Czechast about Great Moravia Part 1

Baptism presentation

Czechast visits a very special place: the Monument of Great Moravia – Cyril and Methodius Center in Staré Město near Uherské Hradiště.

Don Sparling in the Monument of Great Moravia | Photo: Vít Pohanka,  Radio Prague International

Czechast visited the Monument with a very special guest, Don Sparling, an emeritus professor of Masaryk University. Don is not just a scholar; he's a Canadian who has made Brno, our vibrant second city, his home. If you’re curious about how he got there, look up and listen to one of our past episodes of Czechast, which Don and I recorded in one of Brno’s cafes. As a former head of the International Department and a passionate history buff, Don brings a unique perspective to our journey through time:

Archeological findings from the time of Great Moravia | Photo: Vít Pohanka,  Radio Prague International

"The common mistake people make about history is that they think it is about the past. History isn't about the past. History is about how we in the present interpret the past. And taht depends very much on the society and the context we are living in. But it is also about the furture, because, obviously, if you interpret history in a certain way you are hoping that the next generations will also see it that way."

The Great Moravian Empire, as people in Moravia and Bohemia chose to call it, lasted less than a century, from 833 to about 907 Common Era, has left an indelible mark on the national identity, especially in Moravia—long before Brno, today its metropolis, came to prominence:

A river dugout from the time of Great Moravia | Photo: Vít Pohanka,  Radio Prague International

"The actual name Brno comes from an old slavic word meaning 'mud', or "muddy". So, Brno in English is something like 'Mudtown' or 'Mudville'".

Since Don’s interests and historical outlook are much broader, we also touched on what history really means to people and how the interpretation of the past in his own native Canada has changed during his lifetime.

So, whether you’re a history aficionado or just curious about the past that shapes our present, join us as we uncover the layers of stories buried right here, in the heart of Moravia.

Monument of Great Moravia in Staré Město u Uherského Hradiště | Photo: Vít Pohanka,  Radio Prague International
Author: Vít Pohanka
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  • Czechast

    Czechast is a regular RPI podcast about Czech and Moravian culture, history, and economy.