The Magyars

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The Magyars

The Magyars
The Medieval Period in European History saw several waves of barbarians
which helped shape the face of European society.  The nomadic tribes of people that lived
a migratory life, while other groups were founding civilizations with permanent living
centers, are today referred to as barbarians.  Two great empires, the Chinese and the
Roman, ruled on the extreme edges of the enormous Eurasian continent and were
separated by vast distances.1  The people that existed between the two empires and
roamed the large wasteland were called barbarians.2  They did not have a permanent
living center and therefore raided settled towns and cities for food and riches.  Because of
there roaming ways and raiding tactics, barbarians were feared and hated in the Medieval
World.  The word barbarian is presently associated with being backwards, uneducated,
or indecent; in one word, uncivilized.  These wandering people lived in family orientated
groups called clans, which combined together to form a tribe.  Tribes depended on one
another for protection.  Among these barbarian groups where a traveling people known as
the Magyars.  The Magyars had a major impact on the Carpathian Basin in Central Eastern
Europe, and directly affected the picture of the European landscape that we have today.
The magyars are a mysterious peoples whose origins and connections are highly
debated among scholars and historians.  The first place to begin when searching for
origins, is the language.  The Magyar language is a branch of the Finno-Ugrian family of
languages, most nearly related to Finnish, although supplemented by numerous Turkic
words.3  The language is very unique and their is no other like it in the world.  Popular
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belief places the origin of the people themselves somewhere in the Orient.  The Old
Magyar Fatherland was probably situated in the ancient Orient, which we call the
Near-East, and played an important role in Mesopotamian lands.4  Linguistic evidence
places the Magyars among the ancient Egyptians.  Contemporary records speak of a
Makari Queen5 from the XXth dynasty; between 1080-940 BC6  Egyptian Kings of the
XIXth dynasty forced the Magyars out of Africa for good.  From their the people
dispersed, moved around the European landmass, including Hungary, and mixed with
other peoples.7  Much of the Finno-Ugrian peoples mainly dispersed in the widespread
region on the west side of the Ural Mountains.8  It was in this region that the Magyars
were exposed to the Turks.  Their language was enriched with Turkic elements while
maintaining its basic Finno-Ugric characteristics.  It is difficult to pinpoint the exact
location of the Magyars during this period because of their nomadic ways.
By the end of the 5th century the Magyars had begun their southward migration
from the Urals and settled east of the Sea of Azov.9  Here they were again under the
influence of Turkic neighbors.  During this period the Magyars patterned themselves after
the Turkic model, becoming a well-disciplined, conquering race.  During the second half
of the 9th century, the warring Turkic Pechenegs put forth pressure on the Magyars
feeding grounds, forcing them to begin their historic westward migration.  Following a


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Pecheneg attack, the Magyar tribes united under one leader, rpd, who led his people
out of their exposed position in Etelkz and into the Carpathian Basin.10  The seven
Magyar tribal chieftains elected a leader from among them.  After rpd was elected, he
had to lead them in a swearing with ritual drinking of mixed blood to unify them and make
their claim as head of the nation valid.
In 894, Sviatopluk sent envoys to the Magyars for help against the
Frankish-Bulghar confederation, while the Bulghars wanted an alliance with the
Pechenegs.  The Magyars joined forces with Sviatopluk and attacked the Franks in
Pannonia.  During this period the weaknesses of the lands were made out by the Magyars,
and that same year they were back, raiding Pannonia for themselves.11  In late 895 or early
896 the Magyars crossed the Carpathian mountains for good through the Verecke pass
and launched a military campaign that would come to be known as the Conquest12.  The
Pechenegs crossed over the river Don and took the Magyars by surprise, causing them to
flee to the Transylvanian mountains for protection.  Most of the Magyar forces were off
fighting the Bulgars.  Upon their return, with reinforcements, they ousted the Pechenegs
from the Great Plain and Transylvania.  They fought and gained possession of the Alfld.
During this time Moravian rule governed the area.  The Germans and Moravians united
against the Magyars, but by 900 AD Frankish rule in Pannonia had vanished.13  In 907 a
Bavarian army was