Византолошки институт САНУ (Србија)
ПОЛИТИЧКИ ПОЛОЖАЈ КОНАВАЛА У IX И X ВЕКУ
The Institute for Byzantine Studies of the SASA (Serbia)
THE POLITICAL STATUS OF KANALI (KONAVLI) IN THE 9TH AND 10TH CENTURIES
Page Range: 11–21
Abstract: In addition to the Serbs, Croats, Zachlumi, Terbouniotes, Diocletians and Arentani (Pagani), the works of Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (913–959) De administrando imperio and Vita Basilii also mention among the independent South Slavic communities the Kanalites, inhabitants of Kanali (Konavli), a tiny maritime region between Ragusa and the Bay of Kotor. The emperor usually mentions them and treats them as equal to all the above-mentioned tribes. However, unlike all the other tribes, De administrando imperio has no separate chapter for them. Instead, Kanalites are mentioned in the chapter dedicated to the Terbouniotes, as connected to them. Since much of the other information concerning the Kanalites deals with events of the 9th century, it was assumed that the Kanalites existed as a separate South Slav entity during the 9th century, but that they had lost their independence and had become part of Terbounia by the time Porphyrogenitus wrote De administrando imperio. However, the so-called “List of addresses” to foreign rulers, composed at the court of Constantine VII and his son and co-emperor Romanus II in 946 and preserved in the Book of ceremonies (Chapter II, 48), contains an address to the “prince of Kanali”, which testifies that there was an independent principality of the Kanalites at the very time of the composition of De administrando imperio. When we analyse some of the information on the Kanalites in De administrando imperio in that light, we are drawn to the conclusion that for Porphyrogenitus the existence of the Kanalites was indeed a reality of his own time, and not just a memory of the past. Thus, it could be possible that the reference to the Kanalites in connection to events of the 9th century was actualy an anachronism, meaning that data provided by the emperor should be used only with great caution and after thorough analysis.
Keywords: Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus; Kanali (Konavli); Kanalites; Terbounia; Terbouniotes; Serbs; Early Middle Ages.