- Series: The Middle Ages Series
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press; First Edition edition (January 20, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812232763
- ISBN-13: 978-0812232769
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,212,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Franks, Moravians, and Magyars: The Struggle for the Middle Danube, 788-907 (The Middle Ages Series) Hardcover – January 20, 1995
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"A major contribution to the understanding of Carolingian policies in the east."—Speculum
"Deserves to be widely read as a major contribution to a comparatively neglected area of ninth-century history."—History
About the Author
Charles R. Bowlus is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.
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territory under ecclesiastical control and setup marcher organization after defeating Avars at the end of 8th century while on the other hand the territory became sensitive subject of political concerns at the background of east-west Photian schism and consequent short term reunification of the Holy Sea and struggle for ecclesiastical control in neighboring Bulgaria. Great Moravia gave the birth to the first Slavonic alphabet, which has evolved to modern south and east Slavic alphabets and became 4th official liturgical language for short period of the time. All those facts caused that Great Moravia became one of crucial pillars used to stimulate national movements of Slavs in Austrian-Hungarian monarchy since 18th century as symbolic historical approval of ability to exist and organize independent state with influential and peaceful christian culture. Many legends arose and have survived to present times and they are still subject of politics with deep impact on authority of various nationalistic and religious organizations. That's why question of geographic location of cultural center of Great Moravia as a place of St.Method's archepiscopal sea and residence of kings as represents of secular power still plays important role and increases permanent interest in society of central European countries.
However author of the book provides readers with alternative view to the one, which is widely accepted and described also in influential work of historian F.Dvornik who locate cultural center of Great Moravia to the territory north of Danube. He provides reader with arguments, which make selected set of known arguments supporting pro north Danube location hypothesis not plausible anymore by independent and unique way of application modern methodologies considering wider historical context. Instead he believes that consistent interpretation can be better explained while accepting hypothesis of south-east Morava location around ancient city Sirmium. Thus author belongs to the group of historians like I.Boba, M.Egger, P.P.Nagy, T.Senga. The methodologies used in the book help to reconstruct military organization of Franks' south-eastern marchers. The first one by studying system of roads, physical geography, logistic supply centers, property transfers and application of the knowledge to main military campaigns of the 9th century like Ludewit's revolt, Rastislav rebellion, Zwentibalds overtakes, Wilhelminer war, Arnulf campaign, Magyar conquest and other important historical events. Second methodology, which was used is prosopography that seeks to recognize aristocrat kindreds that dominated the Carolingian age economically, politically, militarily and ecclesiastically. The research resulted in conclusion that relatively large body of reliable evidence in Frankish charters and deeds demonstrated that members of leading marcher kindreds can be documented in Carantania and thus Carantania became center of gravity of the system of marcher lordships on the east of Bavaria.
Reading the book is wonderful experience. Author provides a reader throughout history related to central Danubian basin for almost one whole century starting from conquest and collapse of Avar Empire by East Franks ending with Magyars' final conquest. The book is exhaustive and detail description of important events with rich references to reliable resources at the end. Besides factual description of events it uncovers their mutual relations from the broad perspective of wider historical context. Author prefers Franks' annals as reliable and consistent sources of information over Byzantines and therefor I miss, for me, objections against traditional arguments from sources such as Life of Methodius and Life of St.Clement of Ohrid. Sometimes I had also feeling that author would like to support Boba's hypothesis at all costs e.g. when discussing location of Brezalauspurc arguing by linguistic analysis ;-) or by romantic research of P.J.afárik from 19th century and not mentioning coin PRESLAVVA CIVITAS, which name can be derived from Zwentibald son ;-) But despite all my feelings and final conclusion that I'm not historian and therefor I might be wrong, I'm giving 5 stars and thanks to author for enriching experience, broadening knowledge and opening mind!
seriously undermines the credibility of his work. It was an interesting reading, but sometimes I could not take it too seriously.