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The exact time for
the ancient Hungarians’ occupation of the Carpathian Basin, “honfoglalás”, was
for a long unknown among the people. Several men gave the date according to
what they thought and known, an Anonymous said that it was in 903,
Bíborbanszületett Konszantín that it occurred in 950 and The Chronicle from
Zagreb and Várad that it happened exactly in 889. Finaly according to Theodor
Oppolzer’s charts from 1887, a brilliant astronomer, Ferenc Lakics stated
unequivocally in 1890 the accurate time, when this occupation was in 895.1
My investigation sources are mostly from the 20th century and I’m
going to examine this topic in the period of 870-889. There are several factors
as antecedents that helped occupying this area. The most important one is the
equipment of Huns and Avars because this element plays a huge role and this is
the best way to compare the battle style of both rider martial cultures. However, there were
differences and the short-term causes could have a biggest influence on the
methods of the ancient Hungarians, too. This Pannonian Basin folk developed its
traditional reflex bows then they combined it with horse riding so its
significance isn’t negligible so it’s lead me to the topic sentence that; to
what extent did the combination of the reflex bow and horse riding of ancient
Hungarians contribute to the occupation of the Carpathian Basin?

Upon the ancient nomadic lifestyle’s traditions, for the Hungarians the
livestock farming and agriculture were two equal ancient works. These were
lived next to each other so one of them hasn’t formed from the other one. The
animal husbandry was extensive and as evidences there are a number of churches,
pit-houses, wood-houses and corrals, too. The Hungarian progenitors kept their
animals mostly in corrals and if they had too much of it they took several of
them to ulterior pasture to graze. Their expeditions show that the horses from
this kind of keeping tolerated the cold and warm weather. These nomad people
loved, valued, honoured and respected their animals and there are a lot of
shining horse tacks as proofs. Their life depended on the animals because these
were their tools of living, transport and the basic of tactics. The success of
the ancient Hungarians during the 9th and 10th century
was owing to their great horses to a big extent. However, these animals were
nimble, powerful, trained, weather-hardened, good-runner and persistent, their
owners were good riders, too.2
The opponents of the Hungarians were the Avars and it was similar to the Huns
because those people were part of a rider martial culture, too. The Avar army was fearful and Saint Theophanes the Confessor remembered about the
“insuperable Avars” in 558. After their arrival at the Pannonian Basin they
organized their country and army and formed a strong empire during a decade.3
This nation unified Transdanubia, the Danube-Tisza Interfluve and Transtisza so
this statehood can be considered as an antecedent of the Hungarian occupation.
According to some archaeological data the centre of the Avar army was built up
with heavy-armour cavalry and these people had great weapons, swords, bows and
three-nocked arrowheads. From this approach the Avar nation seems to be strong
and well-organized. They also knew the stirrup as one of the most important
horse tacks like the Hungarians and it really lightened the commitment of the
riders because they could stand up so on foot fighting with the arrows and
bows. In this way the Avars were much more effective, but we can see that both
nations stand almost in the same level in case of this effect.4

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However, in the area of equipment
there were big differences among the two nomad nations. Bowes played a huge
role because for these rider martial
cultures the combination of weapons and horses wasn’t a big difficulty. According
to the structure we can count fundamentally three types of conventional bows. Between
the aspects’ time there is a significant difference and this fact is supposed
the tool’s purposeful development. The various subtypes were used ostensibly in
certain places in parallel. The forms’ figure was localized to smaller and
bigger communities according to the ethnic groups. The traditional asymmetric reflex
bows were used by steppe nomads and especially it had a huge role in case of
the Hungarian progenitors.5
The Hun bow consists of a cured arm, a lever arm, a hilt, a chord and an arrow.6
In the course of digs were found several remnant’s arrows and particularly
arrowheads and it’s a unique characteristics of the Carpathian Basin. Because
of the climate and ground conditions the materials were disappeared so the
investigators haven’t analyzed whether these reflex bows had three feathers so
it’s just assumable. It’s the most probable in case of a developed,
high-standard archery culture’s representatives. Furthermore from another
aspect comes the same supposition that in the Bronze Age these arrows were
produced and used consequently in masses.7

1 István Kiszely, A magyar nép
?störténete, 2001, A
Magyarok “Honfoglalása”,
Azaz a
Kárpát-medencébe való visszaköltözése (accessed 20 January 2018)

2 Zatykó, Jácint Lovaskultúránk
hagyományos területei: az ?si lovas és- nomádélet hagyományai, katonai
hagyomány?rzés, huszárok, Budapest, 2012, 5-6.

Kiszely, A magyarság keleti

4A Kárpát-medence népei a honfoglalás
el?tt, (accessed 21 January 2018)

5 Zsolt Kelemen, HUN-MAGYAR
Harcm?vészet: Az íjászat hagyományos módszere (Lovasíjász Hagyomány?rz?
Sportegyesület, 2010), 57.

Ibid., 80.

Ibid., 91.

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