Slike stranica

utmost caution. There could be no question there, in the existing situation, of an open conflict with Rome or of falling foul of the German priests who were already in the country. Rostislav would never have acquiesced in an ecclesiastical quarrel which would have increased the difficulties of his own position. The object of Photius and Constantine, to win Moravia ultimately from Rome and attach her to Byzantium, could only be accomplished by a gradual process of insinuation. It would be fatal to the success of the enterprise to alarm the Latin Church at the outset, and nothing would have alarmed it more than the introduction of books written in the Greek alphabet. Glagolitic solved the problem. It could profess to be a purely Slavonic script, and could defy the most suspicious eye of a Latin bishop to detect anything Greek in its features. It had the further advantage of attracting the Slavs, as a proper and peculiar alphabet of their own.

But the important fact remains that the invention of Glagolitic and the compilation of Glagolitic books required a longer time than the short interval between the Moravian embassy and the departure of the two apostles. There is no ground for supposing, and it is in itself highly improbable, that the idea of a mission to that distant country had been conceived before the arrival of Rostislav's envoys. Moreover, if the alphabet and books had been expressly designed for Moravian use, it is hard to understand why Constantine should have decided to offer his converts a literature written in a different speech from their own. He translated the Scripture into the dialect of Macedonian Slavonic, which was entirely different from the Slovák tongue spoken in Moravia.1 It is true that the Macedonian was the only dialect which he knew, and it was comparatively easy for the Moravians to learn its peculiarities; but if it was the needs of the Moravian mission that provoked Constantine's literary services to Slavonic, the natural procedure for a missionary was to learn the speech of the people whom he undertook to teach, and then prepare books for them in their own language.


The logical conclusion from these considerations is that

1 Cp. Jagić, op. cit. i. 9-11. Slovák belongs to the Bohemian group of Slavonic languages.

the Glagolitic characters were devised, and a Slavonic ecclesiastical literature begun, not for the sake of Moravia, but for a people much nearer to Byzantium. The Christianization

of Bulgaria was an idea which must have been present to Emperors and Patriarchs for years before it was carried out, and Constantine must have entertained the conviction that the reception of his religion by the Bulgarian Slavs would be facilitated by procuring for them Scripture and Liturgy in their own tongue and in an alphabet which was not Greek. That he had some reason for this belief is shown by the resistance which Glagolitic offered in Bulgaria to the Greek (Cyrillic) alphabet in the tenth century. The Slavs of Bulgaria spoke the same tongue as the Slavs of Macedonia, and it was for them, in the first instance, that the new literature was intended. The Moravian opportunity unexpectedly intervened, and what was intended for the Slavs of the south was tried upon the Slavs beyond the Carpathians -experimentum in corpore vili.

"If Constantine had been really concerned for the interests of the Moravians themselves, he would have written for them in their own language, not in that of Salonika, and in the Latin, not in an artificially barbarous or Greek, alphabet."1 But he was playing the game of ecclesiastical policy; Photius was behind him; and the interest of the Moravian adventure was to hoodwink and out-manœuvre Rome.

The adventure was a failure so far as Moravia itself was concerned. It brought no triumph or prestige to the Church of Constantinople, and the famous names of Constantine and Methodius do not even once occur in the annals of the Greek historians.

The two apostles taught together for more than three years in Moravia, and seem to have been well treated by the prince. But probably before the end of A.D. 867 they returned to Constantinople," and in the following year proceeded to

1 Brückner (219), with whose views in the main points I agree, though I do not go so far as to reject the embassy of Rostislav.

Vit. Meth, c. 5, "reversi sunt ambo ex Moravia." This statement, inconsistent with other sources which describe their journey to Rome through Pannonia and by Venice, is obviously

right; for Constantine brought the relics of Clement to Rome, and it is not to be supposed that he would have taken, or been allowed to take, them to Moravia from Constantinople. Their arrival in Rome was probably in 868; the post quem limit is Dec. 14, 867;

see next note.

Rome. Pope Nicolas, hearing of their activity in Moravia, and deeming it imperative to inquire into the matter, had addressed to them an apostolic letter, couched in friendly terms and summoning them to Rome. They had doubtless discovered for themselves that their position would be soon impossible unless they came to terms with the Pope. The accession of Basil and the deposition of Photius changed the situation. A Patriarch who was under obligations to the Roman See was now enthroned, and Constantine and Methodius, coming from Constantinople and bearing as a gift the relics of St. Clement, could be sure of a favourable reception. They found that a new Pope had succeeded to the pontifical chair.' Hadrian II., attended by all the Roman clergy, went forth at the head of the people to welcome the bearers of the martyr's relics, which, it is superfluous to observe, worked many miracles and cures.

The Pope seems to have approved generally of the work which Constantine had inaugurated. Methodius and three of the Moravian disciples were ordained priests; but Moravia was not made a bishopric and still remained formally dependent on the See of Passau. Hadrian seems also to have expressed a qualified approval of the Slavonic books. The opponents of the Greek brethren urged that there were only three sacred tongues, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, appealing to the superscription on the Cross. The Pope is said to have rejected this "Pilatic" dogma in its extreme form, and to have authorized preaching and the reading of the Scriptures in Slavonic; but he certainly did not, as was afterwards alleged, license the singing of the service of the Mass in the strange tongue, even though it were also chanted in Latin, nor did he cause the Slavonic liturgy to be recited in the principal churches of Rome,

At this time, the most learned man at Rome was the librarian Anastasius, who knew Greek, kept himself in contact with the Greek world, and translated into Latin the Chronicle

Nicolas died A.D. 867, Nov. 13, Hadrian succeeded Dec. 14.

2 Vit. Meth, c. 6. The addition to the Translatio (v. 9 ad in.) states that both Constantine and Methodius were consecrated bishops, and this is accepted by Snopek, op. cit. 128 sqq.

Methodius became bishop of Pannonia at a later period (lit. Meth, c. 8 ad jin.).

See the spurious letter of Hadrian in it. Meth. c. 8.

Vit. Const. c. 17.

of Theophanes. He made the acquaintance of Constantine, of whose character and learning he entertained a profound admiration. Writing at a later time to the Western Emperor, Anastasius mentions that Constantine knew by heart the works of Dionysios the Areopagite and recommended them as a powerful weapon for combating heresies.' But the days of Constantine the Philosopher were numbered. He fell ill and was tonsured as a monk, assuming the name of Cyril. He died on February 14, A.D. 869, and his body was entombed near the altar in the church which had been newly erected in honour of St. Clement."

The subsequent career of Methodius in Moravia and Pannonia lies outside our subject. He was in an untenable position, and the forces against him were strong. He was determined to celebrate mass in Slavonic, yet he depended on the goodwill of the Roman See. His disciples, soon after their master's death, were compelled to leave the country, and they found a more promising field of work in Bulgaria, the land for which, as we have seen reason to think, Cyril's literary labours were originally intended.

1 Ep. ad Car., apud Ginzel, Anhang,

P. 44.
Anastasius is mentioned in
Vit. Const. c. 17-one of the details
which show that the writer (who also
knew that Constantine's disciples were
consecrated by bishops Formosus and
Ganderic) had some good information.

2 lit. Const. c. 18; Translatio, c. 10. It was built by Gauderic, bishop of Velletri, who was interested in St. Clement, to whom the Church of Velletri was dedicated (Anastasius, Ep. ad Gaudericum). On old frescoes

discovered close to the place where Constantine was buried, representing the translation of the saint's relics into the church, the inscription ACIRIL occurs (apparently referring to their discovery and restoration by Cyril). Rossi dates the frescoes to the tenth century. See Bullettino di archeologia cristiana, i. 9 sqq., 1863; ii. 1 sq7., 1864; and G. Wilpert, Le pitture del'a basilica primitiva di San Clemente (1906). C. Pastruck, op.

cit. 91.




§ 1. The Khazars

AT the beginning of the ninth century the Eastern Empire had two dependencies, remote and isolated, which lived outside the provincial organization, and were governed by their own magistrates, Venice and Cherson. We have seen how Venice, in the reign of Theophilus, virtually became independent of Constantinople; under the same Emperor, the condition of Cherson was also changed, but in a very different sense-it was incorporated in the provincial system. The chief value of both cities to the Empire was commercial; Venice was an intermediary for Byzantine trade with the West, while Cherson was the great centre for the commerce of the North. And both cities lay at the gates of other empires, which were both an influence and a menace. If the people of the lagoons had to defend themselves against the Franks, the Chersonites had as good reason to fear the Khazars.

In the period with which we are concerned, it is probable that the Khan of the Khazars was of little less importance in the view of the Imperial foreign policy than Charles the Great and his successors. The marriage of an Emperor to the daughter of a Khazar king had signalised in the eighth century that Byzantium had interests of grave moment in this quarter of the globe, where the Khazars had formed a powerful and organized state, exercising control or influence over the barbarous peoples which surrounded them.

Their realm extended from the Caucasus northward to the Volga and far up the lower reaches of that river; it included

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