Who are the Slavs? - Citations and Sources

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  • Voltron
    replied
    Originally posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
    There is more than just admixture with other peoples that defines our separate ethnicities. Macedonian culture and language have developed for centuries on Macedonian territory.
    You need to revise your reasoning. Poles also have Germanic, Tatar and other influences.
    I never said they were 100% purebred, but the least compromised.

    That applies only to native Greek-speaking people in East Rome (the percentage of which is questionable during certain periods), and not to the significant number of Macedonian-speaking, Vlach-speaking and Albanian-speaking peoples (and others) that lived among and around them as neighbours for centuries. Take Greece's xenophobic assimilation policies of the 19th and 20th centuries out of the equation, and the Macedonians, Vlachs and Albanians in that country are no more Greek than a Haitian living in France is a Frenchman.
    Again, Vlachs and Arvanites simply do not make that much of an impact numbers wise. There were only condensed in certain areas. Vlachs are a unique case and the Arvanites are the only ones which we can say are Albanian based but even that is debatable to an extent. Macedonia probably is the only argument that can be used for numbers but only within the heart of Macedonia. Not in Thessaloniki or coastal areas.
    All in all, I think we have to be open to the fact that ethnicity can be switched if one wanted to. I mean if a Bulgarian tommorrow officially says he is Macedonian how many here would doubt him ? Or if I tommorrow identify myself as a Vlach would there be anybody that would dispute it ? I think sometimes we get caught up in technicalities and forget that we live in the Balkans. During the Byzantine and Ottoman era's this subject would be non-existant. Ethnicites do exist in their native form but can be aquired through time. Probably the reason why these debates never end because there just isnt a clear answer.


    In your opinion, how many native peoples in the Balkans were there during this period, how many invaders settled, which regions (Macedonia, Greece, Illyria & Thrace) did they settle by percentage, and how did you come to this conclusion?
    Statistically speaking Im not sure. Just what seems easier for me to accept. The simplest explanations are what I use.

    It is not the only explanation, like I mentioned before, there are socio-political factors that need to be considered. Several Latin toponyms also appeared in the Balkans after the Roman conquest, that doesn't mean that Latin-speaking peoples were numerically superior in each relevant region. What happened in the 6th century wasn't a collective effort to find new livingspace, it wasn't a conventional 'migration'. It is more appropriate to consider it an 'invasion' which led to some outposts and settlements. Similar examples can be found in the Roman conquest of Britain or the Islamic expansion into northern Africa, albeit with varying degrees of impact and consequences.
    Granted, it may be more complicated than a general bum rush to the Balkans. We do have references that Slavs were settled by the Byzantines themselves so it wasnt always an invasion. Also the lack of archeological evidence showing that there was a struggle implies peacefull settlement in some areas.
    Last edited by Voltron; 02-07-2012, 07:19 AM.

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    replied
    Originally posted by Voltron View Post
    Russians have Tatar, Swede influences. Macedonians and other South Slavic countries incorporate indigenous balkan elements than their northern couterparts.
    There is more than just admixture with other peoples that defines our separate ethnicities. Macedonian culture and language have developed for centuries on Macedonian territory.
    Thats why I said Poles represent the best of a Slav ethnos.
    You need to revise your reasoning. Poles also have Germanic, Tatar and other influences.
    Language itself is not enough, for this I agree with you like the example of Haiti you brought up. But when you add Location in the equation with Language than it strenghthens the position
    That applies only to native Greek-speaking people in East Rome (the percentage of which is questionable during certain periods), and not to the significant number of Macedonian-speaking, Vlach-speaking and Albanian-speaking peoples (and others) that lived among and around them as neighbours for centuries. Take Greece's xenophobic assimilation policies of the 19th and 20th centuries out of the equation, and the Macedonians, Vlachs and Albanians in that country are no more Greek than a Haitian living in France is a Frenchman.
    Not more than the Balkan populations but more than what most people would like to believe.
    In your opinion, how many native peoples in the Balkans were there during this period, how many invaders settled, which regions (Macedonia, Greece, Illyria & Thrace) did they settle by percentage, and how did you come to this conclusion?
    I do believe in the migration theory, to me its the only explanation that can justify so many toponyms all over the place.
    It is not the only explanation, like I mentioned before, there are socio-political factors that need to be considered. Several Latin toponyms also appeared in the Balkans after the Roman conquest, that doesn't mean that Latin-speaking peoples were numerically superior in each relevant region. What happened in the 6th century wasn't a collective effort to find new livingspace, it wasn't a conventional 'migration'. It is more appropriate to consider it an 'invasion' which led to some outposts and settlements. Similar examples can be found in the Roman conquest of Britain or the Islamic expansion into northern Africa, albeit with varying degrees of impact and consequences.

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  • Voltron
    replied
    [QUOTE]
    Originally posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
    A linguistic group cannot be linked with a single ethnicity. The Poles aren't even ethnically "aligned" to neighbouring Russians let alone distant Macedonians.
    Russians have Tatar, Swede influences. Macedonians and other South Slavic countries incorporate indigenous balkan elements than their northern couterparts. Thats why I said Poles represent the best of a Slav ethnos.

    For the various peoples in the areas controlled by East Rome, there was only one official language used in churches and schools. Don't try too hard to draw some fictitious ethnic affiliation because of this circumstance, such an overly simplistic perspective is devoid of logic.
    Language itself is not enough, for this I agree with you like the example of Haiti you brought up. But when you add Location in the equation with Language than it strenghthens the position

    If you're suggesting that there were more invaders than all of the Balkan populations put together, then you'd be wrong. You would have us believe that they were fewer in number only in the south, but that is because your point of view is flawed, as you've clearly demonstrated.
    Not more than the Balkan populations but more than what most people would like to believe. I do believe in the migration theory, to me its the only explanation that can justify so many toponyms all over the place.

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    replied
    Originally posted by Carlin
    I'm not aware of any differences between "Gaelic" and "Pictish", especially at such an early stage. Are you saying they were two different/distinct dialects of the same language?
    They are generally classified as distinct groups within the same linguistic family, if you're in possession of sources that suggest Pictish in Scotland was the same as Gaelic in Ireland, I would be interested to see them.
    Differences between various Slavic languages are a 'recent' development. Prior to the 1000s AD, the Slavs spoke three dialects at best: Western, Eastern, and Southern. It is questionable how distinct they were at this point, regardless of how various tribes referred to their dialects.
    I was speaking of the relation between the language(s) of the invaders and those of the local populations in the Balkans.

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  • Carlin
    replied
    Originally posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
    Before being known by its current name, Scotland was once known as Caledonia and peopled by tribes such as the Caledonii. These people spoke Pictish languages, which are part of a larger group of Celtic languages. Gaelic (Ireland) and Brythonic (Britain) are also Celtic languages and were spoken in areas which neighboured Pictish. See map below:



    After centuries of socio-political and other influences by Gaelic-speakers toward Pictish-speakers, Celtic peoples in Caledonia eventually adopted Gaelic in place of Pictish. The people in Scotland today, although representative of the ethno-cultural heritage of their Pictish forefathers and still using a Celtic language, actually speak a branch of Celtic that was developed in Ireland. Thus, it is not unknown for related languages belonging to the same broader family to displace, absorb or merge with one another when living in the same or neighbouring areas. Something similar to this happened in the Balkans, Danube regions and eastern Europe from the early medieval period.
    I'm not aware of any differences between "Gaelic" and "Pictish", especially at such an early stage. Are you saying they were two different/distinct dialects of the same language? Can you please provide some sources and links? Differences between various Slavic languages are a 'recent' development. Prior to the 1000s AD, the Slavs spoke three dialects at best: Western, Eastern, and Southern. It is questionable how distinct they were at this point, regardless of how various tribes referred to their dialects.

    Here is a passage from, again, Edward Gibbon. The Scots were simply 'men of the hills', whereas the Picts were men of 'the plain'. There was very little, if any, ethnic or linguistic differences between them.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume Two; Chapter XXV. The most important points are in Bold; footnotes are included as well.


    The fabulous colonies of Egyptians and Trojans, of Scandinavians and Spaniards, which flattered the pride, and amused the credulity, of our rude ancestors, have insensibly vanished in the light of science and philosophy. 108 The present age is satisfied with the simple and rational opinion, that the islands of Great Britain and Ireland were gradually peopled from the adjacent continent of Gaul. From the coast of Kent, to the extremity of Caithness and Ulster, the memory of a Celtic origin was distinctly preserved, in the perpetual resemblance of language, of religion, and of manners; and the peculiar characters of the British tribes might be naturally ascribed to the influence of accidental and local circumstances. 109 The Roman Province was reduced to the state of civilized and peaceful servitude; the rights of savage freedom were contracted to the narrow limits of Caledonia. The inhabitants of that northern region were divided, as early as the reign of Constantine, between the two great tribes of the Scots and of the Picts, 110 who have since experienced a very different fortune. The power, and almost the memory, of the Picts have been extinguished by their successful rivals; and the Scots, after maintaining for ages the dignity of an independent kingdom, have multiplied, by an equal and voluntary union, the honors of the English name. The hand of nature had contributed to mark the ancient distinctions of the Scots and Picts. The former were the men of the hills, and the latter those of the plain. The eastern coast of Caledonia may be considered as a level and fertile country, which, even in a rude state of tillage, was capable of producing a considerable quantity of corn; and the epithet of cruitnich, or wheat-eaters, expressed the contempt or envy of the carnivorous highlander. The cultivation of the earth might introduce a more accurate separation of property, and the habits of a sedentary life; but the love of arms and rapine was still the ruling passion of the Picts; and their warriors, who stripped themselves for a day of battle, were distinguished, in the eyes of the Romans, by the strange fashion of painting their naked bodies with gaudy colors and fantastic figures. The western part of Caledonia irregularly rises into wild and barren hills, which scarcely repay the toil of the husbandman, and are most profitably used for the pasture of cattle. The highlanders were condemned to the occupations of shepherds and hunters; and, as they seldom were fixed to any permanent habitation, they acquired the expressive name of Scots, which, in the Celtic tongue, is said to be equivalent to that of wanderers, or vagrants. The inhabitants of a barren land were urged to seek a fresh supply of food in the waters. The deep lakes and bays which intersect their country, are plentifully supplied with fish; and they gradually ventured to cast their nets in the waves of the ocean. The vicinity of the Hebrides, so profusely scattered along the western coast of Scotland, tempted their curiosity, and improved their skill; and they acquired, by slow degrees, the art, or rather the habit, of managing their boats in a tempestuous sea, and of steering their nocturnal course by the light of the well-known stars. The two bold headlands of Caledonia almost touch the shores of a spacious island, which obtained, from its luxuriant vegetation, the epithet of Green; and has preserved, with a slight alteration, the name of Erin, or Ierne, or Ireland. It is probable, that in some remote period of antiquity, the fertile plains of Ulster received a colony of hungry Scots; and that the strangers of the North, who had dared to encounter the arms of the legions, spread their conquests over the savage and unwarlike natives of a solitary island. It is certain, that, in the declining age of the Roman empire, Caledonia, Ireland, and the Isle of Man, were inhabited by the Scots, and that the kindred tribes, who were often associated in military enterprise, were deeply affected by the various accidents of their mutual fortunes. They long cherished the lively tradition of their common name and origin; and the missionaries of the Isle of Saints, who diffused the light of Christianity over North Britain, established the vain opinion, that their Irish countrymen were the natural, as well as spiritual, fathers of the Scottish race. The loose and obscure tradition has been preserved by the venerable Bede, who scattered some rays of light over the darkness of the eighth century. On this slight foundation, a huge superstructure of fable was gradually reared, by the bards and the monks; two orders of men, who equally abused the privilege of fiction. The Scottish nation, with mistaken pride, adopted their Irish genealogy; and the annals of a long line of imaginary kings have been adorned by the fancy of Boethius, and the classic elegance of Buchanan. 111

    108 (return)
    [ In the beginning of the last century, the learned Camden was obliged to undermine, with respectful scepticism, the romance of Brutus, the Trojan; who is now buried in silent oblivion with Scota the daughter of Pharaoh, and her numerous progeny. Yet I am informed, that some champions of the Milesian colony may still be found among the original natives of Ireland. A people dissatisfied with their present condition, grasp at any visions of their past or future glory.]

    109 (return)
    [ Tacitus, or rather his father-in-law, Agricola, might remark the German or Spanish complexion of some British tribes. But it was their sober, deliberate opinion: "In universum tamen aestimanti Gallos cicinum solum occupasse credibile est. Eorum sacra deprehendas.... ermo haud multum diversus," (in Vit. Agricol. c. xi.) Caesar had observed their common religion, (Comment. de Bello Gallico, vi. 13 and in his time the emigration from the Belgic Gaul was a recent, or at least an historical event, (v. 10.) Camden, the British Strabo, has modestly ascertained our genuine antiquities, (Britannia, vol. i. Introduction, p. ii.—xxxi.)]

    110 (return)
    [ In the dark and doubtful paths of Caledonian antiquity, I have chosen for my guides two learned and ingenious Highlanders, whom their birth and education had peculiarly qualified for that office. See Critical Dissertations on the Origin and Antiquities, &c., of the Caledonians, by Dr. John Macpherson, London 1768, in 4to.; and Introduction to the History of Great Britain and Ireland, by James Macpherson, Esq., London 1773, in 4to., third edit. Dr. Macpherson was a minister in the Isle of Sky: and it is a circumstance honorable for the present age, that a work, replete with erudition and criticism, should have been composed in the most remote of the Hebrides.]

    111 (return)
    [ The Irish descent of the Scots has been revived in the last moments of its decay, and strenuously supported, by the Rev. Mr. Whitaker, (Hist. of Manchester, vol. i. p. 430, 431; and Genuine History of the Britons asserted, &c., p. 154-293) Yet he acknowledges, 1. That the Scots of Ammianus Marcellinus (A.D. 340) were already settled in Caledonia; and that the Roman authors do not afford any hints of their emigration from another country. 2. That all the accounts of such emigrations, which have been asserted or received, by Irish bards, Scotch historians, or English antiquaries, (Buchanan, Camden, Usher, Stillingfleet, &c.,) are totally fabulous. 3. That three of the Irish tribes, which are mentioned by Ptolemy, (A.D. 150,) were of Caledonian extraction. 4. That a younger branch of Caledonian princes, of the house of Fingal, acquired and possessed the monarchy of Ireland. After these concessions, the remaining difference between Mr. Whitaker and his adversaries is minute and obscure. The genuine history, which he produces, of a Fergus, the cousin of Ossian, who was transplanted (A.D. 320) from Ireland to Caledonia, is built on a conjectural supplement to the Erse poetry, and the feeble evidence of Richard of Cirencester, a monk of the fourteenth century. The lively spirit of the learned and ingenious antiquarian has tempted him to forget the nature of a question, which he so vehemently debates, and so absolutely decides. * Note: This controversy has not slumbered since the days of Gibbon. We have strenuous advocates of the Phoenician origin of the Irish, and each of the old theories, with several new ones, maintains its partisans. It would require several pages fairly to bring down the dispute to our own days, and perhaps we should be no nearer to any satisfactory theory than Gibbon was.]






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  • Soldier of Macedon
    replied
    Originally posted by Voltron
    If the language I speak is derived from those very people that settled the balkans in the 6th century (more or less) than thats the ethnos that I would be aligned to.
    A linguistic group cannot be linked with a single ethnicity. The Poles aren't even ethnically "aligned" to neighbouring Russians let alone distant Macedonians.
    Language to me is where the difference lies and I dont believe that the Byzantine Empire had organized sunday schools for the Slavs to learn it.
    For the various peoples in the areas controlled by East Rome, there was only one official language used in churches and schools. Don't try too hard to draw some fictitious ethnic affiliation because of this circumstance, such an overly simplistic perspective is devoid of logic.
    I do not think they were a minority, I think they were more in numbers than most would like to believe and had spread out throughout the balkans by Byzantines setteling them here or forced incursions.
    If you're suggesting that there were more invaders than all of the Balkan populations put together, then you'd be wrong. You would have us believe that they were fewer in number only in the south, but that is because your point of view is flawed, as you've clearly demonstrated.

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  • George S.
    replied
    Artemi the greeks are just as slavic as the macedonians as the slavs came to greece as well.The facts are there they came to your hellas as well.

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  • Vangelovski
    replied
    Originally posted by artemi View Post
    the Slavs of FYROM
    Artemi, do you want to use the correct terminology...I have little patience for this BS anymore.

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  • Mygdon
    replied
    Originally posted by Voltron View Post
    That also would then apply to most if not all the South Slavic countries. I believe that the South Slavic countries are indeginous to the balkans just that as an ethnos they are aligned linguistically to the people that did arrive in the early centuries.
    there should be a big sign with that quote on the Macedonian/Greek border..

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  • Voltron
    replied
    Originally posted by artemi View Post
    dienekes pontikos

    4. Interestingly, the Slavs of FYROM have an R-M458 frequency of 3.8%, barely different from that of Greeks at large, suggesting that (i) the claims of some Greek nationalists that they Slavs of FYROM are newcomers to the Balkans are wrong, just as (ii) the claim of some FYROMian nationalists that they are markedly different from Greeks are wrong. The actual truth is that the Slavs of FYROM are largely of old Balkan (pre-Slavic) stock who adopted a non-Balkan Slavic language, just as the modern Turks are largely of old Anatolian (pre-Turkish) stock who adopted a non-Anatolian Turkic language.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...&ct=clnk&gl=at
    That also would then apply to most if not all the South Slavic countries. I believe that the South Slavic countries are indeginous to the balkans just that as an ethnos they are aligned linguistically to the people that did arrive in the early centuries.
    Last edited by Voltron; 02-03-2012, 06:12 AM.

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  • Mygdon
    replied
    Originally posted by Voltron View Post
    Greece still has a lot of toponyms in place. Its perfectly normal, I myself have posted numerous times of how many we have here. Its even on two of my earlier posts on the thread. Remember I said that Greece could of in fact been another member of the south slavic countries ?

    Now would that of made me Slav or my country Slavic ? Of course if would. If the language I speak is derived from those very people that settled the balkans in the 6th century (more or less) than thats the ethnos that I would be aligned to. Language to me is where the difference lies and I dont believe that the Byzantine Empire had organized sunday schools for the Slavs to learn it. I do not think they were a minority, I think they were more in numbers than most would like to believe and had spread out throughout the balkans by Byzantines setteling them here or forced incursions.
    dienekes pontikos

    4. Interestingly, the Slavs of FYROM have an R-M458 frequency of 3.8%, barely different from that of Greeks at large, suggesting that (i) the claims of some Greek nationalists that they Slavs of FYROM are newcomers to the Balkans are wrong, just as (ii) the claim of some FYROMian nationalists that they are markedly different from Greeks are wrong. The actual truth is that the Slavs of FYROM are largely of old Balkan (pre-Slavic) stock who adopted a non-Balkan Slavic language, just as the modern Turks are largely of old Anatolian (pre-Turkish) stock who adopted a non-Anatolian Turkic language.

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  • Voltron
    replied
    Carlin, the Sarmations are most likely today's Ukranians and Polish nobility even stated the descent from them. Although the latter is a debate. The Poles today represent the best example of a Slavic ethnos.

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  • Voltron
    replied
    Originally posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
    It is not all black and white, Voltron. Your argument is too simplistic and doesn't consider a number of other factors. Modern Greece would have had as much Slavic placenames as the rest of the Balkans at some point, and it very easily could have remained that way. Imagine it did. Would that make you 'Slavic' or mean that most of your ancestors today were at one point invading 'Slavs'?
    Greece still has a lot of toponyms in place. Its perfectly normal, I myself have posted numerous times of how many we have here. Its even on two of my earlier posts on the thread. Remember I said that Greece could of in fact been another member of the south slavic countries ?

    Now would that of made me Slav or my country Slavic ? Of course if would. If the language I speak is derived from those very people that settled the balkans in the 6th century (more or less) than thats the ethnos that I would be aligned to. Language to me is where the difference lies and I dont believe that the Byzantine Empire had organized sunday schools for the Slavs to learn it. I do not think they were a minority, I think they were more in numbers than most would like to believe and had spread out throughout the balkans by Byzantines setteling them here or forced incursions.

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  • Carlin
    replied
    The following is a quote from eminent historian Edward Gibbon, "History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire" (publication date 1776–89):

    The fame of a great enterprise excited the bravest warriors from all the Vandalic states of Germany, many of whom are seen a few years afterwards combating under the common standard of the Goths. The first motions of the emigrants carried them to the banks of the Prypec, a river universally conceived by the ancients to be the southern branch of the Borysthenes. The windings of that great stream through the plains of Poland and Russia gave a direction to their line of march, and a constant supply of fresh water and pasturage to their numerous herds of cattle. They followed the unknown course of the river, confident in their valor, and careless of whatever power might oppose their progress. The Bastarnę and the Venedi were the first who presented themselves; and the flower of their youth, either from choice or compulsion, increased the Gothic army. The Bastarnę dwelt on the northern side of the Carpathian Mountains: the immense tract of land that separated the Bastarnę from the savages of Finland was possessed, or rather wasted, by the Venedi; we have some reason to believe that the first of these nations, which distinguished itself in the Macedonian war, and was afterwards divided into the formidable tribes of the Peucini, the Borani, the Carpi, &c., derived its origin from the Germans. With better authority, a Sarmatian extraction may be assigned to the Venedi, who rendered themselves so famous in the middle ages. (The Venedi, the Slavi, and the Antes, were the three great tribes of the same people. Jornandes, c.24) But the confusion of blood and manners on that doubtful frontier often perplexed the most accurate observers. As the Goths advanced near the Euxine Sea, they encountered a purer race of Sarmatians, the Jazyges, the Alani, and the Roxolani; and they were probably the first Germans who saw the mouths of the Borysthenes, and of the Tanais. If we inquire into the characteristic marks of the people of Germany and of Sarmatia, we shall discover that those two great portions of human kind were principally distinguished by fixed huts or movable tents, by a close dress or flowing garments, by the marriage of one or of several wives, by a military force, consisting, for the most part, either of infantry or cavalry; and above all, by the use of the Teutonic, or of the Sclavonian language; the last of which has been diffused by conquest, from the confines of Italy to the neighborhood of Japan.

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  • Bill77
    replied
    Originally posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
    Modern Greece would have had as much Slavic placenames as the rest of the Balkans at some point, and it very easily could have remained that way. Imagine they did. Would that make you 'Slavic' or mean that most of your ancestors today were at one point invading 'Slavs'?
    Now you are torchering him with common sense. Now in his mind, there is a lack of consistency in his belief and perception. This is where Hysteria kicks in (in most cases) with these people.
    Last edited by Bill77; 02-02-2012, 07:10 PM.

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