Great Moravia is a controversial theme within Central European Medieval studies. Rather than being a standard subject of academic research it is a phenomenon that has been a constant in Central European modern political discourse. The idea that Great Moravia was the earliest state of Central European Slavs, which was a direct predecessor of the statehood of the Czech Přemyslids, the Polish Piasts and the Hungarian Arpads family, remains very much alive in the Central European region. The weak point of the earlier approaches consists in the fact that the state was taken to be an axiom, the existence of which was not questioned. The contemporary line of research examines Great Moravian statehood from a more critical point of view. Just as with modern European medieval studies it turns to ethnology as well as social and cultural anthropology, where it hopes to fi nd support for its interpretational models and new terminology.
Great Moravia; archaeology; early medieval statehood; early state; chiefdom