Duchy of Pannonia

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Vassal of Francia (c. 790 – 819, 823–827, 838–887, 896–897), Bulgaria (827–838), and Great Moravia (887–897)
Coats of arms of None.svg
c. 790–c. 897 Flag of Hungary (11th c. - 1301).svg
Coats of arms of None.svg
Principality of Lower Pannonia under Koceľ
Pannonian Duchy under Braslav
Capital Siscia, Mosapurc/Urbs Paludarum/Blatengrad
Government Duchy
Duke Vojnomir
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Established c. 790
 -  Disestablished c. 897
Today part of  Croatia
 Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Duchy of Pannonia[citation needed] is one of the names given in historiography to the succession of medieval early Slavic polities located in the western parts of the former Roman province of Pannonia between the fall of the Avar Khaganate starting in the 790s, and the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin in the 890s. They were mostly under Frankish suzerainty, and are known from Frankish primary sources.

In the 19th- and 20th-century Croatian historiography, the focus was usually placed on the southern territories, between the rivers Drava and Sava, referring to them as Pannonian Croatia (Croatian: Panonska Hrvatska), or Southern Pannonia, Transsavian Croatia, or just Pannonia.[note 1]

The northern territories, between the rivers Rába and Drava, achieved a period of notability between 846 and 875 under the rule of dukes Pribina and Kocel. This period is referred to as the principality of Lower Pannonia,[3] or the Balaton principality,[4] or as an indirect claim of Great Moravia onto Trans-Danubia (Pannonia).[5] It was a vassal to the Frankish Empire,[4][5] or according to others a comitatus of the Frankish Empire.[6] The rulers were referred to as "Slavic princes".


Under the Roman emperor Diocletian (284-305), Pannonia was divided into 4 provinces: Pannonia Savia, Pannonia Prima, Pannonia Valeria, and Pannonia Secunda. The rivers of the Pannonian Plain formed most of their borders, mainly Danube, Drava, and Sava. This system persisted with the Diocese of Pannonia until the 440s.


Arrival of the Slavs[edit]


Main article: Vojnomir

After the defeat of the Avar Khaganate by Frankish troops, a certain Vojnomir was assigned Savia as a vassal of the Frankish margrave of Friuli.[7]


Main article: Ljudevit Posavski


In 827, the Bulgarians invaded and conquered Savia and parts of territories to the north of Savia. In 829 they imposed a local duke Ratimir as the new ruler of Pannonian Croatia in their name, the Franks however claimed the territory, which in their view belonged (since 827) to the March of Carantania and thus under the rule of Count Radbod, who had been head of the March of Pannonia and March of Carinthia since 828.

In 838, Ratbod deposed Ratimir and subordinated Savia to the Frankish March of Carantania.

Pribina and Kocel[edit]

Duchy during Prince Pribina's reign, around 846 AD
Main articles: Pribina and Kocel

Pribina's authority stretched from the Rába river to the north, to Pécs to the southeast, and to Ptuj to the West.[8] Temporary, it also included territory in the east of the Danube [9] and in the south of the Drava,[9][10] i.e. parts of present-day central Hungary (between Danube and Tisa), northern Serbia (Bačka, west Syrmia) and eastern Croatia (west Syrmia, east Slavonia).

After an attack by Carloman (during his rebellion against Louis the German), Pribina's son, Kocel (861-876), fled to the court of Louis. He was soon re-instated in his father's lands.[citation needed] Kocel's title was "Comes de Sclauis" - Count of the Slavs.[8] and the capital of the territory was in Mosapurc "Mosapurc regia civitate",[3] present-day Zalavár (in Old-Slavonic Blatengrad, in Latin Urbs Paludarum).


Eastern parts of the southern principality extended to Syrmia region in present-day Serbia according to Hungarian historian Sándor Márki (1853-1925).[11][better source needed]


The territory became part of the arising Principality of Hungary.


In the 10th century, under Prince/King Tomislav, Lower Pannonia was united with Dalmatian Croatia to form the Kingdom of Croatia.[12]

See also[edit]

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  1. ^ The term "Pannonian Croatia" (Panonska Hrvatska) has been used by older Croatian historians to describe this entity in a manner that emphasizes its Croatian nature.[1] Contemporary sources did not actually use the Croatian name as such until the latter half of the 9th century, rendering the name anachronistic before then.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b Gračanin, 2008
  2. ^ Goldstein, 1985, pp. 241–242
  3. ^ a b Bowlus, Charles R. (1995). Franks, Moravians, and Magyars: the struggle for the Middle Danube, 788-907. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 204–220. 
  4. ^ a b Bartl, Július (2002). Slovak History: Chronology & Lexicon. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. pp. 19–20. 
  5. ^ a b Špiesz, Anton; Čaplovič, Duśan (2006). Illustrated Slovak History: A Struggle for Sovereignty in Central Europe. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. pp. 20–25. 
  6. ^ Béla Miklós Szőke, New findings of the excavations in Mosaburg /Zalavár (Western Hungary), In: Joachim Henning (editor), Post-Roman towns, Trade and Settlement in Europe and Byzantinum Vol.1,(The Heirs of the Roman west) , Walter de Gruyter, 2007, p. 411
  7. ^ Mediaeval Academy of America (1945). Speculum. University of California. p. 230. 
  8. ^ a b Oto Luthar, The Land Between: A History of Slovenia, Peter Lang, 2008, p. 105
  9. ^ a b Dragan Brujić, Vodič kroz svet Vizantije - od Konstantina do pada Carigrada, drugo izdanje, Beograd, 2005.
  10. ^ Grad Vukovar - Povijest
  11. ^ Map of Central Europe based on Sándor Márki's work
  12. ^ "Opća enciklopedija JLZ". Yugoslavian Lexicographical Institute (Zagreb). 1982. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Kirilo-Metodievska entsiklopedia (Cyrillo-Methodian Encyclopedia), in 3 volumes, (in Bulgarian), [DR5.K575 1985 RR2S], Sofia 1985
  • Welkya - Creation of Slavic Script, [1].
  • Dejiny Slovenska (History of Slovakia) in 6 volumes, Bratislava (volume 1 1986)
  • Steinhübel, Ján: Nitrianske kniežatstvo (Principality of Nitra), Bratislava 2004

External links[edit]