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Grand Prince (Hungarian: nagyfejedelem) was the title used by contemporary sources to name the leader of the federation of the Hungarian (Magyar) tribes in the Tenth Century[1].


The title

The Grand Prince (nagyfejedelem) was probably elected by the leaders of the federation of the seven Magyar tribes, and, the three Kabar tribes (dissident Khazar tribes) that joined the Magyars after 881. However, the first Grand Prince, Álmos, father of Arpad, was more likely appointed by the Khagan of the Khazars. It is still under discussion whether the Grand Prince was the spiritual leader of the federation (kende), the military commander of the Magyar tribes (gyula), or, the title was a new creation.

When the Magyars were pushed out of Etelköz and moved to the Carpathian Basin (Honfoglalás), the Grand Prince's power seemed to be decreasing. By the time of Géza Transylvania had been ruled by a (semi-)independent leader (gyula). Stephen (Vajk) had to conquer not only the territories of the gyula, but also the lands of Ahtum (Ajtony) and the Black Magyars.

The title disappeared by the coronation of Stephen I (Vajk) on 25 December 1000 or 1 January 1001.

Grand Princes of the Magyars


  • Korai Magyar Történeti Lexikon (9-14. század), főszerkesztő: Kristó, Gyula, szerkesztők: Engel, Pál és Makk, Ferenc (Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1994)
  • Kristó, Gyula: A Kárpát-medence és a magyarság régmúltja (1301-ig) (Szegedi Középkortörténeti Könyvtár, Szeged, 1993)


  1. ^ Kōnstantinos Porhyrogennētos mentioned Árpád in his book De Administrando Imperio as "megas Turkias arkhon", while Bruno of Querfurt referred to Géza in his Sancti Adalberti Pragensis episcopi et martyris vita altera as "Ungarorum senior magnus".

See also



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