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  • #341733

    Anonymous

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    Pagania (the Narentine Frontier), (Greek: (Ν)αρεντάνοι – (N)arentanoi, Croatian: Paganija, Krajinjane, Neretljani, Italian: Narentani, Narentini, Serbian: Паганија, Paganija; Неретљани, Neretljani), was a land settled by the Slav tribe known as the Narentines (Neretljani) in an area of southern Dalmatia (modern day Republic of Croatia), west of the river Neretva (Narenta). They were known for their piracy.

    Pagania bordered Kingdom of Croatia (medieval) to the west and spread eastwards from the river of Cetina. It was consisted out of three lesser Principalities: Makar, Rastik (from Imotski to Ljubuški) and Dalen (which is not on the coast). It also included the islands of Mljet, Korčula (Corzula), Brač and Hvar. The main Narentine cities were Vrulja (Gornja Brela), Mokro, Ostrog (near modern Zaostrog) and Lavćen (Gradac) or Slavineca; but by far the most important was the fortified Omiš in the later ages. At the east, Neretvia reached the river of Neretva, which faced Zachlumia.

    Narentines and historic sources

    Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus stresses that "Pagani are descended from the unbaptized Slavs" and that "The Pagani are so called because they did not accept baptism at the time when all the Croatians were baptized."  The Republic of Venice sources refer to Narentines as to Slavs. The region has also be referred to as being part of Red Croatia. They were also referred to as Neretljani Croatians.

    The Narentines (Neretljani) were named by their land, Neretvia, which was named by its neighbouring river. Their secondary name, Pagans (and thus their land Pagania), the Romano-Byzantines gave them because they weren't Christianized. The Latin name Merania, meaning the Coastland, was also used – and it gave the name for its inhabitants: Marians.

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    The Adriatic coastland that the Narentians (Neretljani) inhabited ranged 75 kilometers from the mouth of Neretva in the Adriatic Sea at the east to the river Cetina at the west. It was 10-20 kilometers wide. Most of the soil was composed out of forests and swamps, while there was very little arable land. Also, They possessed these islands: Brač, Hvar, Mljet, Korčula, Vis and Lastovo.

    The Pagans fiercely opposed Christianity, seeing it as a means of oppression, and cherished the Slavic Paganism for long.

    Next to sailing, the Marians were professed in trading, growing olives, figs and vineyards. On the outskirts of Biokovo and Mosor and on the islands, they herded cattle and they were also tilling the fields to an extent. In the later medieval ages, Merania imported wheat and exported wine, solted fish, dry fruits, etc.

    Their best expertise and the main income of the Pagans was piracy. The loot was split traditionally just as the catch of fish – one half goes to the provider of the ships and/or the organizer of the hunt (Prince or Archont) and the other half is split amongst the crewmembers. They were especially notorious for their slave-trade [11] The main type of vessel the Narentines used was the Slavic Sagena (Latin: "Sagitta", meaning: "arrow") from the beginning of the 9th century, a variation of the Scandinavian Viking Drakkar. It was a long, relatively shallow vessel that was specific for its high speed with a slender body, a sharp bow and a mast. It was manned by 40 crewmembers that were at the same time professional fighters. Other than this type of vessel, the Pagans used the Kondura; a ship similar to the Sagena, but a lot smaller, with a crew of 20 members. The Marians also used other types of vessels and barges.

    The Marian rulers were called Morstiks and Judges, although the Church refers to them as Kings. The titles of the nobility were typical Slavic titles: Prince, Treasure-keeper, Chaplain, Knight.

    Slavic migration poured into the region in 6th and 7th century. There, they rather quickly assimilated the local Romanized Latin populace which transferred to them the secret of shipbuilding that combined with the already rich practical Slavic experience. Unlike elsewhere in Dalmatia, the Latin citizenry didn't manage to maintain its culture in Pagania, as cities lost their fame quickly – like Narona at the mouth of Neretva, a city that didn't survive the Slavic invasions.

    Today in tradition of Narentian Pagan pirates, Croatian people of Neretvia region are preforming an Marathon of Galleys as a remembrance of the victory over Venetian fleet…

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    Interesting thing about these boats was that you could have sink them below water to hide them.
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    and then when you need it pull them up on the surface and sail right away.
    That was one of the pirate tricks so to speak, how they used to ambush Venetians and raid their ships.

    #353519

    Anonymous
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