Skip to main content

Religiopolitics - the Imperium Christianum and its Commoners (REPLICO)


The Ottonian dynasty (919-1024) faced increasing threats along the borders of the Holy Roman Empire; Magyars, Slavs, Vikings and Muslims threatened its political integrity. Conventional historiography will tell us that the Ottonians had a surprisingly effective solution that changed Europe at its core at the end of the first millennium: the founding of bishoprics near the borders of the Empire. This involved sending missionaries and eventually integrating their neighbours into the Imperium Christianum. The decisive role of the aforementioned bishoprics in this process is undeniable. However, the direct impact on the rural population – which made up the largest part of society – was primarily through the network of local churches formed in this process.

The REPLICO project focuses on this often overlooked part of the population to investigate how the changes in the top political and ecclesiastical organisations affected the development of the local church network and how the different strategies worked in integrating the Slavic population in the north.

The project first compiles and analyses a database of archaeological and historical data from the 10th to 12th centuries from present-day Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. These data will then be analysed with beyond-state-of-the-art tools such as geospatial and geostatistical analysis, including machine learning. The final goal is to create a historical interpretation.

Research Project