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Year of birth unknown; died 658. Slavic prince (ruled 623–658).
Samo founded the first historically recorded political union of Western and South Slavs. It included Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, the lands of the Wends, and part of the lands of the Slovenes and Croats. According to the chronicle of Fredegari-us, Samo was a Frankish merchant; a number of modern historians are of the opinion that he was a Slav. In 623 he headed a successful revolt of the Slavs against the Avars, after which the Slavs elected him prince. He waged victorious wars against the Avars and the Franks. In 631 he defeated the Franks, who were allied with the Alamanni and the Lombards, at the battle of Wogastisburg. Samo’s forces invaded the Frankish kingdom, and captured territory in Thuringia. The political union created by Samo disintegrated after his death. Specialists in Slavic studies disagree as to the nature of this union. Some historians believe it was a federation of tribes; others believe it was a state.
a people living on both sides of the border between Upper Volta and Mali, in the areas surrounding Bobo-Dioulasso and Sikasso. There are approximately 150,000 Samo in Upper Volta and more than 40,000 in Mali (1970, estimated). The Samo language is a member of the southern group of the Mande family of languages. Most Samo retain their tribal religious beliefs; some are Muslims. Their principal occupations are crop cultivation (millet, Indian corn, and peanuts) and livestock raising.