Hungarian state in the Caucasus

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ancient records and medieval Hungarian chronicles knew about the Meotis swamps, the former homeland of Scythians, Huns and Magyars. On the other hand, we know much less about the fact that even during the High Middle Ages, there was a place in that Caucasus that was called Hungary.

We do not know the exact number of the population who remained in their former homeland after Prince Árpád set out to retake the Carpathian basin in the 9th century. If we start from the data given by the Hungarian chronicles, it is almost certain that only one-tenth of the Hungarian speaking populace left the Caucasus region to resettle in the Carpathian basin. Likewise, during the Huns 375 AD European campaign only a selected number of fighting force set out to conquer Europe. Most probably, those Hungarian tribes that left behind remained scattered at several places in the vast area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea region where they established their own independent states. One of such states we know of established by the Sabirs in the Transcaucasian region, but near the Meotis swamps might have also existed a second Hungarian state.

In the National Library of Vienna, a codex has been found showing a map, which illustrates the Caucasus region in the 1500s. The area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, near ​​present-day Georgia is marked as a region called "Tartaria-Cumania" or "Georgia - old Hungary". Hungarian officials however, do not make any effort to study this authentic data; they reason that Constantine Porphyrogenitus has already written about the subject; it was common knowledge in the middle ages that Hungarians in the Carpathian basin kept in touch with their kin in the Caucasus. However, Hungarian historians have never explored the region of the former eastern Hungarian states, neither that part of the Caucasus where the Hungarian population continued to endure long after Prince Árpád left the region to resettle in the Carpathian basin. This behavior of the academic community could be explained by that fact that the promoters of the imaginary Finno-Ugric ethnogenesis downplay every evidence that contradicts to the official dogma of the nation's origin.

One of the first medieval records about the eastern Hungarian state came from the Cumans that established a state in the early middle ages at present day Moldavia. The Cumans informed Dominican monks, who visited their region to convert them to Christianity, about an existing eastern Hungarian state in the Caucasus ruled by the Árpád Dynasty.

Sometime, in the late 1220s, Dominican monk Otto following the information obtained from the Cumans set out to meet eastern Hungarians in the Caucasus region and convert them to Christianity. Otto successfully reached the east coast of the Black Sea and made contact with the Hungarian tribes that lived in the region in an organized state.

Soon after Otto's first visit to the Black Sea region a second group of monks led by Julianus managed to reach the locality where the Hungarian tribes lived. Unfortunately, Julianus didn't leave much written documents of his visit because his primary mission was to monitor the approaching Mongol army; after a short stay, he continued his journey to the Volga river to gather information about the Mongol forces.

In the 14th century a papal bull also mentions the existence of an eastern Hungarian state in the Caucasus. The document was issued in 1329, and it indicated that there was a region near the Black Sea that was called Hungary and ruled by the Árpád Dynasty. At that time, the name of the ruler was "Jeretán" or "Gyeretyán". Unfortunately, the papal bull doesn't say the exact location of the Hungarian state, but it is possible that it was located at present day Georgia. The existence of the Árpád Dynasty in the Caucasus confirmed by the papal bull indicates that the House of Árpád died out on the male side in 1301 only in the Carpathian Basin, but in the Caucasus the descendants of Attila and Árpád continued to rule vast areas.

( – translated by


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