Although the text severely condemns the violence used by the Slavs in this rebellion, it also justifies their cause by laying the ultimate blame on the Duke and other nobles of neighbouring Saxony. By subjecting the population to excessive tribute and ‘grievous oppression’, they had provoked the Slavic peoples to ‘throw of the yoke of servitude, being forced to take up arms in defence of their freedom’.
What this example makes clear is that, whereas the Slavic tribes in the frontier region of the German Empire were politically speaking a subjugated people, the Church in fact considered them as equals in God’s grace. Consequently, the task of bringing the pagan Slavs into the fold of Christianity was eminently more important than short-term gains of political oppression. The Church was therefore quick to denounce ‘the violence inherent in the system’ in case of excessive repression.
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This blog is run by the students who organise the CMEMS Conference. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, one of the students will post a small sneak preview indicating the content of their conference presentation.