Polabian Slavs is a collective term applied to a number of Lechitic tribes who lived along the Elbe river in what is today Eastern Germany. The approximate territory stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north, the Saale and the Limes Saxoniae in the west, the Ore Mountains and the Western Sudetes in the south, Poland in the east, they have been known as Elbe Slavs or Wends. Their name derives from the Slavic po, meaning "by/next to/along", the Slavic name for the Elbe; the Polabian Slavs started settling in the territory of modern Germany in the 6th century. They were conquered by Saxons and Danes since the 9th century and were subsequently included and assimilated within the Holy Roman Empire; the tribes were Germanized and assimilated in the following centuries. The Polabian language is now extinct. However, the two Sorbian languages are spoken by 60,000 inhabitants of the region and the languages are regarded by the government of Germany as official languages of the region; the Bavarian Geographer, an anonymous medieval document compiled in Regensburg in 830, contains a list of the tribes in Central Europe to the east of the Elbe.
Among other tribes it lists the Uuilci with 95 civitates, the Nortabtrezi with 53 civitates, the Milzane with 30 civitates, the Hehfeldi with 14 civitates. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia classifies the Polabian Slavs in three main tribes, the Obotrites, the Veleti, the Lusatian Sorbs; the main tribes of the Obotritic confederation were the Obotrites proper. Other tribes associated with the confederation include the Linones near Lenzen, the Travnjane near the Trave, the Drevani in the Hanoverian Wendland and the northern Altmark; the Veleti known as the Liutizians or Wilzians, included the Kessinians along the lower Warnow and Rostock. The Redarier were the most important of the Veleti tribes; the Rani of Rügen, not to be confused with the older Germanic Rugians, are sometimes considered to be part of the Veleti. South of the Rani were the Morici along the Müritz. Smaller tribes included the Došane along the Dosse, the Zamzizi in the Ruppin Land, the Rěčanen on the upper Havel. Along the lower Havel and near the confluence of the Elbe and the Havel lived the Nelětici, the Liezizi, the Zemzizi, the Smeldingi, the Bethenici.
The middle Havel region and the Havelland were settled by the Hevelli, a tribe loosely connected to the Veleti. East of the Hevelli lived the Sprevane of Spree rivers. Small tribes on the middle Elbe included the Moriciani, the Zerwisti, the Serimunt, the Nicici. South of the Hevelli lived the ancestors of the modern Sorbs, the Lusici of Lower Lusatia and the Milceni of Upper Lusatia. Near these tribes were the Besunzanen; the Colodici, Siusler and Glomaci lived along the upper Elbe, while the Chutici, Gera, Tucharin and groups of Nelětici lived near the Saale. On the middle Oder lived the Leubuzzi, who were associated with medieval Poland. Small groups of West Slavs lived on the Main and the Regnitz near Bamberg and in northeastern Bavaria. A Polabian prince was known as a knez, his power was greater in Slavic society than those of Danish or Swedish kings in their kingdoms, although it was not absolute. He was the general leader of his tribe and was foremost among its nobles, holding much of the forested hinterland and expecting reverence from his warriors.
However, his authority extended only to the territory controlled by his governor, or voivod. Each voivod governed small territories based around fortifications. Princely power differed between tribes; the Obodrite prince Henryk was able to maintain a sizable army ca. 1100 at the expense of the towns, the importance of knez within the Obodrites only increased after his death. The prince of the Rani, on the other hand, was limited by the local senate, led by the high priest at Cape Arkona; the power of the prince and his governors was restricted by the river towns, known to chroniclers as civitates within the territory of the Veleti. Polabian towns were centered on small earthworks arranged in ovals; the gord was situated at the highest altitude of the town and held a barracks and princely residence. It was protected by a moat and wooden towers. Below the gord, but still within the town walls, was the urbs or suburbium, which held the residences for the nobility and merchants; the towns held wooden temples for Slavic gods within the urbs.
Outside of the walls were homes for the peasantry. With the exception of Arkona on Rügen, few Polabian towns on the Baltic coast were built near the shore, out of concern for pirates and raiders. While not populated compared to Flanders or Italy, the Polabian towns were large for the Baltic region, such as in comparison to those of Scandinavia; the majority of Polabian Slavs we
Oldřich, Duke of Bohemia
Oldřich, a member of the Přemyslid dynasty, was Duke of Bohemia from 1012 to 1033 and again in 1034. His accession to the Bohemian throne marked the start of a phase of stability after a long period of internal dynastic struggles. Under his rule, the Moravian lands were reconquered from Polish occupation. Oldřich was the third son of Duke Boleslaus II of Bohemia and one of his father's two wives: Adiva or Emma of Mělník. Upon the death of his father, his eldest brother Boleslaus III succeeded as duke, however, he soon entered into a fierce conflict with his younger brothers Oldřich and Jaromír. In 1001, both had to flee to the Bavarian court at Regensburg; when Boleslaus III was deposed by the rival Vršovci dynasty the next year and the Polish ruler Bolesław I the Brave invaded Bohemia, King Henry II of Germany intervened. As a part of Henry's expedition to Prague, Boleslaus's brothers were able to return to Bohemia, Jaromír was installed as Bohemian duke in 1004. In the German–Polish War of 1002-18, Duke Jaromír remained a loyal supporter of the German king.
Henry did not take action when he was deposed and blinded by his brother Oldřich on 12 April 1012. While Jaromír fled to Poland, Oldřich recognised the suzerainty of the German king, he secured his rule by suppressing the Vršovci insurgents. Oldřich and his son Bretislaus sought to win back Moravia, once conquered from the Poles by Oldřich's grandfather Duke Boleslaus I. Bretislaus and his wife Judith of Schweinfurt took up residence in Olomouc. In 1029, the Bohemian forces, backed by Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II drove the Poles out of the eastern lands. However, Bretislaus's efforts to occupy adjacent territories in what is today Slovakia by marching against the forces of the Kingdom of Hungary failed in 1030 due to the jealousy of the emperor, who reached an agreement with King Stephen I. In the following year, Bohemian forces refused to take the field for the emperor. In 1032, Duke Oldřich did not appear, his absence raised the ire of the emperor and Conrad, busy with events in Burgundy, charged his son Henry III with punishing the recalcitrant Bohemian.
Oldřich was arrested and sent to Bavaria. He was again replaced by his brother Jaromír. However, when Oldřich was pardoned the next year, he returned to Bohemia and had Jaromír captured and deposed, he drove out Jaromír's son from Moravia. Oldřich died abruptly on 9 November 1034 and examination of his skeleton reveal his skull to have suffered a fatal blow. Jaromír renounced the throne in favour of his nephew Bretislaus. According to legend rendered by the medieval chronicler Cosmas of Prague, Duke Oldřich about 1002 married a Božena, daughter of Křesina, after discarding his first wife on the grounds that they were childless. Together they had a son: Bretislaus I, Duke of Bohemia from 1035 until his deathThough his parents were married, Bretislaus remained an heir, his grandfather was Duke Boleslaus II. Wolverton, Lisa. Hastening Toward Prague: Power and Society in the Medieval Czech Lands. University of Pennsylvania Press. Krofta, Kamil. "Bohemia to the Extinction of the Premyslids". In Tanner, J.
R.. W.. N. Cambridge Medieval History:Victory of the Papacy. Vol. VI. Cambridge University Press
Henry the Fowler
Henry the Fowler was the duke of Saxony from 912 and the elected king of East Francia from 919 until his death in 936. As the first non-Frankish king, he established the Ottonian Dynasty of kings and emperors, he is considered to be the founder and first king of the medieval German state, known until as East Francia. An avid hunter, he obtained the epithet "the Fowler" because he was fixing his birding nets when messengers arrived to inform him that he was to be king, he was born into the Liudolfing line of Saxon dukes. His father Otto I of Saxony was succeeded by Henry; the new duke launched a rebellion against the king of East Francia, Conrad I of Germany, over the rights to lands in the Duchy of Thuringia. They reconciled in 915 and on his deathbed in 918, Conrad recommended Henry as the next king, considering the duke the only one who could hold the kingdom together in the face of internal revolts and external Magyar raids. Henry was elected and crowned king in 919, he went on consolidating his rule.
Through successful warfare and a dynastic marriage, Henry acquired Lotharingia as a vassal in 925. Unlike his Carolingian predecessors, Henry did not seek to create a centralized monarchy, ruling through federated autonomous stem duchies instead. Henry built an extensive system of fortifications and mobile heavy cavalry across Germany to neutralize the Magyar threat and in 933 routed them at the Battle of Riade, ending Magyar attacks for the next 21 years and giving rise to a sense of German nationhood. Henry expanded German hegemony in Europe with his defeat of the Slavs in 929 at the Battle of Lenzen along the Elbe river, by compelling the submission of Duke Wenceslaus I of Bohemia through an invasion of the Duchy of Bohemia the same year and by conquering Danish realms in Schleswig in 934. Henry's hegemonic status north of the Alps was acknowledged by King Rudolph of West Francia and King Rudolph II of Upper Burgundy, who both accepted a place of subordination as allies in 935. Henry planned an expedition to Rome to be crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope, but the design was thwarted by a hunting accident near the royal palace of Bodfeld in the autumn of 935 that mortally injured him.
Henry prevented a collapse of royal power, as had happened in West Francia, left a much stronger kingdom to his successor Otto I. Henry died of a stroke on 2 July 936 in his royal palace in one of his favourite places, he was buried at Quedlinburg Abbey, established by his wife Matilda in his honor. Born in Memleben, in what is now Saxony-Anhalt, Henry was the son of Otto the Illustrious, Duke of Saxony, his wife Hedwiga, daughter of Henry of Franconia and Ingeltrude and a great-great-granddaughter of Charlemagne. In 906 he married Hatheburg of daughter of the Saxon count Erwin, she had been a nun. The marriage was annulled in 909 because her vows as a nun were deemed by the church to remain valid, she had given birth to Henry's son Thankmar. The annulment placed a question mark over Thankmar's legitimacy; that year he married Matilda, daughter of Dietrich of Ringelheim, Count in Westphalia. Matilda bore him three sons, one called Otto, two daughters and Gerberga, founded many religious institutions, including the Quedlinburg Abbey where Henry is buried.
She was canonized. Henry became Duke of Saxony after his father's death in 912. An able ruler, he continued to strengthen the position of his duchy within the weakening kingdom of East Francia, was in conflict with his neighbors to the South in Duchy of Franconia. On 23 December 918 Conrad I, king of East Francia and Franconian duke, died. Although Henry had rebelled against Conrad I between 912 and 915 over the lands in Thuringia, Conrad recommended Henry as his successor. Kingship now changed from Franks to Saxons, who had suffered during the conquests of Charlemagne and were proud of their identity. Henry, as Saxon, was the first non-Frank on the throne. Conrad's choice was conveyed by his brother, duke Eberhard III of Franconia at the Imperial Diet of Fritzlar in 919; the assembled Franconian and Saxon nobles elected Henry to be king with other regional dukes not participating in election. Archbishop Heriger of Mainz offered to anoint Henry according to the usual ceremony, but he refused - the only king of his time not to undergo that rite - because he wished to be king not by the church's but by the people's acclaim.
Henry, elected to kingship by only Saxons and Franconians at Fritzlar, had to subdue other dukes. Duke Arnulf of Bavaria did not submit until Henry defeated him in two campaigns in 921. Henry forced Arnulf into submission. Arnulf had crowned himself as king of Bavaria in 919, but in 921 renounced crown and submitted to Henry while maintaining large autonomy and the right to mint his own coins. Duke Burchard II of Swabia soon swore fealty to the new King, but when he died, Henry appointed a noble from Franconia to be the new duke. Henry was too weak to impose absolutist rule, regarded his kingdom as a confederation of stem duchies rather than as a feudal monarchy and saw himself as primus inter pares. Instead of seeking to administer the empire through counts, as Charlemagne had done and as his successors had attempted, Henry allowed the local dukes in Duchy of Franconia, Duchy of Swabia, Duchy of Bavaria to maintain large internal autonomy. In 920 king of West Francia Charles the Simple invaded and marched as far as Pfeddersheim near Worms, but retreated when he learned that Henry was organizing an army.
On 7 November 921, He
The Hevelli or Hevellians known as Stodorans were a tribe of the Polabian Slavs, who settled around the middle Havel river in the present-day Havelland region of Brandenburg in eastern Germany from the 8th century onwards. West Slavic tribes had settled in the Germania Slavica region from the 7th century onwards; the Hehfeldi as they were called by the Bavarian Geographer about 850 built their main fortification at Brenna and a large eastern outpost at the current site of Spandau. In 906 the Hevelli princess Drahomíra married. Baçlabič was the prince of Hevelli from 921-936. Brenna was occupied by the German king Henry the Fowler in his 928/29 Slavic campaign and incorporated into the Marca Geronis. Henry's successor Otto I in 948 established the Bishopric of Brandenburg in order to Christianize the pagan population; these efforts were aborted in the course of the 983 Great Slav Rising in the Northern March, which again defied German control over the region. Together with the neighbouring Sprevane in the east, the Hevelli waged war against not only the German Saxon forces to the west, but other Slavic tribes.
The baptized Hevelli prince Pribislav bequested his lands to the Ascanian count Albert the Bear. Albert until 1157 could re-conquer the territory of the former Northern March, whereafter he established the Margraviate of Brandenburg; the Slavic Hevelli were assimilated by German settlers in the course of the Ostsiedlung. List of medieval Slavic tribes genealogie-mittelalter.de
St. George's Basilica, Prague
St. George's Basilica is the oldest surviving church building within Prague Castle, Czech Republic; the basilica was founded by Vratislaus I of Bohemia in 920. It is dedicated to Saint George; the basilica was enlarged in 973 with the addition of the Benedictine St. George's Abbey, it was rebuilt following a major fire in 1142. The Baroque façade dates from the late 17th century. A Gothic style chapel dedicated to Ludmila of Bohemia holds the tomb of the saint; the shrines of Vratislav and Boleslaus II of Bohemia are in the basilica. The abbess of this community had the right to crown the Bohemian queens consort; the building now houses the 19th century Bohemian Art Collection of National Gallery in Prague. It serves as a concert hall. Vratislaus I, Duke of Bohemia St. Vitus Cathedral National Gallery in Prague Basilica of Saint George - Prague-wiki http://www.pragueexperience.com/places.asp? PlaceID=1115
Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic and Germany. Its area is about 40,000 km2, its population about 8,000,000. Silesia is located along the Oder River, it consists of Upper Silesia. The region is rich in mineral and natural resources, includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław; the biggest metropolitan area is the Upper Silesian metropolitan area, the centre of, Katowice. Parts of the Czech city of Ostrava fall within the borders of Silesia. Silesia's borders and national affiliation have changed over time, both when it was a hereditary possession of noble houses and after the rise of modern nation-states; the first known states to hold power there were those of Greater Moravia at the end of the 9th century and Bohemia early in the 10th century. In the 10th century, Silesia was incorporated into the early Polish state, after its division in the 12th century became a Piast duchy.
In the 14th century, it became a constituent part of the Bohemian Crown Lands under the Holy Roman Empire, which passed to the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy in 1526. Most of Silesia was conquered by Prussia in 1742 and transferred from Austria to Prussia in the Treaty of Berlin. Silesia became, as a province of Prussia, a part of the German Empire and the subsequent Weimar Republic; the varied history with changing aristocratic possessions resulted in an abundance of castles in Silesia in the Jelenia Góra valley. After World War I, the easternmost part of this region, i.e. an eastern strip of Upper Silesia, was awarded to Poland by the Entente Powers after insurrections by Poles and the Upper Silesian plebiscite. The remaining former Austrian parts of Silesia were partitioned to Czechoslovakia, forming part of Czechoslovakia's German-settled Sudetenland region, are today part of the Czech Republic. In 1945, after World War II, the bulk of Silesia was transferred, on demands of the Polish delegation, to Polish jurisdiction by the Potsdam Agreement of the victorious Allied Powers and became part of Poland.
The small Lusatian strip west of the Oder–Neisse line, which had belonged to Silesia since 1815, remained in Germany. The largest town and cultural centre of this region is Görlitz. Most inhabitants of Silesia today speak the national languages of their respective countries, while before the population shifts after 1945, the majority of Silesia's population spoke German; the population of Upper Silesia is native, while Lower Silesia was settled by a German-speaking population before 1945. An ongoing debate exists whether Silesian speech should be considered a dialect of Polish or a separate language. A Lower Silesian German dialect is used, although today it is extinct, it is used by expellees who relocated to the remaining parts of Germany, as well as by Germans who stayed in their Lower Silesian home. The names of Silesia in the different languages most share their etymology—Latin and English: Silesia; the names all relate to the name of a mountain in mid-southern Silesia. The mountain served as a cultic place.
Ślęża is listed as one of the numerous Pre-Indo-European topographic names in the region. According to some Polish Slavists, the name Ślęża or Ślęż is directly related to the Old Slavic words ślęg or śląg, which means dampness, moisture, or humidity, they disagree with the hypothesis of an origin for the name Śląsk from the name of the Silings tribe, an etymology preferred by some German authors. In the fourth century BC, Celts entered Silesia, settling around Mount Ślęża near modern Wrocław, Oława, Strzelin. Germanic Lugii tribes were first recorded within Silesia in the 1st century. Slavic peoples arrived in the region around the 7th century, by the early ninth century, their settlements had stabilized. Local Slavs started to erect boundary structures like the Silesia Walls; the eastern border of Silesian settlement was situated to the west of the Bytom, east from Racibórz and Cieszyn. East of this line dwelt a related Slav tribe, the Vistulans, their northern border was in the valley of the Barycz River, north of.
The first known states in Silesia were Bohemia. In the 10th century, the Polish ruler Mieszko I of the Piast dynasty incorporated Silesia into the Polish state. During the Fragmentation of Poland and the rest of the country were divided among many independent duchies ruled by various Silesian dukes. During this time, German cultural and ethnic influence increased as a result of immigration from German-speaking parts of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1178, parts of the Duchy of Kraków around Bytom, Oświęcim, Chrzanów, Siewierz were transferred to the Silesian Piasts, although their population was Vistulan and not of Silesian descent. Between 1289 and 1292, Bohemian king Wenceslaus II became suzerain of some of the Upper Silesian duchies. Polish kings had not renounced their hereditary rights to Silesia until 1335; the province became part of the Bohemian Crown under the Holy Roman Empire, passed with that crown to the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526. In the 15th century