The Mythical Power of the Dual River-System of the Carpathian Basin: The Notion of a Hungarian Mesopotamia


  • Róbert Keményfi University of Debrecen



Gyula Prinz is responsible for the notion of “Magyar Mezopotámia” [Hungarian Mesopotamia]. The natural basis for this idea is that Hungarian culture developed on the surface of an alluvial plains area. This sort of natural environment was the precondition of great civilizations based on agriculture. In other words, the intrinsic Duna-Tisza [Danubius-Tibiscus] river structure, which is similar to that of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, would elevate Hungary to the status of a mesopotamic country. This is how the central Hungarian area could become the distributing core of culture and how this culture could be radiated towards the neighboring peoples who also lived together with us in the Carpathian Basin. Our “cultural power” therefore “elevated” the cultural level of other peoples who lived with us on the edges of the Carpathian Basin. Accordingly, the end, or the borderline, of the highbrow “core culture” is located where the territory populated by Hungarians ends, or where the plains area shifts into the Carpathian Mountains.






Thematic Cluster: Space, Place, and the Making of Modern Hungary [Part II] Guest editors: S. Jobbitt and R. Győri