From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ügyek depicted in the Illuminated Chronicle
Diedafter 818
SpouseEmese (since 819)
HouseHouse of Árpád

Ügyek (second half of the 8th century – first half of the 9th century), also known as Ugek or Ugec[1] (also styled Vgec[2][a]), was – according to the chronicler Anonymus (or "Master P.") – the father of Álmos, the first Grand Prince of the Hungarians. However, according to a conflicting source, Simon of Kéza (writing about five to eight decades later), Előd was the father of Álmos, while the chronicler referred to Ügyek as Álmos' grandfather. He is the earliest known ancestor of the Árpád dynasty. He was said to be a Scythian, i.e. to be from Dentumoger, the homeland of the Magyars, which the chroniclers identify with Scythia, and use to refer both to the land and its inhabitants.[4][5][6][b]


In the year of Our Lord's incarnation 819, Ügek, the noblest chieftain of Scythia descending from the great house of Magog, took to wife in Dentumoger the daughter of Prince Eunedubelianus, called Emese, from whom he begot a son, who was named Álmos. But he is called Álmos from a divine event, because when she was pregnant a divine vision appeared to his mother in a dream in the form of a falcon that seemed to come to her and impregnate her and made known to her that from her womb a torrent would come forth and from her loins glorious kings be generated, but that they would not multiply in their own land. Because a dream is called álom in the Hungarian language and his birth was predicted in a dream, so he was called Álmos. Or he was called Álmos, that is holy, because holy kings and dukes were born of his line.

— Anonymus: Gesta Hungarorum[14]

Ügyek was born in the last third of the 8th century.[15] Anonymus writes that Ügyek married Emese, a daughter of "Prince Eunedubelianus" in 819. She had seen a divine dream of a Turul bird before Álmos's birth in c. 820, according to the chronicles. The Turul's role is interpreted as guardian spirit, who protects the baby from harm until he grows up. It is supported by the chronicles, according to whom the Turul appears to the already pregnant woman.

Historian Gyula Kristó said Ügyek's name may have been the chronicler' invention, since it derives from the ancient Hungarian ügy ("saint, holy") word.

Meaning of the name[edit]

Anonymus gives the name as Ugec; this caused much speculation later, as to the meaning of it. The latest research[2] on the subject gives the following explanations regarding the origin and meaning of the name:

  • Ügyek - Dezső Pais, in his book of 1926,[16] put forward the idea that the name is to be derived from the Hungarian word igy/egy (‛holy’). Gyula Kristó also shared this view.
  • Öge/Üge - Dignitary name, according to historian György Györffy. The meaning of it is "wise" and "sage", also "councillor". The word, as 10% words in modern Hungarian, is of Turkic origin. Many Hungarian personal names, and also animal and plant names,[17] are of Turkic origin. Further, the majority of Hungarian tribal names were of Turkic origin,[18] who overall made a significant contribution to Hungarians during their century-long cohabitation.
  • Üge - The last ruler of the Uyghur Empire, also a contemporary to Ügyek. He was murdered in 846 in the Altai Mountains.[19] It is speculated, that when the Empire fell apart, some Uyghur fragments could have escaped westward.


There are three types of great ancestry in the traditional steppe culture.[20][need quotation to verify]

  1. The distant, 'spiritual' ancestor, who took an important step, but the real power of his dynasty came many generations later;
  2. The founder of an empire, that is inherited by the descendants;
  3. Someone important in the family tree, related to whom the descendants must define themselves.

Ügyek clearly belongs to the first group.[2][page needed][need quotation to verify] Other examples belonging to this category are Ertogrul, (father of Osman), Sheikh Safi (founder of the Safavids), Saman Khuda (founder of the Samanids), among many others.[2][page needed][need quotation to verify] The Turul narrative is strongly reminiscent of an episode narrated in The Secret History of the Mongols, concerning the foundation of the royal Mongol dynasty.[21] All these traditions popular among different peoples, including the Magyars, were informed by the traditional steppe culture, and do not belong to any specific ethnic group.

Family trees[edit]

Ügyek's son or grandson Álmos, the first ruler of the Hungarians
Álmos' son Árpád, who conquered the Carpathian Basin

According to Anonymus's Gesta Hungarorum:[22]

Hungarian monarchs

According to Simon of Kéza's Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum:[c][24]

Hungarian monarchs

According to Mark of Kalt's Chronicon Pictum:[25]

ElődUnnamed daughter[d]
Hungarian monarchs

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Before Mihály Vörösmarty first standardised Hungarian orthography in 1832, letters u and v would often be used interchangeably.[3]
  2. ^ According to the Annals of St. Bertin, the Magyars who invaded East Francia in 862[7] were enemies "hitherto unknown"[8] to the local population.[9] Likewise, Regino of Prüm wrote that the Magyars had been "unheard of in the previous centuries because they were not named"[10] in the sources.[9] Both remarks evince that late 9th-century authors had no knowledge of the Magyars' origins.[9][11] However, the Magyar raids reminded the Western European and Byzantine scholars of earlier historians' descriptions of the Scythians or Huns, which gave rise to their identification with those peoples.[9][11] For instance, Leo the Wise listed the Hungarians among the "Scythian nations".[12][13]
  3. ^ Simon did not explicitly name Attila as the Árpáds' ancestor; still, he claimed that the Árpáds' clan is named Turul, a bird-of-prey that allegedly had appeared on Attila's coat of arms.[23]
  4. ^ Mark simply called Álmos's mother "filia Eunodbilia".[26]

Notes and references[edit]



  1. ^ Czeglédi, Katalin (August 20, 2016). "A Volga-Urál vidéke földrajzi neveinek magyar nyelvi kapcsolatai". In Magyarok Világszövetsége (ed.). Magyarok IX. Világkongresszusa (in Hungarian). p. 34.
  2. ^ a b c d B. Szabó-Sudár 2017.
  3. ^ Korompay, Klára (2003). "Helyesírás-történet: Az ómagyar kor". In Kiss, Jenő; Pusztai, Ferenc (eds.). Magyar nyelvtörténet. Budapest: Osiris. pp. 288–229.
  4. ^ Spinei 2003, p. 52.
  5. ^ Kristó 1996, p. 93.
  6. ^ Lendvai, Paul (2021). The Hungarians A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat. Translated by Ann Major. Princeton University Press. p. 16. ISBN 9780691200279. Princess Emese, consort of a Scythian king, dreamed that a turul according to different versions, a hawk or an eagle impregnated her by divine command
  7. ^ Engel, Pál (2001). The Realm of St Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary, 895–1526. I.B. Tauris Publishers. p. 10
  8. ^ The Annals of St-Bertin (year 862), p. 102
  9. ^ a b c d Kristó, Gyula (1996). Hungarian History in the Ninth Century. Szegedi Középkorász Muhely. pp. 78–79.
  10. ^ The Chronicle of Regino of Prüm (year 889), p. 202.
  11. ^ a b Fodor, István (1975). In Search of a New Homeland: The Prehistory of the Hungarian People and the Conquest. Corvina Kiadó. pp. 37-38
  12. ^ The Taktika of Leo VI (18.41), p. 453.
  13. ^ Kristó, Gyula (1996). Hungarian History in the Ninth Century. Szegedi Középkorász Muhely. p. 79
  14. ^ Anonymus, Notary of King Béla: The Deeds of the Hungarians (ch. 3), pp. 13–15.
  15. ^ B. Szabó-Sudár 2017. p. 226.
  16. ^ Magyar Anonymus 1926, 146
  17. ^ Gy Ránki, György Ránki, ed. (1984). Hungarian History--world History. Akadémiai K VIII. p. 10. ISBN 9789630539975.
  18. ^ Pop, Ioan Aurel; Csorvási, Veronica (1996). Romanians and Hungarians from the 9th to the 14th Century The Genesis of the Transylvanian Medieval State. Fundația Culturală Română; Centrul de Studii Transilvane. p. 62. ISBN 9789735770372. The majority of the Hungarian tribe names were of Turkic origin and signified, in many cases, a certain rank.
  19. ^ Dromp, M. R.: Tang China and the Collapse of the Uighur Empire: A Documentary History. Leiden 2005.
  20. ^ Sudár Balázs: Az Árpádok, Attila és a dinasztikus hagyományok. Századok 150:2 (2016) 431–441
  21. ^ Macdonald, Helen (2016). Falcon. Reaktion Books. p. Contents - Mythical falcons. ISBN 9781780236896.
  22. ^ Anonymus (author), Martyn Rady (translator) (2009). Gesta Hungarorum pdf p. 6-12
  23. ^ Simon of Kéza, Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum. Károly Szabó's Hungarian translation. quote: Ethele király czimerén is, mellyet tulajdon pajzsán szokott volt hordani, koronás fejü madár vala ábrázolva, mellyet magyarúl turulnak hívnak."
  24. ^ Simon of Kéza, Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum. Károly Szabó's Hungarian translation. quote: "Azon kapitányok közt tehát Árpád, Álmos fia, ki Előd fia, ki Ögyek fia volt, a Turul nemzetségből vagyonban gazdagabb s hadban hatalmasabb vala."
  25. ^ Mark of Kalt, Chronicon Pictum Hungarian translation, quote: "Ögyek fia Előd Szittyaországban Eunodubilia leánytól fiat nemzett, kinek neve lőn Álmos, annak okáért, mert anyjának álmában keselyűforma madár jelent meg, amikor terhes állapotban volt; méhéből rohanó víz fakadt, meggyarapodott, de nem a maga földjén; ebből azt jósolták, hogy ágyékából dicső királyok származnak. Miután a somnium a mi nyelvünkön álom, s ama fiú származását álom jövendölte meg, ezért nevezték Álmosnak, aki Előd, ez Ögyek, ez Ed, ez Csaba, ez Etele, [...]"
  26. ^ (1883) Chronica Hungarorum. I. Magistri P. Belae Regis Notarii, Ii. Magistri Simonis De Keza. Gesta Hungarorum. Iii. Chronicon Pictum Vindobonense, Recens. M. Florianus, p. 122