The Avars and Magyars The History of..., Charles River Editors
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The Avars and Magyars: The History of the Medieval Ethnic Groups that Settled in Hungary

Narrator: Arthur Armstrong

Unabridged: 2 hr 4 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Published: 04/11/2023


The Avars entered Eastern Europe from the Central Asian steppes in the 6th century, and like the Huns before them and the Cumans and Magyars after them, the Avars were raiders and warriors who lived on their horses. The Avars’ impact on Europe was immediately felt, and from the Byzantine Empire to the Merovingian Kingdom in Gaul, some of Europe’s strongest powers had to learn how to deal with these new people through a combination of diplomacy and warfare. Eventually, the Avars established themselves in what is today Hungary and played an important role in the development of European history during its transitional period by earning a reputation as a fearsome and sometimes avaricious group. The medieval sources described the Avars as efficient and brutal horseback warriors who could devastate entire kingdoms in a matter of days and leave just as quickly.Of all the steppe peoples in the medieval period, perhaps none were more important to European history than the Magyars. Like the Huns and Avars before them and the Cumans and Mongols after them, the Magyars burst into Europe as a destructive, unstoppable horde, taking whatever they wanted and leaving a steady stream of misery in their wake. They used much of the same tactics as the other steppe peoples and lived a similar, nomadic lifestyle. The Magyars also had many early cultural affinities with other steppe peoples, following a similar religion and ideas of kingship and nobility, among other things. That said, as similar as the Magyars may have been to other steppe nomads before and after them, they were noticeably different in one way: the Magyars settled down and became a part of Europe and Western Civilization in the Middle Ages. The Magyars exploded onto the European cultural scene in the late 9th century as foreign marauders, but they made alliances with many important kingdoms in less than a century.