Principality of Nitra

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As the Principality of Nitra or Nitraer Principality ( Slovak : Nitrianske kniežatstvo , German also obsolete Principality of Neutra or Neutra Principality ) for short Nitraland (Slovak: Nitriansko ), a political entity is understood, especially in the Slovak specialist literature, which from before 805 to 1110 in the area of today's Slovakia is said to have existed.

Its history, territorial extent and political development are controversial among historians.

Independent principality or Moravian principality (805 to 833)

Presentation of the theory of the two principalities of Moravia and Nitra, which coexisted until around 833.

The principality of Nitra emerged at the end of the 8th century at the latest, parallel to the principality of Moravia , which is located in what is now South Moravia and in the western Slovak border areas. Both principalities were involved in battles against the Avars in what is now Hungary , which were finally defeated by the Franks around 800 . At the beginning of the 9th century , the Principality of Nitra comprised Hungary and western Carpathian Ukraine (it is, however, partly disputed whether the easternmost Slovakia and Carpathian Ukraine were not connected until later in the course of the 9th century). In 828 the first known church of today's western and eastern Slavs was consecrated in Nitra (Nitrava - compare Morava ) by the Salzburg bishop Adalram at the seat of the ruling prince Pribina (Privina) . Prince Pribina has succeeded in weakening the Frankish influence in Slovakia.

Nitra as part of "Great Moravia" (833 to 906)

The principality of Nitra (number 2) within the Moravian Empire

In 833 the area was attached to the Principality of Moravia under Prince Mojmir I , who drove Pribina out of Nitra. A few years later, Pribina founded the Balaton Principality in what is now southwestern Hungary. This conquest in 833 gave rise to the Moravian Empire , to which further areas of Central Europe were added in the course of the 9th century . The Nitra Principality retained a certain degree of independence within Moravia from the beginning and it acted as a feudal principality for younger members of the Mojmirids ruling in Moravia . For example, the most powerful Moravian prince Svatopluk I , before he became the prince of Moravia in 871, was first (from around 850) the prince of Nitra and around 867–870 the feudal prince of Nitra. In the year 870 Nitra was ruled temporarily - in contrast to today's Moravia - by Ludwig the German . In 880 the only known bishopric of Moravia was established here . Its first bishop was Wiching . Around 900 Svatopluk II was the feudal prince of Nitra. He fought with his Prince Mojmír II, who ruled in today's Moravia, for supremacy in the Moravian Empire, which led to the weakening of the empire and finally to its destruction in 907 by the nomadic Magyars who had arrived from the east .

Nitra as the seat of Hungarian tribal leaders (approx. 920 to 1000/1001)

The events at the beginning of the 10th century are rather unclear. In the 1920s, Lél , one of the Hungarian tribal leaders (the Hungarians still consisted of numerous tribes at that time), made Nitra and southwestern Slovakia, i.e. the core of the Nitra principality, his seat. The rest of Slovakia fell apart for centuries - until he successively was conquered by the Hungarians from the 11th to the beginning of the 14th century - in small Slovak principalities located around certain fortified towns .

After the Hungarians, including Lél, were defeated at Lechfeld in 955 , Lél was executed by the victors in Regensburg and the Arpads received his possessions . Specifically, it was probably the Arpad tribal leader Zoltán who received the Nitra principality in 955, while his son Taksony ruled what is now western Hungary. It remains controversial whether Zoltan had to accept the supremacy of Bohemia (see Přemyslids ) in what is now western Slovakia up to the Waag around 955–970 .

When in today's Hungary Geza von Arpad became prince in western Hungary in 971, began with the formation of a unified Hungary and moved his seat to Gran / Esztergom (on the Danube, today's Slovakian border), he made his brother Michael liege prince in Nitra Principality (971–995). Michael's wife was Adelajda ( Adelhaid ) the Beleknegini, the daughter of the Polish prince Mieszko I. Through trade and diplomacy, Michael succeeded in expanding Hungarian influence into other parts of Slovakia. However, since he became too powerful, Geza had him murdered in 995 and Michael's sons Vazul and Ladislaus the Bald fled abroad. At the same time Geza appointed his son Waik (known after his baptism as Stephen I the Holy ) as the new prince of Nitra (995-1001). Stephan brought his Bavarian wife Gisela with him to the old Christian city of Nitra , which is one of the reasons why he later became an avid Christianizer of today's Hungary. Stephan had a friendly relationship with Slovak aristocrats from today's Slovakia (especially the Poznans and Hunts ). After the death of his father in 997, these helped him defeat the Hungarian chief Koppány from Somogy , who wanted to become the new ruler after Geza, for which the Slovak nobles were later richly rewarded.

Nitraland under Polish rule (1001 to 1030)

In the year 1000 Stephan I was crowned King of Hungary. Immediately afterwards, in 1001, Poland conquered all of today's Slovakia, including the principality of Nitra (then southern Slovakia), which had been in Hungarian hands until then. Poland appointed Stephen's cousins, Ladislaus the Bald (1001 - died 1029) and then Vazul (1029-1030), who had fled abroad at the time, as princes in the now Polish Nitra Principality.

Nitraland as a Hungarian feudal principality (1030 to 1110)

In 1030, King Stephen forced the Poles to withdraw from Slovakia and began to join all of Slovakia to Hungary, thereby (re) expanding the territory of the Nitra Principality, essentially in the 12th century (but in the east not until the beginning of the 14th century ) was completed. In 1031 Stephan had Vazul blinded in Nitra to prevent him - as Stephen's cousin - from becoming the next king of Hungary. Vazul's three sons - Levente , Andreas (the future King Andreas I ) and Bela (the future King Béla I ) - and Ladislaus the Bald's son Domoslav (Bonuslaus) managed to flee abroad.

Domoslav was temporarily installed by Bohemia as ruler in western Slovakia in 1042 . Andreas and Bela, however, later returned to Hungary and deposed the Hungarian King Peter Orseolo in 1046 .

The Duchy of Nitra in the 11th century according to Ján Steinhübel

Andreas became King of Hungary as Andreas I (1046-1063) and in 1048 his brother Béla received a third of Hungary, namely the principality of Nitra including the upper Tisza run from Andreas as the Nitra border principality with its seat in Nitra as a fief . It is often referred to in historical sources as "tercia pars regni" or Ducatus . Béla received the title of Duke , which transformed the Principality of Nitra into a Duchy of Nitra. All of Béla's successors were, like Béla, members of the Arpades ruling in today's Hungary and were mostly future kings of Hungary (heir apparent). Especially before 1077, the dukes conducted an independent foreign and domestic policy (own coin, own army, own international relations, etc.) and the border principality was practically treated as an independent state by the Pope and the Roman-German emperors . For example, when King Andrew I was in conflict with the Byzantine Empire , the Byzantine Emperor contacted Béla.

In 1059, Béla fled to Poland after Andreas I had his own son Salomon crowned (instead of Béla, as expected). In 1060 Béla returned to Hungary and defeated the king. The wounded Andreas I, who with the daughter of the Roman-German Emperor Heinrich III. was married, sent his son Salomon to Germany and died afterwards (1061). Bela became the new king of Hungary and at the same time remained the border prince of Nitra. After Bela's death in 1063, Emperor Heinrich made Salomon the new king of Hungary and Bela's sons - Géza , Ladislaus and Lambert - fled to Poland to live with their relative, the ruler Boleslaus II. After Henry left Hungary, Boleslaus II attacked Solomon, beat him and forced him to accept Geza as King of Hungary. Eventually, however, in 1064, peace was made between Solomon and the sons of Bela. In the spirit of this peace, Solomon remained King of Hungary (1063-1074) and Ladislaus received the border principality of Nitra. More precisely, Géza became the Duke of Slovakia (eleven counties ), Ladislaus received the upper Tisza (four counties) and Lampert stayed with Geza in Nitra without having received any territories of their own. Soon, however, new conflicts broke out and in 1074 the three sons defeated Belas Salomon, after which Geza (1074-1077) became the new king of Hungary and his brother Ladislaus the new duke of the Nitrear frontier principality and from 1077 the king of Hungary.

In the year 1077 Lambert became Duke of Nitra, King Ladislaus - who at that time held this post himself - however clearly restricted his power and took away his independent army. In 1081, King Ladislaus finally defeated the former King Solomon, who had ruled in Pressburg ( Bratislava ) and the surrounding area since 1074 . In 1095 Álmos , up to now Duke of Croatia (1084-1091) and King of Eastern Croatia (1091-1095), became the new Duke of Nitra. In 1098 a conflict arose between Koloman , the king of Hungary, and Álmos, who was supported by Germany and Bohemia, as Koloman proclaimed himself king of Croatia in 1097 (coronation not until 1102). In 1108 the two made peace, but Koloman injured him and had Almos blinded in 1108 or 1109 and put in prison to prevent him from becoming the future king of Hungary.

This act of 1108/1109 meant the end of the principality of Nitra and thus a complete integration of the areas that are now part of Slovakia into the Kingdom of Hungary, which lasted from 1108 to 1918 (at least for the Slovak territories already conquered by Hungary).

Web links


Slovak research

  • Matúš Kučera: Stredoveké Slovensko. Cesta dejinami, Bratislava 2002.
  • Richard Marsina: Ethnogesis of Slovaks. In: Human Affairs. Volume 7, 1997, No. 1, pp. 15-23 ( online ).
  • Ján Lukačka: The beginnings of the nobility in Slovakia. In: Mikuláš Teich, Dušan Kováč, Martin D. Brown: Slovakia in History. Cambridge University Press 2011, ISBN 978-0-521-80253-6 , pp. 30-37.
  • Ján Steinhübel: The Great Moravian dioceses at the time of Mojmírs II. In: Bohemia . Volume 37, 1996, pp. 2-22 (digitized version ) .
  • Ján Steinhübel: The church organization in Neutra around the turn of the millennium. In: Bohemia . Volume 40, 1999, pp. 65-78 (digitized version ) .
  • Ján Steinhübel: Nitrianske kniežatstvo. Počiatky stredovekého Slovenska [= The Principality of Nitra. The Beginnings of Medieval Slovakia]. Rak / Veda, Bratislava 2004, ISBN 80-224-0812-3 . (Standard work of Slovak historiography)
  • Ján Steinhübel: The Duchy of Nitra. In: Mikuláš Teich, Dušan Kováč, Martin D. Brown: Slovakia in History. Cambridge University Press 2011, ISBN 978-0-521-80253-6 , pp. 15-29.
  • Tatiana Štefanovičová: Osudy starých Slovanov [= fate of the ancient Slavs]. Osveta, Martin 1989 (detailed description of the archaeological development of the Moravian Empire).

Czech research

  • František Graus : The nation-building of the Western Slavs in the Middle Ages (= Nationes. Historical and philological studies on the emergence of European nations in the Middle Ages. Volume 3). Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1980, ISBN 3-7995-6103-X
  • Lubomír E. Havlík: Svatopluk Veliký, král Moravanů a Slovanů [= Svatopluk the Great, King of the Moravians and Slavs]. Jota, Brno 1994, ISBN 80-85617-19-6 .
  • Václav Richter: The Beginnings of Great Moravian Architecture. In: Magna Moravia. Prague 1965, pp. 121-360.
  • Dušan Třeštík: Počátky Přemyslovců. Vstup Čechů do dějin (530–935) [= The beginnings of the Přemyslids. The Entry of the Czechs into History (530–935)]. 2nd edition, Nakladatelství Lidové noviny, Prague 2008, ISBN 978-80-7106-138-0 .
  • Dušan Třeštík: Vznik Velké Moravy. Moravané, Čechové a střední Evropa v letech 791–871. [= The emergence of Great Moravia. Moravians, Czechs and Central Europe in the years 791–871]. 2nd edition, Nakladatelství Lidové noviny, Prague 2010, ISBN 978-80-7422-049-4 (standard work of Czech historiography on the prehistory, emergence and development of the Moravian Empire up to 871).