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§ 1. The Slavs in Greece The ninth century was a critical period in the history of the Slavonic world. If in the, year A.D. 800 a political prophet had possessed it map of Europe, such as we can now construct, hc might have been tempted to predict that the whole eastern half of the continent, from the Danish peninsula to the Peloponnesus, was destined to form a Slavonic empire, or at least a solid group of Slavonic kingdoms.
of Slavonic kingdoms. From the mouth of the Elbe to the Ionian Sea there was a continuous line of Slavonic peoples-the Abodrites, the Wilzi, the Sorbs, the Lusatians, the Boliernians, the Slovenes, the Croatians, and the Slavonic settlements in Macedonia and Greece. Behind them were the Lechs of l'oland, the kingdom of (irent Moravia, Servia, and the strongly organized kingdom of Bulgaria ; while farther in the background were all the tribes which were to form the nucleus of unborn Russia. Thus a vertical line from Denmark to the Hairiatic seemed to mark the limit of the Teutonic world, beyond which it might have been deemed impossible that German arms. would make any permanent impreşsion on the serried array of Slavs; while in the Balkan peninsula it might have appeared not improbable that the Bulgarian power, which had hitherto proved a formidable antagonist to Byzantium, would expand over Illyricuni and Greece, and ultimately drive the Greeks from Constantinople. Such was the horoscope of nations which might plausibly have been drawn froin al European churt, and which the history of the next two hundred yeurs was destined to falsify. At the beginning of the eleventh century the Western Empire of the Germans had extended its power far and irretrievably beyond the Elbe, while the Eastern Empire of the Greeks had trampled the Bulgarian power under foot. And in the meantime the Hungarians had inserted themselves like a wedge between the Slavs of the north and the Slavs of the south. On the other hand, two things had happened which were of great enurnent for the future of thic Slivonic race: the religion of the Greeks and the Teutons, had spread ainony the Slavs, ind the kingdom of Russia had been created. The beginnings of both these movements, which were slow and gradual, fall in the period when the Amorian dynasty reigned at New Romc.'
It was under the auspices of Michael III. that the unruly Slavonic tribes in the l'eloponnesus were finally brought under the control of the government, and the credit of their sulojngation is probably to be imputed to Theodori and her followregents. The Slavs were diffused all over the peninsula, but the evidence of place-names indicates that their settlements were thickest in Arcadia and Elis, Messenia, Laconia, and Achaia. In the plains of Elis, 0:1 the slopres of Taygetos, and
? in the great marshlands of the lower Eurotas, they seem al nost entirely to have replaced the ancient inhabitants. Surewhere between Sparti and Megalopolis was the great Slavonic town Veliyosti, of which no traces remain. of the tribes we know only the names of the Milings and the Ezerites. The Milings had settled in the secure fastnesses of Taygetos; the Ezerites, or Lake-men, abcle in the neighbouring Helos or marshland, from which they took their name.* Living independently under their own Župans, they seized every favourable opportunity of robbery and plunder. In the reign of Nicephorus (A.D. 807) they formed a conspiracy with the Saracens of Africa * to
* The introduction of Christianity undoubtedly. Allanian, from wadaj, among the Croatians and Servians was “mountain," as Philipposon points out of older date.
(ib. 8). Goritsa is often enumerated · Sce Philippson, i. 3-4 ; Grego among the Slavonic names, but it morius, dihen, i. 113 699. ; G. Meyer, may come from A-goritsa (àyopa). Aufsiït:c unul Stuulien (1885), 140. The But there are plenty about which place-names still require a thorough. there can loc no soubt (such as going investigation. Xot a few, which krivitsa, Garditsa, Kamenitsa). have been taken for Slavonic, may be 3 Esrro, Slavonic for lake. Greek or Albanian. t.g. Malvor the • The source is Constantinc, Dc aim. name of Parnon and other mountains
imp. c. 49. Ho says that the story --was explained as Slavonic by Fall. was told orally (åypadws) during nicrayor and Gregorovius, but it is their lifetinte hy contemporaries to
attack the rich city of Patrae. The stratégos of the province whose residence was at Corinth, delayed in sending troops to relieve the besieged town, and the citizens suffered from want of food and water. The story of their deliverance is inextricably bound up with a legend of supernatural aid, vouchsafed to them by their patron saint. A scout was sent to a hill, enst of the town, anxiously to scan the coast road from Corinth, and if he saw the approuch of the troops, to signal to the inhabitants, when he came within sight of the walls, by lowering a tlag; while if he kept the flag erect, it would be known that there was no sign of the help which was so impatiently expected. He returned disappointed, with his tlag erect, but his horse slipped and the flag was lowered in the rider's fall. The incident was afterwarıls imputed to the direct interposition of the Deity, who had been moved to resort to this artifice by the intercessions of St. Andrew, the guarlian of l'atrae. The citizens, meanwhile, seeing the tlag fall, and supposing that succour was at hand, immediately opened the gates and tell upon the Saracens and the Slavs. Conspicuous in their ranks rode a great horseman, whose more than human appearance terrified the barbarians.
Aided by this champion, who was no other than St. Andrew himself, the Greeks routed the enemy and won great booty and many captives. Two days later the stratégos arrived, and sent a
. full report of all the miraculous circumstances to the Emperor, : who issued a charter for the Church of St. Andrew, ordaining that the defeated Slavs, their families, and all their belongings should become the property of the Church “inasmuch as the the younger generation. But the to infer that there was an Avar settle. genuine source was the oigillov (seal) ment in the Peloponnesus, that Avars or charter of Nicephorus, to which joined the Slavs in the attack, and he refors, and, which was estant in were mentioned in the Chrysobull of the cleventh century. For it is cited Nicephorus? I drew this inference in in a Synodal Letter of the l'atriarch a paper on Navarino (llermathenn,. . Nicolaus in the reign of Alorius I. ; xxxi. 430 899., 1905), connecting it sec Leunclavius, Jus Graeco- liomanum, with the interpretation of Avarinos
278 (1596), or Migno, 1.6i, 119; 877. the original name of Navarino-as an İlere the occurrence is briefly de. Avar settlement. See also Miller in scribedl, and dated 218 years after the Eng. Ilist. lcricu, 20, 307 s14 (1905). occupations of the Peloponnesus, which But another possible derivation is the l'atriarch connected with thic in. from the Slavonic jarori, “maple," so vasion of 4. 1. 589 (Evagrius, vi. 10). that the name would mean “niaplellence we get the late 1.1). 807 for wood"; cp. 'ABäpitoa in Epirus, the siege of Patrae (ep. Fallmerayer, "Aßopos in Phocis : G. Meyer, ohnalcctu Morca, i. 185). But the Patriarchi Giaccicusia, 12 (1893). speaks of Avars, not of Slavs. Are wo
triumph and the victory were the work of the apostle. A particular duty was imposed upon these Slavs, a duty which hitherto had probably been a burden upon the town. They were obliged to provide and defray the board and entertainment of all Iinperinl officials who visited Putrue, and also of all foreign ambassadors who halted there on their way to and from Italy and Constantinople. For this purpose they had to maintain in the city a staff of servants and cooks. Tho Einperor also made the bishopric of l'atrae a Metropolis, and submitted to its control the sees of Methone, Luceluennon, and Korone." It is possible that he sent military colonists from other parts of the Einpire to the Peloponnesus,' as well as to the regions of the Strymon and other Slavonic territories, and if so, these may have been the Mardaites, whom we find at a later period of the ninth century playing an important part among the naval continyents of the Empire. Wo mny also conjucture with some probability that this settlement was immediately followed by the separation of the Peloponnesus from Hellas as a separate Theme."
It would be too much to infer from this narrative that the Slavonic communities of Achaia and Elis, which were doubtless concerned in the attack on Patrae, were permanently reduced to submission and orderly life?
this occasion, and that the later devastations which vexed the peninsula in the
1 έχοντες ιδίους και τραπεζοποιούς και των κατά Πελοπόννησον στρατιωτών Mayeipoi's KTX. The Slavs defrayed the και Μαρδαιτών, 311 των κατά 11ελ. exwns από διανομής και συνδοσίας της Μαρδαιτών και Ταξατών.
As thicy ouádos aitwr. The passage is interest. belonged to the marine establishment, ing, as it shows incidentally that, as they were probably scttled in the wo should expect, the ordinary route coast towns. See Bury, Naval Policy, of travel from Italy to Constantinople 29, where thoir settlement in Greece was by Patrae and Corinth.
is connected with the later subjugation . Nicolaus Simolal Leller,cil.supill. ly Theoktistos, and this secnis to nie
* Theop. 480 rà spareụara revn rather more probable. ταπεινώσαι σκεψάμενος Χριστιανούς απ. - See above, p. 224. Michael I. ap. οικίσας εκ παντός θέματος επί τας pointed Leo Skleros.stratêgos of Pelo. Σκλαινίας γενέσθαι προσέταξεν (Α.1». ponnesis, Scr. Inc. 336. 899-10); 496 οι τον Στρυμώνα οικούντες probably attribute to Leo V. the crcc. μέτοικοι προφάσεως δραξάμενοι εν τοις tion of a watch-tower somewhere in ιδίοις φεύγοντας επανήλθον. (C. Hopf, the Peloponncaus, to warn' the city of 08, 120.) See next note.
the approach of enemics, doubtless tho • The western Mirdaitcs (ol M. This Saracens, recorded in the inscription duoews) took part in thic Cșetan experli. (Corp. Inscr. ir. iv. No. 8020): tion of A.N. 902, and numbered with their officers 1087 men (Const. Porphi.
άναξ Λέων έστησε πύργον ενθάδε
λύχνω προφαίνειν τους λόχους των Cor. ii. 44. . 635). They had fought
βαρβάρων. against the Saracens. in Sicily in the reiga of. Basil Ios, Con. Th. 304 Cp. Hopf, 105.
reigns of Theophilus and Michael III. were wrought by the. Slavs of Laconia and Arcadia. It is more probable that the attack on Patrae was not confined to the inhabitants of a particular district; and that all the Slavs in the peninsula united in another effort to insert their independence before the death of Theophilus. Their rebellion, which meant the
' resumption of their predatory habits, was not put down till the reign of his son, and we do not know how soon. however, conjecture that it was the Empress Theodora who sippointed Theoktistos Bryennios—the first recorded inember of a family which was long afterwards to play a notable part in history—to be stratê gos of the Peloponnesinn Theme, and •placed under his command large detachments from the Themes of Thrace and Macedonia, to put an end to the rapine and brigandiye of the barbarians. Thcoktistos performed efficiently the work which wild entrusted to him. Ho thoroughly Hillojngated the Slavs throughout the length and bronulth of the lund, and reduced them to the condition of provincial subjects.” There were only two tribes with whom he deemed it convenient to make special and extraordinary terms. These were the Milings, perched in places difficult of access on the slopes of Mount Taygetos, and the Ezerites in the south of Lnconia. On these he was content to impose a tribute, of 60 nomisinata (about £35) on the Milings, and 300 (about £180) on the Ezerites. They paid these annual' dues so long at least as Thcoktistos was in charge of the province, but afterwards they defied the governors, and a hundred years later their independence was a public scandal.
The reduction of the l'eloponnesian Slavs ini the reign of Michael prepared the way for their conversion to Christianity and their hellenization. The process of civilization and
· 1 The sole source is Constantine, dating 817.850 plausible ; see above, op. cit. 220.221.
The narrative, not suggesting that the revolt lasted long, 2 They retained their lands and is in favour of supposing that the customs, but their social organization Slavs were reduced early in tho reign under župans seems to have come to of Theodora and Michael. Wo cannot
an end. (Ch. Hopf, 127.) The word go further than this. Tho dato (c. 849) župan survives in Modern . Greek, given by Muralt and Hopfiflicschichte, TSOUTávis, in the sense of “herd." 127) rests on 'the false identification 3 The foundation of monasteries and of Theoktistos Bryennios with Theo. churches was one of the principal means k tistos the Logotheto (cp: Hirsch, by which the change was effected. The 220); but there is another considera. christianization progressed rapidly tion which renders the approximato under Basil I. and his successors.
· P. 373.