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Old 07-19-2014, 10:02 AM   #1
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Default The beginning of Slavic settlement in the Balkan peninsula

The beginning of Slavic settlement in the Balkan peninsula.

Already at the commencement of the third century A.D. we find Slavs settled between the Danube and the Balkan. A constant immigration was going on till the middle of the seventh century, as these hordes were more and more pushed southwards by new invaders from the East.

I found a couple of interesting excerpts (presented below), which I wanted to share with everyone. Admins, please feel free to move this to a different thread if required.

1) Excerpts from the History of the Byzantine Empire, A. A. Vasiliev
Link:
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/bo...e_vasiliev.htm

"As to the rather vague names of Getae and Scythians, the chroniclers of that period were not well informed about the ethnographic composition of the northern peoples; hence it is very likely that these were collective names, and historians consider it probable that some Slavic tribes were included among them. Theophylact, the Byzantine writer of the early seventh century, directly identified the Getae with the Slavs. Thus, during the reign of Anastasius, the Slavs, together with the Bulgarians, first began their irruptions into the Balkan peninsula. According to one source, “a Getic cavalry” devastated Macedonia, Thessaly, and Epirus, and reached as far as Thermopylae. Some scholars have even advanced the theory that the Slavs entered the Balkan peninsula at an earlier period. The Russian scholar Drinov, for example, on the basis of his study of geographical and personal names in the peninsula, placed the beginning of Slavic settlement in the Balkan peninsula in the late second century A.D."

2) The Westminster Review, Volumes 110-111
Link:
http://books.google.ca/books?id=nymg...alkans&f=false

Page 183

"Already at the commencement of the third century A.D. we find Slavs settled between the Danube and the Balkan. A constant immigration was going on till the middle of the seventh century, as these hordes were more and more pushed southwards by new invaders from the East."

3) The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 2, Edward Gibbon
Link:
http://books.google.ca/books?id=yL58...page&q&f=false

APPENDIX, Page 563

"... it is extremely likely, though it cannot be absolutely proved, that in the great settlements of non-German peoples, made in the third and fourth centuries in the Illyrian peninsula by the Roman Emperors, some Slavonic tribes were included. This is an idea which was developed by Drinov in his rare book on the Slavic colonization of the Balkan lands, and has been accepted by Jirecek. There is much probability in the view that Slavonic settlers were among the 300,000 Sarmatae, to whom Constantine assigned abodes in 334 A.D. It is an hypothesis such as, in some form, is needed to account for the appearance of Slavonic names before the beginning of the sixth century in the Illyrian provinces."


Quotes and excerpts below do not deal directly with the topic of Slavic migrations -- they only reveal thoughts and theories from historians and scholars who believed that the Sarmatians were ethnologically identical or closely related with the Slavs. I believe most of these historians lived and wrote prior to the formation->creation->acceptance of the "6th-7th cent. Slavic invasions".

4) British Association for the Advancement of Science -- Twenty-First Meeting; Held at Ipswich in July 1851: 20
Link:
http://books.google.ca/books?id=crtZ...onians&f=false

Page 145

"That the ancient Sauromatae or Sarmatians were ethnologically identical with the Sclavonians appears to me to be certain. The grounds on which Schafarik has maintained the contrary opinion do not amount to a valid argument."

5) A dissertation on the geography of Herodotus: with a map, Barthold Georg Niebuhr
Link:
http://books.google.ca/books?id=9Wg-...onians&f=false

Page 82: "But the Sarmatian Jazyges were Sclavonians, and the root of their name jazyk, "speech, language," corresponds exactly with the meaning of slovene"

Page 83: "... no one can doubt that the Sarmatians were Sclavonians"

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Old 02-15-2019, 12:05 AM   #2
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My post from 2014. I may be wrong, but I believe that the first Slavic settlements in the Balkan peninsula took place before the 6th century AD.

One of the reasons this may have happened earlier could be due to climate change.

URL:
https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/201...d-roman-empire

Climate change prodded the Huns to move, setting up a chain reaction

The Roman Empire in the fourth century, led now by Christian emperors, enjoyed a kind of second golden age. But it was not destined to last. In the last decades of the fourth century and the first decades of the fifth century, the empire suffered a series of military defeats unlike anything in its history — at the hands of the Goths. But the Goths, in turn, were prodded to move against the Romans because of an incursion into Europe of Huns, from central Asia.

New paleoclimate evidence helps to explain why the Huns suddenly moved West. The Huns were nomads, native to the great belt of steppe that stretches from Hungary to Mongolia, an arid zone that depends on westerly mid-latitude storm tracks for rain.

Tree rings suggest that a megadrought in the middle of the fourth century might have made these nomads desperate for greener pastures. As they migrated West, they terrified the highly developed kingdoms, such as those of the Goths, that had long existed along Rome’s frontier. Partly because of this climate-caused upheaval, the Goths challenged Rome’s frontiers as never before. Rome’s Western territories ended up being carved up and reconfigured as Germanic kingdoms.

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Old 02-16-2019, 04:55 AM   #3
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Carlin, according to your understanding, in which geographical area did Proto-Slavic develop and on what historical evidence do you base this view on?
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
Carlin, according to your understanding, in which geographical area did Proto-Slavic develop and on what historical evidence do you base this view on?
In general, I think the following is accurate although I am open to being proven wrong.



- Black Rectangle: Primary Slavic cradle
- Orange Area: First Slavic exodus - as early as 450 AD (if not earlier)
- Yellow Area: Second Slavic exodus - about 600-750 AD (possibly earlier)
- Green Stripes: Epicenter of second Slavic Palatalization 575-700 AD (?)


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Old 02-16-2019, 06:52 AM   #5
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In general, I think the following is accurate although I am open to being proven wrong.
So you consider the areas of eastern Poland, southern Belarus and north-western Ukraine as the cradle of Proto-Slavic. What evidence can you provide to support this?
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
So you consider the areas of eastern Poland, southern Belarus and north-western Ukraine as the cradle of Proto-Slavic. What evidence can you provide to support this?
What evidence can you provide to either refute this or support a theory that places the cradle of Proto-Slavs/Proto-Slavic elsewhere?


Archaeologists found traces of the cradle of the Slavs in Belarusian Polesie

URL:
http://scienceinpoland.pap.pl/en/new...n-polesie.html

Remains of a settlement of the Slavs` ancestors have been found during excavations in the Belorussian Polesie. People lived there from the 2nd to the 5th century AD. This confirms that the Slavs come from the Pripyat basin, believes archaeologist Dr. Vadim Belavec.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Balkan and South Slavic Conference
Banff, May 2008

Stefan STOJANOVIĆ (University of Toronto)

The homeland of Slavs in the light of names of trees (and fish)

This paper will test two hypothetical homelands, the generally accepted Middle Dnepr / West Ukrainian and the less likely Pannonian / Danubian homeland, against new evidences coming from names for trees (and, to a lesser extent, fish), usually not considered diagnostic and, thus, not discussed. The Vistula-Oder hypothesis of Tadeusz Lehr-Spławiński will not be considered since it contradicts all the evidence on the possible homeland of Slavs coming from dendronymy.

Such an approach is hardly new. The first to present this kind of evidence was Józef Rostafiński. Later, the correlation between distribution of tree species and the origin of their Slavic names became some of the most important evidences for the Middle Dnepr hypothesis, finding its best interpretation in Moszyński (1957). A similar attempt, this time for Proto-Indo-European homeland, was made by Paul Friedrich.

It will be shown that Slavs knew of only one species of oak, namely the common European oak, pointing to area east of the Carpathians, had words for spruce and fir which do not occur in Pannonia, knew of just one species of pine, which pushes them to the north or east, knew of just one species of ash (in Pannonia, three species of ash occur).

The paper will also use the evidence coming from three fish species (eel, originally occurring only in the Baltic watershed, wels and the common carp, originally only in the Black, Caspian and Azov See watersheds) and their areals, placing the homeland of Slavs between the Black and Baltic Sea watersheds, namely in the present-day Belarus.

The distribution of fir will then limit the potential homeland to the western Belarus.

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Old 02-16-2019, 11:52 AM   #7
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What evidence can you provide to either refute this or support a theory that places the cradle of Proto-Slavs/Proto-Slavic elsewhere?
Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. You created this thread. You made the statement. The onus is on you to support it with evidence rather than me to refute something which hasn't been proven. Let's test the validity of your theory. There will be time to discuss my thoughts on the subject.

Now, for the first reference you provided. The article suggests a direct link between the so-called Prague Culture and people who spoke Proto-Slavic. It also connects the even earlier finds in southern Belarus with the ancestors of such people. Are you able to explain exactly what these associations are based on? How has it been determined that these finds are directly tied to the people who spoke Proto-Slavic?

For your second reference, was there supposed to be a link to the paper somewhere? Apparently the homeland of the "Slavs" can be determined by names of trees and fish, placing them east of the Carpathian mountains. OK. Is that it? How about providing some further information on how this individual came to that conclusion?
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. You created this thread. You made the statement. The onus is on you to support it with evidence rather than me to refute something which hasn't been proven. Let's test the validity of your theory. There will be time to discuss my thoughts on the subject.

Now, for the first reference you provided. The article suggests a direct link between the so-called Prague Culture and people who spoke Proto-Slavic. It also connects the even earlier finds in southern Belarus with the ancestors of such people. Are you able to explain exactly what these associations are based on? How has it been determined that these finds are directly tied to the people who spoke Proto-Slavic?

For your second reference, was there supposed to be a link to the paper somewhere? Apparently the homeland of the "Slavs" can be determined by names of trees and fish, placing them east of the Carpathian mountains. OK. Is that it? How about providing some further information on how this individual came to that conclusion?
As far as I know it is pretty much an accepted fact that the Slavic migrations to the Balkans took place in the 6th-7th c. AD. I am proposing and believe (I could be totally wrong) that some Slavic settlements in the Balkans occurred even prior to 6th century, and have used a few releveant quotes, although strong evidence is almost non-existing. Epicenter of the second Slavic Palatalization likely happened from the 5th century, and it is very possible that this was taking place among the Slavs in the Balkans at this time.

1) The associations made by experts in this field are based on archaeological and written evidence:

- The system of settlements; on the territory occupied by Prague culture the distinctive form of dwelling is a square-shaped pit hut with a stove in one corner
- An economic model, dominated by agriculture
- The burial rite – cremations deposited in pits, urned or not, with little or no grave goods

http://www.mpov.uw.edu.pl/en/thesaur...peoples/slavs-

2) There is no link - I was not able to find. Sadly not everything is available online, although what I provided is a good summary of arguments. Perhaps, it's out there but I couldn't find it. I really think that determining or developing a hypothesis on the homeland of the Slavs can be done by linguistics - such as analyzing names of trees and fish (I don't see an issue there, do you?).
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:07 AM   #9
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As far as I know it is pretty much an accepted fact that the Slavic migrations to the Balkans took place in the 6th-7th c. AD.
Historical records suggest that certain peoples (named Sclavenes by the Romans) breached the Danube frontier and invaded south into the Balkans from the 6th century. I am not contesting that. My question to you is where the Proto-Slavic language first developed. So far you’ve provided the opinions of modern historians and an archaeologist without actually demonstrating how they came to their conclusions. If I wanted to read such opinions I could find them myself. The point of this exercise is to take a deep dive into the issue so we can validate such perspectives. If your views are reliant on these opinions and you haven’t adequately researched them yourself, then indicate as such. Rest assured that this isn’t an attempt on my part to put you a corner, I am genuinely interested in understanding the basis of certain beliefs that have become commonplace when discussing the Balkans.
Quote:
Epicenter of the second Slavic Palatalization likely happened from the 5th century, and it is very possible that this was taking place among the Slavs in the Balkans at this time.
Again, why is this likely? What is the notion based on?
Quote:
The system of settlements; on the territory occupied by Prague culture the distinctive form of dwelling is a square-shaped pit hut with a stove in one corner. An economic model, dominated by agriculture. The burial rite – cremations deposited in pits, urned or not, with little or no grave goods
How does any of the above provide insight into the language spoken by the inhabitants? Given that there was an invasion into the Balkans of the previously mentioned peoples from the 6th century, how much archaeological evidence south of the Danube exists that demonstrates distinctive commonalities with the Prague Culture? Given the “accepted fact” you mention above, one would assume there are hundreds, if not thousands of settlements in the Balkans which have remains that are the same as those of the Prague Culture. Where are they all?
What are you thoughts on Florin Curta's theory?
Quote:
I really think that determining or developing a hypothesis on the homeland of the Slavs can be done by linguistics - such as analyzing names of trees and fish (I don't see an issue there, do you?)
I agree, except at this stage I am reluctant to refer to a 'homeland of the Slavs' as it suggests a large group of people that were hitherto unheard of yet suddenly exploded onto the scene to occupy much of Europe. I don't agree with that. In any case, if you locate more information on the paper you cited above, please share it.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:50 AM   #10
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Are you a trained historian, linguist, or archaeologist (or all of the above)?

Do you feel competent enough to actually validate historical or linguistic theories? If so, I assume you have published some articles or books, and have the academic background behind you.

I managed to find the relevant links online.

THE HOMELAND OF SLAVS IN THE LIGHT OF NAMES OF SOME TREES AND FISH:
https://www.academia.edu/7074358/THE...TREES_AND_FISH

Further on the homeland of slavs in the light of names of some trees (elms, poplars and the aspen, and maples):
https://www.academia.edu/7074384/Fur...en_and_maples_

And one more - The Germanic loanwords in Proto-Slavic:
https://books.google.ca/books?id=0iW...0trees&f=false

I do find Florin Curta's theories interesting and brilliant. Today, we leave in a world where (I assume) experts from different disciplines can collaborate to do research. The field of DNA/genetic studies, as I have already mentioned and stated in a different thread, have seemingly demonstrated and obliterated Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian theories about the origins of Macedonians. In the following article Curta concludes that "Judging from the archaeological evidence, no Slavs have settled in Macedonia during the seventh century":
http://www.academia.edu/2292584/Were...tury_Macedonia

The late Serbian Historian Tibor Zivkovic thinks that the Slavs made up 2%-3% percent of the Balkan population (the rest were all natives - as a result the Slavic language was diffused mostly by language shift):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeKUHwaW1k4

Note that this does not change anything regarding the fact that Slavs migrated to the south, from their homeland (it is not that important whether or not Slavs were known by any specific names at this stage; there are many similar examples from history where actual peoples from antiquity or otherwise did not go by or call themselves certain names ascribed to them by modern dan historians).

Your stance that "I agree, except at this stage I am reluctant to refer to a 'homeland of the Slavs' as it suggests a large group of people that were hitherto unheard of yet suddenly exploded onto the scene to occupy much of Europe. I don't agree with that." is very interesting. Would you be able to elaborate why? I actually read a while back that Slavs were formed as a separate people, with unique language, relatively "late" by intermingling and coming together of Baltic, Iranian, and perhaps other elements (if I remember to find quotes/screenshots of this argument I will post it here).
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