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Anonymus and Master Roger

Anonymus, notary of King Béla
The Deeds of the Hungarians

Edited, translated and annotated by Martyn Rady and László Veszprémy

Master Roger’s
Epistle to the Sorrowful Lament upon the Destruction of the Kingdom of Hungary by the Tatars

Translated and annotated by János M. Bak and Martyn Rady


General editor: János M. Bak, Central European University


Contains two very different narratives; both are for the first time presented in an updated Latin text with an annotated English translation.

An anonymous notary of King Bela of Hungary wrote a Latin Gesta Hungarorum (ca. 1200/10), a literary composition about the mythical origins of the Hungarians and their conquest of the Carpathian Basin. Anonymus tried to (re)construct the events and protagonists—including ethnic groups—of several centuries before from the names of places, rivers, and mountains of his time, assuming that these retained the memory of times past. One of his major “inventions” was the inclusion of Attila the Hun into the Hungarian royal genealogy, a feature later developed into the myth of Hun-Hungarian continuity.

The Epistle to the Sorrowful Lament upon the Destruction of the Kingdom of Hungary by the Tartars of Master Roger includes an eyewitness account of the Mongol invasion in 1241–2, beginning with an analysis of the political conditions under King Bela IV and ending with the king’s return to the devastated country.


General Editors’ Preface; Abbreviations; List of Maps and Illustrations; Anonymus Introduction; Gesta Hungarorum / The Deeds of the Hungarians; Master Roger Introduction; Epistola in Miserabile Carmen / Epistle to the Sorrowful Lament; Select Bibliography; Index of Proper Names; Index of Geographical Names; Gazetteer of Geographical Names

"...series of critical Latin texts with English translations are much needed to give undergraduates access to these sources, and I am personally very glad to see work progress on this series. The translations of both Anonymus' and Rogerius' works are generally well done with introductions that are judicious in detail and scope, and they would make wonderful additions to students' readings lists. The critical Latin edition makes this work useful to scholars as well."—The Medieval Review

Central European Medieval Texts Series, Volume V
322 pages, 2010
ISBN 978-963-9776-95-1 cloth $55.00 / €44.95.00 / £40.00

Central European Medieval Texts Series
Editors: János M. Bak, Urszula Borkowska, Giles Constable, Gábor Klaniczay
ISSN 1419-7782