Great Moravia
Overview
Great Moravia was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and lasted for nearly seventy years in the 9th century whose creators were the ancestors of the Czechs and Slovaks
Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

. It was a vassal state of the Germanic Frankish kingdom and paid an annual tribute to it. 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
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and in Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

 and Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 (today's Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

), but the entity may have also extended into what are today parts of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.
Encyclopedia
Great Moravia was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 and lasted for nearly seventy years in the 9th century whose creators were the ancestors of the Czechs and Slovaks
Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

. It was a vassal state of the Germanic Frankish kingdom and paid an annual tribute to it. 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
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and in Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

 and Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 (today's Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

), but the entity may have also extended into what are today parts of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Alternative theories state that, the core territory of Great Moravia was situated south of the River Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

, in Slavonia
Slavonia
Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia...

 (today's Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

), or in the southern parts of the Carpathian Basin
Pannonian Basin
The Pannonian Basin or Carpathian Basin is a large basin in East-Central Europe.The geomorphological term Pannonian Plain is more widely used for roughly the same region though with a somewhat different sense - meaning only the lowlands, the plain that remained when the Pliocene Pannonian Sea dried...

.
According to Slovak historian Richard Marsina, Great Moravia was inhabited by the ancestors of modern Moravians
Moravians (ethnic group)
Moravians are the modern West Slavic inhabitants of the historical land of Moravia, the easternmost part of the Czech Republic, which includes the Moravian Slovakia. They speak the two main groups of Moravian dialects , the transitional Bohemian-Moravian dialect subgroup and standard Czech...

 and Slovaks
Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

, though other historians state that the indigenous Slavs of Great Moravia have died out or they have been assimilated by Hungarians (in the territory of Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

). There is no continuity in politics, culture, or written language between this early Slavic polity and the modern Slovak nation. However, many Slovaks see the basis of the Slovak nation in the cultural heritage of Great Moravia and this is referred to in the modern Slovak constitution. Great Moravia played a significant role in the development of Slovak nationalism.

Great Moravia was founded when, in 833, Mojmír I
Mojmír I
Mojmir I or Moimir I was the first known ruler of the Moravian Slavs . In modern scholarship, the creation of the early medieval state known as "Great" Moravia is attributed either to his or to his successors' expansionist policy...

 unified two neighboring states by force, referred to in modern historiography as the "Principality of Nitra
Principality of Nitra
The Principality of Nitra also Nitrian Principality or Slovak Principality is the name for a polity of Nitra Sloviens, centered on large agglomeration, a multi-tribal centre around Nitra, Slovakia. The initially independent Principality of Nitra came into existence in the early 9th century...

" and the "Principality of Moravia".
Cultural development resulted from the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

, who came during the reign of Prince Rastislav
Rastislav
Rastislav or Rostislav was the second known ruler of Moravia . Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks...

 in 863. The empire reached its greatest territorial extent under Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I or Zwentibald I was the greatest ruler of Moravia that attained its maximum territorial expansion in his reign . His career had already started in the 860s, when he governed a principality, the location of which is still a matter of debate among historians, within Moravia under the...

 (871–894), although the borders of his dominions are still under debate. He also received a letter from Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII was pope from December 13, 872 to December 16, 882. He is often considered one of the ablest pontiffs of the ninth century and the last bright spot on the papacy until Leo IX two centuries later....

 who styled him "king" Svatopluk.

Weakened by internal struggle and frequent wars with the Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire is a historiographical term which has been used to refer to the realm of the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty in the Early Middle Ages. This dynasty is seen as the founders of France and Germany, and its beginning date is based on the crowning of Charlemagne, or Charles the...

, Great Moravia was ultimately overrun by the Hungarians, who invaded the Carpathian Basin
Pannonian Basin
The Pannonian Basin or Carpathian Basin is a large basin in East-Central Europe.The geomorphological term Pannonian Plain is more widely used for roughly the same region though with a somewhat different sense - meaning only the lowlands, the plain that remained when the Pliocene Pannonian Sea dried...

 around 896. Its remnants were divided between Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 and the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. Although some contemporary sources mention that Great Moravia vanished and the Moravian castles were abandoned for a century, archaeological research and toponyms
Toponymy
Toponymy is the scientific study of place names , their origins, meanings, use and typology. The word "toponymy" is derived from the Greek words tópos and ónoma . Toponymy is itself a branch of onomastics, the study of names of all kinds...

 suggest that there was continuity in the Slavic population in the valleys of the rivers of the Inner Western Carpathians
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

. Most castles and towns survived the destruction of the state, but the identification of some castles is still debated and some scholars even claim that Great Moravia disappeared without trace.

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 influenced the development of the administration of medieval Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. Great Moravia also became a favorite issue in the Czech and Slovak romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

 of the 19th century.

Name

The designation "Great Moravia" ("Μεγάλη Μοραβία") originally stems from the work De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a Greek work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII. The Greek title of the work is...

 written by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos
Constantine VII
Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos or Porphyrogenitus, "the Purple-born" was the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 913 to 959...

 around 950 (and actually, his work is the only primary source that uses the adjective "Great" when referring to the polity). 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
Pannonian Basin
The Pannonian Basin or Carpathian Basin is a large basin in East-Central Europe.The geomorphological term Pannonian Plain is more widely used for roughly the same region though with a somewhat different sense - meaning only the lowlands, the plain that remained when the Pliocene Pannonian Sea dried...

 or he mismatched the location.

The original title was: Moravenses terra Moravia. Word "Great Moravia" used by modern authors not only refers to present-day Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

, but to a country situated on both sides of the Morava river whose capital was also plausibly called Morava. 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 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
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

) and "great" for the more distant territory (such as the Morava river between Moravia and Slovakia).

The adjective "Μεγάλη" may also mean "old" in Byzantine texts and some scholars argue Old Moravia is the correct name.

The names of Great Moravia in other languages are Veľká Morava in Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

, Velká Morava in Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

, Großmähren in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, Великоморавия in Bulgarian
Bulgarian language
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

, Velika Moravska (Велика Моравска) in Serbian
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

, and morva fejedelemség in Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

. In English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, the forms Moravia 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 attempt to define it as an early Slovak
Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

 state. 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.

Foundation

The formation of Great Moravia resulted from the political and social development that is documented by archaeological findings, but scarcely described by contemporary chroniclers. The first state of the Slavs living on the Middle Danube was Samo
Samo
Samo was a Frankish merchant from the "Senonian country" , probably modern Soignies, Belgium or Sens, France. He was the first ruler of the Slavs whose name is known, and established one of the earliest Slav states, a supra-tribal union usually called Samo's empire, realm, kingdom, or tribal...

's Realm, a tribal confederation existing between 623 and 658. It encompassed the territories of Moravia, Slovakia, Lower Austria
Lower Austria
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria...

, Carantania, Sorbia at the Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

, and probably also Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, 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.

Graves dated to the period after King Samo's death show that the Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

 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
Vienna Basin
The Vienna Basin is a sedimentary basin between the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains...

. 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
Onogurs
The Onogurs, also known as Utigurs, were a horde of equestrian nomads in the North Eurasian steppe east of the Don River during the 5th to 8th centuries. The Onogurs crossed the Volga and entered into Europe around the year 460 within the larger context of the Great Migrations and the Turkic...

)), but now an in vivo development is favoured. However, archaeological findings from the same period (such as an exquisite noble tomb in Blatnica
Blatnica, Slovakia
Blatnica is a village and municipality in the Turiec region of Slovakia. Administratively it is a part of the Martin District in the Žilina Region. The village is situated under the Greater Fatra Range, at the opening of the spectacular karst Gader and Blatnica valleys...

) also indicate formation of a Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 upper class on the territory that later became the nucleus of Great Moravia.

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. Construction of numerous river valley settlements as well as hill fort
Hill fort
A hill fort is a type of earthworks used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically European and of the Bronze and Iron Ages. Some were used in the post-Roman period...

s indicates that political integration was driven by regional strongmen protected by their armed retinues. The Blatnica-Mikulčice horizon, a rich archaeological culture
Archaeological culture
An archaeological culture is a recurring assemblage of artifacts from a specific time and place, which are thought to constitute the material culture remains of a particular past human society. The connection between the artifacts is based on archaeologists' understanding and interpretation and...

 partially inspired by the contemporaneous Carolingian
Carolingian
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name "Carolingian", Medieval Latin karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German *karling, kerling The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the...

 and Avar
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

 art, arose from this economic and political development. In the 790s, the Slavs who had settled on the middle Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 overthrew the Avar yoke in connection with Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

's campaigns against the Avars. 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
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

 and westernmost Slovakia (with the probable center in Mikulčice
Mikulcice
Mikulčice is a municipality in the Czech Republic, situated 7 km south of Hodonín, near the border with Slovakia. It belongs to the Hodonín District and the South Moravian Region. It extends out for 1,530 ha, with 1,955 inhabitants in 623 homes. Mikulčice has a biospheric reserve, containing...

) and the Principality of Nitra
Principality of Nitra
The Principality of Nitra also Nitrian Principality or Slovak Principality is the name for a polity of Nitra Sloviens, centered on large agglomeration, a multi-tribal centre around Nitra, Slovakia. The initially independent Principality of Nitra came into existence in the early 9th century...

, located in present-day western and central Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 (with the center in Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

).

Moravian legates were sent to Frankish emperors in 811 and 815. In 822, the Royal Frankish Annals
Royal Frankish Annals
The Royal Frankish Annals or Annals of the Kingdom of the Franks ,are annals covering the history of early Carolingian monarchs from 741 to 829. Their composition seems to have soon been taken up at court, providing them with markedly official character...

 record that the Marvani paid homage to the Frankish Emperor at the Diet in Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

:
The first Moravian ruler known by name, Mojmír I
Mojmír I
Mojmir I or Moimir I was the first known ruler of the Moravian Slavs . In modern scholarship, the creation of the early medieval state known as "Great" Moravia is attributed either to his or to his successors' expansionist policy...

, was baptized in 831 by Reginhar, bishop of Passau
Bishop of Passau
The Diocese of Passau is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in Germany. It is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of München und Freising. The diocese covers an area of 5,442 km². The current bishop is Wilhelm Schraml.-History:...

.

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. Nevertheless, during the first decades of the 9th century, the Slavic people living in the north-western parts of the Carpathian Basin
Pannonian Basin
The Pannonian Basin or Carpathian Basin is a large basin in East-Central Europe.The geomorphological term Pannonian Plain is more widely used for roughly the same region though with a somewhat different sense - meaning only the lowlands, the plain that remained when the Pliocene Pannonian Sea dried...

 were under the rule of a prince Pribina
Pribina
Pribina was a Slavic prince whose adventurous career, recorded in the Conversion of the Bavarians and the Carantanians , illustrates the political volatility of the Franco–Slavic frontiers of his time...

 whose seat was in Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

. In 828, Prince Pribina
Pribina
Pribina was a Slavic prince whose adventurous career, recorded in the Conversion of the Bavarians and the Carantanians , illustrates the political volatility of the Franco–Slavic frontiers of his time...

, 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.

In 833, Mojmír I expelled Pribina from Nitra and the two principalities became united under the same ruler. Excavations revealed that at least three Nitrian castles (Pobedim
Pobedim
Pobedim is a village and municipality in Nové Mesto nad Váhom District in the Trenčín Region of western Slovakia.-Geography:The municipality lies at an altitude of 169 metres and covers an area of 8.609km². It has a population of about 1,218 people....

, Čingov, and Ostrá skala) were destroyed around the time of the conquest (i.e., around the time when Pribina was expelled from his possession). But Pribina escaped to the Franks and their king Louis the German
Louis the German
Louis the German , also known as Louis II or Louis the Bavarian, was a grandson of Charlemagne and the third son of the succeeding Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye.He received the appellation 'Germanicus' shortly after his death in recognition of the fact...

 granted him parts of Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

 around the Zala
Zala
Zala is the name of an administrative county in Hungary. Itlies in south-western Hungary. It is named after the Zala River. It shares borders with Croatia and Slovenia and the Hungarian counties Vas, Veszprém and Somogy. The capital of Zala county is Zalaegerszeg. Its area is 3784 km²...

 River, referred usually in modern works as the Balaton Principality
Balaton Principality
The Principality of Lower Pannonia was a Slavic principality located in the western part of the Pannonian plain, between the rivers Danube to its east The Principality of Lower Pannonia (also called Pannonia, Lower Pannonia, Pannonian Principality, Transdanubian Principality, Slavic Pannonian...

.

After unification

What modern historians designate as "Great" Moravia arose around 830 when Mojmír unified the Slavic tribes settled north of the Danube and extended the Moravian supremacy over them. When Mojmír I endeavoured to secede from the supremacy of the king of East Francia in 846, King Louis the German
Louis the German
Louis the German , also known as Louis II or Louis the Bavarian, was a grandson of Charlemagne and the third son of the succeeding Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye.He received the appellation 'Germanicus' shortly after his death in recognition of the fact...

 deposed him and assisted Mojmír's nephew, Rastislav
Rastislav
Rastislav or Rostislav was the second known ruler of Moravia . Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks...

 (846–870) in acquiring the throne. 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
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 Michael III
Michael III
Michael III , , Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian-Phrygian Dynasty...

 to send teachers who would interpret Christianity in the Slavic vernacular. By establishing relations with Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, Rastislav wanted to weaken influence of Frankish preachers, who served the interests of the Frankish Emperor. He also desired to counter an anti-Moravian alliance recently concluded between the Franks and Bulgarians. Upon Rastislav's request, two brothers, Byzantine officials and missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

 came in 863. Cyril developed the first Slavic alphabet
Glagolitic alphabet
The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

 and translated the Gospel into the Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

 language. Texts translated or written by Cyril and Methodius are considered to be the oldest literature in the Slavic languages. Rastislav was also preoccupied with the security and administration of his state. Numerous fortified castles built throughout the country are dated to his reign and some of them (e.g., Dowina, sometimes identified with Devín Castle
Devín Castle
Devín Castle is a castle in Devín, which is a borough of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia....

) are also mentioned in connection with Rastislav by Frankish chronicles. Moravia was militarily and economically powerful enough to be treated as an equal to the East Franksh Realm, and Ratislav was able to intervene in the power struggles in Frankia. Rastislav supported Carloman in his rebellion against his father, Louis the German, and was thus given the Balaton Principality
Balaton Principality
The Principality of Lower Pannonia was a Slavic principality located in the western part of the Pannonian plain, between the rivers Danube to its east The Principality of Lower Pannonia (also called Pannonia, Lower Pannonia, Pannonian Principality, Transdanubian Principality, Slavic Pannonian...

 in Lower Pannonia after its ruler, Pribina was killed by Carloman. The Magyar tribes invaded the Carpathian Basin for the first time during his reign, in 861, and afterwards, the Magyars were occasionally hired by several rulers of the territory in order to intervene in their wars against the opposite party.

During Rastislav's reign, the Principality of Nitra was given to his nephew Svatopluk as an appanage. The rebellious prince allied himself with the Franks and overthrew his uncle in 870. The beginning of Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I or Zwentibald I was the greatest ruler of Moravia that attained its maximum territorial expansion in his reign . His career had already started in the 860s, when he governed a principality, the location of which is still a matter of debate among historians, within Moravia under the...

’s reign was turbulent as his former Frankish allies refused to leave the western part of his empire. The young prince was even taken captive by the Franks and the country rallied around Slavomír
Slavomír
Slavomír or Sclagamar was a duke of Moravia . He led a revolt against the Franks who had annexed Moravia during the incarceration of his relative, Svatopluk I.- Early life :...

 who led an uprising against the invaders in 871. Svatopluk was finally released and took over the command of the insurgents, driving the Franks from Great Moravia. In the subsequent years, he successfully defended the independence of his realm from Eastern Francia
Eastern Francia
East Francia , also known as the Kingdom of the East Franks or Francia Orientalis, was the realm allotted to Louis the German by the 843 Treaty of Verdun...

 and subjected many neighboring lands. Similarly to his predecessor, Svatopluk I (871–894) assumed the title of the king (rex). During his reign, the Great Moravian Empire reached its greatest territorial extent, when not only present-day Moravia and Slovakia but also present-day northern and central Hungary, Lower Austria, Bohemia, Silesia, Lusatia, southern Poland and northern Serbia belonged to the empire, but the exact borders of his domains are still disputed by modern authors. Svatopluk also withstood attacks of Magyar tribes and the Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

, although sometimes it was he who hired the Magyars when waging war against East Francia.

In 880, Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII was pope from December 13, 872 to December 16, 882. He is often considered one of the ablest pontiffs of the ninth century and the last bright spot on the papacy until Leo IX two centuries later....

 issued the bull Industriae Tuae, by which he set up an independent ecclesiastical province in Great Moravia with Archbishop Methodius as its head. He also named the German cleric Wiching the Bishop of Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

, and Old Church Slavonic was recognized as the fourth liturgical language, along with Latin, Greek and Hebrew.

Decline and fall

After the death of King Svatopluk in 894, his sons Mojmír II
Mojmír II
Mojmir II was the last king of the Great Moravian Empire . Because of a civil war with his brother, he failed to prevent dismemberment of his Empire and probably died while fighting Magyar invaders....

 (894-906?) and Svatopluk II
Svatopluk II
Svatopluk II ruled the Principality of Nitra from 894 to 906 and strove to control all of Great Moravia.Svatopluk II was a younger son of Svatopluk I. As Prince of Nitra, Svatopluk II was subordinated to his older brother Mojmír II, the King of Great Moravia which contained the principality as its...

 succeeded him as the King of Great Moravia and the Prince of Nitra respectively. However, they started to quarrel for domination of the whole empire. Weakened by an internal conflict as well as by constant warfare with Eastern Francia, Great Moravia lost most of its peripheral territories. The death of Svatopluk and subsequent internal strife allowed Bohemia to shake off the Moravian yoke.

In the meantime, the Magyar tribes, having suffered a defeat from the similarly nomadic Pechenegs, left their territories east of the Carpathian Mountains, invaded the Carpathian Basin and started to occupy the territory gradually around 896. Their armies advance may have been promoted by continuous wars among the countries of the region whose rulers still hired them occasionally to intervene in their struggles. From 895 to 902, the whole area of the present-day Slovakia became part of the Principality of Hungary. The Bavarians and the Moravians accused each other of having formed alliances, even by "taking oath upon dogs and wolves", with the Magyars. The bishop Liutprand of Cremona
Liutprand of Cremona
Liutprand, also Liudprand, Liuprand, Lioutio, Liucius, Liuzo, and Lioutsios was a Lombard historian and author, and Bishop of Cremona....

 relates that in 900, the Magyars

We do not know what happened with Both Mojmír II and Svatopluk II because their names are not mentioned in written sources after 906. In three battles (July 4–5 and August 9, 907) near Pressburg or Blatnograd, the Magyars routed Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

n armies. Historians traditionally put this year as the date of the breakup of the Great Moravian Empire, however after 902, the territory of present day Slovakia have already been under Hungarian control. The archaeological evidence for the destruction and abandonment (lasting for a century or so in many cases) of the Moravian strongholds at this time is eloquent. The first (oldest) legend of Saint Naum also relates that the Magyars occupied the Moravian land

Although the source cited above and other sources mention that Great Moravia disappeared without trace and its inhabitants left for the Bulgars, Croats and Magyars following the latters' victories, but archaeological researches and toponyms
Toponymy
Toponymy is the scientific study of place names , their origins, meanings, use and typology. The word "toponymy" is derived from the Greek words tópos and ónoma . Toponymy is itself a branch of onomastics, the study of names of all kinds...

 suggest the continuity of Slavic population in the valleys of the rivers of the Inner Western Carpathians
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

. Toponyms may prove that the semi-nomadic Magyars occupied the Western Pannonian Plain in present-day Slovakia, while the hills were inhabited by a mixed (Slav and Hungarian) population and people living in the valleys of the mountains spoke Slavic language
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

.

Moreover, there are sporadic references to Great Moravia from later years: in 924/925, both Folkuin in his Gesta abb. Lobiensium and Ruotger in Archiepiscopi Coloniensis Vita Brunonis mention Great Moravia. From 925 until 931, there are several references to certain counts Mojmír and Svatopluk in official documents from Salzburg
Salzburg
-Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

, though the origin of the two nobles is not clear. There are some information of Olgo of Morava from Rurikid ruling Maravia in 940-949 with some assistance from neighboring Poland, possibly from Siemomysł. In 942, Magyar warriors captured in Al Andalus said that Moravia is the northern neighbor of their people. The fate of the northern and western parts of former Great Moravia in the 10th century is thus largely unclear.

The western part of the Great Moravian core territory (present-day Moravia) became the Frankish March of Moravia
March of Moravia
The March or Margraviate of Moravia, was a marcher state, sometimes de facto independent and varyingly within the power of the Duchy, later Kingdom of Bohemia...

. Originally a buffer against Magyar attacks, the march became obsolete after the Battle of Lechfeld
Battle of Lechfeld
The Battle of Lechfeld , often seen as the defining event for holding off the incursions of the Hungarians into Western Europe, was a decisive victory by Otto I the Great, King of the Germans, over the Hungarian leaders, the harka Bulcsú and the chieftains Lél and Súr...

 (955). After the battle, it was given to the Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

n duke Boleslav I. In 999 it was taken over by Poland under Boleslav I of Poland and returned to Bohemia in 1019.

As for the eastern part of the Great Moravian core territory (present-day Slovakia) fell under domination of the Hungarian Árpád dynasty
Árpád dynasty
The Árpáds or Arpads was the ruling dynasty of the federation of the Hungarian tribes and of the Kingdom of Hungary . The dynasty was named after Grand Prince Árpád who was the head of the tribal federation when the Magyars occupied the Carpathian Basin, circa 895...

. The northwest borders of the Principality of Hungary became a mostly uninhabited or sparsely inhabited land. This was the Hungarian gyepűelve and it can be considered as marches. It was lasted an effective until the mid-13th century. The rest remained under the rule of the local Slavic aristocracy and was gradually integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary in a process finished in the 14th century. However, according to other historians, after the Hungarian conquest from 895, The gradation (integration of slavic aristocracy) was negligible. In 1000 or 1001, all of present-day Slovakia was taken over by Poland under Boleslav I and much of this territory became part of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 by 1031. Since the 10th century, the population of Slovakia has been evolving into the present-day Slovaks
Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

.

Territory

There is a difficulty in establishing an adequate definition and identification of the inhabitants in the territory of Great Moravia. The historical record is anything but precise on this question. The structure of the state itself does not provide better answers as it is likely that it was a loose structure of federated principalities.

The Moravian state underwent considerable expansion, especially in the 870s, under Svatopluk I. In the 870s or 880s, the Moravians made a bid to extend their power northwards across the Carpathians to the broad fertile lands in Silesia
Silesia
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

 and Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland is one of the historical regions of Poland, with its capital in the city of Kraków. It forms the southeastern corner of the country, and should not be confused with the modern Lesser Poland Voivodeship, which covers only a small, southern part of Lesser Poland...

. There is little clear archaeological or written evidence, however, of a permanent extension of Moravian centralization of power in Lesser Poland or to the west in Silesia, or (as has been claimed by some historians) into Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

. Indeed modern historiography has tended to question the former claims of huge neighboring territories permanently annexed by the Moravian state. Thus, it is under debate whether the "Balaton Principality" (administered probably by counts appointed by the King of East Francia during this period) or parts of the Carpathian Basin east of the rivers Danube and Tisza
Tisza
The Tisza or Tisa is one of the main rivers of Central Europe. It rises in Ukraine, and is formed near Rakhiv by the junction of headwaters White Tisa, whose source is in the Chornohora mountains and Black Tisa, which springs in the Gorgany range...

 (Tisa) ("the territories of the Avars") were ever controlled by King Svatopluk. German historians Golberg and Reuter both suggests that Moravia did, in fact, control lower Pannonia (modern Hungarian Transdanubia), perhaps on two occasions: 858-863 (when Carloman gave it to Ratislav for his support against Louis the German, and again in 885-892 when Svatopoluk clashed with Arnulf.

As for the history of Bohemia—annexed by Great Moravia for eleven years (from 883 to 894), the crucial year is 895, when the Bohemians broke away from the empire and became vassals of Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia was the Carolingian King of East Francia from 887, the disputed King of Italy from 894 and the disputed Holy Roman Emperor from February 22, 896 until his death.-Birth and Illegitimacy:...

. Independent Bohemia, ruled by the dynasty of Přemyslids
Premyslid dynasty
The Přemyslids , were a Czech royal dynasty which reigned in Bohemia and Moravia , and partly also in Hungary, Silesia, Austria and Poland.-Legendary rulers:...

, began to gradually emerge.

Alternative theories

An alternative theory, proposed by Imre Boba independently of the similar theories of earlier authors (e.g., Daniele Farlatti, Gelasius Dobner working in the 18th century) in the 1970s, suggests that the core territory of the empire was situated south of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 river in Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

/Slavonia
Slavonia
Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia...

. The theory is based on Boba's reading of primary written sources (e.g., De administrando imperio
De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a Greek work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII. The Greek title of the work is...

, the Bavarian Geographer
Bavarian Geographer
The Bavarian Geographer is a conventional name given by Jan Potocki in 1796 to the author of an anonymous medieval document Descriptio civitatum et regionum ad septentrionalem plagam Danubii ....

 and Annales Fuldenses
Annales Fuldenses
The Annales Fuldenses or Annals of Fulda are East Frankish chronicles that cover independently the period from the last years of Louis the Pious to shortly after the end of effective Carolingian rule in East Francia with the accession of the child-king, Louis III, in 900...

), which in his opinion were ignored by other (Czech and Slovak) historians for various reasons, including nationalism. Moreover, he also utilized the results of archaeological researches and his knowledge of Slavic studies. A short summary of his statements and their criticism follows:
  • Boba claimed that some primary sources (e.g., De administrando imperio, the Bavarian Geographer) clearly locate the territory of Great Moravia south of the Danube and other primary sources do not contradict them. His opponents pointed out that some sources (i.e., the Annales Fuldenses) cited by Boba were written by foreigners "at a considerable distance from the events narrated" and their understanding of geography is not very precise. It is also true that some of the primary sources (such as Life of Methodius and Life of St. Clement of Ohrid, referred also by Boba) seem to contradict Boba's theory. For example, the escape of the Slavonic priests to Bulgaria, as described in the primary sources, indicates that Great Moravia was not located south of the Danube.
  • Boba also emphasized that Saint Methodius
    Saints Cyril and Methodius
    Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

     was made Archbishop of Syrmium, a town south of the Danube. The opposite view states that the see in Syrmium was only symbolic, because Syrmium had formerly been the see of an archdiocese in the past, but Boba and his followers indicated that Method's consecration for a symbolic see would have violated canon law
    Canon law
    Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

     in the 9th century. Boba's opponents also pointed out that the church claimed by Boba to be the resting place of Methodius in Syrmium turned out to be founded two hundred years after Methodius' death and no medieval settlement existed in Syrmium before AD 1000.
  • In addition, Boba argued that the continuity of the Slavonic liturgy and the uninterrupted use of Glagolitic alphabet
    Glagolitic alphabet
    The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

     in the Catholic Church can be proven south of the Danube, while such tradition did not exist uninterruptedly north of the Danube. In reality, the Slavonic liturgy survived in some places north of the Danube until 1097. Boba claimed that this tradition came to the Monastery of Sázava
    Sázava (Benešov District)
    Sázava is a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has around 3,800 inhabitants.Villages Bělokozly, Černé Budy, Čeřenice and Dojetřice are administrative parts of Sázava....

     from Vyshhorod
    Vyshhorod
    Vyshhorod is a city in the Kiev Oblast , in central Ukraine. It is the administrative centre of the Vyshhorodskyi Raion , and is located along the Dnieper River upstream from the national capital, Kiev...

     in the Kievan Rus'
    Kievan Rus'
    Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

    .
  • Great Moravia was often mentioned as Sclavonia in the primary sources and this denomination may have survived the fall of the empire in the name of Slavonia
    Slavonia
    Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia...

     (a territory south of the Danube) until the 20th century. But Boba's opponents pointed out that the same Latin name Sclavonia also referred to Slovakia and those northern parts of Hungary that were inhabited by Slavs. On the other hand, the Latin denomination Sclavonia for the territories of present-day Slovakia was documented only in 1512.
  • Another of Boba's claims was that archaeological findings attributed to the Moravians north of the Danube should be reclassified because they show clear nomadic characteristics (i.e., men and their horses buried together). But these characteristics are known only from some of the earliest graveyards, from the regions influenced by the nomad Avars
    Eurasian Avars
    The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

    . There is also a "sharp contrast in the archaeological record" between the politically and economically developed regions of Moravia and Slovakia (the location of Boba's opponents) on the one hand, and the sparsely populated Slavonia (Boba's location) on the other hand.


In 1983, the Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 Senga Toru, based on the primary sources, argued that Great Moravia was located around the territory where the Drava
Drava
Drava or Drave is a river in southern Central Europe, a tributary of the Danube. It sources in Toblach/Dobbiaco, Italy, and flows east through East Tirol and Carinthia in Austria, into Slovenia , and then southeast, passing through Croatia and forming most of the border between Croatia and...

 joins the Danube, i.e., south of and in the southern parts of the Carpathian Basin on both sides of the Danube. He also stated that another polity named Moravia (without the adjective "Great") existed in the 9th century in the territory of present-day Moravia and in the western regions of present-day Slovakia, and the two polities were unified by Svatopluk I.

In the 1990s, the Hungarian historian, the late Gyula Kristó also mentioned that some sources allow to suppose that Great Moravia was located around the Great Morava River, south of the Danube. Later, he stated that some primary sources refer to the existence of two Moravian polities ("Great Moravia" and "Moravia") lying on the territories where Senga Toru located them.

]

Peter Püspöki Nagy, a Slovak historian who proposed in his study, initially published in 1978 and later in 1982, existence of two Moravias based on the sources of De administrando imperio(DAI) and Bavarian Geographer. The latter source distinguishes between Marharii, identified by Nagy as neighbors of Bohemians, and Marehanii, who bordered on the Bulgars farther to the southeast. Land of Marehanii he calls "Great Moravia" as it was described in DAI, with an east-west extension from the southern Morava River to the Drina, including not only Belgrade and Sirmium, but also parts of the Great Danubian Plain. Thus heartland of the "Great Moravia" is identical with the central Danubian watergate. The land of Marharii, which is identical to the modern Moravia, he calls "Little Moravia" and accepts it was eventually conquered by Zwentibald, who, like his uncle Rastislav, resided in the southern realm.

Martin Eggers represents German speaking scholars, who proposed a plausible "two regna" thesis, 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. 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.

People

The inhabitants of Great Moravia were designated Slovene, which is an old Slavic word meaning the "Slavs". The same name was used by the ancestors of Slovaks
Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

, Slovenes and Slavonia
Slavonia
Slavonia is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia...

ns at that time and the present-day native names of these nations (for example Slovensko, the Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

 name of Slovakia) are still derived from the root Slovene. 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
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 texts.

As in all medieval states, life in Great Moravia was difficult compared to the modern standards: 40 percent of men and 60 percent of women died before reaching the age of 40. However, Great Moravian cemeteries also document rich nutrition and advanced health care. Inhabitants of Great Moravia even had better teeth than people today: a third of the examined skeletons had no caries or lost teeth.

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

Government and society

Great Moravia was ruled by a hereditary monarch from the House of Mojmír
House of Mojmír
The House of Mojmír is the modern name of the ruling dynasty of Great Moravia, the Moravian principality and the Principality of Nitra in the 9th and early 10th century....

. He was aided by a council of noblemen. The heir of the dynasty resided in Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

, ruling the Principality of Nitra
Principality of Nitra
The Principality of Nitra also Nitrian Principality or Slovak Principality is the name for a polity of Nitra Sloviens, centered on large agglomeration, a multi-tribal centre around Nitra, Slovakia. The initially independent Principality of Nitra came into existence in the early 9th century...

 as an appanage
Appanage
An apanage or appanage or is the grant of an estate, titles, offices, or other things of value to the younger male children of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture...

. He enjoyed a great deal of autonomy, as documented by the Papal correspondence that addressed Rastislav and his heir Svatopluk in the same way. Some parts of the Great Moravian territory were ruled by vassal princes, such as Borivoj I of Bohemia
Borivoj I of Bohemia
Bořivoj I was the first historically documented Duke of Bohemia and founder of Přemyslid dynasty.As the head of the Přemyslids who dominated the environs of present-day Prague, around 870 Bořivoj declared himself kníže - in latin dux, which means sovereign prince...

. The realm was further divided into counties, headed by župa
Župa
A Župa is a Slavic term, used historically among the Southern and Western branches of the Slavs, originally denoting various territorial and other sub-units, usually a small administrative division, especially a gathering of several villages...

ns. The number of counties is estimated to have been 11 at the beginning of the 9th century and 30 in the second half of the 9th century. This system also influenced the later Hungarian administrative division
Comitatus (Kingdom of Hungary)
A county is the name of a type of administrative units in the Kingdom of Hungary and in Hungary from the 10th century until the present day....

, often with the same castles serving as the seats of a county both under the Great Moravian and under the later Hungarian rule. However, historians have not reached a consensus yet, for example, whether administrative units in the Kingdom of Hungary (e.g., the vármegye) followed foreign (Bulgarian, Moravian or German) patterns or the administrative system was an internal innovation. The process of feudalization in Great Moravia was obviously not a general phenomenon but it cannot be denied especially during its highest flourishment during the reign of King Svatopluk. Most of the population was formed by freemen, who were obliged to pay an annual tax. Slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 and feudal dependency
Serfdom
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

 are also recorded. Although no relevant historical source has been retained which would prove the existence of the so called hereditary aristocracy from the period of Great Moravia, written sources suggest the existence of duke's retinues and aristocracy, the members of which were the most important dignitaries and administrators (representatives) of the castle organization.

Warfare

Very little is known about the Great Moravian way of warfare. Earlier Byzantine sources mention the javelin
Javelin
A Javelin is a light spear intended for throwing. It is commonly known from the modern athletic discipline, the Javelin throw.Javelin may also refer to:-Aviation:* ATG Javelin, an American-Israeli civil jet aircraft, under development...

 as the favorite weapon of Slavic warriors. Great Moravia also probably employed spear and axe armed infantry, including the powerful royal bodyguard called druzhina
Druzhina
Druzhina, Drużyna or Družyna in the medieval history of Slavic Europe was a retinue in service of a chieftain, also called knyaz. The name is derived from the Slavic word drug with the meaning of "companion, friend". -Early Rus:...

. The druzhina was a princely retinue composed of professional warriors, who were responsible for collecting tribute and punishing wrongdoers. In general, Slavs used cavalry rarely, which made them particularly vulnerable to the Magyar horse archers. Despite a relative scarcity of horses among the Slavs, a contemporary Arab traveler
Ahmad ibn Fadlan
Ahmad ibn Fadlān ibn al-Abbās ibn Rāšid ibn Hammād was a 10th century Arab traveler, famous for his account of his travels as a member of an embassy of the Arab Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars...

 reported that Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I or Zwentibald I was the greatest ruler of Moravia that attained its maximum territorial expansion in his reign . His career had already started in the 860s, when he governed a principality, the location of which is still a matter of debate among historians, within Moravia under the...

 had plenty of riding horses. The Great Moravian heavy cavalry emulated the contemporary Frankish predecessors of knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

s, with the expensive equipment that only the highest social strata
Social stratification
In sociology the social stratification is a concept of class, involving the "classification of persons into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions ... a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions."...

 could afford. Facing larger and better equipped Frankish armies, Slavs often preferred ambushes, skirmishes, and raids to regular battles. An important element of Great Moravian defense was to hide behind strong fortifications, which were difficult to besiege with the then prevailing forms of military organization. For example, a Frankish chronicler wrote with awe about "Rastislav's indescribable fortress" that stopped a Frankish invasion. The army was led by the king or, in case of his absence, by a commander-in-chief called voivode.

Architecture

Great Moravia had an exceptionally developed system of fortresses and fortified towns. The Geographus Bavarus (the "Bavarian Geographer"), when listing the neighbouring territories, mentioned
The above sentences of the mediæval author are sometimes interpreted that 30 out of the 41 Great Moravian castles (civitates) were situated on the territory of present-day Slovakia and the remaining 11 in Moravia. These numbers are also corroborated by archaeological evidence. The only castles which are mentioned by name in written texts are Nitrawa (828; identified with Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

), Dowina (864; sometimes identified with Devín Castle
Devín Castle
Devín Castle is a castle in Devín, which is a borough of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia....

) and Brezalauspurc (907; usually identified with Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Castle is the main castle of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on a quite isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava...

). Some sources claim that Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod or Uzhgorod is a city located in western Ukraine, at the border with Slovakia and near the border with Hungary. It is the administrative center of the Zakarpattia Oblast , as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Uzhhorodskyi Raion within the oblast...

 in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 (903) was also a fortress of the empire. Many other castles were identified by excavations.

Although location of the Great Moravian capital has not been safely identified, the fortified town of Mikulčice
Mikulcice
Mikulčice is a municipality in the Czech Republic, situated 7 km south of Hodonín, near the border with Slovakia. It belongs to the Hodonín District and the South Moravian Region. It extends out for 1,530 ha, with 1,955 inhabitants in 623 homes. Mikulčice has a biospheric reserve, containing...

 with its palace and 12 churches is the most widely accepted candidate. However, it is fair to note that early medieval kings spent a significant part of their lives campaigning and traveling around their realms due to the lack of reliable administrative capacities. It is thus very likely that they also resided from time to time in other important royal estates. For instance, Devín Castle is sometimes identified with a "fortress of Prince Rastislav" mentioned in the Annales Fuldenses
Annales Fuldenses
The Annales Fuldenses or Annals of Fulda are East Frankish chronicles that cover independently the period from the last years of Louis the Pious to shortly after the end of effective Carolingian rule in East Francia with the accession of the child-king, Louis III, in 900...

.

Mikulčice was fortified in the 7th century and it later developed into a large (2 km²) agglomeration composed of various villages and forts, spread over several river islands. The area enclosed by the fortifications was only slightly smaller than the area of the contemporary Frankish Emperor's capital of Regensburg
Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

. The population, estimated at 2,000, lived off trade and crafts. Mikulčice was also a foremost religious center, with the first stone churches built around 800. The largest among them was a three-nave basilica
Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 with the inside dimensions 35 m by 9 m and a separate baptistery
Baptistery
In Christian architecture the baptistry or baptistery is the separate centrally-planned structure surrounding the baptismal font. The baptistry may be incorporated within the body of a church or cathedral and be provided with an altar as a chapel...

. The only church safely identified as Great Moravian and at the same time still remaining above ground is situated in nearby Kopčany
Kopcany
Kopčany is a village in western Slovakia, close to the borders with the Czech Republic.-History:In historical records Kopčany was first mentioned in 1392. However, the village is much older. In the 9th century, Kopčany was part of the agglomeration of Mikulčice, an important center and plausibly...

.

Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

, the second center of the Empire, was ruled autonomously by the heir of the dynasty as an appanage
Appanage
An apanage or appanage or is the grant of an estate, titles, offices, or other things of value to the younger male children of a sovereign, who would otherwise have no inheritance under the system of primogeniture...

. Nitra consisted of five large fortified settlements and twenty specialized craftsmen's villages, making it a real metropolis of its times. Crafts included production of luxury goods, such as jewelry and glass. The agglomeration was surrounded by a number of smaller forts and religious buildings (e.g. in Dražovce and Zobor).

Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Castle is the main castle of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on a quite isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava...

 had a stone two-story palace and a spacious three-nave basilica, built in the mid-9th century. Excavations of the cemetery situated by the basilica brought findings of the Great Moravian jewelry, similar in style and quality to that from Mikulčice. The castle's name was first recorded in 907, during the fall of Great Moravia, as Brezalauspurc. This name literally means "Braslav's Castle" and Braslav of Pannonia
Braslav of Pannonia
Braslav or Bräslav was the last duke or prince of Pannonian Croatia in 880-898/900 vassalaged to the Kingdom of East Francia...

 was a count appointed by King Arnulf
Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia was the Carolingian King of East Francia from 887, the disputed King of Italy from 894 and the disputed Holy Roman Emperor from February 22, 896 until his death.-Birth and Illegitimacy:...

 of East Francia.

The sturdy Devín Castle
Devín Castle
Devín Castle is a castle in Devín, which is a borough of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia....

, in vicinity of Bratislava, guarded Great Moravia against frequent attacks from the West. Although some authors claim that it was built only later as a stronghold of the Kings of Hungary, excavations have unearthed an older Slavic fortified settlement founded in the 8th century. During the Great Moravian period, Devín Castle was a seat of a local lord, whose retainers were buried around a stone Christian church. These two castles were reinforced by smaller fortifications in Devínska Nová Ves
Devínska Nová Ves
Devínska Nová Ves ) is a borough of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Its western borders are formed by the Morava River, which also represents the national border between Slovakia and Austria....

, Svätý Jur
Svätý Jur
Svätý Jur is a small town northeast of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The name means Saint George. Between 1960 and 1990, the Communist government forced the town to use a "non-religious" name Jur pri Bratislave. Svätý Jur has a population of almost 5,000.-Geography:Svätý Jur is situated in...

, and elsewhere.

Most Great Moravian castles were rather large hill fort
Hill fort
A hill fort is a type of earthworks used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically European and of the Bronze and Iron Ages. Some were used in the post-Roman period...

s, fortified by wooden palisades, stone walls and in some cases, moats. The typical Great Moravian ramparts combined an outer drystone wall with an internal timber structure filled with earth. The fortifications usually formed several contiguous enclosures, with the elite buildings concentrated in the center and crafts in the outer enclosures. Most buildings were made of timber, but ecclesiastical and residential parts were made of stone. Sometimes, earlier, prehistoric (Devín Castle) or Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 (Bratislava Castle) fortifications were integrated. At least some churches (e.g. in Bratislava, Devín Castle, and Nitra) were decorated by fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

es, plausibly painted by Italian masters since the chemical composition of colors was the same as in northern Italy. In Nitra and Mikulčice, several castles and settlements formed a huge fortified urban agglomeration. Many castles served as regional administrative centers, ruled by a local nobleman. For example, Ducové
Ducové
Ducové is a municipality situated in western Slovakia, near the spa town of Piešťany. It was part of the municipality Moravany nad Váhom from 1976 to 1992...

 was the center of the Váh
Váh
The Váh is the longest river in entire Slovakia. A left tributary of the Danube river, the Váh is 406 km long, including its Čierny Váh branch...

 river valley and Zemplín Castle
Zemplín Castle
Zemplín Castle was a former stronghold, administrative center and later private residence located near the River Bodrog in the village of Zemplín, Trebišov District, Košice Region in Eastern Slovakia.-History:...

 controlled the Zemplín region
Zemplín (region)
Zemplín is the name of an informal region located presently in eastern Slovakia. It includes Slovak part of the former Zemplén county, often including the Slovak part of the Ung county .-Geography:...

. Their form was probably inspired by Carolingian
Carolingian architecture
Carolingian architecture is the style of north European Pre-Romanesque architecture belonging to the period of the Carolingian Renaissance of the late 8th and 9th centuries, when the Carolingian family dominated west European politics...

 estates called curtis. The largest castles were usually protected by a chain of smaller forts. Smaller forts (e.g. Beckov Castle
Beckov Castle
Beckov Castle is a castle in ruins located near the village of Beckov in Nové Mesto nad Váhom District, Trenčín Region, western Slovakia.It is a natural cultural monument and its present appearance is the result of renovations in the last quarter of the 20th century and since 2002.-Great...

) were also built to protect trade routes and to provide shelter for peasants in case of a military attack.

Only few examples of Great Moravian architecture are fully preserved or reconstructed. The only still standing building is the church in Kopčany, though several other early medieval churches (for example in Kostoľany pod Tribečom
Kostolany pod Tribecom
Kostoľany pod Tribečom is a village and municipality in Zlaté Moravce District of the Nitra Region, in western-central Slovakia.-Geography:The municipality lies at an altitude of 245 metres and covers an area of 22.122 km²...

, Michalovce
Michalovce
Michalovce is a town on the Laborec river in eastern Slovakia, with a population around 40,000. It is the biggest town of the Michalovce District in the Košice Region.-Geography:...

, and Nitra) may be Great Moravian too. Two open air museums, in Modrá near Uherské Hradiště
Uherské Hradište
Uherské Hradiště is a town in the Zlín Region of the Czech Republic. It lies on the Morava river and is the seat of the Uherské Hradiště District.- History :...

 and in Ducové, are devoted to the Great Moravian architecture.

Religion

Due to the lack of written documents, very little is known about the original Slavic religion and mythology
Slavic mythology
Slavic mythology is the mythological aspect of the polytheistic religion that was practised by the Slavs before Christianisation.The religion possesses many common traits with other religions descended from the Proto-Indo-European religion....

. Several cult places used prior the Christianization are known from Moravia (Mikulčice and Pohansko). However, we do not know what these objects, such as a ring ditch with a fire, a horse sacrifice, or human limbs ritually buried in a cemetery, meant for Great Moravians. A cult object in Mikulčice was used until the evangelization of the Moravian elite in the mid-9th century and idols in Pohansko were raised on the site of a demolished church during the pagan backlash in the 10th century. The period of the Great Moravian ascent in European history is associated more with the spread of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

.

The territory of Great Moravia was originally evangelized by missionaries coming from the Frankish Empire or Byzantine enclaves in Italy and Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 since the early 8th century and sporadically earlier. The first Christian church of the Western and Eastern Slavs known to the written sources was built in 828 by Pribina
Pribina
Pribina was a Slavic prince whose adventurous career, recorded in the Conversion of the Bavarians and the Carantanians , illustrates the political volatility of the Franco–Slavic frontiers of his time...

 in Nitra. The church, consecrated by Bishop Adalram of Salzburg
Salzburg
-Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

, was built in a style similar to contemporaneous Bavarian churches, while architecture of two Moravian churches from the early 9th century (in Mikulčice and Modrá) indicates influence of Irish missionaries. Despite the formal endorsement by the elites, the Great Moravian Christianity was described as containing many pagan elements as late as in 852. Grave goods
Grave goods
Grave goods, in archaeology and anthropology, are the items buried along with the body.They are usually personal possessions, supplies to smooth the deceased's journey into the afterlife or offerings to the gods. Grave goods are a type of votive deposit...

, such as food, could be found even in church graveyards. The Church organization in Great Moravia was supervised by the Bavarian clergy until the arrival of the Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

 in 863.

Foundation of the first Slavic bishopric (870), archbishopric (880), and monastery was the politically relevant outcome of the Byzantine mission initially devised by Prince Rastislav to strengthen his early feudal state. It is not known where the Great Moravian archbishop resided (a papal document mentions him as the archbishop of Morava, Morava being the name of a town), but there are several references to bishops of Nitra. Big three-nave basilicas unearthed in Mikulčice, Staré Město
Staré Mesto (Uherské Hradište District)
Staré Město is a town in the Zlín Region of the Czech Republic near Uherské Hradiště. Population: 6,766 .-External links:*...

, Bratislava, and Nitra were the most important ecclesiastical centers of the country, but their very construction may have predated the Byzantine mission. Nitra and Uherské Hradiště are also sites where monastic buildings have been excavated. A church built at Devín Castle is clearly inspired by Byzantine churches in Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

 (from where Cyril and Methodius came) and rotunda
Rotunda (architecture)
A rotunda is any building with a circular ground plan, sometimes covered by a dome. It can also refer to a round room within a building . The Pantheon in Rome is a famous rotunda. A Band Rotunda is a circular bandstand, usually with a dome...

s, particularly popular among Great Moravian nobles, also have their direct predecessors in the Balkans.

Literature

But yields of the mission of Cyril and Methodius extended beyond the religious and political sphere. The Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

 became the fourth liturgical language of the Christian world. However, after Methodius's death (885) all his followers were expelled from Great Moravia and the use of the Slavic liturgy in Great Moravia was an episode in its history which lasted only about 22 years. Its late form still remains the liturgical language of the Russian
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

, Bulgarian
Bulgarian Orthodox Church
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church - Bulgarian Patriarchate is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church with some 6.5 million members in the Republic of Bulgaria and between 1.5 and 2.0 million members in a number of European countries, the Americas and Australia...

, Polish
Polish Orthodox Church
The Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, commonly known as the Polish Orthodox Church, , is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches in full communion...

, Macedonian
Macedonian Orthodox Church
The Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric or just Macedonian Orthodox Church is the body of Christians who are united under the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, exercising jurisdiction over Macedonian Orthodox Christians in the Republic of Macedonia and in exarchates in the Macedonian...

 and Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

. Cyril also invented the Glagolitic alphabet
Glagolitic alphabet
The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

, suitable for Slavic languages. He translated the Gospel and the first translation of the Bible into a Slavic language was later completed by his brother Methodius.

Methodius wrote the first Slavic legal code, combining the local customary law
Custom (law)
Custom in law is the established pattern of behavior that can be objectively verified within a particular social setting. A claim can be carried out in defense of "what has always been done and accepted by law." Customary law exists where:...

 with the advanced Byzantine law
Corpus Juris Civilis
The Corpus Juris Civilis is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor...

. Similarly, the Great Moravian criminal law code was not merely a translation from Latin, but it also punished a number of offenses originally tolerated by the pre-Christian Slavic moral standards yet prohibited by Christianity (mostly related to sexual life). The canon law
Canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

 was simply adopted from the Byzantine sources.

There are not many literary works that can be unambiguously identified as originally written in Great Moravia. One of them is Proglas
Proglas
Proglas is the foreword to the Old Church Slavonic translation of the four Gospels. It was written by Saint Cyril in 863-867 in Great Moravia...

, a cultivated poem in which Cyril defends the Slavic liturgy. Vita Cyrilli (attributed to Clement of Ohrid
Clement of Ohrid
Saint Clement of Ohrid was a medieval Bulgarian saint, scholar, writer and enlightener of the Slavs. He was the most prominent disciple of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is often associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets, especially their popularisation among...

) and Vita Methodii (written probably by Methodius' successor Gorazd) are biographies with precious information about Great Moravia under Rastislav and Svatopluk I.

The brothers also founded an academy, initially led by Methodius, which produced hundreds of Slavic clerics. A well-educated class was essential for administration of all early-feudal states and Great Moravia was no exception. Vita Methodii mentions bishop of Nitra as Svatopluk I’s chancellor and even Prince Koceľ
Kocel
Koceľ was the second Lord of Principality of Lower Pannonia centered in Blatnograd / Blatnohrad .-Early life:...

 of the Balaton Principality
Balaton Principality
The Principality of Lower Pannonia was a Slavic principality located in the western part of the Pannonian plain, between the rivers Danube to its east The Principality of Lower Pannonia (also called Pannonia, Lower Pannonia, Pannonian Principality, Transdanubian Principality, Slavic Pannonian...

 was said to master the Glagolitic script. Location of the Great Moravian academy has not been identified, but the possible sites include Mikulčice (where some styli
Stylus
A stylus is a writing utensil, or a small tool for some other form of marking or shaping, for example in pottery. The word is also used for a computer accessory . It usually refers to a narrow elongated staff, similar to a modern ballpoint pen. Many styli are heavily curved to be held more easily...

 have been found in an ecclesiastical building), Devín Castle (with a building identified as a probable school), and Nitra (with its Episcopal basilica and monastery). When Methodius’ disciples were expelled from Great Moravia in 885, they disseminated their knowledge (including the Glagolitic script) to other Slavic countries, such as Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, and Bohemia. They created the Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

, which became the standard alphabet in the Slavic Orthodox countries, including Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The Great Moravian cultural heritage survived in Bulgarian seminaries, paving the way for evangelization of Eastern Europe.

Arts and crafts

In the first half of the 9th century, Great Moravian craftsmen were inspired by contemporary Carolingian art. In the second half of the 9th century, Great Moravian jewelry was influenced by Byzantine, Eastern Mediterranean, and Adriatic styles. But, in the words of Czech archaeologist Josef Poulík, "these new forms and techniques were not copied passively, but were transformed in the local idiom, establishing in this way the roots of the distinctive Great Moravian jewellery style." The typical Great Moravian jewelry included silver and golden earrings decorated by fine granular filigree, as well as silver and gilded bronze buttons covered by foliate ornaments.

The most important industry in Great Moravia was iron metallurgy. An example of highly developed tool production are asymmetrical plowshare
Plowshare
In agriculture, a plowshare is a component of a plow . It is the cutting or leading edge of a moldboard which closely follows the coulter when plowing....

s.

Legacy

Destruction of the Great Moravian Empire was rather gradual. Since excavations of Great Moravian castles show continuity of their settlement and architectural style after the alleged disintegration of the Empire, local political structures must have remained untouched by the disaster. Another reason is that the originally nomad old Magyars lacked siege engines to conquer Great Moravian fortifications, although this did not hinder them from conquering strong fortresses, documented by primary written sources (e.g., Blatnograd, Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Castle is the main castle of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on a quite isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava...

). Nevertheless, the core of Great Moravia was finally integrated into the newly established states of Duchy of Bohemia (later kingdom
Kingdom of Bohemia
The Kingdom of Bohemia was a country located in the region of Bohemia in Central Europe, most of whose territory is currently located in the modern-day Czech Republic. The King was Elector of Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806, whereupon it became part of the Austrian Empire, and...

) and the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

.

Great Moravian centers (e.g., Bratislava (Pozsony, Pressburg), Nitra (Nyitra), Tekov (Bars), and Zemplín (Zemplén)) also retained their functions afterwards, although the identification of Bratislava (Pozsony,Pressburg ), Tekov (Bars) and Zemplín (Zemplén) as Great Moravian castles is not generally accepted. Since the same castles became the seats of early Hungarian administrative units
Comitatus (Kingdom of Hungary)
A county is the name of a type of administrative units in the Kingdom of Hungary and in Hungary from the 10th century until the present day....

 (counties), historians posit that the administrative division of Great Moravia was just adopted by new rulers. On the other hand, several sources suggest that the Hungarian rulers followed the contemporary German or Bulgar patents when they established the new administrative system in their kingdom, or they introduced a new system.

Social differentiation in Great Moravia reached the state of early feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

, creating the social basis for development of later medieval states in the region. The question what happened to Great Moravian noble families after 907 is still under debate. On the one hand, recent research indicates that a significant part of the local aristocracy remained more or less undisturbed by the fall of Great Moravia and their descendants became nobles in the newly formed Kingdom of Hungary. The most prominent example are the powerful families of Hunt and Pázmán. On the other hand, both Anonymous
Gesta Hungarorum
Gesta Hungarorum is a record of early Hungarian history by an unknown author who describes himself as Anonymi Bele Regis Notarii , but is generally cited as Anonymus...

 and Simon of Kéza
Simon of Kéza
Simon of Kéza was the most famous Hungarian chronicler in the 13th century. He was a priest in the royal court of king Ladislaus IV of Hungary....

, two chroniclers of the early history of Hungary, recorded that the prominent noble families of the kingdom descended either from leaders of the Magyar tribes or from immigrants, and they did not connect any of them to Great Moravia. For example, the ancestors of the clan Hunt-Pázmán
Hont-Pázmány
Hont-Pázmány was the name of a gens in the Kingdom of Hungary. The Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum mentions that the ancestors of the family arrived, in the late 9th century, to the court of Grand Prince Géza of the Magyars from the Duchy of Swabia .The clan Hontpaznan was...

 (Hont-Pázmány), whose Great Moravian origin has been advanced by modern scholars, were mentioned by Simon of Kéza to have arrived from the Duchy of Swabia
Duchy of Swabia
Swabia was one of the five stem duchies of the medieval German kingdom, and its dukes were thus among the most powerful magnates of Germany.-History:...

 to the kingdom in the late 10th century.

Many Slavic words related to politics, law, and agriculture were taken
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

 into the Hungarian language
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

. Nevertheless, it is sometimes difficult to decide whether a certain word was borrowed from which Slavic language; e.g., the Hungarian word for county ("megye") was borrowed from a South Slavic language
South Slavic languages
The South Slavic languages comprise one of three branches of the Slavic languages. There are approximately 30 million speakers, mainly in the Balkans. These are separated geographically from speakers of the other two Slavic branches by a belt of German, Hungarian and Romanian speakers...

, but it may have taken either from the Slovene or from the Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian language
Serbo-Croatian or Serbo-Croat, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian , is a South Slavic language with multiple standards and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro...

.

The territories mentioned as "Tercia pars regni
Tercia pars regni
The Tercia pars regni or Ducatus is the denomination for territories occasionally governed separately by members of the Árpád dynasty within the Kingdom of Hungary in the 11th-12th centuries...

" (literally "one-third part of the Kingdom of Hungary") in the medieval sources are referred to as the "Duchy" in Hungarian scholarly works and as the "Principality of Nitra
Principality of Nitra
The Principality of Nitra also Nitrian Principality or Slovak Principality is the name for a polity of Nitra Sloviens, centered on large agglomeration, a multi-tribal centre around Nitra, Slovakia. The initially independent Principality of Nitra came into existence in the early 9th century...

" in Slovak academic sources. These territories were ruled autonomously by members of the Árpád dynasty
Árpád dynasty
The Árpáds or Arpads was the ruling dynasty of the federation of the Hungarian tribes and of the Kingdom of Hungary . The dynasty was named after Grand Prince Árpád who was the head of the tribal federation when the Magyars occupied the Carpathian Basin, circa 895...

 residing in Bihar (today Biharea in Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

) or in Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

 - a practice reminiscent of the Great Moravian appanage system, but also similar to that of some other dynasties in the Early Middle Ages (e.g., the Ruriks
Rurik Dynasty
The Rurik dynasty or Rurikids was a dynasty founded by the Varangian prince Rurik, who established himself in Novgorod around the year 862 AD...

 in the Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

). The existence of an autonomous political unit centered around Nitra is often considered by Slovak scholars an example of political continuity from the Great Moravian period.

There are also documents indicating that the Church organization survived the invasion of the pagan Magyars at least to some degree. For example, continuity of the formal Church organization is confirmed by an uninterrupted list of Moravian bishops from the 14th century.

Neither the demographic change was dramatic. As far as the graves can tell, there had been no influx of the Magyars into the core of former Great Moravia before 955. Afterwards, Magyar settlers appear in some regions of Southern Slovakia, but graves indicate a kind of cultural symbiosis (resulting in the common Belobrdo culture), not domination. Due to cultural changes, archaeologists are not able to identify the ethnicity of graves after the half of the 11th century. This is also why integration of central, eastern, and northern territories of present-day Slovakia into the Hungarian Kingdom is difficult to be documented by archeology, and written sources have to be used.

The Byzantine double-cross thought to have been brought by Cyril and Methodius is part of the symbol of Slovakia
Coat of arms of Slovakia
The coat of arms of Slovakia consists of a red shield, in early gothic style, charged with a silver double cross standing on the middle peak of a dark blue mountain consisting of three peaks. Extremities of the cross are amplificated, and its ends are concaved...

 until today and the Constitution of Slovakia
Constitution of Slovakia
The Constitution of Slovakia, officially Constitution of the Slovak Republic is the current constitution of Slovakia. It was passed by the Slovak National Council on 1 September 1992 and signed on 3 September 1992 in the Knights Hall of the Bratislava Castle...

 refers to Great Moravia in its preamble. Interest about that period rose as a result of the national revival
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

 in the 19th century. Great Moravian history has been regarded as a cultural root of several Slavic nations in Central Europe (especially the Slovaks, as it was the only significant Slavic state Slovakia had ever been a part of) and it was employed in vain attempts to create a single Czechoslovak
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 identity in the 20th century.

Primary sources

  • Annales regni Francorum
    Royal Frankish Annals
    The Royal Frankish Annals or Annals of the Kingdom of the Franks ,are annals covering the history of early Carolingian monarchs from 741 to 829. Their composition seems to have soon been taken up at court, providing them with markedly official character...

    , annals
    Annals
    Annals are a concise form of historical representation which record events chronologically, year by year. The Oxford English Dictionary defines annals as "a narrative of events written year by year"...

     covering the years 741-829.
  • Annales Bertiniani
    Annales Bertiniani
    Annales Bertiniani, or The Annals of St. Bertin, are late Carolingian, Frankish annals that were found in the monastery of St. Bertin, after which they are named. Their account is taken to cover the period 830-82, thus continuing the Royal Frankish Annals , from which, however, it has circulated...

    , a continuation of Annales regni Francorum covering the period 830-82.
  • Annales Fuldenses
    Annales Fuldenses
    The Annales Fuldenses or Annals of Fulda are East Frankish chronicles that cover independently the period from the last years of Louis the Pious to shortly after the end of effective Carolingian rule in East Francia with the accession of the child-king, Louis III, in 900...

    , a continuation of Annales regni Francorum until 901.
  • Geographus Bavarus, written sometime between the 830s and 870s.
  • Libellus de conversione Bagoariorum et Carantanorum (i.e. Conversio), written in 870.
  • Vita Methodii, a biography of Saint Methodius written in Great Moravia shortly after 885.
  • Annales Iuvavenses, annals written in the 9th and 10th centuries in Salzburg
    Salzburg
    -Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

    .
  • De Administrando Imperio
    De Administrando Imperio
    De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a Greek work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII. The Greek title of the work is...

    , written by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos
    Constantine VII
    Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos or Porphyrogenitus, "the Purple-born" was the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 913 to 959...

    between 948 and 952.

Primary documents can be found in the following volumes:
  • Havlík, Lubomír E. (1966–1977). Magnae Moraviae Fontes Historici I.-V., Brno: Masarykova univerzita.
  • Marsina, Richard (1971). Codex diplomaticus et epistolaris Slovaciae I., Bratislava: Veda.
  • Ratkoš, Peter (1964). Pramene k dejinám Veľkej Moravy, Bratislava: Vydavateľstvo Slovenskej akadémie vied.

Secondary sources

  • Dekan, Jan (1981). Moravia Magna: The Great Moravian Empire, Its Art and Time, Minneapolis: Control Data Arts. ISBN 0-89893-084-7
  • Havlík, Lubomír E. (1992). Kronika o Velké Moravě, Brno: Iota.
  • Kučera, Matúš (1974). Slovensko po páde Veľkej Moravy, Bratislava: Veda.
  • Lukačka, Ján (2002). Formovanie vyššej šľachty na západnom Slovensku, Bratislava: Mistrál.
  • Poulík, Josef (1975). Mikulčice: Sídlo a pevnost knížat velkomoravských, Praha.
  • Štefanovičová, Tatiana (1989). Osudy starých Slovanov, Bratislava: Osveta.
  • Wieczorek, Alfried and Hans-Martin Hinz (Hrsg.) (2000). Europas Mitte um 1000, Stuttgart. ISBN 3-8062-1545-6 or ISBN 3-8062-1544-8

External links

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