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(Reply to the study of Dr. Peter Ratkos, Sc.D. about the territory of Czechoslovakia, as it pertains to the Germans, Slavs, Avars and the location of Great Moravia.)


Originally published by Püski-Corvin, New York, NY.

Later in the literary review, Chicago Szivárvány, Nos. 14, 15 and 16.



Part 3.





(Omitted.   See the reason in the following introduction.)





            For a while, I was debating whether it was really necessary to add notes to Section III. of my study „Az Ősi Nyitra”, in connection with the objections of Peter Ratkos to this section.  Most of his objections would would require a lengthier answer than my short history of Nyitra can offer.  He has also objected to some things which I never stated.  Even so, some of his objections are worth mentioning. 


 1. What things do not belong in a short history of Nyitra?


            In my opinion, the following things, which Peter Ratkos would like to have seen included are:  The history of the foundation of the Abbey of Garamszentbenedek, the lands of the House of Árpád  and the role of the castle governors throughout the state.  Each of these topics would require a study at least as long as the three chapters of „Az Ősi Nyitra”.  For similar reasons, I could not write about the public administration of the city, the history of the Abbey of Zoborhegy and the history of the provostship of Saint Emeram. 

What could I have addressed?  Only the city, which was gradually separated from the seat of the governor and became a self-governing community with a judge. 



   2. A false accusation



            Peter Ratkos accuses me of a statement that is the opposite of what I represented.  According to him, I wrote that in the city of Nyitra and its surroundings „life returned only with the arrival of the newcomers (meaning the Magyars).”  Actually I stated, which ought to please him, that it would not be historically correct for me to state that the continuity of the Slav settlement was broken in the tenth century.87   If his objection is incorrect, at least his accusation should be correct! 



            3. What is the truth about the inscription on the money of the Breslawa Civitas?


Unfortunately, Peter Ratkos’ knowledge of numizmatics is limited to the territory of the Hungarian Kingdom.  If he knew the history of the inscriptions on the coins of the  (P)REZLAWA CIVITAS, then he would know that these coins were fakes, made abroad, attempts to copy the well-known money of King St. István, to be used outside the Carpathian Basin.  Therefore, the local literature connected to the (B)RESLAWA CIVITAS, which would like to give the impression that Pozsony, in the XI. century, was also called Bratislava, remains just an illusion.88



   4.  What is the difference between the káliz and the száznagy?


            It is surprising that Peter Ratkos, a researcher of the Middle Ages, cannot make a distinction between the function of the káliz and the száznagy.  The káliz was the royal treasurer.  A document from 1111, from the Abbey of Zoborhegy, clearly states: “Porcus, qui tunc centurio erat” – (Porcus who at that time was a centurian (száznagy)). 89  The centurians, as Matús Kucera and György Györffy have agreed, were captains over the royal high stewards, the officials and tax-collectors who were divided into groups of one-hundred according to the decimal system.90 The centurian therefore, was not the superior of the káliz, as Peter Ratkos states, but was in the given situation, the supervisor of a section of one hundred taxpayers of the city of Nyitra.  This does not exclude the possibility that, after the centurion Porcus had finished his duty, he could act as a káliz!


            5. About Peregrinus, the first known judge of the city of Nyitra.



            Peter Ratkos states that I did not acknowledge the city-judge Peregrinus.  Unfortunately, it looks as if he did not read in my study: Az Ősi Nyitra  the fourth paragraph of page 137, in which in 12 lines, I acknowledge Peregrinus who took on the important task of the administration of city justice, at the time that the city was establishing its independence.


             6. Without proof, there is no point in arguing.


            Ratkos states, without proof, that the basilica of Saint Emerám was not in the lower castle, therefore was in the city.                         


   7. The establishment  of the Diocese of Nyitra


I explained satisfactorily the circumstances surrounding the second establishment of the Diocese of Nyitra – that is in the Árpád age – in my short study.  I pointed out that it is very difficult to find a consensus of opinion about the date.  That is why Peter Ratkos objects that the diocese was established in the age of Saint László (1077-1095).   Around 1100, King Kálmán the Booklover, in chapter 22 of his Law Book I. , stated categorically that Nyitra, at that time, was just a large provostship, a statement that Peter Ratkos should have refuted, which obviously he did not do.  Therefore, his objection is without justification and also superfluous, since I had already stated that there was such an opinion. 


    8. Gány and the village of Püspökfalva which became Vágszerdahely


            Gány and Villa episcopi (meaning: püspök falva, bishop’s village or Püspöki) – contrary to the statement of Peter Ratkos – was not one village but two separate villages.  This is also very clear from the text of the document, which states that the border-line  „de villa Gan in villa episcopi”, from the village of Gan toward the village of the bishop, was at a certain ditch and a fishpond called Cipikas.  The document itself states that Gány belonged to the castle of Galgócz, whereas the owner of the lands of the village of the bishop is obvious from the name of the village and there is no other explanation.

            In a document about the owners of the Abbey of Zoborhegy, of the year 1113, the village mentioned as a neighbor of Gány, the villa episcopi – the village of the bishop – has, up to now, remained unclear.  The official documents have, up to now, stated that it was a part of Gány.  Peter Ratkos repeats this old view.  I recognized the untenability of this statement at the time of the writing of Az Ősi Nyitra, and that is why I regarded it to be an independent village.  At that time, I did not clarify the question as to which bishop this village belonged and where it was located.

            Because of the objections of Peter Ratkos, I began to examine more closely the geographical boundaries of the village of Gány.  At that time, I noticed that Gány was the neighbor of today’s village of Vágszerdahely (Dol. Streda), with a borderline between them of 12 kilometers in length.  This village was the ancient property of the Archbishops of  Esztergom.  However, its name, which referred to the Wednesday market, could not possibly be dated earlier than the last three decades of the XII. century,  and rather indicates the custom of the first part of the XIII. century.  So, at the time of the writing of the document of 1113,  which refers to the establishment of the village, it had not yet received the right to hold a Wednesday market, from which it could have taken its name.  There was just the reference to the ownership of the village by the Archbishop of Esztergom in its Latin name --  villa (archi) episcopi.  The village took over the name of Szerdahely only when it received the right to hold a market on Wednesdays.    Therefore, we may rightfully state that the village called Püspök falva, mentioned in the document of the Abbey of Zobor, of 1113, was the same village, which was later known to the Archbishop of Esztergom as Vágszerdahely.






1.      Is it correct to make Moravia the center of historical periodization?



A few years ago, the Slovak historiography adopted a new method of describing historical periods, which can also be found in Peter Ratkos’ text.  Therefore, I find it necessary to touch on this subject.

The essence of the new method of periodization is that the historical events of the Middle Ages in Central Europe are divided by two historical borderlines and classified as  the Age of Great Moravia.  The Age of Great Moravia is, therefore, divided into three important time periods: 

„The early Age of Great Moravia” which, taken from Slovak historiography refers to the end of the peoples’ migration, beginning in the sixth century.

„The Age of Great Moravia”, which extends from the dissolution of the Avar Kaganate in Europe to the Battle of Pozsony ( i.e. 796-907).   It can be narrowed down to the period between the expulsion of Pribina (around 833) to the death of Svatopluk (894), that is six decades. 

„The later Age of Great Moravia”, which extends from the Battle of Pozsony to the coronation of King István (i.e. 907-1000)

We do not wish in any way to deny the Slovak historiography the right to name a certain era according to their own point of view.  The objection arises from the use of new terminology, which causes the significant historical ages of European and local history to disappear.  

In the frame of the Carpathian Basin, we may call the entire ninth century the Age of Great Moravia.  Of course, we could doubless find many more general names for it.  However, the name ”The early Age of Great Moravia” is not fitting for the Avar Kaganate which existed from 567 to 796/805.   Similarly, the name ”Later Age of Great Moravia”  is not appropriate for the first century of the Magyar Homecoming, when they were building their state (between 894 and 1000).  The four years in the history of the developing Czech state, when the Moravians were dependent on the Czechs, does not qualify as an „era”.  At that time, the establishment of the Czech House of Premysl was a significant historical force. 

Therefore the historical eras in the Carpathian Basin should be the following:  the Avar Age, the Age of Great Moravia, the Magyar Homecoming, or the Age of the Árp’d House etc.  These names of these „ages” objectively reflect the historical events, but in the total picture of European history, they are still not adequate.   


2. The question of ratio in the last two Slovak historical syntheses (1961 and 1971).


The above-mentioned new Slovak historical periodization is not just a surface formality, but a manifestation of the attempts to change the viewpoint of historical research at its roots.   Because of the constant emphasis on the research of Great Moravia as the center of research, the importance of other historical events is minimized in the eyes of the public, moreover it has a negative influence on research itself.  Since we have spoken about the concrete effects of this, in Section II. Point 3., now – that is in Table No 4 – we shall present only the facts of the syntheses of 1961 and 1971, the noticeable  ratios and their comparison.91

            When we examine the ratio of the two historical syntheses, we must start with definitely measureable facts.  These are facts about the length of time, in years, the people in question lived here.  It is advantageous to start the research  with this comparison of time because this gives the least opportunity for disagreement.  There would still not be a significant difference in the results, even if certain researchers differed in the determination of the length of habitation in this area.  The second measurable factor is the amount of time we wish to spend on the presentation of these people.  Taking into account that we only wish to pay attention to the historical debate, we will disregard the archeological data, when we examine the ratio in the 1971 synthesis.

            The data in Table No. 4 clearly prove that, in the years between the appearance of these two Slovak syntheses, there has been considerable positive progress in the field of historical research.  This is most noticeable in the lessening emphasis on the Moravian Age.   In 1961, there was an exaggeration of 1446.9%, that is a 16 times inflation of the  numbers.  In 1971, this had dropped to 1125.7%, that is only an 11 times exaggeration.  The disproportion is still very high and it is evident especially in those territories where the Slovak historians expect to see the appearance of the Slav people!

            With our tables, we merely wish to call the reader’s attention, in the frame of the ancient times and the early Middle Ages, to which questions should be examined with increased attention in the future.

The following tables demonstrate the ratios of the Huns, Avars and the Germanic peoples and people of Great Moravia.


                                                                Table No. 4.   


                            1.  The length of time the state-forming nations ruled in the Carpathian Basin




























Total number of years









                                    *) The Quadi lived under the Huns after 406.                                                                    


                                2. The number of lines alotted to the history of each people in each synthesis



















                                            3.      The above numbers as percentages



















4.      Considering the history of each people, the actual spread according to the number of years they lived there, expressed in percentages.











                                            5.      The exaggeration expressed in percentages






















                                                                       IX.  LESS IMPORTANT MATTERS


Here I am listing my answers to all the objections, greatly emphasized by Peter Ratkos, which do not have much to do with this subject, but because of their demagogic character, I cannot ignore them or my reputation as a researcher would suffer.


1.      I could not have listed Pribina Nyitrawája in the list of data about the Slovakian Nyitra because, according to the geographical determination of the remaining sources, it was located in the districts of Pannonia and Belgrade, which were in the territory of Moesia, in the age of Justinianus I.92 


2.      Ratkos states that I fail to mention the former Pozsony, today’s Bratislava, in the list of places mentioned to have existed before the year 1000.  I believe that, on the first page of my study: Az Ösi Nyitra, (Part I. p. 119), the first note states:  „In the territory of Slovakia, three places are mentioned in the document before the year 1000: . . .  2. the capital of the state in 907. . .”  To every person living in Slovakia, the capital of the state means –Bratislava, Pozsony or Pressburg.  (See the following point also). 


3.      Is Brezalauspurc identical to Pozsony?

In connection with the first mention of Pozsony – which is usually placed in 907 – Peter Ratkos explains that its name Brezalausburch (!) meant, in the Slovak language, Predslavov hradot, or the castle of Predslav.  

It is really true that we can read in the Large Yearbook of Salzburg, in connection with 907,  that Luitpold, the Marquis of Bavaria „waged the most unfortunate war near Brezalauspurc on July 4.”93  We must note that the Large Yearbooks of Salzburg (Iuvavum) were not original texts but reconstructed texts from the 15th century, which were based on an unknown, earlier compilation, from about 826, of data that were not contemporary.  Of course, Peter Ratkos does not identify on what base the earlier historians formed their opinion that Brezalauspurc and Pozsony were identical.  

The identification of these two names is the work of the contemporary writer, Janos Aventinus (1477-1534).  In this contemporary source, all that is stated is what we have quoted above.  Although there was nothing on which to base his statement, Aventinus still stated that Brezalauspurc was identical to Pozsony.  The credibility of his statement is placed further in doubt by other comparisons of place names, which we can notice in his work.

For example from Brünn, which in his time was the seat of the Marquis of Moravia, which was called Brunno in Latin, Aventinus wrote Brynna.  In the Conversio, he made Brynnus out of Pribina.  He did this, so that he might become the Squire of Brynna (Brünn).  Aventinus was not disturbed by the fact that Pribina, from 836 to the end of his life, was the vassal of the Frankish Empire, in Pannonia and not Moravia.  In his work: Annales Boiorum,  Pribina was always mentioned as the Squire of Nyitra, Pozsony and Brünn.  (We should note that, it is because of his mistake that the city of Nyitra, in Slovakia, was regarded as Pribina’s city.)

Similarly Aventinus made the city of Speculum Iuliense in Moesia, (which means „the mirror of Julius, or the cave of Julius”)  Iulii Mons, which means the Mountain of Julius.  This name change was necessary so that, in the spirit of the latinization of the Renaissance, he could change Olomouc to Iulii Mons and identify it with a place named Speculum Julii.  

Aventinus used a naíve method to compare the place-names  and had no basis for identifying Brezalauspurc with Pozsony.  Such a name-identity without credible basis is none other than romanticism. 

Moreover, Aventinus was the first to doubt the credibility of the account of the Battle of Pozsony, and Dümmler, whom Ratkos regards as a knowledgeable historian, also doubts it.  Dümmler began to doubt the account because the major participants cannot be found in any of the contemporary documents. 94

To Dümmler’s well-thought out reasoning, we can add that the account of the Battle of Pozsony, in the writings of Aventinus, is not logical from the military point of view.  In his account, the Bavarian army attacked the Magyars in three lines side by side.  One part of the army advanced along the right shore of the Danube, the second advanced along the left shore and the third came by boat on the river.  This is a very impressive description of a huge army but, at the same time, it was a death sentence for the attackers.  It would have given the Magyar army, with its full strength, a chance to defeat the three parts of the enemy army one by one, because one branch of the enemy army could not come to the aid of the other.  Not to speak of the fact that that section of the Danube, between Malomvölgy and the Castle of Pozsony, was scarcely wider than one hundred meters, between the Danube and the mountains.  In the first annotation of my study Az Ősi Nyitra, in in spite of the accusation of Peter Ratkos, I did note Pozsony in the list of the cities established before the year 1000, and noted it as the capital city of the state, but now I take this back because there could not have been a battle at Pozsony in 907.

Thanks to Peter Ratkos’ further objections, my attention was drawn to the fact that the old belief, that Pozsony and Brezalauspurc were identical, is without base.  In my former statement, it was not the fact that the Battle took place, but the place of the Battle that I find to be false.


4.      We cannot regard Benedek Szőlősi, the author of the Cantus Catholici, as a historian.  In 1655, he edited the official collection of hymns for the Catholic Slovaks of the Diocese of Esztergom, moreover, wherever it was necessary, he translated the Hungarian hymns into the Praeslovak language.

I am grateful to Peter Ratkos for bringing this to my attention because, by so doing, he adds another person to the group of people who are looking for Great Moravia in Pannonia and, as we have shown, Szőlősi was correct in doing this, because the territory between the Dráva and Száva rivers, which was part of the former Pannonia, really did belong to Great Moravia.95  

Of course, instead of Szőlősi, Peter Ratkos could have quoted a historian, if he really wanted to find someone before Timon, who was occupied with the history of Moravia.  This could have been Petrus Razanus, who at the time of King Mátyás Hunyadi, wrote the: Epitome Rerum Hungaricum.   In this book, he wrote that Svatopluk was a Sarmatian, by which he meant that his state in the territory between the Danube and Tisza rivers, extended from the Ipoly river, to the confluence with the River Dráva.96


5.      According to the statement of Peter Ratkos, when I wrote the history of the Kingdom of the Quadi, I quoted András Alföldi and (only) partly Pelikán Oldrich.  The truth is that I quoted Alföldi twice and Pelikán ten times!


6.      It is noticeable that Peter Ratkos emphasizes that a considerable number of the people, who lived in this territory before the Avars, remained in this territory but,          at the same time, he does not wish to hear of the remaining fragments of the Lombards.  He states it is impossible that a fragment of the Lombard people could have remained until the ninth century.  So, how then does he explain that Wiching, Bishop of Nyitra, was an Ostrogoth, when the Ostrogoths moved out of this area in 489, long before the Lombards did?


7.  About the finds at Vicsapapáti.


Peter Ratkos presents these finds as a proof that the Slavs were here well before the Avars.

At the same time, Anton Tocik, the objective Slovak archeologist, whom we have quoted several times, writes in the 1971 Slovak historical synthesis about the finds at Vicsapapát: „The question of the origin of the ceramic types found along the Danube cannot be solved by the present level of research, but it appears that these ceramics, found in the Carpathian Basin, originate from the place of discovery of the Eperjes type of the 4th and 5th centuries in Eastern Slovakia.”97

Therefore these finds do not prove what Peter Ratkos would like to prove. 


8.          The Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious (814-840) dissolved the province of Friaul (which Ratkos calls Furland) in 828.98  It is probable that it was unified again under Marquis Berengár (888-924).  Consequently, in 865, it could not have been the subject of a division. 


9.           The location of the supposed island of „Starduna” (i.e. the Old Danube) – whether it is north or south of Püspöki – was not a decisive factor in the relocation of the main channel of the Danube and in the question of whether the location of Csallóköz was below the Danube or above it because, in the document in question, it is mentioned not as Star- or Star(a)Duna,  but Scar Duna,  that is Szár Duna (meaning bald, as in Szár László, László the Bald).99

10. Peter Ratkos accuses me of inconsistency.  He states that I write that Mojmir placed Pribina in Nyitra.  The place in question is page 130 of Az Ősi Nyitra.  Unfortunately, as often happens, he overlooked an important sentence of mine:  „The traditional explanations connect Pribina to the Slovakian Nyitra.”  A few lines later, I pose the question: „Do we know with certainty that this was the Moravia, to which the Nyitra of Pribina belonged?”


11. Gyula László, Professor of Archeology at the University of Budapest, very clearly wrote, in his important work: „A kettős honfoglalásról”,100  that he bases his observations on archeological material, not on the Chronicle of Simon Kézai, as Peter Ratkos states. 


12. Not only did Bajor the Geographer convince Győrgy Szklenár in 1784, Professor Imre Boba in 1971 and myself in 1979 of the location of Great Moravia in the territory of Sirmium, as Peter Ratkos would like to state, but we were also convinced by the long list of contemporary data, including the unambiguous geographical map.  I presented about 23 of these sources in the debate which took place on March 25, 1977, at which Peter Ratkos was also present, but of course he does not wish to hear about them. (In the meantime, I have published the list of proofs in the form of a short study: „Nagymorávia fekvése”(The location of Great Moravia), which has appeared in several editions.  See the contents in Part VI.)


13. Great Moravia which was not yet Christian, is identical to the country of Szvatopluk and Rasztiszlav.  Rasztiszlav called upon the missionaries to convert his people.


14. The desolate country, mentioned by Orosius, did not lie between the Danube and the Tisza rivers but rather between the Dráva and Száva rivers, because Orosius placed it between Karinthia and Bulgária.


15.   In the case of Nyitra, we need to talk of continuity, not from the Age of Great Moravia, but from the beginning of the Celtic Age.


16. Saint Szórád’s (Zoerardus) name, when he was a monk, was András.  From the point of view of the short history of Nyitra, it is irrelevant how his name was pronounced in the 11th century.


17. I am amazed at Peter Ratkos’ opinion of other researchers.  He states that the conclusions of Imre Boba, Professor at Washington State University, are „completely mistaken hypotheses”.  In spite of this, since the publication of Imre Boba’s book, in 1971, in the past seven years, he has not been able to refute any of his statements.!101


                                                X. SOME POINTS ABOUT WHICH PETER RATKOS IS CORRECT


In the explanations that I have given so far, as I was answering the mistaken objections of Peter Ratkos, I was forced to do some deeper research and some new observations have come to mind.  There are a few points about which Peter Ratkos is correct and I do not wish to ignore them. Moreover, I decided that I would be just as strict in judging myself as I was with him, although I did not learn this approach from him.  Peter Ratkos did all that he could to uncover even my smallest mistakes.  Let us see then, on what points he was correct:


1.      I acknowledge that Ljubljana was not identical to Nauportus.  The truth here is that this place is located 9 km. from Ljubljana (Laibach) and its name is Vrchnik (Ober-Laibach), just outside of Ljubljana.


2.      I acknowledge that Magnus is not just an epithet, but also a personal name.  Therefore in the case of King Béla I., I should not have translated it.


3.      I acknowledge that the name Nitrawa, which appears in the document, supposedly prepared by Pilgrim, the Bishop of Passau in the name of Pope Eugene II.,  -- which I explained in Part VI. Point 6 – is not connected to the Nyitra in Slovakia.  The history of this Nyitra in the Middle Ages begins therefore in 880. 






            As I analyzed Peter Ratkos’ objections, I found that, on more than 60 occasions, his facts and contemporary sources were mistaken, or he just partly approached the problem in a superficial manner and therefore his arguments cannot be substantiated. Among the huge number of his groundless objections, only three, which were not essential to the argument, were correct.

I was also surprized by the large number of unscholarly objections on the part of Peter Ratkos.  Therefore, I have to pose the question:  Does he not have an adequate scholarly preparation, since he makes one mistake after another?  Or are there perhaps  other reasons for him to defend his untenable position?   

I have to give an obvious answer to the first question.  Peter Ratkos is a Doctor of History.  His certificate proves that – and I do not doubt it – he is capable of conducting historical research on a high level.  

What then is the reason that, in spite of his acknowledged abilities, he is still struggling with the obvious facts?  Why can he not acknowledge the untenability of the traditional theory which he represents?  What is the reason that Peter Ratkos openly attacks other researchers – in this case myself too.   Mátus Kucera, the Dean of the Comenius University, with whom he argued in a similar fashion, answered this question in the following way: „He defends himself in an unusual, individual manner. . . he strives to place in doubt every result that I have accomplished in my work.”102  On the basis of my observations above, I have to agree with him!

It is now 31 years since Peter Ratkos became a member of that large group, which represents the traditional Moravian point of view, praising the national past, and he is a fervent supporter of this group.   Since then, as is apparent from his writings, he has studied the early historiography of the age in question, even publishing the contemporary sources.103  Therefore he has had at his disposal all the necessary material to clarify the numerous questions about the history of Great Moravia.   In spite of this, he tries to do everything in his power to uphold the traditional theory, which contradicts the contemporary sources.  He admitted his intentions, when he carefully tried to refute the statements of Bajor the Geographer and Constantine Porphyrogenitus, without checking to see how their information compared to the other contemporary sources.  This is where that break from the truth in Peter Ratkos’ work began, which has only two explanations:  Either he completed his work in a very superficial manner, or he was influenced by nationalistic feelings. 

            No matter which of these two possibilities caused his actions, the result is the same:  He uses all the means at his disposal to prevent the facts, which might encroach on his scholarly prestige, from coming to light.   He even admitted: „This is not how we conceive that endeavor aimed at cleansing the early Slovak history of the romantic ideas.”104  In the interest of his theory, he does not even stop at presenting false information, even libel.  During our analysis, we have several times pointed out that Peter Ratkos, referring to Slovak history, more than once makes a statement against us, which Slovak historiography either has not yet proven or has proven the opposite. (For example:  The location of the Kingdom of the Quadi, Vicsapapáti, the case of Dowina, etc.)

            In a scholarly debate, each party undoubtedly has the right to point out to the other his errors, mistakes and even call him by name.  The defamation begins when one partner attacks the scientific integrity and honor of the other without reason, or for false (not mistaken) reasons, for example, accusing him of knowingly falsifying the actual facts.  Peter Ratkos has forgotten the old saying: „“unusquisque iudicat secundum quod est” --  everyone judges the other of what he is.   

It is very difficult to refute historical errors which have been advocated for centuries.  Moreso, if nationalistic feelings are involved.  The first responsibility of the historian, by vocation, is to publicize, once he has recognized it, the truth hidden in the documents of the past.  This, too, is my only goal.  The new view of the Moravian question was established by György Szkenár and, independently of him, Imre Boba and myself.  Before I had even heard of them, I had come to the same conclusion as they did – that the new view of the Slovak historiography of the early ages opens up an entirely new direction. 

The importance of the new view of the location and history of Great Moravia, rooted in the sources, is exactly what causes Peter Ratkos’ attack.  Such outbursts cannot solve any kind of scholarly problem with credibility.  The only way to solve these problems is with open, calm dialogue.  I would be delighted if this dialogue could be conducted according to the ethics of scientific research and if noone would try to silence my work or bring up misleading, false reasoning to try to ruin my credibility.  I would also like to hope that I would not encounter behavior similar to that of Peter Ratkos, or publications which lack the respect due to a researcher. 

I close my message to Peter Ratkos with the words of Miklós Telegdi:105

 „My friend, I understand what causes your stomach-ache.  What eats at your intestines is that I throw myself against you like a stone wall for the homeland of Israel . . . This is the reason that you reprimand me, curse me and use all kinds of bad words against me.  What bothers you, I believe, is that, neither you nor your comrades (partners) are allowed to sow, openly and freely, the seeds of dissention on Saturday, as you would like to.” 


Pozsony, February 27, 1978.
















87 Az ősi Nyitra... Irodalmi szemle, 1976. 133-134

88 Cf.: GYÖRFFY GYÖRGY.: István király és műve. (King Steven and his works) Gondolat, Budapest 1977. 340. A szakirodalom 567.

89 MARSINA RICHARD: Codex diplomaticus et epistolaris Slovaciae. Tom. I. Bratislava 1971. 63. old. 35. sor

90 KUCERA, MATUS: Desatinná a stotinná organizácia obyvatelstva.... Historické studie XI. (1966) 70-71. and GYÖRFFY GYÖRGY: A tizes és százas szervezet. (The organizations according to the decimal system.) MTA. II. Oszt. Közl. 22 (1973) 57-64. and Ibid.: István király és műve (King Stephen and his works. (cf. Footnote 88.) 454


91 See Footnote No. 12 for the bibliographic data of the two syntheses.

92  By Pannonia in the age of Justinius I, we mean the former Pannonia Secunda and the Civitas Bacensis.  The latter means the territory of the former counties of  Bács, Bodrog and Csongrád.  For the sources of the geographical information regarding Nyitrawára, see Part II. point no. 6 of my study about the location of Great Moravia.  (Bibliographic data can be found in Section no. VI. following the introduction.)


93 „Bellum pessimum fecit ad Brezalauspurc IIII nonas lulii.” – Annal. Iuvavenses Max. ad annum 907. –MMFH. I. 131.

94 DÜMMLER, E.: Geschichte des Ostfränkischen Reiches 1888. III. 548. Ortvay could not refute Dümmler’s reasoning. Cf. ORTVAY T.: Pozsony város története( The History of the City of Pozsony) I. 60



97 „Otázka povodu podunajského typu nie je za dnesného stavu bádania riesitel’ná, ale zdá sa, ze táto keramika v Karpatskej kotline má svoj povod uz v náleziskách presovského typu na vychodnom Slovensku vo 4. a 5. storoci.” SLOVENSKO I. –DEJ 165

98 ANNALES REGNI FRANCORUM ad annum 828. – MMFH. I. 52.



99   The Stará Duna – which means Old Danube – in the Middle Ages, was the supposed Slav name for section of the Danube between Pozsonypüspöki and Dénesd, based on a mistake in the reading of a document.  The mistaken reading is attributed to Gusztáv Wenczel in 1862, (AUO. III. 28)  In his collection of documents, he had a document of sale by the Abbot of Pannonhalma from 1262 (Phalmi rendi lt. Capsa. 43. V.) and he read the following, in connection with the mentioned name:  „quandam insulam Stara Duna vocatam. . .” This data was taken over by the Slovak historiography and the history of linguistics.  Pongrác Sörös already in 1903 noticed  the paleographic difficulty of Wenczel’s understanding of the text, at the time of a new critical edition of the document.  (PRT. II. 320. No. 55.).  He noticed that the word Stara was not present in the document.  There was a shorter word in its place, which he read as Star because he was not completely free of the influence of Wenczel.  Although the reading of Sörös is closer to the original, it is still not correct.   The experts in the reading of the documents of the Middle Ages are well aware that, in the 13th century documents and other written texts, the cursive –c- and the letter – t – were identical.  The correct reading depended upon the context.  The context meant nothing to Wenczel so he altered the text to stara.    The correction made by Sörös – Star-Duna – has no meaning either.  Therefore, we began to search for a later document dealing with the same island, in which there is a difference in the method of writing the – c-  and the –t-,   so that we might finally resolve this question.  This how we finally stumbled upon the Pozsony Chapter note o. lt. 33-2-5, in the document of 1421, named  ‘Insula Sarduna’.  On the basis of geographical data in this document, this island-name refers to the island mentioned in the document of 1262.  The island in question was therefore Sarduna.  Immediately the question arises whether, in the Latin text of this document of 1421, the pronunciation of the ‘s’ was the Hungarian s or the Hungarian sz.  With the aid of the document of 1262, we can state unequivocally that, here, the ‘sz’ pronunciation should be used which, in that document, was written with – ‘sc’ -, while in the document of 1421, it was written - ‘s’.   This –‘sc’ – both Wenczel and Sörös mistakenly understood as ‘st’.  The ‘sc’, however, is similar to ‘z’, as is shown in many Hungarian language remains e.g. the Halotti Beszéd: Scerelmetes, scegin read: szerelmetes, szegin (PAIS: Ősmagyar olvasókönyv 70) and in the 13th century, served as ‘sz’.  The name ‘Scar Duna’ for the name Szerduna, however, is very clear.  The word ‘szar’ as we have mentioned in the text, in the earlier sources meant ‘bald’ ‘bare’, e.g. Szárhegy (mountain without trees), Szár László (László the Bald) etc.  The Szár Duna therefore, was the name of a branch of the Danube, or in this case the name of an island, surrounded by the Danube, on which there were no bushes or trees.  (For the meaning of the word ‘szár’, see Kálmán Béla: Nevek világa. Budapest 1973. 159  and  FNEtSz 596.)  The reading Stara Duna for  Scar Duna is based on a mistake and is the result of a forced interpretation of the text and is therefore untenable.


100 AÉ Budapest 1970. 161-190

101 Peter Ratkos has spread his false statements only in sensational newspapers, as if the statements of Imre Boba and those who agree with him are not supported by contemporary sources, but by later, doubtful accounts.  For example, his article, which appeared in the Pozsony Vecernik, January 8, 1982 issue, on page 8, with the convincing title: “Vel’ká Morava bola na nasom územi. Presvedcivé argumenty proti názorom pseudovedcov.”  (Great Moravia was on our territory.  Convincing arguments against the views of the pseudo-scholars.) 

102 „Svoju obhajohu vsak uskutocnuje neobvyklym, jemu vlastnym sposobom ... usiluje sa spochybnit vsetky vysledky, ktoré som v svojej práci dosiahol. KUCERA, MATÚS: Nad otázkami nasich vcasnostredovekych dejín (Questions about our History in the Middle Ages)  Poznámky k úvahe Petra Ratkosa (Notes for Peter Ratkos’ reflection) Historicky casopis. Bratislava 1977. 73.  (The Question of the Border of Great Moravia and Bulgaria)

103 For example:  RATKOS, P.: K otázke hranic Vel’kej Moravy a Bulharska.  (The Question of the Border of Great Moravia and Bulgaria)  Historicky casopis III. (1955)- 206-218.  We have quoted this source several times.

104 Irodalmi Szemle. Pozsony XXI (1978). 564

105 See note number 2 for data about his book.