Before the Hungarians


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.

king attilaThe 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.


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