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The Early Medieval “State” And The Tribal Formations In The Slavic Settlement Area Of The Eastern Alps

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Chapter Summary

Every attempt to establish which early medieval political formations were "states," and which criteria justify the use of that term, runs into the same basic problem and that is the definition of an early medieval state. This chapter discusses in detail the question of what an early medieval state was and how it originated. Most importantly, the research revealed that early medieval tribes were not communities of shared origin, but rather polyethnic communities, connected into entities not by blood ties, but by "nuclei of tradition" and customs, which these heterogeneous groups adopted and recognised as their own. The principality of the Carantanians was the oldest early medieval tribal polity that formed in the eastern Alpine region. Finally, it was, however, not the only tribal polity formed in the Slavic settlement area of the Eastern Alps in the Early Middle Ages.

Keywords: Carantanians; early medieval state; early medieval tribes; Eastern Alps; Slavic settlement area



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