Prince Csaba: A gift from heaven

It is said that the Hungarian name of Csaba, which means gift from the sky or gift from heaven, originated from a legendary warrior named Prince Csaba who according to legend was the savior of his people on a number of occasions.  There are many legends about Prince Csaba and many versions of the following legend which tells how he became to be seen as a gift from heaven for his people.

Csaba and his warriors – by Bertalan SzékelyCC BY-SA 3.0

Who would rule the Hun kingdom?

When the Attila, the great leader of the Huns died an untimely death the tribes that made up the Hun nation found themselves at war with the Germanic tribes of the empire as fierce battles were fought to decide the future leadership of the empire.  Attila had many wives from many different tribes and races and he had fathered many sons.   Although everyone expected one of his sons to rule the question was which one?

After much conflict and the shedding of much blood two main contenders emerged:  Aladár, whose mother had been a princess from a powerful German tribe and Csaba whose mother was the daughter of the emperor of Greece.  Although when Attilla died he had been the solitary ruler of the Hun empire, he had previously ruled jointly with his brother until his death, though some say he had assassinated him.   However, now the empire was split in need of a strong leader.

The Battle of Krimhilda

The Germanic tribes of the empire sided with Aladár and the Huns sided with Attila’s youngest son, Csaba.  The two sides met in battle with Csaba winning the first battle.  Aladár managed to muster a great army and the two sides met again at what became known as the Battle of Krimhilda”.  The fighting was bloody and desperate and was said to last for two weeks with many dead and wounded on both sides.  Eventually Csaba’s army was broken and scattered.  Csaba escaped with fifteen warriors and made his way to Greece where his mother had come from.  He then went on to Scythia where his father was born but vowed to return to his people one day in victory.

Three thousand Hun warriors survived and settled in a place called Csigle’s Meadow in what is now Transylvania.  These later became known as the Székely people and remained loyal to Csaba.  They kept to all the old Hun ways and they had a tradition which told that in their times of need Prince Csaba would return with an army to save them and according to their legends this has happened on several occasions.

Prince Csaba returns!

After many years after the original Székely warriors had passed away their sons and daughters were once again threatened by invaders.  Like true warriors the Székely warriors met their enemies in battle.  Even though they were vastly outnumbered they fought through the day and into the night.  At last believing victory to be inevitable their enemies mocked them asking who would save them now that Prince Csaba was no more.  No sooner had the words come out of their mouths when glittering road of shining stars appeared across the night sky. Down from the heavens rode Prince Csaba at the head of a great army instantly attacking and routing them and once again becoming the savior of his people.

Gift from heaven

According to legend he returned at least three more times riding down the Skyway of Warriors to defeat the enemies of the Huns and save his people.  Another legend says that he returned again to lead Prince Árpád and the Hungarian tribes who were descendants and allies of the Huns over the  Carpathian Mountains into the land they would claim as their own and built into what is known as the country of Hungary today.  No wonder then that Prince Csaba’s name means gift from heaven.

© 01/07/2015  zteve t evans

References and Attributions

Copyright July 1st,2015 zteve t evans

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