The Eastern March (Latin : marcha orientalis) or March of Pannonia was a frontier march of the Carolingian Empire, named after the former Roman province of Pannonia . It was erected in the mid-ninth century in the lands of the former Avar Khaganate against the threat of Great Moravia and lasted only as long as the strength of that state. It was referred to in some documents as terminum regni Baioariorum in Oriente or "the end of the kingdom of the Bavarians in the east" and from this is sometimes called the "(Bavarian) eastern march," a term more commonly used to refer to the later Margraviate of Austria, established in 976 as a sort of late successor state. The East Frankish rulers appointed margraves (prefects) to govern the March.
Charlemagne, temporarily allied with Khan Krum of Bulgaria, from 791 onwards had launched several military campaigns against the Avars and had established the Avar March (Avaria) on the southeastern frontier of his realm, ruled by his brother-in-law Prefect Gerold of Bavaria. When the Avar Khaganate finally collapsed in 804, Emperor Charlemagne re-arranged Avaria into:
These regions were inhabited by the Slavs of Lower Pannonia, and history records several semi-autonomous dukes, some seated at Sisak, as vassals of the Frankish Dukes of Friuli. Some were seated at Mosapurc, and had connections to Slavs to the north, and the state of Great Moravia.
The eastern part of the former Khaganate between the Danube and Tisza Rivers was occupied by the Bulgars.
In 817 Emperor Louis the Pious granted Bavaria with Avaria to his minor son Louis the German.
From 819 Lower Pannonia was the site of a rebellion led by Duke Ljudevit Posavski against the rule of Duke Cadolah of Friuli and his successor Baldric.
By resolution of an 828 Imperial Diet, Baldric of Friuli was deposed and the March of Pannonia was set apart as a frontier march against Moravia within the Frankish regnum of Bavaria. This march, already called marcha orientalis, corresponded to a frontier along the Danube, from the Traungau and the former Slavic principality of Carantania to Szombathely and the Rába River including the Vienna basin. The Bavarian prefects had to face the rising threat by the Moravian ruler Mojmir I, who pursued separatist policies in the Eastern March. In turn, King Louis the German had the Slavic Duchy of Lower Pannonia established in 839, ruled by Mojmir's opponent Prince Pribina with his residence at Zalavár on Lake Balaton. By the 843 Treaty of Verdun, the Pannonian march together with Bavaria became part of Louis' kingdom of East Francia. Meanwhile the Moravian threat continued; in 854 Prefect Radbod was even accused of having forged an alliance with Mojmir's successor Prince Rastislav and deposed.
Two years later, King Louis ceded the march directly to his son Carloman of Bavaria, who had the fortifications of Herzogenburg and Wilhelmsburg erected along the Traisen River by the Wilhelminer margraves William and Engelschalk I. Likewise, the castle of Tulln on the Danube is documented in 859. In 871 William and Engelschalk died in battle against the Moravians, whereafter Carloman vested their rival Aribo of Austria with Upper Pannonia. When his father Louis died in 876, Carloman succeeded him as East Frankish king and gave Lower Pannonia to his son Arnulf of Carinthia. From 882, the rule was enfeebled by the Wilhelminer War of Margrave Engelschalk II against the Aribonids, whereafter Prince Svatopluk I of Moravia took the occasion to invade the Pannonian lands. In 893 Arnulf, East Frankish king since 887, installed Margrave Luitpold.
By the 890s, the Pannonian march seems to have disappeared, along with the threat from Great Moravia, during the Hungarian invasions of Europe. Upon the defeat of Margrave Luitpold at the 907 Battle of Pressburg, all East Frankish lands beyond the Enns river were lost. The Pannonian march itself does not appear to have survived into the eleventh century.
Arnulf of Carinthia was the duke of Carinthia who overthrew his uncle, Emperor Charles the Fat, became the Carolingian king of East Francia from 887, the disputed King of Italy from 894 and the disputed Holy Roman Emperor from February 22, 896 until his death at Regensburg, Bavaria.
Great Moravia, the Great Moravian Empire, or simply Moravia, was probably the first major state that was predominantly West Slavic to emerge in the area of Central Europe, possibly including territories which comprise today the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. The only formation preceding it in these territories was Samo's tribal union known from between 631 and 658 AD.
Aribo was margrave of the Carolingian March of Pannonia from 871 until his death. He is recognised as a progenitor of the Aribonid dynasty.
Svatopluk I or Svätopluk I, also known as Svatopluk the Great, was a ruler of Great Moravia, which attained its maximum territorial expansion during his reign.
The Duchy of Bavaria was a frontier region in the southeastern part of the Merovingian kingdom from the sixth through the eighth century. It was settled by Bavarian tribes and ruled by dukes (duces) under Frankish overlordship. A new duchy was created from this area during the decline of the Carolingian Empire in the late ninth century. It became one of the stem duchies of the East Frankish realm which evolved as the Kingdom of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.
Mojmir I, Moimir I or Moymir I was the first known ruler of the Moravian Slavs (820s/830s–846) and eponym of the House of Mojmir. In modern scholarship, the creation of the early medieval state known as Great Moravia is attributed either to his or to his successors' expansionist policy. He was deposed in 846 by Louis the German, king of East Francia.
Luitpold, perhaps of the Huosi family or related to the Carolingian dynasty by Liutswind, mother of Emperor Arnulf of Carinthia, was the ancestor of the Luitpolding dynasty which ruled Bavaria and Carinthia until the mid-tenth century.
The Principality of Nitra, also known as the Duchy of Nitra, was a West Slavic polity encompassing a group of settlements that developed in the 9th century around Nitra in present-day Slovakia. Its history remains uncertain because of a lack of contemporary sources. The territory's status is subject to scholarly debate; some modern historians describe it as an independent polity that was annexed either around 833 or 870 by the Principality of Moravia, while others say that it was under influence of the neighbouring West Slavs from Moravia from its inception.
Eric was the Duke of Friuli from 789 to his death. He was the eldest son of Gerold of Vinzgouw and by the marriage of his sister Hildegard the brother-in-law of Charlemagne.
William (II) was the margrave of the March of Pannonia in the mid ninth century until his death on campaign against the Moravians in 871. In his day, the march orientalis corresponded to a front along the Danube from the Traungau to Szombathely and the Rába river and including the Vienna basin. It was a military frontier zone against Avaria.
Engelschalk I was the margrave of the March of Pannonia in the mid ninth century until his death on campaign against the Moravians in 871. In his day, the march orientalis corresponded to a front along the Danube from the Traungau to the Szombathely and Raba rivers and including the Vienna basin. It was a military frontier zone against Great Moravia.
Wilhelminer War was a minor war fought in the March of Pannonia from 882 to 884. It was initially a rebellion of the sons of the margraves William II and Engelschalk I, led by Engelschalk II, against the new margrave Aribo. Svatopluk I of Great Moravia intervened as an ally of Aribo because he had been at war with William and Engelschalk when the two died in 871. The "Wilhelminers" were the descendants of William I of the Traungau, father of the two late margraves.
Engelschalk II was the margrave of the March of Pannonia in the late ninth century in opposition to Aribo. In his day, the march orientalis corresponded to a front along the Danube from the Traungau to the Szombathely and Raba rivers and including the Vienna basin.
The March of Friuli was a Carolingian frontier march, established in 776 as the continuation of the Lombard Duchy of Friuli, established against the Slavs and Avars. It was ceded to the Duchy of Bavaria as the March of Verona in 952. Its territory comprised parts of modern-day Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.
The March of Carinthia was a frontier district (march) of the Carolingian Empire created in 889. Before it was a march, it had been a principality or duchy ruled by native-born Slavic princes at first independently and then under Bavarian and subsequently Frankish suzerainty. The realm was divided into counties which, after the succession of the Carinthian duke to the East Frankish throne, were united in the hands of a single authority. When the march of Carinthia was raised into a Duchy in 976, a new Carinthian march was created. It became the later March of Styria.
The Margraviate of Austria was a medieval frontier march, centered along the river Danube, between the river Enns and the Vienna Woods, within the territory of modern Austrian provinces of Upper Austria and Lower Austria. It existed from c. 972 to 1156.
The Avar March was a southeastern frontier province of the Frankish Empire, established after successful Frankish campaigns and conquests of Avarian territories along the river Danube, to the east from the river Enns, in what is today Lower Austria and northwestern Hungary. Since the Frankish conquest in the late 8th century, there were several administrative changes in those regions. Territory along the river Danube, from the river Enns to the Vienna Woods, was ruled directly, as a frontier extension (march) of the Frankish Bavaria, while regions further to the east, up to the river Rába, were initially designated to remaining Avarian princes, under the Frankish supreme rule. During the 820s and 830s, additional administrative changes were made in the wider region of Frankish Pannonia, inhabited mainly by Pannonian Slavs. Territories of the remaining Avarian princes were fully incorporated, and Avars eventually disappeared from the region.
The Aribonids were a noble family of probably Bavarian origin who rose to preeminence in the Carolingian March of Pannonia and the later Margraviate of Austria in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. The dynasty is named after its ancestor Margrave Aribo of Austria. The Aribonids maintained influence in the Duchy of Bavaria, the Austrian march, and other parts of Germany until the early twelfth century, when they disappear.
The Slavs in Lower Pannonia were an early medieval settlement of Early Slavs in the eastern and southern parts of the former Roman province of Pannonia. The term Lower Pannonia was used to designate those areas of the Pannonian plain that lied to the east and south of the river Rába, with the division into Upper and Lower inherited from the Roman terminology.
Radbod was the East Frankish prefect of the Eastern March, the Bavarian frontier towards the Slavs, appointed in 833. He had been appointed the office after Louis the German's conquest in 828, and subsequent Christianization of the Moravians (828–33). In 833, according to the Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum, a Slavic prince, Pribina, had been "driven across the Danube by Mojmir, duke of the Moravians", and fled to Radbod in East Francia around 833. Radbod introduced him to King Louis the German, who ordered that Pribina should be "instructed in the faith and baptized", and that he serve with his followers in Radbod's army. Before long, however, Radbod and Pribina fell out, and the latter, fearing for his life, fled with his son Koceľ to the First Bulgarian Empire, and then to Lower Pannonia ruled by a Slavic duke, Ratimir. Since Lower Pannonia was part of Radbod's prefecture, Ratimir's harboring of Pribina was tantamount to rebellion, therefore, in 838, Louis the German sent Radbod at the head of a large Bavarian army to crush Ratimir, but Pribina and his followers took refuge with the count of Carniola, Salacho. In short time the latter brokered a reconciliation between Radbod and Pribina, and Louis solved the ongoing instability by appointing Pribina as his faithful dux with lands in around the Zala river. Radbod held contacts with Rastislav, ruler of the Moravians, who had long posed a danger to Bavaria. According to the Annals of St-Bertin, in 853 Charles the Bald, king of West Francia, bribed the Bulgarians to ally with the Slavs and together attack Louis the German's kingdom. In the course of the Bulgarian–Moravian attack, Louis the German deposed Radbod in 854 for infidelity, after an uprising. Radbod then formed a rebel alliance with Rastislav. In 855, Rastislav (Rastiz) rebelled, and Carloman was made prefect in Radbod's place in 856. Carloman's 858 campaign forced Rastislav to make peace.