Names of Slavic rulers; Middle Ages; Iimperious titles
Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
The work is devoted to titles and names of Slavic rulers used in early Middle Ages. It also discusses ethnically Slavic proper names as well as those taken from other languages, among others from Greek and Latin. The author presents traditions of imperious titles in the area of whole Slavdom — both its east, west and south part. The analysis covers titles used in the whole period of early Middle Ages, i.e. till the end of the 12th century. The first chapter discusses the titles taken from the circle of Bizantic culture, above all the title of archont and the emperor’s title. A fairly general title of archont used by the Greeks to name the rulers was taken by Slavs as the title of ruler and was used by Bulgarian rulers until Simeon became an emperor and by Russian rulers who used it in their own titles on stamps at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries. In the second chapter the author deals with the most popular native term designating a ruler, i.e. the title of prince and all its derivative forms. Contrary to many linguists perceiving the very word as a Gottish borrowing from “kuning” there is no evidence proving this. What decided here was the lack of its term in the monuments of the Gottish language. In order to illustrate the mechanism of the appearance of the neutral form of “prince” in the Czech language and “prince” in the Polish language the analogical 16th century language material from Wielkie Księstwo Litewskie was used, where under the influence of the Polish impact the form of “kniaze” in the neutral form was created in Russian. The subsequent chapter was devoted to the title of king — rex. The author presented many situations of the usage of the term for Slavic rulers in early Middle Ages assuming that it was as late as at the beginning of the 11th century that the usage of the very term for crowned and solemn kings. On the basis of the analysis of the context of occurrence of the term rex for Slavic rulers before the 11th century it was assumed the very term did not mean the crowned ruler, but meant just the ruler at that time. The author is against using the term king for Świętopełek from Morawy, and does not see the basis for treating the theory on the coronation of Tomisław from Croatia in 925 as true. The work approves of the linguists’ thesis according to which the Slavic “king” comes from the name of Karol Wielki. The time of introducing the very term is postponed until the beginning of the 11th century and links with the emperor ideology of Otto’s times, especially Otto III. At this time the first coronations and royal solemnity in southern Europe took place and, according to the author, the title of the king spread equally, both in Slavs and Hungarians. The author also analyses the situations when the royal title appears among the rulers of small territories in the area of Połab. Despite many different exclusive theories, the possible coronation and usage of the royal title by Henryk Gotszalkowic, Kanut Laward and Przybysław-Henryk, the ruler of Stodoran are accepted. Chapter four and five are devoted to less common terms defining rulers such as żupan, gospodzin, kagan, władyka, ban and the like. The author also pays attention to certain terminological-stylistic conventions which can be noticed in narrative texts where different terms for Slavic rulers are used. In view of an often worse treatment of Slavic princes the identical terms for the rulers were avoided. It is particularly visible in German texts treating about Slovaks from Połab. The analysis also covered the general term of “princeps” too often used in narrative texts and also belonging to titles. In the whole work, the author makes an attempt to show how the traditions of naming and titling changed with the acceptation of new traditions from the circle of Bizantic and western-European culture. Slavic rulers taking on a new ruling symbolism, also took on new titles most often aiming at showing a new position of the ruler. In order to better show the changes in the ruling titles and a full documentation of the theses included in the work, it was enriched with a comparison of all Slavic rulers appearing in early Middle Ages and titles used for their naming or the ones in their titles.