Macquarie Asian Historical Research Society Seminar


  • 09/05/2013 – 6:00-7:00 PM


  • Presentation by Charles Moess (MQ PhD Candidate) – “What did the Hungarians learn from the Avars, the Slavs and the Byzantines before settling in the Carpathian Basin?”


According to the theory of the „double conquest” the famous archaeologist Professor Gyula László suggested the Hungarians conquered the Carpathian Basin in two stages.

In the first stage, during the 670s a change became apparent in the Avar archaeological finds; the spread of these finds suggests the expansion of the limits of the Avar Khaganate and was triggered by a wave of Onogur-Bulgarians, the “late Avars” who migrated to the Carpathian Basin led by Khan Kubrat’s fourth son. They were accompanied by large numbers of Onogur-Hungarians who were the first group of Hungarians in the process of the conquest of the Carpathian Basin. The Avars were not wiped out by Charlemagne and Khan Krum but continued to co-exist with Hungarians well after the Conquest.

The next, “second” conquest, is a well known historical event which took place at the end of the 9th century under the ladership of Prince Árpád.

Discussion of three famous treasures will give an insight into the influence of Sassanid, Byzantine, Bulgarian, Avar and Khazar cultures on steppe nomadic peoples: the treasure of Nagyszentmiklos, Hungarry,

7th -8th century, Malaya Preshchepina, Khan Kubrat’s tomb, Ukraine, 7th century, and the treasure of Erseka-Vrap, Albania. 7th century.

The influence of Slavs on Hungarians based almost entirely on the study of words borrowed from Slavic languages which constitute 9.36 % of Hungarian vocabulary far in excess of words borrowed from any other language and some toponyms of Slavic origin.

Byzantine influence on Hungarians started during the period of migration, the relationship after their settlement in the Carpathian Basin continued with a Greek Orthodox mission to Hungary early in 10th century. Contemporary documentary evidence is only from Byzantine sources but an analysis of toponyms which incorporate the names of Greek patron saints indicates that communities of followers of the Byzantine church were quite widespread. The Byzantine mission was boosted by the baptism of two territorial lords of Eastern Hungary around 950 but was terminated before the end of the century.


Room: W6A 107



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