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Samo´s Empire

Lukas Hanzl

The core of Sám's empire did not lie in the Czech Republic. The core of the Samo Empire was the tribal union of the Velets.

The Avars first arrived in the Pannonian Basin and subdued the local Slavs in the years 560s. AC- According to Fredegar, Samo, a Frankish merchant, went to the Slavs in c. 623–624. A string of victories over the Avars proved his ability to his subjects and secured his election as "Rex", contenporary the King. Samo went on to secure his throne by marriage into the major Wendish families. He wedding at least twelve women and he was the father twenty-two sons and fifteen daughters.

In 630–631, Valuk, the "duke of the Wends" (Wallucus dux Winedorum) was mentioned.  Because Valuk allowed Longobards to go through his territory, his principality could have not been part of Samo's empire.


The most famous event of Samo's era was his victory over the  army of Francs under Dagobert the First in 631 or 632. Dagobert led three armies against the Wends, the largest being his  Austrasian army. On the Battle near Wogastisburg; the majority of the besieging armies were slaughtered, while the rest of the troops fled, leaving weapons and other equipment lying on the ground.  Samo invaded Francs in Thuringia several times and undertook looting raids there. Dervan, the "duke of the Sorbs" (dux gente Surbiorum que ex genere Sclavinorum), initially subordinate to the Franks, joined the Slavic tribal union after Samo defeated The territory of Moravia was probably subject to the principality of Valuk, as the territory of Bohemia to serbs and Dervan, so this areas probably have no more in common with the Sámos Empire.I. The Sorbs lived to the east from the river Saale and on the river Elbe. Dervan participated in the subsequent wars against the Franks, successfully fighting against  Thuringia (631–634), until he was finally defeated by Radulf of Thuringia in 636.

In 641, the rebellious Dux Radulf sought an alliance with Samo against his sovereign, king of Francs Sigebert III. 

Sam's political legacy continued in the Velets tribal union and also in the Croatian state and Sorbs state in the Western Balkan, which probably arose at his instigation. 

The first mention of a tribe named Veltae is found in Ptolemy's Geography where, writing in the second century, Ptolemy states in Book III, chapter V: "Back from the Ocean, near the Venedicus Bay [Baltic Sea], the Veltae dwell, above whom are the Ossi." The Bavarian Geographer's anonymous medieval document compiled in Regensburg in 830 contains a list of the tribes in Central Europe east of the Elbe. Among other tribes it also lists the Uuilci (Veleti), featuring 95 civitates.


Polabian Slavs

The Veletian king Dragowit had been defeated and after was a vassal by Charlemagne. In the only expedition into Slavic territory led by Charlemagne himself, in 798, causing the central Veletian rule to collapse. In the 10th century, the Veleti disappeared from written records, and were replaced by the Lutici tribe union who continued the tradition of Velets.

Evidence is rather scarce for the period between the 7th and 8th centuries, CE. Archaeological evidence shows population continuity in coastal Dalmatia and Istria. 

Traditionally theory has placed the arrival of the "Whites Croats" and "Whites Serbs" from Middle Europa in the 7th century, primarily on the basis of the later Byzantine document De Administrando Imperio. As such, the arrival of the Croats and Serbs was seen as a second wave of Slavic migrations, which took over West Balkan from Avar hegemony.

The surroundings of Zagreb and Slavonia were  settled as first. The Dalmatia was setlement by the Croats until in the 9th century. In addition to Serbia and Croatia, West Slavic genes also partially colonized Bosnia, less Macedonia and especially Bulgaria. East Slavic genes traveled to Bulgaria with Khan Asparuch, perhaps the alleged nephew of Samo. The Slavic nation-states in the Balkans are probably the most enduring legacy of Sam's policy; Samo's intention was probably to restore trade relations between the Baltic region and the Byzantine Empire, interrupted by the Avars.


 15/133 in CVJETAN, S; TOLK, HV; LAUC, LB; COLAK, I; DORDEVIĆ, D; EFREMOVSKA, L; JANIĆIJEVIĆ, B. Frequencies of mtDNA haplogroups in southeastern Europe--Croatians, Bosnians and Herzegovinians, Serbians, Macedonians and Macedonian Romani. Collegium antropologicum. 2004, s. 193–8. PMID 15636075. (anglicky)

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Rýmovaná kronika česká tak řečeného Dalimila/II on: 


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