Like all countries of the world, Hungary had many important battles, wars, revolutions, extraordinary men and women in its history. However to show you all of them, that would take another website, so here is a brief outline of what happened in the last two milleniums which shaped the country that is today: Hungary.
The area where today Hungary lies has been inhabited for half a million years according to the findings. In the copper and bronze ages different folks lived here in tribes and they already used the fourwheel cart and they were familiar with the domestication of animals.
In the first century AD Roman legions conquered the areas west of the Danube from the Celts, and made it their own province under the name of Pannonia. At this point the Danube was the border of the Roman Empire. In the next four hundred years they established a flourishing civilization that has left its traces in nearly all Transdanubian cities, and Budapest.
The roman city, Aquincum can be seen as the predecessor of Budapest, of which the ruins can still be seen today. The empire of the Romans came to an end when the stronger army of the Huns attacked them in the 4th century AD and they withdrew to their southern territories. After the Huns several other tribes occupied the area, the Goths, Longobards and Avarians, among others, before the Hungarian settlers setlled down here permanently in the 9th century.
Historians have been debating about the origins of the Hungarian people for centuries. Their early homeland was at the further side of the Ural mountains, where the tribes lived together with other relative tribes between the 6th and 4th millenium BC. From the 3rd millenium BC they migrated to the Carpathian Basin in several stages, where they settled down in the 7th century. During their long journey they mixed with other tribes and folks and aquired the knowledge of agriculture and warfare. Finally in 895 AD a military expedition and a sudden attack by a nearby folk initiated the Hungarian Settlement and the tribes occupied the areas of the Alföld and most of Transdanubia. From here they continued their famed adventorous military campaigns that had the double purpose of conquering more territories and looting.
This nomadic principality was introduced to the community of Europe's more developed cultures by the first real ruler, Géza and his son, King István. Géza assumed christianity and István secured the foundations of the monarch's authority and organized the public administration and the church. At the turn of the millenium he was crowned and the founding of the state was finished formally too.
The growth of the state in the middle ages was halted by the Mongol invasion in 1241-42 when the Tartars devastated the whole country. After the invasion King Béla IV moved the royal court from Esztergom to Buda and built a royal palace there. The slowly growing town on the other side of the Danube, Pest, was almost completely destroyed by the Tartars, but it was quickly rebuilt. The three towns, Buda, Pest and the successor of the ancient Roman Aquincum, Óbuda started to develop gradually, above all under King Zsigmond, which was the golden age of Buda. His traditions were continued by King Matthias who made Buda a cultural center of Europe.
Matthias is probably the most famous king of the country. He brought the renessaince ideas from Italy to his court in Buda and introduced them in the country. His strong army, the famed Black Army secured the calmness of the country. Among the people he was often reffered to as "the fairminded" because he always ruled by having the interest of the people in sight. After his death the country was weakened by a feudal anarchy because of the strengthened aristocracy and the supression of the peasants, which led to the bloody uprising led by György Dózsa. >> Next page (Part Two of Two)