Byzantine Missions among the Magyars in the Later 10th Century?

Bollók, Ádám (2012) Byzantine Missions among the Magyars in the Later 10th Century? In: Rome, Constantinople and Newly-Converted Europe. Archaeological and Historical Evidence. Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas e.V., Leipzig; Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Warszawa; Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego, Rzeszów, Kraków – Leipzig – Rzeszów – Warszawa, pp. 131-144. ISBN 978-3-86583-659-5


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Byzantine missions among the Magyars during the later 10th century? For many 10th century Christian observers, as they frequently noted, the arrival of the conquering Hungarians at the end of the 9th century meant the beginning of the Apocalypse. Therefore it is hardly surprising, that in the eyes of Christian authors the newly arrived People of Gog and Magog appeared as the par excellence pagans of their age. This view is clearly attested by all extant historical writings of the time, whether Byzantine Greek, Western European Latin or Eastern European Slavic. On the other hand, archaeological excavations conducted over the last one and a half century in the Carpathian Basin, produced a number of cross finds, datable to 10th and 11th centuries that continue to provoke a lively debate among historians and archaeologists, most of whom have been speculating how these crosses are to be interpreted. Some leading experts of early Hungarian history were in favour of and others were against the presence and spread of Christianity in the Carpathian Basin before the time of the state-enforced conversion under Saint Stephen. The present paper aims to revisit the main arguments established by the debating parties and introduce new ones in order to better understand the background against which Saint Stephen’s efforts in Christianizing his kingdom are to be contextualized. My object is to question the usefulness of applying strict theological/canonical criteria when hints of an early evangelizing activity in the burials of the given period are searched for. On the other hand, by reviewing the known ecclesiastical regulations I argue that in the first century of official Christianization of the Árpádian Age, the Church left the question of burial up to the family of the deceased; a fact which, in my judgement, helps to explain why it is nearly impossible to find a criterion or a set of criteria for determining the burial of a Christian or a partly Christianized individual before the use of churchyard cemeteries.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: A dokumentumon 2012 a megjelenés dátuma, de valójában 2013-ban adták ki.
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History / történeti segédtudományok > CC Archaeology / régészet
Depositing User: Ágnes Kolláth
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2013 13:48
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2013 14:45

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