Principality of Lower Pannonia
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|Principality of Lower Pannonia|
Map of the main part of the Principality of Lower Pannonia during Prince Pribina's reign, around 846 AD
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|Today part of||Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Austria|
The Principality of Lower Pannonia or Balaton Principality was a Slavic principality vassal to the Frankish Empire, or according to others a comitatus of the Frankish Empire, led initially by a dux (Pribina) and later by a comes (Pribina's son, Kocel). It was one of the early Slavic polities (Kocel's title was "Comes de Sclauis" - Count of the Slavs)  and was situated mostly in Transdanubia region of modern Hungary, but also included parts of modern Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Austria. Its capital was Mosapurc "Mosapurc regia civitate", present-day Zalavár (in Old-Slavonic Blatengrad, in Latin Urbs Paludarum).
The inhabitants of the principality were Slavic peoples as Western Slavs to the north, Karantanians and Pannonians Slavs to the west and the south, and Serbs to the south-east. Remains of the Avars and Germanic peoples were also parts of the local population.
The Slavic settlement of Pannonia started in the late 5th century after the fall of the Hunnic tribal union. In the late 6th century the Slavs in the territory became subjects of the Avar tribal union (Avar Khaganate). Trouble by internal conflicts as well as external attacks by Frankish Empire (led by Charles the Great) and Bulgarian Khanate (led by Khan Krum), the Avar polity collapsed by the early 9th century. South-eastern Pannonia (along the lower reaches of the Tisza) was taken by the Bulgarian Khanate, whilst Pannonia west of the Danube fell under Frankish rule. The future Lower Pannonia Principality would form in the territory of Lower Pannonia, lying between the Raab, Danube and Sava / Drava rivers (whilst Upper Pannonia lay north of the Raab river, in modern northern Austria). Collectively, the southeastern Slavic marches of the Carolongian empire were called the Eastland (Plaga Orientalis). Initially, these marches were governed by the Duke of Friuli, in service of Emperor Louis the Pious. During the first two decades of the ninth century, much of lower Pannonia was ruled by Slavic Prince Ljudevit Posavski, a Frankish vassal. After his rebellion, Louis removed the lands from the Friuliun Duke and placed them under his son's (Louis the German) Bavarian sub-kingdom. The turmoils did not end, as in 827, the Bulgarians invaded much of Lower Pannonia, but were then pushed back by Louis the German the following year.
The Principality of Lower Pannonia 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2010)|
In the course of the creation of Great Moravia in 833 to the north of the Danube, Pribina (Priwina), until then the Prince of the Principality of Nitra, was expelled from his country by Mojmír I of the Moravian principality. After several adventures, he was eventually given the Frankish lands in Lower Pannonia c. 839 AD, where he founded the Lower Pannonia Principality (whose Slavic name "Blatno" means "Principality (Duchy) of the Muddy lake (or river)"). This was a calculated move on the part of Louis the German, who aimed to curtail the power of his Prefect, Ratbod, as well as gain an ally (and buffer) against the potential threats of Great Moravia and Bulgaria. Pribina's capital was Blatnograd (Blatnohrad, later called Mosapurc), a city built at the Zala river (Zala in Hungarian, in Slavic languages "Blatna" or similar forms meaning Muddy river), near Keszthely, between the small and large Balaton lakes (Balaton in Hungarian, in Slavic languages Blatno / Blatenské jazero or similar forms meaning Muddy lake). He greatly fortified this city, and surrounded by swamps and dense forests, it lay in a strategically powerful position. Pribina was Louis the German's Dux. His state grew powerful and Pribina ruled for two decades. His state contained a retinue of followers, including Carantanians, Franks and even Slavonized Avars. Pribina allowed the Archbishop of Salzburg to consecrate churches in the area.
After an attack by Carloman (during his rebellion against Louis the German), Pribina's son, Kotsel (Gozil, Koceľ, Kocelj, 861-876), fled to the court of Louis. He was soon re-instated in his father's lands. In the summer of 867, Prince Kocel provided short-term hospitality to brothers Cyril and Methodius on their way from Great Moravia to the pope in Rome to justify the use of the Slavonic language as a liturgical language. They and their disciples turned Blatnograd into one of the centers that spread the knowledge of the new Slavonic script (Glagolitic alphabet) and literature, educating numerous future missionaries in their native language.
Although a Frankish vassal, it later started resisting the influence of German feudal lords and clergy, trying to organize an independent Slavic archdiocese.[dubious ] Eventually, after Kocel's death in 876, Lower Pannonia was again made a direct part of the East Frankish Empire, ruled by Arnulf of Carinthia. During the succession strife in East Frankia, in 884, the area was conquered by Great Moravia, c. 894. After a few years of peace, Arnulf renewed his wars with Moravia, and recaptured Lower Pannonia. After he claimed the Imperial Crown in 896, Arnulf gave Lower Pannonia to another Slavic duke, Braslav, as a fiefdom. Soon afterwards, in 901 it was conquered by the Hungarians, who became the new ruling core, but retained many elements of Slavic political organization. The territory became part of the arising Hungarian state.
|Southeastern Europe, latter half of 9th century. The principality (Pannonian Duchy) was created out of land granted from Frankish eastern marches||Principality of Lower Pannonia under Koceľ||State of Braslav|
Parts of the principality 
Pribina's authority stretched from the Rába river to the north, to Pécs to the southeast, and to Ptuj to the West. Temporary, it also included territory in the east of the Danube  and in the south of the Drava, i.e. parts of present-day central Hungary (between Danube and Tisa), northern Serbia (Bačka, west Syrmia) and eastern Croatia (west Syrmia, east Slavonia).
- Pribina (from 839/840 to 860/861)
- Koceľ (from 860/861 to 872/876)
- Muncimir (from 872 to 873)
- Braslav (from 894 to 897)
See also 
- List of early East Slavic states
- Principality of Nitra
- Principality of Pannonian Croatia
- East Francia
- Great Moravia
- Principality of Hungary
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