Origin of Hungarians

Who are hungarians?
Sumerians, Hurrians, Mitanni, Habiru, Hyksos, Kassites, Chaldeans, Medes, Khwarezmians, Scythians, Massagetas, Alans, Sabirs, Avars, Huns, Magyars, OnOgurs, Khazars, Uyghurs, Kushitic, Semitic and Japhetic , who are they?

Let us see Hungarian history for some view.

Early Hungarian History
Hungary is located in the heart of Europe, in the Carpathian Basin, surrounded by the Carpathian mountain chain, the Alps and the southern Slav mountains. This area has, since the dawn of civilization, been inhabited by human beings, a meeting point where cultures blended together. From the first century B.C. people on horseback - the Scythes - of Iranian extraction, and Indo-European tribes /Celtic, Illyrian and Thracian/ that pursued a more or less settled existence constantly replaced one another. In the final stages of the expansion of the Roman empire, for a short while the Carpathian Basin fell into the sphere of the Mediterranean, Greco-Roman civilization - town centers, paved roads, and written sources were all part of the advances to which the Migration of Peoples put an end. Germanic and Turkish /Hun and Avar/ tribes attacking from the east then appeared in the region. From the beginning of the 3rd century onwards Rome was gradually forced onto the defensive, and around the year 430 AD, bowing to Hun sieges, it ultimately surrendered its Carpathian Basin province of Pannonia.The famous Hun king, Attila, operated his powerful but short-lived empire from the River Tisza. Upon his death the Hun empire disintegrated and Germanic tribes again split up the region. However, their hegemony was soon smashed by the advent of the Avars. Their empire, established by the end of the 6th century, was destroyed by the wars launched by Charlemagne /around 790/ and Bulgarian attacks from the Danube. Transdanubia marked the eastern province of the declining Frankish empire. Bulgarians ruled the Hungarian Great Plain and Transylvania, while in the north there was the state of the Morvas, these peoples formed the status quo in the Carpathian Basin at the time of the arrival of the Magyars.

Magyar Migration Theory
The first temporary raids of ancient proto-Magyars in this territory occurred in the 860s. It was only in 895/896 that the Magyars decided to cross the Carpathians permanently. The chieftain Árpád is traditionally said to be the person who led the seven proto-Magyar tribes (including the Magyars proper) out of the steppes of Ukraine and into the Carpathian basin. These seven tribes later became the nucleus of the Kingdom of Hungary under Árpád's great-great-grandson, Stephen I of Hungary. Although Christianization of this territory began as early as in the 4th century AD, the newly-arrived Magyars were Christianized only at the end of the 10th century under Géza: this task was finished by Stephen I of Hungary, who was officially crowned king by the pope in 1000 AD.

By the end of the 11th century Hungary, which had risen to become a Central European power, acted as conqueror in the east and south. Campaigns launched into what is Galicia and Ukraine today were without success, but Croatia recognized the supremacy of the Árpád dynasty in 1091.

The relatively steady progress was interrupted in 1240 and 1242 by the dramatic incursion and ruthless ransacking of the country by Tartar /Mongol/ forces, who swept across the country scorching the land and forcing the king and his court to flee to the Adriatic. One third of the country's population was killed during the single year of the Tartar invasion.
King Béla IV /1235-1270/ was, with some justifications, dubbed the "second home founder" as he had to rebuild the scorched country practically from scratch. By establishing a series of stone castles he created a strong defensive system, he invited settlers to unsettled parts of the country, and reorganized life in the country by pursuing tolerant and persistent policies.

Theory of Gyula László Theory
The Hungarian archaeologist Gyula László has proposed a very controversial theory, also known as "theory of double conquest”, in recent decades. He has argued that the Magyars arrived in two separate waves, centuries apart, a notion which is still controversial. The theory argues that around 670 a new ethnic group moved into the Carpathian Basin, representing the late-Avar culture with a griffin-creeper pattern on their belt-clasp. The theory says that these latter Avars were actually Magyars and that they survived the centuries until the Árpád's Magyars arrival.

Theory of Grover Krantz:

In his book Geographical Development of the European Languages, anthropologist Grover Krantz argues that the Hungarian language must have been present in the Carpathian basin when the Indo-European languages diffused into Europe. His theory is based on the development of early forms of agriculture, to which the spread of the Proto-Indo-European language was tied. These agricultural developments and tools were such that the people relying on them were not able to penetrate the Carpathian basin, as a result the Indo-European languages avoided that region as they were diffusing.

Theory of Mario Alinei:

As part of his "theory of continuity", Mario Alinei, linguist at the University of Utrecht, sees the Etruscan language as an archaic form of Hungarian. The basis of the connection is the extraordinary resemblance of Etruscan and ancient Magyar magistrature names and other similarities: typologies, lexicon and historical grammar. This theory also contradicts the view that Magyars arrived in the Carpathian basin in 900 AD.

Let us see the legends of origins

Legend of White Stag.
The Legend of the White Stag ascribes the origin of the Hungarians to the merging of three peoples: Huns, Magyars and Alans. Since the Alans, together with the Yazyg and Roxlans are classified as Massagetas in early records and as Sarmatians in later ones, henceforth the terms "Alan", "Yazyg", "Roxlan" and "Massageta" will be mentioned as "Sarmatian" in order to make this essay more intelligible, avoiding synonymous or quasi-synonymous terms (unless specification is required). They are identified with the Moshkhi of the Assyrian chronicles and Meshekh of the Bible.

Sumerian Legend
This legend starts with Tana, that is undoubtedly the same as the Sumerian Etana of the city of Kish (Kush) and who is equivalent with the Biblical Kush, the father of Nimrod – The Kushan Scythians also had an ancestor called Kush-Tana. The Sumerian Etana was the first mighty one on earth who wanted to visit heaven, and did. This story coincides with the Biblical account concerning Nimrod, though it is feasible that Nimrod set up the construction of the Tower of Bavel on behalf of his father, being coherent with the Babylonian myth in which the founder of Babylon was Bel, the father of Ninus (Nimrud), that was the first king. In the Hungarian account, the son of Tana is Ménrót or Nemere (Nimrod), who had twin sons called Magor and Hunor. Also Nimrud's wife, Anuta/Bau, has similar names in the Hungarian version, Eneth/Boldog-asszony. The Assyrian accounts refer that Nimrud had twin sons, one of whose names was Magor, confirming the Hungarian myth.

Scythian Legend
The legend says that Hunor and Magor were pursuing a female stag that led them into a foreign land and there she vanished without leaving any trace. The disappointed hunters however, met there two sisters, princesses of the Sarmatians, kidnapped and married them, becoming the forefathers of the Huns and Magyars. The stag is also relevant in Scythian mythology.

Nimrod Legend
Hungarian legend the sons of Ménrót/Nemere were hunters, and Nimrod in the Bible is described as a "mighty hunter". His Sumerian name – or better, his title – was Nimb-ur-shag, meaning "Lord of the Panthers", which in Hungarian is translated "Parduc-Uraság", conveying the same meaning of the Hebrew name quoted in the Bible, related with the word "nimra", that means "panther, leopard", combined with the verb "rad", that is "to subdue". Therefore, the first part of the Sumerian name resembles the Hebrew one, but the second component is definitely quite similar to Hungarian. It is relevant that Nimrod had to "subdue" panthers in order to become a "mighty" hunter: this title is often misinterpreted as he being a leopard-hunter – because it was the most dangerous animal in those times – but the actual meaning is another; in fact, the "lord" or "subduer" of the panther, implies that he was able to tame these animals in order to use them as a valuable aid in hunting other wild beasts. Indeed, also the kings and notables of Central Asia (from where the Hungarians departed towards Europe) trained the panthers to employ them in hunting. Panther skin has traditionally been the most precious garment among Hungarian kings and leaders, recalling the very fashion in which Nimrod himself was portrayed. The historian Yosef ben-Gorion ha-Kohen, also known as Yosippon, thought that Ménrót was to be identified with the first Egyptian king Menes, later merged with the Mesopotamian Nimrod, and his wife Eneth with the Egyptian female deity Neith.

Legend of the Turul Hawk
A mythical bird identical to the Sumerian "Dugud", that is the emblem of both the house of Attila the Hun and the house of Árpád. This story is about Emeshe, a Sumerian princess that was sterile until the Turul hawk came down from heaven and gave her fertility. She was married to Ügyek, the king of Scythians, of the lineage of Magog – in agreement with the Assyrian chronicles, that report Magog as the founder of the Scythian nation in northern Mesopotamia. Emeshe conceived Álmos (the same name of Árpád's father, that was a descendant of Attila the Hun), and in her dream she saw her descent as a river flowing from her womb that was growing towards the west, passing over the mountains and from which a great golden tree arose, representing a royal lineage of kings ruling in a far away land in the west. This story recalls the dream of the Mede king Ištumegu (Astyages) concerning his daughter, from whose womb he saw spring a river that flooded the earth, and in a second dream he saw a grape vine growing from her womb that became a mighty tree that covered the continent. These dreams were interpreted as a royal line from his daughter's offspring that would have built an empire, though dethroning him. The parallelism between both legends is amazing. Indeed, there is a relationship between ancient Medes and Hungarians. The characteristic aspect of this story, that credits the actual Sumerian origin of Magyars, is that Álmos is described as dark complexioned and black-eyed, namely, a Kushite. His name means "dreamer", since according to the legend he was conceived after his mother's dream.

Finno-Ugrian theory
This thesis, however respectable it may be, lacks of proofs and leaves many enigmas unsolved, as it was formulated only in the later 18th century c.e. neglecting all the previously existing historic records. Even though the process of Germanization of the Hungarian people began with King Vajk (then christened as István) by the end of the 10th century c.e., it was under the Austrian rule that the need of a sharp distinction from the rival Ottoman Empire required a new theory of origins which placed the Hungarians definitely on the European side. Besides this, the religious leadership of Rome monopolized the official history of Europe, and Hungarians had to be "cleansed" of the ugly picture of the Huns portrayed by the Romans ‒ the alleged higher degree of civilization attributed to the Romans in comparison with Attila's Huns is strongly disputable, however. Consequently, a prestigious leading monarchy as the Austro-Hungarian could not acknowledge any non-European component, and the Ugro-Finnic theory, strongly supported by German linguists, was hallowed as the only feasible one that may have made of Hungarians a fully European, western people that with time would have finally forgotten its obscure, barbaric origins and recognized the valuable contribution of Germanic civilization to their cultural development .

Hurrian Theory
The land known by Sumerians as "Subar-Ki" or "Subar-Tu" was inhabited by the Hurrians, whose language was Indo-European languages So, the Hurrians cannot be directly related with Hungarians. Yet, they were not the only people in that region, the same country was known under different names, Assyrian documents as "Sapar-da", Egyptians as "Magor", in Persian as "Sabarda" and "Matiene/Mada", while the Biblical name Haran/Charan is obviously connected with the Hurrians. Greek refer to them as "Sapir/Sabir", "Makr/Magar" and "Matiene". All these terms point out to the denomination of two Hungarian tribes: Sabirs and Magyars. This is the basis of the theory Similar sounding names of Sabirs and Magyars.

Mittani Theory
Northern Mesopotamian region was also known as "Mada/Mata/Madja". The term that may be transliterated as "mat", "madh", "madj" means "country" or "district" in Sumerian, Subarian, Parthian, and other related languages, and it was also used by the Assyrians and Egyptians with the same meaning. Notice that in those languages, the phoneme "dh" or "dj" is equal to the modern Hungarian "gy", and "megye" is still "district" or "province" in Hungarian. Therefore, if the denomination has been transferred along the generations, the Magyars might be the ancient tribe of Mitanni, Claims this theory.

Habiru are people of Meditaranean spread far and wide, they are group from which Israelites emerged. Based on the Nimrod legend links are made between Habiru and Hungarian. But Habiru are Semitic, so they cannot be Hungarian.

Based on the Habiru , further links are made to Hyksos , but this is just a far fetched theory.

By the time of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt to Canaan, a mysterious people arose in Southern Mesopotamia: the Kassites (Kasu). and after they lost control of Babylon they retreated to the Zagros Mounts and had not any further history. Very likely, they and not the Neo-Babylonian Chaldeans were the authentic Kasdim. The Kassites apparently spoke a language similar to Sumerian, Kassites were excellent horse-riders, a feature that primarily distinguished the peoples of the north, By some Kassite king names, which are evidently Indic (for example: Shuriash = Surya, Maruttash = Marut, Inda-Bugash = Indra-Bhaga), The Kassite kingdom in the south preceded about 90 years the Mitanni kingdom in the north, and survived it for other 90 years. At this point, the other meaning of the word Kasdim, "Chaldeans", and their relationship with Sumerians allows us to link our reasoning again with the "Hungarian-Hebrew connexion".The dynasty that ruled over Babylon about 130 years after the Kassites were dethroned is known as "Chaldean", the one to which Nebukhadnetzar the Great belonged.

Chaldeans (Kasdim) are not a people but a kind of social class or caste associated with the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, soothsayers. They probably belonged to a different people, as they had their own language, "the language of the Kasdim", but spoke to the king in Aramaic, the Assyrian tongue of Babylon. The likely hypothesis is that, after the Kassites were defeated by the joint Assyrian-Elamite armies and the 2nd Dynasty of Isin took the power, they withdrew to the Zagros Mountains. How this is related to Hungarian is not known, but this is the theory.

This theory is supported by Mittani theory and further development on that.

Alans, Massagetas,
The Legend of the White Stag ascribes the origin of the Hungarians to the merging of three peoples: Huns, Magyars and Alans. Since the Alans, together with the Yazyg and Roxlans are classified as Massagetas in early records and as Sarmatians in later ones, henceforth the terms "Alan", "Yazyg", "Roxlan" and "Massageta" This is the basis of the theory linking Alans, Massagetas and Hungarians.

is probably synonymous of "Hun" or "Magyar". In fact, Herodotus mentions them as Sapir/Sabir, Makr/Magar, in reference to Subarians and Mitanni. Other classical sources and historians always mention these two terms together (Sabir and Magor). In Persian inscriptions, Sapardia and Hunae are also consecutive. The descriptions of their mastery in the art of war and powerful cavalry and their somatic and cultural features lead to identify them with the Huns, so that they appear as the same people. The equation Subarians-Mitanni of old is paralleled in later times by the association Huns-Magyars.

One of the major controversies among different scholars regards the common origin of Hungarians and Turks. Undoubtedly, Hungarians are not a Turkic people, and probably they never were. The cultural differences existing between these two groups, mainly after the Magyar settlement in the Carpathian Basin, generated the elaboration of a new "official" theory of origins supported by the Austro-Hungarian élite, followed by the Soviet-ruled Hungary and by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Indeed, the last word is not said, because there were Turkic peoples that contributed to the definitive formation of the Hungarian nation: Khazars/Kabars, Kumans (Kipchak) and, in a lesser amount, the Besenyö (Pechenegs). Historically, the most relevant of them have been the Khazars, with whom the Magyars had intensive interaction as allies, subjects, confederates, neighbours or rivals. When the Khazar empire collapsed, they were welcomed by the Magyars in their already conquered Danubian land. Both peoples had similar languages, so that they were understandable to each other. The Khazar tongue was still spoken in Hungary until the 10th century c.e. Paradoxically and in apparent contrast with the purpose of this essay, the Khazars did not add any substantial contribution to the presumed Hebrew-Hungarian connexion: they were a Turkic people related with the Uyghurs that became famous for the adoption of Judaism of their leading class but they had not Jewish bloodline, facts that have generated a series of speculative theories mainly in an anti-Semitic sense. They arose from the collapsed kingdom of the Kök Turks and built their own empire, which was ethnically quite heterogeneous, composed by almost every Scythian-related tribe between Khwarezm and the Dniepr. The OnOgurs and Bulgars were consistent elements within the population of Khazaria, as well as Magyars, that had also their own realm by the western border.

The Huns are undoubtedly the most famous of the Hungarian ancestors, though much of what is known of them is tainted with biased accounts and legends that exalt their allegedly ferocious character, so that any horde of invaders is still qualified with this name. The western civilizations have received the Roman viewpoint first and the Catholic superstition later ‒ the mediaeval prayer "De sagittis hungarorum libera nos, Domine", that is "Save us from the arrows of the Hungarians, O Lord" was framed as an invocation for protection from the Magyars, enhancing the excellence of their archery. The Magyars were recognized as the same Huns that four and half centuries before rushed into the heart of Europe with their outstanding archers.

Avars, as exposed in the previous chapter, were culturally related with Scythian-Dahae tribes, but probably their early origin was Subarian/Habiri. Concerning their homeland, the Persian name Varkâna means "Land of Wolves", name that translated to modern Hungarian would be "Farkasok-földje/Farkasok-országa", but in old Hungarian it is correct to say "Farkasok-hona", which resembles to the historic Persian name. Even more similar is "Avarok-hona", meaning "Land of the Avars". Therefore, a possible sequence may be that the Persians adapted the Avar designation of the land, either translating the meaning (in case that the Avar name was actually "Land of Wolves") or else applying a meaning in Persian (converting the term "Avar" into "Wolf"); therefore, the modern Hungarian term was translated after the Persian historic name, being the complete sequence as follows: Farkasok-hona»Varkâna»Várkony, or Avarok-hona»Varkâna»Várkony. In this case we assume that the Avars' language was an old form of Hungarian, which is not unlikely considering that they were Subarian Habiri, speaking a transitional tongue between Emegir and Magyar. There are additional evidences to establish these facts: The Avars' arrival in Europe and subsequent settlement in the Danubian Basin is chronologically placed after that of Attila's Huns and previous to the HunOgurs and Árpád's Magyars. Even though these migratory waves are interpreted as different, as a matter of fact, they represent a continuity, a "proto-Hungarian" territorial claim. The Avars held the land previously conquered by the Huns as a permanent resistance force against European occupants. Indeed, contemporary sources were not able to explain a clear distinction between the Avars and the Huns that preceded them, nor did between them and the Magyars that followed. The Avars easily "assimilated" the remnants of Attila's Huns, and in the same way did the Magyars with the Hun/Avar/HunOgur inhabitants - having the same language, life-style, clothing, cooking, ornaments, metallurgy, etc.

Hephthalites or Hayathelaites:(White Huns)
Usually known as "White Huns", they had indeed not any real relationship with the Huns. Such association is caused by misleading name resemblances: apparently they called themselves "Hua", according to the Chinese accounts, while their Sanskrit name was "Huna", terms that historians have connected with the Huns. Refer to Article who are white Huns

original Scythians came from the line of Magog, being an Indo-European people. Notwithstanding, this term was applied to every sort of wandering tribes, and since the Scythians were present in a very vast area of the continent, they have taken many cultural features of the peoples with whom they were in contact, usually as allied. Therefore, there is a wide range of peoples, from Europe to India, sharing several Scythian features and claiming Scythian ancestry, even peoples from opposite sides, Aryan and non-Aryan, Indo-Iranian and Eurasian, Turks, Slavs, Hungarians, Indian, etc. They apparently spoke an Iranic tongue (Zend). Their religion was centred in the worship of natural forces.

It appears therefore that a fundamental revision of early Hungarian history is necessary in order to arrive at a more accurate picture, and much research work remains to be done in this field. Based on the available information, it seems most probable that the Hungarians are a synthesis of the peoples which have settled in the Carpathian Basin since the Neolithic period up to the Middle Ages: the Sumerian-related peoples of Near-Eastern origin (Neolithic, Copper and Bronze Ages), followed by the Scythians (6th c. BC), the Huns (5th c. AD), the Avars (6th c.), the Magyars (9th c.), the Petchenegs (11th c.), and the Cumans (13th c.). This Hungarian synthesis is characterized by a remarkable ethno-linguistic homogeneity and has remained highly differentiated from the considerably more numerous surrounding Indo-European people. The conclusion which can be drawn from this is that the Hungarians were able to preserve their ethno-linguistic identity and to maintain a demographic majority or critical mass within the Carpathian Basin as a result of the periodical inflow of ethno-linguistically related peoples. These peoples were designated in the 19th c. as Turanians, and the Sumerians, Scythians, Huns, Avars and Magyars were all considered to belong to this ethno-linguistic group. So more research is needed and also may be Hungarians are a not one of the said groups but all the groups.

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1 comment:

  1. Rona-Tas "HUNGARIANS AND EUROPE IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES - 1999 English Edition" is an excellent treatise on the subject. However it was too early to include DNA studies which tend to support pre-occupation. The Ruling Elite Conquerors' DNA was not shared by the common folk, though the language survived.


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