How come Slavs expanded over such a huge territory in such a short time span?
Is it likely that proto-Slavic was a language of the military caste of the Avar khaganate?
That would explain this rapid expansion, remarkably low variation between Slavic languages; compared to the Romance or Germanic family; and seamless and quick assimilation of Avars. However, it wouldn't explain East Slavic migration.
Btw, what happened to Iranian tribes in Eastern Europe (Sarmatians, Scythians etc.)?
>Is it likely that proto-Slavic was a language of the military caste of the Avar khaganate?
>That would explain this rapid expansion, remarkably low variation between Slavic languages
Such language would almost certainly contain simplified grammar. Moreover, each modern language would contain lots of loanwords, especially for terms not related to military and government.
And it's obvious that Slavic languages are not like that. Their grammar is perhaps the most archaic among modern Indoeuropean groups (Lithuanian tops Slavic languages only in terms of phonology an morphology), suggesting relatively little linguistic admixture. Plus, Slavic has core vocabulary related to daily life and agriculture that is directly inherited from PIE.
Notice how they expanded north-east and not just east.
Those lands were filled with turkic- mongolic tribes.
Frankish was the language of the military caste of the Carolingian Franks, and you saw what became of that. Furthermore, a quick assimilation of the Avars is not so unlikely. Up until the 10th and 11th centuries almost all major political states in Slavic Eastern Europe were khanates established by a steppe tribe migrating west and unifying proto-Slavic tribes. The Avars were just one of several, and even after the 10th century there are moments where some Iranic, Turkic, or Uralic tribe again migrated into the area only to be assimilated.
The difference between Eastern Europe and the West was the relative lack of Romanized urban culture and aristocracy as an influence on language. Latin for instance drew in Gaulish from the countryside and Frankish from the migrating tribes into French, and similar fusions elsewhere but with different component languages led to Spanish, Italian, etc.
In Poland however there was just proto-Slavic and a short lived steppe hegemony.
>Sisek where Gradec should be
Also, it's Carantanians in English, not Chorutanians.
And there was no country called Samo.
If I remember correctly, He was one of the few authors to not be as negative towards the Slavs in his writings as other writers.
Samo may have been a king, but his empire was a tribal union at best. And I read somewhere that archeologists found evidence of trade embargoes going on between Moravia and Carantania, showing proof that the union was shaky at times.
> Notice how they expanded north-east and not just east.
Nothing to do with the "mongol" invasion.
As you might've noticed there is a green line showing the forest/steppe border.
Horse nomads did not go to forests, Slavonic tribes did not go to steppes. Well, except those who went on to become Balkan Bulgarians.
I think his sources were Frankish enovys to the Slavs. Still, it's possible he made Samo up to show Frankish superiority over the "barbarian hordes". On the other hand, why was he not more subjective in his writing, then?
>remarkably low variation between Slavic language
Which can be explained by their self-identity.
You didn't need potatoface to be slav. There are many Mediterranean-looking slavs even in let's say Slovakia. Slav is a person who can talk. Germans tend to be named as "those who can't talk". The very identity of proto-slavic people was based on language, hence why there's so little variation between slavic languages.
> Did Samo's "empire" even exist?
As a tribal union? Why not?
> while shit like this is never contested
I think it gets. I mean, how many people here are actually aware of the Norman theory debates in Russian historiography?
Doesn't mean much. I'd say English and Swedish are "closer" than Latvian/Lithuanian and Sanskrit. For example, I can read Latvian (and by extension Lithuanian), but can't understand Sanskrit at all.
The oriental Bolghars came to what is today Bulgaria and intermingled with the Slavic tribes living there, becoming Slavicised in the process, but retaining their old name.
Slavs used to be exclusively an ethnic group until the migrations, when the mixing began. You can see from the pic I provided that most of the ethnic groups still have a genetic picture with a plurality of the R1A haplogroup (the percentage is smaller in the Balkans where there were more natives). And I wouldn't really say there's little variation in Slavic languages; it's hard to understand a speaker from another regional language group (West, East, South Slavic) and it becomes impossible to understand anyone when dialects are involved. I won't deny that Slavic languages remained much closer than languages of other Indo-European language families, though.
"Norman theory" is a term used solely by Russian historians who are too anal pained to acknowledge the early Rus' states were founded by someone who wasn't ethnically Slavic, and even worse, very likely Swedish, from the country of eternal Russian enemies.
I honestly hate people who are too stupid to comprehend genetics and associate R1a solely with Slavs, not realizing there are different subclades of R1a that existed in certain areas literally thousands of years before Slavic migrations.
Anyone, actually. Germans simply were the ones who got stuck with the title of "foreigner" by 18th century.
> too anal pained to acknowledge the early Rus' states were founded by someone who wasn't ethnically Slavic, and even worse, very likely Swedish, from the country of eternal Russian enemies.
Oh, boy. Here we go again.
How do you explain that this debate exists pretty much only in Russia?
The people who established the first Rus' states were clearly Norse, as evidenced by everything from contemporary sources, through Пoвecть вpeмeнных лeт, customs, toponyms, names and even genetics.
I think more people would know about it if you changed the word Norman for Varangian.
It may be so but looking at the miniscule distribution of the R1A haplogroup in Western Europe and taking into account that the Slavic speaking ethnic groups are the ones with most, it's not really too far-fetched to connect the haplogroups to Slavs. I do remember reading that it was also shared by some East Germanic tribes, too, which could explain the distribution in Scandinavia (and perhaps for some of the distribution in the German-speaking area - some of that is from assimilated Slavs, on the other hand).
> How do you explain that this debate exists pretty much only in Russia?
a) It doesn't.
b) Why would anyone be surprised, if Russian history gets the most attention in Russia?
> everything from contemporary sources
> customs, toponyms, names
I distinctly remember some historians were not agreeing with this.
N1c is hardly "germanic".
> it doesn't override the fact that Rurik himself was not Slavic.
Rurik is no different from Samo - thoroughly legendary figure. Also, his ethnicity is nothing but a conjecture.
Yes it does, or at least in serious academic circles. The denounciation of "Normanist theory" is a thoroughly Russian thing and comes from Stalin's times where it could even land you in jail.
>N1c is hardly "germanic".
His particular branch is traced to central Sweden.
>Rurik is no different from Samo - thoroughly legendary figure.
With one exception, Samo didn't found a dynasty that ruled over his kingdom for hundreds of years.
Did Slavic influence any languages outside of its group?
There's virtually no loanwords in common Western languages (I can only think of 'bistro' off the top of my head), but what about some close non-Slavic languages like Romanian, Hungarian, the Baltic ones, or Albanian?
Not really, Slavs have a distinct look, but they mixed a lot.
For example, I'm personally from Balkans and all my ancestors are from Balkans, but I kinda look ''Russian'', I can't really explain it.
Point is there is a distinct Slavic look, just that for example in Balkans most of Slavs are heavily mixed with natives who were Mediterranean.
But still you have a fair amount of people in Balkans who look Slavic.
No we didn't mix with Turks, nor are Turks anything else but Greek and Balkan converts.
Just because descendants of a basal clade start speaking a different language does not change its origins, unless we talk about founder effects we still classify them as the marker of the group.
linguistically it's very difficult to say which languages have been borrowing words and which have been loaning them as most languages in the Fenno-ugric areas didn't have a written word up until the 18th-19th century. Lennart Meri discusses this whole topic in his book "Silver white"
> former being the literal opposite GER->SL
Plough? The word that initially referred to the heavy wheeled plough used 5 A.D. in the north-east of Roman Empire? Germanic origin?
Cool story, bro.
Wikipedia says a fifth of the vocabulary is to this day based on Slavic.
Well, in the 19th century Romania switched to latin script. It opened up to western europe and new technical innovations started making their way into the country. That's how new words of romance origins started to be used more often than those of the local slavic origin.
1) Slavs were the slave-infantry of the Avar Khaganate, whose concerted force was enough to break Byzantine power in the Balkans and allow them to settle as far south as the north Aegean coast within 50 years of their emergence at the Danube frontier.
2) Slavs, when on their own, migrated not by foot or horse, but by boat, which boosted their travelling speed significantly. Their vessels were simple logboats carved out of a single tree trunk which had beforehand been made pliable by exposure to fire - the procedure of carving a new boat took no more than a few days. The logboats enabled the Slavs to infiltrate even the Dalmatian and Greek islands and coastal Anatolia almost immediately.
3) The main culprit in enabling the Slavic expansion across Pannonia, Illyricum and the Eastern Alps was the Byzantine Empire, the machinations and wars of which caused the Germanic tribes which had hitherto inhabited the region to either migrate westwards or be destroyed. Since the Romance population of the area had been under the military rule of the Germanic tribes, a gap in the superstructure of local populations opened, which Slavs were able to fill as the new political elite of the region.
>Introduction of new farming equipment and tools in the 500s led to massive population growth
>Increasing organizational complexity in tribes thanks to greater wealth
>Power vacuum from previous migrations
>Ability to assimilate natives
So, it's like giving arms and military training to people whom you then exploit? In a nomadic tribal society?
> simple logboats carved out of a single tree trunk
It's a bit more complicated than that, but - yes. River-sailing culture was a thing. But it didn't provide that great of an impact.
> Byzantine Empire
No. Just. No.
Log-boats were popular all over Europe and Slavs were also makers and users of them.
In Slovenia, people used them well into the 19th century and I hear they are still made today, although mostly just as a part of cultural heritage.