Samo (died 658, ruled 623–658) was a Frankish merchant from the "Senonian country" (Senonago) (probably modern Sens, France). The Franks or Frankish people (Franci or gens Francorum) were West Germanic tribes first identified in the 3rd century as an Ethnic group History Caesar mentions Agedincum in the territory of the Senones several times in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico, and the city retains This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics.  He established himself as a ruler of the Wends, establishing a supra-tribal union usually called Samo's empire, realm, kingdom, or tribal union. He is the first ruler over a Slavic polity known by name.
The main source of written information on Samo and his empire is the Fredegarii Chronicon, a Frankish chronicle written in the mid-seventh century (c. The Chronicle of Fredegar is a Chronicle that recounts the events of Frankish Gaul from 584 to around 641 660). Though theories of multiple authorship abounded once, the notion of a single "Fredegar" is common scholarly fare today.  The last or only Fredegar was the author of the brief account of the Wends in which is found the best, and only contemporary, information on Samo.
All other sources for Samo are derived from Fredegar, and are much more recent. The Gesta Dagoberti I regnis Francorum ("Deeds of King Dagobert I of the Franks") was written in the first third of the ninth century. The 9th century is the period from 801 to 900 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. The Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum ("Conversion of the Bavarians and Carantanians") from Salzburg (the Bavarian ecclesiastic centre), written in 871–872, is a very tendentious source, as its name suggests. is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. According mainly to the Conversio, Samo was a Carantanian merchant.
The sources "Fredegar" used to compile his Wendish account are unknown. A few scholars have attacked the entire account as fictitious, but Fredegar displays a critical attitude and a knowledge of detail that suggest otherwise.  It is possible that he had an eyewitness in the person of Sicharius, the ambassador of Dagobert I to the Slavs. Dagobert I (c 603 &ndash 19 January 639) was the king of Austrasia (623&ndash634 king of all the Franks (629&ndash634 and king of  According to Fredegar, the "Wends" had long been subjects and befulci of the Avars. The Caucasian Avars are a modern people of Caucasus, mainly of Dagestan. Befulci was a word, cognative with the word fulcfree found in the Edict of Rothari, signifying "entrusted [to guard]", from the Old German root felhan, falh, fulgum and Middle German bevelhen. The Edictum Rothari (also Edictus Rothari or Edictum Rotharis) was the first written compilation of Lombard Law, codified and promulgated  Fredegar appears to have envisaged the Wends as a military unit of the Avar host. He probably based his account on "native" Wendish accounts.  Fredegar records the story of the origo gentis (origin of the people) of the Wends. The Wends were Slavs, but Samo was only king of the Wends, at least in Fredegar's eyes. 
It has also been suggested that Fredegar's sources may have been the reports of Christian missionaries, especially disciples of Columbanus and the Abbey of Luxeuil. Not to be confused with St Columba, also Irish and partly his contemporary Luxeuil Abbey was one of the oldest and best-known monasteries in Burgundy, located in the " Département " of Haute-Saône in Franche-Comté  If this is the case, it may explain why he is remarkably free of typical stereotypes of heathen Slavs: he was familiar with the Wends as a specifically pagan nation. 
Samo's dates are based on Fredegar, who says that he went to the Slavs in the fortieth year of Chlothar II (623–4) and reigned for thirty five years. Chlothar II (or Chlotar, Clothar, Clotaire, Chlotochar, or Hlothar, giving rise to Lothair; 584 &ndash 629 called  The interpretation of Fredegar which places the start of Samo's reign in the year of his arrival has been questioned on the basis that the Wends would have most likely rebelled after the defeat of the Avar khagan at the First Siege of Constantinople in 626. The Caucasian Avars are a modern people of Caucasus, mainly of Dagestan. For other titles related to and uses of Khan, see that article Origin The title See Sieges of Constantinople for other sieges The Siege of Constantinople in 626 AD by the Sassanid Empire ended in a decisive victory  The Avars first arrived in the Carpathian Basin and subdued the local Slavs in the 560s. The Pannonian Basin or Carpathian Basin is a large basin in Central Europe. Samo may have been one of the merchants who supplied arms to the Slavs for their regular revolts. Whether he became king during a revolt of 623–4 or during the one which inevitably followed the Avar defeat in 626, he definitely took advantage of the latter to solidify his position.  A string of victories over the Avars proved his utilitas (usefulness) to his subjects and secured his election as rex (king).  Samo went on to secure his throne by marriage into the major Wendish families, wedding at least twelve women and fathering twenty-two sons and fifteen daughters. 
The most famous event of Samo's career is his victory over Frankish royal army under Dagobert I in 631 or 632. Dagobert I (c 603 &ndash 19 January 639) was the king of Austrasia (623&ndash634 king of all the Franks (629&ndash634 and king of Provoked to action by a "violent quarrel in the Pannonian kingdom of the Avars or Huns" during his ninth year (631–2), Dagobert led three armies against the Wends, the largest being composed of Austrasians under himself. Austrasia (rarely Austria, both meaning "eastern land" formed the north-eastern portion of the Kingdom of the Merovingian Franks, comprising  The Franks were routed near Wogastisburg (Latin castrum Wogastisburc), an unidentified location meaning "fortress/castle of Vogast. According to the contemporary Chronicle of Fredegar, the battle of Wogastisburg was a battle between Slavs ( Sclav cognomento Winidi) under Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. " In the aftermath of the Wendish victory, the Sorbian prince Dervan abandoned the Franks and "placed himself and his people under Samo" (Fredegar). Sorbs (Serbja Serby also known as Wends, Lusatian Sorbs or Lusatian Serbs, are a Slavic people settled in Lusatia Dervan or Derwan (Dervanus was an early prince of the Sorbs / Serbs (fl  Samo even invaded Frankish Thuringia several times and undertook looting raids there. The Free State of Thuringia (Freistaat Thüringen is located in central Germany.
In 641 the rebellious duke of Thuringia, Radulf, sought an alliance with Samo against his sovereign, Sigebert III. This is a list of the rulers of Thuringia, an historical and political region of Central Germany. Radulf was the Duke of Thuringia ( dux Thoringiae) from 632 or 633 (certainly before 634 until his death after 642 Sigebert III (c 630&ndash656/660 was the king of Austrasia from 634 to his death probably on 1 February 656, or maybe as late as 660  Samo also maintained long-distance trade relationships.  On his death, however, his title was not inherited by his sons.  Ultimately, Samo can be credited with forging a Wendish identity by speaking on behalf of the community which recognised his authority. 
Archaeological findings indicate that the "empire" was situated in present-day Moravia, Slovakia, Lower Austria and Carinthia. Moravia (Morava; Morawy Moravie Moravia is a historical region in central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, one of the former Czech lands. Slovakia (long form Slovak Republic; Slovak:, long form, is a Landlocked country in Central Europe with a population of over five million Lower Austria (Niederösterreich is one of the nine states or Bundesländer in Austria. Carinthia (Kärnten Koroška is the southernmost Austrian state or Land. The settlements of the later Moravian and Nitrian principalities (see Great Moravia) are often identical with those from the time of Samo's Empire. The Principality of Nitra or Nitrian Principality (Nitrianske kniežatstvo Nitriansko Nitrava is the name for a Slavic polity centered around Nitra Great Moravia (see Name section was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe from the 9th century to the early 10th century Present-day Bohemia probably, Sorbia at the Elbe surely, and state of Carantania temporarily, became parts of the empire later (in the 630s), as well. Bohemia (Čechy; Bohemia Czechy is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands, currently the Upper and Lower Lusatia Upper Lusatia ( Oberlausitz or Hornja Łužica) is today part of the German state of Saxony except for a small part east of The Elbe ( die Elbe Low German: de Ilv) is one of the major Rivers of Central Europe. Carantania, also known as Carentania (Karantanija Karantanien in old Slovene Onomastics Korotan) was a Slavic Principality Although the Slavs, led by King Samo, managed to defeat all Avar attacks, Slav conflicts with Frankish merchants, in which merchants were killed and goods stolen, forced them to fight against the Franks as well.
The history of the empire after Samo's death in 658 or 659 is largely unclear. It is generally assumed that it disappeared with Samo's death. Archaeological findings show that the Avars returned to their previous territories (at least to southernmost part of present-day Slovakia) and entered into a symbiosis with the Slavs, whereas territories to the north of the Avar empire were purely Slav territories. The first specific thing that is known about the fate of these Slavs and Avars, is the existence of the Moravian and Nitrian principalities in the late eighth century which were attacking the Avars, and the defeat of the Avars by the Franks under Charlemagne in 799 or 802–3, after which the Avars quickly ceased to exist. Charlemagne (ˈʃɑrlɨmeɪn Carolus Magnus or Karolus Magnus meaning Charles the Great) (747 – 28 January 814 was King of the Franks from 768 to his