Warfare and Society in the Carolingian Ostmark

Roland - Carolingian EmpireWarfare and Society in the Carolingian Ostmark

Charles R. Bowlus

Austrian History Yearbook: v.14 (1978)


1. Introductory Remarks

The relationship between military and social organization has long been a topic of major concern and debate among scholars specializing in the history of the European Middle Ages. It is a topic of importance, for, as we who live in the modern world are aware, the ways in which any government organizes its people for warfare have many implications that go well beyond the strategy of a particular campaign or the tactics employed at a decisive battle. The rudimentary nature of the economies and governments in medieval Europe probably made the relationship between military and social organization more direct and, hence, more obvious than it is today. Peasants may have been illiterate, but they were cognizant of their obligation to serve in local levies and to provide food, fodder, and transport facilities for armies on campaign. Magnates who kept a retinue with them at all times and who garrisoned private fortresses were dependent on surpluses produced by the peasantry for the maintenance of these forces.


Many historians have regarded the eighth and ninth centuries as the formative period in defining relationships between military and social organization during the entire middle ages. It has been asserted that during this era European society came under the domination of a new class of warriors that consisted exclusively of men killed in the difficult art of mounted shock combat, who, firmly anchored in the saddle with stirrups and holding their lances at rest, urged their mighty warhorses into battle, scattering helpless infantry in their wake. The contention is that mounted shock combat gave birth to the feudal aristocracy. According to this theory, Merovingian armies had largely been made up of infantry, consisting of free Frankish peasants, who enjoyed a secure social position under royal protection. Following the Battle of Poitiers, however, mounted shock combat, which “joined man and steed into a fighting organism,” became the decisive tactical element in warfare. Years of specialized training were required before a man could master this kind of combat, and horses were costly to buy and keep. As a result, warfare became the exclusive monopoly of the leisured rich and of those few fortunate enough to hold fiefs from the Frankish monarchs. Thus a feudal aristocracy emerged while the free Frankish peasant, having lost his usefulness in battle, his raison d’etre, sank into serfdom. New military circumstances forced Carolingian rulers to rely more heavily on cavalry than on infantry. Although they tried for a while to protect the status of free peasants as a counterweight to mounted elites who were self-centered and rebellious, “these attempts proved illusory.”

This explanation of the rise of the feudal aristocracy in Europe still seems to be the prevailing one.4  It rests, however, upon oversimplified assumptions concerning the nature of Carolingian warfare and the social organization that supported it. As Bernard Bachrach, who has examined Merovingian and Carolingian military organization, has pointed out, “the decisive arm of the military forces of Charles Martel and his sons was not cavalry.”5  Donald Bullough, a British authority, has come to similar conclusions.6  Central to Bachrach’s and Bullough’s arguments is the observation that mounted shock combat would simply have been impractical in many circumstances, particularly those involving sieges of fortifications or military operations in marshy areas along rivers. After pointing out that most early Carolingian campaigns involved sieges, Bachrach wrote, “If any elements of the armies of Charles [Martel], Pepin, and Carloman may be considered to have been the decisive ones, they surely were the `artillery’ which bombarded the walls of the fortified positions and the men on foot who stormed them.”7 Although Bachrach does not address the social and economic ramifications of the military operations he describes, certain questions emerge from his studies. If mounted shock warriors were not the most important tactical element in Carolingian warfare, can we be certain that this period witnessed a decline in the usefulness of the free peasant soldier? Impressed labor may have built fortifications, but did only aristocrats maintain and garrison them? Royal vassals commanded sieges, to be sure, but surely such instruments of destruction as battering rams and catapults were not drawn up to the battlements and manned by a narrow elite!

Bachrach’s conclusions, which are convincing, may perhaps not be sufficient to force a revision of the traditional explanation of the origins of feudalism. His research focuses on the early Carolingian period and much of his data comes from sources dealing with the Carolingian conquest of Aquitaine. Many historians might agree that the infantry was important in the days of Charles Martel and Pepin, but they might still insist that changes in military tactics were already well underway even at that time and argue that these changes eventually resulted in Frankish forces becoming so accustomed to fighting strictly on horseback that by the end of the ninth century they were unable to deal with a tactical situation requiring the use of infantry.8 Moreover, others might contend that Aquitaine is an atypical case, for it is well known that the Roman system of defenses based on fortified civitates and oppida remained intact there well into Carolingian times. For this reason, siege warfare would have been of greater importance in Aquitaine than in other parts of the regnum Francorum. Consequently (and Bachrach has admitted this), more regional studies are necessary before scholars can safely abandon traditional conclusions concerning the nature of Carolingian warfare and the social changes that it may have stimulated.

A region that perhaps can be more profitably studied to ascertain the social changes induced by Carolingian warfare is the Carolingian Ostmark,9 a vast area constituting the watershed of the middle Danube from its confluence with the Inn to that with the Sava, including western Hungary and parts of northern Yugoslavia as well as the modern Austrian provinces of Upper and Lower Austria, the Salzkammergut, Styria, Carinthia, and the Burgenland. The morphology of the region, dominated by the eastern Alps and the Danubian Plain, is very complex. The Alpine barrier consists of three ranges: northern and southern limestone ranges separated by a central granite massif. Although much of this region was wild and inhospitable in the early middle ages, the course of the Danube and its major tributaries, the Drava and the Sava, facilitated the movement of armies from west to east.10  During the ninth century this region attracted the attention of annalists because it was difficult to pacify and because it was plagued by wars and rebellions by subject peoples. As a consequence, our information concerning Carolingian campaigns in this region is relatively abundant.

Since the Ostmark was dominated by the nomadic Avars until late in the eighth century and overrun by the Magyars shortly after the year 900, one might assume that mounted combat troops would have been of greater importance there than in such regions as Aquitaine. One might also suspect that light-steppe cavalry detachments would have been more useful in the Ostmark than heavy-shock cavalrymen, which so many scholars insist constituted the dominant tactical element in Carolingian armies. As in Aquitaine, fortifications were very common in these marches, and they also must have been of considerable tactical importance, for contemporary annalists devoted much attention to the fortresses in the area. Finally, contemporary sources also give us some information about the ships which operated on the great rivers of this region to support armies on campaigns.

Cavalry, fortifications, and ships were all components of the military organization of the Carolingian Ostmark. The effectiveness of an army of mounted troops lies in its ability to strike over long distances, to destroy opposing armies in the field, and to ravish the estates of the enemy. Fortifications make it more difficult for cavalry units to achieve their goals. An army of horsemen can, of course, bypass a particular fortress, although to do so might involve some risks. But if an invading cavalry detachment had to contend with a well-organized system of fortifications, the question of whether or not to bypass any particular fortress became a serious tactical problem. If a fortress was avoided, its garrison could sally forth from time to time and harass the intruder (perhaps together with troops from other garrisons). Since cavalry forces tend to outrun supplies in hostile territory, units had to break up occasionally to forage, and when they did they became more vulnerable to harassment. When cavalry units were left behind to watch each fortress along the way, the size of the invading force was diminished, and those troops remaining in the rear lost their greatest asset: their mobility. A better method of dealing with a well-organized fortification system was to bring up infantry behind the cavalry to invest each fortress along the way. If, however, the invading force was comprised of infantry as well as cavalry, the scale of the operation necessarily had to be of greater magnitude, and problems of supply loomed larger in the minds of commanders. In campaigns against organized systems of fortifications, ships furnishing logistical support and ferrying services were tactically significant. The mention of naves in our sources thus conforms with the logic of such campaigns.

All of the above factors are important to this particular study, which deals with the establishment of a system of frontier defenses by the last Agilulfinger dukes of Bavaria and with the attempts of Charlemagne and his successors to expand his empire and to pacify the eastern Alpine region and the plains of Pannonia. We will pay considerable attention to Charlemagne’s conquest of the region, the campaigns against the rebel Slavic leader, Ljudovit, the invasions of the frontier by the Bulgars, and the well-documented Moravian wars. Our objective is to explain the nature of warfare in the Ostmark and to clarify the relationship between military and social organization there.

2. The Carolingian Conquest

The Carolingian conquest of the Ostmark followed the deposing of Tassilo III, the last Bavarian duke of the Agilulfinger family, in 788. Since the latter part of the seventh century the Agilulfingers had managed to assert their independence from the late Merovingian rois faineants. Although the duchy legally remained a part of the Frankish kingdom, the dukes of Bavaria, like so many others during this period, were often virtual masters of their ducatum.11 During the course of the eighth century Carolingian mayors of the palace and kings reestablished Frankish hegemony in the duchy. But this was a slow, sporadic process, punctuated by ducal rebellions at each sign of Carolingian weakness. To a large extent the dukes had been able to assert their independence from their Frankish overlords because they had conducted a successful Ostpolitik.12 The eastern frontiers of Bavaria, roughly those lands formed by the modern provinces of Upper Austria and the Salzkammergut, were under direct control of the dukes and the nobles and churchmen loyal to them. That the dukes were secure in the eastern part of their duchy is shown by their periodic flights across the Inn whenever Carolingian armies threatened them.13

The sources examined by this writer indicate that there is every reason to believe that during the eighth century the dukes of Bavaria felt secure in the lands east of the Inn and west of the Enns. The Avars, who controlled Pannonia and Lower Austria, had launched their last major attack on Bavarian outposts around 680. The damage done at that time was quickly repaired, and fortified localities sprang up once again along the Enns before the end of the seventh century.14 By 780, at the latest, a line of fortifications formed the terminus Huni along the eastern fringe of the Bavarian duchy.15

We must not assume, however, that these fortifications were raised solely to protect Bavaria against Avar incursions. As previously mentioned, the Bavarian dukes often sought refuge across the Inn when faced with Carolingian invasions of their territory. Moreover, recent research has demonstrated that Bavarian-Avar relations were generally peaceful during the eighth century.16 There may, indeed, have been a Bavarian-Avar alliance against the Carolingians. Prof. Erich Zollner, for example, believes that many castles near Salzburg had actually been raised and garrisoned by Avars in the service of Tassilo.17 Certainly the Avars were familiar with fortification technology, for it was from castles that they lorded over Lower Austria prior to the Carolingian conquest.18 Furthermore, there is evidence that there must have been a vigorous trade in arms between Bavarians and Avars along the Danube waterway in Agilulfinger times.19

Tassilo III also carried out a successful Ostpolitik against the Carinthian Slavs, defeating them and bringing their dukes to Bavaria to be instructed in Christianity.20 Prof. Zollner believes that Avars served as auxiliaries in Bavarian armies, and we know that Slavs did, for there are indeed scattered references to Slavic troops in Bavarian service.21 Nevertheless, Carinthia remained under the control of local chieftains who recognized Bavarian hegemony.

In spite of Tassilo’s efforts to expand his power and influence, the forces of the Frankish king proved irresistible, and in 788 the Bavarian duke was tonsured and banished to a monastery on the ground that he had conspired with the heathen Avars. In the same year Carolingian forces defeated four Avar armies, and Charlemagne began making preparations for an invasion of Avar territory.22 The latter did not take place, however, until 791, probably because of the difficulties involved in gathering sufficient men and material to launch an assault on heavily fortified hostile territory. When the invasion did take place, it was a well prepared operation commanded by Charlemagne himself. Setting out from fortifications along the Enns,23 two armies marched down both sides of the Danube, and ships supported the invasion. In the Royal Annals we find the following account of the campaign:

When the Avars saw the army approach on both sides and the ships in the middle of the river, the Lord struck them with fear. They deserted their fortified positions, abandoning the elaborate defenses they had built and took flight. Christ guided his people and led both armies without harm into the Avar strongholds.24

Charlemagne took no prisoners and gained no treasure during the campaign. Moreover, the Revised Royal Annals reported that at least one misfortune was suffered by the Carolingian armies: “Such a pestilence broke out among the horses that of so many thousands of them hardly the tenth part is said to have survived.”25  Nevertheless, the 791 campaign was, on the whole, a successful and necessary operation, which the Avars were unable to resist if only because of the size of the expedition. As the Royal Annals indicate, the Frankish king had gathered his troops from practically all the regions under his control. With all the men and equipment he could muster, and with ships furnishing logistical support from the river for this large array, he was obviously prepared to besiege and take each Avar castle along the way. Realizing the extent of his preparations and probably familiar with his ruthlessness, the Avars saw the futility of holding their fortresses and withdrew from them. When the Avars gave up their castles Charlemagne accomplished his major objective, since by driving them out of Lower Austria he facilitated future raids into Pannonia under the command of marcher lords. As for the horses that were stricken, their loss only meant that Charlemagne was unable to follow up his victory and destroy the fleeing Avars. Even the Revised Annals conclude that this misfortune was of only marginal importance and in no way resulted in the failure of the campaign to achieve its major objective.

It is certainly true that subsequent cavalry raids from Bavaria into Pannonia would have been difficult undertakings had not Charlemagne first destroyed the Avar fortifications in Lower Austria. The effectiveness of mounted troops would have been curtailed had the Avars continued to hold on to their castles, since they could have harassed cavalry units returning from Pannonia laden with plunder. Many sources indicate that horses were utilized in campaigns in this theater. Gerold, the prefect of Bavaria and Charlemagne’s brother-in-law, was on horseback when he was killed while preparing armies to fight the Avars in 799. But Einhard, who reported the incident, does not give us the impression that his troops were mounted, for he wrote that “Gerold . . . was killed by an unknown hand . . . as he rode along the line encouraging his soldiers by name.”26 In another operation against Avar rebels in 802 or 803 Charlemagne ordered the counts to reserve for the use of the royal army two-thirds of the grass in counties through which his forces would pass – a definite indication that large mounted armies were necessary in this region and that they put a tremendous strain on locally available supplies.27  Although during a campaign into Bohemia in 805 Carolingian forces were compelled to retreat because of the lack of supplies for horses and men,28 there is nothing in the records which suggests that mounted forces were the decisive tactical element in Carolingian armies. Sources do indicate, however, that armies marched on their bellies, even in the ninth century, consuming enormous resources along the way. As for the horses, it is significant that in complex military operations they could have been useful for any number of reasons, including drawing supply wagons and siege engines.

            In the sources dealing with Agilulfinger and early Carolingian times there are indications that fortifications were extremely important in warfare in the Ostmark. Cavalry units were no doubt tactically significant in pursuing enemy forces fleeing from their fortifications, but we have no reason to believe that they were made up of mounted. shock warriors. From the capitularies of Thionville and Bononiense we know that Charlemagne took measures to restrict the arms trade in the marches.29 But the weapons explicitly mentioned in these documents (shields and swords) would have been as useful to the infantry as to the cavalry.30 This is not to say that Charlemagne’s armies in such campaigns as that of 791 consisted only of ragtag peasant infantry but rather that this and other operations were large and complex undertakings that consumed enormous resources and necessitated logistical considerations. Moreover, it is clear that the major objective of at least the campaign of 791 was to capture Avar fortifications along the Danube. In this operation mounted shock troops would have been of only secondary importance. Ships furnishing support and ferrying services may actually have been of greater tactical significance than the cavalry in persuading the Avars to give up their fortresses. It is unfortunate that contemporary sources do not give us more information concerning the function of these ships during the campaign of 791. It seems probable, however, that the importance of fluvial navigation was recognized early by Charlemagne, for it was not long after 791 that he began his abortive attempt to construct a Main-Danube canal.31 What better purpose could this canal have served than to ferry supplies to troops in the Ostmark?

3. Ljudovit’s Revolt and the Bulgar Invasions

During Charlemagne’s lifetime only Lower Austria came under the direct control of marcher lords of Frankish descent.32 Upper Pannonia, between Szombathely (Steinamanger) and Petronell was gradually pacified and placed under the rule of an Avar khan who had accepted Christianity. In Carinthia the Slavic duces Priwilzlauga, Cemicas, Ztoimar, and Etgar served as Carolingian underlings until 828. Following Charlemagne’s death in 814, Ljudovit, a Slavic chieftain, accepted Carolingian overlordship and became duke of Lower Pannonia. Further down the Danube Carolingian armies came into contact with the Bulgars, who were threatening the Byzantine empire at this time.

Between the years 818 and 830 a widespread Slavic rebellion, followed by Bulgar invasions of the marches, necessitated large-scale Carolingian military operations in the eastern marches that merit close attention. Ljudovit appeared at the court of Louis the Pious in 818 to register complaints against Cadolah, the commander of the march of Friuli.33  When these charges were dismissed, the Pannonian duke, obviously angry, returned to his homeland and prepared a revolt. The following year an army from Italy was dispatched against him, but it accomplished nothing and returned without success. During this campaign Cadolah succumbed to fever and was replaced by Balderich. Meanwhile, the revolt spread as the Timocian Slavs broke with their Bulgar overlords and joined Ljudovit, who then invaded Carinthia, where he was ambushed along the Drava River by Balderich and driven back into Pannonia.

The forces of the Slavic rebel had not been destroyed, however, for Ljudovit also invaded Dalmatia in 819, defeated Borna, the Slavic duke of that region, and won the Guduscani over to his cause. According to the Royal Annals, “When Borna saw that he was no match for Ljudovit, he stored all he could in his castles, and attacked Ljudovit’s army with crack troops. Hampering him now in the rear and now in the flank, he wore him down day and night and would not let him stay in his province.”34  In the end, Ljudovit was forced to retreat. “Three thousand men of Ljudovit’s army were killed, more than three hundred horses captured, and baggage and all sorts of spoils seized.”35

From these passages it is impossible to determine the precise makeup of Ljudovit’s army. (Was it heavy or light cavalry? Were infantry units attached?) But we do know that his enemies clearly understood the advantages of fortifications. Borna stored provisions in them and sallied out at opportune moments to harass the superior forces of the invader. Castles permitted Borna to conserve his limited manpower and to attack the interlopers only when conditions were favorable – when they broke ranks to forage, for example. As for the horses that were captured, certain passages in the Royal Annals suggest that many of them were riderless and heavily laden with booty. When Ljudovit’s troops encumbered themselves with plunder, they were particularly vulnerable to assaults from mounted troops dashing forth from fortifications, then quickly returning to the protection of these enclosures. In any case, fortifications, not horses, were tactically decisive in these encounters. From his castles Borna maintained control over his territory, even with inferior numbers, and eventually repulsed the invaders.

Borna’s victory did not end the rebellion; in January, 820, Louis the Pious summoned him to Aachen, where an assembly of magnates considered the problem of what to do with Ljudovit. It was decided “to dispatch three armies from three directions at once in order to lay waste Ljudovit’s territory and curb his pretensions.”36  Once again we are dealing with a rather large Carolingian force with troops recruited in Saxony, East Francia, Alemannia, Bavaria, and Italy. One army proceeded into Pannonia from Italy by way of the Noric Alps. The second crossed the Brenner from the north and moved down the Drava Valley; the third set off down the Danube into Upper Pannonia. It is noteworthy that there is no mention of ships supporting this invasion from the rivers. This was probably a tactical error, for we are told that the third army experienced great difficulties crossing the Drava and that the men were stricken with dysentery.37

This invasion of Pannonia obviously occurred in the spring and summer, for the Royal Annals state: “When the winter was over and the grass could provide food for the horses, three armies were sent against Ljudovit.”38  These lines demand our attention, because one of the major arguments for the notion that mounted shock combat became the decisive element in Carolingian warfare rests on evidence that armies were assembled in May rather than in March, presumably because more fodder would be available later in the spring.39 The statement could be used as further support of the traditional views of feudal warfare were it not for the fact that it was lifted by the annalist from Caesar’s De Bello Gallico.40  Even mighty Caesar found it prudent to wait for spring to provide fodder for his animals before setting out to campaign. Would any serious scholar entertain the notion that mounted shock combat was introduced in the first century B.C.? However, be that as it may, horsemen undoubtedly were important during the campaign of 820. The Royal Annals stress the fact that Carolingian armies ranged far and wide, ravaging the land with fire and sword.41 And we should not presume that they walked all the way from Bavaria and Saxony to Lower Pannonia. Nevertheless, Ljudovit’s forces remained unsubdued “behind the bulwark of a castle that he had built on a steep mountain.”42  In short, this Slavic chieftain reacted just as Borna had the preceding year when faced with a numerically superior invading force. He conserved his manpower behind fortifications.

Although the annalist praised the actions of the Carolingian armies in 820, three more armies had to be sent against the rebel leader in the summer of the following year to “ravage the fields of the traitors.”43  The commanders of these forces reported to a general assembly at the villa of Thionville in mid-October that they “had laid waste the entire territory of the renegades clinging to Ljudovit, but they returned home since nobody met them with troops in battle.44 Obviously Ljudovit had once again sought protection from his Carolingian enemies behind fortified walls. Meanwhile, “Fortunatus, patriarch of Grado, was accused . . . of encouraging Ljudovit to persist in his treacherous revolt and of helping him construct castles by supplying craftsmen and builders.”45

Without doubt, during the campaigns of 820 and 821 Carolingian armies succeeded in dealing severe blows to Ljudovit’s capacity to resist, even though they had been unable to destroy his forces in the field. Two years of devastation of his territories by large armies must have seriously undermined his capacity to continue resisting. In 822 an army from Italy forced him to withdraw from the city (civitas) of Sisak, and he fled to the Serbs, where he took over the city (civitas) of a local duke.46 Finally, in 823 an envoy reported to Louis the Pious that Ljudovit had been killed and that the revolt had been crushed.47

It is significant that Ljudovit’s revolt had lasted for five years and that marcher lords had been unable to repress it. The rebellion was terminated only after large masses of troops from Germany and Italy had intervened in Pannonia, and, even at that, at least four major campaigns had been necessary. Although mounted warriors had taken part in these operations (and we must assume they did), they could only have been decisive insofar as their greater mobility permitted them to devastate the Pannonian countryside more efficiently than infantry. But even those mounted troops need not have been shock troops. Moreover, in most of these campaigns it was the fortifications and not the cavalry that attracted the notice of the annalists who recorded the events.

Ljudovit’s defeat brought Frankish armies into contact with regions on the Lower Danube that were under Bulgar hegemony. During the years from 824 to 827 Bulgar envoys appeared at the court of Louis the Pious to discuss matters concerning the boundaries between them.48 The negotiations broke down, however, and the Bulgars invaded Frankish Pannonia. Since they were originally horsemen and since we know that they utilized cavalry against Byzantine armies, one might assume that their raids into Pannonia involved mounted warriors. It is surprising, therefore, that the Royal Annals reported that it was with an army of ships (navali exercitu) that the Bulgars moved up the Drava to ravage Pannonia.49 Two years later the Fulda Annals stated: “The Bulgars coming with ships up the Drava River set fire to certain of our villas and settlements along the river.”50  Although we are poorly informed about other details concerning these wars against the Bulgars, once again we are faced with a situation in which tactical considerations other than mounted shock combat attracted the notice of contemporary annalists.

Ljudovit’s rebellion and the Bulgar invasions prompted a reorganization of the marches, which occurred during the fourth decade of the ninth century.51 Under Louis the German most of Pannonia was divided into counties under the command of Frankish margraves, and the Slavic duke of Carinthia was replaced by a Bavarian. Only Lower Pannonia remained under a Slavic chieftain (Pribina). The Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum gives a full account of Pribina’s establishment as a Carolingian underling.52 Shortly after Ratpot became prefect of the east around 830 Pribina was expelled from his homeland by Moimir, the duke of the Moravians. He fled to Ratpot from beyond the Danube, and at Louis the German’s command he was instructed in Christianity and baptized. Before long, however, Ratpot and Pribina fell out, and the latter, fearing for his life, fled to the Bulgars with his son. He did not remain there long but soon departed to the region of Ratimar, on the lower Sava. When Ratpot moved against Ratimir in 838, Pribina fled to Salacho, the Frankish count on the upper Sava, who finally arranged a peace between him and Ratpot. Subsequently Louis the German granted Pribina lands near Lake Balaton in beneficium, and he “began then to take up residence there, to build fortifications, to assemble people, and to ameliorate many things in this land.”53

Pribina’s fortifications around Zalavar have been excavated.54  Since the fortress was in a swampy region, it was known as the “Mosaburg” in German. (“Mosa” means “swamp” or “marsh.’ As the term civitas Pribinae indicates, the walls encircled a rather large enclosure. The remains of the churches in the fortress indicate strong architectural influences from the Adriatic, and if we remember that builders from Grado constructed fortifications for Ljudovit, such building styles in Zalavar should not surprise us.55 The location of the fortress made it possible for the troops garrisoned in it to control a network of roads leading through Pannonia toward the confluence of the Drava with the Danube.56 Since the Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorumstresses the fact that Pribina was personally involved in peopling and ameliorating the conditions of the lands under his control, it seems logical to assume that Mosaburg was a base where provisions could be assembled and stored to support armies operating in Pannonia. In any case, it is clear that lordships in this region were closely associated with the construction and maintenance of fortifications. From his bastion near Zalavar Pribina was able to dominate the surrounding territory and establish his control. The contemporary sources mentioned fortifications because their importance was obvious: they were the sine qua non of lordship.

4. The Moravian and Magyar Wars

The Carolingian Ostmark collapsed during the early years of the tenth century. The immediate cause was the coming of the Magyars, swift horsemen from the steppes of southern Russia, who in 907 crushed a Bavarian army near Bratislava (Pressburg, Pozsony). The Magyars, however, only administered the coup de grace to an increasingly disorganized frontier situation. By 896, when they began to move up the Danube and through the Carpathians to settle en masse in the region of modern Hungary, the breakdown of Carolingian authority in this region was already well advanced.

One of the major causes of this disintegration was a series of long wars between Louis the German and his successors and the Slavic dukes of Moravia, Ratislav and Svatopluk, who had created an effective and powerful state that challenged Carolingian authority on the middle Danube. In order to deal with the Moravians, Louis granted broader powers to marcher lords. But these men often proved disloyal, and they frequently ignored or openly defied royal authority. More often than not they formed alliances with the Moravians, and on some occasions they took refuge with them.

The first marcher lord to revolt against Louis the German and to join with the Moravians was none other than Ratpot, the prefect of the east. Although the king swiftly crushed Ratpot in 854,57 he was unable to gather sufficient forces to move against Ratislav, who was also openly defiant, until the following year. The campaign of 855 must have been a near disaster for the Carolingian sovereign. The Fulda Annals reported that Ratislav, like Ljudovit before him, withdrew behind walls of strong fortifications, and Louis, realizing that he had overextended himself and that his troops were in grave danger, hastily retreated after devastating Ratislav’s lands.58 The Moravians pursued the withdrawing Franks and took vengeance by ravishing frontier outposts along the Danube. The campaigns of 854-855 illustrate two points. First of all, when the Moravians allied with a rebellious marcher lord it would take the monarch at least two years to stabilize the situation. Secondly, in order to subdue the Moravians, it, would be necessary to assemble a large army that was prepared to engage in long sieges of their strong fortifications.

Rebellions in the marches and problems elsewhere prevented Louis from undertaking a second large-scale invasion of Moravia before 864.59 On this occasion Louis was prepared to besiege at least one of Ratislav’s fortresses, the civitas of Dowina.60 Although some accounts state that Louis subdued Ratislav in 864, this was probably not the case, for the Slavic duke was up in arms the following year.61 Once again it was not until four years later, in 869, that Louis was able to assemble enough troops to threaten Ratislav seriously.62 The invasion of Moravia in that year was large and well planned. One army proceeded against Ratislav, while a second one moved against Svatopluk, his nephew, who appeared in the sources for the first time in 869. Carloman and Charles, Louis’ sons who led the armies, enjoyed considerable success. The latter destroyed a number of Ratislav’s fortifications, while the former devastated Svatopluk’s estates. In the end, Svatopluk betrayed his uncle, who was captured in 870. Carloman then pacified Moravia and forced the fortifications (civitates et castella) in that area to submit to him.63

The capture of Ratislav did not bring peace to the marches, however. In 871 Carloman accused Svatopluk of disloyalty and imprisoned him.64  Meanwhile, the Moravians rose in rebellion against the Carolingian occupation forces and expelled them from their cities (ex obsessis civitatibus).65 Svatopluk succeeded in clearing himself of the charges against him and personally led an army of Bavarians against Moravia.66 At the last moment, however, he betrayed his allies, luring the unsuspecting Bavarians into the castles of the Moravians, where they were slaughtered. Only a few Bavarians who, sensing danger, slipped out of the Moravian castra, managed to escape. As a result of this disaster, Carloman was more determined than ever to subdue the Moravians. He sent armies of Thuringians and Saxons against Svatopluk and later dispatched an even larger Bavarian force.67  The latter were supported by boats (naves) operating near the confluence of the Drava and the Danube.68  This campaign also ended in failure, because the Moravians ambushed contingents left behind to guard the ships, seizing them and capturing and killing the guards.69 Once his lines of supply were disrupted, Carloman was forced to withdraw.

Although the Carolingians were again defeated, their efforts to force Svatopluk to submit still continued. The last quarter of the ninth century was punctuated with intermittent wars between the Moravians and Carloman and his son Arnulf. In these wars almost all the sources agree that the Moravians were able to resist numerous Carolingian invasions because of the strength of their fortifications.

Near the end of the century a new threat, that of the Magyars, confronted the Carolingians in the marches.70  Although we have surprisingly little information about the early Carolingian-Magyar conflicts, the surviving records emphasize that fortifications were tactically significant in the encounters between them. It is false to assume that the Magyar troops were an irresistible light cavalry which bewildered and confounded the Carolingian commanders who faced them. Arnulf, for example, was no doubt well aware of their capabilities, for prior to their advance into the marches he had frequently used them as auxiliaries.71 Moreover, the Magyar armies had suffered some serious reverses at the hands of marcher lords prior to the Battle of Bratislava in 907. In 900 Luitpold, the prefect of the east, and Bishop Richer of Passau had trapped a Magyar army near Linz, where new fortifications had been raised, and had completely annihilated it.72  One year later Count Ratold of Ebersberg administered a similar defeat to the Magyars near the fortress of Moosburg in Carinthia.73

From contemporary sources it is impossible to reconstruct the motives that led to a Bavarian invasion of Pannonia in 907 that resulted in a crushing defeat by the Magyars at the Battle of Bratislava. It is clear, however, that Luitpold, a marcher lord with much experience, took this campaign seriously.74 As Charlemagne had done before him, Luitpold assembled around the Ennsburg a large army of experienced troops drawn from all the areas under his control. He divided them into three columns and deployed boats on the Danube to ensure supplies and communications between the columns. Yet, in spite of these careful preparations, the forces operating south of the Danube were annihilated on July 4, 907, and the Magyars slipped across the river under the cover of darkness and surprised Luitpold the following morning. In the ensuing slaughter many of the most important churchmen perished. King Louis the Child barely managed to escape, and the victorious Magyars pursued the remnants of the Bavarian army to the Enns, where the sight of newly constructed fortifications persuaded them to go no further.75  Once again the Enns River became the terminus Huni.

5. Warfare and Society

From the preceding discussion it becomes clear that, while the cavalry was no doubt useful in military campaigns in the Ostmark, it did not always attract the attention of annalists and chroniclers of the Carolingian era. We have accounts of armies ranging far and wide to devastate the countryside. We know that fodder for the animals was an important consideration during some campaigns. There are direct references to horses in our sources. Yet it is possible to concede that horses provided tactical mobility to armies in this region without going so far as to assert that they were tactically decisive. Nor is there any justification for the conclusion that mounted shock combat was introduced in the Ostmark during the ninth century. The cavalry’s main function seems to have been that of pillaging the territory surrounding enemy fortifications. But this task could have been better discharged by light cavalry than by heavily armed horsemen. Of course, the ravishing of the countryside was tactically significant, since it probably complicated the task of gathering supplies to provide for garrisons. Nevertheless, as we have seen, such tactics had to be repeated over a number of years before the enemy could be brought to heel.

Even if we admit that the cavalry played a tactical role in the military organization of the Carolingian Ostmark, contemporary sources reveal that most campaigns in this region were complex operations that often involved the use of ships to support troops and to ensure communications. Ships sailing on the Danube and its major tributaries are mentioned as frequently as horses. Fluvial navigation played an important part in Charlemagne’s campaign of 791 and in Luitpold’s of 907. The Bulgars raided Pannonia from ships during the years 828 to 832. Carloman’s invasions of Moravia in 872 failed when Svatopluk’s forces surprised troops left behind to guard the boats. In one of the campaigns against Ljudovit in which no ships are mentioned the annalists tell us that one of the armies involved experienced great difficulties crossing the Drava. Even a diplomatic mission proceeded by boat to the Bulgars in 892,76 and theRaffelstetten Tolls inform us of commerce on the Danube.77  Although the fragmentary nature of our sources prohibits us from gaining a detailed knowledge of naval operations, it is clear that they were tactically important.

If anything was tactically and strategically decisive in the Ostmark in the eighth and ninth centuries it was the fortifications. A line of fortresses permitted the Agilulfinger dukes to establish a limes certus between themselves and the Avars, who also constructed fortifications in Lower Austria. Borna saved himself from capture by Ljudovit by withdrawing behind strong fortifications, and the latter from his castles stubbornly resisted large-scale Carolingian invasions of Pannonia. It was only when he was driven from his civitas that his rebellion collapsed. Pribina built the fortress of Zalavar when he established his lordship in Pannonia. The civitates of the Moravians attracted the notice of the chroniclers because of their stout walls. Although a contemporary account informs us that a Carolingian force ambushed Moravian cavalry in 871, the latter escaped destruction by scrambling behind the walls of their Bohemian allies.78 Around 870 Carolingian forces managed to control Moravia for a while, but they could do so only by occupying Moravian civitates. Once they had been expelled from these fortifications, they were forced to withdraw.

By the end of the ninth century the entire frontier region was studded with fortifications. These structures, of course, had to be built, maintained, and manned by the people living in the area. A good example of how this was done is indicated in the document by which Arnulf, in 888, granted Heimo, his loyal follower, immunity in those lands in the Traisen Valley that were under his control. In return for this immunity, he required Heimo to order his men (homines) to construct a fortification there.79 Although the document gives no details about these homines, it is probably correct to assume that they were free men in Heimo’s service and under his protection. Certainly they are not referred to as mancipia or servi in the chapter.

There is no evidence in the contemporary records to support the hypothesis that a revolution in military tactics precipitated social change in the Ostmark. Quite the contrary, Michael Mitterauer’s recent investigations have proved that a broad class of free peasants continued to live in Lower Austria throughout the ninth century.80  They continued to exist as a class, he maintains, because they met the military needs of a frontier society. Between the Traun and the Vienna Woods a clear pattern of free peasant settlements remained, especially in the low-lying areas along the Danube. As Mitterauer points out, the primary function of the liberi (Bavari vel Slavi) was to build, maintain, and man fortifications and bridges.

It is not difficult to surmise that the free peasants supplied food and fodder for the men and horses when armies campaigned in this region. Free men were certainly responsible for supporting the hostis. Moreover, it seems logical to assume that the liberi loaded and navigated the ships that were so frequently mentioned in contemporary sources. The Raffelstetten Tolls 81show that ships were engaged in the salt trade along the Danube. Since shipbuilding and river navigation are rather complicated tasks demanding uncommon skills and since many stretches along the Danube were very treacherous at that time, native pilots and shipwrights must have been valuable men indeed. Because of the salt trade, port facilities must have been available. Furthermore, the Raffelstetten Tolls make it clear that the Bavarian and Slavic freemen owned horses, for this document mentions their coming to local markets cum cavullis.82 As Heinrich Dannenbauer has pointed out, the liberi continued to own horses in Saxony, another frontier region, well into Ottonian times.83 Our evidence indicates that this was also the case in Lower Austria. But mere ownership of horses does not prove that the owner was a warrior trained in the difficult art of mounted shock combat. Freemen were obligated to support armies on campaign and to furnish mounts for the purveyance of officials.84 They may possibly have served as light cavalry troopers, and their horses must have been useful for conveying men and commodities to port facilities on the rivers. Finally, horses may have been more readily available in the Ostmark than in other parts of the Carolingian empire, for the Tolls tell of Slavs (de Rugis vel Boemania) coming there to sell horses (cavallos vendere).85

If we turn our attention from Lower Austria to Carinthia, we also discover that modern scholarship has established a relationship between the existence of a class of free peasants and the military organization of the frontier.86 Indeed, studies of various communities in Carinthia reveal that they were strikingly similar to those in Lower Austria. They also tended to be located in low-lying areas in the Mur and Drava Valleys near fortifications that controlled access to important passes.87 The castrum Trixen, for example, was surrounded by free communities.88Archaeologists have discovered that another fortress, Freisach, was a large fortification of the Fluchtburg type, constructed of earth and timber in a marshy area near a river.89 By far the most imposing fortification in Carinthia was Arnulf’s fortress of Mosaburg (not to be confused with. Pribina’s) in the Drava Valley, about which Regino of Prum made the following comment in his chronicle: “Situated in Carinthia is a most formidable fortification which is called Mosaburg; a walled place located in an impenetrable swamp, it provides those who approach it only very difficult access.”90 The fact that Regino, a chronicler from the Frankish heartland, singled out this fortress for special notice suggests that it was, indeed, an important one. Furthermore, from later documents we know that the area adjoining the Mosaburg was densely settled by freemen, and, once again, archaeologists reveal that it was a large fortress of the Fluchtburg type, made of earth and timber in a swamp on the banks of the Worthersee.91 Thus in Carinthia, just as along the Danube, Carolingian marcher lords based their military defenses on fortifications located near the waterways, protected by swamps and marshes, and surrounded by free communities. These fortifications offered protection. In them food and fodder could be assembled for withstanding a siege or for shipping down the rivers to support military operations in Pannonia.

In many ways the continued existence of free communities in the Carolingian Ostmark should not surprise us. New men of noble origin who came into the marches to organize defenses were never numerous.92 Often they were refugees, losers in political conflicts in the heartland.93 They had to strike bargains with the native population, and some married into Slavic families.94The military system on the frontier was based on fortifications which were no doubt constructed largely by locally available labor, even if masters from else where gave technical advice.95Campaigns in this region depended on the expertise of native river pilots for logistical support and ferrying services.

            Although the contemporary records by no means reveal all the details concerning the relationship between warfare and social organization in the Ostmark, there is no evidence that mounted shock combat was ever the decisive element in Carolingian warfare in this region and that the ninth century witnessed a decline in the status of the free peasantry. If the results of our research are to be believed, the interest of historical truth might be better served if medievalists would abandon the fruitless quest for a causal relationship between the development of mounted shock combat and the rise of feudalism. Instead, they might usefully turn their efforts to explaining how the obviously complex nature of early medieval warfare shaped social institutions. The results may show that social-technological considerations involved in fortification, siege, supply, and support possibly should loom larger in our thinking than they do today. In spite of a rather massive body of literature on the subject, a definitive history of early medieval warfare and its social ramifications has not yet been written.

End Notes

1. The theory that mounted shock combat initiated major social changes in Carolingian times was first advanced by Heinrich Brunner in his article on “Der Reiterdienst trod die Anfange des Lehnwesens,” in Zeitschrift der SavignyStiftung fur Rechtsgeachichre, Germanische Abtheilung, Vol. VII (1887), pp. 1-38. Since then the literature on the subject has become immense. For an up-to-date bibliography on this subject, see Bernard Bachrach, “Military Organization in Aquitaine under the Early Carolingians,” Speculum, Vol. XLIX (1974), pp. 1-33, especially ns. 1-5 on pp. 1-2; and Bernard Bachrach, “Charles Martel, Mounted Shock Combat, the Stirrup, and Feudalism,” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, Vol. VII ((970), pp. 49-75. Brunner’s most vigorous contemporary champion is Lynn T. White, Jr. See his Medieval Technology and Social Change (Oxford: University Press, 1962), pp. 1-38 and 135-153.

2. White, Medieval Technology and Social Change, p. 38.

3. Karl Bosl, “Macht and Arbeit als bestimmende Kr1fte in der mittelalterlichen Gesellschaft,” Festschrift fur Ludwig Petry (Munich: Paul List Verlag, 1968), p. 57.

4. Most recently by John H. Beeler, Warfare in Feudal Europe, 7301200 (Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1971), pp. 1-30; and Vesey B. Norman, The Medieval Soldier (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1971), pp. 28-43Almost all the standard textbooks on the middle ages accept Brunner’s thesis (with White’s modifications) that the practice of mounted shock combat began in Carolingian times and that it was a causative factor in the rise of feudalism.

5. Bachrach, “Charles Martel, Mounted Shock Combat, the Stirrup, and Feudalism,” p. 75.

6. Donald Bullough, “Europae Pater: Charlemagne and His Achievement in Light of Recent Scholarship,” English Historical Review, Vol. LXXXV (1970), pp. 84-90. In addition to Bachrach and Bullough, J. D. A. Ogilvy (see his “The Stirrup and Feudalism,” University of Colorado Studies, Vol. X [1966], pp. 1-13) must also be given credit for raising serious questions about White’s concept of mounted shock combat.

7. Bachrach, “Charles Martel, Mounted Shock Combat, the Stirrup, and Feudalism,” p. 57. Bullough also emphasizes the importance of fortifications and siege warfare in Carolingian campaigns. See his “Europae Pater: Charlemagne and His Achievement in Light of Recent Scholarship,” pp. 89-90.

8. A passage in the Annales Fuldenses (in Monuments Germanise Historica Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum in Usum Scholarum, edited by Fridericus Kurze (Hanover: Gesellschaft fur altere deutsche Geschichtskunde, 1891]), “Francis pedetemptin certare inusitatum est,” has been translated by White as, “the Franks are unused to fighting on foot.” See his Medieval Technology and Social Change, p. 3. For Bachrach’s criticism of this translation, see his “Charles Martel, Mounted Shock Combat, the Stirrup, and Feudalism,” pp. 51-53.

9. The term “Ostmark” is one of convenience justified by the fact that a series of marcher lordships were created along the Danube, in the eastern Alps, and on the plains of Pannonia during the ninth century. The classic works on the subject are still those of Ernst Diimmler: Geschichte des ostfrankischen Reiches (3 vols., Leipzig: Weidmannscher Verlag, 1887-88); and Ueber die sudostlichen Marken des frankischen Reiches unter den Karolingern (795-907) (Vienna: Bartsch, 1853). The most recent study is Michael Mitterauer, Karolingische Markgrafen im Siidosten. Frankische Reichsaristokratie and bayerischer Stammesadel im dsterreichischen Raum (Vienna: Osterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1963). A useful collection of sources can be found in Erwin Herrmann, SlawischGermanische Beziehungen im Siiddeutscher: Raum von der Spiitantike bis zum Ungarnsturm. Ein Quellenbuch mit Erlauterungen (Munich: Collegium Carolinum, 1965).

10. In his “Deutsche Kriegsfuhrung im Osten wahrend des Mittelalters,” Deutsches Archiv, Vol. 11 (1938), pp. 54-84, Karl Schunemann points out that the course of the rivers from south to north in much of eastern Europe proved to be a handicap to German armies operating there. This, however, was not the case in the Ostmark, for contemporary sources demonstrate that the waterways were frequently used by Carolingian forces in this theater.

11. For the independent politics of the Bavarian dukes, especially Tassilo III, see Heinrich Wolfram, “Das Furstentum Tassilos III, Herzog der Bayern,” in Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft jur Salzburger Landeskunde, 1968, pp. 157-172. For the growing power of the dukes throughout the Frankish kingdom in late Merovingian times, see Archibald R. Lewis, “The Dukes in the Regnum Francorum AD 550751,” Speculum, Vol. LI (1976), pp. 381-410.

12. Friedrich Prinz, “Herzog and Adel im agilulfingischen Bayern. Herzogsgut and Konsensschenkung vor 788,” Wege der Forschung, Vol. LX (1965), pp. 255-263.

13. Fredegarii Chronicorum Liber Quartos cum Continuationibus, edited and translated by J. M. Wallace-Hadrill (London: Variorum, 1960), Chapter XXXII.

14. Ernst Klebel, “Zur Geschichte der Herzogs Theodo,” Wege der Forschung, Vol. LX (1965), pp. 225-263.

15. Wilhelm Sttlrmer, “Engen and Passe in den mittleren Ostalpen and ihre Sicherung im friihen Mittelalter,” Mitteilungen aus der Geographischen Gesellschajt Miinchen, 1968, pp. 91-107;Wilhelm Stdrmer, “Fernstrassen and Kldster. Zur Verkehrs- and Herrschaftsstruktur des westlichen Altbayern im friihen Mittelalter,” Zeitschrift fur bayerische Landesgeschichte, Vol. XXIX (1966), pp. 299-343; Wilhelm Stbrmer, “Her zogsgut and Kdnigsgut im Raume Straubing,” Straubing (Munich: Verlag Rober Lerche, 1966), pp. 47‑49; Ernst Trinke, “Wels im Jahre 776,” Jahrbuch des Museun Vereins Weis, 1954, pp. 25-42Karl Holter, “Die Grtindung von Kremsmiinster and di Besiedlungsgeschichte des mittleren Oberdsterreich,” Mitteilungen des osterreichische Landesarchivs, Vol. VIII (1964), p. 46; Herbert Klein, “Salzburg- Iuvavum,” Vortrag and Forschung, Vol. X (1958), pp. 77-85.

16. Jan Deer, “Karl der Grosse and der Untergang des Awaren Reiches,” in Karl der Grosse. Lebenswerk and Nachleben, edited by Wolfgang Braunfels (4 vols., Dusseldurf, 1965-67), Vol. I:Personlichkeit and Geschichte, edited by Herbert Beumann, pp. 719-791.

17. Eric Zollner, “Avarisches Namengut in Bayern and Osterreich,” Mitteilungen des Instituts fur osterreichische Geschichtsforschung, Vol. LVIII (1950), pp. 244‑266.

18. Sigurd Abel and Bernhard Simon, Jahrbiicher des frankischen Reiches unter Karl dem Grossen, Vol. II (Leipzig: Weldmannscher Verlag, 1883), pp. 23-26especially ns. a end 4 on p. 23,and p. 24, n. 1; Heinrich Mitscha-Marheim, “Eine awarische Grenzortamsation des 8. Jahrhunderts in Niederosterreich?” Jahrbuch des Romischliermanisch Zentralmuseums Mainz, Vol. IV (1957), pp. 134-135; Heinrich Mitscha-Morheim, “Bemerkungen zur Fruhgeschichte des nordlichen Niederosterttlch,” Jahrbuch fur Landesgeschichte von Niederdsterreich, new ser., Vol. XXXVI (1914), p. 68.

19. This we know from evidence in two later Carolingian capitularies which attempted b restrict this trade. See Capitulare missorum Theodonisvillae, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica Capitularia Regum Francorum, edited by Alfred Broretius and Victor Krause (2 vols., Hanover: Gesellschaft fur altere deutsche Geschichtskunde, 188397), Cpl. I, No. 44, p. 122Chapter VII, and No. 74, p. 166, Chapter X; Deer, “Karl der Gtow and der Untergang des Awarenreich,” p. 752.

20. Set the copy in Herrmann, SlawischeGermanische Beziehungen, pp. 137142, especially Chapters I-IV.

21. lbid., pp. 52-53.

22. Annales Regni Francorum, in Monuments Germaniae Historica Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum in Usum Scholarum, edited by Fridericus Kurze (Hanover: Gesellschaft fair Altere deutsche Geschichte, 1895), Anno 788, pp. 84-85.

23. Ibid., Anno 791, p. 89. An English translation can be found in Bernhard W. Scholz and Barbara Rogers, Carolingian Chronicles: Royal Frankish Annals and Nithard’s Histories (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 1970), pp. 69-70.

24. Scholz and Rogers, Carolingian Chronicles, p. 70.

25. Ibid.

26. Einhard, Vita Caroli Magni, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum in Usum Scholarum, edited by Georg Waitz (Hanover: Gesellschaft for Altere deutsche Geschichtskunde, 1905), Chapter XIII, p. 14; Bullough, “Europae Pater: Charlemagne and His Achievement in Light of Recent Scholarship,” p. 88.

27. Monumenta Germaniae Historica Capitularia Regum Francorum, Vol. INo. 77, Chapter 10. For an excellent short analysis of the logistical problems confronting Carolingian armies, see Frangois L. Ganshof, Frankish Institutions under Charlemagne, translated by Bryce and Mary Lyon (New York: Norton, 1968), pp. 65-67.

28. “Et dum nec tam pabula equis aut cibaria exercitui superfuissent . . . exercitus ad propria reversus est.” Annales Mettenses priores, Anno 805, p. 95.

29. See ante, n. 19.

30. For a discussion of weapons and their uses, see Bullough, “Europae Pater: Charle magne and His Achievement in Light of Recent Scholarship,” pp. 88-89; and Bachrach, “Charles Martel, Mounted Shock Combat, the Stirrup, and Feudalism,” pp. 58-66.

31. “The king was persuaded by self-styled experts that one could travel most conveniently from the Danube into the Rhine if a navigable canal was built between the Rivers Rednitz and Altmuhl, since one of these rivers flows into the Danube and another into the Main.” Scholz and Rogers, Carolingian Chronicles, p. 71. Although the canal was a failure, this passage clearly shows that Charles was very much aware of the convenience of fluvial navigation in moving men and material from one theater to another. Since the frontiers of his empire were under attack in 793, when construction was begun, logistical considerations must have been foremost in his mind.

32. Mitterauer, Karolingische Markgrafen im Sudosten, pp. 1-8.

33. Annales Regni Francorum, Anno 818, p. 149.

34. Scholz and Rogers, Carolingian Chronicles, p. 106.

35. Ibid.

36. lbid., p. 107.

37. But the army which marched through Upper Pannonia suffered a misfortune when crossing the Drava.” Ibid. Ships could probably not have been brought down the Drava because Carinthia was still in hostile hands.

38. Ibid.

39. “In 755 the Marchfield, the traditional muster of the Frankish army, was transferred to May, presumably because the number of cavalry had become so large that more forage was needed than was available in March.” White, Medieval Technology and Social Change, pp. 3‑4For criticism of White’s conclusions, see Bachrach, “Charles Martel, Mounted Shock Combat, the Stirrup, and Feudalism,” p. 51; and Bullough, “Europe Pater: Charlemagne and His Achievement in Light of Recent Scholarship,” pp. 84-87.

40. Scholz and Rogers, Carolingian Chronicles, Anno 820, p. 197, n. 2.

41. Thegan, Vita Hludowici Imperatoris, in Monuments Germaniae Historica Scriptures (32 vols., Hanover: Gesellschaft fur altere deutsche Geschichtskunde, 1826- ), Vol. 11, Chapter XXXI, p. 624.

42. Scholz and Rogers, Carolingian Chronicles, p. 107.

43. Ibid., p. 109.

44. Ibid.

45. Ibid. Since Fortunatus escaped to Byzantine Dalmatia and then to Constantinople, it is possible that the Eastern Empire was also involved in this revolt.

46. Annales Regni Francorum, Anno 822, p. 158.

47. Anonymi Vita Hludowici Imperatoris, in Monuments Germaniae Histories Scriptores, Vol. II, Anno 823, p. 627.

48. Annales Fuldenses, Anno 824, p. 23; Annales Regni Francorum, Anno 824, pp. 164-165; Anonymi Vita Hludowici Imperatoris, Chapter XXXIX, p. 629.

49. “Bulgari quoque Sclavos in Pannonia sedentes misso per Dravum navali exercitu ferro et igni vastaverunt et expulsis eorum ducibus Bulgaricos super eos rectores constituerunt.” Annales Regni Francorum, Anno 827, p. 173.

50. “Bulgari navibus per Dravum fluvium, venientes quasdam villas nostrorum flumini vicinas incenderunt.” Annales Fuldenses, Anno 829, p. 26.

51. Mitterauer, Karolingische Markgrafen im Siidosten, pp. 85-91.

52. Herrmann, Slawisch-Germanische Beziehungen, pp. 140-141, Chapters X, XI, and XIII.

53. “Tunc coepit ibi ille habitare et palude Salae fluminis et circumquaque populus congregare ac multum ampliari in terra illa.” Ibid., p. 140.

54. For a description and evaluation of the findings, see Thomas von Bogyay, “Mosapurc and Zalavar. Eine Auswertung der archgologischen Funde and schriftlichen Quellen,” Sudost-Forschungen, Vol. XIV (1955), pp. 350-405.

55. For example, see the accusations that Fortunatus of Grado supplied builders to Ljudovit. Ante, p. 15.

56. See the map in Bogyay, “Mosapurc and Zalavar,” p. 355.

57. Annales Iuvavenses maximi, in Monuments Germanise Historica Scriptores, Vol. XXX, Pt. 2 (1934) p. 744.

58. “Rex quoque Hludowicus in Sclavos Margenses contra Rastizen ducem eorum sibi rebellantem parum prospere ducto exercitu sine victoria rediit, malens adversarium firmissimo, ut femur, vallo munitum ad tempus dimittere quam militum suorum periculose pugnando damns sustinere. Magnam tamen provinciae partem praedis et incendiis vastavit exercitus non parvamque miltitudinem hostium castra regis invadere cupien tium usque ad internitionem delevit, sed non impune; quia post reditum regis Rastizes cum suis insecutus plurima traps Danuvium finitimorum loca praedando vastavit.” Annales Fuldenses, Anno 855, p. 45.

59. The most detailed accounts of this invasion are in the Annales Fuldenses, p. 62; and the Annales Bertiniani, p. 79This campaign is also mentioned in a large number of minor annals and chronicles. See Imre Boba, Moravia’s History Reconsidered: A Reinterpretation of Medieval Sources (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1971), p. 43.

60. “Hludowicus rex mense Augusto ultra Danubium cum manu valida profectus Rastizen in quadam civitate, quae lingua gentis illius Dowina dicitur, obsedit.” Annales Fuldenses, Anno 864, p. 62.

61. Annales Bertiniani, p. 84.

62. Annales Xantenses et Annales Vedastini, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum in Usum Scholarum, edited by Bernhard Simon (Hanover: Gesellschaft fiir Altere deutsche Geschichtskunde, 1909), Anno 869, pp. 26-27; Annales Bertiniani, p. 101; Annales Fuldenses, p. 67.

63. “Karlmannus vero regnum illius nullo resistente ingressus cunctas civitates et castella in deditionem accepit; et ordinato regno atque per suos dispositio ditatusque gaza regia revertitur.”Annales Fuldenses, p. 70.

64. Ibid., pp. 72-73.

65. “Sclavi autem Maharenses ducem suum perisse putantes quendam presbyterum eiusdem ducis propinquum nomine Sclagamarum sibi in principem constituunt, ei minantes interium, ni ducatum super eos susciperet. Qui eisdem necessitate coactus assensum praebens contra Engilscalcum et Willihelmum duces Karlmanni proelia movere et eos ex obessis civitatibus expellere nititur.” Ibid., p. 72.

66. Ibid., p. 73.

67. Ibid., p. 75.

68. For the probable area in which this campaign was waged, see Boba, Moravia’s History Reconsidered, p. 47.

69. “Sed dum Karlmannus caedes et incendia in Marahensibus exercuisset, Zwentibold i misso clam exercitu copioso Baioarios, qui ad tuendos naves in Iitore Histri fluminis relicti fuerant, occupavit et alios occidit, alios necavit in fluorine, alios veto dixit captivos; nullusque inde nisi Embricho Radesbonae civitatis episcopus cum paucis evasit.” Annales Fuldenses, p. 76.

70. Simon de Vajay, Der Eintritt des ungarischen Stammebundes in die europaischte Geschichte (862-933) (Munich: Paul List Verlag, 1968).

71. Annalista Saxo, in Monuments Germanise Historica Scriptores, Vol. VI, p. 584; Liutprandi Anatapodosis, in ibid., Vol. II, Book I, Chapter XIII, pp. 279-282.

72. Annales Mellicenses, in ibid., Vol. XVII, p. 496.

73. Chronicon Hermanni Augiensis, in ibid., Vol. V, Anno 902, pp. 67-68.

74. Excerpta Aventini ex Annalibus luvavensibus antiquis derivati, in ibid., Vol. XXX, Pt. 2, pp. 372-373.

75. Vajay, Eintritt des ungarischen Stammebundes, p. 43; Wilhelm Stormer, Friiher Adel. Studien zur politischen Fiihrungsschicht im Frvnkisch‑Deutschen Reich vom 8. his IL Jahrhundert(Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1973), pp. 236-237.

76. “Missi autem propter insidias Zwentiboldi ducis terrestre iter non valentes habere de regno Brazlavonis per fluvium Odagra usque ad Gulpam, dein per fluenta Savi fluminis navigio in Bulgaria perducti.” Annales Fuldenses Continuatio Ratisbon, Anno 892, p. 121.

77. “Naves vero, que ab occidentalibus partibus, postquam egresse sint silvam Patavicam . . . si inferius ire voluerint ad Lintzam, de una navi reddant III semimodias, id est III scafilos de sale.” Hermann, Slawisch-Germanische Beziehungen, p. 189.

78. Annales Fuldenses, Anno 871, p. 73. It is interesting to note that the Carolingian forces that attacked the Moravians during this encounter also used fortifications for their base of operations.

79. Monumenta Germanise Historica Diplomats Regum Germanise ex Stirpe Karolinorum, edited by Paul Kehr (4 vols., Berlin: Reichsinstitut fur altere deutsche Geschichtskunde, 1937),Vol. III, No. 32, p. 48.

80. Michael Mitterauer, Zollfreiheit and Marktbereich. Studien zur mittelalterlichen Wirtschaftsverfassung am Beispiel einer niederosterreichischen Altsiedellandschaft (Vienna, 1969), pp. 127-134.

81. Monuments Germaniae Historica Diplomats Regum Germanise ex Stirpe Karolinorum, Vol. III, No. 32, p. 48.

82. “Si autem Bawari vel Sclavi istius patrie ipsam regionem intraverint ad emends victualia cum mancipiis vel cavallis vei bobus vel ceteris suppeliectilibus suis, ubi cumque voluerint in ipsa regione sine theloneo errant, que necessaria sunt.” Hermann, Slawisch-Germanische Beziehunget:, p. 189.

83. Heinrich Dannenbauer, Grundlagen der mittelalterlichen Welt. Skizzen and Studien (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1958), pp. 215-216, 287, and 313.

84. Ibid., p. 225. This was also a requirement along the Catalan frontier. Archibald R. Lewis, The Development of Southern French and Catalan Society (Austin, Texas; University of Texas Press, 1965), pp. 72-75.

85. “Sciavi vero, qui de Rugis vel Boemanis mercandi causa exeunt . . . si vero mancipia vel cavaiios vendere voluerint, de una ancilla tremissam 1, de cavailo masculino similter, de servo saigam I, simiiis de equa.” Hermann, Slawisch-Germanische Bezit hungen, pp 189, 253, and 251.

86. See especially Erwin Ebner, Von den Edlingern in Innerosterreich (Klagenfurt: Kroner Verlag, 1956).

87. Franx Popeika, “Die Judenbitrger Ritterstadt and das karolingische Wehrsystem in Karantanien,” Mitteilungen des Instituts fur osterreichische Geschichtsforschung, Vol. LIX (1951), p. 313; Karl Wutte, “Zur Geschichte der Edlinger der Karntner Pfalzgrafen and des Herzogstuhles,” Carinthia I. Vol. CXXXIX (1949), p. 23.

88. Erwin Klebel, “Der Einbau Karantaniens in das ostfrankische Reich,” Carinthia I, Vol. CL (1960), pp. 663-692; Monumenta Germanise Historica Diplomats Regum Germanise ex Stirpe Karolinorum, Vol. III, No. 138, p. 209.

89. For a report of their excavations, see Carinthia I, Vol. CXXIX (1939), pp. 261-276.

90. “In quo [Carantano] situm est castrum munitissium, quod Mosapurh nuncupatur, eo quod palude inpenetrabili locus vallatus difficillium adeuntis prebat accessum.” Reginonis abbatis Prumienses Chronicon, in Monuments Germanise Historica Scripiores Rerum Germanicarum in Usum Scholarum, edited by Fridericus Kurze (Hanover: Gesellschaft fur illtere deutsche Geschichte, 1890), Anno 800, p. 116.

91. Xavier Kohla, “Der Turm im Karntner Burgbau,” Carinthia I, Vol. CXLIV (1954), p. 603.

92. Stormer, Fruher Adel, p. 234.

93. For example, see Mitterauer, Karolingische Markgrafen im Sudosten, pp. 227-245.

94. Michael Mitterauer, “Slawischer und bayerischer Adel am Ausgang der Karolingerzeit,” Carinthia I, Vol. CL (1960), p. 696.

95. See the example of Fortunatus as related in ante, p. l5.

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