|Vojnomir or Voynomir|
|Duke of Pannonian Croatia or Prince of Carniola|
|Reign||c. 791 – c. 810?|
Vojnomir or Voynomir, was a duke of Pannonian Croatia, who ruled over Slavonia from c. 790 to c. 800 or from 791 to c. 810. Vojnomir is also known as Wonomyrus Sclavus (declined as Wonomyro Sclavo, Uuonomyro Sclavo or Uuonomiro Sclavo), because of his Slavic origin.
Vojnomir is known for fighting the Avars during their occupation of Croatia. Helped by Frankish troops under the King Charlemagne, he launched a counterattack in 791. The campaign was successful and the Avars were driven out of Croatia. In return for the help of Charlemagne, Vojnomir was obliged to recognize the Frankish sovereignty, to convert to Christianity and to have his territory named Pannonian Croatia.
During the phase of Franko-Avarian war between the King Charlemagne and the Avarian kagan in the late 795 AD or in the year 796 AD, Friulian and Frankish troops were led into Pannonia by Eric of Friuli and by his companion Vojnomir. This army was not seriously resisted by Avarians and many Avarian forts were conquered. Vojnomir's leading position in the campaign has been presumed as very possible with regard to the textual analysis of Annales regni Francorum.
Vojnomir remains an enigmatic historical personality. Even the correct reading of his name is unclear. Instead of Vojnomir the original Wonomyro (Uuonomiro, Uuonomyro) could also be read as Zvonimir, just like the name of Croat king Demetrius Zvonimir has been corrupted in Svinimiro. There are three most reliable hypotheses about his origin: the Pannonian hypothesis, the career hypothesis and the Carniolan hypothesis. At least two explanations could be read in the context of modern nationalistic mythology: Slovene and German authors from the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary are prone to support the Carniolan origin and Croatian authors are prone to support the Pannonian or the Istrian origin.
Duke of Pannonian Croatia
According to thePannonian hypothesis, Vojnomir was a duke or prince (Croatian: knez) of Pannonian Croatia, who ruled over Slavonia from c. 790 to c. 800 or from 791 to c. 810. He is known for fighting the Avars during their occupation of northern Croatia. He launched a joint counterattack with the help of Frankish troops under King Charlemagne in 791. The offensive was successful and the Avars were driven out of Croatia. In return for the help of Charlemagne, Vojnomir was obliged to recognize the Frankish sovereignty, to convert to Christianity and to have his territory named Pannonian Croatia. In a major victory against Avars in 796, he aided Charlemagne, and the Franks made themselves overlords over the Croatians of northern Dalmatia, Slavonia and Pannonia.
On Christmas Day in 800, a year after the Siege of Trsat, the Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Imperator Romanorum ("Emperor of the Romans") in Saint Peter's Basilica. Nicephorus I of the Byzantine Empire and Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire settle their imperial boundaries in 803. Following these events, known as the Pax Nicephori, the Principality of Dalmatian Croatia peacefully accepted limited Frankish overlordship. Contrary to Dalmatian Croatia, after the death of duke Vojnomir, a former Frankish ally of Pannonian Croatia led a resistance to Frankish domination under the leadership of duke Ljudevit Posavski.
Frankish military leader
The military hypothesis claims that Vojnomir was only a Slav making a career in the Frankish troops. From the only reliable contemporary source, Annales regni Francorum, it is known that Vojnomir was a military leader. His status of a duke or a prince is not mentioned at all. In the past most of the historians described Vojnomir as one of Slavic dukes or princes in the neighbourhood of Friuli. However, it is hard to believe that a leader of a foreign land could be accepted as a Frankish military leader by the Franks. He was probably only an exceptional Slavic individual who made his career in the Frankish army and perhaps he was only a Friulian Slav. Vojnomir could also be a military leader from Istria. On the other hand, this hypothesis has not been supported by other historical proofs and should therefore not be seen as an undisputed fact but rather as a strong probability.
Prince of Carniola
Many authors interpret Vojnomir as the Prince of Carniola. One of the arguments is that Carniola was the land just between Friuli and Avaria. Frankish troops passed Carniola, so this land is natural candidate for Vojnomir's homeland. Carniolans also hated their Avarian enemies. There are claims that the ancestors of the Croats were not the subjects of the Franks at this time. The Carniolans on the other side were already ruled by the Franks from 791 AD with their basic autonomy and the rule of their own domestic Princes retained until the rebel of Ljudevit. Regarding the subordination of the Croat ancestors it was proved only for the Slavs in Dalmatia, whereas the Pannonian Slavs could have been subjected to the Franks already in the year 791.
|Duke of Pannonian Croatia or hypothetical Prince of Carniola
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