Hungarian Mythology – The Legend of the Wondrous Stag

After The Flood

A long, long time ago across the vast plains of Asia there was once mighty and powerful kingdom.  Around its northern borders stood a range of high mountains and in the south it was bounded by the sea. Two mighty rivers flowed down across the land from the northern mountains and made their way to the sea in the south irrigating the fertile plain that lay between the mountains and the sea.

The people who lived in this land between the mountains and the sea were wonderfully clever and were renowned for their art, science and wisdom.  They were a prosperous people in a fertile land of plenty and abundance. Originally they had come from the northern mountains to settle the fertile plain after the Great Flood and they created a new kingdom.

Nimrod

Their king was a giant called Nimrod. He was a mighty hunter who was a descendant of Noah.  Nimrod ordered the construction of many great buildings.  It was he who constructed the great pyramid that overlooked the city of Babylon.  This was to be as a place of refuge in the event of future floods and also to act as a temple.  It was called the Tower of Babel.

Construction of the Tower of Babel – ieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569) – Public Domain Image

Nimrod was also a mighty warrior who built a great empire in north and eastern lands where he and his people moved into after the confusion of languages. They called their new home Evilath, which later became known as Persia.   Here, Nimrod married Eneth, his first wife, who bore him twin sons who he named Hunor and Magor. He later married other wives who bore him many children who went on to become founders of other lands.

Hunor and Magor

Nimrod doted on Hunor and Magor and he kept them close to him while they were growing up in his palace.  As they grew older and stronger he would love to take them hunting with him.

One day on a hunting expedition accompanied by Hunor and Magor and a hunting party, Nimrod gave chase to game that appeared before him and became separated from his son and the hunting party.

The two young men, with their entourage, although separated from their father continued to hunt, thinking he would return to them later. As they continued they came across a wondrous white stag.  In some versions it is a horned hind.

The Chase

HUnor and Magor Hunt the White Stag – Public Domain Image

In awe of the creature they gave chase and were led over many glades and meadows westwards.    As dusk fell they lost it so they decided to make camp and await the morning.

At dawn the stag reappeared and again they gave chase but could not catch it.  It led them further and further a field and out of their own land but still they continued the chase. It lead them over strange and foreign lands and over the mountains of Adjem in western Iran and through wild places and the dangerous swamps of Meotis, believed to be the Sea of Azov.

A New Land

At last they found themselves in a most beautiful country that was fertile with abundant game.   Still they followed the stag which led them to a lake which it leaped into and was never seen again.  The land was surrounded on three sides by sea and on one side a swamp which connected it to the mainland making a natural barrier. There were abundant game birds and animals and the waters around were plentiful of fish.  The new land was situated on the frontier of Persia.

They Return Home

Hunor and Magor are disappointed they lost the hind but decide to return home. When they arrive they ask their father, Nimrod, to build a temple for them in the new land they had found so that they could return and prepare and contemplate on their coming into manhood.

A Great Teacher

Nimrod consents and the twins return and live in the temple for five years.  During the sixth year they were preparing to return home when they were visited by a great teacher who taught them the ways of being a great king.

Hunor and Magor, with their men, then explored the surrounding lands.  As dusk fell they decided to make camp and rest until morning.   At dawn they were awoken by the most beautiful music they had ever heard.

The Alan Princesses

Following the sound of the music back to its source they discovered a group of young maidens who were singing and dancing to celebrate their festival of the horn.  The maidens were daughters of the Alan people and they were led by two beautiful princesses whose father was King Dula.  Hunor and Magor fell in love with the two princesses.  They kidnapped them and married them and married the rest of the maidens to their men, as was their custom.

The Hungarian Nation

In the lake was a great island which was very well protected and on which they all settled on The land bordered their father’s country to the north and east and stretched from the Black Sea to the city of Samarkand in Central Asia.  From the descendants of Hunor and his wife came the Hun nation and from the descendants of Magor came the Magyar nation.  In legend it is believed that from the union of the three nations of Hun, Magor and the Alans came the great Hungarian nation.

References and Attributions
Hunor and Magor - Wikipedia  
Magyar News Online
The Legend of the Wonderous Hind, Fred Hámori 
Nimrod, From Wikipedia 
Image - File:Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel (Vienna) - Google Art Project - edited.jpg From Wikipedia Artist Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)  
Image - File:FeherSzarvas-ChroniconPictum.jpg - From Wikipedia – Public Domain Image
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4 thoughts on “Hungarian Mythology – The Legend of the Wondrous Stag

    • Thank you! Must admit I was rather shocked about the princesses when I researched it and I thought about not including it. Hopefully things have changed for the better though I fear there is still much to do.

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