The East Slavs are Slavic peoples speaking the East Slavic languages. Formerly the main population of the loose medieval Kievan Rus federation state , by the seventeenth century they evolved into the Belarusian, Russian, Rusyn and Ukrainian people.
Усходнія славяне Uskhodniya slavianie (be.)
Восточные славяне Vostochnyye slavianie (ru.)
Восточны славяне Vostochny slavianie (rue.)
Східні слов'яни Skhidni slovyany (uk.)
Countries with predominantly East Slavic population
|Regions with significant populations|
Belarus, Russia, Ukraine
Minority: Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Serbia, Caucasus Azerbaijan, Georgia), Moldova, other former Soviet states.
|East Slavic languages:|
Belarusian, Russian, Rusyn, Ukrainian
|Related ethnic groups|
Researchers know relatively little about the Eastern Slavs prior to approximately 859 AD, when the first events recorded in the Primary Chronicle occurred. The Eastern Slavs of these early times apparently lacked a written language. The few known facts come from archaeological digs, foreign travellers' accounts of the Rus' land, and linguistic comparative analyses of Slavic languages.
Very few native Rus' documents dating before the 11th century (none before the 10th century) have survived. The earliest major manuscript with information on Rus' history, the Primary Chronicle, dates from the late 11th and early 12th centuries. It lists twelve Slavic tribal unions which, by the 10th century, had settled in the later territory of the Kievan Rus between the Western Bug, the Dniepr and the Black Sea: the Polans, Drevlyans, Dregovichs, Radimichs, Vyatichs, Krivichs, Slovens, Dulebes (later known as Volhynians and Buzhans), White Croats, Severians, Ulichs, and Tivertsi.
There is no consensus among scholars as to the urheimat of the Slavs. In the first millennium AD, Slavic settlers are likely to have been in contact with other ethnic groups who moved across the East European Plain during the Migration Period. Between the first and ninth centuries, the Sarmatians, Huns, Alans, Avars, Bulgars, and Magyars passed through the Pontic steppe in their westward migrations. Although some of them could have subjugated the region's Slavs, these foreign tribes left little trace in the Slavic lands. The Early Middle Ages also saw Slavic expansion as an agriculturist and beekeeper, hunter, fisher, herder, and trapper people. By the 8th century, the Slavs were the dominant ethnic group on the East European Plain.
By 600 AD, the Slavs had split linguistically into southern, western, and eastern branches. The East Slavs practiced "slash-and-burn" agricultural methods which took advantage of the extensive forests in which they settled. This method of agriculture involved clearing tracts of forest with fire, cultivating it and then moving on after a few years. Slash and burn agriculture requires frequent movement, because soil cultivated in this manner only yields good harvests for a few years before exhausting itself, and the reliance on slash and burn agriculture by the East Slavs explains their rapid spread through eastern Europe. The East Slavs flooded Eastern Europe in two streams. One group of tribes settled along the Dnieper river in what is now Ukraine and Belarus to the North; they then spread northward to the northern Volga valley, east of modern-day Moscow and westward to the basins of the northern Dniester and the Southern Buh rivers in present-day Ukraine and southern Ukraine.
Another group of East Slavs moved to the northeast, where they encountered the Varangians of the Rus' Khaganate and established an important regional centre of Novgorod. The same Slavic population also settled the present-day Tver Oblast and the region of Beloozero. Having reached the lands of the Merya near Rostov, they linked up with the Dnieper group of Slavic migrants.
In the eighth and ninth centuries, the south branches of East Slavic tribes had to pay tribute to the Khazars, a Turkic-speaking people who adopted Judaism in the late eighth or ninth century and lived in the southern Volga and Caucasus regions. Roughly in the same period, the Ilmen Slavs and Krivichs were dominated by the Varangians of the Rus' Khaganate, who controlled the trade route between the Baltic Sea and the Byzantine Empire.
The earliest tribal centres of the East Slavs included Novgorod, Izborsk, Polotsk, Gnezdovo, and Kiev. Archaeology indicates that they appeared at the turn of the tenth century, soon after the Slavs and Finns of Novgorod had rebelled against the Norse and forced them to withdraw to Scandinavia. The reign of Oleg of Novgorod in the early tenth century witnessed the return of the Varangians to Novgorod and relocation of their capital to Kiev on the Dnieper. From this base, the mixed Varangian-Slavic population (known as the Rus) launched several expeditions against Constantinople.
At first the ruling elite was primarily Norse, but it was rapidly Slavicized by the mid-century. Sviatoslav I of Kiev (who reigned in the 960s) was the first Rus ruler with a Slavonic name.
The disintegration, or parcelling of the polity of Kievan Rus' in the 11th century resulted in considerable population shifts and a political, social, and economic regrouping. The resultant effect of these forces coalescing was the marked emergence of new peoples. While these processes began long before the fall of Kiev, its fall expedited these gradual developments into a significant linguistic and ethnic differentiation among the Rus' people into Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Russians. All of this was emphasized by the subsequent polities these groups migrated into: southwestern and western Rus', where the Ruthenian and later Ukrainian and Belarusian identities developed, was subject to Lithuanian and later Polish influence; whereas the Russian ethnic identity developed in the Muscovite northeast and the Novgorodian north.
Modern East Slavic peoples and ethnic/subethnic groups include:
The All-Russian nation (Russian: общерусский народ, translit. obshcherusskiy narod), also known as the pan-Russian nation or the triune Russian nation (Russian: триединый русский народ, translit. triyedinyy russkiy narod) is an Imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology which sees the Russian nation as comprising the three sub-nations Great Russians, Little Russians and White Russians, which include modern East Slavs (namely, Russians, Rusyns, Ukrainians and Belarusians), rather than only modern Russia and ethnic Russians. An imperial nation-building dogma, it was part of the official tsarist-era ideology which viewed the Russian Empire as a nation-state based on the triune "All-Russian" nationality that consisted of all East Slavs, which by the 19th century was embraced by many imperial subjects (including Jews and Germans) and served as the foundation of the Empire.Christianization of the Slavs
The Slavs were Christianized in waves from the 7th to 12th century. Though the process of replacing old Slavic religious practices began as early as the 6th century. Generally speaking, the monarchs of the South Slavs adopted Christianity in the 9th century, the East Slavs in the 10th, and the West Slavs between the 9th and 12th century. Saints Cyril and Methodius (fl. 860–885) are attributed as "Apostles to the Slavs", having introduced the Byzantine-Slavic rite (Old Slavonic liturgy) and Glagolitic alphabet, the oldest known Slavic alphabet and basis for the Early Cyrillic alphabet.Early Slavs
The early Slavs were a diverse group of tribal societies who lived during the Migration Period and Early Middle Ages (approximately the 5th to the 10th centuries) in Eastern Europe and established the foundations for the Slavic nations through the Slavic states of the High Middle Ages. The first written use of the name "Slavs" dates to the 6th century, when the Slavic tribes inhabited a large portion of Central and Eastern Europe. By that century, nomadic Iranian ethnic groups living on the Eurasian Steppe (the Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans etc.) had been absorbed by the region's Slavic population. Over the next two centuries, the Slavs expanded southwest toward the Balkans and the Alps and northeast towards the Volga River. It's still a matter of controversy where the original habitat of the Slavs was, but scholars believe it was somewhere in Eastern Europe. In the past not much attention was paid to the origin of the Slavic people.
Beginning in the 9th century, the Slavs gradually converted to Christianity (both Byzantine Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism). By the 12th century, they were the core population of a number of medieval Christian states: East Slavs in the Kievan Rus', South Slavs in the Bulgarian Empire, the Kingdom of Croatia, Banate of Bosnia and the Grand Principality of Serbia, and West Slavs in the Great Moravia, the Kingdom of Poland, Duchy of Bohemia and Principality of Nitra.Koliada
Koliada or koleda (Cyrillic: коляда, коледа, колада, коледе) is an ancient pre-Christian Slavic winter festival. It was later incorporated into Christmas.Krivichs
The Krivichs (Kryvichs) (Belarusian: Крывічы, Kryvičý, IPA: [kɾɨviˈt͡ʃɨ:]; Russian: Кри́вичи, IPA: [krʲɪvʲɪˈtɕi]) was one of the tribal unions of Early East Slavs between the 6th and the 12th centuries. They migrated to the mostly Finnic areas in the upper reaches of the Volga, Dniapro, Dźvina, areas south of the lower reaches of river Velikaya and parts of the Nioman basin.Kupala Night
Kupala Night, (Russian: Иван-Купала, Belarusian: Купалле; Ukrainian: Івана Купала; Polish: Noc Kupały), called Ivan-Kupala in Russia is celebrated in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Russia during the night from 6 to 7 July (on the Gregorian calendar). (This corresponds to 23-24 June on these countries’ traditional Julian calendar.) Calendar-wise, it is opposite to the winter holiday Koliada. The celebration relates to the summer solstice when nights are the shortest and includes a number of Slavic rituals.Kuyaba
For a region in Poland, see Kuyavia, PolandKuyaba (Arabic: كويابة Kūyāba) was one of the three centers of the Rus or Saqaliba (early East Slavs) described in a lost book by Abu Zayd al-Balkhi (dating from ca. 920) and mentioned in works by some of his followers (Ibn Hawqal, Al-Istakhri, Hudud ul-'alam).
The two other centers were Slawiya (Arabic: صلاوية Ṣ(a)lāwiya) (tentatively identified with the land of Ilmen Slavs, see Rus' Khaganate) and Arthaniya (Arabic: ارثانية ’Arṯāniya) (not properly explained).Soviet historians such as Boris Grekov and Boris Rybakov hypothesized that "Kuyaba" was a mispronunciation of "Kiev". They theorized that Kuyaba had been a union of Slavic tribes in the middle course of the Dnieper River centered on Kiev (now in Ukraine).
Kuyaba, Slawiya, and Artaniya later merged to form the state of Kievan Rus', believed to include modern Belarus and Russia. This explanation has been adopted by modern Ukrainian historiography.List of Slavic cultures
This is a list of the cultures of Slavic Europe.
Macedonian culture (Slavic)
Maslenitsa (Russian: Мaсленица, Ukrainian: Масниця, Belarusian: Масленіца; also known as Butter Lady, Butter Week, Crepe week, or Cheesefare Week) is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent, that is, the eighth week before Eastern Orthodox Pascha (Easter).
Maslenitsa corresponds to the Western Christian Carnival, except that Orthodox Lent begins on a Monday instead of a Wednesday, and the Orthodox date of Easter can differ greatly from the Western Christian date.Mid-Pentecost
Mid-Pentecost or Midfeast, also Meso-Pentecost (from Greek: Μεσοπεντηκοστή); Russian: Преполове́ние Пятидеся́тницы is a feast day which occurs during the Paschal season in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.
Mid-Pentecost celebrates the midpoint between the Feasts of Pascha (Easter) and Pentecost. Specifically, it falls on the 25th day of Pascha. At the feast of Mid-Pentecost, a Small Blessing of the Waters is traditionally performed after the liturgy of the feast.Mid-Pentecost is a one-week feast which begins on the 4th Wednesday of Pascha, and continues until the following Wednesday. That is to say, it has an Afterfeast of seven days. Throughout these eight days (including the day of the feast) hymns of Mid-Pentecost are joined to those of the Paschal season. Many of the hymns from the first day of the feast are repeated on the Apodosis (leave-taking of the feast). Although it is ranked as a Feast of the Lord and has an Afterfeast, Mid-Pentecost itself is not considered to be one of the Great Feasts of the church year.
The liturgical texts for the feast are found in the Pentecostarion (the liturgical book containing propers for the period from Pascha to Pentecost). There are three Old Testament readings appointed for Vespers; but, uniquely, no Matins Gospel. In some places an All-Night Vigil is celebrated for this feast, though a Vigil is not called for in the Typicon (book of rubrics). At the Divine Liturgy, the reading from the Apostle is Acts 14:6-18.
The theme of the feast is Christ as Teacher, based upon the words from the Gospel of the day (John 7:14-30): "Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught...Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."
While the Gospel refers to the Feast of Sukkot (Greek: Σκηνοπηγία), the icon of the feast depicts the young Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem speaking with the Elders (Luke 2:46-47), the first biblical example of Jesus as teacher (Rabbi). In traditional Orthodox icons of this subject, the figure of Jesus is depicted larger than those of the Elders, showing his superior spiritual status.
The Troparion of the Feast hints at the encounter of Jesus with the Samaritan Woman, which will be celebrated on the following Sunday:
In the middle of the Feast, O Savior, fill my thirsting soul with the waters of godliness, as Thou didst cry to all: 'If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink' (John 7:37). O Christ God, Fountain of our life, glory be to Thee!
The scripture verse from John 7, quoted by the Troparion, will be read on the day of Pentecost.
Mid-Pentecost, has historically been the Altar Feast of the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul).Radonitsa
Radonitsa (Russian Радоница, "Day of Rejoicing"), also spelled Radunitsa, Radonica, or Radunica, in the Russian Orthodox Church is a commemoration of the departed observed on the second Tuesday of Pascha (Easter) or, in some places (in south-west Russia), on the second Monday of Pascha.Russian
Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including:
Russians (русские, russkiye), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries
Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term for all citizens and people of Russia, regardless of ethnicity
Russophone, Russian-speaking person (русскоговорящий, русскоязычный, russkogovoryashchy, russkoyazychny)
Russian language, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages
Russian studiesRussian may also refer to:
The Russians, a book by Hedrick Smith
Russian (comics), fictional Marvel Comics supervillain from The Punisher series
"Russians" (song), from the album The Dream of the Blue Turtles by Sting
"Russian", from the album Tubular Bells 2003 by Mike Oldfield
Nik Russian, the perpetrator of a con committed in 2002
Something related to the Russian Empire or Soviet Union
All-Russian nationSaint Andrew's Day
Saint Andrew's Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on 30 November. Saint Andrew's Day (Scots: Saunt Andra's Day, Scottish Gaelic: Là Naomh Anndrais) is Scotland's official national day. It is a national holiday in Romania (since 2015). Saint Andrew is represented in the New Testament to be the disciple who introduced his brother, the Apostle Peter, to Jesus as the Messiah. He is the patron saint of Cyprus, Scotland, Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, San Andres Island (Colombia), Saint Andrew (Barbados) and Tenerife.
In Germany, the feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht ("(St.) Andrew's Night"), in Austria with the custom of Andreasgebet ("(St.) Andrew's Prayer"), and in Poland as Andrzejki ("Andrew's (festivities)"), in Russia as Андреева ночь ("Andrew's night").Slavic paganism
Slavic paganism or Slavic religion define the religious beliefs, godlores and ritual practices of the Slavs before the formal Christianisation of their ruling elites. The latter occurred at various stages between the 8th and the 13th century: The Southern Slavs living on the Balkan Peninsula in South Eastern Europe, bordering with the Byzantine Empire to the south, came under the sphere of influence of Byzantine Orthodox Christianity, beginning with the creation of the Slavic alphabet (first Glagolic, and then Cyrillic script) in 855 by the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius and the adoption of Christianity in Bulgaria in 863 CE. The East Slavs followed with the official adoption in 988 CE by Vladimir the Great of Kievan Rus'.The West Slavs came under the sphere of influence of the Roman Catholic Church since the 12th century, and Christianisation for them went hand in hand with full or partial Germanisation,.The Christianisation of the Slavic peoples was, however, a slow and—in many cases—superficial phenomenon, especially in what is today Russia. Christianisation was vigorous in western and central parts of what is today Ukraine, as they were closer to the capital Kiev, but even there, popular resistance led by volkhvs, pagan priests or shamans, recurred periodically for centuries.The West Slavs of the Baltic withstood tenaciously against Christianity until it was violently imposed on them through the Northern Crusades. Among Poles and East Slavs, rebellion outbreaks occurred throughout the 11th century. Christian chroniclers reported that the Slavs regularly re-embraced their original religion (relapsi sunt denuo ad paganismus).Many elements of the indigenous Slavic religion were officially incorporated into Slavic Christianity, and, besides this, the worship of Slavic gods has persisted in unofficial folk religion until modern times. The Slavs' resistance to Christianity gave rise to a "whimsical syncretism" which in Old Church Slavonic vocabulary was defined as dvoeverie, "double faith". Since the early 20th century, Slavic folk religion has undergone an organised reinvention and reincorporation in the movement of Slavic Native Faith (Rodnovery).Slavs
Slavs are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic linguistic group. They are native to Eurasia, stretching from Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe all the way north and eastwards to Northeast Europe, Northern Asia (Siberia), and Central Asia (especially Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan), as well as historically in Western Europe (particularly in East Germany) and Western Asia (including Anatolia). From the early 6th century they spread to inhabit the majority of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Today, there is a large Slavic diaspora throughout North America, particularly in the United States and Canada as a result of immigration.Slavs are the largest ethno-linguistic group in Europe. Present-day Slavic people are classified into East Slavs (chiefly Belarusians, Russians, Rusyns, and Ukrainians), West Slavs (chiefly Czechs, Kashubs, Moravians, Poles, Silesians, Slovaks and Sorbs), and South Slavs (chiefly Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Gorani, Montenegrins, Serbs and Slovenes).Slavs can be further grouped by religion. Orthodox Christianity is practiced by the majority of Slavs. The Orthodox Slavs include the Belarusians, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Russians, Rusyns, Serbs, and Ukrainians and are defined by Orthodox customs and Cyrillic script, as well as their cultural connection to the Byzantine Empire (Montenegrins and Serbs also use Latin script on equal terms). Their second most common religion is Roman Catholicism. The Catholic Slavs include Croats, Czechs, Kashubs, Moravians, Poles, Silesians, Slovaks, Slovenes, and Sorbs and are defined by their Latinate influence and heritage and connection to Western Europe. There are also substantial Protestant and Lutheran minorities, especially among the West Slavs, such as the historical Bohemian (Czech) Hussites.
The second-largest religion among the Slavs after Christianity is Islam. Muslim Slavs include the Bosniaks, Pomaks (Bulgarian Muslims), Gorani, Torbeši (Macedonian Muslims), and other Muslims of the former Yugoslavia. Modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are considerably diverse both genetically and culturally, and relations between them – even within the individual groups – range from ethnic solidarity to mutual hostility.Tatiana Day
Tatiana Day (Russian: Татьянин день, Tatyanin den') is a Russian religious holiday observed on 25 January according to the Gregorian calendar, January 12 according to the Julian. It is named after Saint Tatiana, a Christian martyr in 3rd-century Rome during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus.In 1755, on the name day of Ivan Shuvalov's mother Tatiana Rodionovna, his mistress Empress Elizabeth of Russia endorsed his petition to establish a university in Moscow. Shuvalov was Minister of Education. The church of Saint Tatiana was later built in the university campus. A traditional service is conducted at the University's church on 25 January, followed by speeches and the awarding of prizes.
The Russian Orthodox Church declared Saint Tatiana the patron saint of students, and Tatiana Day has come to be celebrated as Russian Students Day. The observance has a long tradition of festive activities. In 1885, Chekhov wrote, "This year everything was drunk, except the water from the Moscow river, and only because it was frozen". Parties begin with a traditional honey-based mead. Although originating in Moscow, St. Tatiana's Day celebrations have spread to most university towns.
Coincidentally 25 January is also the end of the first term of the traditional academic year for Russian students – the end of winter exams session, followed by a two-week winter holiday.Ulichs
The Uliches or Ugliches (Уличи (Угличи) in Russian, Уличі (Угличі) in Ukrainian) were a tribe of Early East Slavs who, between the eighth and the tenth centuries, inhabited (along with the Tivertsi) Bessarabia, and the territories along the Lower Dnieper, Bug River and the Black Sea littoral.West Slavs
The West Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the West Slavic languages.
They separated from the common Slavic group around the 7th century, and established independent polities in Central Europe by the 8th to 9th centuries. The West Slavic languages diversified into their historically attested forms over the 10th to 14th centuries.
West Slavic speaking nations today include the Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, Sorbs and ethnic groups Kashubians, Moravians and Silesians. They inhabit a contiguous area in Central Europe stretching from the north of the Baltic Sea to the Sudetes and the Carpathian Mountains in the south, historically also across the Eastern Alps into the Apennine peninsula and the Balkan peninsula.
The West Slavic group can be divided into three subgroups: Lechitic, including Polish, Kashubian and extinct Polabian and Pomeranian languages, Lusatian (Sorbian) and Czecho-Slovak.
Culturally, West Slavs developed along the lines of other Western European nations due to affiliation with the Roman Empire and Western Christianity. Thus, they experienced a cultural split with the other Slavic groups: while the East Slavs and part of South Slavs converted to Orthodox Christianity, thus being culturally influenced by the Byzantine Empire, all the West Slavs converted to Roman Catholicism, thus coming under the cultural influence of the Latin Church.Đurđevdan
Saint George's Day (Serbian: Ђурђевдан/Đurđevdan, pronounced [ˈdʑûːrdʑeʋdaːn]; Bulgarian: Гергьовден Gerg’ovden; Macedonian: Ѓурѓовден, Ǵurǵovden; Russian: Его́рий Ве́шний, Юрьев день весенний, Yegóriy Véshniy, Yuriev Den Vesenniy, "George's [day] in spring") is a Slavic religious holiday, the feast of Saint George celebrated on 23 April by the Julian calendar (6 May by the Gregorian calendar). In Croatia and Slovenia, the Roman Catholic version of St. George's day, Jurjevo is celebrated on 23 April by the Gregorian calendar.
Saint George is one of the most important saints in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. He is the patron military saint in Slavic, Georgian and Circassian,
Cossack, Chetnik military tradition.
Christian synaxaria hold that St. George was a martyr who died for his faith. On icons, he is usually depicted as a man riding a horse and killing a dragon.
Beyond Orthodox Christian tradition proper, Đurđevdan is also more generically a spring festival in the Balkans.