Iron Crown of Lombardy
The Iron Crown of Lombardy is both a reliquary and one of the oldest royal insignias of Christendom. It was made in the Early Middle Ages, consisting of a circlet of gold and jewels fitted around a central silver band, which tradition holds to be made of iron beaten out of a nail of the True Cross; the crown became one of the symbols of the Kingdom of the Lombards and of the medieval Kingdom of Italy. It is kept in the Cathedral of Monza, outside Milan; the Iron Crown is so called because it was believed to contain a one centimetre-wide band of iron within it, said to be beaten out of a nail used at the crucifixion of Jesus. The outer circlet of the crown is made of six segments of beaten gold enameled, joined together by hinges, it is set with twenty-two gemstones that stand out in the form of crosses and flowers. Its small size and hinged construction have suggested to some that it was a large armlet or a votive crown. According to other opinions, the small size is due to a readjustment after the loss of two segments, as described in historical documents.
According to tradition, St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, had the crown forged her son around a beaten nail from the True Cross, which she had discovered. Pope Gregory the Great passed this crown to Theodelinda, princess of the Lombards, as a diplomatic gift, although he made no mention of it among his recorded donations. Theodelinda donated the crown to the church at Monza in 628. According to another tradition reported by the historian Valeriana Maspero, the helm and the bit of Constantine were brought to Milan by Emperor Theodosius I, who resided there, were exposed at his funeral, as described by St. Ambrose in his funeral oration De obituu Theosdosii; as the bit remained in Milan, the helm with the diadem was transferred to Constantinople, until Theoderic the Great, who had threatened Constantinople itself, claimed it as part of his right as the king of Italy. The Byzantines sent him the diadem, holding the helmet until it was looted and lost following the sack of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade in 1204).
King Theoderic adopted the diadem gemmis insignitum, quas pretiosior ferro innexacrucis redemptoris divinae gemma connecteretas as his crown. This is the Iron Crown, passed by the Goths to the Lombards; the crown was used in Charlemagne's coronation as King of the Lombards. Contemporary or nearly contemporary accounts of the initiations of the earlier kings of the Lombards stress the importance of the king's holding the holy lance; the crown was in use for the coronation of the kings of Italy by the 14th century, since at least the 11th. Old research dates the crown to the 8th or early 9th century But according to a recent study, the crown in its current state is the result of two different works made between the 4–5th and the 9th century; this seems to validate the legends about the origin of the crown, that date it back to the Lombard era and the coronation of their kings. Lord Twining cites a hypothesis by Reinhold N. Elze that Gisela, the daughter of the Emperor Louis the Pious who married Duke Eberhard of Friuli, may have possessed the crown and left it to her son Berengar I of Italy on her death in 874.
Berengar was the only major benefactor of the church at Monza at this time, gave the Cathedral of St. John in Monza a cross made in the same style as the Iron Crown, still preserved in the church's treasury. Twining notes that the Imperial Museum at St. Petersburg includes in its collection two medieval crowns found at Kazan in 1730 made in the same style and of the same size as the Iron Crown. Twining notes that while these crowns and the Iron Crown are too small to be worn around an adult human head, they could be worn on the top of the head if they were affixed to a veil, this would account for the small holes on the rim of the Iron Crown. Twining mentions a relief plaque in the cathedral which appears to represent the coronation of Otto IV at Monza in 1209 as it was described by Morigias in 1345 and stresses the point that although four votive crowns are shown hanging above the altar, the crown which the archbishop is placing on the king's head bears no resemblance to the Iron Crown.:424Finally, Twining cites a study by Ludovico Antonio Muratori which documents the various degrees of the ecclesiastical authorities alternately authorizing and suppressing the veneration of the Iron Crown until, in 1688, the matter was subjected to be studied by the Congregation of Rites in Rome, which in 1715 diplomatically concluded its official examination by permitting the Iron Crown to be exposed for public veneration and carried in processions, but leaving the essential point of whether the iron ring came from one of the nails of Christ's crucifixion undecided.
However, subsequently Archbishop Visconti of Milan gave his own decision that "the iron ring in the Monza crown should be considered as one of the Nails of the Holy Cross and as an original relic." Twining notes that the clergy of Monza assert that despite the centuries that the Iron Crown has been exposed to public veneration, there is not a speck of rust on the essential inner iron ring. Lipinsky, in his examination of the Iron Crown in 1985, noted that the inner ring does not attract a magnet. Analysis of the inner ring in 1993 revealed. Thirty-four coronations with the Iron Crown were counted by the historian Bartolomeo Zucchi from the 9th to the 17th century; the Encyclopædia Britannica states that the first reliable
The Visigoths were the western branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes flourished and spread throughout the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, or what is known as the Migration Period; the Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another and making treaties when convenient; the Visigoths invaded Italy under Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410. After the Visigoths sacked Rome, they began settling down, first in southern Gaul and in Hispania, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom and maintained a presence from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD; the Visigoths first settled in southern Gaul as foederati to the Romans – a relationship established in 418. However, they soon fell out with their Roman hosts and established their own kingdom with its capital at Toulouse.
They next extended their authority into Hispania at the expense of the Vandals. In 507, their rule in Gaul was ended by the Franks under Clovis I, who defeated them in the Battle of Vouillé. After that, the Visigoth kingdom was limited to Hispania, they never again held territory north of the Pyrenees other than Septimania. A small, elite group of Visigoths came to dominate the governance of that region at the expense of those who had ruled there in the Byzantine province of Spania and the Kingdom of the Suebi. In or around 589, the Visigoths under Reccared I converted from Arianism to Nicene Christianity adopting the culture of their Hispano-Roman subjects, their legal code, the Visigothic Code abolished the longstanding practice of applying different laws for Romans and Visigoths. Once legal distinctions were no longer being made between Romani and Gothi, they became known collectively as Hispani. In the century that followed, the region was dominated by the Councils of the episcopacy. In 711 or 712, an invading force of Arabs and Berbers defeated the Visigoths in the Battle of Guadalete.
Their king and many members of their governing elite were killed, their kingdom collapsed. During their governance of Hispania, the Visigoths built several churches, they left many artifacts, which have been discovered in increasing numbers by archaeologists in recent times. The Treasure of Guarrazar of votive crowns and crosses is the most spectacular, they founded the only new cities in western Europe from the fall of the Western half of the Roman Empire until the rise of the Carolingian dynasty. Many Visigothic names are still in use in modern Portuguese, their most notable legacy, was the Visigothic Code, which served, among other things, as the basis for court procedure in most of Christian Iberia until the Late Middle Ages, centuries after the demise of the kingdom. Contemporaneous references to the Gothic tribes use the terms "Vesi", "Ostrogothi", "Thervingi", "Greuthungi". Most scholars have concluded that the terms "Vesi" and "Tervingi" were both used to refer to one particular tribe, while the terms "Ostrogothi" and "Greuthungi" were used to refer to another.
Herwig Wolfram points out that while primary sources list all four names, whenever they mention two different tribes, they always refer either to "the Vesi and the Ostrogothi" or to "the Tervingi and the Greuthungi", they never pair them up in any other combination. This conclusion is supported by Jordanes, who identified the Visigoth kings from Alaric I to Alaric II as the heirs of the 4th century Tervingian king Athanaric, the Ostrogoth kings from Theoderic the Great to Theodahad as the heirs of the Greuthungi king Ermanaric. In addition, the Notitia Dignitatum equates the Vesi with the Tervingi in a reference to the years 388–391; the earliest sources for each of the four names are contemporaneous. The first recorded reference to "the Tervingi" is in a eulogy of the emperor Maximian, delivered in or shortly after 291 and traditionally ascribed to Claudius Mamertinus, it says that the "Tervingi, another division of the Goths", joined with the Taifali to attack the Vandals and Gepidae. The first recorded reference to "the Greuthungi" is by Ammianus Marcellinus, writing no earlier than 392 and later than 395, recounting the words of a Tervingian chieftain, attested as early as 376.
The first known use of the term "Ostrogoths" is in a document dated September 392 from Milan. Wolfram notes that "Vesi" and "Ostrogothi" were terms each tribe used to boastfully describe itself and argues that "Tervingi" and "Greuthungi" were geographical identifiers each tribe used to describe the other; this would explain why the latter terms dropped out of use shortly after 400, when the Goths were displaced by the Hunnic invasions. As an example of this geographical naming practice, Wolfram cites an account by Zosimus of a group of people living north of the Danube who called themselves "the Scythians" but were called "the Greutungi" by members of a different tribe living
The Duomo of Monza known in English as Monza Cathedral is the main religious building of Monza, in northern Italy. Unlike most duomos it is not in fact a cathedral, as Monza has always been part of the Diocese of Milan, but is in the charge of an archpriest who has the right to certain episcopal vestments including the mitre and the ring; the church is known as the Basilica of San Giovanni Battista from its dedication to John the Baptist. The basilica, which would in essence have been completed by 603 when heir to the Lombard throne Adaloald was baptised here by Secundus of Non, is believed to have been commissioned towards the end of the sixth century by the Lombard Queen of Italy, Theodelinda, as a royal chapel to serve the nearby palace. According to the legend she had made a vow to build a church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, when riding along the banks of the Lambro River, she was halted by a dove who told her Modo, to which she replied Etiam. Monza itself was known as Modoetia.
In 595, she had a oraculum built on the Greek Cross plan. The queen was buried here, in. On the remains of the oraculum, a new church was erected in the 13th century, it was again rebuilt as a basilica, starting from 1300, on a Latin Cross plan with an octagonal tiburium. In the late 14th century, the side chapels were added and, as designed by Matteo da Campione, the Pisan-Gothic style west front in white and green marble was begun. Starting from the 16th century, the choir and the ceiling were restored. Subsequently, the walls and the vaults were decorated with frescoes and stucco-work; the bell tower was erected in 1606. In the 18th century a cemetery was annexed on the left side; the massive west front is divided into five parts by six lesene, each of, surmounted by a tabernacle housing a statue. The façade has several mullioned windows with, in the centre, a large rose window framed by a motif inspired by Roman antique ceilings, decorated with rosettes and star motifs; the façade is considered Romanesque in its Gothic in its decoration.
Typical of the latter is the porch, with 14th century gargoyles on the sides and the 13th century lunette with the 16th century busts of Theodelinda and King Agilulf. Over the porch is the statue of Saint John the Baptist. Over the portal is depicted the Baptism of Jesus, assisted by Saint Peter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Zachary and Saint Paul. In the upper section is portrayed Theodelinda offering to John the Baptist the Iron Crown of Lombardy, together with her kneeling husband Agilulf and their children Adaloald and Gundeberga; the church has a nave and two aisles, separated by octagonal columns with Romanesque capitals and round columns with Baroque capitals. It ends in large apses, has a series of chapels opening into the aisles; the wall decoration is overwhelmingly Baroque. Other artworks include a choir by Matteo da Campione, the high altar by Andrea Appiani, the presbytery and transept frescoes by Giuseppe Meda and Giuseppe Arcimboldi. In the right transept is the entrance to the Serpero Museum which houses the treasury with the Iron Crown of Lombardy, the Late Antique ivory Poet and Muse diptych, of about 500, as well as an internationally important collection of late antique and early medieval works of various kinds, many deposited by Theodelinda herself.
These include small metal 6th century ampullae from the Holy Land which are evidence of the emerging iconography of medieval art, among them the earliest depictions of the treatments of the Crucifixion and Nativity of Jesus in art that were to become standard throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. Only Bobbio has an equivalent collection of ampullae; the library holds a number of important illuminated manuscripts. Apart the Iron Crown, the most famous attraction of the church is the Chapel of Theodelinda, it has 15th-century frescoes from the Zavattari workshop depicting the stories of the queen's life, such as the dove episode, her marriage proposal, her meeting with her first husband, the latter's death in battle, her new marriage with Agilulf. All the figures are portrayed with rich garments typical of the Visconti era; the vault is decorated with 14th century figures of evangelists enthroned. On the outer arch are depicted Theodelinda with her court venerating Saint John the Baptist. An ancient and unusual privilege of the Duomo is its right to employ ceremonial armed guards, rather on the line of the Papal Swiss Guard at the Vatican.
Known as Alabardieri from the halberds they carry, the date of their institution is described in a 1763 edict of Maria Theresa of Austria as ‘immemorial’. Their eighteenth-century style uniform, of blue wool with gold braiding and a belt buckle with an image of the Iron Crown, is unchanged from that approved in the edict, except that since the Napoleonic period the bicorne hat has replaced the earlier tricorne. Caterina Visconti Hahn, The Meaning of Early Medieval Treasuries, in Reliquiare im Mittelalter, Volume 5 of Hamburger Forschungen zur Kunstgeschichte, eds Bruno Reudenbach, Gia Toussaint, Akademie Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-05-004134-X, 9783050041346, google books Media related to Duomo at Wikimedia Commons Official website Page with images of the frescoes
Perugia is the capital city of both the region of Umbria in central Italy, crossed by the river Tiber, of the province of Perugia. The city is located about 164 kilometres north of 148 km southeast of Florence, it covers a high part of the valleys around the area. The region of Umbria is bordered by Tuscany and Marche; the history of Perugia goes back to the Etruscan period. The city is known as the universities town, with the University of Perugia founded in 1308, the University for Foreigners, some smaller colleges such as the Academy of Fine Arts "Pietro Vannucci" public athenaeum founded in 1573, the Perugia University Institute of Linguistic Mediation for translators and interpreters, the Music Conservatory of Perugia, founded in 1788, other institutes. Perugia is a well-known cultural and artistic centre of Italy; the city hosts multiple annual festivals and events, e.g. the Eurochocolate Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, the International Journalism Festival, is associated with multiple notable people in the arts.
The famous painter Pietro Vannucci, nicknamed Perugino, was a native of Città della Pieve, near Perugia. He decorated the local Sala del Cambio with a beautiful series of frescoes. Perugino was the teacher of Raphael, the great Renaissance artist who produced five paintings in Perugia and one fresco. Another famous painter, lived in Perugia. Galeazzo Alessi is the most famous architect from Perugia; the city's symbol is the griffin, which can be seen in the form of plaques and statues on buildings around the city. Perugia was an Umbrian settlement but first appears in written history as Perusia, one of the 12 confederate cities of Etruria. Fabius Pictor's account, utilized by Livy, of the expedition carried out against the Etruscan League by Fabius Maximus Rullianus in 310 or 309 BC. At that time a thirty-year indutiae was agreed upon. In 216 and 205 BC it assisted Rome in the Second Punic War but afterwards it is not mentioned until 41–40 BC, when Lucius Antonius took refuge there, was reduced by Octavian after a long siege, its senators sent to their death.
A number of lead bullets used by slingers have been found around the city. The city was burnt, we are told, with the exception of the temples of Vulcan and Juno—the massive Etruscan terrace-walls can hardly have suffered at all—and the town, with the territory for a mile round, was allowed to be occupied by whoever chose, it must have been rebuilt at once, for several bases for statues exist, inscribed Augusto sacr Perusia restituta. Vibius Trebonianus Gallus, it is hardly mentioned except by the geographers until it was the only city in Umbria to resist Totila, who captured it and laid the city waste in 547, after a long siege after the city's Byzantine garrison evacuated. Negotiations with the besieging forces fell to the city's bishop, Herculanus, as representative of the townspeople. Totila is said to have ordered the bishop to be beheaded. St. Herculanus became the city's patron saint. In the Lombard period Perugia is spoken of as one of the principal cities of Tuscia. In the 9th century, with the consent of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, it passed under the popes.
In 1186 Henry VI, rex romanorum and future emperor, granted diplomatic recognition to the consular government of the city. On various occasions the popes found asylum from the tumults of Rome within its walls, it was the meeting-place of five conclaves, including those that elected Honorius III, Clement IV, Celestine V, Clement V, but Perugia had no mind to subserve the papal interests and never accepted papal sovereignty: the city used to exercise a jurisdiction over the members of the clergy, moreover in 1282 Perugia was excommunicated due to a new military offensive against the Ghibellines regardless of a papal prohibition. On the other hand, side by side with the 13th century bronze griffin of Perugia above the door of the Palazzo dei Priori stands, as a Guelphic emblem, the lion, Perugia remained loyal for the most part to the Guelph party in the struggles of Guelphs and Ghibellines; however this dominant tendency was rather an Italian political strategy. The Angevin presence in Italy appeared to offer a counterpoise to papal powers: in 1319 Perugia declared the Angevin Saint Louis of Toulouse "Protector of the city's sovereignty and of the Palazzo of its Priors" and set his figure among the other patron saints above the rich doorway of the Palazzo dei P
Theuderic II, king of Burgundy and Austrasia, was the second son of Childebert II. At his father's death in 595, he received Guntram's kingdom of Burgundy, with its capital at Orléans, while his elder brother, Theudebert II, received their father's kingdom of Austrasia, with its capital at Metz, he received the lordship of the cities of Toulouse, Nantes, Saintes, Angoulême, Périgueux, Chartres, Le Mans. During his minority, he reigned under the guidance of his grandmother Brunhilda, evicted from Austrasia by his brother Theudebert II. In 596, Clotaire II, king of Neustria, Fredegund, Clotaire's mother, took Paris, supposed to be held in common. Fredegund her son's regent, sent a force to Laffaux and the armies of Theudebert and Theuderic were defeated. In 599, Brunhilda was forced out of Austrasia by Theudebert and she was found wandering near Arcis in Champagne by a peasant, who brought her to Theuderic; the peasant was rewarded with the bishopric of Auxerre. Theuderic welcomed her and fell under her influence, inclined to vengeful war with Theudebert at the time.
Soon and his brother were at war. He defeated Theudebert at Sens, but their cousin Clotaire's restless warmaking prompted them to ally against him. They, in 600, defeated Clotaire at Dormelles on the Orvanne; the land between the Seine and the Oise was divided between Theuderic and Theudebert, with Theuderic receiving the territory between the Seine and the Loire including the Breton frontier. They campaigned together in Gascony, where they subjugated the local population and instated Genialis as duke. At this point, the two brothers took up arms against each other resulting in Theuderic's defeat of Theudebert at Étampes. Theuderic's kingdom was invaded by Clotaire and his mayor of the palace, Berthoald in 604, was confronted by Clotaire's son Merovech and his mayor Landric. Theuderic met them at Étampes on the Louet. Theuderic won the day; the next mayor, Protadius, a partisan of Brunhilda, encouraged war with Austrasia, but the nobles assassinated him and battle was never met, a pact being enforced by Theuderic's men.
In 610, he lost Alsace, the Saintois, the Thurgau, Champagne to his brother and his men east of the Jura were soundly defeated by the Alemanni. However, he routed Theudebert at Toul and at Tolbiac in 612, he captured the fleeing Theudebert in the latter battle and gave him over—after taking his royal paraphernalia—to his grandmother Brunhilda, who had him put up in a monastery. Bishop Ludegast is said to have beseeched him in a fable to spare Theudeberts life. Brunhilda had Theudebert murdered to allow Theuderic to succeed to both thrones unhindered. Theuderic died of dysentery in his Austrasian capital of Metz in late 613 while preparing a campaign against his longtime enemy, who had, based on a treaty with Theuderic during the last fraternal war, retaken the duchy of Dentelin, he married Ermenberga, the daughter of the Visigothic king of Spain, Witteric, at Chalon in 606, the next year, he sent her home in disgrace and a quadruple alliance of Clotaire, Theudebert and the Lombard king Agilulf connived against him, but it all came to naught.
Thus depriving himself of the opportunity of having legitimate offspring, he was succeeded by his bastard son Sigbert II under the regency of Brunhilda. Theuderic had four sons by unnamed mistresses: Sigebert II, who succeeded him in both his realms Childebert Corbus Merovech, godson of Clotaire II Wallace-Hadrill, J. M. translator. The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with its Continuations Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1960
Bavaria the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Nuremberg; the history of Bavaria includes its earliest settlement by Iron Age Celtic tribes, followed by the conquests of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC, when the territory was incorporated into the provinces of Raetia and Noricum. It became a stem duchy in the 6th century AD following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire, became an independent kingdom, joined the Prussian-led German Empire while retaining its title of kingdom, became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Duchy of Bavaria dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century AD, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918. In 1946, the Free State of Bavaria re-organised itself on democratic lines after the Second World War. Bavaria has a unique culture because of the state's Catholic majority and conservative traditions. Bavarians have traditionally been proud of their culture, which includes a language, architecture, festivals such as Oktoberfest and elements of Alpine symbolism; the state has the second largest economy among the German states by GDP figures, giving it a status as a rather wealthy German region. Modern Bavaria includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia; the Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps inhabited by Celts, part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum. The Bavarians spoke Old High German, unlike other Germanic groups, they did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by the Roman withdrawal late in the 5th century; these peoples may have included the Celtic Boii, some remaining Romans, Allemanni, Thuringians, Scirians, Heruli.
The name "Bavarian" means "Men of Baia" which may indicate Bohemia, the homeland of the Celtic Boii and of the Marcomanni. They first appear in written sources circa 520. A 17th century Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the diocese was named after an ancient Bohemian king, Boiia, in the 14th century BC. From about 554 to 788, the house of Agilolfing ruled the Duchy of Bavaria, ending with Tassilo III, deposed by Charlemagne. Three early dukes are named in Frankish sources: Garibald I may have been appointed to the office by the Merovingian kings and married the Lombard princess Walderada when the church forbade her to King Chlothar I in 555, their daughter, became Queen of the Lombards in northern Italy and Garibald was forced to flee to her when he fell out with his Frankish overlords. Garibald's successor, Tassilo I, tried unsuccessfully to hold the eastern frontier against the expansion of Slavs and Avars around 600. Tassilo's son Garibald II seems to have achieved a balance of power between 610 and 616.
After Garibald II little is known of the Bavarians until Duke Theodo I, whose reign may have begun as early as 680. From 696 onwards he invited churchmen from the west to organize churches and strengthen Christianity in his duchy, his son, led a decisive Bavarian campaign to intervene in a succession dispute in the Lombard Kingdom in 714, married his sister Guntrud to the Lombard King Liutprand. At Theodo's death the duchy was reunited under his grandson Hugbert. At Hugbert's death the duchy passed from neighboring Alemannia. Odilo issued a law code for Bavaria, completed the process of church organization in partnership with St. Boniface, tried to intervene in Frankish succession disputes by fighting for the claims of the Carolingian Grifo, he was defeated near Augsburg in 743 but continued to rule until his death in 748. Saint Boniface completed the people's conversion to Christianity in the early 8th century. Tassilo III succeeded his father at the age of eight after an unsuccessful attempt by Grifo to rule Bavaria.
He ruled under Frankish oversight but began to function independently from 763 onwards. He was noted for founding new monasteries and for expanding eastwards, fighting Slavs in the eastern Alps and along the River Danube and colonising these lands. After 781, his cousin Charlemagne began to pressure Tassilo to submit and deposed him in 788; the deposition was not legitimate. Dissenters attempted a coup against Charlemagne at Tassilo's old capital of Regensburg in 792, led by his own son Pépin the Hunchback; the king had to drag Tassilo out of imprisonment to formally renounce his rights and titles at the Assembly of Frankfurt in 794. This is the last appearance of Tassilo in the sources, he died a monk; as all of his family were forced into monasteries, this was the end of the Agilolfing dynasty. For the next 400 years numerous families held the duchy for more than three generations. With the revolt of duke Henry the Quarrelsome in 976, Bavaria lost large territories in the south and
Slavs are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic linguistic group. They are native to Eurasia, stretching from Central and Southeastern Europe all the way north and eastwards to Northeast Europe, Northern Asia, Central Asia, as well as in Western Europe and Western Asia. From the early 6th century they spread to inhabit the majority of Central and Southeastern Europe. Today, there is a large Slavic diaspora throughout North America in the United States and Canada as a result of immigration. Slavs are the largest ethno-linguistic group in Europe. Present-day Slavic people are classified into East Slavs, West Slavs, South Slavs. Slavs can be further grouped by religion. Orthodox Christianity is practiced by the majority of Slavs; the Orthodox Slavs include the Belarusians, Macedonians, Russians, Rusyns and Ukrainians and are defined by Orthodox customs and Cyrillic script, as well as their cultural connection to the Byzantine Empire.
Their second most common religion is Roman Catholicism. The Catholic Slavs include Croats, Kashubs, Poles, Slovaks and Sorbs and are defined by their Latinate influence and heritage and connection to Western Europe. There are substantial Protestant and Lutheran minorities among the West Slavs, such as the historical Bohemian Hussites; the second-largest religion among the Slavs after Christianity is Islam. Muslim Slavs include the Bosniaks, Gorani, Torbeši, other Muslims of the former Yugoslavia. Modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are diverse both genetically and culturally, relations between them – within the individual groups – range from ethnic solidarity to mutual hostility; the oldest mention of the Slavic ethnonym is the 6th century AD Procopius, writing in Byzantine Greek, using various forms such as Sklaboi, Sklabēnoi, Sthlabenoi, or Sklabinoi, while his contemporary Jordanes refers to the Sclaveni in Latin. The oldest documents written in Old Church Slavonic, dating from the 9th century, attest the autonym as Slověne.
These forms point back to a Slavic autonym which can be reconstructed in Proto-Slavic as *Slověninъ, plural Slověne. The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is considered a derivation from slovo denoting "people who speak", i. e. people who understand each other, in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people, namely *němьcь, meaning "silent, mute people". The word slovo and the related slava and slukh originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew-, cognate with Ancient Greek κλέος, as in the name Pericles, Latin clueo, English loud. Ancient Roman sources refer to the Early Slavic peoples as Veneti, who dwelled in a region of central Europe east of the Germanic tribe of Suebi, west of the Iranian Sarmatians in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD; the Slavs under name of the Antes and the Sclaveni first appear in Byzantine records in the early 6th century. Byzantine historiographers under emperor Justinian I, such as Procopius of Caesarea and Theophylact Simocatta describe tribes of these names emerging from the area of the Carpathian Mountains, the lower Danube and the Black Sea, invading the Danubian provinces of the Eastern Empire.
Jordanes, in his work Getica, describes the Veneti as a "populous nation" whose dwellings begin at the sources of the Vistula and occupy "a great expanse of land". He describes the Veneti as the ancestors of Antes and Slaveni, two early Slavic tribes, who appeared on the Byzantine frontier in the early 6th century. Procopius wrote in 545 that "the Sclaveni and the Antae had a single name in the remote past; the name Sporoi derives from Greek σπείρω. He described them as barbarians, who lived under democracy, believe in one god, "the maker of lightning", to whom they made sacrifice, they lived in scattered housing, changed settlement. In war, they were foot soldiers with small shields and battle axes clothed, some entering battle naked with only genitals covered, their language is "barbarous", the two tribes are alike in appearance, being tall and robust, "while their bodies and hair are neither fair or blond, nor indeed do they incline to the dark type, but they are all ruddy in color. And they live a hard life, giving no heed to bodily comforts..."
Jordanes described the Sclaveni having forests for their cities. Another 6th-century source refers to them living among nearly impenetrable forests, rivers and marshes. Menander Protector mentions a Daurentius who slew an Avar envoy of Khagan Bayan I for asking the Slavs to accept the suzerainty of the Avars. According to eastern homeland theory, prior to becoming known to the Roman world, Slavic-speaking tribes were part of the many multi-ethnic confederacies