The historical, cultural and spiritual legacy of the early Middle Ages in the period between the 800-1000 A.D.

The period of 800-1000 AD is of special significance in European history, as it was a time when many Central European nations entered the world stage and for some it was the time of their formation and birth. The roots and traditions of existing states and the cultural, historical and political relations between them stretch back to this period. The process of consolidation finally began in the 8th century after the restless and eventful periods marked by the gradual fall of the Roman Empire and the migration of tribes and entire nations. The Frankish Carolingian dynasty unified Western Europe under its influence. In Eastern Europe, the influence and significance of emerging Bulgaria, which had broken free from the influence of Byzantine Empire, began to grow.

The expansion of the Frankish Empire at the turn of the 9th centuries was the cause of the demise of the Avar Khaganate in the Pannonian Basin. It was, however, also the impulse for the formation of new centres of power and politics in the eastern Alpine area, Croatia, Dalmatia and Transdanubia, but also to the north of the Danube in the Nitra area and in Moravia and Bohemia. The principalities established there were the embryos of future states: Austria, Croatia and Serbia and a state known as Great Moravia in later written sources. The later weakening of central Frankish power in this area enabled the emergence of Hungary and Austria. The gates were also opened to the spread of Christianity at that time. In this period, the territory of central Transdanubia and Great Moravia was where Byzantine interests and influences met those of the Frankish Empire. Cyril and Methodius’ mission was a significant attempt at bridging these two cultural-political areas, and their missionary pilgrimage brought together a wide area around the Danube.

(Source: Peter Bednár, Archeological Institut SAV)