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Priceless Artefact
Historical Paths
Catalogue Number:  311
Stamp Design:  Dušan Grečner
Stamp Engraving:  Arnold Feke
Date of Issue:  November 17, 2003
Printing:  Postal Stationery Printing House, Prague, Czech republic
Print Technology:  Rotary-recess printing combined with recess printing
Size of Impression:  40.0 mm x 23.0 mm
Print Run:  175,000 pieces
FDC Motif:  Dušan Grečner
FDC Engraving:  Arnold Feke
Cancellation Design:  Dušan Grečner
FDC Printing:  TAB Ltd., Bratislava
FDC Print Technology:  Recess printing from flat plates
FDC Print Run:  6,000

As the Roman Empire slowly began to dwindle in the 3rd Century AD, Slovakia's forefathers started coming to the area to make their settlements in the fertile lands between the Carpathian mountains and the river Danube. This influx carried on during the next couple of hundred years and around 630 AD they tried to establish the foundations of a new state: Sam's Empire. The first prince and ruler of this area was Pribina. He erected the first church in 828 AD in present-day Nitra, thus his people became part of Europe's Christian civilisation. The Thessalonian brothers and missionaries to the Slavs: St. Cyril and St. Methodius, worked among the Khazars of Moravia, translating the scriptures into the local language. Methodius continued to teach Christianity in the vernacular throughout the Great Moravian Empire until his death. Unification of Moravia and Nitra in 833 AD, created the largest principality in central Europe which at its peak, under the Slav prince Svätopluk, had great material and cultural wealth. Not long after Svätopluk's death, the Great Moravian Empire collapsed - the short life of a Slovak State ended with the Slovaks remaining under Hungarian rule for the next millennium, in fact until 1918. This issue presents a part of the rich history of the Slovak Nation with its significant, artistic and cultural heritage. Depicted on the stamps are archaeological monuments from the 9th-10th centuries, a Cross (kaptorga) from Veľká Mača, the hilt from a double edged sword from Krásna nad Hornádom and Bronze Buttons from Nitra. On the FDC is a detail from Monomach's crown found in Ivánka pri Nitre. On the cancellation is a lunar pendant found in Nitra - Lupka.

Prof. Matúš Kučera

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