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The Creation of Great Moravia – Settlement and Culture

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V – VI Century

At the end of V and the beginning of the VI century. On the territory of the Czech Republic and Slovakia came the Slavic population. It was the agricultural colonization of almost empty lands. The main occupation of the Slavs was agriculture farming and cattle farming, they occupied the previously inhabited territories and expanded them by uprooting forests. The agricultural machinery of the Slavs provided life and a certain increase in population. Slavs grew wheat and millet, as well as rye, peas, lentils, hemp, vegetables, and gathered wild fruits. They bred mostly cattle, knew the processing of wood, clay, bone ,horn, and knew about elementary textile production. A fairly high level of metal processing was reached. The Slavs lived mainly in lands of village type, but as the soil became depleted, which occurred 15-20 years later, they moved to other areas.

At this time, the Slavs experienced a period of transition from the tribal organization to military democracy. The basis of the social unit was a community consisting of several families numbering 50–60 people.

Archaeological data show that in the 6th – 7th centuries mass transfer of Prague-Korchak culture from different places of its range to the area of ​​the Morava River, which corresponds to the message of Nestor in The Tale of Bygone Years : “… who came to the river Morava, and nicknamed Morava ”.

At the beginning of the 6th century nomad Avars entered Central Europe. In the second half of the century, they occupied the Roman province of Pannonia, from where they launched attacks on the Franks, Byzantium and the Slavs, from whom they took tribute – certain amounts of money for preserving peace. Avars also forced the Slavs to take part in their campaigns. In 623-624 Slavs rebelled. The only source of these events – the Fredegar ‘s chronicle, dating back to about 660 – tells of the defeat of the Avars and the election of Itself as the leader of the Slavs. In 631, a conflict began between Self and the Frankish king, Dagobert I. The Slavs defeated the Franks and their allies, the Langobards and Alemanns, invaded the Frankish possessions and drew to their side the prince of the Serbs of Derwan.

The state itself was located partly on the territory of the Czech Republic and the Serbs of Lusatia. It was a tribal alliance, both defending against enemies and making predatory attacks on neighbors.

VIII and IX Century

During the VIII and IX centuries. The Slavic settlement area expanded. Southern Moravia became the most habitable, where fortified towns and districts were created. The district with the center in Mikulčice became the princely center. Of great importance is also Nitra in Slovakia. Between the territories of the Czech Republic and Slovakia there was a wide belt of uninhabited land. In the Czech region the fortified cities arose, in particular the Prague fortified settlement of the 9th century. In the Morava River Basin, a huge number of settlements, fortresses, and burial grounds of the Great Moravian Empire’s existence have been identified. This indicates the stabilization of the settlement of the territory and the further development of the productive forces. According to the data of archeology, in the VII – IX centuries. A high level reached the agriculture of the Slavs, which was also ensured by the development of the craft (carpentry, weaving, pottery, blacksmithing, etc.), which by that time had reached a high level. During the excavations, archaeologists discovered 24 furnaces for steel making. The blacksmith’s craft and woodworking developed in the city, from which dwellings were also built. Cooper and pottery production became widespread. There was also a production of jewelry made of gold, silver, glass, which was concentrated in the main centers. Researchers discover a huge amount of silver, bronze and gold jewelry made in the technique of grain and filigree (contact with the Byzantine masters), original products from non-ferrous metals of the mykolichitsky type. Ornaments and small household items were made of bone and horn, fabrics – of flax, hemp, wool. In the IX century the construction business developed. There are 18 stone churches of that era.

Sources:
Rhona-Tas, András (1999) Hungarians
Kirschbaum, Stanislav J. (1996) A History of Slovakia
The history of the culture of the Slavic peoples
Vepřek, Miroslav. Great Moravia and Old Church Slavonic of Great Moravia

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