Saáry, Éva (Balatonkenese, 28 November, 1929 - ) – Poet, writer, painter, photographer and geologist. She obtained a Degree in Geology at the University of Budapest, and a Diploma at the Photographers’ School. She studied Fine Arts at the private school of Jenő (Eugene) Szimon. As a geologist, she worked first at the Hungarian-Soviet Oil Company (Magyar-Szovjet Olajtársaság – MASZOLAJ), a research establishment at Nagylengyel; later at the Pest-region Mineral Mines Company (Pestvidéki Ásványbánya Vállalat). After the 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight, she escaped to the West. She first lived in Switzerland, then in France. From 1957 to 1959 she worked in Gabon as a geologist. In 1960 she returned to Europe for family reasons and made her home in Lugano, Switzerland. She works as a newspaper reporter and she paints and works as a photo artist. She is a permanent associate of several Hungarian periodicals in the West. Her poetry and prose works appear in a number of these, including New Horizon (Új Látóhatár) and Literary Journal (Irodalmi Újság); also Catholic View (Katolikus Szemle); Rainbow (Szivárvány); National Guard (Nemzetőr); New World (Új Világ), and Canadian Hungarians (Kanadai Magyarság). Since 1976 she has been President of the Hungarian Literary and Art Circle of Switzerland (Svájci Magyar Irodalmi és Képzőművészeti Kör – SMIKK) and organizer of the study days of Lugano. Starting in 1978, she edited the twelve study-volumes of the SMIKK; among these the three-volume Hungarian Scale (Magyar Mérleg), and with Judith Stelmann the three volumes of the history of Hungarians, entitled Gesta Hungarorum. Since 1965 she has organized several exhibitions of her paintings and photographs in Europe, as well as in America. Her main works include Pervasive Silence (Átható csend) (Lugano, 1973); Interesting People, Western Hungarian portraits (Érdekes emberek, Nyugati magyar portrék) with Zsuzsa (Susan) Vadnay (Zurich 1981); A Hundred Different Kinds of Love (Százféle szerelem) (1984); Where was it, where was it not (Hol volt, hol nem volt), stories, sketches, reports (Munich 1985); Mélységes csend (Profound Silence) (in French, Cayey, Puerto Rico 1986); Spring in Lugano (Luganói tavasz) (Lugano 1987); Mirages (Káprázatok) (Lugano 1987); Burning Stubble (Tüzes tarló) (Lugano 1988); Shall We Weep or Laugh? (Sírjunk vagy nevessünk?) (1991); Words Scattered in the Night (Éjbeszórt szavak), poems (2007), and The Fifteen Years of Workshops in Lugano (Luganói tanulmányi napok tizenöt éve) (2003). She was also involved in editorial work. Saáry is a renowned painter as well. Since 1965 she has regularly exhibited her pictures and graphics. She has participated in some 78 international exhibitions including Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, England, USA, Australia and Hungary. She has also made several book illustrations and book covers. Her paintings are in private and public galleries, including The Hungarian Photographic Museum, Kecskemét; Hungarian Oil-industry Museum in Zalaegerszeg; Petőfi Literary Museum, Budapest, and the Museum of Ráday Collections in Budapest. She is the recipient of a number of prizes, among them the Árpád Academy Prize eight times (1973, 1982-1985), the Otto Herman Society Medal (1994, the Officer’s Cross of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (1995), and the Pro Cultura Hungarica Prize (2009). – B: 1672, 1654, T: 7684, 7103.
Sabirs (Savards) – The Sabir people inhabited the Caspian region prior to the arrival of the Avars. They appear to have been a Turkic people, possibly of Hunnic origin. The Sabirs lived predominantly in the Pontic steppe region bounded on the east by the Caspian Sea, on the west by the Blacj Sea and on the south by the Caucasus Mountains. In 552 AD the Sabirs, previously allied with Sassanid Persia, switched their allegiance to the Byzantines and invaded the Caucasus. Soon afterwards, they were conquered first by the Avars and later by the Göktürks. By the 700s they largely vanish from the historical record; probably being assimilated into the Khazars and Bulgars.
In the 10th century AD, a Hungarian delegation visited the court of Byzantine Emperor Constantinos Porphyrogenetos (Konstantin VII, “The purple-born”). He writes in his De administrando imperio (On the administration of the empire, written between 947-952): “In the old days the people of the Turks (Tourkoi, the Byzantine name for the Magyars) acquired a territory in the region that they named after their first leader (Levedi) Levédia. They were not called Turks at the time, but “sabartoi asphaloi”, for some reason or another. The Turks consisted of seven tribes… They lived together with the Khazars for three years… When war broke out between the Turks and the Petchenegs, who were then called Kangars, the army of the Turks suffered defeat, and broke into two. One part moved towards the East, and settled near Persia. These tribes are called sabartoi asphaloi to this day. The other part, led by their leader Levedi, moved west and settled in a place called Etel Küzü (Etelköz)… named after the nearby river… (Etel or Etil, now the River Volga), but still regularly sends delegations to those who stayed behind in the Caucasus region near Persia”.
There is still no consensus on the precise meaning of “sabartoi asphaloi”. Sabartoi has been interpreted by some historians to mean Sabirs. The meaning of asphaloi has not been satisfactorily explained to this day. According to some, in the Byzantine Greek language it meant “great” or “powerful”; according to others, it meant “white”.
This splitting up in two halves must have happened a long time ago, because they were mentioned as Sapires even before the birth of Christ; later on, up to the 14th century, they were known as Savards. Their homeland was referred to as Zapaortene by Justin and Pliny the Younger (61-c. 112), while other ancient historical sources call them “Sabirs”, an ethnic group that is sometimes called “Hunut” by Turks and Arabs.
Ptolemy (c. 90-168) refers to them as the tribe of Svardeni or Savari, and also Materi (Magyar). Priskos Rhetor mentions a Sabirou people about 460 A.D., who were driven from their homeland by the Avars; later Jordanes in the 6th century includes the Savaris, Zakarias Rhetor (455-after 536) the Sabirs among the Hun tribes.
Thephanes the Confessor (c. 758/760 - 817/818) relates that the Aspharus (Sabirs) left the confederation in 650, after the death of Kubrat and conquered Bulgaria; their rule lasted for hundred years under the reigns of Princes Asparuk, Tervel, Tovirom and Sevar. Their rule over Bulgaria is corroborated by the grave goods ornamented in palmetto style, also material proof of the Sabir-Magyar coexistence. The Hungarian chronicles unequivocally preserve this alliance with names such as Zoard, Soba-Moger, Dentu-Moger and Dentia.
In 1870, in Kolozsvár (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Kristóf (Christopher) Lukácsy published his important work The Ancestors of the Hungarians, their Ancient Names and their Dwelling Places (A magyarok őselei, hajdankori nevei és lakhelyei), a scholarly work written with great circumspection, basing his historical work on original sources,
The Romans gave the name Savaria to the capital of the province Pannonia Superior; the present-day successor of this town is Szombathely (in German Steinamanger), and about 15 km from it is situated the settlement of Szabar, the Szabar Creek and Szabar Mount, and a little further away in County Zala, a place with the name Zala-Szabar. Therefore, prior to Roman rule, this area must have been settled by Sabar (Sabir) tribes; these appellations could only have been derived from them. These Sabir tribes could only have migrated into Transdanubia during the Scythian occupation of the Carpathian Basin (4-1 c. B.C.) It is conceivable that of all the Hungarian tribes taking part in the occupation of the Carpathian Basin, four tribes were Sabir-Magyars. – B: 0942, 1078, 1138, 1230, 1020, 7617, T: 7456, 7617.→Priskos Rhetor; Ancestral peoples, Dentu-Moger; Migration period; Scythians; Szombathely; Sándor, Count Róbert.
Sacred King Murders – The supernatural honoring of the sacred monarch consisted of more than glory and illumination among the Turkic nations. The monarch, honored as a demigod, was sacrificed when his reign came to an end, or if the people suffered a natural disaster. The king could also be sacrificed if the people suffered serious losses during a hostile attack. There were several reasons for the royal murder. The very idea, that the king must be killed, can be traced to sacrificial rites.
According to 10th century Arab historian, Ibn Fậdhlan, the “…head monarch could rule only 40 years. Beyond this period, but a single day, he was to be killed by the people and nobility, because they believed that his mind has weakened and his insight was not stable”. However, this practice among ancient Hungarians has yet to be proven.
The heathen nobility, following ancient customs, conspired to murder King István I (St Stephen) of Hungary (997-1038). According to some historians, the khagan (Reigning Prince) of the Hungarians, Álmos, had to die, because he still represented the deity of the former country, its earth and fertility. According to the ancient faith, his magical power, upon returning to the deity, would multiply in the cosmic center of the heavens and under the protection of the true heavenly father, it would pour forth without limit, perpetually, throughout the centuries on his successors and on the people he ruled.
After the Magyars had settled in their new country in the Carpathian Basin, Khagan Árpád received the power by obtaining the grass, water and land. The fertility of the new country was identified with his personal well-being. He became the absolute lord and commander of all the Magyar peoples, who owed unconditional obedience and aliegence to him. Should they sever the connections with the royal house, it would undermine their own well being as well. – B: 1151, 1020, T: 7682.→Álmos; Árpád.
Sacrifice – In a cult it is a significant practice to make an offering of a gift to a deity, a supernatural being, an ancestor or a deceased. It was practiced both in primitive cultures and within developed religious systems. It was based on a belief that somehow, through a sacrifice, one can obligate the supernatural being to reciprocate the offering. The supernatural is entitled to the very first of everything: the firstborn child and the first of the harvests. The offering of the sacrifice could happen by annihilation: the killing of a human or an animal. It can be bloody or bloodless. In the religion of the Hungarians before accepting Christianity, sacrifices also played an important part. Our Latin Chronicles also report animal sacrifices. The noblest sacrificial animal was the white horse, which amongst the Obiugors, was regarded even into the 19th century as a valuable offering. – B: 1134, T: 7682.
Sacrificial Cup – The Szekler Chronicle of Csík (Csiki Székely Krónika, c. 1533) describes it as a vessel used by the early Hungarians during sacrificial ceremonies. Anonymus also referred to it in relation to the Blood Covenant. The 14th century Szekler Chronicle referred to such a sacrificial cup, which was preserved since ancient times in its original shape. The sacrificial cup of the Szeklers was used for the last time in the county of Csík in 1712. Several dissertations have been written and scientific discussions have been held throughout the years concerning the cup. In the 1960s, the cup was kept in Tapolca in Transylvania under the guardianship of the Sándor family, which in old times held the office of Rabonbán. – B: 0942, T: 7682.→Anonymus; Szeklers.
Sadler, József (Joseph) (Pozsony, now Bratislava, Slovakia. 6 May 1791 - Pest, 12 March 1849) – Botanist and pharmacist. He was first an assistant in the Pharmacy of the Brothers of Mercy in Pozsony (Irgalmasrendi Gógyszertár); following that, from 1810 to 1812, he completed his pharmaceutical studies in Pest. From 1812 to 1819 he continued his studies at the Faculty of Humanities and at the Faculty of Medicine. From 1815 he was a teaching assistant at the University’s Faculty of Chemistry and Botany. In 1820 he became a medical doctor and assistant custodian in the Natural History Collection of the Hungarian National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum) of Budapest, increasing its collections substantially. On his trips in Hungary and abroad, he collected plants, minerals and insects. In 1829 his herbarium contained more than 28,000 species. From 1832 he was an assistant, and from 1834 a regular instructor at the Botanical Faculty of the University, and successor of Károly (Charles) Haberle. As an assistant, he also taught Chemistry from 1832 to 1842. At the same time, he remained the Museum’s custodian. In 1848, after the Revolution, he was among the first to undertake teaching in Hungarian. Sadler dealt with flora research, as well as the research of ferns and fungi. The collection of the flora of Hungary remained only a plan. He also began writing systematic monographs when he wrote treaties on the ferns and graminae of Hungary. The main significance of his work was his ability to organize instructional and popularizing activities and the establishment of a great central herbarium. In his university teaching, he established the progressive system of István (Stephen) Englisher, and it remained in use even after his death. He was a member of Russian and German Natural Science Societies. Plants were named after him. His main works were: Verzeichniss, der um Pesth und Ofen wildwachsenden phanerogramischen Gawechse…(1818); Explanation to the Collection of Hungarian Plants (Magyarázat a Magyar plánták száritott gyüjteményéhez (Section 14, Pesth, 1824-1830); Flora Comitatus Pestiens…vols. i,ii (Floral Wreath of Pesth…I. II) (1840), and Die Grasser Ungarns (Hungary’s grasses) (Section 2, in De Filicibus veris Hungariae… 1830). – B: 0883, 1730, T: 7684.
Saint Gellért Legend – Bishop, who died as a martyr in Buda in 1046, elevated to sainthood together with King István I (St Stephen) (997-1038) and his son, Prince Imre in Csanád on 26 July 1083. The legend, based on a primitive biography, probably began around this time. There is a long and a short version. The longer one treats the Bishop’s life in detail. It was rewritten many times; the last was written in the spirit of the Benedictine reforms at the beginning of the 14th century. These revisions greatly diminish their historical value, although they still contain many important details about life, and especially that of the culture of the 11th century. It has a description of a maid singing while working with a hand mill. (Symphonia Ungarorum, Symphony of the Hungarians). As for its style, the original parts are rhymed, while the addenda and rewritings show all the signs of rhythmical prose.The shorter legend was drawn up to satisfy the need of a religious songbook. Cecile Tormay’s translation concentrates on Bishop Gellért’s Hungarian experiences. – B: 1230, 1136, 0942, T: 3240.→Gellért, Bishop; Tormay, Cecile.
Saint George Order of Knights – In 312, the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine the Great, founded the St. George Militia Aurea Order. According to the original document, found in the Vatican Archives, the Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelus (1185-1195), on 27 June 1190, gave 50 knighted heroes – among them several European rulers, or their accredited envoys – new rules for the Order. These new rules were based of previously established rules of knightly orders. Hungarian King László I (St.Ladislas) (1077-1095) was good friend and cousin of Emperor Alexios I Comnenos (1081-1183), who had a close relationship to the Order.
On 24 April 1326, the feast day of St George, King Károly I (Charles Robert, 1307-1342) commemorated the birth of his son by founding in Hungary the St George Heroes’ Order. Later, King Lajos I (Louis the Great, 1342-1382) expanded it. This was the first Knightly Order in Hungary and it was founded to protect the King, homeland and Church. The rules were laid down in a document in the Cathedral of Esztergom; the 50 members wore their emblem consisting of a red cross on a white background. According to some opinions, King Zsigmond (Sigismund of Luxembourg) (1387-1437) reorganized the Order and named it the Order of St. George, the Dragon Slayer, whose very valuable golden necklace was worn with pride by almost every one of Europe’s rulers and dignitaries. In the spring of 1992, the Order was reactivated in Hungary under the name of The Brotherly Society of The Knights of St George. A silver double cross in a red field, enclosed in a triangular shield, was worn on the left breast on a black robe. Their leader was the Governor of the Order. – B: 1230, 1153, 1020, T: 7671.
Saint Germain, Peace of – The peace treaty made after World War I between the Entente Powers and Austria on 10 September 1919. It ratified the creation of successor states in place of the dissolved Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and, accordingly, fixed the new borders of Austria, awarding her from the territory of Historic Hungary parts of Moson, Vas and Sopron counties, the Őrvidék, Felsőőrvidék or Várvidék – all of them collectively called Burgenland. The Treaty restricted the size of Austria’s armed forces, obliged her to pay war indemnities and prohibited her from uniting with Germany. – B: 1138, T: 7665.→Western Hungary; World War I; Trianon Peace Treaty; Paris Peace Treaty.
Saint Imre Legend – Written between 1109 and 1112 by a monk in the employment of Prince Álmos. – B: 0883, 1784, T: 3240.
Saint István→István I, King.
Saint István’s Day, 20 August (St Stephen’s Day) – On 20 August 1083, István, King of Hungary was solemnly canonized in the Cathedral of Székesfehérvár. On 20 August 1860, the 777th anniversary was officially commemorated, and it became a countrywide national day of celebration. In 1938, the 900th anniversary of the canonization was celebrated countrywide. St István’s Day was an official national holiday until 1945, the end of World War II. After 1945 it was repealed but, in 1949, it was reinstated as the Holiday of the Constitution (Alkotmány Ünnep), and also the Day of the New Bread (Új Kenyér Ünnepe). After the collapse of the Communist regime in 1989 it again became St István Day, and it is a national holiday, observed annually. – B: 1230, 1153, T: 7669.→St. István Jubilee; Gold Train; Holy Right Hand.
Saint István Jubilee – In 1938, on the 900th anniversary of the death of King István I (St Stephen), the founder of Hungary, a Eucharistic World Congress (Eucharisztikus Világ Kongresszus) was organized in Hungary. After thorough planning and organizing, the jubilee year commenced with an open Mass at the Parliament Building in Budapest. It was followed by a procession, carrying the Holy Right Hand (Szent Jobb), St István’s embalmed, right hand. The procession ended at the Heroes Square, Budapest. In the procession, not only Hungary’s civic and religious leaders and many foreign dignitaries participated, including Cardinal Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII, but also 11 cardinals, 37 archbishops and 190 bishops, followed by a huge crowd. The memory of St István was to be honored by an act of Parliament and 20 August – the day of his canonization – was declared ‘Saint István’s Day’ and a national holiday. The Communist regime of Hungary renamed it Holiday of the Constitution Festival (Alkotmány Ünnep). St István’s Day was reinstated after the collapse of the Communist regime in 1989. The Holy Right Hand was carried around the country on a Gold Train. – B: 1020, T: 7103.→St. István’s Day; Gold Train; Holy Right Hand.
Saint John’s Night Fire – Wherever the Hungarian language was spoken, the night before 24 June was the most important rite of fire lighting. Fires were lit in other seasons as well: Christmas, Lent, Carnival and Easter. However, they paled in significance with the fire lit during the summer solar solstice festivals. The ancient Hungarians revered the fire. The Christian churches expurgated the most spectacular pagan customs and, from the former reverence of fire, only the customs and beliefs of the home fireplace remained.
The custom of fire lighting on St John’s Eve or Midsummer's Eve (Szent Iván Éj) in the 16th century was widespread all over the Carpathian Basin. The preacher Miklós (Nicholas) Telegdi wrote, in 1577, about the St. John’s Eve fire as approved by the Church. Two centuries later, a Church historian, Inchofer, mentioned that, while the Hungarians had already celebrated the feast of John the Baptist in the 11th century, it had deteriorated into a pagan superstition: “we lay the fire in a quadrangular form: in one corner, handsome old men are sitting; in the second corner, beautiful old women; in the third, handsome young boys and in the fourth, beautiful unmarried maidens”. The fire was fed from thatch straw and branches while the groups sang to each other. Meanwhile, all the girls and boys, alone or together, jumped over the fire, while the elderly women smoked in the fire sweet smelling plants and flowers, and then used them as medicines. The purpose of jumping was partly purification, partly to determine which girl would become a bride at the next carnival. The summer solstice is the beginning of the autumn Sun god religion cycle. The most important parts of this festival are the singing of the couples, the fire dance and the rite of jumping over the fire. Today, this custom is in decline, but it can still be found in Göcsej, in County Somogy among the Palóc people and in the Csángó parts in eastern Transylvania. – B: 1134, 1020, T: 7882.→Telegdi, Miklós.
Saint László King, Song to (St Ladislas) – This is the oldest poem in Hungarian translation from the beginning of the 16th century. The original, written in Latin around 1470 in the style of the 14th century chronicles, was based on the Legend of Saint László. It declares the Hun-Magyar identity. Some parts of it can be found in the Peer Codex of 1526, while others in the Gyöngyösi Codex of the early 16th century, all in Latin. The Latin origin seems to be the acceptable one. It features the life of King László I. It praises his comeliness, his bravery, and his battles with the Tartars, Turks and Bogomils, in the same way as the Hunyadis used the King’s knightly image, as their own political model. The poem mentions the equestrian statue of King László I erected in Nagyvárad (now Oradea, Romania) in 1390. The numerous folk elements in this poem have preserved many of the florid folk sayings, such as "...he was known as Brave László.". – B: 1151, 1020, 1230, T: 3240.→László I, King; Codex Literature.
Saint László Legend – Its original title is Legenda Sancti Ladislai Regis, written in Latin by an unknown author. The story originated in 1191, around the canonization of King László I (St Ladislas, 1077-1095). It enumerates many miraculous events concerning King László: such as his levitation during prayer, the cart starting alone with his body to Várad, and so on. It was translated into Hungarian at the end of the 15th century. Its Hungarian translation is part of the Érdy-Codex. – B: 1230, 1136, T: 3240.→László I, King; Érdy Codex.
Saint Stephen→István I, King.
Sajnovics, János S.J. (John) (Tordas, 12 May 1733 - Buda, 4 May, 1785) – Theologian, linguist and astronomer. He entered the Jesuit Order in 1748, studied in the Arts Faculty at the University of Nagyszombat, (now Trnava, Slovakia), and pursued theological studies at the University of Vienna. He obtained a diploma of education from the Teachers’ Colleges of Győr and Vienna. From 1758 to 1760 he was a demonstrator under Miksa Hell in the court observatory of Vienna. In 1768 he accompanied Hell on a trip to the northern part of Norway, to the island of Vardö, in order to observe the planet Venus as it was passing in front of the Sun’s disc in June 1769. From this time, he set out to clarify the language relationship between the Hungarians and the Lapps. His first meeting with the Lapps at Marsund confirmed for him that the Hungarian and Lapp languages were related and, knowing full well that the relationship between two languages can not be proven merely by agreement of words, he also tried to show agreements in inflexion and word formation. On his return, he spoke of his results before the Danish Learned Society at Copenhagen and published his work. In its Hungarian version, he also gave, for the first time, the full text of the oldest Hungarian language relic, the Funeral Oration and Prayer (Halotti beszéd és könyörgés) written between 1192 and 1195. On 19 January 1770, he and Hell were elected to be members of the Royal Danish Academy. In Hungary Sajnovics’ theory of the Hungarian-Lapp language relationship was received with indignation by the nobility, but a few, like the historian György (George) Pray, already took a stand in favor of a northern relationship. Because of all the criticism, Sajnovics gave up the completion of his further linguistic study plans; he became Professor of Mathematics at the Buda Academy and was an assistant lecturer at the observatory of Buda. His work is the first significant attempt in the Finno-Ugric-Hungarian comparative linguistics with a historical approach, which also attracted interest abroad. With his theoretical studies, he contributed significantly to the formation of the basic principles of modern comparative linguistics. At the same time, he made thousands of observations at the observatory of Buda. His main linguistic work was: Demonstratio Idioma Ungarorum et Lapponum idem esse (Demonstration of the identity of the Hungarian and Lapp languages) (1770-1772). It was with this work that the theory of Finno-Ugric origin for the Hungarian language first entered the Hungarian scientific literature. With this work, Sajnovics actually anticipated Franz Bopp, the founder of the Indo-European comparative linguistics. He also wrote: Idea Astronomiae honoribus regiae Universitatis Budensis dicata (Thoughts on Astronomy dedicated to the honourable Royal University of Buda) (1778). His statue and commemorative plaque were unveiled in his birth place, the town of Tordas, County Fejér, on 11 May 1986, in the presence of Danish, Soviet, American, and Hungarian linguists. The hypothesis of the Finno-Ugric origins of the Hungarians has been criticized by some because there is no common comprehension between these languages and Hungarian, as there is between the Romance and the Slavic languages. – B: 1031, 1160, 1068, T: 7456.→Hell, Miksa; Funeral Oration and Prayer; Pray, György; Hungarian Language; Hunfalvi, Pál; Finnish-Hungarian Language Relationship.