Receiving Christianity in Poland, Bohemia and Hungary from the Ninth to the Eleventh Century Similarities and Differences in the Reception of Christianity and the Creation of the Higher Level of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy

Prijatie kresťanstva na poľskom, českom a uhorskom území v 9. - 11. storočí. Podobnosti a rozdiely v prijímaní kresťanstva a vo vytváraní vyššej cirkevnej správy

The present paper studies and compares the beginnings of the Bohemian (Moravian), Polish and Hungarian Christianity. From the above-mentioned peoples Christianity must have reached the Bohemians (Moravians) and the Hungarians as a result of the missionary activity supported first by the Carolingian empire, and after its fall by the Eastern Frankish Kingdom. With the Bohemians (Moravians) it meant direct contact and conversion, however, the Hungarians were only indirectly influenced by Christianity (with the occupation of the Carpathian basin). Yet it is important to emphasise that in the conversions the Bavarian church (with the leading role of Salzburg, with the participation of Passau, Regensburg and Freising) had significant successes in the period between the end of the 8th century and the end of the 9th century. The 10th century brought significant changes. The Hungarian conquest made the earlier organised missions impossible for a long time and it influenced the whole area of the Carpathian basin including the area inhabited by the Moravians. Among the Bohemians the Bavarian influence seems to dominate until the middle of the century. As a new element the case of the Polish mission appeared, but it emerged within the frames of the new German imperial church policy of Otto I. This latter had a crucial influence on the conversion and ecclesiastical system of all three peoples. From the 940/960s the centres of mission, the new dioceses – of the Polish (Poznań), of the Bohemians (Prague) or of the Hungarians (the centre is not known here) – could emerge only as the subordinates of the German church. In contrast, the years around the first millenium - as a result of Otto III's different church policy – lead to the basis of the formation of independent church in two cases (Polish, Hungarian). Using these early parallels we intend to show the similarities and differences by the beginnings of the Bohemian, Polish and Hungarian ecclesiastical systems.