Menumorut or Menumorout (Bulgarian: Меноморут, Hungarian: Ménmarót or Ménrót, Romanian: Menumorut) ruled, according to the Gesta Ungarorum (“The Deeds of the Hungarians”), the land between the rivers Tisza, Mureş and Someş when the Magyars invaded the Carpathian Basin around 895. The author of the Gesta refers to him as the grandson of Morout (Bulgarian: Морут, Hungarian: Marót, Slovak: Moravec) who is said to have occupied the territories which his grandson would rule over. Menumorut's name (as he was called by the Hungarians because he had concubines) is composed of two parts: its first part (menu) may have originated either from the Hungarian word for stallion (as the anonymous writer of the Gesta suggests) or from the Bulgar-Turkic word meaning “great” (men); his name’s second part (morut) is the ancient Hungarian name of the Moravians. According to the author of the Gesta, his land was inhabited by some Cozar, but the Gesta also implies the presence of Székelys. Old and recent works showed[how?] that Menumorut land was inhabited by orthodox vlachs and slavs.
Menumorut in the Gesta Ungarorum
(…) Duke Morout, whose grandson is called by the Hungarians Menumorout, because he had concubines, had taken possession of the land between the Tisza and Igyfon wood, that lies towards Transylvania, from the Maros river up to the Szamos, and the peoples that are called Cozar inhabited that land. (…)—Chapter 11 of The Deeds of the Hungarians - Of the cities of Lodomer and Galicia
(...) Duke Menumorout received them /Ősbő and Velek, the envoys of Árpád, the grand prince of the Magyars/ kindly and, enriched with divers gifts, he ordered them homewards. Nevertheless, he so replied, saying: “Say to Árpád, duke of Hungary, your lord, that we owe him as a friend to a friend in all the matters that he needs because a guest is a human being and lacking in much. But the land that he seeks of our grace we will in no way surrender while we live. (…) Neither from affection nor from fear will we grant him land, even as little as he may hold in his fist, even though he says it is his right. And his words do not disquiet our thoughts when he tells us that he is descended from the line of King Attila, who is called the scourge of God, who seized this land with violent grasp from my forbear, for by the grace of my lord the emperor of Constantinople no one can snatch it from my hands.” And having said this, he gave them leave to withdraw.—Chapter 20 of The Deeds of the Hungarians - How they were sent against Bihar
The Gesta narrates that Menumorut yielded to Árpád after the Magyars had expelled him from Bihor fortress. Árpád’s son Zoltán married Menumorout’s daughter, and thus he inherited his father-in-law’s land after the latter’s death.
(…) Ősbő and Velek, the envoys of Duke Árpád, hastened speedily to their lord and, upon arrival, reported to their lord, Duke Árpád, the message of Menumorout. Upon hearing this, Duke Árpád and his nobles were moved by anger and they immediately ordered an army to be sent against him. (…) On the second day, they began to ride along the Tisza towards the Szamos river and they made camp at that place where is now Szabolcs, and at that place almost all the inhabitants of the land subordinated themselves of their own will and, throwing themselves at their feet, gave their sons as hostages lest they should suffer any harm. For almost all the peoples feared them and only a few managed by flight to escape them and, coming to Menumorout, they announced what they had done. Having heard this, so great a fear overwhelmed Menumorout that he did not dare raise his hand, because all the inhabitants feared them more than can be said (…)—Chapter 20 of The Deeds of the Hungarians - How they were sent against Bihar
Tas and Szabolcs, with victory won, returned to Duke Árpád, subduing the whole people from the Szamos river to the Körös, and none dared raise a hand against them. And Menumourut, their duke, preferred to prepare ways of going to Greece than of proceeding against them. (…)—Chapter 28 of The Deeds of the Hungarians - Of Duke Menomorout
(...) Duke Árpád and his noblemen sent by common counsel an army against Menumorout, duke of Bihar, of which army Ősbő and Velek were appointed the chief men and leaders. They, having set forth from the island, riding through the sand and flow of the Tisza, crossed at the harbor of Bőd, and, riding on, they encamped beside the Kórógy river, and all the Székelys, who were previously the peoples of King Attila, having heard of Ősbő’s fame, came to make peace and of their own will gave their sons as hostages along with divers gifts and they undertook to fight in the vanguard of Ősbő’s army, and they forthwith sent the sons of the Székelys to Duke Árpád, and, together with the Székelys before them, began to ride against Menumorout. (...)—Chapter 50 of The Deeds of the Hungarians - Of the destruction of Pannonia
When Menumorout heard that Ősbő and Velek, most noble warriors of Duke Árpád, had come against them with a strong force, with Székelys in the vanguard, he feared more than was fitting and dared not go against them (…). Then Duke Menumorout, having left a host of warriors in Bihar castle, fleeing before them, betook himself and his wife and daughter to the groves of Igyfon. Ősbő and Velek and their entire army happily began to ride against Bihar castle and encamped beside the Jószás river. (…) On the thirteenth day, when the Hungarians and Székelys had filled in the castle’s moats, and sought to put ladders to the wall, the warriors of Duke Menumorout began to petition the two chief men of the army for terms and, having thrown the castle open, they came before Ősbő and Velek, beseeching them barefoot. Putting a guard over them, Ősbő and Velek entered Bihar castle and found there the many goods of the warriors. When Menumorout heard this from messengers that had taken to flight, he became very greatly afraid and sent his messengers with divers gifts to Ősbő and Velek and asked them to incline to peace and to send their envoys to Duke Árpád to announce to him that Menumorout, who had before haughtily with a Bulgarian heart sent word through his messengers to Duke Árpád refusing to give him a fistful of land, was now defeated and overthrown and did not hesitate to give, through the same messengers, his realm and his daughter to Zolta, son of Árpád. (…) Duke Árpád, having taken counsel of his noblemen, approved and praised Menumorout’s announcement and (...) did not refuse Menumorout’s petition and he accepted Menumorout’s daughter as Zolta’s wife, along with the realm promised to him, and, having sent envoys to Ősbő and Velek, he instructed that, once the wedding had been performed, they should accept the daughter of Menumorout as wife to his son, Zolta, take with them the sons of the inhabitants placed as hostages, and give Bihar castle to Duke Menumorout.—Chapter 51 of The Deeds of the Hungarians - Of Duke Menumorout 
The second year after all this, Menumorout died without a son, and left his whole kingdom in peace to Zolta, his son-in-law.—Chapter 52 of The Deeds of the Hungarians - Of Ősbő and Velek
Controversy around his story
One view is that the elaborate studies of the last decades on the text Gesta Ungarorum have revealed that most of the reports are not inventions, but they have a real support, even if here and there some anachronisms occurred.
The Gesta Ungarorum is the earliest surviving chronicle of Hungary, which was written at some point after 1196. Although the version given by the unknown author of this chronicle is in sharp contrast with that of Simon of Kéza and other chronicles, it would be a mistake to treat the Gesta as a forgery, for nothing indicates that its author had any reason to forge anything. Therefore, Romanian historians tend to accept that Menumorot was the "voivode" of Crişana, one of the Romanian incipient states on the territory of present-day Romania. According to others he was a Khazar-Kabar ruler in Eastern Hungary.
An other view is that the anonymous writer of the Gesta might not have had factual knowledge of the real conditions of the turn of the 9th and 10th centuries, and thus he could have turned only to his own imagination when he outlined the history of the Magyar Conquest (his methods are those of a historical novelist). Some historians assume that he revived the enemies of the conquerors on the basis of place-names in the Carpathian Basin: thus Menumorut's name could come from the ancient village Marót or Marótlaka in Bihar County.
- Duchy of Menumorut (map)
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