In 10th-century Europe, the Hungarian tribes marauded with near impunity over a vast territory. Their new homeland in the Carpathian Basin was secured by annihilating the East Franks at Pressburg (907). From this base, they raided as far as Catalonia in northern Spain (942), Otranto (947) and the outskirts of Constantinople (959). Once they had made their presence felt, they would exact tribute not to return. They frequently acted as a mercenary force in other disputes, and also raided to order (King Hugh of Italy paid 10 bushels of gold for their attack on the caliphate of Cordoba). Defeats by the East Franks at Merseburg (933) and Lechfeld (955), checked their forays, and King Stephen (1000–31), a Christian convert, laid the foundations of a centralized state, including archbishoprics at Kalossa and Gran. The latter was planted, pointedly, in the territory of the vanquished Black Magyars, the last of the pagan marauders.
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