Re: The Vlach Connection

From: tolgs001
Message: 37635
Date: 2005-05-05

gknysh wrote:

>*****GK: In effect all we have here are statements
>made in ca. 1200 and ca. 1275. The less said about
>"lost internal royal sources" the better. The
>Hungarian royals had very close contacts with their
>Rus' counterparts in the 12th and 13th centuries (both
>friendly and hostile). I for one am fairly certain
>that the Anonymous' account of "the siege of Kyiv" by
>the Arpadians is borrowed from a misunderstood passage
>in the Kyivan Chronicle (repeated in the Suzdalian
>Chronicle) s.a. 898, which itself is only a brief
>commentary about the name of a Kyivan hill...

But what event in the anonymous P (Pósa?) notary's
account as well as in the second chronicler's account
(Simon of Kéza) could be put in connection with that
siege? For both chronicles deal with scores of such
belligerent events all over Hungary, the Balkans as
well as central Europe (esp. South Germany, where some
of the 1st echelon Hung. chieftains were slain).

AFA the anonymous notary's story is concerned, the
political statehood of Vlachs is that under a duke
Gelou in Transylvania proper, i.e. East of the
western mountains (already mentioned here today) and
the dense forests over there (the "Igfon forest"). The
story of the defeat of Gelou's weak army doesn't look
like that of a Kyivan siege. Rather the conquest of the
neighboring duchee, i.e., that of Menumorout ("Morout's
stallion"), between Gelou's territory in the East and
the river of Tisza in the West, contains a substory
about a siege: Menumorout's stronghold in Bihar under
successful siege (a few kilometers of the city of Oradea/
Nagyvárad/Grosswardein/Waradinum). In the army of
a third duke, Glad (who was also defeated by Arpad's
generals), there are also mentioned Vlachs, along with
groups belonging to other ethnic groups. However, these
conquests don't seem to be central in the anonymous
chronicler's stories. The other chronicler, Simon, deals
more with the Vlachs, even maintaining that the Szekler
part of the Hung. confederation lived together with them
for a while (the Szeklers were settled farther east, i.e.
in the easternmost part of Transylvania in the 12th c.
to defend the border to Moldavia). [1]

>And so,
>I would think that a development of the Suzdalian
>garble of the Kyivan information about the conflict
>between the "White Ugrians" and the "Vlachs" (redated
>to 898 from the original undated Kyivan text about
>Avar times) is a more likely explanation of the
>Hungarian Chronicles' Transylvania stories than lost
>royal archives. "More likely" does not mean
>"convincingly proved", naturally.******

But methinks we should keep in mind that these Hungarian
chroniclers, esp. the anonymous notary and Simon of
Kéza, were aware of links of the Protohungarian "upper
crust" to both Atilla the Hun's royal house as well as to
its continuators. The (warranted or unwarranted) dynastic
rights/pretenses are underlined - and this fact is understandable
on the background of the westernization of the nobility:
those houses that had "Scythian" extraction, i.e. whose
ancestors came from the Dnepr (namely those who participated
in all conquest battles after the migration from Ukraine to
Pannonia) -- versus the newcomers from the West (French,
Italians et al., esp. Germans).

The whole "folklore" linking Hungarians with the Huns and
Turks are also based on the series of internal chronicles
that propagated those legends containing some grain of
truth as far as the rulers of the clans were of concern. Even
today, for most Hungarians, Arpad's conquest around 900
was only the... second colonization - the first being deemed
that of the... Avars, 300 years earlier. (Actually, the 3rd
conquest/colonization, if one takes Atilla's one into account :)).

Moreover, of these... legal aspects of inherited rights over
one territory or another were aware the Mongols themselves,
as general Batu put it in a letter to the Hungarian king Béla IV
(in the years of the apocalyptic invasion in the 13th. c.),
claiming that the Mongols were entitled to the entire former
empire of the subdued Cumans (and hence that the king
should extradite those tens of thousands of Cumans who
got asylum in Hungary and who had fled their legal masters,
the Mongols --> sort of USSR avant la lettre :-)).


PS: Some people who oppose any Hungarian-Vlach relationship
prior to the 13th c. have proposed the interpretation that the
"Blachi, Blackis, Blazii" mentioned in those chronicles were
the Turkic... Bulaq, although these lived somewhere else in
the Eurasian steppes. What's more, in some Turkic idioms, the
etnonym Vlach looked like this: Ulaq. :-) (Later on, during the
times of the Otoman Turk statehood, Iflak.)
[1] "Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum, IV (e.g. the edition A.
Domanovszky: Simonis de Kéza, "Gesta Hungarorum" in:
Scriptores Rerum Hungaricarum (SRH), I, II, ed. Szentpétery E.,
Budapest, 1937-8):

>>After Ethela's sons have all passed away, together with
the Scythian people in the Crumble war, Pannonia had
been left kingless for ten long years, when only strangers
remained in those places: the S(e)laves, the Greeks, the
Teutons, the Messians and Vlahs, who during Ethela's
lifetime have served him as slaves.

[the above refers to Pannonia!]

Three thousand men were still left, those who escaped
by taking to flight from the Crimildine war and, who

[Nibelungenlied! :-)]

feared the western peoples, had remained in the plain
of Chigla, down to the times of Attila. For these Zaculians:
are remains from the Huns, who, when finding out that
the Hungarians came back to Pannonia, had turned out
in their way from Ruthenia, and after conquering together
Pannonia, they gained part of it for themselves, but not
in the Pannonian Plain, but shared the fate of the Blachi,
in the mountains. Therefore, they mingled with the Blachi,
and it seems that they even used letters in writing.<<