Slike stranica

not against Bulgaria.1 In A.D. 862 they showed how far they could strike by invading territories in central Europe which acknowledged the dominion of Lewis the German,2 the first of that terrible series of invasions which were to continue throughout a hundred years, until Otto the Great won his crushing victory at Augsburg. If we can trust the accounts of their enemies, the Magyars appear to have been a more terrible scourge than the Huns. It was their practice to put all males to the sword, for they believed that warriors whom they slew would be their slaves in heaven; they put the old women to death; and dragged the young women with them, like animals, to serve their lusts.3 Western writers depict the Hungarians of this period as grotesquely ugly, but, on the other hand, Arabic authors describe them as handsome. We may reconcile the contradiction by the assumption that there were two types, the consequence of blending with other races. The original Finnish physiognomy had been modified by mixture with Iranian races in the course of many generations, during which the Magyars, in the Caucasian regions, had pursued their practice of women-lifting."




Up to the time of their migration the Magyars, like the Patzinaks, had no common chieftain, but among the leaders of their seven tribes one seems to have had a certain preeminence. His name was Lebedias, and he had married a noble Khazar lady, by whom he had no children. Soon after the crossing of the Dnieper, the Chagan of the Khazars, who still claimed the rights of suzerainty over them, proposed to the Magyars to create Lebedias ruler over the whole people. The story is that Lebedias met the Chagan-but we must interpret this to mean the Beg-at Kalancha in the gulf of Perekop, and refused the offer for himself, but suggested

1 Their attack on the Slavs of Kiev cannot be dated. Pseudo-Nestor, xix., p. 12; Marquart, op. cit. 34. 2 Ann. Bert. (Hincmar), s.a. "sed et hostes antea illis populis inexperti qui Ungri vocantur regnum eiusdem populantur."

Cp. Ann. Sangall., s.a. 894 (M.G.H. Scr. I.).

4 This hypothesis is Marquart's, op. cit. 144.

5 Constantine (op. cit. 172) gives the names of the tribes: Nekê,

Megerê (= Magyar?), Kurtygermatu,
Tarianu, Genakh, Karê, Kasê. Cp.
Kuun, i. 148-158.

6 Kuun (op. cit. i. 205, 208) thinks that Lebedias is identical with Eleud of the Notary of King Béla. His title was, no doubt, Kende, see Ibn Rusta, 167.

7 Constantine, op. cit. 169 TоÛ πρÒS αὐτὸν ἀποσταλῆναι Χελάνδια τὸν πρῶτον αὐτῶν βοέβοδον. Banduri saw that Χελάνδια was a proper name, and εἰς has probably fallen out of the text. See Kuun, i. 208, Marquart, 35.


Salmutzes, another tribal chief, or his son Arpad. The Magyars declared in favour of Arpad, and he was elevated on a shield, according to the custom of the Khazars, and recognized as king. In this way the Khazars instituted kingship among the Magyars. But while this account may be true so far as it goes, it furnishes no reason for such an important innovation, and it is difficult to see why the Khazar government should have taken the initiative. We shall probably be right in connecting the change with another fact, which had a decisive influence on Magyar history. Among

the Turks who composed the Khazar people, there was a tribeor tribes-known as the Kabars, who were remarkable for their strength and bravery. About this time they rose against the Chagan; the revolt was crushed; and those who escaped death fled across the Dnieper and were received and adopted by the Magyars, to whose seven tribes they were added as an eighth. Their bravery and skill in war enabled them to take a leading part in the counsels of the nation. We are told that they taught the Magyars the Turkish language, and in the tenth century both Magyar and Turkish were spoken in Hungary. The result of this double tongue is the mixed character of the modern Hungarian language, which has supplied specious argument for the two opposite opinions as to the ethnical affinities of the Magyars. We may suspect that the idea of introducing kingship was due to the Kabars, and it has even been conjectured that Arpad belonged to this Turkish people which was now permanently incorporated in the Hungarian nation.*

1 Almus in the Hungarian chronicles. On Arpad's date, see Appendix XII.

2 Constantine, op. cit. 171-172. Vámbéry, A magyarok eredete, 140, explains the name Kabar as 'insurgent.'

3 See above, p. 410, n. 4.

4 Marquart makes this assertion (op. cit. 52), basing it on the passage in Constantine (op. cit. 17214-21), where, he observes, oi Káßapo is the


subject throughout, and consequently τὸν Λιούντινα τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ̓Αρπάδη εἶχον aрxovтa means that Levente, Arpad's son, was ruler of the Kabars. I cannot accept this strict interpretation of the grammar. I feel sure that the subject of the verbs (διεπέρασαν, εἶχον, etc.) is not the Kabars, but the Hungarians (oi Тoûρko), who include the Kabars. Levente was ἄρχων οι the Hungarians.



THROUGHOUT the Middle Ages, till its collapse at the beginning of the thirteenth century, the Eastern Roman Empire was superior to all the states of Europe in the efficiency of its civil and military organization, in systematic diplomacy, in wealth, in the refinements of material civilization, and in intellectual culture. It was the heir of antiquity, and it prized its inheritance—its political legacy from Rome, and its spiritual legacy from Hellas. These traditions, no less than the tradition of the Church, which was valued most of all, may be said to have weighed with crushing force upon the Byzantine world; conservatism was the leading note of the Byzantine spirit. Yet though the political and social fabric always rested on the same foundations, and though the authority of tradition was unusually strong and persistent, the proverbial conservatism of Byzantium is commonly exaggerated or misinterpreted. The great upheaval of society in the seventh century, due to the successive shocks of perilous crises which threatened the state with extinction, had led to a complete reform of the military organization, to the creation of a navy, to extensive innovations in the machinery of the civil and financial government, to important changes in the conditions of the agricultural population and land-tenure; and it is a matter of no small difficulty to trace the organization of the eighth and ninth centuries from that of the age of Justinian. But even after this thoroughgoing transformation, the process of change did not halt. The Emperors were continually adjusting and readjusting the machinery of government to satisfy new needs and meet changing circum

stances. The principles and the framework remained the same; there was no revolution; but there was constant adaptation here and there. It will be found, for instance, that the administrative arrangements in the twelfth century differ in endless details from those of the ninth. To this elasticity, which historians have failed to emphasize, the Empire owed its longevity. Byzantium was conservative; but Byzantine uniformity is a legend.

The history of the period described in this volume exhibits the vitality of the Empire. It experienced losses and reverses, but there are no such symptoms of decline as may be detected in the constitution of its rival, the Caliphate, and no tendencies to disintegration, like those which in the same period were at work in the Carolingian realm. The Amorian age, however, is apt to be regarded as an inglorious interval between the rule of the Isaurians who renovated the strength of the Empire and the brilliant expansion under Basil I. and his successors. The losses of Crete and Sicily have been taken as a proof of decline; the character and the régime of Theophilus have been viewed with antipathy or contempt; and the worthlessness of Michael III. has prejudiced posterity against the generation which tolerated such a sovran. This unfavourable opinion is not confined to the learned slaves of the Papacy, who are unable to regard with impartial eyes the age of Theophilus the enemy of icons, and of Photius the enemy of the Pope. The deepest cause of the prevalent view has been the deliberate and malignant detraction with which the sovrans and servile chroniclers of the Basilian period pursued the memory and blackened the repute of the Amorian administration; for modern historians have not emancipated themselves completely from the bias of those prejudiced


In the foregoing pages we have seen that while even detraction has not ventured to accuse the Amorian rulers of exceptional rigour in taxing their subjects, the Empire was wealthy and prosperous. We have seen that it maintained itself, with alternations of defeat and victory, but without losing ground, against the Caliphate, that peace was preserved on the Bulgarian frontier, and that the reduction of the Slavs in Greece was completed. Oversea dominions were

lost, but against this we have to set the fact that the Amorian monarchs, by taking in hand the reconstruction of the naval establishment, which the Isaurians had neglected, prepared the way for the successes of Basil I. in Italy. We have still to see what services they rendered to art, education, and learning. In these spheres we shall find a new pulse of movement, endeavour, revival, distinguishing the ninth century from the two hundred years which preceded it. We may indeed say that our period established the most fully developed and most pardonably self-complacent phase of Byzantinism.

It is a striking fact, and may possibly be relevant in this connexion, that the Armenian element, which had long been an ethnical constituent of the Empire, comes conspicuously forward in the ninth century. Before now, Hellenized Armenians had often occupied high posts, once even the throne; but now they begin to rise in numbers into social and political prominence. The pretender Bardanes, Leo V., Basil would not be significant if they stood alone. But the gifted family of the Empress Theodora was of Armenian stock; it included Manuel, Bardas, and Petronas. Through his mother, Photius the Patriarch; John the Grammarian and his brother (who held a high dignity), were also of Armenian descent; and Alexius Musele and Constantine Babutzikos are two other eminent examples of the Armenians who rose to high rank and office in the Imperial service.1 All these men were thorough Byzantines, saturated with the traditions of their environment; but their energy and ability, proved by their success, suggest the conjecture that they represented a renovating force which did much to maintain the vitality of the State.

§ 1. Art

It is commonly supposed that the iconoclastic movement was a calamity for art, and the dearth of artistic works dating from the period in which religious pictures were discouraged,

1 Constantine, Drungary of the Watch under Michael III., is another instance. Several of the fellowconspirators of Basil in the murder of

Michael III. were Armenians. On this subject see Rambaud, L'Empire grec, 536, and cp. Bussell, Const. History, ii. 166, 344-345.

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