The Making of Christian Moravia (858-882)

Papal Power and Political Reality


In The Making of Christian Moravia Maddalena Betti examines the creation of the Moravian archdiocese, of which St Methodius was the first incumbent, in the context of ninth-century papal policy in central and south-eastern Europe. In the nineteenth and twentieth century religious and nationalistic concerns widely influenced the reconstruction of the history of the archdiocese of Methodius. Offering a new reading of already widely-used sources, both Slavonic and Latin, Maddalena Betti turns attention upon the jurisdictional conflict between Rome, the Bavarian churches and Byzantium, in order to uncover the strategies and the languages adopted by the Apostolic See to gain jurisdiction over the new territories in central and south-eastern Europe.
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Biographical Note

Maddalena Betti, Ph.D. (2008) in the history of the Church, University of Padova, is a researcher at that university. She has published several articles on the ninth-century papacy and on the early medieval history of the Slavs.

Review Quotes

"In her book, Maddalena Betti attempts to chart the fate of the Methodian mission in Great Moravia and the establishment of Sancta ecclesia Marabensis in Moravian territory in the second half of the ninth century. While this topic has been treated previously, she has chosen to look at the formation of ecclesiastical hierarchies in Great Moravia from the perspective of papal policies. For this reason, Betti has studied in detail papal correspondence pertinent to matters of the Moravian mission, especially the letters of John VIII, whose correspondence is particularly concerned with the Moravian mission. Her study is an extremely valuable addition to previous research into Great Moravian Christian culture, as it provides a well-rounded and erudite picture of the papal position on the Methodian mission in Great Moravia. Besides, Betti’s study also contributes to other scholarly inquiries connected with the Moravian state, such as its geographical location..."
Evina Steinova, Network and Neighbours, Volume 2, Number 1 (2014)

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ... ix
Foreword ... xi
by Thomas F. X. Noble

Introduction ... 1

I. The Archdiocese of Methodius in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Historiography ... 9
1. The Use of the Cyrillic-Methodian Heritage in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Romantic Slavophilism, the “Reawakening of the Slavs,” and Roman Ecumenism ... 10
2. Great Moravia and the Archdiocese of Methodius in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Czechoslovakia ... 14
3. Revisionist Analyses of the Methodian Archdiocese ... 27
4. The Archdiocese of Methodius in František Dvornik: “La lutte autour de l’Illyricum” ... 34
5. Conclusion ... 39

II. The Origins of the Methodian Diocese during the Pontificates of Nicholas I (858–867) and Hadrian II (867–872). A Comparison of the Roman and Slavonic Sources ... 41
1. The Silence of the Roman Sources: The Possible Censure by Pope Stephen V (885–890) ... 43
2. Nicholas I (858–867): The First Contact ... 54
3. Hadrian II (867–872): The Constitution of a New Church ... 65
4. Introduction to the Slavonic Sources: The “Life of Constantine,” the “Life of Methodius,” and the “Encomium to Constantine and Methodius” ... 72
5. Nicholas I and Hadrian II in the Slavonic Sources: the “Life of Constantine,” the “Life of Methodius,” and the “Encomium to Cyril and Methodius” ... 83
6. Anastasius the Librarian and Constantine the Philosopher ... 90
7. A Roman source: The “Vita Constantini-Cyrilli cum translatione S. Clementis” ... 96
8. Conclusion ... 104

III. The Pannonian-Moravian Diocese in the Letters of Pope John VIII (872–882): Papal Strategies and Languages ... 109
1. Papal Missionary Involvement: Sixth to Ninth Century ... 111
2. John VIII’s Diplomatic Network: Letters and Legates ... 121
3. Geographical Sources for the Methodian Archdiocese ... 138
4. Pannonian Diocese—Moravian Diocese ... 154
5. The Ecclesiastical Career of a Roman Missionary: Methodius, Augustine, and Boniface ... 168
6. Svatopluk’s Role in Shaping the “Sancta Ecclesia Marabensis” ...
7. The Sirmian Issue ... 192
8. Conclusion ... 203

Conclusion: The Question of the Sancta Ecclesia Marabensis Revisited ... 207
Maps ... 217
Bibliography ... 223


All interested in the history and legacy of Cyril and Methodius, the ninth-century papacy, central and south-eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, the Carolingians, Byzantine studies.


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