Battle of Lechfeld and the Magyar Threat

Weapons and Warfare

lechfeldDate: August 955 Location: near Augsburg, southern Germany


In the year 896 the Hungarians (also known as Magyars) crossed the Carpathian Mountains from the steppes adjacent to the Black Sea. 1 They were primarily warriors, horse archers, when they settled on the plains of the middle Danube, whence they made periodic incursions into western Europe. Their invasions came to an abrupt halt in 955, however, when the East Frankish king, Otto I, annihilated their swarms in an encounter generally known as the battle of Lechfeld.

In 894 nomadic Magyars raided into the Kingdom of Moravia, north of the Danube. The origin of the Magyars is uncertain. Their language is linked in Europe only with Finnish, and tradition has it that one group of Magyars settled in Finland, while the other went south and established itself on the Hungarian plain. Their own legends have the Magyars entering Hungary with the…

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