Pannonian Croatia

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"Duchy of Lower Pannonia" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Principality of Lower Pannonia.
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
Pannonian Duchy under Braslav
Capital Siscia
Government Duchy
Duke Vojnomir
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Established c. 790
 -  Disestablished c. 897
Today part of  Croatia
 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Pannonian Croatia is a name given in historiography to the succession of medieval early Slavic polities located in the southwestern 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, part of Frankish Pannonia,[1] and are known from Frankish primary sources.

In the 19th- and 20th-century Croatian historiography, the focus was usually placed on the 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]


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.[4]


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.



Following the rise of the Principality of Hungary in the mid 890s, no further Slavic rulers were recorded in the territory until the mid 920s when the Duke of Croatia Tomislav united the territory with Dalmatian Croatia to form the Kingdom of Croatia.[5]

There has remained a general uncertainty and dispute over the relationship between the Croatian and Hungarian kingdoms in the 10th and 11th century, with Croatian historian Ferdo Šišić and his followers assuming Tomislav of Croatia had ruled most of the area inhabited by Croats, including Slavonia, while the Hungarian historians Gyula Kristó, Bálint Hóman and János Karácsonyi thought the area between Drava and Sava belonged neither to Croatia nor to Hungary at the time, an opinion that Nada Klaić said she would not preclude, because the generic name "Slavonia" (lit. the land of the Slavs) may have implied so.[6]

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.[2] 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.[2][3]


  1. ^ Oto Luthar, The Land Between: A History of Slovenia, Peter Lang, 2008, p. 105.
  2. ^ a b Gračanin, 2008
  3. ^ Goldstein, 1985, pp. 241–242
  4. ^ Mediaeval Academy of America (1945). Speculum. University of California. p. 230. 
  5. ^ Opća enciklopedija JLZ. Yugoslavian Lexicographical Institute (Zagreb). 1982. 
  6. ^ Heka, Ladislav (October 2008). "Croatian-Hungarian relations from the Middle Ages to the Compromise of 1868, with a special survey of the Slavonian issue". Scrinia Slavonica (in Croatian) (Slavonski Brod: Croatian Historical Institute - Department of History of Slavonia, Srijem and Baranja) 8 (1): 155. ISSN 1332-4853. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 


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]