Black Hungarians

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Black Hungarians (Latin: Ungri Nigri) or Black Magyars[1] were a (semi-)independent group of the Magyars before and after the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin at the end of the 9th century. The nomadic tribes sign the four cardinal points by colors: The North is "black", West is "white", South is "red", and East is "blue".

Black Hungarians are mentioned in just a few contemporary sources (sometimes in opposition to White Hungarians); none of the sources expands upon the exact nature of the relationship between the Black Magyars and the "mainstream" Hungarian population, nor is the origin and meaning of their name clear.[2]

It is known that they participated in some military campaign in Kiev; after the conquest, they resisted the Christian mission even after the coronation of King Stephen I of Hungary in 1000 or 1001. In 1003, Bruno of Querfurt tried to convert the Black Hungarians, then Azzo, the legate of the pope led the missionary work among them, but they insisted on their faith; therefore some of them were blinded.[3]

Around 1008, King Stephen I made a campaign against them and conquered their territories ("Black Hungary").[4] He probably set up the Diocese of Pécs on the conquered region in 1009.

Sources[edit]

  • Korai Magyar Történeti Lexikon (9-14. század), főszerkesztő: Kristó, Gyula, szerkesztők: Engel, Pál és Makk, Ferenc (Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1994)

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