Magyar: Béla király Névtelen Jegyzője krónikájának első lapja A GESTA HUNGARORUM egyetlen kéziratos példánya, a tiroli Ambras várának. Anonymus and Master Roger: Gesta Hungarorum: Anonymi Bele Regis Notarii An anonymous notary of King Bela (probably Bela III) of Hungary wrote a Latin. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Oct 1, , Martyn Rady and others published The Gesta Hungarorum of Anonymus, the Anonymous Notary of King Bela.

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One of my earliest memories of school is from the first grade, when I was told a famous story about George Washington. One day his father found a cherry tree in their orchard that had been chopped down. He suspected that young George may have cut down the valuable tree in an act of thoughtless mischief. I chopped down the cherry tree. The point of the story was to always be honest and admit the truth. I would later learn that the story is almost certainly mythical, but it focuses on a greater truth.

The tale illustrates values that Americans should all hold dear. This is just as true for Hungary and Hungarians as it is for my own country.

Their early history and conquest of the Carpathian Basin is the stuff legends are made of, quite literally. In the City Park Varosligeta statue of a strange man sits alone on a concrete pedestal.

File:Gesta Hungarorum – Wikimedia Commons

His head is hung low and covered with a hood. In his right hand is a sharp instrument, not a blade, but a writing utensil. He seems to be either deep in thought or brooding, but no one really knows for sure. Who is this statue supposed to represent?

There are no easy answers when it comes to the man known as Anonymous.

The Gesta Hungarorum of Anonymus, the Anonymous Notary of King Béla: a translation.

His identity is vaguely known, unlike his writing which is the stuff of legend, both figuratively and literally. Anonymous casts a long shadow over the history of Hungary.

As he should, since an even longer shadow hangs over exactly who he was. Scholars believe that sometime in the mid to late 13 th century a scribe for the King of Hungary wrote the chronicle that provides a narrative on the background, conquest and aftermath of the Hungarian arrival in the Carpathian Basin.


The veracity of this chronicle known as the Gesta Hungarorum The Deeds of the Hungarians has been questioned.

It relies on everything from heroic folk songs, myths and ballads to written sources both ancient and medieval to tell the early story of the Hungarians. Some claims by the author are totally outlandish, such as when he states that Hungarians fought the Romans. There is way more fiction than fact. Nonetheless, the chronicle has provided the Hungarians with many of their founding myths. As it is written — excerpt from a facsimile of the Gesta Hungarorum.

This makes its historical account of events highly unlikely. Nevertheless, it provides a homegrown basis for the early history of the Magyars.

Almost all other accounts come from foreign sources. Truth be told, the Gesta also relies quite heavily on works by foreigners as well as a plethora of dubious sources.

The Gesta was written by a Hungarian, which explains much of its popularity. It is considered a trusted, but extremely flawed source. So who was the anonymous author of this famous flawed work? A hint is given in hunyarorum opening sentence.

File:Gesta Hungarorum Anonymous.jpg

A majority of scholars have concluded that it was written under the reign of King Bela III — The reason Anonymous wrote the work is less obscure. Many of hungarorkm tales he told did not exist, until he either made them up or repeated ones he had heard that were not grounded in historical fact.

Anonymous was a man who loved good stories, no matter the truth. He did provide just enough factual material that some of what he said was taken seriously. It is this interweaving of truth and tale which created a work that has stood the test of time.

Its popularity soared along with Hungarian nationalism in the 19 th century. At the time of the Millenary Celebrations of the Magyar conquest of the Carpathian Basin inthe Gesta was promoted as a reputable source. As part of those celebrations, Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef donated funds for the sculpting of ten statues to be placed in public areas around Budapest.


This was the impetus for the statue of Anonymous found in the City Park. Miklos Legeti, a native of Pest was commissioned to sculpt it.

Legeti, was a rather obscure artist, best known for the realistic quality of his work. He completed the statue in It is now hailed as a masterpiece. Strangely enough, Legeti is all but unknown today with the exception of his statue of an unknown man.

Ironically both of these men have not been forgotten, proving that the power of myth is timeless, as are their works. Where does history begin? Perhaps the best answer is that it depends on the subject. In this case, the subject is Transylvania. The area has been occupied for several thousand years. There are a multiplicity of starting points for the human history of the region. These starting points are variable. The history of the region can start with either the Dacians or the Romans who conquered them.

It can start with the Hungarians or the Romanians, depending upon which nationality one prefers. It cannot quite start with the Saxons, since they were invitees, but there presence illuminates the growthdevelopment and major historical trends of the area for nearly nine hundred years.

These terms taken together, define Transylvania as a remote place with fortified cities. Sounds like a classic frontier. Of course, the human history of the place did not begin on that date. Intriguingly, for a region that has been shrouded in myth and legend it has a historical starting point just as mysterious. The only real thing of note is that the place was finally written into the annals of history. Anonymous — The Great Unknown. Miklos Ligeti — sculptor of the Anonymous statue.

The Land Beyond the Woods.