PETER PÜSPÖKI NAGY
THE POWER OF FACTS
(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.
The Power of Facts
An Overview of the Disputed Questions
I. The Kingdom of the Quadi
II. When did the Slavs appear in the territory of Slovakia?
III. Where was the Empire of Szamo?
IV. Avars or Slav-Avars?
V. The Avar province in the Frankish Empire (805-900)
VI. About the location of Great Moravia
VII. The connection with Ancient Nyitra
VIII. About two important questions
IX. Less important matters
X. Some points about which Peter Ratkos is correct
THE POWER OF FACTS
After reading Peter Ratkos’ study, which appeared to be an angry discussion of the facts, I felt as if I were in the middle of a religious debate in the Age of the Reformation. I frankly admit that, at first, I was inclined to reply in the same vein. Finally, I decided that it was not appropriate for me, as a scholar, to reply in that manner because the statements that I had made in my article were not based on emotions but on historical facts.
I was halfway through responding to Dr. Ratkos’ accusations, when I realized that it was useless to continue along this route of “accusation followed by denial”. I cannot not allow his accusations to go unanswered but I wish to follow a more friendly path, without any animosity. To achieve this, will use the following method to answer Dr. Ratkos:
1. My answer shall be more than a general exchange of conversation.
2. My reply should enlighten both the Hungarian historians and all other historians who study Central European History – especial that of the early Middle Ages.
3. Instead of following the usual method of studying the statements and hypotheses of former historians I intend to state clearly the disputed questions in those problematic territories and I intend to clarify the events, based on facts.
I will not answer Peter Ratkos’ accusations in the order in which he writes them but will formulate my answers according to the subjects in dispute. I shall group the accusations into themes and, in so doing, I shall answer them all.
I shall state what the accusation is and then I shall give the answer. Within the groups, the accusations will be numbered. Since Dr. Ratkos places more weight on certain accusations, some of the answers will be longer.
I. THE KINGDOM OF THE QUADI
1. The location of the Kingdom of the Quadi.
2. The Kingdom of Vannius or the Kingdom of the Quadi?
II. WHEN DID THE SLAVS APPEAR IN THE TERRITORY OF
1. The proofs found in written documents.
2. The migration of the Western Slavs and the Wall of Germans.
3. The connections between historical knowledge and archeology.
III. WHERE WAS THE EMPIRE OF SAMO?
1. Was the land of Samo adjacent to Thuringia?
2. What does the biography of the bishop, Saint Amandus, prove?
3. The case of Dervan, the Serb leader.
IV. AVARS OR SLAV-AVARS?
1. Joannes Ephesinus writes of the Avars and the Slavs.
2. The constant hostility between the Slavs and Avars.
3. Constantine Porphyrogenitus writes of the Avars and Slavs.
a. The accuracy of the quotations.
b. “The Slavs who were also called Avars”.
4. About the cemetery in Dévényújfalu.
5. About the burial customs of the Slavs and the Avars.
V. THE AVAR PROVINCE IN THE FRANKISH EMPIRE (805-900)
1. The territory of the Avar Province.
2. About the place-names: Várkony and Vereknye.
3. Who was Isias Khan? (erroneous reading of – Canizauci )
4. The well-known chorepiscopus of the Avar province (833-903)
5. Where was the seat of the chorepiscopus of the Avar province?
(About Kirchbach and Vetvár)
6. Were the Avar people literate?
Since I published an article about this same question in the Valóság review (XXI. Issue No. 11), which I presented in eight points, I feel it is unnecessary to repeat the same material here. Since this article appeared twice in the United States:
1. “About the Location of Great Moravia: a Reassessment”. Duquesne University Studies in History. General Editor: S. B. Vardy, 1982. Pittsburgh, PA. USA
2. “Nagy Morávia fekvéséről”. (About the Location of Great Moravia) Püski-Corvin, New York, 1982. This publication was an exact reprint of the article which appeared in the Budapest Valóság, in 1978, and which was delivered as a lecture in the XVI. Historical Forum of Duquesne University in October, 1982. An additional lecture “Nagy Morávia fekvése a diocesis Pannoniarum 295-900 közti területi alakulásának és a püspökök rezidenciális kötelmének a fényében” ( The Location of Great Moravia in the light of the connections between the Residences of the Bishops and the establishment of the Diocese of Pannonia between 295 and 900) completed the discussion.
VII. THE CONNECTION WITH ANCIENT NYITRA (8. POINTS)
VIII. ABOUT TWO IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
1. Is it correct to speak of the period of the historical center of Moravia?
2. The question of ratio in the last two Slovak historical syntheses (1961 and 1971).
IX. LESS IMPORTANT MATTERS (17 POINTS)
X. SOME POINTS ABOUT WHICH PETER RATKOS IS
There was a Civil War between the free Germans tribes living on the left bank of the Danube. The leaders of two of the losing tribes, Marobusus and Katvalda, were victims and, in AD. 19 and 21, they were forced to flee to the Roman Empire to Pannonia and Noricum, on the right bank of the Danube. We know from the writings of Tacitus that Emperor Tiberius, in the interest of the Empire, in AD. 21, placed these Germans on the other side of the Danube and appointed Vannius to be their king.
In the past there were long debates about the long stretch of territory along the Danube, from the city of Passau to Vác, and whether these Germans, who were called Quadi, fled from here, received a new homeland west of the Morva River or east of it.
On pages 119 to 124, in my book: Az ősi Nyitra,(Ancient Nyitra), I made several statements to attempt to clarify the situation. First, I mentioned three rivers with Celtic names, which are in the territory of western Slovakia. The names of these rivers are Mar(us), Duria and Cusus. At the beginning of the first century AD., the original names of these three rivers were changed to their present German names: Mar(us) became Marawa, (Hungarian: Morva), Duria became Wag (Hungarian: Vág) and Cusus became Granua (Hungarian: Garam). These name changes occurred at the time the Quadi were living in this territory. We know this from contemporary sources from the first century. Secondly, I pointed out that Ptolemy, in his Geographia, which was written around AD. 135, mentions the names of the Quad settlements in this territory of the three rivers. On the basis of geographical and topographical sources, I came to the conclusion that, in the first and second centuries, the Kingdom of the Quadi was located between the Marawa (Morva) and Granua (Garam) rivers.
Another important and entirely new conclusion was that we can presume that Singona was the capital city of the Kingdom of the Quadi and it was located near the Vág and the Garam rivers. This statement is based on the map of Ptolemy and I was able to determine this by the longitude and latitude given in degrees and minutes.
This statement of mine is supported by the results of archeology. In the territory between the Rivers Morva and Garam the Slovak archeologists know of only two large Quad settlements. One of them was found between the Vág and Garam rivers. This was scarcely twelve kilometers south of the city of Nyitra, exactly in the territory around the present village of Barancs. According to the contemporary writer, Ptolemy, we can regard this territory as the former city of Singona.
The other large Quad settlement was on the western bank of the River Vág, in the territory around the present village of Pobedim. Obviously, at that time, the Kingdom of the Quadi was divided into two parts and, between AD. 51 and 89, the capital city of the Western Quads was located here, which is identified as the Quad city of Arsicua. In the time of Ptolemy, the Kingdom of the Quadi was again united.
1. The location of the Kingdom of the Quadi.
Peter Ratkos objects to my statement dealing with the location of the Kingdom of the Quadi, based on contemporary sources. He states: “The central settlements of the Quadi were outside of the Slovak territory”. According to his statement the center of the Kingdom of the Quadi could not have been in the southwestern part of Slovakia because the Roman legions, which marched against the Quadi, on one occasion, in AD. 179, marched as far as Trencsén. On another occasion, they marched toward them along the River Garam. The facts are the following:
a) In connection with the campaigns of the Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Valentinianus I. and the location of the Kingdom of the Quadi.
It may be strange logic but it is the most natural question to ask: In which territory did the Roman legions move against the Quadi between AD. 177 and 180, if not in the land of the Quadi? In Peter Ratkos’ argument it is not clear that the campaign in the valley of the River Vág, in the winter of 179 and 180, when the Roman legions under the leadership of the legate Maximianus went as far as Trencsen and struck camp there in the winter, and the campaign between AD.172 and 175 of Legion II., accompanied by Adiutrix and Emperor Marcus Aurelius, in the valley of the River Garam, were two different Roman campaigns in the war against the Germanic tribes. There was one war and two different episodes, in two different places, not at the same time. Would not the goal of the army attacking the Quadi be to attack the enemy in the center of their territory?
The main purpose of the campaign of Valeninianus I. against the Quadi in AD. 374-375 was much clearer than that of the campaigns of the Roman – German war between AD 172 and 180. We know every important point about this campaign. The maneuver on two flanks was clear. One part of the legion went toward Carnuntum (Deutsch-Altenburg, Austria) and the other half went through Aquincum (Óbuda, Hungary) across the Danube, in order to surround the Quadi. The fact that the Kingdom of the Quadi was between the two armies and that the Roman campaign was successful, is proven by the peace negotiations, which took place at Brigetio (Ószőny, near the city of Komárom), the bridge-head that was called the Kelemantia Camp, which, according to Ammianus Marcellinus, “was in the land of the Quadi”.
The tactics of the Romans, encircling the land of the Quadi, prove that the central territory of the Quad kingdom was north of the Danube, between the Morva and Ipoly rivers.
b) Ptolemy writes about the land of the Quadi.
Around AD. 135, in the tenth chapter of Geographia, Ptolemy writes of Great Germania: “ . . .the Quadi are located below the Hercinia Forest; below that is the iron-ore and the Luna Forest; below that lives a large populace of the Boior, as far as the Danube, with whom, on the river bank live the Terrecatria people and, beside the meadows, the Rakata people are their neighbors”.
In order to fully understand this report, we need to know the location of the Hercinia Forest, the Luna Forest and the great Sarmatian mountains, which comprised the border of Great Germania, whose most eastern inhabitants were the Quadi.
Ptolemy clearly determines the location of the Luna Forest. As he describes the Danube, he states that, after the River Enns (which flows into the Danube on the south side), following the current of the Danube, another river as large as the Enns, flows into the Danube from the north side, near the Luna Forest. After the Enns, the first river on the northern side is the small River Kamp and the second is the River Morva, which is really the same size as the Enns. We should understand that the name Luna Forest refers to the Lesser Carpathians.
The location of the Sarmatian Mountains is at the curve of the Danube, (42° 30’ and 48°) or a geographical determination of degrees in the eastern latitude of 43° 30’ and the northern width of 50° 30’. The term Sarmatian Mountains then, refers to the present-day Cserhát mountain range. Ptolemy also gives two determinations for the Hercinia Forest. He states that below it is the Luna Forest, furthermore that it lies exactly between the Gabreta Forest and the Sarmatian Mountains. He determines that the location of the Gabreta Forest is beside the River Kamp, that is the present-day Austrian Greiner Forest in the hilly territory of Czech-Moravia. Therefore, the Hercinia Forest was located between the hilly territory of Czech-Moravia and the Cserhát mountain range, and is identical to the present-day White Carpathians. This identity is proven by the determination of the location of the Luna Forest, because below the White Carpathians are the Lesser Carpathians.
In order to determine the location of the basic geographical names, we still have to examine what Ptolemy meant by “x . . . Forest”. He himself gives us the answer: He drew the map with lines running north to south, with segments between the lines, laid out from west to east. The determination therefore means: “east of the X . . .Forest”!
On the basis of the former statement, the Celtic Boior people lived east of the Lesser Carpathians and the German Quadi lived east of the White Carpathians. However, Ptolemy was mistaken in his directions. Concerning the segment from the place where the Morva enters the Danube, as far as Brigetio – the confluence of the Morva and Danube, understood according to the determining points – he moved that segment 62° north of the line of the Danube. The Brigetio (Ószöny) -- Solva (Esztergom) segment, because of the distortion, has a difference of 90°. So instead of east, in the first segment, we should read southeast, in the second, we should read south. Therefore, the Quadi lived in southwest Slovakia and also in the territory of the Slovak Erzgebirge. On the banks of the Danube, from the Celtic town of Pozsony to the Kelemantia Camp, in the segment in the direction of Párkány, the Celtic Boiors lived among them. We don’t know whether the Terrekatria and the Rakata were Celts, Germans or Sarmatian-Jazygians.
According to Ptolemy and other contemporary sources, the borders of the Kingdom of the Quadi were east of the Morva River and north of the River Danube and the Cserhát mountains. They stretched in a line from Zsolna to Igló, in the territory of the Upper Vág.
c) The statements of Slovak historiography about the location of the Kingdom of the Quadi.
The newest historical synthesis, prepared by the scholars of the Slovak Academy of Science, deals with the question of “The Kingdom of Vannius”. In the text of Titus Kolnik, we read that the excavations of the 1960’s: “made it possible to finally determine the location of the Kingdom of Vannius, which has been disputed for many years. The group of researchers decided that it should be located in southwest Slovakia.”.
Therefore Peter Ratkos’ argument contradicts first of all the facts and secondly the official stance of the Czechoslovak (Slovak) Academy of Science, which he represents.
2. The Kingdom of Vannius or the Kingdom of the Quadi?
As we have seen, the Slovak historiography uses the expression the “Kingdom of Vannius” in connection with the Quadi without mentioning the long line of kings of the ruling house.
The Slovaks took this expression from Plinius Secundus’ Natural History. Plinius the Younger wrote this work during the rule of Vannius (AD. 21-51). At that time, he could not have known that the Kingdom of the Quadi would last for many more centuries. Therefore it is not correct to continue to use the name: “Kingdom of Vannius” and fail to mention the Kingdom of the Quadi, which had a long history, as if it had never existed. On the basis of the facts, we regard the appropriate name to be THE KINGDOM OF THE QUADI. This kingdom lasted from AD. 21 to the second part of the 5th. Century (to AD. 488), after which time the people migration took place and the Quadi were assimilated into the other Germanic peoples, the Vandals and particularly the Ostrogoths, at the time of the decline of the Hun Empire.
II. WHEN DID THE SLAVS APPEAR IN THE TERRITORY OF SLOVAKIA?
The most important and most difficult problem facing Slovak historiography was to establish the exact time that the Slavs appeared in some parts of the present territory of Slovakia.
Two latest big syntheses of Slovak historiography – in 1961 and 1971 – which were conducted by members of the Faculties of History and Archeology of the Slovak Academy of Science, are a reflection of the development of Slovak historiography in the ten-year interval between them.
We have to state that the second synthesis is more realistic about the time of the appearance of the Slavs in the territory where they are now living than the first, which was published in 1961. We must especially not disregard the program for the supposed slavization of that territory in the first half of the 6th century, which Anton Tocik mentioned in the following words: “The written documents alone do not give us enough proof in this regard, therefore the solution of the whole question lies largely in the domain of Archeology.”
Foreign researchers – German, Southern Slav and Hungarian – see the question of the appearance of the Slavs in the Danube Basin quite differently and the Czechoslovak (Czech) researchers see it in an entirely different light again. Anton Tocik’s open admission of the sharp differences in the contradictory opinions proves the development of Slovak historiography since the synthesis of 1961, when this could never have been brought up.
The three main viewpoints are that the Slavs arrived in the Danube Basin before, during, or after the Age of the Avars, mainly in the territory between Passau and the Iron Gate.
The followers of the first viewpoint are the Czechoslovak (Czech) historians and archeologists. They date the appearance of the Slavs in the Central Danube territory to the 4th. century, (according to the 1961 synthesis) or the 4th but rather the 5th century (according to the 1971 synthesis).
The second viewpoint is represented by the Southern Slav historians. They place the appearance of the Slavs in the central and western Balkan territories – from the Iron Gate to the Dalmatian shoreline – to the time of the Avar rule. Their viewpoint is supported by contemporary sources, therefore it cannot be regarded as a “supposition”. The slavization of the Balkans took place independently from the movement of peoples in the Carpathian Basin and there was particularly no connection with the ethnic problems in the southwestern part of Slovakia in the period before the Age of the Avars.
The Hungarian researchers represent the third viewpoint in Tocik’s list. Hungarian Archeological research is mainly occupied with the territory of the Avar Empire. By this, they mean primarily the Carpathian Basin, which extends to some parts of the River Száva and the River Danube in the south. The viewpoint of Hungarian researchers embraces the entire Carpathian Basin – which includes the present territory of Slovakia. Therefore they should not need to oppose the viewpoint of the Southern Slav researchers because these are occupied with a different geographical territory – the Balkans. The essence of the Hungarian viewpoint is that the Slavs arrived in the Carpathian Basin after the dissolution of the Avar Kaganate, at the turn of the 8th to the 9th century.
Between the first two contradictory viewpoints the Hungarian researchers were forced to try to present a more acceptable hypothesis. The basic question therefore, is whether the Slavs arrived in the territory of Slovakia before the Avars or after them.
1. The proofs found in written documents about the arrival of the Slavs in the Carpathian Basin, particularly in the Territory of Slovakia.
Peter Ratkos especially objects to my statement: “We can say very little about the infiltration of the Slav peoples into the present territory of Slovakia, from the beginning of the 6th century to the last third of the period of the Avar Empire (that is the middle of the 8thcentury). ” He accuses me of not informing my readers of the writings of the following historians about the Slavs: Jordánes, Baudemundus, Koreni Pseudo Moses, Prokopios, Menandros Protéktór. I state my answer in two points:
a) What is the truth about Jordanes and the other mentioned writers of the Middle Ages?
Peter Ratkos, who first published excerpts from the above-mentioned writers on the subject of the Slavs in 1964, should know that the writers that he listed wrote about the Slavs appearing in the territory of the Lower Danube and the Balkans, who arrived in the territory west of the Iron Gate and south of the Danube only at the time of the arrival of the Avars and therefore had no connection with the territory of Slovakia.
Futhermore, I will just mention the 1971 Slovak historical synthesis quoted above which, because of the lack of original sources, with the help of archeology, wishes to uncover the supposed presence of Slavs in the territory of Slovakia.
Peter Ratkos’ theory contradicts the statements of those writers whom he listed, and also the last synthesis of the Slovak historiography. Peter Ratkos, therefore, wishes to give historical proofs in connection with two different territories at the same time, where these proofs do not apply. His tactics are to blend into one the many sided sources of information and exchange the Lower Danube territory from the Iron Gate to the Black Sea for the territory of the confluence of the Central Danube, Morva and Dráva rivers.
b) What does Peter Ratkos purposely omit from the contemporary sources?
I wish to bring to the reader’s attention that the contemporary writers agreed that the Slavs appeared in some parts of the declining Avar Kaganate, between AD. 796 and 805, in contradiction to those historians who propose an earlier arrival.
First I would like to mention the memorial record of the conversion to Christianity of the Bavarians and Carinthians, entitled Conversio and prepared in Salzburg in 871. In this document, the slavization of the Avar Kaganate or Carpathian Basin (not the same as the Danube Basin mentioned by Ratkos) appears on two occasions. In the 6th Chapter we read: “they immediately forced the Huns from here (the Carpathian Basin) (after A.D. 796, the Avars) and this is how the Slavs settled there”.! The second mention of the Slavs is in the 10th. Chapter: “After which, Emperor Charles forced out the Avars. . . in the same territory, from which the Huns (i.e. the Avars) were chased out, on the one hand the Slavs, and on the other hand, the Bavarians started to settle and multiply.”
These two quoted statements, noted in the Conversio, which appeared 70 years after the events, are strongly supported by notes in the contemporary Yearbook of the Frankish Kingdom, in A.D. 805. According to these notes, Teodor, the Avar Kagan asked Charlemagne for permission for a settlement place in the territory between Carnuntum and Sabaria (Szombathely) because: “they could not remain in their old place of settlement because of the invasion of the Slavs. . .”
In the note from A.D. 805, the Latin word “infestinatio” is not entirely properly expressed by the Hungarian word “támadás”(attack), the Slovak “útoky” or the Czech “nájezdy”. First of all the word “infestinatio” means “invasion, incursion, marching in, rushing in,” as well as “profanation, breach of peace” and is only a milder version of the meaning of the word “attack”. The single clash of two armies is expressed in Latin by the word “impetus” which means “attack”. In military jargon, in the word “infestinatio”, the “festino” means “rushing” and should be understood with the prefix “in” to mean “rushing in” or “invasion”. Actually, the word “infestinatio” expresses a milder meaning than “invasion”(perhaps infiltration).
The testimony of the historical sources is very consistent. In the Carpathian Basin, or the former territory of the Avar Kaganate – which includes southwestern Slovakia – no written documents have been found to prove the presence there of the Slav peoples in the time before the appearance of the Avars.
On the contrary, the contemporary sources are clearly in agreement that the large influx of Slavs into the Carpathian Basin started between 796 and 805. Peter Ratkos and the other Slav historians, who propose that the settlement of the Slavs in the Carpathian Basin took place in the 4th and 5th centuries, do not take the contemporary sources into account.
2. The Migration of the Western Slavs and the German Wall
The basic obstacle to the arrival of the Slavs in large numbers – on the banks of the Elba river, in the Czech-Moravia Basin, and also in the Carpathian Basin -- was the continuous presence of the Germans since the beginning of our era. According to our historical knowledge, until the German Lombards moved out of the area, there was no possibility for the northern Slavs to proceed along the Elba River as far as the Czech Basin.
We know much more about the history of the 5th and 6th century Lombards than we do about the State of Samo or about the history of the people of Great Moravia between 833 and 863, whose settlements were on the left bank of the Elba River, the present-day Lüneburger Heide. Between AD. 385 and 400, the Slavs started out toward the south. In about a hundred years, they reached the Czech Basin. They entered the Moravian Basin in AD. 487-88 and took over the territory of Rugiland which extended as far as the Danube, which was at that time occupied by the Germanic Rugi tribe. In this way they reached the Kingdom of the Quadi and the borders of Pannonia. They continued their wars against the Germanic Heruli and finally defeated them. The Lombards, first in AD. 526 and later, in greater numbers, in AD. 546-47, moved into Pannonia. At that time, the Gepidae were their neighbors east of the Danube.
The Lombards took part in the wars against the Gepidae, first in alliance with Byzantium then as allies of the Avars, and they broke the power of the Gepidae in AD. 567. The Lombard king, Alboin, realized too late that, after the Avar occupation of Gepidia, he would no longer be able to hold on to his state. Therefore he offered to the Avar Kagan, Baján, the land of the Lombards and the Lombards moved out. The territory of the Lombards, therefore, peacefully fell into the hands of the Avars. The Avars, in a short time, within two years – not continuously, as Peter Ratkos states – became the rulers of the Carpathian Basin.
Our partner in this debate, Peter Ratkos, in his objections, paints a false picture of the Avar appearance and settlements in the Carpathian Basin. First of all, the Avars came into the Carpathian Basin, not in AD. 558 but nine years later, in AD. 567. In the year of their invasion, they took over the territory of Gepidia, politically but not ethnically. Gepidia included the territory between the Danube and Tisza Rivers, as well as the territory beyond the Tisza, to the east, including Transylvania. In the year AD. 568, they took over from the Lombards the territory of Pannonia which extended as far as the Dráva River. They did not occupy southeastern Pannonia, in other words, Szirmium, the territory of Pannonia-Szávia in AD. 567/68, but only in AD. 582.
The arrival of the first groups of Slavs in the Czech and Moravian Basin only became possible after the Lombards started to move out in 487-488. However, the Slavs could not settle there in large groups even after the final departure of the Lombards in AD. 568, because there, in place of the Lombards, there was another obstacle – the Avars. Therefore, an ingress of large numbers of Slavs into the Carpathian Basin, before the Avar Conquest and during the Avar rule, was not possible.
3. The connections between historical knowledge and archeology.
Above, we mentioned the new direction of Slovak historiography, particularly since 1964, which places the appearance of the Slavs in the Carpathian Basin in an early period – even before the age of the Avars – and the historians have given the archeologists the task of proving this. The conclusions which this presupposed theory and archeological program will offer are doubtful. In the Valóság review, two archeologists, Nándor Kalicz and Pál Raczky, have rejected such a presupposed hypothesis as untenable, in the debate entitled Újrégészet, with the following statement: “It is unacceptable that an archeologist should go to an excavation site with a presupposed hypothesis and there, he observes facts which he offers to support the presupposed hypothesis.(Hree we won’t even ask from where the archeologist took his “primary hypothesis”!) This point of view contradicts the concrete, generally accepted method, dictated by a sober mind with a thoughtful method.”
Already in the middle of the 1960’s, the Slovak archeologists accepted the task assigned to them by their historian colleagues. They had already disassociated themselves from the artifacts of the independent cultures of the Eperjes and Danube Valley territories because of the simple and primitive character of these artifacts. Of the two, the Eperjes culture was the older and the archeologists hypothesized that the ceramics of the Danube Valley culture were connected to it. They placed the appearance of these two cultures in the 4th and 5th centuries. Then they presumed that the Prague culture followed in the 6th and 7th centuries. In connection with the “Eperjes” type, Tocik honestly states that: “there is not sufficient proof that a Slav continuity existed from the earliest times.”
We must not assume, however, that a culture, which is proven by archeology to have its own time period in a particular territory, is Slavic just because it is poorer and simpler than that of the Lombards, Quadi or Goths. Do the Slovak archeologists know enough, did they find enough artifacts of the common Germanic peoples? Is their method reliable? The fact that examples of the Eperjes culture can be found outside of the Carpathians does not prove ethnic identity. The Goths who were eastern Germanic people also came from that territory. Did the archeologists examine the Caspian Sea and the Ural territories with the same point of view? Archeologists should recognize the fact that the Quadi, Heruli, Goths, Gepidae, Rugi and Lombards were all Germanic type people yet their archeological artifacts can be differentiated from each other. If, however, it can be proven that a culture was prevalent in the Vág valley from late Roman times to the 6th century, then it can be supposed that their numerous ancient remains were artifacts of a people who lived there before the appearance of the Germanic peoples. Only after ruling out the existence of these and the Germanic peoples can we think about the possible appearance of a new group of people!
The artifacts themselves are silent. Simply on the basis of the artifact itself, we cannot state that it is of Germanic, Slav or Avar origin. The archeologists can only make a concrete connection with a people, when there are written documents that offer satisfactory proof.
Until we systematically study the historical sources in Slovakia or in Central Europe, there will be no objective proof to connect the “Eperjes” or “Danube Valley” or other cultures to any particular people. Furthermore, according to our present historical knowledge, based on the connections we have discovered so far -- and it is unlikely that suddenly new proofs will appear – there was no realistic possibility of the early appearance of a large number of Slavs inside the Carpathian Basin up until the time of the Avar Empire.
We have to ask another question. Why do such well-known Slovak archeologists as Anton Tocik – of whose integrity as a historian we are already convinced – accept facts which do not agree with historical sources, in order to try to prove the theory of the early appearance of the Slavs?
The answer is simple: the Slovak archeologists do not have at their disposal the complete, official historical sources of the Middle-Ages. Historical documents about the people living in this territory, published to this date, give a distorted picture about the ratio of these inhabitants in the age of the peoples’ migration. Even the most recent synthesis was unable to erase this distorted picture. Such a distorted historical view influences the conclusions of the archeologists. It is only in this way that the following sentence could have been included in the 1971 synthesis: “The year 568 marked the end of the temporary occupation of the Germanic tribes in the southwestern territory of Slovakia.” In actual fact, this “temporary” occupation lasted 547 years! Out of these 547 years, the Lombards were there for 79 years, which exceeded by 18 years the time of the existence of the supposed Great Moravia!
To prove the above statement from the point of view of the ratio of peoples on this territory we should examine the latest Slovak synthesis of 1971. (See Table I.)
From the table it is clear that the ratio is not realistic. The Goths, Lombards and Huns lived in the Carpathian Basin during the same period of time and the Slovak historians have assigned them 0.2 – 2.6% of the total territory (an average of 1.4%). They state that the land of Great Moravia covered 74.3% of the territory, while the Avar Kaganate, which existed for 237 years, covered only 2.1%. During this same period, the Quadi were assigned only 18.9% of the total territory. The Heruli and the Rugi were hardly mentioned.
Table I. The ratio of the settlement periods of the Huns, Avars, Germanic peoples and peoples of Great Moravia, compared to the 1971 historical synthesis
The people of Great Moravia
The number of years they lived in this territory
Their presence in this territory expressed in %
In the 1971 synthesis, the Slavs presented their proposed %
The expected objection is that these peoples were not given equal value in Slovak history. I do not wish to attack the veracity of this history, but the ratios presented and the connections do not support it. The synthesis assigned 4.3% of the territory to the Huns, Lombards and Goths, whereas, according to the Slovak historians, the Slavs must have appeared in the same territory at this time. In this context, the history of the Gepidae and the Heruli is equally important, since all these peoples were present in the Carpathian Basin at the same time. The theory of the appearance of the Slavs stands or falls based on the veracity of the history of the Germanic peoples. We can learn about the conditions surrounding the appearance of the Slav peoples if we conduct a detailed and complete research of the history of the Avars. Without this, there can be no scientific statements, only acceptance based on feelings.
On the basis of these statements, I absolutely reject the accusations of Peter Ratkos that I am “anti-Slav” and “a scholar” in quotation marks. He accuses me of this because I have expressed numerous objections, based on historical facts and on the expectations of some Slovak historians.
The facts that we know so far about the Germanic peoples and their history, mentioned briefly above close out the possibility that the Slavs appeared in large numbers before the Avars, or at the same time as the Avars in the Carpathian Basin. After the Lombards moved out of the Carpathian Basin, we can accept that the Slavs entered the Czech and Moravian Basin in large numbers but not the Carpathian Basin.
III. WHERE WAS THE “EMPIRE” OF SAMO?
The hypothesis of the Slovak researchers, which we mentioned earlier, according to which the Slavs had already arrived in the Czech-, Moravian- and Carpathian Basin in the 4th. century necessarily implies that the Slavs’ first attempt at the formation of a state – the country of Samo – must have taken place in the territory of Czechoslovakia.
The historian Fredegar Scholasticus, who was almost a contemporary of Samo, names him as the King of the Winidi. Unfortunately the Chronicle of Fredegar does not give any geographical information about the location of the country of Samo. The second source, which talks of the actions of the Frankish king Dagobert, took its information from Fredegar, therefore we can find nothing new in it. The third and last source, in which Samo is mentioned, is the already noted memoir of the Bishop of Salzburg, the Conversio, from circa AD. 871.
In this memoir, in contrast to the Chronicle of Fredegar, we can find an exact geographical description: “In the time of the glorious King of the Franks, Dagobert, a Slav named Samo remained in Carinthia and became the leader of the people there.”
To determine the veracity of the source, we should know that the establishment of the Bishopric of Salzburg took place 35-40 years after the death of Samo. Samo ruled between 623 and 658. Therefore, the information in Salzburg fell within recent memory. Since the Seat of Salzburg sent missionaries to Carinthia between 748 and 784, it must have known the local history. It must also have had knowledge of the local records prepared in the Salzburg Episcopal Chancellery. The writer of the Conversio, which was prepared at the Salzburg Episcopal Chancellery, therefore must have known the authentic Carinthian records and those of the Bishopric.
Even so, Peter Ratkos, with two statements, wishes to discredit the Salzburg Memoir. We shall examine these two statements separately:
1. Was Samo’s country a neighbor of Thuringia?
According to Peter Ratkos, in Chapter 68 of Volume IV of Fredegar, it is supposedly obvious that Samo’s country bordered on Thuringia. In the indicated place, Fredegar speaks of the victory of Samo over the army of the Frankish king Dagobert in AD. 631. In connection with this, he notes: “After this the Winidi broke into Thuringia on several occasions and also into other provinces of the Frankish Kingdom.” Fredegar writes a similar text when he records the events of the year AD. 633.
From the text quoted from Fredegar – whose exact translation we gave – it is not obvious that Thuringia and the country of Samo were neighbors. All we can learn from this text is that the regiments of Samo devastated the provinces of the Frankish Kingdom and Thuringia on several occasions. From the fact that Fredegar mentioned Thuringia separately we can assume that it was an independent country. The Frankish King Dagobert was a weak ruler. This is why Samo was able to oppose him. The Thuringian princes also became independent of the Frankish rule at this time, but they were re-conquered during the rule of Charles Martel (720-741). The mention of Thuringia then did not mean that it was a neighbor of Samo’s country, but that it was the object of the campaign of Samo’s army.
For the purpose of comparison and – for better knowledge of the geographical background – we will mention other similar events. For example, we read the following in the German Yearbook of Sangallen in the year AD. 901: “The Magyars have again broken into Italy.” In the Altah Yearbook of the year AD. 911, it is noted: “The Magyars devastated France and Thuringia.” On the basis of the information of these two chronicles, the second of which is identical to the statement of Fredegar, nobody has yet made the conclusion that the country of Árpád was the neighbor of Italy, France or Thuringia!
2. What does the biography of Bishop Saint Amandus prove?
Besides Fredegar, Peter Ratkos quotes from the work of Baudemundus, “The Life of Saint Amandus, the Bishop of Maastricht”, to try to prove that the greater part of the country of Samo was in the territory of Czechoslovakia. According to him, this biography proves that, in AD. 630, the Slavs, whom the Bishop visited, were living in the territory north of the Danube, that is the upper part of the territory between Passau and Esztergom, which includes Slovakia (Felvidék). The writer of the biography was the student of Saint Amandus, called Baudemundus, who wrote this biography around AD. 680.
Let us see then, what the biography states about the actions of Saint Amandus in AD. 630: “. . . he heard that the Slavs, with their mistaken beliefs, were caught in the net of the devil and, in the hope that he would die as a martyr, he crossed the Danube, and traveled around the country, freely spreading the news of the Gospel of Christ to the pagans.”
The key to the understanding of the text: from where did St. Amandus, the bishop, start out, and in which direction did he cross the River Danube? We can give a definite answer to both questions. Saint Amandus was working in Belgium, in the territory of Maastricht and, as his biography says, he returned there because he was not successful in spreading the Gospel among the Slavs. Taking into account that Belgium lies to the north of the Danube, Saint Amandus must have visited the Slavs living south of the Danube, since he crossed the Danube. Since his missionary journey took place in AD. 630, he must have visited the country of Samo (623-658), which was south of the Danube.
Therefore, according to the proofs in the biography of Saint Amandus, the country of Samo was located south of the Danube. Carinthia was located on both sides of the River Drava, from the source of the river to approximately the confluence with the Mura, that is in the territory between the Drava and Mura rivers – therefore south of the Danube.
Consequently, Peter Ratkos’ supposed proof, which he quotes on two occasions – first referring to the writer Baudemundus, and secondly referring to the biography of Saint Amandus – actually proves the opposite of what he intended.
3. The case of the Serb leader, Dervan
Peter Ratkos does not write about Dervan in particular but, in order to make things clear, we should mention him. Based on Chapter 68 of Book IV. of Fredegar, the Czechoslovak researchers generally bring up the question of the former location of the “Empire” of Samo: In the case of the Serb leader, Dervan, in connection with the year AD. 631, Fredegar states: “. . . Dervan, the leader of the Serb people – that is the Sklavin-Serbs, who belonged to the Frankish kingdom for many years – placed himself and his people at the disposal of the Kingdom of Samo.”  The afore-mentioned researchers take this quotation to mean that the Lausitz Serbs united with the “Empire” of Samo, which therefore belonged to the territory of Czechoslovakia because the former country of Lausitz was the neighbor of Czechoslovakia.
The correct explanation of the history of the Serb leader, Dervan, can be found in Chapter 32 of the work of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperii: „It is well-known that the present Serbs originate from the non-Christian Serbs, who are also called White, and who live in the territory beyond Turkian (Hungary) . . . which is neighbor to the Frankish kingdom . . . therefore two brothers took over the Empire from their father, the one took half of the people and fled to Heracles, the Roman Empire, and Heracles welcomed him . . .
Fredegar himself supports the veracity of Constantine’s report. The migration of Dervan and his people to the country of Samo was uneventful. Samo ruled Carinthia between 623 and 638. Carinthia is was located between the territory of Lausitz and the present Serbia. Therefore the migration route of Dervan and his people in a southerly direction, led across Carinthia. According to Fredegar’s timeline, Dervan arrived with his people in the country of Samo after the defeat of Dagobert in 631 at the Battle of Wogaztisburg. Supposedly they remained only for one winter. So Dervan must have reache the Balkans before 641 because the Byzantine Emperor Heracles, who ruled from 610 on, and who welcomed him, died in 641.
Dervan chose this route along the Avar-Bavarian border and though Carinthia because around 631, he felt it was more secure from attack from his former Frankish feudal lord and also from the Avars. Before the arrival of Dervan, Samo defeated the Frankish king Dagobert, who had attacked Carinthia. At that same time, there was a civil war in the Avar Kaganate between the Bolgars and the Kutrigurs. Fredegar reports on the civil war in the Avar Kaganate in the year AD. 631. Therefore the temporary weakness of the Avar Kaganate was a fact, not my idea or my „serious mistake” as Peter Ratkos states.
The Salzburg writings place the country of Samo in Carinthia. The biography of the Belgian Bishop Saint Amandus agrees with this and states that it is located south of the Danube. These two statements which are in agreement are also supported by the case of the Serb leader, Dervan, who led his people from the northern White Serbia to their new home in the south. Therefore the country of Samo could not have been located in the territory of Czechoslovakia.
 In my article, entitled “Az ősi Nyitra a kortársak híradásai és a történészek elképzelései nyomán” (Ancient Nyitra seen through the Eyes of Contemporary Writers and Historians), which was published in Issue No. 2, 1976, of the literary review Irodalmi Szemle, in Pozsony in Czechoslovakia, I present my view, which differs radically from the view of the Slovak historians. I present many new observations based on original sources, which paint a picture of the territory of southwest Slovakia today and the most important historical events around the city of Nyitra between the years of AD 21 and AD 1111.
Almost a year and a half after the appearance of this article, on July 5, 1977, Dr. Peter Ratkos, Sc. D. of the Slovak Academy of Science, Department of History, sent an article to the Literary Review, which disputed my observations of the history of the territory around Nyitra. This article appeared in the June, 1978. issue, on pp. 550-568.
 The following are the most important accusations that Peter Ratkos made against me: 1. I did not mention the actual truth. 2. I did not take into account the results of the excavations of the Czechoslovak archeologists. 3. My conclusions are doubtful. 4. I cannot be called a “scholar”. 5. My conclusions cannot be called “scientific”. 6. I am “anti-Slav”. 7. I am self-seeking and manipulate the facts. 8. My methodology is irrational. 9. I write in an uncritical manner. 10. I am spreading fiction. 11. I write misleading statements about the past. 12. I do not act in a manner fitting to a historian. 13. I am spreading doubtful theories. 14. I am biased or prejudiced. 15. My historical analysis is incorrect. 16. My methodology is mistaken. 17. I create artificial conclusions.
18. I often misinterpret the contemporary sources and I deny some of them. 19. I am spreading half-truths. 20. My methods are pedantic. 21. I am not a serious historian. 22. I purposely turn the facts around. 23. I ignore the contemporary sources. 24. I make many erroneous statements. 25. I am far from scientific in my methods.
 “. . .ne quietas provincias immixti turbarent. Danubium ultra, inter flumina Marum et Cusum, locantur, dato rege Vannius, gentis Quadorum.” TACITUS: Annal. Lib. II. 63.
 For information about the two large Quad territories see: SLOV. 1. – DEJ. (The noted explanation can be found in Footnote No. 12 on page 134.)
 “Valentinianus enim studio muniendorum limitum glorioso quidem, sed nimio ab ipso principatu initio flagrans trans flumen Histrum, in ipsis Quadorum terris quasi Romano iuri iam uindicatis aedificari praesidiaria castra mandavit”-- AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS: Rerum gestarum Lib. XXIX. Cap.6. Vers 1-2. The statement in the quotation the SLOV. I. – DEJ. 131. correctly refers to the renewal of the Izsa-Celemnatia Camp.
 “. . . Sub nemus autem Orcynium Quadi, sub quibus ferri minera,& Luna silva sub qua gens magna Boiorum usque Danubium, quibus contingui sunt iuxta fluvium Terrecatriae et penes campos Racatae.” PTOLEMAEI: Geogr. Hyfegesis. Cap. X.
 “ . . .Praeterea in descriptione tractanda facilioris semper curam habuimus. Hoc est, quod ad dextram procedamus manum traducendo ab hiis quae iam perfecta fuerint ad ea quae nondum formata sunt. Id autem fieri poterit si magis septemtrionalia describerentur priusquam ea quae ad austrum magis tendunt, et magis occidentalia quam ea quae magis vergunt ad ortem solis.” PTOLEMAIOS: Lib. II. Cap. I.
 Cf. PÜSPÖKI-NAGY P.: Limes Romanus na Slovensku (The Roman Limes in Slovakia) Sbornik Faculty of Philosophy. University Komenskeho. XXI. (1970). 138 skk. – The error in the world map of Ptolemy was pointed out by György Érdi-Krausz in 1976 on the basis of the Lázár-Deák maps from the years 1528-1566. See: Magyar térképészet kezdetei. ELTE Természettudományi Kara. Budapest. 1976. 81-88. (The Beginnings of Hungarian Cartography)
 “Az terénne archeologické vyskumy, uskutocnované na Slovensku v. 60. rokoch, priniesli závazné nálezy, umoznujúce s konecnou platnostou rozhodnút dlhorocny spar o umiestneni Vanniovho královstva v prospech skupiny bádatelov, hladajúcich jeho centrum na juhozápadnom Slovensku.” SLOVENSKO I.- DEJ. 125.
 The failure to mention the Kingdom of the Quadi, which existed for several centuries, allows the possibility of historians making the hypothesis that, in the 4th and 5th centuries, the Slavs appeared in the territory of the Germanic Quadi. In connection with this see the following (II.) section.
 The first synthesis which was intended to appear in three volumes (1961) appeared as DEJINY SLOVENSKA LUBOMÍR HOLOTÍK. The assistant editor of the first volume was TIBENSKY JÁN. SAV. Bratislava, 1961. – The writers of the sections which interest us: 1.) Celts, Romans and Germanic peoples – B. BENADIK AND T. KOLNIK. 2.) The appearance of the Slavs -- J. KUDLACEK. 3.) The Age of Great Moravia – P. RATKOS. In the following text we will quote them as DEJINY SLOV. 1.
The second synthesis appeared in five volumes as SLOVENSKO. The first volume appeared as “Dejiny”. (871 pages) Scholar editor – JÁN TIBENSKY. Assistant editor of the archeological section – JÁN DEKAN. Obzor, Bratislava, 1971. The writers of the sections which interest us: 1.) The Roman period and the time of the people migration – TÍTUS KOLNIK. 2.) The appearance of the Slavs – ANTON TOCIK. 3.) Great Moravia – BOHUS CHROPOVSKY. In the following text we will quote it as SLOVENSKO 1.- DEJ.
 “. . .Samotné literarne pamiatky nám teda v tomto ohlade neposkytujú zelatelnú istotu, a preto sa riesenie celej otázky coraz väcmi presúva na archeológiu.” – SLOVENSKO 1 – DEJ. 156.
 Cf. DENIJ. SLOV. 1. 65-73 and SLOVENSKO 1. DEJ. – 160-163.
 DENIJ. SLOV. 1. 69. and SLOVENSKO 1. DEJ. – 161.
 Bevezetés a magyar őstörténet kutatásába és forrásaiba. I. 1.(Introduction to the Research and Sources of Hungarian Ancient History) Editors: P. HAJDU, GY. KRISTO and TAS A. RONA. Published by: József Attila Tudományegyetem, Szeged, Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, 1976. 119
 RATKOS PETER: Pramene k dejinám Velkej Moravy. SAV. Bratislava 1964. 27-44 and 62-63. There were two editions of this book.
 „Sed nunc qualiter Hunni inde expulsi sunt, et Sclavi inhabitare coeperunt.” CONVERSIO CAP. 6 and „Postquam ergo Karolus imperator Hunis reiectis...coeperunt populi sive sclavi vel Bagoarii inhabitare terram, unde ille expulsi sunt Huni, et multiplicari.” – CONVERSIO CAP. 10. Cf.: Magnae Moraviae Fontes Historicii. III. 303 and 308-309. The original, five volume text is kept as a reference source, edited by LUDIMÍR HAVLIK, published by the University of Brno, in the Faculty of Philosophy. Brno 1966-1976. In the following text this will be referred to as MMFH.
 „Quia propter infestinationem Sclavorum in pristinis sedibus esse non poterat.” – Annal. Regni Francorum ad annum 805. – MMFH. I. 42-43
 In Peter Ratkos’ version which appeared in Pramene,in 1964, on page 72, i.e. on MMFH I. page 42 not only is the translation of the word “infestinatio” inexact, but even the meaning of the text is distorted. In the text in question, the original Latin text is written in the singular (propter infestinationem), whereas in the translation it is in the plural. (útoky, nájezdy). The writer of the note in the Yearbook was talking of a single event – the invasion of the Slavs – whereas the named translators write that there were “recurring attacks by the Slavs”.!
 See also Argument IV. Point. 5. Within the perimeters of the Avar Kaganate, between 568 and 796/805, the ratio of infiltrating Slavs varied between 0.3 and 5.2%, which is proven by archeological excavations.
 I note that in my study, Ősi Nyitra, I wrote about the territory really close to the city, that is the northern territory of the Carpathian Basin, the southwestern part of Slovakia. Peter Ratkos expanded on this question.
 Bona István: Középkor hajnala. A gepidák és longobardok a Kárpát-Medencében. (The Dawn of the Middle Ages. The Gepidae and Longobards in the Carpathian Basin) Heredias Series. Corvina, Budapest, 1974. 17-24, 85-91.
 Kalicz Nándor – Ratczky Pál: Új-e az új régészet?—Valóság. Budapest, 1977. 6. szám. 76-94 old. Az idézet a 77. oldalról.
 „V doterajsich nálezoch presovského typu niet este dostatocný pocet záchytných bodov na dokázanie kontinuity s najstarsimi bezpecne slovanskými pamiatkami z tejto oblasti, predpokladanej niektorými autormi.”—SLOVENSKO I.-DEJ. 150.
 ... r. 568. znamená koniec prechodnej okupácie juhozápadného Slovenska germánskymi kmenmi.” – SLOVENSKO I.-DEJ. 155.
 We count the existence of Great Moravia from the time that Mojmir I. chased out Pribina, around AD. 833, to the time of the death of Svatopluk in AD. 894. When Svatopluk died, Great Moravia disintegrated. His sons ruled over the remnants of this land for only a short time.
 The detailed examination of the ratio will be completed in Part VIII. Point No. 2
 See the Czechoslovak School Atlas of World History, the “ Skolni atlas svetovych dejint” published in 1971 (Kartografia Praha) in which we see the “Empire of Szamo” on page 11. According to the map, this covers the larger part of present western Slovakia.
 FREDEGARI CHRONICON. Cap. IV. vers. 48. – MMFH. I. 20.
 GESTA DAGOBERTI I. REGIS FRANCORUM.
 „Temporibus gloriosi regis Francorum Dagoberti Samo nomine quidam Sclavus manens in Quarantanis fuit dux gentis illius.” – CONVERSIO. Cap.4 – MMFH. III. 299.
 „Multis post haec vicibus Winidi in Toringia et relequos vastandum pagus in Francorum regnum irruunt.” – FREDEGARI CHRONICON Lib. IV. Cap. 68 – MMFH I. 23.
 „... Winidi ... et sepius ... regnum Francorum vastandum Toringia et relequos pagus ingrederint.” – FREDEGARI CHRONICON Lib. IV. Cap. 68 MMFH. I. 25.
 „Ungari Italiam invaserunt” – GOMBOS: Cat.I. no. 199. pag. 91
 „Ungari vastaverunt Franciam atque Thuringiam” – GOMBOS: Cat. I. no. 205. pag.92
 „...audivit, quod Sclavi, nimiro errore decepti, a diaboli laqueis tenerentur oppressi, maximeque martyrii palmam se adsequi posse confidens, transfraetato Danubio, eadem circumiens loca, libera voce evangelium Christi gentibus praedicabat.” – VITA S. AMANDI EPISCOPI TRAIECTENSIS, AUCTORE BAUDEMUNDO Cap. 16. – MMFH. II. 49-50
 ... Derevanus dux gente Surbiorum, que ex genere Sclavinorum erant et ad regnum Francorum iam olem aspecserant, se ad regnum Samonem cum suis tradedit.” – FREDEGARI CHRONICON. Lib. IV. Cap 68. MMFH. I. 23.
 BÍBORBANSZÜLETETT KONSTANTIN: A birodalom kormányzása. a görög szöveget kiadta és magyarra fordította MORAVCSIK GYULA. Budapest 1950. Közoktatásügyi Kiadóvállalat. 153. old.
 FREDEGARI CHRONICON Lib. IV. Cap. 72 – MMFH I. 23-24.