The Curse of Turan

“The Baneful God of Pannon Memory”

The Curse of Turan sounds like it should be the title of a short story from the Conan the Barbarian oeuvre, but it is said to be a curse that has haunted the Hungarian people and nation from the year 1000 AD to the present.

The curse of turan begins

King Stephen I of Hungary rides in on his on white horse. Thanks a frikkin’ bunch, yo.

Okay, there are actually multiple theories of when and why the curse came into play, but the year 1000 version is my favorite. That is the year that King Stephen I converted the country to Christianity, forsaking all the pagan star and fire gods that preceded.

Hungary had been a Roman border province called Pannonia for about 450 years and the Hellenistic influence was heavily felt.

In retribution for King Stephen’s conversion, the priests of long-established deities like Mithras, Silvanus, Jupiter and Venus are said to have called down a curse on the Hungarian people. It is a curse lasting either forever or for a thousand years, depending on differing theories.

Pannon Francisco_de_Goya_y_Lucientes_-_Witches'_Sabbath_-_WGA10007

Pan with witches

A 19th century poet blamed the curse on the “the baneful god of Pannon memory” (a.k.a., Pan) and it has been baneful indeed. The curse is charged with creating many specific disasters, such as losses of nationally pivotal battles, disastrous treaties, blood-soaked repressions and the like. It is also blamed for the country’s astronomically high suicide rates and one of the shortest life expectancy rates in Europe.

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