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Discover Czech Regions: South Moravian Region
Great Moravia – That began in the region now called Moravia the eastern part of the Czech Republic where the Morava River is located, which gave its name to the kingdom. The rise of the first ever Slavic literary culture in the Old Church Slavonic language occurred under King Rastislav. He had asked Rome to send missionaries but his request was denied. Rastislav then asked the Byzantine emperor to send a “teacher” to introduce literacy and a legal system to Great Moravia
The request was granted and in 863 the brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius arrived they brought Christianity as well as the creation of the Glagolitic alphabet and Slavonic liturgy that was formally approved by Pope Adrain II first alphabet dedicated to a Slavonic language, which had a significant impact on the Slavic languages and was the beginning of the modern Cyrillic alphabet.
The Glagolitic script was probably invented by Cyril himself and the language he used for his translations of holy scripts and his original literary creation was based on the Slavic dialect he and his brother Methodius knew from their native Thessaloniki. The language, termed Old Church Slavonic, was the direct ancestral language for Bulgaria, and is referred to as Old Bulgarian. Old Church Slavonic, therefore, differed somewhat from the local Slavic dialect of Great Moravia which was the ancestral idiom to the later dialects spoken in Moravia and western Slovakia.
The Moravia Empire was at its peak under the king Svatopluk I, who ruled from 870 to 894. The borders of his empire are not fully known but he controlled the territories of Moravia as well as Bohemia, most of Slovakia and parts of Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine, for part of his reign. The followers of Cyril and Methodius were expelled from Great Moravia by King Svatopluk I, who re-orientated the Empire with Western Christianity. The expulsion had a significant impact on countries where the followers settled and continued their evangelizing in Southeastern Europe and in Eastern Europe going to the First Bulgarian Empire, the followers continued the Cyril-Methodist mission and the Glagolitic script was substituted by Cyrillic which used some of its letters. When Svatopluk died squabbles contributed to the fall of Great Moravia when the Hungarians took control of the territory and all of Slovakia in their domains. This collapse occurred between 902 and 907.
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