|Battle of Riade|
|Part of the Hungarian invasions of Europe|
Henry I fights against the Magyars,
Sächsische Weltchronik , c. 1270
| East Francia |
(Kingdom of Germany)
|Principality of Hungary|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Henry the Fowler, East Frankish king and duke of Saxony|| Bulcsú, a harka |
Lél and Súr, chieftains
|Casualties and losses|
|Reportedly minor||Reportedly minor|
The Battle of Riade or Battle of Merseburg was fought between the troops of East Francia under king Henry I and the Magyars at an unidentified location in northern Thuringia along the river Unstrut on 15 March 933. The battle was precipitated by the decision of the Synod of Erfurt to stop paying an annual tribute to the Magyars in 932.
East Francia or the Kingdom of the East Franks was a precursor of the Holy Roman Empire. A successor state of Charlemagne's empire, it was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911. It was created through the Treaty of Verdun (843) which divided the former empire into three kingdoms.
Henry the Fowler was the duke of Saxony from 912 and the elected king of East Francia (Germany) from 919 until his death in 936. As the first non-Frankish king, he established the Ottonian Dynasty of kings and emperors, and he is generally considered to be the founder and first king of the medieval German state, known until then as East Francia. An avid hunter, he obtained the epithet "the Fowler" because he was allegedly fixing his birding nets when messengers arrived to inform him that he was to be king.
The Principality of Hungary or Duchy of Hungary was the earliest documented Hungarian state in the Carpathian Basin, established 895 or 896, following the 9th century Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin.
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The Magyars (Hungarians), Eurasian nomads who had originally served as mercenaries under Emperor Arnulf, after his death in 899 began to campaign in the Kingdom of Italy and East Francia. In 906 they broke up Great Moravia and one year later destroyed a Bavarian army under Margrave Luitpold at the Battle of Pressburg.
The Eurasian nomads were a large group of nomadic peoples from the Eurasian Steppe, who often appear in history as invaders of Europe, the Middle East and China.
Arnulf of Carinthia was the duke of Carinthia who overthrew his uncle, Emperor Charles the Fat, became the Carolingian king of East Francia from 887, the disputed King of Italy from 894 and the disputed Holy Roman Emperor from February 22, 896 until his death at Regensburg, Bavaria.
Great Moravia, the Great Moravian Empire, or simply Moravia, was the first major state that was predominantly West Slavic to emerge in the area of Central Europe, chiefly on what is now the territory of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Serbia (Vojvodina). The only formation preceding it in these territories was Samo's Empire known from between 631 and 658 AD. Great Moravia was thus the first joint state of the Slavonic tribes that became later known as Czechs and Slovaks and that later formed Czechoslovakia.
In 924 a Magyar army invading the German duchy of Saxony defeated King Henry I in the field, but an Árpád prince—probably Zoltán—captured near Pfalz Werla allowed Henry to negotiate for terms. A truce of nine years, during which annual tribute was required of the Germans, was declared in 926.During the truce, Henry reorganised the defences of his Saxonian duchy and subdued the Polabian Slavs in the east. At a 926 assembly, Henry secured the construction of new castles and the authorisation of a new form of garrison duty: the soldiery were organised into groups of nine agrarii milites (farmer-soldiers), one of which was doing guard duty at any given time while the other eight worked the fields. In time of invasion, all nine could man the castles.
The Árpáds or Arpads was the ruling dynasty of the Principality of Hungary in the 9th and 10th centuries and of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 to 1301. The dynasty was named after Grand Prince Árpád who was the head of the Hungarian tribal federation during the conquest of the Carpathian Basin, c. 895. It is also referred to as the Turul dynasty, but rarely.
Zoltán, also Zolta, is mentioned in the Gesta Hungarorum as the third Grand Prince of the Hungarians who succeeded his father Árpád around 907. Although modern historians tend to deny this report on his reign, because other chronicles do not list him among the Hungarian rulers, there is consensus that even if Zoltán never ascended the throne, all monarchs ruling in Hungary from the House of Árpád after around 955 were descended from him.
Werlaburgdorf is a village and a former municipality in the district of Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony, Germany. Since 1 November 2013, it is part of the municipality Schladen-Werla.
After he believed the necessary reforms had been made, Henry secured the support of the church in reneging on tribute payments in 932. Allegedly he had a dead dog thrown down in front of the Magyar negotiators, which amounted to a declaration of war.
In preparation for the campaign, Henry levied mounted contingents from every region and stem duchy of the German kingdom, though only French chronicler Flodoard of Reims records the Bavarian presence.The Thuringian contingent, though probably mounted, was described as inermes, or unarmed (though probably just poorly armed) by the contemporary chronicler Widukind of Corvey. His Saxon horsemen were described as armed warriors (miles armatus), but "he could not trust his horsemen, because they lacked certain skills and not enough of them were equipped as a miles armatus should be."
A stem duchy was a constituent duchy of the Kingdom of Germany at the time of the extinction of the Carolingian dynasty and through the transitional period leading to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire later in the 10th century. The Carolingians had dissolved the original tribal duchies of the Frankish Empire in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Empire declined in the late 9th century, the old tribal areas assumed new identities as subdivisions of the realm. These are the five stem duchies : Bavaria, Franconia, Lotharingia (Lorraine), Saxony and Swabia (Alemannia). The Salian emperors retained the stem duchies as the major divisions of Germany, but they became increasingly obsolete during the early high-medieval period under the Hohenstaufen, and Frederick Barbarossa finally abolished them in 1180 by in favour of more numerous territorial duchies.
The Magyars had besieged an unknown town but attempted to withdraw in the night because Henry and his army had camped in the neighborhood at Riade. Henry sent forward a small contingent of footsoldiers with a few cavalrymen as a screen for his main army.The king had learned what to expect from the preceding struggles, where the rapidity of the Magyar light cavalry and archers had brought them success. He confronted their onset with light armoured combatants at first, followed by a massed heavy cavalry attack. According to Widukind of Corvey, the Magyar forces readily fled at the coming of Henry's horsemen and the victorious German troops declared Henry emperor on the battlefield.
The exact location of the battle is unknown and several municipalities in Central Germany claim to be the site of the combat, among them Kalbsrieth, at the confluence of Unstrut and Helme, and the Hunnenfeld near Riethgen. However the place of Riade rendered by Widukind denotes the army camp of King Henry, probably not identical with the battlefield.
Central Germany (Zentraldeutschland/Mitteldeutschland), in geography, describes the areas surrounding the geographical centre of Germany.
Kalbsrieth is a municipality in the district Kyffhäuserkreis, in Thuringia, Germany.
The Helme is river in central Germany that is about 65 kilometres (40 mi) long and which forms a left-hand, western tributary of the Unstrut in the states of Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt.
In Henry's lifetime the Magyars did not dare to make a further raid on East Francia. In 954 they again invaded Germany during a rebellion instigated by Duke Liudolf of Swabia and were finally defeated by Henry's son and successor King Otto I at the Battle of Lechfeld.
The Ottonian dynasty was a Saxon dynasty of German monarchs (919–1024), named after three of its kings and Holy Roman Emperors named Otto, especially its first Emperor Otto I. It is also known as the Saxon dynasty after the family's origin in the German stem duchy of Saxony. The family itself is also sometimes known as the Liudolfings (Liudolfinger), after its earliest known member Count Liudolf and one of its primary leading-names. The Ottonian rulers were successors of the Germanic king Conrad I who was the only Germanic king to rule in East Francia after the Carolingian dynasty and before this dynasty.
The Battle of Lechfeld was a series of military engagements over the course of three days from 10–12 August 955 in which the German forces of King Otto I the Great annihilated a Hungarian army led by harka Bulcsú and the chieftains Lél and Súr. The complete German victory put an end to the invasions of Latin Europe by Eurasian raiders.
Widukind of Corvey was a medieval Saxon chronicler. His three-volume Res gestae saxonicae sive annalium libri tres is an important chronicle of 10th-century Germany during the rule of the Ottonian dynasty.
Conrad I, called the Younger, was the king of East Francia from 911 to 918. He was the first king not of the Carolingian dynasty, the first to be elected by the nobility and the first to be anointed. He was chosen as the king by the rulers of the East Frankish stem duchies after the death of young king Louis the Child. Ethnically Frankish, prior to this election he had ruled the Duchy of Franconia from 906.
Eberhard III, a member of the Conradine dynasty, was Duke of Franconia, succeeding his elder brother, King Conrad I, in December 918. From 926 to 928, he also acted as ruler of Lotharingia.
Conrad, called the Red, was Duke of Lorraine from 944 until 953. He became the progenitor of the Imperial Salian dynasty.
Lehel, a member of the Árpád dynasty, was a Magyar chieftain and, together with Bulcsú, one of the most important figures of the Hungarian invasions of Europe. After the Magyar defeat at the Battle of Lechfeld, he was executed in Regensburg.
Otto, called the Illustrious by later authors, a member of the Ottonian dynasty, was Duke of Saxony from 880 to his death.
Bruno, also called Brun or Braun, a member of the Ottonian dynasty, was Duke of Saxony from 866 until his death. He is rated as an ancestor of the Brunonids, a cadet branch of the Ottonians, though an affiliation is uncertain. Bruno was killed fighting against Norse warriors in the Battle of Luneburg Heath and is venerated as one of the Ebsdorf Martyrs.
Gero I, called the Great, ruled an initially modest march centred on Merseburg in the south of the present German state of Saxony-Anhalt, which he expanded into a vast territory named after him: the marca Geronis. During the mid-10th century, he was the leader of the Saxon Ostsiedlung.
Siegfried was the Count and Margrave of Merseburg from an unknown date before 934 until his death. He does not appear with the title of margrave in contemporary royal charters and diplomas, so the title was informal and never official.
The Synod of Erfurt was a church council held at Erfurt in northeastern Thuringia under the presidency of Henry I of Germany in 932.
The Battle on the Raxa river was fought on 16 October 955 over control of the Billung march between the forces of Otto I of Germany allied with the Rani tribe on one side, and the Obotrite federation under Nako and his brother Stoigniew with their allied and tributary Slav neighbours on the other. The Raxa river is identified with either the Recknitz or the Elde river. The German victory over the Slavs followed up on the August victory at the Lechfeld over the Magyars and marked the high point of Otto's reign. A thirty-year peace followed, only ending with the Slavic revolt in 983.
Otto I, traditionally known as Otto the Great, was German king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda.
The Hungarian invasions of Europe took place in the ninth and tenth centuries, the period of transition in the history of Europe in the Early Middle Ages, when the territory of the former Carolingian Empire was threatened by invasion from multiple hostile forces, the Magyars (Hungarians) from the east, the Viking expansion from the north and the Arabs from the south.
The Battle of Püchen was fought in the summer of 919, between a Hungarian raiding army and the newly elected East Francian/German king Henry the Fowler, and ended with a Hungarian victory. This battle was a part of a long range Magyar raiding campaign, which lasted between the summer of 919 and the late winter or early spring of 920, and took part in countries like East Francia, West Francia, Burgundy and the Kingdom of Italy, resulting in victorious battles against the German king Henry the Fowler and the Burgundian king Rudolf II, while the West Francian and Lotharingian king Charles the Simple had no courage to face them.
The Battle of Lenzen was a land battle between a Saxon army of the Kingdom of Germany and the armies of the Slavic Redarii and Linonen peoples, that took place on 4 September 929 near the fortified Linonen stronghold of Lenzen in Brandenburg, Germany. The Saxon army, commanded by Saxon magnate Bernhard, destroyed a Slavic Redarii army. It marked the failure of Slavic attempts to resist German king Henry I's expansionism to the Elbe.
The Battle of Wels was fought between a joint Bavarian–Carantanian army and a Hungarian force near Wels in the Traungau, on the plain of the Welser Heide, nowadays a part of Austria. The battle took place at the height of the Hungarian invasions of Europe. The Bavarians and Carantanians were victorious under the command of the Bavarian leader Berthold. The victory is mentioned widely in contemporary histories. It is mentioned in Widukind of Corvey's Deeds of the Saxons, in Hermann of Reichenau's Chronicon and by Adalbert of Weissenburg in his continuation of the Chronicon of Regino of Prüm. It is also mentioned in the Annals of Saint Gall, the Annals of Salzburg and the Annals of Magdeburg, and in the necrology of Freising Cathedral.