Moravia (German Mahren, Slavic Morawa), a margraviate of the Austrian empire, especially interesting as being the chief seat of the Church of the United Brethren.
General Description. — Moravia, situated in 480 40'50° N. lat., and 150 10'-183 28' E. long., is bounded N. by Prussian and Austrian Silesia, E. by Hungary and Galicia, S. by the duchy of Austria, and W. by Bohemia, and contains in superficial area about 8555 square miles, with a population in 1882 of 1,997,897, divided about as follows: 450,000 are Germans, upwards of a million and a quarter Slavonians, and 50,000 belonging to other nations. The Slavonians of Moravia are composed of Zechs and Poles, the former of whom are inferior to their brethren in Bohemia, being an incorrigibly lazy, dirty people. The Moravian Poles, although less industrious and cultivated than the Germans, are a physically well- developed, courageous, and enterprising people. Moravia is a very mountainous country, and except in the south, where are extensive plains, the level above the sea is about 800 feet. Not more than half of the territory is arable. The more elevated parts are not fertile, and the climate is severe; but in the mountain valleys and on the southern plains the soil is remarkably rich, and the temperature more genial than in other European countries lying in the same parallel. Moravia produces largely for export fine crops of grain, also hops, mustard, potatoes, clover-seed, beet-root; and in the south, maize, grapes, chestnuts, and many other of the less hardy fruits and vegetables. The breeding of cattle and sheep, and the making of cheese from sheep's milk, constitute an important branch of industry; in the southern districts of the Hanna (a plain famous for its fertility), horses are bred for exportation. Geese and fowls are reared in large numbers for the sake of their feathers, and the keeping of bees is conducted with great success. The mineral products, which include gold, silver, iron, alum, saltpetre, coal, graphite, whetstones, sulphur, vitriol, pipe-clay, marble, topazes, garnets, and other precious stones, have not been made as available as they might have been. Some of the mines have been known since the 8th century. No gold or silver has been extracted since the 16th century, and the iron and coal mines are but little worked. The principal branches of industry are the manufacture of linen and thread, which now enjoy a European reputation, and leather goods, cotton, flannels and other woollen fabrics. Bruinn, the capital, is the chief emporium for the manufacturing trade, and Olmutz the principal cattle-mart.
Religion and Education. — Christianity was introduced among the Slavic nations as early as the reign of Charlemagne, SEE SLAVES, but the conversions then made were only transitory. In 863 the Holy Scriptures, the preaching of the Gospel and the service of the Christian religion as then practiced, were introduced to the Moravians in the Slavonic tongue by the Greek monks Cyrillus (Constantine) and Methodius, who became connected with Rome, but did not relinquish their peculiar Greek forms of worship. Methodius was consecrated at Rome archbishop of Moravia, and the Slavish forms of worship received the papal sanction (880), on the ground that God understood all languages, and should be worshipped by all nations. The efforts, however, to erect a distinct national Church met with continual opposition on the part of the German bishops, and finally, in 908, the Moravian kingdom was divided by the swords of the Hungarians and Bohemians. The Slavish ritual was kept up under these new rulers in only a few churches, and gradually the Romish practices were here the same as elsewhere (comp. Dobrowsky, Cyrill u. Methodius, der Slaven Apostel [Prague, 1823]). The Reformation made some inroads into the country, but as conformity to the Romish worship was enforced by law, many of the people holding the doctrine of the Reformation had to meet secretly for worship, and as opportunity offered fled into the Protestant states of Germany. This was especially the case with the Moravian Brethren (q.v.). The bulk of Moravians remain Romanists to this day, the Protestants only counting about 57,000, among whom the Lutherans and Reformed, who are the most numerous, have each a superintendent appointed by the state. There are also about 30,000 Jews, who, since 1848, have been freed from all oppressive obligations and restrictions. The Romanists have an archbishop, who resides at Olmutz, and a bishop, whose episcopal head-quarters are at Brunn. Both of these ecclesiastics are admitted to the provincial diet as members. The educational advantages of the country are exceptionally good. Until recently there was a university at Olmiitz. There are now twelve Catholic gymnasia, besides numerous parish schools, and about ninety-nine per cent. of the children of proper age attend school.
History. — Moravia was anciently occupied by the Quadi, who, on their migration in the 5th century to Gaul and Spain, were replaced first by the Rugii, next by the Heruli and Longobardi, and finally by a colony of Slavonians, who, on their settlement in the country, took the name of Moravians, from the river Morava. Charlemagne, who brought the people under nominal subjection after they had spread themselves over a territory greater than the present Moravia, constrained their king, Samoslav, to receive baptism. Moravia was made tributary to the German empire before the close of the century; but in 1029 it was incorporated with Bohemia, after having for a time been a prey to the incursive attacks of its Slavonic and Teutonic neighbors. At the close of the 12th century, Moravia was erected into a margraviate, and declared a fief of Bohemia, to be held from the crown by the younger branches of the royal house. On the death of Lewis II, at the battle of Mohacz, in 1526, Moravia, with all the other Bohemian lands, fell to Austria, in accordance with a pre-existing compact of succession between the royal houses. Since then it has shared the fortunes of the empire, and in 1849 was formally separated from Bohemia, and declared a distinct province and crown-land. See Dudik, Miahren's algem. Gesch. (Brin, 1860-65, 4 volumes, 8vo); Pilaret Morawitz, Moravian. Hist. Eccles. et Pol. (Brin, 1785 sq. 3 volumes, 8vo).