Magyars (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: King Stephen created a strong, centralized Catholic Hungary that was to serve as a buffer between the Habsburg Dynasty to the west and the Ottoman Turks to the east.
The Magyars were people of Finno-Urgian heritage who left their home on the steppes north of the Black Sea and migrated across the Carpathian Mountains around the year 895. During their first two centuries in their new home, the Magyars were nomadic cattle traders and raiders who attacked weaker neighbors and sold them as slaves to the Turks. The Magyars terrorized central Europe and expanded throughout the area until finally being stopped by Holy Roman emperor Otto the Great in 910 outside Augsburg.
Stephen I István, from the dominant Arpádian clan, created the first modern Hungarian state. He reconciled with the Holy Roman Empire and married a Bavarian princess. He embraced Catholicism and made it the established faith, despite the proselytizing efforts of Orthodox and Islamic representatives. Defeating rival claimants in battles between 997 and 1038, he created a powerful, national state. Stephen embraced the political and educational ideas of the Franks and largely destroyed clan identity while freeing his own slaves and encouraging others to do the same. By the standards of his time, his reign was considered enlightened.
McGuigan, Dorothy Gies. The Habsburgs....
(The entire section is 256 words.)
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