Magyar Invasions of Italy, Saxony, and Bavaria (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Magyar invasions of Italy, Saxony, and Bavaria introduce a new ethnic element into the European population.
Summary of Event
The origin of the Magyars is obscure and half-legendary. Yet historians have surmised that the Magyars were originally a Finno-Ugric people, related to the Finns, the Estonians, and the Mordvinians. These peoples tended to be sedentary forest-dwellers. Sometime in the earlier centuries of the first millennium, the Magyars abandoned their sedentary way of life and adopted the nomadic habits of the Turks and other Altaic peoples of the steppes. It was at this time that they were given the name “On-Ogur” or “ten tribes,” which later was corrupted by Europeans into “Hungarian” even though they always called themselves “Magyars” and continued to do so.
In this era, the steppes were in constant turmoil, and nomads constantly invaded westward toward Europe in search of food and territory. The most famous of these incursions was by the Huns in the mid-fifth century. Although Hungarian tradition sees the Huns as ancestors of the Hungarians, and although the famous Hunnish name “Attila” is a popular Hungarian given name, there is no evidence but that the Huns were anything more than collateral relatives of the Magyars.
After the Huns, steppe people such as the Avars and Bulgars continued to pour into central Europe. Whereas the Bulgars...
(The entire section is 1384 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!