Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
There are two works with the name Gesta Hungarorum.
The Gesta Hungarorum (Latin for The Deeds of the Hungarians), a record of early Hungarian history written by the unknown author Magister P. also called Anonymus. It is preserved in a manuscript from around 1200. It is a mixture of oral tradition, older sources and inventions of the author.
The chronicle was written as a literary work based on similar western chronicles which were fashionable at that time. The author tries to define all local ruling families of the Kingdom of Hungary as descendants of the ruling Árpáds or at least of their allies, and to glorify the merits of the Árpáds with respect to the Magyar occupation of the Carpathian basin in the 10th century. Most parts of the text are considered by most contemporary authors as simply inventions (by the author or by his predecessors) and contradicting the Frankish, Czech and other chronicles. Many personal names are simply derived from local names.
Gesta Hungarorum's main subject of controversy concerns the mentioning of the existence of the local states of Gelou, Glad and Menumorut in Transylvania at the arrival of the Magyars in the 10th century - see Origin of Romanians.
Hypotheses about the identity of the anonymous author include:
- The notary (chancellor) of King Béla III of Hungary (1172-1196) - this the generally accepted version nowadays
- The chancellor of King Béla II of Hungary (1131-1141). If this is true, the author could be a certain Petrus who was in 1124 the chancellor of the previous king Stephen II .
- Péter Pósa, bishop of Bosnia
The other Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum was written by Simon of Keza.
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