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

Francis Dvornik


VI. Methodius in Moravia


Svatopluk and Methodius. Prelude to investiture contest in Moravia?—The Filioque, the Franks, and the Slavic clergy— Methodius vindicated by Rome—Wiching's duplicity—Svatopluk’s expansion in Pannonia, Bohemia, White Serbia, and Poland. His ambitions in Francia—Historicity of Methodius’ journey to Constantinople—Basil and Methodius, Boris and the Byzantine embassy to Svatopluk—Methodius’ translation of the Old Testament-Methodius’ Nomocanon and John VIII’s Latin collection of Canon Law; First Slavic Code of Laws—Paterikon and homilies, translations of Constantine’s compositions—Encounter with the “Hungarian King”—Excommunication of Wiching?—Gorazd recommended as successor—Methodius’ death and burial—Wiching’s intrigues in Rome, falsification of Stephen V’s letter—Expulsion of Methodius’ prominent disciples.



In spite of the enthusiastic reception of Methodius in Moravia, his position had been considerably weakened by the recent political events. After the conclusion of the peace of Forchheim in 874, Moravia was again open to the Frankish clergy. Many of them, who had worked there during the absence of Methodius and who had been expelled in 871, returned and continued their pastoral work. Svatopluk himself did not show the same enthusiasm for the Slavic liturgy as had his late uncle. Among his principal counsellors were two Latin priests—John of Venice and Wiching. The latter may have befriended him during his stay in Bavaria. His new policy of friendship with the Empire led Svatopluk to favor the Frankish clergy. Because the sympathies of the great majority of his subjects lay with Methodius and his Slavic







liturgy, the Prince had to accept Methodius, who was supported by the Holy See, and to tolerate his liturgical innovations. He himself gave preference to the Latin liturgy.


It is not easy to find the reasons which prompted Svatopluk to favor the Frankish clergy and to give only half-hearted support to Methodius. Some scholars have tried to explain Svatopluk’s attitude by Methodius’ severe criticism of the prince’s private life. This is possible, but it does not explain everything. Methodius, as a Byzantine, knew well the practice of “oeconomy” of his own Church, which meant the toleration of certain behavior on the part of the mighty ones without openly betraying Church principles. [1] Some think that the Frankish clergy were more tolerant of Svatopluk’s moral lapses than was Methodius. But even if this were so, it would not provide a sufficient reason for Svatopluk’s animosity. After all, he owed to Methodius the ecclesiastical independence of his realm.


The predilection of Svatopluk for the Latin rite can be explained to some extent by the fact that he was used to it from his boyhood. The rite introduced by Methodius, although basically Latin and Roman, presented some Byzantine features to which he was unaccustomed.


Such may also have been the case with some of his nobles who had been converted by the Frankish missionaries. Attempts were made to show that the higher social classes in Great Moravia advocated the Latin liturgy, while the lower classes preferred the Slavonic liturgy and the missionary methods of Methodius. [2] There is some truth in this assertion. The Christianization of the Moravians started with the conversion of the nobles, who may also have been attracted by the privileged position which the nobles enjoyed in the feudal system of the Frankish Empire. It would, however, be an exaggeration to see in this conflict a clash between two social classes in Great Moravia. The Slavonic liturgy and letters appealed not only to the masses but also to some of the nobles. [3] Gorazd, for example, was the scion of a noble family.


However, this attitude on the part of Svatopluk and of many of his nobles may be explained, to some degree, by their predilection for some of the feudal privileges enjoyed by the Frankish nobles. There was, moreover, a considerable variation in the rights of rulers over churches they had built, as these rights were defined variously in Rome, in Byzantium, or among the Franks.





On the basis of Germanic conceptions of proprietary rights, very different from the principles of Roman law, a new system of so-called proprietary churches was introduced in all Germanic lands. According to this system, kings and noblemen claimed not only the ownership of sanctuaries they had established, but also the right to appoint both higher and lower clergy in ecclesiastical institutions endowed by them. This was a dangerous breach with the old Roman conception and with the Roman canon law, admitting that the persona moralis also had proprietary rights.


The system of proprietary churches, already developed in Bavaria, was also introduced by Salzburg missionaries into Pannonia and Carinthia. The priests from Passau who had worked in Moravia before the arrival of the Greek mission certainly introduced the same system, even if only in an embryonic way, in the new missionary land. Svatopluk became further acquainted with this system during his stay in Bavaria. It naturally appealed to him because it gave him increased control over the churches and the ministers, in whose appointment he could claim a decisive voice.


It can be imagined that Methodius objected to this Germanic practice, so alien to Byzantine and Roman canon law, and defended the right of the Church—as a persona moralis—to possess and to administer churches even when they had been founded by feudal lords. Svatopluk was supported in this matter by some of his nobles and by the Frankish clergy. But the contest between Svatopluk and Methodius in Moravia provided a prelude to the gigantic investiture contest initiated by Gregory VII in the eleventh century, which shook the basis of the German Empire of Henry IV. Its consequences were to become as disastrous for Moravia as was the great contest of the following centuries for the unity of Western Christianity. The roots of the Reformation which disrupted this unity lay in this contest and its consequences. [4]


*  *  *


Rome certainly supported Methodius in this respect, but John VIII weakened his position by the concession he thought necessary to make to the Frankish clergy. We learn from a letter the pope sent to Methodius in 879 [5] that he had forbidden the use of





the Slavic liturgy, allowing Methodius to celebrate only in Greek or in Latin. This injunction was probably contained in a letter which the papal legate was ordered to deliver to Methodius. The letter is not preserved and there is no mention of this prohibition in the instruction given to the legate. The order seems to have been intended rather as a recommendation. Methodius most probably explained to the legate the reasons why he could not abandon a practice which formed the basis of the success of his mission in Moravia and which was the main instrument for converting the rest of the population and consolidating the new Church.


His enemies, however, must have learned of the letter, and this gave them new reasons for attacking Methodius, Their accusation that he was propagating heretical teaching was more serious. By this can only be meant the controversy concerning the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son.


The Creed promulgated by the first Oecumenical Council of Nicaea (325), which was accepted by all Christians, defined the Holy Ghost as proceeding from the Father (qui ex Patre procedit), thus stressing the single principle of spiration. At the end of the sixth century the Spanish Church added to the Nicaean Creed the word Filioque (qui ex Patre Filioque procedit). This addition did not deny the single principle of the spiration, but was intended to express the participation of the Second Person in the spiration from the Father, on the ground that, being of the same divine nature, the Son participated in the activity of the Father.


It would not have been thought that the Greeks would have objected so passionately to the Latin interpretation of the mystery, since some of their own Fathers admitted spiration from the Father through the Son. However, the addition of the word Filioque to the Creed, without its authorization by a new council, was regarded by them as inadmissible and heretical.


The popes, although accepting the Latin interpretation of the mystery, did not sanction this addition, and until the eleventh century Rome maintained the Nicaean Creed intact, without the addition of the Filioque. In spite of Roman opposition, the Spanish practice spread to the Franks, and in the ninth century it was also generally accepted in Germany.


Methodius naturally followed the Byzantine and Roman custom, and his disciples recited the Creed without the addition of





Filioque. The Frankish clergy accused Methodius of spreading heretical teaching on the Holy Trinity by his refusal to follow their practice. The Frankish clergy may have interpreted the Latin doctrine too radically, because the disciples of Methodius accused them of professing the “hyiopateric” heresy.


The author of the Vita (chapter twelve) showed in this a surprising familiarity with Greek theological terminology. This word was used in the East to designate teachings which identified or unified the first divine Person, the Father, with the Second. This indicates that the followers of Methodius saw in the Frankish definition of the Trinity an identification of the Father with the Son.


On the other hand the Frankish priests, stressing their own interpretation of the mystery, gave the Greek disciples of Methodius the impression that they believed in two principles of spiration, both by the Father and the Son. This seems to be indicated by the reproach which, according to the author of the Greek Life of Clement (chapter eight), [6] Methodius’ disciples addressed the Frankish priests in Moravia thus: “When admitting two principles, the Father for the Son and the Son for the Spirit, you fell into a new Manichaean heresy. We recognize only one God and one principle—the Father—for they who are from Him (the Son and the Spirit).”


This shows, at the same time, that the Greek priests of Slavic extraction who had come with the two brothers to Moravia professed, in this respect, the beliefs of the Greek Church. They seem, however, to admit the spiration of the Spirit through the Son, as taught by some Greek Fathers, especially Maximus and John of Damascus. We find in the same passage of the Life of St. Clement an allusion to such an interpretation. The author compares the Father to a mighty king who gives away a great treasure. His son profits by this generosity and distributes the treasure. Then the author continues: “The son of the king is the Son of the Father to whom the Spirit [the mentioned treasure] belongs and through whom it is imparted. You see, the Spirit, as we know it, is not proceeding from the Son, but imparted through him.”


Methodius, accused by the Frankish clergy of heretical teaching, was summoned by Pope John VIII to appear in Rome to justify himself. With him came also Wiching, the leader of the Frankish clergy and the chief accuser. We learn from the letter





addressed to Svatopluk in June or July 879, [7] that the complaint against Methodius was voiced in Rome by another of Svatopluk’s councillors, John of Venice, and that the accusation was endorsed by Svatopluk himself. In letters to Svatopluk and to Methodius the pope expressed his astonishment at this accusation. From the letter to Methodius [8] we learn also that John of Venice had presented a further complaint, namely, that Methodius was celebrating the Mass in Slavonic, a “barbaric” language, although he had been advised not to do so.


However, another missive to Svatopluk, sent in June 880 and starting with the words Industriae tuae, [9] provides evidence that Methodius justified himself by explaining to a local synod, presided over by Pope John VIII, what he and his disciples believed. The pope, after commending Svatopluk for his fidelity to St. Peter, stressed in the letter that Methodius professed the same Creed as Rome. This was natural, because in Rome, as in Byzantium, the Nicaean Creed was still recited without the addition Filioque, of which the popes did not approve. The pope, however, stated in the letter that Methodius was found orthodox even in other articles of faith, including the doctrine on the Procession of the Spirit. Methodius most probably followed the Greek Fathers, who taught that the Holy Ghost proceeded from the Father through the Son. Such an explanation seemed satisfactory to the pope and his bishops.


The pope confirmed Methodius in his rank of Archbishop of Moravia, and in his other privileges, probably meaning the rank of apostolic legate in Slavic lands. He also approved very solemnly the liturgical innovation of celebrating the Mass and holy offices in the Slavic language. In a solemn Mass, however, the Gospel should be read first in Latin and then in Slavic. Against the assertion that the liturgy should be celebrated only in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, he quoted several passages of Holy Writ (Ps. 116:1; Acts 2:11; Phil. 2:11; 1 Cor. 14:4). Svatopluk himself could, of course, choose priests who used the Latin liturgy for his worship. All priests, whether using the Slavic or the Latin liturgy, would be subject to Methodius under threat of being excommunicated in the event of disobedience. This was a noteworthy victory for Methodius, but it was dimmed by the fact that on Svatopluk’s demand the pope had ordained Wiching as Bishop of Nitra. The pope, moreover, had invited Svatopluk and the two bishops





to choose another priest to be consecrated bishop in Rome, in order that there would be the required number of three bishops to ordain others, should it be necessary.


*  *  *


According to the account of the author of the Life (chapter twelve), the Frankish clergy were almost certain of victory. All the Moravians who assembled to hear the papal decision together with the Franks, were dismayed when they heard that John VIII had rejected their accusations and had confirmed Methodius in his rank.


This short report of the biographer is completed by what we learn from another papal letter addressed to Methodius on March 23, 881. [10] It is in answer to a letter sent to John VIII by Methodius in 880, almost immediately after his return to Moravia. His letter is not preserved, but we learn from the papal missive that Wiching had presented to Svatopluk a document allegedly given to him by the pope, in which the papal decisions were presented in a manner unfavorable to Methodius. [11] At the same time, he pretended that the pope had given him instructions to supervise Methodius’ actions, while the latter was placed secretly under oath to accept this.


The pope denied vigorously that any other letter than the one which Methodius had carried to Svatopluk had been dispatched by him, and asserted that he had given no other instructions to Wiching than those mentioned in the genuine letter. He again expressed his great satisfaction at having found Methodius’ teaching to be in conformity with the doctrine of the Church, and assured him of his sympathies in the troubling experiences he had had to endure after his return.


When the information given in this letter is compared with the short report of the biographer, we come to the conclusion that Wiching returned to Moravia before Methodius and presented his version of the papal decisions to Svatopluk. Counting on his new episcopal status and the favor which Svatopluk had hitherto manifested to him, he hoped that he would convince the prince of the genuineness of his report, and thus induce Svatopluk to reject Methodius when he appeared. This seems to be indicated by the words of the Franks, according to the Legend: “the Pope





had given the power to us, and he orders us to expel him [Methodius] with his doctrine.” Svatopluk, however, preferred to await the arrival of Methodius. Even if the reading of the genuine letter did not convince him of Wiching’s falsehood, he did not dare to repudiate Methodius because of the sympathies which the great majority of his subjects manifested for the archbishop. At the same time he did not wish to alienate the pope who, in the letter addressed to him, had praised so highly his fidelity to St. Peter and his vicar in Rome. [12]


Methodius, knowing his master well, decided to dispatch a letter to the pope immediately, asking him to clarify the situation and to confirm the authenticity of the letter he himself had presented to Svatopluk in the pope’s name. The short report of the biographer should be completed in this way.


It is interesting to read in the biographer’s report words which recall the letter sent by Hadrian II to Kocel, and quoted by Constantine’s biographer, namely, “in his hands are from God and the apostolic See all Slavic lands.” These words are not contained in the letter “Industriae tuae.” It could, however, be supposed that the words, “we have confirmed through the precept of our apostolic authority the privilege of this archbishopric,” are indicative of the papal confirmation of Methodius’ rank as legate to all the Slavic nations. It cannot mean the privilege to use the Slavic liturgy, because the pope spoke about this in another passage of the same letter. [13]


*  *  *


Svatopluk’s choice of the Frankish Wiching as second bishop of his realm is very puzzling. Nitra, the See of the new bishop, was an important political center in that part of Great Moravia which is now Slovakia. We have seen already that Frankish influence must have been very strong there. Because Nitra was also a prominent commercial center, the Franks seem to have established a colony there in the first half of the ninth century and built a church which was consecrated by Adalwin, Archbishop of Salzburg. This would indicate that Nitra was a stronghold of both Franks and Moravians who favored the Latin liturgy and letters. This could explain the choice of a bishop of the Latin rite for Nitra.





The fact that Svatopluk favored the Latin liturgy and that he chose his main advisers from among the Latin clergy—John of Venice and Wiching—suggests, however, that he was motivated by other reasons. One may wonder whether Svatopluk did not cherish far-reaching political ambitions concerning the inheritance of the Carolingian dynasty in East Francia, or the expansion of his power into the Latin West.


Svatopluk’s political power had grown to unexpected proportions. Until the year 882 he remained on good terms with the Empire and even intervened in the Ost Mark in order to restore the margrave Arib who had been expelled by the sons of the late margraves William and Engelschalk. His friendly relations with Arnulf, Duke of Carinthia and Pannonia (from 876 to 887), came to an end, however, in the same year. In 881, or 882, the Bulgarians invaded the territory of Great Moravia and seem to have plotted against Svatopluk himself. [14] The latter suspected that this invasion was made in connivance with Arnulf. He asked the Duke to deliver to him the men responsible for the plot and to declare on oath that he had no part in it.


Arnulf refused both demands. Svatopluk invaded Pannonia with a strong army in 883 and devastated a great part of the country. He repeated the invasion in 884 and occupied the whole of Pannonia as far as the river Drava. The Emperor Charles III was forced to accept the fait accompli in 884 when he met Svatopluk, who was willing to recognize the emperor’s supremacy over the newly-conquered province. Arnulf was forced to conclude a peace treaty with Svatopluk on the same conditions.


Pannonia was now once again open to Methodius and his disciples. Another political and religious conquest was realized in Bohemia, probably after 880. Although the Life of Methodius does not mention the Christianization of the Czech Duke Bořivoj, this fact is attested by the Short Word on SS. Cyril and Methodius and on the Christianization of the Moravian and Bohemian lands, a document which was composed in Latin in Bohemia between 950 and 975. [15]


This conversion seems to have been achieved thanks to the friendly relations of Bořivoj with the court of Svatopluk. The Bohemian Duke is supposed to have recognized the political suzerainty of Svatopluk. This relationship was strengthened when Bořivoj, under pressure from his opponents, who objected to his





religious policy, took refuge at Svatopluk’s court. Bořivoj himself may have been baptized by Methodius in Moravia, but the archbishop sent some of his disciples to Bohemia—the “Short Word” mentions a priest, Kaich—to baptize Bořivoj’s wife Ludmila and to continue the Christianization of the country.


The German chronicler Thietmar [16] indicates that, after the submission of Bohemia, Svatopluk’s power extended also over the Serbs in modem Saxony as far as the rivers Oder and Saale. It is not known when this extension was realized, but there is no reason to reject the report of the German chronicler.


Another interesting report, contained in the Life of Methodius, testifies to the extent of Svatopluk’s power toward the East. In order to show that his hero possessed a prophetic spirit, the hagiographer speaks of a mighty prince on the Vistula river who opposed the preaching of Christian faith. Methodius is said to have sent him the following message (chapter eleven) : “It would be better for you, son, if you would accept baptism voluntarily in your land, instead of being baptized in captivity and against your will in a foreign country. You will remember me.” And so it happened.


We are entitled to deduce from this report that Methodius’ disciples had extended their missionary work beyond the boundaries of Moravia and were working among the Poles on the Vistula. This biographer can have had in mind only the territory of Cracow. It was evidently annexed by Svatopluk, and the Duke, taken prisoner, was baptized. This is also the first indication of the spread of Christianity among the Poles. We shall see later that this success was not as ephemeral as is still often believed.


Perhaps it is during Svatopluk’s expedition against the Vistulanians that an event mentioned by Methodius’ biographer should be dated. In chapter eleven, when exalting the prophetic spirit of the saint, the biographer reports: “Another time, when Svatopluk battled with pagans and could not achieve anything but delayed, then Methodius, when the Mass of Saint Peter, it is the liturgy, was approaching, sent to him saying: ‛If you promise me that you will spend the day of Saint Peter with your soldiers with me, I am confident in God, that he will deliver them soon to you.’ And so it happened.” [17]


Svatopluk thus succeeded in building up an imposing empire. It was hardly to be expected that he would stop there. His mind





was definitely oriented toward the West. He was fully aware of the declining power of the Carolingian Empire and of its eastern part, Germany, after the death of Louis the German. He may have hoped one day to replace the Carolingians or, at least, to be accepted in Bavaria. Charles the Fat’s position was not very strong, as was later demonstrated by his deposition by the magnates of Franconia, Saxony, Bavaria, Thuringia, and Swabia (887). Arnulf was an illegitimate son of Carloman, the son of Louis the German. If Svatopluk nourished such plans, it would be understandable that he would prefer the Latin liturgy. In this case he may have thought that Wiching could help him pave the way for the further extension of his power in the West. It is also possible that he favored Wiching because the latter was Arnulf’s confidant. He needed to be on good terms with the Empire as long as he had not secured the new additions to his realm, such as Bohemia and the lands of the Sorbs and the Polish Vistulanians.


*  *  *


However, after the success won in Rome, Methodius’ situation must have improved and Wiching’s influence decreased. This enabled Methodius to realize his plan to visit his native country.


The motives which had prompted Methodius to undertake such a long voyage are still debated by specialists. The way in which the biographer introduces his report (chapter thirteen) is rather puzzling. After recounting the dismay of the Frankish priests on learning of the pope’s approval of Methodius’ teaching and innovations, the biographer continues:


“But their malice did not stop even there, and they calumniated him saying: ‘The Emperor is cross with him, and if he seizes him, he will not escape alive.’ But the Lord in His Mercy, Who did not want His servant to be outraged even in this, inspired the heart of the Emperor, as the heart of the Emperor is constantly in God’s hand (Prov. 21:1), so that he sent Methodius a letter: ‘Reverend Father, I desire very much to see you. Be so good and set out on a journey to us, in order that we may see you while you are in this world, and that we may receive your blessing’.”


It seems at first sight rather strange that the Frankish priests should agitate against Methodius, spreading rumors that the Byzantine emperor was hostile to the archbishop. Of course, when





Methodius accepted the appointment as archbishop of Pannonia and Moravia from the pope, he became definitely a member of the hierarchy of the Roman patriarchate. This could have been regarded in Byzantium as an act of treachery if the Eastern and Western churches had been in a state of hostility. However, this was not the case in 880 and 881 when these rumors are supposed to have been spread. On the other hand, what kind of interest could the Frankish clergy have in the relations of Methodius with Byzantium?


Such rumors could have spread in a part of Methodius’ diocese which affected the interests of Byzantium. [18] This might have been the case if Methodius had extended his activity to the territory of the Serbian Prince Mutimir, whom John VIII had invited to accept Methodius as his archbishop. All this is a possibility, but the author attributes such malevolent rumors to the Frankish priests in Moravia, not to Byzantine priests who may have been working in Mutimir’s land.


It seems therefore more logical to see in these words only a means by which the writer sought to introduce another incident to enhance the honor of his hero. This new honor would be all the more impressive if it came from an unexpected quarter which might have been imagined to be hostile to Methodius.


There is, however, one important fact which should be stressed. The initiative for Methodius’ visit to Constantinople came from the Emperor Basil I himself and from the Patriarch Photius. This seems clear. We can even fix the exact date of this invitation. It most probably occurred in 880 before Methodius’ trip to Rome. It is in this sense that we must interpret the enigmatic passage in the pope’s letter of 881 : “when you have returned, with God’s help.” Then the pope promises to investigate according to canonical rules all the acts which Wiching had committed against Methodius, and, after hearing both sides, to punish the guilty.


The words, “when you have returned with God’s help,” cannot mean Methodius’ return to Rome. The only interpretation can be that the pope postponed the hearing of both parties in Rome until after the return of Methodius from a long journey which he was planning and of which the pope knew. Clearly, Methodius had informed the pope of the invitation from the emperor and the patriarch to visit them in Constantinople.


Such an interpretation used to be rejected by many specialists,





because it was thought that Pope John VIII had again broken with the Patriarch Photius in 881. It has been shown that this was not so. [19] After his rehabilitation by the Union Council of 879-880, a rehabilitation which was confirmed by the pope, Photius remained on good terms with Rome. The story of his excommunication by John VIII in 881 is legend and is now generally rejected. Because Rome and Constantinople were reconciled, there was no reason why Methodius should not disclose to the pope his intention of accepting the imperial and patriarchal invitation. It was, on the contrary, in the pope’s interest to strengthen good relationships through the visit of a native Greek who was well acquainted with the patriarch and was, at the same time, a legate of the Holy See in Slavic lands.


It should not be forgotten that Photius, after his rehabilitation, did all he could to let bygones be bygones and offered his hand in reconciliation, even to Bishop Marinus, his most outspoken adversary in Rome. [20] This shows that he could not have borne any grudge against Methodius, who was on good terms with Rome. On the contrary, Methodius could become a new link to strengthen his relations with Rome.


As regards Basil I, he was very much interested in the conversion of the Slavs. It was in his reign that the second conversion of the Serbians took place. The Bulgarians had Byzantine bishops, but the Patriarch Photius, in agreement with the emperor, had consented to their being placed under the jurisdiction of the Roman patriarchate. [21] John VIII continued vainly to exhort Boris to send his delegates to Rome, but the Khagan preferred to have an autonomous Church. The Byzantines must have heard about the success which the Greek mission had enjoyed in Moravia and it is quite natural that the emperor and the patriarch should have wished to learn more details about Methodius’ missionary methods among the Slavs. On the other hand, it was also in the interests of Rome to attract the Bulgarians, perhaps through the intermediary of a Slavic teacher who was a Roman archbishop of Byzantine extraction.


It can be imagined that all this was discussed in Rome in 880 by Pope John VIII and Methodius. The pope welcomed the voyage and was certainly eager to learn of its outcome. He was dismayed to learn about the intrigues against Methodius in Moravia, all the more so as this incident could delay the execution of





Methodius’ plan. He postponed the definitive arraignment of Wiching until after Methodius’ return from Constantinople. Possibly it was agreed that Methodius would visit the pope in Rome in order to report on the success of his interview with the emperor and the patriarch, and perhaps also to report on the situation in Bulgaria.


Methodius probably left Moravia for Constantinople before the winter of 881 and returned in the spring of 882. His visit proved very successful. The biographer describes it thus: “The Emperor received the Moravian Archbishop with great honor and joy, he praised his doctrine [this means his missionary method and the Slavic liturgy] and kept of his disciples a priest and a deacon with books. He fulfilled all his desires whatsoever he wanted, without refusing him anything, he embraced him, presented him with numerous gifts and accompanied him to his see. The Patriarch also.”


This shows that even in Byzantium there was a lively interest in Slavic liturgy and literature which could be used as a means to attract the converted Slavs to the Byzantine obedience. The conversion of the Serbians, and the Bulgarian problem, must have enlivened this interest considerably. We have seen that there were a number of priests of Slavic extraction who were interested in the mission of Constantine and Methodius. Not all of them were sent to Moravia, as they were needed for other Slavic missions. [22] Their center in Constantinople was now strengthened by two members of Methodius’ circle who could teach them Slavic letters. It was most probably agreed that this center should provide the Moravian mission with Greek works for translation into Slavonic.


This friendly reception of Methodius in Byzantium was to prove beneficial to those disciples of Methodius who were expelled from Moravia after his death and who found refuge in Constantinople. [23] This proves that the interest which the emperor and the patriarch manifested in Methodius’ missionary methods was genuine.


But the friendly reception of some of Methodius’ other disciples in Bulgaria [24] after they were exiled by Wiching also indicates that Boris must have been informed of Methodius’ activities. It was in the interests of Byzantium to acquaint Boris with Methodius’ missionary methods. But this does not mean that Methodius met Boris on his return from Constantinople. What makes us





hesitate to accept the historicity of such an encounter is the fact, that, according to the Vita, the Emperor Basil caused Methodius to be escorted to his metropolitan see. This indicates that Basil profited by this occasion to send an embassy to Svatopluk, the aim of which could only have been a renewal of friendly relations with Svatopluk’s country.


Because of the suspicion with which the Bulgarians had always regarded the Moravians, a Byzantine embassy to Svatopluk’s court would not have dared to cross Boris’ land. The ambassadors, together with Methodius, most probably traversed Mutimir’s land, which bordered on Byzantine territory, and continued their journey through Pannonian Croatia, which was governed by the Croatian Prince Zbraslav under Arnulf’s overlordship, but with whom Svatopluk enjoyed friendly relations down to 883. [25]


The fact that the emperor’s envoys accompanied Methodius to Moravia and brought an imperial message to the Moravian ruler must have impressed Svatopluk. Friendly relations with Byzantium could help Svatopluk to eliminate a possible danger emanating from Bulgaria, especially if he had ambitions to extend his power in the West. [26]


The renewal of a kind of alliance, or, at least friendship between Moravia and Byzantium could not please the Bulgarians. There may be a connection between this new diplomatic move and the Bulgarian invasion of Moravian territory in 881, or, more probably, in 882. Svatopluk’s suspicion that this was done in connivance with Arnulf also becomes more understandable when we recall the Franco-Bulgarian alliance under Louis the German, aimed against the Moravia of Rastislav, which had induced the latter to turn toward Byzantium. It is quite possible that this renewal of Moravo-Byzantine friendship, in order to restrain the Bulgarians, accelerated Svatopluk’s plans of expansion toward the West.


*  *  *


The success which Methodius won in Constantinople undoubtedly enhanced his prestige at the court of Svatopluk. The enmity toward the Franks which began after 882 certainly led to a decline of Wiching’s influence. At last Methodius enjoyed some years of peace; he profited by them to complete his literary works and to





leave to his disciples the translations of all the liturgical and canonical books necessary for the normal functioning of the young Slavic Church. The biographer describes Methodius’ activity in the following way in chapter fifteen:


“Afterwards, when he had liberated himself from all tumult and placed all his confidence in God, after placing before himself two priests from among his disciples, able stenographers, he soon translated from the Greek into Slavonic all the books of the Holy Writ completely, with the exception of the Books of the Macabees, in eight months, commencing in the month of March, until the twenty-sixth of October. After finishing, he rendered due thanks and praise to God who gives such grace and success, and offering with his clergy the holy and mysterious sacrifice, he celebrated the memory of Saint Demetrius. Because, before that, he had translated with the Philosopher only the Psalter, the Gospels, and the Apostolos with selected ecclesiastical formulars. Then he translated also the Nomocanon, that is the rule of the law, and the Books of the Fathers.”


The biographer’s description of Methodius’ literary activity is explained differently by the specialists. Many hesitate to attribute to Methodius the translation of all the books of the Old Testament because such a translation is not preserved. The biographer’s report is confirmed, however, by the affirmation of a Bulgarian ecclesiastical writer of the tenth century, John Exarchus. In the introduction to his translation of John of Damascus’ main work on theology, he says that Methodius had translated all sixty books of the Old Testament. [27] Although he does not say that he had used or even seen this translation, it is quite possible that the tradition to which he refers is reliable. It is true that this translation is not preserved; it could have been destroyed during the persecution of Methodius’ disciples after his death.


The skepticism of the older generation of specialists concerning Methodius’ translation of all the books of the Old Testament is not shared by modern scholars. J. Vajs’ thorough study of lessons from the Old Testament contained in the glagolitic breviaries used in Dalmatia strengthened the opinion that there existed a translation of the Old Testament from the Greek made during the Moravian period. [28] Of course, none of the copyists of the glagolitic breviaries had a complete copy of this translation, but this can be explained, as already mentioned, by the fact that the





original translation was only partly saved during the upheaval after Methodius’ death. Most modern scholars accept the veracity of the biographer’s report contained in chapter fifteen.


In the same chapter, the biographer completes the information given in the Life of Constantine about the literary activity of Methodius’ brother (chapters fourteen and fifteen). He says that Methodius collaborated with his brother on the translation of the Gospels and of the Apostolos—liturgical readings from the letters of the Apostles. He is also more precise when describing the translation of the liturgical books. According to him, the brothers did not translate all the liturgical books, as is said in the Life of Constantine, but only those indispensable to the religious services of the young Slavic Church. As already mentioned, the breviary was translated from the Greek Office. The liturgical books for the Moravian Church presented a mixture of the Roman liturgy and the Byzantine rite.


*  *  *


The translation of the Nomocanon could have been made earlier, perhaps before the voyage of Methodius to Constantinople. It is now established that Methodius translated the Byzantine collection of John Scholasticus, called Synagogê of Fifty Titles. Scholasticus was Patriarch of Constantinople from 565 to 577. On the basis of philological evidence, many scholars attributed to Methodius the authorship of this translation, and this was definitely proved by H. F. Schmid. [29] His argumentation was recently strengthened by the discovery of some glosses in Slavonic found in a Latin manuscript of canon law which once belonged to the Monastery of St. Emmeram in Ratisbon, and is now kept in the Bavarian National Library in Munich (Cod. lat. Monas. 14008). The glosses are on folio 28v of the manuscript over some Latin words of the pseudo-apostolic canon 35, one of the canons dealing with the hierarchic organization. The glosses, however, are not a translation of Latin, but of Greek words from the same canon, which is contained with a slightly different wording in the Synagogê of John Scholasticus. The words are evidently taken from a Slavonic translation of the Synagogê, and betray a Cyrilo-Methodian origin. [30]


This Latin collection with the Slavic glosses seems to have had





a very interesting history. It is not the collection called Dionysiana Hadriana, which was exclusively used in the Frankish Empire from 774 on, when it was presented to Charlemagne by Hadrian I, but a collection called by the specialists Dionysiana adaucta, [31] Some of these changes betray the fact that it was compiled in a Byzantine part of Italy. Originally it contained, besides the list of the popes, another one of the Byzantine patriarchs. These lists are left out of the manuscript in Munich, although they are indicated in the Table of Contents.


A copy of this collection was given by Pope John VIII to Methodius in 880, and it is this copy which is now in Munich. It is important to note that canon 35 of the pseudo-apostolic canons is quoted in the letter which Methodius transmitted to Svatopluk in 880. After ordering that all priests and clerics, Slavs or Franks, should be subject to Archbishop Methodius, the pope quoted verbally the words of the canon ut nihil omnino praeter eins conscientiam agant (that they may not do anything without his knowledge). These words, together with two others which occur in the same canon, are glossed in Slavonic. It is evident that the glossator wished to coordinate these words with the Slavonic translation of the same canon in the Synagogê. [32]


This shows that the wording of the canon was discussed at the court of Svatopluk and that an examination was made of all three documents—the pope’s letter, Methodius’ translation of the canon in question, and the wording of the canon in the collection that the pope had given to Methodius. All the documents were equally eloquent concerning the subordination of the clergy to the archbishop. [33]


It should also be stressed that the pope did not give Methodius the same collection of canon law which was in use in the Frankish Church. This can be interpreted in the sense that the pope desired to stress the direct subordination of Moravia to Rome. The fact that the collection presented to Methodius betrayed sympathies for Byzantium is also of some significance. It points to the fact that in 880 a friendly atmosphere prevailed in Rome concerning relations with Byzantium. By this gesture the pope evinced respect for the Byzantine origin of Methodius, who had been on friendly terms with Photius, then reconciled with Rome, whom Methodius was about to visit in Constantinople.


The Byzantine collections of canon law also contained a selection





of imperial laws (nomoi). They were therefore called nomocanons. In his translation of the Synagogê Methodius omitted the imperial laws which were regarded as superseded, even in Byzantium. It would have been pointless to present them to the Moravians.


Methodius also excluded from his translation all canons which did not fit a Western Christian community. Of the 377 canons in the original collection, 142 were, in this way, omitted. The Slavic translation discloses that its author was well versed in canon law and knew what was necessary for the development of the young Church in Moravia.


In the light of new research by Weingart we must now reject the thesis that Methodius was also the translator of two short scholia refuting the arguments of canon twenty-eight of the Council of Chalcedon. This canon defined that the second place after the Patriarch of Rome should be given to the Patriarch of Constantinople, whose jurisdiction should extend over Thrace and the whole of Asia Minor.


These scholia are translated from the Greek. Most probably they originated in one of the Greek monasteries in Rome, but the translation is very awkward and the language lacks the characteristic expressions used by Methodius. They could only have been translated after the death of Methodius. [34] Another document of Byzantine jurisprudence, adapted into Slavonic, is the first Slavonic law collection called Zakon sudnyi ljudem (Judicial Code for Laymen). The origin of this Code is still controversial. It has been thought that Rastislav asked the Emperor Michael III for a Code, that he was given a copy of the Ecloga, a juridical handbook used at that time by the Byzantine courts, and that Constantine translated parts of the Ecloga and adapted it to the needs of Moravian primitive jurisprudence. [35] Bulgarian specialists pretended to have discovered in it Bulgarian elements and claimed that it was composed in Bulgaria by St. Methodius’ disciples. The possibility of a Russian or Pannonian origin was also debated.


Now it seems that the question is definitely answered. The Moravian origin, proved already by J. Vašica, cannot be doubted, but the author of the Code was not Constantine. It should be regarded as the work of the circle of clerics grouped around Methodius. It served as a directory for clergy, indicating how to proceed in certain cases. It was also meant as an appeal to official





judicial institutions, recommending that they proceed in the spirit of Christian moderation when judging certain transgressions of the law. But it was not at all in the mind of its authors to introduce it as an official handbook for judicial courts in Moravia. [36]


The initiator of this composition could have been Methodius himself. He was familiar with judicial matters because he had been archon of a Slavic province under Byzantine supremacy. It is quite possible that his disciples, if not Methodius himself, added this compilation to the translation of the Synagogê. At least the oldest Slavonic manuscript of the Zakon is contained in the Russian collection of canon law, called Kormčaja Kniga (Pilot’s book) of Ustjug. It contains the Zakon, and Methodius’ translation of the Synagoge. This seems to indicate that a combination of both documents may already have been made in Methodius’ time.


*  *  *


The specialists are still discussing the question of what should be understood by the words “the Books of the Fathers” (ot’c’skyja k’nigy), the translation of which is also attributed to Methodius. The question cannot yet be definitely answered. The indication of the biographer can mean works, biographies, sentences or homilies of the Fathers. The problem of the numerous Greek Paterica is also far from clear, and many of them are unpublished. So far, W. van Wijk, who has devoted much study to this problem, seems to have indicated the way to its solution by showing that Methodius had translated a Greek Paterikon, called andron hagion biblos, [37] An Old Slavonic translation of a Greek Paterikon exists, preserved in a manuscript in the Austrian National Library in Vienna (no. 152). It may contain the translation made by Methodius. However, this problem is far from solved.


Methodius certainly composed a number of homilies during his stay in Moravia. Only one of them is preserved in the so-called Glagolita Clozianus, a collection of homilies of the Fathers, translated into Old Slavonic and written in the glagolitic alphabet. [38] Only a minor part of the originally very large collection is preserved. The homily contains an exhortation to the princes to watch over the strict observation of Church rules concerning the conclusion of marriages by Christians. The homily is anonymous, but the





textual comparison with Methodius’ works betrays a great similarity to his vocabulary. Moreover, as can be seen from chapter eleven of the Vita, Methodius was very much preoccupied with this problem. The biographer reports that Methodius admonished one of Svatopluk’s counsellors to separate himself from his wife, because, according to the Church precepts of this time, a man’s marriage with his godchild was invalid. When the counsellor refused to listen to Methodius’ admonition, the archbishop excommunicated him. We have seen that similar matrimonial problems occurred even in Kocel’s land. [39] This is understandable in countries which had only recently been converted. Therefore the homily in question can be ascribed rightly to Methodius.


On the other hand, we can hardly see in the long introduction to the Life of Methodius another of his homilies. The introduction is really based on a treatise on the Oecumenical Councils. Such treatises were very numerous in Byzantium and formed parts of a Byzantine catechism. It is preceded by a short description of the creation of the world by God, and of the history of the Old Testament which prepared the new revelation. This was expanded by the Apostles and further defined by the Fathers of the first Six Oecumenical Councils. The fact that the popes are mentioned in first place in the listing of the main personalities of the councils is not surprising. This tradition is followed in most of the Byzantine anonymous treatises. [40] The introduction reflects the doctrine of the two brothers, and the Byzantine tradition of stressing the importance of the councils in defining the Faith. [41]


It is also quite natural that only six Councils should be enumerated. The Seventh Council against iconoclasm was officially included in the Byzantine treatises only after the second patriarchate of Photius, although its oecumenicity was accepted from the end of the eighth century. A similar tradition was followed in the West where the oecumenicity of the Seventh Council was definitely recognized after Rome’s reconciliation with Photius. [42] In the description of the Acts of the Sixth Council, the condemnation of Pope Honorius is also noted. This was done not only in the Eastern Church but also in Rome.


As we have seen, it is also largely accepted by specialists that the translation of the Gospels made by Constantine and Methodius was preceded by an introduction in verse composed by Constantine. [43]





More uncertainty enshrouds the authorship of another theological work, On the True Faith. F. Grivec [44] is inclined to attribute its composition to Constantine, but the specialists are divided when discussing this problem. There is also a possibility that this discourse is simply a translation from the Greek made at a much later period.


Also of Moravian origin is an old Slavonic penitentiary called Zapovědí sventych ot’c (Prescriptions of the Holy Fathers). [45] It was translated from a Latin penitentiary book used by Latin missionaries in Moravia. The translator must have used a penitentiary which was very similar to that contained in a codex preserved in the library of the Cathedral church in Merseburg. [46] The adaptation was made by one of the clerics of Methodius who was familiar with the Latin language.


Methodius seems also to have translated into Slavonic some writings of his late brother: The author of the Life of Constantine (chapter ten) mentions that Methodius translated Constantine’s writings, arranging them into eight besĕdy (treatises). It is difficult to say what the author of the Life meant by the besĕdy. Constantine described in Greek the manner in which he had found the relics of St. Clement, in Cherson. His description was translated into Latin by Anastasius Bibliothecarius in Rome, and into Slavonic by Methodius. This might have been one of the eight besĕdy. The defense of the Slavonic liturgy was probably another one, although it may have been outlined by Constantine himself before leaving Moravia. The discussion with the Jews and Moslems at the court of the Khazar Khagan was most probably yet another one. It is a long and interesting theological treatise, and we can presume that Constantine wrote it in Greek after returning from the Khazar mission. We have seen that the embassy to the Arabs, of which Constantine was a member, can be accepted as an historical fact. Thus we can imagine that Constantine summarized his experiences from discussions with the Arabs in a short treatise against Islam.


We have seen that Constantine’s disputation with the iconoclastic ex-Patriarch Joannicius cannot be accepted in the way the biographer reports it. Although Constantine might have met Joanicius, a public disputation between the two could not have taken place. There is, however, the possibility that Constantine had written a short treatise against iconoclasm when staying in





Constantinople, and that this short treatise, translated by Methodius, was the basis of the biographer’s description. These might have been the besědy translated by Methodius. Of course, this conclusion is highly hypothetical (cf. above, Ch. II, note 30). The text is not clear. One could also deduce from it that Methodius arranged in eight chapters the description of Constantine’s disputation at the Khazar court.


The finest products of the literary circle grouped around Methodius are the Lives of the two brothers. The Life of Constantine must have been written between 874 and 880 by one of his disciples, possibly Clement, under the inspiration of Methodius himself and on the basis of some of Constantine’s writings, translated by Methodius into Slavonic, as we have seen. The Life of Methodius was written soon after his death before the expulsion of his disciples from Moravia. In order to show the reliability of the two writings, I compared them and their data with contemporary Byzantine historical facts and hagiographical literature in my book Les légendes de Constantin et de Méthode vues de Byzance (Prague, 1933). This comparison has shown that both Lives are not ordinary legendary compositions, but important historical documents reflecting the Byzantine mentality of this time, and completing in many ways our knowledge of the history of Byzantium and of Central Europe in the ninth century. Thanks to this research and that of other scholars, the literary and historical importance of the two Lives is now recognized by all specialists.


Although composed by a writer who was well acquainted with Byzantine mentality and the theology and literary achievements of that period, they were not meant for the Byzantine reader, but for the Slavic Christians of Moravia and Pannonia. This is shown by the general tendency which we can detect in them. The author of the Life of Constantine intended to give the young Slavonic Church of Moravia a firm ideological basis. He was anxious to portray its founder, the Philosopher, as an orthodox theologian well versed in divine lore. Constantine’s literary and liturgical innovations were willed by God and were the best means for the propagation of His word among the newly-converted people. His innovation was approved by the pope, and the hostility of the Frankish clergy toward him and his work was unjust. Numerous protestations from Holy Writ gave his disciples reliable weapons for the defense of the Slavonic liturgy. Not only





the historical and the theological, but also the literary value of this composition is very high, and it can be regarded as one of the best literary achievements of this period in Byzantium and in the West.


An apologetic tendency can be traced also in the Life of Methodius even to a higher degree. [47] The hostility of the Latins to the Slavonic liturgy impelled the writer to stress even more the orthodoxy of the late archbishop. This is shown especially in the introduction, which is a kind of confession of faith of both brothers. The approval by the popes of the innovation is also put forward, against the suspicion of the Frankish clergy. Methodius’ devotion to St. Peter is emphasized. His work was approved, not only by the popes, but also by the Byzantine emperor, and even the Frankish king showed his favor to Methodius. Anxiety for the survival of the new Church after the loss of its head, and in the face of intense hostility, is especially evident in the last chapter of his work. The author of the Life remains anonymous, but it could also have been composed by Clement.


Apart from his literary activities, Methodius also accomplished missionary work; this involved considerable travel through his vast archdiocese. The biographer describes these travels in chapter fourteen, comparing them with the travels of St. Paul and stressing that Methodius had to undergo all the troubles and support all the sufferings described by the Apostle in his Second Letter to the Corinthians (2 Cor. II: 26-27). Because of this narrative by the biographer, some historians believed that Methodius also visited Bohemia and Poland in the course of his missionary wanderings. This appears very hypothetical. Methodius already had a sufficient number of disciples; being himself an archbishop, he was able to consecrate his own priests and send them to the newly-converted countries under Svatopluk’s suzerainty. We do not know if he revisted Pannonia after its conquest by Svatopluk. His disciples probably worked there too, because the Frankish clergy were certainly reduced in numbers after Svatopluk’s conquest. The main preoccupation of Methodius after his return from Rome and Constantinople was to provide his Slavic Church with liturgical books and religious literature in Slavonic.


During one of his journeys, probably in modern Slovakia, Methodius is said to have encountered “the Hungarian King.”





The biographer says that Methodius’ entourage had warned the archbishop not to go to see the king, although the latter had expressed his desire to meet him. They did not trust the king, fearing that he would maltreat Methodius. However, the king received Methodius with great honor, talking with him “as such men should talk”; after honoring him with many gifts, he asked Methodius to remember him in his prayers.


The description of this encounter seems to suggest that the “king” in question was a Christian ruler. In this case it might be supposed that the ruler whom Methodius encountered was the Emperor Charles III, the third son and successor of Louis the German (882-888). This encounter could have taken place in the autumn of 884, when Svatopluk met Charles III to conclude the peace, in the Wiener Wald near Tuln.


This, however, does not quite correspond with the description given by the biographer. If Svatopluk was present, Methodius had nothing to fear. On the other hand, all existing manuscripts read that the encounter was with the Hungarian king.


It seemed difficult, therefore, to most specialists to accept the suggestion that the word Hungarian (ug’r’skyi) was added to the word king (korol’) by a later copyist, as was suggested by A. Brückner. [48] It was pointed out that, at that time, the Hungarians were already in Bessarabia. They may have been making inroads into that part of the Danube basin which was under Bulgarian overlordship, and one of the bands of Hungarians could have approached the boundary of Great Moravia somewhere near the Danube.


Perhaps this problem can now be regarded as solved in a study published by V. Vavřínek. [49] He has approached the problem of the title “korol” found in this chapter of the Vita Methodii from the Byzantine point of view, showing what kind of titles were given by the Byzantine protocol to other Christian rulers who were regarded as forming a spiritual family of which the Roman emperor—the Basileus—was the head, appointed by God as His representative. The Frankish ruler was regarded as the spiritual brother of the Basileus and was normally given the title “rex.” Vavřínek has shown that this Byzantine custom also inspired the authors of the two biographies. The Slavic name “korol” is of West Slavic origin, derived etymologically from the name Charlemagne. The title was already used in Moravia before the arrival





of the Byzantine mission and was accepted also by the disciples of the two brothers. In the Moravian dialect the title took a different form, probably “krah.” The form “koroF,” as found in the Vita, corresponds to the Russian dialect. This shows that a Russian copyist of the Vita who did not understand the meaning of the title “krai,” replaced it with the Russian, “korol” and added to it the word “ug’r’skyi,” because he knew that in his time a Hungarian king reigned over Pannonia and Moravia.


The king in question could only have been Charles III, and the encounter of Methodius with the Western emperor should be dated in 884. Methodius, with other prominent Moravians, accompanied Svatopluk to his meeting with Charles III to conclude the peace.


V. Vavřínek rightly sees in the description of how the “King” received Methodius an apologetic trait in favor of Methodius’ work in Moravia. The archbishop was well received, not only by the Basileus, but also by the Frankish emperor—King Charles III. This should have strengthened the position of Methodius’ disciples in Moravia in the face of opposition from the Frankish clergy, because as interpreted by the biographer—who wrote after Methodius’ death—the person and the work of his master was honored also by both the Frankish king and the emperor.


*  *  *


The last chapter of the Life of Methodius opens with the enigmatic words : “In this way, after having hewn off all the guilty on all sides, and closed the mouths of the loquacious, he finished the course of life, preserved his faith, waiting for the crown of justice.”


The Slavonic word for “hewn off”—“ot’sěšti”—is often used to mean excommunication from the Church. [50] Therefore these words are explained by most specialists as implying that, toward the end of his life, Methodius excommunicated his adversaries, using the power conferred by his status and also strictly defined in the papal letter, [51] in order to terminate their constant enmity.


If these words should be explained in this way, it is to be regretted that the author of the Life was so reticent on this special occasion. The Life of Clement, Methodius’ disciple, is more explicit in this respect, and affirms that Methodius excommunicated





Wiching and his adherents. [52] He naturally attributed heretical teaching to Wiching which, however, he did not specify. He probably had in mind the procession of the Holy Ghost, because he lived in the atmosphere of the Eastern Church. If there was an excommunication—I would rather say suspension—we need not suppose that it was motivated by any particular heretical teaching. Wiching’s disobedience and constant hostility to his metropolitan provided a sufficient reason.


The so-called Moravian Legend, composed during the eleventh century, reports expressly that Methodius excommunicated Svatopluk himself (chapter two). [53] This report is certainly an exaggeration. Methodius was a Byzantine, and the Byzantines professed great reverence for their rulers. It was unthinkable that the patriarch should excommunicate the emperor. The principle of “oeconomy” was applied to the utmost every time a conflict arose between the Church and the emperor. The report of the Legend is animated by the dislike which the Slavic priests in Bohemia held for the memory of Svatopluk. His lack of support of Methodius, and his preference for Frankish priests, had speeded the ruin of Methodius’ work in Moravia and caused the destruction of his own empire.


The letter of Pope Stephen V to Svatopluk after Methodius’ death contains a passage [54] which could be interpreted to mean that Methodius had used his right to proceed against his adversaries according to the canons. The words are, however, not quite clear. They can also be interpreted to mean that Methodius had threatened his opponents with excommunication if they continued to oppose him. Thus we can admit the possibility of the excommunication of Wiching or, at least, of a threat to use this radical measure against him and his followers, but we must exclude the possibility of any kind of hostile action against Svatopluk by Methodius. Whenever his biographer mentions Svatopluk, he does so in a friendly way.


*  *  *


The last days of Methodius are described in a short but extremely touching way by his biographer. When the day of his demise was clearly approaching, his disciples asked him to designate a successor to continue his work. The ailing archbishop





pointed to Gorazd, one of his most devoted disciples, saying: “This man is free and of your country, well versed in Latin books, and orthodox.”


The choice of Gorazd as his successor reveals the strained situation in Moravia. Methodius had probably chosen Gorazd as the third bishop some time before, but was unable to consecrate him, as the rubrics require the presence of three bishops. He could hardly obtain the collaboration of Wiching. He probably planned a new trip to Rome, after his return from Constantinople. But the news of the death of John VIII on December 16, 882, followed soon after by the demise of his two successors Marinus II (882-May 884), and Hadrian III (884-September 885), most probably forced him to postpone his plan. He also thought it of paramount importance for the instruction of his flock to provide his disciples with Slavic liturgical and ecclesiastical books. His illness may have interfered also with his plan to consecrate Gorazd, perhaps together with another disciple, in Rome.


The choice was wise. Gorazd was of noble origin [55]—Methodius stressed that he was a free man—and a Moravian by birth. It was to be expected that he would find the necessary support among the Moravian nobles, being one of them himself. On the other hand, although a supporter of Slavic liturgy and literature, he was well versed in Latin letters. Gorazd could only have obtained his Latin education from Frankish priests in Moravia or perhaps even in Bavaria. This circumstance may have gained him sympathy from the Latin and Frankish clergy and perhaps from Svatopluk, who favored the Latin culture.


*  *  *


Methodius performed his last episcopal function on Palm Sunday. Although ill, the archbishop assembled the people in the church and blessed the emperor, the prince, and all the faithful, foretelling that he would die on the third day. So it happened. He died in the early morning of the sixth of April, 885.


His disciples performed the funeral rites in the Latin, Greek, and Slavic liturgies, and he was buried in his metropolitan church. This description also illustrates well Methodius’ mentality and the situation in Moravia. Even at the end of his life, far from his native country, Methodius remained faithful to Byzantine





traditions. His first blessing was for the Byzantine emperor, who was regarded by his subjects as the representative of God on earth and leader of the Christians. The second blessing reflects the sentiments of loyalty which the Byzantine Church always cherished for the rulers instituted by God. This simple statement shows, at the same time, that Methodius had always paid the respect due to the ruler, in spite of his differences with him.


The performance of the funeral rites in the three liturgies again shows the multilingual character of the Church in Moravia. The Greek liturgy was performed by' Methodius’ Greek disciples who had accompanied him to Moravia, the Latin by Slavic and Frankish priests under his jurisdiction who had preferred it to the Slavic liturgy. The manner in which the biographer describes the funeral rites seems to indicate that a peaceful coexistence of the three liturgies in Moravia was possible if it were not disturbed by adverse events.


Interest also attaches to the report that Methodius was buried in his cathedral church. The Prologue—a short Breviary lesson— on SS. Cyril and Methodius [56] completes this information, specifying that his tomb lay on the left side beyond the main altar of Our Lady. It has so far proved impossible to identify Methodius’ cathedral church and to find his tomb. The fact that he had a cathedral church testifies to the fact that the religious situation in Moravia was well stabilized. His residence was, naturally, near the cathedral.


An old tradition locates this church in the region of Staré Město (Old City), a part of the modern city of Uherské Hradiště (Ungarisch Gradisch), [57] so called because in the Middle Ages it was an outpost near the frontier of Hungary. Numerous archaeological finds dating from the ninth and tenth centuries, and the discovery of the foundations of three stone churches dating from the ninth century, show, as we have seen, that this region was an important political and religious center in the days of Great Moravia. This, however, does not mean that Methodius’ residence was located there. The name of a locality in this region, called Velehrad (Great Castle), induced many Czech historians to place the political center of Rastislav’s and Svatopluk’s realm in this region. Excavations have not confirmed this supposition to date.


The ruins of an even more imposing center were recently discovered





at Mikulčice, 45 kilometers from Velehrad and Staré Město. Besides the foundations of nine other churches, parts of a basilica, the largest church so far known in Great Moravia, were excavated there, but the grave of the Moravian archbishop was not found. [58] The archaeologists have not yet finished their work and there is still hope that the remains of Methodius’ cathedral church and his tomb may be found.


The last chapter of the Life of Methodius ends with a prayer addressed to the holy man: “And you, holy and venerable head, look from on high with your intercessions at us who are full of desire for you, and deliver your disciples from all danger, spread your doctrine and disperse heresies, in order that we may live in dignity according to our vocation and, afterwards, that we may stand with you, your flock, at the right side of Christ, our God, and receive from him eternal life.”


The words are written in the original in verses of fifteen and thirteen syllables, [59] and echo invocations addressed to the saint in Byzantine hagiography. [60] At the same time they betray the anxiety which filled the hearts of Methodius’ disciples concerning their own fate and that of their leader’s work after his death.


*  *  *


Their anxiety was well founded. Immediately after Methodius’ departure Wiching hastened to Rome in order to win over Pope Stephen V to his own plans. From the letter which the pope addressed to Svatopluk at the end of 885, we gather that Wiching accused Methodius of heretical teaching concerning the procession of the Holy Ghost, of disobedience to the injunction of the Holy See, which had forbidden him to use the vernacular language in the liturgy, and of transgressing the ecclesiastical canons because he named his own successor—Gorazd. He also accused Methodius of having introduced into Moravia the Byzantine prescriptions for fasting. [61]


Wiching must have left Moravia with the consent of Svatopluk because, at the beginning of his letter, the pope is very outspoken in his praise of Svatopluk’s loyalty to the Holy See and of his desire to follow its teaching. This praise of the most powerful ruler in Central Europe is understandable, as the pope’s position was shaky at the beginning of his reign, and the support of such





an influential prince was desirable. It was not surprising that the pope addressed Svatopluk as “Slavic King.” [62] It is evident that Wiching well knew how to exploit the unstable position of the papacy to his own aims, in stressing the loyalty of the mighty prince and of himself to St. Peter.


The pope first gives a long explanation of the Roman doctrine on the procession of the Holy Ghost remarking, however, that this mystery is not fit for discussion by those who are not well versed in theology. He then gives Svatopluk information on the character of fasting. It is interesting to note that, although he speaks of Methodius without giving him his title, the pope is very reticent concerning the accusation that Methodius had taught heretical doctrine. He expresses his astonishment at hearing such an accusation, and condemns Methodius’ doctrine conditionally, “if it be true.” Then he forbids the use of the Slavonic language in the liturgy.


The genuineness of the letter must be examined, together with the instructions which the pope gave to his legates—Bishop Dominicus and two priests—when he sent them to Moravia to regulate the situation. The legates are first told how to address Svatopluk in the name of the pope and the Roman clergy. Then come instructions concerning the Filioque. [63] “The Holy Ghost is neither said to be begotten by the Father and the Son lest this imply two Fathers, nor begotten, lest this imply two Sons, but He is said to proceed. If they should say: It is forbidden by the Holy Fathers to add or subtract anything from the Symbol,’ say: ‘The Holy Roman Church is the guardian of the holy dogmas and confirms them, because, representing the prince of the Apostles, she does not vacillate in anything concerning the catholic faith’ as the Lord himself said: ‘Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren (Luke 22:31, 32).’ This Church guided to the faith all erring churches and confirmed the vacillation, not by changing the holy dogmas, but by explaining them to people who did not understand them or were interpreting them wrongly.”


From the words of the pope it is clear that Methodius and his disciples reproached their adversaries with having added the Filioque to the Nicaean Creed, affirming that the Holy Fathers





had forbidden any addition to, or detraction from, this Symbol. This had already been enacted by the Council of Ephesus. [64] But a very recent council, that of 879-880, called by the Greeks the Union Synod, had made such a decision in a most telling way, by rehabilitating Photius. The Nicaean Creed was solemnly recited during the sixth session of the Council, held in the imperial palace under the presidency of the Emperor Basil and, after the recital, the Fathers very solemnly forbade not only the use of any other Symbol—this used also to be stressed in other oecumenical councils—but equally any addition to or detraction from it. The same injunction was repeated during the last session, held in the church of the Holy Wisdom, where the Fathers who had attended the previous session reported what had happened and presented the signature of the emperor. [65]


It is probable that Methodius and his disciples knew about the decision of the Union Synod and recognized it the more willingly, as this decision was also signed by the legates of John VIII. Evidently Methodius learned about this during his stay in Constantinople, if not before. Methodius’ disciples regarded themselves as being perfectly entitled to ask their opponents to respect the decision of synods which also had been accepted by Rome.


Pope Stephen V avoided sanctioning this addition to the Creed, but approved the Western interpretation of the mystery in stressing that the Roman Church had the privilege not only of defending the dogmas but also of interpreting them.


The prohibition of the Slavic liturgy is listed in the instruction together with the injunction that only preaching in the vernacular is recommended. Regarding fasting, the instructions contain only a short recapitulation of what the pope said in the letter. [66]


All this was therefore in the letter. But the last point of the instruction contradicts the letter as we know it. The pope blames Methodius for having chosen a successor, against the canonical rules. Gorazd is forbidden to exercise these functions until he appears in person in Rome and himself states his case. [67]


This seems to indicate that the pope did not make a definite decision concerning the succession to Methodius. In the papal letter there is no mention of Gorazd. We read there, however, a long passage concerning Wiching, who is recommended to Svatopluk as being orthodox and devoted to him, and that the pope is sending him back “to direct his Church commissioned to him





by God.” What is even more puzzling is that the words of this recommendation are almost identical with the words in which John VIII had recommended Methodius to Svatopluk. These words are regarded by editors of this letter as having been interpolated by Wiching himself. Another interpolation is found in the passage in which the pope forbade the use of the vernacular in the liturgy. We read there that when in Rome Methodius had taken an oath in the name of St. Peter that he would never do such a thing. [68] We know that this is untrue and that such an assertion could hardly have been written in Rome.


There is no doubt that the papal decision was taken rather hastily and without giving a hearing to the accused party. Nevertheless, the pope does not seem to have made a definite decision concerning the succession to Methodius. This decision was probably intended to be made after the return of the legates, and after hearing Gorazd.


*  *  *


If the pope intended to appoint Wiching only as administrator of the archdiocese ad interim, before he made a definite decision, he did not know Wiching. The papal letter, cleverly interpolated, gave Wiching sufficient pretext to appoint himself as sole administrator of the archdiocese, charged with the power to execute the order of the pope forbidding the Slavic liturgy, and to intervene against Methodius’ disciples as being suspect of heresy.


We have no genuine information concerning the manner in which Wiching proceeded. Only the Greek Life of St. Clement, Methodius’ disciple, which is an eleventh century adaptation of a Slavic Life of the saint, gives us some information which, although somewhat biased, is trustworthy.


From this source [69] we gather that, after the arrival of the legates, a discussion was held at Svatopluk’s court between Wiching’s adherents and Methodius’ Slavic disciples. The main subject seems to have been the Filioque. Svatopluk is said to have confessed his ignorance in theological matters, and to have declared that he intended to support the party which was ready to swear that their doctrine was the true one. The Franks took the oath immediately and Svatopluk declared their teaching obligatory.





Then the persecution of Methodius’ disciples began. The leaders—Gorazd, Clement, Naum, Laurentius, and Angelarius—were imprisoned and maltreated. The author notes that Svatopluk was not present when the persecution started. Was he on a military expedition, or did he simply absent himself in order not to be blamed for what Wiching did? It seems that this persecution did not occur without arousing opposition on the part of the Slavic population. We can explain in this way the miracles which are said to have happened during the imprisonment of the disciples. When they were singing the liturgical prayers in prison an earthquake took place and their chains fell off.


It is probable that all this happened in Nitra, the residence of Wiching. [70] The Frankish element seems to have been strongest in this center, and most of his adherents were there. This may help to explain the absence of Svatopluk during the trial of the disciples. It was also in Nitra that a garrison of Svatopluk’s German soldiers—the writer calls them in Slavic Nemitzoi—were ordered to expel the prisoners. They were deprived of their clothes in very cold weather and expelled from the city toward thé Danube. There the soldiers left them. Other priests and deacons are even said to have been sold into slavery and brought to Venice.


The unfortunate disciples separated in groups in order to escape more easily from their possible pursuers, and some of them, after following the Danube, at last reached Belgrade, then in Bulgarian hands. They were received by the commander of the fortress, who sent them to Boris himself. So it came about that Methodius’ legacy, ruined in Moravia, was saved by the Bulgarians. [71]




1. Svatopluk’s betrayal of Rastislav could not have been the reason for the estrangement. Similar cases were frequent in Byzantine political history. The two men were certainly very different in character: Svatopluk was an astute ruler and an impetuous man, not averse to cruel measures; Methodius was a highly cultured man and a devout monk, although not the stiff rigorist he is sometimes portrayed. It should be stressed that Methodius’ biographer does not mention any of the cruel actions attributed to Svatopluk by the Frankish annalists. He speaks about him with respect. Only later sources—Vita Clementis and the Bohemian Legend—describe Svatopluk as an immoral and cruel man. See V. Chaloupecký, Prameny X. století, Svatováclavský Sborník, II, 2 (Prague, 1939), pp. 503-505, Bohemian Legend (Beatus Cyrillus).


2. I. P. Gracianskij, “Dejatel’nost Konstantina i Metodija v Velikomoravskom knjažestve” (The Activity of Constantine and Methodius in the Great Moravian Empire), Voprosy Istorii, 1 (1945), p. 92 ff., esp. J. Dekan, Slovenski dějiny, 2, Začiatky, p. 124 ff.


3. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 218 ff., rightly stresses this.


4. Cf. my book The Slavs, p. 95, where I was the first to draw the attention of specialists to this problem.


5. MGH Ep 7, p. 161.


6. Vita S. Clementis, attributed to Theophylactus, Archbishop of Ochrida, PG, 126, col. 1209. Ed. N. L. Tunickij, Materialy dlja istorii zizni i delateYnosti učenikov sv. Kirilla i Methodii (Documents for the History of the Lives and Works of the Disciples of SS. Cyril and Methodius) (Sergiev Posad, 1918), p. 96.


7. MGH Ep 7, p. 160.


8. Ibid., p. 161.


9. Ibid., pp. 222-224.


10. MGH Ep 7, pp. 243, 244.


11. That Wiching must have presented to Svatopluk a document unfavorable to Methodius, pretending that it had been handed to him by the pope, is clearly indicated by the pope when he said in his letter of 881: “Neither has any other letter been presented to him by us, nor have we ordered that bishop publicly or secretly to do anything different, nor commanded you (to do) something different.” Cf. F. Grivec, Konstantin und Methodius, p. 124 ff. Z. Dittrich’s doubt, Christianity,





p. 239, about it is unfounded.


12. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 233, rightly rejects the idea that Svatopluk had put his lands under the protection of the pope. John VIII used similar words to Branimir, the Croat prince, in 879 (MGH Ep 7, pp. 152, 258). We can see in such papal claims the tendency to tie the Slavic peoples closer to the papacy, as indicated in my book, Les Légendes, pp. 278-281.


13. Cf. F. Grivec's suggestion in his Konstantin und Method, p. 114.


14. An. Fuldenses, MGH Ss, pp. 399-401; ed. F. Kurze, p. 112.


15. The latest edition is that by V. Chaloupecký in Sborník svatováclavský (Prague, 1939), 2, pp. 481-493. See below, p. 206 ff., for details.


16. Chronicon, MGH Ss Nova Ser. 9, p. 392.


17. This is the only passage indicating that the Mass of Saint Peter was celebrated in Moravia. J. Vašica sees in this passage an indication that the Mass formulary was rendered into Slavonic by the brothers from the Greek translation of the Latin Missal. It is true that in the passage the feast of Saint Peter is also mentioned, but this does not weaken Vasica’s thesis. The Greek version of the Latin Missal was called the Mass or Liturgy of Saint Peter, and the feast of the Apostle would have been especially suited to the celebration of such a liturgy. The passage shows at the same time that Svatopluk was invited to assist, with his army, at a Mass celebrated in Slavonic, although he personally preferred the Latin liturgy. In the passage the words “it is the liturgy” are an addition by an Eastern copyist to whom the Western term Mass (missa) was not familiar. Cf. J. Vašica, Slovanská liturgie sv. Petra, pp. 1-54; idem, in V. Chaloupecky's edition, Na úsvitu Křest'anství, p. 251 (commentary to Vasica’s Czech translation of the Vita Methodii).


18. I suggested this possibility in my book, Les Légendes, p. 276.


19. See F. Dvornik, The Photian Schism (Cambridge, 1948), pp. 202-236.


20. Cf. F. Dvornik, The Patriarch Photius in the Light of Recent Research (Munich, 1958, Berichte zum XI. int. Byz. Kongress), p. 40.


21. F. Dvornik, The Photian Schism, p. 209 ff.


22. See above, pp. 103, 104.


23. See below, pp. 193, 234, 251.


24. See below, p. 246. However, it must not be forgotten that the jealous mistrust with which the Bulgarians had always followed the growth of Great Moravia could also have been a sufficient reason for the friendly reception of the Moravian exiles.


25. Methodius must also have followed the same itinerary on his way from Moravia to Constantinople.


26. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, pp. 240-255, interprets the events after 881 erroneously. Methodius, so he says, disappointed with Pope





John VIII, who did not give him the support he had expected, turned to Constantinople, expecting more support from the emperor and the patriarch. The stay in Constantinople is supposed to have influenced Methodius also in the matter of the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit, He accepted Photius’ radical view. This is one of the weakest parts of the book. The author lacks a thorough knowledge of the situation in Byzantium at this period, ignores the results of recent researches on Photius and the Union Council of 879-80, and exaggerates the tension between East and West in the years 880-882. He even pretends (p. 255) that Photius had written his Mystagogia against Filio que, after having discussed this problem with Methodius. His views must be rejected.


27. See P. A. Lavrov, Materialy po istorii vosniknovedenija drevnejšej slavjanskoj pis'mennosti (Documents on the History of the Origins of Early Slavic Literature) (Leningrad, 1930), p. 160.


28. J. Vajs, in J. Dobrovský, Cyril a Metod, pp. 143-153, describes in detail the different interpretation by Slavic scholars of the report contained in ch. 15 of the Vita. See the resume of his own research on the glagolitic breviaries, ibid., pp. 151-153.


29. H. F. Schmid, Die Nomokanonübersetzung des Methodius (Leipzig, 1922), Veröffentlichungen des bait, und slav. Instituts an der Univ. Leipzig, no. 1, esp. p. 47 ff., 89, 114. See also J. Vašica, Literární památky, pp. 63-70.


30. See the convincing study by W. Lettenbauer, “Eine lateinische Kanonensammlung in Mähren im 9. Jahrhundert,” Orientalia christiana periodica, 18 (1952), pp. 246-269.


31. Cf. F. Maassen, Geschichte der Quellen und der Literatur des canonischen Rechts im Abendlande bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters (Graz, 1870), pp. 454 ff. However, Maassen called it wrongly Dionysiana Hadriana adaucta. The collection called Hadriana is another derivation from the primitive Dionysiana.


32. W. Lettenbauer, “Eine lateinische Kanonensammlung,” p. 265 ff. Cf. also F. Zagiba, Bairische Slavenmission, pp. 28-31.


33. It is puzzling that the glosses are written, not in glagolitic, but in Latin letters. This could, perhaps, be explained if we imagine a discussion of the three documents by the Slavic and Latin clergy. The glosses were to show the Latin clergy that the Slavonic translation of the Nomocanon affirmed the same thing as the Latin collection, as far as the obedience of the clergy to the bishop is concerned. This was the object of the discussion. The Latin clergy did not know the glagolitic alphabet; therefore Latin letters were used.


34. See M. Weingart's review of my Les Légendes, in Byzantinoslavica, 5 (1933-34), p. 448 ff. The last edition of the scholia by N. P. Rutkovskij was published in the Seminarium Kondakovianum, 3 (1929),





“Latinskija scholii,” pp. 149-168. Cf. also F. Grivec, Doctrina Byzantina de primatu et unitate ecclesiae (Ljubljana, 1928), p. 24 ff. My statement on this problem in Les Légendes, p. 303 ff., should be completed and corrected in this sense. See also V. Beneševič, “Zur slavischen Scholia angeblich aus der Zeit der Slavenapostel,” BZ, 36 (1936), pp. 101-105. The author gives a Greek translation of the document, showing that there is only one scholion wrongly divided by the editors into two.


35. J. Vašica, “Origine Cyrillo Methodienne du plus ancien code slave 'Zakon sudnyj,' " Byzantinoslavica, 12 (1951), pp. 154-174; idem, “Jazyková povaha Zakona sudného (Linguistic Character of Zakon sudnyj), Slavia, 27 (1958), pp. 521-537; idem, “Právní odkaz cyrilometodějský” (Cyrilomethodian Juridical Legacy), Slavia, 32 (1963), pp. 327-339. In his recent book, Literární památky epochy velkomoravské (Literary Legacies from the Time of Great Moravia) (Prague, 1966), pp. 149-169, J. Vašica gives a Czech translation of the document with a very valuable commentary. Most of the paragraphs of the Slavic document are excerpted from the seventeenth title of the Ecloga containing penal sanctions. From title eighteen, the part on the division of war booty is translated; from title fourteen, the part dealing with the testimony of parents and their children against themselves and on hearsay witness; for title eight, the part dealing with the ransom of a war prisoner; from title two the part dealing with the law suits between husbands and wives. Some cruel penalties ordered in the Ecloga are mitigated or replaced by Christian penance. Three original paragraphs were added by the translator. Cf. E. H. Freshfield, A Manual of Roman Law, The Ecloga (Cambridge, 1926), and idem, A Revised Manual of Roman Law, Ecloga private aucta (Cambridge, 1927), with an English translation.


36. See Vl. Procházka, “Le Zakon Sudnyj Ljudem et la Grande Moravie,” Byzantinoslavica, 28 (1967), pp. 376-430; 29 (1968), pp. 112-150. On the Russian collection of canon law, called Kormčaja Kniga (Pilot's Book) which contains the Zakon, see F. Dvornik, “Byzantine Political Ideas in Kievan Russia,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 9-10 (1956), pp. 76-94. Cf. also Ivan Žužek, “Kormčaja Kniga,” Orientalia Christiana Analecta, 168 (Rome, 1964), p. 14 ff.


37. N. van Wijk, Studien zu den altkirchenslavischen Paterika (Amsterdam, 1931); idem, “Dva slavjanskich' paterika,” Byzantinoslavica, 4 (1932), pp. 22-35; idem, “Die älteste kirchenslavische Übersetzung,” ibid., 7 (1937-38), pp. 108-123. See M. Weingart's review of van Wijk's studies in Byzantinoslavica, 5 (1933-34), pp. 461-463. F. Grivec, Konstantin und Metod, pp. 135-137, agrees with R. Nachtigal, “Ot'česky knigy,” Razprave of the Slovene Acad. (Ljubljana, 1950), pp. 7-24, that the Slavic “Books of the Holy Fathers” contained





translations of homilies of the Fathers, and that the homilies preserved in the Glagolita Clozianus were parts of such a Slavic book.


38. The newest edition is given by A. Dostál, Clozianus Codex Palaeoslovenicus Glagoliticus (Prague, 1959). In his introduction, pp. 1—16, he discusses all previous editions and studies. The homily is attributed to Methodius, ibid., pp. 127-144. He refers also to the previous studies and editions of this homily by Grivec, A. Vaillant, and Vašica. See also J. Vašica, Literární památky, pp. 70-73.


39. See above, p. 154.


40. On the Byzantine treatises, see my book The Photian Schism, pp. 452-456. See also P. A. Lavrov, Materialy, p. XLVII ff.


41. It has been suggested that the introduction may have been written by another anonymous author and then included in the Vita. Cf. M. Weingart in Byzantinoslavica, “K dnešnímu stavu bádání," 5 (1933-34), p. 448. I would prefer to this suggestion the theory proposed by V. Vavřínek in his book, Staroslověnské životy, pp. 88-92, that the author of the Vita used here a profession of faith which the brothers, especially Methodius, had composed in Rome in order to show that their teaching was orthodox, conforming to that of Rome and Constantinople. He points out rightly that a professio fidei, often written, was asked from all candidates for ordination. It was probably composed in Greek, and Methodius may have translated it into Slavonic for the instruction and use of his disciples. The author of the Vita used this confession in order to show to the enemies of Slavic letters that Methodius’ orthodoxy had been confirmed by two popes— Hadrian II and John VIII.


42. Cf. F. Dvornik, The Photian Schism, pp. 435-447.


43. See above, p. 180.


44. Konstantin und Method, pp. 225—227.


45. J. Vašica, Literární památky, pp. 80-84.


46. Latest publication by H. J. Schmitz, Die Bussbücher und das kanonische Bussverfahren (Graz, 1958, reprint of Cologne, 1898), vol. 2, pp. 356-368.


47. This tendency was rightly pointed out by V. Vavřínek in his Staroslov. životy, pp. 77-113.


48. H. Brückner, “Thesen zur Cyrillo-Methodianischen Frage,” Archiv für slavische Philologie, 28 (1906), p. 202 ff.; idem, Die Wahrheit über die Slavenapostel (Tübingen, 1913), p. 94 ff.


49. V. Vavřínek, “Ug’r’skyj Korol’ dans la vie vieux-slave de Méthode,” Byzantinoslavica, 25 (1964), pp. 261-269. On Byzantine titles and protocol, cf. the recent studies by G. Ostrogorsky, “The Byzantine Emperor and the Hierarchic World Order,” The Slavic and East European Review, 35 (1956), pp. 1-14, and by J. Gagé, “L’empereur romain et les rois. Politique et protocole,” Revue historique, 83





(1959), pp. 221-260, where further bibliography will be found. P. Ratkoš in his paper “Über die Interpretation der Vita Methodii,” Byzantinoslavica, 28 (1967), pp. 118-123, tried to show that Hungarian rulers were also called Krales by the Byzantines. This is true for the tenth and eleventh centuries, but it is doubtful that that title was given to the Magyar chieftains Kusal and Arpad with whom the Byzantines were in touch before their war with the Bulgarians in 895. The author of the Vita was a Byzantine, He could know only the titles given to different rulers by the Byzantine ceremonial in the ninth century. Constantine Porphyrogenitus gives to the rulers of Hungary only the title of archontes. The rulers of Saxony, Bavaria, Germany, and Gallia, however, are given the title of reges and called spiritual brothers. Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De caeremoniis aulae byzantinae (Bonn, 1839), pp. 689, 691. On the other hand, Ratkoš points out rightly that some Magyar chieftains may have occupied the territory of lower Tisza at the end of the ninth century.


50. F. Grivec, “Vita Metodii,” Acta Acad. Velehradensis, 17 (1941), p. 124; J. Vašica, in V. Chaloupecký, Na úsvitu, p. 252 (commentary to Vasica’s Czech translation of Vita Cyrilli).


51. The letter Industriae tuae, sent to Svatopluk in 880 by John VIII, cf. above, p. 166.


52. Ed. by N. L. Tunickij, Materialy, ch. 7 (24), p. 92; PC, 126, col. 1208.


53. Published by V. Chaloupecký, “Prameny X. století,” Svatováclavský Sborník, pp. 505-521. Cf. also idem, Na úsvitu kfestanství, pp. 153-160 (Czech translation of the Moravian Legend called Tempore Michaelis imperatoris, by J. Ludvikovsky).


54. MGH Ep 7, p. 357, “Anathema vero pro contemnenda catholica fide qui indixit, in caput redundabit eius.”


55. Cf. J. Stanislav, “O prehodnotenie velkomoravských prvkov v cyrilometodějsky literature” (Re-estimation of Great Moravian Elements in Cyrilo-Methodian Literature), Sbornik A. Teodorov-Balan (Sofia, 1955), pp. 357-363. The author thinks that Gorazd originated from the region between Bratislava and Nitra, which seems quite plausible. He also regards the priest Kaich, whom Methodius had sent to Bohemia, as Gorazd's countryman.


56. P. A. Lavrov, Materialy, p. 101. This source also says that the altar, probably the whole church, was devoted to Our Lady.


57. See for details concerning this tradition, R. Hurt, Dějiny cisterciáckého klastera na Velehradě (The History of the Cistercian Monastery of Velehrad) (Olomouc, 1934), pp. 11-29.


58. See above, p. 188. The tomb found in one of the churches shows at least that the burial method described in the Prologue was really in use in Great Moravia.





59. See D. Kostič, “Bulgarski episkop Konstantin—pisac Službe sv. Metodiju” (The Bulgarian Bishop Constantine, Author of an Office of St. Methodius), Byzantinoslavica, 7 (1937-38), p. 209.


60. Cf. F. Grivec, Vita Methodii, p. 126. He found similar expression in the works of Gregory of Nazianzus, and in the Lives of the Patriarchs Nicephorus and Methodius. There is an echo of this moving prayer also in the Life of St. Clement, ed. N. L. Tunickij, Materialy, pp. 136-138; PG, 126, col. 1237.


61. MGH Ep 7, pp. 354-358.


62. Ibid., pp. 352, 353. However, it would be wrong to make exaggerated conclusions from this. F. Graus, in his study, “Rex-Dux Moraviae,” Sborník prací filosofické fakulty brněnské university, 9 (Brno, 1960), řada historická C 7, pp. 181-190, examining the western Latin sources of this period, came to the conclusion that the titles of sovereigns were not yet settled. The title of “rex" was often used in the old Roman manner m order to stress the political independence of the sovereign. In the high Middle Ages, however, this practice was abandoned, and this title was given to any ruler of importance. On p. 185, F. Graus, analyzing the titles given to Svatopluk in the Latin sources, comes to the conclusion that, concerning Svatopluk, this title was sometimes given to him to stress his political independence, and sometimes to designate him as a ruler of some importance.


63. MGH Ep 7, p. 353: “Spiritus sanctus a Patre et Filio non ingenitus dicitur, nec duo patres, nec genitus, nec duo filii, sed precedens dicitur. Si dixerint: Prohibitum est sanctis patribus symbole addere aliquid vel minuere, dicite. . . ”


64. Mansi, IV, cols. 1341 ff., 1348 ff., 1361, 1364.


65. Mansi, XVII, cols. 516, 520. Cf. my book, The Photian Schism, p. 194 ff., on the authenticity of these last two sessions.


66. MGH Ep 7, pp. 352, 353.


67. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 271 ff., supposes that after the death of Methodius, Gorazd was ordained archbishop by Bulgarian bishops in Belgrade or Preslav. There is absolutely no evidence for this. If Methodius had really broken completely with Rome, as the author wrongly supposes, he would have taken Gorazd with him to Constantinople and had him ordained there as one of his suffragans. The words of the papal instructions to the legates, “ne ministret, nostra apostolica auctoritate interdicite,” do not necessarily mean that Gorazd was exercising episcopal functions. They can be interpreted as meaning that he was forbidden to administer the archdiocese as an appointed archbishop. Methodius did not break with Rome, and it was most probably his intention to bring Gorazd with him to Rome, as was agreed and indicated in John VIII's letter of 881, but the death of John and other events in Rome, explained above, prevented the realization of





the plan. Gorazd was most probably ordained archbishop by the papal legates in about 900, as is explained below, p. 196.


68. Z. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 279, simply attributes this lie to the pope. The decadence of the papacy during the reign of Stephen was not as pronounced, however, as the author pretends, in order to justify a false statement absolutely contrary to the letter Industriae tuae, approving the use of the Slavic liturgical language. We know that Wiching had some experience in fabricating papal letters, and it seems more logical to suppose that Wiching had presented to the pope the letter of John VIII which he had falsified and presented to Svatopluk in 880. The pope regarded this letter as genuine and composed his missive on the basis of Wiching’s false document. It is really difficult to imagine how Wiching could have falsified a letter which was in the hands of legates. This suggestion has been made already by A. Lapôtre, L'Europe et le Saint-Siège (Paris, 1895), p. 168.


69. Ed. N. L. Tunickij, Materialy, pp. 98-114, PG, 126, cols. 1212-1224.


70. Z. R. Dittrich, Christianity, p. 272, asserts that Svatopluk had transferred his court to Nitra. There is, however, no evidence for this supposition. On p. 183, the author states that, during the reign of Rastislav, Svatopluk had some area of his own over which he had power. This area was "not in Slovakia, however, but... in what is now Western Moravia, or Southern Bohemia." He considers the view that Nitra was an appanage of Svatopluk as "a fable." The evidence with which he tries to support this theory cannot be accepted, however. His thesis (p. 284) that Wiching left Rome before the legates, hastened to Moravia, and liquidated the whole affair before their arrival in Moravia deserves more attention. This would also explain why he could convince Svatopluk with his own interpretation of the papal letter. In the presence of the legates it would have been more difficult.


71. For details, see below, p. 246 ff.


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