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    [size=15pt]Great Moravia[/size]



    Today part of:
    Czech Republic

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

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

    Cultural development resulted from the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius, who came during the reign of Prince Rastislav in 863. The empire reached its greatest territorial extent under Svatopluk I (871–894), although the borders of his dominions are still under debate. He also received a letter from by Pope John VIII who styled him "king" Svatopluk.

    Weakened by internal struggle and frequent wars with the Carolingian Empire, Great Moravia was ultimately overrun by the Hungarians, who invaded the Carpathian Basin around 896. Its remnants were divided between Poland, Hungary, Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire. Although some contemporary sources mention that Great Moravia vanished and the Moravian castles were abandoned for a century, archaeological research and toponyms suggest that there was continuity in the Slavic population in the valleys of the rivers of the Inner Western Carpathians. 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. Great Moravia also became a favorite issue in the Czech and Slovak romantic nationalism of the 19th century.


    The designation "Great Moravia" ("Μεγάλη Μοραβία") originally stems from the work De Administrando Imperio written by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos around 950 (and actually, his work is the only primary source that uses the adjective "Great" when referring to the polity).[25][26][27] Although the name Great Moravia is used by the modern historiography to refer to a medieval polity in the northern part of the Carpathian Basin, the Emperor himself referred to a different country, located south of or in the southern part of the Carpathian Basin or he mismatched the location.[citation needed]

    The word "Great Moravia" used by modern authors not only refers to present-day Moravia, but to a country situated on both sides of the Morava river whose capital was also plausibly called Morava.[28] Alternatively, "Moravia" could also refer to country whose capital was Morava. It is not always clear whether an early medieval written source names a country or a town called Morava. The adjective "Great" nowadays denotes Moravia plus the annexed territories. Some authors[who?] interpret the original meaning as "distant", because Byzantine texts used to distinguish between two countries of the same name using the attribute "little" for the territory closer to the Byzantine Empire (such as the Morava rivers in Serbia) and "great" for the more distant territory (such as the Morava river between Moravia and Slovakia).

    The adjective "Μεγάλη" may also mean "old" in Byzantine texts[9][17][29][30] and some scholars argue[who?] Old Moravia is the correct name.

    The names of Great Moravia in other languages are Veľká Morava in Slovak, Velká Morava in Czech, Großmähren in German, Великоморавия in Bulgarian, Velika Moravska (Велика Моравска) in Serbian, and morva fejedelemség in Hungarian. In English, the forms Moravia[6] Greater Moravia and Moravia Magna are also used.

    The use of the term (Great) Slovak Empire instead of Great Moravia is promoted by some Slovak authors[who?] who attempt to define it as an early Slovak state. 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.



    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's Realm, a tribal confederation existing between 623 and 658. It encompassed the territories of Moravia, Slovakia, Lower Austria, Carantania, Sorbia at the Elbe, and probably also Bohemia, which lies between Sorbia and other parts of the realm. Although this tribal confederation plausibly did not survive its founder, it created favorable conditions for the formation of the local Slavic aristocracy.

    Graves dated to the period after King Samo's death show that the Avars returned to some of their lost territories and they even could expand their area of settlement not only over the western parts of the present-day Slovakia but also over the Vienna Basin. Archaeological evidence from this period identifies the emergence of the so-called "griffin and tendril" archaeological culture in the 670s, initially interpreted to represent a new migration of steppe nomads, (possibly Onogurs)),[30] but now an in vivo development is favoured.[by whom?][citation needed] However, archaeological findings from the same period (such as an exquisite noble tomb in Blatnica) also indicate formation of a Slavic upper class on the territory that later became the nucleus of Great Moravia.

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

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

        At this assembly, he /the king/ gave audience also to the delegates sent with presents to him by all the Eastern Slavonic people, namely, by the Obotrites, Sorbs, Veleti, Czech, Moravians and Prædecents and the Avars settled in Pannonia.
        —Annales regni Francorum

    The first Moravian ruler known by name, Mojmír I, was baptized in 831 by Reginhar, bishop of Passau.

    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.[38] Nevertheless, during the first decades of the 9th century, the Slavic people living in the north-western parts of the Carpathian Basin were under the rule of a prince Pribina whose seat was in Nitra.[30] In 828, Prince Pribina, although probably still a pagan himself, built the first Christian church for his wife and German inhabitants within the borders of his principality in his possession called Nitrava.[39][40]

    In 833, Mojmír I expelled Pribina[41] from Nitra and the two principalities became united under the same ruler. Excavations revealed that at least three Nitrian castles (Pobedim, Čingov, and Ostrá skala) were destroyed around the time of the conquest (i.e., around the time when Pribina was expelled from his possession).[3] But Pribina escaped to the Franks and their king Louis the German granted him parts of Pannonia around the Zala River, referred usually in modern works as the Balaton Principality.

    Decline and fall

    After the death of King Svatopluk in 894, his sons Mojmír II (894-906?) and Svatopluk II succeeded him as the King of Great Moravia and the Prince of Nitra respectively.[18] 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.[52] 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 relates that in 900, the Magyars

        gathering a very great army, demand for themselves the people of the Moravians that King Arnulf has subjugated through their valour; (…)
        —Liutprand of Cremona

    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, the Magyars routed Bavarian 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.[6] The first (oldest) legend of Saint Naum also relates that the Magyars occupied the Moravian land

        and devastated it. Those /of the Moravians/ not captured by the Magyars, ran to the Bulgars. And their depopulated land remained in the hand of the Magyars.
        —The first legend of Saint Naum

    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 suggest the continuity of Slavic population in the valleys of the rivers of the Inner Western Carpathians.[21][22] 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.[58]

    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[59] mention Great Moravia.[28] From 925 until 931, there are several references to certain counts Mojmír and Svatopluk in official documents from Salzburg, 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.[60] 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. Originally a buffer against Magyar attacks, the march became obsolete after the Battle of Lechfeld (955). After the battle, it was given to the Bohemian 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. 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.[61] 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 by 1031. Since the 10th century, the population of Slovakia has been evolving into the present-day Slovaks.



    There is a difficulty in establishing an adequate definition and identification of the inhabitants in the territory of Great Moravia.[66] The historical record is anything but precise on this question.[66] The structure of the state itself does not provide better answers as it is likely that it was a loose structure of federated principalities.[66]

    The Moravian state underwent considerable expansion, especially in the 870s, under Svatopluk I.[6] 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 and Lesser Poland.[6] 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[who?]) into Pannonia.[6] Indeed modern historiography has tended to question the former claims of huge neighboring territories permanently annexed by the Moravian state.[6] 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 (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. Independent Bohemia, ruled by the dynasty of Přemyslids, began to gradually emerge.

    I hope we can have more info in this subject on this almost forgotten medieval state from the input of Slovaks, Czech, Slovenes and Croats… ;)



    Why did you insert a symbol of today's region Morava, the eagle? It's not the same, it was not the symbol of then Magna Moravia, but it was the double-cross (just like in coat-of-arm of Slovakia).

    Well, wikipedia is not good source but I see, it's just for orientation and it's in English – that's advantage. Anyway, thank you for starting this topic.

    Just for beginning, a statue of King Svätopluk I. in front of the Bratislava castle :



    Why did you insert a symbol of today's region Morava, the eagle? It's not the same, it was not the symbol of then Magna Moravia, but it was the double-cross (just like in coat-of-arm of Slovakia).

    Well, wikipedia is not good source but I see, it's just for orientation and it's in English – that's advantage. Anyway, thank you for starting this topic.

    Just for beginning, a statue of King Svätopluk I. in front of the Bratislava castle :


    Sorry but i haven't found one on the web…if you can provide me a link i can replace it :)

    just curious, i see that Moravia had and has a red-white Chessboard which is the oldest knowledgeable Croatian symbol. Another thing is, Glagolic script was used in Moravia, and that is the oldest Croatian script used such as "Baščanska Ploča" and with all that i have read there is that:

    According to alternate theories, the core territory of Great Moravia was situated South of the Danube river, in Slavonia (today's Croatia), or in the southern parts of the Carpathian Basin.

    So, what do think of Croatian-Moravian connection? I have actually found out these things recently. Anything about that in any Slovakian sources?



    According to the theory of Peter Püspöki Nady, the central area of Great Moravia was located on the territory of Serbia, and the very Great Moravia was created in the unification of Slavic tribes – Bodrici and Slavs settled on Morava and Timok, which in the 9th century separated from Bulgaria and put under the protection of the Frankish empire.

    Peter Pišpeki Nađ, "O položaju Velike Moravske", časopis EX PANONIA, Istorijski arhiv Subotica, Subotica, 2000.

    Little and great Morava
    [img width=700 height=683]” />

    Also on teritory of Serbia was found pottery same as in Great Moravia.
    Tejral J. Morava na sklonku antiku. Praha, 1982.



    West Slavs and Great Moravia 800-950

    [img width=700 height=433]” />



    Here are some portraits of the slavic kings who were ruled in the Great Moravia until the approach of the Hungarians.

    image         image         image         image         image
    Pribina (825 – 833)        Mojmír I. (833 – 846)      Rastislav (846 – 870)     Svätopluk (871 – 894)                    Mojmír II. (894 – 907)


    Here are some portraits of the slavic kings who were ruled in the Great Moravia until the approach of the Hungarians.

    Nice pics.

    Cross of the Order of Prince Pribina – averz

    More cool orders here



    Nice pics? It s all you can find on the internet! It s a shame for our culture that we have so few art works relating to slavic roots.


    Nice pics? It s all you can find on the internet! It s a shame for our culture that we have so few art works relating to slavic roots.

    True and we always underestimate ourselves. That's why we are even afraid to be proud of our great ancestors, because foreigners say, they're actually not our ancestors! What a foolishness.



    Maps of Magna Moravia. Centre of the state was today's Moravia and western+central Slovakia (belonging of eastern Slovakia to the core of the state is under debate). Lusatia, Bohemia, Silesia, territory of Vistulans, Tisa basin and Pannonia were conquered by Magna Moravian rulers, mostly by King Svätopluk I.

    [img width=481 height=700]” />

    [img width=519 height=700]” />



    That's one big looking state. Makes me remember just how quickly the boarders in Europe can change.



    Great Moravia according to PhDr. Rudolf Irša
    [img width=700 height=492]” />



    That's one impressive state. It seems that the most powerful European entities were actually Slavic. Kievan Rus' of eastern Slavs, Western Slavic Great Moravia, and ofc the crème de la crème and pride of the world south Slavic Yugoslavia.



    those borders on pictures are mostly fictional. some even contradict each other.
    according to what logic could be čingov a "nitrian castle"? (that wikipedia article)

    and "PhDr." Rudolf Irša? well, some people should be rid of their academic titles.



    Well, not to offend you but what is your academic title? Have you read any of his books yet? And book from which picture is taken? Because there is a lot of people who use to say something like u did while they have never did anythin themself.
    Yes ,borders are fictional, because u simply can not remake them as they were in past, but they are trying to be accurate. This si what history is about ,being as much accurat as possible. And if you want to attack something someone has did, u should at least post prove which will support your theories.

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