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ZOLTAN, Grand Prince of Magyars
ZOLTAN, Grand Prince of Magyars. (Zaltas)(Zolta). [Familytree].
It is thought that he was born (about 880 AD or 903 AD-S1)(about 896-S2), in Pannonia. (S2). He was the son of ARPAD, Second Grand Prince of the Magyars. (King of Hungary). (S1,S2).
Zoltán, also known as Zaltas and Solt, according to the mediaeval chronicles, was the third Grand Prince of the Magyars from 907 to 947. (S1).
He was the youngest son of Árpád. The Gesta Hungarorum names Zolta as the successor of his father, and also mentions that he married a daughter of Menumorut, the local military leader in the region of Bihar (Romanian: Biharea) at the time of the Hungarian conquest (Hungarian: Honfoglalás).
Latest researches questioned his position as a ruler and prefer other sons of Árpád.
In any case, his leadership meant much less than with previous leaders, as during his time, tribal leaders had most of the powers. In this era, the raids of Hungarians (kalandozások) were common in much of Europe.
Zoltán (Zolta) is mentioned in the Gesta Hungarorum as the third Grand Prince of the Hungarians who succeeded his father Árpád around 907 AD. (S1).
The main source of Zoltán's life is the Gesta Hungarorum, a late 12th-century chronicle whose writer is now known as Anonymous. According to this source, Zoltán was the only son of Árpád, Grand Prince of the Hungarians. In contrast, the nearly contemporary Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus writes that Zaltas was Árpád's fourth son. (S1).
According to Anonymous, Zoltán was born after 903, during his father's second campaign against Menumorut. Menumorut was one of the many local rulers who are solely mentioned in the Gesta Hungarorum, as among the opponents of the Hungarians during their conquest of the Carpathian Basin. In the Gesta Hungarorum's narration, Menumarot was forced to surrender and to give his daughter in marriage to Zoltán in 904 or 905. (S1).
When Menumorut died, Zoltán inherited his father-in-law's duchy east of the river Tisza, which Anonymous claims was inhabited by "the peoples that are called Kozár". Anonymous also states that Zoltán, still a minor, succeeded his father who died around 907. Zoltán, in turn, later abdicated in favour of his son Taksony and died "in the third year of his son's reign". (S1).
Zolta was similar to his father in character but dissimilar in appearance. Aonymous says: Prince Zolta was a little lisping and pale, with soft, blonde hair, of middling stature; a warlike duke, brave in spirit, merciful to his subjects, sweet of speech, but covetous of power, whom all the leading men and warriors of Hungary loved marvelously. Some time later, when Zolta was thirteen, all the leading men of the realm by their common counsel and of their equal wish appointed rectors of the kingdom beneath the prince to mend through the guidance of customary law the conflicts and lawsuits of litigants. —Anonymous: Gesta Hungarorum. (S1).
Modern historians refuse most details of Zoltán's life presented by Anonymous. For instance, the Hungarian historian Gyula Kristó says that Zoltán was born around 880 instead of around 903. His Romanian colleague Alexandru Madgearu likewise writes that either Zoltán was born many years earlier than 903 or his marriage must have happened years after 904. (S1).
Zoltán's father-in-law's identity is also debated. Medievalist Pál Engel says that Menumorut is one of the "imaginary figures" invented by Anonymous in order to describe the conquering Hungarians' heroic wars against them. Historian Charles R. Bowlus writes that he was a Moravian ruler whose daughter's marriage with Zoltán symbolized the end of Great Moravia. Medievalist Tudor Salagean also says that Menumorut was a real person, the ruler of a one-time duchy inhabited by Romanians, Slavs and many other peoples at the turn of the 9th and 10th centuries. (S1).
Anonymous's statement that Zoltán succeeded his father as grand prince, or even the idea that Zoltán ever ruled the federation of the Hungarian tribes have also been challenged. For instance, historian Sándor L. Tóth writes that Zoltán, being the youngest among Árpád's four sons, could hardly precede his elder brothers in the line of succession. Kristó also says that other Hungarian chroniclers do not make mention of Zoltán's rule, implying that Anonymous only inserted Zoltán into the incompletely preserved list of the grand princes because he knew that all Hungarian monarchs from the House of Árpád descended from him. (S1).
The Gesta Hungarorum says that Zoltan died about 950 AD. (S1). or (in 949-S2) in Pannonia. (S2).
daughter of Menumorut
It is said that her name was Szaloka of Bihar, daughter of Menmarot of Bihar. (S2,S3). A source for this is not given. The Gesta Hungarorum, from which most of the information about Zoltan is derived, only mentions her as a daughter of Menumorut. Incidentally, the Gesta Hungarorum is the only chronicle which mentions Menumorut.
CHILDREN of Zoltan:
- Taksony, Grand Prince of Hungary (died before 973).
- [S1]. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. QUOTES as sources:
- Magyar-görög tanulmányok (Hungarian-Greek studies), Issue 24 Eötvös Lóránd Tudományegyetem, Görög Filológiai Intézet, Cited (translation): Prince Zaltas (Zsolt) Árpád's son, (907-947)
- John Bagnell Bury, A history of the Eastern Roman Empire from the fall of Irene to the accession of Basil I, A.D. 802-867, Parts 802-867, Russell & Russell, 1965, p. 489.
- Korai Magyar Történeti Lexikon (9-14. század), foszerkeszto: Kristó, Gyula, szerkesztok: Engel, Pál és Makk, Ferenc (Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1994)
- Kristó, Gyula: A Kárpát-medence és a magyarság régmúltja (1301-ig) (Szegedi Középkortörténeti Könyvtár, Szeged, 1993)
- [S2]. Zoltán, Grand Prince of the Hungarians. Geni. https://www.geni.com/people/Zoltán-Grand-Prince-of-the-Hungarians/6000000006422183306.
- [S3]. Zoltán - Zsolt -Zaltas Of Hungary (also known as Zaltas) Árpád(házi) Grand Prince of the Hungarians. https://www.genealogieonline.nl/en/maximum-test/I6000000006422183306.php
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