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

Francis Dvornik


V. Rome and the Moravian Mission


The brothers, returning to Constantinople, are invited to stop in Rome—Pope Hadrian II and the Slavic liturgy—Anastasius the Librarian and Constantine; Gauderich and the Legenda italica; reversal in Constantinople—Constantine becomes a monk (Cyril); his death—Was Constantine-Cyril ordained bishop or priest?—Intervention of Kocel of Pannonia. Methodius abandons plans of returning to Constantinople—Papal bull approving Slavic liturgy— Methodius ordained archbishop of Sirmium with jurisdiction over Pannonia and Moravia—Political upheaval in Moravia; Methodius condemned and imprisoned by the Frankish hierarchy— Methodius, freed by papal intervention; his stay in Pannonia—Methodius received by Svatopluk in Moravia—Agathon “of the Moravians” ordained by Ignatius to replace Methodius?



Constantine’s biographer, after describing how his hero had overwhelmed his adversaries with his eloquent arguments, states simply that “the Pope of Rome heard about him and sent for him.” When he arrived in Rome, Constantine was received by the “apostolic” Hadrian II who came with the citizens to meet him, as they learned that he was bringing the relics of St. Clement, Pope and Martyr (chapter seventeen).


Methodius’ Vita (chapter six), and the Italian Legend, attribute this invitation to Pope Nicholas. The latter died November 11, 887, and Hadrian II was enthroned on December 14 of the same year. This gives us a reliable starting point for dating the movement of the brothers. The Life of Constantine suggests that the papal invitation reached the brothers in Venice. It must have been in the late autumn or early winter of 867 and they must







have reached Rome in December 867 or, at the latest, in January 868.


The question now arises whether the brothers intended to go to Rome when leaving Moravia, or whether they stopped in Venice in order to embark there for Constantinople. The historians and Slavic philologists who dealt with the problems concerning the activities of the two brothers, are still trying to find a satisfactory answer to this question. We can ask ourselves with reason if a definite and generally acceptable answer will ever be given, because the journey of the brothers coincided with events in Rome and in Constantinople which cast an ominous shadow over relations between the two Churches. [1]


The Bulgarians separated themselves from the patriarchate of Byzantium and, in the first half of 866, Boris turned once more toward Louis the German and asked Rome for Latin missionaries. Nicholas I welcomed the opportunity and his priests, led by Formosus, Bishop of Porto, and Paul, Bishop of Populonia, were welcomed so enthusiastically by Boris that he even dismissed the Frankish clerics led by Hermanrich (Ermenrich), Bishop of Passau. Boris also found the pastoral letter sent to him by the pope on November 13, 866—in which all his naïve questions were fully answered—much more useful than the learned exhortation which the Patriarch Photius had addressed to him in 865.


The result of this Roman “invasion” of Byzantine missionary territory was the convocation of a council by Photius in 867, which condemned some Latin usages introduced into Bulgaria, especially the addition to the Nicaean Creed of the Filioque, condemned the pope’s action and decided to ask the Western Emperor Louis II to depose Nicholas. The Acts of the Council, however, did not reach Louis II, because on September 24th of the same year, Basil I—who had been made co-emperor by Michael III—murdered his benefactor, became emperor, and, in order to win the support of Michael’s opponents and of Rome, deposed Photius and reinstated Ignatius as patriarch. [2] These events influenced many students of the history of Constantine and Methodius who, because of religious prejudice, were anxious to separate the brothers from Photius, who had been condemned by Nicholas, and to connect them as closely as possible to the papacy.


However, at the time when the brothers were leaving Moravia and even during their stay in Venice, they could hardly have





known about events in Byzantium and Rome. They may have learned about the hostility of Pope Nicholas I to their Patriarch Photius and also about the change of attitude on the part of Boris of Bulgaria. But the news of the council of 867, and of the change in the political and religious situation in Byzantium, did not reach Rome until 868. Thus, when leaving Moravia, they still regarded Photius as the legitimate patriarch of Constantinople. It was he who, with Michael III and Bardas, had organized the Moravian mission.


One thing seems certain, namely, that the two brothers regarded their mission in Moravia and Pannonia as accomplished and considered they were leaving the country for good. [3] This is also indicated by the desire of Rastislav and Kocel to reward them for what they had achieved in their countries. Constantine, refusing gold and silver, as his biographer states, asked for the release of 900 prisoners. The biographer described in a similar way the brothers’ leavetaking at the end of their Khazarian mission (chapter eleven).


In chapter seven, Methodius’ biographer reports how Constantine, before dying, asked his brother to abandon his intention of returning to his monastery at Mount Olympus and instead to continue the missionary work. Thus, the biographer confirms that Methodius did want to return to his monastery. Constantine’s request may only be imagination on the part of Methodius’ biographer, The author of Constantine’s Vita would appear better entitled to report the last words of his hero, and he does not say anything of this kind. On the contrary, he reports that Methodius, after the death of his brother, asked the pope for permission to bring the body back to Byzantium for burial in his monastery. Such had been the desire of their mother. This again shows that Methodius had decided to return to his monastery.


It is thus most probable that the brothers stopped in Venice in order to return to Constantinople by sea. Constantine’s health must already have been frail at that time, a circumstance which may have persuaded them to choose a sea voyage. They may have thought that they could continue their activity as teachers of the Slavs in Constantinople.


The choice of the sea route from Venice to Dyrrhachium can also be explained by the desire to avoid travelling through Bulgaria. [4] The account already given of relations between Moravia,





Bulgaria, and the Franks indicates why it was desirable to avoid going through a territory whose rulers were never very friendly toward their Moravian neighbors. The news that the Bulgarians had turned again to Louis the German, and that the latter had chosen Hermanrich, Bishop of Passau, as leader of a Frankish missionary expedition to Bulgaria had certainly reached Moravia in 866 before the brothers left the country.


But what about the disciples who were accompanying them? Is it possible that they wished to have them ordained in Constantinople? One circumstance indeed favors such an explanation. Rastislav had certainly informed them that he had asked Nicholas I to arrange the ecclesiastical organization of his country, and that his request had been refused. They were aware of the hostility of the Frankish bishops to any ecclesiastical independence on the part of the Moravians. Rastislav’s political position was stronger, and he could afford a new approach to Constantinople repeating his request for a bishop, independent of the Frankish hierarchy. The brothers had certainly chosen one or more candidates for bishoprics.


There is, however, one objection to this interpretation. The brothers carried with them the relics believed to be those of St. Clement, Bishop of Rome. Does this not indicate their intention to go to Rome and deposit the relics there? [5] Then there was the desire shared by many pious Byzantines to make a pilgrimage to Rome, the burial place of SS. Peter and Paul and the seat of the first patriarch. Contrary to what is still sometimes believed, there was no hostility to Rome in the Byzantine religious world of that time. We know of many Byzantine pilgrims who went to Rome, and there were several Greek monasteries with Byzantine monks in the center of Rome. [6] On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that the whole of southern Italy was still under Byzantine sovereignty. All this could indicate that the brothers desired to make a pilgrimage to Rome and return to Constantinople via Rome and southern Italy. If the pope refused to fulfill Rastislav’s request for a bishop and would not accept their liturgical innovations, they could still obtain what they wanted in Constantinople.


But if the brothers really intended to go to Rome why should the pope invite them to visit him? Nicholas must have learned of their activity in Moravia and Pannonia long before. He must have realized that a Byzantine mission would never have reached





Moravia if he had responded favorably to Rastislav’s request in 861 or 862. He was in competition with Byzantium in Bulgaria, and also with the Franks in Croatia, where he founded the bishopric of Nin, probably in 860, and subjected it directly to his own jurisdiction. If the brothers had intended to go to Rome, he would have learned about it and it would not have been necessary to invite them to visit him. It seems much more logical to suppose that he heard of their intention to return to Constantinople while they were waiting for a boat in Venice. In the autumn of 867 Nicholas was a very sick man and the invitation was one of his last acts. He must have regarded it as very important, as it was made almost on his deathbed.


With regard to the relics believed to be those of St. Clement, the brothers could very well have carried them back to Constantinople. A part of them was left by Constantine in Cherson. We learn from the Russian Primary Chronicle that Vladimir, the first Russian Christian Prince, transferred them to Kiev after his baptism in 988, together with the relics of St. Clement’s disciple Phoebus, several priests, sacred vessels, and icons. [7] This was to be expected. The local Christians were entitled to a share in this marvelous discovery. Moreover, Constantine was leaving Cherson for good. We do not learn, however, that part of the relics were left in Constantinople, most probably because Constantine intended to bring them back after he had accomplished his mission to Moravia. [8] St. Clement was regarded by him as the patron saint of his mission.


An understanding with Rome would have been necessary if the brothers had already intended at that time to join Pannonia to the Moravian diocese soon to be organized. Kocel’s territory was administered by the Archbishop of Salzburg through the medium of archpriests sent by him. This was evidently within the sphere of the Roman patriarchate and any change in the ecclesiastical organization of this country could be made only by the pope.


But the mission of the brothers was originally limited to Moravia. It was a pleasant surprise for them to find such an interest in their innovation in Kocel’s land, but the idea of an independent diocese for his land was not theirs, but Kocel’s, and it was realized later in quite different circumstances.


This, however, does not exclude the probability that Kocel,





who had shown such an interest in the innovations of the brothers, had expressed to them the desire to have a bishop, independent from the Bavarian hierarchy, also for his land. Of course, he meant that the bishop would be sent by the patriarch of Constantinople to whom the brothers were about to give an account of their work in Slavic lands. He knew as well as Rastislav that he could never obtain such a privilege from the Frankish hierarchy and that the latter were powerful enough to prevent the pope from giving an independent hierarchy to his land. It is also possible that Rastislav was informed about Kocel’s desire and was supporting him. Both thought that their political situation was strong enough to resist any attempt on the side of the Franks to interfere with their plans. Both princes were aware of the fact that the brothers were leaving their countries for good and both were expecting bishops from Constantinople after the return of the brothers to their home.


The suggestion that the brothers wanted to obtain recognition from the Patriarch of Aquileia of their liturgical innovations, as well as the consecration of a bishop for Moravia and Pannonia, [9] must be rejected. According to the decision of Charlemagne of 811 the jurisdiction of Aquileia extended in the northeast only to the Drava river. The Bavarian bishops would never have allowed the patriarch to interfere in religious affairs outside this boundary. It is true that Patriarch Vitalus, who resided in Venice, could claim more freedom in his relations with the Frankish Empire than his colleague Lupus, who resided in Forumiulii. But Carniola, Carinthia, and Pannonian Croatia, over which he exercised his jurisdiction, were firmly in the hands of the Franks, who would certainly react if he dared to trespass beyond the limits of his jurisdiction. Rastislav and Kocel knew this and, although they accepted Latin priests from the territory of the patriarchate, they could never hope to obtain an independent bishopric from Aquileia. Only the Franks, Rome, or Byzantium could offer that.


Consideration of all these facts inclines one to the interpretation that the brothers were on their way back to Constantinople and waited in Venice for an opportunity to sail. It was not a good season for sea travel in the Adriatic. It may have been their intention to reach Venice earlier, but they stayed too long in Pannonia, where they had been so well received. [10]


The fact that the season was too far advanced for safe travel by





sea may also have influenced them to accept the pope’s invitation to go to Rome. They could continue their voyage in the early spring when sea travel was safer. Although they were Byzantine patriots, they felt no animosity toward Rome. It should be stressed once more that such sentiments were not yet general in Byzantium in the first half of the ninth century.


*  *  *


The solemn reception of the brothers in Rome is ascribed by Constantine’s biographer to the fact that they carried the relics of St. Clement. They were met outside the gates of Rome by the pope and a group of Roman citizens carrying lighted candles, and were conducted probably to the church of St. Clement, where the relics were deposited for public veneration. The biographer even enumerates some of the miraculous recoveries of those who invoked the saint’s name.


There may be one more reason why the pope’s invitation was welcome to them. It offered them an opportunity to explain their missionary system to him and to complain about the attitude of the Bavarian clergy towards them. If they could obtain from Rome an approval of their methods, the hostile clergy would be disarmed and their disciples freer to continue their work in Moravia. It seems that the Byzantines did not like to travel by sea during the winter, instead of continuing their voyage from Cherson to the Khazar Khagan, the two brothers stopped in Cherson and, after spending the winter there, continued their journey in the early spring. They may have intended to do the same in Rome after obtaining the invitation. They were carrying the relics believed to be of St. Clement, third successor to St. Peter, and author of the famous letter to the Corinthians. The acceptance of these relics could become a precious guarantee of the pope’s approval of their innovations in missionary methods, and of his determination to put an end to the opposition of the Bavarian clergy.


The brothers arrived in Rome at a time when the new pope’s attitude to the Byzantine problem was still not clear. There were signs which indicated that Hadrian II might adopt a more conciliatory attitude toward Photius who, it was supposed, still occupied the patriarchal throne. [11] There was some dissatisfaction in





Rome with Nicholas’ oriental policy, as is indicated by Anastasius, Nicholas’ Bibliothecarius, in his letter to Addo, Bishop of Vienne. [12]


The Greek refugees in Rome, who were responsible for Nicholas’ uncompromising attitude toward Photius, were alarmed at the prospect of a change in papal policy. Hadrian II thought it necessary to ease the tension, and he invited them to a banquet in February 868. [13]


All this must have influenced the pope’s attitude to the brothers and their missionary work. Constantine’s biographer says that “the Pope received the Slavic books, blessed them, and deposited them in the church of Holy Mary which is called Phatne [ad Praesepe, now called S. Maria Maggiore] and they sang the liturgy over them. After that he ordered two bishops, Formosus and Gondrichus [Gauderich of Velletri], to ordain the Slavic disciples, after which they sang the liturgy in the Slavic tongue in the church of St. Peter, and the following day in that of St. Petronilla, and on the third day in the church of St. Andrew. [14] After this they sang again through the whole night in the church of the great teacher of the world, the Apostle St. Paul, glorifying him, in Slavic, and in the morning again they sang the liturgy over his holy tomb, having as assistants Bishop Arsenius, one of the seven bishops, and Anastasius the Librarian.”


The Life of Methodius (chapter six) attributes all this to Pope Nicholas—this is certainly a lapse of memory on the part of the biographer. He mentions also that the innovation was criticized by some of the clergy. However, the pope defended it, calling its opponents disciples of Pilate—this is certainly an addition by the biographer—and ordered a bishop, who was one of these opponents, to ordain the Slavic disciples. This bishop was Formosus, the former papal legate and missionary in Bulgaria. This Vita also supplies further details about the ordination. The biographer says that Methodius was ordained priest with three others, and that two of them received the minor order of lectors.


This, however, does not mean that these were the only ones who had been ordained in Rome. The Life of Methodius stresses that the pope had ordered Formosus, one of the bishops who was critical of Constantine’s innovations, to carry out this ordination. The Life of Constantine (chapter seven, ed. Lavrov, pp. 34, 65) says simply that the pope ordered Bishops Formosus and Gauderich of Velletri to ordain their disciples. For the ordination of





a priest only one bishop was needed. It can be concluded from this that Gauderich had also ordained some other disciples of the brothers, whose number is not given. Gauderich was not opposed to the innovations of the brothers. [15]


All the personalities mentioned in the Legends as being connected with the ordination and liturgical performances of the Slavic disciples were well known in contemporary Rome. The mention of Arsenius is particularly important for dating the approval of the Slavic liturgy by the pope and for the ordination of the Slavic disciples. Arsenius, Bishop of Orte, was married before his ordination and had a son, Eleutherius. He supported the Emperor Louis II, and because Nicholas I owed his election to the imperial party, the pope used his services as envoy to the Frankish kings and bishops. Because Arsenius had the interests of his family rather than those of the pope in view, he lost the confidence of Nicholas I, but, as one of the seven suburbicarian bishops, he became an influential mentor of the papal court under Hadrian II. But, in supporting his son Eleutherius, who wished to marry the daughter of the pope—Hadrian had also been married before his ordination—he lost Hadrian’s favor when his son, exasperated by the refusal of the pope to give him his daughter in marriage, abducted her and her mother, on March 10, 868. Arsenius saw himself forced to leave Rome. He wanted to join the emperor in Southern Italy, but died soon after his arrival in Acerenia. [16]


This allows us to date the approval of the Slavic clergy and the ordination of the disciples as being prior to March 868, at a time when Hadrian II was inclined to develop a more lenient policy toward the Patriarch Photius. The pope must have known of the relations of the two brothers with the patriarch, without whose cooperation the Moravian mission could not have been realized. And Photius was still regarded as the head of the Byzantine Church.


*  *  *


Arsenius’ nephew Anastasius, ordained in 847 or 848, was also a zealous member of the imperial party. [17] Because of his intrigues against Pope Leo IV (847-855), he was excommunicated in 850 and in 853. After the death of Leo IV, the imperial party elected





him as anti-pope against Benedict III, but he lost all his supporters because of his arrogant attitude. Benedict III accepted his submission and admitted him to lay communion. His mastery of the Greek language, which he had probably learned in one of the Greek monasteries in Rome, opened the way for him to the chancery of Nicholas I. As his secretary (bibliothecarius) Anastasius had an important share in the composition of Nicholas’ correspondence with Byzantium. Hadrian II continued to use his services.


Arsenius and Anastasius were chosen by Hadrian as protectors of both the brothers and their disciples. Anastasius became Constantine’s friend and admirer as can be gathered from remarks about him in his correspondence. In a letter to Bishop Gauderich, probably written in 875, he calls him a man of apostolic life, a great and true philosopher, the wisest man. In his missive to Charles the Bald, written in 875, he also exalts him as a great teacher and a man of apostolic life. In his preface to his translation of the Acts of the Council of 869-870 he praises him as a man of great holiness. [18]


He must also have known of Constantine’s relations with Photius, because in the same document he characterizes Constantine as Photius’ strongest friend (fortissimus amicus). These are strong words, and indicate that what Anastasius says about Constantine’s rebuke of Photius should be interpreted as an exchange of views on a subject on which the two friends differed. The subject of this rebuke—namely, Photius’ teaching that man had two souls— is suspicious, because not even the council which condemned him reproached him for propounding such an heretical doctrine. Anastasius may have heard these slanderous rumors in Constantinople, among the circle of Photius’ bitterest enemies. [19]


We learn also from Anastasius’ letter to Gauderich, Bishop of Velletri, of the latter’s interest in the history of Constantine’s discovery of St. Clement’s relics. Because his cathedral church was dedicated to St. Clement, Gauderich asked the deacon John to describe the Life of St. Clement and the transfer of his relics. In order to find the necessary documentation he addressed himself to Anastasius, knowing of the intimate relationship between him and Constantine. Anastasius informed Gauderich that he had translated two of the short works of Constantine describing the discovery, but that he did not dare to translate the hymn composed





by Constantine. In his letter he gives great praise to Constantine’s style. [20]


The brothers certainly found sympathizers and supporters also among the monks of the Greek monasteries in Rome. They took up their abode in one of them, probably that of St. Praxedis in the vicinity of Santa Maria Maggiore. Instead of calling the church S. Maria ad praesepe, as it was then called in Rome, the biographer uses the Greek word phatne (praesepe), which is an indication that the brothers lived with Greek monks in Rome. [21]


The disappearance of Arsenius deprived the brothers of one influential protector. Unfortunately, Eleutherius’ affair was to cause even more inconvenience to them. The pope asked the Emperor Louis II to proceed against the rapist according to the stipulations of Roman law. Eleutherius, seeing that he could not find any support, became enraged, and killed not only the pope’s daughter but also Hadrian’s former wife. This seems to have happened in June. The emperor then acted and Eleutherius was condemned and executed.


Although Anastasius does not seem to have been involved in this crime, his influence declined, the more so as his enemies were using this regrettable incident to weaken his position. Anastasius was accused by one of his relatives of having sent a messenger to his cousin before the latter committed his crime. Thereupon the pope, believing that his secretary was partly responsible for what had happened, in his exasperation ordered Anastasius to appear before him in the church of St. Praxedis on the twelfth of October, 868. After enumerating his earlier misbehavior, the pope renewed all the penalties pronounced by Leo IV against him and forbade him to absent himself more than forty miles from Rome.


It is possible that the two brothers witnessed this sad scene. As we have seen, they probably lived in the Greek monastery which Pope Paschal (817-824) had founded and richly endowed near the church under the name of that saint. [22] Anastasius may have had some relations with this monastery. It may have been there that he learned his Greek. He may even have been living there when he lost favor with the pope.


The loss of another influential supporter must have been a heavy blow to both brothers, and especially to Constantine, who had often conversed with Anastasius. Their position in Rome was also affected by the unexpected news reaching them from the





East. At the beginning of the summer of 868, the spathar Euthymius arrived in Rome as envoy of the new Emperor Basil I, and reported the death of Michael III, the deposition of the Patriarch Photius and the reinstallation of Ignatius on the patriarchal throne. In the name of the emperor he asked the pope to pronounce final sentence in the affair of Ignatius and Photius.


This unexpected turn of events in Constantinople would seem to justify the strict attitude of Nicholas against Photius and, under this impression, Hadrian decided to follow the same line in his dealings with Byzantium. He sent back the Greek refugee, Abbot Theognostus, who was most responsible for Nicholas’ hostile attitude to Photius, with the returning imperial envoys bearing letters of congratulation to the emperor and to Ignatius. The envoy and Theognostus can only have reached Constantinople after the eleventh of December, 868, because the letter dispatched by the emperor that day to the pope expressed anxiety about their fate. A new imperial embassy, with representatives of both parties, only reached Rome at the end of the winter of 869, in February or early March. The main representative of Photius perished at sea, a regrettable incident which shows, at the same time, the dangers of the Adriatic sea voyage in winter. [23]


*  *  *


It can be imagined how this tragic news affected the two brothers and their disciples. These were the “numerous afflictions” which beset Constantine in Rome, as his biographer expressed it (chapter eighteen). These events also explain why the brothers stayed so long in Rome and hesitated to continue their voyage to Constantinople. They did not wish to be mixed up in new intrigues, nor in political and religious rivalries. The best way out was to wait for the definitive decision of the pope for which the emperor had asked.


These unexpected handicaps undermined the delicate health of Constantine, already weakened by his missionary labors, his travels, and the Roman climate. He became seriously ill and, realizing that he would not recover, he desired to die as a monk. According to Byzantine practice, on taking the solemn vows, a monk must choose a new name with the same initial letter as his former name. Constantine therefore chose the name of Cyril.





The words with which the biographer lets Constantine announce his decision are particularly interesting: “From now on I am the servant neither of the emperor nor of anyone else on earth, but only of God the Almighty.” These words confirm the supposition that Constantine’s mission to Moravia was not only in the interests of religion, but also in those of the Empire. Here Constantine and his biographer manifest once more their patriotism. [24]


This declaration enables us to decide the question often debated by Constantine’s biographers, as to whether he had already become a monk during his stay in Methodius’ monastery on Mount Olympus. [25] It appears that there were in Byzantium two degrees of monastic vows, a simple acceptance of the monk’s black cloth and tonsure, and the highest degree called schema, entailing solemn vows and a change of name. Because Constantine regarded himself, prior to his taking the solemn vows, as being in the service of the emperor, this status would hardly be compatible with the life of a monk. As professor of philosophy at the university he was in the imperial service, and he does not seem to have resigned this post when taking refuge in the monastery of his brother. When appointed by the patriarch as professor of philosophy at the Academy near the church of the Holy Apostles, he did not reside in a monastery. This indicates that he did not become a monk until shortly before his death in Rome.


This interpretation is also confirmed by the Vita. We read in chapter eighteen: “He took the venerable monacal habit and he stayed the whole day, full of joy and saying: ‘From now on I am the servant neither of the emperor nor of anyone else on earth, but only of God Almighty. I was not and I became and I remain for ever, Amen.’ The next day he put on the holy monacal dress and adding counsel to counsel he accepted the name of Cyril.”


Hitherto the last phrase has been translated “adding light to light” and was interpreted as meaning that Cyril had added to the baptismal vows—often called by the Byzantines “light” (phos) —the monacal vows which would be regarded as a new baptism. Such an interpretation seems somewhat awkward. It should rather be read in the original not as svjet’ which means light, but as s’vjet’ which means counsel (consilium, pactum). In this way the passage becomes perfectly clear and shows that Constantine took the two monacal vows in Rome. [26] This is also indicated by the





biographer, who speaks of two monastic dresses, meaning naturally the small and the great degree (schema) of monacal status.


Constantine lived only fifty days as a monk. He died on February 14, 869. The biographer lets the dying man utter a touching prayer in which he implored God’s blessing for his work, for the protection of his disciples against the Trilinguists, and for unity in the Church. The plea for unity may have been inspired also by the sad events which happened in Constantinople and which augured disunity in the church of Constantinople, and in its relations with Rome.


During his stay in Rome Constantine must have found many admirers, and also great sympathy on the part of the pope. Hadrian is said to have ordered all monks, Greek and Latin, to take part in his funeral. When, however, Methodius approached him with the request to transfer his brother’s body to his monastery, the pope only agreed reluctantly. Preparations were made for the transfer, but after seven days a delegation of Roman clergy asked the pope not to deprive Rome of the remains of so holy a man. Hadrian then offered Methodius burial of his brother in the papal tomb at St. Peter’s, but, on the insistence of Methodius, he gave permission for his burial in the church of St. Clement. The fresco depicting Constantine facing the Lord’s judgment, placed by contemporaries over his grave, still exists, although considerably damaged. [27]


*  *  *


Some historians think that Constantine was consecrated as bishop together with his brother Methodius, for this would seem to be indicated by the Legenda Italica, which was known only from one manuscript in the Vatican Library. The crucial passage concerning Constantine’s ordination was scarcely legible and was wrongly interpreted. The discovery of another manuscript in Prague, in much better condition, solved this problem for good. There is no question of the episcopal ordination of Constantine, and the Latin legend confirms the information given by the Vita Methodii that Methodius was only ordained in Rome as a priest before Constantine’s death. [28]


There is not even a certainty that Constantine himself was ever ordained as a priest. When he was appointed chartophylax during





the patriarchate of Ignatius, he could only have been a deacon, because this dignity, like most similar dignities at the patriarcheion, could not be held by a priest. Moreover, at that time he was not yet thirty years old, the minimum age for priestly ordination. There was no reason why he should be ordained a priest when he started his career at the imperial university. In Byzantium priests had occupations other than teaching and preparing young men for the imperial service. It is thus quite possible that Constantine died as a deacon.


There is, however, one passage in this Vita which suggests that perhaps he was ordained a priest before coming to Rome. In chapter seventeen, the biographer describes how the newly ordained Slavic priests celebrated the liturgy in Roman churches. He quotes five churches, which would suggest that one of the Slavic priests led the liturgical celebration in each. This would refer to Methodius and three disciples. The fifth could have been Constantine. Of course, the fifth could also have been another disciple who came with them and who was already a priest, or who had been ordained by Gauderich. Constantine could have been ordained a priest on two previous occasions—before the Khazarian mission, or before his departure for Moravia. In this case, however, we would have to admit that he was ordained by Photius, and this would not be palatable to many who like to separate him as far as possible from that patriarch.


*  *  *


Constantine’s premature death—he was only 42 years old— amounted almost to a catastrophe for the Byzantine mission in Moravia and Pannonia. The situation was made even more desperate for Methodius and his disciples by their uncertainty as to the degree to which the unexpected changes in Byzantium would influence the attitude of the pope, or of the new patriarch, to their mission. All decisions seem to have been postponed. Constantine probably died before the arrival of the new imperial embassy, which was also to bring the representatives of the rival patriarchs, who were to appear before the pope for his final decision. They did not come until early spring. Methodius postponed his departure, waiting for further developments. There were only two circumstances which favored the mission: the sincere veneration





of the Romans for the memory of the deceased Constantine, who was regarded by them as a saint, and the previous acceptance by the pope of their liturgical innovations.


The situation was saved by the direct intervention of Kocel, the Pannonian prince. The brothers were most probably in touch with him, and one or two of their disciples may have been sent back to him by them to inform him of what was happening in Rome. He seems to have learned about the death of Constantine, because the biographer of Methodius says (chapter eight) that Kocel dispatched an embassy to the “apostolicus” asking him to send back Methodius, “our teacher.” [29] He does not mention Constantine, possibly because Kocel knew what had happened.


Kocel’s initiative clarified the tense atmosphere of uncertainty which oppressed Methodius, who was aggrieved by the death of his beloved younger brother. Hadrian decided to act. He saw in Kocel’s readiness to accept Methodius as spiritual head of his country a welcome opportunity of further advancing the realization of Nicholas’ lofty plan, namely, the subordination to direct papal jurisdiction of all the lands which had been lost through barbarian invasion or imperial intervention. Nicholas won over the western part of Illyricum by founding the bishopric of Nin for the Croats, and a great part of Eastern Illyricum was occupied by the Bulgars. The opportunity to regain Pannonia was beckoning and Hadrian did not hesitate to exploit it.


Methodius, seeing that the pope was willing to save and even to promote the results of his brother’s work, and abhorring the prospect of being involved in religious and political machinations upon his return to Constantinople, abandoned the idea of returning home and placed himself at the disposal of the pope.


The whole plan was discussed, and it was decided that Methodius should return to the lands where he had worked with his brother and disclose to the Slavic princes—Kocel of Pannonia, Rastislav of Moravia, and Rastislav’s nephew Svatopluk, who was administering Pribina’s former territory of Nitra—the pope’s plan to renew direct papal jurisdiction over their countries by erecting a new hierarchical organization for them.


The bond which would link their countries to each other, and to Rome, was the approval of the Slavic liturgy and letters by the Holy See. Therefore Methodius, sent as a papal legate to the





Slavic princes, was the bearer of a papal letter approving the liturgical innovations of the Greek brothers.


*  *  *


This letter is only preserved in Old Slavonic in Methodius’ biography. The Latin original is lost, and this circumstance has led numerous specialists to hesitate to accept its authenticity. This is understandable, but not warranted. The document is, of course, not a literal translation; but a comparison with other papal documents shows that the biographer used the original letter. [30] It is addressed to the three princes from Hadrian “the servant of God.” This is evidently the biographer’s rendering of the papal attribute “servant of God’s servants.” It starts with the words “Glory to God in the Highest” (Luke 2:14), and praises the desire of the addressees to seek for God. They have asked for help not only in Rome, but also from the “pious emperor Michael.” The emperor had sent them the departed philosopher and his brother. “When these, however, learned that your lands belong to the apostolic see, they did nothing against the canonical prescriptions, but came to us bringing the relics of St. Clement.” Rejoicing over this, the pope decided to send to them Methodius, “our son,”—this is generally regarded as an indication that Methodius was not yet a bishop, otherwise the Pope would have called him “our brother”— that he might preach to them and continue to translate the books into their language, as did Constantine, aided by the grace of God, on the intercession of St. Clement. [31] During the service the Epistle and Gospel only should be read first in Latin and then in Slavic. The letter quotes two passages from Holy Writ in favor of the use of the vernacular in God’s service (Psalm 116:1; Acts 2:4,11). It ends with a threat of excommunication to anyone who expressed contempt for books written in the Slavic language.


The fact that the passage which contains the privilege of using the Slavic language in the liturgy is almost identical with the approval of the Slavic liturgy in John VIII’s letter, whose authenticity cannot be doubted, is puzzling, and has made certain specialists hesitate to accept the authenticity of Hadrian’s letter. This hesitation, however, is not substantiated. The Slavic liturgy, and the translation of the holy books into Slavic had already been approved





by Hadrian when Constantine was still alive. The pope must have known how much the Slavic princes, especially Kocel, appreciated this. In order to induce them to accept his plan, he had to offer them some privilege that they would appreciate, and which would also bind their peoples more closely to Rome. This was the concession of the Slavic liturgy.


There was also another motive which prompted the pope to take this initiative. As we have seen, Moravia and most probably also Pannonia would have been lost to Roman jurisdiction if the two brothers had been able to realize their original plan and if, after reaching Constantinople and reporting to the patriarch, they had recommended that some of their disciples be consecrated bishops in Constantinople for the new Slavic churches of Moravia and Pannonia. In order to save these countries for the Roman patriarchate the pope had to act promptly, offering their princes an independent hierarchy and giving his approval to the celebration of the liturgy in their language.


On the other hand, the project of restoring the metropolis of old Sirmium made it easier for Methodius to offer his services to the pope without becoming unfaithful to his mother Church of Constantinople. Sirmium had always been a part of the Roman patriarchate and the restoration of its metropolitan rights could in no way be regarded as hurting the interests of the patriarchate of Constantinople. The extension of its jurisdiction over Moravia could not be disputed by Constantinople, because Moravia was a missionary land which had not yet been incorporated into the Eastern patriarchate.


It is quite possible that Hadrian II also had the Bulgarians in mind. The extension of such a privilege to them was, perhaps, thought likely to put an end to their wavering between Constantinople, the Franks, and Rome, and to tie them to Rome for good. Given more time this might have worked. Of course in 869 the pope could not foresee that in 870 Bulgaria would replace his priests with Greek clergy.


We may also assume that Anastasius the Librarian had something to do with the decision of the pope, and with the composition of the papal letter. The reversal of the religious situation in Byzantium, and the pope’s decision to continue the uncompromisingly strict policy of his predecessor, had probably brought Anastasius to the surface again from the depths into which the crime





of his cousin had thrown him. The pope needed a “specialist” in Byzantine affairs, the more so as the reversal seems to have shown that Nicholas’ Byzantine policy, in the severity of which Anastasius had his share, was justified by events. The responsible charge of being Papal Librarian was probably restored to Anastasius in June. He appears to have taken an active part in the Roman synod convoked by the pope, and to have composed the papal letters which the legates were asked to carry to Constantinople, to the emperor and to the Council, which was to assemble there. It was most probably in June that Methodius was sent to the Slavic princes.


*  *  *


Methodius was well received in Pannonia. Although the Franks had twice attacked Rastislav in the spring of 869, it is possible that Methodius himself, or one of his disciples, was able to get in touch with the Moravian princes. The main expedition against Rastislav and Svatopluk was organized in August by Louis the German. Because of his illness, his youngest son Charles led the troops against Rastislav, and Carloman led those against Svatopluk. They penetrated as far as the “formidable fortress” of the Moravians, and although they claimed a victory, Rastislav’s main forces were left almost intact and his submission to the Empire was ended. [32] This, and the circumstance that Louis the German soon became involved in complications in the West concerning the inheritance of his nephew Lothair II, had encouraged the Slavic princes, especially Kocel, to accept the pope’s plan. Of course, they also counted on the prestige and authority of the papacy throughout the Christian West.


The weight of papal authority was soon to be felt in Pannonia. The archpriest Rihpald, who represented the Archbishop of Salzburg in Kocel’s territory, left the country and returned to Salzburg. He was unwilling to accept either the liturgical innovation approved by the pope, or Hadrian II’s evident intention to erect an independent metropolitan see in Pannonia. [33]


Kocel sent Methodius back to Rome with an honorary escort of twenty Slavic nobles, to ask the “apostolic Father” to consecrate him Archbishop of Pannonia, “the throne of Saint Andronicus, one of the seventy Apostles.”





The idea of Methodius’ becoming a successor of Saint Andronicus, the legendary founder of the metropolis of Sirmium, was not Kocel’s but Hadrian’s. Determined to recover direct jurisdiction over Pannonia, the pope was, at the same time, anxious to endow his creation with a solid historical and juridical basis. Until its occupation by the barbarians, Pannonia was part of Illyricum and was governed by a prefect whose residence was at Sirmium. The bishop of that city was metropolitan of all the bishops of Illyricum and Pannonia. His prestige was enhanced by the legendary tradition that its first bishop had been Saint Andronicus, one of the seventy disciples of the Apostles. Sirmium thus claimed a quasi-apostolic origin. Andronicus was regarded as a disciple of St. Paul because the Apostle mentioned him in his letter to the Romans (16,7).


The names of the seventy disciples chosen by Christ (Luke 10,1) are unknown, but their list was compiled by the early Christians from names mentioned in the Epistles and in the Acts of the Apostles. Legendary tradition has made some of them founders of important episcopal sees—Andronicus for Sirmium, Stachys for Byzantium, Trophimus for Arles—but the legends were firmly believed to be genuine. [34] Such also was the conviction of Methodius’ contemporaries, and this helps to explain the great veneration for St. Paul in the old Slavonic Church.


The city of Sirmium, devastated in 448 by the Huns, was destroyed in 582 by the Avars. After the destruction of the Avars by Charlemagne, the popes should have renewed their claims. However, they left the initiative in the hands of the emperor, and the inheritance of Sirmium was taken over by Aquileia and Salzburg. Hadrian II wanted to recapture what had been allowed to fall into the hands of the Frankish clergy.


The revival of the metropolis of Sirmium, and the ordination of Methodius as Archbishop of Pannonia and Moravia, was a very bold stroke. It can be explained as being one aspect of the continuation of papal policy inaugurated by Nicholas I. Seeing how dangerous the formation of territorial Churches, formed by the alliance of the hierarchies with the rulers, could be for the position of the papacy in the Church Universal, Nicholas ended decisively the attempts of John of Ravenna, who was supported by the emperor, to create a territorial ecclesiastical formation in Italy which would rival Rome. He broke such an alliance in Frankish





territory, where he condemned Lothair II and the bishops who sanctioned his divorce. He forced Hincmar of Rheims, who was becoming a dangerous rival in the Western Frankish kingdom, to submit, and prevented him from gaining the support of King Charles the Bald. [35]


The first blow against the Eastern Frankish clergy, which was supported by their able king Louis the German, was the foundation of an independent Croat bishopric. The second blow was the elimination of Frankish influence from Bulgaria. Hadrian, determined to continue Nicholas’ policy, prepared the third blow, which was to eliminate Frankish influence from Pannonia and Moravia.


*  *  *


Toward the end of 869, Methodius returned to Pannonia as Archbishop of Sirmium and papal legate. Even though the Archbishop of Salzburg’s representative had left Kocel’s land without a fight, it was not to be expected that the Frankish hierarchy would yield without making an attempt to reverse the situation. They were not only opposed to the liturgical innovations introduced by the Byzantine mission, but were particularly hurt by the papal decision taking the contested territories, especially Pannonia, from their jurisdiction. They must have had priests who spoke the Slavic language, and the first attempts to translate Latin liturgical prayers into Slavic were made by Frankish or Irish missionaries. [36] They thought that this was what should be done for the new Christians. In any event, the celebrations of the liturgy in Slavic became one of the main targets of their attacks.


In spite of this Methodius seems to have assumed the ecclesiastical administration of Kocel’s Pannonia without opposition. There is no evidence to suppose that the change had been announced officially by the pope to the Archbishop of Salzburg, who might regard himself as especially affected by a papal decision. The unexpected tragic events in Moravia, however, emboldened the Bavarian hierarchy to take drastic measures against Methodius and to ignore the papal decision.


Svatopluk, who had hitherto supported his uncle but was anxious to become sole ruler over the whole of Moravia, submitted to Carloman, Louis the German’s son, in the winter of 869-70. After





capturing Rastislav, Svatopluk delivered him, in bonds, to Carloman in May 870. The latter sent Rastislav to Bavaria, giving his father at the same time an account of what had happened. This reversal of the situation in Moravia consolidated the position of Louis the German in his negotiations in the West for Lothair’s inheritance. Later Rastislav was condemned by Louis as a traitor, deprived of his eyesight, and left to finish his life miserably in a Bavarian monastery. [37]


Carloman invaded Moravia, probably in company with Svatopluk, and without difficulty forced the whole country to submit. This reversal of fortune had fatal consequences for Methodius. He went to Moravia after making the necessary arrangements in Pannonia. It was in Moravia, and not in Bavaria, as has been thought by some, that he was arrested by Hermanrich, Bishop of Passau, who entered the country with Carloman and his military forces in order to reaffirm his claim that Moravia was a part of his diocese. [38] The biographer’s account of what happened to Methodius is very short. He attributes (chapter nine) Methodius’ misfortune to the “old foe, the envious of good and adversary of truth” who “instigated against him the heart of the hostile (Moravian) king with all bishops” who said: “You are teaching in our territory.” However, he answered : “I would have avoided it, had I known that it is yours, but it belongs to Saint Peter. Really you proceed against canonical prescription to the old boundary, prompted by jealousy and avarice and, thus you are impeding the teaching of God’s word. Be on guard that you do not shed your brain when trying to pierce the iron mountain with a skull of bone.”


Specialists are still debating as to where and when Methodius was arrested, where he was judged, how he was treated, and where he was finally imprisoned. The letters sent by Pope John VIII to Louis the German and his bishops in 873, when he had learned what had happened, help us to reconstruct events. [39]


The displeasure of the Frankish bishops with the new arrangements can be readily understood. They had worked for seventy-five years in Pannonia and Moravia at the conversion of the Slavs, and now they were asked to abandon the fruits of their labor to a Greek who had introduced unheard-of innovations into their territory. Moreover, they were also deprived of the benefices in Pannonia which had been given previously to the Archbishop of Salzburg, and other bishops, by Pribina. The biographer seems to





have known about it, because he reproaches them for their avarice. However, the means by which they defended their interests were unjust and brutal.


The most violent of them was Hermanrich, Bishop of Passau. He had certainly not forgotten how the papal legates had barred him and his missionaries from Bulgaria and he could not tolerate the idea that another papal legate—a Greek to boot—should deprive him of yet another territory, which he considered belonged to his diocese. He arrested Methodius, treated him tyrannically, according to the papal letter, cast him into jail, allowed him to suffer cold and rain—probably while transporting him to Bavaria where he was to be judged—and even attacked him with his horsewhip at the assembly of the Frankish bishops.


Anno of Freisingen’s behavior was also characterized by the pope as tyrannical, rather than canonical. He acted alone, without consulting his priests and canons, rejected all appeals by Methodius, and condemned him. The Archbishop of Salzburg seems to have behaved less despotically, although he was deeply hurt by the new ecclesiastical arrangement. The papal letter addressed to him, which is preserved fragmentarily, only contains the order to reinstate Methodius in his rights.


The bishops, assembled in November 870 at the Reichstag in Regensburg, formed a kind of synod which condemned Methodius as an intruder, completely ignoring the papal orders. Although discussion still continues as to the city where the synod was held, the most likely place was Regensburg. This is indicated also by the biographer who notes the presence of the king, [40] and his remark that Methodius was sweating as if he were near an oven. Methodius’ riposte was that he was sweating like a philosopher who had had a discussion with stupid men, is probably a gloss of the biographer.


The bishops decided to get rid of Methodius for good and to imprison him, not in Bavaria but in distant Swabia. It is now generally accepted that the place where he was kept prisoner was the monastery of Ellwangen. [41] The place, and the whole affair, were kept secret. Even when Anno of Freisingen, who administered the papal patrimonies in Germany, was asked in Rome about the whereabouts of Methodius, he declared insolently that he did not know the man.


The Frankish bishops also defended their cause in writing. Most





probably we owe to the initiative of Adalwin of Salzburg the important document Conversio Bagoariorum et Carentanorum, already often quoted and the only written source on the Christianization of the Slovenes in Carinthia and Pannonia. In spite of its bias the document gives us information which is of great value. It was most probably written at the beginning of 871, after the condemnation and imprisonment of Methodius. [42] It was destined to substantiate the pretensions of Salzburg over Pannonia, in enumerating the churches consecrated by the archbishops of Salzburg, and of the missionaries sent there. [43] It was intended to justify the action taken against Methodius in the eyes of Louis the German and of contemporaries. It is interesting to note that the use of the Slavic language in the liturgy, although blamed for degrading the Latin language, is not the main target of the attack. The main purpose of the document is to defend the ecclesiastical and material interests of the Bavarian hierarchy.


Methodius was imprisoned for two and a half years. Only in the spring of 873 did the new Pope John VIII learn what had happened and he acted energetically. Not only did he order the three bishops to release Methodius from prison and suspend them from the exercise of their episcopal functions until he should be released, but he also ordered them to restore the unfortunate prelate to the enjoyment of his functions. The pope sent Paul, Bishop of Ancona, to Pannonia with strict instructions to see that the papal prescriptions were fulfilled. He should explain to Louis the German that the rights of the Holy See could never be regarded as having expired. The legate was to conduct Methodius safely to the Moravian Prince Svatopluk. [44]


It seems that, during the imprisonment of Methodius, Kocel's territory was administered ecclesiastically by Methodius’ disciples. We do not learn anything about the activity of the See of Salzburg there down to 873. [45] Kocel appears to have continued to be in direct touch with Rome, without the mediation of the Archbishop of Salzburg. The fragments of two letters sent to Kocel by Pope John VIII in May 873 are preserved. [46] Both give advice in matrimonial affairs, which must have been forwarded to the pope for a decision. Such cases were usually treated by the bishops in whose dioceses they had occurred, and the bishops addressed themselves to the Holy See in cases of doubt.


This should indicate that Kocel’s position was quite strong. It





may even have been strengthened by new events in Moravia. Svatopluk soon had good reason to regret his treachery. As early as 871 he was accused unjustly of infidelity to Carloman and imprisoned. His country was put under the administration of the margraves William and Engelschalk. The Moravians, thinking that their prince had been killed, revolted and forced the priest Slavomir, a relative of Svatopluk, to assume the leadership. A new expedition against the Moravians became necessary and Svatopluk, cleared of the accusations, volunteered to lead the Frankish army and subdue the revolt. When the Bavarians had reached the main fortress of the Moravians, Svatopluk, under the pretext of negotiating for its surrender, entered the city, made an alliance with the rebels and annihilated the Bavarian army. Its leaders William and Engelschalk perished. Svatopluk was master of the new situation. The quarrels among the sons of Louis the German helped to strengthen his independent position and to defeat Carloman in 872. His offer of a peaceful agreement (made through his envoy John, a priest from Venice) was accepted, and peace was concluded at Forchheim in 874. This left Svatopluk in possession of Moravia after he had accepted formal submission to the Empire. [47]


After his release Methodius could thus be introduced into Pannonia. The Bavarian bishops had warned Kocel not to accept Methodius. This was often interpreted in the sense that the Franks got rid of Kocel in 873 or 874 because of his “revolt.” The only argument put forward in favor of this thesis is the mention, in two short annals, that in 874 the new Archbishop of Salzburg, Theotmar, consecrated a church near Ptuj (Petovia) in the land of count Gozwin. [48] The latter could not, however, have been the successor of Kocel, because he is only called count (comes), and in official Frankish documents, Pribina and Kocel were generally called dux—duke—and their land ducatus—duchy. [49] Nor does this statement indicate that Kocel's ducatus was divided after his disappearance, or that Gozwin administered a part of it. He could also have administered a part of Kocel’s territory under the latter’s supremacy.


The incident only shows that Methodius was not in Kocel’s territory in 874, and that Salzburg profited from the new situation by reaffirming its rights in at least a part of his territory. Kocel could not oppose this, especially if his subordinate count had pro-Frankish





sentiments, but it does not mean that Kocel was already dead. In 873 and 874 the pope’s support of Kocel was still respected, and Louis the German could hardly punish Kocel because of his fidelity to the Holy See.


Kocel lived most probably until 876, the year when the Dalmatian Croats revolted against the Franks. As a vassal of the Empire he was charged with suppressing the revolt, and he lost his life in battle. It is in this sense that a passage in Constantine Porphyrogenetos’ De administrando imperio (chapter thirty) [50] should be interpreted, which speaks of a Kotzilis who led the Frankish army and perished. Kocel most probably also administered Pannonian Croatia and was, thus, a neighbor of the Dalmatian Croats. It was natural that he should be charged with the suppression of the revolt. He is mentioned as being dead only in a document issued between 876 and 887.


The disappearance of Kocel in 873 would have indicated also the end of papal plans in Pannonia. We must, however, hesitate to accept this as a fact because Pope John VIII clearly continued to believe in the importance of Pannonia for the further progress of Rome among the other Slavs of former Illyricum. In his letter of May 873, [51] John asked the Serbian Prince Mutimir to follow his predecessors and return to the obedience of the Archbishop of Pannonia, meaning Methodius, metropolitan of Sirmium.


The same reasons prompt us to reject the information given in a short extract from the Conversio, with some additions, [52] dating from the twelfth century, which indicates that Methodius was expelled from Pannonia in 873 and was forced to go to Moravia. The extract dates from a much later period and has other additions which are untrue. This report reflects events which happened after Kocel’s death. Thereafter Methodius had not much authority left in Pannonia before its conquest by Svatopluk.


We learn also from the Life of Methodius (chapter ten) that the Moravians had expelled all the German priests. This could have happened during the revolt led by Slavomir, [53] before the arrival of Svatopluk. The biographer then speaks of another Moravian embassy to Rome which requested that Methodius be sent as “archbishop and teacher.” [54] This indicates that after their revolt in 871, the Moravians had really addressed themselves to Rome with the request that Methodius be sent to them, that he had disappeared in 870, and that they were uncertain about his whereabouts.





This could have happened after they had expelled the Frankish priests, as we read in the same chapter of the Legend. The biographer thus indicated by his words that the Moravians also made an attempt to free Methodius from the hands of the Frankish hierarchy. [55] This interpretation would make more comprehensible the biographer's reason for depicting Methodius’ reception after the “apostolic” [56] had sent him to Moravia: “And the Prince Svatopluk received him together with all Moravians and he entrusted to him all churches and clerics in all castles.” From that time on the number of clerics grew, and many more pagans were converted. [57]


*  *  *


Methodius, freed by the intervention of the pope, was definitively won over to the obedience of Rome. He was thus also saved from the complications in which he would certainly have been involved if he had returned to Constantinople, where Ignatius had been reinstated as patriarch. In this connection, an attempt should be mentioned which was made to connect the name of Methodius with the ecclesiastical upheaval which followed on the fall of Photius.


In the Acts of the Council of 879-880, [58] which rehabilitated Photius after Ignatius’ death, we find in the list of participating bishops the name of “Agathon of the Moravians.” In the Annals of Fulda [59] we read that in 873 a Byzantine embassy, headed by the Archbishop Agathon, had been dispatched to Louis the German in order to confirm friendly relations. It has been suggested that the two Agathons are identical, and it was concluded that the Patriarch Ignatius, who knew the pro-Photian sympathies of Methodius, had, after 870, ordained another archbishop for Moravia, namely Agathon, one of his followers. The embassy of Agathon to Regensburg in 873 was also connected with this ordination, as Agathon is supposed to have made an attempt to secure recognition with the consent of the Frankish bishops as the true Archbishop of Moravia. [60]


This theory has too many weak points to deserve serious consideration. First, the identification of the two Agathons is in no way proved. The list of the bishops present at the Photian council is very confused. Agathon is mentioned among the metropolitans





and archbishops, but, because bishops are also listed among them, and metropolitans are named with bishops, this cannot be taken as a proof of Agathon’s higher ecclesiastical rank. In this respect the list is unreliable and cannot be compared with similar lists of bishops present at other councils, where the ranks are carefully distinguished. [61]


The embassy of 873 had quite a different object. Basil I wished to come to an agreement with Louis the German concerning Byzantine claims in Italy, in case of the death of Louis II. [62] As far as Ignatius is concerned, he was forced to accept the collaboration of the Photian clergy in Bulgaria after the Council of 869-870 had decided that this country formed a part of the Byzantine patriarchate. [63] He could hardly “spare” a bishop for distant Moravia. Why then would he risk a conflict with the pope, who had recognized him as the legitimate patriarch? Moreover, at the Council of 869-870, Anastasius the Librarian was also present as a member of an embassy sent to Basil I by Louis II. He would certainly have protested strongly against any such intervention, as indeed he did concerning Bulgaria, and all the more so as he was a friend of Methodius.


How could it be imagined that the Bavarian bishops would have consented to recognize another Greek as archbishop in Moravia? They regarded this country as under their jurisdiction and had gone very far in order to get rid of Methodius. In 870 and 871 they were masters of the situation in Moravia and were able to prevent any possible appeal by the Moravians to Constantinople for help, or for another archbishop. In the following years they were helpless because of the reversal of the political situation in Moravia.


The Agathon mentioned in the list of bishops at the Council of 879-880 could only have been the Bishop of Morava, a locality at the confluence of the Serbian river Morava with the Danube. Such a see existed and was united with that of Braničevo, perhaps as early as the tenth century. [64]


In the ninth century this region was part of Boris’ Bulgaria, together with Belgrade, which also had its own bishop. Agathon was thus one of the bishops consecrated by Ignatius for Bulgaria. If he was an archbishop, which is not proved, he could have been the archbishop sent by Ignatius to Bulgaria. We do not know the name of this man. According to a later tradition it was Joseph. [65]





Agathon could have been his successor. However, this and his identification with the Archbishop Agathon who was sent to Louis the German in 873 present difficulties. We learn from a letter sent by John VIII to Boris in 878, [66] that there was a bishop in Belgrade, called Sergius. The pope, regarding Bulgaria as being still subject to Rome, deposed him because of his scandalous life. He complained to Boris that Sergius had been appointed bishop of Belgrade by George “who falsely called himself bishop.” It would thus be logical to regard this George as the Archbishop of Bulgaria appointed by Ignatius. The pope, of course, questioned the validity and legality of this appointment. If George was the successor of Joseph, as can be accepted, then the Agathon of 873 could not be a Bulgarian archbishop. The Agathon of 879-880 could hardly have this distinction unless we suppose that he succeeded George in 879 or that the territory of the river Morava was regarded as being very important for the advance of Christianity, and that the titulary of Morava was promoted to an archbishop independent of the Bulgarian archbishop, and subject directly to the Patriarch of Constantinople. This would perhaps have been in the interests of Byzantium, but there is no evidence that this was so. The safest solution is to regard the Agathon of 879-880 as a Greek bishop of Morava, then in Bulgaria. He may have represented the Archbishop George, if the latter was still alive in 879. If George was already dead, then Agathon, as archbishop, represented the Bulgarian Church at the Council. This supposition would be the most logical. In any event, the Agathon mentioned in the list of the Photian Council is in no way connected with the religious history of Great Moravia. [67]




1. The explanation given by M. Lacko, “Prvá cesta sv. Cyrila a Metoda do Rima” (The First Trip of SS. Cyril and Methodius to Rome), Studi in onore di Ettore Lo Gatto e Giovanni Maver (Florence, 1962), pp. 375-380, is not satisfying. He thinks that at the end of 866, after leaving Bulgaria, Hermanrich, Bishop of Passau (866-874), stopped in Moravia, where he met the two brothers. He is said to have notified them that, if they wished to do missionary work in Moravia, which belonged to the Roman patriarchate, they must have permission from the pope. The brothers therefore decided to go to Rome to obtain the necessary permission. There is absolutely no evidence for such a supposition. Why then did Hermanrich react so violently against Methodius at the Frankish synod which had condemned him? Methodius came to Pannonia with the full approval of the pope and as his legate. The quotation of later cyrilo-methodian sources which speak only of the trip from Moravia to Rome (p. 379) does not mean anything. These sources do not even mention their stay in Pannonia and in Venice and limit themselves simply to mentioning Rome.


2. For details see F. Dvornik, The Photian Schism. History and Legend (Cambridge, 1948), pp. 91-131.


3. This also seems to be indicated by Methodius' biographer, when he says (ch. 5): “and after the passage of three years, they returned from Moravia, after having instructed disciples." He omits to mention their stay in Pannonia, which probably lasted four months, as seems indicated by Constantine's biographer (ch. 15). See the French translation of both Lives in my book, Les Légendes de Constantin et de Méthode vues de Byzance (Prague, 1933), p. 349 ff.


4. This is also admitted by J. Dekan, Slovenské dějiny, vol, 2, Začiatky slovenských dějin (Slovak History, the Beginning of Slovak History) (Bratislava, 1915), p. 58.


5. Such is the opinion of F. Grivec, “Vitae Constantini et Methodii," Acta Academiae Velehradensis, 17 (1941), p. 270 ff.


6. My book, Les Légendes, pp. 292, 293, lists Roman pilgrims from Byzantium, Ibid., pp. 286-290, gives the names of eleven Greek monasteries in Rome. Cf. also A. Michel, “Die griechischen Klostersiedlungen zu Rom bis zur Mitte des 11. Jahrhunderts," Ostkirchliche Studien, 1 (1952), pp. 32-45.


7. Povest' Vremennych let, ed. D. C. Lichačev (Moscow, 1950), p. 80.





Cf. J. Bujnoch, Zwischen Rom und Byzanz (Graz, 1958), p. 150 (German translation of the Povest'). Clement's disciple Phoebus is mentioned in the legendary Martyrium, S. Clementis, PC, 2, col. 631. English translation of Povest' by S. H. Cross, O. P. Sherbowitz-Watzor, The Russian Primary Chronicle (Cambridge, Mass., 1953), p. 116.


8. There is no clear evidence that any relics of St. Clement were preserved in Constantinople. Rostangnus, a monk from the Abbey of Cluny, reports that, after the conquest of Constantinople by the Latins (1204), some French crusaders stole the head of St. Clement from the monastery of Our Lady Periblepte, called also Trentafolia, and donated this precious relic to the Abbey in 1206. In the report, published in the Bibliotheca Cluniacensis, ed. M. Marrier (Matiscome, reprint 1915, pp. 1481-1490), col. 1485, the saint is called “ho hagios Clementios quod Latine dicitur sanctus Clemens.” In PL, vol. 209, col. 911, the Greek name of the saint ho hagios Klemtopos. P. E. D. Riant, in his Excuviae Sacrae Constantinopolitanae (Geneve, 1877) and in his reprint of Rostangnus’ report, reads also ho hagios Clementios (p. 135). He mentions Rostangnus' report also in his Dépouillés religieuses enlevées à Constantinople (Paris, 1875) on pp. 9, 27, 67, 68, 121—123, 202. On p. 188 he reports that Warin, Latin archbishop of Thessalonica, brought a part of St. Clement's skull from Constantinople in 1239 to the Belgian Abbey of Anchin, as testified by Arnoldus de Raisse in his Hierogazophylacium Belgicum, sive Thesaurus Sacrarum Reliquiarum Belgii (Douai, 1628). These relics could not have been those believed to derive from Pope Clement. The Greeks always called Pope Clement Klemes. Cf. the synaxaria in Acta Sanctorum, Propylaeum Novembris, ed. H. Delehaye (Brussels, 1902), cols. 249, 255, 256. His memory was especially celebrated in Constantinople in the Church of the Holy Wisdom on November 25. Cf. also the inscriptions on his images at a later period, for example in V. I. Lazarev, Mozaiki Sofii Kievskoj (Moscow, 1960), p. 171: Klemis; R. Weir Schutz, S. H. Barnsley, The Monastery of Saint Luke of Stiris (London, 1901), p. 55; P. Kalenić, Staro Nagoričino (Belgrade, 1933), pp. 39, 43: Klemes, Besides, the monastery of Periblepte did not exist in Constantine's time. It was founded in 1030 by the Emperor Romanus III Argyrus (Scylitses-Cedrenus, ed. Bonn, p. 497). A local Greek saint called Klementios may have existed. We find such a name in one of the synaxaria published by H. Delehaye, Acta Sanctorum, col. 657: Klementios, a warden of a pagan temple in Asia Minor under Domitian. The relics of St. Klementios are said in the report to have been brought by an unknown emperor. But how could a part of his skull have been found in Constantinople in 1239 if the whole skull was transferred in 1206? On the monastery of Periblepte see Ch. Du Cange, Constantinopolis Christiana (Paris, 1680), pp. 94, 95.





9. Recently renewed by Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity in Great Moravia, p. 150 ff. On p. 152 he rejects the interpretation of some scholars that the brothers waited in Venice for a ship in order to reach Byzantine territory by sea. He uses the words: “Here we have an elementary example of how not to make hypotheses.” These words could be applied with better justification to his Aquileian hypothesis.


10. The biographer of Constantine—more reliable in this detail than the composer of the Vita Methodii—says clearly that the two brothers had spent forty months in Moravia. If we accept the thesis that they arrived in Moravia in the late autumn of 863, they left the country in the early spring of 866. The biographer does not include in the forty months of their stay in Pannonia. Their stay in Kocel’s domain must have lasted several months. They could not give instruction in Slavic letters to so many young men in one or two months. This explains why they could only reach Venice in the late autumn of 866. All this fits in well with the known facts. There are no reasons why we should date the arrival of the brothers in Moravia in 864 as is done by Dekan, Slov. dějiny, 2, p. 76 ff. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 106, rightly rejects this interpretation. See, however, pp. 306-312 (Appendix III), on their journey to Moravia.


11. For details see F. Dvornik, The Photian Schism, p. 130 ff. Zachary of Agnani, papal legate at the synod of 861, condemned by Nicholas, was reconciled with Hadrian II, together with other bishops also dismissed by Nicholas. Liber Pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, vol. 2, p. 175.


12. MGH Ep 7, p. 400 ff.


13. Liber Pontif., vol. 2, p. 176.


14. Both churches were near the church of St. Peter. The basilica of St. Andrew was built by Pope Symmachus (498-514) ; cf. F. Dvornik, The Idea of Apostolicity in Byzantium and the Legend of the Apostle Andrew (Cambridge, Mass., 1958), pp. 153, 158. The basilica of St. Petronilla, an unknown Roman martyr, wrongly regarded as St. Peter's daughter, was dedicated by Pope Stephen II (752-757). Cf. on both churches Liber Pontif., ed. L. Duchesne, vol. 1, pp. 261, 455, 461, 464.


15. Cf. my paper, “The Significance of the Missions of Cyril and Methodius,” The Slavic Review, 23 (1964), p. 205.


16. The main sources are the Annals of Hincmar, MGH Ss 1, p. 477. See also L. Duchesne, Les premiers temps de l'Etat pontifical (Paris, 1911), pp. 244-248.


17. See A. Lapôtre, De Anastasio bibliothecario (Paris, 1885) and E. Pereis, Papst Nikolaus I und Anastasius Bibliothecarius (Berlin, 1920). On p. 188 ff., Perels has shown that Arsenius was not the father of Anastasius as Lapôtre supposed, but his uncle.


18. The letters in MGH Ep 7, p. 433, 436 ff. (letter to Gauderich).





The preface, ibid., p. 407 and Mansi, vol. XVI, col. 6.


19. In his book, Konstantin und Method, Lehrer der Slaven (Wiesbaden, 1962), p. 235 ff., F. Grivec tries to water down Anastasius’ words “fortissimus amicus” in a frantic desire to separate the brothers as much as possible from Photius. This is useless. There is enough evidence showing that the brothers recognized the legitimacy of Photius’ patriarchate. Of course, they did not like to be involved in the intrigues which provoked the opposition to him in Constantinople and in Rome. Cf. E. Amann’s remarks on this “incident” in his study “Photius,” Diet, de theol. cath. (Paris, 1935), vol. 12, col. 1560: “Quant à l’histoire racontée par Anastase sur l’hérésie de deux âmes, ballon d’essai lancé par Photius pour démontrer l’incapacité théologique d’Ignace, on aimerait à en avoir de plus sérieux garants.”


20. The work on St. Clement was continued and finished by Gauderich after the death of John. The bishop dedicated it to Pope John VIII. The work is only partly preserved. It was, however, extensively used by Leo Marcicanus (of Ostia, died 1115) in his history of St. Clement. The third part of this work on St. Clement is identical with the so-called Legenda italica, the most important Latin source for the history of the two brothers, which goes back to Gauderich and John. The original work must have been composed after the death of Constantine (869) and before the death of Methodius (885). For details see P. Meyvaert, P. Devos, “Trois énigmes cyrillo-méthodiennes de la légende italique,” Analecta Bollandiana, 73 (1955), pp. 374-454. On pp. 455—461 is a new edition of the Legend preserved in a manuscript in Prague, which was discovered by the authors. As he says in his letter to Gauderich, Anastasius learned the details of the discovery of the relics, not from Constantine, but from Metrophanes, Metropolitan of Smyrna, one of the leaders of the opposition against Photius. On account of this he was exiled by the emperor to Cherson and there witnessed the discovery. Anastasius met him in Constantinople in 869-870, where he was sent by the Emperor Louis. In Constantinople Anastasius learned also that the written reports of the discovery were published anonymously by the humble Constantine.


21. J. Vajs, J. Dobrovský, Cyril a Metod (Prague, 1948), p. 178, thinks that the brothers stayed in the Greek monastery near the church of S. Maria in Cosmedin where a hospice for Greek pilgrims used to be. Another hospice seems to have existed near the Greek monastery of St. Gregory “ad Clivum Scauri.” It is impossible to be more precise, but the circumstance that the Slavic liturgical books were blessed by the pope at the Church of Our Lady ad praesepe suggests the possibility that the brothers stayed in the neighborhood.


22. Liber Pontif., vol. 2, p. 54. Hincmar copied the papal documents against Anastasius in his Annals (MGH Ss 1, pp. 477-479).





23. For details, see F. Dvornik, The Photian Schism, p. 138 ff. It is very important for the understanding of events in Rome during the stay of the brothers there to bear in mind the exact chronology of events in Constantinople, and the dates when news of them reached Rome. Cf. my paper, “SS. Cyril and Methodius in Rome,” St. Vladimirs Seminary Quarterly, 7 (1963), pp. 20-30»


24. On political ideas of the two brothers see M. V. Anastos, “Political Theory in the Lives of the Slavic Saints Constantine and Methodius,” Harvard Slavic Studies, 2 (1954), pp. 11-38.


25. Cf. J. Vafs commentary to the new edition of Dobrovsky’s Life of Cyril and Methodius (Prague, 1948), pp. 171, 172. See the ritual for taking simple and solemn monacal vows in Byzantium in J. Goar, Euchologium (Venice, 1730, 2nd ed.), pp. 378-421. Cf. also the Old Slavonic Euchologium from Mount Sinai (fols. 80b-102a), ed. L. Geitler, Euchologium (Zagreb, 1882), pp. 147 ff. for the first degree, p. 150 ff. for the highest degree.


26. I accept this interpretation given for the first time by J. Vašica in his Czech translation of the Legend, published in the symposium Na úsvitu Křest'anství (On the Dawn of Christianity), ed. by V. Chaloupecký (Prague, 1942), pp. 42, 249.


27. The basilica was seriously damaged in the eleventh century during the invasion of the Normans. The fresco and the tomb were rediscovered in the nineteenth century. The relics, however, disappeared during the occupation of Rome by the French in 1798. A part of the relics was discovered in 1963 by L. Boyle in a reliquary in the possession of the Antici-Mattei family and was deposited in the Church of St. Clement. Cf. Leonard Boyle, “The Fate of the Remains of St. Cyril,” in Cirillo et Met odio. 1 santi Apostoli degli Slavi (Rome, Pontif. Istituto Orientale, 1963), pp. 159-194.


28. For details, see P. Meyvaert, P. Devos, “Autour de Léon d'Ostie et de sa Translatio s. Clementis,” Analecta Bollandiana, 74 (1956), pp. 189-240, esp. pp. 196-211. The last echoes of this controversy are the article by S. Sakać, “Novissima de Legenda Italica,” in Orientalia Christ. Periodica, 22 (1956), pp. T98-213, defending the thesis of Constantine’s episcopacy, and that by M. Lacko, “L’épiscopat de S. Cyrille dans le Codex Vatic.,” ibid., pp. 385—388, showing that the new palaeographical examination of the Vatican Ms. confirms the reading of the Ms. of Prague.


29. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 171 ff., thinks that Kocel did not know about the death of Constantine and asked for him, not for Methodius. There is, however, no reason why we should not accept the report of our only source, which has proved reliable in other details.


30. This comparison was made by M. Kos in his study, “O pismu papeža Hadríana II. knezom Rastislavu, Svetopulku in Kočiju”





(The Letter of the Pope Hadrian II to the Princes Rastislav, Svatopluk, and Kocel), Razprave of the Slovene Academy, philos., philoL, histor. Class, 2 (Ljubljana, 1944), pp. 271—301. A complete bibliography concerning this problem will be found there. Cf. also F. Grivec, Konstantin und Method, pp. 257-261.


31. The passage is not clear. The author of the Vita says: “But we, filled with threefold joy, have decided, after scrutiny, to send Methodius, after ordaining him and the disciples, our beloved son.” The words could also be understood as indicating the ordination of Methodius to the episcopal dignity. A strict scrutiny concerning the doctrine and morals of a candidate to the episcopacy was ordered by canon law. Besides, the priestly ordination of Methodius was already mentioned in the Vita, ch. VI. Could it be understood that the pope wanted to say “we decided, after examining our son Methodius and ordaining him as a bishop”? If this interpretation is accepted, then Methodius was sent to the princes as a legate and missionary bishop. The extent and name of his diocese was to be decided after his consultations with the princes.


32. The main sources for these invasions are the Annals of Fulda, MGH Ss 1, pp, 380-382, ed. F. Kurze, p. 69.


33. Conversio, ed. M. Kos, ch. 12, p. 139. If we can assume that Methodius appeared in Pannonia not only as a papal legate but also as a missionary bishop, then the departure of Rihpald can be better understood and dated by this first appearance of Methodius in Kocel’s land.


34. On the history of the compilation of such lists see F. Dvornik, The Idea of Apostolicity in Byzantium, p. 175 ff. On Andronicus, ibid., p. 47.


35. P. J. Alexander in his study, “The Papacy, the Bavarian Clergy, and Slavonic Apostles,” The Slavonic and East European Review, 20 (1941), pp. 266—293, rightly stressed this aspect of Nicholas' policy. If we study it from the perspective of a future clash between the emperor and the papacy, his policy was something like a preamble to the investiture contest of the eleventh century.


36. Cf. on these translations A. V. Isačenko, Jazyk a povod frizinskych pamiatok (The Language and the Origin of the Records of Freising) (Bratislava, 1943); idem, Začiatky vzdělanosti vo velkomoravskéj ríši (Origins of Civilization in the Empire of Great Moravia) (Turčiansky sv. Martin, 1948).


37. Annales Fuldenses, MGH Ss 1, p. 382, 383; ed. F. Kurze, p. 72. The annalist reports that Rastislav, angered by the treason of his nephew, tried to get rid of him. Svatopluk, however, escaped his trap and when Rastislav pursued him, he himself fell into an ambush and was captured by Svatopluk. Annales Bertiniani (ibid., p. 487) and





Xantenses (ibid., vol. 2, pp. 234) do not speak of the attempt by Rastislav. This report seems more plausible. Cf. J. Dekan, Slov. dějiny, 2, p. 119.


38. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, pp. 189 ff., thinks that Methodius, abandoned by Kocel, who had to appease the victorious Franks, went to Bavaria in order to defend his rights before the Bavarian bishops and was captured by them. On this theory we can only use his own words with which he rejects all other interpretations: “There is not a single valid ground for this view.”


39. MGH Ep 7, pp. 280, 281, letters to Louis the German and Carloman; pp. 283-285 to Adalwin of Salzburg and to his legate Paul of Ancona; pp. 285-287 to Hermanrich of Passau and Anno of Freisingen.


40. It is now generally agreed that the king mentioned in the Vita was not Svatopluk, but Louis the German. The word Moravian (king) is now regarded as the addition of a copyist.


41. This is the result of investigations made mainly by A. W. Ziegler in his studies, “Der Slavenapostel Methodius im Schwabenland,” Festschrift, Dillingen und Schwaben (1949), pp. 169-189; idem, “Methodius auf dem Weg in die schwäbische Verbannung,” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 1 (1953), pp. 369-382, and by F. Grivec, in several articles. See especially his study “Questiones Cyrillo-Methodianae,” Orientalia Christiana periodica, 18 (1952), pp. 113-134 and three short studies in Slovene in Zgodovinski časopis, 6-7 (1952-53), pp. 159-170; 8 (1954), pp. 139-143; 10-11 (1956-1957), pp. 282-284. Cf. also his Konstantin und Method (Wiesbaden, 1960), 12, 13, 96 ff. It is possible that Methodius was also imprisoned temporarily in Niederaltar and Freisingen.


42. Cf. M. Kos, Conversio, p. 101 ff. Kos dates its composition from the last quarter of 871. This does not seem to be warranted.


43. The commentary by M. Kos, in his edition of the Conversio on the localities mentioned there, was completed by Th. von Bogyay in his study, “Die Kirchenorte der Conversio,” Südostforschungen, 19 (1960), pp. 52-70. He also gives a more recent bibliography.


44. Methodius’ biographer interprets the death of four prelates who had maltreated Methodius as God's punishment. In reality, Adalwin of Salzburg died May 14, 873, Hermanrich in 874, and Anno in 875. The fourth bishop is unknown; it was perhaps the titulary of Brixen.


45. Cf. F. Grivec, “Prepir o Metodovih ječah” (The Controversy on Methodius’ Prisons), Zgodovinski Časopis, 6-7 (1952-53), p. 158 ff.; idem, Konstantin und Method, p. 94 ff. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 181 ff., rejects this interpretation of Grivec as being “completely unfounded.” Unfortunately these words could be said about his own “original” thesis. It must not be forgotten that, according to the Life of Methodius (ch. 10), the Frankish bishop only warned Kocel not to





support Methodius after the latter’s release in 873.


46. MGH Ep 7, pp. 282, 283.


47. An. Fuld., MGH Ss 1, pp. 383, 384, 388; ed. F. Kurze, pp. 73, 74, 83.


48. Auctorium Garstense and Annals of St. Ruppert of Salzburg, MGH Ss 9, pp. 565, 770.


49. See M. Kos, Gradivo za zgodovinu Slovencev (Ljubljana, 1906), vol. 2, document no. 169, from the year 860 (Pribina fidelis dux, ducatus suus), issued by Louis the German; Kocel: document 276, donation by the deacon Gundbaton between the years 876 and 887. Kocel dux is mentioned as departed: document 297 issued by King Arnulf in 891: Chocil dux. The Life of Constantine calls Kocel Knjaz (Dux) in ch. 15. John VIII in his two letters calls him Comes.


50. See my interpretation of this passage in Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Commentary, vol. 2, ed. Jenkins, p. 119. The Slovene historians defend the thesis that Kocel died in 873 or 874, but the Croatian specialists follow Šišics thesis that he died in 876. This latter thesis seems more logical.


51. MGH Ep 7, p. 282.


52. M. Kos’s edition of the Conversio, pp. 109, 140.


53. The facts that Slavomir was ordained by a German bishop and that he was a member of the dynasty do not necessarily mean that he was hostile to the Slavic liturgy (Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 194). Gorazd was also educated if not ordained by the Franks, and Rastislav, the head of the dynasty, was a warm supporter of the work of the two brothers.


54. Cf. above, p. 157, the interpretation of the words, “Our fathers had in the past received baptism from St. Peter, send us therefore Methodius as archbishop and teacher.” The biographer probably wanted to stress the fact that Methodius has been appointed by the successor of St. Peter as archbishop of Moravia.


55. We do not know how the pope learned of what had happened to Methodius. If the Moravian embassy to the pope should be dated from 871, one can hardly suppose that its members knew the details mentioned in Johns letters. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 196 (cf. also p. 209), attributes this embassy to Svatopluk and dates it from 873. This is possible, although the suggestion that Svatopluk asked the pope at the same time to mediate between him and the East Frankish Empire, cannot be substantiated. John of Venice, who was present at the peace negotiations at Forchheim, in June 874, was not a papal legate, but the Latin priest who was Svatopluk’s counsellor. It appears that he must be distinguished from another John (of Venice?) who acted as papal legate in Croatia in 874 and 880 (see F. Dvornik, Les Slaves, p. 223). The man who had the best opportunity to gather all the information





on Methodius’ condemnation and imprisonment was Prince Kocel of Pannonia. The letter addressed to him by John VIII in 873 shows that he was in touch with Rome independently of the archbishop of Salzburg. It was Kocel who, most probably, disclosed to the pope all the infamous details concerning the treatment of Methodius by the Bavarian prelates.


56. On this title see my book Les Légendes, pp. 295-300. It was given to the popes in the West from the sixth century. When using it the biographers of the brothers simply followed the customary habit in speaking of the pope. This title was also used by the Franks in documents issued by Charlemagne and in ninth-century Frankish chronicles. It is an exaggeration to see any more in its use by the Legends, as does F. Grivec, “Vitae Constantini et Methodii,” Acta Academiae Velehradensis, 17 (1941), pp. 194, 195. On the origin of the title apostolica sedes and on the idea of apostolicity in the East, see my book, The Idea of Apostolicity, p. 39 ff.


57. From that time on, Methodius resided in Moravia. This does not mean, however, that he ceased to be archbishop of Sirmium and legate to the Slavic people. This is confirmed by the letter of May 873 sent by John VIII to the Serbian prince Mutimir inviting him to join the metropolis of Pannonia for which an archbishop (Methodius) had been ordained (MGH Ep 7, p. 282). Moravia was added to the resuscitated metropolis of Sirmium, and the archbishop could choose his residence in the part of this metropolis which was best fitted for his apostolic work. He could not take up residence in Sirmium because its territory was under Bulgarian sovereignty, as we have shown (see above, pp. 46, 47). To identify Sirmium-civitas Pannonia with Moravia, as is done by I. Boba (“The Episcopacy of St. Methodius,” Slavic Review, 26 [1967], pp. 85-93) is too fantastic to be earnestly considered as a possibility. We do not know the name of Methodius’ see. It was most probably in the residence of the prince, the name of which is also not known. It could have been called Morava. This would explain why John VIII speaks of him (880) in another letter (cf. MGH Ep 7, p. 222), as Methodius archiepiscopus sanctae ecclesiae Marabensis. On the other side, the custom of giving to a bishop the title of the city of his residence, does not seem to have been general at this period. The first archbishop of Hungary signed the Acts of the Synod of Frankfurt (1007) simply Anastasius Ungrorum archiepiscopus (MGH Ss 4, p. 796 [Adalberti Vita Henrici II Imperatoris]). As I have explained (“The Making,” pp. 159-165), the first Hungarian archbishop had not yet a special see and resided at the court of the Hungarian king. A national bishop of Croatia (episcopus Chroatensis), who existed from 1024 or 1030 to 1185, had no special residence, and lived at the royal court. See M. Barada, “Episcopus Chroatensis,” Croatia Sacra, 1 (1931),





pp. 161-215, esp. pp. 102-268. J. Cincik in his paper, "A Note on the Official See and the Burial Place of Saint Methodius,” Most 10 (Cleveland, 1963), pp. 198-206, appears to have discovered a Great Moravian major church in Debrev (Fel-Debri) in Slovakia, in the foothills of the Matra, and places Methodius’ residence there. The discovery has not yet been published. It would be interesting to add a new building to Great Moravian architecture, but any conclusion before the evidence is shown is, at least, premature. R. Jakobson in his paper “Velikaja Morava ili Velikaja nad Moravoj,” Festschrift for Stojan Romanski (Sofia, 1960), pp. 483-486, proposed an ingenious but very hypothetical solution of Methodius’ see. It could be Velikaja on the river Morava. The problem of Methodius’ episcopal residence remains unsolved.


58. Mansi, 17, col. 373.


59. MGH Ss 1, p. 387; ed. F. Kurze, pp. 75, 81. On p. 384 the annalist speaks about a previous embassy sent by Basil to Louis the German in 872 without giving the name of its leader.


60. See E. Honigmann, “Studies in Slavic Church History,” Byzantion, 17 (1944-1945), pp. 163-182.


61. One has the impression that the prelates were listed in the order of their appearance at the first session of the Council. The list of signatures of bishops confirming the decisions is missing. When confirming the decisions, the bishops used to sign according to protocol, strictly indicating their rank.


62. See E. Dümmler, Geschichte des Ostfränkischen Reiches, vol. 2, 2d ed. (Leipzig, 1887), p. 371; B. A. Mystakidis, Byzantinisch-Deutsche Beziehungen zur Zeit der Ottonen (Stuttgart, 1891), p. 75.


63. Cf. F. Dvornik, The Photian Schism, p. 160.


64. Cf. my book, The Slavs, pp. 97, 164.


65. E. Golubinskij, Kratkij očerk pravoslavnych tserkvej (Moscow, 1871), giving a short history of the Bulgarian, Serbian, and Rumanian churches, on pp. 34, 256, recalls the old tradition according to which the first Bulgarian archbishop was Joseph.


66. MGH Ep 7, p. 62.


67. Honigmann’s theories were also rightly rejected, by Z. Dittrich, Christianity, pp. 243, 244, and by F. M. Rossejkíj, “Buržuaznaja istoriografija o vizantino-moravskich otnošenijach,” v serędine IX. 5., "Vizantijskij Vremenik,” 3 (1950), pp. 245-257. Cf. V. Vavřínek, Životy, pp. 45, 46.


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