Abstract and Keywords
After the dissolution of the kingdom of Thuringia in 534, several factors shaped the relationship of the Merovingian kingdom to its eastern neighbors, the Slavs and Avars. These included the ethnogenesis of the Bavarians, which encouraged the Franks to secure the southeast, the Avar occupation of the middle Danube area after 568, and the development of the Slavic world in the surroundings of the Avar khaganate. A Slavic uprising against the Avars resulted in the creation of the kingdom of Samo, which also successfully opposed King Dagobert I. Samo’s successes created Slavic self-confidence, which necessitated the Merovingians’ efforts, in turn, to secure eastern Thuringia and the Main area as well as Bavaria administratively and militarily. This strategy was also one of the aims of the ecclesiastical penetration of the Thuringian border areas in the north and the Carantanian-Slavic eastern Alpine area, which had begun under Boniface and Vergilius and continued thereafter.
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