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Duchy of Pannonian Croatia
Kne?evina Panonska Hrvatska
|7th century-10th century|
Duchy of Pannonian Croatia (peach coloured) under Braslav in the 9th century on an old map of Hungarian historian Dr. Márki Sándor
|Common languages||Old Croatian|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
The Duchy of Pannonian Croatia (Croatian: Kne?evina Panonska Hrvatska) is a name used in Croatian historiography for a medieval Slavic duchy from the 7th to the 10th century located in the Pannonian Plain approximately between the rivers Drava and Sava in today's Croatia. At times, the duchy extended considerably to the south of the Sava, encompassing most of its basin. The modern regions it encompassed include Slavonia, Moslavina, Banovina, Bilogora and Podravina. Its political center was in Sisak.
Pannonian Croatia is a retrospective name applied to it due to it being tied to modern Croatia. The polity's contemporaneous name and that of its populace remain unknown, although various names for both such as Sclavonia, Slavonia and Pannonia and respectively Sclaveni, Slavonians and Pannonias have been suggested.
Slavs came to the territory of the former Roman province Pannonia in the late 6th and early 7th century, as evidenced by many archeological finds. According to De administrando imperio, at the time of the rule of Emperor Herakleios (610-640), Croats arrived in Dalmatia, founded a duchy there and, shortly afterward, a part of them went to the north to Pannonia and founded another duchy there (Pannonian Croatia).
In the late 7th century or in the 8th century, the Duchy became vassalaged to the Avar Empire, as archaeological finds suggest. After the defeat of the Avar Empire by Frankish troops, Duke Vojnomir was assigned the Duchy as a vassal of the Frankish margrave of Friuli.[better source needed] The Duchy failed to end Frankish domination during a rebellion under Duke Ljudevit Posavski in the early 9th century.
In 827, the Bulgarians invaded and conquered the Duchy and parts of territories to the north of it. In 829 they imposed a local Duke Ratimir as the new ruler of Pannonian Croatia in their name. The Franks however claimed the territory, which in their view belonged (since 827) to the March of Carantania and thus under the rule of Count Ratbod[dubious ], who had been head of the Avar March and March of Carantania since 828.
In 838, Ratbod deposed Ratimir and subordinated the Duchy to the Frankish March of Carantania. Another known ruler of Pannonian Croatia was Braslav, who ruled there in 880-898 or 900, still vassalaged to the Kingdom of East Francia.
In the 10th century, under Duke (later King) Tomislav, the Duchy of Pannonian Croatia might have been united with Littoral Croatia to form the Kingdom of Croatia. The sources of the extent of Tomislav's kingdom are however conflicting.