Re: Hungarian tale of haliorunnae?
- Hails allaim!
After thoroughly searching the website with the complete poems of
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
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.