Slavs are modern Indo-European peoples 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.
The oldest mention of the Slavic ethnonym is the 6th century AD Procopius, writing in Byzantine Greek, using various forms such as Sklaboi (Σκλάβοι), Sklabēnoi (Σκλαβηνοί), Sklauenoi (Σκλαυηνοί), Sthlabenoi (Σθλαβηνοί), or Sklabinoi (Σκλαβῖνοι), while his contemporary Jordanes refers to the Sclaveni in Latin. The oldest documents written in Old Church Slavonic, dating from the 9th century, attest the autonym as Slověne (Словѣне). These forms point back to a Slavic autonym which can be reconstructed in Proto-Slavic as *Slověninъ, plural Slověne.
The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is usually considered a derivation from slovo ("word"), originally denoting "people who speak (the same language)", i. e. people who understand each other, in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people, namely *němьcь, meaning "silent, mute people" (from Slavic *němъ "mute, mumbling"). The word slovo ("word") and the related slava ("glory, fame") and slukh ("hearing") originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew- ("be spoken of, glory"), cognate with Ancient Greek κλέος (kléos "fame"), as in the name Pericles, Latin clueo ("be called"), and English loud.
Ancient Roman sources refer to the Early Slavic peoples as Veneti, who dwelled in a region of central Europe east of the Germanic tribe of Suebi, and west of the Iranian Sarmatians in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The Slavs under name of the Antes and the Sclaveni first appear in Byzantine records in the early 6th century. Byzantine historiographers under emperor Justinian I (527–565), such as Procopius of Caesarea, Jordanes and Theophylact Simocatta describe tribes of these names emerging from the area of the Carpathian Mountains, the lower Danube and the Black Sea, invading the Danubian provinces of the Eastern Empire.
Jordanes, in his work Getica (written in 551 AD), describes the Veneti as a "populous nation" whose dwellings begin at the sources of the Vistula and occupy "a great expanse of land". He also describes the Veneti as the ancestors of Antes and Slaveni, two early Slavic tribes, who appeared on the Byzantine frontier in the early 6th century. Procopius wrote in 545 that "the Sclaveni and the Antae actually had a single name in the remote past; for they were both called Sporoi in olden times". The name Sporoi derives from Greek σπείρω ("I scatter grain"). He described them as barbarians, who lived under democracy, believe in one god, "the maker of lightning" (Perun), to whom they made sacrifice. They lived in scattered housing, and constantly changed settlement. In war, they were mainly foot soldiers with small shields and battle axes, lightly clothed, some entering battle naked with only genitals covered. Their language is "barbarous" (that is, not Greek), and the two tribes are alike in appearance, being tall and robust, "while their bodies and hair are neither very fair or blond, nor indeed do they incline entirely to the dark type, but they are all slightly ruddy in color. And they live a hard life, giving no heed to bodily comforts..." Jordanes described the Sclaveni having swamps and forests for their cities. Another 6th-century source refers to them living among nearly impenetrable forests, rivers, lakes, and marshes.
Menander Protector mentions a Daurentius (circa 577–579) who slew an Avar envoy of Khagan Bayan I for asking the Slavs to accept the suzerainty of the Avars; Daurentius declined and is reported as saying: "Others do not conquer our land, we conquer theirs – so it shall always be for us".
According to eastern homeland theory, prior to becoming known to the Roman world, Slavic-speaking tribes were part of the many multi-ethnic confederacies of Eurasia – such as the Sarmatian, Hun and Gothic empires. The Slavs emerged from obscurity when the westward movement of Germans in the 5th and 6th centuries CE (thought to be in conjunction with the movement of peoples from Siberia and Eastern Europe: Huns, and later Avars and Bulgars) started the great migration of the Slavs, who settled the lands abandoned by Germanic tribes fleeing the Huns and their allies: westward into the country between the Oder and the Elbe-Saale line; southward into Bohemia, Moravia, much of present-day Austria, the Pannonian plain and the Balkans; and northward along the upper Dnieper river. It has also been suggested that some Slavs migrated with the Vandals to the Iberian Peninsula and even North Africa.
Around the 6th century, Slavs appeared on Byzantine borders in great numbers. Byzantine records note that Slav numbers were so great, that grass would not regrow where the Slavs had marched through. After a military movement even the Peloponnese and Asia Minor were reported to have Slavic settlements. This southern movement has traditionally been seen as an invasive expansion. By the end of the 6th century, Slavs had settled the Eastern Alps regions.
When Slav migrations ended, their first state organizations appeared, each headed by a prince with a treasury and a defense force. In the 7th century, the Frankish merchant Samo supported the Slavs against their Avar rulers, and became the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe, Samo's Empire. This early Slavic polity probably did not outlive its founder and ruler, but it was the foundation for later West Slavic states on its territory. The oldest of them was Carantania; others are the Principality of Nitra, the Moravian principality (see under Great Moravia) and the Balaton Principality. The First Bulgarian Empire was founded in 681 as an alliance between the ruling Bulgars and the numerous slavs in the area, and their South Slavic language, the Old Church Slavonic, became the main and official language of the empire in 864. Bulgaria was instrumental in the spread of Slavic literacy and Christianity to the rest of the Slavic world. The expansion of the Magyars into the Carpathian Basin and the Germanization of Austria gradually separated the South Slavs from the West and East Slavs. Later Slavic states, which formed in the following centuries, included the Kievan Rus', the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Kingdom of Poland, Duchy of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Croatia, Banate of Bosnia and the Serbian Empire.
In late 19th century, there were only four Slavic states in the world: the Russian Empire, the Principality of Serbia, the Principality of Montenegro and the Principality of Bulgaria. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire, out of approximately 50 million people, about 23 million were Slavs. The Slavic peoples who were, for the most part, denied a voice in the affairs of Austria-Hungary, called for national self-determination. Because of the vastness and diversity of the territory occupied by Slavic people, there were several centers of Slavic consolidation. At the beginning of the 20th century, following the end of World War I and the collapse of the Central Powers, several Slavic nations re-emerged and became independent, such as the Second Polish Republic, First Czechoslovak Republic, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After the end of the Cold War and subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, additional new Slavic states emerged, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Belarus and Ukraine.
Pan-Slavism, a movement which came into prominence in the mid-19th century, emphasized the common heritage and unity of all the Slavic peoples. The main focus was in the Balkans where the South Slavs had been ruled for centuries by other empires: the Byzantine Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Venice. The Russian Empire used Pan-Slavism as a political tool; as did the Soviet Union, which gained political-military influence and control over most Slavic-majority nations between 1939 and 1948 and retained a hegemonic role until the period 1989–1991.
Proto-Slavic, the supposed ancestor language of all Slavic languages, is a descendant of common Proto-Indo-European, via a Balto-Slavic stage in which it developed numerous lexical and morphophonological isoglosses with the Baltic languages. In the framework of the Kurgan hypothesis, "the Indo-Europeans who remained after the migrations [from the steppe] became speakers of Balto-Slavic". Proto-Slavic is defined as the last stage of the language preceding the geographical split of the historical Slavic languages. That language was uniform, and on the basis of borrowings from foreign languages and Slavic borrowings into other languages, cannot be said to have any recognizable dialects – this suggests that there was, at one time, a relatively small Proto-Slavic homeland.
Slavic linguistic unity was to some extent visible as late as Old Church Slavonic (or Old Bulgarian) manuscripts which, though based on local Slavic speech of Thessaloniki, could still serve the purpose of the first common Slavic literary language. Slavic studies began as an almost exclusively linguistic and philological enterprise. As early as 1833, Slavic languages were recognized as Indo-European.
Standardised Slavic languages that have official status in at least one country are: Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, and Ukrainian.
The alphabets used for Slavic languages are frequently connected to the dominant religion among the respective ethnic groups. Orthodox Christians use the Cyrillic alphabet while Roman Catholics use the Latin alphabet; the Bosniaks, who are Muslim, also use the Latin alphabet. Additionally, some Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics use the Cyrillic alphabet. Serbian and Montenegrin use both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. There is also a Latin script to write in Belarusian, called Łacinka.
Slavs are customarily divided along geographical lines into three major subgroups: West Slavs, East Slavs, and South Slavs, each with a different and a diverse background based on unique history, religion and culture of particular Slavic groups within them. Apart from prehistorical archaeological cultures, the subgroups have had notable cultural contact with non-Slavic Bronze- and Iron Age civilisations. Modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are considerably diverse both genetically and culturally, and relations between them – even within the individual ethnic groups themselves – are varied, ranging from a sense of connection to mutual feelings of hostility.
West Slavs originate from early Slavic tribes which settled in Central Europe after the East Germanic tribes had left this area during the migration period. They are noted as having mixed with Germanics, Hungarians, Celts (particularly the Boii), Old Prussians, and the Pannonian Avars. The West Slavs came under the influence of the Western Roman Empire (Latin) and of the Roman Catholic Church.
East Slavs have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed and contacted with Finno-Ugrics, Balts, and Caucasians. Their early Slavic component, Antes, mixed or absorbed Iranians, and later received influence from the Khazars and Vikings. The East Slavs trace their national origins to the tribal unions of Kievan Rus' and Rus' Khaganate, beginning in the 10th century. They came particularly under the influence of the Byzantine Empire and of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
South Slavs from most of the region have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed with the local Proto-Balkanic tribes (Illyrian, Dacian, Thracian, Paeonian, Hellenic tribes), and Celtic tribes (particularly the Scordisci), as well as with Romans (and the Romanized remnants of the former groups), and also with remnants of temporarily settled invading East Germanic, Asiatic or Caucasian tribes such as Gepids, Huns, Avars, Goths and Bulgars. The original inhabitants of present-day Slovenia and continental Croatia have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed with Romans and romanized Celtic and Illyrian people as well as with Avars and Germanic peoples (Lombards and East Goths). The South Slavs (except the Slovenes and Croats) came under the cultural sphere of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire), of the Ottoman Empire and of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Islam, while the Slovenes and the Croats were influenced by the Western Roman Empire (Latin) and thus by the Roman Catholic Church in a similar fashion to that of the West Slavs.
The pagan Slavic populations were Christianized between the 7th and 12th centuries. Orthodox Christianity is predominant among East and South Slavs, while Roman Catholicism is predominant among West Slavs and some western South Slavs. The religious borders are largely comparable to the East–West Schism which began in the 11th century.
The majority of contemporary Slavic populations who profess a religion are Orthodox, followed by Catholic, while a small minority are Protestant. There are minor Slavic Muslim groups. Religious delineations by nationality can be very sharp; usually in the Slavic ethnic groups the vast majority of religious people share the same religion. Some Slavs are atheist or agnostic: in the Czech Republic 20% were atheists according to a 2012 poll.
Mainly Eastern Orthodoxy:
Mainly Roman Catholicism:
Throughout their history, Slavs came into contact with non-Slavic groups. In the postulated homeland region (present-day European Russia and Ukraine), they had contacts with the Iranian Sarmatians and the Germanic Goths. After their subsequent spread, the Slavs began assimilating non-Slavic peoples. For example, in the Balkans, there were Paleo-Balkan peoples, such as Romanized and Hellenized (Jireček Line) Illyrians, Thracians and Dacians, as well as Greeks and Celtic Scordisci and Serdi. Because Slavs were so numerous, most indigenous populations of the Balkans were Slavicized. Thracians and Illyrians vanished as defined ethnic groups in this period. Exceptions are Greece, where Slavs were Hellenized because Greeks were more numerous (aided by more Greeks returning to Greece in the 9th century and by the church and administration), Romania, where Slavs settled en route to present-day Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and East Thrace but assimilated, and the modern Albanian nation which claims descent from Illyrians.
Ruling status of Bulgars and their control of land cast the nominal legacy of the Bulgarian country and people onto future generations, but Bulgars were gradually also Slavicized into the present day South Slavic ethnic group known as Bulgarians. The Romance speakers within the fortified Dalmatian cities retained their culture and language for a long time. Dalmatian Romance was spoken until the high Middle Ages, but, they too were eventually assimilated into the body of Slavs.
In the Western Balkans, South Slavs and Germanic Gepids intermarried with invaders, eventually producing a Slavicized population. In Central Europe, the West Slavs intermixed with Germanic, Hungarian, and Celtic peoples, while in Eastern Europe the East Slavs had encountered Uralic and Scandinavian peoples. Scandinavians (Varangians) and Finnic peoples were involved in the early formation of the Rus' state but were completely Slavicized after a century. Some Finno-Ugric tribes in the north were also absorbed into the expanding Rus population. In the 11th and 12th centuries, constant incursions by nomadic Turkic tribes, such as the Kipchak and the Pecheneg, caused a massive migration of East Slavic populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the north. In the Middle Ages, groups of Saxon ore miners settled in medieval Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria, where they were Slavicized.
Saqaliba refers to the Slavic mercenaries and slaves in the medieval Arab world in North Africa, Sicily and Al-Andalus. Saqaliba served as caliph's guards. In the 12th century, Slavic piracy in the Baltics increased. The Wendish Crusade was started against the Polabian Slavs in 1147, as a part of the Northern Crusades. The pagan chief of the Slavic Obodrite tribes, Niklot, began his open resistance when Lothar III, Holy Roman Emperor, invaded Slavic lands. In August 1160 Niklot was killed, and German colonization (Ostsiedlung) of the Elbe-Oder region began. In Hanoverian Wendland, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Lusatia, invaders started germanization. Early forms of germanization were described by German monks: Helmold in the manuscript Chronicon Slavorum and Adam of Bremen in Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum. The Polabian language survived until the beginning of the 19th century in what is now the German state of Lower Saxony. In Eastern Germany, around 20% of Germans have historic Slavic paternal ancestry, as revealed in Y-DNA testing. Similarly, in Germany, around 20% of the foreign surnames are of Slavic origin.
Cossacks, although Slavic-speaking and practicing Orthodox Christianity, came from a mix of ethnic backgrounds, including Tatars and other Turks. Many early members of the Terek Cossacks were Ossetians. The Gorals of southern Poland and northern Slovakia are partially descended from Romance-speaking Vlachs, who migrated into the region from the 14th to 17th centuries and were absorbed into the local population. The population of Moravian Wallachia also descended from the Vlachs. Conversely, some Slavs were assimilated into other populations. Although the majority continued towards Southeast Europe, attracted by the riches of the area that became the state of Bulgaria, a few remained in the Carpathian Basin in Central Europe, and were assimilated into the Magyar people. Numerous river and other place names in Romania have Slavic origin.
There are an estimated 360 million Slavs worldwide.
|Bosniaks||Bosnia and Herzegovina||2,800,000–4,600,000|
It is estimated that 4.5 million Croatians live outside Croatia ...
A Bohemian () is a resident of Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic or the former Kingdom of Bohemia, a region of the former Crown of Bohemia (lands of the Bohemian Crown). In English, the word "Bohemian" was used to denote the Czech people as well as the Czech language before the word "Czech" became prevalent in the early 20th century.In a separate meaning, "Bohemian" may also denote "a socially unconventional person, especially one who is involved in the arts" according to Oxford Dictionaries Online. (See Bohemianism).Bulgarians
Bulgarians (Bulgarian: българи, Bǎlgari, IPA: ['bɤɫɡɐri]) are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group native to Bulgaria and it's immediate region.Deities of Slavic religion
Deities of Slavic religion, arranged in cosmological and functional groups, are inherited through mythology and folklore. Both in the earliest Slavic religion and in modern Slavic Native Faith's theology and cosmology, gods are arranged as a hierarchy of powers begotten by the supreme God of the universe, Rod, known as Deivos in the earliest Slavic religion. According to Helmold's Chronica Slavorum (compiled 1168–1169), "obeying the duties assigned to them, [the deities] have sprung from his [the supreme God's] blood and enjoy distinction in proportion to their nearness to the god of the gods". The general Slavic term for "god" or "deity" is бог bog, whose original meaning is both "wealth" and its "giver". The term is related to Sanskrit bhaga and Avestan baga. Some Slavic gods are worshipped to this day in folk religion, especially in countrysides, despite longtime Christianisation of Slavic lands, apart from the relatively recent phenomenon of organised Slavic Native Faith (Rodnovery).
Slavic folk belief holds that the world organises itself according to an oppositional and yet complementary cosmic duality through which the supreme God expresses itself, represented by Belobog ("White God") and Chernobog ("Black God"), collectively representing heavenly-masculine and earthly-feminine deities, or waxing light and waning light gods, respectively. The two are also incarnated by Svarog–Perun and Veles, whom have been compared to the Indo-Iranian Mitra and Varuna, respectively. All bright male gods, especially those whose name has the attributive suffix -vit, "lord", are epithets, denoting aspects or phases in the year of the masculine radiating force, personified by Perun (the "Thunder" and "Oak"). Veles, as the etymology of his name highlights, is instead the god of poetic inspiration and sight. The underpinning Mokosh ("Moist"), the great goddess of the earth related to the Indo-Iranian Anahita, has always been the focus of a strong popular devotion, and is still worshipped by many Slavs, chiefly Russians.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.East Slavs
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.Hey, Slavs
"Hey, Slavs" is a patriotic song dedicated to the Slavic peoples which was used as the national anthem of various countries during the 20th century.
Its lyrics were first written in 1834 under the title "Hey, Slovaks" ("Hej, Slováci") by Samuel Tomášik and it has since served as the ethnic anthem of the Pan-Slavic movement, organizational anthem of the Sokol physical education and political movement, and the national anthem of Yugoslavia and the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The song is also considered to be the unofficial second ethnic anthem of the Slovaks. Its melody is based on "Mazurek Dąbrowskiego", which has also been the national anthem of Poland since 1926, but the Yugoslav variation has a slower tempo, is more accentuated, and does not repeat the last four lines as it repeats the last two lines.Macedonian nationalism
Macedonian nationalism is a general grouping of nationalist ideas and concepts among ethnic Macedonians that were first formed in the late 19th century among separatists seeking the autonomy of the region of Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire. The idea evolved during the early 20th century alongside the first expressions of ethnic nationalism among the Slavs of Macedonia. The separate Macedonian nation gained recognition after World War II when the "Socialist Republic of Macedonia" was created as part of Yugoslavia. Afterwards the Macedonian historiography has established historical links between the ethnic Macedonians and events and figures from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century. Following the independence of the Republic of Macedonia in the late 20th century, issues of Macedonian national identity have become contested by the country's neighbours, as some adherents to aggressive Macedonian nationalism, called Macedonism, hold more extreme beliefs such as an unbroken continuity between ancient Macedonians (an ancient Greek people), and modern ethnic Macedonians (a Slavic people), and views connected to the irredentist concept of a United Macedonia, which involves territorial claims on a large portion of Greece, along with smaller regions of Albania, Bulgaria, and Serbia.Macedonians (ethnic group)
Macedonians (Macedonian: Македонци, romanized: Makedonci) or Macedonian people (Macedonian:￼￼ македонски народ) are a nation and a South Slavic ethnic group native to the region of Macedonia. They speak the Macedonian language (Macedonian: македонски јазик, romanized: makedonski jazik), a South Slavic language. About two thirds of all ethnic Macedonians live in North Macedonia and there are also communities in a number of other countries.Pan-Slavism
Pan-Slavism, a movement which crystallized in the mid-19th century, is the political ideology concerned with the advancement of integrity and unity for the Slavic-speaking peoples. Its main impact occurred in the Balkans, where non-Slavic empires had ruled the South Slavs for centuries. These were mainly the Byzantine Empire, Austria-Hungary (both as separate entities for most of the period), the Ottoman Empire, and Venice.Polabian Slavs
Polabian Slavs (Lower Sorbian: Połobske słowjany, Polish: Słowianie połabscy, Czech: Polabští slované) is a collective term applied to a number of Lechitic (West Slavic) tribes who lived along the Elbe river in what is today Eastern Germany. The approximate territory stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north, the Saale and the Limes Saxoniae in the west, the Ore Mountains and the Western Sudetes in the south, and Poland in the east. They have also been known as Elbe Slavs (German: Elbslawen) or Wends. Their name derives from the Slavic po, meaning "by/next to/along", and the Slavic name for the Elbe (Labe in Czech and Łaba in Polish).
The Polabian Slavs started settling in the territory of modern Germany in the 6th century. They were largely conquered by Saxons and Danes since the 9th century and were subsequently included and gradually assimilated within the Holy Roman Empire. The tribes were gradually Germanized and assimilated in the following centuries; the Sorbs are the only descendants of the Polabian Slavs to have retained their identity and culture.
The Polabian language is now extinct. However, the two Sorbian languages are spoken by approximately 60,000 inhabitants of the region and the languages are regarded by the government of Germany as official languages of the region.Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius (826–869, 815–885; Greek: Κύριλλος καὶ Μεθόδιος (Kýrillos kaí Methódios), Old Church Slavonic: Кѷриллъ и Меѳодїи) were two brothers who were Byzantine Christian theologians and Christian missionaries. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title "Apostles to the Slavs". They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic. After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of "equal-to-apostles". In 1880, Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia.Sclaveni
The Sclaveni (in Latin) or Sklavenoi (in Greek) were early Slavic tribes that raided, invaded and settled the Balkans in the Early Middle Ages and eventually became known as the ethnogenesis of the South Slavs. They were mentioned by early Byzantine chroniclers as barbarians having appeared at the Byzantine borders along with the Antes (East Slavs), another Slavic group. The Sclaveni were differentiated from the Antes and Wends (West Slavs); however, they were described as kin. Eventually, most South Slavic tribes accepted Byzantine suzerainty, and came under Byzantine cultural influence. The term was widely used as general catch-all term until the emergence of separate tribal names by the 10th century.Slavic Americans
Slavic Americans are Americans of Slavic descent.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 South 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).Slovaks
The Slovaks (or Slovakians) (Slovak: Slováci, singular Slovák, feminine Slovenka, plural Slovenky) are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Slovakia who share a common ancestry, culture, history and speak the Slovak language.
In Slovakia, c. 4.4 million are ethnic Slovaks of 5.4 million total population. There are Slovak minorities in Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Serbia and sizeable populations of immigrants and their descendants in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, collectively referred to as the Slovak diaspora.South Slavs
The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the South Slavic languages. They inhabit a contiguous region in the Balkan Peninsula and the eastern Alps, and in the modern era are geographically separated from the body of West Slavic and East Slavic people by the Romanians, Hungarians, and Austrians in between. The South Slavs today include the nations of Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs and Slovenes. They are the main population of the Eastern and Southeastern European countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.
In the 20th century, the country of Yugoslavia (lit. "South Slavia") united the regions inhabited by South Slavic nations – with the key exception of Bulgaria – into a single state. The concept of Yugoslavia, a single state for all South Slavic peoples, emerged in the late 17th century and gained prominence through the 19th century Illyrian movement. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, renamed to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, was proclaimed on 1 December 1918, following the unification of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs with the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro.Supernatural beings in Slavic religion
Other than the many gods and goddesses of the Slavs, the ancient Slavs believed in and revered many supernatural beings that existed in nature. These supernatural beings in Slavic religion come in various forms, and the same name of any single being can be spelled or transliterated differently according to language and transliteration system.Vistula Veneti
The Vistula Veneti (also called Baltic Veneti) were an Indo-European ethno-linguistic tribal group that inhabited the eastern regions along the Vistula river and the coastal areas around the Bay of Gdańsk. The term has been used in modern times to distinguish the Veneti (as noted by Roman and Greek geographers), who lived on the Central European plains, from the Germanic and Sarmatian tribes around them, and other Veneti tribes elsewhere, such as the Adriatic Veneti (modern-day Veneto), the Veneti of Armorica, and the Paphlagonian Veneti (modern-day Paphlagonia). Roman and Byzantine historians described the Vistula Veneti as the ancestors of Sclaveni (modern Slavic and Baltic peoples), who were known to the ancient writers of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD under the name of Veneti.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.
Slavic ethnic groups