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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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