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Some History A Brief History of Hungary

The collective memory of the Hungarians also includes Roman times, though Hungarian tribes lived happily in the east around the Ural mountains when the Roman legions settled in the 1st century, and when they left at the beginning of the 5th century. The Hungarians (who are relatives of the Finns and the Estonians) arrived in the Carpathian Basin at the end of the 9th century. There were seven tribes, led by Álmos, Előd, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba and Töhötöm. Árpád was the overall commander. For a time, Hungarians raided Western Europe, but in 955 they were fatally defeated. Hungarians had to decide whether to settle and convert to Christianity, or to disappear as dozens of other peoples had. They opted for the latter, and in 1000 King Stephen (later St. Stephen) accepted the crown from pope Silvester II. Thus, Hungary chose Western Christianity, which was a significant move at the time. During the reign of the first king, the strong administrative structure of counties was formed – one that managed to survive for many centuries. Christian faith slowly took the upper hand. Still, paganism remained strong for many decades, resulting in revolts. Medieval Hungary was much larger than the present one: what is now Slovakia and part of Romania, the Principality of Transylvania, and part of Croatia were included. National feelings did not really exist at that time. Documents were written in the official language, Latin, until 1844. In 1241 – 1242 a Mongolian invasion devastated Hungary and forced king Béla IV to build fortified castles on hilltops, thus Buda Castle was built. In 1301 the “Árpád House” was discontinued, András III had no male offspring, and the Anjou Charles Robert was invited to the throne. He and his son, Louis the Great, consolidated the country and integrated it to the Europe of the day. It was during his reign (1340 – 1380) when the Turkish threat first appeared, and he defeated them in 1374. The Turks attacked Hungary many times after that, but the great commander, the low-born János Hunyadi kept them at bay. His greatest victory took place at the battle of Belgrade in 1456. Two years later his son, Matthias Hunyadi, was elected king, and that proved to be

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2011.04.20. 15:49:07

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