Many of us already know the fact that the discovery of America can be attributed to the expeditions conducted by famous explorer Christopher Columbus, in 1492. There is a chance, however, that a Hungarian man had reached the New World much earlier. Read below to know more about his history and adventure!
Although Columbus reached the shores of America in 1492, researchers discovered that Vikings trekked the lands hundreds of years ago, as early as 1000 A.D. when Leif Erikson and his crew set sail from Greenland. Surprisingly, Viking chronicles, tales as old as time, tell us that a Hungarian man named Tyrker was aboard the ship, on its way to make a fateful discovery, tells Index.
The nationality of Tyrker has been widely debated: some historians think he was either of Turkish or of German descent. How could he have been Hungarian then? From Byzantine sources, all nomadic nations whose political system and lifestyle resembled that of the Turkish people were labeled Turks, even Hungarians. The reason why Tykrer could not have been German is that the Vikings would have recognised if he spoke German since they had a separate term for that: saxneskr, or Saxon.
Chronicles tell us that Tyrker spoke the thyrsk language.
But how did Tyrker get to to land of the Vikings in the first place? Unbeknownst to many, the Scandinavians had many trading posts in mainland Europe, apart from the already discovered posts in Iceland and Greenland. These trading ports were used to export both soldiers and slaves up north. One such outpost was located near the Principality of Kyiv. This way,
Tyrker could have easily made his way to the Vikings as either a slave or a soldier.
Another evidence by Napi Történelmi Forrás supporting the fact that Tyrker was indeed of Hungarian descent can be found in a tale about Leif Erickson and him. The story goes that once the Vikings landed on the coast of the North American continent and set up their camps, Tyrker went missing on an expedition. After searching, his fellow men found him in a lush grape bush. They were surprised to find him in an illuminated state: eyes rolling, face in a grimace, and speaking his mother tongue. Once Tyrker began speaking Old Norse, he explained that what he found were grapes, a fruit that was native to his homeland.
His knowledge of the fruit, and many descriptions of his appearance matching up to what Hungarians of the age looked like point toward the high probability that Tyrker was, indeed, Hungarian.
Source: telex.hu, ntf.hu