This album was published in Hungary a few years ago and, as it has had two editions during a single year, it can be considered successful. Then it was proposed that we publish it in English because we think that, besides ourselves, others are also curious about the authentic Hungarian ancient history, narrated in pictures.
Although the graphics, which form the core of the album, are the same in the Hungarian and English editions, the captions are not. We think it possible that, abroad, very few people know about the Hungarian comprehensive education – which includes, among other subjects, our world of legends, ornamental art, language, etc. – and the (official) ancient history of the Hungarians. Therefore, we considered it necessary to rewrite them a little so that readers who do not have preliminary training in this topic might also find it understandable. The same is also true for the Foreword, which was composed by Mr. Botos, a Hungarian historian living abroad, who wrote it in a way that, in spite of its conciseness, it might give a complete, understandable, clearly arranged picture of our ancestors and related nations.
Because of the reasons mentioned above, I have had to change the Introduction too. Although there is an enormous amount of literature in Hungary about the Hungarian ancient history, I have tried to write the Introduction so that foreign readers might create a unified view of Hungarians, and particularly of how we, Hungarians, regard our ancestors.
Because of this, I thought it indispensable to write in detail about the opinion of foreigners about us, the distortion of our history and its reasons, and not only take examples from the ancient past – the Foreword written by Mr. Botos does this much better than I could -, but from our whole history, which spans much more than 1100 years.
Finally, two little remarks. Next to several pictures, captions can be found written in runic writing (and in Hungarian as well). These ancient Hun-Magyar signs must be read from right to left and from top to bottom. Those, for whom it might be a problem to decode them, are asked to consider the captions mere ornaments belonging to the graphics organically – just like the calligraphy in Japanese ink pictures -, whose tone is well suited to the pictures.
In the opening and closing pictures of the album can be found poems by two famous Hungarian poets, ARANY János and JÓZSEF Attila. Out of respect for our poets, we have not dared to volunteer their literary translation. According to tradition, all of the Hungarian names have been written as usual, family name first. Since the recognition of these names could cause difficulties, to avoid any misunderstanding, all names are written with family name with small capitals (e.g. Torma Zsófia).
“History is written by the victors.” This is true for the history of Hungarians, and also of those people, who do not live in freedom, according to their own culture, tradition and values. Yet one characteristic of societies evolved from equestrian cultures of the past is the love of freedom above all, which unconsciously recalls the infinity of endless plains from the collective memory. The Hungarians’ famous love of freedom is reflected in our (written) history: Since our return to the Carpathian Basin in 895, we have fought numerous battles to keep or regain our independence. We have fought against the Germans, Mongols, Turks, Hapsburgs and, in the last century, in both world wars.
The first consequence of World War I. was the peace agreement in Trianon, which resulted in the brutal and inhumane mutilation of our country, the territory of the Carpathian Basin, which represented an organic unity. As a result of this, three-fourths of our territory and two-thirds of our population fell into the hands of our Slavonic neighbours, who fostered definite animosity towards Hungarians. After the Second World War, we suffered at the hands of the Soviet bear, while the shadow of Communism was projected not only on the hearts, but also on the minds. The soul of the Hungarian people could not bear this oppression for long. They gave evidence of their superhuman strength and vitality springing from sacral depths when, in 1956, they revolted against Russian tanks and local servants of the Russians, who were in numerical superiority. Our bloody, but clean revolution – for the umpteenth time – fell, and the slow erosion of souls and memory continued to a greater extent than ever.
Just like plants, nations are also damaged fatally if their roots are eaten away by some disease. The Austrians knew Talleyrand’s famous saying well (“If you want a nation to be your servant, take its past.”), and from the end of the 18th century they methodically set out to erode, then later to transform totally our ancient history. Thus, the pre-conceived Finno-Ugric theory was born, which broke away from all the former traditions of Hungarians, and outlined a totally new theory of origin, which presented the Hungarians as underdeveloped as possible.
While our myth of origin, the legend of the Miraculous Deer connects the Hun and Magyar nations to Hunor and Magor (Magyar), King Nimród’s twin-sons; while all our Medieval chronicles consider our Hun origin unequivocal, even obvious; while Great King Atilla is respected as the King of Hungarians and his family-tree is traced back to Hunor in 33 steps, the Saxon, Paul Hunsdorfer and the German, Joseph Budenz, who could not even speak Hungarian in the beginning, as members of the Hungarian (!) Academy of Sciences, after the suppression of the 1848-49 War of Independence, under orders from the Hapsburgs, worked out a theory about a nation which never existed, and unfortunately, since then, this has been taught as Hungarian ancient history, beginning in primary school.
While the resemblance between our greatest kings was undeniable – the herma of “Shaman king” Saint László from the 11th century and the sculptures of the Parthian princes from more than a thousand years ago show startling similarity -; while King Mátyás the Just, in the 16th century, considered himself Atilla’s reincarnation, the Finno-Ugric theory is still trying to link the ancestors of the Hungarians to such primitive people as the Voguls and the Ostyaks, living far in the North, who are now becoming extinct.
Rejecting the settled life-style of the stock-raising Scythians the Finno-Ugric theorists developed an image of a nomadic people of hunter-gatherers, consisting of hordes of tribes, which did not even have its own language; the majority of their words consisting of loan-words picked up during their wanderings. This theory is, even today, exclusively the official theory in the field of Hungarian linguistics, due to the efforts of the enthusiastic followers of Hunsdorfer and Budenz (paid by the government), who – in the interest of their own scientific careers – keep alive this old-fashioned distorted theory, which was obviously born for political reasons.
It is thought-provoking, however, that Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti, who spoke 58 languages (among them Hungarian), ranked our language “before all others, on the same level as Greek and Latin”; that, at the beginning of the 19th century, world-famous researchers, such as Jules Oppert, Francois C. Lenormant, Archibald H. Sayce and Anton Deimel, considered Sumerian to be related to Hungarian and that in the 1950’s the Finnish Ministry of Education officially rejected the theory of Finnish-Hungarian relationship. In the last decade, several scientific studies have been published (by non-Hungarians), which prove unequivocally that the Finno-Ugric theory is a false-scientific creation. For example, an Italian linguist, Professor Angela Marcantonio, has proved that the Ural-Finno-Ugric language-family does not exist, and the method by which it was created was – nicely-said – unscientific.
This is only the linguistic side. What does archeology show? After all these facts, it is perhaps not surprising that “Finno-Ugric” archeological findings do not exist. How could there be material relics of a people who have never existed?! On the other hand, numerous relics have come to light from Scythian kurgans, from Hun territories in Ordos and, of course, from the most important centre of Huns-Avars-Magyars: the Carpathian Basin. The style of the objects (jewellery, metal impressions, fibula, decorative saddlery, bows, arrows, swords, etc.) shows an unquestionable relationship, which also supports the Scythian-Hun-(Avar)-Magyar continuity. The Sumerians, Parthians, Hatti, Hiung-nu, Sarmatians, Heftalita, Turks, Subareans, Onogurs and other bow-using people can also be inserted into this chain without any special force. These people are all branches of a huge tree, which is often called the family of “Turanian” people, sharply separated from the other two groups, the families of Arian and Semitic people.
A few years ago, another proof came to light from a totally different field, based on the use of the most modern scientific means, using genetic analysis to examine the relationships of Hungarians. The DNS analyses of BÉRES Judit, a human-geneticist, have thrown light upon the fact that Hungarians do not show any genetic relationship to (Arian-Viking) Finnish people, but they are the closest relatives of Ujgurs, descendants of the Huns, who live in the western part of today’s China.
The eastern roots of Hungarians are seen in the way they built their states. The equestrian peoples founded their states by organizing the independent units into bigger and bigger units. The fundamental unit was the extended family, which organized into clans, then tribes, and developed into a strong community, the members of which were free but, at the same time, could be mobilized in pursuit of common goals. Today we might call this a “developed democracy”, but in fact it was not this, but rather a kind of “natural hierarchy”, where the organizing power lay in the value of the individual. In an ideal case, this social system could stand up to outside (often hostile) influences in a unified and flexible way – and then, for the most part, it was proved to be unbeatable. However, on several occasions, it so happened that the smaller units, which were unable to agree, got into inner conflicts, which resulted in dividing, then weakening the whole society. A classic example of this was the inner conflict among the Huns, after the death of Great King Atilla, which soon led to the dissolution of the enormous Hun empire.
The ruler stood at the head of the community (his name was different among different peoples: king, great king, tan-hu, kagan, reigning prince). He received his power and worldly destiny from Heaven. The leader – also in an ideal case – was aware of this fact, so he attributed his power not to himself, but to Heaven. This sacral tradition still lives on in Hungarian history, and received its concrete form in the concept of the Holy Crown.
The Holy Crown of Hungary is not “a crown”, but “The Crown”, which is the earthly manifestation of the heavenly power mentioned above, in other words the material symbol of the God of the Hungarians. Its major characteristic is that, in the Carpathian Basin, all property, movable and immovable, including every living creature, is the body of the Holy Crown, that is to say, an organic part of it – and therefore inalienable. If we consider how noble this concept is, we can acknowledge that the realization of the concept of the Holy Crown ensures the welfare, security and independence of the population. An additional outcome is that everybody (peasants as well as aristocrats) is the subject of the Holy Crown, and its most humble servant is the king himself. In the ancient social system of Hungarians, everybody was regarded as a “free nobleman”, that is a human being, deserving of respect.
An enormous amount of literature exists about the Holy Crown of Hungary but the “official” historiography tries to trivialize its origin and its influence. Tradition, however, holds that the Holy Crown, which is presently guarded in the Hungarian Parliament Building, is a lot older, and was already in the possession of the Avars (who were actually Huns, who came to the Carpathian Basin in the 6th century). After the Hungarian Home-coming in 895 (which was the umpteenth time that Scythian-Hun people returned to their ancient land), the aim of the regular Hungarian military campaigns was – besides preventing hostile German tribes from unifying, which would have been fatal for us – to repossess the Holy Crown, which was stolen by Charlemagne’s Franks from the Avars. These campaigns were not adventures with the goal of conquering and plundering.
For a long time, the West did not understand why the Holy Crown was so important to Hungarians – but once they realized the reason, they often tried to use its amazing power as blackmail. Among other examples, this was how we joined the Roman Catholic Church at the turn of the millennium.
The other common cultural heritage of equestrian people, which is at the same time the cultural treasure of the humanity as a whole, is the Runic Script, which is also called the Scythian-(Szittya), Hun-Magyar or Székely-Magyar Runic Script.
Some years ago, a Hungarian researcher, SZŐKE Lajos proved, by the process of experimentation, that the sounds of the Hun-Magyar Runic Script generate energy-lines, which produce 95% of the alphabet of the Runic Script. So our ancestors did not “discover” their alphabet, but with the help of their shamans (holy priests) they recognized the sounds and the connection to the energy produced by them.
After these thoughts we should mention my personal reasons for publishing this album.
In primary and secondary school, I also learnt the “Finno-Ugric” theory, but even then I felt that something was not quite right. As a student, I could not look behind the scenes but I was bothered by the dichotomy between the writings of our great national poets (ARANY János, PETŐFI Sándor, KÖLCSEY Ferenc, VÖRÖSMARTY Mihály) and writers (GÁRDONYI Géza, WASS Albert), who all wrote unanimously about the Scythan-Hun origin (Bendegúz, Great King Atilla’s father, was also included in our national anthem), and historiography which speaks about the Finno-Ugric origin. Later, as my interest turned towards our ancient and modern history, the reason for this dichotomy became obvious, as I have outlined it above.
KERTAI Zalán, the painter who drew the graphics of the album, experienced a similar situation and he returned to his ancestors’ culture as he matured as an artist. His “realistic historical” style, based on archeological findings, shows us unequivocally who the Hungarians really are and where they came from. Besides being loyal to material relics, Kertai bravely uses – but does not misuse – artistic freedom, and courageously employs the possibilities offered by creative imagination. Consequently, the graphics are not fantasy-works, the products of an imaginative world, totally bereft of historical reality. At the same time Kertai has broken away from the “accepted” western custom, which tends to describe Hun-Magyar nomadic horsemen as mongoloid, evil little dwarves.
Why does he do so?
Besides the fact that the bones from Hun tomb-findings disprove this unequivocally, one of the main considerations of drawing the graphics was that the figures should show the beauty and aesthetics of the proportioned human body, and that their themes should represent the elemental, but not beastly power hidden in military cultures. We search in vain among the pictures for the so-called realistic, downcast people, struggling for their everyday existence, “almost human”, even unnatural, unhealthy or deformed figures. In the glory of the mediocrity of today’s valueless era, most often the tendency for being different at any price takes priority.
The artist purposely shows the figures as “heroes” because today there is an urgent necessity for real role-models, who can fortunately be found in the ancient history of the Hungarians and the peoples related to them.
Let us see what the artist himself says about the style of his own works and the process of their creation.
“I would like to say a few words about the style of the graphics to allow the viewer to understand my thoughts and spiritual aims while I was making the drawings.
I grew up on the great masters of the late Renaissance. I studied Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches of warriors, battles and all sorts of fantastic machines. I was taken up with his military inventiveness, which preceded his era by 500 years. Leonardo wrote the following letter to Lodovico Sforza:
’For the sixth time: I am going to construct absolutely secure, inviolable tanks which, if they infiltrate the lines of the enemy with their cannons, will force the biggest army to withdraw and, behind them, the infantry can march in security and without any mishap.’
(It is possible that he had dreamt of what Churchill considered a continental warship, not to mention his later success, which entered military history as ’tank’ after the First World War.)
Because of their very complex drawing style and Leonardo’s manual dexterity, these drawings presented to me, as an adolescent, an ideal, which was a real challenge for a sixteen-year-old boy. The spirituality of Leonardo’s pictures has forever influenced me, not to mention the dreadful fantasy-game that this amazing polihistor was capable of, in addition to his brilliant militarism. This genius also received the criticism that his ideas were unaccomplishable. This total spiritual effect shocked my ideas pulled between fantasy and reality and later became more and more influencial in my art.
My interest in history and strategy was born within me. Maybe I inherited it from my Székely grandfather, PATAKI László, who fought as an ensign in the First World War at the age of eighteen, and later became interested in the ancient Hun-Székely-Magyar Runic Script.
Of course all these influences gave me spiritual inspiration, the graphics were developed from the excitement of searching and recognition. The renaissance fantasy – fortunately today we are living at the beginning of the renaissance of Hungarian ancient history and tradition -, plucked a string inside me, which encouraged me to show the Central-Asian and European Hun military culture in a new way.
I would like to say a few words about the elements I used as ancient knowledge from the world of the Huns.
A large number of line-drawings, figures engraved onto rocks and dishes, have remained from the Hun, Hiung-nu, Ujgur, Turk, Bulgarian, Kuman peoples … it is even difficult to list the many related nations. The fine stylization of the engravings has broken the walls of my imagination: these battles, these warriors have come to life in front of me – of course within the limits of graphics. Perhaps I have managed to assemble such a world that can be comprehended as thought-provoking and tradition-preserving…”
Besides artistic reconstruction, the other crucial point is the military culture itself, the interpretation and practice of which today is totally erroneous. The aesthetics of battle are not equal to the cult of brutality, wild violence and destruction.
The Warrior is one of the timeless expressions of the male archetype. We reveal great ignorance if we restrict the existence of battle to the physical level only: we rather fight our greatest battles inside, in the theatre of war in our souls against the dark demons living inside us, against the Hungarian mythical “Ármány” (“Intrigue”). Interpreting it symbolically, the outer, physical battle is the reflection of the inner struggle. Therefore, if we consider several examples from the present, it can easily be seen what sort of inner state, what kind of soul is manifested in the perfidious, hypocritical, cowardly, ignorant, brutal, - in one word: inhuman– fight taking place in the outer world, where a faceless mass, hiding behind the refuge of weapons of mass destruction and mechanical military technology, destroys everything it sees, shoots at everything that moves. In this situation, it is impossible to talk about military culture.
The western world projects this kind of misshapen image - of course with contemporary scenery - back on the equestrian peoples, especially on Atilla and the Huns. Although, if we examine the facts objectively, it can easily be seen that this is none other than the petty-minded vengeance of the formerly defeated, but later the winning side, which does not only show, but also (re)interprets history – according to their own taste. So the national Hungarian heroes are invested with all kinds of bad features and are described as ugly and stupid barbarians. Nimród has been deformed to a godless, superstitious despot and Atilla to a fratricide tyrant and gnome (!), who ignorantly destroyed the “developed” West.
This attitude was reflected in the recent past, for example by the behaviour of “civilized, superior, cultured” white people towards “barbaric, cruel, superstitious, ignorant” Indians in Northern-America. The regrettable result proves our above-mentioned theory: depopulation of the Indians, extinction of the bison, deforestation, ruthlessly polluted nature and the rapid decline of man’s level of awareness. . .
Just as a nation has its own guiding star and astrological sign, it also has a particular quality, which is not primarily good or bad. It becomes good or bad depending on how the nation uses this quality.
Our ancestors, the Huns-Magyars were Warriors and we Hungarians are still fighters, just like the Indians (North-American, Aztec, Maja, Inca, Toltec, Olmec, etc.), Lacedaemonians (Spartans), Japanese, Berbers and our great enemy, the Romans. It is natural that these peoples grew up in a military culture; their society was governed by laws in line with this, which may seem meaningless and alarming in today’s emasculated, “hard outside, soft inside” society.
On the other hand, the archetype of the real Warrior is characterized by an absolutely different natural form: hard but resilient inside, like bone (firm, strong-willed, unshakeable, faithful to his principles, courageous, honourable…), but soft and flexible outside (polite, ready to forgive, noble, cheerful, showing calmness (!), helpful…). Oh, and let us not forget that the Warrior is not a “lone-wolf”, as the media insists nowadays, but a social individual, who serves the community, who places the interests of the community above his own interests because he knows that what is good for the community is also good for him, but what is good only for himself is actually bad.
It can also be seen from this that these peoples (in their days of glory) had another characteristic: they possessed the knowledge of their heavenly origins. Otherwise, why would tradition hold that the magori (Magyar) people are also the People of Knowledge?
We had many heroes, among whom many were real Warriors: they demonstrated the characteristics of Warriors. We hope that, with the help of these pictures, we can represent these characteristics adequately.
Of course we know that here the idealization is “exaggerated” – not everybody was a brave hero, a wise shaman or a faithful subject and the graphics of this album do not show the everyday people.
We would like the Reader – with the help of this album - to “get a feeling for” the organic culture that characterizes us Hungarians and our related nations, to look into our heads a little and understand how we, Hungarians, see our ancient history, our ancestors and our roots from “the inside”.