Principality of Hungary

From Nomads to Agriculturists
960 Jan 1

From Nomads to Agriculturists

Székesfehérvár, Hungary

The change from a ranked chiefdom society to a state society was one of the most important developments during this time. Initially, the Magyars retained a semi-nomadic lifestyle, practising transhumance: they would migrate along a river between winter and summer pastures, finding water for their livestock.

Due to changed economic circumstances, insufficient pasturage to support a nomadic society and the impossibility of moving on, the semi-nomadic Hungarian lifestyle began to change and the Magyars adopted a settled life and turned to agriculture, though the start of this change can be dated to the 8th century. The society became more homogeneous: the local Slavic and other populations merged with the Hungarians. The Hungarian tribal leaders and their clans established fortified centers in the country and later their castles became centers of the counties. The whole system of Hungarian villages developed in the 10th century.

Fajsz and Taksony, the Grand Princes of the Hungarians, began to reform the power structure. They invited Christian missionaries for the first time and built forts. Taksony abolished the old center of the Hungarian principality (possibly at Upper Tisza) and sought new ones at Székesfehérvár and Esztergom. Taksony also reintroduced the old style military service, changed the weaponry of the army, and implemented large-scale organized resettlements of the Hungarian population.