A few words concerning Celtic-Irish-Magyar cultural connections
Excerpts from my book Kezdeteink
Examining the Magyar ancient past, one is always confronted with the Celtic-Irish-Magyar connections in language, traditions, and sagas. During my research, I couldn’t help but recognize in these peoples the early inheritors of the Carpathian culture, who became its disseminators in the West.
In my own research in English-Magyar linguistic relationships I discovered 655 words, the majority of which lead back to Celtic affiliations. Many more words still marked “origin unknown,” will likely yield the same results. The Celtic-Magyar words mirror an ancient layer of language development. Apart from the lexical values of the Celtic affiliated words, it is important to note the possible presence of reciprocity, which is part of the Magyar language and represents the most ancient forms of language. The transmission of reciprocity could only have happened at the beginning stages of language development. Many European geographical names lead back to those ancient times.
As our subject concerns the Celtic links of the Arthurian legend, it is very important to research memories of Celtic origin, folk traditions, language, and personal names. But before we can begin any research, we have to consider the culture’s spirit and creations. The spirit of a people must be the prime measure of cultural relatedness. In the absence of the peaceful Magyar spirit, which abhors extremes, and its creative worldview, we cannot talk about a common origin, only some degree of contact. It may even have Magyar origins, but, if so, it was separated from the mother culture and underwent massive cultural changes due to a long period of independent cultural development.
According to British historical maps, the Celtic Cradle was in the Carpathian Basin, its eastern borders following the familiar semicircle of the Carpathian Mountains. The Celtic presence there is substantiated by the many archaeological sites, surpassing in number the Celtic finds in the West. According to some theories, their appearance on the British Isles is presumed to date from around 50B.C. Had the Magyar culture not been an established presence in the Carpathian Basin at the time, the linguistic and cultural links between the Celts and the Magyars would not have been possible.
Irish legends preserve the memory of an ancient, pre-Celtic population on their Green Island whom they call Fin. This name is closely connected with the Magyar word-cluster of fény (light). That ancient population, according to legend, lived a peaceful, happy life in their castles. The Fins’ ancient homeland was called Eriu, which later became Erin. The name Eriu contains the Magyar word-elements of er, meaning a man, and iu, which is connected to the Magyar jó, jav, ia (good, object of belonging, place of belonging). According to this interpretation, then, Eriu means the Home of Men. The name evokes universality oblivious to the concept of political boundaries. I find it necessary to mention at this point that, in this ancient culture, words meaning men, derived in every case from their name for God, have since evolved to become the names of nation-states, political structures we know today as nations. The older a culture is, the less mention one finds of nations, for these cultures were born prior to the advent of the nation-state. The ballads of Oisin in the language of the Celts (Ossian in English) tell of these ancient times. The name of a pre-Celtic kingdom called Omanya, or Emania, survives in cultural memory in the region around Ulster. The name Emania also contains the Magyar ia suffix, meaning the land of, and thus reminds us of the presence of an ancient Magyar culture. The O in Omanya means ancient, and the following man bears close relationship with the Magyar word cluster mén-manó-manyó-menny (God-man-woman-heaven). This word cluster is part of the White-Hun cultic vocabulary and was part of many cultures that spread beyond the borders of the Carpathian Basin to the British Isles, the Greek Isles, Egypt, and so on, where the names of the founding dynasties come from this M-N word cluster. Their most recognizable mark up to the present can be found in geographical and river names.
In the legends of Omanya, the most emphasized colors are white and blue, which were the symbolic colors of the White-Huns. One of their legends preserved the picture of a white horse with blue rein upon which a fairy maiden rode in a red, white, and green dress. The latter are the colors of the Magyar mother culture from which all the other Magyar ethnic groups originated and were always preserved beside their chosen symbolic colors, in this case the white and blue. Irish legends remember these ancient peoples as fair and blond. In later historical times the red haired people gained prominence due probably to a later incursion from the Carpathian Basin.
This fact is preserved in a lovely Irish story about three maidens. According to the English language version, one was blonde, another brown-haired, the third “trembling”: one of these things, clearly, does not belong, but it does when we consider the following linguistic facts. Trembling in Magyar is rezegő, which is connected to réz (copper), a rőt (red) metal. So the maiden’s hair was not trembling, but copper-colored, or better: a beautiful red. This story must have originated in that language and its present form must be a misinterpretation of the original. It is also noteworthy that the European Copper Age began in the Carpathian Basin, as many Celtic-Magyar cultural connections feature the metal.
Ancient Celtic legend tells of castles that moved on ball-bearings, preserving even their mechanical structure. We find the Magyar folk memory of similar rotating castles described by the Magyar writer Mór Jókay and ethnographer/linguist Adorján Magyar who also described their construction in his cited work about Magyar architecture.
Celtic legends also preserve the memory of a floating castle, going back to the times of the fairies, unapproachable by mere mortals for they immediately disappear. Many fabled Magyar castles have similar stories. One such is Illavár, or Illóvár, the home of the Fairy Queen Ilona. Her name’s first syllable, il, means life, air, disappearing. Adorján Magyar reminds us that floating islands do not form at sea but only in inland waters. The remnants of some of the famous floating islands of Hungary are still present in the Nyírség region. So the origin of this Celtic legend goes back to the “Celtic Cradle.” Since the legend emphasizes that their disappearing castle is bathed in golden light and wonderful colors, we are reminded of a Golden Age origin when the North Pole was over the Carpathians and the colors of the northern light truly bathed everything in wonderful colors. This brings us even closer to why these ancients were called Fin, meaning light: they were the children of light. The Irish legend also mentions that the basis of these castles was the music of mermaids and when this is silenced the castle of light also disappears. Magyar legends remember the fact that the transmission of light and sound depends on matter and its wave-motion, in this case on water. This is told in the lovely legend of the Balaton and her mermaids as well as elsewhere. The Magyar word csend (silence) and csendül (to ring out) share a common base.
The founder of the kingdom of the Fins was Diarmuid. The first syllable of his name corresponds with the Magyar word gyúl (to ignite), the second with the name Magyar. Magyar was also the first King of the Magyars, the Son of the Sky. The Irish interpretations of Diarmuid’s name contain the following: shiny, divine weapon, his sword is of light, which not only destroys but also heals, like the rays of the Sun. The origin of this saga belongs to an age when the good and bad qualities of the Sun were not yet separated. This was the case in the Magyar legends, where the ancient form of the origin saga knew only of Magor, or Magyar, representative of the Sun, who gave life, blessing and happiness. Later, Magyar’s role expanded to his twin brother Hunor, whose role follows the Irish legend’s description.
In an Irish legend, the fairy Macha—her name is related to the Magyar Magor or Makar—bears twin sons after her union with a mortal. The name of Fin’s son was preserved as Fiala who was so strong even in his childhood that he could destroy armies with his sword. This brings us back to Magor, who was also called Fiacska (little Son) in Magyar legends, who was so strong that when he moved his hands in his cradle, mountains crumbled and the sea overflowed its shores. The Irish legend tells the story rather violently, far removed from the peaceful Carpathian setting, but the similarity is unmistakable.
The Diarmuid legends contain a prophecy remembered in a fragment of a children’s story. It tells that Diarmuid will be killed by a green boar with no ears and no tail. The Magyar story remembers only a question: “Would you like to hear the story of the green boar?” When the child replies in the affirmative, the question is repeated in a different mode, over and over again, until the listener gets tired of it and the session ends with a tickling or other light-hearted event. One can sense that there was a story behind the question, but it is forgotten by now. A children’s song about a dog or calf with neither ears nor tail likewise lacks a resolution.
It is possible that the boar represented some ancient constellation and Diarmuid’s death occurred when it was visible; in that case the story is a stellar myth. Arnold Ipolyi collected 267 Magyar star names, among which, one is called “Competes with blood” (Vérrel versenyző) and another “Bloody eyed” (Vérszemű), to mention only two. Doubtless many other star names have fallen into oblivion. Irish star-myths should also be consulted concerning the mysterious boar.
In Gerend, Hungary, a Scythian copper dagger was excavated that has the head of a boar (that has quite definitely neither ears nor tail). The boar, being copper, has the green patina that results from natural oxidation. I believe that this story originated in the Copper Age, in the Carpathian Basin, where the indigenous population still remembers fragments of the tale later carried to the Green Island.
Magyar princes and heroes were “killed by boars” with amazing regularity. Given that they were versed in arms, it is incredible that they all succumbed to boars. On the other hand, a dagger belongs in the arsenal of an assassin, an enemy to whom princes might more reasonably fall victim.
Many other fixtures of Celtic culture also bear ties to similar Magyar customs, but the discussion of them would take us far from the subject of this book.
Figure 22. Scythian bronze dagger, 4th c. B.C. The boar symbol was used by the Black Huns, whose blunt-tipped weaponry mimicked the physiognomy—and deadliness—of the boar.
Historical and geographic names
Albactanus, King of Scotland, was killed in a battle with the Huns, 25 years after the arrival of the Trojans to the British Isles around 1070B.C. Later, the Huns were expelled from the southern part of the isle by Locrinus, and their leader, Humber, drowned in a river during the battle. This river is called Humber ever since. Professor Ashe tentatively assigns British etymology to this name translating it as “good river”. Humber’s name seems to be affiliated with the Hun name. In the patriarchal society of the Huns, the river was always a symbol of masculinity and procreation: the Magyar words for to pour and semen (ont, ondó) are closely related, thus preserving this concept up to this day. It would appear logical to name this river after Humber, the leader of the Huns. Professor Ashe believes that the mention of the Huns at this age is incorrect and the result of a later historian’s error, since Atilla’s Huns arrived only centuries later in the European arena. On the other hand the Hun ethnic group has been present as part of the Magyar ethnicity since times immemorial in the Carpathian Basin and it has left many traces all over Western Europe from the earliest times. The word home (hon), homo are a part of the Hun vocabulary. The full exploration of this line of history belongs to the future.
Another story tells us about Locrinus’ love for the German girl Estrildis. She was his lover for seven years and bore him a little girl named Habren. Once in Locrinus’ absence his wife had both mother and child killed by throwing them into a river. As an afterthought she named the river after the little girl Habren. This name became in the Latin language territory Sabrina, in the British Severn. The etymology of either name is unknown and cannot be explained based on Indo-germanic etymology. The love affair, which lasted seven years, takes us back into the ancient times when legends were born. Professor Geoffrey Ashe concurs and states that according to ancient legends we are faced here with the guardian spirits of the waters. The Magyar word hab (water) and hableány (lit.: water-maiden) are part of the language, mythology and the name of the little girl, Habren. The later names of Sabrina and Severn are based on and are the reciprocal forms of the Magyar word water (víz) and to carry away (visz). Considering that the water names of the British Isles are pre-British and many of them are identical with the pre-Árpád water names of Hungary, like the river name Habur, we have to recognize the presence of the ancient Magyar peoples in both places. The western European link to the Magyar culture has been totally neglected by the foreign dominated historians of Hungary, who still try to support the theory of the Asian origins of the Hungarians. This artificial historical hiatus has prevented the Western European nations from fully knowing and understanding their own history.
Molmutin’s son, Belinus, was the ruling king; his brother Brennius ruled over the Northern lands. The name Belinus is identical to the name of the Palóc sungod Béla, which is still a common name in Hungary. Originally, it meant “white light”. Caswallan, the son of Beli, was able to become invisible with the help of his cloak which, when he was wearing it, showed only his sword. In Magyar mythology the sword was the symbol of the life force, its cover of the body, as we learn in a story about the little boy and his sword. According to the story, a little boy, as soon as he was born, went out to the yard, where he found a sword. He tried it on and it fit perfectly. As he grew, the sword and its sheath kept growing along with him. This legend originated in the ancient times of the fairies and is part of a solar myth.
The name Brennius belongs to the B-R word-group and is related to the names Baranya and Baratya ( the Mother Earth and Father Sun) of the Avars. The name Baranya is preserved in the name of one of the counties of Hungary.
Tascianus ruled during the two last decades B.C. On his coins, we find his name as Tas, which was the name of one of the seven Árpádian leaders. His other name was Tenuantius, the father of Cunobelinus who was also called Cymbeline. He was raised in Caesar’s court. The meaning of his name is explained as “The dog of Belinus”, or “The faithful follower of God”. On his coins, he is portrayed a round headed, mustached gentleman, with large, open eyes, so often seen in Scythian representations.
Figure 23. A coin of Cymbeline
In the transliteration of the name Cunobelinus, “bel” has been taken to mean “God”. The first syllable “cuno” is in connected to the Magyar kún, kan (cuneus, male principle) and “cunobel” would translate into “The Son of Bel”, or “The Son of the Sun”. The Magyar komondor (a large, white guard dog) belongs in the same word-group.
Arviragus was defeated by the Romans at Hampton. He married the daughter of Claudius and, later, he established Glouchester (Gloucester). His name brings us closer to the cultic vocabulary of the Avars (virág = flower, ar = a male), who were the horticulturists of their time.
Athelney is the name of the wetlands around Somerset’s Glastonbury. Athel, following the analogy of the Etel, Itil river and water names means “water”, but it is also connected with Atilla’s Magyar name, which is Etele. The word Etel is related to the Magyar dél meaning shine, light, the highest position of the Sun, at noon. A Magyar settlement’s name, outside of the Carpathian Basin, was preserved as Etelköz, which means a land of shine. The word deli means a young man in his vigorous years of youth. The German edel is connected with this concept. It is also interesting to note the “atheling” title of the British nobility.
The Old and Middle English variation of this title is the masculine aetheling and the feminine aethelu. Considering the fact that legends of the British Isles talk about Huns well before the arrival of Atilla, these names and titles take us back to ancient times, thus preserving an ancient Hun title. Atilla’s name Etele was probably applied to a royal Prince originally, which was the expected title of the son of Bendeguz. In Anonymus’ Gesta Hungarorum, he is mentioned as Athile. The later doubling of the letter “t” in Atilla’s name rendering it Attila conformed to the language characteristics of German historians and writers. His name may also have meant that he was descended from the line of the Royal Scythians. Emese’s dream of Álmos is connected with the Atil-Etil-Itil related legends. She dreamt that from her womb a huge river issued forth which engulfed the land and, out of this, a mighty nation would be born. Ipolyi sums up the traditions connected with the name Etele as follows: “...the Atel, Etel name is identical with the name of the river Etel in Etelköz which flowed in that Magyar territory. This can be also observed in the case of another ancient progenitor’s name, which was Tana and the river Don, or Tanais. This also reminds us of the legendary descent of heroes from deities on an elemental level, which we also find in the later saga of the hero, Álmos, and also in the Scythian legends, which talk about Targitaus, the ancestor of the Scythians, as the descendant of Zeus and the nymph of the river Borysthenes (Herodotos 4,5).
Incidentally, in the time of Tiberius, during the tax revolt, the Romans encountered fierce resistance in Sirmium around Mons Almus what is now known as Fruskagora. Since Álmos was also mentioned as Almus in the Hungarian Gesta Hungarorum, this Magyar name existed about at least one thousand years before the arrival of Árpád and the Magyars in the Carpathian Basin. Returning to Tana...Tana, the ancient father of our (i.e. Magyar) chronicles may well be the first Scythian ruler with the name Tana... In the Magyar language tanya means a settled mode of living, a permanent base, and as we have seen, it may mean a ’seat’, settlement meaning the ’descensus’ of the earlier generation.”
Iona was the name of an island, which was the holy land and burial ground of the Picts, Scots and the inhabitants of Northumbria. Later, it became the northern center of Christianity. Ion is another name of our Jász people. This name is also connected with mourning (gyász).
The Holy Grail
The discussion of the mythology of the Holy Grail has been left to the end of this paper. I needed to create a feeling of the historical background and the mindset of the ancients, which provided a fertile ground for the preservation of solar myths and ultimately the oft-misunderstood myth of the Holy Grail.
In Magyar mythology the cup had a central role as the symbol of life and remained such through the centuries. The ancient golden Sun-cap originated in the fairy times of the Golden Age. It was made out of the gold of Csallóköz. This was the original, ancient Magyar Sun cap and cup, the symbol of the unity of heaven and earth, energy and matter, the male and female principle operative in the Universe. It expressed (a) knowledge of the interchangeability of energy and matter, which knowledge was made part of the Magyar language too, through the very unique rule of the reciprocity of words. This law is also present — but never explored as far as I know — in the English language as the words cap or cup and their reciprocal, the linguistically identical buck demonstrate. The cap or cup is a receiving vessel and thus a female symbol; buck as a male symbol does not need further explanations. The Magyar golden cup was the original base of Hungary’s Holy Crown upon which the presently known Holy Crown was placed. Written records demonstrate that it was called holy well before Christian times.
In written history, Herodotus preserved the mythology of the cup in two of his sagas. Statues, drawings, funeral memorials of Magyar related cultures still bear silent witness to the importance of the cup-symbol.
The first saga of Herodotus tells us about a land, to which access is impossible because of the “feathers” that fall from the sky. In Magyar the word pihe means both down and snowflake. Obviously, Herodotus had never been in this region or he would have realized the difference, but the informant of Herodotus must have spoken Magyar according to this remark. Even if there were no further proof, just this one word would serve as important testimony of the common language and origins of the Magyars, Scythians and Huns. According to Herodotus, during the time of Prince Skythes and his brothers, a golden plow, a yoke, a cup and the double-headed ax, the fokos of the Székely (Sicul) people, fell from the sky. These are the symbols of a settled, agricultural life, which originated at the time of the Golden Age of the Fairies. According to Magyar legends, God was teaching our ancestors this peaceful mode of living. The double-ax is a symbol of life and this idea was preserved in the later Etruscan mythology too. The cup symbolizes the Sky and Earth, energy and matter, in summary: it is the symbol of Life.
The second legend of Herodotus tells us that the Scythian royal Princes wore a cup on their belts, as a sign of their ancestry. It is an important circumstance that Prince Skythes, from whom the Huns and Székelys (Siculi) descend, won the cup. The Székely holy, sacramental vessel (székely áldozópohár) still upholds this heritage among the Huns and Székelys. It is also important to note that, beginning with Prince Skythes, all Scythians wore this holy cup on their belts. This is an important symbol of the equality and nobility of all Székelys to this day. The ideal of equality of people emerges again in the legends of King Arthur, an ideal which is part of a Sarmatian and Scythian heritage. Arnold Ipolyi held the traditions of the Székely holy vessel to be very important and he researched the fate of the hereditary priestly order of the Rabonbáns, who were the guardians of this holy cup until quite recently. He also makes mention of other libation vessels: “...at sacrificial ceremonies the cauldrons could not be missed and so certain holy vessels were used at the libation ceremonies. Anonymus mentions them in conjunction with blood ceremonies: “Fusis sanguinibus in unum vas.” These ceremonies were never connected to sacrifice, according to Ipolyi’s research. The Székely Holy Cup is mentioned in this context and may be a surviving part of an ancient tradition inherited from the Scythian antiquity, as the Székely Chronicle’s historical segment tells us, as if this cup had belonged to the well known Scythian Anacharsis. How holy this vessel was to them is shown by the fact that this cup was used in ceremonies performed by the Rabonbáns.” Beautiful examples of such cauldrons were excavated in present day Hungary and its surrounding areas. Ipolyi also mentions the horns that served as libation vessels, musical instruments and weapons of defense at the same time. The Horn of Plenty’s additional meaning of light and plenty is discussed in detail by Adorján Magyar.
Figure 24. Nagyszentmiklós Treasure, vessel no.7,
depicting the ancient idea of the life-giving vessel and the Turul.
Figure 25. Cups.
Figure 26. Electron cup
Figure 27. Cups of the Nagyszéksós treasure
The holy vessel of the Székelys is called the Ukkon cup; it is a wide, flat vessel with a rounded bottom, used at ceremonies sealing an agreement. This vessel cannot be put down due to this construction until it has been completely emptied. Ipolyi connects this word to the Magyar words ük (ancestor) and ég (sky). A similar vessel is among the ancient artifacts of the Békásmegyer find in Hungary. An Akkadian vessel dating to 2,050 B.C is also of similar shape.
Ipolyi also mentions the “zádok” trees that were considered, in ancient pagan times, holy trees, and God’s tree. They were grown near churches even in later Christian times; the ancient holy vessels or cups were made of the wood of zádok trees.
Dr. Tibor Baráth discusses a cup belonging to the Nagyszentmiklós Treasure of Hungary, which is a low, wide mouthed vessel, studded with precious stones. Its shape and decoration are similar to that of the Holy Grail, as tradition describes it. Dr. Baráth believes that it was this cup that was used to poison Atilla. Imre J. Oláh, researcher of runic writings, translated the runic script to mean that this was a blood holding vessel. Different translations necessitate further studies. Since modern historians connect the Grail legend to the arrival of the Alans in the West, the concurrence of these events cannot be regarded accidental.
The cup plays an important part in the mythology of the Sumerians who spoke an agglutinative, non Indo-European language. They lived in a matriarchal society. Their holy vessel in the Dumuzi Legend held milk. When this cup was broken by the evil spirited Gallas, Dumuzi’s life also came to an end.
Archaic Magyar prayers also preserved the memory of an ancient holy vessel. In their Christianized form “three drops of blood of our Lord Christ and three drops of milk of the Virgin Mary were collected in this vessel”. Researchers of Hungarian history point out that the content of these holy vessels is a mirror of the society which holds them in reverence. The cup’s content in a matriarchal society is the milk of a Goddess. In patriarchal societies where life has to be protected through the shedding of blood, especially at times of war — as we have seen in case of the Árpád Magyars’ Covenant of Blood — the sense of unity is expressed through blood. The cups of the ancient Magyar prayers contain both: milk and blood. I consider this an eloquent sign for demonstrating that their society was based upon the equality of the sexes. A key witness for the existence of this type of society is the corroborating Magyar word for wife, which is “feleség” meaning “my half." When faced with the overwhelming force of an enemy, the Magyar women fought alongside the men. The famous women of Eger fought against the onslaught of the Turks in the 16th century A.D. Magyar women frequently kept their maiden names next to their wedded names, like Ilona Zrinyi (wife of Rákóczi Ferenc I) and, Zsuzsanna Lórántffy, wife of Prince György Rákóczy II. just to mention only two well known historical figures.
At the time of the last coronation ceremony of a Hungarian King — that of Franz Joseph of Austria — the original Sun-cap base of the Hungarian Holy Crown which was made of gold, and was the older, original royal crown, disappeared and gold fabric has been put in its place. Was this “disappearance” an act of malicious robbery, or is the saga of the disappearing Holy Grail thus continuing? As an interesting footnote, researchers have discovered a British painting by Edward Burne-Jones entitled The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon, where, next to Arthur’s deathbed, the Magyar Holy Crown rests. The painting faithfully presents the inclination of the cross on top of the crown. The creator of this painting must have been aware of the connection of the Arthurian and Magyar mythology: more research is needed to discover his sources of inspiration. The two maidens in flowing white robes mourning Arthur are the picture perfect image of two beautiful fairies. The two angels upholding the Hungarian National Crest, representing the spirit of Hungary, also comes to mind. The painting itself was bought at an auction in London and is now in Puerto Rico.
Figure 28. The Hungarian Holy Crown
According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the Holy Grail is a round, wide vessel. The etymology of the word is not known but it is assumed that it goes back to Celtic origin, since there is a long tradition of magic cauldrons, horns of plenty, vessels that give new life and so on. The Grail’s first written record dates to 1200 A.D to Robert de Boron’s work on this subject. The word grail is sometimes connected with the Old French word graal, which means a large, deep serving-vessel. However, as is the case concerning most cultural adoptions, the determination of the linguistic background of the Holy Grail proves to be difficult in the English speaking culture sphere, although its presence there could be deciphered with the help of Magyar etymology. The “K-R” word-group and its affiliations give added explanations not only to the name “grail” but the names of places, as well as historical and mythical figures of the British Isles that were touched by the Grail’s presence.
The British historical background of the Grail legend
The history of the British Isles leads us back into a pre-nation antiquity. Their legends and landscapes are filled with beings of light, fairies, and giants. The first historical people there recognized by today’s scholars may be the Picts. Originally they came from Scythia in the third century A.D, a rather recent event. Their king Sodrik died in battle while attempting to occupy the land on the British Isles. They were banned to Caithness where their population increased greatly. Their society was matrilineal. At the time of their arrival they had their own script, which appears to contain a pre-Celtic language, according to western scholars. The name which they called themselves is not known. The term Pict was given to them by the Romans. Drust, the son of the best-known Pict king, Erp, “ruled for a hundred years”, mainly in the fifth century A.D. They were noted for their tattoos and the name Cruithne given to them by the Irish means “picture people”.
The Scots are believed to be of Scythian origin. According to legend, one of their noblemen married the Pharaoh’s daughter Scota who became their name-giver. Later they were expelled from Egypt and after 42 years of wandering they finally settled in Spain. They remained there for a thousand years. From there they went to Ireland’s Argyll county, which they called Dalriada. Prior to their arrival, a queen by the name of Cessair ruled there, whose father was Bith, son of Noah. According to another legend, the only survivor of the flood on this land was Fintan. He belonged to the shape-shifting beings, who became immortal. The name Fintan is related to the Magyar fény (light) and his aforementioned qualities bring him into contact with the Golden Age. The name Bith is closely connected to the B-S word-group with extensive vocabulary pertaining to a mythology of a “watery” origin of mankind and the Magyar word víz (water).
The settling of Ireland took place in five successive waves, before the present Gaels’ ancestors appeared on this land. During one of these occupations, according to the Historia Brittonum, Partholon and his followers of about a thousand people arrived after they were expelled from their country in the 4th century A.D. Geoffrey Manamouth places them also into this timeframe but, according to him, they came from Spain to Orkney and, with royal permission, they settled in Ireland. Here they busied themselves with agriculture, animal husbandry, brewing beer and architecture thus establishing the basis of a peaceful agricultural society. Partholon’s descendants, Nemed and Fir Bolg, founded separate kingdoms later. Partholon’s name and the story of his expulsion, remind us of the Magyar words part (shore), párta (corona), pártos (seceder and dissenter), from which the Parthian Empire must have received its name. The B-R, P-R, V-R consonantal group and its mythology give added information to this subject, but again it would carry us to another field of research. The name of the Parthians and their empire played a large role in the history of Palestine among others. The name Partholon and its links deserve further examination.
The symbology of the Holy Grail
Professor Geoffrey Ashe, scholar and dedicated researcher of the Arthurian legends, believes with excellent insight that the Holy Grail is a summation of the male-female principle and symbols. At the base of Magyar consciousness is the knowledge of the interchangeability of energy and matter. This knowledge was built into their language and is also part of their symbology. The pure gold sun-cap of the ancient Magyar kings, when worn as a cap round side up on one’s head was considered a male symbol, which united heaven and earth into a creating unit. According to Magyar legends only a man, who was chosen by the Holy crown, could become king. The last such king was Hollós Mátyás, Mathias Corvinus. Tradition holds that the Holy Crown just appeared on his head and, in this way, it became apparent who should be King. Both the Hollós and the Corvinus cognomens and the Magyar names of the raven (holló) holding a ring (gyűrű), which appear on their family crest belong in the large K-R word-group; the word grail belongs in this word-group. Matthias Corvinus Rex’s famous library and his Corvinae may have held great amounts of European early history. Pitifully, this library and its assets were ransacked and scattered during a turbulent phase of Magyar history. The presence of ravens is strongly connected with the Arthurian legends and it is still a nurtured, living tradition in England.
When the cap is used as a cup, a vessel, hollow side up, it becomes a symbol of femininity, which is able to receive, to contain, to enfold. Yet both the cap and the cup are essentially the same. The Magyar language expresses this concept of interchangeability of energy, – which is considered the male principle of creation – and matter, which is the female principle – through the reciprocity of words. The Magyar bak (buck) is a male, its reciprocal form kupa (cup) is a female symbol along with the verb kap (to receive). One also must note that the Magyar and English words are identical both in meaning and form. This author has collected several hundred words in the Magyar and English languages that are either identical, or linguistically related, which is the subject of a separate study. I will touch only upon the few words closely related to this present article.
The memory of the gold Magyar Sun-crown was handed down from ancient traditions. The object and its symbology originated in a time when only Magyars (the original meaning of this word is “human”) lived on this earth in a happy Golden Age. Later historical epochs handed down this symbol to many generations, where these still live in their souls, language and traditions. When overpopulation of the Carpathian Basin spilled over to the neighboring lands and new successive societies were formed, this symbol still remained important and was used in the mythology and traditions of Magyar peoples.
Linguistic affiliations of the Grail legend
The Grail legend is believed to be of Sarmatian origin. The object itself is held to be a round, royal vessel holding life, and nourishment. The Magyar K-R word-group connected with the Holy Grail expresses this concept. The idea and role of this vessel has a close relationship with the ancient round, gold Magyar sun-cap which was a united male-female symbol, thus the symbol of Life. The ability of this holy cup for autonomous action is part of both the Magyar and the Grail legends. The Holy Crown is considered a personage in Hungary and has a title of His Majesty. The ancient Magyar tradition of the Holy Crown’s independent action – as God’s representative – in selecting the future King is grotesquely echoed in the legend of Charlemagne’s coronation. The true spiritual message of the Magyar legend was never fully grasped by the later non-Magyar historians, thus in Charlemagne’s coronation legend, the pope sneaks up behind him and places the crown upon his head.
As we research the linguistic affiliations of the Arthurian legends, we have to realize that the “proto” languages of Linguistics, may they be “proto Indo-European”, “proto Greek” or any other “proto” language, are all based upon the Magyar language, which I consider a surviving remnant of an almost forgotten world language.
The places of the Grail legend are often called caer, like Caer Lud, the city of Lud, which name is akin to the Magyar kör, meaning a circle, an enclosed space. Lud was the son of Heli whose name is also part of the K-R word-group.
The Magyar linguistic affiliation of the Fisher King (Halász Király) are numerous and noteworthy. The personification of Death is often expressed as a fisherman and is part of the ancient Magyar legends. According to Ipolyi “The memory of Death (Halál) as a fisherman (halász) and his net (háló) is a vague but still existing concept” and “...talking about the spirit world of the river Sajó, as one enters this castle, one sees glass bells on the table. The Fairy of this castle explains that the spirits of the people who drowned in the river are kept under these glass bells and when one lifts them up white doves fly up from under the glass bells.” In the constantly bleeding Fisher King (Halász Király) of the Arthurian legend we recognize Life itself as it is constantly dying and resurrecting, a concept which is part of the Magyar mythology. Linguistically, the following word-cluster supports the originality of this legend. The Magyar word hal means fish and, as a verb, it means to sink and to die. Halál means death. The verb hallgat (to be silent) is very logically derived from this word: no sound can be uttered under water, in the land of fish (hal). The fact that these words belong into the K-R word-group which contains the concept of endlessness through the circle (kör), also denotes the impermanence of these states within eternity.
The Holy Grail, the lance, the sword of the legend are all life-symbols with a wide circle of linguistic affiliations. We bring forth but a few of these below. You may observe that each related concept belongs within the same group of root words in the Magyar language. This root-word connection is also part of the Celtic languages and concepts.
kör - circle
kerek - round
korsó - a round vessel, a jug
kor - aetas, era
kór - chronic disease
király - king
korona - crown
caer city, akin to kör = circle
Corbenic - place name
hál - to sleep
hal - to sink
hal - fish
halász - fisher
hal - to die
halál - death
hely - a place
Heil - Celtic divinity
Heli - son of Lud in Celtic mythology
holló - Corvinus
gyűrű - ring
győr - castle, city
grail - round vessel
Glastonbury place name
tur - bull
turni - to dig up
tér - enclosed space
tér - to return
tár - to open
tűr - to roll something into a round shape
Turul - bird of prey with a circular flight-pattern
Tor - is a round mound
The basis of the Magyar legends and the legends of the British Isles is the memory of an ancient Golden Age, the Age of Fairies, which tells us about the concepts of eternal life and eternal beauty. Ancient heroes who undertook a journey into these lands among the stars always had an open door for return to this Earth. They did not believe in death. Ancient Magyar legends and written records remember that there were certain “special creations,” men, who are not subject to death. In later legends, Prince Csaba, son of Atilla and his heroes return on the Milky Way to help their people. The Milky Way since then is also called the Road of Hosts where the stars are the sparks made by the hoofs of the heroes’ horses. The same spirit shines through the legends of the British Isles to us in which — as in a magic mirror — we recognize ourselves. Archaic Hungarian prayers still state that all we have to do is to step outdoors to immediately see into Heaven.
Geoffrey Ashe summarizes the Arthurian legend very eloquently with the following words: “The Arthurian legend owes much of its lasting fascination to the perennial dream of a golden age, which comes to its sharpest Arthurian focus in Malory, but it is constant in all the forms which the legend assumes.” In Magyar mythology the content of the Arthurian legends is a summation of all ideas of life eternal.
Sarmatian presence in the British Isles
Mr. Dan Robinson, Keeper of Archaeology at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester, England sent some very valuable information concerning the Sarmatian presence in England and western Europe. (Date of the letter May 15, 1996, reference DJR/RBM). The material he sent can be grouped into two categories:
1. A letter answering my questions, and suggested readings.
2. Copies of reference materials, concerning the above subject.
Source: Mr. Dan Robinson, Keeper of Archaeology, Grosvenor Museum 27 Grosvenor St. Chester CH1 2DD England.
ad.1 Data contained in the letter:
1. "First of all, all the records we have for Britain speak of “Sarmatians,” not “Iazyges.” I am not sure if this is significant or not in relation to your research.
2. The records speak of Marcus Aurelius sending 5500 Sarmatians to Britain, not to Chester specifically.
3. The Sarmatian cavalry in Britain then ’disappeared’ — we do not know where they went or what became of them, except that one ala (cavalry regiment) was stationed at Ribchester. This accounts for about 500 of the Sarmatians who were sent to Britain. Where did the other 5000 go? We don’t know.
4. There is a single tombstone from Chester of a Sarmatian. There is no inscription surviving, but the dress and the dragon standard are enough to identify him. I am sending you a copy of a photograph of the stone, and also an artist’s reconstruction of what it looked like before it was damaged.
5. Chester is some 60 miles south of Ribchester. We believe that Chester acted as administration centre for North Wales and North West England, and that forts like Ribchester were subordinated to the Legionary base at Chester. It therefore seems likely that the reason we have a solitary Sarmatian buried at Chester is that he had been on an errand to the “head office” and died while he was here.
6. You will see that your source mentioning several ’grave-sites’ in Chester is mistaken; I am afraid that the names you mention in your letter (Beukan and Babai) do not mean anything to me either. Our single Sarmatian gravestone has no writing left on it.”
AN ATLAS OF ROMAN BRITAIN by BARRI JONES AND DAVID MATTINGLY, published by BLACKWELL, OXFORD 1990, ISBN 0 - 631 - 13791 - 2
ROMAN BRITAIN - OUTPOST OF THE EMPIRE by H.H. SCULLARD, published by Thames and Hudson, London 1979
Roman Britain - Life In An Imperial Province, by Keith Brannigan published by the Readers Digest Association 1980
ad.2 The following sources are from copies received from Mr. Dan Robinson:
Tunshill farm of Ribchester at Milnrow (Lancs.), two miles east of Rochdale a Sarmatian find is described as follows: ”582. Plate of silver, 1 11/16x1 in. (1/1), attached by a chain of four links to a wristlet on the right arm, 9 in. long, of a silver statuette of Victory. Found in 1793 in a quarry on Tunshill Farm, in the parish of Milnrow, 3/4 mile south-east of the parish church at Milnrow. Now in the possession of Lord Astor, of Hever Castle, Kent. A replica is now in the Tolson Memorial Museum, Huddersfield. Drawn by R.G.C., 1930 when on loan in the London Museum.
Victoriae / leg(ionis) VI Vic(tricis) / Val(erius) Rufus / u(otum) s(oluit) l(ibens) m(erito), ’To the Victory of the Sixth Legion Victrix Valerius Rufus willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow.’
The letters have been punched. This plate and the movable wristlet to which it is added appear to form an offering additional to the statuette itself. Sir George Macdonald points out that this must represent loot from the legionary headquarters at York.”
The Ribchester find:
Brementenn(acensium) RIB 583
Bremetonnaci It. Ant. 481, 5
Bremetenracum Not. Dign. Occ. xl 54.
Bresnetenaci Veteranorum Rav. 124 (Arch. xciii 25).
For the settlement of ueterani see Richmond JRS XXXV (1945)22
583. Shaft of rectangular pedestal, 24x51x20 in. (1/12), found in 1578 at Ribchester, then taken to Salesbury Hall, where the inscribed face was built against a wall. Rediscovered in 1814 by Whitaker, who bequeathed it to St. John’s College, Cambridge, where it now is.
1. Deo an(cto) / [A]pollini Mapono / [pr]o salute D(omini)
2. N(ostri) / [et] n(umeri) eq(uitum) Sar/[m(atarum)]
3. Bremetenn(acensium) / [G]ordiani / [A]el(ius) An-
4 toni/nus c(enturio) leg(ionis) VI / Vic(tricis) domo /
5. Melitenis / praep(ositus).n(umeri) et r(egionis)
“To the holy god Apollo Maponus for the welfare of our Lord (the Emperor) and of Gordian’s Own Unit of Sarmatian cavalry of Bremetennacum Aelius Antoninus, centurion of the Sixth Legion Victrix, from Melitene, commandant of the contingent of the region [...]
The meaning of the following inscriptions is debated, and I am quoting only the different possibilities:
2. RONALSON Anon., Camd.; POLNAPON Whit.; POLINI MPON interpreted as MAPANO BRUCE; POLINI ]et[ mpon interpreted as [ET] M[ATR]ONIS Hueb.; POLINI MAPONO R.G.C.; MAPONO rejected by Heichelheim; POLLINI MAPONO R.P.W.; POLLINI MAPONO Richm. 5. BREVENM Camd. 1607; BRENETENN Whit.; BRENETENN Hinde, 7. ANTONI Bruce; ]p. antoni hUEB.; ]L ANTONI R.G.C.; A]EL ANTONI R.P.W. 8. VS.MEG VI Anon., Damd.; M(ILES) (L)EG VI Hors.; VSoLEG VI Whit. noting that ’the M appears to be compounded of the letter L and the centurial mark’; NVS LEG VI Bruce; [AN]VS 7 LEG Richm. The imperfect letter at the beginning of the line is certainly N, but AN is not excluded. The name was therefore either Antoninus or Antonianus. 9. DOMO corrected to DOMV Bruce, Hueb., R.G.C.10. ELITER Anon., Camd.; VELITERIS Whit.; MELITENIS Bruce. 11. NIIINI Hueb.; AEPIIEII R.G.C.; [P]RAEP N ET R. Richm. 12-16 Too badly weathered for reading.
(Possible reading of the text:)
1. Deo san pollini Mapono o salute D
2. N n eq Sar
3. Bremetenn ordiani el An-
4 toninus c leg VI Vic domo
5.Melitenis praep n et r)
584. Altar found at Ribchester in 1603 when Camden saw it ’in the house of T. Rodes’. Now lost. Reprinted from Camden.
RO MARTI VR/BA Pos/uit ex uo/to
BA POS “To Mars the Pacebringer...set this up in
VIT EX VO accordance with her vow.
3,4 ELEGA VR/BA Camd.; [F]L [SC]AVR[IAN]A Momm. (quoted by Hueb.); [MA]E[CI]A URBA[NA] Hueb.
585. Base ’about 18x about 36 in.’ found in, or before 1568 in a wood called Kettlehurst in the manor of Salesbury, 1 1/2 miles east of Ribchester. Seen apparently in 1603 by Camden at Salesbury Hall. Now lost. Reproduced from Lacye in B.M. MS.
CIL vii 220 ILS 3162. Talbot B.M. MS. Cott.Jul. F. X f.120v [137v]. Lacye ibid. Camden (1586) 431, 1607) 614. Hopkinson Ribchester (ed.3, Atkinson) 29 no.12.
Deo Marti / et Victoriae / PR....NO / H. CC. NN.
“To the god Mars and to Victory
DEO MARTI / ET VICTORIAE / P.R.....NO / H. CC. NN. Lacye;
DEO / MARTI ET / VICTORIAE / DD AVGG. / ET CC....NN Camd. (1607), giving apparently some interpretation of 11. 3,4, for which the evidence is too uncertain.
Roman legions at the time of the Sarmatians
Here I will bring the distribution of Roman army units and their stations in England to give a point of reference to the Sarmatian presence.
From: The Roman Army in Britain, by P.A. Holder, published by Batsford 1982
Appendix: The Garrison of Britain (pages 124, 125)
Cohors I fida Vardullorum milliaria equ. CR
Raised from the Vardulli of Spain by the reign of Claudius, this cohors quingenaria is first recorded in Britain in AD98. By then it had gained its block grant of citizenship and its honorific title. These were possibly awarded on the Rhine during the revolt of the Civilis. If so, the cohort would have moved to Britain with Cerialis. Between 105 and 122 the unit was enlarged to become a cohors milliaria. It is also recorded on the diplomas of 124,135,146 and 154 or 159. During the first period of the Antonine Wall it is attested at Castlecary under the command of a prefect (RIB 2149). This means that it had been split into two and that a vexillation was elsewhere. A vexillation of the cohort is attested on Hadrian’s Wall (RIB 1421) probably at this date. In the later second century it is attested at Lanchester (RIB 1076, 1083), its presence at Corbridge at this time is not certain (RIB 1128). During the third century it was the garrison of High Rochester (RIB 1272 et.a.).
Cohors II. Vasconum CR.eq.
Raised from the Vascones of northern Spain by Galba, the cohort fought in Lower Germany in AD70 (Tacitus, Hist.IV,33). It was probably transferred to Britain with Cerialis. By 105 the regiment had won a block grant of citizenship. It is recorded on the diplomas of 105 and 122
Cuneus Frisionum Aballavensium
This cavalry unit is attested at Papcastle by two inscriptions dated to the reign of Philip, AD. 244-249 (RIB 882,883). The epithet shows that it had previously been the garrison of Burgh-by-Sands. It was raised from the Frisii of Holland.
Cuneus Frisiorum Ver(coviciensium)
This cavalry unit is attested at Housesteads in the reign of Severus Alexander (RIB 1594). It was raised from the Frisii of Holland.
Cuneus Frisiorum Vinoviensium
This cavalry unit was raised from the Frisii of Holland. It is attested on an altar of third century date from Binchester (Vinovia) whose name it takes (RIB 1036).
This unit was formed from some of the 5,500 Sarmatians which Marcus Aurelius sent to Britain in AD. 175. It is attested at Ribchester in the third century. On two lost tombstones it is apparently called an ala (RIB 594,595), and on a dedication it is called numerus equitum Sarmatorum Bremetennacensium (RIB 583). It was still at Ribchester according to the Notitia Dignitatum (Not. Dig. Occ. XL, 54).
Cuneus [ ]rum
This unknown cavalry unit is recorded on a third-century altar from Brougham (RIB 722).
This unit is attested at Lancaster (RIB 601) in the third century. Barcae were usually used for transportation and lighterage, but because of their shallow draught, could also be useful for inshore operations against an enemy. Such would be the function of the barcarii at Lancaster. Thus, it was probably also the garrison there in the fourth century when the fort was part of the naval defences on the West Coast.
Numerus Barcariorum Tigrisensium
Recorded as stationed at South Shields in the Notitia Dignitatum (Not.Dig.Occ. XL,22), this unit should be taken as separate from the numerus Barcariorum (q.v.). It originally had been stationed on the River Tigris.
Numerous tiles have been found at Binchester with the stamp N.Con. (VII 1234, et al.). This can be expanded to read numerus Concangiensium - the unit of Concangis (Chester-le-Street). If this is correct it would suggest the third century garrison of Chester-le-Street was a numerus and that tiles it produced were used at Binchester.
Numerus Exploratorum (Netherby)
(Not.Dig.Occ.XL,25), stationed at Bowes.
(Not. Dig. Occ. XXVIII, 21), stationed at Portus Adurni. It was probably one of the units of Exploratores (q.v.) stationed north of Hadrian’s Wall at Risingham or High Rochester. After the disaster of AD 367 and the abandonment of this area the unit was moved to Portchester. It was moved to the contingent early in the fifth century and promoted to the field army. The regiment is recorded as part of the field army of Gaul in the Notitia Dignitatum (Not. Dig. Occ. VII. 110).
Roman Britain, by Peter Salway, Oxford 1981.
ISBN 0-19- 821717-x
(pages 207, 208, 536)
“...Sometime in the period 169-80 Q. Antistius Adventus was appointed to Britain, and it may have been in his term of office that one incident took place that is particularly interesting. Marcus had been campaigning across the Danube against the Sarmatians, a tribe famous for their armoured cavalry and proving extremely troublesome to the frontier. It was Marcus’ intention to solve this difficulty, like Julius Agricola with the Ordovices, by wholesale extermination. However the proclamation of Avidius Cassius as emperor in Syria and Egypt caused him to break off the campaign, which was going well — from his point of view. In haste he made terms with the enemy, one of the details of which was the supply of 8,000 Sarmatian cavalry for enrollment in the Roman army. Of these, 5,500 were sent to Britain. (Dio, LXII. xvi)” [ “...Unlike the Frisii and the Usipi of the Lower Rhine, where regiments were raised before the areas had been formally incorporated in the empire but Roman influence was already dominant, these were from a region over which the Romans did not at that time exercise de facto rule, though the inhabitants had been Roman clients in the past. It is relevant that this happened at the same time as Marcus was settling barbarians south of the Danube, as we have noted, on abandoned lands to strengthen the frontier. (The Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatae-Iazyges were at the time settled in the middle Danubian region: they had each had a long history of conflict and semi-subjection to Rome and changed their homelands several times. There had been relative peace since the end of the first century, but in the time of Marcus Aurelius they seem to have been set moving against the empire by pressure of other barbarians behind them. They were to continue to give serious trouble from time to time in the third and fourth centuries and some of them were caught up in the great barbarian occupations of large parts of the empire in the fifth.) New ideas were appearing, even if in the form of ad hoc solutions to special problems. What exactly was done with the Sarmatians sent to Britain is not known. As veterans they are found later settled in the neighborhood of Ribchester on the Ribble, still under special supervision and therefore remaining a doubtful quantity. However they represented a substantial reinforcement to the auxiliary forces in Britain, wherever they were stationed on arrival and however subdivided. The possibility of a reoccupation of Scotland may have been assisted by this windfall for the army of Britain....
“One special case is the appointment of a legionary centurion as commander of the Sarmatian cavalry unit at Ribchester who also has the title praepositus regionis. Two holders of this post are known, one at some point between 222 and 235 (RIB 587), the other 238 or later. (RIB 583). It has been argued that on discharge those of the Sarmatians that had been compulsorily enrolled and sent to Britain by Marcus Aurelius in 175 and not subsequently posted elsewhere were settled together on land in the neighborhood of Ribchester. (JRS 35 (1945). 25.) However these appointments are a quarter of a century or more after the last of the Sarmatians is likely to have left the army, and it is difficult to believe they still needed special surveillance. Unless the post (or title alone) remained because of administrative inertia, it is likely that this district required direct control for some other reason than a need to control an unusual group of veteran settlements. One suggestion had been that the area had developed as a consequence of the Sarmatian settlement into an important breeding centre for cavalry horses. However it is difficult to see why the commander of the local unit has a special title, since other auxiliary forts are known to have had territoria and if necessary the district could have formed part of the prata legionis if it was felt desirable to have it directly under legionary control. The instance is not yet to my mind completely explained, and others may well be found. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that most of what was not imperial estate or directly in army possession came to be administered by the normal civil local authorities.
 The names written with dots is a very unique characteristic of the Hungarians even up to the present day. It served ethnic identification purposes and had religious significance in the more distant past.
was situated on the River Euphrates, where legio XII Fulminata was in garrison.
 The reference literature places an equation mark between the Sarmatae and the Iazygs applying these two names alternately to the same group of people. See Adorján Magyar’s quoted work concerning the Iazyg-Ias as the same people.