THE ROLE OF THE SZÉKELY PEOPLE IN DEFENDING THE COUNTRY IN THE ÁRPÁDIAN AGE
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The eleventh and twelfth-century history of the Székely, one of the characteristic groups of Hungarians, has to be revised at a number of points as compared to earlier studies in the field. This paper discusses an important issue within that period of the history of the Székely: their role in defending Hungary. The discussion retains its original form as an oral presentation and focuses on the results of the inquiry. It argues against the claim that the Kingdom of Hungary had employed foreigners, nomadic people from the East, to defend the country in the early Árpádian age. Rather, the kings of Hungary at that time organised Hungarian troops to accomplish that task from light horsemen capable of forming flying patrols and deployed them next to strategically prominent roads and mountain passes, generally at the fringes of the territories within which Hungarian was spoken. Many of these groups of people, referred to as the Székely, were later transferred from those remote areas to what is known as the Székely land in eastern Transylvania today, also with defence tasks, only in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries.
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