유럽의 중부 다뉴브 강의 지류인 모라바 강 유역에 살던 모라비아인들은 대모라비아 제국을 건설했는데 이 제국은 국가의 규모라든지 오늘날 우리가 이해하고 있는 대제국과는 무관한 것 같다. 동프랑크 왕국 루트비히 2세의 개입으로 846년 대모라비아 제국의 위정자로 등장한 로스티슬라프 1세는 제국의 기반을 구축하는데 주력했다. 또한 이 인물은 850년대 초반부터 동프랑크 왕국의 영향에서 벗어나려는 시도를 펼쳤을 뿐만 아니라 보헤미아와 루사티아까지 자국 영역에 포함시키려고 했다. 그러나 로스티슬라프 1세의 이러한 정책은 동프랑크 왕국과의 관계를 악화시키는 요인으로 작용했다. 이 인물에 이어 등극한 스바토플루크 1세 역시 동프랑크 왕국과 대립했지만 대모라비아 제국은 그의 현명한 통치로 극성기를 맞이하게 되었다. 이렇게 극성기를 맞이한 대모라비아 제국은 스파토플루크 1세가 사망한 이후 후속 군주의 무능력과 거기서 파생된 제 문제로 급속히 몰락했다.
Rostislav I, also known as St.Rostislav, was the second known ruler Great Moravia(846-870). His career before 846 is unknown, but it is conceivable that he served as a hostage for his uncle at Louis the German’s court. The latter invaded Moravia in 846, deprived Mojmir I of his throne, and installed Rostislav as the new duke of Moravia. Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks. Upon his initiative two brothers, Cyril and Methodius sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III in 863, translated the most important Christian liturgical books into Slavonic in his realm. Svatopluk, a nephew of Rostislav I, started his career in the 860s, when he governed a principality within Moravia, the location of which is still a matter of debate among historians, under the suzerainty of his uncle, Rostislav I. In 870 Svatopluk dethroned Rostislav I, who was a vassal of Louis the German, and betrayed him to the Franks. Within a year, however, the Franks also imprisoned Svatopluk I. After the Moravians rebelled against the Franks Svatopluk I was released and led the rebels to victory over the Invaders. Although he was obliged to pay tribute to East Francia under the peace treaty concluded at Forchheim in 874, he was able to expand his territories outside the Frank’s sphere of interest in the following years. His forces even invaded the March of Pannonia within East Francia in 882. Svatopluk I established a good relationship with the popes, and he and his people were formally taken under the protection of the Holy See in 880. Pope Stephen V even addresed him as “King” in a letter written in 885. Svatopluk I seems to have wanted to appease the German clergy who opposed the conducting of the liturgy in Old Church Slavoic, and he expelled the disciples of Methodius from Moravia in 886, after their teacher’s death. Svatopluk’s state was a loose assemblage of principalities and also included conquered territories. Not longer after his death Svatopluk’s realm of Great Moravia collapsed in the midst of a power struggle between his sons and the intensifying Hungarian raids.
II. 로스티슬라프 1세(Rostislav I)의 외교 및 종교정책
III. 스바토플루크 1세(Svatopuluk I)의 외교 및 종교정책
IV. 제국의 몰락 과정