Turul, the mystical Hungarian mythological bird
One of the most beautiful and mystical symbols in the Hungarian legendry is the turul bird. The origins of the turul legendry go way back to prehistoric Hungarian past. It is the relic of the ancient Hungarian faith, the embodier of the powers above and the monarchic sovereignty, the national symbol of the providence and guidelines. It is the ancient symbol of national identity and togetherness.
Legendry originates the Turul clan from the bird (the dynasty was later wrongly called Árpád clan) thus emphasizing the divine origin of the monarchs and kings of the dynasty. This mystical bird is still very close to the Hungarian hearts; however, we don’t know for sure which animal it was exactly. The turul bird has both a mythological existence and a real one. Both were the symbols, guards of the Holy Spirit for the ancient Hungarians.
Turul.info is a website that tries to collect all the information about the turul and the early Hungarian history. Some people believe in these while others don’t. Nevertheless, we all have some knowledge about the Settlements of the Magyars in Hungary and the following century, but this era is somehow not really part of today’s historic public consciousness. They go into the beautiful details of the turul legend, and we also wanted to present a short overview.
So getting back to the mystical Hungarian mythological bird, the foundation of the Turul dynasty is gloomy. The legends, ancient chronicles and oral tradition originate the dynasty from Nimród, the first king after the flood. Álmos and his offspring were very proud to originate their family from Attila and the Turul clan. Their origin myth was preserved by chroniclers for the after-ages.
Emese’s dream or, in other words, the Turul myth is one of the oldest Hungarian myths, its formation is estimated to be around 860-870. As the origin myth of the Turul dynasty (Árpád dynasty), it was believed to be unconditionally authentic some centuries later, thus it was put into the Illustrated Chronicle. The date when the first written text is born is unclear; however it is clear that the text noted by Anonymus, and the one that appears in the Illustrated Chronicle, are based on an older source. What’s interesting is that probably all Hungarians have heard about one of the titles, but the word ‘turul’ doesn’t appear in either of the stories. And this is just one mystery surrounding the legend.
According to the myth, Emese was the wife of Ögyek (Ügek) and the mother of Chief Álmos (he was the first Hungarian monarch and one of the seven chiefs who led the Settlement of the Magyars into present Hungary). The turul bird sent her a dream in which there was a river flowing from Emese’s uterus that expanded in a foreign land. Dream-readers believed that it meant that she was going to give birth to a boy, who would lead his nation from their homeland, Levédia, and that his offspring would become glorious kings.
But what kind of bird was the turul? Turul.info writes that historians still can’t settle on one opinion. Naturally, the bird’s saint origin doesn’t exclude the chance that it has/had an existent, real version. All historians agree that it was a predatory bird, but the exact type has been argued about for centuries. There were many predatory birds in the region where our antecedents lived, but despite the many tries to draw its nature study, nobody has entirely succeeded.
As much of disagreement girdles the appearance of the turul, as steady is the opinion of linguists about the origin of the word ‘turul’. According to them, the word has Turkish origins and comes from the ‘togrul/ tugrul’ word, which means ‘gerfalcon’ and ‘the favourite predatory bird with excellent characteristics’.
No matter how times change, a nation needs legends, myths to believe in.
“Long live the Hungarians, never let them fall!
The turul bird guards its nation and defends them from all.”
Photos: www.turul.info, www.kurultaj.hu
Copy editor: bm
Source: Daily News Hungary