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Carniola (Slovenian: Kranjska; German: Krain) is the name of a historical and traditional region of central Slovenia. Carniola was originally established as the Margraviate of Carniola, which was reconstituted as the Duchy of Carniola in 1590. Carniola formed one of the princial crown lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and with the end of the First World War and the partition of the empire, Carniola was dissolved and became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and later Yugoslavia, eventually passing to Slovenia with the breakup of the latter in the 1990s. The originally capital of Carniola was Kranj (Krainburg) but was later moved to Ljubljana (Laibach).

Ancient History of CarniolaEdit

Carniola during pre-Roman times was inhabited by the Taurisci in the north, the Pannones in the southeast, and the Iapodes (also called the "Carni") in the southwest. Not much is mentioned of ancient Carniola. The Roman Emperor Augustus attacked the Pannones, allies of the Dalmatians, in 35BC, although it was not until 9BC that the Pannonians were subjugated and organized as part of the Province of Illyria.

The tribes of Carniola rose in rebellion with the Illyrians in AD7, and were only pacified after a hard-fought two year campaign led by Tiberius and Germanicus. The northern portion of Illyria including Carniola was partitioned into the separate Province of Pannonia, which required a large station of legions in the territory due to its close proximity to dangerous tribes such as the Quadi and the Marcomanni.

Pannonia was divided into two provinces, Pannonia Inferior and Pannonia Superior, sometime during the first and second Dacian Wars (AD102 - 107) by the Emperor Trajan. The Emperor Diocletian again divided the provinces into four with most of Carniola going to Pannonia Savia. Diocletian also removed parts of Carniola from Pannonia and attached them to Noricum Mediterrania. Probus and Galerius had many of the forests of Carniola cut down. The land was fairly productive and it exported oats and barley.

Early Medieval History of CarniolaEdit

The territory of Carniola passed to the Eastern Roman Empire with the final east-west partition of the empire in AD395. The Emperor Theodosius II gave the territory to the Huns, and after the death of Attila it passed to the Ostrogoths (456). Odoacer conquered the region in 471, but the Ostrogoths reconquered it and Italy in 493 under King Theodoric II the Great. In 530 the area was conquered by the Lombards, and during the 6th Century the Slovenes migrated to the region, calling it "Carniola", meaning "little Carnia after the ancient Carni tribe which inhabited the region.

The Avars conquered the territory during the 560s, but the Slovenes threw off the Avar yoke and joined the Confederacy of Samo. Carniola became part of the Principality of Karantania following Samo's death in 658. Karantania eventually weakened, and it became diplomatically dependant on the Bavarians in 745. Carniola became part of the Frankish Empire in 788. When Charlemagne created the Duchy of Friuli, he attached to it a portion of Carniola, although most of it was attached to the Margraviate of Carinthia, which was made under the Duchy of Bavaria, and had its capital at Kranj. From 876 the Margraves were made subject to the Duchy of Carinthia. Carniola was divided into many fiefs: Cilli, Andechs-Meran, Babenberg, and Goritzza were prominent secular rulers, and Freising, Aquileia, Brixen, and Lavant were prominent ecclesial rulers.

Margraviate and Duchy of Carniola (1054 - 1918)Edit

The Margraviate of Carniola was established in 1054 with Ulrich I made Margrave under the Duchy of Carinthia. In 1071 King Henry IV made the Patriarchs of Aquileia the overlords, and with the extinction of the line of Margraves in 1108 the patriarchs took over the governorship. The patriarchs ruled for over 150 years until Frederick II the Warlike of Austria was invested with the fief in 1245 by Patriarch Berthold of Meran. After Frederick died the following year, Duke Ulrich III of Carinthia succeeded him in Carniola.

Ulrich III willed his territories, inclusive of Carniola, to King Ottokar II of Bohemia in 1268. Ottokar though became embroiled in a dispute with King Rudolph I of Habsburg over the election to the German kingship. Rudolph defeated Ottokar and deprived him of all his territories, less Bohemia and Moravia, in 1276. Carniola was leased to Count Meinhard II of Tyrol in 1282, passing to his descendants. After the last male of the House Henry died in 1335, he had reached agreement with King Louis IV of Upper Bavaria that his daughters would gain his lands. However Louis reneged and dispersed all his lands (except Tyrol) between members of the Habsburg dynasty.

The Habsburgs continued to rule Carniola, with few exceptions, until the end of the First World War. Habsburg rule was unpopular, and sporadically there were revolts from the 14th Century until the 18th. The most significant revolt was the Croatian and Slovenian peasant revolt of 1573 were the peasantry of Carniola and peasants in Croatia and Carinthia rose in rebellion against oppressive feudal lords. The Slovenes initially embraced the Reformation but the Emperor Ferdinand I successfully suppressed it and used the tactics to crush Protestant conversions in other parts of the Empire.

In 1797 Carniola was occupied by the French during the Napoleonic Wars, and again from 1805. The Habsburgs were forced to cede Carniola to France in 1806 by the Treaty of Vienna, and it formed part of the Illyrian Provinces. In 1813 the Austrians recaptured Carniola, and by the Congress of Vienna were reconfirmed. The Slovenes were influenced by the French Revolution during the 19th Century. The Slovene language was codified and Slovene nationalist movements were created, of note was the United Slovenia. In 1849 the Habsburgs reorganized the territory and made it as a crownland of the Austrian Empire.

Slavic Carniola (1918 - present)Edit

After the end of World War I, the Slovenes united with the Croats and Serbs to form the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (29 October) and then the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1 December) under Peter I of Serbia. Carniola was dissolved as a separate entity. The Kingdom was renamed "Yugoslavia" in 1929. Nazi Germany, Italy and Hungary divided the territory of Slovenia between themselves during the Second World War. With Germany's defeat, Slovenia became a constituent republic of Yugoslavia under Josip Broz Tito. Slovenia formed the richest and most advanced of the republics. It seceded from Yugoslavia in 1990, officially declaring independence on 25 June 1991. Slovenia was spared the bloody warfare and devastation seen in the other parts of Yugoslavia during the Balkan War.

See alsoEdit

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