Sirmium was a city in the Roman province of Pannonia. First mentioned in the 4th century BC and inhabited by Illyrians and Celts, it was conquered by the Romans in the 1st century BC and subsequently became the capital of the Roman province of Pannonia Inferior. In 294 AD, Sirmium was proclaimed one of four capitals of the Roman Empire, it was the capital of the Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum and of Pannonia Secunda. Sirmium was located on the site of modern Sremska Mitrovica in northern Serbia; the site is protected as an Archaeological Site of Exceptional Importance. The modern region of Syrmia was named after the city. Sirmium was one of the largest cities of its time. Colin McEvedy, put the population at only 7,000, based on the size of the archaeological site. Ammianus Marcellinus called it "the glorious mother of cities". Remains of Sirmium stand on the site of the modern-day Sremska Mitrovica, 55 km west of Belgrade and 145 km away from Kostolac. Archaeologists have found traces of organized human life on the site of Sirmium dating from 5,000 BC.
The city was firstly mentioned in the 4th century BC and was inhabited by the Illyrians and Celts. The Triballi king Syrmus was considered the eponymous founder of Sirmium, but the roots are different, the two words only became conflated later; the name Sirmium by itself means "flow, flowing water, wetland", referring to its close river position on the nearby Sava. With the Celtic tribe of Scordisci as allies, the Roman proconsul Marcus Vinicius took Sirmium in around 14 BC. In the 1st century AD, Sirmium gained the status of a Roman colony, became an important military and strategic center of the Pannonia province; the Roman emperors Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Claudius II prepared war expeditions in Sirmium. In 103 Pannonia was split into two provinces: Pannonia Superior and Pannonia Inferior, Sirmium became the capital city of the latter. In 296 Diocletian reorganized Pannonia into four provinces: Pannonia Prima, Pannonia Valeria, Pannonia Savia and Pannonia Secunda, Sirmium became the capital of Pannonia Secunda.
He joined them with Noricum and Dalmatia to establish the Diocese of Pannonia, with Sirmium as its capital also. In 293, with the establishment of the Tetrarchy, the Roman Empire was split into four parts. With the establishment of Praetorian prefectures in 318, the capital of the prefecture of Illyricum was Sirmium, remaining so until 379, when the westernmost Diocese of Illyricum, was detached and joined to the prefecture of Italia assuming the name of Diocese of Illyricum; the eastern part of Illyricum remained a separate prefecture under the East Roman Empire with its new capital in Thessalonica. The city had an imperial palace, a horse-racing arena, a mint, an arena theatre, a theatre, as well as many workshops, public baths, public palaces and luxury villas. Ancient historian Ammianus Marcellinus called it "the glorious mother of cities"; the mint in Sirmium was connected with the mint in Salona and silver mines in the Dinaric Alps through the Via Argentaria. At the end of the 4th century Sirmium came under the sway of the Goths, was again annexed to the East Roman Empire.
In 441 the Huns conquered Sirmium. For a short time, Sirmium was the centre of the Gepids and king Cunimund minted gold coins there. After 567, Sirmium was returned to the East Roman Empire; the Pannonian Avars conquered and destroyed the city in 582. Ten Roman emperors were born in this city or in its surroundings: Herennius Etruscus, Decius, Claudius II, Aurelian, Maximian, Constantius II, Gratian; the last emperor of the united Roman Empire, Theodosius I, became emperor in Sirmium. The usurpers Ingenuus and Regalianus declared themselves emperors in this city and many other Roman emperors spent some time in Sirmium, including Marcus Aurelius, who might have written parts of his famous work Meditations in the city. Sirmium was, most the site of the death of Marcus Aurelius, of smallpox, in March of 180 CE; the city had a Christian community by the third century. By the end of the century, it had a bishop, the metropolitan of all the Pannonian bishops; the first known bishop was Irenaeus, martyred during the Diocletianic Persecution in 304.
For the next century, the sequence of bishops is known, but in the fifth and sixth centuries the see falls into obscurity. An unnamed bishop is mentioned in 448; the last known bishop is mentioned in a papal letter of 594, after which the city itself is mentioned and the see went into abeyance. From the time of the first synod of Tyre in 335, Sirmium became a stronghold of the Arian movement and site of much controversy. Between 347 and 358 there were four synods held in Sirmium. A fifth took plate in 375 or 378. All dealt with the Arian controversy. On the location Glac near Sirmium is found unexcavated the palace of Emperor Maximianus Herculius built on the place where his parents worked as laborers on the estate of a Roman column. During the construction of the hospital in 1971, was found in monumental Jupiter's sanctuary with more than eighty of the altar, the second largest in Europe. Sirmium had two bridges with which she was bridged river Sava, of which indicate the historical sources, bri
Germania Superior was an imperial province of the Roman Empire. It comprised an area of today's western Switzerland, the French Jura and Alsace regions, southwestern Germany. Important cities were Besançon, Strasbourg and Germania Superior's capital, Mainz, it comprised the Middle Rhine, bordering on the Limes Germanicus, on the Alpine province of Raetia to the south-east. Although it had been occupied militarily since the reign of Augustus, Germania Superior was not made into an official province until c. 85 AD. The terms, "Upper Germania" and "Lower Germania" do not appear in the Gallic Wars of Julius Caesar, yet he writes about reports that the people who lived in those regions were referred to as Germani locally, a term used for a tribe that the Romans called the Germani Cisrhenani, that the name Germania seems to have been adopted to designate other indigenous tribes in the area. Lower Germania was occupied by the Belgae. Upper Germania was occupied by Gaulish tribes including the Helvetii, Sequani and Treveri, and, on the north bank of the middle Rhine, the remnant of the Germanic troops that had attempted to take Vesontio under Ariovistus, but who were defeated by Caesar in 58 BC.
The Romans did not abandon this region at any time after then. During a 5-year period in the initial years of his reign, as Cassius Dio tells us, Octavian Caesar assumed direct governorship of the major senatorial provinces on grounds that they were in danger of insurrection and he alone commanded the troops required to restore security, they were to be restored to the senate in 10 years under proconsuls elected by the senate. Among these independent provinces were upper Germania, it had become a province in the last years of the republic. Tacitus mentions it as the province of Germania Superior in his Annales. Cassius Dio viewed the Germanic tribes as Celts, an impression given by Belgica, the name assigned to lower Germania at the time. Dio does not mention the border, it is not clear. Today we call the section of the Rhine running through upper Germania the middle Rhine. Augustus had planned to incorporate all of central Germania in Germania Magna; this plan was frustrated by the Germanic tribesmen at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest.
Augustus decided to limit the empire at the Rhine-Danube border. Thereafter continual conflict prevailed along it, forcing the Romans to conduct punitive expeditions and fortify Germania Superior. By 12 BC, major bases existed from which Drusus operated. A system of forts developed around these bases. In 69-70, all the Roman fortications along the Rhine and Danube were destroyed by Germanic insurrections and civil war between the legions. At the conclusion of this violent but brief social storm they were rebuilt more extensively than before, with a road connecting Mainz and Augsburg. Domitian went to war against the Chatti in 83-85. At this time the first line, or continuous fortified border, was constructed, it consisted of a cleared zone of observation, a palisade where practicable, wooden watchtowers and forts at the road crossings. The system reached maximum extent by 90. A Roman road went through the Odenwald and a network of secondary roads connected all the forts and towers; the plan governing the development of the limes was simple.
From a strategic point of view, the Agri Decumates, or region between the Rhine and Danube, offers a bulge in the line between the Celts and the Germanics, which the Germanics had tried to exploit under Ariovistus. The bulge divided the densely populated Celtic settlements along the entire river system in two. Invading forces could move up under cover of the Black Forest. Roman defensive works therefore cut across the base of the bulge, denying the protected corridor and shortening the line; the key point was the shoulder of the bulge at Mogontiacum where the masse de manoevre or strategic reserves were located. The forts through the forest were lightly defended and on that account were always being burned by the Alamanni, they gave advance notice, however. On being notified, the legions would strike out in preventative and punitive expeditions from Mainz or Strasburg, or Augsburg on the other side; the entire system could only succeed. Fixed defenses alone are not much of a defense, in either modern times.
Other forces are required for attack. At best the fixed defenses serve to delay until a counterattack can be launched. For more complete details on the development of the limes, or frontier, see under Limes Germanicus. In the subsequent peaceful years, the limes lost its temporary character. Vici, or communities, developed around the forts. By 150, the towers and the bases had been rebuilt in stone; the soldiers now lived in good stone barracks within walls decorated by frescoes. Germanic civilization had changed as well. Where Caesar had described burning the wretched brush hovels of the Suebi who had come to fight for Ariovistus, the Chatti and the Alamanni now lived in comfortable Romanized villages around the limes. Germania Superior was reestablished as an Imperial Roman province in 90, taking large amounts of territory from Gallia Lugdunensis. One of its first and most famous governors was the future Emperor Trajan, who ruled the province from 96 until his accession in 98; the Helvetii settlement area became part of the province of Ge
Western Roman Empire
In historiography, the Western Roman Empire refers to the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court. The terms Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire are modern descriptions that describe political entities that were de facto independent; the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476, the Western imperial court was formally dissolved in 480. The Eastern imperial court survived until 1453. Though the Empire had seen periods with more than one Emperor ruling jointly before, the view that it was impossible for a single emperor to govern the entire Empire was institutionalised to reforms to Roman law by emperor Diocletian following the disastrous civil wars and disintegrations of the Crisis of the Third Century, he introduced the system of the tetrarchy in 286, with two separate senior emperors titled Augustus, one in the East and one in the West, each with an appointed Caesar. Though the tetrarchic system would collapse in a matter of years, the East–West administrative division would endure in one form or another over the coming centuries.
As such, the Western Roman Empire would exist intermittently in several periods between the 3rd and 5th centuries. Some emperors, such as Constantine I and Theodosius I, governed as the sole Augustus across the Roman Empire. On the death of Theodosius I in 395, he divided the empire between his two sons, with Honorius as his successor in the West, governing from Mediolanum, Arcadius as his successor in the East, governing from Constantinople. In 476, after the Battle of Ravenna, the Roman Army in the West suffered defeat at the hands of Odoacer and his Germanic foederati. Odoacer became the first King of Italy. In 480, following the assassination of the previous Western emperor Julius Nepos, the Eastern emperor Zeno dissolved the Western court and proclaimed himself the sole emperor of the Roman Empire; the date of 476 was popularized by the 18th century British historian Edward Gibbon as a demarcating event for the end of the Western Empire and is sometimes used to mark the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.
Odoacer's Italy, other barbarian kingdoms, would maintain a pretence of Roman continuity through the continued use of the old Roman administrative systems and nominal subservience to the Eastern Roman court. In the 6th century, emperor Justinian I re-imposed direct Imperial rule on large parts of the former Western Roman Empire, including the prosperous regions of North Africa, the ancient Roman heartland of Italy and parts of Hispania. Political instability in the Eastern heartlands, combined with foreign invasions and religious differences, made efforts to retain control of these territories difficult and they were lost for good. Though the Eastern Empire retained territories in the south of Italy until the eleventh century, the influence that the Empire had over Western Europe had diminished significantly; the papal coronation of the Frankish King Charlemagne as Roman Emperor in 800 marked a new imperial line that would evolve into the Holy Roman Empire, which presented a revival of the Imperial title in Western Europe but was in no meaningful sense an extension of Roman traditions or institutions.
The Great Schism of 1054 between the churches of Rome and Constantinople further diminished any authority the Emperor in Constantinople could hope to exert in the west. As the Roman Republic expanded, it reached a point where the central government in Rome could not rule the distant provinces. Communications and transportation were problematic given the vast extent of the Empire. News of invasion, natural disasters, or epidemic outbreak was carried by ship or mounted postal service requiring much time to reach Rome and for Rome's orders to be returned and acted upon. Therefore, provincial governors had de facto autonomy in the name of the Roman Republic. Governors had several duties, including the command of armies, handling the taxes of the province and serving as the province's chief judges. Prior to the establishment of the Empire, the territories of the Roman Republic had been divided in 43 BC among the members of the Second Triumvirate: Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Antony received the provinces in the East: Achaea and Epirus, Bithynia and Asia, Syria and Cyrenaica.
These lands had been conquered by Alexander the Great. The whole region the major cities, had been assimilated into Greek culture, Greek serving as the lingua franca. Octavian obtained the Roman provinces of the West: Italia, Gallia Belgica, Hispania; these lands included Greek and Carthaginian colonies in the coastal areas, though Celtic tribes such as Gauls and Celtiberians were culturally dominant. Lepidus received the minor province of Africa. Octavian soon took Africa while adding Sicilia to his holdings. Upon the defeat of Mark Antony, a victorious Octavian controlled a united Roman Em
Pannonia was a province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. Pannonia was located over the territory of the present-day western Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, north-western Serbia, northern Slovenia, western Slovakia and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Julius Pokorny believed the name Pannonia is derived from Illyrian, from the Proto-Indo-European root *pen-, "swamp, wet". Others believe that the name is related to the god of the nature and shepherds Pan and/or pan, the Proto-Slavic/Proto-Indo-European word for lord/master, which could mean Pan's Land or Land of the Master, more probable due the fact the Ionian fleet supplied Pannonia via the Black Sea and Danube, Panionium festivities were well known in the region to its Celtic, Adriatic Veneti and Scythian inhabitants. Pliny the Elder, in Natural History, places the eastern regions of the Hercynium jugum, the "Hercynian mountain chain", in Pannonia and Dacia.
He gives us some dramaticised description of its composition, in which the close proximity of the forest trees causes competitive struggle among them. He mentions its gigantic oaks, but he—if the passage in question is not an interpolated marginal gloss—is subject to the legends of the gloomy forest. He mentions unusual birds, which have feathers that "shine like fires at night". Medieval bestiaries named these birds the Ercinee; the impenetrable nature of the Hercynian Silva hindered the last concerted Roman foray into the forest, by Drusus, during 12–9 BC: Florus asserts that Drusus invisum atque inaccessum in id tempus Hercynium saltum patefecit. The first inhabitants of this area known to history were the Pannonii, a group of Indo-European tribes akin to Illyrians. From the 4th century BC, it was invaded by various Celtic tribes. Little is heard of Pannonia until 35 BC, when its inhabitants, allies of the Dalmatians, were attacked by Augustus, who conquered and occupied Siscia; the country was not, definitively subdued by the Romans until 9 BC, when it was incorporated into Illyricum, the frontier of, thus extended as far as the Danube.
In AD 6, the Pannonians, with the Dalmatians and other Illyrian tribes, engaged in the so-called Great Illyrian Revolt, were overcome by Tiberius and Germanicus, after a hard-fought campaign, which lasted for three years. After the rebellion was crushed in AD 9, the province of Illyricum was dissolved, its lands were divided between the new provinces of Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south; the date of the division is unknown, most after AD 20 but before AD 50. The proximity of dangerous barbarian tribes necessitated the presence of a large number of troops, numerous fortresses were built on the bank of the Danube; some time between the years 102 and 107, between the first and second Dacian wars, Trajan divided the province into Pannonia Superior, Pannonia Inferior. According to Ptolemy, these divisions were separated by a line drawn from Arrabona in the north to Servitium in the south; the whole country was sometimes called the Pannonias. Pannonia Superior was under the consular legate, who had administered the single province, had three legions under his control.
Pannonia Inferior was at first under a praetorian legate with a single legion as the garrison. The frontier on the Danube was protected by the establishment of the two colonies Aelia Mursia and Aelia Aquincum by Hadrian. Under Diocletian, a fourfold division of the country was made: Pannonia Prima in the northwest, with its capital in Savaria / Sabaria, it included Upper Pannonia and the major part of Central Pannonia between the Raba and Drava, Pannonia Valeria in the northeast, with its capital in Sopianae, it comprised the remainder of Central Pannonia between the Raba and Danube, Pannonia Savia in the southwest, with its capital in Siscia, Pannonia Secunda in the southeast, with its capital in SirmiumDiocletian moved parts of today's Slovenia out of Pannonia and incorporated them in Noricum. In 324 AD, Constantine I enlarged the borders of Roman Pannonia to the east, annexing the plains of what is now eastern Hungary, northern Serbia and western Romania up to the limes that he created: the Devil's Dykes.
In the 4th-5th century, one of the dioceses of the Roman Empire was known as the Diocese of Pannonia. It had its capital in Sirmium and included all four provinces that were formed from historical Pannonia, as well as the provinces of Dalmatia, Noricum Mediterraneum and Noricum Ripense. During the Migrations Period in the 5th century, some parts of Pannonia was ceded to the Huns in 433 by Flavius Aetius, the magister militum of the Western Roman Empire. After the collapse of the Hunnic empire in 454, large numbers of Ostrogoths were settled by Marcian in the province as foederati; the Eastern Roman Empire controlled it for a time in the 6th century, a Byzantine province of Pannonia with its capital at Sirmium was temporarily restored, but it included only a small southeastern part of historical Pannonia. Afterwards, it was again invaded by the Avars in the 560s, the Slavs, who first settled c. 480s but became independent only from the 7th century, the Franks, who named a frontier march the March of Pannonia in the late 8th century.
The term Pannonia wa
The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, between the 4th and 6th century AD. According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area, part of Scythia at the time. By 370 AD, the Huns had arrived on the Volga, by 430 the Huns had established a vast, if short-lived, dominion in Europe, conquering the Goths and many other Germanic peoples living outside of Roman borders, causing many others to flee into Roman territory; the Huns under their King Attila made frequent and devastating raids into the Eastern Roman Empire. In 451, the Huns invaded the Western Roman province of Gaul, where they fought a combined army of Romans and Visigoths at the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields, in 452 they invaded Italy. After Attila's death in 453, the Huns ceased to be a major threat to Rome and lost much of their empire following the Battle of Nedao. Descendants of the Huns, or successors with similar names, are recorded by neighbouring populations to the south and west as having occupied parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia from about the 4th to 6th centuries.
Variants of the Hun name are recorded in the Caucasus until the early 8th century. In the 18th century, the French scholar Joseph de Guignes became the first to propose a link between the Huns and the Xiongnu people, who were northern neighbours of China in the 3rd century BC. Since Guignes' time, considerable scholarly effort has been devoted to investigating such a connection; the issue remains controversial. Their relationships to other peoples known collectively as the Iranian Huns are disputed. Little is known about Hunnic culture and few archaeological remains have been conclusively associated with the Huns, they are believed to have used bronze cauldrons and to have performed artificial cranial deformation. No description exists of the Hunnic religion of the time of Attila, but practices such as divination are attested, the existence of shamans likely, it is known that the Huns had a language of their own, however only three words and personal names attest to it. Economically, they are known to have practiced a form of nomadic pastoralism.
They do not seem to have had a unified government when they entered Europe, but rather to have developed a unified tribal leadership in the course of their wars with the Romans. The Huns ruled over a variety of peoples, who spoke various languages and some of whom maintained their own rulers, their main military technique was mounted archery. The Huns may have stimulated the Great Migration, a contributing factor in the collapse of the Western Roman Empire; the memory of the Huns lived on in various Christian saints' lives, where the Huns play the roles of antagonists, as well as in Germanic heroic legend, where the Huns are variously antagonists or allies to the Germanic main figures. In Hungary, a legend developed based on medieval chronicles that the Hungarians, the Székely ethnic group in particular, are descended from the Huns. However, mainstream scholarship dismisses a close connection between the Huns. Modern culture associates the Huns with extreme cruelty and barbarism; the origins of the Huns and their links to other steppe people remain uncertain: scholars agree that they originated in Central Asia but disagree on the specifics of their origins.
Classical sources assert that they appeared in Europe around 370. Most Roman writers' attempts to elucidate the origins of the Huns equated them with earlier steppe peoples. Roman writers repeated a tale that the Huns had entered the domain of the Goths while they were pursuing a wild stag, or else one of their cows that had gotten loose, across the Kerch Strait into Crimea. Discovering the land good, they attacked the Goths. Jordanes' Getica relates that the Goths held the Huns to be offspring of "unclean spirits" and Gothic witches. Since Joseph de Guignes in the 18th century, modern historians have associated the Huns who appeared on the borders of Europe in the 4th century AD with the Xiongnu who had invaded China from the territory of present-day Mongolia between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD. Due to the devastating defeat by the Chinese Han dynasty, the northern branch of the Xiongnu had retreated north-westward. Scholars discussed the relationship between the Xungnu, the Huns, a number of people in central Asia were known as or came to be identified with the name "Hun" or "Iranian Huns", the Chionites, the Kidarites, the Hephthalites being the most prominent.
Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen was the first to challenge the traditional approach, based on the study of written sources, to emphasize the importance of archaeological research. Since Maenchen-Helfen's work, the identification of the Xiongnu as the Huns' ancestors has become controversial. Additionally, several scholars have questioned the identification of the "Iranian Huns" with the European Huns. Walter Pohl cautions that none of the great confederations of steppe warriors was ethnically homogenous, the same name was used by different groups for reasons of prestige, or by outsiders to describe their lifestyle or geographic origin, it is therefore futile to speculate about identity or blood relationships between Hiung-nu, Attila's Huns, for instance. All we can safely say is that the name Huns, in
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two brothers who were Byzantine Christian theologians and Christian missionaries. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title "Apostles to the Slavs", they are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic. After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of "equal-to-apostles". In 1880, Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia; the two brothers were born in Thessalonica, in present-day Greece – Cyril in about 827–828 and Methodius about 815–820. Cyril was reputedly the youngest of seven brothers. Methodius was born Michael and was given the name Methodius upon becoming a monk at Mysian Olympus, in northwest Turkey.
Their father was Leo, a droungarios of the Byzantine theme of Thessalonica, their mother was Maria. The exact ethnic origins of the brothers are unknown, there is controversy as to whether Cyril and Methodius were of Slavic or Byzantine Greek origin, or both; the two brothers lost their father when Cyril was fourteen, the powerful minister Theoktistos, logothetes tou dromou, one of the chief ministers of the Empire, became their protector. He was responsible, along with the regent Bardas, for initiating a far-reaching educational program within the Empire which culminated in the establishment of the University of Magnaura, where Cyril was to teach. Cyril was ordained as priest some time after his education, while his brother Methodius remained a deacon until 867/868. About the year 860, Byzantine Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch of Constantinople Photius, sent Cyril on a missionary expedition to the Khazars who had requested a scholar be sent to them who could converse with both Jews and Saracens.
It has been claimed that Methodius accompanied Cyril on the mission to the Khazars, but this may be a invention. The account of his life presented in the Latin "Legenda" claims that he learned the Khazar language while in Chersonesos, in Taurica. After his return to Constantinople, Cyril assumed the role of professor of philosophy at the University while his brother had by this time become a significant player in Byzantine political and administrative affairs, an abbot of his monastery. In 862, the brothers began the work; that year Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia requested that Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch Photius send missionaries to evangelize his Slavic subjects. His motives in doing so were more political than religious. Rastislav had become king with the support of the Frankish ruler Louis the German, but subsequently sought to assert his independence from the Franks, it is a common misconception that Cyril and Methodius were the first to bring Christianity to Moravia, but the letter from Rastislav to Michael III states that Rastislav's people "had rejected paganism and adhere to the Christian law."
Rastislav is said to have expelled missionaries of the Roman Church and instead turned to Constantinople for ecclesiastical assistance and a degree of political support. The Emperor chose to send Cyril, accompanied by his brother Methodius; the request provided a convenient opportunity to expand Byzantine influence. Their first work seems to have been the training of assistants. In 863, they began the task of translating the Bible into the language now known as Old Church Slavonic and travelled to Great Moravia to promote it, they enjoyed considerable success in this endeavour. However, they came into conflict with German ecclesiastics who opposed their efforts to create a Slavic liturgy. For the purpose of this mission, they devised the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet to be used for Slavonic manuscripts; the Glagolitic alphabet was suited to match the specific features of the Slavic language. Its descendant script, the Cyrillic, is still used by many languages today; the missionaries to the East and South Slavs had great success in part because they used the people's native language rather than Latin or Greek.
In Great Moravia and Methodius encountered Frankish missionaries from Germany, representing the western or Latin branch of the Church, more representing the Holy Roman Empire as founded by Charlemagne, committed to linguistic, cultural uniformity. They insisted on the use of the Latin liturgy, they regarded Moravia and the Slavic peoples as part of their rightful mission field; when friction developed, the brothers, unwilling to be a cause of dissension among Christians, travelled to Rome to see the Pope, seeking an agreement that would avoid quarrelling between missionaries in the field. Pope Adrian II gave Methodius the title of Archbishop of Sirmium and sent him back in 869, with jurisdiction over all of Moravia and Pannonia, authorisation to use the Slavonic Liturgy. Soon, Prince Ratislav, who had invited the brothers to Moravia and his successor did not support Methodius. In 870 the Frankish king Louis and his bishops deposed Methodius at a synod at Ratisbon, imprisoned him for a little over two years.
Theme (Byzantine district)
The themes or themata were the main military/administrative divisions of the middle Byzantine Empire. They were established in the mid-7th century in the aftermath of the Slavic invasion of the Balkans and Muslim conquests of parts of Byzantine territory, replaced the earlier provincial system established by Diocletian and Constantine the Great. In their origin, the first themes were created from the areas of encampment of the field armies of the East Roman army, their names corresponded to the military units that had existed in those areas; the theme system reached its apogee in the 9th and 10th centuries, as older themes were split up and the conquest of territory resulted in the creation of new ones. The original theme system underwent significant changes in the 11th and 12th centuries, but the term remained in use as a provincial and financial circumscription until the end of the Empire. During the late 6th and early 7th centuries, the Byzantine Empire was under frequent attack from all sides.
The Sassanid Empire was pressing from the east on Syria and Anatolia. Slavs and Avars raided Thrace, Macedonia and Greece and settled in the Balkans; the Lombards occupied northern Italy unopposed. In order to face the mounting pressure, in the more distant provinces of the West regained by Justinian I, Emperor Maurice combined supreme civil and military authority in the person of an exarch, forming the exarchates of Ravenna and Africa; these developments overturned the strict division of civil and military offices, one of the cornerstones of the reforms of Diocletian. In essence however they recognized and formalized the greater prominence of the local general, or magister militum, over the respective civilian praetorian prefect as a result of the provinces' precarious security situation; this trend had featured in some of the administrative reforms of Justinian I in the 530s. Justinian had given military authority to the governors of individual provinces plagued by brigandage in Asia Minor, but more he had created the exceptional combined military-civilian circumscription of the quaestura exercitus and abolished the civilian Diocese of Egypt, putting a dux with combined authority at the head of each of its old provinces.
However, in most of the Empire, the old system continued to function until the 640s, when the eastern part of the Empire collapsed under the onslaught of the Muslim Caliphate. The rapid Muslim conquest of Syria and Egypt and consequent Byzantine losses in manpower and territory meant that the Empire found itself struggling for survival. In order to respond to this unprecedented crisis, the Empire was drastically reorganized; the remaining imperial territory in Asia Minor was divided into four large themes, although some elements of the earlier civil administration survived, they were subordinated to the governing general or stratēgos. The origin and early nature of the themes has been disputed amongst scholars; the name thema is of uncertain etymology, but most scholars follow Constantine Porphyrogennetos, who records that it originates from Greek thesis. The date of their creation is uncertain. For most of the 20th century, the establishment of the themes was attributed to the Emperor Heraclius, during the last of the Byzantine–Sassanid Wars.
Most notable amongst the supporters of this thesis was George Ostrogorsky who based this opinion on an extract from the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor mentioning the arrival of Heraclius "in the lands of the themes" for the year 622. According to Ostrogorsky, this "shows that the process of establishing troops in specific areas of Asia Minor has begun at this time." This view has been objected to by other historians however, more recent scholarship dates their creation to the period from the 640s to the 660s, under Constans II. It has further been shown that, contrary to Ostrogorsky's conception of the themata being established from the outset as distinct, well-defined regions where a stratēgos held joint military and civil authority, the term thema seems to have referred to the armies themselves, only in the 7th or early 8th centuries did it come to be transferred to the districts where these armies were encamped as well. Tied to the question of chronology is the issue of a corresponding social and military transformation.
The traditional view, championed by Ostrogorsky, holds that the establishment of the themes meant the creation of a new type of army. In his view, instead of the old force reliant on foreign mercenaries, the new Byzantine army was based on native farmer-soldiers living on state-leased military estates. More recent scholars however have posited that the formation of the themes did not constitute a radical break with the past, but rather a logical extension of pre-existing, 6th-century trends, that its direct social impact was minimal. What is clear is that at some point in the mid-7th century in the late 630s and 640s, the Empire's field armies were withdrawn to Anatolia, the last major contiguous territory remaining to the Empire, assigned to the districts that became known as the themes. Territorially, each of the new themes encompassed several of the older provinces, with a few exceptions, seems to have followed the old provincial boundaries; the first four themes were those of the Armeniacs and Thracesians, the Opsician theme.
The Armeniac Theme, first mentioned in 667, was the successor of the Army of Armenia. It occupied the old areas of the Pontus, Armenia Minor