Lajos Csomor

THE HOLY CROWN OF HUNGARY

by

Lajos Csomor

      Considering that the Hungarian Holy Crown is not only a worldly treasure but a sacred object, its scientific study was not possible in past centuries. This has become only recently possible. Portions of this study, written by Lajos Csomor - master goldsmith, scholar, and member of the scientific group which obtained permission to examine the Holy Crown - follows.  - Ed.

The examination of the Holy Crown brought results that surprised the members of the investigation. We started this task without any preconceived theory and we thought at the beginning of the examination that one of the two prevailing theories about the Crown would be confirmed.. When the unity of the Crown became a certainty, the ones most surprised were the examiners themselves. At this point we did not even contemplate the establishment of a new date. When the facts forced us to admit to a unitary Crown, the question arose: is it possible that it belonged to St. István (Stephanus Rex) as tradition maintains? We already knew that the once held date of 1074-77 was untenable (except for the addition of the images of the two Emperors), and that the loss of the Crown cannot be substantiated. We thought that would be of little value if we could not approach the age of the Crown in some other manner. We were familiar with the theories preceding ours and we hoped to substantiate the assumptions that tied the Crown to the age of Otto. First we used the photos made by Kelleher, later by Deér, and still later we turned our attention to the so called Gizella-cross inspired by Éva Kovács' research into it. We realized that the enlarged segments of these pictures showed a secondary use of this object, and later the same observation was made with the two Matild crosses and the 10th c. AD book-covers. (...) We started an intense study in the libraries of the Museum of Fine Arts and Industry, the Museum of Fine Arts and the College of Industry and Fine Arts and discovered that there are several pieces prepared by goldsmiths where the original dates were never established, only the dates of changes made are known. Subsequently, the objects themselves are always older then the known dates.

Such is the case with the objects that are parallels of the Crown from a technical point of view. These are the Little Pipin bursa, the Charlemagne vessel, the Charlemagne talisman, Charlemagne's alfa, the St. Fides statue/ St. Fides book-cover. All these show such a close technical relationship with one another, that we have to consider them coming from the very same workshop. Since this is the exact case with the secondary use of the objects of the Otto age, we did not believe in the Charlemagne-date of these treasures. We were more inclined to see these hitherto unsubstantiated but never contradicted theories as a legend. It was at this juncture that we began to investigate the objects of the European Great Migrations. We first examined the Avar little girl's necklace and later the other Gepida, and Avar-age technical correspondences. This examination continued in the Hungarian National Museum where we examined the Migrations' gold objects. Finally, we also noticed that the throne of the St. Fides statue greatly resembled the technique of the decorations found on two cups of the Nagyszentmiklós treasure. The tools facilitating this style were excavated by Dezső Csallány from the grave of an Avar goldsmith in Kunszentmárton, Hungary. A startling question began to form: is it possible that the Western-European goldsmith's style was determined by the works of Avar goldsmiths? We wanted to be sure in our assumption, and so we searched all the other parallels further. The consequence of this extended research was the absolute necessity to formulate the next question: was the Crown made in a workshop that used Avar technology?

Neither us looked for a sensation, but by researching the facts, we concluded that the Crown, according to the technical examination, was prepared sometimes around 800 AD in a workshop using Avar technology. (pp. 177-8)

[ . . . ]

Jenő M. Fehér historian's book titled In Pursuit of the Avar Treasures (Az Avar Kincsek Nyomában) elaborated on his opinion that a part of the Western European goldsmith objects, dating from the middle ages is of Avar origin. They came to the west at the time when Charlemagne plundered the Avar castles of Hungary in the years 795 and 796 and took these to his court in Aachen. Jenő M. Fehér's extensive research was able to identify the particular objects that were once part of the Avar treasures. His historical research touches on two points the conclusions of the above and conclusions of the technical experts. In one point he presents source materials that the Franks and their descendants made objects for church use from the Avar treasures and used them as such. The technical research also uncovered several objects of this nature in the west that are analogous with the Hungarian Crown. The other important point is that Jenő M. Fehér found from a historian's perspective that these objects were of Avar origin as did the technical researchers. The most important of these is the Charlemagne vessel, the Charlemagne alfa, the Pipin bursa, the St. Fides home-altar and the St. Fides statue.

The result of the technical examination of the Hungarian Holy Crown shows that its technical goldsmith parallels were all prepared in the Avar age. [ . . . ]

All the objects that were found in the Carpathian basin and all the representative pieces found in Western Europe were prepared in Avaria. The examined pieces and the goldsmith structure of the Holy Crown show such a high degree of technical relationship which leads us to the supposition that the Crown's goldsmith-work bears all the Avar technical marks and it had to be made in a workshop that used Avar technology. (p. 153)

[ . . . ]

[These objects include:]

   1. The Gizella cross: the settings of its stones and pearls were prepared in the same manner as on the pendants of the Crown's stones.(...)According to our recent research, this type of setting was very rare in the 10th and 11th centuries AD. We found on the ornate sheets between the enamel platelets and the rows of pearls that there are rows of semi-spheres. Its foremost parallels are the Avar works of the 7th and 8th c. AD in the Carpathian basin and the objects of the Nagyszentmiklós treasure.

   2. There is a similarity in the techniques employed by both in the preparation of the settings and the filigrees of the Crown and the St. Fides house altar. This latter has been put together of several different items in the 9th-10th c. AD. Presently the St. Fides Altar is kept in the monastery of the small town of Conques in France.(...) Since the masters did not have enough gold-ribbon of the same kind on hand, they used three different kinds of ribbons.

      The first ribbon is decorated with a design of elevated vertical lines, half-spheres, and semi-pearl wiring. This ribbon was prefabricated and obviously also used somewhere else. This type of prefabricated ribbons are very specific to the 7th and 8th c.AD Avar works.

      The third ribbon was also prepared by the above elevated design and press method. Its motif is reminiscent of the late Avar belt-end pieces. On the ends of the trailers there are three-three rings and each has an elevated half-sphere in its center.

      Besides the ornate border there is another much wider and decorative border. The wider ribbons on top and bottom have round picture-settings between the stones and filigree filled fields. The technical method of the two ribbon-types are identical to one another and to the Crown. The wider ribbon's filigree motifs are formed with exactly the same details into the very same designs as on the Crown's cross-band. Similar is the case of the narrower ribbon's filigree. The similarity is so great that from a technical point of view it seems the workshops which prepared them are closely related. The filigrees that form trailers are accompanied by the heart-palmette forms. Their parallel can be found on the Hungarian coronation scepter's head and handle. The filigree fields are interrupted by six circular and four quadrangular large frames. In these we find enamel pictures which are not uniform.(...) Out of these ten pictures there is one exception, the lower, mid round picture which is different from all of the rest. The figures on nine pictures have a gold background and this background is also enameled and it is situated in such a wide gold-frame as we see in the Apostle pictures on the Crown. The tenth picture is unique and different. In its foreground there is a white horse, behind it we see the "Greek" cross which represents Christ. (As if the ancient, pagan, eastern white horse would have become a Christian symbol.)

   3. The Pipin bursa is also in Conques today. The filigrees are the product of the same technology that we find on the Crown. The expert on this is Hermann Fillitz.(...)

   4. On the Charlemagne vessel, the stone and enamel settings, pearl-wires and filigrees again are identical to the technology with which the Crown's similar elements were made. This vessel is kept in St. Maurice monastery in Switzerland and it was created presumably before 800 AD. Klaus Speich and R. Hans Schlöpfer believe that this vessel was made from the scepter of an Avar prince or from some other of his objects. András Alföldi and Jenő M. Fehér hold the same opinions.

   5. The St.Fides statue shows a close technical relationship to the above vessel. According to our opinion, several of the statue's components show close a relationship or signs of an identical workshop of the Charlemagne vessel, the St. Fides house altar, the Pipin bursa, the already examined elements of the Gizella-cross, the Hungarian Royal Scepter and Charlemagne's alfa, a relic-holder, which is discussed later, several art objects excavated in the Carpathian basin, several pieces of the Nagyszentmiklós treasure and the Hungarian Crown.

Since we are aware that all the objects we discussed here are technically not only closely related to the Crown but also to each other, let us find objects that are in relationship with all the above and where we have a clear understanding as to their date.

   1. A pair of Avar earrings; its droplet-shaped stones are fastened with the same prefabricated technique as the Crown's stones. This pair of earrings was found in Moravia's Mikulcice. There are also the same granulates as on the pendants of the Crown.

      Late Avar earrings were also found in Stare Mesto where the pearl-wires consist of the same semi-circular form as on the Crown. Also in Stare Mesto they found a filigree earring where the filigree designs are very similar to that of the royal scepter of Hungary and the heart palmettes of the St. Fides house altar.(...)

   2. The mystical end on top of the royal scepter is surrounded by a very specific ornamentation. This is an extremely thin gold-ribbon, which was folded into a wave-pattern in such a manner that the sides of these waves touch one another. A similar ribbon was found in Mikulcice on a late-Avar golden clothes-button as well. We also find this decorative element on an earring in a royal grave in Székesfehérvár.

   3. A belt-end made with late Avar poured-technique was also found in Mikulcice which employs the cut-pearl wires. The use of these is not new in the Carpathian basin. It was already in use on jewelry at the Szeged-Nagyszéksós cremation type burials in the grave of a Hun emperor. The Huns frequently used the droplet-shaped stones in pearl-wire type setting, and even without it, on crowns (!) and on other jewelry. The Huns also used the moon-crescent type head ornaments, where the center part is the highest and the sides decrease in height; here the decorative elements are the alternate half-circles and triangles. A lot of droplet-shaped stones were already in use in the time of the Scythans.

   4. The pendant on the crown of Apahida has the same settings with the cut-pearl design.

   5. Similar settings were used - in a field of pearl-wire - on the Rábapordány fibulas made with garnets.

   6. There are many droplet-shaped stones and pearl-wire settings on the Szilágysomlyó II. treasure's pieces.

   7. The same setting can be found in the 30 graves of the early Avar cemetery at Kiskőrös-vágóhíd and at the Avar emperor grave of Bócsa.

   8. The spheres on the cross of the Crown bear the same technique as the pendants of the Hungarian royal scepter. Such spheres were used often by the Avars. We find earrings that are surrounded by cut-pearl wires similar to that of the Crown. The earring itself belongs to the 7th and 8th c. AD. Such is also the 7-9th c. AD jewelry consisting of spheres in the no. 22 Avar grave of Káptalantó, the grave 134 in the Avar cemetery in Szob, the Kiskőrös Pocihuj-Mackó dűlő Avar grave no. 8 and 54/a, and the Avar graves at Nagypall, Pécs common cemetery, the Ramonya and Pécs Gyárváros.

Avar-Magyar treasures taken by Charlemagne
and their present locations.

Adopted from the works of Lajos Csomor

The common characteristic of the treasures listed below is their close technical relationship to the Hungarian Holy Crown.

   1. The Anno cross, its technique is identical with the apostle representations of the Hungarian Holy Crown. - Cologne, Treasury of the Cathedral.

   2. The Attila-vessel, technique from a goldsmith point of view is the same as that of the Hungarian Holy Crown and it is also related to the Nagyszentmiklós Treasure. The enamel technique has some Caucasian parallels.- St. Maurice monastery, Switzerland.

   3. Enamel ring, from the so called Gizella treasure. Berlin, Germany

   4. Large, enamel fibula from so called Gizella treasure. - Berlin, Germany

   5. Four fibulae from the so called Gizella treasure. Technique of the filigree work is identical with that of the Hungarian Coronation Scepter, its granulates with one of the drinking cups of the Sarmatian age, its goldsmith technique is identical with the Avar works in the Carpathian basin. - Berlin, Germany

   6. The Talisman of Charlemagne, which were placed into his grave in 814 AD.- Meinz, Germany.

   7. The so called Great Gizella necklace, its goldsmith technique is identical with the Avar works of the Carpathian basin. - Berlin, Germany.

   8. Two fibulae with the symbolic Turul bird from the so called Gizella treasure. Goldsmith technique the same as in the Hungarian Coronation Scepter. Dating accomplished with the help of a Hun harness kept in Warsaw Poland and dated to the 4-5th c. AD. - Berlin, Germany

   9. Charlemagne's Alfa, identical with the Avar treasures in the Carpathian basin.. - The treasury of the monastery in Conques, France.

  10. Pipin bursa, its main decorative elements are closely related to the Hun treasures in the Carpathian basin and also of the Parthian treasures.. - The treasury of the monastery in Conques, France.

  11. St. Fides house altar. Caucasian parallels.. The treasury of the monastery in Conques, France.

  12. Statue (which was rebuilt) of a Hun emperor.Caucasian and other eastern parallels. - The treasury of the monastery in Conques, France.

  13. The Gold Icon of Munich shows the military wear of Attila's Hun elite army. [See note] - Private treasury in Wittelsbach, Germany.

  14. The so called Turkish plate. Eastern parallels. In the Treasury of the St. Mark Cathedral Venice, Italy.



      Lajos Csomor is of Székely (Sicul) origin; he is a goldsmith, scholar, and he is a member of the research society engaged in the research of the Hungarian Holy Crown. He lives in Pákozd Hungary. He made several startling discoveries concerning the origins of the crown, and enriched us with new informations. He keeps an extensive contact with the Western-European churches, monasteries. He has a good knowledge about the treasures that fell pray to Charlemagne. He can trace their origins and their connections with the Crown to their originators, where they were made, when, which workshops and for whom they were made. His above work appeared in 1988 with the sponsorship of the Ádám Vay Museum.

      He is the author of several books and scholarly articles.




Editorial Note: We concentrated upon the description of the objects related in technique to the Hungarian Holy Crown when we selected the above material. We did not include sections of the findings around the Caucasus. Both are connected with one another through the common Avar origins. We have to emphasize the fact that these workshops were situated in the Carpathian basin and the tools employed by the above techniques were also excavated in Hungary. We can surely conclude that all objects that bear a technical relationship to the Crown arrived to Western Europe as a result of the plunderings of Charlemagne's armies and were put to different uses in his court at a later time.

The words for crown, king and the symbols of these originate in the Carpathian basin and spread from here to the surrounding cultures.

The word for crown is a part of a huge wordgroup and this is the prime proof of her ancient existence. Out of these I shall mention only a few:

      ör circle

      kör circle

      kor age, as in aetas

      kór chronic disease

      kóró dried out weed

      karika hoop

      kerek round

      kerék wheel

      keres to search round about

      kert garden

      kerít to encircle

      kerítés fence

      Károly arch. eagle, now a name (masc.)

      király king

      korona crown

      kereszt cross, lit. a circle with a solid center

      kerecsen hawk, an eagle, a bird with a circular flight- pattern

      kering to revolve

      karom claw

      hólyag bubble

      gyűrű ring

      győr castle

      golyó marble

      göröngy clump of earth

      görög round; to roll

      gördűl to roll

We also have to remind ourselves that the several crowns found in the Hun and Avar graves along with the royal scepter the idea of kingship predates Christianity in the Carpathian basin, and so the Avar rulers should be entitled and honored as Kings.

The one outstanding picture on the Crown, the winged St. Michael, leads into the earliest centuries of Magyar history. This is in close relationship with the Phoenician representations of St. Michael as found in the Don-valley of the British Isles and many other places. These pictures are in conjunction often with Tas, St. Michael and through them with the Hungarian Sungod Magor. (Ed.)

St. Michael of the Holy Crown

MIKALU

Phoenician coin from Cilicia, 5th c. B.C.