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Samo of Senonago (Franconia), boh. Sámo, *??? - †658

Sámo was a merchant born in the Senonian country (Senonago) (Sens in France??). He was the first known ruler of the Slavs and the founder of the so-called Sámo's Empire, the first known organised community of the Slavs.

The information about Sámo originate in Fredegar's chronicle, the only contemporaneous source mentioning Sámo: Samo, a Frank by birth from the Senonian province. It is recorded that the Frankish ruler Samo had twelve Wendish wives and with them twenty-two sons and fiftenn daughters.

Sámo seems to be one of the merchants who supplied arms to the Slavs for revolts against Avars. During a Slavic revolt in 623, Samo joined the Slavs, the Avars were defeated under his leadership, and the Slavs made him their ruler.

In 631, the Franconian king Dagobert I sent three armies against Sámo to punish the violence done on Franconian merchants. These armies were beaten at the castle Wogastisburg by Sámo. As a result, Sámo himself invaded Thuringia several times and undertooking looting raids there. The Sorbian prince Dervan joined Samo after this success.

The history of the empire after Sámo's death in 658 (or 659) is largely unclear. It is generally assumed that it disappeared with Sámo's death. Archaeological findings show that the Avars returned to their previous territories and entered into a symbiosis with the Slavs. The first more specific thing that is known about the fate of these Slavs and Avars, is the existence of the Moravian and Slevan principalities in the late 8th cc EC, which were attacking the Avars, and the defeat of the Avars by the Franks under Charlemagne in 799, after which the Avars in Europe quickly ceased to exist.

previous known ruler predecessor Slavic prince successor next known ruler
Sextus Virius Grecus, 266–270 N / A 623-658 N / A Vonomír ca 795