The Slavs are in some ways a mystery.
The largest ethnos in Europe, some claim that they appeared on the world stage suddenly, seemingly taking a huge swath of land previously occupied by “others” in a remarkably short period of time. These others disappeared, melded away or left for southern climes.
But is that really what happened?
Others have seen the Slavs as progeny of earlier tribes whose presence in Central Europe has been historically attested.
It is true that recent, though as yet limited, DNA data obtained from ancient skeletal remains also indicate that today’s inhabitants of some Slav lands are genetically indistinguishable from prior denizens of Slav countries. Studies of this type have been carried out in Poland and are likely to continue elsewhere.
So are Slavs simply a remnant of Celts, Vandals or Ostrogoths who have adopted the “Slavic” language of a conquering Hunnic, Alanic or Avar horde? Indeed, the few words that we know of Hunic appear to sound vaguely Slavic. Or is the case that none of these Celts, Vandals or Goths really lived in Slavic countries for any significant period of time?
Is the name “Slavs” (pronounced Suavs in western Slavic languages) simply a new designation for a people that are a straight-line continuation of earlier tribes known to ancient Greek and Roman geographers. Here the so-called Veneti come to mind in the East first and foremost but others such as the Suevi/Suavi in the West have been suggested (here check out the “Questions” page on this topic as well as Daniewski’s article on the similarity/identity of these two names).
But if Suevi, a “Germanic” nation were in fact the ancestors of the Slavs then the whole picture of ancient Germania turns on its head.
Let us then start at the beginning or as close to the beginning as we can, so far, get and tell the story of our fathers and mothers, of our Tribe or our People… What do we mean by “our Tribe ” and “our People”? Just this – our physical ancestors (for those who don’t know what an ancestor is, see here) . These may include the “Slavs” but may also include those who were not yet referred to as Slavs, the Veneti – most likely – Suevi – possibly, and other curious tribes such as the Jazyges – maybe.
Not to exclude are the obvious physical similarities with the Balts (hence the Prussian “kails!” greeting).
Whatever their names, their own or those given them, whatever they may have thought of themselves or others, whatever their culture or lack thereof, whatever God, Goddess, Gods or Goddesses they believed in, if any, whether they were fair or foul, they were ours, with all the glory – but also with all the warts.
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