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The great Roman Empire named this section of the land Pannonia

Budapest History

c. 1000BC The Celts inhabit the Danube Basin

35BC Roman armies of Julius Caesar conquer the region

14BC-AD500 Pannonia becomes a part of the Roman Empire

AD600-896 Huns and Hungarians enter and conquer the territory


The land of today's Hungary, along with the surrounding areas, had been an inhabited territory since pre-historical times. Findings show that the Carpathian basin was already home to mankind half a million years ago. In the middle Paleozoic era human settlements existed in the countryside around the middle part of the river Tisza (the other major river of Hungary, east from the Danube). The people of the Korösi culture, In the Neolithic age, had already begun cultivating the land using cut stone instruments. The findings from the copper and bronze ages reveal that at that time people were already living in tribal communities, and were familiar with the four-wheel wagon pulled by oxen; they kept domesticated animals, could weave and spin, and made clay dishes.


During the Great Age of Migrations, the area was settled by waves of nomad people, primarily by Scythians from the Caucasus, and Celts from the area of today's France. The city of Szazhalombatta (south of Budapest), preserved many original remnants from this era, to be viewed even today. During the 1st century BC, the Celtic Eravisci tribes were assimilated into the vast province of the great Roman Empire. This section of the land was named Pannonia, and was governed from the fortified town of Aquincum, on the west bank of the Danube, (north of Arpad bridge). Aquincum served as a military base (castrum), and was part of the Roman border protection system. A city gradually grew around the fortress, and after Pannonia was reorganized by the Romans in year 106, Aquincum became the capital of Pannonia Inferior. By the end of the 2nd century, around 30-40000 inhabitants lived in the city, the territory of which covered a significant part of the area, which is now called the Óbuda (Old Buda) district within Budapest. Inhabitants of the settlement could enjoy the achievements of the Empire, such as central heating in the house, public baths, palaces, as well as amphitheatres for social events. The ruins of these remained in good condition until this day, and can be visited in an extensive, open-air museum area.


Through fierce battles, the Romans pulled out in the 5th century AD, to be succeeded by the Huns. During the second Age of Migrations (following the split up of the Hun tribe, after Attila the Hun died), Germanic tribes, Lombards, Avars and Slavs all passed through, and for shorter periods possessed lands, until the arrival of the Magyars in about 896. The 7 Hungarian tribes spread out, across the entire Carpathian basin, but the clan of Árpád settled down on Csepel sziget (Csepel Island), a large island, surrounded by the deep waters of the Danube, which formed a defensive shelter. The western part of the new settlement, gradually spreading inland from the island, was named after Atilla the Hun's brother, Buda.
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