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Old 10-05-2011, 08:00 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Onur
Obviously, they were allies of the huns otherwise they couldn't settle in Pannonia/Danube together with Avars in 6th century cuz they wouldn't be tolerated by them.
The people who came to be referred to as 'Slavs' were already in Pannonia before the Huns and Avars migrated to the area.
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It`s most likely that this term invented by Romans and slavs themselves just started to adopt this term after 9th century.
And the Slavs just so happened to find a perfectly plausible etymology for their own name after the fact? Unlikely. What is more likely is that the Romans heard the name which these people were calling themselves north of the Danube and recorded it according to Latin and Greek pronounciation. For a period of time later, the name was also applied to others in their vicinity, but the actual people who spoke Slavic as a native language were the most significant in terms of influence and numbers before they established themselves south of the Danube. Afterwards, the Paleo-Balkan peoples merely adopted Slavic as a tongue related to their own.
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Are you sure about that SOM?
Positive. Are you doubting the history of Balkan toponymy?
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I know that there are many Persian and Turkic titles and placenames in Balkans much earlier than Ottoman era.
You should also know that they are numerically insignificant when compare to Slavic placenames.
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Some words as you think as slavic might be Turkic like "zupa, zhupan, dushan, kocani, temirov, aldomir, Asen and variations of kuman" or Persian words.
The name 'dushan' comes from 'duh', 'dusha', etc, it means 'spirit' in Slavic languages.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:24 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
Among the people north of the Danube who came to be identified as 'Slavs' and their language as 'Slavic', that is exactly what it was.
When were they first labelled "Slav" {I don't think the term 'identified' is appropriate, given that there is no evidence as to what they called themselves}, and by who? What did the user of the term mean by it at the time?

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Originally Posted by SoM
Although forming a natural boundary, the Danube was hardly a hindrance for cultural interaction between the peoples on both sides - for example, Thracians and Illyrians had historically lived on both sides. When the Slavs began to establish the 'Sclavinias' south of the Danube from the 6th century onwards, these political and cultural elements (together with the language) naturally had an impact on the indigenous peoples that inhabited the area. The common linguistic background between the language of the invading Slavs and that of the Paleo-Balkan peoples facilitated the adoption of Slavic, thus extending its use as a lingua franca in a chain of autonomous enclaves that stretched from the Peloponnese to central and eastern Europe.
Who are you talking about when you use the term "Slavs" here, SoM, and why are you using that term specifically? Why not be true to the sources?

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Originally Posted by SoM
The 'Sclavinias' never united into one large state and they lacked the literature to efficiently educate people in the Slavic language - yet, the language was quickly adopted. I consider the spread of Arabic to have underwent a similar process in North Africa, where its adoption was also facilitated by a common linguistic background, in this case with other Semitic and Afro-Asiatic languages like Phoenician and Egyptian.
Where does the term 'Sclavinias' come from and what does it mean?

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It's not only possible, it's a certainty. Old Macedonian from the 9th century was based on the Slavic language (and a Paleo-Balkan substratum) which was brought with the invaders of the 6th century - and those invaders originally came from the regions where Cyril and Methodius later went to spread their literature.
There is no evidence of that SoM. Its based on conjecture and speculation, possibly some vague analogues but that is it.

If we follow your logic, the Macedonians are Slavs, the descendants of 6th century invaders?
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:35 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Onur View Post
The word "slavs, sclavinians" are just loose terms invented by the Romans. They used this term to refer people in Balkans and central Europe who came there with and after hunnic/germanic expansion after late 4th century. Obviously, they were allies of the huns otherwise they couldn't settle in Pannonia/Danube together with Avars in 6th century cuz they wouldn't be tolerated by them. The ones, who were hostile against Huns migrated/escaped as far as Spain, like Visigoths did but only the ones who were ally of them was able to settle in Balkans.
I am not sure "who" first used the term "Slav". If I can find that out and find out, at the same time, what they meant by it we would come a long way in unravelling the riddle and doing justice to the events of the time.

I was lucky enough to read some of the sources in their original Greek, and no one uses the term "Slavs" to describe these invaders.

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Originally Posted by Onur
] It`s most likely that this term invented by Romans and slavs themselves just started to adopt this term after 9th century. These so-called slavic people were consisted of various tribes from Eurasia and Balkans, probably speaking similar languages and developing that mutual tongue by intermarrying between each other.
You see, contrary to what SoM is proposing I don't think the people ever used such a term to describe their language, or even a common language. This proposition, seems to be anachronistic [although its not really my area] and that the term 'slovo' is a recent invention, used to describe some kind of commonality [linguistics]. If that is true, then it is simply a new word created to help us explain the Western interpretation of people, places and events in Eastern Europe. If all it does is help us understand a Western interpretation of ourselves, it is of no historical value except perhaps as an example of how a people can take on foreign terms, and names for themselves, because they don't no any better.

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Old 10-06-2011, 10:13 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
Foreign sources mention 'Sklaveni' and 'Sclaveni', later the 'k' and 'c' are dropped from the word to read as 'Slaveni', which is where the English equivalent comes from.
The original sources mention "Sklavoi" and "Sklavenoi".

My question I guess is how and when, and by who do these words change, and when the change happens who or what are they describing?

Can you see my point? It is one thing using one term to describe an invading army of the 6th century [with no more information that that], and then many centuries later change the word, and claim now that its meaning has expanded to include much more.

If one term is describing an invading army, and the other [4 centuries later] is describing something else entirely [?] [new meaning has been designated to it], then we are talking about two entirely different meanings, objects and events. The connections one draws can literally be made up, unverified, unsubstantiated and with no evidence.

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Originally Posted by SoM
In Slavonic literature itself, which begins at the end of the 9th century AD, the term used is 'Sloveni'. It would be very far-reaching to suggest that there is no continuity and relation between the above terms. Just because some Turkic and Iranian groups were also referred to by this name in the earlier sources doesn't mean that the whole picture is distorted.
I can understand how an entire corpus of knowledge, and history has come to be identified as 'Slavic' [hence, 'Slavonic literature'].

If 6th century 'Sklavenoi' and 9th century 'Sloveni' are related, how are they related? All we have hear is a semantic resemblance, if there is no more information on the original 'Sklavenoi'. Do you see the point? Over the centuries people have been able to make it up as the go along, adding all kinds of "grafts" to the identity and name of 6th century invaders, but with not a single shred of contemporary evidence.

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Originally Posted by SoM
There is little ambiguity as to what language the majority of people in the 'Sclavinias' came to speak between the 6th-8th century AD. If you think there is no evidence, can you show me where all of the Slavic-sounding placenames are located in the Balkans prior to the 6th century AD?
'Sclavinias' is it Latin? When does it first appear and what does it mean?

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Originally Posted by SoM
I understand where you're coming from, but if the people involved in this discussion are able to adequately articulate and provide distinction when and where necessary, then I don't see it as being a problem. Your whole argument seems to rest on certain cases where the term was applied to people who didn't speak a Slavic language (or who didn't speak it as a native tongue). If this was as significant as you're trying to suggest, then where are all of the Germanic, Turkic and Iranian placenames in the Balkans from the 6th century AD and onwards? Why are there overwhelmingly Slavic placenames during this period? How did they come about?
Distinction is necessary, and the key I think. In this day and age, the term "Slavic" is used to describe a language. I can accept that. But the use of the term and its application does not help us understand the people who used their language [not to be confused with 'Slavic'], or the places. In fact it blurs our look at these people and places, because it is not how they understood themselves to be, it is how foreigners saw them and labelled them. I can see where you have made assumptions, and I can see the gaps in your thinking. Trying to create some kind of historical continuity as to the meaning of the term 'Slav' and what its actually describing is fraught with perils, SoM.

Calling Macedonian words "Slavic" tells us nothing about the Macedonians, and their language except what our enemies want people to know. Where is the Macedonian evidence that historically they called themselves 'Slavs'? I think you'll find foreigners called them that.

I can never accept a term such as "Slavic" which can shift so indefinitely over the centuries to mean many different things, and describe people, events, places that have absolutely no connection to one another. Particularly in the blanket, ubiquitous way you use it. I'll reply to other points, in the next week.

Last edited by Pelister; 10-06-2011 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:44 AM   #115
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I wrote about this earlier somewhere, not sure. Anyhow, the reason why Romans wrote Sklavenoi or Sclavi, i.e. why include k or c, or even th as in Greek Sthlavenoi, is due to Slavic pronunciation of their name itself. The L in Slovšni is the velarized alveolar lateral approximant or "Dark L". In pronunciation it sounds like KL or THL, and that is how the Romans and Greeks heard it the first time. It changed to a regular L, alveolar lateral approximant, somewhere past the 9th century AD, since in OCS it is still velarized, which means it was so in the Macedonian dialect it was based upon. Only Slavic dialects that still have the Dark L are in eastern Poland and west Belarus, and they use the letter Łł to write it down. The Dark L is pronounced exclusively only in front of back vowels: o, u, a, just like in Slovšni.

As for A in Sclavi and not O as in Slovšni, this is due to Slavic back vowels actually being much deeper than Romance or Germanic ones, so Slavic O would sound like an A to a Roman, and the Slavic A would be deeper than a Romance A but they would still had to transcribe it as an A, since they have no letter for it (nor does one exist even today). Eastern Slavic languages still preserve the deeper pronunciation of the back vowels.

Slavic š or more commonly ě, in Cyrillic ѣ, corresponds mostly to E in Romance or Germanic languages, hence why they wrote it down as such. It evolved into several different sounds in later Slavic languages: e, je, ije, i, a, ja.

The change from Sclaveni to Sclavi to Slavi is more of a trend, and follows the native evolution of the changing of the sounds in the name itself.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:07 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Delodephius
I wrote about this earlier somewhere, not sure. Anyhow, the reason why Romans wrote Sklavenoi or Sclavi, i.e. why include k or c, or even th as in Greek Sthlavenoi, is due to Slavic pronunciation of their name itself. The L in Slovšni is the velarized alveolar lateral approximant or "Dark L". In pronunciation it sounds like KL or THL, and that is how the Romans and Greeks heard it the first time. It changed to a regular L, alveolar lateral approximant, somewhere past the 9th century AD, since in OCS it is still velarized, which means it was so in the Macedonian dialect it was based upon. Only Slavic dialects that still have the Dark L are in eastern Poland and west Belarus, and they use the letter Łł to write it down. The Dark L is pronounced exclusively only in front of back vowels: o, u, a, just like in Slovšni.

As for A in Sclavi and not O as in Slovšni, this is due to Slavic back vowels actually being much deeper than Romance or Germanic ones, so Slavic O would sound like an A to a Roman, and the Slavic A would be deeper than a Romance A but they would still had to transcribe it as an A, since they have no letter for it (nor does one exist even today). Eastern Slavic languages still preserve the deeper pronunciation of the back vowels.

Slavic š or more commonly ě, in Cyrillic ѣ, corresponds mostly to E in Romance or Germanic languages, hence why they wrote it down as such. It evolved into several different sounds in later Slavic languages: e, je, ije, i, a, ja.

The change from Sclaveni to Sclavi to Slavi is more of a trend, and follows the native evolution of the changing of the sounds in the name itself.
I was looking for that post, thanks Slovak.
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Originally Posted by Pelister
When were they first labelled "Slav" {I don't think the term 'identified' is appropriate, given that there is no evidence as to what they called themselves}, and by who? What did the user of the term mean by it at the time?
The Zitie Metodii (Life of Methodius) was written at the end of the 9th century by his student, Saint Clement of Ohrid. This would be one of the earliest references to the term 'Slavs' (transliterated as 'slovjani' in the below text that was converted to the Latinica alphabet) by a Macedonian in relation to people and language.
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Rostislav’ knez’ sylvan’s’ s’ Svjetop’lk’m’ pos’lasta iz Moravy k’ Cjasarju Mixailu glagoljushta tako: jako bozhijeju milostiju s’dravi jesm’ i sut’ v’ ny v’sh’li uchitele mnozi kr’stijani iz Vlah’ i iz Gr’k’ i iz Njam’c‘, uchashte ny razlich‘, a my Slovjani prosta chad’ i ne imam‘........vy bo jesta Selunjenina, da Selunjene v’si ch’sto slovjan’sky besjadujut‘.........
In the above excerpts Clement paraphrases Rostislav of Moravia by saying 'my Slovjani' (us Slavs). He also cites Michael III of East Rome in his statement to Cyril and Methodius by saying 'Selunjene v’si ch’sto slovjan’sky besjadujut‘' (all Salonikans speak pure slavonic). The term 'identified' is appropriate so long as it is understood in a linguistic sense.
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If 6th century 'Sklavenoi' and 9th century 'Sloveni' are related, how are they related?
In most sources (except those where 'Sklavenes' may perhaps also refer to Turkic and/or Iranian tribes), they are related by language. In the 10th century, which is after the earliest records of Slavic-speaking people calling themselves 'Sloveni', Constantinople Porphyrogenitus used the term 'Sklavoi' to refer to people who are without doubt ancestors of Slavic-speaking peoples today.
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I can understand how an entire corpus of knowledge, and history has come to be identified as 'Slavic' [hence, 'Slavonic literature'].
Why, in this instance, are you able to understand part of Macedonian history having a 'Slavic' identity?
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There is no evidence of that SoM. Its based on conjecture and speculation, possibly some vague analogues but that is it.
No, your opinion is based on conjecture and speculation, and to be honest, I doubt you have done even a fraction of the research that I have where it concerns Paleo-Balkan and Balto-Slavic languages.
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If we follow your logic, the Macedonians are Slavs, the descendants of 6th century invaders?
If we follow my logic, the Macedonians were/are Macedonians. They underwent a linguistic shift towards a related tongue over the course of some years, as a result of 6th century invaders. I suggest you apply a more sensible approach and not let your ignorance of historical linguistics get the better of you.
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I can see where you have made assumptions, and I can see the gaps in your thinking.
I don't think so mate. You're making an unfortunate attempt to dispute both probability and logic with an argument that can't be taken seriously.
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Trying to create some kind of historical continuity as to the meaning of the term 'Slav' and what its actually describing is fraught with perils, SoM.
I don't have to create something that is already there. Your problem is that you have a narrow view of historical linguistics and don't consider much of what has gone on outside of Macedonia.
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Where is the Macedonian evidence that historically they called themselves 'Slavs'? I think you'll find foreigners called them that.
Aren't Krste Misirkov and Georgi Pulevski Macedonian enough? Or did you miss them in my previous post?
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:46 PM   #117
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The followig pages are from P.M. Barford's "The Early Slavs". If you want more pages just let me know and I'll post some later.






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Old 10-07-2011, 06:01 PM   #118
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Just something I thought I'd ad to this interesting question is the declaration by Pope Gelasius I (late 490's AD) that slaves could be brought into the empire as long as they were not Christian. Therefore it is highly probable that the term 'Slav' in it's various forms could have simply become a generalized term for the non-Christian pagan populations both north and south of the Danube irrespective of their ethnic origin or linguistic affinity etc? What we do know is that during that period the Romans divided the population of the Balkans between 'Romans' (meaning Christians) and 'Slavs' (meaning pagans).

Besides Gaul, the Balkans had always been a primary source of Slaves in antiquity. I think this is an important issue to first examine in any attempt to discover who the Slavs were.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:33 PM   #119
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Furthermore, I personally believe that considering the above information, the accounts of a Slav 'migration' in the contemporary historical accounts have been misinterpreted today through either mistake or outright distortion for political reasons. What the ancient authors were actually reporting I believe was a revolt against the Romans north of the Danube which eventually spread south amoung the non-Christian pagan (then starting to be collectivelly being refered to as 'Slavs') populations of the Balkans.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:43 PM   #120
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Ipersonally believe that considering the above information, the accounts of a Slav 'migration' in the contemporary historical accounts have been misinterpreted today through either mistake or outright distortion for political reasons. What the ancient authors were actually reporting I believe was a revolt against the Romans north of the Danube which eventually spread south amoung the non-Christian pagan (then starting to be collectivelly being refered to as 'Slavs') populations of the Balkans.
Napoleon, do you think it is more than a coincidence that the words 'Sklaveni' and 'Sloveni' look so similar? I don't. I support the notion that local rebellions in the Balkans took place either in conjunction with or parallel to invasions from north of the Danube. Not sure about the people of the Balkans being non-Christian pagans though, I would say many if not most were considered part of the 'flock' as Roman citizens by the 6th century AD. In any case, I don't think invasions or rebellions can be ruled out. But a linguistic shift is clearly evident as a result of the invasions. Nobody can argue against that point.
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