sources, too. The Bashkirian sound signified by the letter z is not unlike the English voiced interdental fricative /6/] (as 1n the definite article the). This sound has two origins. In Old Bashkirian words it goes back to the | old z; in foreign words, as well as in Bashkirian words in intervocalic position, _ it occasionally corresponds to an earlier d (Turkic adash ‘namesake’ > Bashkirian azash, Russian beda ‘poverty’ > Bashkirian biza). At the same time, the regular correspondence of the old Turkic -d- 1s -y- in the Bashkinian (Turkic

adak ‘leg’ > Bashkirian ayak). However, in cases when in modern Bashkirian _ the old Turkic -d- corresponds to a z, it can always be shown that the dis a secondary derivation, not original (adash ‘namesake’ < atdash). This 1s also the case with Ak Izel > Agizel form of the river name Belaya. The Bashkirian

Izel goes back to the form Edi/, and not Etil. The river name £¢il and the common word eftil (cf. the Tatar Jdel or the modern Chuvash Adi/) shifted to Edil in the Volga Turkic languages, primarily in Volga Bulgharian. Thismeans

that the forebears of the speakers of the Bashkirian language cannot have | arrived to the region where the rivers were no longer called ezi/, but edil earlier than the 13th—14th centuries. The old -t- was preserved in the Bashkirian (batir _

‘hero’ > Bashkirian batir, otuz ‘thirty’ > utiz). The Bashkirian historical _ tradition, too, suggests that they moved to their present-day areas after the Tatar invasion. Naturally this applies only to the Bashkirian-speaking ethnicity, and not to the ethnic name. The Bashkirs must have adopted their original __ ethnic name Bachgird somewhere in the southern Urals. The so-called Yugria question 1s frequently mentioned in connection with the history of the East Magyars. The region between the Kama and the Urals is referred to as Yugria by the early Russian sources, as of the 11th century. The Arab sources (for instance, Marvazi) use the form Yura which goes back — to the form Yugra. The sources claim that this people (or population of a country) lived “behind” the Bulghars. Some scholars hold the word ending

to be a Slavic suffix, and figured that Yugri was a Slavic plural form which originated from the earlier form of Ungri. The word-initial y- is supposed to | have developed in the Russian or the Zyryan language. However, this Ungri

The East Magyars, the Bashkirian tribal names and Yugria 435 rings a bell: it is supposed to be identical with the Magyar Ongri, and its Slavic derivation (Ongre > Ugri; see p. 284). Thus the designation Yugria is supposed to preserve memories of a Magyar presence in the Kama region.

Provided the name Yugria is indeed a derivation of the Onoghur ethnic name | (or its variant applied to the Magyars), there is a problem, because we established above (see pp. 282-287) that *Ungri was the Slavs’ designation for the Magyars. The Slavs of the 11th century could only have called the Magyars of the Kama region Ugri if they had known about the Kama Magyars’ kinship with the Magyars of the Carpathian Basin. Consequently, it happened

the other way round compared to the Bashkirian designation by which the Volga Bulghars called the East and West Magyars. We cannot positively rule out this possibility; however, nowhere does the name Yugria have variants such as *Yonugria, *Yongria or *Yungria. It would be difficult toexplainwhy the Arabs referred to the area in question Yura (< Yugra), given that they

usually called the Magyars Turk, Bashkir, Majgar or Majar. However, an ethnic name Ugur would have become Ugri in Russian, and a secondary -y might have been tagged on later. Consequently, we can establish that an old Slavic form *ongre did become Ugri later; but not all Ugri forms go back to the form *ongre. Originating from the form Ugur would also be acceptable. — After all, if there existed an ethnic name *Yugur, it, too, would have become

Yugri (in the plural) in Old Russian. |

Who were these people? We are in the dark regarding this matter. It is

remarkable, however, that while the names of the Bulghars of the steppe, the

Carpathian Basin and the Volga Bulghars are always co-mentioned with the | ethnic name Onoghundur or Onoghur, we have no such information about the Volga Bulghars. It is possible that an Ughur tribe moved north together with _ the Volga Bulghars and the Magyars. It is not very likely that the name Yugria conceals a metathetic variant of the Uighur ethnic name (but: see the name of

the Yellow Uighur, the Yéghur). | We have Chinese sources dating from the 10th century which tell us that the Ughur group—formerly mentioned in connection with the Ruanruans (that | is, the Asian Avars)—whose splinter group joined the Mongolian-language Khitai, changed its name from Ughur to Yughur, evidently by process of inside development (see pp. 210, 255). The annals of the Khitai Liao dynasty claimed that they lived afar, and the Khitai sent people in exile among them. They lived

court. |

in very cold regions, were fishermen, and sent furs to the court of the Liao | emperor. Masudi (who died ca. 956) named a group called Yighur among the Kimeks living in the Irtysh region. The shah of Khwarezm reported in 1182 that the Yughur-zadaghan of the surrendering Kipchak chieftains visited his

436 Recent research and studies | The name of Yugria, then, conceals a 10th—11th century form of the ethnic name Ugur. Traces of this in West Siberia have been found in other sources. _ Thus Yugria was only connected to the Magyars in so far as their name Ungar

conceals the form of On Ugur ‘Ten Oghurs’. ae

NOTES For two Julianus-related texts, see Dérrie (1956), and Gdckenjan—Sweeney (1985). On the most

recent Hungarian translations, see Gydérffy (1965, pp. 39-51). For the doubts raised about ,

II, 1929, p. 143). ,

Julianus’s reports, see Sinor (1952). Ashmarin’s data are included in his dictionary (Amarin

For the latest literature on the Bashkir question and the Bashkir tribal names, see p. 313 of | this book. Vasary (1985) discusses the linguistic aspects of Bashkirian—Magyar connections,

together with further bibliography. — | A summary of the Yugria issue is given in Zsirai (1930) and Vasary (1982). In an as yet unpublished study I discuss the issues of the Ughur or Yughur tribe which lived among the

, Avars and the Khitai (see some of these results in Réna-Tas 1996a). ,


_ Written around 1282-1285, Simon de Kéza’s Latin chronicle is the first to mention the Székely runiform writing. De Kéza claimed that the Székely were | the offspring of the Huns and that after the Conquest they joined the Magyars. ==> However, after the conquest of Pannonia they did not follow them to the

Pannonian plain, but were granted estates in the mountainous borderlands, | together with the Vlachs, where mingling with the Vlachs, “it is said they used their letters”. The next mention of the writing can be found in the late-1Sth- _ century author Thurdczy’s chronicle. Thuréczy writes this about the Székely:

“they have not yet forgotten the Scythian letters: they do not commit these to paper in ink, but deftly incise them on sticks, in the manner of runes.” He remarks in the preface to his chronicle: “For even in this age of ours, partof _ the very same nation, which lives in the region of Transylvania, knows how to incise letters into wood, and with these runes, to write.” _

| The oldest known Székely runiform inscriptions date back to the latter half of the 15th century. The Homorddkaracsonfalva inscription is pre-1495, while => the Székelyderzs inscription, carved in a brick, is roughly the same age (it has been dated to 1431; however, this cannot be proved). The earliest runiform alphabet appears on the cover of a 1483 incunabulum of the palace library at Nikolsburg (Mikulovo, Bohemia). The cover is a later addition to the book which was acquired by Filipec (formerly the Bishop of Varad) after the chapter of Olomouc ordained him bishop in 1484 at the instigation of the Hungarian _ King Matthias I. Scratched on a prison wall by a Székely prisoner, the Istanbul

inscription bears the date 1515. The Fels6szemeréd (Slovakia) inscription dates back to 1482, but its runiform character is uncertain. Marsigli, the Italian military engineer who worked in Transylvania, copied a carved calendar off a cane in 1690 and took it home with him to Bologna. The original seems to

have been created in 1450. It is known today as the Bologna runiform inscription. In 1598, Janos Telegdi wrote a short monograph about the Székely _ runiform writing, of which only copies survived. The book containing also an alphabet became highly fashionable in later ages, and it significantly contributed to a new renaissance of Székely runiform writing. Presently, we know of

[aa ae ee ee 438 Recent research and studies

ee ee

2] X jo | xX fe] xX |b feb | 61 14 lectech(es)| A les] A levies | isl

ples LE LT iw

eit fet | t fel fF fe fee

9) fag fant tiny | fol 1 fe@ | 7 fit 7 fi ti fo


al xe Tote | Ele fe ft mele ir Jel le@ie ie im | 13.1 Dd lehew | A [es | D> [eh ie [te

tal 2 lec | # ly] F [ely lta

15) B [eos | | | | | tens)

17] xX feonen [| [| [te om

ai] > [omen | | || dunk ame |

ala jafefati ft joo} The earliest alphabets ofthe Soékely runiform script I


[a ee RR | The Székely runiform script | 439

23.1 eves | © ley) O ly |y ft

zat ge fm a fm a fm fmm 26.1 D_fenpieny | D feny| D [nay/ny | toi)

271 D fave | ff fd tt we} ofe |Ole}o fo fo |i td fe | Ale] Sfp lp to 30] Le fem tm tt

flo fe LO fa] Of [ico | xo

mle (A/fe[H | |) fo | 3) Y [adocal P lai] Pls |= [a] [A lio [Alf[A}s | [a a) 1 fae | Yiely hf [oe | a6] femme | | | | fem [ten] info [Mbh(BPh |o_

oxo (44h lo fall io [icky [hie fo

ee te mm) 2 le@o | ole |xiele lo _

a] je | Ale | le fe elwi@ | || | i |

45] O fs PT sf test

| The earliest alphabets ofthe Salicly runiform script II oe |

440 Recent research and studies

or are independent of it. | |

some 14—15 runiform inscriptions which date back to the times before Telegdi,

then. | |

I cannot accept the view that the whole script was in fact invented at the

court of the Hungarian King Matthias I. However, we have ample evidence |

that it was known in his court and that it was very popular. It might have been brought into fashion there, and new characters might have been added to it

The origin of this script is still vague. Only a few features have been

identified about the writing itself. The letter forms were greatly influenced by the fact that they were incised. The writing was read left to right and the vowels were usually only added in if they signified long ones. These latter traits might

suggest a connection with the Semitic scripts. Yet the Székely script has a , number of ligatures and contractions which is characteristic of mediaeval _ Latin writing. This makes it certain that the Székely runiform script developed , (further) under the influence of Latin writing. We know the script already existed in the 13th century and we have knowledge about its letters, styles and orthography dating from the 15th century. Therefore, we should attempt to

reconstruct its major phases of development. a Only two very simple Székely letters (s and 1) make a flawless match with | the East Turk runiform writing. Four letters (a, e, o, f) are positively rooted in Greek writing, via Slavic mediation; similarly / and /, to a lesser certainty. It cannot be established which the mediating Slavic alphabet was, because the symbols of a and f would suggest the Cyrillic, while e and o the Glagolithic __ script. Owing to the fact that Glagolithic writing (after 870) came earlier than Cyrillic (between 893 and 927 at the court of the Bulghar ruler Simeon), it 1s

possible that the letters of the Székely alphabet in question go back to some | mutual period. In any case, the early historical period of Székely writing, when Greek letters entered the alphabet, cannot be earlier than the late 9th century.

The fact that both the symbols denoting fand / were borrowed from another alphabet suggests a language which lacked these consonants altogether. Thus it was not before the language needed these letters that it borrowed them from another language. Both the Slavic and the Magyar languages were like that.

The 10th-century Hrabar writes that the Slavs originally used a runiform | script, following which they shifted to the mixed usage of Greek and Latin letters. Then came Cyril who invented “Slavic” writing, that is, Glagolithic. — Thus, it is probable that the addition of h and f served Slavic needs. The consonants / and f are secondary in Slavic, and are not part of the initial phonetic range. They can be “age-dated” by observing their relative position in the Glagolithic alphabet: they stand near the very end, side by side. The symbols denoting a, e and o were probably borrowed because the initial script

The Székely runiform script : 44]

the borrowed ones. _ oe oo |

had a different system for signifying vowels, or its consonants did not resemble

It is remarkable that in the Székely script the symbols of the consonants sh

and /, rand zare related. It appears that the symbol of sh is a derivation of the Greek lambda, and the symbol of / is formed by the addition of two diacritical marks to sh; while the symbol of r is simpler, and z is derived from r plus two

diacritical marks. The symbol of the Hungarian letter gy (as in the British

| English ‘duke’) is the letter d plus a diacritical mark. The symbol of the Hungarian letter ny (as in the British English ‘new’) is clearly a combination of the symbols of n and y. These points refer to the internal development of the writing. Reconstructing the internal development of an alphabet enables us to restore the older, simpler alphabet comprising fewer symbols. In any

case, the reconstruction reveals that the Székely runiform writing underwent significant changes between the 10th and the 15th centuries. It first encoun-

tered Slavic writing, and then Latin literacy. _ |

It is a well-known fact that a runiform script was employed in the Carpathian | Basin in the Late Avar period. Several dozens of samples of it have come down

to us, and it has been termed Nagyszentmiklés—Szarvas runiform script after the two locations where the most significant samples were brought to light.

We also know that this writing belongs to the family of Eastern European scripts (see pp. 404-406) of which more and more specimens are being found in the region of the former Khazar Empire. It may be due to chance that only one Conquest-period object has been unearthed with a short inscription written

Hungary). a 7 an | | ; |

| in this Eastern European writing (from a site at Homokmégy-Halom, Kalocsa, _ Nevertheless, we are still lacking two or three links connecting the Székely runiform script with Late Avar period and other Eastern European scripts. Hopefully, these missing links will be found shortly. The Hungarian words ir ‘to write’ and beti ‘letter (character)’ are of Turkic

origin, therefore 1t would be expected that the Magyars adopted the Turk variant of the Eastern European runiform script. This is supposed tohave been __ supplemented with the letters via Slavic mediation. It is possible that those missing links should be looked for on the notches on bricks of 11th—13th- _

century Hungarian churches. Whether the Arpadian conquerors brought the __writing with them, or adopted the script in the Carpathian Basin we do not know; however, it is certain that before the foundation ofstateandtheadoption of Latin literacy, the Magyars had their own writing. The Latin alphabet superseded it, but fond memories of it lived on into the Renaissance. The old Hungarian writing was revived, as were the Germanic runes in the Scandinavian courts. It could be possible that in the 15th century the Székely alphabet was artificially transformed to some extent, which hinders today the recon-

442 Recent research and studies


‘Peegaa, lage : o »«. S 4. — ” : 4 mF, 9 -* ones, . oe * See - - — A ~~q pe i ? * ye” Ue Ate: bye" “Say, oe f te. ; ) “sd

8 be : Pr f # : ¥ Se hai a ts ee ey i as i 4 : © fe . ae 3 ,

" - : ('* aa te See A PS)

oe rs be "aba . ’ ; ; “oh 3 + ~ > ' bi ; A " ; . % . f vik ’


Figure 74 The runiform inscription of Homokmeéegy—Halom (near Kalocsa, South Hungary) from the time of the Conquest

ee 7 et age cs art ’ Per ea es Oe ee en Ae Be- hy ottotSh ee 6: 2, ‘3iin teeget ey SO A ” 3; 4) 3Aaa4Av ,\ -_men Ls "ep iy

P ; y a al ‘ sh

:b‘ins rt ; -y5a , Si £2 i.éiss Pe :L F oF, ai a ms if >. me Fry — ae Siti . 3 * . -_ a ag Ts ; 2Meee rea eamgg aca tae ee a .gee ——— ShCELE SieME, re ae ae4 En sale. ee,08 ee

GP iep ae ae 2 7dir mo *Wows CD, fin” 4 ~ |ot

, . ; a~~aaa Jeo.i aA > >. ; } - * wi : 1a%tec ‘oa . - gt : , ;~ es Ae a j 3 * ! ho | Pine em

, * _ haw “d é. , tASS> ae 23” eeeey veee“ye a or ae om : mee re ‘4 Be “A We)TP ‘é Git? 2a i 5» —— = » 2 é ; _ ° Bai 6) Tae

sig Pe ik tae dof 4ae § “17 * 5 :mi ? i ae: a-ee$ ’;sf- . ae ‘= OP Es 4 | eh oe fk

—— a 01 ~ eePeli Ae eeAid, —e es- iee te .ee % :all = th:| >, dle” aa * : :4eapp os : , if + > > pane 4

ay: |, ie ge 2 Be So Nae eee vi ged “ee

o.¥go er with the Pechenegs, as forming the advance guard of the Magyar forces. | - Their first mention in a document is an entry in the 1217 register of Varad which talks of a székelyszaz ‘Hundred Székely’ (centuriatus Sceculzaz) unit.

A charter of 1250 tells us that they had participated in a military campaign of | the count of Szeben in 1210. Toponymic data point to the fact that the Székelys _ must have served as border guards in the 11th—12th centuries, The Bihar county |

Székelys migrated to their later settlement areas as of the 12th century. They reached the Carpathians by the 13th century. Following many internal migra-

tions and wars, at the end of the 13th century the areas collectively termed _ Székelyland began to emerge. Their uniquely autonomous system of széks ‘settlements’ served to maintain their independence, while the other Székely posts in West Transdanubia, the Orség, in Moson, near Bratislava and in Baranya county soon assimilated into the Magyar population. The Székely’s language shows no trace whatsoever of Turkic origins, as has been suggested. Their language preserves old Hungarian characteristics. The only argument in support of their foreign origin is that according to the old nomadic system it was the most recently joined peoples that served as border guards and were sent to the front lines of battle. This, in itself, 1s simply not convincing enough.

It was indeed nomadic practice to get the most recently joined peoples to perform the most dangerous tasks, but one cannot say that those groups who were sent to do risky jobs were always newcomers. The fact that this runiform writing only survived among. the Székelys does not shed much light on their history. The writing known today is almost certainly a Matthias-period trans-

_ formed version, and the unique historical circumstances must have contrib- | uted to the survival of the script after the 15th century and later. Yet the fact _ that de Kéza mentions the special writing of the Székelys as early as around

1285, suggests that the Székelys or Székelyland played an important part in

preserving the script. | |

444 Recent research and studies |

| ~ NOTES |

For the latest research results of the Turkic and Hungarian runiform script, see pp. 404—406 of this book, and Sandor (1991, 1992a, 1992b); for the background see Rona-Tas (1987b, 1988b, | 1992a, 1992c). Vasary (1974) and Gébl-Rona-Tas (1995) give a good overview of the research history. More about the Hungarian words ir ‘to write’ and betd ‘letter (character)’ can be found in Réna-Tas (1992c). I am not going into the discussion of the problem of the origin of the

non-Hungarian origin. | ,

Székely. There are no conclusive arguments in favour that the Székely group would be of |



Plate I |

: Vi me, yr" ié

ies ¢;b

ne +

| ¥% me 2S

* j “4

.4 ; ;

o te

ie Po / mee : ? ig > J 0) ade


? .aéan4 wr . PS

tA 7 “4-

-} oe ; ar

he “ ae + ey


% @fe

4. ae: ie

‘ df be } :

; iad

4 Ah ak eh Hilt of the sword of Kiev

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ey ey | een be SS tof OG Nae “ fh "3 te AY P Woes yal wa Site| mys a, SDS a1 Af

ae | 7 /f y; B i * ;bs vw" % 7 of, roe es “4 «y # -»,, bh (VF 7.‘ Gr > ’, .NS 7 . ~*~ : . f A! ; ®J ®

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. if r:/aol C. |H a“= ~ | ;a 42 KJ y' a!awu Sie /,lf| iS, \mA Fe rs‘%ily) Pe 6YNPTA

, : \ ‘ ; F > : “* 4 CR EI TS. Nae AN «(oe | Pus Nad sb ee ae VN 5. aie Ck Bh... 1 VPs AN ie fo, the * a ~ $ “f s ’ PA as ” ay 4 4 Hi f, +&. ¢* ; sate a ' a ; ‘ ‘‘ : aea7 sb ‘ 7;7 .‘a5e«i

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    Dated coins of Louis the Infant and the Samanid ruler Esmail ibn Ahmad (904-905)

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    eo .

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    Belt mounts with griffin and sarmentose motifs, andlate otherAvar finds f,period he | : rom the

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    Plate VI

    Si i8 agees Conquest-period belt° bosses, MM MS al Py PP o° oS Rétkézberencs—Paradomb papaapeesanensasaapenaqagnenananaganssnenndangnaseas tea tesenangsentnnsentenentnanenenneaeneanen = .

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    |. Conquest-period belt bosses, belt boucle, sabretache plate, and trepan, Tiszaeszlar—Bashalom

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    2. Belt-end, 3. Belt-end, Nagydsz 4. Belt-end, Tuzsér Tiszaeszlar—Bashalom


    Plate IX


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    = seen —

    > eneeeen

    Ce %& * >‘ yy" | RE y ry"

    ¥% V4 4 Ea bt)

    a >

    ee F i oe > bc aee

    tee é | , AD , | ‘ » :

    p ca @> @ ,

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    Be te 8 ee

    ||| > a pe Ct) sd Py ” o ° A ® i| o. ed oe ve ra er eA oe 2 ri a | * 0 “ ® “ | o } a silver mounts US || ofGilded an “ever-ready” quiver,

    |Karos %| "7"



    Plate X Sabretache plates


    i ¥e- = : te

    P ; a : ’ v4 Ss Lh > C~ re, ‘a $

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    Pee oft ** .lf4>if~~fly 3 #iL i a=e he £i iaa n

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    EN ater Om SPSS, i n : Lc ad V “ as 4 J) (Cw

    ; m cee . , ..fe C) .‘| Pe * te. - . : r pat

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    M : a . . ) @ . ts Va y a . P| % ogee Fe, / _- i Set: % y he



    7 oe


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