Monograph on the connection between the Vikings and the Hungarians

The London-based Routledge has published a book entitled Vikings of the Steppe. The author is Csete Katona, a young assistant lecturer who works at the Department of Medieval and Early Modern History of the Institute of History.

In his book, the author explores how the people living on the steppe influenced the Scandinavian-Rus’ culture, mainly regarding weapons, garments and ornaments, in the age of the Vikings.

- This book is special, because it rarely happens that a prestigious publishing house publishes the doctoral dissertation of a young researcher as a monograph – said Attila Bárány, head of the Doctoral School of History and Ethnology. He was the supervisor of Csete Katona during his PhD studies.

The head of the Department of Medieval and Early Modern History emphasized that this early era of the Middle Ages had been rarely discussed in Hungary, even though the topic was relevant for us as well. This is why this work fills a gap and attracts international attention.

During his PhD studies, Csete Katona also studied Norwegian in order to gain a deeper insight into the Vandalic literature and culture. He also completed the Icelandic Studies course in Iceland as a scholar, where he could learn from the best experts about the Viking culture.

- It was not easy to write the dissertation and the book, because there are hardly any sources available from the period, and even those are written in different languages like East Slavic, Persian, Arabic, Latin, Greek and Old Norse – explained Csete Katona, who also studies the connections between the Vikings and the Hungarians.

As he explained, there had been two phases of this connection. The first phase took place before the Hungarian conquest, when the Hungarians wandered on the steppe, mainly in the areas north of the Black Sea. This was the period when the Vikings settled down around Kiev. The second phase took place in the era after the conquest, primarily during the reign of Saint Stephen, and it was based on the northern connection network of the Carpathian Basin.

- This topic has hardly been studied in Hungary or elsewhere. However, medieval studies have gained momentum recently. The eastern connections of Europe have received growing attention. I think that this book follows this trend – said the author.

Csete Katona is focusing on teaching now, and is studying to obtain his second PhD degree at the Central European University.

Recently, he has also helped the organization of an exhibition in the Déri Museum entitled Vikings in the Carpathian Basin as a historian.

It is unknown yet when the Vikings of the Steppe will be published in Hungary, but the author promised that his new, easy-to-understand work on the connections between the Vikings and the Hungarians would be soon available.

Press Centre – BZs