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Re: Hungarian tale of haliorunnae?

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  • Francisc Czobor
    Hails allaim! After thoroughly searching the website with the complete poems of Arany János:
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 9, 2001
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      Hails allaim!

      After thoroughly searching the website with the complete poems of
      Arany János:
      http://www.mek.iif.hu/porta/szint/human/szepirod/magyar/arany/osszes/
      I can say that there is definitely no poem written by this author and
      called "The Stag" (a szarvas). However, I found the Hungarian
      Stag-legend mentioned in another work of this poet, namely the first
      part of the "Csaba Trilógia". Although there is no mention of
      "aliorunna", the variant of the Stag-legend resumed there ressembles
      strikingly the legend of the origin of the Huns, as it appears in
      Jordanes' Getica XXIV:

      "(123) This cruel tribe, as Priscus the historian relates, settled on
      the farther bank of the Maeotic swamp. They were fond of hunting and
      had no skill in any other art. After they had grown to a nation, they
      disturbed the peace of neighboring races by theft and rapine. Atone
      time, while hunters of their tribe were as usual seeking for game on
      the farthest edge of Maeotis, they saw a doe unexpectedly appear to
      their sight and enter the swamp, acting as guide of the way; now
      advancing and again standing still.

      (124) The hunters followed and crossed on foot the Maeotic swamp,
      which they had supposed was impassable as the sea. Presently the
      unknown land of Scythia disclosed itself and the doe disappeared. Now
      in my opinion the evil spirits, from whom the Huns are descended, did
      this from envy of the Scythians.

      (125) And the Huns, who had been wholly ignorant that there was
      another world beyond Maeotis, were now filled with admiration for the
      Scythian land. As they were quick of mind, they believed that this
      path, utterly unknown to any age of the past, had been divinely
      revealed to them. They returned to their tribe, told them what had
      happened, praised Scythia and persuaded the people to hasten thither
      along the way they had found by the guidance of the doe. As many as
      they captured, when they thus entered Scythia for the first time, they
      sacrificed to Victory. The remainder they conquered and made subject
      to themselves."

      The legend presented by Jordanes tells about a doe (Lat. cerva). The
      Hungarian legend tells about a stag (Lat. cervus). I wonder if Arany
      did not draw upon the Getica. Or maybe the Hungarian Stag-legend,
      generally speaking, is of cultured origin, being taken over from
      Getica (or from Priscus) by the first Hungarian chroniclers.

      Francisc
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