Although the princedom of Great Moravia only lasted 170 years, this brief period of Czech history is of great importance. It brought foreign Christianity and agricultural revolution. That drew Middle Europe nearer to the rest of the world and made it economically stable.
In 831, Mojmir, a Moravian magnate, fought his Slovakian rival and took over the whole area from Bohemia to Slovakia and a part of today’s Hungary. Rastislav, his son, welcomed two scholars sent to him by the Byzantine emperor. Cyril and Method came to Moravia in 863. They were two exceptional thinkers, philologists and priests who used their mission to educate Czech people and spread literacy.
Rastislav’s nephew, Svatopluk, had close ties to the Francs. Rastislav considered him to be a traitor and tried to poison him. Svatopluk managed to escape and join forces with the Franc army. He defeated his uncle and became the most important Moravian ruler. He decided to take over the Franc model of Christianity and banished Method’s students. After this, he established an Archbishopric and built Velehrad, the seat of Moravian rulers..
A legend says that when Svatopluk was dying, he called for his three sons. He took three sticks and tried to break them at once, but he couldn’t. Then he easily broke each one separately. This is how Svatopluk tried to teach his sons to stay united for their country, but it didn’t happen. After his death there was a chain of weak rulers and in 907 the empire was destroyed by migratory Hungarian tribes who were at the time sweeping through Europe.