Great Moravia and the Vlachs, The Principality of Nitra

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  • Great Moravia and the Vlachs, The Principality of Nitra

    Kopany, St. Margaret church, 9 st, the only remaining Great Moravian Building

    Martin Eggers represents German speaking scholars, who proposed a plausible "two regna" thesis,[12] which were accordingly to him situated far to the southeast of modern Moravia. Like Boba, Eggers insists that Zwentibald's principality crystallized south of the Sava in modern Bosnia. On the other hand he disagrees that Sirmium was his principal residence. Eggers believes that the centre of Rastislav's realm was located in the Great Danubian Basin in urbs Morisena (modern Csanad, Maroswar) based on the source Vita maior S.Gerhardi. Utilizing archeological evidence as well as impressive array of written sources, Eggers posits that, following the defeat of the Avars, Carolingian rulers shored up preexisting bulwarks in Great Danubian Basin to protect the central Danubian basin against eastern intruders. These ramparts, 550 km in length, formed an arc east of the Danube and Tisza starting northeast of Budapest running eastward, bending sharply southward near Nyiregyhaza finally reaching Danube just opposite to the confluence with southern Morava river. Based on the archeological evidence he believes that Moravians from the south were settled in the enclosing area behind the ramparts by Franks.

    Charles R. Bowlus is American historian who reconstructed military infrastructure of southeastern marchers of the Carolingian Empire based on recent research concerning the nature of Frankish warfare and logistical system that support it and careful study of the evidence derived from itineraries, land grants and prosopography in 1995.[10] [11] The research resulted in conclusion that relatively large body of reliable evidence in Frankish charters and deeds demonstrated that members of leading marcher kindreds can be documented in Carantania and thus Carantania became center of gravity of the system of marcher lordships on the east of Bavaria.

    PeopleThe inhabitants of Great Moravia were designated Slovene, which is an old Slavic word meaning the "Slavs".[citation needed] The same name was used by the ancestors of Slovaks, Slovenes and Slavonians at that time and the present-day native names of these nations (for example Slovensko, the Slovak name of Slovakia) are still derived from the root Slovene.[7] People of Great Moravia were sometimes referred to as "Moravian peoples" by Slavic texts, and "Sclavi" (i.e. the Slavs), "Winidi" (another name for the Slavs), "Moravian Slavs" or "Moravians" by Latin texts.


    Muslim geographers, when describing the inhabitants of Great Moravia, mentioned that

    They are a numerous people and their dress resembles that of the Arabs, consisting of turban and shirt and overcoat. They have cultivated lands and seeds and vineyards (...).They state that their number is greater than that of the Rum (Vlachs,WMN) and that they are a separate nation. The greater part of their trade is with Arabia.Ahmad ibn Rustah [76]

  • Great Moravia 833906 Great Moravia was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe from the 9th century to the early 10th century. There is some controversy as to the actual location of its core territory. According to the greater weight of scholars, its core area lay on both sides of the Morava river, the territory of today's western Slovakia and in Moravia and Bohemia (today's Czech Republic)[2], but the entity may have also extended[when?] into what are today parts of Hungary, Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and Germany.[3][4][5][page needed][6][page needed] According to Slovak historian Richard Marsina, Great Moravia was inhabited by the ancestors of modern Moravians and Slovaks,[7] although, there is no continuity in politics, culture, or written language between this early Slavic polity and the modern Slovak nation.[8] According to alternate theories, the core territory of Great Moravia was situated South of the Danube river, in Slavonia or in the southern parts of the Carpathian Basin.[9][10]

    Great Moravia was founded when, in 833, Mojmr I unified two neighbouring states by force[clarification needed][dubious discuss], referred to in modern historiography as the "Principality of Nitra" and the "Principality of Moravia".[3][11][12] The rulers of the emerging state periodically[when?] submitted to the kings of East Francia, signaling an inability to reach full independence.[clarification needed]


    Cultural development resulted from the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius, who came during the reign of Prince Rastislav in 863. The empire reached its greatest territorial extent under Svatopluk I (871894), although the borders of his dominions are still under debate. He also received a letter from by Pope John VIII who styled him "king" Svatopluk.

    Weakened by internal struggle[13] and frequent wars with the Carolingian Empire, Great Moravia was ultimately overrun by the Hungarians, who invaded the Carpathian Basin around 896. Its remnants were divided between Poland, Hungary, Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire. Although some contemporary sources mention that Great Moravia vanished and the Moravian castles were abandoned for a century, archaeological research and toponyms suggest that there was continuity in the Slavic population in the valleys of the rivers of the Inner Western Carpathians.[14][15] Most castles and towns survived the destruction of the state,[3][16] but the identification of some castles is still debated and some scholars even claim that Great Moravia disappeared without trace.[17]

    Great Moravia left behind a lasting legacy in Central and Eastern Europe. The Glagolitic script and its

  • successor Cyrillic were disseminated to other Slavic countries, charting a new path in their cultural development. The administrative system of Great Moravia may have influenced the development of the administration of medieval Hungary. Great Moravia also became a favorite issue in the Czech and Slovak romantic nationalism of the 19th century.[12]

    [edit] NameThe designation "Great Moravia" (" ") originally stems from the work De Administrando Imperio written by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos around 950 (and actually, his work is the only primary source that uses the adjective "Great" when referring to the polity).[18][19][20] Although the name Great Moravia is used by the modern historiography to refer to a medieval polity in the northern part of the Carpathian Basin, the Emperor himself referred to a different country, located south of or in the southern part of the Carpathian Basin or he mismatched the location.[citation needed]

    The word "Great Moravia" used by modern authors not only refers to present-day Moravia, but to a country situated on both sides of the Morava river whose capital was also plausibly called Morava.[21] Alternatively, "Moravia" could also refer to country whose capital was Morava. It is not always clear whether an early medieval written source names a country or a town called Morava. The adjective "Great" nowadays denotes Moravia plus the annexed territories. Some authors[who?] interpret the original meaning as "distant", because Byzantine texts used to distinguish between two countries of the same name using the attribute "little" for the territory closer to the Byzantine Empire (such as the Morava rivers in Serbia) and "great" for the more distant territory (such as the Morava river between Moravia and Slovakia).[16]

    The adjective "" may also mean "old" in Byzantine texts[9][10][22][23] and some scholars argue[who?] Old Moravia is the correct name.

    The names of Great Moravia in other languages are Vek Morava in Slovak, Velk Morava in Czech, Gromhren in German, in Bulgarian, Velika Moravska ( ) in Serbian, and morva fejedelemsg[18] in Hungarian. In English, the forms Moravia[6] Greater Moravia and Moravia Magna are also used.

    The use of the term (Great) Slovak Empire instead of Great Moravia is promoted by some Slovak authors[who?] who attempt to define it as an early Slovak state.[24] The use of this term would contradict the theory that the distinct Slavic nations had not yet emerged by the 9th century and the culture and language of various Slavic tribes in central Europe were indistinguishable from each other.[25]

    [edit] History[edit] FoundationThe formation of Great Moravia resulted from the political and social development that is documented by archaeological findings, but scarcely described by contemporary chroniclers.[26] The first state of the Slavs living on the Middle Danube was Samo's Realm, a tribal confederation existing between 623 and 658.[27] It encompassed the territories of Moravia, Slovakia, Lower Austria, Carantania, Sorbia at the Elbe, and probably also Bohemia, which lies between Sorbia and other parts of the realm. Although this tribal confederation plausibly did not survive its founder, it created favorable conditions for the formation of the local Slavic aristocracy.[citation needed]

    Graves dated to the period after King Samo's death show that the Avars returned to some of their lost

  • territories and they even could expand their area of settlement not only over the western parts of the present-day Slovakia but also over the Vienna Basin. Archaeological evidence from this period identifies the emergence of the so-called "griffin and tendril" archaeological culture in the 670s, initially interpreted to represent a new migration of steppe nomads, (possibly Onogurs)),[23] but now an in vivo development is favored.[by whom?][citation needed] However, archaeological findings from the same period (such as an exquisite noble tomb in Blatnica) also indicate formation of a Slavic upper class on the territory that later became the nucleus of Great Moravia.[3]

    In the late 8th century, the Morava river basin and present-day western Slovakia, inhabited by the Slavs and situated at the Frankish border, flourished economically.[citation needed] Construction of numerous river valley settlements as well as hill forts indicates that political integration was driven by regional strongmen protected by their armed retinues. The Blatnica-Mikulice horizon, a rich archaeological culture partially inspired by the contemporaneous Carolingian and Avar art, arose from this economic and political development.[3][6] In the 790s, the Slavs who had settled on the middle Danube overthrew the Avar yoke in connection with Charlemagne's campaigns against the Avars.[citation needed] Further centralization of power and progress in creation of state structures of the Slavs living in this region followed. As a result, two major states emerged: the Moravian Principality originally situated in present-day southeastern Moravia and westernmost Slovakia (with the probable center in Mikulice)[5] and the Principality of Nitra, located in present-day western and central Slovakia (with the center in Nitra).[3][7][11]

    Moravian legates were sent to Frankish emperors in 811 and 815.[6] In 822, the Royal Frankish Annals record that the Marvani paid homage to the Frankish Emperor at the Diet in Frankfurt:[28]

    At this assembly, he /the king/ gave audience also to the delegates sent with presents to him by all the Eastern Slavonic people, namely, by the Obotrites, Sorbs, Veleti, Czech, Moravians and Prdecents and the Avars settled in Pannonia.Annales regni Francorum[29][30]The first Moravian ruler known by name, Mojmr I, was baptized in 831 by Reginhar, bishop of Passau.[4]

    There is not much information in the contemporary primary sources (only two remarks in a Western documents) about the polity referred to as the "Principality of Nitra" by later historians.[31] Nevertheless, during the first decades of the 9th century, the Slavic people living in the north-western parts of the Carpathian Basin were under the rule of a prince Pribina whose seat was in Nitra.[23] In 828, Prince Pribina, although probably still a pagan himself, built the first Christian church for his wife and German inhabitants within the borders of his principality in his possession called Nitrava.[32][33]

    In 833, Mojmr I expelled Pribina[34] from Nitra and the two principalities became

  • united under the same ruler.[3][7] Excavations revealed that at least three Nitrian castles (Pobedim, ingov, and Ostr skala) were destroyed around the time of the conquest (i.e., around the time when Pribina was expelled from his possession).[3] But Pribina escaped to the Franks and their king Louis the German granted him parts of Pannonia around the Zala River, referred usually in modern works as the Balaton Principality.[35]

    [edit] After unification Rastislav as an Orthodox Saint (modern depiction)What modern historians designate as "Great" Moravia arose around 830 when Mojmr unified the Slavic tribes settled north of the Danube and extended the Moravian supremacy over them.[31] When Mojmr I endeavoured to secede from the supremacy of the king of East Francia in 846, King Louis the German deposed him and assisted Mojmr's nephew, Rastislav (846870) in acquiring the throne.[18][36] Although he was originally chosen by the Frankish king, the new monarch pursued an independent policy. After stopping a Frankish attack in 855, he also sought to weaken influence of Frankish priests preaching in his realm. Rastislav asked the Byzantine Emperor Michael III to send teachers who would interpret Christianity in the Slavic vernacular. By establishing relations with Constantinople, Rastislav wanted to weaken influence of Frankish preachers, who served the interests of the Frankish Emperor.[37] He also desired to counter an anti-Moravian alliance recently concluded between the Franks and Bulgarians.[37] Upon Ras...


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