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Nicetas Choniates is the most significant and well-known Byzantine historian of the 12th century. This paper deals with his passages about the Hungarians, in particular with the representation of the Hungarians. The analysis is partly based on sporadic data found in the orations of Choniates, and chiefly on the related pieces of his History. A close inspection of these sources leads to three basic conclusions: 1) The representation of the Hungarians by Nicetas Choniates is fundamentally influenced by the contemporary Byzantine stereotypes, although sometimes one can feel a more open-minded approach towards strangers, characteristic of his time. 2) In the text of Choniates, the Hungarians also represent the mere “crowd”, as the other non-Byzantine nations do, and their representation is often subordinated to the author’s conception of history. 3) The Hungarians seem to be near the Western people in the hierarchy of barbarians.

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Nikétas Chóniatés a 12. század legjelentősebb és legismertebb bizánci történetírója. A dolgozat célkitűzése a szerző magyarokról szóló tudósításainak vizsgálata, különös tekintettel a történetíró magyarokról kialakított képére. Az elemzés kisebb részben a Chóniatés alkalmi beszédeiben található elszórt adatokra, nagyobb részben kortörténetének magyarokra vonatkozó szemelvényeire támaszkodik. A szöveg vizsgálata alapján két főbb következtetést vonhatunk le: 1. Nikétas Chóniatés magyarságképét alapvetően kora sztereotípiái határozták meg, de olykor már érezhető nála is a 12. századi Bizánc nyitottabb magatartása az idegenekkel szemben. 2. Chóniatés elbeszélésében a magyarok ugyanúgy „statiszták” csupán, mint a többi nem bizánci nép, az ábrázolás pedig gyakran a szerző történetírói felfogásának van alárendelve.

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In his youth Bela III, king of Hungary (1172-1196) lived in Constantinople as the betrothed of the emperor Manuel Comnenus' daughter and was appointed to be heir to the Byzantine throne. There he was called Alexius probably owing to an oracle, according to which Manuel's successor's name would start with the letter alpha. However, when a son - also named Alexius - was born to Manuel, he had him crowned co-emperor and had the betrothal of Bela and Maria dissolved on the pretext of a ruling of the 1166 Synod of Constantinople, which banned marriage between relations by marrige to the seventh degree. It is this ruling that is referred to in a sentence in Cinnamus, which has been ignored this far because of the assumption that Bela and Maria were related in the eighth degree. As a matter of fact, they were related in the seventh degree by the marriage of the Hungarian king Stephen IV and Maria Comnena, daughter of Isaac Sebastokrator.

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