Byzantine missions among the Slavs. SS. Constantine-Cyril and Methodius

Francis Dvornik


III. Moravia Before the Byzantine Mission


Formation of the Moravian State— Annexation of Nitra—Irish or Frankish (Bavarian) missionaries in Moravia and Slovakia?— Priests from Greece in Moravia?—Moravian churches built in the first half of the ninth century—Prototypes of those churches in the Adriatic sphere?—Political and economic organization of Moravia —Cultural background of Moravia in the light of recent archaeological discoveries—The Avar civilization, Byzantium and Moravia —Mojmír, Pribina, Rastislav—Franco-Bulgarian and Moravo-Byzantine alliance?—Cultural and religious objects of the Moravian embassy in Byzantium—Invention of the Slavic alphabet— How the Byzantine embassy reached Moravia.



Constantine did not follow the career of his probable predecessor George Choiroboskos, because of an event which changed completely the lives of the two brothers. Prince Rastislav of the Moravians sent an embassy to the emperor in 862. Constantine’s biographer recounts this in the following words:


“Rastislav, the Prince of Moravia, impelled by God, took advice with his princes and with the Moravians and sent to the Emperor Michael, saying: “Our people has renounced paganism and is observing the Christian law, but we do not have a teacher to explain to us the true Christian faith in our own language in order that other nations even, seeing this, may imitate us. Send us therefore, Master, such a bishop and teacher, because from you emanates always, to all sides, the good law.”


The author of the Life of Constantine’s brother Methodius describes this event in the following way in chapter five:


“It happened then in those days, Ratislav, the Slavic prince with Svatopluk







had sent from Moravia to the Emperor Michael (an embassy) speaking as follows: ‘Thanks to the grace of God, we are well. And many Christian teachers have come to us from Italy and from Greece and from Germany teaching us in different way. We Slavs are simple people, and we have nobody who would lead us to the truth and interpret its meaning. Thus hark, Master, send us such a man who would teach us all law.’ ”


Before examining the reasons which prompted the Moravian prince to address himself to the Byzantine emperor, and the real aim of this embassy, the political and cultural development of Moravia must be reviewed in order to understand Rastislav’s move.


This country, which suddenly came into contact with Byzantium, lay outside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, of which Byzantium was the heir. An important Slavic political structure developed very early in the fertile valley of the river Morava, and pressure from the Avars accelerated this process.


New archaeological discoveries in the valleys of the Thaya (Dyje) and Morava rivers are today supplementing the meagre literary sources concerning the history of this region. Historians are finding sufficient evidence—which, however, does not seem conclusive—to place the center of the first Slavic political structure, erected by the Frankish Samo against the Avars, in Moravia and in the region between the Danube and the Thaya, abandoning the old theory which placed it in Bohemia. [1] This formation could hardly be called a state in the true sense, although Samo extended his sway not only over Moravia and Lower Austria, but also over Bohemia and White Serbia, whose prince Drvan voluntarily joined him. Although Samo was able to defend his independence against the Frankish King Dagobert also, [2] this structure disintegrated after Samo’s death, about 658. But new archaeological evidence again shows that the direct political influence of the Avars stopped on the Thaya and in lower Morava.


Charlemagne’s campaigns against the Avars must have been welcomed in Bohemia and Moravia. Einhard’s Annals [3] relate that one of his armies marched through Bohemia, indicating that the Slavic tribes in that country were on good terms with the Franks. Charlemagne’s victory over the Avars (795-796) resulted in the extension of Frankish-rule over the whole of ancient Pannonia as far as the river Tisza. The Bulgars, on the other hand, occupied ancient Dacia as far as that river.





The Slavs in Moravia and Bohemia were unable to escape Frankish political influence. It seems that submission by the Slavs in Bohemia to the Frankish empire met with resistance. Einhard, [4] the Chronicle of Moissac, [5] and the Annals of Metz [6] certainly speak of expeditions against the Slavs in Bohemia in 805.


The situation was clarified in 822 under Louis the Pious. According to Einhard [7] the emperor received in Frankfurt the envoys not only of Polabian Slavs, but also of the Slavs from Bohemia and Moravia. Submission naturally implied Christianization, and this was a slow' process in Bohemia. Only in 845 did fourteen Bohemian princes present themselves at Ratisbon to express to Louis the German their willingness to be baptized, [8] and they were, most probably, the chiefs of clans living near the Bavarian frontier. Christianity began to spread among the Czech tribes of Central Bohemia only toward the end of the ninth century.


The regrouping of the Slavic tribes in Moravia must have started in the seventh century. The wars with the Avars in the eighth century accelerated this process and strengthened the position of the tribal chiefs who, with their retinues, defended their territories against Avar incursions. The report of Einhard [9] tells us that, in 822, the process was finished and that the tribes in the valleys between the Danube and around the rivers Thaya and Morava had acknowledged the supremacy and name of the most important tribe, that of the Moravians.


Although these tribes are mentioned for the first time only in 822 as being united under the Moravians, it is possible that they were included in the report in the Annales Laurissenses, which tells us that in 803 [10] the Slavs of Pannonia, together with the Avars, subjected themselves to Charlemagne. Besides this, political formations (regna) of the Slavs in the neighborhood of Pannonia are mentioned. [11] These regna may be those of the Slavs on the northern side of the river Danube.


The existence of such regna appears to be confirmed by the report of 811, [12] which mentions chiefs and princes living in the territory around the river Danube, who addressed themselves to the emperor asking for support in their troublesome relations with the Avars. Besides the Slavs of Pannonia, the writer may also have had in mind those chiefs living north of the Danube.


The concentration of these Slavs into a political group seems also to be attested by the so-called Bavarian Geographer. [13] The





dating of his Descriptio is still debated by specialists, but it seems most probable that the first redaction of this document was written in one of the Bavarian monasteries about the year 817 when Louis the Pious, in dividing the Empire, assigned Bavaria, Pannonia, and the Slavs with the Avars east of Bavaria, to Louis the German. This was the moment when detailed knowledge of Bavaria’s neighbors seemed important and necessary.


The author mentions the Marharii as neighbors of the Beheimi (Slavs of Bohemia). After them he placed the Vulgarii—who are certainly the Bulgarians who had extended their rule over modern central Hungary to the river Tisza, after the defeat of the Avars. But then he adds: “There is a people who are called Merehani.” The meaning of this passage is still disputed. It was proposed by L. Havlík [14] that the author, after writing of the Beheimi, thought to describe, not two different tribes, but their political formation around two centers. The Marharii should be those between the Danube, Thaya (Dyje), Morava, and the White Carpathian Mountains united under the chief of the Moravians—Mojmír, or hiss predecessor, and the Merehani, their kinsmen, between the middle Danube and the Carpathian Mountains, united by Prince Pribina, or his predecessor, around their center, which was most probably Nitra.


It is true that the political organization of the Slavic tribes East of the Danube, in the territory mentioned above, was proceeding independently in two formations, but it is doubtful that the Merehani are the Slavic tribes of modern Slovakia. The passage concerning them may have been added by another scribe after the union of the two groups was effected in about 833, as we shall see. This would explain why the Geographer assigned only eleven cities (civitates) to the Marharii, meaning the economic and political centers of the united tribes, and to the Merehani, thirty civitates. This number could indicate the increase in strength of the Moravian political formation after its expansion toward the northeast. [15]


Anyhow, the Marharii of the Descriptio are Moravian tribes; their unification must have been achieved by the unknown predecessor of Mojmír, their first ruler whose name is known to us.


Mojmír was an able ruler. He was on good terms with the Franks, although we do not know when and to what extent he acknowledged their supremacy. He or his predecessor might have





been among the chiefs who submitted to Charlemagne in 803, but it should be stressed that Moravia is not mentioned among the lands which Louis the German was to inherit according to the arrangement made in 817. [16] Besides Bavaria, only Bohemia, and the lands of the Slavs and the Avars east of Bavaria and Pannonia, are expressly listed. Were the Moravians included among the Slavs East of Bavaria? It is probable, although it is possible that only the Slavic tribes in the Eastern Mark could have been meant.


Anyhow, Mojmír lived in peace with the Franks. His realm was solidly organized and he did not oppose the missionary work of Frankish priests in his country. The information given us by the Bavarian Geographer concerning the eleven civitates which existed in his realm was confirmed recently by archaeological discoveries in Moravia. Most probably the fortified settlements of Staré Město, Mikulčice, Pohansko, Rajhrad, Hradiště near Znojmo, Strachotín, Olomouc, Pohansko near Nejdek, Staré Zámky near Líšeň (outskirts of Brno), and Kirchberg in Austria, the existence of which is confirmed by archaeological finds, were already known to the Geographer in 817 as well as to some others. [17]


*  *  *


As already indicated, the Slavic tribes in modern Slovakia were also grouped around another center, probably Nitra, and this unification must also have been achieved at the end of the eighth century. The first ruler of this new political group whose name is known to us was Prince Pribina, who resided in Nitra.


He too enjoyed good relations with the Franks and, although still a pagan, did not object to the activities of Frankish missionaries in his territory. There seems to have been at his court an important colony of Frankish merchants [18] for whom a church was built. Adalwin, the archbishop of Salzburg, is said to have consecrated it, [19] probably in 828. [20] It appears that he accompanied Louis the German on his military expedition against the Bulgarian Khagan Omortag and took advantage of this occasion to visit the important Frankish missionary center at Nitra. [21]


It is probable that the missionaries were successful even among the native Slavic population. However, the fact that the prince himself was still a pagan, excludes the possibility of a mass conversion. Adalram wished to encourage his missionaries in their





work and perhaps even to convert their ruler. In this he did not succeed, for Pribina remained a pagan.


The prince’s reluctance to accept the Christian faith appears to have cost him his dukedom. Mojmír of Moravia attacked him, chased him from Nitra and added the territory to his own realm, [22] thus ending the inclination of the Slavic tribes to gather around this political center. The annexation most probably took place in 833. [23]


Pribina fled across the Danube to Margrave Ratbod, governor of the Frankish East Mark. He was probably seeking Frankish intervention against Mojmír, as he considered himself a vassal. Ratbod introduced him to Louis the German, but the latter did nothing to restore him to his possessions. He simply ordered him to be instructed in the Christian faith and baptized.


The fact that the Empire refused to intervene against Mojmír, although the latter’s territory was considerably enlarged by this annexation, clearly indicates the Mojmír was already a Christian and on excellent terms with the Franks. His own country, Moravia, was also, at that time to a great extent already Christianized, thanks mainly to Frankish missionaries supported by him.


Although the presence of Moravian envoys at a Reichstag is first mentioned in 822, the submission of Moravia to the Franks must have been realized much earlier, perhaps already by the end of the eighth century, or in 803 as mentioned above. We do not hear of any Frankish expeditions against Moravia. We hear only of Bohemian Slavs in the accounts of expeditions which took place in 805, which means, of course, that Christianity had already begun to spread in Moravia toward the end of the eighth century.


*  *  *


The discovery (in 1953-55) of the foundations of a stone church with a rectangular presbytery in Modrá in southern Moravia, which seems to recall early Iro-Scottish architecture, gave occasion to a discussion on Iro-Scottish monks following the rule of St. Columban, and led some scholars to the conclusion that the first missionaries in Moravia were Iro-Scottish monks established in their own monasteries in Bavaria. [24] The wandering Iro-Scottish monks came to Bavaria at the beginning of the seventh century, but their activities were concentrated mostly in the territory





inhabited by the Slovenes in former Noricum, and in Lower Pannonia. The Iro-Scottish missions in these lands flourished especially in the years from 745 to 784 under the direction of St. Virgil, the Irish bishop of Salzburg, who is rightly called the Apostle of Carinthia. [25] Passau also had at that time a bishop—Sidonius— who may have been of Irish descent,


In the eighth century the Anglo-Saxon mission worked in Bavaria, and its main representative—St. Boniface—was an outspoken adversary of Iro-Scottish missionary practices, one of which was that a bishop accepted orders from his abbot. After Virgil’s death Charlemagne appointed as his successor the Benedictine Abbot Arn and, in 798 raised the see of Salzburg to that of an archbishopric. On Charlemagne’s orders the Iro-Scottish monasteries were made to accept the Benedictine rule. The missions among the Slavs in Noricum, Pannonia, and on the left border of the Danube were directed, from the end of the eighth century on, by the Frankish clergy.


It is quite possible that some of the traditions of the missionary practice of the Iro-Scottish monks had survived in some of the Bavarian monasteries after they had abandoned St. Columban’s rule-especially in that of Kremsmünster—and that some of these monks continued their activities even after the missions had come under the direction of the Frankish clergy who followed the Roman and Anglo-Saxon methods introduced by St. Boniface. But even so, their work should rather have centered around ancient Noricum and Lower Pannonia, among the Slovene population. In spite of this, the presence of some Irish missionaries in southern Moravia at the end of the eighth century could be postulated. Any systematic continuation of such missions in Moravia, however, can not be accepted. [26]


We have thus to conclude that the Irish-Scottish missionaries from Bavaria could not have played any noticeable role in the Christianization of the Moravian Slavs. The principal missionaries in Moravia were Frankish priests, and the claims which Passau later voiced that Moravia was part of its diocese, point out that most of the Frankish missionaries were sent to Moravia by the bishops of Passau. The most active in this work was Bishop Reginhar (818-838). A much later tradition attributes the conversion of all Moravians to him. [27] Although this tradition cannot be fully trusted, it remains certain that Bishop Reginhar had become very





active in Moravia. The claim that he had himself visited the country and had there held synods with the missionary clergy (a claim put forward in the letter of 900 [28] from the Bavarian hierarchy, protesting against the hierarchical reorganization of Moravia by Pope John IX) cannot be completely rejected. The primitive organization of the Moravian Christians headed by archpriests [29] should also be attributed to Reginhar.


When we take all this into consideration, we may go even further and date the baptism of Mojmír after 818. It is probable that the embassy to Louis the Pious in 822 may have been connected with Mojmír’s decision to accept Christianity, together with his tribal chiefs.


*  *  *


The presence in Moravia of missionaries from Germany is attested also by the Life of Methodius, as we have seen. The author also speaks, however, of priests from Greece and Italy. The presence of priests from Greece in Moravia at the beginning of the ninth century has presented an enigma to many historians of this period. It has been suggested that during the persecution of the Christians in Bulgaria by Omortag, some Greek priests escaped into Moravia. [30] Although not absolutely impossible, this supposition appears less probable when we remember that the Christian Greek prisoners were concentrated in the region between Drava and Sava, and in cities in the conquered territories of Macedonia and Thrace. It would have been easier for them to escape to Byzantine territory, as many of them did in 836, or to find refuge in the lands of the Croats.


However, Greek priests had much easier access to Slavic territories through the Byzantine possessions in Dalmatia. The Dalmatian ducate and later thema was “Greece” to its Slavic neighbors. The Latin cities of Byzantine Dalmatia had commercial, religious, and cultural relations, not only with Byzantium, but also with Italy, especially with Istria, a former Byzantine possession, Venice, still under Byzantine sovereignty, and Ravenna, Ecclesiastically, they were under the jurisdiction of Rome. Thus, the native clergy of these cities could easily be reinforced, and probably was, by clergy from Constantinople and especially from Italy. Let us remember that Rome had never lost interest in Dalmatia.





Moreover, the Byzantine Adriatic cities could provide Slavic speaking missionaries. When we keep in mind, as was shown in the first chapter, that at the beginning of the ninth century the Christianization of the Croats, which had started not from Aquileia but from the Latin coastal cities under their bishops, had already made great progress, it is quite probable that some of the Latin or even Greek missionaries, who had worked among the Croats, ventured further toward the northeast.


Naturally, they avoided the territories claimed by Aquileia and Salzburg, where priests sent by the patriarch and the archbishop were working. They went to another Slavic territory which was neither under Aquileia nor Salzburg, nor Passau—namely Moravia. They spoke the Slavic language and were welcomed by its ruler Mojmír, as they did not present the political danger the Frankish missionaries did. The presence of missionaries other than Frankish is attested also by a letter of 900 of the Bavarian clergy, since we read there that the Bishop of Passau’s synods held in Moravia comprised not only his own clergy but all the other missionary priests as well. [31]


*  *  *


The affirmation by Rastislav’s embassy that their country “had already rejected paganism and now observed the Christian law,” is also confirmed by the existence of stone churches in Moravia erected during the first half of the ninth century, before the arrival of the Byzantine mission. Their foundations have been discovered only in recent years.


Archaeological research in Moravia and Slovakia began on a large scale only in 1948; it is directed by the Archaeological Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy in Prague, which has branches in Brno and in Nitra. It has at its disposal a small army of specialists, the most prominent of this group being J. Filip, the director of the Archaeological Institute of the Academy, J. Poulík, V. Hrubý, F. Kalousek and T. Točík.


The excavations led to some remarkable discoveries, the most surprising among them being the disclosure of the foundations of sixteen churches built of stone; [32] up until now it was thought that all early constructions in Moravia were of wood. Ten of these churches were excavated in and near the settlement of Mikulčice.





A lively discussion continues among Czech archaeologists concerning the style and origin of these churches, and the nationality of the missionaries and architects who built them.


The most disputed church, rediscovered by V. Hrubý in 1953, is that in Modrá mentioned above, of small size, without a narthex, but with a rectangular presbytery. J. Cibulka has dated it from about 808, and compared it to the churches built by the IroScottish monks in the lands of their mission. As already mentioned, his dating and theory of its Iro-Scottish origin has been rejected by almost all specialists. Hrubý [33] dates this church to the end of the first quarter of the ninth century or about 840, therefore still long before Rastislas had dispatched his embassy to Byzantium.


Foundations of similar constructions have been discovered in Mikulčice. One was excavated by J. Poulik in 1954, of which only the ruins of two walls joined in a rectangle are preserved. They seem to be the remains of a church which was destroyed or perhaps not finished. The excavator called them the remnants of the First Church of Mikulčice. This church was replaced by another construction with sturdy walls. It measured 12.60 meters in length, with an oblong nave and a rectangular presbytery. A kind of square construction was added to the presbytery. Under its floor, four graves were found. The floor of the church was covered with flat stones. This church is called the Second Church of Mikulčice. Under it were found remains of an earlier building, the true purpose of which has yet to be revealed. J. Cibulka thinks that there stood a church with a rectangular presbytery, with rather thin walls—he calls it Church Two B of Mikulčice—which was later replaced on the same foundations by Church Two A. The excavator has his well-founded doubts about this theory. He thinks that Church Number Two was the first stone church built in Moravia. This is not impossible, if we accept the idea that the fortified large settlement of Mikulčice was the political center of Great Moravia and the residence of its prince.


This church was surrounded by 138 tombs containing some very interesting objects, the finding of which permits us to date the building of this church to the years 840 to 860, that is, again in the period before the arrival of the Byzantine mission. The rectangular presbytery was rounded up in the interior. [34]


A little different from these constructions is the Fifth Church discovered in Mikulčice. Its rectangular presbytery, also rounded





in the interior, is somehow contracted, which might have been caused by the unevenness of the terrain. No tombs were found near the church, and therefore the date of its construction cannot be established. Another similar sanctuary, with a rectangular presbytery and rather strong walls, is called the Eighth Church of Mikulčice; it was discovered in 1961, and can be dated from the second half of the ninth century, as indicated by the objects found in the twenty-six graves which surrounded the sanctuary. The presbytery is rectangular (six by five meters). The Tenth Church, discovered in 1963, also has a rectangular presbytery. The walls of the nave were strengthened by two pilasters; two pillars in the interior seem to indicate the existence of a tribune. Only six graves, without any objects, were found around the church. The exact date of its construction cannot be determined. [35]


These are the churches which are regarded by Cibulka as being in an Iro-Scottish style. [36] However, several objections have been raised against his conclusion. [37] Only the church in Modrá has the elongated presbytery which is a common feature of the Iro-Scottish sanctuaries. None of the Moravian churches had a narrowing triumphal arch, the most characteristic mark of Irish churches. Irish church architecture did not have any supports in the nave, such as were found in the Modrá church. These are to be seen only in the church of Bretigny, whose Irish origin, moreover, has not been proved. [38]


We must, therefore, conclude that the church in Modrá was not a prototype for other constructions of this kind in Moravia. The First Church of Mikulčice seems to be even older than that of Modrá. This type of construction was the simplest and easiest form of architecture in a country where Christianity was only just beginning and which lacked skilled masons and architects. It was practiced not only in the eighth and the ninth century, but even later in the tenth and eleventh, by the Irish, Anglo-Saxon, and other missionaries in Europe. We also find several churches of this kind in Dalmatia. Dyggwe has made a special study of early Croatian church architecture; after studying the ground plans of some of the churches from Solin and Otok, excavated mostly by himself, he concludes that “The round apse ... is rare in early Croatian time, where the main form is vigorously rectangular.” [39] The only religious building in Salona which survived the destruction of the city by the Avars in 614 was the Oratory of St. Anastasius in the





cemetery at Marušinac. [40] It was used for divine service as late as the early Middle Ages. This building “with its remarkable Syro-Mesopotamian style has exercised,” says Dyggwe, [41] “a formal influence not only on the early Croatian church building at Solin and its surroundings, but on the whole of Central Dalmatia.” He reproduces the ground plans of several Croatian churches in which the unmistakable influence of the Oratory of Anastasius can be detected. The two oldest of them, that of St. Jure at Kastel Stari and Gospa od prikraj mora (Our Lady by the Sea), each have a rectangular presbytery. There has never been any connection whatsoever between this part of Yugoslavia and the Irish or Bavarian missions.


Particular attention should be paid to the architectural complex excavated in 1959 by V. Hrubý at Sady, near Staré Město. [42] The oldest building on this site is a cruciform church. Another construction with some kind of apse was later added to its western side. Toward the end of the ninth century a small sanctuary with a semi-circular apse was built on the north side of the main church. The main earliest structure has a rectangular presbytery (3.8 meters long and 4 meters wide), and its nave (7.8 meters long and 6.8 meters wide) is divided into three by two stone walls. The excavator dates the oldest part of this cruciform church to about 825. A wide transept connecting the nave and the chancel makes it similar to the transept-type, three-aisled basilicas. The church seems to have been built in quite a sumptuous fashion. Remains of Roman roofing were found in the rubble and even fragments of rich, green polished porphyrite of Peloponnesian origin, and of gray marble, probably used for the altar decoration. Some big sandstone blocks were preserved in their original positions, on the floor, covered with tiles of moss-colored marble.


The most spectacular examples of old Moravian church architecture are the three rotundas discovered in the territory of Mikulčice, and the fourth rotunda found under the presbytery of the church of St. Michael in Staré Město. Of these the most interesting is the rotunda with two apses which was uncovered in 1960. [43] It is almost 15 meters long and 7.30 meters wide. It is known as Church Number Six of Mikulčice. The archaeological finds in one of the 190 graves around this church must be dated to about 825. Therefore, the church must have been built in the first quarter of the ninth century. The rotunda was adorned inside with frescoes





in vivid colors. Many remnants of them were found in the ruins of the church. Unfortunately, no larger fragment has been recovered, although it can be seen from some of the pieces that human figures were represented.


About the year 860, a round building was constructed on the same site—Church Number Seven of Mikulčice—the foundations of which are rather badly preserved. It was probably a wooden structure, although rough cast on the inside. The altar was in a polygonal apse built of sandstone joined with mortar. A piece of greenish porphyrite found in the apse served, probably, as a cover for the altar. The discoverer of this rotunda thinks that it is a simplified copy of the rotunda with two apses and dates it to the second half of the ninth century.


The third rotunda—the Ninth Church of Mikulčice—excavated in 1961, is a round building ten meters in diameter with four niches. It seems that it was used as a baptistery.


The fourth rotunda, excavated beneath the presbytery of the church in Staré Město, dates to the middle of the ninth century. [44]


*  *  *


The number of churches built before the arrival of the Byzantine mission is considerable, and shows that Christianity must have been well implanted in Moravia during the first half of the ninth century. The question arises as to where the missionaries and the architects who built the churches came from. There are different opinions concerning their origin. The cruciform structure of Sady has been compared to the Carolingian “Eglises cloisonnées” in Reichenau, Corvey, and elsewhere, but even those scholars who are inclined to accept this solution confess that there is a great difference between the Carolingian churches and the Moravian sanctuaries. J. Cibulka sees in it another phase in the development of Great Moravian architecture, originating from the combination of different architectural forms. [45] However, there are many objections to this interpretation, especially if we take into consideration that the main part of the church of Sady, according to the archaeologist, should be one of the oldest structures yet found in Moravia.


The existence of rotundas in Moravia at such an early date poses many problems as to their origin. J. Cibulka, who would like





to find their counterpart in Carolingian structures and who mentioned in this connection the rotunda of Marienberg near Würzburg, had to admit that such an attempt should be abandoned, and he declared that he knew of no prototype for these Moravian churches. [46]


There is, however, a region which has not yet been sufficiently examined by Czech archaeologists, although the Life of Methodius points quite clearly to it—namely, Italy (with Istria) and Greece, which can also mean Byzantine Dalmatia with its Latin coastal cities. We have seen that the eighth-century cruciform church of St. Vid in Zara was to become the prototype for the church of the Holy Cross in Nin. The structure of St. Vid in Zara was copied from St. Catherine’s church in Pula (Pola) which is dated from the sixth century. San Vitale in Ravenna was the prototype for the church of St. Donatus in Zara, built at the beginning of the ninth century. [47]


There are, however, also other churches in Zadar which deserve to be studied in connection with the origin of Moravian architecture. The church of Petar Stari, with its irregular rectangular form, was divided by two columns and one pillar into two naves which were vaulted with cruciform arches; the church has two apses. Sveti Lovro, of small dimensions, with three naves, had a cupola and was vaulted with two cruciform arches. The church of Sveta Nediljica had a basilica form, cruciform vaults, and apses. The circular church of St. Ursula, called Stomorica, has six conches. The entrance section was rectangular. We shall see that there were different variants of such a church style in Dalmatia during the so-called pre-Romanesque period, from the end of the eighth through the ninth centuries.


One of them is the church of St. Nicholas near Nin, and another that of Sveti Krševan on the island of Krk. The latter church is cruciform. Of a similar cruciform type is the church of St. Dunat on the island. That of St. Lovro had three naves and dates also from the pre-romanesque period. [48]


Rotundas were also known in Byzantine Dalmatia at an early period. A rotunda with six apses was built in the eighth or ninth century near Split. It is the church of the Holy Trinity in Poljud. [49] Although the rotunda of Sveta Gospa on the island of Vis is surprisingly similar to one of the rotundas of Mikulčice, it cannot be





grouped with the Moravian rotundas, because it should be dated, not from the eleventh century as has been thought, but from about 1500, Its presence on the island, even at this late period, can perhaps be cited as an indication that this type of church building was popular in Dalmatia. [50]


This seems to be confirmed by the excavation of the foundations of a rotunda with eight conches in Pridraz, near Novigrad, by Stephen Gunjaca, Director of the Museum of Antiquities in Split, in the year 1939-40. Remnants of another church with six conches were excavated by the same archaeologist in 1947 in Brnazi near Sinj. [51] The church of Our Lady of Trogir is also a construction with six apses. [52]


One should also take into consideration the architectural forms introduced into future Serbia by the missionaries from the Latin coastal cities of the southern part of Byzantine Dalmatia. New archaeological discoveries in ancient Praevalis (modern Montenegro), seem to indicate that their study may bring some satisfactory results. Among the early churches built by the missionaries of the coastal cities, mentioned above on p. 33 If., two at least belong to the type of cruciform churches. First, the church of Our Lady in Duklja, which was constructed in the middle of the ninth century on the mins of an early Christian basilica. Another church of this kind, that of St. Thomas in Prčanj, may be from the end of this period. Its plan is similar to that of Germigny des Prés in France, constructed in 813, and to that of San Satiro in Milan, built by the Archbishop Ampert in 876. The church of St. Peter the Great or Old in Dubrovnik (Ragusa) also represents the cruciform type. A new' basilica with three naves ending with apses was excavated in Suranj near Kotor. The apse of the main nave is rectangular on the outside. It was, most probably, built soon after 840 during the reconstruction of the low city of Kotor, destroyed by the Arabs in 840. Another church, with a rounded apse inside and outside and one nave, was excavated in Ulcinj. [53]


Rotundas were also known in ancient Praevalis in the ninth century. It seems that there was a rotunda over the church of St. Tryphun in Kotor, which is described above, p. 35. [54] The church in Ošije with eight conches reminds one of the rotunda of Church Number Nine in Mikulčice. [55] We have seen above, p. 38, that the church of St. Peter in Ras had a circular plan with an apse





and a cupola resting on pendentives. It was built soon after the conversion of the Serbs of Raška, probably at the end of the ninth century. A cruciform church is found in Stará Pavlica.


These are, of course, only the results of the most recent archaeological discoveries. It is to be expected that Serbian and Croatian archaeologists will discover some other interesting remains which will help them and the historians to solve some problems concerning the origins of this architecture and its spread toward the northeast. We should keep in mind that even the region of ancient Praevalis was a part of Byzantine Dalmatia, although inhabited by Latins and Illyrians. The Latin priests were in touch with the priests of other coastal cities in northern Dalmatia with whom they exchanged their experiences in missionary activities. Many of them had at least an elementary knowledge of Slavic, as did their confrères from the northern part of Byzantine Dalmatia.


The architecture of Istria and the Quarnero should also be taken into consideration and be studied more thoroughly, because among the missionaries in Moravia there were most probably also priests from the patriarchates of Aquileia and Grado [56] who had also some knowledge of the Slavic language, since Slavic tribes were still numerous in Istria.


It should be imagined that the influx of priests from Istria and Byzantine Dalmatia into Moravia must have increased from 850, and especially from 855 on, when Rastislav had closed his lands to Bavarian clergy. He broke his relations with the Empire, but since he wanted his land to remain Christian, he was anxious to replace the expelled Bavarian clergy with missionaries from other lands, not hostile to Moravia.


These facts have been overlooked so far, as it was thought that the Croats had not been Christianized until the ninth century by missionaries from Aquileia and by the Frankish clergy. Because of this, it was even assumed that the church of St. Donatus in Zara was modelled on the basilica of Aix-la-Chapelle, rather than on San Vitale in Ravenna. The possibilities of influences from Aquileia and Istria coming to Moravia have not been excluded, but according to the new findings concerning the role played by the Dalmatian coastal cities in the Christianization of the Slavs, we cannot regard the non-Frankish missionaries in Moravia as originating exclusively from Aquileia and Istria. Aquileia’s missionaries were fully occupied with the conversion of the Slavs in





Istria and lower Pannonia-modern Carinthia—and in Pannonian Croatia. Moravia was not Aquileia’s missionary land, although some Aquileian priests did reach that country. [57] Then, we must not forget that churches were not built by the missionaries, but by architects, masons, and other technicians who accompanied them. [58] The costs were borne by the Christianized princes who regarded the churches according to Frankish custom, as their property. Architects could travel freely, and with their workshops they could reach any land to the northeast from Italy, Istria, or the coastal cities, independently of the missionaries. It is probable that even Salzburg employed architects from Istria, These factors must be kept in mind when studying the provenance and style of Moravian architecture. Fortunately, Czech specialists are becoming more and more aware of the fact that the prototypes of early Moravian architecture should be looked for in the Adriatic sphere of Istria, Dalmatia, and Ravenna. [59]


*  *  *


The excavations have given us a clearer picture of the political organization of the country. The numerous strongholds with suburban settlements were also economic centers, and seats of tribal chiefs. The settlements of Staré Město and of Mikulčice are particularly important in this respect, At Staré Město, a large Slavic settlement already existed in the seventh and eighth centuries, which grew considerably in the ninth, during the Great Moravian period. [60] At that time it was fortified by palisades surrounded with a deep moat. The remains of numerous workshops, foundries, and pottery kilns show that on this side a great center of manufacture and commerce existed which had the character of an urban community. The inhabitants depended for their provisions on the products of small agricultural settlements, traces of which are apparent in the neighborhood. So far, no trace of the residence of a prince has been found.


The settlement at Mikulčice was of different character, being centered on the prince’s residence. There were stone walls and a stone palace with adjacent buildings. Around the prince’s residence were grouped other compounds and the mansions of various nobles. They, too, were heavily fortified. The whole settlement had the character of an urban community more advanced





than that of Staré Město. In one place, the ruins of more than fifty dwellings were found, separated by narrow streets. The neighboring villages provided the urban population with agricultural products. The remains of workshops for the processing of gold, bronze, and iron have also been discovered. The place was the residence of a prince with a military retinue and was fortified with a wooden stockade as early as the seventh and eighth centuries. An outer stone wall was erected at the beginning of the ninth century. The excavations made so far indicate an estimated population of 2,000 inhabitants in this huge settlement, which covered an area of almost one hundred hectares. At that time this represented a considerable concentration of population in one place— a kind of town with a castle in the middle. [61]


J. Poulik, director of the excavations in Mikulčice, believes that “the indescribable fortress” of Rastislav, which was admired by the annalist of Fulda and which, in 869, stopped the progress of the Frankish army, can be identified with the fortified compound of Mikulčice. The same chronicler in 871 also makes a reference to the city of Rastislav. [62] The settlement of Mikulčice presents a strongly urban character; thus, both these descriptions can be applied.


The stronghold of Pohansko, [63] fortified with palisades, was the seat of a feudal lord. The houses, the remains of which have been found, had floors of mortar. The church which had existed there was built by a feudal lord and was a proprietary church. A similar fortified settlement, with the residence of a feudal lord, is supposed to have been built in the ninth century near the village of Strachotin. The remains of a church have not yet been discovered. Other fortified settlements whose existence in the ninth century is ascertained have not yet been examined by Czech archaeologists.


The Slovak archaeologists concentrated their research in two places, Devin and Nitra. It is now established that Dĕvin was a frontier fortress called Dovina by the Franks. Many specialists have identified Rastislav’s “indescribable fortress” with Dĕvin, but this view must now be abandoned because of new archaeological evidence. Slavic settlements can be traced in the region of Nitra from the fifth century on. The concentration of tribes in the region ended in the eighth century, as already indicated. It has not yet been established where the fortified residence of Pribina and





Svatopluk was. It seems that it was situated on one side of the modem city of Nitra where, of course, excavations can be made only on special and rare occasions. The church built by Pribina was most probably also nearby. [64] Foundations of a church have been discovered.


Two important forts have been detected near Nitra. The one below the hill of Zobor has not yet been explored, but a settlement on the southeast slope of Zobor has been excavated. Several dwellings of different construction have been laid bare, with broad stone-paved paths separating them. The objects found indicate that the fort was a center of trade. Both finished and semi-finished products and raw materials attest to a large iron production. The other, smaller fort was located on the Lupka hill. The excavations made in the settlements around it show that the place was a Slavic pottery center. Thirteen kilns were found concentrated in three groups The building of the pottery kilns confirms the gradual development of this industry, documenting early introduction of the potter’s wheel, and points to the specialization in certain regions of ceramic production both for domestic use and for export.


Near another fortified hill called Borina several hearths were discovered which attest the existence of another trade, that of glassmaking. Some local names seem to indicate the existence of groups of artisans of different trades who produced their wares both for domestic consumption and export. Although the excavations have only been started, the results seem to indicate that Nitra was not only a political but particularly an important economic center of Great Moravia. [65]


The archaeological discoveries made in Moravia shed more light net only on the political but also on the social character of the Slavic state, and confirm what the envoys of Rastislav said in the presence of the Emperor Michael III. The biographer of Constantine has them declare that Rastislav, “on God’s inspiration and having consulted his chiefs and Moravians,” had sent them to the emperor. On the other hand, the biographer of Methodius says that the embassy was sent by Rastislav and Svatopluk.


This last information is important. It confirms what we have seen before, that the country of the tribes which had been united in a type of political formation by Pribina’s predecessor was regarded as a kind of appendage of Moravia, and had kept its particular





character, which it had before, even after the conquest by Mojmír. Rastislav appointed his nephew Svatopluk as successor to Pribina, residing in Nitra, of course, under his supremacy.


The large cemeteries with numerous tombs which have been opened confirm the existence of chieftains and disclose a certain social differentiation among the Moravian population. In many graves lords with swords and spurs were buried. Some were even entombed in masonry crypts in churches. Even boys were buried with their spurs, although they would have been too young to ride horses. This shows that they were descendants of the upper class. The graves of ladies with silver and gold jewels buried with them also testify that quite a wealthy upper class existed in Moravia. On the other hand, graves with fewer and simpler objects, although from the same period, show the existence of simple folk governed by the rulers of the upper class. These social differences were not as noticeable in Slavic graves from the pre-Moravian period. On the other hand, a class of freemen must have existed and was still influential in political life, because the biographer of Constantine tells us that, before sending his embassy to Constantinople, Rastislav thought it necessary to consult not only the chieftains, but also the Moravians, which can only mean a kind of assembly of free men. Because of this one can characterize the Moravians of the first half of the ninth century as living in a semi- or early-feudal society. [66] Slow development toward the feudal system was evident, and was certainly accelerated during the second half of that period. It would probably have reached the same form as in other western states in the high middle ages, if the Moravian State had existed longer.


*  *  *


Although the main occupation of the population was agriculture and cattle raising, certain kinds of crafts were well advanced. The ruins of many primitive iron foundries point out that metal work was already well developed in Moravia in the eighth century. Moravian blacksmiths were skilled craftsmen. Perfect agricultural implements of all kinds have been found in graves and in the remains of workshops, among which are assymetrical ploughshares. Some of the tools found in the graves of peasants testify





that the Moravians cultivated orchards and vineyards as early as the eighth century.


Blacksmiths equipped the Moravian warriors with their arms. Besides lances and bows, their chief weapons were not swords but axes of a peculiar shape, particularly characteristic of ninth-century Moravia. [67] Different kinds of knives were common, but swords were scarce. Some were acquired by various means from the Carolingian Empire, but the Moravian smiths were quite capable of producing swords. Swords are found only in the graves of feudal lords. It is a known fact that in the Frankish Empire it was forbidden by imperial law to export arms into any Slavic country, [68] but this prohibition was not strictly observed. Some of the swords found in Moravia were also part of war-booty. Spurs were likewise produced in Moravia by native blacksmiths and were usually modelled on those imported from neighboring Germany. No Avar influence in this sphere could have existed, since they did not use spurs. The Moravian artisans produced remarkable specimens of this art, as is illustrated by some bronze-gilt spurs, one bearing a human face, found in the grave of a wealthy man in Mikulčice, near the Second Church. [69]


In the same grave were also found gilt buckles. The nomadic peoples had introduced the wearing of belts to Europe. Even the Byzantines had borrowed this custom in the sixth century, probably from the nomadic Bulgars. The Byzantine buckles, however, are rather smaller in size, and their plates are of an oval, triangular, or horse-shoe form with palmette or leaf decoration. The Moravian Slavs must have adopted this practice from the Avars. Many objects of this kind are to be found in the South Slovakian cemeteries where there are both Avar and Slavic graves. [70]


The Moravian Slavs, after taking over this custom from the Avars, developed still further the practice of decorating the clasps and tabs of belts, adapting it 'to their taste. Avar and other influences can be seen in these decorations, but differences between the Avar and Moravian fashions can also be detected. Some of them may have been inspired by Byzantine models. This may be the case with a silver-gilt tongue-piece from the grave of a boy buried near the Second Church in Mikulčice. It represents a crude figure effigy of a priest, or saint, in the attitude of an Orans. [71] The figure of a man in the same attitude can be seen on another object





of a similar kind. Another specimen represents a nobleman displaying the insignia of his rank and with his hands raised in prayer. [72] This shows that similar ornamentation of belt plates appears to have been popular in Moravia. Several plaques found in the graves testify that Moravian artisans often used bones and antlers to make domestic and other implements as well as for decoration. [73]


The most unusual decorative object is a silver medallion with the relief of a rider holding a falcon. It was found in a grave in Staré Město and is one of the earliest known representations of a hunting scene with a falcon. It has been studied by K. Benda, [74] who looked for the prototype of this scene in post-Sassanian art. The manner in which the eyes, the horse, and the rider’s clothing are represented betrays features typical of the late Avar and Moravian period. The original of this representation must have reached the Danubian basin from the East in the second half of the eighth century. The origin of this silver medallion is not certain. If it came from an Avar workshop it could have been produced in the second half of the eighth century. But if it was the work of a Moravian artisan, it may be dated to the second half of the ninth century.


A great variety of pots, dishes, and vases were produced by the Moravian potters. All of them display simple ornamental motifs, characteristic of Slavic ceramic art. [75] Some of the vessels discovered in the graves resemble late antique pieces. It was thought that they were imported into Moravia, but after examination of the remains of the Moravian pottery kilns, especially in Sady near Staré Město and around Nitra, Czech archaeologists are inclined to admit that even these pieces, which resemble antique Roman amphoras and flasks, could have been produced by native artisans. It seems that the glass blowers around Nitra were producing glass buttons, glass pearls, and glass vases. Fragments of glass vases found in Staré Město indicate that glassware was also imported from the Rhineland factories to Moravia.


Remarkable achievements were realized by Moravian goldand silversmiths. A great quantity of different kinds of jewelry was found in the graves. The most typical ornaments of the Moravians were copper-gilt, silver, and gold buttons, used by them instead of the clasps and fibulas characteristic of Roman and Byzantine fashion. Although the Slavic name for button—gomb, gumb—is





derived from the Byzantine kombos, this Moravian model does not seem to have been an import from Byzantium. We are not very familiar with the history of Byzantine costume, but it seems that buttons, instead of (or in addition to) clasps were used in Byzantium in the ninth century. There are several types of buttons in Moravia which were classified by V. Hrubý, who found more than 178 specimens in the graves around Staré Město. A great number of buttons was also found in Mikulčice and at Pohansko. [76]


Most numerous are metal buttons of copper-gilt; some are of silver and in some rare cases of gold. The surface is punched and incised, displaying, as a rule, plant motifs, sometimes geometric patterns and, more rarely, fantastic birds. Another type of button has a granulated design giving it the aspect of a raspberry. They are mostly of silver, seldom of gold. The granulated ornaments often varied. Other buttons were made in an oval shape with a granulated design and with the addition of colored glass decoration. Some of them may have been copies of Byzantine or other models and designs, but executed in workshops in a rather barbaric environment with a less perfect technique.


It is almost impossible to determine the origin of the many glass necklaces found in the graves of Moravian ladies of the ninth century. [77] It was a current and popular glass product which was exported to the whole continent from workshops in Egypt, Syria, the Danubian basin, and Byzantium. Most of these objects found in Moravia were imported from the East or from the Byzantine glass factories, perhaps also from workshops in the Rhineland. It is probable, however, that glass necklaces were also produced in Moravia in imitation of the imports. One of the necklaces found in the vicinity of Staré Město is particularly interesting. It is ornamented with a topaz and a shell prevalent in the area of the Adriatic Sea. [78] This find furnishes additional proof of contacts between Moravia and Dalmatia, and points out the fact that at least some of the jewelry probably came to Moravia from Byzantine cities on the Adriatic coast. Rings [79] are not very numerous among the finds in the Moravian cemeteries. The oldest type so far discovered is a simple circle; they are often of bronze, which would link them to Roman provincial models. Rings with the bezel decorated with granular or incised geometrical and plant motifs seem to have been popular. Some of them are inset with small pieces of colored glass. The form of the ring often recalls Byzantine patterns,





but the workmanship does not. This seems to indicate that some of the rings were produced in Moravian workshops by both native and foreign artisans.


The earrings [80] which have been found deserve special study. They were a particularly popular ornament in Moravia. In the graves around Staré Město 687 specimens have been discovered, and a great number of them was also found in other Moravian places, especially in Mikulčice. Many of these earrings, usually of a very simple design, came from the Danubian workshops which supplied the nomadic invaders—Huns, Langobards, Avars—with this kind of jewelry. They were very numerous in all Slavic lands, and are found in graves which date from the seventh and eighth to the eleventh centuries.


The more attractive examples of these earrings have been identified by the archaeologists as having been modelled on Oriental or Byzantine patterns. The oldest type is represented by earrings of one or several beads suspended from a ring. They date from the first quarter of the ninth century. Others represent a further stage in the development of the art of earring manufacture, and have been found in graves of the second half of the ninth century. Similar jewelry was also found in Dalmatia together with some coins of Constantine V (741-775). [81] We may assume that this form of earring came to Moravia from Dalmatia in the ninth century, and was reproduced in native workshops.


Another type is characterized by small granulated pendants of globular or barrel shape with four or more little globes. They are mostly of gold or silver. Similar earrings have been found in Slovenia in a cemetery at Ptuj [82] dating from the tenth and eleventh century, which may indicate that this kind of ornament came to Moravia by way of Aquileia through former Noricum in the ninth or tenth century. Another type of earring is represented by some 42 specimens found in Staré Město, characterized by a barrelshaped (pendant) element between two granulated beads. Jewelry with a lunar motif, common in Byzantium and copied by foreign workshops, was also reproduced by Moravian artisans.


*  *  *


We have to confess that among the examples of Moravian minor arts few of the objects so far discovered can be safely thought of





as having been imported from Byzantium. This applies particularly to the first half of the ninth century. Because of this fact, it seemed to many specialists almost inexplicable how the Moravian Slavs had been able to reach such a high level of culture and where Rastislav had obtained such detailed information about Byzantium, as is evident from the request made by his ambassadors to Michael III. The distance between Moravia and Byzantium seemed too far to allow commercial and other contacts between them. It was also thought that the provincial Roman culture which had flourished in Pannonia and Noricum, Roman provinces neighboring on Moravia, did not survive the devastations made by the invaders (Germanic tribes, Huns, Avars, and Slavs), and that the Slavs in Moravia were completely cut off from the remnants of this cuture.


However, this opinion has to be radically changed. As is shown in Appendix II, the Roman provincial culture did not disappear completely from the Danubian provinces, and the Slavs on the left of the Danube had many occasions to become acquainted with old Roman traditions in the production of many objects of Roman material culture. The contact of these lands with Byzantium had not completely been cut off either, continuing through the intermediary of the new conquerors of Pannonia. These new discoveries sketched in Appendix II show that this new state, which had been slowly formed in the eighth century and which had begun to play an important role in the political and cultural life of Central Europe in the ninth century, was not an isolated phenomenon, and that its origin and growth was not alien to the cultural and political trends of that period. It fitted well into European evolution. Not only was it connected with contemporary Europe, but it had benefited from the achievements of all the cultures which had enriched the life of the peoples in the Danubian region for centuries. Although its peoples had lived outside the Limes of the Roman Empire, it was able to improve its primitive civilization with what was left of Roman accomplishments in Noricum and Pannonia. It fell heir to the Avar culture, which was also made up of Asiatic and Byzantine elements. It was in commercial contact with the Franks from the time of Samo [83] and, although profiting from the Carolingian renaissance, fought for its political and cultural independence. Indirect contacts with the Byzantine civilization which came from Pannonia, and from Byzantine possessions





on the Adriatic through the ancient Amber Road, informed Rastislav and his people of the great cultural center on the Bosphorus and stirred his ambitions for more intimate relations with Byzantium.


There was, however, another reason which prompted Rastislav to send an embassy to Byzantium, In order to understand it we must examine in more detail the political development of Moravia after Mojmír’s conquest of the territory ruled by Pribina.


* *


Pribina is said to have stayed with Ratbod for some time after his baptism. However, having quarreled with him, he left Frankish territory and reached Bulgaria, probably in 836. [84] If he hoped to induce the Bulgars to intervene in his favor against Mojmír, he was deceived in his expectations. Omortag might have ventured to intervene, but Malamir was a weak ruler disinclined to hazardous enterprises. Then the unfortunate prince tried his chances with Ratimir, who ruled over Pannonian Croatia, at that time under Bulgarian sovereignty. But he was again disappointed. In 838, Louis the German ordered Ratbod to invade Ratimir’s territory and to restore Frankish supremacy. [85] Ratimir was unable to stop the Franks and escaped, probably to Bulgaria; Pribina, with his son Kocel and his retinue, took refuge in the Frankish territory beyond the Sava river, administered by Count Salacho. The latter succeeded in reconciling Pribina with Ratbod. About 840 Louis the German entrusted Pribina with the administration of a part of Upper Pannonia around Lake Balaton. In this region Pribina built his stronghold called Mosaburg, and worked intensively to strengthen Christianity by building many new churches. In reward for his pro-Frankish sentiments and Christian zeal, this territory was conferred on him by Louis as an hereditary dominion in 847. [86]


Mojmír of Moravia seems to have died in 845. It appears that his policy of peaceful relations with the Franks was not approved of by all his subjects, and some of the tribal chiefs advocated a more independent attitude. The core of this opposition may have been the chieftains who were still pagans and who objected to the missionary activity of the Frankish clergy, which they regarded as a danger to national traditions. The opposition seems to have





won over the successor of Mojmír, whose name is unknown, and provoked the military intervention of Louis the German in 848. [87] He found the Moravians militarily unprepared, and it was easy for him to pacify the country, Deposing the unfaithful but unnamed successor of Mojmír, he appointed Mojmír’s nephew Rastislav as ruler. Rastislav may have been known to Louis from his visit to the court, where he became acquainted with Louis’ son, Carloman. This supposition, for which there is, however, no evidence, would explain not only Louis’ choice of Rastislav as Mojmír’s successor but also Rastislav’s support of Carloman when the latter rebelled against his father.


Rastislav took advantage of his good relations with the Franks and further consolidated the Moravian tribes. His power and influence grew steadily and the ties with the Empire loosened as a consequence. From 850 on he could regard himself as a ruler independent of the Empire. This situation is illustrated not only by the absence of Moravian envoys from the Reichstags, but also by the cessation of missionary work by the Frankish clergy in his lands. Only those priests who had won the sympathies of the population, and missionaries from other lands—we hear of priests from Italy and Greece—continued to work in Moravia.


The deterioration in relations between Louis the German and Rastislav can be explained not only by the consolidation of Rastislav’s power, but also by complications in the relations of the Franks with other Slavs. Louis himself suffered heavy losses in Bohemia when he returned from Moravia in 846, which resulted in a loosening of the ties of the Bohemian Slavs with the Empire,


Louis tried to repair the situation in 847 and 848, but with little result. The Bohemian Slavs revolted again in 849 and, thanks to disunity among the Frankish counts who led the army, emerged victorious. The Slavs of Bohemia became independent. [88] In 851 Louis himself had to lead an army against the revolt of the Serbs. [89]


He was able to intervene against Rastislav only in 855, [90] but his army was stopped under the walls of Rastislav’s main fortress. The retiring Frankish army was pursued by Rastislav, whose warriors devastated the Frankish lands on the Danube. Complications with his brother Charles the Bald prevented Louis from paying more attention to events taking place on his eastern boundary. The Moravians took advantage of this and invaded the territory of





Pribina in 860. Pribina was killed and his son Kocel succeeded him. [91]


Then, in 861, Carloman rebelled against his father and turned to Rastislav for support. In the following year he submitted to his father, but soon started another revolt, again counting on Rastislav’s support.


*  *  *


All this forced Louis the German to look for an ally against the mighty Moravian ruler whose growing power so awed the Frankish annalists that they called him “king.” [92] He found an ally in the Bulgarian Khagan Boris. The latter must have watched the growth of the Moravian power with some apprehension. Mojmír and Rastislav extended their territory to the middle Tisza, [93] and Moravia became a neighbor of Bulgaria. The Bulgars had never been allies of the Moravians, as has hitherto been thought. Even when they became Christians they manifested enmity towards the Moravians, as is documented by the complaints of Rastislav’s successor, Svatopluk, that the Bulgarians had attacked his territory in 882; he accused Arnulf, Carloman’s successor, of conniving in this attack. [94]


We know little of the negotiations between Louis and Boris, and therefore hypercritical scholars [95] have rejected the idea of a Franco-Bulgarian alliance, as direct evidence is lacking. However, there is enough indirect evidence to allow us to admit the possibility of the conclusion of such an alliance. The most eloquent indication that a kind of negotiation must have been in progress between Louis and Boris is given by the annalist of Fulda. [96] When speaking of Louis’ attack on Carloman in 863, he says that, in order to surprise Carloman, who had taken refuge in Carinthia, Louis feigned an expedition “against Rastislav, the duke of the Moravian Slavs, with the help of the Bulgarians, coming from the East, as was said.” His ruse was successful. Rastislav left his ally without help and Carloman had again to give allegiance to his father.


Why should Louis have pretended that the Bulgarians were his allies and were marching against Rastislav from the East if there had not been any attempt at a rapprochement between him and Boris a short time previously? The Annales Bertiniani [97] report of the year 864 says that the Bulgarian Khagan had made a promise





expressing his desire to become a Christian. The annalist mentions this when speaking of a hostile expedition sent by Louis against the Khagan. Louis’ initiative can be interpreted in the sense that, after having obtained the promise of Boris to become Christian—this presupposes previous negotiations between the two rulers—Louis grew impatient and began to threaten his supposed ally, who was hesitating to keep his promise.


This threat, if there was one, resulted well for Louis. We learn this from the letter sent in the middle of the year 864 by Pope Nicholas I to Bishop Salomon of Constance, in which the pope says : [98]


“Because you report that the faithful king has the intention to go to Tulin and then to confirm the peace with the king of the Bulgars, and afterwards to subjugate to himself Rastislav willingly or unwillingly, we pray the almighty Lord, that the angel who was with the Patriarch Jacob be also with him and with all his men and that he direct well his operation in order that he may return with peace and joy to his own. Then because you say that the most Christian king is hoping that even the king of the Bulgarians desires to be converted to the faith and that many of them had become Christians, we express our thanks to God. . . .”


We can only conclude from this document that Boris, at last, no longer hesitated to fulfill his pledge to Louis, declared his willingness to meet him in Tulin where the alliance was to be confirmed and arrangements made for Boris’ promise to be carried out. The pope speaks not of a conclusion of peace, but only of its confirmation (pacem confirmare) which indicates that the peaceful relations which existed before between Louis and Boris remained unbroken by the threat of military pressure referred to in the Annales Bertiniani.


On the other hand, should we hesitate to conclude from this information that the alliance reaffirmed in Tulin was directed against Rastislav, and that the king relied on Bulgarian help in his anti-Moravian manoeuvres, we have to admit that Louis was anxious to remain on good terms with Bulgarians—Moravian neighbors—and to secure, at least, their neutrality.


The bishop of Constance told the pope that Christianity had already reached Bulgaria, which confirms what we have said already about the Christianization of Bulgaria. Boris’ initiative to turn to the Franks reveals that, at last, he saw how unwise it would be to oppose the Christianization of his country. Friendly





relations with the Franks revealed to him another kind of Christianity less dangerous to the national sentiments of the Bulgarian boyars than the Byzantine form. It was a weighty decision and, had it been carried out, Latin culture and Frankish influence would have reached the frontiers of the Byzantine Empire.


*  *  *


The initiative taken by the Moravian ruler Rastislav and the prompt Byzantine response to it changed everything. Rastislav seems to have turned first to Rome with a request to regularize the ecclesiastical situation in his country. This is indicated in the letter of Pope Hadrian II to Rastislav, Svatopluk, and Kocel dating from 868-869, in which he approved the use of the Slavonic language in the liturgy. The letter is preserved only in Old Slavonic; its genuineness is now, however, generally accepted. The pope says there that Rastislav had addressed himself also to Rome to send him “a teacher.” [99] There is no reason why this information should not be accepted. Nicholas, however, did not dare to interfere in such a delicate situation, preferring to keep on good terms with Louis the German, whose support he valued.


Not having obtained a satisfactory reply from Rome, and observing that the Franco-Bulgarian alliance was becoming a reality, and was aimed at him, Rastislav turned to Byzantium.


Let us now examine what the other objects of the Moravian embassy were. According to the authors of the Vitae they were, above all, cultural and religious.


After his break with the Franks, Rastislav could no longer expect any further cultural benefits from them and he did not want them, being convinced that any cultural or religious influence emanating from that quarter endangered the freedom of his realm. However, his young nation needed such influences and he knew it.


In this way one of Rastislav’s requests was fulfilled. The emperor’s reaction, after he had received the Moravian embassy, seems to indicate that the Moravian prince really asked for cultural and religious help. The emperor is said to have called on Constantine (chapter fourteen), saying that all Thessalonicians spoke Slavic (Life of Methodius, chapter five), but Constantine’s first problem was to discover if a Slavic alphabet existed. From the reply of the emperor one can judge that, in their dealings with the Slavs, the Greeks encountered difficulties arising from the transliteration





of Slavic words into the Greek alphabet, because of the peculiarities of the Slavic language.


*  *  *


This, and the task which awaited him in Moravia, prompted Constantine to invent the first Slavic alphabet, called glagolithic. It was a new creation, different from all other alphabets known at that time. In some cases Constantine may have been inspired by the Hebrew alphabet or by Greek cursive writing, but it is evident that he desired to produce something new and original and was influenced by the fact that all the civilized nations known to him —namely the Latins, Greeks, Copts, Hebrews, Syrians, Armenians, Persians, Arabs—each had their own alphabet by which their cultural standard was documented.


This idea is also expressed in the same chapter of the Legend, in the emperor’s letter to Rastislav in which he extols the importance of this discovery. God himself had revealed to Constantine a Slavic alphabet “in order that you too may be counted among the great nations which praise God in their own language.” The author of the Life of Methodius (chapter five) also stresses the fact that God himself had revealed the Slavic alphabet to Constantine.


All this suggests that the alphabet composed by Constantine was something completely new and bore no resemblance to existing alphabets. The author of the two Lives would hardly have used such strong words if Constantine’s invention had been a mere adaptation of the Greek letters, such as the script now used by the orthodox Slavs which is called cyrillic. The manner in which the biographers speak of the discovery is rightly cited by the defenders of the thesis that the letters invented by Constantine were not cyrillic, but glagolitic. This fact is now generally accepted by almost all Slavic scholars, but only after a protracted discussion. [100] Slavic philologists are unanimous in praising the glagolitic alphabet because of its originality, and because it expresses perfectly all the sounds of the Old Slavic language, which reveals that Constantine was a highly talented philologist and linguist.


The Legend, of course, speaks only of Constantine as the inventor of the new letters. His and Methodius’ biographers mention, however, that others joined Constantine in his prayer for inspiration,





which indicates that there were in Constantinople many young clerics interested in such an enterprise. It may be that they were working among the Slavs, or were themselves of Slavic extraction. Among them Constantine found able companions for his missionary work in Moravia. However, it was his brother Methodius who became his most intimate collaborator. [101]


Methodius’ biographer reports that, after his hero had returned from the Khazarian mission, he was offered the administration of an important diocese by the patriarch. Methodius refused this episcopal dignity, but undertook instead the direction of the Polychron monastery, one of the most important on Mount Olympus. This again shows that both brothers acknowledged the legitimacy of the patriarchate of Photius.


Constantine had already begun his preparations for his missionary work in Constantinople. The first literary works in Slavic were the perikopes, or readings, from the Holy Writ for Sundays (Aprakos), translated by him before leaving for Moravia.


His biographer naturally mentions Constantine as the only envoy of the emperor to Rastislav. Methodius’ biographer (chapter five) speaks only of the two brothers. The reference to many presents sent by the emperor to the Moravian prince suggests that the embassy which left Constantinople in the early spring of 863 was large. The brothers were accompanied by clerics of Slavic origin, and we are entitled to suppose that these clerics, who were expelled from Moravia after Methodius’ death, were Byzantine subjects. The Life of Clement mentions particularly Clement, Laurentius, Naum, Angelarius, “and others” (chapter twelve). [102] It was not the custom in Byzantium to send unaccompanied clerics on imperial missions. High functionaries, leading the embassy, were responsible for the security of its members and were charged to discuss with Rastislav matters consequent on the conclusion of some kind of alliance.


As is shown in detail in Appendix III, the Byzantine embassy traveled most probably by the Roman Via Egnatia leading from Constantinople through Thessalonica to Dyrrhachium, where the brothers with their companions and imperial officers embarked. Sailing near the coast of Byzantine Dalmatia, the boats reached Venice, the last Byzantine possession in Istria, from where the members of the embassy reached Moravia by taking the old Amber Road, in the autumn of 863.




1. See especially J. Poulík, “Kultura moravských Slovanů a Avaři” (The Civilization of the Moravian Slavs and the Avars), Slavia antiqua, 1 (1948), pp. 325-348; idem, Staroslovanská Morava, Monumenta Archaeologica, 1 (Prague, 1948), pp. 103-117. Most of the new archaeological evidence concerning the Avars and Slavs will be found in his book Jižní Morava, země dávných Slovanů (Southern Moravia, the Land of Ancient Slavs) (Brno, 1948-50), pp. 53-126. H. Preidel in his book Die Anfänge der slawischen Besiedlung Böhmens und Mährens (Munich, 1954), 1, pp. 82—106 (König Samo und sein Reich), still places the center of Samo’s realm in Bohemia. His appreciations of the new discoveries are hypercritical. K. Oettinger, in his book Das Werden Wiens (Vienna, 1951), pp. 52—71, thinks that even the region of Vienna belonged to the empire of Samo and that he may have resided in its Berghof, a medieval fortress the ruins of which have been recently discovered. He argues that even the Slovenes with their prince Valak had joined the empire of Samo which he characterizes as a Fürstenbund, union of princes. Vienna—hitherto called by the Slovenes Dunaj —was again occupied by the Avars after 568. Cf. a good review of different ideas concerning the empire of Samo by F. Tiso, “The Empire of Samo (623-658),” Slovac Studies, 1; Historica, 1 (Rome, 1961), pp. 1-21. On Fredegar’s Chronicle and the work by Labuda, see above, ch. I, fn. 2, 8.


2. Fredegar's Chronicle, MGH Ss rer Merov II, bk. 4, chs. 48, 68, pp. 144—145, 154. The battle took place near a fortified place called Wogastisburg. See the more recent bibliography on this place in A. Frinta’s remarks “Wogastisburg,” Slavia, 32 (1963), pp. 528-531, He locates Wogastisburg on the river Mainz near Staffelberg. Cf. also E. Herrmann, Slawisch-germanische Beziehungen im südostdeutschen Raum (Munich, 1965), pp. 40-46. The author gives extracts from Fredegar's Chronicle with commentary and recent bibliography. In the following pages he reprints all the reports on the Slavs and their relations with the Germans from Frankish chronicles and other documents to the end of the tenth century, with useful critical and bibliographical comments. The problem of the location of Wogastisburg is not yet solved. It must have existed somewhere near the border between the Frankish territory and Bohemia. It is, however, possible that the insurrection against the Avars had started in Moravia, because the Avar domination must have provoked a reaction in the neighborhood of the





Avar empire. This would indicate that Moravia became an important part of Samo’s empire.


3. (ad a, 791) MGH Ss 1, p. 177; ed. F. Kurze (1895), p. 120; V. Novotny, České dějiny Prague, (1912), 1, p. 269, allows convincingly that Einhard had in mind Bohemia proper.


4. (ad a. 805) MGH Ss 1, p. 192; ed. F. Kurze, p. 120.


5. MGH Ss 1, p. 307; 2, p. 258.


6. MGH Ss 13, p. 33.


7. (ad a. 822) MGH Ss 1, p. 209; ed. F. Kurze, p. 159.


8. An. Fuld. (ad a. 845), ibid., p. 364; ed. F. Kurze, p. 159.


9. Annales Regum Francorum (ad a. 822), MGH Ss 1, ed. F. Kurze, p. 159.


10. Annales Laurissenses (ad a. 803), MGH Ss 1, p. 191.


11. Annales Lobienses (ad a. 803), MGH Ss 2, p. 195.


12. Annales Regum Francorum (ad a. 811), MGH Ss 1, p. 199, ed. F. Kurze, p. 135.


13. Latest edition by B. Horák, D. Trávníček, Descriptio civitatum ad septentrionalem plagam Danubii, Rozpravy of the Czechoslovak Academy, 66 (1956), with bibliography and commentary. L. Havlík, “Moravané v údajích franko-bavorského Descriptia” (The Moravians in the Reports of the Franko-Bavarian Descriptio), Historický časopis, 7 (Bratislava, 1959), pp. 282-289, with more recent bibliography, and by H. Bulin, “Z diskuse o počátcích velkomoravské říše” (On the Discussions of the Origins of the Great Moravian Empire), Slavia occidentalis, 22 (1962), pp. 67-111, with a summary in English.


14. “Moravané,” pp. 282-289.


15. See H. Bulin, “Staré Slovensko v datech Bavorského geografa” (Old Slovakia in the Description of the Bavarian Geographer), Historický časopis, 6 (1958), pp. 405-433; idem, Z diskuse, pp. 85-88.


16. MGH Leges 1, p. 198.


17. J. Poulík, Stari Moravané budují svůj stát (The Ancient Moravians Build Their State) (Gottwaldov, 1963), pp. 116—138. See also the more detailed description of Moravian fortified settlements in V. Richter’s study, “Die Anfänge der Grossmährischen Architektur,” Magna Moravia, Opera Universitatis Purkynianae Brunensis, Facultas philosophica, 102 (Brno, 1965), pp. 175-182.


18. M. Hellmann, in his study “Grundlagen slavischer Verfassungsgeschichte des frühen Mitfelalters,” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 2 (1954), p. 391, rightly stresses the economical and commercial importance of Pribina’s Nitra. It was a prominent center of communications, dominating the way from the Danube through the valley of Vag (Waag) to the upper Oder and Vistula, through the pass of Jablůnka. It was not surprising that foreign, mostly Bavarian, merchants established a permanent commercial center there.





19. Conversio Bogoariorum et Carantanorum, ed. M. Kos (Ljubljana, 1936), ch. 11, p. 136; MGH Ss 11, p. 12.


20. Cf. Zagiba, “Die bairische Slavenmission,” JGOE, 9 (1964), p. 13. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity in Great Moravia (Groningen, 1962), p. 69, rejects this date because it “finds no support in the sources.” But neither does his or any other dating. The date 828 fits better with Dittrich's interpretation (ibid., p. 70) of the decision made by Louis the German in November 829, extending the boundary of the diocese of Passau almost as far as the river Raab (MGH Dipl Lud. Germ, I, 1, nr. 173, p. 244 ff.). The decision was made because Reginhar of Passau had accused Adalram of Salzburg of interference in the area which he regarded as belonging to his diocese. If Dittrich's interpretation, namely that this area included the Slavic lands north of the Danube, is right, then it would seem natural that the complaint of Reginhar, made in 829, should have been motivated by a recent act of the archbishop which was interpreted by Reginhar as interference in his “parochia”; this could be the consecration of the church in Nitra in 828. Salzburg was the metropolis of Passau. It is not certain if the new delimitation of the two dioceses was made by Louis, or if it was the result of a mutual agreement between Salzburg and Passau. The document attributed to Louis may not be genuine. Cf. J. Cibulka, Velkomoravský kostel v Modré u Velehradu a začátky krestanství na Moravě (The Church of the Great Moravian Period in Modrá and the Beginning of Christianity in Moravia) (Prague, 1958), p. 260 ff. The date of 828 was first proposed by Cibulka, p. 266 ff.


21. J. Cibulka in his interesting although most controversial book noted above, p. 252 ff., thinks that Iro-Scottish monks from St. Peter's monastery in Salzburg may have spread Christianity in Nitra. Because they had no bishop in their Abbey, having been induced to accept the Benedictine rule which did not admit monastic bishops subordinated to abbots, as was the custom in Iro-Scottish monasteries, they had to invite the Archbishop of Salzburg to perform the consecration. Unfortunately there is no evidence to show that the Iro-Scottish missionaries who had worked in Bavaria and in Carinthia in the eighth century had spread their activity so far and so late. It is more logical to admit that there was in Nitra an important German colony for which the church was built. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that Nitra later became a center of opposition against the Slavic liturgy. Cf. my book Les Slaves, Byzance et Rome au IXe siècle (Paris, 1926), p. 263. In 1933 J. Cibulka expressed a similar opinion quite opposed to his present contention in his study “Pribina a jeho kostol v Nitre” (Pribina and his Church in Nitra), Risa Velkomoravská (The Empire of Great Moravia), ed. by J. Stanislav (Bratislava, 1933), p. 46 ff.


22. We learn of this event from the author of the Conversio quoted above.





23. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 67 ff., rejects the generally accepted view that Pribina was an independent tribal ruler and puts forward the theory that his territory had been "long since an integral part of the Moravian state," an appanage of the ruling dynasty, and that Pribina ruled there as "a kinsman, probably a cousin or even a brother of Mojmír.” A similar opinion was voiced by J. Sieklicki, "Quidam Priwina,” Slavia occidentalis, 22 (1962), pp. 116-145. If this could be substantiated it would be more understandable that the Franks should have rejected Pribina’s request to reinstate him in his princedom. There is, however, one serious objection to this interpretation. Mojmír and his house were already Christians. If Pribina was a member of the ruling dynasty he should have accepted Christianity with its other members. One can hardly imagine that Mojmír, who had done so much for the Christianization of his country, would have entrusted its eastern part to a pagan. It is safer to accept J. Cibulka’s explanation (Velkomoravský, p. 265 ff.) that the Franks favored Mojmír because he was not only friendly to them, but also a Christian, while Pribina was a pagan. But the fact that not even the Archbishop of Salzburg could induce Pribina to become a Christian shows that, contrary to Cibulka’s pretension, Christianity could hardly have made notable progress in Pribina’s lands. The philological arguments brought forward by M. Weingart in his study "Pribina, Kocel a Nitra,” Risa velkomoravská, ed. J. Stanislav (Bratislava, 1933), p. 319 ff., to show that Pribina’s name indicates that he was ruling over a different Slavic tribe akin to the Moravian tribes, should not be dismissed as lightly as Z. R. Dittrich does. The other gives also on p. 58 ff. a good account of the activity of Frankish missionaries in Moravia. He rightly attributes the main merit for the Christianization of the Moravians to Bishop Reginhar.


24. J. Cibulka, Velkomoravský, p. 199 ff. Cf. also his study in German "Zur Frühgeschichte der Architektur im Mähren,” Festschrift K. M. Swoboda (Vienna, 1959), pp. 55-74.


25. A. L. Kuhar, The Conversion of the Slovenes (New York, Washington, 1959), pp. 29-52. More complete bibliography in F. Zagiba, "Bairische Slavenmission und ihre Fortsetzung durch Kyrill und Method,” JGOE, 9 (1961), p. 4 ff. Cf. also the study by W. H. Fritze, "Slaven und Avaren im angelsächsischen Missionsprogram,” Zeitschrift für slavische Philologie, 21 (1963), pp. 316-338; 22 (1965), pp. 231251.


26. J. Cibulka’s theories on Iro-Scottish missions in Moravia were rejected by almost all Czech archaeologists and historians. See especially F. Graus, "K počátkům křestanství na Moravě” (On the Introduction of Christianity into Moravia), Český časopis historický (Czech Historical Review), 7 (1959), pp. 478-483; V. Vavřínek, "K otázce počátků christianisace Velké Moravy” (The Question of the Christianization





of Great Moravia), Listy filologické, 7 (1959), pp. 217-224; J. Poulík, Staří Moravané budují svůj stát (The Ancient Moravians Build Their State) (Gottwaldov, 1963), p. 77 ff. Cf. also H. Preidel, “Archäologische Denkmäler und Funde zur Christianisierung des östlichen Mitteleuropas,” Die Welt der Slaven, 5 (1960), p. 62 ff., who is very skeptical about Cibulka’s conclusions. Z. R. Dittrich (Christianity, p. 40 ff.) wanted to “prove beyond all doubt” that the first missionaries in Moravia to enjoy lasting success were the Iro-Scottish monks. But he had to admit that he could explain their activity only “hypothetically,” because he could gather only “circumstantial evidence” (!). He thinks that the Irish monks had built the church in Modrá and (p. 43 ff.) that their mission facilitated the conversion of the Moravians near the Moravian political center in Staré Město-Veligrad. But, on p. 66, he had to agree that the Staré Město-Veligrad cemeteries near Modrá, the supposed center of Irish missions in the period before 825 when they are believed to have thrived, “still show a predominantly pagan character.” One should be rather cautious when making striking conclusions. Dittrich found “a new argument” for the important role of the Irish missionaries in the conversion of Moravia in Vita Methodii, ch. 10. The Moravians, having asked Pope Hadrian II to send Methodius back to them, are supposed to have said: “Our fathers had in the past received baptism from St. Peter.” The Irish missionaries had a special veneration for St. Peter, and the Moravians are said to have recalled their activities before that of the Franks (p. 47). This is a somewhat hasty conclusion. The Life was written after Methodius’ death, and his disciples defended his liturgical innovation by stressing its approval by the See of St. Peter. This explains also the popularity of St. Peter in Old Slavonic documents. Nor can one see an “Irish influence” in the defense of St. Methodius at his trial (ch. 9), when he affirms that Pannonia belongs not to Salzburg but to St. Peter. It was subordinated by the recent decision of the Pope to the Petrine See of Rome. As concerns the “Irish” doctrine on antipodes, see below, pp. 177, 370.


27. Bernardi Cremifanensis Historiae, MGH Ss 25, p. 655: “Item Renharius episcopus baptizat omnes Moravos”; Notae de episcopis Pataviensibus, ibid., p. 623: “Anno Domini 831 Regenharius episcopus Patavorum baptizat omnes Moravos.” The authors of both documents were monks from the monastery of Kremsmünster. Cf. J. Cibulka, Velkomoravský, p. 272 ff.


28. PL, 131, cols. 3-38.


29. See below, p. 115.


30. In my book Les Slaves, p. 155, I mentioned this as a possibility without drawing any conclusions from it. J. Cibulka, in his paper





“Zur Frühgeschichte der Architektur in Mähren (800-900),” Swoboda Festschrift (1959), followed this suggestion without quoting my book p. 73). He, however, attributed to these refugees the introduction into Moravia of a new church architecture, of which the excavated church of Saint Sofia in Sofia (believed to have been built in the fourth century) served as a model, and which was revived in Bulgaria at the end of the ninth and in the beginning of the tenth century after the Christianization of Bulgaria by a Byzantine mission. These refugees are supposed to have worked in Moravia in the first half of the ninth century. These claims cannot be accepted. There is, as we show here, a better explanation for the presence of priests from Greece in Moravia and also for the appearance of this type of church architecture in that country. Cf. below, p. 86 ff.


31. PL, 131, col. 35: synodalem cum suis, et etiam ibi inventis conventum frequentavit.


32. The reader will find short descriptions of archaeological discoveries in Moravia in the following works written in non-Slavic languages: F. Dvornik, The Slavs, Their Early History and Civilization (Boston, 1956), pp. 148-153; H. Preidel, "Die altslavischen Funde von Altstadt in Mähren und ihre Bedeutung,” Stifter Jahrbuch, 4 (1955), pp. 254-277; idem, Slavische Altertumskunde des östlichen Mitteleuropas im 9. und 10. Jahrhundert (Graefeling, 1961), pp. 117-142; J. Böhm, "Deux églises datantes de l’Empire de Grande Moravie découvertes en Tchécoslovaquie,” Byzantinoslavica, 11 (1950), pp. 207-222; J. Poulik, "The Latest Archaeological Discoveries from the Period of the Great Moravian Empire,” Historien, 1 (Prague, 1959), pp. 7-70; V. Vavřínek, "Die Christianisierung und Kirchenorganisation Grossmährens,” Historica, 7 (1963), pp. 5-56; idem, "Study of the Church Architecture from the Period of the Great Moravian Empire,” Byzantinoslavica, 25 (1964), pp. 288-301.


33. See the first publication of these finds in V. Hrubý, V. Hochmanová, J. Pavelcík, "Kostel a pohřebiště z doby velkomoravské na Modré u Velehradu” (The Church and the Cemetery from the Great Moravian Period in Modrá near Velehrad), Časopis Moravského Musea, 40 (1955), pp. 42-126. See also the study by V. Richter, Die Anfänge der Grossmährischen Architektur, pp. 144-162. The author dates this structure from the second half of the ninth century. This dating does not seem to be sufficiently founded, but even this date could be placed before the arrival of the Byzantine mission. V. Hrubý, in his critical publication of the discoveries made so far at Staré Město, after discussing all that has been published on this church, rejects the Iro-Scottish origin of this church and dates its construction, on the base of the archaeological material found in the graves near the





church to around 840, perhaps between 830-840. V. Hrubý, Staré Město—Velkomoravský Velehrad (Prague, 1965). Monumenta archaeologica no. 14, pp. 198-201.


34. First published by J. Poulík, “Výsledky výzkumu na velkomoravském hradišti ‘Valy’ u Mikulčic'’ (The First Results of the Investigations Made on the Great Moravian Settlement “Valy” near Mikulčice), Památky archeologické, 48 (1957), pp. 241-388. See also idem, Staří Moravané, p. 90 ff.; and idem, The Latest Archaeological Discoveries, pp. 27-41.


35. Discovered by J. Poulík. The details of these discoveries are not yet published. Cf. the description in his book Pevnost v lužním lese (A Forthill in a Wooded Meadow) (Prague, 1967), p. 151 ff., 182 ff., 194 ff.


36. J. Cibulka, “První tři velkomoravské kostely nalezené na hradišti u Mikulčic” (The First Three Churches Discovered on the Settlement near Mikulčice), Symposium Solunstí bratři (Prague, 1962), pp. 87-159. Another study was published by him in German in the Symposium under the title Sancti Cyrillus et Methodius (Prague, 1963), pp. 49-117, esp. pp. 50-59, under the title “Grossmährische Kirchenbauten.” Cibulka recently summarized his ideas on the origins of Moravian church architecture in Vinformation de Thistoire de Tart, under the title “L’architecture de la Grande-Moravie au IXe siècle à la lumière des récentes découvertes,” ii (Paris, 1966), pp. 1-34. It should be stressed that in these two last publications he does not attribute the construction of churches with rectangular presbyteries to Iro-Saxon missionaries. He speaks only of the Celtic type of church architecture introduced into Moravia by Bavarian missionaries who were acquainted with it from the time when Iro-Scottish monks had worked in Bavaria. Such a thesis would appear quite plausible if there could be found in Bavaria a number of churches constructed in this style. Unfortunately, the excavations made in German lands from 1938 to 1953 have discovered about 130 unknown foundations of churches, many of them with rectangular presbyteries, but mostly in Westphalia, the Rhineland, and in neighboring lands—Holland, Belgium, and Luxemburg—not in Bavaria. See “Übersicht über die wichtigsten Grabungen in einzelnen Ländern,” in Kunstchronik, 8 (1955), pp. 117-124, by F. Bellmann, especially the sketches on pp. 118, 119. Cibulka himself was able to point out only one Bavarian sanctuary, that in Mühltal-Elpolding, as a proof that the type of Celtic church architecture had taken roots also in Bavaria. Similar constructions in Carinthia cannot be quoted as an indication that such a style was exported from Bavaria into Moravia as well.


37. The small dimensions of the church at Modrá and of four other churches discovered in Moravia suggested to J. G. Cincik





(“Early Slovak Oratories, a Study in Slavic-Iranian Architectural Tradition,” Most, 7 [Cleveland, 1960], pp. 135-147) the idea that they had perhaps served individual clans, and that old Slavic customs were followed in their construction. Pagan Slavic shrines used also to be of small dimensions, because the people assembled around them beneath the open skies to participate in the sacrifices offered by the priests inside the shrines. He thinks that it could perhaps be assumed that the churches were destined only for the clergy and that the faithful assisted at the liturgy by assembling around the churches. The separation of the presbytery from the narrow apse in those churches indicates, according to him, a blending of old pagan customs with the Roman Christian architectural tradition. More archaeological evidence is needed to test this theory. They seem rather to have served as burial churches. V. Richter, “Die Anfänge . . .,” pp. 202-205, has also tried to find a connection between the Slavic pagan sanctuaries and the first Christian churches, but with little success.


38. See V. Vavřínek, “Study of the Church Architecture,” pp. 290-291. Latest criticism by V. Richter, “Die Anfänge,” pp. 156-165.


39. E. Dyggwe, History of Salonitian Christianity (Oslo, 1951), p. 125 ff., especially p. 131, fig. VI, 34: comparison between early Christian and early Croatian church forms; also fig. VI, 35: early Croatian church forms with buttresses.


40. Cf. E. Dyggwe, “Das Mausoleum von Marusinac und sein Fortleben,” Actes du VIe Congrès international des études byzantines, Bulletin de l'Institut archéologique bulgare, 10 (Sofia, 1936), pp. 228-237.


41. E. Dyggwe, History of Salonitian Christianity, p. 134, fig. VI, 25, 26.


42. To 1966 only preliminary findings reports have been published by the excavator V. Hrubý in local publications unobtainable in the United States. See V. Vavřínek, Study of the Church Architecture, p. 209; J. Poulík, Staří Moravané, pp. 80-82. A definite publication of the finds was made by V. Hrubý in his book Staré Město-Velkomoravsky Velehrad, pp. 202-206, tables XLV, XLVI. On the other two parts of the complex, see below, p. 125.


43. See the detailed report on the two rotundas in J. Poulik’s study, Dvě velkomoravské rotundy v Mikulčicích (Prague, 1963), Monumenta archaeologica, vol. 12. A detailed résumé in German (pp. 197233) accompanies this edition. Cf. also J. Cibulka, Sancti Cyrillus et Methodius, pp. 93-100 (in German).


44. The remains of the rotunda were discovered by V. Hrubý in 1958, and 1962 under the presbytery of St. Michael's church in Staré Město in the terrain where a Slavic settlement, called the fourth, was previously located by Hrubý. The archaeological finds in the graves inside and outside the building permit us to date the construction of





the rotunda to the beginning of the second half of the ninth century (V. Hrubý, Staré Město-Velkomoravský Velehrad, pp. 184-190, tables XLII, XLIII). Cf. V. Richter, “Die Anfänge," p. 192, who agrees with the excavator concerning the date of the rotundas. The rotunda was dedicated to St. Michael and had survived the destruction of Great Moravia. It was rebuilt in the first half of the thirteenth century, and the new church was reconstructed in 1734. Many fragments of Roman bricks with the mark of the Legion XIV are to be seen in its foundations, which are preserved.


45. J. Cibulka, “První tři velkomoravské kostely," pp. 154—156.


46. Ibid., pp. 156, 157.


47. For a short review of pre-romanesque sacral buildings in Zadar, with bibliographical indications, see Enciklopedia likovnih umjetnosti (Encyclopedia of Visual Arts) (Zagreb, 1959-1966), four vols., vol. 4, p. 592. For more details, see I. Petricioli, “Neki preromanički spomenici Zadra i okolice u svjetla najnovijih istraživanja" (Some Pre-Romanesque Monuments in Zadar and Its Surroundings in the Light of Most Recent Research), Zbornik Instituta za histor. nauke v Zadru, 2 (1956-57) (Zadar, 1956), p. 56; idem, “Maketa Zadra u pomorskom muzju Venecije" (Scale Model of Zadar in the Maritime Museum in Venice), ibid., p. 101. On this old model Petricioli discovered the remnants of another church with six apses in Zadar, north of the renaissance fountain. Cf. also Lj. Karaman, “Spomenici umjetnosti u Zadru u vrijeme hrvatskih narodnih vladara" (Art Monuments in Zadar During the Period of National Rulers), Zbornik Instituta za histor. nauke u Zadru (Zagreb, 1964), publ. by Matice Hrvatska. Cf. also Lj. Karaman, Pregled umjetnosti u Dalmaciji (Review of Dalmatian Art) (Zagreb, 1952), p. 17.


48. See Enciklopedia, Nin, Krk.


49. Gj. Boskovic, Architektura sredneg veka (Medieval Architecture) (Beograd, 1957), p. 178 ff., fig. 236.


50. See Enciklopedia, Vis; J. Strzygowski, Die altslavische Kunst (Augsburg, 1929), pp. 66, 69.


51. See the remarks given by Gj. Boskovic, Architektura, p. 180, fn. 17. The small chapel in Drivasto near Skadar also has several apses (ibid., fn. 5.) For details of Gunjaca’s excavations see: “Kratak osvrt na rad i prilike muzeja u Kninu" (Short Survey of the Work and Condition of the Museum in Knin), Starohrvatska prosvjeta, 3d series, 3 (Zagreb, 1953), pp. 189-191; idem, “Trogodišnji rad Museja hrvatskih archeoloskih spomenika" (The Three Years of Work of the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments), ibid., 7 (Zagreb, 1960), pp. 207-271; idem, “Starohrvatska crkva i kasnosredovjekovno groblje u Brnazima kod Sinja" (The Old-Croatian Church and the Late Medieval Cemetery at Bmazi near Senj), ibid., 4 (Zagreb, 1955), pp. 85-134,





with a résumé in French. The author dates this church from the ninth to tenth century. It was destroyed in the 13th century. His re-excavation and description of a church near Knin with an apse, oblong nave, and a narthex deserve a special study. See for details S. Gunjača, “Starohrvatska crkva i groblje na Lopuskoj Glavici u Biskupijo kod Knina” (The Old-Croatian Church and Cemetery in Lopuska Glanica in Biskupia near Knin), ibid., 3 (Zagreb, 1954), pp. 7-30. The excavator dates the construction of this church to the ninth century. Cf. also his answer to Karaman’s criticism, ibid., 5 (Zagreb, 1956) : “Oko revizije iskopina u Biskupije” (Concerning the Revision of the Excavations in Biskupije), pp. 21-32.


52. See T. Marasović, “Iskapanje ranosrednjovjekovne crkve sv. Marije u Trogiru” (The Excavation of the Early Medieval Church of Our Lady in Trogir), ibid., 8-9 (Zagreb, 1963), pp. 83-100, with a résumé in French. The excavator does not give an exact date for its construction, but, taking into account other analogies of this kind of church architecture, it should be dated to about the ninth century.


53. For details see Istoria Crne Gore study by Kovačević, pp. 289, 369, 376, 374-377, 378; I. Nikolajevic, “Rapport préliminaire sur la recherche des monuments chrétiens à Doclea,” Actes du Ve Congrès international d'archéologie Chrétienne (Paris, 1957), pp. 567-572 (The Church of Our Lady in Dukla) ; P. Mijović, “Acruvium-Decatera-Kotor u svetlu novich archeoloskich otkrića” (Acruvium-Decatera-Kotor in the Light of New Archeological Discoveries), Starinar, New Series, vols. XIII-XIV (1962-1963), p. 27 ff., with a résumé in French (date of the construction of the basilica in Kotor).


54. Kovačević, Crna Gora, p. 374, sees in Porphyrogenitus’ description of the church of St. Triphun an indication that it was a rotunda.


55. On the church in Ošlje see Gj. Bosković, Architektura, p. 180, fig. 237; T. Marasović, “Ranosrjednjevekovna crkvica u Ošlju kad Stona” (The Early Medieval Little Church of Ošlje near Ston), Peristil, 2 (1957), pp. 85—91. Cf. also A. Deroko, Monumentalna i dekorativna architectura u srednjevkovnoj Serbii (Monumental and Decorative Architecture in Medieval Serbia) (Beograd, 2nd ed., 1962), fig. 31 (Ošlje), fig. 32 (Church with three apses in Zaton on Lim), fig. 50 (Stara Pavlica). Cf. in this connection the study by A. Mohorovičić, “Problem tipološke klasifikacije objekata srednjovjekovne architektuře na području Istre i Kvarnera” (The Problem of a Typological Classification of Medieval Architectural Monuments in the Territory of Istria and Quarnero), Ljetopis of the Yugoslav Academy, kniga 62 (Zagreb, 1957), pp. 487-541. On the origin of basilicas in Istria, see the remarks made by B. Marušić describing the three basilicas with three naves at Guran, “Dva spomenika ranosrednjovjekove architektuře u Guranu kod Vodnjana” (Two Examples of Early Medieval





Architecture at Guran near Vodnjan), Starohrvatska prosvjeta, 3d series, 8-9 (Zagreb, 1963), pp. 121-149 (with a résumé in French), esp. pp. 139-145, 149.


56. V. Vavřínek was the first who discussed the possibility of the presence of Aquileian missionaries in Moravia in his study “Předcyrilometodějské missie na Veliké Moravě” (Missionary activity in Moravia before Cyril and Methodius), Slavia, 32 (1963), pp. 465-480.


57. We shall see that it was a Venetian priest John who had later played an important role at the Moravian court. See below, p. 155.


58. V. Richter, “Die Anfänge,” pp. 138-140, rightly stresses that this point is often overlooked by art historians.


59. The first specialist who has pointed out that the prototypes of some Moravian churches should be looked for in the sphere of the Adriatic sea, especially in Dalmatia, was J. Pošmourný in his paper “Stavební umění Velkomoravské říše” (The Architectural Art of Great Moravia), Architektura ČSSR, 20 (1961), pp. 129-135; idem, “Církevní architektura Velkomoravské říše” (Church Architecture in Great Moravia), Umění, 12 (1964), pp. 187-202, with a resume in German. Cf. also the remarks made by T. Marasović, “Evidence of Byzantine Art in Preromanesque Architecture in Dalmatia,” XII Congrès international des etudes byzantines (Belgrad, Ochrid, 1961), resume des communications, p. 65. See also V. Vavřínek, “Study of the Church Architecture from the Period of the Great Moravian Empire,” Byzantinoslavica, 25 (1964), pp. 288-301; recently J. Poulík, Dvě velkomoravské rotundy, p. 88 ff.; M. Šolle, “Die Bedeutung des dalmatinischen altkroatischen Gebietes in der Frage nach dem Ursprung der Grossmährischen Kultur,” Das Grossmährische Reich, ed. F. Graus, J. Filip, A. Dostál (Prague, 1966), pp. 105-107.


60. See V. Hrubý, Staré Město. Velkomoravské pohřebiště “Na Valách” (Old City. The Great Moravian Cemetery “On the Ramparts”), Monumenta archaeologica, 3 (Prague, 1965). Idem, Stare Město. Velkomoravský Velehrad, gives more detailed descriptions of the results of his discoveries. He describes first the eight settlements which had existed around Staré Město with the localities in Uh. Hradiště-Sady and Osvetimany (pp. 32-104), the fortifications (pp. 215—236), and gives interesting details on the agricultural and industrial achievements of the inhabitants (pp. 237-336). Cf. also J. Poulík, Staří Moravané, pp. 60-84.


61. J. Poulík, “Výsledky výzkumu na velkomoravském hradišti ‘Valy’ u Mikulčic” (Result of the Search Survey on the Great Moravian Stronghold ‘Valy’ near Mikulčice), Památky archeologické, 48 (1957), pp. 241-388, with a résumé in German; idem, Staří Moravané, p. 84 ff.


62. MGH Ss 1, pp. 381, 383 (ad a. 869, 871), ed. F. Kurze, pp. 69, 74.


63. B. Dostál, “Výzkum velkomoravského hradiska Pohansko u Břeclavi”





(Archaeological Exploration of the Great Moravian Castle Pohansko near Břeclav), Slovácko (1961), pp. 16-31; F. Kalousek, Velkomoravské Pohansko u Břeclavě,” Archeologické rozhledy, 12 (1960), pp. 498-530, figs. 121-198. Idem, “Die grossmährische Burgwaldstadt Břeclav-Pohansko,” Sborník prací filos. fakulty University J. E. Purkyně, 9 E 5 (1960), pp. 5—22; J. Poulík, Staří Moravané, p. 116 ff. A detailed description of the discoveries is not yet published. On the other stronghold, Pohansko near Nejdek, cf. B. Novotny, “The Survey of a Great Moravian Stronghold ‘Pohansko’ near Nejdek,” Památky archeologické, 54 (1963), pp. 3-40, with a résumé in German.


64. The results of the archaeological research in Devin were published by J. Dekan in Archeologické rozhledy, 3 (1951), pp. 164-168; cf. idem, “Mosaika,” Sbornik of the philosophical faculty of Komenský University in Bratislava, 12 (1961), pp. 51-55.


65. So far there have been found in the territory around Nitra five strongholds, eighteen cemeteries, fifteen settlements with pottery kilns, glass works, and iron workshops. For more details, see B. Chropovský, “The Situation of Nitra in the Light of Archaeological Finds,” Historica, 8 (Prague, 1964), pp. 5-33. Most of the discovered material is not yet published. In the Sborník O pociatkoch slovenských dejin (On the Beginning of Slovak History), ed. P. Ratkoš (Bratislava, 1965), three studies give more details on the economic situation of Slovakia in this period: that by A. Habovštiak on agriculture in the ninth to the eleventh centuries (pp. 55-80), that by D. Bialeková on the development of artisanry in Slovakia during the same period (pp. 81-96), and that by R. Pleiner on the technology of smithery trade and iron production. The significance of the latest archaeological discoveries in Slovakia for early Slavic history and that of Great Moravia was discussed by A. Točík in Historický Časopis, 3 (Bratislava, 1955), pp. 410-421.


66. A lively discussion on the social differentiation of the Moravians at this early period is taking place among Czech and Slovak historians. We cannot go into details here. An extensive bibliography of this problem will be found in the study by P. Ratkoš, “Počiatki feudalizmu na Slovensku” (Beginnings of Feudalism in Slovakia), Historický Časopis, 2 (Bratislava, 1954), pp. 252-275. See also F. Graus, Dějiny venkovského lidu v Čechách v době předhusitské (A History of the Peasantry in Bohemia Before the Hussite Period) (Prague, 1953), vol. 1; idem, “L’origine de l’état et de la noblesse en Moravie et en Bohême,” Revue des études slaves, 39 (1961); idem, “L’Empire de Grande Moravie, sa situation dans l’Europe de l’époque et sa structure intérieure,” Das Grossmährische Reich, pp. 133-219.


67. The findings in the cemetery Na Valách, published with reproductions by V. Hrubý, Staré Město, give quite a clear picture of the material culture in Great Moravia. See also J. Poulík, Staroslovanská Morava





(Prague, 1948), Monumenta archaeologica, 1, reproduction of Moravian pottery, corals, earrings, axes, agricultural implements, buttons, etc. on 78 plates. On the production of iron in Great Moravia see R. Pleiner, Základy slovanského železářského hutnictví v českých zemích (Foundations of Slavic Metallurgy in Czech Lands) (Prague, 1958). Cf. idem, Staré evropské kovářství (The Smith's Trade in Old Europe) (Prague, 1962). The finds of numerous iron bars of different length in the form of axes indicate that this kind of iron product served as means of payment on the interior market. They were described by R. Pleiner, “Slovanské sekerovité hřivny" (Slavic Ax Iron Bars), Slovanská archeologie, 9 (1961), pp. 405-450; idem, “Velkomoravské železné hřivny jako platidlo" (Moravian Ax Iron Bars as Means of Payment), Numismatické listy, 18 (Prague, 1963), p. 134 ff. See also J. Pošvář, “Die byzantinische Währung und das Grossmährische Reich," Byzantinoslavica, 26 (1965), pp. 308-317. The author comes to the conclusion that in international commercial transactions Moravian merchants used the Byzantine monetary system as a basis to which also the Frankish and other monetary standards of that time were related. In the cemetery at Staré Město a small lead weight was found which corresponded to an eighth of a Roman pound. This seems to indicate that in commercial transactions Roman-Byzantine weights were used (V. Hrubý, Staré Město, pp. 114, 115). Probably most of the commercial transactions were by barter.


68. For example, the decision of the Reichstag held in Thionville at the end of 805. See Capitularia regum Francorum, MGH Leg 2, part 1; ed. A. Boretius (Berlin, 1881), pp. 122-126, no. 44.


69. Reproduction in J. Poulik’s book, Dvě velkomoravské rotundy, table 18. Cf. tables 16, 20; idem, “Výsledky výzkumu” p. 325.


70. See especially the Slavic cemetery in Devínska Nová Ves, near Bratislava, published by J. Eisner, Devínská Nová Ves, slovanské pohřebiště (Bratislava, 1952). The cemetery was in use from about 625 to about 800. It is one of the oldest and largest burial grounds within the period of the Avar cultural development. It shows that the Slavic population lived in intimate relations with the Avars. One could even speak of a beginning of Slavization of some Avar groups. The buried men were mostly free warriors, and their equipment discloses Avar, Bavarian, Alamanic, and Slavic features. The ceramic and iron products especially reveal a great similarity with products current in Moravia between 800 and 950. This points out a continuity in craftsmanship and in population. On 114 plates J. Eisner gives illustrations of Avar and Slavic products found in the graves. There is a detailed résumé in German.


71. J. Poulík, Dvě velkomoravské rotundy, plate 26; idem, Staří Moravané, plate 20.





72. L. Havlík, Velká Morava (Prague, 1964), p. 136 (Great Moravia and the Slavs of Central Europe).


73. Remnants of such a workshop were discovered near Staré Město. See V. Hrubý, Staré Město-Vělkomoravský Velehrad, pp. 258, 259.


74. K. Benda, “Stříbrný terč se sokolníkem ze Starého Města” (Silver Disc with a Falconer from Staré Město), Památky archeologické, 54 (1963), pp. 41-66, with a résumé in German.


75. On the Slavic ceramics of this period see especially J. Eisner, Devínská Nová Ves, pp. 248-278, plates 55 ff.; V. Hrubý, Staré Město, pp. 125-163, plates 38-68. Wooden buckets circled with iron bands were also numerous in Moravian graves. Cf. ibid., plates 49-51. For the development of the Slavic ceramics see J. Eisner, Rukovět slovanské archeologie (Handbook of Slavic Archaeology) (Prague, 1966), pp. 137-312.


76. J. Poulík, Výsledky výzkumu, p. 333 ff.; V. Hrubý, Staré Město, pp. 203-214. Hrubý’s description is completed by B. Dostál, Slovanská pohřebiště ze střední doby hradištné (Slavic Cemeteries from the So-called Middle Castle Period) (Prague, 1966), pp. 60-64. On p. 62 he rightly calls to the attention of archaeologists that some of the decorative motifs on the button are common in monuments in Croatia and Dalmatia from the eighth to the eleventh century.


77. V. Hrubý, Staré Město, pp. 246-261, color plates nos. 85, 86; B. Dostál, Slovanská pohřebiště, pp. 45—54, plates 85, 86.


78. Published by V. Hrubý, “Archeologický výzkum v Sadech u Uh. Hradiště r. 1959” (Archaeological Research in Sady near Uh. Hradiště in 1959), Našim krajem-Sborník OPS v Uh. Hradišti, 1 (1960), p. 14. The necklace is composed of 130 glass corals of different colors with a large bluish topaz. Czech archaeologists will have to compare the jewelry and decorative objects discovered by them with similar objects found in Yugoslavia, especially in Dalmatia. There is a good account of earrings found in Yugoslavia by Dušan Jelovina, “Statistički tipolosko-topografsko pregled starohrvatskih naušnica na podračju SR Hrvatske” (A Statistic, Typologic and Topographic Review of Old-Croatian Earrings found on the Soil of the Socialist Croat Republic), Starohrvatska prosvjeta, 3rd ser., 8-9 (Zagreb, 1963), pp. 101-120.


79. V. Hrubý, Staré Město, pp. 266-271; B. Dostál, Slovanská pohřebiště, pp. 56-58.


80. The best description of Moravian earrings, so far, is by V. Hrubý, Staré Město, pp. 228-245; cf. also B. Dostál, Slovanská pohřebiště, pp. 30-44, plate 34.


81. L. Karaman, Pregled umjetnosti u Dalmaciji (Survey of Dalmatian Art) (Zagreb, 1952), p. 14, plate 3. The treasure is kept in the Archaeological Museum in Split; cf. also M. Solle, Die Bedeutung des dalmatinischen altkroatischen Gebietes, p. 106.





82. J. Korošec, Staroslovansko grobišče na ptujskem gradu (Old Slavonic Cemetery at the Castle of Ptuj) (Ljubljana, 1950), plates 1416, 110; cf. V. Hrubý, Staré Město, p. 239. The findings in Slavic cemeteries in Moravia, Bohemia and Slovakia are classified by B. Dostál, Slovanská pohřebiště. On pp. 108-196 the author gives a description of all Moravian burial grounds of this period with the indication of objects found in the tombs. Most of the objects are illustrated on 86 plates.


83. Let us remember that Samo himself was the head of a group of Frankish merchants who were visiting the Slavic lands to do business with their inhabitants in revolt against the Avars. Dagobert's hostile action against Samo was provoked by the robbery and murder of Frankish traders by Samo’s Slavic subjects. Fredegar's Chronicle, MGH Ss rer Merov 2, book IV, ch. 48, pp. 144, 154.


84. Conversio, ch. 10, ed. M. Kos, p. 135.


85. Annales Iuvavenses maximi, MGH Ss 30, p. 740; Annales S. Rudberti Salisburgenses, ibid., 9, p. 770; Auctarium Garstense, ibid., p. 564.


86. Conversio, chs. 11, 12, ed. M. Kos, pp. 136-138.


87. An. Fuld. (ad a. 846), MGH Ss 1, p. 364; ed. F. Kurze, p. 36. Cf. V. Novotny, České dějiny, 1 (Prague, 1912), p. 294. These troubles could also be explained simply by a struggle for the succession between certain members of the dynasty. There is, however, no evidence for the assertion (Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 83 ff.) that Louis the German wanted to install Pribina as Mojmír's successor, but abandoned his plan when he saw that Rastislav had strong support in the country. In such a case Pribina should have accompanied him on his expedition and Louis would have taken a stronger military contingent with him.


88. Annales Bertiniani, MGH Ss 1, p. 444; An. Fuld., ibid., pp. 365, 366, ed. F. Kurze, pp. 38, 39; Annales Xantenses, MGH Ss 2, p. 229.


89. An. Fuld., MGH Ss 1, p. 367; ed. F. Kurze, p. 41. An. Bertiniani, ibid., p. 446.


90. An. Fuld., MGH Ss 1, p. 369; ed. F. Kurze, p. 45. We learn from the letter addressed by the Archbishop of Mainz, Hatto, to Pope John IX in 900 in which he protested in the name of the Frankish clergy against the expulsion of Bavarian priests from Moravia (PL, 131, col. 1180). This must have happened between 850 and 855 when Rastislav had broken his relations with the Empire.


91. Conversio, ch. 13, ed. H. Kos, p. 139.


92. An. Fuld., MGH Ss 1, p. 369; ed. F. Kurze, p. 46; An. Bertiniani, ibid., pp. 459, 490.


93. P. Ratkoš, “K otázce hranice Velkej Moravy a Bulharska” (Concerning the Problem of the Boundaries between Great Moravia and Bulgaria), Historický Časopis, 3 (Bratislava, 1955), pp. 206-218, with a résumé in German. A protobulgarian inscription from the reign of





Omortag (814-831) mentions a warlike expedition on the Tisza river. Omortag’s Greek inscription commemorates the commander of this expedition, the zera-tarkan Onegavon, who met his death by drowning in the river. One could be tempted to think of a clash of the Bulgars with the Moravians as expanding their sovereignty to the middle Tisza. However, it is more logical to date this incident to the year 829 and see in the presence of a Bulgarian army on the Tisza a measure taken against Louis the German who in 828 moved against Omortag, whose troops penetrated into Frankish Pannonia. This incident confirms other reports of the Frankish expedition and makes more probable the presence of the archbishop of Salzburg in Nitra where, in 828, he had consecrated a church in the territory of Pribina (see above, p. 77). See the latest publication of the inscription by V. Beševliev, “Inscriptions protobulgares,” Byzantion, 28 (1958), pp. 270-272: “The Khan Omortag did: The zera-tarkan Onegavon . . . was my man, supported by me, and, when he joined the army he was drowned in the river Tisza. He was from the tribe Kouviar.” N. Zlatarski, Istorija na bûlgarskata dûrzava (Sofia, 1918), vol. 1, part 1, pp. 315, 316. In my book Les Légendes, p. 223, I mentioned this inscription as an indication of the possibility of commercial relation between Moravia and Bulgaria exaggerating its importance in this respect. The Moravians were never Bulgarian allies against the Franks, as I have shown above, p. 100.


94. An. Fuld., MGH Ss 1, pars. IV, p. 400; ed. F. Kurze, p. 112.


95. Recently Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, pp. 98, 99, following A. Brückner, Die Wahrheit über die Slavenapostel (Tübingen, 1913), pp. 40, 41, whose fantastic misinterpretations of the two Vitae are now rejected by all specialists. Naturally Rastislav did not expect any help from the Byzantines against the Franks—he knew the geography as well as the modern critics—but it was in his interest to secure himself against any unfriendly action from the Bulgars by a kind of alliance with Byzantium, which was trying to bring Bulgaria into the sphere of its political and cultural interest. A linking of the Bulgars with the Franks, either in political or cultural fields, presented a threat to Rastislav and the Byzantines. The author brings also forward an argument, ex silentio of the Vitae, affirming that the authors of the Vitae “would not have failed to report political support on the part of the Empire of Moravia.” This shows the author’s ignorance of the mentality of Byzantine hagiographers. They generally avoided any allusion to politics, confining themselves to describing only the pious activities of their heroes. Lack of knowledge of Byzantine history and of Byzantine mentality led Z. R. Dittrich to many other misinterpretations.


96. Annales Fuldenses, MGH Ss 1, p. 374; ed. F. Kurze, p. 56.


97. Annales Bertiniani (Hincmar), MGH Ss 1, p. 465.


98. MGH Ep 6, p. 293.





99. See the indications of editions of this letter and bibliography in MGH Ep 6, p. 763, together with a Latin translation of the Slavonic document: The Pope writes: “Non enim ab hac tantum sede magistrum petistis, verum etiam a pio imperatore Michaele.” On the genuineness of the letter, cf. below, p. 147.


100. There are still some defenders of the priority of the Cyrillic letters, especially E. Georgiev, Načaloto na slavjanskata pismenost v Bulgarija (Beginning of Slavic Literature in Bulgaria) (Sofia, 1942); idem, Kiril i Metodij (Sofia, 1956). The Czech philologist H. Horálek refuted this argument in Slavia, 24 (1955), pp. 169-178, in Byzantinoslavica, 19 (1958), p. 320 and in Welt der Slaven, 3 (1958), pp. 232-235. The attempt by M. Hocij in his study “Die wörtlichen Grundlagen des Glagolitischen Alphabets,” Südost-deutsche Forschungen, 4 (1940), pp. 509-600, to derive the origin of glagolitic letters from the Latin cursive writing, is also rejected. Cf. also W. Lettenbauer, “Zur Entstehung des glagolitischen Alphabets,” Slovo, 3 (Zagreb, 1953), pp. 35-48. See also J. Vašica, Literární památky (Prague, 1966), pp. 11-14, on the controversy, and V. Kiparski, “Tschernochvostoffs Theorie über den Ursprung des glagolitischen Alphabets,” Cyrillo-Methodiana. Zur Frühgeschichte des Christentums bei den Slaven 863-1963 (Cologne, Gratz, 1964), Slavische Forschungen, ed. R. Olesch, vol. 6, pp. 392-400, and W. Lettenbauer, “Bemerkungen zur Entstehung der Glagolica,” ibid., pp. 401-410. Cf. also O. Nedeljković, “Još jednom o hronološkom primatu glagoljice” (Once More on the Chronologic Primacy of the Glagolitic Alphabet), Slovo, 15—16 (1965), pp. 19-38.


101. The Bulgarian specialist J. Dujčev also thinks that the new alphabet was not created in such a short time as seems to be indicated by the Legends. Its origin had a longer history; when we take into consideration the importance of Christian missions among the Slavs and the intimate relations which the brothers had with the Slavs— Thessalonica was surrounded by them, and Methodius was an archon of a Slavic province—it is possible that both brothers had made some attempts at a true transliteration of Slavic sounds into an alphabet before the arrival of the Moravian embassy. Cf. J. Dujčev, “V’pros’t za vizantijsko-slavjanskite otnošenija i vizantijskite opity za s’zdavane na slavjanska azbuka prez prvata polovina na IX vek” (The Question of Byzantino-Slavonic Relations and Byzantine Attempts at the Creation of a Slavonic Alphabet during the First Half of the Ninth Century), in Izvestije na Instituta za b’lgarska istorija, 7 (1957), pp. 241-267.


102. PG, 126, col. 1216. New editions by N. I. Tunickij, Materialy dlja istorii žizni i delatel’nosti učenikov sv. Kirilla i Methodia (Documents for the Lives and Works of the Disciples of SS. Cyril and Methodius) (Sergiev Posad’, 1918), p. 104.


[Previous] [Next]

[Back to Index]