E. Belfort Bax

Huns and Hungarians

(25 December 1919)

E. Belfort Bax, Huns and Hungarians, Justice, 25th December 1919, p.8. (letter)
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Dear Comrades, – “R.T.H.” in the review of Nationalities in Hungary reasserts the old theory, which I thought entirely exploded, that the modern Hungarians or Magyars are descended from “Attila’s Huns.” It is true the Magyars, like the Turks, speak the “Ugrian” or, as it used to be called, “Turanian” language; but physically they have no Mongolian characteristics. Attila’s Huns, according to all the contemporary authorities – Priscus, Ammianus, Marcellinus, and Jordanes – were typical Mongolian savages with squat figures, high cheekbones, round shoulders, and beardless cheeks: characteristics the very opposite to those of the tall, well-shaped, good-looking Magyar people. The latter, as we all know, arrived in Hungary from the East at the end of the ninth century, and their only connection with Attila’s Huns would surely seem to consist in the fact that they settled in a territory which Attila’s Huns had occupied more than four centuries before, but from which they seem to have shortly after dispersed. – Yours fraternally,


E. Belfort Bax


Last updated on 10.12.2004