CarantaniaSamo's RealmCarantania CarniolaMarch of CarniolaWindic marchIllyrian ProvincesKingdom of IllyriaDuchy of CarniolaDrava BanovinaProvince of LjubljanaSocialist Republic of SloveniaRepublic of Slovenia
Carantania (also Karantania, Carentania, in old Slovenian onomastics Korotan, or Karantanija) was a Slavic principality that emerged in the 7th century in the territory of present-day Carinthia. Having lasted more than 300 years, it is considered one of the first Slavic states.
- 1 Territory
- 2 History
- 3 The Ducal Coronation
- 4 Mentionings in late medieval literature
- 5 Origin of the name
- 6 Ethnic and social structure
- 7 References
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
Carantania's capital was most likely Karnburg (Slovenian Krnski grad) in the Zollfeld valley (Slovenian Gosposvetsko polje), north of modern Klagenfurt (Slovenian Celovec). Apart from the territory of modern Carinthia, it included the territory of modern Styria, parts of today's East Tyrol and of the Puster Valley, the Lungau and Ennspongau regions of Salzburg, and parts of southern Upper Austria and Lower Austria. It most probably also included the territory of the modern Slovenian Province of Carinthia. The few existing historical sources distinguish between two separate Slavic principalities in the Eastern Alpine area: Carantania and Carniola. The latter, which appears in historical records dating from the late 8th century, was situated in the central part of modern Slovenia. It was (at least by name) the predecessor of the later Duchy of Carniola (Slovenian Kranjska).
The borders of the later Carantania state, which was under the feudal overlordship of the Carolingians and their successor March of Carinthia, 826-976), as well as of the later Duchy of Carinthia (from 976), extended beyond historical Carantania.
- See also: Slavic settlement of Eastern Alps
In 568, the Langobards receded into Northern Italy. Subsequently, in the last decades of the 6th century, Slavs settled in the depopulated territory with the help of their Avar overlords. In 588 they reached the area of the Upper Sava river and in 591 they arrived in the Upper Drava region, where they soon fought with the Bavarians under king Tassilo I. In 592 the Bavarians won, but three years later, in 595 the Slavic-Avar army gained victory and thus consolidated the boundary between the Frankish and Avar territories.
Slavic settlement in the Eastern Alps region is proven by the collapse of local dioceses in the late 6th century, a change in population and material culture, and most importantly, in the establishment of a Slavic language group in the area. The territory settled by Slavs, however, was also inhabited by the remains of the indigenous Romanized population, which preserved Christianity.
Slavs in both the Eastern Alps and the Pannonian region were originally subject to Avar rulers (kagans). After Avar rule weakened, a relatively independent March of the Slavs (»marca Vinedorum«), governed by a duke, emerged in southern Carinthia in the early 7th century. Historical sources mention Valuk as the duke of Slavs (Wallux dux Winedorum).
In 623 Slavs of the Eastern Alps probably joined Samo's Tribal Union, a Slavic tribal alliance governed by the Frankish merchant Samo. In 658 Samo died and his Tribal Union disintegrated. A smaller part of the original March of the Slavs, centred north of modern Klagenfurt, preserved independence and came to be known as Carantania. The name Carantania itself begins to appear in historical sources soon after 660.
In 745, Carantania lost its independence and became part of the semifeudal Frankish Empire (which was ruled by the emperor Charlemagne from 771 to 814), due to the pressing danger posed by Avar tribes from the east.
In 828, following the rebellion of Ljudevit Posavski, Carantania became a margraviate of the Frankish empire. In 843 it passed into the hands of Louis the German (804-876). In 887 Arnulf of Carinthia (850-899) a grandson of Louis the German, assumed his title of King of the East Franks and became the first Duke of Carinthia.
The Ducal CoronationChurch of Maria Saal (Gospa Sveta).
The principality of Carantania is particularly notable for the ancient ritual of installing Carantanian dukes (or princes, both an approximate translation of Fürst), a practice that continued on in the later Duchy of Carinthia. It was last performed in 1414, when the Habsburg Ernest the Iron was enthroned as Duke of Carinthia. The ritual took place on the Prince's Stone (Slovenian Knežji kamen, German Fürstenstein), an ancient Celtic column near Krnski grad (now Karnburg) and was performed in the Slovenian language by a free farmer selected by his peers. The farmers questioned the new Prince about his integrity.
After Carantania was incorporated into the Duchy of Carinthia, this ancient ritual continued. The coronation of Carinthian Dukes consisted of three parts: first, a ritual in the Slovenian language was performed at the Prince's Stone; then a mass was held at the cathedral of Maria Saal (Gospa Sveta); and subsequently, a ceremony took place at the Duke's Chair (Slovenian Vojvodski stol, German Herzogsstuhl), where the new Duke swore an oath in German and where he also received the homage of the estates. The Duke's Chair is located at Zollfeld valley (Slovenian Gosposvetsko polje), north of Klagenfurt (Slovenian Celovec) in modern Carinthia, Austria.
The ceremony was first described by the chronicler John of Viktring on the occasion of the coronation of Meinhard II of Tyrol in 1286. It is also mentioned in Jean Bodin's book Six livres de la République in 1576.
Mentionings in late medieval literature
Latin authors named Carantania as Carantanum.Chronicle of Fredegar mentions as Sclauvinia, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) mentions Carantania as Chiarentana. The same name was also used by Florentines, such as the poet Fazio degli Uberti (circa 1309–1367), the famous chronicler Giovanni Villani (c. 1275–1348), and Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375), who wrote that the Brenta River rises from the mountains of Carantania, a land in the Alps dividing Italy from Germany.
Origin of the name
The name Carantania is of pre-Slavic origin. There are two possible explanations. It may be derived from pre-Indo-European root *karra meaning 'rock' or it may be of Celtic origin and derived from *karantos meaning 'friend'.
Its Slavic name *korǫtanъ was adopted from the Latin *carantanum. The name Carinthia (Slovenian Koroška < Proto-Slavic *korǫt’ьsko) is also etymologically related and derives from pre-Slavic *carantia.
Ethnic and social structure
The population of Carantania had a polyethnic structure. The upper classes of the state were Alpine Slavs. The remaining population consisted of Romanized Celts (Noricans) and descendants of Romans who had previously dwelt in the region.
The people of Carantania are considered to have been among the precursors and ancestors of modern Slovenians.
- France Bezlaj, Etimološki slovar slovenskega jezika (Slovenian Etymological Dictionary). Vol. 2: K-O / edited by Bogomil Gerlanc. - 1982. p. 68. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, 1976-2005.
- Rajko Bratož, ur., Slovenija in sosednje dežele med antiko in karolinško dobo : začetki slovenske etnogeneze = Slowenien und die Nachbarländer zwischen Antike und karolingischer Epoche : Anfänge der slowenischen Ethnogenese, 2 zv. Ljubljana, 2000.
- Paul Gleirscher, Karantanien - das slawische Kärnten. Klagenfurt, 2000. ISBN 3-85378-511-5.
- Bogo Grafenauer, Ustoličevanje koroških vojvod in država karantanskih Slovencev : Die Kärntner Herzogseinsetzung und der Staat der Karantanerslawen. Ljubljana, 1952.
- Hans-Dietrich Kahl, Der Staat der Karantanen: Fakten, Thesen und Fragen zu einer frühen slawischen Machtbildung im Ostalpenraum, Ljubljana, 2002.
- Peter Štih, »Karantanci - zgodnjesrednjeveško ljudstvo med Vzhodom in Zahodom«, Zgodovinski časopis 61 (2007), s. 47-58.
- Peter Štih, Ozemlje Slovenije v zgodnjem srednjem veku: osnovne poteze zgodovinskega razvoja od začetka 6. stoletja do konca 9. stoletja, Ljubljana, 2001.