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The early hungarians as mercenaries 860–955

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Chapter Summary

In the year 896 the Hungarians crossed the Carpathian Mountains from the steppes adjacent to the Black Sea. The Hungarians were not a cause of the collapse of the Carolingian Empire. Rather they understood and profited from the rivalries and internecine conflicts that persisted as Charlemagne?s realm disintegrated in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. The Hungarians continued their profession as classic nomadic mercenaries in their new homeland across the great forests of the Carpathians. The fact that the Hungarians frequently fought as mercenaries has to do with the very nature of their tactics and military organization. In the long run military predation was not a better way for the Hungarians to make a living in the Carpathian Basin than agriculture and pastoralism.

Keywords: Carpathian; Hungarians; mercenary



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