The so-called Czech Countries, ancestral territory made up of the regions of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, have been inhabited since ancient times. The oldest evidence dates from the Stone Age, approximately 28,000 BC; later in the 3rd century BC, the Celtic tribe of the Bogos settled in areas of the north and northwest.
At the beginning of the 1st century a. C. the first Germanic tribes arrived, recent archaeological findings show that the Roman legions entered the vicinity of the current city of Olomouc, in the center of Moravia.
In the 5th century the Slavic tribes arrived in the Bohemian and Moravian region and there they remained peacefully, organized in circular villages where they developed an economy based on agriculture. During the 6th century, the Avars invaded the area and subdued the peaceful Slavic tribes, forming an empire between the Elbe and Dnieper.
Later in the 7th century, the first attempt was made to create a state by unifying the different Slavic tribes as a means of protecting themselves against the attacks of the Avars, giving rise to the reign of Samo, in the year 625. This state lasted until the year 658, when the Avars were finally expelled from the region.
Great Moravian Empire
During the time of Charlemagne, the Slavic tribes in the area were gathered and led in numerous wars that finally managed to destroy the “Avar State”. The progress of the Carolingian government, in terms of centralization of power and creation of administrative structures, influenced the Slavs, Czechs and Moravians to constitute two very different political realities:
- Principality of Moravia: Spread over present-day Moravia and Western Slovakia, the principality was ruled by Mojmír I, who introduced Christianity with the PassauThe first historical antecedent that is had of the principality is data of the tributes granted to the Diet of Frankfurt. Its capital was Mikul? Ice.
- Principality of Nitra: Spread across present-day Eastern Slovakia, it was ruled by Prince Probina, who, although a pagan, had the first Christian church built in 828. Its capital was Nitra.
In the year 833, according to youremailverifier.com, Mojmír I submits the Principality of Nitra, gathering for the first time in a single political unit the Slavs, Czechs and Moravians. Probina and her family manage to escape to Frankish territory, where they are granted the Principality of Balaton or Lower Pannonia.
On the death of Mojmír I in 846, his grandson, Ratislav I, assumed the throne. Although he was initially appointed by the Frankish sovereigns, the prince managed to impose his independent policy. For this, the frank influence in the territory must have diminished, which he obtained in two ways. On the one hand, he achieved the defeat of the Frankish army in 855; and on the other, he overthrew the monopoly and influence of the French clergy in the area by calling on the Byzantine emperor, Michael III, to send missionaries to evangelize the region in the Slavic language. The response of the Byzantine monarch came immediately by sending the brothers Cyril and Methodius in 863. They created the primitive Slavic alphabet (Glagolitic alphabet) and translated the scriptures into this language. The government of Ratislav I also undertook the defense of its territory by building numerous fortifications. Eventually, the prince bestowed on his nephew, Svatopluk I, the title of Prince of Nitra. This one allied with the Franks managing to overthrow Ratislav.
The beginning of the reign of Svatopluk I was turbulent as his Frankish allies refused to leave the western part of Great Moravia. Captured by the Franks and with the people in insurrection, led by Slavomír, the years to come were difficult, until the liberation of Svatopluk. This, on his return, managed to take command of the insurgents, expel and defend himself from the Franks, repel Hungarians and the First Bulgarian Empire, in addition to achieving the maximum extension of the Empire encompassing the Czech Republic and Slovakia and areas of modern Hungary, Romania, Poland, Austria, Germany, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia and Ukraine. This led to his title as Rex (King) of Magna Moravia.
In 880 the pontiff John VIII published the bull Industriae Tuae, by which the independent ecclesiastical province of Great Moravia was created, with Methodius as archbishop, and Slavic was recognized as the fourth liturgical language (along with Latin, Greek and Hebrew).
Decline and fall
After the death of Svatopluk I in 894 the Empire went into decline when it was divided between his sons Mojmír II and Svatopluk II, who assumed as King of Great Moravia and Prince of Nitra, respectively. Engaged in infighting and invaded by the Eastern Frankish Kingdom, Great Moravia lost most of its peripheral territories.
The Magyar or Hungarian nomads, taking advantage of this fact, invaded the Danube river basin, occupying the territories of the Carpathian basin located to the south and in part of the Moravian empire. In 902 they would destroy the armies of Great Moravia, which would become a mere border kingdom, which would gradually disappear. While there is no exact data on when the last Moravian monarchs, Mojmír II and Svatopluk II, died, it is estimated that they probably perished around 907, when the Hungarians won the Battle of Bratislava over the Bavarian army.
Destroyed the empire, its ruins were distributed as follows:
- Western Area: In the hands of Eastern France (Germany), then the Holy Roman Empire, where a series of marquisates were formed to contain the Hungarian threat. Among those marquisates are: the Moravian Mark, the Austrian Mark, the Styrian Mark, the Carinthian Mark, the Carniola Mark, and the Istrian Mark. In addition, the Duchy of Bohemia was founded in that area.
- Southern Area: Annexed to the Hungarian State formed by the Árpád dynasty at the end of the 10th century.
- Eastern Area: In the hands of the Slavic landed aristocracy, it was subdued and annexed in 999 to the Kingdom of Poland of the Piast dynasty.