Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin

The Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin,[1] also Hungarian conquest[2] or Hungarian land-taking[3] (Hungarian: honfoglalás, lit.'conquest of the homeland'),[4] was a series of historical events ending with the settlement of the Hungarians in Central Europe in the late 9th and early 10th century. Before the arrival of the Hungarians, three early medieval powers, the First Bulgarian Empire, East Francia, and Moravia, had fought each other for control of the Carpathian Basin. They occasionally hired Hungarian horsemen as soldiers. Therefore, the Hungarians who dwelt on the Pontic steppes east of the Carpathian Mountains were familiar with their future homeland when their conquest started. Recent archaeogenetic studies confirmed their Asian origin.[5]

Hungarian Conquest (of the Carpathian Basin) – painting by Mihály Munkácsy

The Hungarian conquest started in the context of a "late or 'small' migration of peoples".[1] Contemporary sources attest that the Hungarians crossed the Carpathian Mountains following a joint attack by the Pechenegs and Bulgarians in 894 or 895. They first took control over the lowlands east of the river Danube and attacked and occupied Pannonia (the region to the west of the river) in 900. They exploited internal conflicts in Moravia and annihilated this state sometime between 902 and 906.

The Hungarians strengthened their control over the Carpathian Basin by defeating the Bavarian army in a battle fought at Brezalauspurc on 4 July 907. They launched a series of plundering raids between 899 and 955 and also targeted the Byzantine Empire between 943 and 971. However, they gradually settled in the basin and established a Christian monarchy, the Kingdom of Hungary, around 1000.


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