Principality of Hungary

Magyars raid Italy at the suggestion of Arnulf
©Angus McBride
899 Sep 24

Magyars raid Italy at the suggestion of Arnulf

Brenta, Italy

The next event recorded in connection with the Hungarians is their raid against Italy in 899 and 900. The letter of Archbishop Theotmar of Salzburg and his suffragans suggests that Emperor Arnulf incited them to attack King Berengar I of Italy. They routed the Italian troops on 2 September at the river Brenta on a great battle and plundered the region of Vercelli and Modena in the winter.

After this victory the whole Italian Kingdom lied on the mercy of the Hungarians. With no Italian army to oppose them, the Hungarians decided to spend the mild winter in Italy, continuing to attack monasteries, castles and cities, trying to conquer them, like they did before they had started to be chased by Berengar's army.

They returned from Italy when they learned of the death of Emperor Arnulf. Before the Hungarians left Italy, in the spring of 900, they concluded peace with Berengar, who gave them in exchange for they departure hostages, and money for the peace. As Liuprand writes, the Hungarians became Berengar's friends. It seems that, in time, some of the Hungarian leaders became his personal friends.