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Saturday, 11 February 2012

Documentary Series About Medieval Croatia - "Hrvatski Kraljevi" (Croatian Kings)

...The Medieval Croatian Kingdom Was The First  To Appear In Ancient Dalmatia After the Ostrogoths...

*Note -  I should make it clear from the start, that this post originally was very short, to the point and basically just an introduction to and about the "Croatian Kings" documentary video series. However, I found that after adding a bit of extra factual introductory information to the reader to elaborate on a few topics discussed in the videos, that probably some other questions and facts would arise which also needed some background information and explanation, so then some more information was added, and newer information discovered which I felt should be included too. (After a while making and reading the post became like reading some suspense/mystery novel set in the early middle ages that was so intriguing that you just can't put the book down and want to keep reading, find out what happens next. Even more so because the people, places and events being read are not made up fictionalized characters and made up realms and kingdoms, but real and historical) Then I came across some utter nonsense on some serbian chit-chat sites and loads of crap Youtube comments which I also decided needed to be cleared up here and proven wrong.  That's how this originally short post snowballed to the point at where it is now. (That's the way it goes regarding topics like this, when dealing with various sources and languages, ancient names and empires, various rulers and kings, different evolving alphabets, scripts and the material written using them, but it's still an easy to follow, fact filled and interesting post at the end).  I think that not only Croatian background people, but Slavic people and even European people in general will enjoy reading some of the information because at times I have to explain the big picture, maps and source links included.  You will definitely enjoy reading this if you're a Croatian history buff.  I guarantee that at times the reader will be amazed at some of the information. You may be like those first people who eventually realized that it was the Vikings who sailed to the New World first, not Columbus. (And definitely not the Serbs) That the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around. The whole Hrvatska/Croatia, Deutschland/Germany, Magyarország/Hungary, Hellas-Greece, Nippon-Japan, Suomi-Finland, Helvetia/Switzerland exonym/endonym thing will be explained and better understood, and much, much more.......  

After reading this particular addition and watching the video series, If one is so inclined, you can also read an addendum I decided to include at the very bottom of this post below the videos. An addition that is related to the times after the periods concerned in this video series, that would probably be of special interest to novice Croatian history buffs.  A crash course as to how and why immediately after the medieval Croatian Kingdom for a time was made up of 3 constituent parts, and the very interesting history of why they were named the way they were, yet at the same time still always were and are Croatian lands.  The facts and truths involved will probably be a big downer for greater serbia supporters still lingering around since the 90's, or those armchair tall-tale tellers who like to write that it was just the "Serbs" who came to that part of Europe, only Serbs are the true Slavs, and that's just for starters. Based on some wacko stuff I came across on the Serb sites. (Like stating that all Slavic people are offshoots of Serbs, that it was the communists who all of a sudden "invented" Montenegrins, invented Albanians, invented Macedonians with Bulgarian help...that Croatians, Russians, Poles, English, Norwegians, Finns and even that Swedes are 100% pure Serbs but Greeks are only about 90% Serbs.  Serbs in Asia in 700 B.C. and circling the names of a bunch of tribes in North Africa  that start with the letter "S",  Aboriginal Serbs in Australia, maps covered in arrows, Serbs in ancient Mesopotamia, Serbs from Atlantis, Serb Adam and Eve, Jesus being half Serb or even all Serb,, Serbs from outer space, (yep, really) Serbs in America long before Columbus or even the Vikings...bla bla bla..etc............bla.  (I'm not kidding, see Romans, Germans, Swedes, Greeks and Jews are Serbian) Someone had to set things straight with information based on reality and facts and sources.  Showing the errors of mytho-mania and skewed whim-filled history writing is the catalyst for the extra added information in this post..... 

If making up wacko histories about your own people isn't pathological enough, but also preoccupation/obsession with inventing other peoples histories as well? Extending to a kleptomaniac mentality in also attempting to appropriate other ancient peoples and other Slavic peoples history, their literary history and so negate their existence? That is a klepto complex of someone with self-identification issues and so then tries to overcompensate using quackery)  I'm not going to get into wacko crap like that, trying to show the existence of Croats/Hrvati (or other European nations) from thousands of  years ago, using some connect the dots "H" letter rule (although I looked into it and could as well using psuedo/fantasy historical fiction telling) Using just Har-Wer alone I can give Croats/Hrvati at least a 6 thousand year past, or making Horites, Horus and other names somehow magically connected to the Croats in the wink of an eye because I said so. I could do numerous other examples all day and make Croats a super-duper race of space people from magikal planet. I could even do every people in Europe this way. I could make Russians, Germans, and even the Swiss a magical race that's been around since Swiss Adam and Eve who came from Switzerplanet. (Do I jest?)...I could have used examples of unearthed pottery and jewelry with red and white chequered pattern designs on them from thousands of years ago and faraway continents. That's for -psuedo historian fiction writers who don't accept the written and corresponding archeological and linear onymic evidence and truths from Balto-Slavic, Proto-Slavic and Early Slavic times in Europe. (Hey check it out, Croats have a 17,500 year history.)  I'm not going to even waste my or the readers time proving the commonly known fact that Cyrillic is not and never was a Serbian invented script, but originated in Bulgaria, just like the previous Glagolitic was the basis for Cyrillic and was actually a reformulation based largely on a many centuries old Proto-Slavic runic alphabet as well as Greek influences, and that different redactions, recensions and variants of both can be found in various parts of Europe, just like Old Church Slavonic.  You will see (with sourced references) that for centuries the eastern neighbours of the early Croatian principalities, duchies and then Kingdom of Croatia was always Bulgaria and the Byzantine empire, not any kind of land of Servia or Serbia or Serbs, until centuries later with the appearance of a Serbian church. The Bulgarians actually founded the city of Belgrade and populated it for centuries, it was actually called Alba Bulgarica at first for centuries (This is all proven in ancient sources and is not the point of this post though, Serb history will only be touched upon as it relates to the Croatian history being presented, and honestly there isn't any history regarding Serbs worth even noting anyway, because for the first 5 centuries our eastern neighbours were the Bulgarian and Byzantine empires and rulers exclusively, and Serbs were for the most part a part of Bulgaria. ipso facto) You will see (with sourced references) the relationship that the early Croats had with the Goths, where we were to be found in Proto-Slavic and Early Slavic times, how our ethnonym came to be, how (with sourced references and explanations of Metathesis linguistics, Onomastics and Onymics) how our ethnonym and early territories before arriving to the Adriatic sea has a part to play, again, with the Goths and Northern European people as well as the early Slavs.(Proto-Balto-Slavic and the Great Migrations in Europe will be touched upon)

(They must be teaching some really crazy ideas in some Serb history classes, after all, the Goths accomplished much more in less time and were much more widespread than Serbs, and no historian can prove to you where even they precisely originated from or were composed of with 100% certainty, let alone a statement by one of these types which I came across that Siberia is directly related to Serbs. Press Here.  Siberia is named from the Sabir people who have nothing whatsoever to do in anyway with Serbs. Either does the word "suburb" or "Subaru". (Again, see the Romans, Germans, Swedes, Greeks and Jews are Serbian "historian guy")  Connect the dots S's is not any kind of reality, but infantile psuedo-science, a complex that partly consists of overcompensating for less mentioned low points and moments in their history, moments that would almost be preferred to be forgotten by many of their 'historians' or just outright deleted.  This pattern sheds light on other similar statements and makes suspect a whole bunch of their other questionable suppositions and blatant exaggerations) People using those kinds of invented rules and allusions as their proof might as believe the logic and proofs found Here.

All of this is not really surprising however, it's just carryover from Communist Yugoslavia times. In those day the histories of various people, not only Croatian history, was being edited, suppressed, facts omitted or even falsified. (More accurate dating methods and new information sources were especially suppressed) This was all being done to suit the whims and agendas of the communist authorities, apparatchiks who twisted the arms of and even threatened historians, teachers and writers (who were only doing their jobs) not to stray from the official communist policy and version of things, the way the authorities wanted history to be taught in the schools, in books and periodicals. Promoting one group over another because that group was in charge of that ministry. This has been proven numerous times and even in other former Communist countries as well.  Much of the information you will read and learn about below is information that was forbidden to write or speak about in Communist Yugoslavia, and some people were even killed for telling the truth. Facts and topics related to a peoples history and past was not allowable, those who crossed that line from time to time, paid dearly for it. Many have died so that you can read these things now. From this point on you're going to learn some very interesting facts concerning Croatian history, even about the various places where we were to be found, and even who our neighbors were from even well before arriving to our present lands.  Wikipedia is a good starting point, however it can at times even be a source of misinformation. (Few things on the internet are untouchable these days when it comes to misinformation) It's very highly recommended to view a variety of sources and of course search through the works of much more professionally written material, which again uses factual sources of it's own. (Don't waste time reading Serb historians who usually b.s to the extremes) Read footnotes then search through those sources, read the opinions and proofs of historians who disagree with other historians. I added information found from other Slavic historians through the centuries as well, Polish, Russian, Czech and more, to see what their sources had to say about early Croatian history.

All the following information is for the benefit of the reader, especially if not familiar in with Croatian, Slavic or even European history. All information presented here is fact or based on fact, from valid proven sources with additions of expert opinions. No instances of sophism or inclusion of groundless and imaginative fallacies. I will present information with sources. You will not go on a wild historical goose chase following rules and guidelines where the reader will feel as though they are being fooled and led into believing that they are seeing the miraculous faces of Elvis or Jim Morrison in a piece of toast or on a potato chip.  You will not read faked news, scientific or archeological reports with made up facts, figures and results as has been the case in a few Srbian sites over the years, no world scientific body or organization pays attention to fabricated stories and results anyway.  You will not read fantastical origin tales and stories about thousands of years old Croats or any other people, afterall, modern day historians even these days debate about the origins and histories of Slavs, Goths, Veneti, Germanic peoples and how they all relate to one another, let alone their histories going back much further past the common era.  We can only go into the past as far as sources and linear history tells us conclusively. (You have to learn to walk before you can run)  Any editing of maps is done only to highlight an already presented fact or text excerpt of which I add the souces. Above all, all information provided in this post is for the sole reason of dispelling and proving wrong illogical fabricated material, fiction and untruths wherever they may be found. Now, let's go feed our horses, sharpen our swords, put on our helmets and armour and learn some interesting history.........

Historia Salonitana - ".....When they saw that the Croatian land would be suitable for habitation because in it there were few Roman colonies, they sought and obtained for their duke...The people called Croats...Many call them Goths, and likewise Slavs....."

If you're into Croatian history, especially about the times of the first Croatian rulers, princes and kings leading right up to the first medieval "Kingdom of Croatia", then this is the one for you. (You better hurry and watch it while it's still available on Youtube, after that you're on your own and will have to tap the keyboard)  "Hrvatski Kraljevi" (Croatian Kings) is a documentary series about the beginnings of the Croatian nation/state.   As a kid I found this type of stuff interesting, I guess partly because I always found  the medieval times fascinating.  All those cool looking coat of arms, armour, legends, wenches and witches.  Even when I was around 10 yrs old, and my Croatian wasn't exactly the best when it came to reading fact filled history books with all those technical words, I still enjoyed grabbing one of the few that were tucked away on a shelf anyway, read the best I could, but still really enjoyed flipping through all those cool photos and paintings of historic Croatian places, monuments and people from long ago.  Man I really wish the internet was around when I was a kid. It was even slim pickings in libraries even up to the 90's regarding this kind of stuff.  Old out-dated commie propaganda era books full of communist policy inspired versions of history, where one nation is promoted over another by tinkering with and omitting histories, or just very uninformed generalized paragraphs here and there. These days it's so awesome to just be able to tap some keys, and read/view material, documents and archived /museum displays from all around the world, sources that were previously only available to university professors, students, historians and archeologists.

No need to go to the crappy library at all now, to hunt and peck for mediocre out-dated or skimpy/erroneous material. Besides, especially for younger people of Croatian background, wouldn't it be a good idea to learn something about your own history, instead of always watching those done a million times  documentaries or films about about other peoples histories ad nauseum? Like when is the last time you saw any Croatian history mentioned on the History Channel? It's just usually about George Washington, WWII and Vietnam battles ad nauseum, Napoleon, Ghengis Khan, Caesar, etc. Or those cheesy made up religious films (especially ones featuring preachy Charleton Heston or where everybody has English accents) that have no historical reality at all.. This will probably be of little interest to the Roman, French, Greek, Russian and Frankish Empires were Serbian historian guy and his people. However, for Croatian, and even other background people, the following documented historical events and interesting real life locations are still with us today, and the documentary has those cool medieval helmets, swords and chainmail armour......

Before it was only through paintings like these, or textbooks where one could visualize moments of early Croatian history...  "Arrival of the Croats to the sea"  

King Tomislav (rex Croatorum) of the Croatian Kingdom in 925–928. Tomislav united the Croatian lands into a unified and recognized Kingdom. According to the contemporary De Administrando Imperio, the Croatian army and navy at the time consisted of approximately 100,000 infantry units, 60,000 cavaliers, and 80 larger (sagina) and 100 smaller warships (condura) 

 The Arrival of the Croats to the Adriatic Sea.,_Dolazak_Hrvata_na_Jadran.jpg  

King Zvonimir of Croatia. The arrival of the Croats to the Adriatic and then liberating and controlling Dalmatia in the 7th century was even told 3 times in "De Administrando Imperio". Croatia is the only nation and peoples language that for a time used 3 scripts simultaneously and independently in parallel in it's history which is still a European phenomena to this day! Some people also forget that according to DAI, the arriving Croats liberated and settled about 300 years previously not only in Dalmatia first, but in Pannonia and Illyricum as well. (More on this below and the video series will include discussion on this topic)

Demetrius Zvonimir (Croatian: Dmitar Zvonimir, Latin: Demetrius Sunimirio) crowned as "King of Croatia" (Latin: Rex Chroatorum) in 976 by Papal legate representatives of Pope Gregory VII,  portrayed with an old heraldic oath sign (Painting by Kristian Kreković)

The first known Croatian/Slavic script and alphabet used to write the Croatian language was Glagolitic, seen below on the Baška tablet.  Glagolitic was the precursor to Cyrillic and was used from the 9th century alongside Latin.  Interestingly, the script and alphabet contained various ancient elements including even from Pre-Christian Slavic writing. ( "Tallies and Sketches/Strokes and Incisions" similar to Runes) Highlighted in blue is the original Glagolitic transliterated into Latin script: "Zъvъnim[i]rъ kralъ hrъvatъskъï".  ie: 'Zvonimir the Croatian King".  In Croatian: "Zvonimir Kralj Hrvatski".(Glagolitic script is unicase, ie: no distinction between an upper or lower case)

Various Croatian interlace (Croatian: Pleter) 3-ribbon braided patterns are a special characteristic feature of numerous Croatian works of stone, used to decorate buildings, churches, and important inscriptions between the 9th and beginning of the 12th century.  Here a relief of a Pentagram with a round interlacing-ribbon pattern, from Solin, Hollow Church, 11th century. The shields on the falcons wings are believed to be one the first instances of the Croatian coat of arms carved in stone. (The Pythagoreans saw in the pentagram a mathematical perfection. Leonardo da Vinci centuries later saw in the pentagram a relationship to the Golden ratio, and included it in his famous drawing of "Vitruvian Man")

Elements of the above interlace pattern incorporated even into the emblem of the S.O.A.

From the 9th century, Croatian 3-ribbon knotted Pleter patterns from the town of Vrlika. This type of artistic style was a specific and special trait of the early Pre-Romanesque Medieval Croatian realms and monuments/buildings. Sometimes flowers, foliage and birds were included into the artwork design as well. The video series will include discussion on this topic.

Betrothal of the Croatian King Zvonimir by Celestin Medović.


  Croatian King Petar (Peter) Krešimir IV.  (Petar Krešimir the Great) Here seen holding an apple (orb) in his left hand and a scepter (or most likely a sword) in his right on a seal. The title of authority reads the  "SIGILLUM REGIS CRESIMIR RI DALMAT(C)HROA(t)" meaning: "seal of King Krešimir (IV) ruler of Dalmatia and Croatia. (The regions previous old historic classical name of Dalmatia used in antiquity was included as part of Croatia, and was kept to denote coastal Croatia from continental Croatia through the centuries, even to this dayIn 1069, he gave the island of Maun, near Nin, to the monastery of St. Krševan in Zadar, pointing out that it was Croats who ruled the lands and even the Adriatic: "Our own island that lies on our Dalmatian sea" (Latin: nostram propriam insulam in nostro Dalmatico mari sitam, que vocatur Mauni)

Baptistery from the 11th century with carved in stone relief of the Croatian King, a courtier and a subject. It is dated to the time of Peter Krešimir IV (1058–1074/5) and was located in nearby Hollow Church in Solin where Dmitar Zvonimir was crowned King with Papal authority in 1076. It is now located in the Split Cathedral. (Hollow Church will be reconstructed in the video series using CGI)

Baptistery of Croatian Duke Višeslav from around the year 800. Višeslav ruled from Nin between the years 785–802 and is known for his victory at the Battle of Trsat against the Franks attempting to annex the Croatian realms. (His nephew Vladislav, his successor Mislav and then Trpimir continued the Croatian destiny up to the time of King Tomislav) The baptistery can be viewed in person at the Museum of Archaeological Monuments in Split.

A 1997 stamp commemorating the 1000th anniversary since the death of Croatian King Stjepan Držislav. In an effort to compensate and award Držislav for the Croatian forces not joining the forces of Samuil of Bulgaria and instead aiding the Dalmatian towns from him, the Eastern Roman Emperor Basil II then also promoted Stjepan Držislav to a Patriarch and an Exarch which importantly also even gave Držislav "formal authority" from Byzantium over the Dalmatian thema to the Croatian Kingdom. (the Dalmatian cities in particular). This momentous historic act and formal confirmation from also the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople hence made him and all Croatian rulers after him, de jure and de facto, the rightful rulers, but also the heads of any Orthodoxy in the Croatian realms as well . (This was even before the East-West Schism of the next century) Croatian rulers had already aligned with Rome and western Europe for some time and had been crowned as Croatian Kings, (The Carolingian Empire of the Franks had already acknowledged, de jure and de facto, Croatian sovereignty even earlier)...yet these official confirmations from also the Byzantine Emperor legitimized further the already existing Croatian Kingdom and Držislav's Kingship...and supremacy in any official Orthodoxy decisions as well. (During early Orthodoxy it was initially the national rulers who were ultimately the heads of the new appearing national churches and who had the official right to exercise authority and adopt Orthodoxy in their kingdoms or permit it on their territory. This is because no national Orthodox church has the right to supersede an Orthodoxy in another nations territory/state. This would be an great unpardonable sin against Orthodoxy itself) Stjepan Držislav also received the royal coronation insignia as an act of recognition from the Byzantine Emperor, hence making it permissible for only a Croatian national Orthodox church to be supreme on Croatian territory vis-a-vis any other Orthodox national churches, in effect a double confirmation of Royal legitimacy, rightful rule and acknowledged Kingship continuity. For this he was crowned again by the Archbishop of Split in Biograd in 988  Image:

 An extremely rare and remarkable middle ages gem in stone during the reign of the Croatian King Stjepan Držislav. Below can be seen the Croatian ethnonym written in Latin which is closer to the Croatian pronunciation version instead of the Latinization rules in use up to that time on other Croatian royal inscriptions, a fusion of Latin and the sound rules found in Croatian and in other Slavic languages. This 10th century example regarding the Croatian king Stephen Držislav, clearly proves that the Croatian ethnonym in our language is "Hrvat", (As well as being called the general term "Slavs", we were known as 'Хoървати/Horvati' according to Nestor's Primary Chronicle) and that when Latinized as seen on many other early stone inscriptions it is "Croat". The above rare amalgam example proves also again that they are both the same name/ethnonym. "Croat" is etymologically derived from the much older "Hrvat". From this it is plain to see that "Croat" and "Hroat" both ultimately derive from "Hrvat".

In the early 9th century Croats successfully shook off the yoke of being divided and dominated by the Frankish Kingdom as well as Byzantium. They reorganized and solidified a part of their realms resulting in an early recognized Croatian Duchy. On the 4th of March in the year 852,  Duke Trpimir, founder of the Croatian House of Trpimirović, issued a charter in Biaći (in loco Byaci dicitur) in the 'lingua franca' of the Latin language, confirming Mislav's donations to the Archbishopric in Split. In this document regarding Trpimir it is written "Favored and by Divine Right, Duke of Croats" (Latin: Dux Chroatorum iuvatus munere divino) and his realm as the "Realm of the Croats" (Latin: Regnum Chroatorum)

Duke Branimir: "Duke of the Croats" (Dux Chroatorum) 879 to 892. Branimir's Duchy of Croatia received official recognition as a state from Pope John VIII on 7 June 879.  The Pope also requested protection for his legate to Bulgaria, which once more confirmed that the eastern Croatian realms bordered the Bulgarian empire.

Now you can do the same, yet without having to waste time and energy by going down to hunt and peck for books at your local library. (This is the day and age of the internet afterall, everything is just a few taps on the keyboard away)  This is  a 7 part documentary series that aired on Croatian Television just this past November, and it's chock full of useful information with the added bonus of cool visuals.  Just get your popcorn, sit back and watch all those historic places and people come alive before your very eyes.  From the time of the arrival of the Croats as pagans  to our present lands in the 6th and 7th centuries, to the time of King Tomislav and the first medieval Croatian Kingdom a few hundred years later.  You will see that it took hundreds of years from their arrival to the Croatian realms, to official recognition as a unified Kingdom in 925 under Tomislav, that the Slavic pagan ways were never really stamped out, especially in the most rural parts and the hinterland.

For them life went on as usual according to the old ways, and  even most marriages did not involve any kind of christian religious customs. I touch upon this topic on a previous post HERE. Croatian Television (HRT) has produced other documentary series'  but this is a first time effort for a documentary series that deals with with this early time period of Croatian history. Not a bad first time effort either.  When this series "Hrvatski Kraljevi" eventually gets to DVD, this will be the series to get to keep at home or for friends/family. The DVD release may even come with different language options.

Ljudevit Posavski was a Duke of Pannonian Croatia from 810 to 823. (His name in Slavic literally means Ljudevit "Trans-Savian" or "From along the Sava", as his realms spanned the entire breadth of the Sava river) The capital of his realm was in the north-central Croatian town of Sisak. As the ruler of the Pannonian Slavic Croats, he led a brave yet in the end unsuccessful resistance against the domination of the mightiest power of continental Europe..the Frankish Kingdom. He held close ties and forged a common policy with the neighboring Carantanian and Carniolan tribes to the west, (tribes that eventually went on to become today's Slovenians) Ljudevit raised a general Slavic rebellion against the encroaching Frankish rulers in 819 which lasted for several violent and bloody years. After the Slavs of Carantania and Carniola succumbed to complete Frankish rule however, Ljudevit Posavski became the only remaining Slavic ruler left who still fought on to prevent a total Frankish domination. Refusing to negotiate terms or accept Frankish rule as part of a new Frankish political status quo, he and his forces reneged a previous truce offer and battled on for 2 more years across large areas of Croatia, (which included modern day BiH) and he was victorious in several important battles where the Franks suffered heavy losses and defeats. (Even the powerful Frankish military leader Cadolah was forced to retreat) It was not long after that more large Frankish armies were amassed from all corners of the Frankish Kingdom (Italia, East Francia, Bavaria, Saxony and Alemannia) and concentrated against him after a harsh winter. Unable to defend against 5 large and freshly conscripted Frankish armies simultaneously,  Ljudevit Posavski is recorded in sources as escaping to his far eastern fringes to regroup and reassemble his remaining forces, it was during this time that he then comes across a fort southeast of Alba Bulgarica near Stari Ras that was occupied by a local nameless ruler of a sparsely scattered people who were called Serbs. (Serbs was an applied exonym used by the Greek Byzantine and the western Roman and Frankish Latin writers meaning servants/slaves or lowly nomadic nameless people. The Bulgarian empire was already expanding from the east as well and would soon enslave these so-called Serbs for many years) However, after finding out that the Serb ruler of the fort instead tried to betray Ljudevit to the Franks, the Croatian and Slavic duke Ljudevit had him killed and then took the fort for himself, even ruling it for a time. With no foreseeable allies or future there however, Ljudevit left soon afterwards and traveled back west to Dalmatia and attempted to obtain a final peace with the Frankish empire. Years of long travels, dwindling supplies, war weariness, his ranks thinned by disease and being now greatly outnumbered by fresh Frankish armies ensured his final defeat however. He was the greatest foe of the Franks for years and eventually died in 823, yet the years of bloody wars and armed revolt were not in vain. The following Croatian Dukes and Princes were finally obliged to accept a peace, yet the powerful Frankish Empire ruled by Emperor Lothair I still feared another potential powerful uprising and future armed revolt, and so the Franks bestowed upon the Croats many rights, privileges and other favorable terms to be allies. It was during this new political status quo framework that the emerging Croatian Dukes and Princes started and eventually accomplished Ljudevit Posavski's ultimate goal of a united independent realm.  After arriving to Dalmatia, Panonnia and Illyricum over two hundred years previously from White Croatia, the next series of events proved pivotal for the success of the whole Slavic history, and importantly to the soon to be united Croatian realms and history as well. Ljudevit Posavski can properly be considered a precursor to the later Croatian Dukes and Princes and the more successful King Tomislav, who's Croatian Kingdom (Latin: Regnum Croatiae/Croatian: Kraljevina Hrvatska) would become a formidable European power as well in it's time. (Ljudevit's exploits will be discussed and shown in the documentary, a scene from the episode below)

Interestingly, the exploits of Duke Borna, (ruled 801-821) who is discussed in the first video, has even made his way into becoming a popular Croatian comic book.  Borna was an early Croatian duke of Littoral Croatia  (dux Dalmatiae atque Liburniae / duke of Dalmatia and Liburnia) ruling as a vassal of the extremely powerful and encroaching Frankish Kingdom, yet he prevented Frankish rulers to outright annex and install foreign Frankish rulers.  Borna took advantage of the political situation and attempted to rule his and the Croatian realms with Frankish support rather than the Franks usurping direct absolute and despotic authority in all spheres. He was obliged as Duke to battle with Ljudevit Posavski, who refused to negotiate and accept any Frankish terms and still fought on for years against the new political status quo. (After the initial arrival of the Croats to Dalmatia and forming territories, the western Franks greatly grew in power and military might becoming the mightiest and sole continental European power, even outright becoming the Western Roman Empire)  It was through Borna's descendents however, and other Croatian Dukes that the later Croatian realms finally shook off the yoke of Frankish overlordship for good. Taking Borna's (and even Ljudevit Posavski's) example to the next step,  they all strived towards a common Croatian destiny that was independent of both Frankish and Byzantine overlordship and eternal, becoming forged into an independent European power becoming only tied by culture and religion. The rising in power and prestige Croatian rulers shortly after the death of Borna, allied with the Franks and then joined in their common heritage and struggle for uninterrupted Croatian statehood.  The Croats during these early times with the Frankish Kingdom on their very doorstep, stopped the tradition of previous writers to classify us under the ancient names of the lands where we were to be found. Classical names of antiquity such as Liburnia went on to become the early Croatia realms and named after the Croats who resided there. Croats and Croatia were now a part of the new European political status quo. This new political climate and following Frankish-Byzantine conflicts they used to their advantage, Croatian history from that point on changed the political map and structure of Europe for all time.  Croat realms again leaving irremovable political, military and cultural footprints, historical markers and deeds for posterity.  It is fitting that Borna's legacy, although at first attempting to rule the Croatian realms as a vassal prince with Frankish support, he ultimately affected and changed the completely Frankish dominated political climate through his descendents especially. Frankish power with support from Rome and Byzantine attempts at Croatian vassalage played out a dramatic climax across the Croatian lands...Croatian history would not be denied however.  Within a short time, this directly led to the growing strength and rule of the Croatian Princes, Dukes and Kings shortly after him and mentioned thus far.  He was an intermediary between his father Višeslav, his nephew Vladislav, his successor Mislav and then Trpimir who continued the Croatian destiny on it's new and more successful and permanent course within the political status quo of Europe...a precursor to the goal of uniting the Croatian lands under one central and independent royal Croatian King. Just like the attempts of Ljudevit Posavski, a common goal of a destiny with Croatia as an integral  part of the approaching new millennium and history of the new Europe. About a 200 year hiatus from the recorded time of Croat tribes arriving until their first recognized and fully functioning royal state. Croatia would soon become a mighty power in it's own right, and vindicated by the later rule of King Tomislav.  Illustrations are by Boris Talijancic

Duke Domagoj and his archers. (864-876)  Domagoj helped the Franks to conquer the Italian occupied Emirate of Bari from the Arabs in 871. The joint capture of Bari by Franco-Lombard troops was assisted by Croatian ships and forces. A precursor to defending against the Muslim Jihads of the later Ottoman Empire. Interestingly, the Pope referred to him as his "Famous Duke" (glourisus dux)...yet after his death the Venetians named him "The worst/severest Duke of Slavs" (pessimus dux Sclavorum) because his pirates caused havoc for Venetian ships. (His exploits will be shown and discussed in the video series)

Scenes from the series

...Throughout the series there's also input from other European historians and experts as well, discussing even the ancient Croatian people and homelands that were located in present day Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine before arriving to where we are today.  All done against the backdrop of CG visuals that reconstruct important ruins and buildings, that make you feel like you are actually there. It's not "Lord of the Rings", or "Game of Thorns", but there are some good special effects that make it seem realistic and one feels the ambiance of the times instead of just looking at paintings and statues.  Not a dry boring series at all.  As well as touching upon what they ate, how they lived, farmed and built their homes, buildings and castles/forts.  This documentary series is in Croatian of course, but is still worth checking out even if your Croatian is subpar or even non-existent these days. Who knows? It may even inspire you to brush up on your "Hrvatski".  Also, perhaps as a surprise to many, it will be shown that Croatia in those times essentially had no dealings with Serbs or their activities across the Drina river. (Save for the times they saved them from the Bulgarians or were in battle against the Ottomans)  You will also learn that our ethnicity and ethnic name is a very cherished thing. Croats/Hrvati came to our present lands as the generic all encompassing term Slavs/Sclaveni yes, but we refused to be renamed or take another name.  We refused to take a Roman 'username' reserved for the lowest of peoples, to be lumped together with various other peoples by the Byzantine Empire as just simply Slaves/Servs and then use that as our new ethnic name. After our long, eventful and interesting history, even to this day we have kept our name, we are Slavic and we are Croats/Hrvati who brought our name with us to the Adriatic sea long, long ago.  Afterall that's why it's called "Hrvatska/Croatia" in case you didn't know. (More on this subject as you read on)

Promo from the world premeire of the "Croatian Kings" documentary series on Viasat History Channel, which was broadcast to over 30 countries. (In English) More info at a post Here.

Right up through the centuries of union with Hungary and Austria even. Croatians had official political dealings with Hungary, Austria, Venice, even for a short time with Napolean's France, but never with any entity that was to be known as or called eventually Serbia. Not until the beginning of the 20th century, and only then for 70 years were Croatians and Croatian lands, along with other peoples and their lands,  in a common entity as part of a state that included Serbia. From the very beginning of the Croatian principalities, duchy's, states and kingdom, we were always separate from the Serbs and their dealings in their realm. (Different cultural influences also accounts much to the orientation that our culture, language and literary history took) That's a very interesting and true fact which puts the short lived existence of the former-Yugoslavia into perspective. During the past century, Serb claims to foreign lands based upon a few more recent sprinkled Serb churches or monasteries here and there, even to Austria, Romania and Hungary, and elsewhere, or just ludicrous claims with no foundation is a very disordered thinking pattern and erroneous system of reasoning. Over 1500 years vis-a-vis 72 years. (More on that HERE

I sort of wish though that the documentary series would have touched upon one of the first mentioned Croatian Dukes/Princes, Duke Porga, a little bit in the first video of the series. It was during his rule that Croats inhabiting the early Dalmation Croatia all the way up to Istra, are mentioned as inhabiting and governing at that time. The first organized Croatian realms before joining other Croatian realms in the rest of Dalmatia, Panonnia and Illyricum. Duke Porga's rule coincided with the time of Pope John IV which would mean an ordered Croatian Duchy existed already before the year 640.  However, there aren't a tremendous amount of text about him or others from those early times, what we have is just the basics. Also, the not at first realized importance of this, (as well as other text in relation to the early presence of Croats and their history) the important fact that this was recorded not only by Papal sources  AND  by the Byzantine (Not the Croats, Rome or Franks etc) Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos in his historical work "De Administrando Imperio" (DAI).  But more than that, Constantine VII used as his sources all Byzantine historical manuscripts and writings at Byzantium's disposal, even all the emperial archives of Rome, which also included those by none other than the Emperor Heraclius himself.  The very Emperor who asked the Croats to free then possess the land in the first place. Porga could be classified as an early Croatian version of  Augustus in their new realms.

Some scenes from episode one of "Croatian Kings".

*A note to the reader -  Before continuing on and proceeding to watch the videos, I would just like to make 1 thing clear. Maps used on this post were not arbitrarily picked  to show favoritism to the Croatian point of view, but rather to show the most true visualizations of what the reality was 1500 years ago and onwards. Obviously borders portrayed on any maps from those times are not accurate to the point where one can without a doubt pinpoint delineation points between peoples and realms to the square meter. Also because of various empires, realms and kingdoms in those days there was a certain amount political agenda seeping into written works as well as map making.

I used numerous sources in finally deciding exactly which maps to add here (as well as some of my own personal opinions added based on research).  From Byzantine, Roman, Papal, Frankish, Carolingian, Ecclesiastical, Cartographers, Historians, Bulgarian, Greek, Northern Slavic sources and others, just for starters. (Also to not forget the original scripts, pronunciation and spelling used, Slavic liquid metathesis and pleophony rules,and then translated to other language/script versions, not a simple task)  Using just 1 map as your proof without showing some sort of source and explanation is sort of like religious fundamentalism.  I've  seen some very erroneous, misinformed and untruthful maps floating around.  Maps made by people who used only 1 source without taking my above points into consideration. I've also seen some maps that are blatantly wrong and without a doubt made by people with political agendas. (Those are the ones that were drawn up more recently, by the same type of people who then used these same maps to promote, start and justify the Serbian ethnic cleansing campaigns of the 90's)  A few of them look like they were drawn up quickly during a high school lunch hour by this guy, or just playing around with Photoshop when drunk.

A few of these maps, even from recent centuries,  pertaining to the dark/medieval ages, were obviously nothing but politically oriented because of blatant omissions of commonly known proven facts, guilty of misappropriating names of people to imply an ethnicity or something that it does not mean, especially the term Sklaveni/Slavs.  Some maps of the exact same years even, from different sources can look very different, or very skewed. (This is usually done when historians of other times and geographical areas, such as North American history/maps, then decide to wet their feet in uncharted territories of  cartography/history, that is not their specialty, such as areas of Europe)  Understanding maps from the first millennium especially, numerous factors have to be taken into consideration, as well as at least a working knowledge of Latin, Greek, geographical terms, religious terms, toponyms, history, cartography, archaeology and more, to truly understand what the map is implying and where the author got their information. Even recent archaeological evidence needs to be taken into account. (The Baška tablet being a prime example, which proved Croatian rule in the Istrian peninsula in the 11th century) 

All of these things, and more information I've learned over the years, is what I used before deciding which maps to use. To the person with just a casual interest or rudimentary knowledge about the very beginnings of Croatian history in Europe, they will at least come to the conclusion that much of recent Serbian irredentist history about so-called strictly "Serb lands" (especially policies related to the Serb wars of aggression in the 90's) is unfounded and in the majority of cases the absolute opposite.  Wikipedia is a good starting point for basic information, but sometimes more background information is needed to have a clearer understanding about those times.  The source links and links to more material at the bottom of Wikipedia pages is a good starting point to familiarizing ones self more with topics, as many times one can find Serbs going into Wikipedia articles themselves then adding Serbisms.......Never take just a map or anything at face value and the absolute truth even these days. See HERE.

Here is just some of the events and topics that the documentary series "Croatian Kings" will touch upon:

Adapted from

".....The Croats were a Slavic tribe, coming into the south-east Europe from an area in and around today's Czech Republic/Poland and western Ukraine. Serious modern scholars believe that the early Croat people, as well as other early Slavic and Gothic groups, were mostly agricultural populations during their stay north of the Black Sea. They could have had minimal contact with Iranian-speaking Alans who arrived in the Pontic-Caspian steppe and northern Caucasus. However, any evidence on their contribution to Slavic people and the Goths however is mainly philological and etymological, as the Alans and their language eventually directly evolved into the modern nation of Ossetia (also known as Alania) and the modern Ossetian language. Dubious theories and personal fanciful opinions by some 19th century writers have been shown to have neglected obvious historical markers and invented instead migration models that have also been proven wrong using modern day genetic evidences. The most widely accepted Slavic theory by historians agree that the onomastic, onymic, written accounts and other linear historical markers point to the commonly known migration of White Croats from the territory of White Croatia (initially centered at and around the Carpathians during the early common era) and later expansion southward during the Migration Period.

The name of Croatia derives from Medieval Latin Croātia, from Dux Croatorum ("Duke of Croatians") attested in the Branimir Inscription, itself a derivation of North-West Slavic *Xrovat-(Hrovat), by liquid metathesis from proposed Common Slavic *Xorvat-(Horvat), from proposed Proto-Slavic *Xarwāt- (*Xъrvatъ) or *Xŭrvatŭ (*xъrvatъ), (Harvat, Hurvat) The origin of the name is not wholly certain, but is known to have been related to the Goths as well as the early Slavic tribe who went on to become the Croats, all this from well before the time of the territory of Oium being ruled by Filimer  It is most likely that it was originally connected to a Gothic name that after Slavicization remained to become a widespread ethnonym, a fairly long process that started in the early common era (ECE) and went through various mutations in written accounts until the more commonly known versions from the 8th to 12th century were recorded. The original root also went on to affect naming customs of other peoples in various ways. (Hróðhvatr, Hruod, Hruot, Hroat etc) and toponyms including early versions for the Carpathian mountains and other locations. The oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ written in the Croatian language and in stone is attested in the Baška tablet in the style "zvъnъmirъ kralъ xrъvatъskъ" (Zvonimir, the Croatian King/Zvonimir, Kralj Hrvatski). 

(*Note- Various modern historians believe that Goths were composed of large populations of Slavs. Historians are even to this day debating about the original homeland of the Goths, which some have identified around the Baltic sea, and then later to Scandinavia. Some believe that the Goths were Slavic through and through or at the very least composed of Slavic allies. More on this as you read on and which will deal with the early Croats)

The chronicle of Ivan Lučić Lucius gives an account of the arrival of the Croats where he wrote ...."The people called Croats…Many call them Goths, and likewise Slavs......".  Some Gothic/Getic names mentioned by Jordanes: Telefus, Gradivus, Filimer, TheudemirValamir, Videmir and Vithimir. Do these not even sound Slavic? (related to Muncimir? Branimir? Trpimir? Zvonimir? KrešimirSelimir? etc. Just coincidences? What is the relationship of  the Croatian/Slavic surname suffix "-vich" and suffix "-mir" to the very names of Merovich, the founder of the Merovingian 'sorcerer kings' dynasty? Clodomir and Marcomir? See and for more sidenote interesting info)  

There are numerous historical written works concerning those times that portray the Goths as largely composed of Slavs in time, as well as calling Goths peoples known to be Slavic.  To the writers of antiquity those 2 peoples names were very interchangeable.  Some people sweep these and many other facts and under the rug, this was especially the case during the communist Yugoslavia regime, however as new information over the years has been brought to the forefront and facts being uncensored again, it is erroneous and unscholarly to deny these revelations concerning early Croat history, as well as other Slavic peoples history in some cases. All in all, food for thought, interesting and enlightening)

Before moving on, this would probably be a good place to remind the reader that they will come across the name of today's modern Croat/Croatia-Hrvat/Hrvatska name spelled similarly but in a few different ways in the past, especially from the more ancient text sources. This is because of traits that are unique to Slavic languages. speaking patterns and pronunciation idiosyncrasies which were at that time commonplace only to Slavic peoples in that part of Europe. and even today. Speech patterns that were translated differently by foreign languages according to their own preferences.  Croats and Croatia were mentioned by numerous writers long ago who spelled according to their own language, script and phonetic rules. Because of the wedged in between empires area where Croats were to be found, we were mentioned by nations in various languages using Classical Latin  Medieval Latin, Old Slavonic, Medieval Greek, Cyrillic, Germanic, Glagolitic, eventually Old English and then different evolving Slavic languages who again, used different scripts and phonetic rules. (Nestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how the "H" sound eventually came to become pronounced in a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here) Whereas in early Old Slavic/Greek sources our name starts with the letter "X" giving the "H" sound, names derived from Latin sources usually started our name with either a "C", ("K sound)...some Latin script languages (German) opted for their "K",  in some Latin alphabet based languages they even opted to stay truer to the source and used a Latin "H " (Old English) which is today's "H".   (In some cases, as in modern Polish, it would be "CH" which still is the "H" sound, Russian Cyrillic "B" is a Latin "V " etc...etc....

*Example: In the centuries when Latin was the Lingua franca of most of Europe, during the reign of King Stephen Držislav of Croatia in 969, in stone we see it written in Latin "DUX HROATOR"...Listen HERE...(A remarkable testament in stone of a more familiar sounding Croatianized version of Latin for 'Croats', actually a rare onomastic jewel and important continuity marker in stone)..but for the most part using strict yet changing Latin rules, we see being used mostly instead "DUX CHROATORUM" ("Duke of Croats" during the reign of Branimir of Croatia  in 879... Listen HERE) The following excerpt from Wikipedia regarding the evolution of pronunciation from Medieval Latin shows again why in today's English versions "Croatia" is used: "h might be lost, so that habere becomes abere, or mihi becomes mi (the latter also occurred in Classical Latin); or mihi may be written michi, indicating that the h had come to be pronounced as k or perhaps kh. This pronunciation is not found in Classical Latin".  (Remarkably and very interesting however, on the Baška tablet using the Croatian Glagolitic alphabet which was better suited to expressing sounds specific to the Croatian and Slavic languages, it was written as " Zъvъnim[i]rъ kralъ hrъvatъskъï" (Zvonimir, kralj hrvatski/Zvonimir, the Croatian King) with spelling of our endonym "Hrvatski" exactly as it is today)

 More on the history of the Valun tablet and origins of the Glagolitic alphabet Here.


A perfect example of the above topic about the changing rules of Latin spelling in relation to Croatian language and pronunciation. The Valun tablet (pictured above) is dated to before the 11th century.  Even though the stone carving is very simple and at first glance seems not very artistic or important... (It was probably done by someone with very rudimentary Glagolitic and stone carving knowledge)...the important point is that this homemade, simple gravestone shows examples of Croatian being written in a Glagolitic version at the top, and below that the same sentence then written in Latin. (The Latin reads "TECHA ET FILIUS EIUS BRATOHNA ET IUNNA NEPUS EIUS".  It tells the reader that 3 generations of a family from that village of Valun are buried there.  The grandmother Teha, the son Bratohna and the grandson Juna. (It doesn't say how they died, most likely tuberculosis which was very prevalent in those times).....

....The Croatian Glagolitic script 3rd letter for the name Teha is a Glagolitic script "H" sound symbol/letter.  The corresponding "H" sound in the Latin rules script of that time is spelled as "CH"  Same sound being expressed in 2 scripts.  As Latin spelling/pronouncing rules eventually changed, the Croatian language version never changed and kept the original Glagolitic script "H" sound symbol.   So in this case even though it is spelled differently,  it's still the same person, the same "Teha", the same name, just like today's "Hrvatska/Croatia"  It's just the interesting and changing world of  language/script Onymics.  The above very simple and sort of crude gravestone (Compared to others)...was done for and by Non-Royalty and was not an official ecclesiastical/church commemorative engraving.  (The family were probably poor, or not very well off anyway, and likely living isolated or in a not very populated area there in Valun on the the island of Cres, perhaps tending flocks or farming.  It was carved probably by a family member or acquaintance with limited carving skills and basic writing knowledge).....

......This Valun tablet is however, a very good example of the Croatian language in Glagolitic script being transliterated into a corresponding Latin, the exact same sentence, at the same time and on the very same stone. (The engraving shows us a few important things.  Firstly, that Croatian was being written in Glagolitic script. (The Croats were the only nation in Europe who were bestowed with the special right by Pope Innocent IV in 1248 to use their own language and this Glagolitic alphabet in liturgy)...Secondly it shows us that Latin was also still used locally for religious reasons, much like the rest of the Catholic world in Europe.  However thirdly, and most interesting to me about all gives us 3 local Croatian names from that point in time and area that we may otherwise never heard of)  I very highly doubt that the person who carved these lacklustre, unremarkable sentences into this plain unpolished stone slab realized just how important and enlightening their actions would be for us today and for Croatian history over a 1000 years later.  There are many examples of Croatian Glagolitic being used in the Croatian lands through the following centuries, as well as found all throughout Europe (More on Glagolitic history Here), it was used in writing numerous missals and manuscripts, but it was only the Croats that carved Glagolitic writing in stone leaving a lasting permanent legacy. ......Onymics.

A fragment of the Glagolitic "Krk Inscription" from the island of Krk,
and dated to the 11th century.  Also one of the earliest examples of Croatian Glagolitic alphabet in stone. This example is better carved than the "Valun tablet" and also gives us 3 male Croatian names from that time...Dobroslav, Radonja and Rugota. The Glagolitic alphabet is intriguing because no one can say with 100% certainty who exactly devised and where the alphabet exactly originated. Some believe it was Hieronymus, who used various older sources. Many of the alphabet symbols are reminiscent of centuries older ancient scripts that were in use where Slavic people dwelled.  The Glagolitic alphabet is still to this day a topic of growing serious study and discussion as more recent archeological evidence points to the alphabet symbols containing elements of numerology, astrology, mythology, mysticism and architecture.

The Inscription of Župa Dubrovačka is a Croatian Glagolitic script that was discovered just west of Dubrovnik and is dated to the 10th or 11th centuries. The fascinating thing is that it was only discovered in 2007.  See The_Oldest_Croatian_Type_Of_Glagolitic_Script for more information about this fascinating and mysterious ancient first script of the Croatian language.

.... In Russian the "X" resembles the modern English "H" sound, however in the Ukrainian alphabet, "X" has a slight dialectical change and is transliterated as "KH" (with the major stress on the "H" sound) which is closer to the Old Slavic from Nestor's "Primary Chronicle"... where it represents the voiceless velar fricative /X/, closer to how Croatians pronounce "Hrvatska" or like the Scottish pronunciation of ⟨ch⟩ in "Loch".  (Nestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how the "H" sound eventually came to become pronounced in a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here) This is most likely also why the medieval Latin versions would start our name with a "C", Latin writers probably had a harder time pronouncing the Croatian "voiceless velar fricative X" so they just went with "C" (full K sound) because it was easier for them...Chroatorum/Croat/Horvat-Hrovat-Hrvat )  This is where liquid metathesis, some background knowledge in Latin, Greek, Old Slavonic, German and the various scripts used is very helpful.  Sometimes 3 or more languages writing about the same thing/name at the exact same time in history would be spelled in 3 or more different ways and scripts and pronounced slightly different. (As an amusing correlation, take the times of immigrants arriving to the new world at the turn of the last century...a lot of Croatian surnames...take Filipović for changed to Filipovich because the border official wasn't familiar with our letter "Ć" and it's "CH" sound,  or he just kept the original spelling so then eventually the "Ć" got pronounced as a "K", there are cases where this particular surname even got changed to Philips)  In a nutshell, it all comes full circle and means the same thing.  A trained eye along with a basic knowledge of the above mentioned languages,  their scripts/spelling rules and phonetics,  for them original manuscript text is more plain to see, coherent, understandable and fluid.  Now you know the very basics of how and why "Hrvatska" became "Croatia" to English speakers as well. Moving on......

Croatia/'s all just Onymics

Excerpt of text and image source:

Below is an image of the "Trpimir Beneficiary"  The inscription on the gable of Croatian Duke Trpimir with his name on it says in Latin: PRO DUCE TREPIM[ERO] (and in the beneficiary Trpimir is called “with Divine support...Duke of Croats“ (dux Chroatorum munere divino) These two monuments are so far the oldest ones found which mention the name of "Croats" and the title of their Croatian ruler. On 4 March 852 Trpimir issued a charter in Biaći (in loco Byaci dicitur) in the Latin language, confirming Mislav's donations to the Archbishopric in Split.  In this document, Trpimir named himself "by Divine Mercy, Duke of Croats" (Latin: Dux Chroatorum iuvatus munere divino) and his realm as the "Realm of the Croats" (Regnum Chroatorum). Latin was the "Lingua Franca" at that time in most of Europe. (It should also be noted that the Gospel of Cividale, which contains the first known Croatian autographs/names in a Latin text, extend from the 8th century onwards. (cf. Cronia 1953b)  It was first used to render Croatian onymic material in Latin texts. (See Here)  Because of the areas where Croats were located throughout history, between various empires, cultures and languages, this is also another good example and reminder that when searching for or reading about Croatian history, one has to keep in mind the already mentioned topic of "Ethnonym", and how Exonym/Endonym come into play. (ie: How different versions of Hrvatska/Croatia were written in different languages and why)

  In the early 9th century Croats successfully shook off the yoke of being divided and dominated by the Franks as well as Byzantium. They reorganized and solidified a part of their realms resulting in an early recognized Croatian Duchy. On the 4th of March in the year 852,  Duke Trpimir, founder of the Croatian House of Trpimirović, issued a charter in Biaći (in loco Byaci dicitur) in the 'lingua franca' of the Latin language, confirming Mislav's donations to the Archbishopric in Split.  In this document regarding Trpimir it is written "Favored and by Divine Right, Duke of Croats" (Latin: Dux Chroatorum iuvatus munere divino) and his realm as the "Realm of the Croats" (Regnum Chroatorum) From this and later royal charters by Dukes/Princes Branimir and Muncimir, we see the similarities and a glimpse into the organization of the early Croatian court, which was also used by the Carolingian court. From around this time early Croatian churches, especially around Nin, we see them as centrally planned  buildings similar to in and around Ravenna, Aachen and other Carolingian structures. The Carolingian dynasty was the preeminent political and military power of Nostra Terra Europa.

The book De Administrando Imperio, written in the 10th century, is the most referenced source on the migration of Slavic peoples into southeastern Europe. It states this Croatian migration was first before all of the other Slavs around or before the year 600 from the region that is now (roughly) Galicia and Silesia near Bavaria and areas of the Pannonian/Transcarpathian (referred to as Great and White Croatia) to the province of Dalmatia.  De Administrando Imperio reports a folk tradition that the Croats were led into the Roman province of Dalmatia by a group of five brothers, Klukas, Lobel, Kosenc, Muhlo and Hrvat, and their two sisters, Tuga and Buga. (The hydronyms of the Tuga river in Poland and the Bug river in Poland, Belarus and Ukraine may very well be etymologically connected to the names of the sisters)

The earliest record of contact between the Roman Pope and the Croats dates from a mid-7th century entry in the Liber Pontificalis. Pope John IV (John the Dalmatian, 640-642) sent an abbot named Martin to Dalmatia and Istria in order to pay ransom for some prisoners and for the remains of old Christian martyrs. This abbot is recorded to have travelled through Dalmatia with the help of the Croatian leaders, and he established the foundation for the future relations between the Pope and the Croats.

A letter dated 925 written by Pope John X to Croatian King Tomislav at the Council of Split..."...To our dear son Tomislav, King of Croatia..." (Latin: rex Croatorum)  Shortly afterwards Tomislav led his Croatian forces to victory during the Croatian-Bulgarian battle of 927, which secured Croatia's eastern boundaries border with Bulgaria at the Drina river. Also mentioned in the records from the Council are references to Tomislav as King "rex et proceres Croatorum" (...King and Princes of Croatia) and at the second council in 928 is written the "pax inter Bulgaros et Croatos"(ie: the peace between Bulgaria and Croatia) In a note preceding the text of the Council conclusions in Split in 925 it is written that Tomislav is the King "in the province of the Croats and in the Dalmatian regions" (in prouintia Croatorum et Dalmatiarum finibus Tamisclao rege)...thus acknowledging that Dalmatia was under Tomislav's rightful rule. It is estimated that the population at the time of Tomislav was about 2 million, a population figure that was not achieved again until the middle of the 19th century. This is a testament to the numerous deaths and wars fought on Croatian territory over the past 1000 years, especially the centuries of defence of western civilization against the military Jihads of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. (More information on this important and historic battle at

In the 7th century A.D., seven tribes led by 5 brothers (Kluk, Lobel, Muhlo, Kosjenic and Hrvat) and 2 sisters (Buga and Tuga) migrated to Dalmatia (the coastal part of today's Croatia) as part of the migration of the Croats in the 7th century, being invited to settle on this vastly depopulated area by Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Heraclius (610–641) in order to establish a shield against Avars for his state. Simultaneously they are also recorded as populating  Pannonia and across Illyricum. It states this Croatian migration was first before all of the other Slavs around or before the year 600 from the region that is now (roughly) Galicia and Silesia near Bavaria and areas of the Pannonian/Transcarpathian (referred to as Great and White Croatia) to the province of Dalmatia.

*Personal note - I've always found this version extremely interesting, the Croat peoples being led to Dalmatia and the Adriatic coast by the 5 brothers and 2 sisters. Firstly, in case somebody read the above text too fast or weren't paying attention, they must realize it's not an "Adam and Eve" story.  The Croats didn't start from just the 5 brothers and 2 sisters, even though as the leaders of the Croat tribes, they are usually the only ones portrayed or focused on in romantisized paintings (Hrobatos/Chrobatos in original Greek and Latin versions, obviously represents the supreme leader of the newly arriving Croats, as well as  the lands and people where they came from. As you will see, his very name personifies their previous history and essence)  The text reads that the Croat people were "led" by them, they were 7 leaders of 7 tribes of Croats, which means there must have been quite the number of them.  This was very rare in those times and to me actually quite amazing.  Matriarchal societies can be found throughout history extending back thousands of years, however women actually leading into battle and to conquer is a phenomena that harkens back to the times of the stories and legends of the Amazon women in Greek, Roman and other Classical Antiquity writings, reminiscent of a type of Hippolyta....Perhaps the words of Daurentius extended to women as well as men?......a Croatian version of Xena?...A Hervor from the Hervor alvitr......the progeny of those large breasted Amazonians  from days of yore?....Future Rusalka's, Nymph's, Succubi and Swan Maidens who after battles and victory against the invading mounted warrior Huns (and later the Avars) ...then traded their horses for waterways and lakes for posterity through handed down legends and folk stories? (The hydronyms of the Tuga river in Poland and the Bug river in Poland, Belarus and Ukraine may very well be etymologically connected to the names of the sisters)

...It's very interesting that this practice, according to the written material, seems to not have been an issue with the Croats, it was just written as a matter of fact with no special explanation or highlight.  Was it practiced through the hereditary route because the husband died? or just because there was not a male heir to the tribal leader?, or other reasons?  How and when this practice started and how prevalent it was is not really known, it seems it wasn't particularly the norm per se, (Although it must be remembered the arriving Croats were all Pagans and it was common to worship female deities and Goddesses back then, so that may very well explain this subject)...Did other Slavic tribes/peoples practice the same? There's hints that could be the case because they all had the same pantheon of deities aferall. (The Goddess Berehynia being just one example vis a vis the Russians, Ukrainians and other Slavs, and that is where some of the Croats arrived from afterall...the lands known and written about as White Croatia)   Regardless,  one can only deduce that there must have been some cross-cultural correlation in the past, some kind of cultural continuity on some kind of level in some way, where somehow this practice was either introduced to the Croats, or they just adopted it on their own with no special distinction, or through necessity or for whatever reason,  In the end one gets the impression that they just didn't seem to have a problem with a female leading to battle and victory in their new lands.  Very interesting. There is another legend that the 2 female sirens pictured on the city of Karlovac coat of arms, and on the Karlovacko beer logo represents the 2 sisters. (Not really, I just made that up, but then again you never know)  It is also interesting that according to the writings of  Bruno of Querfurt,  Croats were to be found between the Bug and Dniester rivers as well, he stated that Red Croatia was neighbour to Kievan Rus' and White Croatia.

(Another interesting piece of related information to add here about the already mentioned  "Hrobatos/Chrobatos",  the phonetic translation from the original Byzantine Greek of DAI into Latin is that the "Croat" family of 5 brothers and 2 sisters leading their Croat tribes arrived to Dalmatia, and they are:......"Kloukas, Lobelos, Kosentzis, Mouhlo, Hrobatos, and their two sisters Touga and Bouga".   Again, a reminder here:  "Hrobatos" in the DAI text is implied to be the supreme leader or head of the arriving "Croats/Hrvati".  This is also plainly deduced because his name personifies and represents the name of the very people and lands they all came from...."White/Great Chroatia/Hrobatia".  (You'll see what I mean as you read on below, all this Latin/Non-Latin version spelling and pronunciation will all make sense).....

......Now, in the Russian source of "Nestor's Primary Chronicle" written in 1183, he lists various Slavic people as part of the Russniak tribes, one of them being just a part of the Croats... (White Croats, White Russians signifies "western or northern") well as the Carantanians.  Who are the "Carantanians"? (Latinized name)....they are considered to be the ancestors of modern Slovenes.  The interesting thing is that Carinthia was originally called "Horutaniya", which is  derived from their original tribal name, written as the "Horitani" in the Primary Chronicle.  This was especially the case when Slavic writers mention them.  Nestor's Greek based Cyrillic (non-Latinized) Old Slavonic version of them was written as " Хорутані" which phonetically translated is "Horutani"  Croats/Hrvati from the same text was written as  "Xорвати" which translated in Latin script phonetically is "Horvati"  (Nestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here)  That's quite interesting and sheds some light on those times.  However, as we move on, also interesting is that the Freising manuscripts, which is the first example of a Slavic language being written using a Latin script, becomes even more so if you Google "Kosentzez, Freising Manuscripts"....Why Google "Kosentzez"?  (Does the name "Kosentzez" sound familiar thus far? This part is kind of cool) That is because the name of "Kosentzez" is associated in various middle ages sources with an early medieval class or line of princes, sometimes alluded to being a certain family lineage in the Karantanian/Horutanian realm, a class or lineage that possessed special hereditary rights and privileges,  charged with directly installing and bestowing power to the Carinthian Dukes on the "Princes Stone" and then from the Dukes Chair.

.......Early mentions of this similar named Kosentzes/Kosentzis connection and of the name of the Хорутан/Horutani  (later Carinthians) after even further reading, especially from Nestor's sources (where the Croatian/Hrvati are Horvati) all seems to point to some kind of connection or even possibly a continuity.  One doesn't know beyond the shadow of doubt of course, but one is led to the possible conclusion that "Kozentsis", the already mentioned brother of  "Chrobatos/Hrobatos" (Greek version spelling of "Horvati")... in the D.A.I text, (who was the leader of ALL the arriving Croat tribes into Dalmatia remember, his very name even symbolizing ALL of the Croats of the 7 tribes to make it more clear)...and his tribe of Croats may have had a part to play in an early Slavic duchy as well, albeit nearer to the Alps it seems, located deeper in the later Frankish stronghold territories. The Kosentzes pertaining to the Freising Manuscripts may very well stem from Croat tribal leader/noble Kosentzis. If there is anything from this, and other information available about this topic, and that especially concerns this post that is relevant, it is that the early Croats were quite possibly playing a part in the formation of today's modern Slovene people, especially at the time they were under Frankish suzerainty.  The neighboring Croats were eventually able to defeat Frankish forces (as you will see), attain independence between the Frankish empire and  Byzantium and even Venice as well, and develop their early Duchies and eventual first Croatian Kingdom, however this correlation is important for a few reasons....This and abundant related information shows that during the Great Migrations of people in the early middle-ages in Europe, Slavs (Croats included) play an important part in the formation of other nations as well. Even the Frankish/Germanic people and even Goths before them.  Quite the eventful and interesting history from even well before Croats even arrived to the Adriatic Sea. (This will be explained more as you read on) 

 It also again disproves as rubbish some recent preposterous made up theories and psuedo-historian accounts from some Serb writers who are espousing that not only the Southern Slavs, but even that all Slavs of Europe are offshoots of Serbs. (Really fantastical, baseless imaginary, pathological stuff)  As you read on before getting to the "Croatian Kings" documentary videos, you will realize just how fictional and ridiculous these ideas are.  This added piece of info regarding the "Kosentzes/Kosentzis", Carinthia/Horutani/Horvati scenario just sheds a little more light on the early middle ages, the appearance of various kingdoms, empires and the relationship between them from even before the times they became kingdoms. No nations were left unaffected by their immediate neighbors or the various kingdoms.  This short addition would probably be more of interest to someone of Slovene background looking into their history, and also even Austrian or German as well regarding the ancient Slavic elements of those nations. Pagan Slavic tribes existed up to even Arkona in the North Sea, (part of modern day region of Pomerania in Germany) building Slavic temples/fortifications right up to the 12th century before being converted then assimilated   Now back to this Croatian history post....)

Interestingly also, another point to be taken for consideration about the widespread population of Croatian inhabited areas is the writings of  Cosmas of Prague:

Cosmas begins his chronicle with a voluminous history of pagan Bohemia, reworking several older myths:

The tale of the arrival of the Czechs in Bohemia, and their claim to the land at Říp Mount. Cosmas, however, cites only half of the myth, which is preserved in its entirety in 13th-century sources (Dalimil and others). They describe the migration of seven brothers led by Čech (Czech), from Croatia to Bohemia. The story is mirrored in Croatian tradition (Constantine Porphyrogenetos, De administrando imperio 30 and 31) where seven are led by Charvát (Croat) move from Bohemia ('White Croatia') to Croatia.

Cosmas is, however, silent on the story of the 'arrival of the Slavs from the Danube', which was incorporated into the Russian Primary Chronicle from a Czech work, most probably the 'Skazanije o preloženii knig na slavjanskij jazyk' produced in the Slavonic monastery of Sázava in the mid-11th century. The sources for the so-called second arrival of the Slavs in Bohemia are Cosmas (c.1120), the Chronicon regum et imperatorum Bavaricum (shortly after 1292) and Dalimil (c.1314); other separate sources are the Russian chronicle of 1118 and Constantine Porphyrogenetos (c.930, chap. 30-31). The origin of these Slavs is intriguing as some sources (Dalimil) claiming that Czechs originated in Croatia, while 13th century Croatian legends traced the origins of some Croats in Bohemia.

Interestingly, this theme appears again regarding a very old Czech version legend involving two brothers, and it is still well known in the Czech Republic even today. As described by Alois Jirásek in Staré pověsti české, two brothers came to Central Europe from the east: Čech and Lech. As in the Polish version, Čech is identified as the founder of the Czech nation (Češi pl.) and Lech as the founder of the Polish nation. Čech climbed up the mountain Říp, looked around the landscape and settled with a tribe in the area, whereas Lech continued to the lowlands of the north. The two brothers who founded the early Czech and Polish nations lived in Charvátská země (Pronounced the same and meaning Harvatska country, ie: the early White Croatia/Hrvatska) Alois Jirásek believed that this was the original homeland of the Slavs - north of the Tatra Mountains and the basin of the Vistula. The first chapter of the Old Czech Legends begins: In the Tatras, in the plains of the river Vistula, stretched "from time immemorial Charvátská country", part of an initial large Slavic country. Probably this is the territory of the White Croats (Bili Chorvati) that ranged from Ostrava to Lviv and also to Kievan Rus'. It is also known from legends that Kiev with his brothers (Kije and Chorivem) co-founded (each on its hill) Šček (probably Forefather Čech) Some researchers believe that the Slavniks belonged to the White Croats.

*Another later well known early Slavic legend can be mentioned here also, it is the Czech legend of St.Wenceslaus, regarding the early 10th century Czech Duke Wenceslaus. We find that when his mother Drahomira was mourning his death, her other son Boleslav tried to murder her and so she fled to the Croats/Croatia. This would most likely refer to the still present "White Croats" who still inhabited Silesia and/or parts of northern Bohemia rather than the Croatian Kingdom already formed to the south. (These Croats formed a part of the Croat migrations of the early 7th century mentioned in the 10th century work "De Administrando Imperio" as coming from "White and Great Croatia", and who are also mentioned in Nestor's "Primary Chronicle".  (More on Drahomira and these Croats HereHere and Here)

Related: lech-cech-rus-croats-poland.pdf

In his work from 1113 AD called "The Primary Chronicle" (Tale of Bygone Years), Nestor the Chronicler, writes that White Croats (Transcribed from OCS as Bieli Horvati) were progenitors of LendiansHe also writes that they settled along the river Vistula, and later dividing into Polans, Veleti, Masovians and Pomeranians. Over the next centuries, these tribes then assimilated into the nations around them, Germans, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Ukrainians etc. (Just as the remaining Croats likewise did who didn't migrate south to modern day Croatia)

The Sclaviniae of Macedonia ('Sclavenias penes Macedoniam') in 785 during the rule of Constantine VI.

The second wave of migration, possibly around year 620, began when the Croats were invited by the Emperor Heraclius to counter the Avar threat on the Byzantine Empire and liberate Dalmatia. De Administrando Imperio also mentions an alternate version of the events, where the Croats weren't actually invited by Heraclius, but instead defeated the Avars and settled on their own accord after migrating from an area near today's Silesia.

Located at the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb, a grant of land by the Croatian King Zvonimir to the nun convent of St. Benedict in Split from the year 1076. Image

Not to be overlooked in this post, we also see the above epitaph accorded to Croatian Queen Helen the Glorious (Croatian: Jelena Slavna) who died 8 October 976.  This royal inscription and epitaph on her sarcophagus sheds light on the genealogy of early Croatian rulers, and shows that previous rulers to her son Stephen Držislav also bore the title of "Croatian King". In addition, the discovery of the three royal names (Jelena, Mihajlo Krešimir and Držislav) solved some of the incomplete lineage of the Croatian dynasty. Helen was the queen consort of the Kingdom of Croatia, as the wife of King Michael Krešimir II from 946 to 969.  Helen built the churches of St. Stephen and St. Mary in Solin. The atrium of the St Stephen later became the Mausoleum of Croatian Kings. Helen was buried there next to her husband Croatian King Michael Krešimir II and it is preserved to the present day. (The sarcophagus epitaph confirms the accuracy of other historical written sources, proves material written about previous Croatian rulers and.....was amazingly discovered by archeologists only in 1989!) 

Some interesting related sidenote information. As was common amongst the royalty of Europe in the middle ages, (and even these days), many kings married into other royal families and/or married off their daughters to other kings of Europe. Dmitar Zvonimir in 1063 married a Hungarian princess named Helen, also called Helen the Fair, ('Jelena Lijepa' in Croatian, not to be confused with Jelena Slavna, aka 'Helen the Glorious' already mentioned above), who was the sister of King Bela of Hungary. (She was also the granddaughter of Polish king Mieszko II Lambert, and a great-granddaughter of Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria)  Before he was crowned, Zvonimir was at first a Ban (Duke) of Slavonia under his cousin the Croatian King Peter Krešimir IV,  so Helen went on to become a queen consort of Croatia during her marriage with Zvonimir. (Through Helen, he was connected to the royal families of not only Hungary, but also Poland, Denmark, Bulgaria, and Byzantium) They had a son, prince Radovan who died in his late teens or early twenties preceding the deaths of Zvonimir and Helen. They also had two daughters, princesses Claudija and Vinica. According to the customs of those times it was only the male son heirs or relatives who were allowed to become kings and rulers, so Claudija and Vinica were already ineligible and instead went on to marry. Upon the death of Zvonimir in 1089, Stephen II (Stjepan II) and Petar Svačić went on to become the last native Croatian Kings before the Croatian Kingdom joined the Hungarian crown. Helen had already died around 1091 by this time. It is interesting information however that in the 'Historiae Chroaticae Periodum Antiquam' (Latin: 'Period of Croatian History in Antiquity', page and link below) is written that.....

.....a) [CLAUDA . "Suinimirus rex" donated property to "cuidam nobili de genere Lapaç, Vonyça" with "quadam filia sua Clauda" by charter dated to [1076/87]...VONICK, of the family Lapčani.] b) [VINICA . "Suinimirus rex" donated "terram Carini" to "Michaeli Nelipçio ab Oršić et eiusdem coniuge filiæ…suæ Winicæ" by letters of Stefan Tvrtko dated 1390. m MIKHAEL Nelipči, son of ---.] c) RADOVAN (-after 1083). "Stephanus olim…dux Chroatorum" donated property to "monasterium sancti Stephani", in the presence of "Suinimiri regis domini mei, Lepe regine, Radouani filii regis", by charter dated 1078. "Suinimirus…rex Chroatorum atque Dalmatarum" donated property "in…loco…Radunam" to the church of St. Stjepan at Split by charter dated 1083 witnessed by "regina Lepa et Radouanus filius regis"

Excerpt from the 'Historiae Chroaticae Periodum Antiquam' (Period of Croatian History in Antiquity)

.....Amongst the various information related to charters documenting donations made by the Croatian King during those times, in the text of the events we are told that the daughters of King Zvonimir (Latin: Svinimirus Rex) went on to marry and that Lepa was the wife of Radovan. It continues that Claudija went on to become the wife of Vonick, a voivode (military governor) from the Lapčani noble line, a prince and descendent from one of the first 12 Croatian noble families of the middle ages. The other daughter Vinica became the wife of Michael Nelipić, another local Croatian noble prince. This is the last we hear of the daughters in this source. However, if they had children, (which they most probably did), could it possibly be that there were direct descendents of King Dmitar Zvonimir continuing the Croatian royal line all along afterall?, in other areas of Croatia through Claudija and Vinica?...Perhaps the royal Croatian line and direct descendents of King Zvonimir are even alive today?..Now back to the earlier Croatian history.....

".....From the Croats who came to Dalmatia a part split off and possessed themselves of Illyricum and Pannonia; they too had an independent prince, who used to maintain friendly contact, though through envoys only, with the prince of Croatia......Great Croatia, also called 'White', is still unbaptized to this day" - Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio (DAI)

The location of Illyricum, Dalmatia, and Pannonia just prior to the Slavic/Croat migrations towards the Adriatic sea in the 6th and 7th centuries. Pay particular attention in the following text regarding the land areas encompassing the respective regional Roman names.  Also notice the definition of the words before and after in regard to below commonly referenced historical source material.  Importantly, also notice how there is no mention of any Bosnian tribes as well, that's because there weren't any and never was.  Bosona was the Illyrian name of the river that today is called the Bosna river,  from which a Bosnia area concept was born but always within the early Croatian realms in the 7th century and for centuries afterwards. Bosnian is a many centuries later made up ethnicity, an anomaly and flukish accident of history that was a direct result of the decline of the Croatian Kings and their realms after strategically joining Hungary circa. 1102.  (During the 9th and 10th century Croatian-Bulgarian wars, the Croatian Princes and Kings solidified their rule and protected the Croatian realms up to the river Drina)  Croatian Bans still ruled into the next century and it was still loosely tied to Croatia-Hungary, however the process of a Bosnia as a separate entity was exacerbated mainly when the Bogomilism religious sect took root in less accessible areas, and then with the appearance of the Turkish Ottomans and Mohamadism, which made it an Ottoman administrative unit. The lands of today's BIH were originally populated by the arrived early Croat tribes as shown, and they are still present.

Source: translated chapters 29-36 of the De Administrando Imperio ( DAI)

......."But the Croats at that time were dwelling beyond Bavaria where the Bielocroats ( White Croats) are now. From them split off a family of five brothers, Kloukas and Lobelos and Kosentzis and Mouhlo and Hrobatos, and two sisters, Touga and Bouga, who came with their folk to Dalmatia and found the Avars in possession of that land. After they had fought one another for some years, the Croats prevailed and killed some of the Avars and the remainder they compelled to be subject to them. And so from that time this land was possessed by the Croats".........

 ......"From the Croats who came to Dalmatia a part split off and possessed themselves of Illyricum and Pannonia; they too had an independent prince, who used to maintain friendly contact, though through envoys only, with the prince of Croatia. For a number of years the Croats of Dalmatia also were subject to the Franks, as they had formerly been in their own country"......

*(Note- The location of Illyricum, Dalmatia, and Pannonia)

 ....."On this, a large army from Francia marched against them, and after they had fought one another for seven years, at last the Croats managed to prevail and destroyed all the Franks with their leader, who was called Kotzilis. From that time they remained independent and autonomous, and they requested the holy baptism from the bishop of Rome, and bishops were sent who baptized them in the time of Porinos their prince. Their country was divided into 11 'zupanias', viz., Hlebiana, Tzenzina, Imota, Pleba, Pesenta, Parathalassia, Breberi, Nona, Tnina, Sidraga, Nina; and their ban possesses Kribasa, Litza and Goutziska."......

...." The prince of Croatia has from the beginning, that is, ever since the reign of Heraclius the emperor, been in servitude and submission to the emperor of the Romans, and was never made subject to the prince of Bulgaria. Nor has the Bulgarian ever gone to war with the Croats, except when Michael Boris, prince of Bulgaria, went and fought them and, unable to make any headway, concluded peace with them, and made presents to the Croats and received presents from the Croats. But never yet have these Croats paid tribute to the Bulgarians, although the two have often made presents to one another in the way of friendship.  In baptized Croatia are the inhabited cities of Nona, Belgrade, Belitzin, Skordona, Hlebiana, Stolpon, Tenin, Kori, Klaboka.  Baptized Croatia musters as many as 60 thousand horse and 100 thousand foot, and galleys up to 80 and cutters up to 100. The galleys carry 40 men each, the cutters 20 each, and the smaller cutters 10 each.  This great power and multitude of men Croatia possessed until the time of prince Kresimer...".........

 ..... "Of the Croats and of the country they now dwell in.....The Croats who now live in the region of Dalmatia are descended from the unbaptized Croats, also called 'White', who live beyond Turkey (Note- erroneously referring to the unfamiliar people and language of the more recently arrived Magyars) and next to Francia, and have for Slav neighbours the unbaptized Serbs. 'Croats' in the Slav tongue means 'those who occupy much territory'. These same Croats arrived to claim the protection of the emperor of the Romans Heraclius before the Serbs claimed the protection of the same emperor Heraclius, at that time when the Avars had fought and expelled from those parts the Romani whom the emperor Diocletian had brought from Rome and settled there, and who were therefore called 'Romani' from their having been translated from Rome to those countries, I mean, to those now called Croatia and Serbia. These same Romani having been expelled by the Avars in the days of this same emperor of the Romans Heraclius, their countries were made desolate. And so, by command of the emperor Heraclius these same Croats defeated and expelled the Avars from those parts, and by mandate of Heraclius the emperor they settled down in that same country of the Avars, where they now dwell. These same Croats had at that time for prince the father of Porgas. The emperor Heraclius sent and brought priests from Rome, and made of them an archbishop and a bishop and elders and deacons, and baptized the Croats; and at that time these Croats had Porga for their Prince"......

  Source: translated chapters 29-36 of the De Administrando Imperio ( DAI)

....Using the same source of DAI which was the most often quoted source for history of peoples of Europe and particularly the Slavic peoples arriving to the Adriatic (but by far not the only one, as DAI has been found to have contradictions, particularly regarding the presence of Byzantium's main enemy the Bulgarians, only assuming existence of a"White Serbia" as opposed to the more sourced, documented and onomastic material mentioning White Croatia and the White Croats, contradicting sequence and times of events he first mentioned in relation to the writing of his time, the Belgrade of his time was actually Alba Bulgarica because it was the Bulgarians who were the first Slavs to have controlled it and then later named it Belgrade themselves,(Beligrad)..erroneously mentioning the Magyars as Turkey as seen above...etc  )....however it continues on to read that the now called "Servs" came after the Croats...... (This is very important, because it tells the reader who had arrived in Dalmatia, Illyria and Pannonia first, which dismisses allusions that they arrived at the same time or even to the same areas.  How long after? Probably quite a while after, months? Probably even longer than that, previous instances in DAI when using the same words "...after some time" implied years, and even decades in some instances. (He also used the term "after a short time" in a few instances of the chapters, why not here?) As is shown there is no mention of Serbs fighting Avars, it was just the Croats. Perhaps and most likely years later is the impression the reader gets, after the Croats had cleaned house in Pannonia, Dalmatia and all of Illyricum and rumor reached up north that those Croats had some pretty nifty beachfront property now.  The Serb tribe may very well have seen signs like "This seat is taken" posted around before they decided to keep on trekking down to Greece for....."some time").......the Serbs actually settled much further south along with some other Slavic tribes, in the vicinity of today's Greece for a time, and then after being rounded up and forced to become slave soldiers by Byzantine emperor Justinian II in the 680's, were sent to and found habitations in the newly named  Gordoservon of modern day Turkey.  (Gordoservon simply meaning habitation of the forcefully conscripted and resettled Slavic slaves who were now to be called  Servs. There is no connotation to the city actually being inhabited by any kind of  "Serb" ethnicity as already shown, or even a "Serv" ethnicity. The name/term "Servs" was just Latin applied 'username', an appellation  applied by the Romans/Greeks. (Being named a slave as a username is not an ethnicity or personally chosen ethnonym is it?)  Similar to Serb historian allusions to the ancient town of Servia also receiving it's name from "Serbs", which is completely ridiculous and wrong, as that town received it's name by the Romans long before in the 2nd century AD. Many places places were named "Servia" in the Roman world extending as far back as 400 B.C.

Afterwards these Serbs decided  to travel back to their original homes where they departed from because they supposedly did not like their new surroundings in Greece. (I came across material from historians writing about this subject who according to their sources stated that the Serb presence in Greece was most definitely of a pillaging nature, and they left "...after some time" after being forced to permanently depart by the local Greek population)  On the way back they then begged the Byzantine emperor for other lands to settle in, around modern day Belgrade roughly. (It's been hypothesized that their footwear perhaps was not suitable for the more rocky terrain)  No mention is ever made of Serbs battling the Avar's (or Franks) or anybody as the Croats had done, and freeing the lands of Avar rule and their marauding armies before settling. (No mention of Byzantium even attempting to forcefully draft and enslave Croats in any sources either, which is very enlightening, this is because the Croats were the catalyst for freeing the lands and then to rule it. They were there to fulfill a completely different role).  The whole of the Dalmation coast, Pannonia , the whole stretch of Illyricum down to around modern day Albania, and now the Serbs new settlement was already free of the Avars as well.... free how and by who?....It's quite obvious..naturally by the above previously mentioned and already arrived, ruling and victorious Croats, the embryo of the future duchies and dukedoms and becoming a maritime nation soon as well.

So what happened next after those Serbs finally arrived to around modern day Belgrade? Well boys and girls, that's a good question. Contrary to what some Serb historians like to think and write, basically.....nothing. Especially important and illuminating here, after leaving Servia they are not recorded as then spreading across Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum as the Croats were recorded to have previously done, there simply is no written account in DAI of their arrival to anywhere besides arriving to in and around modern day Alba Bulgarica. (Remember that boys and girls) According to the writings of Longobard chronicler and historian Pavlo Đakon (Latin: Paulus Diaconus, Paul the Deacon) when mentioning the year 642 in his work "Historia gentis Langobardorum"...Croats even had many of their ships at the city of Siponto (Manfredonia in Southern Italy)  "Historia gentis Langobardorum" provides information relevant for the early medieval Croatian history, and this information actually can be considered the first mentions about the genesis and early history of the Croatian Navy during the time of Croatian Duke Višeslav (See History of the Lombards)

The reader should be reminded again that the Byzantine empire did not even dare attempt to forcefully enslave and conscript Croat tribes, not even a hint in any written records of an attempt. How could they?..they fulfilled their mission afterall, freeing Dalmatia from Avar incursions and were now free to settle, expand and rule.  The Croats were given a specific hazardous mission, a mission that had to succeed.  The "Croats" were not to be touched so that they could battle the Avars and then possess the land, not to be Byzantine's servants/slaves.  The arrival of the Croats was mentioned 3 times in the DAI text which emphasizes this point, and shows that Croats (who were called Goths and Slavs) were already present in the lands before a larger 2nd migration of Croats arrived.  After defeating the Avars for the Roman empire and Byzantium and taking possession of the land, they were now free to rule and expand.  That is why during this time of the forming of this Slavic-Slave/Serv/Serb ethnicity in Gordoservon, a recognized Croatian principality/dukedom was already formed and growing all along the area of Littoral Croatia/Croats in Dalmatia by Duke Porga, his predecessors and successors..  

Constantine in DAI when speaking of the Serbs is condensing the years between Croat and "Serb" arrival all within just a few lines because he is speaking of the events that took place more than 300 years before his time.  "...before the Serbs...." as written in DAI.  Also, it is always only in the context of  the "Serb" appellation given by the Romans, a "username" to be specific, not as an ethnicity.  The spreading of an appellation, this derisive serv/serb adjective/username, does not mean the actual movements of a specific ethnically cohesive people. The use of that appellation in Constantine's time also obviously does not mean it was so more than 300 years previously, because they were recorded by Constantine as being located elsewhere much further away, more south in Greece "for some time" and later taken away to modern day Turkey.  Servia was just a collective term/username for areas where slaves and conscripted slave soldiers could be taken from. A land area from which to take slaves from..they were the servs. Servia was just a geo-political invention directly tied to Byzantine policy and the meaning of "land of slaves", not a land of an all of a sudden new ethnic people. No ethnic people would go around calling themselves 'slaves' on purpose. Historians make this point clear numerous times and you will have to take it up with the Byzantine empire and the Romans if one finds this fact uncomfortable.

(When this information is considered and fully examined, doesn't it seem much more truthful to state that ultra nationalist "Greater Serbia"  supporters and chetnik groups actually have a claim to territory in modern day Turkey rather than anywhere in Europe?  Afterall, according to their claims they were the first to inhabit Gordoservon in accordance with their "username" of "servs" and so it was named after them. ie: "City/Habitation of slaves". This would also be very, very far from the Croatian Slav inhabited areas)

........"The Serbs are descended from the unbaptized Serbs, also called 'white', who live beyond Turkey in a place called by them Boïki, where their neighbour is Francia, as is also Great Croatia, the unbaptized, also called 'White'; in this place, then, these Serbs also originally dwelt. But when two brothers succeeded their father in the rule of Serbia, one of them, taking one half of the folk, claimed the protection of Heraclius, the emperor of the Romans, and the same emperor Heraclius received him and gave him a place in the province of Thessalonica to settle in, namely Servia, which from that time has acquired this denomination. 'Serbs' in the tongue of the Romans is the word for 'slaves', whence the colloquial 'serbula' for menial shoes, and 'tzerboulianoi' for those who wear cheap, shoddy footgear. This name the Serbs acquired from their being slaves of the emperor of the Romans. Now, after some time these same Serbs decided to depart to their own homes, and the emperor sent them off. But when they had crossed the river Danube, they changed their minds and sent a request to the emperor Heraclius, through the military governor then holding Belgrade, that he would grant them other land to settle in...".


*Note- Another fact that leaves one questioning is "Why did the Byzantine Emperor go the extra step of making the reader aware of the "menial shoes" and "cheap, shoddy footgear" description.  What could be the reason for this? No other Slavic tribes, including the Croats, were described in this way. (On the contrary the Byzantine Emperor instead writes about the Croats possessing much land and coming from "Great Croatia...also called White.."..) That's what the Byzantine emperor wrote, not me or any Croatian historian. It's strange because historians don't usually comment on footwear when discussing history. Sometimes they comment on swords, armour, horses, forts or ships, but not normally shoes. There must have been an underlying reason why this was brought to light for the reader. The shoes must have looked very strange to him, almost like a spectacle. Is he implying something? What point is he trying to get across or to highlight to the reader? It is noted also that from this point forward the Byzantine applied username Servs/Servia (they are also recorded as first arriving to Servia) also was used by them. Were they some kind of bewildering looking mass of different shaped leathers, or cloth or woven weeds with protruding strange features perhaps?  This conundrum has perplexed historians for centuries.....

.....Interestingly also, according to the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 7 and 9 (Spread of the Slavs) by H.H. Howarth, he has this to say about the "Serbs" before their arrival in southern Europe from their previous dwelling place...."Serbs" were a second invasion superimposed on a previous of Western Slavs which already occupied this area, or else the common element which these Northern Serbs had with Southern ones was not in the mass of the people but in the strata which as I have shown reason for believing were not of Slavic but of Hunnic blood and that the common name not so much a homogeneous race as a common caste of belonging to one stock (sect) "..............  

 (This is view is also supported and put forth by the Serb historian Релиа Новаковић [Relya Novakovic] in his book "Још о пореклу Срба" [More about the origins of the Serbs], Belgrade, 1992, page 48.  He states Serbs were a Sarmatian (Alanian) tribe.  He writes that the Alanian Serbi were subdued by the Huns in the 4th century, migrated west and over time they intermarried with that particular local Slavic population, adopted Slavic language, and transferred their name to those Slavs. This would seem to imply that their very existence depended on them spreading their name, their name alone and usurping the names of other tribes and/or people, perhaps also spreading their shoe customs. But then again, he also shares many of the same ideas as this Serb historian and believes the Etruscan civilization and the Roman Empire was started by Serbs)

Regarding the Serb migrations to the west, and following the Croats after they left for Dalmatia, H. H. Howarth goes on to write......"We shall have no difficulty in concluding that in its western part at all events this was not so (being indigenous) but that the Serbs here were intruders." 

Speaking of Croat tribes, he goes on to show just one more of numerous documented examples of Croat presence beyond the Carpathians from Russia to Bavaria......

......."by North east of the Slubliani or Selpoli were the Lubushani the inhabitants of the town of Lubusha the modern Lebus and its neighbourhood.  This clan was called Liubuzzi by Adam of Bremen and Leubuzi by Helmold.   Their country which was long subject to the Poles was the seat of a bishopric( id)   The Lupoglani or Lupiani called Lupiglaa by the Bavarian geographer and owning according to him 30 towns, lived according to Lelewel on the river Lupa, a tributary of the Neisse, a tributary of the Elster bears the same name while there is a river Lupof in Pomerania, and another called Lupogolowa in Russia, an Illyrian Castle and Lordship Lupoglav, the German Mehrenfels and two Croatian villages one in the district of Agram (Zagreb) and the other in that of Warasdin, Varaždin in Croatian,(Lepoglava)  This all goes to prove that the Lupoglani belonged to the eastern branch of the Slavs and were probably a section of the White Croats"......(Great Croatia also called White...DAI)

Another interesting direct short excerpt from the book, regarding the western branch of the Croats near Bavaria at the time of Heraclius.....

......."It was after they had arrived on his borders that he incited the Croats to attack and drive out the Avars and give them their land (id 394)  We must therefore consider them as fugitives from their own country.  I may add that a branch of the Croats together with the kindred tribes of Stoderani and the Suselzi made their way to Carinthia occupied a district on the Mur between the towns of Knittenfeld and Leoben where a place called Kraubat still recalls their name. The district they occupied was known in the middle ages as the "Pagus Crauati" and is so called in a deed by Henry the First dated in 954.  In another of Otto the Second of 978 it is called Chrouat and in a Saltzburg deed of eleventh century we read of praediae Chrouata Runa (Schafarik ii 337 note 5)

H.H Howarth goes one to write.....

......."The synonymy of the Croats has been collected with great patience by Schafarik and from his classic work I take the following list of synonyms.  By the Emperor Constantine Porphyrognitus they were called Chrobatoi, by Cedrenos Khorbatoi, by Zonaras Kxabatoi, by Nicephorus Bryennios Khorobatoi, by Khoniates Khrabatia, by Khalkokondylas Krokatioi. The Arab Masudi calls them Khorvatin.  A gau in Karinthea is called Cravati in an early document.  In deeds of 954 and 978 they are called Khrovat, by Dithmar Khruati, by the Annalista Saxo Krovate, in the Saxon Chronicle Kruvati, a village Crubate is mentioned in 1055, another Gravat in 1086, the land of Kurbatia by Lupus Protospathes, Chrowati by Cosmas of Prague, Cruacia by Martin Gallus, Croatii by Kadlulek, Alfred the Great calls them Horithi,(Horiti) Croate and Croatia occur in native documents of 892, 925, 1076 and 1078, Chrobatae in a deed of 1059 etc.

In the Cyrillian legend of Saint Wenzel dating probably from the tenth century the name is written Khrbate, Khorbate, Khrabate.  Khrobate by Nestor in the copy written in 1377, Khrbate in the oldest Servian MSS, Khrbaten in an old Bulgarian MS, Harvati in the Dalmatian Chronicle of Diokleas, Kharvati in Dalimil etc. The Croats pronounce their own names Hr'vati, Horvati.  The Serbs call them Hr'vat,  plural Hr'vati.  In both cases as in the words hrabren, hrast, hren, hvala, hud etc. H stands for the old CH.  Hungarians call them Horva -tok, the Germans Kroats and Krobats.  

(A well known early Slavic legend is the Czech legend of St.Wenceslaus, regarding the early 10th century Czech Duke Wenceslaus. We find that when his mother Drahomira was mourning his death, her other son Boleslav tried to murder her and so she fled to the Croats/Croatia. This would most likely refer to the still present "White Croats" who still inhabited Silesia and/or parts of northern Bohemia rather than the Croatian Kingdom already formed to the south. (These Croats formed a part of the Croat migrations of the early 7th century mentioned in the 10th century work "De Administrando Imperio" as coming from "White and Great Croatia", and who are also mentioned in Nestor's "Primary Chronicle".  (More on Drahomira and these Croats HereHere and Here)

*(See Metathesis linguistics and Grimm's law for more information on Voiceless velar fricative's and Digraphs in relation to other languages.  For explanation on the Latin spelling and pronunciation regarding Croatia/Hrvatska see rules pertaining to "H" and "CH in medieval Latin HERE.  Listen to the name of "White Croatia and Croats" from the originally written Byzantine Greek:  Βελοχρωβάτοι i Χρωβάτοι )

The original form of all these names is Khr'vatin in the singular and Khr'vati in the plural and according to all authorities known to me, including Schafarik, is derived from the Carpathians, which in old Slavic were named Krib or Khrebet.  This word means a mountain or hill, and occurs in composition in many Slavic localities as; Slovenski hribi in Steiermark,  also several places in Russia as Khriby.  A village on the Kolpinka, and the Khribian woods and marshes in the same district.  Khrebine, a village west of Vladimir etc.  From Khrib we get Khrebet, the term applied generally to large mountain ranges by the Russians, as Yablonoi,  Khrebet, Uralskoi, Khrebet, Kamskatskoi, Khrebet etc.   (Id i 488)  Croat therefore means an inhabitant of or near the Carpathians. According to Schafarik, the whole of the northern slopes of these mountains, stretching from the Sutschawa to the sources of the Vistula, was known from the fifth to the tenth century as Khrby, and sometimes by the permutation of consonants, Khrvy or Khrvaty (id) and this is the region according to the best authorities whence the Croats originally came to ancient Dalmatia from".......(voiceless velar fricative X...Slavic digraphs Kh and Ch to singular H)  Nestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here.

Finally,  H.H. Howarth goes on to reiterate and point out again about this "before" and "after" scenario I touched upon earlier (before) and paints an even clearer picture of this subject.  This text which is based on all the historical sources and imperial archives available to Byzantine historians from those times can be considered an historical trump card regarding the arrival of the Croats and the lands they possessed and inhabited.  No matter what any temporary political situation on the ground may have been alluded to 300 years later when Emperor Constantine Porphyrognitus in DAI is referring to his time, (circa 950), it's plain to see that the Croats arrived first and liberated Dalmatia, and we are also told which areas they inhabited after arriving, it needs no further explanation and cannot be refuted that they migrated "directly to Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum" from the north......

......"So far as we know the Croatians were the first Slavs who permanently settled in Dalmatia and in Pannonia beyond the Sava and in Prawallis [Praevalitana] (Schafarik ii 237) .... A portion of the Croats who entered Dalmatia detached itself from the main body and occupied Illyriia and Pannonia (Const Porphyr op cit Stritter ii 391)  This detached body seems to have settled, in fact, in that part of Pannonia situated between the Danube and the Sava and known as Pannonian Croatia, with its chief town at Sisek (Sisak) and partly also in Illyria where there was subsequently a Croat ruled principality (Id 279) There were thus constituted two Croat States, one in Dalmatia with its chief towns of Belgrade (Biograd) on the Adriatic, and Bihatsch on the Una, and a second whose  junction was at the Kupa  and the Sava......

.....We are told the Croats became attached, seafaring and frequented the coast as far as Venice (Porphyr Stritter ii 394 5) Unlike other Slavs, the Croats were never subject to the Bulgarians nor did they even pay them tribute.  They only had one struggle with them in the days of Michael Boroses of Bulgaria who failing to beat them made peace with them and gifts were interchanged (Id 395 and 878)"....
This "Before" and "After" topic can be expounded on again even further, to make it crystal clear.  As described in DAI, it is mentioned that it is a 30 day long travel from "White Croatia" to reach the Adriatic sea.  In describing the Serbs it is written not only that they requested to travel south for new lands as well, but that they traveled as far as Thessaloniki, to the town of Servia from whence they received their usernames...Slave-Serv-Serb.  What's more, it is about at least a 90 day travel to Servia from where they departed from. (Simple arithmetic since DAI reads that it was a 30 day travel for the Croats to reach Dalmatia and liberate it)  After spending time there, (It doesn't say how long, it could have been weeks, months, or longer.  It only is described as "after some time" (In this section of DAI the same words "...after some time" referred to years and even decades)...... they then eventually departed from their Avar and battle-free vacation in Thessaloniki and headed back north with the intent on going back where they had initially departed from.   Quote: " Now, after some time these same Serbs decided to depart to their own homes, and the emperor sent them off.  But when they had crossed the river Danube, they changed their minds and sent a request to the emperor Heraclius, through the military governor then holding Belgrade, (the city actually first attested in recorded history as being part of the Bulgarian realms btw, known as Alba Bulgarica, then later named Belgrade while still ruled and occupied by the Bulgarians).. that he would grant them other land to settle in." ..... So we see that it reads that "after some time" the Serbs eventually decided to leave Thessaloniki/Servia and then decided to travel again, traveling north again until they reached the Danube river (Which coincidentally is the the border between Croatia and Serbia today)  That's at least another 60 day travel....(Again using very conservative numbers and just repeating the recorded turn of events)

.......Upon reaching the Danube, the Serbs then decided that they preferred the land that they had just traveled across, so Heraclius settled them there, basically around modern day Belgrade it reads. Without even getting into how long the Serbs could have been settled in Thessaloniki in the first place before departing again, or how long it was that they left south after the Croats did in the first place from their departure point...(weeks? months? years? DAI  just states that the Croats embarked "before the Serbs")....then that's 5 months traveling and galavanting least!  (I'm using very conservative numbers here, considering that they were traveling with animals, herds, carts, families, old people, assuming perfect hiking weather, no rest stops, no broken cart or wagon wheels to fix, finding heaps of elk and chicken carcasses lying around so they wouldn't have to travel on hunting trips, finding miraculous blueberry, potatoes and rhubard plants all around so as not to have to waste time searching for vegetables etc)  What were the Croats doing within 30 days of departing for Dalmatia and the Adriatic coast?  Yep, you got it. Battling Avar hordes, liberating the lands and making it safe again. (You can carry a 30 day ration of food on one horse, and a 30 day travel to go to battle does not warrant carts or herds etc. The majority of the arriving Croatians coming behind brought all the herds, cargo and equipment) The Croat warriors had business to take of first and foremost.

Before this however, DAI  importantly tells us that after reaching Dalmatia, the Croats then proceeded to expand into Pannonia, and across the rest of Illyricum, possessing their new lands and starting to govern it. (and then having some relaxing beach time and enjoying shrimp and lobster perhaps?)  The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, who finally made the Serbs content with their new Belgrade area lands,.."after some time".. had reigned from the years 610 to 641.  That's 31 years!!!  That's a 31 year time span that the Serbs could have played with while doing their galavanting across the continent around and back and forth, before finally being dumped around Belgrade by the Byzantine governor after repeated Serb imploring.  Meanwhile DAI tells us that previous to that, after about 30 days the Croats were already in their new realms all along.  I think a child can figure out the math and read what the Byzantine emperor is telling the reader. (Go ahead, do the math, click the links and look on a map where Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum are in relation to Servia, Greece (near Thessaloniki), where the Byzantine emperor at first settled them. Some helpful advice Here and Here) ...who was doing what and who came to not only Dalmatia, but as written, to Pannonia and Illyricum first as well. (This "Before" and "After" topic was touched upon earlier (Before) in this post, however in that instance it was within the context of their arrival into Europe, with the added scholarly Serb historian insight source)
*(Note- The location of Illyricum, Dalmatia, and Pannonia)

While reading the above information though, did you see it?  Did you read the quoted text from DAI and possibly not notice it?  Not notice something so obvious like not noticing your nose that is sticking out from your face until you reach out to scratch it, but the nose was there all along?  Did it maybe not sink in?  Maybe you were picking your nose or scratching your ear? These written revelations were authorized by the Emperor of the Byzantine empire [Eastern Roman empire] Heraclius himself, not anonymously written by some unknown scribe or hermit in a cave who just knew how to write and tell stories. The Emperor Constantine VII when writing 'De Administrando Imperio" was privy to many numerous manuscripts, very old written material from emissaries, ecclesiastics, ambassadors, military notes and journals and records from their expeditions, and also historians from those 7th century times. He had the entire royal imperial archives at his disposal, including western Roman sources available to him to write DAI, so he was not making up history from before his time but was writing according to his sources. If his predecessor Heraclius in the early 7th century did what Constantine VII writes that he did, then we can be assured that if anyone would know for sure, it would be him. He had the verified sources in the royal imperial archives. (Unfortunately through the following centuries almost the whole archives have been lost or destroyed, but fortunately DAI was preserved in copies and included in other redactions for us down to this day) The quoted text from DAI reads that, just like when referring to the centuries later Croatian principalities, duchies and eventual Croatian Kingdom during the very time of Constantine VII. (ie: "Dukes/Kings of the Croats").....It's written and assured that it was the Croats that came first to Dalmatia, and then they simultaneously extended towards Pannonia which they had passed through, and then also expanded eastward and westward all across Illyricum. (This DAI text was written previously to the section when mentioning the Serbs and is referring to the time before the Serbs arrived in their new, yet very differently located abode, this is because the Serbs are later in DAI mentioned as traveling to much further south after the Croats had already arrived to the Adriatic, liberated Dalmatia and then expanded. The Croats arrived to their areas, battled the Avars, liberated the lands and then stayed.  However the Serbs travelled later (not before) and instead proceeded all the way to Greece initially. They did not battle or come into contact with any Avars whatsoever. They instead traveled to Thessaloniki and Servia..."for some time". Historians write that after arriving among the Greeks, the Serbs initiated a policy of pillaging, then "....after some time" the local Greek population rose in arms and forced them to permanently depart to whence they came from. Some sources state that the Serbs were also desirous of the Greek women they had come upon, as the few Serb women among them dressed in the same garb and manner as the men, and so they attempted to take Greek women with them to become Serbs and dress them in the manner of Serbs also)  That's a very large difference in arrival points, departure times and locations, traveling periods and circumstances, a very obvious and large discrepancy. This may be so obvious that one doesn't quite understand it when they read the text.....

.....You see, to summarize once again, before moving on to more important and juicy info, it reads that it was not the Croats and the Serbs that arrived to the Adriatic, (Dalmatia) then spread to and inhabited the aformentioned (Before) areas of Pannonia and Illyricum. It was just the Croats (Hrvati) who were specifically invited to liberate and fulfill their military and repopulation/governing roles there and to then stay put basically because the land was theirs now...this was commanded by emperor Heraclius himself. There's absolutely no mention of Serbs arriving there during those times and traveling with the Croats to Dalmatia, Pannonia and across Illyricum or anywhere, whatsoever.  Why?...because they simply weren't there.  DAI goes on to tell us that the Serbs weren't anywhere near those parts, but only showed up later (Not before) Greece some time later.  DAI also tells us that it was not the Croats and Bulgarians either that traveled to those areas. It wasn't the Croats and Bosnians, Croats and Hungarians, Croats and Japanese, Croats and Philadelphians, Croats and Mormons,  the Croats and Russians or even Croats and Latvians, Klingons, Andals or Lilliputians. It was just the Croats/Hrvati all along. ipso facto)  That's very illuminating and of profound importance especially because emperors Heraclius and Constantine backs this up. (This is very different from some Serb sites I came across where they were patting each other on the back about how practically all Europe is Serb lands, that Croats and others were "invented" only in the 19th century, and loads of other nonsense and crap)  DAI shows us that not only did the Croats arrive first, but also well before the Serbs who after their travels eventually arrived to a completely different location much further away.  2 different written accounts of 2 different peoples, different ethnonyms, different departure times and 2 very different and distanced arrival points and inhabited areas. DAI  tells us that they very simply "were not there."  More on this topic as you read on, which will illuminate even more and deflate concocted imaginary stories and fiction.  Let's give our swords a quick sharpening, a bite of roast pork and wash it down with some wine and cold, frothy mead and move on shall we? (You can give that good looking wench with the mutton and bossoms at the table some attention later after defeating the misinformation hordes, she'll still be there when you get back).....
Another look at the lands acquired by Croat tribes after going into battle with and ridding the area of the Avars for western Rome and the Byzantine empire.  These lands were then promised to the Croats by the emperor Heraclius himself to keep and rule from that time on.  He also then called on the Pope to oversee the conversion of the pagan Croats as well as made agreements with the Croats for them to not attack neighbouring nations unless they are attacked.. 

".....Croats' in the Slav tongue means 'those who occupy much territory'. These same Croats arrived to claim the protection of the emperor of the Romans Heraclius before the Serbs...." - Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio (DAI)

Also not to be forgotten..(and quite possibly the most interesting facts to take into consideration regarding the earliest history of Croats) are the various mentions of the original Croat name and people being connected to the Goths. It has been known for centuries that the early historical accounts and written material places Goths and Croats in the same historical chapter, and even as the same people at times. (The already shown Croats described as Goths and Slavs example)  Abundant and very old related linear-onymic material will be shown that vastly outweighs other unsubstantiated contradictory theories and outright proves them wrong. This following section will focus on the legendary Gothic Hervarar sagaFor instance, the saga conveys names of historical places in Ukraine during the period c. 150-450 during their wars with the Huns.  The lands of the "Hrvati-Croats/White-Great Croatia/Hvatska" are mentioned as well.......

".....The matter on the Gothic wars with the Huns is of considerable age, and is based on events from the early or mid-4th century that were transmitted for almost 1000 years.  It is a testimony to its great age that names appear in genuinely Germanic forms and the at the time current local form variant, not in any form remotely influenced by Latin, which they did not know.  Names for Goths appear that stopped being used after 390, such as Grýting (Ostrogoth, cf. the Latin form Greutungi) and Tyrfing (Visigoth, cf. the Latin form Tervingi). They comprise for instance a form of the name for the Carpathians which most scholars agree is "a relic of extremely ancient tradition and the events take place where the Goths and Croats (Hrvati-Horvati) lived during their wars with the Huns. The Gothic capital Arheimar is located on the Dniepr (...á Danparstöðum á þeim bæ, er Árheimar heita.. Heiðrek dies in the Harvatya (...und Harvaða fjöllum...) and the Battle with the Huns takes place on the plains of the Danube (...á vígvöll á Dúnheiði í Dylgjudölum). The mythical Mirkwood [Croatian: Mrk = "dark" also]...which separates the Goths from the Huns, appears to correspond to Maeotian marshes......."  The place name Árheimar has been connected to the name Oium by both Heinzel and Schütte, originally spelled as 'Harvaða' using the phoneme feature of eth. (Later through Slavic liquid metathesis and other onomastic based versions, 'Horvati/Hrovati' would also be written as a manifestation of the same identification continuum, such as the equivalent match centuries later in Nestor's Primary Chronicle, [Хoървати/Horvati] or in Greek from Emperor Constantine's 'De Administrando Imperio' [Χρωβάτοι/Hrovatoi]...etc)

Could "Hrvati-Hrvatska" have a cross cultural correlation with the name of the Valkrie Hervör alvitr etc, as well?  Historians undoubtedly believe so based on empirical evidence, ancient onomastic/onymic material and even topographical markers. There is abundant linear onymic material which has survived even to this day.  (See The Lay of Hervör, Hervararkviða, The Lay of Helgi the Son of Hjorvarth, or The Saga of Hervör and Heithrek for similarity of names to the ethnonym of Croats/Horvati, which shows to also have it's genesis related to the Carpathians/Horvatya/Harvaða/Harvathi/Herevati etc, which in turn is most probably directly related to the root word that was also used for the very name of the early Croats, obvious linear and peripheral onymic continuity markers, very visible Slavic metathesis also, affecting even names of Scandinavian peoples and toponyms/place names and personal names elsewhere eventually)  According to Alfred the Great in his "Geography of Europe", who relied on the 4th century writings of Orosius, Croat inhabited lands were to be found north of Great Moravia as well.  It's interesting that the Gothic sources all wrote using the older and the at the time in use tradition of names and locations, not the Latinized versions that we all use today.  One must remember the Balto-Slavic connections of long ago, Goths and Slavs were in the same lands in early Slavic times as well.  Even today historians and archeologists are at odds whether some peoples mentioned in the early common era of north easter Europe were Germanic or Slavic. (Interestingly, many people don't know the story of the origin of the ethic name of the Russian people, or the name of the Italian regions of Lombardy and Tuscany as other examples),  the connections between the Slavic God Svetovid. and the Valkrie Hlaðguðr svanhvít or even the importance and effects of the Chernyakhov, Wielbark or Przeworski culture in early or Proto-Slavic days. Further proof that Hrvati-Croats inhabited the lands discussed so far is this amazing fact that the legendary Gothic "Hervarar saga" did not use the Latinized name of the Carpathian Mountains, (again, this is because they did not know Latin or have any major contact with the Romans at that time) ....but rather the archaic and the at the time in use local current form...."Harvaða" (Horvatya-Hrvatska etc)  This fact is again proved as today's Carpathians is situated exactly in the midst of where "Velika Hrvatska/Great Croatia" existed and where even today, ALL Slavic countries still use the Croatian endonym variants for our name......"HRVATSKA".  (Before the final standardized modern spelling of our name into the current form, at times through the centuries because of Slavic metathesis or local onomastic variations it would also be spelled starting as Horv-..Herv...Harv...)  How do Hungarians pronounce Croatia?...Horvátország.  How do even the Baltic countries pronounce Croatia in their languages? Lithuania - Kroatija yet have and still do at times use the voiceless velar fricative  "H" sounding "CH" Slavic digraph version of Chroatija,...Estonian language - Horvaatia.....Latvian language - Horvatija. (An excellent example of the old Balto-Slavic/Early Slavic language connections from long ago also, again showing the long continuity of our ethnonym)

....."und Harvaða fjöllum" literally meaning "in the mountains of the Croats" (in effect the "Croat mountains")'s Carpathians.  The Proto-Slavic land of  "Harvatya". (Horvatya, Hervatya, Horvati etc)  Harvaða being the local form Non-Latinized version name of the Slavs inhabiting those areas at that time, amidst the northern and southern slopes of the modern-day Carpathian mountains... In the Harvaða.... (originally spelled as 'Harvaða' using the phoneme feature of eth)

(Listen one more time and compare again the names of " Croatia and Croats" [Today's 'Velika Hrvatska' and 'Hrvati' in Croatian] from the originally written Byzantine Greek of Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII in the 10th century work of De Administrando Imperio. The people and the northern lands they arrived from: Βελοχρωβάτοι i Χρωβάτοι )

In the already above mentioned  "The Saga of Hervör and Heiðrek" (Translated by Nora Kershaw in 1921)....notice the names..".....By her he had twelve sons.  The eldest was Angantyr, then Hervarth, then Hjörvarth, Sæming and Hrani, Brami, Barri, Reifnir, Tind and Bui.......... "This pike at the mouth of the river, Has paid the penalty,  For the slaughter inflicted on Heithrek, "Neath the Mountains of Harvathi....."

Compare to my previously mentioned traditional folk account from De Administrando Imperio where the Croat tribes were led into the province of Dalmatia in the 7th century by a group of five brothers, ..."Klukas, Lobel, Kosenc, Muhlo and Hrvat, and their two sisters, Tuga and Buga.....Also interesting, on the topic of the name of "Hrani".  The Croatian word for food is "Hrana" coincidentally. The Croatian name and surname "Hrvoj" also derive from "Hrvat". Haplotype and genetic results show that a significant proportion of today's Croat population contain haplotypes which are most concentrated in an around the Carpthians and Ukraine.

Now listen again, according to 10th century Greek... Βελοχρωβάτοι i Χρωβάτοι.....and similar etymologically similar words according to a pronunciation version similar to 4th century Gothic...Hjörvarth...Hervarth...Harvaða...Harvathi. (onymic continuity markers, until our name spelling was finally standardized in the 19th century as "Hrvatska", at times through the centuries it was also written starting as "Harv...Horv...Herv".  The above names show a continuum also from the time the early Croats inhabited the lands of the old White Croatia/Hrvatska, lands of the Hrvati. (originally spelled as 'Harvaða' using the phoneme feature of ethNestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here.

In the footnotes to 'The Saga of Hervör and Heiðrek', Nora Kershaw translates from the oldest sources available, which were written in Old Icelandic, aka 'Old Norse'.  She adds that 'Wendeland', i.e. the 'Land of the Slavs (ie: Veneti), after the expansion of the Slavs from the fifth century onwards especially, this term came to denote an enormous expanse of country, including the coast of Eastern Germany. In much earlier times however, when the Goths still occupied Poland and Galicia, the Slavs were restricted to the regions east of these countries. Regarding the 'Mountains of Harvathi', she writes...It is believed by scholars that 'Harvathi' is the much earlier Teutonic name for the Carpathians—so clearly a reminiscence of Gothic times. The Russian-German scholar F.A. Braun in the name Harvata also saw 'Harvaða fjöllum' from Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks as what would be an early Germanic name form of the Carpathian Mountains. The old Gothic word 'Har' meaning 'heights/tall/high/lofty/highness', just as 'Har' in Icelandic even today. (Gothic: Harvathi/Latin: Carpathi) This would indicate early arriving populations of Veneti-Slavs continuing to use this ethnonym from even before the early common era, and so well before the later generic group ethno-term of 'Slavs' became the common form in usage from the 6th century onwards for the people and language group.  (This very evident source of information would seem to explain the genesis of the Croatian ethnonym to a very large degree, and it shows that Croats/Hrvati are directly related to the first appearances of Slavs and Slavic language into central Europe, all pointing towards an early, long and steady process. (This can also be deduced by the self-evident reasoning and simple facts of linear onymic markers, ie: if the early Croats (Veneti-Slavs) had instead arrived to central Europe only after the 4th-5th centuries, then "Harvati/Hrvati" would already be just a long forgotten, unused and unknown relic of history. If the above was not so, then the early Croats would have gone on to instead be known as the 'C(a)rpati' instead of 'H(a)rvati')

Using the oldest and most accurate Icelandic text sources, the 'Saga of King Heiðrek the Wise' which is also found in the 'Hervarar saga', was translated again by the academic Christopher Tolkien in 1960. In his Introduction, Notes and Appendices he also goes on to comment that...

...'The most remarkable of the place-names of this part of the saga is perhaps 'Harvaða fjöll', ...that must be among the most extraordinary fossils in the whole range of Old-Norse...I think, that Harvaða- is the same name in origin as 'Carpathians'. Since this name in it's Germanic form is found nowhere else at all, it must be a relic of extremely ancient tradition, one can hardly conclude otherwise than that these four lines are a fragment of a lost poem (presumably on the subject of Heidrek's death against the Huns) that preserved names reaching back to the early common era of central and south-eastern Europe, when the Gothic empire reached from the Baltic to the Black Sea'. Tolkien also comments that this name and phrase 'undir Harvaða fjöllum' (beneath the mountains of Harvathi) had crossed thousands of miles to Iceland and then had been preserved in fossilized form in heroic poetry that told the story of the battle between the Goths and Huns, and that it was evidently originally composed in Gothic.

(From a personal observation, based on the sources and information shown so far, even just the 2 examples shown above about the connection to the Carpathians and the time periods involved,  it seems that this ancient relic term 'Harvaða' that was written in the old poetic sagas is not just a pin in a haystack, but rather more like a small diamond in a haystack. A haystack found not close to the nearby barn either, but in a haystack found beyond the mountain range far off in the distance. An important and very fortuitous anomaly from the early common era movement of peoples matrix. A pretty accurate analogy I think, and quite amazing. Early Croatian history (Hrvatski povijest) just like the rest of early Slavic history in general, really doesn't have much, if any, recorded history that was written by us, but rather by surrounding peoples and their authors. (Greek, Roman, Germanic...) Events in those areas of Europe and in those early common era times were moving so quickly and erratically that they were more concerned with just existing and surviving. However very, very fortunately other people did record names, events and places. All this centuries before the generic term 'Slav' came into existence in written sources. This is what makes the above information truly a diamond in a far off haystack. Seemingly almost insignificant at first to an unaware casual reader, 'undir Harvaða fjöllum' combined with the other written sources, tells us where, how, why and importantly..when. It correlates to the lands later recorded as 'Great and White Croatia' in other language sources, it verifies onomastic continuity, it proves that the early Veneti-Slavs in the early common era of central/northern Europe were the original 'Croats/Hrvati', who later went on to eventually found early states after migrating towards the Adriatic)

In case the reader may not understand this very obvious and simple population movement pattern and linear onymic model, I present the following easy to follow analogy. Think of the earliest westward moving early Veneti-Slavs towards the Vistula and then beyond, as an early common era westward movement of reconnaissance Veneti-Slavs, early colonists and the first to arrive to those areas. Akin to early Veneti-Slav population migrations ahead of the in tandem following larger populations. These early Veneti-Slavs formed relationships with the Germanic Goths, early bartering and some kind of co-existence, most assuredly also forging weapons and becoming an early Slavic speaking foederati against the soon to be invading Huns from the east, they familiarize themselves with the surrounding lands, rivers, mountains and how they are called...(...the massive and majestic Harvathi mountains spreading far and wide) All the while more population waves of Veneti-Slavs arrive and proceed to settle and inhabit the lands, making homes, farming, simple economies...Who are all these people that speak the early Slavic language as well?..."Mi smo svi Harvati". According the sagas, 'Harvaða' was the last remaining free realm against the advancing Huns. Hence the ethnonym is kept alive through the following centuries, the continuity is very evident and can only be explained by the fact that the early Veneti-Slavs (Hrvati/Croats) must have already been there in those times to continue on the onomastic tradition. All this centuries before 'Slav' became an all-encompassing general ethno-term and well before their existence was even acknowledged by Rome or the Greeks. Even quite a few centuries longer before the word 'Rus'' (Russian) was known to other Slavs and entered Slavic vocabulary. (When you factor in that Tacitus mentioned the Veneti-Slavs as already inhabiting the regions east of Germania in the year 98, then it is evident that the genesis of 'H(a)rvati' could have began previous to that time period)  Hence 'Harvati/Hrvati' is a carry over name of a Slavic nation from long before even the acknowledged existence of Slavic peoples by the Romans and the Greeks. However, a few more interesting related facts to take into consideration, written accounts which uncannily again point to these same locations and early time periods and which show again that the Croatian ethnonym of 'Hrvati' extends back to European early common era antiquity. (More as you read on)

(The ancient Croat name and name of our ancient homeland. "Neath the Mountains of Harvathi..." is found in many places it seems and has an exceedingly long history especially in regards to the specific areas and territories that the original 'Hrvati/Croats' inhabited, which has been shown.  The Slavic-Gothic-Croat connection extending back from early Slavic times, when and where Goths and Slavs lived, formed alliances or became foederati against common enemies during the early common era.  There has been much study of this topic especially since the 19th century, by Croats and even more so by Non-Croatian historians and writers. At times for some historians, it was not known exactly as to how and why the Croatian ethnonym self-designation included the suffix "-ti" when referring to themselves in the plural form. (Hrvati) The answer became much more clearer when it was shown to simply be an onymic marker of continuity, from the Proto-Slavic "Veneti", which was an early designation of all the early and Proto-Slavic peoples. As it has been proven and beyond any shadow of a doubt accepted that the Veneti of Tacitus, Pliny and Ptolemy were Slavs, and as the neighbouring Finns and Scandinavians have always referred to the Slavs as Wane or Veneje (Venelaiset meaning the land of the Veni – Veneti), and as the Germans too refer to the Slavs as Wenedi, Wanadi, Vinuli, Windili, Wenden, Winden, and the Celts call them Vineth, Veoned, Gwineth. The Fredegarii Chronicon supports this, since in 623 AD it equates the Veneti with the Slavs: "Sclavi coinomento Vinedos", and speaks of the "marca Winedorum" and the "Walucus dux Winedorum". The same theme occurs in the "Vitae S. Columbani, (530-615)  where the author speaks of the "Country of the Veneti who consider themselves also Slavs" [Termini Venetiorum qui et Sclavi dicuntur] The meaning of the name Veneti was known also to Jordanes because he writes: "cujus urbis (Ravenae) dudum ut tradunt majores posessores Venetii". Just like the Veneti mentioned by Pomponius Mela (43 CE). Simply an instance of carrying over the Vene-ti suffix for the plural form self-designation Hrva-ti, (Singular forms for both remaining Venet/Hrvat) Also, the very name of the 'Goths' comes into the equation again. 'Goths' in Latin is pronounced as 'Gothi', and in Croatian and every other Slavic language as well, Goths are called 'Goti'. This is because in Slavic languages we don't have the 'th' sound. This is the same sound represented as eth (Ð/ð ) in the Old Norse sagas. (...und Harvaða fjöllum) It is then easy to see how the translated 'Harvatha/Harvathi' comes down to us in Croatian and other Slavic languages as 'Harvat/Harvati'. The singular form for both again remains Got/Hrvat.  Amazing linear onymic markers and reminders that again connect to the early common era time of the earliest European Proto-Slavs, ie: Veneti-Slavs and the early H(a)rvati/Croats. (Interestingly, some smaller Slavic tribes are mentioned as inhabiting the area of Macedonia in the middle of the 7th century...Velegziti, Draguviti, Sagudati, some other instances of tribes that also had this suffix ending feature for the self-designation plural form.... the Helveti, Chatti, Corconti, Danduti, Tubanti, Naristi/Varisti, Lepontii, Voconti, Veleti...)

Interestingly however, study about the early history of the Croats, or any other peoples, was highly discouraged by authorities from both of the failed "Yugoslavias".  This topic and other related subjects discussed here were especially not to be talked or written about during Tito's communist rule.. The facts and truths revealed in the study of this topic was in conflict with the regime, which just wanted to invent a new people...the so-called generic and subservient Yugo-Slavs, who must lose their historic identity to become only (South-Slavs)  It was not even so much about just the included Gothic past of the Croats, it was because it was Croatian history to begin with.  This interest in the history of the Croats did not deal with just all the Slavs as a whole, so this was contrary to their agendas and therefore must be avoided or stamped out. A policy that in reality attempted to negate the peoples various languages, history and cultural past and then forcefully lump them all together in some kind of patchwork that resembles a horrendous looking homemade quilt using different material even.  Before Tito during the fist Yugoslav regime and dictatorship it was the same case. The policy from Belgrade was for silence regarding factual history and the Gothic connection to todays Croats/Hrvati.

For example, when the outstanding Croat sociologist and historian, Dr. Milan Sufflay, espoused the theory of the Gothic past of his people, Serbian patriots and nationalists immediately became so alarmed at the threat to their concept of Jugo-slav identity, which according to "Greater serbia" aspirations and politics, would make it an obstacle in attempting to "Serbianizing" Non-Serbs, that they murdered the Croat savant in the open street in one of the most brutal killings that even the Serbs have charged against their records.  If Croats and Serbs have been distinct separate nations since time immemorial according to all historical sources, that was an obstacle enough, but if the Gothic past of Croats was brought to light also, it would make it that much more difficult to fulfill their "Greater Serbia" aspirations. (It was only in the 19th century that just Serbian literature became more similar to the centuries old Croatian literary continuum)  However, facts and valid historical sources and information should not and must not be thrown into the garbage when studying a peoples past and history.  Afterall, Croats/Hrvati didn't just pop out of the ground, like some dandelion on a spring day on the lawn, just a few hundred years ago, or more recently. Serb historians who would attempt to vilify any inclusion of the Croats ancient Gothic past as somehow making them less Slavic today, should be wary of labeling any Slavic nation or attempting to define them or their history for them, according to what their definition of a Slav is.  This can also extend to what their definition of who and what other people are.  Also, a peoples history should not be suppressed just because it will make another people feel better about themselves, or because it will fit in better with their plans, aims and politics in attempting to conquer the other peoples land by using false histories and nefarious means. Will they also call Russians...(or any other Slavic nation with a Gothic, Varangian, or Celtic substratum from their early beginnings) just "Those bastard Rus....offspring of Varangian potato soup eating shoemakers?)  Read an interesting editorial excerpt regarding even the subject of Gothic-Polish history at Slav and Goth.  This history is now also strengthened because of  important genetic support (Y chromosome lines, haplogroup distribution etc) which also disproves fallacy theories. Modern day historians and archeologists having modern day technology and tools unavailable in the past has also buttressed Gothic-Croat-Slav history, proving the direct linguistic markers, historical and archeological proofs. These are facts, not made up fanciful stories based on illusions and sophism, to invent Croatian history and past somehow through osmosis. (See more Polish-Goth and Russian-Goth discussion as well...Here and Here. This section "Linguistic evidence for the early migrations of the Goths" from "The Visigoths from the Migration Period to the Seventh Century: An Ethnographic Perspective (Studies in Historical Archaeoethnology") gives interesting information about the Goths and early Slavic and Baltic peoples.

During the times of Byzantine emperor Maurice, his military campaigns brought him to an area in modern day Bulgaria and elsewhere where Slavs were already present in 594.   The Byzantine historiographer of the time and witness to the events, Theophylact Simocatta, had this to say....." on reaching Marcianopolis he ordered one thousand men to advance beyond the camp. These, therefore, encountered six hundred Sclavenes [Slavs] who were escorting a great haul of Romans, for they had ravaged Zaldapa, Aquis and Scopi……….. The Romans drew near to the Getae (for this is the older name for the barbarians)...."  Theophylact Simocatta considers the Slavs and Goths/Getae as one in the same again.  Quote:  As for the Getae, that is to say the herds of Sclavenes, they were fiercly ravaging the regions of Thrace…………. "

Jordanes  (of Gothic/Getic descent himself) in his work Getica wrote that the “Getae (Dacians) are the same as Goths, on the testimony of Orosius Paulus”  Jordanes wrote that the Goths were descendents of Scythians and Thracians and thus had the same history. According to Jordanes, their royal line had originated near the sea of Azov, then moved northward toward Scandzia where they established a separate priest-king line on the island of Gotland.  These are just a few of numerous examples, so the association of Croats with Goths when arriving to Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum as written in DAI is really nothing new or surprising. More on this below.

I came across a reply on a forum regarding this topic once. Something to the effect that, (taking into account this history of Croats/Hrvati from areas of modern day Russia/Ukraine to our most western habitations in present day Czech Republic, Poland and even Germany) that.....Russia could properly be called the mother of the Croats and that the Carpathians/Horvatya  (" 'Neath the Mountains of Harvathi " as Translated by Nora Kershaw in 1921")...can also likewise be considered the Croats father.  It's as simple as that and correlates to the facts presented. The old recorded material correlates this.  A very accurate, apropos and cool summary which I thought was perfect. It is also fitting that our name is associated with today's Carpathian mountains, because since we were originally found all along those areas, from modern day Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine before our migrations.  Our beginnings can be said to have started in the very heart of early Slavdom, areas where Slavdom was first given a special attention and gaining the interest of the classical Roman and Greek writers. Interestingly, the word Polje, or Polye and variations of, which means an interior valley, plains or less mountainous areas, is thought to be the origin for the name of the Poles and Poland. Serious scholars and historians are of the opinion that by the time the Croats (Hrvati) arrived to Dalmatia from in and around the Carpathians (ie: the early White Croatia), they were most assuredly not a 'pure' single monoethnic group, but rather more like a large federation of people with their own centuries long common customs, language and laws of ancestors, all which contributed to their cohesiveness, progression and culture as well. (Veneti/Slavs/ 'H(a)rvati')

To add further proof and evidence based on Mitochondrial DNA study (mtDNA), which again correlates to the Veneti being the early Croats long before we migrated south, we know that earliest ancestors of the early Croats, as well as Slavs, could have populated the areas in and around the Carpathians in Central Europe as far back a before 2000 BC. This would undoubtedly mean that the Veneti mentioned in ancient Roman and Greek sources were the early Croats before they migrated south from in and around "Harvaða fjöllum". (aka White Croatia, the areas in and around the Carpathian mountains)  See The ancestors of the Slavs could have been in Europe 4000 years ago from a Polish science website for more information)

*Excerpt of text from King Alfred's "Geography of Europe" regarding the still present Croats north of Moravia is expounded upon in "The whole works of King Alfred the Great ".........

.....21 Horithi, Horiti, (Horoti) C.'— Horigti, L. A Slavonic race, placed by Alfred to the east of the Slavi Dalamenti, who occupied the district north-east of Moravia...... See note 23. R. T. Hampson,. Notes and Qrs, No 17,. p. 258.— S.W. Singer says,— The Horiti of Alfred are undoubtedly the Croati, or Crowati of Pomerania, who still pronounce their name Horuati, (the h supplying the place of Graecized style ch)  Nor does it seem unreasonable to presume that the Harudes of Csesar (De Bel. Gall. I, 31, 37, 51) were also Croats; for they must have been a numerous and widely spread race. They are also called Charudes, (In the Graecized digraph form) *ApovO€^, The following passage from the Annales Fuldenses, A. 852, will strengthen this supposition ; — '' Inde transiens per Angros, Harudos,. Suabos, et Hosingos • . .. Thuxdngiam ingreditur." Notes and Qrs, No 20, p. 314.........

*They are noted in the 2nd century writings of Ptolemy, and as already mentioned, also much earlier by Caesar himself, when mentioning the Haruske (Harudske in the fuller form) and the 24,000 strong Harudes (Χαροῦδες) military force from around 60 B.C.  Many historians believe (just one example shown above) that the Harudes (written as Charudes in Graecized digraph style) were employed Slavic Proto-Croat soldiers forming an alliance as part of the army of Ariovistus, eventually coming to be known as the "Hrvati/Horvati" from "Horvatska/Hrvatska/Horvatya/Harvaða" in later writings. Located in the distant eastern border areas of the then Germania, it is no surprise that these imported soldiers are so numerous, as they were also a large community as well.  Their mention is remarkably similar to the later Byzantine accounts where the Croats/Hrvati are asked to invade Dalmatia and free the lands from the Avars, then possess the land afterwards, except in that instance they were there to stay. They are also mentioned as being a part of the armies of Ariovistus on the temple walls of the Monumentum Ancyranum, at the order of the first Roman emperor Augustus in 27 B.C.  In the 'Opuscula. Essays, Chiefly Philological and Ethnographic' by Robert Gordon Letham, besides corroborating the Croat existence to at and north of the Carpathians before their migration south to Dalmatia, then spreading across Illyria and Pannonia, he also is of the opinion that these distant eastern lands of Germania during that time of Caesar were most likely Slavic populated as well, just as they were later during the times of Heraclius.  This would mean that the Harudes (Χαροῦδες) were in all likelihood a Slavic-Gothic alliance, which would account for their large numbers and highly regarded standing and privileged position. (They are recorded by Caesar as needing much land set aside for them, because they intended on bringing their community and families there to settle) This root name is the genesis of the emerging  'Hrvati' ethnonym and people down to this day thought by many. (As seen it also had a part to play in topography, names and place names elsewhere, even the very Carpathians mountains recorded as dating back to at least the 3rd century, but even before that if it was already recorded so in the 3rd century....[Horvatya/Harvathi/Harvaða in the later Gothic epics]...over 2 centuries before the later incursions of Atilla and his Huns. This again would partly explain and emphasize the truth of the descriptions of Croats being called Goths as well as Slavs in later Roman and Byzantine accounts also. (More on this as you read on)

A well known early Slavic legend is the Czech legend of St.Wenceslaus, regarding the early 10th century Czech Duke Wenceslaus. We find that when his mother Drahomira was mourning his death, her other son Boleslav tried to murder her and so she fled to the Croats/Croatia. This would most likely refer to the still present "White Croats" who still inhabited Silesia and/or parts of northern Bohemia rather than the Croatian Kingdom already formed to the south. (These Croats formed a part of the Croat migrations of the early 7th century mentioned in the 10th century work "De Administrando Imperio" as coming from "White and Great Croatia", and who are also mentioned in Nestor's "Primary Chronicle".  (More on Drahomira and these Croats HereHere and Here)

An  interesting piece of related information that also fits into this topic, as well as the previously mentioned "Carpathian" connection is this. As you will see, the Latin version (which eventually became the English version) of our name came to be mainly because of the voiceless velar fricative /X/ sound, which came to be pronounced and spelled slightly differently from language to language. Similar to the Scottish pronunciation of the word "Loch".  (Nestor's Primary Chronicle about early Kievan Rus' also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here)  However, even Ptolemy himself, (Ptolemy III.10) wrote the Carpi tribe name originally as "Harpii", which was the local variant name and not his Latin written version, obviously influenced by the earlier Germanic and non-Latinized pronunciation. See Here  (This information will make more sense as you read on...Metathesis (linguistics) and Onymics etc. It's also interesting that Ptolemy found them between the Tyras and Ister rivers, today's Dniester and Danube,  back in the 1st century. Interesting because again, this correlates to where the Slavs were to be found, but also especially where the "Croats/Hrvati" were also located before their steady movement north-westwards to even modern day Germany, east to Kievan Rus' and importantly towards modern day Croatia.  The lands over the next centuries referred to as "Great or White Croatia" (Velika/Bijela Hrvatska)

(*Note- Interestingly, these are the viewpoints of numerous classical and modern day historians regarding this specific point, that the Goths and the Veneti-Slavs were temporally contiguous, and so also the foundations of the Croats . The chronicle of Ivan Lučić Lucius gives an account of the arrival of the Croats where he wrote ...."The people called Croats…Many call them Goths, and likewise Slavs......".  Some Gothic names mentioned by the 6th century Roman writer Jordanes: Telefus, Gradivus, Filimer, TheudemirValamir, Videmir and Vithimir. Do these not even sound Slavic? (related to Branimir? Muncimir? Trpimir? Krešimir? Zvonimir? Selimir? etc) There are numerous historical written works concerning those times that portray the Goths as largely composed of recruited Veneti-Slavs (usually referred to as just barbarian pagan peoples as a whole, by early Roman and Greek writers), especially by the time they reached the shores of the Black Sea and then moved more westward. During 200 year Goth rule in Southern Russia and Ukraine and around the Black Sea, to their western movements, it is Slavic place names and hydronyms which were left behind and remain to this day.

Roman historians systematically mention Veneti and Slavs migrating together in the sixth and seventh centuries AD. In 551 Jordanes, the Gothic historian of the Roman Empire, wrote about Veneti and Slavs: “ab una stirpe exorti, tria nunc nomina ediderunt, id est Venethi, Antes, Sclaveni” (XXIII). “though off-shoots from one stock, have now three names, i.e. Veneti, Antes and Slavs”. The Roman army general Procopius Caesarensis wrote soon afterwards in "De Bello Gothico about Veneti, Antes and Slavs that they “even speak the same, quite barbarous language” (XXVI).

What does this all mean? Very simply, that the Goths were not a homogeneous ethnicity, but were also largely composed of early Veneti-Slavs, who were only speaking their Germanic language.  (It is widely known that speaking a specific language does not necessarily make one of that ethnicity.  Think of the Spanish Civil War from the 1930's as a recent example where there were many foreign volunteers on both sides)  Also historians assure us that before the time of the Gothic Wars in the 4th century against the Huns, they encountered and formed alliances with these Veneti. The old and early original 'H(a)rvati', were centered in and around the Carpathians mountains in the early common era of Europe. (called 'Harvaða fjöllum' in the legendary sagas) and it was actually in and around these areas where the famous last stand against the Hunnish armies took place. (The very personal endonym name of the Croats (Hrvati) can attest to this fact) Since they were also being called 'Veneti' in the early centuries of Croatian history, when Roman and Greek writers new very little about outside the empires borders,  the early common era Croats were then also temporally contiguous as Slavs and Goths, just as the 'Veneti' were. We are told by historians in the early common era that the peoples were already similar in appearance, so there was no great obstacle in transferring technology, customs, clothing and culture back and forth, in essence it was the languages which played the greatest part in the forming of identities between Germanic, Roman, Veneti-Slavic and then just Slavic being used as the general language term. We can then think of the early Croats (Hrvati) in and around the Carpathians as being perceived as superordinate to any other nameless smaller Slavic speaking tribes, smaller later arriving tribes that never even made it into any history books at all. The early Croats would have then been the original Slavic speaking tribes, according to all the presented information and sources,(when they were called the "Veneti", from the times when the Carpathians were called "Harvaða"), so naturally the already long time present "H(a)rvati" would be the superordinate Slavic speaking ethnonym and people. "Slavic" would just be a very general and non-specific term for the language group/people, (like Germanic and Latin languages) still applicable and not incorrect, but "Hrvati" was the superordinate and with a much older history in Europe. Thus it was later after migrating south, during the first efficient and de facto royal administration and organization of the early Croatian duchies and their royal courts.

".....From the Croats who came to Dalmatia a part split off and possessed themselves of Illyricum and Pannonia; they too had an independent prince, who used to maintain friendly contact, though through envoys only, with the prince of Croatia......Great Croatia, also called 'White', is still unbaptized to this day" - Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio (DAI)

As well as the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja from the 14th century, this Croat-Gothic connection, was first published into Latin by Ivan Lučić Lucius, and is recorded and supported by the original writings of one Thomas the Archdeacon, in his historic chronicle Historia Salonitana from the 13th century......

"........From the Polish territories called Lingonia seven or eight tribal clans arrived under Totilo. When they saw that the Croatian land would be suitable for habitation because in it there were few Roman colonies, they sought and obtained for their duke...The people called Croats...Many call them Goths, and likewise Slavs, according to the particular name of those who arrived from Poland and Bohemia......." (The text is referring to Poland and Bohemia of the author's time, in the 6th century those states did not yet exist)

I  decided to throw this in as an amusing scenario that probably shows the predicament of the early Roman writers who first came into contact with the Croats.  Random and in no particular order reconstructed images from the 6th century of 3 Croats, 3 Goths who are called Croats and 3 Slavs who are called Croats, all speaking the early Slavic Croatian language. Just one scenario where one can see how and why the Croats being described as both Goths and Slavs is partly better understood. Throw in the factors of similar clothing, helmets and swords, then it is even more apparent. More below.

Thomas the Archdeacon in his 13th century work Historia Salonitana also went on to write ".....And it then happened in the Croatian regions (Latin: Chroatorum) that a priest named Vulfo, bringing gifts from the Croatians, was sent to Rome to appeal and get the Pope to restore the former position of the churches and priests in the Slavic kingdom.  He told  the Pope that he was from the Dalmatian regions.....laying down the presents of the Croats.......  After his visit, he returned to the "Goths who had sent him........the Goths greatly rejoiced..."  

In his Latin written chronicle from around 1250, which made use of many earlier sources, he writes that the Croats (which he surmised was based on the Latin word 'Curetes') settled in a wide area in the western Balkans, centering on Dalmatia as well as it's vicinity, and were called Goths as well as Slavs. Later these three groups merged into one, a single people under the one name, the Latin version name 'Croats', and so the present-day Slavic speaking Croats. (Excerpts also mention the later Croatian kings Demetrius Zvonimir and Peter Krešimir IV.) Although he was not familiar with it, his information closely resembles DAI by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who wrote the story of the Croats arriving from White Croatia beyond the Carpathians, it's considered further evidence that traditions about the early Croat migration had existed in Dalmatia for some time and from various sources. Throughout his mentioning of the people he continues to describe these "Slavs" as Croats and Goths, elsewhere it is written that these Goths and Slavs "came to receive the high name". (This would be the exonym Latinized form of 'Croats') The following rulers would become known to us throughout history as Dukes and Kings "of Croats". (Latin: Dux and Rex Chroatorum) Another excerpt reads that the Goths and Croats were already followers of Ulfilas and the Arian Christianity, and so had to be converted to Trinitarianism. Historia Salonitana also tells the story of Croats migrating north to found the early Czech lands, which corroborates with some Czech sources. (Cosmas of Prague in his 12th century "Chronica Boëmorum" describes the migration of seven brothers led by Čech (Czech), from Croatia to Bohemia) Whether every point written in Historia Salonitana is taken as unequivocal proof or absolute truth or not, is not the point or of the main importance here. It is rather that Historia Salonitana and the sources used to compile it, is further evidence that traditions about the early history of Croats and Croatia included the subject of migrations to ancient Dalmatia from the north, that their early ethnogenesis included Slav and Goth elements, and that these were the first and oldest traditions.

The "Chronicle of the Priest of Dioclea" has come down to us today in 4 redactions. (It's interesting also that the author does not consider himself a Serb or part of any Serbian realm in the written work, but rather as a Dioclean (modern day Montenegro), it was included as part of the his mentioned "Red Croatia" He mentions Serbia as an entity north of Dioclea) The excerpts from "Chronicle of the Priest of Dioclea", especially the section entitled "Libellus Gothorum" (Book of the Goths) in the various Latin redactions, speaks of a Gothic invasion by Totila and Ostroilo, these Goths who are also called Slavs. Totila continues on to Italy with a part of the armies. Dalmatia is then ruled by these Goths who are also called Slavs (under a leader referred to as "Svevlad", followed by his descendant "Selimir" who is the grandson of "Ostroilo")  and who in turn then ruled all the surrounding lands. The chronicle describes it as a Gothic kingdom encompassing all the lands on the eastern Adriatic and that more Slavs were brought to the lands from the north, so that this Gothic kingdom also came to be called kingdom of the Slavs.(The Slavs were brought/imported from the same areas that the Goths had arrived from, which are also the same areas from where the Croats had arrived from)  Historia Salonitana and the Dioclea chronicle state that the Croats "remained" after the Goths..." (ie: after Totila left for Italy) This would imply that they originally arrived with them. "The people called Croats...Many call them Goths, and likewise Slavs". Again, even if not accepting every point written in the so far discussed examples as absolute truth, the sources still portray the underlying themes of the early migrations south from the north, the elements of Goth and Slav in the Croat ethnogenesis and of these being the oldest traditions. These points are what is of importance here. (Where there is smoke, there must have been a fire. This smoke lingered for centuries and arose again into a mighty fire in the early 9th century)

On page 81 of  "The Assasination of Justinian's Personality" by G. Sotiroff, he refers to the Dubrovnik historical work by 17th century (1551 - 1615) historian and noble family member, Jakov (Luccari) Lukarević who according to his various sources AND from the mentioned "Book of the Goths" in the Dioclea chronicle, goes into greater detail about who and what Selimir was........

Polish historian Aleksander Małecki writes about the possible Croatian origins of the founders of the Czech, Polish and Russian lands. He delves a little deeper into this Croat-Pole-Czech-Rus connection. (His written work on pdf at the link) Besides mentioning the Polish source of Ioannes Dlugossius (Jan Długosz, 1415-1480) as stating that the Poles original homeland was in the Croatian lands, he also finds a telling of events where Lech is the brother of Selimir Harvoi, (Latin for Hrvat/Croat) who was the early Gotho-Slav Croatian King. He refers to the Dubrovnik historical work by 17th century (1551 - 1615) historian and noble family member, Jakov (Luccari) Lukarević, who according to his various sources AND from the mentioned "Book of the Goths" in the Dioclea chronicle, finds a connection. He also cites Pavao Skalić (English, Skalich, Scalich, Scaliger; in Latin, Scalichius or Scaligius) in his 1605 work "Annali di Rausa" (Annals of Ragusa) and notes that Selimir Harvoi was Croatian king around 550..... 

Again, according to the chronicle of Dioclea from the edition of it in Latin, (subjoined to the "De regno Dalmatiae et Croatiae" (The Kingdom of Dalmatia and Croatia)  by Ivan Lučić Lucius  in 1666).. Totila and Ostroilo are two brother kings of the "Goths, who are Slavs" who conquer Pannonia and then take Dalmatia. As they descend upon the empire, Totila moves on to take Italy for his share, which he ravages, passes into Sicily and dies there. The Croats remained behind in Dalmatia. Ostroilo then continues to rule all Illyriia and Dalmatia, being opposed only by the armies of Byzantine emperor Justinian. Ostroilo leaves a son Svevlad who reigns twelve years and is succeeded by his son Selimir, who then reigns as the Gotho-Slav and Croat king of Dalmatia around 550, which was divided into White Croatia (Lower Dalmatia) and Red Croatia (Upper Dalmatia) ("Croatiam albam, quae et inferior Dalmatia dicitur... Croatiam Rubeam vocavit, quae et superior Dalmatia dicitur") His kingdom is described as a kingdom of the Goths as well as of the Slavs. All this information on this subject of our early ethnogenesis is from the earliest sources about the history of the Croats and is nothing new or recently invented. This and other similar proven scenarios are abound in European history, as the Goths are to the early Croats, so are the Varangian Rus' to the Russians, so are the Germanic Franks to the French, so the Turks, Iranians and Pashtun people are to Serbs, etc and so on.

Split nobleman Dmine Papalić on August 22 in the year 1500 in the area of Poljica found an old book written in "harvackim pismom" (Croatian letters) which contains a Croatian redaction of the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja, sometimes also called the "Croatian Chronicle".  Interestingly, this version which incorporated from other older sources also, says that Svatopluk's original name was Budimir, but was changed to Svatopluk after he accepted Christianity. (Many original sources from those times all over Europe have been lost, thankfully we at least have the copied and translated redactions which brought down to us even to this day these early Gotho-Slav/Croat mentions)  In 1510 it was translated into Latin by the renown Croatian humanist writer Marko Marulić and included under the name of  "Presbyter Diocleatis Regnum Slavorum (Presbyter of Dioclea's Kingdom of the Slavs) and included into his other work titled "Regum Dalmatiae et Croatiae historia una cum Salonarum desolatione" (History of the Kingdom of Dalmatia and Croatia and the fall of Salona) and it is this redaction which was taken to Belgrade by Serbs where it is still today. Marulić's other Latin translation, known as the Bologna manuscript and named after where it is kept in Italy, is included in his "Croatiae Dalmatiaeque regum gesta" (The events of Croatian Dalmatia)  Later, the Slavic element and mentions in the Dioclea Chronicle..("Goths who are Slavs"..etc) became the focus, as through the following centuries it was the Slavic languages and culture which permeated the early Gothic elements and history and Goths became Slavicized, in Croatian lands and elsewhere. Shortly later in 1532, it was in "De origine successibusque Slavorum (On the Origin and Glory of the Slavs) by Croatian humanist historian Vinko Pribojević, (1470's-1532) in his "The Realm of the Slavs" (Il Regno degli Slavi) in 1601 from today's Dubrovnik area Croatian writer and historian Mavro Orbin, (1550's-1614, Orbin translated it into Italian with information from other old sources also) and the Pan-Slavic work of Croatian Juraj Križanić (1618-1683), which also sprang from the work of Marko Marulić (1450-1524), an early national Croatian poet and humanist. This also eventually went on to be a theme of Croatian writer, historian, publisher and linguist Pavao Ritter Vitezović (1652-1713), who in turn influenced the 19th century Croatian National Revival and it's place within the Pan-Slavic movements of Croatian linguist, politician, writer and publisher Ljudevit GajAll these later Pan-Slavic and Croatian movements can be directly attributed to the translated works of Marko Marulić. This topic of the early Croats-Goths-Slavs history especially is attested in these early redactions and were not left out,  because otherwise we would not know as much as we do had he not included this information in his Latin redaction of the Dioclea chronicle and other written works in the first place. (Notwithstanding other manuscripts which report a similar early history)

Many historians believe the Croats are an amalgam of Slavs and Ostrogoths, which makes perfect and logical sense, as the Ostrogoths certainly were present in Dalmatia before any Slavs arrived or were even mentioned.  (They were already ruling Italy by 493 under Theodoric)  The text of Historia Salonitana makes it clear that the Croats, who were already described as Goths and Slavs even before arriving, were indigenous for some time before the later arrival of more Goths and Slavs (or Slavicized Goths) from the northern lands (corresponding to White Croatia) under Totilo, their kin also from Poland and Bohemia where they had come from previously. This also is partial and convincing proof that the three accounts by Constantine Porphyrogenitus in DAI when discussing about the arrival of the Croats to the Adriatic in the early 7th century is actually talking about the 2nd migration of Croats to Dalmatia. The discussed thus far chronicles state that the Croats were already there. Serious scholars and historians are of the opinion that by the time the Croats (Hrvati) arrived to Dalmatia from in and around the Carpathians, they were most assuredly not a 'pure' single monoethnic group, but rather more like a large federation of people with their own centuries long common customs, language and laws of ancestors which contributed to their cohesiveness.

Even just this one example, you will see as you read on, was cause for perturbation for Serbs in both of the failed Yugoslavia's.  This primeval nucleus under the Croatian name. Agitated by the total lack of Serb mentions and history in the Croatian populated areas after the migrations was cumbersome enough indeed, but much more problematic was this early history of the Croats and their Gothic-Slavic heritage, more than a major stumbling block for Serbian aspirations and their ethnicon assignment proxy war attempts. The thorn in the side of Serb political machinations essentially being the primeval nucleus of the people in that part of Europe under the Croatian name....Hrvati.  Both of the failed ex-Yugoslavia's, as well as before, realized this history of the Croats must be hidden or stamped out completely.  Serbian attempts at eventually labeling all the South Slavic nations as strictly Serbs, no matter what their ethnonym, ethnicity or language/cultural history, collided with these documented early histories which proves otherwise. A history that was not some new and spontaneously 20th century invented concoction either, but as has been shown, reached far back to the earliest history of Croats. There are place names in the Croatian countryside that indicate the presence of Slavs in it as early as the second century A.D.  It is surmised that these Slavs came from north of the Carpathians, (White Croatia). Certainly the Slavs seem to have begun to people the Hungarian plain in the third century of the Christian era. Undoubtedly they took part in the assaults made on the western and eastern branches of the Roman empire from the fourth century on. Still there is no mention of them as foederati of these empires as were so many of the barbarians. Only after the death of the renowned Hunnish devastator, Attila, in the mid fifth century, do the Slavs begin to receive clear mention on the part of contemporary writers who start to become more familiarized with them.

Written sources and archaeological artifacts testify to the arrival of the Goths in the territory of Roman Dalmatia, and their rule in this area. Procopius (C.E. 500-565) said that the Goths in Dalmatia and Liburnia, after the end of their rule in the sixth century, were induced to remain by the Byzantine commander Constantianus, so that they did not emigrate from these regions. The fact remains that the Croats are recorded as reconquering Dalmatia from the Avars, according to Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The three mediaeval sources which deal with migrations to the present Croatian territory (Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Libellum Gothorum, Thomas the Archdeacon) lead to the conclusion that the name Sclavi(ni)/Sklabenoi (Slavs) was used as just a general term to designate in particular the immigrants who were arriving en masse to the borders of Byzantium.

According to Thomas the Archdeacon, the Goths who settled in this area were referred to by some as Sclavi(ni) (Slavs) as well, while Thomas also called them Croats. His “Gothi et nichilominus Sclavi” (Goths as well as called Slavs) completely corresponds to the designation “Gothi qui et Sclavi” (Goths who are Slavs) made by the Priest of Duklja (Presbyter Diocleas).  Therefore the generic descriptive word of "Slavs" can only be the Croats, before we became more powerful and known to the writers of antiquity and the middle ages. After the recorded Gothic invasion (under a leader referred to as "Svevlad", followed by his descendant "Selimir" and grandson of  "Ostroilo") it was the Croatian 'Gotho-Slavs' the Croats who remained. (Afterall, it wasn't...Goth's and likewise Slavs who are called Russians, Poles, Bulgarians or Czechs etc. Those nations were developing their own histories elsewhere at that time). Considering especially that 'De Administrando Imperio' was unknown to them, it cannot be coincidental that the independent writings of Thomas the Archdeacon (as well as the later Latin redactions of the writings of the Priest of Duklja) lead to the conclusion that these two authors accorded the same meaning in Latin to the name Goth and Croats. All this again, does not contradict in any way the information found regarding the arrival of the Croats to Dalmatia in 'De Administrando Imperio'.  They actually only strengthen the position that the accounts of DAI are actually talking about the 2nd larger migrations of Croats to Dalmatia, Illyricum and Pannonia. 

Synopsis: Thomas, as well as the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja from the 12th century, state that the Croats did not "originally" arrive the same way that the Byzantine texts say. ("Originally arrive" is the key, which would then strengthen the idea that the Byzantine DAI text was speaking of a much larger 2nd migration of Croats.  This would make sense because it would explain how Heraclius had heard of them in the first place, and so was able to find out that there were many more of them in the northern Great/White Croatia) The imperial archive sources he used in DAI mainly refer to the times when Byzantium took a more active role and the "official recognition" of the various peoples by Heraclius. (He doesn't discuss the preceding time of the emperor Justinian, the Slavs, Totilo or the Gothic wars, even those people and events certainly did exist.)  Instead, these 2 works claim that the Croats were a group of Gotho-Slavs (or Slavo-Goths) that "remained" after the Goths (under a leader referred to as "Totila") had conquered Pannonia and then occupied and pillaged the Roman province of Dalmatia and then moved onto Italy. The Chronicle of Dioclea speaks of this Gothic invasion (under a leader referred to as "Svevlad", followed by his descendant "Selimir" and grandson of  "Ostroilo", who was the brother of Totila) after which Croatian 'Gotho-Slavs' remained. The early Croatian speaking/Slavic speaking Croats. Therefore, there is a double confirmation because even in Emperor Constantine’s "De Administrando Imperio", the account about the Croats was also positioned as being a priori to the story about the Serbs.

A brief but interesting fact worth noting and which is directly related to the information presented thus far and information to follow. Genetically, on the Y chromosome line, a majority (87%) of Croats belong to one of the three major European Y-DNA haplogroups -- Haplogroup I (38%), Haplogroup R1a 35% and Haplogroup R1b 16%. All three of these groups appeared in Europe during the upper paleolithic around 30,000-20,000 BC. Furthermore the dominant presence of haplogroup I is rather interesting, as it is considered the only native European halplogroup. This group exists in Europe only and is fairly widespread, but in relatively small percentages. Its frequency in the Croatian lands is high, but the only populations that have similar levels of the I haplogroup are the Scandinavians. Haplogroup I is believed to have weathered the last glacial maximum in the lands corresponding to modern day Croatia and surrounding area and then migrating north as the ice sheets retreated. Also, by these statistics we can clearly see that the strongest Haplogroup in Croatians is Haplogroup I, when combined with the other middle ages historical written records mentioned here about Croats, we see that the early common era Croat history as being Gothic and Slavic descendants is absolutely correct. There is no denying that we share these haplogroups with Scandinavians more than anyone else in Europe, so the early European populations that went on to become Scandinavians also went on to become Croatians. This genetic continuum which reaches much further back into history than just the common era, is a scientific fact and it also helps explain the middle ages sources when describing and pertaining to early Croatian history. Territorially and demographically speaking, one can see this also affected many areas inhabited by Slavic-speaking communities.

What does this past Gothic/Slavic history ultimately mean to us today in these modern days? Not much really, it's just a fact and recorded history. (The Chronicle of Dioclea's "Libellus Gothorum", (Book of the Goths) and also the writings of the Archdeacon of Split both refer to a time well before Dioclea even existed, when it was just a part of the 6th century Dalmatia) It's nothing new at all really, but is actually instead based on early records, so it is actually very old news as shown. Croatian history mirrors the history of the other northern Slavic nations in this regard, as you will see. Just like the Ostrogothic kingdom existed before the Croatian kingdom, it's just a fact of the early Croat ethnogenesis. These illuminating records actually just show that Croatian history in the area of ancient Dalmatia extends further back than originally thought. Regardless of the different interpretations, the early Croat tribes eventually settled in the area between the Drava river and the Adriatic sea, the western Roman provinces Pannonia and Dalmatia within the greater Illyricum.  The Croat tribes had been organized into two dukedoms; the Pannonian duchy in the north and the Dalmatian duchy in the south. That's the early history of Europe and of Croatia and that's the way it was, and here we are today....Croatia, Croatians, the Slavic Croatian language and Croatian history. Because we are talking about the early ethnogenesis of today's Croats/Hrvati and Croatia, from circa. 1500 years ago, nothing really changes. This presented information is not any sort of pro or con or part of any agenda. We are not talking about last year or the last century or even 10 centuries ago, but even long before that. Croatians have been around a while and in numerous places that are not generally discussed these modern times. (Pass the krumpir, mlince and sol...)

Among various archeological evidences, including swords, stone monuments and other artifacts, I found the above image interesting and worth noting here.  Dated from the migration period of the Early Middle Ages, this iron helmet (commonly called the spangenhelm today in Europe) was found in Croatia and would be what the early Croatian soldiers/warriors would have been wearing in the 6th-7th century during their movements south towards modern day Croatia (when liberating Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum) and up to the 9th-10th century. It is very similar to what was being used around early Kievan Rus' as well as other areas inhabited by the "White Croats". This one can be viewed in person at the Museum of the Cetinska Krajina in the town of Sinj.

Helmet on early Medieval period Croatian soldier in military dress.

*(Related sidenote -  Since the later written Priest of Dioclea chronicle resolved this matter, of Croats being Goths as well as Slavs, similarly as Thomas's "Historia Salonitana", it is believed that both had used the same older source. The later Priest of Dioclea chronicle goes on to add contradicting information and errors, but this Goths/Croats/Slavs topic is concurred. Concerning the accuracy of the other of Thomas's writings which support his assertions, the most important information which Thomas provides in the catalogue of the Split bishops (archbishops) is the dating by Frankish and Byzantine, but also Croatian rulers. He mentioned Branimir, Trpimir, Muncimir, Tomislav, Držislav and Krešimir. Based on historical sources, Thomas wrote about Archbishop Lawrence, the great reformer who stood in line with Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085). About him, he writes that the Croatian rulers (and Thomas dates him to the time of Stjepan, Krešimir and Zvonimir) issued many deeds on old and new donations of property to the Split Church. Thomas also mentions a council held in Nin at which Zvonimir, the Croatian king, confirmed the donation of the Church of St. Stephen and St. Mary at Otok in Solin to the Church in Split and that the tombs of the Croatian King Krešimir and many other Croatian kings and queens are in this church. Archaeological research has confirmed Thomas’s assertion and uncovered the epitaph to Queen Helen the Glorious (Croatian: Jelena Slavna, shown and discussed earlier this post)...only in the latter half of the 20th century, which Thomas probably even saw during his own lifetime. Through the centuries, the church and graves were plundered, destroyed by Turks and a fire, and then rebuilt, but the gem of the epitaph of the Queen Helen discovery confirms Thomas's writings)

Excerpt from "HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL CROATIA" by Stanko Guldescu - Part One, Croatian Prehistory.....

"....The late Professor Preveden in his History of the Croatian people concluded that there is no such thing really as a Slavic race. There are only Slavic peoples whose racial or national origins are of multiple character through the preceding centuries. On the basis of anthropological evidence Dr. Preveden decided that the modern Slavs may be the descendants of Slavonicized neighbours rather than of the original Slavs themselves. These then adopted the language and the culture of the Slavic stocks with which they came into contact with. In so doing they forgot their own languages. The Croats lived south of the Danube and Sava in the country between the Morava, Drina, and Lim rivers, as well as in modern Poland, Czech and Slovakian lands, and even more north and east, so indubitably there were Slavic populations and elements in the lands acquired by the early Croats.  (The author Guldescu is also convinced based on the oldest written record pertaining to this subject, that the Slavic blood acquired by the early Croats was the contribution of the Slovenes, Slovaks, Czechs, Poles and of the early Slavic Rus tribes, Russian, Ukrainians etc, not of the Serbs. Also, we know that the later Carolingian presence in the Croatian lands has determined the religion as well as the life philosophy, literacy, arts and culture in general that have resulted from it, this is on top of Guldescu's valid points. More at  Preveden’s interpretation is important because it tends to buttress the advanced theory and very old sources that the early Croatians were not completely Slavs but also Slavicized Goths.....".

The preceding text is illuminating for a few reasons.  Firstly, it shows that the appearance, culture, aims and probably very likely as well, the pagan deity pantheons between the neighbouring peoples was very similar already, at times the same gods under different names.  During the Goths two hundred year occupation of Southern Russia and Ukraine, the Goths most certainly exerted a considerable influence upon their Slavic neighbors.  Secondly, it shows that the Goth and Slav populations found there was actually in conflict with any Iranian tribes who were to found south of the Black Sea. Serious historians state that any recently concocted theories of  Iranic influence or any relevant contact with them during their 2nd and 3rd centuries stay in Southern Russia and Ukraine is factless, groundless, without any evidence and only amounts to imaginative suppositions based only on a few very recently found and only possibly similar sounding "personal names", not a people or tribes. Any kind of contact would only have been peripheral on the territory of the Goths/Slavs, most likely only related to trade.  It has been shown numerous times by serious historians that it was a conflict of not only language, but more importantly a lack of any culture similarity to begin with, as well as  important pagan deities pantheon conflict and incongruity. The early Slavic pagan deities were much more similar to Germanic deities than to any other people, as you will see. Example: Hlaðguðr svanhvít vis-a-vis Svetovid. Regardless, since the earliest writings from the middle ages up to today, it has always only been the Gothic-Croat-Slav history which was known and written about first and most often when writing about the earliest Croatian history. (These modern days we even know that the Gothic-Croat-Slavic/European based history centering at and near the Carpathians by far also has the most convincing proof due to direct linguistic, historical and archeological proofs, as well as previously unavailable important genetic support, (Y chromosome lines, significantly different haplogroup distribution etc) which contradicts and disproves more recently imagined fallacy theories as null and void.  More on this topic as you read on)

Another interesting thing also, is that the original purpose of Historia Salonitana was to be a concise history of the church and it's affairs in Salona and Split, from the 6th century to the authors time around 1268. It was not intended to be a history of any peoples or nations whatsoever, (This added information about the Croats and their Goth/Slav heritage is just added supplemental information that was at his disposal, the author actually looked on with disdain at the goings on and people found outside of the church's affairs in Split, which is where he wrote Historia Salonitana)... so the text can not be considered as favoring one biased point of view over another in any regards. Historia Salonitana even writes that the Croats, just as the Goths, were at first initially introduced to and followers of the so-called Arian Christianity "heresy", before eventually being converted to Nicene Christianity and Catholicism.  (Because a segment of the early Croats had this connection to Arianism, this was another reason why in Historia Salonitana the Croatian Glagolitic alphabet is called the 'Gothic alphabet'. Until Rome later bequeathed to the Croats an exemption and special  permission to use their 'Glagolitic alphabet' during Slavonic mass and in writing, they persecuted against the use of Glagolitic because they thought that perhaps the Croats might lapse and fall back to Arian beliefs again)  The names of the Croatian rulers, especially those found on stone inscriptions, frequently have these (Gothic, Croat) suffixes: -mer (-mereis). The existence of Gothic names and meanings in a comparatively great number of Glagolitic letters shows that this alphabet was devised with some Gothic elements, again bringing it closer to the early Croatian ethnonym and ethnogenesis, as well as help explaining the references in Historia Salonitana of the Glagoltic alphabet being called the Gothic alphabet. Professor Rus and numerous other "Gothicists" have presumed that the Croat-Goths were Slavicized while they were living in the Trans-Carpathian" country, this would correlate to one early part of "Great Croatia" also called "White Croatia".

(Based on some of these Serb historian talkers, some who have even written books and 15 or 20 page pamphlets with drawings even, I don't see why the early Croatian ethnogenesis and cultural heritage which includes the Goths should be such an issue for or concern them, to the point of having a complex. It is well known and recorded that other Slavs, from the areas where we migrated from, also had contact with and include the Goths, or others, as part of early beginnings in varying degrees. Afterall, Serbs were very enamoured of the Triballi people, as just one example, being a part of the Serb ethnicity forming process and were not concerned with letting it be known, using even their name at times and including their symbols into the Serb coat of arms. So why the disdain directed at the Goths being a part of the Croatian nucleus? The Goths accomplished many great deeds afterall, (Many more than even the Triballi)...they were a fearless people who went on to many victories all across Europe, defeating Rome and battling the Huns, forming realms, kingdoms and they left behind many things for posterity and for historians to study.  Their role in the Gothic wars was of extreme importance and affected Europe permanently in numerous ways, even contributing to the Croatian and other Slavic languages. Even today we are continually learning new things about them.  I really don't see why it should even interest these Serbs to the point of not only vilifying the Gothic elements of Croatian ethnogenesis history, but even the very existence of Croatians in the first place. I'll return to this topic a few more times throughout this post with very interesting and pertinent information)

The Goths are the first Germanic people who can be proved to have had intensive contacts with speakers of Proto-Slavic. (and Balto-Slavic in varying degrees)  Goths are believed to have reached the western shores of the Black Sea between the Danube and Dniester Rivers (an area covered by present day Ukraine and Romania) about 230 CE, so contact between them and Proto-Slavic speakers started in the preceding centuries. Contact between these two groups continued all the way to the early historical period. It is believed that the Gothic language was the intermediary for the entry of many terms of Greco-Roman cultural provenience into Proto-Slavic, (Here using OCS for Old Church Slavonic, the first Slavic written material)... for example:

  • PSl. *wīna, vine (OCS vino) < Goth. wein (< Lat. vīnum);
  • PSl. *akitu, vinegar (OCS ocьtъ) < Goth. akeit (< Lat. acētum);
  • PSl. *kajsārju, [Roman] emperor (OCS cěsarь) < Goth. kaisareis (< Lat. caesar). 

Here is a list of words which are generally held to be Germanic loanwords in Proto-Slavic (and early Croatian):

  • PSl. *asilu, donkey (OCS osьlъ) < Goth. asil- (< Lat. asellus);
  • PSl. *bergu, hill (OCS brěgъ) < Germanic *bergaz (cf. German Berg);
  • PSl. *bjōda, bowl (OCS bljudo) < Goth. biuda;
  • PSl. *bōkū, letter (OCS buky) < Goth. bōkō;
  • PSl. *činda, child, infant (OCS čędo) < Germanic *kinda (cf. German Kind);
  • PSl. *gardu, enclosed space (OCS gradъ) < Goth. gards, court;
  • PSl. *gansi, goose (OCS gǫsь) < Germanic *gans- (cf. German Gans);
  • PSl. *ganeznantej, to grow healthy (OCS goneznǫti) < Goth. ganisan;
  • PSl. *kōpītej, to buy (OCS kupiti) < Goth. kaupjan (< Lat. caupo) (cf. German kaufen);
  • PSl. *kōsītej, to test, taste (OCS kusiti) < Goth. kausjan;
  • PSl. *kuningu, duke/prince/king (OCS knez/knyaz/kniazkъnędzь) < Proto-Germanic *kuningaz (cf. OE cyning, OHG chuning);
  • PSl. *lēku, cure (OCS lěkъ) < Germanic *lēka (cf. Gothic lēkareis, doctor);
  • PSl. *lōku, onion, leek (OCS lukъ) < Proto-Germanic *lauka- (cf. OHG lauh, OIcel. laukr);
  • PSl. *mastu, bridge (OCS mostъ) < Germanic *masta- (cf. OHG mast, OE mæst);
  • PSl. *nōta, cattle (OCS nuta) < Germanic *nauta;
  • PSl. *ōseringu, ear-ring (OESl. userjazъ) < Goth. ausihriggs;
  • PSl. *plākātej, to cry (OCS plakati) < Goth. flōkan, to mourn;
  • PSl. *pulku, folk (OCS plъkъ) < Germanic *fulkan (cf. OE, OHG folc);
  • PSl. *skulingu, small money (OCS skъlędzь) < Goth. skilling;
  • PSl. *skatu, cattle (OCS skotъ) < Germanic *skatta (cf. German Schatz, treasure);
  • PSl. *smakū, fig (OCS smoky) < Goth. smakka;
  • PSl. *šelmu, helmet (OCS šlěmъ) < Germanic *helma- (cf. OHG helm);
  • PSl. *tūnu, fence (OCS tynъ) < Germanic *tūnaz < Celtic *dūno, fortification (cf. OIr dún);
  • PSl. *xlaiwu, pigsty (OCS xlěvъ) < Germanic *hlaiwan;
  • PSl. *xlajbu, bread (OCS hleb) < Germanic *hlaibaz;  * Note- It is written in DAI that after the Croats arrived to the Adriatic, they began the country forming process early in the 7th century and.....".....divided into 11 ' županias', (counties/districts) viz., Hlebiana, Tzenzina, Imota, Pleba, Pesenta, Parathalassia, Breberi, Nona, Tnina, Sidraga, Nina; and their ban possesses Kribasa, Litza and Goutziska....."
  • PSl. *xulmu, hummock (OCS xъlmъ) < Germanic *hulma-;
  • PSl. *xūzu, xūsu, house (OCS xyzъ) < Germanic *hūsan, *hūzan;
  • PSl. *želdān, to compensate damage (OCS žlěsti) < Germanic *geldan, to buy out.

Croatian word for 'King' is 'Kralj'. In some other Slavic languages it is 'Kral/Kraly', it derives from the name of Frankish and Carolingian Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, the first European empire after the fall of Rome.  (742–814; Latin name Karolus Magnus, literally 'Charles the Great') One can also see the old Croatian word for duke/prince/king was knez. (kniaz/knyaz in some other Slavic variations) This word is directly from the old Germanic/Gothic word "kuningaz" as seen above also. Croatian word for knight is vitez, from the word "vitegil", that is, German vikings. Most words denoting rank in Croatian (and a number of other Slavs) derive from Germanic. These are just a few instances that buttress the fact that the Goths played a role in the formation of the Croats, and even other Slavs, as well as showing an early co-existence. Kralj/Knez/Vitez are also Croatian surnames. (See

Stender-Petersen (1927) assumes two layers of Germanic loanwords in Slavic (whether into Proto-Slavic or into Common Slavic): words from Proto-Germanic and words from Gothic. Gołąb (1992) suggests a more refined chronological layering:

  1. from Proto-Germanic, or Proto-East-Germanic;
  2. from Gothic, which have spread to all Slavic languages;
  3. from Southeast/Central Gothic, which were confined only to the Slavic South through the Croats.
  4. from Old High German.

Archdeacon Thomas as well as the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja from the 12th century, state that the "Croats remained after" the Goths (under a leader referred to as "Totila") had occupied and pillaged the Roman province of Dalmatia around 541 CE. It is acknowledged by historians that the Croatian Kingdom is the first kingdom in the lands and history of ancient Dalmatia, Illyricum and Pannonia after the Ostrogoths.


By Dr. Stanko Gudulescu  (an excerpt)

...Despite the general indifference accorded by some to the theory there is nothing singular about an identification of the Croats with the Goths. There are many theories concerning the origin of the latter named people. According to their own traditions they originated in Scandinavia. Perhaps the island of Gotland off the Swedish coast preserves a remembrance of their settlement there. Even today the King of Sweden bears the title of "King of the Goths and Swedes". But serious treatises have been written to prove that the Goths came in the first place from Asia Minor and that it was only much later that their descendants arrived in Europe.......

...When the supposed Eurasian origin of all the Indo-European peoples is borne in mind there is again nothing remarkable about this idea. Some scholars positively identify the Goths with the Sumerians, the creators of one of the first known civilizations in Mesopotamia. There seems to be no reason to go into this and similar theories here. It suffices to pick up the Gothic story at the point where we left it in the main body of the text. The movement to again point out and identify the Croats with the Ostrogoths gained momentum again in 1908. Professor G. Ruggeri, director of the Naples Anthropological Institute, asserted that anthropological evidence did not support the concept that the original Croatians were Slavs. Following in Ruggeri's footsteps, the well known and highly regarded Austrian sociologist, issued a brief study of the political history of the Croats in which he endeavored to prove that they were of Gothic origin. Archaeological excavations and studies carried out at a later date in Bosnia, around Duvno, Delmin, and at Breza near Sarajevo, provided new evidence of the identity between the Croats and Ostrogoths.......

...Dr. G. Rus, a professor at the University of Ljubljana, after the war of 1914, undertook a detailed study of Croatian origins. He came to the conclusion that the Croats incontestably were of Gothic rather than exclusively Slavic descent, although he inclined to the belief that these Goths were pretty well Slavicized before they ever crossed the Carpathians. When the outstanding Croat sociologist and historian, Dr. Milan Sufflay, espoused the theory of the Gothic origin elements of his people, Serbian patriots and nationalists became so alarmed at the threat to their concept of "Jugo-slav" identity as defined by "Greater Serbia" aspirations and politics, that they murdered the Croat savant in the open street in one of the most brutal killings that even the Serbs have charged against their records (*note - The 500 years subjugation and occupation of Serbia as a colony by the Ottoman Turks also had a part to play in their askew view of what a Slav and European is.  Preconceived views based on factless Serb nationalist and extremist agendas was all the truth needed.  This only became more evident for Non-Serbs after living in a common state with them for a short time in the previous century)  His murder was preceded by many Croats, as well as after him.  A forewarning of the situation was espoused by Croatian politician/historian/lawyer Ivo Pilar, who himself had died under similar circumstances. Even the Croatian Sabor (Parliament) which had been in existence within Austria-Hungary for centuries, which has roots from the 9th century and had existed right up to 1918, was immediately abolished. It became evident to Non -Serbs that the Serbs were using the very tactics and policies and had the same aims as their own very recent Turkish overlords. (More on this particular topic Here)........

.....Although the philological expert, Professor Max Vasmer, has pointed out some errors in Dr. Rus' process of etymological reasoning that seem to invalidate the latters derivation of the name "Croat" from that of "Hrothgutans" or "Glorious Goths", there are still numerous curious points that certainly do remain to be explained in this connection.  According to the etymologist, E. Forstemann, the Gothic root "Hroth!" also had various forms such as Hruad, Hruat, Hroad, Hruot, and ChroutDuring the time of 10th century Croatian King Stephen Držislav there is a Royal Inscription which in Latin reads "Dux Hroator" - "Duke of the Croats".  A remarkable middle ages gem in stone literally, an onomastic continuity marker for posterity, the Croatian ethnonym written in Latin which is closer to the Croatian pronunciation version instead of the Latinization rules in use up to that time on other Croatian royal inscriptions. (Listen: Dux Hroator. Examples of  Metathesis linguistics and Onymics through the centuries as already discussed. Other onomastic and etymological examples which show diversion, linear progression from the root word to other names of other peoples: Hróðhvatr, Hruod, Hruot, Hróðvar etc) The spread of this particular onomastic feature in other nations, whether in names or topography, shows the natural fluid extension to those areas, ie: It is a very old onomastic marker that existed for centuries. It didn't contain foreign characteristics or phonemic features, and so spread easily and without obstacles and became more familiar and common.  The seventeenth century Croat writer, Lucius (Lucic) of Trogir frequently translated the word Croat as "Hruat" instead of Hrvat.  Of course anyone at all familiar with medieval Latin will not find anything extraordinary about a confusion of the letters "u" and "v". Still it ought to be kept in mind that Lucius derived the spelling of the terms he used from very old sources that have not survived him.  As late as the eighteenth century we find echoes of the widely held medieval belief that the Croats and Goths were an identical people at the beginning of the medieval period......

.......Once more it would seem advisable to recall the two hundred year stay of the Goths in southern Russia and eastern Poland, seat of the Great or White Croatia of the early medieval accounts and written by Arabic chroniclers..... Rus considered that he had proved that there were two Gothic migrations into Croatia and Dalmatia. The group ruled by Ostroilo survived the collapse of the Gothic state in submitting to the Byzantine power.  He regarded the coming of the Croats in the seventh century, as related by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, as a second migration of Slavicized Goths/Slavs/Croats from the Vistula area.....

It would seem that the decorative adjective for the Goths was Hred or Hraedas: Hredgutans, Hredcyning. Hred and Hraedas and is related to the old-root HROTE, hrother, which means victory, fame or glory. This root appears in many ligatures with personal names, was used as a prefix, and sometimes as a supplement but more often as a prefix. Thus we have: Chrotegang, Chrotechildis, later Hraedgothi or Hrothgothi, abbreviated: Hraedas and Hrothi.  Through time Hrothgutans comes to eventually to use Hrothi.  Recall that the Croats who did not travel south but still remained in the more northern areas, in the 9th century King Alfred, who relied on the 4th century writings of Orosius, still called them the Horiti/Horithi

From this presentation of the original word scenarios for the Croatian name it clearly follows and does not contradict the information found in Historia Salonitorum where "seven or eight nobles and their families" arrived to Dalmatia with Totila, just after Theoderich penetrated into Italy. Hroth-gutans applied to Goths translates as winners, famous or glorious. The name Gutans (Goths) in the flow of time was dropped and so only the prefix Hrothi would be applied, from which as required by the law of onymic continuity and linguistics it eventually arrived to  'Hroati'.  From the time of the 10th century Croatian King Stephen Držislav (ruling 969-997) Stone inscriptions in Latin which mentions Croats as "Hroator".... (Listen: Dux Hroator)

This very rare helmet was found at Sveti Vid near Metković, Croatia. It is dated to circa. 6th century (500 C.E.), from the former territories belonging to the Ostrogoths. Note the design similarity with the previously shown "spangenhelm" example pertaining to the recorded early arriving Croats of the later 6th/7th century. This one is kept at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Related:

These circumstances would prove the durability and the basis of the heroic songs and folk tales from the past that Croatians were masters, as opposed to slaves. Therefore not only does the Croatian name (Croatian: Hrvati) have nothing to do with the archaic Roman or Greek appellation words for slaves/servants, but instead shows a continuity of the Croatian name and early ethnogenesis as also having Gothic roots as well, reaching back to the early common ear. Also importantly again, the written records from Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Libellum Gothorum, Thomas the Archdeacon and even the Nestor's Primary Chronicle do not only not contradict these facts at all, but even correlate to and support them. This gives even more credence to DAI descriptions of the arriving Croats coming from the "Great Croatia also called White", of inhabiting and possessing vast lands in the north, being numerous and having a long lineage. (All this added background information would also help explain why the Croats were chosen as the first people to arrive in Dalmatia in the first place, to subdue it and subsequently there form the first kingdom after the Ostrogoths. As one can see, the Croats are and have been a Slavic speaking and culturally tied people from well before moving south and arriving to Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum, however after arriving to central Europe in the early common era as a part of the mass of Slavic/Veneti (Venedi, Venethi) populations, our very name then also buttresses our early Gothic roots as well. However not only that, but the facts presented also lead to the conclusion that the forming of the Croatian name, in it's various early written accounts, must have been a long process of continuity, hence from the early common era and related to the first written accounts of the Early Slavs/Veneti in central Europe.  To close one's eyes to these facts would be akin to disregarding the Rus in the formation of the early Russian people and numerous other aspects of other early Slavic peoples. In these modern days with scientific advancements, tools and techniques unavailable to previous historians and archeologists, the Gothic-Croat past is even more proven to be correct with important genetic support.(Y chromosome lines, haplogroup distribution etc) as well as the direct linguistic, historical and archeological proofs which disprove more recent imaginative fallacy theories as rubbish.

In 1903 Polish university professor Dr. Ludwig Gumplowicz in Graz released a brief discussion of the history of the Servs and Croats in which he claimed that the Croats origin is of the Goths but they were Slavicized long before arriving to the Adriatic and Dalmatia, around the beginning of the common era, when Slavic populations were spreading across the former eastern boundaries of Germanica and then across the Carpathians.  At that time also, he partook of and found interesting archaeological discoveries in Duvno (ancient Delminium) and in Breza near Sarajevo that brought new evidence on this origin of the early Slavic-Croat realms in Dalmatia which reached back much further back than originally thought. Prof. V. Giuffrida Ruggeri at the Anthropological Institute in Naples also offered the claim that long ago the original Croats of Europe were not Slavs, but rather Germanic Goths who were then Slavicized in the early common era. An accumulative steady process as the advancing mass of Slavs penetrated deeper west across the Vistula river. End result being a symbiosis.  Gumplowicz argued that "a nation was a combination of territory, origins, customs, language, a solid unity in it's way of life and a consciousness of common belonging and history process".  These facts also shed new light on the definition of what a Croat-Slav is, as well as the definition espoused by some greater Serb propaganda writers and their claims about what a Serb/Serv-Slav is. Perhaps most intriguing about all this, especially for those unfamiliar with the earliest history of the Croat nation, is that Croats, like some other nations, have this added advantage of 2 versions of our name from which we can learn from about our past. We have 2 sources from which we can see the onomastic and etymological linear history of our past and even our genesis.  From sources that relate to our current Latinized name of  Croats, as well as sources related to our older name in the Croatian language ie: "Hrvati". (Again, taking into account also the various versions of our name which was written by different language speakers, in different alphabets, Latin, Greek etc who may have added their own personal method of spelling/pronunciation)  All this preceding and following information shows that some modern day chit-chat sites are full of people with fanciful imaginations. "Not every internet quote is to be taken as the truth"...Plato.

If as scholars and historians tell us, that the Veneti  contributed to both Slavdom and Germanic peoples, then it is quite obvious that the early Croats did also, the same people but distinguished through the later centuries by the languages they spoke. Some became Germans speaking Germanic languages, some became eventually today's modern Croats who spoke a Slavic language. (The Croats who stayed behind in the 'White Croatia' eventually assimilated into the nations around them) The 'Veneti', it is believed, were the early Slavs under a different name, a name used by the early Germans and Roman historians and writers. We are told by historians in the early common era that the peoples were already similar in appearance, so there was no great obstacle in transferring technology, customs, clothing and culture back and forth, in essence it was the languages which played the greatest part in the forming of identities between Germanic, Roman, Veneti-Slavic etc. Only from the 6th to 10th century did 'Slav' become used and continue to be the most referred name/term. This short examination then clearly shows us that not only 'H(a)rvati', but also 'Veneti' is a part of the early Croatian historical chapter and that both precede by centuries the later used general group ethnonym of  'Slavs' in the European  middle ages era history, and a term starting to be used by Roman and Greek writers only after the 6th century especially. Slavic in essence described many times only 'the language of the people' and not always a specific and pure race of 'Slavs'. In the Croatian case, the old and early original 'H(a)rvati', were centered in and around the Carpathians mountains in the early common era of Europe. (called 'Harvaða fjöllum' in the legendary sagas), Since they were also being called 'Veneti' in the early centuries of Croatian history, the early common era Croats were then also temporally contiguous as Slavs and Goths, just as the 'Veneti' were.

The Supetar Cartulary

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As recorded proof from the old oral and written Croatian traditions which conclusively show that Croats have lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina since antiquity, is a precious collection of charters of the once traditional and popular Benedictine monastery Sveti Petar u Selu. (St. Peters in the village) in Poljica, on the way to Omiš in today's village of Jesenice-Kriko. The Supetar collection (Kartularium from Sumpetar) is now located in the Capitular Archives in Split at the Katedrala Svetog Duje. (Cathedral of St. Dominus) The "Supetar Cartulary". (Supetarski Kartular) is a 12th century cartulary which contains charters from the years 1080 to 1118.  In the chronicle were found several preserved documents that once again testify to the authority of King Zvonimir over the coastal Dalmation cities, guidelines revolving around land, trade, and economic relations and that the lands comprising Bosnia and Hercegovina have been populated by Croats since antiquity. The first major piece of the chronicle was written in the late 11th century in beautiful Carolingian minuscule.  The Cartulary also has rich onomastic material, in addition to a number of personal names and a number of nicknames, such as Platichlebi (imperative kompzitum pay + bread), Tilst Cossa (Tusta, or thick hair), Urascana (Vraškonja, a derivative of the Devil "Vrag"), and so on...

On the 15th and last page is written information that is even more historically important and very illuminating regarding Croatian history. The written text speaks of the seven Croatian viceroys/governors, (Croatian: Ban's. Pronounced like bahn) who elected the Croatian kings in the Croatian kingdom.  It mentions as well the 7 governors/viceroys (Bans) who were likewise to be chosen from 6 of the 12 noble families (Kačić, Kukar, Snačić, Čudomirić, Mogorović and Šubić)... who were directly descended from the original 12 Croatian tribes who arrived to Dalmatia in the 7th century. (The remaining 6 noble families were to decide upon the administrative Župa leaders)  It is believed that the original records were created near the end of the 11th century, when Croatian Peter Krešimir IV had died without direct descendants.  This situation caused great controversy over how to arrange the appointment of the next Croatian king, and so a protocol was decided upon and laws prescribed. On that page is written in Latin......

"......Tempore transacto erat consuetudo in regno Croatorum: erant septem bani qui eligerant regati in Croacia, quando rex sine liberis moriebatur, scilicet banus Croaciae primus, banus bosniensis secundus, banus Sclavonie tercius, banus Posige quartus, banus Podrauie quintus, banus Albanie sestus, banus Sremi septimus..."

English Translation:   

"In times past, it was the custom in the Kingdom of Croatia, that seven were chosen to decide upon the next King of the Croatian Kingdom when the king died without children,...firstly the Croatian Ban, [Central Croatia including Dalmatia]  second the Bosnia Ban, thirdly the Slavonia ban,  fourth the Ban of Posige, fifth the Podrauie Ban, 6th Ban of Albania, Ban of Srem is the seventh..."

As can be seen above, the delicate state of the pages and time have made it difficult and without 100% certainty to know, the correct spelling/name of the last 4 territories ruled by the Bans.  It is not without certainty clear how exactly the last 4 were called.  But even disregarding that, it is of extreme importance to just know that the names of even the first three duchies were well transcribed, easy to read and that we know exactly what were the first three territories managed by the chosen Bans/Viceroys.  The Croatian Ban is the one governing areas of Croatia (Including Dalmatia)  from the Adriatic to Gvozd.  The Ban of Bosnia oversaw Medieval Bosnia, the Ban of Slavonia managed the Croatian lands between Gvozd and the Drava river, which will become known to us later for a time as the kingdom of Slavonia (Regnum Sclavoniae) after the Croatian kingdom joined Hungary. (More on this below).

The fact that the Croatian laws, nobles, tradition and royalty encompassed all this territory in the 11th century, and in particular brought to point again according to the late 13th or early 14th century writers and traditions, it was reminded to people once again that it was accorded to the Ban of Bosnia as being an administrator for the Croatian Kings.  This tells us that in those early medieval centuries during the rule of the Croatian Kingdom, Bosnia was always considered an integral and natural part of the Croatian lands, which was ultimately ruled by the Croatian national rulers/kings. The Ban/Viceroy governing Bosnia was just a natural extension and representative of the Croatian Kingdom, it's lands and the Croatian people living there. (This was well before the later Ottoman incursions, the after effects of which contributed to the Croatian lands being separated for centuries) This is also proven during the times of the Croatian-Bulgarian wars, and especially from the time of King Tomislav and the important battle he fought in 927 in defense of the Croatian Kingdom, when Croatian authority and control were again firmly established in the Croatian lands up to the Drina river.

The Symbol of the Crescent Moon and Star in Early Croat History

 Zagreb coat of arms from 1499.

...There are some other peculiar circumstances that perhaps ought to be cited in connection with the persistent arguments advanced by the "Gothicists". Both Tvrtko and Stjepan Toma placed curiously ornate Gothic letters beneath the Bosnian crown and shields found in Bosnia, and which predate the Moslem incursions, the typical device represented is that of the moon and star.  The crescent moon and star were early Croatian symbols as well, (All this centuries before it started to be associated with Islam and Mohammedanism)  It is found in medieval minted coins across all the territory settled by Croats/Hrvati as well as in the 19th century.  It was eventually incorporated into some coat of arms of the  Croatian realms, including the coat of arms of the city of Zagreb dated to 1499 (pictured above)..., and of course included in the Zagreb coat of arms.  It is a part of the coat of arms on the official flag of the Republic of Croatia today. It appears on the shield of Theodoric and other Ostrogothic kings, as well as on the mosaics that date from the period of Ostrogothic rule at Ravenna.  Also there is to be found on many of the oldest Bosnian gravestones shields with this same device which was so popular among the Ostrogoths. The German consul at Sarajevo in the last century was inspired by the noted historian, Theodor Mommsen, to undertake a study of Bosnian antiquities. He deduced a definite connection between the strange appearing Bosnian tombstones and the Ostrogoths who ruled the Croatian lands and worked its mines from the latter part of the fifth to at least the middle of the sixth century.....

The crescent moon and star (six and sometimes eight pointed) are the old Proto-Slavic symbols which the original Croats brought from their northern homelands.  They symbolize the primeval Slavic deities Lejla (Moon) and Lada (Star).  The above seal of Gradec (today a part of the city of Zagreb) from the 16th century. Portrayed is it's "Free City" legal status, but more importantly the walls and towers of the city, with the new moon and star show that Zagreb belongs to the Croats/Croatia.  There are quite a few instances of the crescent moon and star being associated with the Croatian lands, which would require a post on this topic alone.  Below are just 2 from the 19th and 17th centuries.

Today's historic, and familiar looking to us today, checkered Croatian coat of arms has a history extending back to the middle ages.  It is a unique coat of arms that specifically represents the Croatian people and lands. (Read the intriguing history of how the checkered Croatian coat of arms even found it's way to Swedish Royalty in the 15th century because of Ivan Anž VI Frankopan..... Here and HerePeter Frankopan is a historian at Oxford and a descendent of the famous Croatian noble family, he gives his views in episode 4)   However, it is less well known, that prior to that, before the popularity and regular use of standardized coats of arms and flags for nations of Europe, the crescent moon and star represented the Croatian inhabited and ruled lands. Individual Croatian princes, dukes and kings left behind their deeds and names in manuscripts, charters, on royal seals and written in stone.  This sufficed to commemorate important events and leave behind legacies of the Croatian people and their leaders, but the crescent moon and star was synonymous with early Croatian ruled and inhabited realms. As already mentioned, these symbols of the early Croats is still even today found included on various Croatian town and city coats of arms, as well as part of the crown found on the official Flag of Croatia.

Below an image of the Croatian linguist, politician, journalist and writer, Ljudevit Gaj.  He also recalled this fact of the long and early history of Croatians and so incorporated the historic Croatian chequy coat of arms along with our more ancient symbol of the crescent moon and star as a symbol for the Croatian National Revival movement of the 19th century, when the Croatian lands were a part of the Habsburg empire .....

Before continuing on with this 'Croatian Kings' post, I decided to again momentarily take a step forward a number of centuries and throw in the below very enlightening map from the 17the century.  It again shows the correlation and connection of the early crescent moon and star symbol with the early Croatian Kingdom and Croatian lands. This map was made by  Blaeu, Guijelmus and Joan.  It was published in Amsterdam by  Blaeu, J. and  G. between 1643-50.  Even though at that time the Croatian chequy coat of arms was well known and used for many years, this map was published instead using the Croats ancient crescent moon and star symbol to represent all the administered Croatian lands within the Habsburg Monarchy. The lands of the early middle ages which were all part of the Croatian Kingdom and early Croatian duchies, realms and regions. (Serbia and the Serb lands is to the right and not included as part of the historic Croat realms)   The publisher knew that these lands and regions belonged to Croatians for many centuries and so used their ancient symbol to portray this fact, showing the Croatian administered regions as a whole. (It would be a nice perfect fairy tale story to have had the Croats arriving to the Adriatic Sea and ancient Dalmatia, Illyricum and Pannonia in the 6th-7th centuries already carrying our chequy patterned coat of arms and accompanying flags, the flags flying in the breeze and the chequy coat of arms emblazoned on their swords, shields and helmets as they stared at the sunset on the sea listening to the sounds of the waves and seagulls and hawks flying overhead...(Like a cheesy Charleton Heston film and musical score).....but the reality is that it came into use later. (I don't think there's any modern nation in Europe that can connect their current and cherished symbols/coats of arms to that far back anyway)  Nonetheless, it's less well known, yet it's a pretty cool and interesting historical fact.  The below map portrayal connection, again of the crescent moon and star with Croatian lands and regions from over a thousand years previously, shows the Croatian lands together as a whole and a complete entity, and this is the main point anyway.....

".....From the Croats who came to Dalmatia a part split off and possessed themselves of Illyricum and Pannonia; they too had an independent prince, who used to maintain friendly contact, though through envoys only, with the prince of Croatia......Great Croatia, also called 'White', is still unbaptized to this day" - Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio (DAI)

A very similar map that was made shortly later from 1666 can be seen Here, where the Croatian chequy coat of arms and coat of arms and of all the Croatian regions is included as well. That map of the Croatian lands was dedicated to Petar Zrinski, Ban of Croatia. That map was also created in the same workshop of Joannes Blaeu in Amsterdam as an addition to the work by Ivan Lučić, "De Regno Dalmatiae et Croatiae libri sex", (The Kingdom of Dalmatia and Croatia)...Amsterdam, 1666.  Blaeu had inserted the map in Atlas Maior in 1667, and dedicated it to the Croatian ban Petar Zrinski and the Croatian realms.

"White Croatia" or Western Croats, created along with the Getae (The older name for the Ante, who were equated to being 'Goths' by Jordanes in AD 551)...a great state extending north of the Carpathians from the upper Elbe to the upper Dniester. (35: Niederle, 263-266; Dvornik, The Slavs, 277-297) R. Heinzel is of the opinion that the Carpathians of the old Germanic Hervarsaga took their name from the Croats who called them the Harvate mountains ( Hárvaða or Hærvaþa fjöll,)  i.e. Croatian mountains...'Berge der Chorvaten' (36: Heinzel, 499; Dvornik, op. cit., 284, sq.)" (Mandic 1970, Ch.1)

An excerpt of text from the book  "The Origins of the Slavs: A Linguist's View" (Columbus, 1992) written by the expert on Slavic history, Zbigniew Gołąb.  I found it very interesting and worth putting here. It is not a proven beyond the shadow of doubt theory, but nonetheless is based on historical, philology, culturology, paleography, textual analysis and onymic material that he studied, to come to his below conclusion. (No historical topic from the early common era are clear cut and well defined as you will see, however sourced information is what I use here to gain a further understanding on this topic) I find it intriguing and cool that these could be some possible scenarios that at least contributed in some way to the Croatian enthnonym. It would help explain why the early Croats would have specifically been chosen as the people to come to Dalmatia first by the Emperor Heraclius as stated in De Administrando Imperio.  (More on that as you read on, it's a very important fact)  It conveys the message also as to why they would have been included as a part of the armies of Ariovistus.  Considering that Ariovistus even gave them free lands to settle in and occupy as well, it seems he definitely wanted these imported people located at the eastern fringes of his realm to be on his side. It's almost a precursor, and in a way mirrors their official invitation to Dalmatia over 6 centuries later by Emperor Heraclius.  In the end, not proven without uncertainty, yet plausible, intriguing, and noble genesis scenarios  for our ethnonym as well as the lands known later as 'White/Great Croatia" (Horvatya/Horvatske/Velika Hrvatska) It also still would be connected to the Carpathians as well. The below information is based on various sources, and partly on the work of Fyodor Aleksandrovich Braun, who in the name Harvata saw German (Gothic)  Harfada (Harvaða fjöllum from the Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks), which would be the German name form of the Carpathian Mountains. R. Much also connected it with a German word hruvat- (horned)

All this information on this subject of our early ethnogenesis is from the earliest sources about the history of the Croats and is nothing new or recently invented. This and other similar proven scenarios are abound in European history, as the Goths are to the early Croats, so are the Varangian Rus' to the Russians, so are the Germanic Franks to the French, so are the nomadic Pashtuns, Iranians, Afghani Sarbans and Turks to Serbs etc and so on. This is a not uncommon fact of early Croatian, Slavic and European history.

(*Reminder that the 'X' represents the voiceless velar fricative 'H sound' and that the 'CH' is a Graecized (Greek style) digraph source that also represents the same 'H' sound, similar to some of today's Slavic languages that use that diagraphs. Nestor's Primary Chronicle about the early history of Kievan Rus' also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here)

a.) S-C H`rva:t, gen. Hrváta, plur. Hrváti (old Hrvate);
b.) ORuss. Xorvate, Xrovate, Xrvate, XrUvate;
c.) OCz. (from OPol.) Charvaty (as a toponym);
d.) Greek (Constantine Porphyrogenitus) Xro:bátoi;
e.) Latin Chrouati (10th-11th cent.), also Chruvati vicus (in Thietmar referring to a Lusatian territory, known now as Klein-Corbetha) from North West Slavic *Xrovat- < PS1. *Xorvat- (?);
f.) Greek toponyms: Xarbáti and so forth *XUrvaté and *Xorvaté, with the primary consonantal-stem plural in a stressed -e.

.......In all early medieval sources various forms of this ethnicon refer first to the South Slavic Croatians (Greek Xro:bátoi, Lat. Chrouati), then to the sub-Carpathian Croats in the Upper Dniestr basin (an East Slavic tribe in the Povest' vremennyx let: Xorvate, etc.) or to the Croats in the Polish-Bohemian borderland in the region of the Sudeten (OCz. Charvaty, etc.), and once to a tribe on the Upper Sorbian territory (Thietmar's Chruvati). These facts, supported by a clear statement in Porphyrogenitus, seem to indicate that the South Slavic Croatians represent the main branch of a prehistorical Proto-Slavic tribe whose primary habitat, before their migration to the Balkans, was widespread and located north of the western Carpathians.......

.......Now, after this criticism of existing etymologies I shall propose a new one which seems to be better substantiated both formally and semantically. My contention is that PSl. *XUrvat- // *Xorvat- (a consonantal stem!) was derived from a common noun *xUrvU // *xorvU 'armor' (primarily 'horn-armor'), which should be treated as a prehistorical loanword from Germc. *hurwa- // *harwa-, the latter representing the PIE adj. *k'r.Hwo- // *k'orHwo- (cf. Gr. keraós 'horned'). The fact that the historical Germc. languages have not preserved the hypothetical *hurwa- // *harwa- may be merely an accident of history. We know of such cases in the history of languages. For example, there are some Slavic loanwords in Romanian that have no correspondences in historical Slavic languages (e.g., zâpádâ f. 'snow,' from Slav. *zapada, 'west', etc.).........

....... Of course, other derivatives of the root *k'erH- are known in Germanic, first of all the noun *hurna = horn. The PIE adjective *k'erHwo- (full vocalism) // *k'r.Hwo- (zero vocalism) is well attested in many IE languages; as is well-known in Balto-Slav.. Some interesting traces of the borrowed PS1. *xUrvU can be found in West Slavic, specifically in Polish. The most important is OPol. (1494 in the Poznan´ city-book) charwat 'miles in servitio civitatis,' (Latin: 'Croat [Hrvat] soldier in the service of the city'), which seems to represent an adjective with the suffix -atU from the hypothetical *xUrvU, but is not the exact counterpart of the ethnicon because from a primary stem in -t we would rather expect *charwac´, cf. paznokiec´, l/okiec´, dziesie,c´. Another one is Slovak (with the Polish treatment of *tUrt) charvat' sa // charvit' sa 'defend oneself,' charva // charvanie 'defense.'.......

......All these lexical facts seem to indicate the existence in the Northwest PSl. dialects of the noun *xUrvU 'armor' and its derivatives *xUrvati se, // *xUrviti se, 'get armored' -> 'defend oneself.' In this connection we should also mention some toponyms in Poland that seem to continue the ethnicon *XUrvat- in its third variant *XUrvat- (e.g., OPol. Chrwaty, etc.), which is well substantiated by the phenomena of the historical phonetics of Germanic. Other toponyms continuing the most frequent variant *XUrvat- are known in Northern Bohemia and Northern Moravia. All of them, incidentally, represent the Polish treatment of the primary *tUrt as tart: Charváty. The geographical distribution of these linguistic facts would clearly point towards the primary location of the prehistorical Croats (*XUrvaté-) north of the Carpathians on the historical South Polish territory (Mal/opolska) and towards a subsequent emigration of their main bulk south through the Moravian Gate. We can even hypothesize that the borrowing of the Germc. *hurwa- 'horn-armor' took place somewhere in the sub-Carpathian region, and that its source was the PGermc. dialect of the Bastarnians, who dwelt along the eastern Carpathians in the first to third centuries A.D. What still remains to be explained is the derivational type of the ethnicon *XUrvat-e, etc., i.e., its consonant-stem suffix -at-. The consonantal stems with the PIE suffix -et- (admitting the vowel gradation -e(:)t- // -o(:)t-) are rare in Slavic: the only sure example is pec^atI m., gen. pec^ate 'seal'......

 .......Among the Slavic ethnica we can quote *Venete/i and Veleti, both derived from verbal roots *wen(H)- 'desire; win' and *wel- (Slav. vele^ti) 'command.' But comparative IE evidence indicates that there were also denominal derivatives with this suffix (-et-: Lat. equus -> eques (gen. equitis) 'horseman, horse-soldier' (*eque:t-s), pes (ped-) -> pedes (gen. peditis) 'pedestrian, foot-soldier' (*pede:t-s), miles (gen. militis) with no clear etymology; Gr. gumnós -> gumne:s (gen. gumno^tos) 'a lightarmored foot soldier' can also be quoted here. So the derivation of *XUrvat- // *Xorvat- from *xUrvU // *xorvU with the PIE suffix -o:t- (PS1. -at-) seems to have sufficient substantiation. Of course, it must have been an old and not very productive process. As far as the primary semantics of *XUrvate is concerned, there seems to be no doubt that it originally meant 'warriors clad with horn-armor' it may have been a name used by a certain tribe for self-identification, also a description applied by the neighbors of these tribes whose soldiers characteristic feature was the use of horn-armour in battle......

.......It is also possible that *XUrvat-, etc., at first denoted the warrior-class as opposed to the plain folk, the latter participating in war most probably without armour. In any case, a primary descriptive and exogenous (i.e., used by the neighbors) name of the tribe known later in history as C(h)rovati, Xro:bátoi, Hrváti, in the course of time became an ethnicon, adopted ultimately by this tribe itself, which then encompassed the lands and regions they lived in and again eventually expressed clearly in the official title of the first Croatian ruler Trpimir I: 'Trpimirus dux Chroatorum' (Latin) centuries later (852 A.D.).'  If true that those early Proto-Croats found in that unexplored Germanic/Slavic regions were in contact with Germanic-speakers early, as a foederati military force, which seems likely the case...(Central Europe at the time of the 4th century Hunnic invasions still had no clear delineation lines or permanent borders, and was composed of various military alliances, more as you read on)...  It is then most likely and probable after considering the written material,  Metathesis (linguistics) and onymic material that they truly are frist mentioned as Ariovistus' 24,000 strong 'Harudes' army, also known by their own adjectival appellation 'Haruske', (Harudske in the fuller form) and mentioned by Caesar in  60 B.C.

"But a worse thing had befallen the victorious Sequani than the vanquished Aedui, for Ariovistus, the king of the Germans, had settled in their territories, and had seized upon a third of their land, which was the best in the whole of Gaul, and was now ordering them to depart from another third part, because a few months previously 24,000 men of the Harudes (Charudes in Graecized spelling) had come to him, for whom room and settlements must be provided." (Commentaries on the Gallic War, I.31)


The above are just a few revelations regarding the ancient Croat connection with the eastern border Germanic elements. Ancient written sources as well as a myriad of the oldest onymic and onomastic material prove these connections, beyond the shadow of a doubt to many historians, ever since coming across material where these connections were mentioned in the middle ages especially.   Toponym's, place names and personal names are very evident as well.  How Croats (Hrvati) arose from the common Slavic stock of their territories and then proceeded to forge their own way and to take their eventual important place in history.  These clues left to us through the centuries overwhelmingly point to where and when the Croatian nation was born.  It explains how and why the Croat (Hrvat) name exists further north and east of today's Carpathians, even to this very day, and not only in our present lands. How their name is connected to the Carpathians and other place names. The earliest historical records and mentions point to and show that the Gothic-Croat-Slav connection was not only common knowledge to medieval writers, but were the first beliefs and assumptions as well. The Gothic and Slavic history of Croat origins before arriving to the Adriatic actually do not preclude one another in any way, but on the contrary they compliment and blend into each other, supporting early writings. The borrowing from early Germanic/Gothic into the Croatian/Slavic language is also another very important fact and piece of the puzzle.

Old written material about the early Croats vindicates both.  As seen, these oldest recorded mentions were known to classical and medieval writers, historians, generals, ecclesiastics, military leaders, kings, and emperors.  They are still with us today in handed down through the ages manuscripts and important written work, and are even vindicated again as newer information is discovered, older material re-discovered and then presented.  Also, forgotten by some, but mentioned already on this post, is the converse Slavic substratum on the Goths from those early centuries, it goes around full circle as the Slavic substratum of early Germanic peoples, mainly the eastern border areas, is shown as well. The Croat-Gothic connection is not some recent fabrication as already shown, the earliest written works regarding the first mentions of Slavs also support this fact, which has already been shown as well. The Slavic ethnicity and language was not born in one day in the 6th century, Slavic can not be defined that way, nor any people. It was only around the the 7th century that any Slavic people at all started coming to the attention of Roman and Greek writers. Being Slavic is a continum that involves various influences, histories and linear progression as just touched upon here.  These age old facts, revelations based on philology, archeology, culturology, paleography, textual analysis as well as the ancient onymic continuity of the Croats/Hrvati is actually so overwhelmingly visible and convincing, that to even attempt to depreciate it, or remarkably (As I've seen on occasions by Serb..."historians?") even wholly deny it (like some sort of denial syndrome and complex where facts do not take precedence)...would be laughable, not to mention historically incorrect and inaccurate.

 ...... This topic of the earliest existence of Croats/Hrvati is a very interesting subject that over the years has been studied by Russian, Ukrainian and Polish historians especially.  There are many sources that have to be taken into account when talking about the history of any people from those times, of course this would also include Croats.  A few things I've learned though, being privy to documents and copies of very old text sent to me is this. Firstly, as many learned historians try to avoid and warn,  to not fall for "theories" that are based on nothing but conjecture - you have to have a basis that is found in written material, read the texts, books, some sort of valid sources to back up what one is trying to present as fact...etc. Also, before the historical instances of mentioning the more western Croat inhabited lands of"White Croatia/Bijela Hrvatska", it was known previously as "Velika Hrvatska/Great Croatia".  (Meaning a very large area, and composed of a very old lineage and  history as mentioned in DAI)  As shown, our ethnonym/endonym of "Hrvati/Hrvatska" was in use before the Latinized version of today's "Croats/Croatia" name came to be, but importantly both refer to the same thing. (Few other examples: Hungary-Magyarország, Greece- Hellas, Germany- Deutschland, Japan- Nippon, Finland- Suomi, etc.  In the Croatian language we call Germany as "Njemačka" )  "Hrvati" was our name used before and during the arrival of the Huns and Avars into Europe, and then even after their disappearance from history.

This "Gothic Connection" is important and valid because it is just one  part of the various ancient sources which document that Croats, before arriving to the Adriatic Sea, initially lived and inhabited areas from between today's modern nations of Ukraine/Belarus/Russia  to Silesia/Germany.  Regarding this earliest time and mentions of the formation of today's Croats ethnonym and nation however, to attempt to go even further back in time would be an exercise in futility and essentially just charlatanism.  From the point in time that you've read up to now, to attempt to explain an older history of the Croats would be in the domain of inventing psuedo-history and fantasy.  Just sourceless and factless accounts based on personal whims, imagination and made up fantastical theories would be rule of thumb. Not much is known beyond the shadow of a doubt, about any Slavic people before the common era.  All that we know for sure is that going into the past beyond the common era, further than what we've discussed up to now, Croat history is then just consigned to being a part of the greater generic and all-encompassing early Slavic history, (and of course Proto Balto-Slavic prior to that)... from which all modern Slavic nations can claim descent from and call their common ancient past. All the facts and sources presented here, if not a 100% concise exact telling of the early Croatian history before our migration south, the sources nevertheless do all contain an obvious continuity and commonality which point to the same peoples, names and the same times and places where they were to be found.

*Jordanes wrote of the "Venethi", the "Sclavenes" and the "Antes", adding that all three ethnonyms referred to the one and the same people, the names were just exonyms used by other neighbouring peoples from the east and west and from one point in time to another The Sclavenes and Antes he regarded as the 2 largest nations of the Veneti. His claim would be accepted more than a millennium later by Wawrzyniec Surowiecki, Pavel Jozef Šafárik and other historians. Accordingly, they have searched the Slavic Urheimat in the lands where the Venethi, a people in Tacitus's Germania lived in the last decades of the 1st century AD. In Ptolemy of Alexandria's 2nd-century description, these same territories, which encompassed all the forested areas of Central Europe, were already inhabited by these people whom he called the "Stavanoi", thus they are identified as the early Slavs (Sclavenes) by the same modern historians. What does this mean exactly?  What does this tell us?  Simply, that any imaginative 20th century concocted theories that in any way imply or try to present presence in any area in the near east, (ie: south or east of the northern shores of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov)..of any Slavs from those early centuries of the common era,  is mainly personal wishful thinking on the part of the writer.  Facts show that these kinds of theories are groundless, lacking any sort of evidence,  non-consequential, and if any sort of even the tiniest plausible connection was to be presented, it would only be peripheral anyway. (Hence the lack of any Slavic toponyms and onomastic material continuity in those areas to prove this theory, but especially continuity from those areas extending into 'Europa Nostra'.  On that note, it is interesting that even the Przeworsk culture has been linked to the Slavic Venethi as well as the Vandals, and that discussion and examinations of this topic alone is gaining much more interest and study by modern-day historians)

The main point however, during this short examination step back into the Croats/Hrvati more ancient past, one this is evident after facts have been presented, and needs to be highlighted again. As we move forward again to the times immediately prior to the founding 6th century Croatian duchies, principalities and realms discussed in the video series, the earliest mentions of and beginnings of the Croat nation after arriving to DalmatiaPannonia and Illyricum...our eastern neighbours and the nations or political entities with which we had to have dealings or agreements with were not Serbs. Rather always the Byzantine empire, or the Bulgarian empire. This has already been substantiated by historians, already presented here and is a very interesting fact.  Also, before arriving to the shores of the Adriatic sea, again, Croats/Hrvati were mentioned as a separate, distinct people in the areas where they were to be found.  Mentioned as either a part of the early greater Slav inhabited territories in central and eastern Europe, mentioned as Goths as well as Slavs or as specifically inhabiting that land of old...'Neath the Mountains of Harvathi' and "Hervati" told to us in the Gothic epics.....Harvaða/'Horvatska/Hrvatska...Great and White Croatia mentioned in DAI. We were always part of the indigenous Slavic populated lands in Europe, sometimes forming alliances with neighbouring peoples when the need arose or was beneficial...unlike the Serbs who arrived into Europe later with the Hunnic invasions later in the 4th century, not originally part of the Slavic homelands or territories. An excerpt mentioned earlier reiterates this point again:

Serb historian Релиа Новаковић [Relya Novakovic] in his book "Још о пореклу Срба" [More about the origins of the Serbs], Belgrade, 1992, page 48.  He states Serbs were a Sarmatian (Alanian) tribe.  He goes on to write that those Alanian Serbi were subdued by the Huns in the 4th century, somewhere in Eurasia, and then they migrated west with the Huns and over time they intermarried with that particular local Slavic population, adopted Slavic language, and transferred their name to those Slavs. (Which Slavs is he talking about?...well, by his own logic and his written series of events, the ones that....were already there and present ...) 

However, how much credence can be given to any of the Serb historians musings and stories is very suspect, his assumptions are historically incorrect in many regards, to say the least. Basically just fabricated and unsubstantiated without sources, and more importantly without agreement by any other historians/scholars. (Except for this Serb historian with whom he shares many of the same ideas, which doesn't help his case and lessens the credibility of his version of stories even more) A common trait of Serb historians I've noticed is to overcompensate Serb history with fanciful groundless propositions, omit and then invent histories. A complex where verified historical written material is of no concern and many times enters the sphere of fiction. (Copies of his book are also mainly read and sold in Serbia)

However, taking a short step back again to a previous shown point, and recalling the part that the Veneti played in the earliest of Croat history, another look again at the Hervarar Saga ok Heidreks Konungs as translated by C.J.R. Tolkien (Oxford University, Trinity College). B. Litt. Thesis. 1953/4. [Published 1960] Translating from the oldest and most accurate extant sources, like numerous translators of the legendary sagas and other historians, in his "Introduction, Notes and Appendices", he also goes on to comment and show that the ancient Gothic name for the Carpathian mountains is "...Harvaða" (Sometimes also translated as Harvathi, Harvatha, Harveth..) The Goths had already crossed the Danube and reached the Black sea in the 3rd century. It was around the Carpathians where the last stand of the Goths, and their allies, took place against the westward invading Huns in the 4th century. This fact is undeniable, it is known that the Gothic empire at that time encompassed from the Black sea/southern Russia to the Baltics and central Europe, so it is also undeniable that this would mean that the early Croats were already there, in and around the Carpathian mountains during those times, just as the Veneti (Proto-Slavs) previously were for centuries already also. It is only the Croats (H(a)rvati) already present at that time and in those areas who could have kept that name alive and carried on that name and etymological tradition for the following centuries, before even the acknowledgement of any Slavs, Slavic language or use of that new generic ethno-term by the later Roman and Greek writers from the 6th century onwards...

 Excerpt from the Hervarar Saga ok Heidreks Konungs as translated by C.J.R. Tolkien (Oxford University, Trinity College) Another ancient source which correlates to and supports the fact that the mentioned "Harvaða" mountains are the Carpathian  mountains range. (This again corroborates precisely to the areas of White Croatia in other early middle ages sources)

Ahmad ibn Rustah, a 10th century Persian explorer and geographer,  wrote a geographical compendium known as Book of Precious Records.  He travelled to Novgorod with the Rus', and compiled books relating to impression from his own travels.  Of ancient Croatia he wrote in the chronicle Al-Djarmi:

"Their ruler is crowned … He dwells in the midst of the Slavs … He bears the title of 'ruler of rulers' and is called 'sacred king'. He is more powerful than the Zupan (viceroy), who is his deputy … His capital is called Drzvab (Zagreb) where is held a fair of three days every month."




From the Polish territories called Lingonia seven or eight tribal clans arrived under Totilo. When they saw that the Croatian land would be suitable for habitation because in it there were few Roman colonies, they sought and obtained for their duke....The people called Croats...Many call them Goths, and likewise Slavs, according to the particular name of those who arrived from Poland and Bohemia.

  .....The Slavs arrived in the early 7th century in what is Croatia today. The first Croatian ruler recognized by the Pope was Duke Branimir, whom Pope John VIII called dux Croatorum ("Duke of Croats") in 879.  Croatia was elevated to the status of Kingdom around 925, when King Tomislav received the crown from the Papal legate.  He united the Slavs of Dalmatia and Pannonia into a single Kingdom in 925. Tomislav's state extended from the Adriatic Sea to the Drava river, and from the Raša river to the Drina river. Under his rule, Croatia became one of the most powerful kingdoms in the Balkans......"

Popular Encyclopedia by Samuel Orgelbrand from 1864 provides information that the name of Croatian comes from Carpathian Mountains: Croats (Krroat, Kroata), in fact Croatians in Czech: Charwati, in Croatian: Herwati (Hrwati) is the name of numerous Slavic tribes which partly is still keeping up. All tribes’ the oldest headquarter are lands of the Tatras called (by Constantine Porfyrogenita) the Great or White Croatia, coming from Carpathian Mountains […] The momento of them has kept up in some local names in the eastern Halicz (Chrewi, Charwin, Charzewice) and folk name of the Carpathians: Horby (Chryby, Cherby).

Adam Szelągowski (after Paweł Józef Szafarzyk) also draw their name from word chrb (a mountain) and added: today still in eastern Galicia the name for the Carpathians (Chorby) Historians often point at the north part of Czech, Silesia, Lesser Poland or Ukraine as the places where White Croatia happened to be located.

".....Dux Chroatorum iuvatus munere divino...Regnum Chroatorum"....."Favored and by Divine right, Duke of Croats...Realm of the Croats" - Trpimir beneficiary at Bijaći, 852 C.E.

Darker shaded areas show where White Croatia was and where the "White Croats" originally dwelled in the 9th century, stretching all across the northern side of the Carpathians, according to all the given sources.  Lighter shaded areas show the movement of the Croats to other areas, including towards the Adriatic and Dalmatia (Modern day Croatia) beginning before the 8th century, as already shown according to DAI and other included sources.  It was situated beyond the Carpathians and stretched from modern day Ukraine/Russia/Belarus to Galicia/Silesia and Germany (Bavaria) See:

(Note- The above "Great/White Croatia" map is not of a single Croatian ruled kingdom, but a map where old written material about them and archaeological traits left by White Croats  from a White Croatia Duchy near Kievan Rus to White Croatia in Poland/Silesia/Galicia/Bohemia is shown.  This is why through the centuries White Croatia was written about and portrayed on different maps as being located in slightly different locations. Writing in the middle of the 10th century, Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus in his work "De Administrando Imperio" refers to a part of these northern Croat populations when he wrote: "Great Croatia", also called 'White', is still unbaptized to this day....".  This special term signified, numerous, covering a very large area and of an old and distinguished lineage. One will also notice on various maps which show "Great/White Croatia" at various times, that it was situated in a very strategic area, in a way those Croats could be described as a conduit between the East and West Slavs)

The Carpatho-Rusyn people are believed to be descended from the ancient "White Croats". The suffix "-vich" and "-ich" can also be found there. Serious scholars and historians are of the opinion that by the time the Croats (Hrvati) arrived to Dalmatia from in and around the Carpathians, they were most assuredly not a 'pure' single monoethnic group, but rather more like a large federation of people with their own centuries long common customs, language and laws of ancestors which contributed to their cohesiveness and culture. Source:

"Carpathian Croats (Horvats) - one of the most important and biggest proto-Ukrainian tribes of 5-11th centuries AD from western Ukraine (ancestors of most of western Ukrainians (Galicians, Carpathians, Transcarpathians, Lemkos, Boykos, west Bukovinians and west Podolians) as well as of Dalmatian Croats (modern day so-called Bosnians among them). Carpathian Croats played one of the key roles upon the formation of the Ukrainian nation and language.

Major centers of Ukrainian Croats were the tribal centers of Horvat (upon the Prut river), Stolsk (on the northen Dniester, in Lviv region, tribal center of Carpatho-Croatian subtribe of bobrians and west terebovlians), Terebovlia (capital of the eastern Carpatho-Croatian subtribe of trebovlians in Ternopil region), Peremyshl (center of Carpatho-Croatian subtribe of zasians). Later Carpatho-Croatian centers were HalychZvenyhorod as well as Peremyshl and Terebovlia.

Carpathian Croatia (Great Croatia, modern western Ukraine - Subcarpathia) is the ancient home of all Croats that migrated first westwards, as far as northern Czechia and Silesia reaching the Laba and Saale rivers (so called "White Croats, or Western Croats") and later south to Dalmatia, where the "New Croatia" (or "Red Croatia") emerged, the location of the modern states of Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina.  Bruno of Querfurt stated that Red Croatia was neighbour to Kievan Rus' and White Croatia, and found between the Bug and Dniester rivers as well. Carpatho-Croatian population of Zakarpattia (Ukrainian Transcarpathian province), as well Croats of the Upper Dniester, especially the major Croatian subtribe of trebovlians took part in the first wave of Croatian migration to the so-called Balkans, into Dalmatia (which is modern day Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina) where there are at least 53 toponyms/placenames that are connected with the ancient Ukrainian-Croatian tribes of trebovlians, many with zasians and poborans (bobrians) and some with dulibs and buzhans". Haplotype and genetic results show that besides in and around the Carpathians, that a significant proportion of today's Croat population contain haplotypes which are most concentrated in Ukraine.

This video is in Ukrainian language and is based upon the research of Lviv historian Leontiy Voytovych (Dr. of historical sciences, professor at Lviv University) - the above text are quotes from his scientific articles:

In central part of Kyiv there are three hills: Starokyivska gora, gora Shchekovitza and gora Horevitza, and even a street Horev (ulica Horeva). The very beginning of Nestor's "Povest Vremennyh let" (Tale of Bygone Years aka Primary Chronicle) mentions this legend of the 3 brothers and sister who founded medieval Kiev: I bysha tri brata: Kij, Shchek i Horev, i sestra ih Lybed'. I sotvorisha grad vo imya brata svoego, i narekoshe ego Kyiv.
Ukrainian archaeologist Dr. Orest Korcinski has undertaken an extensive study of White Croatian site from 8th-11th centuries near the town of Stiljsko, not far from Lviv in Ukraine. He estimates that in the 9th century the Stiljsko archaeological site with environinig settlements had nearly 40,000 inhabitants, which would be more than Kiev at that time.

The name of the Croats is met in many places throughout Ukrainian soil. It is contained in Ukrainian written documents until the end of the 10th century. The famous Ukrainian chronicler Nestor from Kiev (in his ``Povest vremennyh let'', 1113) mentioned also the White Croats inhabiting early-medieval Old-Ukrainian empire, known as the Kiev Rus'. According to a very old legend, one of the three brothers who founded the Ukrainian capital Kiev was Horiv, whose name might be at least hypothetically related to the Croatian name: Horvat. See [Hrvatska/Ukrajina], p. 9, and [Pascenko], p. 105.  Even today some of the Ukrainian citizens say for themselves to be the White Croats. There are many proofs that the Croats once lived in common with Ukrainian and Slovak people: their language (very widespread ikavian dialects in Croatia and Slovakia, ikavian language in Ukraine), legends, customs, many common toponyms etc. In the “Bavarian geographon” (written in 666-890) there is a description of various tribes in the north of the Carpathian and Sudeten mountains, where the Croats are also mentioned.

The region of historical Pagania around the Neretva river has many common toponyms and hydronyms with Western Ukraine, like Neretva, Mosor, Ostrozac, Gat. Also Sinj, Kosinj, Kostrena, Knin, Roc, Modrus, and many other throughout Croatia and Western Bosnia. Too many to be just coincidence. There are numerous names of villages, hills and rivers in Slovakia, Czechia (especially in Moravia), Poland and Ukraine, which have their obvious equivalents in Croatia and Bosnia - Herzegovina. Many of them are indeed surprising:

Bac, Bajka, Baska, Bila, Bistrice, Blatce, Bohdalec, Boskovice, Brezovica, Budin, Budisov, Cehi, Chrast, Chvojnica (= Fojnica), Dol. Krupa, Dolni Lomna, Dolni Domaslovice, Doljani, Doubrava, Doubravice, Doubrovnik, Drienovac, Gat, Harvatska Nova Ves, Hor. Mostenice, Hradec, Hvozd (Gvozd), Javornik, Kal'nik, Klenovec, Klenovice, Klobuky, Kninice, Konice, Koprivnice, Kostelec, Krasno, Kuhinja, Lipa, Lomnice, Ljubica, Mali Javornik, Markusovce, Nova Ves, Novosad, Odra, Okruhlica, Parac, Plesivec, Pohorelice, Porin, Raztoka, Rogatec, Ribnik, Rudina, Selce, Slatina, Sopotnia, Stitary, Sumperk, Tabor, Tajna, Travnik, Trebarov, Trzebinia, Tucapy, Veliki Javornik, Vinica, Vinodol, Vrabce, Vrdy, Vrbovec, Zabreh, Zubak, Zumberk.

The once prosperous and rich Ukrainian village of Horvatka near Kiev (note: Horvat = Croat) disappeared overnight in 1937, together with all of its inhabitants, during Stalin's infamous collectivization, sharing the tragic destiny of millions of Ukrainians. The only witness is an innocent brook, called Horvatka even today.  In the 1990s in Kiev, Ukraine, a youth organization of scouts was founded, and named - White Croat (Bili Horvat; reported by Croatian ambassador Gjuro Vidmarovic in 2000) There are numerous names of villages, hills and rivers in Slovakia, Czechia (especially in Moravia), Poland and Ukraine, which have their obvious equivalents in Croatia.

Monument of the founders of Kiev, in the city of Kiev, Ukraine.  According to the oldest written record of how the early Kievan Rus state was formed, in Nestor's Primary Chronical (Tale of Bygone Years) which tells the history of early Kievan Rus', he states that the 3 brothers Kyi, Schek, Horev and their sister Lybi or (also Kiy, Kij or Kyj), Shchek and Khoryv (Кий, Щек, Хорив and Либідь) were the founders of medieval Kiev.

Interestingly, the Ukranian currency (In this instance again portraying Kyi, Schek, Horev and their sister Lybid) is named the "Ukrainian Hryvnia".

Slavic tribes began to be more known when settling in the area of Transcarpathia in the 4th century.  By the 7th and 8th centuries, a denser population referred to as the White Croats had settled on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains. The western part of this territory (of the today's Eastern Slovakia) came under the jurisdiction of Great Moravia in the 9th century. A well known early Slavic legend is the Czech legend of St.Wenceslaus, regarding the early 10th century Czech Duke Wenceslaus. We find that when his mother Drahomira was mourning his death, her other son Boleslav tried to murder her and so she fled to the Croats/Croatia. This would most likely refer to the still present "White Croats" who still inhabited Silesia and/or parts of northern Bohemia rather than the Croatian Kingdom already formed to the south. (Read HereHere and Here)

When Tsar Simeon the Great began expanding his kingdom of Bulgaria, he gained control of a segment of "White Croatia", forcing Prince Laborec (a local ruler) to recognize his authority at the end of the 9th century. In 896 the Proto-Hungarians crossed the Carpathian Range and migrated into Pannonian Basin. Prince Laborec fell from power under the efforts of the Hungarians and the Kievan forces, many of these forces remained behind and were assimilated by the White Croats.

The typical weaponry and protection from the 6th century and through the middle ages did not change to a large degree. Above is seen a Croatian soldier in military dress from circa. late 10th century.

By the 11th and 12th century, Croatian soldiers and knights started to incorporate more variety in weaponry and armour, a precursor to the suits of armour of later medieval centuries. Above a Croatian knight during the late 11th century.

The earliest major manuscript with information on Kievan Rus' history is the Primary Chronicle, written in the late 11th and early 12th centuries. It lists the twelve Slavic tribal unions who, by the 9th century settled between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. These tribal unions were Polans, Drevlyans, Dregovichs, Radimichs, Vyatichs, Krivichs, Slovens, Dulebes (later known as Volhynians and Buzhans), Croats, Severians, Ulichs, TivertsiBruno of Querfurt even stated that Red Croatia was neighbour to Kievan Rus' and White Croatia. Croats are also among the first five Slav people to be cited by their own names in Nestor's "Primary Chronicle" (Tale of Bygone Years)

Excerpt from Nestor's Primary Chronicle:

"  Over a long period of time the Slavs settled beside the Danube, where the Hungarian and Bulgarian lands now lie. From among these Slavs, parties scattered throughout the country and were known by appropriate names, according to the places where they settled [Moravians, Croats, etc.].."

".... Thus the Polyanians, the Derevlians, the Severians, the Radimichians, and the Croats lived at peace...."

In 992 Russian prince Vladimir the Great during his south and western campaigns went against the Croats who still remained near the western border of modern day Ukraine, as well as the Polish marches and other Slavic people. Those Croats were still pagan as Vladimir had only just recently converted to Christianity. (Writing in the middle of the 10th century, Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus in his work "De Administrando Imperio" refers to a part of these north-eastern Croat populations when he wrote: "Great Croatia", also called 'White', is still unbaptized to this day....". These and the other original northern Croats eventually assimilated into the nations found around them, helping to even found those nations. (Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Czechs, Slovaks, Belarus etc) See Nestor's Primary Chronicle.

Previous to this, Nestor's Primary Chronicle also tells us that prince Oleg of Novgorod  proceeded to prepare a great attack on Byzantium around 904-907. Included within the ranks of his forces were the north eastern Croats who did not travel south to Dalmatia centuries previously, but still remained. These north eastern Croats eventually helped found Oleg's new capital of Kievan Rus. See Nestor's Primary Chronicle.

The 10th century missionary and writer Bruno of Querfurt stated that Red Croatia was neighbour to Kievan Rus' and White Croatia, as well as that Croats were found between the Bug and Dniester rivers. Some of the north eastern Croats are mentioned as living near the Sozh river which lies within Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, as well as the Oka river which is near modern day Moscow.
Nestor's "Primary Chronicle'" also mentions the Bulgarian attack on the Kingdom of Croatia (The location of modern day Croatia in the year 927 which was under the rule of Tomislav..."Symeon attacked the Croats and was beaten by them. He then died, leaving Peter, his son, as Prince of the Bulgarians" The Bulgarians departed from their stronghold of Alba Bulgarica which they then later named Belgrade. (More on this battle at Croatian-Bulgarian battle of 927)

This above information shows the keeping up of the Croat name even centuries after a part had already migrated south to modern day Croatia. (When they were the first Slavic speaking people from the north to arrive in ancient PannoniaIllyricum and Dalmatia according to the text of "De Administrando Imperio" and formed the first Slavic kingdom there after the Ostrogoths)  The text is referring to centuries later after their arrival south. So again, lingering important proof that the "Croat/Hrvat" name was in existence before their southward travels and even afterwards for quite some time. Simultaneously a Croatian Kingdom in the south and Croats still present in the north east in this particular source. Nestor's Primary Chronicle was written in Old Church Slavonic, hence in the original text the word for Croats is written as 'Хoървати/Horvati', which translated in Latin script phonetically is "Horvati". Today's "Hrvati" (English: Croats) is the endonym home version of our name, ie: the way we have always called ourselves in our own Croatian (Hrvatski)  language. (See

Interestingly, some historians in the late 19th century had some doubts about the text of  "De Administrando Imperio" in regards to the existence of the "Great Croatia that is also called White" and their early migrations southward, so they then started developing other scenarios as to how and from where the Croats could possibly have arrived to ancient Dalmatia. They were to later get further confirmation however, that Croats did indeed arrive from beyond the Danube river, centering at the Vistula river and across the east and west stretches of the Carpathians, because it was only in 1908 that the outstanding Russian philologist Aleksey Shakhmatov published for the first time a pioneering textological analysis of Nestor's Primary Chronicle narrative, the information being previously unavailable and unknown to the wider audience and the aforementioned historians. His seminal work again confirmed the migration accounts of the Croats in "De Administrando Imperio" that the "White Croats" were also found more northward and added information about their locations and roles before and during early Kievan Rus'. New later Arab sources were also discovered around this time, mentioned notably by al-Mas'udi, a traveling Arab historian and geographer in the year 943. He wrote about the Slavs he knew of and wrote that some of the "H(o)rvatin" (White Croats) are still to be found and living in the middle and upper reaches of the Laba river, in the upper reaches of the Vistula river, and in the basin of the middle Danube. (This also correlates to the mention of Croats by King Alfred in his Anglo-Saxon translation of Orosius' 4th century work "History of the World", where he also locates some of the "White Croats" north of Great Moravia)

Full text of Nestor's "Primary Chronicle" with references to these remaining north eastern Croats Here and croats, (Pages 53, 56, 64, 72, 119)

An excerpt from The Cambridge History of Poland by Oskar Halecki, W: F. Reddaway, J. H. Penson. This excerpt does not delve into the time sequence of events and particulars of the Croat migrations south, but the presented text is wholly in agreement to the information presented above as well. (Reminder that in some maps and text, depending on the source language, that the Graecized spelling using Ch is a digraph representing the "H" sound, and at times "b" in place of  "v" was also used by writers at times)

A well known early Slavic legend is the Czech legend of St.Wenceslaus, regarding the early 10th century Czech Duke Wenceslaus. We find that when his mother Drahomira was mourning his death, her other son Boleslav tried to murder her and so she fled to the Croats/Croatia. This would most likely refer to the still present "White Croats" who still inhabited Silesia and/or parts of northern Bohemia rather than the Croatian Kingdom already formed to the south. (These Croats formed a part of the Croat migrations of the early 7th century mentioned in the 10th century work "De Administrando Imperio" as coming from "White and Great Croatia", and who are also mentioned in Nestor's "Primary Chronicle".  (More on Drahomira and these Croats HereHere and Here)

A map focusing on central and northern Europe circa. the year 1000.

Returning momentarily to the above map of central/northern Europe from circa. the year 1000. Actually, when one looks at the above map and considers that the remnants of the original Sorabi, (pictured in the far left) are still located within the eastern border of Germany even today, still speaking their language, it would then be correct to say that the Serbs of southern Europe really speak just one of the dialects of the Croatian language continuum. When one recalls that Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus in his work "De Administrando Imperio records that the Croats arrived in DalmatiaPannonia and across Illyricum well before the Serbs, from the more centrally located... "Great Croatia, also called White"... (pictured above between Silesia, Moravia, Bohemia and Red Russia, yet also in other sources located in the more western and further eastern areas)...Serbs are recorded as spending  a substantial amount of time travelling around and only after quite some time did they come to where they are now. (Most probably it is the language of the so-called "Old Serbia", in Southern Srbia, where the Serbs are recorded as finally eventually settling in after arriving from Servia, Greece, that can correctly be called Srbian. This language, which has absolutely no history or dialect continuum with Croatian lands at all, Croatians or Croatian literary history, is called Torlakian. It also correlates to and descends from the centuries of rule by the Bulgarian Empire, who were the masters and overlords of the Serbs. Recall that Belgrade was first mentioned when it was ruled by the Bulgarians and known as Alba Bulgarica)  It's then  plain to see and quite obvious that the language the current confined and remaining Sorabi's speak in Germany is NOT Croatian, obviously, but rather the real Serbian/Sorbian. The Croat dialects after migrating south over time were influenced by the Croats who helped form the early "veches" in Kievan Rus', which also contributed to Croatian surname customs. (As you already know, the Serbs during all this time of the forming of the early eastern "veches" are not mentioned and are absent from the records of Nestor's Chronicle. As you know, the reason for this is because they were only to be found confined within an area of eastern modern day Germany during those centuries, and later some came to be found within the Bulgarian lands and empire. See links below for more) This feature and continuum connection is shown again when even today in the Croatian and Russian languages, we still say the word "što" vis-a-vis Russian "что" (sch-toh) for the word "what". This continuum was also connected by the use of the Old Church Slavonic, which in the Croatian lands continued in use with the Croatian variant Glagolitic alphabet, the very first Slavic/Croatian alphabet and script, Nestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here. (The "H" sound is not a feature of Serbian language) It cannot be otherwise, or else we would have to say that Croats who migrated to Bohemia, Poland or Kiev in the 17th century from the modern day Croatian lands and then spoke Czech, Polish and Ukrainian are really speaking Croatian. That would be preposterous and absurd. (This is better explained at and

The ethnographic explanation is that the term was derived from the old-Slavonic use of colors for the four cardinal points of the compass. The ancient totem-god Svetovid had four faces. The northern face of the totem was white (hence White Russia), the western face was red (hence Chervona (Red) Rus'), the southern face was black and the eastern green (hence Zelenyj klyn). It is noteworthy that some other Slavic people have been distinguished by colour. There have been, for example, White, Red and Black Croats. (White Croats and White Croatia lived in today's south-east Poland and western Ukraine, beyond the Carpathians; Red Croats and Red Croatia were situated in today's Croatia, present-day Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, southern Dalmatia and most of Albania, as well as "Old Serbia" (Raška and Metohija). Black Croats resided beyond the River Don.  There is also a region historically known as Black Ruthenia (Black Russia, Чорная Русь / Chornaya Rus’), it covers northwestern lands of modern-day Belarus: Hrodna, Slonim, Navahrudak, Vaukavysk and partly Minsk region.

The slight differences in spelling may throw some people off.  Different maps using English, Latin, Greek, Croatian or other language version place/people names. ( Hrvatska is the endonym/autonym that Croatians use, other languages will use exonym's.)  In even modern Polish the "CH" is a Digraph which still gives the "H" sound when pronouncing "Hrvatska".  Similar to the "H" sound in the Scottish Gaelic "Loch". Hence not much change in actual pronunciation and sound. (Nestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here)  Proto-Slavic to Croatian to Latinized/Modern English spelling/pronunciation.  Chrobatia, Hrvatska-(Crouati/Crovati) Croatia....Listen Here and Here to see what I mean. *(See Metathesis linguistics and Grimm's law for more information on Voiceless velar fricative's and Digraphs in relation to other languages.  For explanation on the Latin spelling and pronunciation regarding Croatia/Hrvatska see rules pertaining to "H" and "CH in medieval Latin HERE.  Listen to the name of "White Croatia and Croats" from the originally written Byzantine Greek:   Βελοχρωβάτοι i Χρωβάτοι )

At the end of the day, it just shows again that Croatians brought our name-ethnonym with us to our new homeland.  We weren't named, we didn't change our name and we weren't forced to take another peoples name.  As already shown "White Croatia" was also called by the classical writers as "White or Great Croatia/Bijela or Velika Hrvatska" .  White signifying the western areas and "Great Croatia " was a special distinguishing term referring to many, a very old lineage and covering a very large area. Here's an interesting little exercise for you I came up with. Use the the above mentioned Scottish Gaelic CH voiceless velar fricative "H sound, or (Russian "X")  and now say the word "Loch" backwards. (If it's too difficult for you then just use the word Harvard instead and say it normally)  I think this is a pretty good example of how after the Croats arrived to Dalmatia, eventually our name started being written with a "C" when being written in Latin. (Latin "K" sound)  At first usually as "Ch" which stressed more on the "K" sound. It's a very cool and unique, almost mystical phoneme which the Latin language had a hard time pronouncing and spelling correctly. (Different writers in different languages and script/alphabets wrote it according to their own preferences, hence slightly different spelled versions on maps through the centuries. (Nestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here) Using a reverse example, for the the word Christ...Serbs pronounce it as "Hrist" as opposed to the Croatian pronunciation "Krist", an example with opposite pronunciation results)  A phoneme which we continued to use when referring to ourselves in our language, and a feature we have kept through all these centuries. (I was experimenting with Google translate and listening to this sounds pretty close to what I'm talking about)

"..... Tomislav, rex Croatorum"..."Tomislav, King of Croatia" - Council of Split 925 C.E.

A map of the year 500, before Slavic migrations started towards the Adriatic.  Note the interesting ethnonym "Crouti" (Croats) and "Polyane" (Poles) which correlates with the 2 maps below.  As already shown, the ethnonym of modern day Croats/Hrvati is related to the Gothic term used for "many/vast inhabited lands" of known Slavic tribes familiar to them during Proto-Slavic times, becoming more known centuries later after contact with Roman and Greek writers.  If the Croat tribes during Proto-Slavic times. Even though the Croats were a Slavic tribe, there was a great deal of interaction in those areas.  Similar to the ethnonym "Rus/Russian" being of Varangian origin. It seems they were influential/numerous/privileged enough to have their own name used sometimes, and not always grouped as just the generic term Sklaveni/Slavs. Source:

Below a "Chrobatia" is still shown to exist even hundreds of years after Croatian rule in the southern Adriatic/Panonian regions started.  Interestingly, even though eventually immersed with the surrounding Slavs, with a large part of them assimilated by the Poland, Ukraine and elsewhere.  The ethnonym "Chrobati/Hrvati/Croat" still continued in varying degrees right up to the 20th century.  *(See Metathesis linguistics and Grimm's law for more information on Voiceless velar fricative's and Digraphs in relation to other languages.  Listen to the name of "White Croatia and Croats" from the originally written Byzantine Greek:  Βελοχρωβάτοι i Χρωβάτοι)

(Because various maps use various language spelling rules, recall that the above "CH" is actually a digraph representing the "H" sound, see digraph)

".......On the twenty-seventh of the month of May, during the fifteenth indiction, Symeon, ruler of the Bulgarians, led the army against the Croats and fighting a battle with them, he was defeated and all under him were slain ... and Symeon died in Bulgaria...." - Theophanes Continuatus, Byzantine chronicler writing in 10th century.

Central Europe in 919-1125

Now one has to ask themselves the question why did Hecaclius decide on the Croats?  This is a question that is much more important than it seems at first glance.  Here's why. (At this point I'm going to digress with some added background information, but still stay on the topic.  Helping to explain why Emperor Heraclius decided to call upon the Croats to free and settle and rule all along Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum)  Afterall, he had many Slavic tribes and people in the north  to choose from in getting rid of the Avars, to liberate, bring order and defend the lands from marauding Avars and future potential enemies, so why did Heraclius specifically decide to choose the Croats for this important task?  Why the Croats? ....This is a very important topic that needs more explanation and discussion.  Basically, of all the Slavic tribes located to the north of Byzantium, these pagan "Croat tribes" interested him most because they were already present on the coast, albeit sparsely,  inhabiting Dalmatia when these little known about new Slavic people started emigrating towards the Adriatic in the 6th century on the fringes of Byzantium. (See previously mentioned excerpt from Historia Salonitana where it reads  "...The people called Croats...Many call them Goths, and likewise Slavs......"...)

Heraclius had heard of them already residing in Dalmatia, read the reports, knew their capabilities, but they just weren't numerous/organized enough to do the do or die job required, as they were mostly living peacefully,  a pastoral and agriculture oriented existence for the most part.  But now there were more groups of traveling Avars that were still coming from the east however, perhaps even daily.  Hordes traveling to plunder arriving from central Asia.  Also, because of all the reports he heard about them from his generals and writers, he knew there was a lot more of these "Croats" to be found beyond Byzantium in the north, where the ones already in Dalmatia initially came from.  As stated above in DAI,  Heraclius received reports of Croats inhabiting lands from the Pipyat Marshes in the east, found all along the Carpathians and even extending to Bavaria.  It was known as  White Croatia among the various writers in those days, and Constantine even goes on to call it "Great Croatia" as well.  A rare and highly distinctive description. Applying the description "Great" also to "White Croatia" means covering a very large area, numerous and a long lineage.  Coming from a "Great Croatia" sure doesn't mean a few unaccomplished and unknown people arriving from a small geographical area.

So he knew quite a bit about them before deciding on them for the important mission. This great mission was no chess game, Avars raiding coastal areas, disrupting shipping and trade would have been like a strangle hold. Even the Franks in central Europe could not get rid of them. Heraclius needed people to be a buffer between Byzantium and the encroaching Frankish empire, the Croats could deal with the Franks later but first they had to make the Avars leave.  Heraclius knew that the Croats were numerous enough, knew about their character and skills and believed that they could get the job done, quickly, efficiently and once and for all......

 ......This was no walk in the park for the arriving Croats. The last thing Heraclius wanted to do was take a gamble on inviting tribes of a people that may fail and/or just be slaughtered themselves, or possibly even worse...defect or just turn and run away. That would make Byzantium look weak, in chaos and even convince the Avars to step up their pillaging activities, perhaps even another full scale attack on Constantinople itself once again.  (Can you imagine the look on the face of the Emperor Heraclius?...of his senate, his generals, the panic in Constantinople and even Rome?  The heart thumping panic at news reports that the new hope, the newly arrived Croats, the defenders of Dalmatia who came to liberate, had instead been defeated, slaughtered, were running away or even defecting?)......More Avars were arriving to the coast and time was running short, something had to be done immediately.  Avars had already been setting up shop just outside of the empire's borders for decades, and now they were making more raids and destroying coastal communities, churches, buildings, killing for booty, even making exorbitant blackmail demands to Byzantium or they would continue desolating towns and villages and destroying buildings in the whole of of Dalmatia......

........Heraclius knew that these "Croats"  had a lot of horses and that because of this they could arrive faster than the other tribes if called upon.  Legions of Croat warriors available to swiftly arrive with swords, who knew how to use the swords in combat as well as forge more weapons.  Afterall, the Avars were all generations of experienced and slit-throat mounted warriors, not boyscouts. Byzantium and even the Franks could not completely defeat them for decades, or stop their ransom raids. (The Croats didn't come to take a walk in the park, dip their toes in the sea or and hand the Avars flowers and say pretty please. That wasn't going to make them leave. It was time for business)  It is easy to deduce that the only way to meet, displace and defeat a large force of nomadic mounted hardened warriors is to meet them head on with a greater number of capable mounted warriors. However, most importantly perhaps....  Heraclius knew that besides the Croats being capable, he believed that in the end they would succeed, they had to.  Failure would have been more than just catastrophic, it would have spelled almost the immediate collapse of Byzantium, or at least in the very near future.  Heraclius needed the real deal, so to speak. Heraclius also knew that the Croats would be a beneficial people to have on the borders when populating and ruling the lands afterwards, as well as a buffer to the Frankish Kingdom. (The Croats would have to deal with the growing Frankish Kingdom afterwards)  All for the continuation of  "the civilized world" in his eyes.  (It was over the next few centuries that Byzantium and the Franks both attempted to incorporate and annex the Croats into their spheres and empires, but the main fact remains that the Croats were there to stay after the successful conclusion to the Avar situation in Dalmatia)  So, in a nutshell, it was for the above reasons why the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius decided to specifically choose the Croats for this great mission.

*( Note -  To explain even further, I return again to some text from the  Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 7 and 9 (Spread of the Slavs) by H.H. Howarth......

......"The author to whom we are indebted for the first notice of the migration of the Croats is the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus whose notice has been sifted with great critical acumen and skill by Schafarik, the author of the "Slavonic Antiquities".  Constantine tells us how in the reign of the Emperor Heraclius the Avars having driven the Romans out of Dalmatia and that province having been converted into a desert, the Chrobati by the Emperor's invitation entered that country drove the Avars out and settled there. Schafarik dates the invasion of the Avars about the year 630 and their expulsion about (634 Op tit ii 241)  "Previously the Chrobati lived" says the Emperor "beyond Bavaria where still live the Belo Khrobati  (ie the White Khrobati ) which doubtless means the Western or Free Khrobati, as distinguished from the Black or subject Khrobati.  In another place he tells us that in his day these White Khrobati still lived in their own land near the Franks and subject to Otto the Great In a third place......")

The main point of adding the following 2 maps below is to show that "Hrvati"- Croatians brought our name with us to the Adriatic.  The 2nd map relates to the route that was most likely taken. Immigration started slowly around early 6th century until Croat tribes repopulated the area in the 7th century.  In the process they defeated and displaced the Avars and then firmly controlled their new lands. That's why today it's called "Hrvatska" - Croatia.  (Because various maps use various language spelling rules, recall that the below "CH" is actually the Graecized style spelling, a digraph representing the "H" sound, see digraph)

Notice also the some of the Slavic tribes located north of the ByeloHrvati/White Croats. (There were also other areas populated with "Byelo/Hrvati" around Ukraine/Belarus, however not as organized and soon assimilated, if you read some of the links above) Could the Dregovichs, Krivich, Ulichs and Radimichs and other Slavic tribes had an effect regarding some Croatian surnames? I think so. But also Russian, Ukranian, Belarus etc, SEE HERE.  The Proto-Slavic world shows many examples of ethnonyms mutating between tribes and even back and forth with Non-Slavic peoples, mutating into new surnames.  These tribes were eventually assimilated by Ukrainians and Russians. They also had many dealings with the Varangians and Goths as well.  

It seems very likely that the Slavic migrations that started in the 6th century were also largely based of Croats/Hrvati. The corridor across the Pannonian plains was ideal for circumnavigating the Avars. The ethnoym was in use very soon, with numerous accounts of it being used regarding local rulers, name of the language and territory.  This would account for and help explain the Croat tribes forming a powerful Kingdom of Croatia in the region much earlier than a Serbian kingdom was made. Image source:

Above and below are images of 6th century Europe. Above I zoomed in and highlighted the routes and movements taken by the Croats in red, the areas where they settled according to Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos in his historical work "De Administrando Imperio" (DAI) and by other historians, ie: Illyricum, Dalmatia, and Pannonia. Using the same sources, I highlighted the route the Serbs are recorded to have taken later after some time to Servia in green, then in purple their even later traveling route back again to around modern day Belgrade. Original departure times, departure points, arrival points and settlement areas which are quite different. When one includes the information about the early Gothic substratum of Croats as well as their Slavic descent, arguments about early Croatian history not existing by some so-called 'serb' "historians" or "experts" can be summed up thus: Arguing with a fool will only prove that there are 2 fools. (Because various maps use various language spelling rules, recall that the versions with "CH" is actually a Graecized style spelling digraph representing the "H" sound, see digraph)

Also worth noting on this topic is the fact that the early Croats after arriving to the aforementioned areas, within a very short time span assimilated the remnants of the ancient Illyrian's, so quickly actually that there is hardly any recorded mentions of it, so the remnants must have been insignificant or not very numerous by that time.  This is interesting becuase it's not commonly known that the ancient early Illyrians for centuries were  connected to the Hallstatt culture, just as were the northern areas from where the Croats had migrated from, the areas recorded in history as comprising 'White Croatia' and 'Great Croatia'.  Click for larger view.

More interesting information which illustrates and will buttress some previously made points. Taking a step back to the Bronze Age (3300-1200 BCE) above we see the origins and spread of the Proto-Slavic languages from early Balto-Slavic. Notice how the spread of early Slavic languages and populations falls in line again with the later recorded Veneti, as well as with border areas that correspond to Celtic and Germanic speakers. Amazingly again, these areas again are centered in and around the "Carpathian" mountains, ("Harvaða" in the old epic legendary sagas)... the areas where according to his (and by other historians) oldest sources and recorded by Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII in De Administrando Imperio as the lands where the southern migrating Croats had arrived from in the early middle ages...Great Croatia, also called White Croatia. It is then easily seen that the early Croats were temporally contiguous with Slav, Veneti, Celtic and Germanic speakers reaching very far back in history. It is no surprise again as to why today there are many archaic Germanic loanwords in Croatian and other Slavic languages and other words which are rooted in and reach far back to even these Balto-Slavic/Proto-Slavic times. Image source:

"......'serbs' in the tongue of the Romans is the word for 'slaves', whence the colloquial 'serbula' for menial shoes, and 'tzerboulianoi' for those who wear cheap, shoddy footgear. This name the Serbs acquired from their being slaves of the emperor of the Romans......" - Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio (DAI)

If you've read up to here you've probably soaked up a lot of information and you deserve a prize or a short breather.  As a short interlude you can watch this gif for a few moments as a diversion or listen to some music before reading on and learning more cool facts and then watching the documentary. (If you listen to the song and watch the gif simultaneously it's quite entertaining)

Based many, many sources I've looked into over the years, (Wikipedia is a good starting point and covers basic's, but it can get much more interesting using the various many other sources, and sifting through the geo-political agendas of the writers sometimes) Here I add an interesting sidenote.  The location of  peoples referred to in many works as the Triballi, Bulgarians, Serbs or the common generic name of all Slavic people in the 6th century that the Byzantine Empire came into contact with, simply the Sclaveni. (Sclaveni/Slavs were located from Russia/Poland area to within modern day Germany, to the Adriatic sea and Black sea) Without getting into another long fact filled post within a post, Here is a quick lesson on the people on the other side of the Balkan peninsula, those who eventually came to be called "Srbs/Serbs".  These people  were so officially actually given their name by the Byzantine Empire, a username actually. (The Western Roman Empire also at that time and before had come to call that people/land as Servia/Servs. (Land of Slaves)

There were many place names from Roman Times found across the lands even to Greece.. Servitium, Servicium, Servio, Servo..etc. All stemming from the Latin Servus which means "slave/servant".  These place names were used hundreds of years before any Slavic migration came to the area)  A number of Slavic tribes were eventually  forcibly transferred by Constantine to their new habitations which eventually came to be called naturally Gordoservon, to perform military duty for the Byzantine Empire. (Gordoservon simply meaning habitation of the forcefully conscripted and resettled Slavic slaves/servs, Slavic slaves sent to perform military duties for the Empire.  (There is no connotation to the city actually being inhabited by any kind of  "Serb" ethnicity as already shown here and by many historians.  Similar to Serb historian allusions to the ancient town of Servia also receiving it's name from "Serbs", which is completely wrong and ridiculous, as that town received it's name by the Romans long before circa. 2nd century AD.  "Servia"  eventually just came to be known as the land of the servs/slaves, no matter who or what peoples were to be found in it. In effect a non-ethnic "username."  Byzantine jurisdiction areas from where the Byzantine Empire could take people at will to become slaves or soldiers or perform other tasks for the empire when needed. Sort of a large reserve pool. The username stuck and so a derogatory Roman adjective appelation eventually became the Serb ethnic name.) This is the name that stuck with them eversince. This inconvenient fact proven in numerous Byzantine and Non-Byzantine sources is usually brushed away and not discussed, or answered in a scholarly and fact proven logical way to explain the Serv/Serb connundrum like below.  Why would someone use a Roman derisive appellation meaning "slave" to become their username and then ethnonym?  Here we see another version of the same Latin name meaning to explain away the same Latin meaning name as being Non-Latin.

 (This above is just one example of numerous deluded fantasy versions of history/ethnography, it gets much better and wackier when any named tribe in the world that starts with the letter "S" is fair game, from North Africa to Japan, making Serbs out of thin air and fantastical armies and navies all around the world)  This has been their Byzantine given name ever since. That is what they started to call themselves from that time forward. These new "Serbs?Servs" then started to not just incorporate the Byzantine symbols into their own new national symbols, but at times almost carbon copy them ....

The Serbian double-headed eagle symbol.  Purported by some revisionist Serb writers as originating with and from Serbs.  Unfortunately that would be not correct, highly improbable, untrue, and just plain wrong

There are other nations that have adapted Byzantine elements, especially the 2 headed eagle. But variations of a  2 headed eagle have been on many coat of arms in Europe and has a very long history. (Even the Croatian city of Rijeka has had a variation of a 2 headed eagle on it's coat of arms for a long time, from the time Croatia was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Not a big deal. But as can be seen from the above images of a Byzantine Empire flag and current Serbian coats of arms, even the shield in the middle is exactly like an iron on transfer. These 4 C's (Which replaced the 4' B's) in the shield these days however means "Unity Saves The Serbs".  In many circles though it also means "Chetniks Couldn't Conquer Croatia". See related news concerning topics of Serbs stealing Albanian songs HERECould the reason the Serbs specifically picked the various Byzantine symbols on top of just the 2 headed eagle be because it represents one head in Europe and one head in their true original homeland of Gordoservon?

 So when you see some one walkng down the street wearing a Byzantine Palaiologos dynasty t-shirt, don't think to yourself "Oh, He/She is Serbian". That would be like wearing a Japan soccer jersey, does that make you Chinese?  Or Greek or German? Far from it.........

The Byzantine's eventually helped them start their own Orthodox "Serv/Serb church" also using these exact same Byzantine symbols.(Even Triballian symbols as well)  Using Byzantine symbols as well as their given username. What the contemporary writer Cedrenus called the Triballorum ac Serborum principatum (Triballi and Serb leadership) This was basically a green light from Byzantium (In their eyes) to go and try to make as many of these new Orthodox Serbs as possible, to help expand and for fight for Byzantium, and help fight against the Bulgarians. (It wasn't long after though, when the Serbs using these same Byzantine symbols then turned around and attacked a weakened Byzantium. Byzantium was being attacked by the new Muslim threat/Turks to the south and east as well as being in the middle of the Byzantine civil war of 1341-47.  This act only expedited Turkish Ottoman incursions into Europe and contributed to the very downfall of serbia itself shortly after)  They would use any leverage possible with their tie to Byzantium to make more of those "Srbs".  (This even extended when under Ottoman Turkish rule. Many Serbian noblemen wed their daughters to Turkish Ottoman hierarchy for more power and privileges, including even marrying the daughter of Serb Prince Lazar to Sultan Bayezid, to name Lazar's son as next Serb leader)  Interestingly though during all this time, in the Croatian realms and lands, the Croatian rulers and kings knew a thing or two about diplomacy themselves. Using diplomacy with Bulgaria and Byzantium (Not Srbs, it was the Byzantine empire and Bulgaria who where our eastern neighbours or powers who had to be dealt with for our early centuries. Then off course came coflicts with the Ottoman empire)...neighboring Slavs under Byzantine suzerainty along the coast as well as the Western European Empire (Carolingians, Franks,Venice, Papacy etc) to secure their realms, peace and independence.  This type of diplomacy allowed Croatia under King Tomislav to become a Kingdom  about 300 years prior to any similar named "Servian/Serbian" kingdom. Tomislav's Kingdom of Croatia was recognized by the Pope, the Franks as well as Byzantium and Bulgaria.

Even though initially having to deal with both Western Rome and Byzantium to attain their independence and Kingdom, Croatia's lot was not thrown in with Byzantium and they eventually disappeared to be replaced by Ottoman Turkish rule . This paved the way for the eventual arrival of the Renaissance and Humanism to Croatia centuries later, and other Croatian related Cultural movements which expedited Croatia's rich literary history and heritage. (It is also interesting to note, as Croatian presence along coastal areas increased through the early centuries after the arrival of the Croats, Dubrovnik was to become an integral part of Croatian literary history. a mecca for artists, writers, scientists and the progressive continuation of Croatian culture as well.  Never in history was Dubrovnik in danger or under threat by any Croatian military expedition or attack. Croats for the longest time have been an integral part of the population and culture of Dubrovnik. However, during all these centuries, the walls and inhabitants of Dubrovnik were attakced by Serbs 2 times. Serbian prince Stefan Nemanja attacked from the north and laid siege to Dubrovnik in 1185. The second and last time would be during the Serbian-Yugoslav shelling attacks and bombardments in 1991-92)

Kingdom of Croatia Formed (925): The Slav tribe of the Croats form the Kingdom of Croatia (shaded in link). The Croats would maintain their distinct identity throughout history, even while under long periods of foreign suzerainty or in alliance with neighboring empires, Especially Carolingian dynasties and Byzantium in the early years of Croatian rulers. Upon the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991, they once again became a sovereign nation. There are various empires, kingdoms and powers that Croatia had to deal with during the middle ages.

This map shows what the image below implies. According to many writings from antiquity it is unequivocally stated that Serb/Serv tribes initially settled in the south regions, bordering with Greece, before they were taken to Gordoservon.  After a number of them eventually returned they then asked Byzantium to be moved to areas approximately around modern day Belgrade. (Alba Bulgarica) Many new discoveries and sources of information.  There was centuries of co-existing peace, mainly because of  non-contact,  for centuries between the Croatian nation and their lands and the nation of Serbs until the 2 became parts of the same entity only in the the 20th century.  Source:

...."Baptized Croatia musters as many as 60 thousand horse and 100 thousand foot, and galleys up to 80 and cutters up to 100. The galleys carry 40 men each, the cutters 20 each, and the smaller cutters 10 each. This great power and multitude of men Croatia possessed until the time of prince Kresimer....."Great Croatia", also called 'White', is still unbaptized to this day...." - Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio (DAI)

  Delegation of Croats and Serbs to the Byzantine Emperor Basil I. (It isn't known if the above Serb was of TriballianVlach, MorlachAromanian, Megleno-Romanian or Albanian etc ethnicity)

Text from the Chronicle of John Skylitzes: "...... When the aforementioned races of Scyths, the Croats, Serbs..... (Serb dressed in red above the x that I added is probably a portrayal of the Serb most likely trying to bribe the Byzantine Emperor into becoming a Serb,  permission to use Byzantine symbols as serb symbols, and/or to call the Hrvat-Croat or any other people as Serbs as well)...and the rest of them saw what had happened in Dalmatia as a result of Roman intervention, they sent delegates to emperor requesting to be brought into subjection under Roman rule. This seemed to emperor to be a reasonable request; he received them with kindliness, and they all became subjects of the Roman government and were given governors of their own race and kin. ..." (Translated by John Wortley, in: John Skylitzes: A Synopsis of Byzantine History, 811-1057: Translation and Notes, p.143.

*(Supplementary information to above image/text: - In the 6th to 9th centuries, before the time of Byzantine emperor Basil I,  (pictured above) the land area called Dalmatia was based upon the old Roman province of Dalmatia, which was originally given the name by the Greeks, which in turn was so named and used for centuries because of the ancient "Dalmatae" tribe of people who lived in the area around 170 B.C.  It was much bigger than todays Croatian Dalmatia region. Remember, according to the text of "De Administrando Imperio" by Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII, in the 7th century the Croats arrived and populated Dalmatia, Pannonia and all of Illyricum upon their arrival)  However, as already shown, much later the Serbs moved north to Alba Bulgarica from their more southern original arrival point near Thessaloniki, to Servia Greece. (It did not work out for numerous reasons and so they departed more north intending to go back from where it is they departed from)  That's why when the Serb delegation mentioned in the text asked for assistance and help from Basil I to help set up their own lands to rule,  it is shown and explained that there were Croats there as well. Why and how the Croats are mentioned also?......because the Croats were already there. The Croatians stayed put after arriving to Dalmatia, Illyricum and Pannonia during their major migrations. In the above text and original painting it is not the ealier Dalmatia, but rather specifically "this later Dalmatia" of the late 9th century that is being discussed and referred to at Basil's time. They are not in Dalmatia at the time portrayed in the image and accompanying text, they are mentioned and described as being in Constantinople at Basil's royal court asking for similar powers and privileges as in Dalmatia. (The Dalmatia already previously ruled by Croatian Prince/Knez Mislav)  The early Croatian realms of that Dalmatia had already started 200 years earlier during the time of Prince Porga. It's all very simple and there needs to be no confusion or made up agendas implied here at all, because the text of John Skylitzes speaks for itself and is actually quite clear. I am not editing the text. One just has to know a little bit about the history of Dalmatia between the 5th to 10th century, and what Illyricum and Pannonia consisted of. Basil I reigned between 867 to 886 and the Croatian Dalmatia of his time was already ruled previously by Croatian Princes Mislav, Trpimir, Domagoj and then at the time of Basil I, it was ruled by Branimir. Dalmatia was very plain to be seen as Croatian. The Serbs arrived much later then the Croats to this area classified as part of the larger Illyricum, yet not part of the more specific Croatian ruled Dalmatia. Dalmatia of antiquity was not a country or kingdom or even specific people, but an administered province in ancient times, and over the centuries of the common era a name that was sometimes used by foreign rulers and empires to generalize the land area or people who dwelled in it. A common practice across Europe in those times. Basically an old historical name from antiquity and also a generic geographical term. (Similar to Bohemia etc)  There were no "Dalmatian people or tribes" that migrated to Dalmatia, it's just a remaining classical name for the area which had been in use for centuries before Croatians arrived. At times it extended from modern day Slovenia, including all of Bosnia and Hercegovina and extending to beyond Montenegro. The ancient name of "Illyricum" was also used at times, which encompassed an even larger area, especially south along the Adriatic coast.  Also, there has been written accounts that the Croat lands in the earliest times actually even extended to include up to even past modern day Belgrade, among other places.  This would have been around the time of the First Bulgarian Empire........

..........This ancient version name use, the descriptive adjective "Dalmatia" used by Basil I however came to be denoted as strictly Croatian ruled and inhabited through the following centuries after Croat arrival, during the time of Basil I and right up to it's present appearance and size.  This is because the only Slav culture to leave an early and  long-lasting impact here after liberating it was the Croats and Croatia. (especially between the 9th to 11th centuries, before and after the times of Trpimir I, the times of the Croatian realms and early Dukes of Dalmatia and Kingdom of Croatia) With the approaching of the modern era came the rise of the Croatian Kingdom in 925, then the appearance of the Venetians and Hungary centuries later. This land of Dalmatia and Illyricum that was previously populated by Croats and included as part of the Croatian realms, (written as Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum), a part of it came to fall completely under the Byzantine sphere and eventually various new names were used for parts of the territory inhabited by Slavic tribes (including the Croats), as well as Serbs. It is for this reason that historians consider Croatia as the "default" and rightful possessor of ancient Dalmatia. As seen numerous times throughout history Croatian Dukes and Kings referred to Dalmatia as comprising part of the Croatian lands and included as within Croaia. In 1075, Peter Krešimir IV named Demetrius Zvonimir "by the mercy of God Duke of Dalmatian Croatia".  So the above text and painting is portraying the already present Croats in the Byzantine sphere, and the later arriving Serbs attempting to acquire possessions and land to rule, like the Croats were already doing at that time in the late 9th century Dalmatia, the specific Dalmatia referred to at the time of Basil I in the text. Synopsis and obvious conclusion: There were Croats already inhabiting the lands after liberating it where and when the Serbs arrived later from Greece, and then the Serb nobles/gurus usurped power over time under Byzantine tutelage for just themselves. Using Byzantine influence and conquest over time to attain an unfounded Pars pro toto  The Croatian realms however still were in effect in the southern coastal and Dioclea regions. Dalmatian and Pannonian Croatia was left unaffected and continued to expand and become more united since the time of Croatian Prince Mislav. (However importantly, Knez Mislav had already been in power in Croatia which included the above mentioned Dalmatia, when?... in the year...835! This would be before Basil I was born and 30 years before he even reigned!)  Hence, the Croats from the above image and text of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes are the ones that were scattered solely in the Byzantine sphere, and NOT the ones already within the already existing early Croatian-Dalmatia duchy. Soon the Serbs would be repeatedly crushed and then subservient to the Bulgarians anyway. Here is something that could also be helpful - in the above 11th century picture of Croats and Serbs sending gifts to emperor Basil I, because he was Byzantine emperor at the time the Serbs are identified by using the same colour of clothing as Basil I.

The following links and excerpt regarding the earlier history of today's Republic of Montenegro (Called "Dioclea" or "Duklja" in Slavic back then) may partly help explain.........

Nikephoros Bryennios, Byzantine historian writing in 1072:

"Croats and Diocleans rebelled throughout the entire Illirycum (Ηωροβατοι και Διοκλεις αποσταντες άπαν το Ιλλυρικον διετιθουν)" Dyrrachium themate] and later the Byzantines marched "against Diocleans and Croats" (κατά Διοκλεων και Ηωροβατων). See Heroes and Romans in Twelfth-Century Byzantium: The Material for History of Nikephoros Bryennios.

(This source is about the Croats and Diocleans who lived near the city Dyrrachium.  This text is not about Dioclea proper, (Dukljani in Croatian, today's Montenegro)...  it could be helpful to understand that Illirycum actually included the Dyrrhachium themate in the above text. So much for many centuries later and recently invented nationalist mytho-mania mantra talk about "Serb lands" or "Serbs all and everywhere" LOLThat's not the facts at all, and one can see sources actually tell us the opposite)

Anonymus (unknown Byzantine author from 13th century, author of "Review of History"), writing about the same event:

"And he heard [emperor Maneual Comnen] that Serbian ruler Nemanja Stefan had became ruthless, and that he enslaves and attacks equaly racial peoples [Slavs] and that he attends to conquer Croats and region of Kotor....."

John Skylitzes (1073)  "Mihajlo, who was a ruler of Dioclea (αρχηγον οντά) in that time of the mentioned Croats (τηνικαυτα τ(Πν εφημενων Ηροβατων) with the center in Kotor and Praprat (rrjv οικηοαν τε εν Δεκατεροις κοα Πραπρατοις ποιουμενον) and held a large territory." He also mentioned that after the defeat of Petrilo, Byzantines captured a commander who was "first among the Croats after the Petrilo" (τον μετά τον Πετριλον εν Ηροβατοιςτετατμενον). 

John Zonaras writes much the same thing. Mihajlo and Petrilo are written as the "Serb rulers" But to us it is more important to know that in the text Mihajlo is described only as a leader of "the Croats" and Petrilo´s second in command is described as second "among the Croats", right behind the Petrilo. (This would have been at the time that the Croatian Kingdom was in conflict with Venice, Byzantium, neighbouring the Holy Roman Empire and growing Hungarian presence to the north)   Conclusion:  Dioclea is actually the extension of Croatia and Croats, while Petrilo is just Dioclea's temporary governor/vice-king.  It is the original first and only mentioned Serb realm of  Rascia (Serbia) found more north around Belgrade, where it was Petrislav, who was also Mihajlo´s vojvoda and who ruled instead of him. 

When taking into account the above, as well as written work by Michael Attaleiates about the civil war in 1080, references by Anna Comnenus in 1081 and an anonymous source telling how Robert Guiscard was attacked "from those called Croats (Harvatines) and those sent from Dalmatia by Bodin", we then see.....

Sources for Diocleans in Dioclea: 2
Sources for Croats and Diocleans in Dioclea: 1
Sources for Croats in Dioclea: 7
Sources for Serbs in Dioclea: 1
Sources for Dalmatians in Dioclea: 2
Sources for Triballi in Dioclea: 1

Sources for calling Dioclea as Croatia: 3
Sources for calling Dioclea as Serbia: 0

Its a simple math - Dioclea is not serbian land nor populated by just serbs, just as many other lands are not serbian either, no matter what some Serb historians/comic book writers may like to think and write. The Serb rulers mentioned above from the more northern actual Serbia (which they called Rascia back then) had only been temporary overlords there within the Byzantine political sphere. Areas temporarily and for a short time under the heavy murderous hand of the Serb ruler Nemanja. These texts importantly were not written by Croatian, any western or Roman authors, and so therefore be insinuated to be part of some political agenda and scheme or just made up lies, but rather they were recorded by important eastern Byzantine and Greek sources. 

See more information information HERE and

Croatian lands and Europe in 814 during the time of Emperor Charlemagne. The above image helps explain the previously mentioned image from the Chronicle of John Skylitzes. Most of the Croatian lands were to remain within the Frankish/Carolingian influence after the peace treaty between Charlemagne and the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus I.  However, populations of Croats were then still left out of Croatian lands proper (in pink) and suddenly found themselves now within the Byzantine sphere. 

......Back to the John Skylitzes chronology....Many historians believe that a large segment of Serbs in various areas of todays so-called "Serbian lands" are actually forcefully converted good looking Croats.  Centuries prior to the formation of the Serbian Orthodox church, these good looking Croats were caught between the shifting Western Roman and Byzantine areas of influence, thus being left out of the domain of their kin in Croatia-proper areas, i.e: Littoral Croatia and Panonian Croatia which was united under King Tomislav in 925. Consequently,  these Croats then eventually (unfortunately) many years later came to be called Serbs (or Servs more precisely, which was the username applied by Byzantium to them, connoting slaves/sevants) or forced to become so in the Byzantine spheres. Forced to later become something called Servians/Serbs, like other tribes of people who lived  in those lands in those times (Assimilating one way or another TimocaniTriballiansVlachs, MorlachsAromanians, Megleno-Romanians occasionally Albanians and Greeks even, etc and so on.  This makes me scratch my head when I hear their term "Serbian race" used here and there on nationalistic chit-chat forums or in their national anthem/theme song) The same can be said of Muslim Slavs/Bosnijaks in the area of Bosnia vis-a-vis Croats because that is a much later anomaly and invention mainly because of the appearance of the Bogomil religious sect and then the eventual Ottoman Empire Jihads and centuries of occupation.

Croats like Bulgarians, and others, started our duchies in the 7th century and eventual Kingdoms using our own ethnonym/name, not using appellations from other rulers. During those early times numerous Slavs/Sclaveni (Including Croat Slavs stuck in the Byzantine sphere) and some other tribes, were basically a nameless people consisting of various Slavic and some other peoples. All grouped together as "Servs/Servants/Slaves"  No duchies or kingdom of "Servia/Servs" of any sort until centuries later, with the formation of a Serb Orthodox Church, and only because of the Byzantine 10th century Realpolitik which was in need of an ally against the Bulgarians.  Again, all stemming from their applied  "Serv/Serb" Roman adopted username/appellation. The original so-called "Serbs" did not even arrive to their present area until much later, but are recorded instead as originally migrating to Greece, in and around Servia. (This erratic and out of the way migration pattern also points to them not being very populous, most likely just an elite caste or hierarchy of Serb guru's along with some lesser powerful commoners, or insular chief class)

(Even previous to this around the 9th century, the Frankish rulers when coming across them on the fringes of their realms, they mentioned them as the similarly defined "Sorabi" intruders,  ie: distinct from other more structured and familiar Sclaveni/Slavs.   This "Sorabi" appellation also implied the same  definition and connotation as the above mentioned  later "Servs" scenario, implying again just wandering Slaves/ undefined people with no hierarchy to speak of.  An almost derisive appellation which only denoted various groups of Slavs without a common leader, self-identity or hierarchy.  Intruders. Ideal to become slaves/ drafted soldiers etc.  Instances of this appellation were  even used a few times to denote various ethnic Slavic tribes, to categorize them all as inferior but also as intruders. (The name was only only introduced into Europe by way of Alanic/Iranic people who came riding the wave of the invading 4th century Huns and then using Slavic as their new lingua franca, proceeded to spread the name for a period of time onto the surrounding indigenous Slavic people)  To give an example using a modern day analogy, if the Frankish writers wrote in English and had named or called populations inhabiting an area, that were speaking  whatever languages, as simply those "Rednecks", the "Hicks" or the "Yokels", it would not mean they were one specific ethnicity of actual single Yokel people speaking the Yokel language, Yokel leaders and Yokel culture.  It was just an appellation, a given exonym that suited the needs of the writer, used just in passing and in a few short mentions.  Also, as was already previously shown here, even the word "Sorabi" itself was used only because it was a word introduced by way of the intruder foreign Sarmation-Alan/Iranic  tribe. Through the 4th century along with the westward advancing pillaging and attacking Huns, the Goths and Slavs at the time were at war with this invading eastern Serb tribe. This gives even more credence to it being a derisive name or category of intruders. Forever associated with a foreign Iranic/Alanic element.  This is supported by even the previously mentioned words of Serb historian Relja Novakovic. Croats on the other hand were always mentioned, especially by important Latin and Byzantine sources and chroniclers, as properly being "Slavs" and "Croats" or variations of our own (as other eventual Slavic nations) specific and personal ethnonym "Hrvati/Horvati/Hrobati etc, wherever we were to be found anywhere in Europe.)

This new Serb church was truly when the formation of a "Serb" ethnicity was truly made, originally from the "Servian" applied username by Byzantium. This counters claims of numerous so-called "Serbs" being found throughout Moesia at that time. If they were as numerous and widespread as claimed, they would  have formed a kingdom centuries earlier, at the time that Croatia and Bulgaria did. (Or even the case of Hungary centuries later, who also brought their own name, language and renamed their lands accordingly) They would have been the first to be invited to Dalmatia to battle the Avars, and then spread across and posses the lands.  servs/servia partly consisted of various Slavic tribes, each of them naming their local realms using local natural toponyms to name themselves and their land. It was like this way until the Serbian Orthodox church officially made the "Serv/Serb" ethnicity.  "Serb" ethnicity was also expedited by Serb patriarch's refusal to allow Non-Serb orthodox communities or even the acknowledgement of Non-Serbs/Servs within their jurisdiction. In the process they subjugated many Greek Orthodox churches and incorporated communities that consisted of various Non-Serb orthodox and Non-Serb non-orthodox people. Many Albanians were part of this Serv/Serb ethnicity forming process also because the Serbs were desirous of the Albanian female population. The Byzantine applied "Servs" username was an easy way for Byzantium to oppose Bulgaria, as well as the Franks, Venice, Rus' peoples, Hungarians etc.

However before this, the people later to be called Serbs were under the yoke of and part of Bulgaria, their speech as well as naming system. (Belgrade was first mentioned when as a part of Bulgaria and for the early centuries it was actually called Alba Bulgarica. Afterwards Triballians, Timochani and Serbs and various other peoples in the Sanjak of Smederevo during the centuries of Ottoman occupation, also started using the suffix as well, such as forcefully converted Romanians, Albanians, Gypsys, some Bulgarians and Greeks who did not emigrate as well as Moors, Afghani, Turkish and other traveling/nomadic peoples of the Ottoman empire, into the newly made Serb church.)

Before this, during the early middle ages and the Croatian-Bulgarian wars, Serbs were a non-factor and inconsequential, only mentioned in passing when some Serbs escaped their Bulgarian overlords for a time to the Croatian realms seeking protection from Croatian rulers, after the Bulgarians were defeated they then moved back.  (At that time the Croatian Kingdom and realms extended up to the Drina river. The Bulgarians had their border extend to the Drina river as well during the times of the  Bulgarian Empire)

.........The important truth revealed though, is that once again Serbs and Croats are defined as 2 distinct Slavic people/nations, with their own ethnic identity, cultural norms, rulers and realms, and in this instance regarding both peoples inhabiting areas that were strictly under Byzantine suzerainty at that time, roughly the location of todays republic of Serbia.  As already shown above again, by using ancient text sources, DAI and maps from those times, all of Dalmatia (Including the mentioned Eastern Dalmatia) was already populated and governed by the earlier arrived Croats.   (This information of Croat presence in these modern day "Serb" areas, at that time, using the above same image and source is always omitted on Serbian sites.  Various scholarly work has been put forward to show that in effect it portrays the Croats that were stranded in the Byzantine sphere with the Servs/Serbs, who were then eventually forcefully converted into the Byzantine sponsored new Serb Orthodox church.  Also a little known related fact is that the later adapted serbian coat of arms is basically a direct copy of the Byzantine Empire flag from those times, in many of it's features.  This fact may have a big influence and direct correlation with contributing to the Greater serbian mental klepto-syndrome and overcompensating psyche, meaning that serbs think they are successors to the Byzantine Empire and...well, you know the rest ) Having an ethnonym name originating from an applied username does not equate them to being of the same stature politically and militarily as Byzantium, on the contrary, it is shown that for centuries they were basically what the original applied username meant...servants/servs/slaves.

Also, you may be asking yourself the question.."What about the Scythians, who and where are they? Well, funny that you should ask. That is a very good question.  The "Scythians"  in the times of classical antiquity was a term that was thrown around numerous times. When historians weren't sure who they were, they just called them "The Scythians" .  A people originating from the lands they called Scythia, who's origins and descendents aren't known because of the various European nations that dwelled within parts of this large area at one time or another.  Byzantine and Roman writers grouped them all as outlanders from the steppes, a lifestyle rather then an ethnicity,  similarly how today we speak of the Goths.  To Byzantine and Roman writers, any people to be located anywhere upon the northern Steppes were called "Scythians".  Nomadic and unfamiliar.  At times they are recorded as battling the Slavs, but at other times they are even recorded as Poles, Hungarians, Picts, Gaels, Anglo-Saxons, Croats and even almost any other Slavs.  Sometimes unknown or unfamiliar pagan peoples located north beyond the borders of Byzantium or Roman empire were initially at first just grouped as part of this mounted warrior "Scythian society"  (It is believed that the first instances of the domestication of horses was in this so-called "Scythia", the original cowboys and Great Steppe drifters) There are various interpretations from these times, we know that "Scythia" from the time and writings of Herodotus around 450 B.C.,  has no relation to the "Scythia" and the peoples dwelling in it 800 years later, during the times of the Migration Period and expansion of Slavic tribes to the west. Classical Scythians  largely disappeared by the 1st century B.C., only the calling of the lands that name, still remained for a time. (Byzantine historians from the 2nd to the 5th centuries when writing about any part of this unknown confederation of north-eastern peoples they called "Scythians", have been later proven to actually be writing about Goths, Vikings and Slavs....all of them also called "the barbarians")  The modern day Ossetians are the only people and nation that are directly related to the language and original "Scythian" people of antiquity. One could then correctly and simply summarize by saying that to writers of classical antiquity it was just the unfamiliar northern outlands, a geographical area and unfamiliar society of various pagan peoples and customs, a way of life rather than a specific ethnicity. Interestingly, even the Scots believe they are directly descended from the Scythians. See HERE.  You can read here for more info or just Google this very intriguing topic about early European history for more. (Since already on this topic, here's another interesting piece of history you many not have known. Scotland has been known for quite some for their plaid/tartan patterned clothing which probably many people think was invented by them, however that's only partially true. Guess why?....2 words..."Hallstatt culture"  The custom was already in use and was actually brought to Scotland by westward traveling Celts from their original habitations, until they basically couldn't travel west anymore and then settled. (Remaining remnants of the many centuries later Romanized Celt and Illyrian tribes in Dalmatia were quickly absorbed by the arriving Slavic tribes of Croats/Hrvati of the 6th-7th centuries)  Example of 8th to 4th century B.C. Hallstatt culture plaid Here (Image from The other interesting thing is that the Hallstatt culture also went on to take part in the forming of the early Illyrian people, who as you know by now is why Croatia and large parts of Southern Europe was called "Illryia" for centuries, that again was before the Goths and Slavic people, specifically Croats here, eventually took over in the 6th-7th centuries to create their new realms, Croatia/Hrvatska included.

Geographically rudimentally correct, yet ethnologically and onomastically incorrect in large parts, Europe according to Pomponius Mela in 43 C.E. Click image for larger view.

I updated this post by adding the above illuminating map that portrays what has been written above. A map of known Europe from Roman times.  It was made in the year 43 C.E. by the earliest Roman geographer Pomponius Mela for his work "De situ orbis".  As you can see, knowledge was very limited when describing geography as well as people beyond the borders of classical Rome and Greece. (One can see absolutely nothing was known about the north beyond the Baltic countries and the North Sea)  Before Pomponius Mela not much beyond and east of the Alps and Danube river was known. Pomponius was the first person to introduce this new term 'Sarmatia' to label all these unknown lands, lands that were previously just called 'Scythia' for centuries by the Greek and Roman world.  You will also notice that there is no mention of the Slavs/Sklaveni on this map yet either, that's because as previously explained,  they didn't start to be called that until centuries later when coming more into contact with the Roman and Byzantine world, and forming their own territories with their own leaders/rulers.  The outlands, these lands beyond the empires were still being called Scythia at that time, no matter what peoples, cultures or nations inhabited them. To the classical Roman and Greek writers, they didn't know much about what and who was going on there and it just didn't really interest or matter to them much anyway, especially in their map making.  Let those other barbarians of Germania deal with them was the modus operandi, they were all barbarians afterall.  (This would of course change a short time later as Slavic peoples would extend right into modern day Germany, and then Germanic and Slavic nations entering right into the Roman and Greek empires)  Those people in this so-called Scythia were just considered barbarians, uncultured, nomadic, because they were Non-Roman and Non-Greek and so not really important. Just a strange new people, language, customs, and strange new gods/beliefs.  Interestingly however, you will also notice that the Germanic sphere portrayed on this map extended to around the Oder river, very close to where the eastern German border even is today.  But again, everything and everyone east of that and north and east of the Alps and the Elbe river he just labelled as the unknown steppes and outlands of those Scythians, his newly coined term of  'Sarmatia'. 

You will also notice that the lands between Germania and the east is very wide and unclear and with no known delineation points or clear borders whatsoever.  A vast land area actually, mysterious and new to him and writers of the time.  Such was Europe of the 1st century, unclear, changing, new peoples, new unexplored lands.  Pomponius Mela and nobody else really knew what was going on there, just as the situation with the 'Haruske" mentioned earlier, who came from these lands beyond the eastern border areas of Germania. We know now and have known for some time that these lands of his Scythia/Sarmatia were undoubtedly the early Slavs, Germania was the first to come into contact with them, but later they would be the newest people that the Roman and Greek world were to become more acquainted with on the European continent. Pomponius Mela also made a map of the then known whole world as he saw it, with more detail of the Europe of his time. (You can see it Here, it also another good example of how one map version can differ, contain more or omit information, all depending on the map maker and their views or limited sources and knowledge in those times)  In that more detailed map though, we can also find the Getae as part of his Sarmatia/Scythian lands. You may recall that the Getae were also assumed to be the ancestors of the Goths by Jordanes in his Getica.  One can see why this subject, these lands, times, ancient names and peoples are still a serious topic of inquiry, study, debate, archeological projects and language/cultural/onomastic study.

Even the later famous mathematician, astronomer, geographer and astrologer Ptolemy (90-168 C.E.), still labelled the central and eastern European lands as 'Sarmatia'. Regarding areas of modern day central Poland and up to the Baltic sea, in his treatise Geographike Hyphegesis he writes: 

"..Elattova de eunh vemetai Saomatian, paoa men ton Ouistoulan potamon. Upo touj Ouenedaj, Guuwnej. Eita Finnoi. Eita Boulanej......"

In English:  

"The less significant people abide in Sarmatia, near the mouth of the Vistula river. Beyond the Veneti are Guthones. Then the Finns. Then the Boulanes....."

Before moving on, since already recalling previously mentioned "Harudske" from the time of Caesar around 60 B.C, the above map of Pompnius Mela, and his world map seen Here, brings attention again to an earlier part of this post.  Namely, the origins, continuity and progression/evolution of the Croatian national ethnonym to our eventual "Hrvatska"  We've already discussed just a few of the Gothic connections, and that glue that binds our name/ethnonym from it's genesis to today....that being the  'voiceless velar fricative X'' feature, the "H" sound. (Nestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here) On the maps we can also see the tribes of the 'Herminones', located in that unclear large expanse and unknown land between Germania and the Proto-Slavs,....beyond the Alps and Danube river, which Pomponius Mela was the first to have labelled as being part of his 'Sarmatia'. We are told that the 'Harudske' eventually came to be associated with the Harz mountains and after whom the Harudengau (Harudorum pagus) was named. Harud, from which Hard, Hart and Harz are derived, means forest or forested mountains, and the Harudes were the residents or dwellers in the Harud..... 

Excerpt from "Scythians and Greeks: A Survey of Ancient History and Archaeology on the North Coast of the Euxine from the Danube to the Caucasus" (Cambridge Library Collection - Archaeology) by Sir Ellis Hovell Minns.  Here is shown an example of a previous discussed point, how Ptolemy originally wrote the Latinized version "Carpi" tribe name, from which today we have the name "Carpathian Mountians", using the actual local variant of "Harpii".  Why is that?,...because as shown throughout this blog, local Non-Latinized versions of names beyond Rome started many toponyms, hydronyms and names with an "H" instead of the eventual Latinized "K" sound.  This was because in those areas they had very limited contact with the Roman world and so did not know or use Latin.  As shown also, this was especially the case with Germanic speaking people in those times.  This again is proof that it was in these areas where the Croatian (Hrvati) ethnonym was born in the early common era and later recorded in the Hervarar saga, which means it was in effect previously for some time. Populations of these westward approaching Veneti/Slavs at the start of the common era would soon make this ethnonym known across large sections of Europe. 

Roman Empire in 125 C.E.  The Naharvali tribe ethnonym may quite possibly be directly related to the later appearing and specific 'Harvati/Hrvati' ethnonym that is mentioned in DAI.  It is at the least almost without a doubt related to the same local onomastic continuum of the later more precisely named "Harvati/Hrvati" ie: Croats.  Also the linear ethnonym continuum of the previously mentioned "Harudske' is now more visible. Taking into account onomastic evolution, written works by Roman/Greek historians and the more than mere coincidence of the approximate geographical locations and ethnonym similarity is obvious and telling. The onomastic markers even coincide with the all important and strategically important mentioned Vistula river. See a closer and more detailed version look of the above map Here. A part of the western advances of the Veneti/Early Slavs. (The soon appearing Croats/Harvati in that vaguely known area would very soon be continuing the onomastic tradition in forming their own specific ethnonym, which would in time also extend to the areas where they were to be found. (Sidenote: It's interesting that in 98 A.D. Tacitus in his 'Germania' mentions the 'Naharvali' as the keepers of sanctuary of the Lugian federation (the grove to twin gods Alcis) It was claimed and thought at first by historians in antiquity that the tribe was exclusively Germanic, however later counterarguments were presented that either the tribe was proto-Slavic or at the very least included proto-Slavic groups, the area labelled as 'Germania' in antiquity did not always coincide with peoples speaking Germanic languages, again, similar to the previously shown "Harudes" tribe from beyond the eastern borders of Germania.  But also, in Croatian, the word "lug" means "grove/small forest".  Thus the word Lugii could indicate "forest people"  Notice also the location of the Goths in relation to the Venedi/Slavs and the Naharvali and then compare to the previously shown information on this blog about the Goth and Croat connection. All related parts of the greater whole. The main point of the above information and map is to show that those areas of middle Europa is where our personal and specific ethnonym came to be born and was then spread all along as well as even giving their name to today's Carpathian mountains, shown later as the Non-Latinized versions of "Horvatya/Havarthi/Harvaða" in the Gothic epics.  Just one more piece of onomastic evidence and piece of the overall puzzle showing the birthplace of today's Croats/Hrvati. Importantly also, the above situation would have been 300 years before the Hunnic invasions even reached central Europe, which according to the previously mentioned Serb historian, would also have been 300 years before the appearance into Europe of the Iranic/Alanic Serbs. The Serbs would have been far out of the above picture and instead be located around modern day Iran and Azerbaijan by the southern end of the Caspian Sea Special thanks for the above information to Hana, Petar and Marek at the Palacký University of Olomouc, Czech Republic and Valeriya, Darya, Vitaly and Pavel at Lomonosov Moscow State University.  More on this at the links below. (Note: Again, the earliest designated name for previously unknown Slavic peoples by Roman/Greek writers was the "Veneti") Image:

 .....Pliny's Natural History (4.100) from around 50 C.E. also claims that the Herminones included the Hermunduri, Chatti, and Cherusci who all are living close to the Hercynian Forest. We see the continuity, use of and evolution of names/toponyms using this voiceless velar fricative 'H' sound feature, a linguistic and historical footprint if you will.  A footprint and feature that again shows itself through continuity until after the already present Slav's penetrated deeper into the west and inhabited those lands, during the times according to the Gothic epic Hervarar saga...(und Harvaða fjöllum)... which in time encompassed all the Carpathian Mountains/Horvatya  (" 'Neath the Mountains of Harvathi " as Translated by Nora Kershaw in 1921").  These footprints are important markers that also coincide with geographical areas mentioned to us at that time and by centuries later writers and historians. (In the following centuries the Hrvati (Croats) ethnonym would soon be mentioned in historical accounts as inhabiting areas in modern day Germany, from Bohemia and  Silesia to Galicia as well as taking part in the formation of early Kievan Rus, it was recorded as being found along the slopes along the whole wide chain of today's Carpathian Mountains......those 'Mountains of Harvathi'.  Linear linguistic, onymic, geographical and cultural history unfolding and being written about and recorded by writers in their languages.  This is just some extra background material that again shows the continuity and evolution of names/toponyms in that vast and wide expanse between Slavs and Germania that was largely unknown in those times, yet had an effect on and which all contributed to today's name of 'Hrvati/Hrvatska'. (The maps may look rudimentary to us today, but one must remember that they didn't have highways, cars, telephones or local public libraries and book stores back then...."Telephone call for you sir..Pomponius Mela is on the line and he's writing a book and making some maps and would like to know what these people east of Germania are like, What language do they speak?..What do they look like and what are they're doing exactly?  Even Hyperborea on maps and written material was located on different sides of the continent at times, this helps shed light on the fuzzy description of the early Slavs as being located in Pomponius Mela's newly coined term/area of "Sarmatia")  Over the past few centuries, and especially from results of serious study and archeology over the last 100 years, it has been proven conclusively that Pomponius Mela presumption was wrong in ascribing his term Sarmatia to all and everyone east of Germania and north of Byzantium.  We now know that the Slavs were populating those northern and eastern lands bordering Germania.  (Only the present day Ossetians are the sole direct descendants of the original Saramtians and their Ossetic language is the sole direct descendent and continuity of their language)  This was a common error of historians at the turn of the approaching Common Era.  An error duplicated even many centuries later as explorers upon reaching the New World had thought they reached the eastern coast of India or the far east, but it was a whole new people altogether.

Shortly after Pomponius Mela, his Sarmation/Scythian label for all these unexplored lands all but completely disappeared and was confined to just a small area in the northern Caucasus and only for a time, the areas where they were first mentioned in 500 B.C.  It was now the Slavs, who under their early names of Veneti, then proceeded to take control of the northern lands and expand in all directions leaving no memory of any former Sarmatia/Scythia whatsoever.  The Veneti name would then come to be known to us as the Sclaveni (Slavs) as they were even crossing the imperial borders of the Western and  Eastern Roman/Byzantine empire, as well as Germania and to the Baltic Sea.  Pomponius Mela's name for all those lands was no more, consigned to just books and history as just a name of the Scythian speaking Sarmatian people who in fact disappeared centuries previously from the Caucuses, it was just the name that was carried on for a time by early historians who did not know of the vast beyond.  It is quite fascinating in retrospect though, looking at the maps left to us by Pomponius Mela, along with written materials from that time and later,  where we can actually see and visualize the early Croats/Hrvati genesis, forming their early identity, ethnonym and eventual place in history in those lands unfamiliar to the Roman and Greek world, the wide unknown expanse bordering Germania, and all this long before we even migrated to the Adriatic Sea and then started forming our early states. (This early voiceless velar fricative 'H'' sound marker and when and where it was to be found would also go on to play an important role of the early Croats as you have seen)  It is intriguing and a two-fold anomoly blessing that Croatians retained our early history by still today using the native form of "Hrvatska".  As shown at the beginning of this blog regarding the first mentions even in Russian chronicles as the 'Horvati' (and even the forebearers of today's Slovenians as the "Horutani") and throughout our first mentions always containing the silent velar fricative "X" (H sound)...the Latin and German name versions for us through time went on to start our name with the "Kr", but fortunately left behind are historically relevant and important onomastic markers that were present in the past when even they did use our personal ethnonym version as we did... (Harvaða/Horvatya/Harvathi/Hervati...Hrvati some examples through the centuries)  We continued to keep that original early native name and it's "H" sound feature throughout our existence. 

At times for some historians, it was not known exactly as to how and why the Croatian ethnonym self-designation included the suffix "-ti" when referring to themselves in the plural form. (Hrvati) The answer became much more clearer when it was shown to simply be an onymic marker of continuity, from the Proto-Slavic "Veneti", (or Slavic-Veneti more precisely, as we are talking about the same people who later came to be known as Slavs) which was an early designation of all the early and Slavic peoples. As it has been proven and beyond any shadow of a doubt accepted that the Veneti of Tacitus, Pliny and Ptolemy were Slavs, and as the neighbouring Finns and Scandinavians have always referred to the Slavs as Wane or Veneje (Venelaiset meaning the land of the Veni – Veneti), and as the Germans too refer to the Slavs as Wenedi, Wanadi, Vinuli, Windili, Wenden, Winden, and the Celts call them Vineth, Veoned, Gwineth. The Fredegarii Chronicon supports this, since in 623 AD it equates the Veneti with the Slavs: "Sclavi coinomento Vinedos", and speaks of the "marca Winedorum" and the "Walucus dux Winedorum". The same theme occurs in the "Vitae S. Columbani, (530-615)  where the author speaks of the "Country of the Veneti who consider themselves also Slavs" [Termini Venetiorum qui et Sclavi dicuntur] The meaning of the name Veneti was known also to Jordanes because he writes: "cujus urbis (Ravenae) dudum ut tradunt majores posessores Venetii". Just like the Veneti mentioned by Pomponius Mela (43 CE). The Veneti were known to “have the advantage of fitness and speed of infantry”.  In the end, simply an instance of carrying over the Vene-ti suffix for the plural form self-designation Hrva-ti, (Singular forms for both remaining Venet/Hrvat) An amazing onymic marker and reminder that connects to the early common era time of the Proto-Slavs. (Some smaller Slavic tribes are mentioned as inhabiting the area of Macedonia in the middle of the 7th century...Velegziti, Draguviti, Sagudati, some other instances of tribes that also had this suffix ending feature for the self-designation plural form.... the Helveti, Chatti, Corconti, Danduti, Tubanti, Naristi/Varisti, Lepontii, Voconti, Veleti...) 

(Supplementary Information from Notes To Introduction of Primary Chronicle Laurentian Text:  The name Slav first appears as a source of the early sixth century (Pseudo-Cesarius)  [Migne, Patr. Cr., XXXVIII, 847], and then frequently from Procopius and Jordanes forward. By the seventh century, certainly it was the generic term for members of this race...Popular etymology rapidly developed a legendary derivation from "slava", (glory), while other scholars, including Dobrovsky and Safarik, accepted the derivation from "slovo", (word), this interpreting Slovene to mean "speakers of the same language." This derivation is however not accepted by many and is seen suspect, in view of the fact that "-enin" (plural. -ene) is invariably a suffix denoting origin from a place or specific locality. The more recent attempt to etymologize Slovenin was explained by the Polish scholar A. Brückner (who was also a student of Croatian scholar Vatroslav Jagić during his studies in Berlin) in his written work Slavia, III (Prague, 1924), 199-203, who characterizes it as a nickname derived from the Pre-Germanic *slaiwa, English."slow/slowly", which he connects with Gothic *slawan, (be silent). Apart from the fact of this relation of *slawan to *slaiwa, it remains to be shown at what exact time this Germanic nickname was applied to the Slavs, and to what particular branch originally. A certain parallelism between this derivation and the Slavic use of  "nemets" (dumb/mute/can't speak) for German is apparent. (Njemačka, Německo, Niemcy, Ńymcy, Nemecko, Nemčija ...etc)  The early Slavic "nemets" pertained to the Germanic because they are  "those who can't speak the language" and likewise the Gothic "slawan" pertaining to Slavs because of the manner in which they initially overspread the lands far and wide, as opposed to swift and mounted conquering armies. B.P. Lozinski argues that the word "slava" once had the meaning of worshipper, in this context meaning "practicer of a common Slavic religion," and from that evolved into a general ethnonym. Pseudo-Caesarius, the Monophysite monk writing in the 560s, is the first author to refer to Sclavene/Slavic leaders, his extant material probably even reached back to the 4th century.  Jordanes in his Getica, referring to the 4th century, also identifies the same ancient people Veneti mentioned by Tacitus, Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy, with the Slavs of the 6th century. Among others, Polish scholar, Wawrzyniec Surowiecki (1769-1827) also first claimed that the Veneti of Tacitus, Pliny, and Ptolemy was part of the Slavic history. In summary, Slavic presence started early and slowly, so before the appearance and use by others and by them of this generic all-encompassing group ethnonym "Slav" in the 6th-7th century, and being called also "Veneti" for the centuries before that, we really don't know what they called themselves (endonym) or their language. By the time "Slav" became a commonly used general designation by them and others, they had already begun to develop and use more personal tribal/national names as well)

Now listen again, according to the 10th century Greek text from DAI for "White Croatia and Croats" ... Βελοχρωβάτοι i Χρωβάτοι.....and now according to a comparable version of 4th century Gothic...Hjörvarth...Hervarth...Harvaða...Harvathi. (onymic continuity, until our name spelling was finally standardized in the 19th century as "Hrvatska", at times through the centuries it was written starting as "Harv...Horv...Herv". The above names are clear linear onymic contuinity markers and also show a continuum from the time the early Croats inhabited the lands of the old White and Great Croatia/Hrvatska, lands of the Hrvati, originally spelled as 'Harvaða' using the phoneme feature of ethNestor's Primary Chronicle also wrote the Croatian name starting with an "X" which is the equivalent of the Croatian "H" sound, yet it also shows how eventually the "H" sound came to be pronounced as a "K" sound after Latinization, Listen Here.

Notwithstanding even just the fortuitous mentions and connections written as personal names as well in the Gothic sagas, which also connects Croat presence to our first namesake homeland, the ....." Mountains of Harvathi".....the Croats are the only people from that time and place who eventually went on to still continue using it as our all-encompassing personal national ethnonym even up to this day, a continuity that goes very far back as has been shown. The still existing toponyms located throughout those territories that were our previous homelands, (in the areas of modernday Czech Republic, Western Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine and Russia)... and even existing Slavic personal and topographic names still using this characteristic through variations of "Hor../Hro../Her../Hra../Hru.." etc....are also a testimony to the lands we once inhabited and which influenced names after we left) As a final addendum to this particular topic, it also shows that the Croats were part of the original Early Slavic populations that were also found in these western areas even bordering to Germania, who were likewise also speaking and forming the early Slavic language.  All this well before the 4th century invasions of the Huns and their Scytho-Sarmation speaking Alan population which has been associated with the entry of the Serb name into Europe. (See earlier references by Serb historian  Релиа Новаковић [Relya Novakovic] for explanation)  Special thanks to Tatyana at the Saint Petersburg State University, Julien and Nicola at the Europainstitut der Universitat Basel in Switzerland and Hildur at Uppsala Universitet in Sweden for bringing to my attention the above map and related information.

You also may also be asking yourself the question..."What ever happened to the Avars? Who exactly were they? That's a very good question boys and girls.  Their name pops up as well in written records from the early middle ages until about the 9th century, when after defeated by Slavic and Frankish forces, nothing more is ever heard about them at all.  As you already know, the Avar's were nomadic mounted warriors who may have come from somewhere in central Asia, it is only known for sure that they arrived from the east and north of the Caucasus.  Upon their arrival in Caucasia as allies of the Byzantine empire, they then formed a Khagnate in central Europe, where again as Byzantine allies, they attempted to subjugate Slavic and Germanic peoples.   After that they became sworn enemies of the Byzantine empire, and fought against them, making ransom raids south into Dalmatia, west into Frankish territory and especially towards Byzantium itself eventually.  They were a truly strong and dangerous enemy initially, (It's believed they numbered about 20,000 mounted warriors upon their arrival into Europe)...but nomadic and weak in centralizing politics and unable to form any kind of lasting permanent realm or line of rulers.  In 804 after joint actions of the Frankish Empire, Croat Slavs and the Bulgarians, the Avar Khaganate already greatly diminished and just a remnant from previous centuries, was finally completely destroyed and their territories were divided. (As you know if you've read up to here, the Avars were already removed by the arriving Croats along coastal Dalmatia and Littoral Croatia and north into Pannonia regions in the 7th century, but their main stronghold/Khaganate still existed for a time in a large part of the Pannonian Basin until their final total defeat)  Avars nor Byzantines were able to reassert control there after this however, as Dalmatia and Pannonia now lay in the hands of the growing Slavic (Croatian) realms and duchies from the south, and other Slavs from the north, west and east. The remnant Avars of today's Caucasus are their only descendents. Under the name of avarism we still understand these days as a synonym for barbarism.

After that event, nothing about the Avars was ever heard or written about again.  We don't have any sources giving us information about the Avars and where did they go after their defeat.  No modern nation in Europe view the nomadic Avars as descendents, it is as though they just disappeared, left, never to be heard of again and leaving absolutely no trace, lasting structures, buildings or even a written history, except for the slight possibility of some scattered graves found here and there based mainly on fragments of swords, pottery, jewelry. (Most archeologists and investigators after considerable study though think it most likely accurately represents the growing presence of independent Slavs who had used similar swords and techniques in bowl and pottery design. Recent studies confirm this, they found that human skeletal remains from the peak of the Avar period consisted of a Europoid character)  Historians don't even know what language the Avars spoke, there is absolutely no written material or even mentions by writers from the time as to what their language was.  We don't know what they looked like or believed. Many historians have been coming to the conclusion that they have not come from central Asia at all as initially thought, but were just a mounted warrior class that found themselves south of the Black Sea, possibly a Turkic people, then made an early political deal with Byzantium to move west and harass Germania.  It's believed and highly probable that since the Avars were mainly a nomadic mounted warrior class, that they just eventually used just the Slavic languages which were found all around them, possibly even Germanic, communicating only orally, thus leaving no written records.  The Avars, as far as we know, were composed of just male mounted warriors, in some accounts numbering around only 20,000, but mobile and well armed.  Keen on only raiding and the pursuit of wealth, they were not known to have females amongst their ranks or population, and so no children or offspring either.  Their population most likely evaporated after loss of contact to previous trade and travel routes.   Diminishing the replenishment of their warrior ranks through those routes also probably led to the vast majority of them being slaughtered outright by the combined forces against them, leaving the remaining Avars, if any, to travel back east to their previous homeland.  (Their original language in all likelihood disappeared long before their actual final military defeat)  However their westwards route into central Europe and at first successful ransom and raiding exploits is believed to have had a large influence for the policies and tactics of another centuries later invading force, a force reaching right into modern day Hungary and even Austria once again....the invasions and Jihads of the Ottoman Turks, known as the scourge of Islam, after the fall of the Byzantine empire..

So there you are folks, you now just had a fast track course on the beginnings of the so-called magikal "Serb/Serv race" which I thought I should elaborate on since touching the topic, possibly also their psychology, belief structure, desire and plans , (with Byzantine assistance many times in those days, they were afterall practically using even the Byzantine flag as their own Serb/Serv flag and doing their bidding) in trying to make as many other Slavic people into these new "Serbs".  This was sort of their gift for helping fight against the Bulgarians. This was especially true vis a vis coastal Slavic communities/tribes who never knew the name of Serbs/Servs until they were forcefully made to become so. They had already been ruling their coastal communties before Serbs came into the area. This practice was made easier and exacerbated with the appearance of the Orthodox Serbian church, which was the only Byzantine Orthodox church allowed in that area, which made Serbianization of Non-Serb Slavs and others much quicker.  (These facts however are irrelevant to todays "Serbs", as 400 yrs of Turkish occupation greatly contributed to the formation of the "Serv/Serb" peoples cultural heritage and languagey as well.  So what did you learn boys and girls?.... 

1 - Croats and Bulgarians formed the first early states in the region named specifically after themselves and their language, and during the early middle ages were neighbours for centuries. According to DAI, the arriving Croats after defeating the Avars in Dalmatia then also took control of and populated Pannonia and all along Illyricum well before Serbs were to be found in the vicinity. Serbs initially arrived in and around Servia, Greece and lived there for a time, then were forced to depart by the local Greek population back to where they came from, they then traveled north again and eventually settled around modern day Belgrade.(Belgrade at that time was actually called Alba Bulgarica, it was later name Belgrade while it was still part of the Bulgarian realms, the Bulgarians were the first Slavs to have populated and occupied it)  The Byzantine applied username of Servs/Servia were far from forming any state then and were for the majority of their early history actually a part of the Bulgarian realms. There were also many Non-Slavic tribes in the no-mans land labelled as "Servs/Servia" by Byzantium. Servia means "Land of Slaves/Servants" according to the Romans who named the land and them.  A Byzantine controlled area from whence Byzantium could conscript and replenish their army, gather Slaves/Servs or to perform other tasks. The Bulgarian empire also was in possession and ruling those lands as well for centuries intermittently. Croatia's borders for centuries during our early realms and Croatian Kingdom was the Bulgarian empire. Neither of us went on to accept the Byzantine applied 'Serv" label/username.

2 - That the term "Sclaveni" was a general term used for all Slavs in antiquity that came into contact with Byzantium.  A generic term that today we call Slavs/Slavic. Croatian tribes and lands extended far beyond today's borders, from modern Russia/Ukraine/Belarus to Germany. Although similar in speech, Croatian and Serbian language, as well as culture come from 2 very different spheres. Croatian culture, and to a fairly noticeable degree language,  is more influenced by neighboring European and other Slavic cultures/words or we used Croatian neologism's through the centuries which entered our vocabulary. Croatian language is not the same as Serbian Turkish infused words and culture. Our religious views, culture, history and national symbols have absolutely nothing to do with Serbian culture, religion or history.  Only in the 20th century were they in a common state and only for 70 years.

3 - Serv is an old Latin term also used by Greeks implying "Serv, Slave" (Servus) as a general term for unnamed peoples during Roman and Byzantine empire times, Slaves etc"  Croats/Hrvati ethnonym was used by Croatians long before arriving to Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum. Numerous Croats lived in and beyond the Carpathians in lands known as "White Croatia" before during and after their arrival to Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 7 and 9 (Spread of the Slavs) by H.H. Howarth, based his work on the work of Shafarik, ancient sources and of others, including DAI, and came to the conclusion that the Serbs were intruders with a Hunnic and Alan ethnogenesis.

4 - Serb ethnicity genesis truly began with the Byzantine sponsored new Serb Orthodox church, it was then  that it worked to incorporate as many various other Slavic tribes as possible (and even Non-Slavs) into their new so-called and self-proclaimed "Serb race" or Serb people, as they like to call everyone. The Byzantine applied username "Serv" (Servian) was reappropriated and then taken and used as their new ethnic name, and eventually their state in the 12th century from which their modern day state derives. Even previous to this, before their eventual arrival to southern Europe "after" the Croats/Hrvati had arrived from the northern "White Croatia, (as recorded in "De Administrando Imperio"), they were even then being called by the Latin language appellation of "Sorbs" by writers, mainly the Latin writing Germanic chroniclers. Even today a small remnant of them live in eastern Germany, this fact proves the linear etymology to today's 'Serbs' and it attests to their geographical and confined location in the 7th century. Scholars know that there was not any kind of arriving "Sorb tribes" to that area of Europe at all, because only in the 7th century this "Sorbs" name was applied and it is derived from the Latin word "sorbus". (Vulgar Latin "sorbea") For example: the Rowan tree of today, is also known by the Latin name "sorbus" tree. 'sorbus' tree literally means a "service tree", ie: etymologically derived from and equivalent to words such as servitium, serv, servitius, servus (liable to certain burdens/services), etc. A lacklustre tree that bears small and not very hearty berries, unlike apples, pears, plumbs, cherries, strawberries  or peach trees, these are trees who's fruit is desired and praised, worthy for nobles, princes and even kings. The Latin 'sorbum' literally means 'service-berry'. A tree useful for ritual and firewood, but it's puny and bitter tasting 'sorb-fruits' were not preferred or desired for food, nutrition or hunger, essentially a tree that is mainly a shrub and occasionally bears small sorb-berries worthy of servants/servs, slaves or the lowliest of in servitude peasants to eat and get by on. The Sorbs species of trees and it's shrubbery was and is however the favourite food of larvae, moths and caterpillars. Middle English serves, plural of serve fruit of the service tree, service tree, from Old English syrfe, from Vulgar Latin *sorbea, from Latin sorbus) Hence the names Sorb/Serb both ultimately and etymologically derive and stem from these Latin words for bondage and servitude/slave, applied in the 7th century, and then it was appropriated by them as their new name, the etymology behind these Latin words is why we see the similarity also in the meaning in all these cases. They have the same underlying etymology. Am I saying the Sorbs/Serbs are trees? you may be wondering. No, not at all, they are not trees, rather on the contrary they have and have used names based on the same Latin words which etymologically are all related and have the same meanings and connotations. The sorb-trees are not named after sorbs/serbs, but rather both the sorbs/serbs and the sorb-tree both have names derived from the same applied Latin words and their original etymology/meaning. (Any person even semi-proficient in Latin will tell you the same as what I'm showing you here, ask them) Even the 10th century Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus in his "De Administrando Imperio" butresses this fact when he recorded that..."...'Serbs' in the tongue of the Romans is the word for 'slaves', whence the colloquial 'serbula' for menial shoes, and 'tzerboulianoi' for those who wear cheap, shoddy footgear....This name the Serbs acquired from their being slaves of the emperor of the Romans". These preceding words were recorded and describing them before they even arrived to around modern day Serbia, (Servia) while they were still called the Latin derived 'Sorbs'. There is no denying these facts, a newly applied Latin username/appellation that is then reappropriated is not any sort of ancient race of people with an ancient name, it's not any people at all, it's quite clear they are Latin language applied adjectives. (No matter what factless and fantabulous stories that historians such as this make up) The only way to deny it would be by declaring that so-called "Sorb" tribes arriving to the eastern border areas of Germania in the 7th century from a no man's land in Eurasia somewhere already knew and understood Latin. Then since magically already knowing Latin, they then gave themselves a Latin based name. (It would then only be a coincidence that other toponyms and place names within the Roman ruled world for already numerous centuries, just happen to be also derived from the same root Latin words. Or one can believe that for quite a number of centuries before the "appearance" of the 'Sorbs' in the 7th century, the Romans and Latin writing Germanic peoples were using the same Latin rooted words, but using them simply because of the 'Sorbs' and their introduction of the words/meaning. Again, all this centuries before the 'Sorbs' even arrived or were noticed or mentioned as such, and so the 'Sorbs' intentionally named themselves according to a Latin word with an equivalent meaning to slaves/servs, (sorbum, sorbus, sorbea...). That's very, very unlikely and actually impossible, because that would be time traveling and Sorbs/Serbs would also have to have known Latin before even Germanic nations were noticed, written about or even wrote in Latin themselves. (And they then strangely call themselves by a Latin word name that is synonymous to servants, slaves, scattered peoples in bondage and servicing the stronger.....on purpose?). Conclusion: Serbs were not a specific people or arriving tribe, the Germanic peoples who wrote and understood Latin in the 7th century called them this Latin derived name as a derogatory appellation, it is a Latin based applied username and the name stuck. As shown above also, other Latin based names that are etymologically related and so sound similar because of this, also stuck. serbs, sorbs, sorbea, sorbus, sorabi, servitium, serv, service, servitius, servus, serb...Only an applied 7th century Latin language derogatory appellation (adjective) that eventually became a username and not any sort of fictitious ancient tribe or specific people with a history of using these names)

 5 - The early, old Croats/Hrvati stem from the original early common era 'Gotho-Veneti-Slavs' located in and around the Carpathian mountians......"Harvaða fjöllum" in the legendary sagas, and this centuries before anyone would use the words 'Slav' or 'Slavic' to describe them or the language, or ever even hear of the peoples called 'Russian' for that matter. On the other hand and shown all throughout this post, the Croatian autonym of "H(a)rvati" derives from areas corresponding to the Slavic language speakers in and around the Carpathian mountains, hence they were not included as a part of any later 7th century 'sorbs'. The "Harvaða fjöllum/Carpathian mountians" correspond to lands east of the 'Sorbs' and far and wide also, this would include parts of the later Czechia (Bohemia), Slovakia (Moravia), Poland, Ukraine, parts of Belorusia and parts of the later Russia also. 'Hrvati' is etymologically tied to the 'Veneti' and 'Goti' and the Pre-Sorb times by about three centuries, and it is validated in the legendary sagas, such as "The Saga of Hervar and Heidrek", and Slavic/Czech  legends regarding Čeh and Leh in the first Slav homeland since time immemorial....Charvátská_země (Hrvatska/Croatia country). 'Hrvati' thus has an an etymology reaching back to the early centuries of the common era before Roman and Greek writers even knew there were the later called 'Slavs'..those early and old Croats.(Reminder, as already shown here, 'Croats' is the Latin form name for the early 'Harvati', but it was not used until after we arrived to ancient Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum and then started to form early states and realms. The 'H(a)rvati' who stayed behind in the 'White Croatia' were still out of reach of the Roman empire and were still pagan for centuries still, yet we kept our original name (endonym) for ourselves in our language, this specific name that reaches back to our earliest history and the northern areas we originally arrived from, it is also etymologically the basis for our newer Latin based version name...the 'Croats'.

6 - The Byzantine name of "Servs" (again, as already shown incorporating the same Latin based etymology as "sorb, sorbus, sorbea" etc) was continually accepted or forced upon as the name of today's Serbs, or the Serbs just continued to use the appellation who then also later incorporated Byzantine religious symbols as their own "national/ethnic" symbols, similar to the Alba Bulgarica (Belgrade) neighborhood of Jatagan, Kalemegdan Park, Stambo Gate of their Nis Fortress showing Turkish origin. Or more directly related to how even now the centuries old Slavic named Sava river is from Celtic and from the Latin root Savus, and not named after any Serb St. Sava as told in some Serbian fairy tale forums, it's actually the other way around. Get it right.

7 - That the information presented so far regarding the Serv/Slave/Serb name relationship is most likely and probable because D.A.I. also attests to this, however according to Serb historian Релиа Новаковић [Relya Novakovic], who is a close friend of fellow Serb historian Jovan Deretic, in his book "Још о пореклу Срба" [More about the origins of the Serbs], Belgrade, 1992, page 48, he states Serbs were a Sarmatian (Alanian) tribe. Alanian Serbi were subdued by the Huns in the 4th century, migrated west and over time they intermarried with that particular local Slavic population, adopted Slavic language, and transferred their name to those Slavs.  This presents an altogether different scenario and actually a problem for people who call themselves Serbs. It is quite a fanciful hypothesis that contradicts Latin language history, words and their meanings and may also require an invisible time machine. It will have to be up to historians using linear history examples and the Serbs themselves to decide if the most likely and recorded Serv/Serb appellation option is the correct explanation for the genesis of their ethnonym, or whether the term 'Serb' is today just a lingering relic name/appellation that was introduced into Europe from the eastern Iranic/Alanic people in the 5th century and then imposed into areas where Slavic people (actually the early Veneti-Slavs to be precise, including the Croats/Hrvati as already shown) were already present, habitating and indigenous to for some time, for centuries already according to early Roman and Greek writers. (This second possibility put forth by the Serb historian presents a problem for the following important reason. The explanation put forward by the Serbian historian appears to show that the 'Serb' ethnonym/people is then just a flukish accident of history, an ethnicon anomaly and based solely on foreign elements taking precedence in ethnonym assigments in Slavic inhabited lands, which resulted in an aberration. It would mean that this appearance of a foreign and eastern Iranic/Alanic people and their tribal name into and directed at those early Slavic populated lands of Europe was an usurpation of the Slavic language and customs structure. Some scholars would properly define it as an appropriation of part of the early and indigenous European based Slavic structure, culture and language, even a highjacking of the Slavic power base continuum. This cultural/linguistic kleptomania on the part of the newly arrived and advancing Iranic/Alanic element  (Whom H.H. Howarth categorized as being a part of the Hunnic 'intruders' as already shown and correlating to the Serb historians view)..would appear to have been firstly an assigned ethnicon onto a part of the indigenous European based Slavic populations own tribal endonym, and then the cycle would be repeated.  We come to see then only a pattern of a non-indigenous and foreign imposed endonym ethnicon attempting to multiply itself, however not through deeds per se, nor any literary and cultural accomplishments or even by way of procreation necessarily, but simply initially as a type of invading Ethno-taeniarhynchus saginata.  It is not the populace or people that were expanding, just the imposed ethnonym. Historians would correctly argue that a situation such as this is a classic case of the siblicide and/or deicide of these early European based Slavic culture strongholds, with the intruder acting as the catalyst and their ethnoym was the medium of transference.  How so?..namely, the Slavic cultural and linguistic nomenclature and language continuum would not disappear to be replaced by the intruders nomenclature and language, but on the contrary it was more beneficial that it stayed.  The intended host Slavic tribes own personal's hieracrchy, it's actual ownership and the future natural inheritance progression of the targeted Slavic tribe would be under siege and usurped.  Then by way of the intruders following proxy war it would be transferred from the Slavic populace to being solely a part of the intruders domain. (stealing their language, culture, customs etc)

.....If we are to take this scenario seriously and study further, then we can also correctly draw the conclusion that this proxy war against the already present Slavic populations was most assuredly of short duration and enjoyed only limited initial success. (As seen in the above previously shown map and attached information, the Veneti-Slavs [the old and early Croats/Hrvati, aka the Gotho/Veneti-Slavs located in and around the Carpathian mountians, which were called also "Harvaða fjöllum" in the legendary sagas] were already inhabiting all of Eastern Europa and approaching Germania 300 years before the appearance of the Hunnic invasions and the accompanying Iranic/Alanic Serbs who rode the Hunnic wave westwards)  As the Serb/Alanic proxy war progressed from it's initial appearance in collusion with and aided by the Hunnic advances, we can conclude that the native populations of Slavic tribes as well as Germanic tribes, had countered against this new threat successfully, thus containing this eastern arriving Serb tribe to a very limited geographical area and thus preventing further proxy wars and mutations to expand to even other Slavic populations. Any further attempts at usurpation of Slavic peoples/tribes would naturally prove to be very difficult from this point forward, especially after the Goth tribes included their forces towards the defeat of the Huns and their forces by joining with the Veneti-Slavs. If the intruders would not have been contained and actually had been successful in their ethno-proliferation attempts, then the arriving Serb tribe would simply have used the already present Slavic language and culture base itself as the tool to multiply and expedite even further the cycle of their advancing and usurping proxy wars.  The language and culture of the indigenous Slavic tribes would simply have been used against itself, toppling Slavic tribes from the inside with Serbs installing an internal hierarchy in the host Slavic tribe who would then proceed to beget yet further proxy wars.  Attempts at assigning their endonym on more Slavic, and perhaps even eventually Germanic peoples and areas, can therefore be deduced to have been contained shortly after it's initial appearance, limited in scope and therefore not ultimately successful. After the Huns had been defeated by the combined Slavic and Germanic forces, and they retreated back to the far east, the intruder was left without a momentum or method to continue.  But it had already infected a portion of the populace, the new eastern intruder ethnicon seed had been planted and so it was deemed more beneficial for them to stay.  Future usurpation attempts may have appeared from time to time on neighboring Slavic host tribes, but without the advantage and benefits of being part of an advancing culture-shock mass wave to divide and divert/disorient the targeted tribes (as was the case vis-a-vis their being a part of the previous invasions of the Huns)... attempts at installing a hierarchy to advance an internal ethnicon assignment process and mutation, would prove to be futile.  After their initial appearance and ethnonym assignment proliferation, their zenith in terms of people assigned the ethnonym per time period was reached in a short time. In later time however, such an ethnicon assignment process attempt in the future may even be counterproductive and actually weaken their own cohesiveness, ethnicon prestige, internal  hierarchy structure and power base. After a number of repeated but failed ethnonym assignment attempts without any of them leading to a successful proxy war, the energy and resources required would surely be too much for their very own hierarchy structure and power base to withstand. (It may be under these circumstances that a diversionary tactic may be employed to at least delay the inevitable, but possibly also to hide the very fact of their ethnicon assigning and usurping history genesis, using sophism and fallacies to explain away or at least divert attention from previous failed ethnicon assignment proxy wars, using tactics which would give the remaining ethnicon structure power base and populace an excuse for their failed policies of appropriation. This would probably also include an exaggerated and fabricated cycle and pattern of  fiction history examples in the hopes of some future victorious proxy war and final and complete usurpation, but most likely to just give the remaining endonym populace a delusion of grandeur, narcissistic impulses intended to deify the ethnonym, but above all some kind of meaning. Possibly even to just keep the ethnonym from disappearing outright. (In some cases it may be attempted to traverse time and space backwards using a klepto-history of sorts, appropriating even the history of peoples in no way related to them from thousands of years ago who had similar sounding ethnicons, and trying to prosletyze to the tribe that it is their ethnicon, historical and cultural past. Desperate attempts at self-worship, yet it is an alien ethnicon and foreign people from far away and long ago that they are worshipping. Reminiscent of the tales of the ageless ouroboros from times long past, the serpent devouring it's own tail and self, with the hope that ethnicon assignments on the Slavs will be eaten willingly by their future hosts in the same fashion. ("In the meantime more retro-appropriation histories must be conjured up, we will invent our past across the world if need be, clay upon clay and those who walk upon the clay as well")...or perhaps like a Cymothoa exigua that attaches itself to the local Slavic power base, usurping the hosts linguistic, cultural and linear ethno-history and then appropriates a foreign ethno-history onto the Slavic host. (A similar attempt was made on segments of the early Croats, Poles, Czechs, Moravians, Obotrites, Slovaks, Kashubians, Veleti, Polabians, Rani, Ucri, Vistulans and others circa. early 7th century, but in those instances they successfully repelled the Serb intruders proxy war and usurpation attempts. This failed attempt greatly reduced their proxy war momentum and resulted in them being confined to a very small area, forced to exist in a rudimentary state of inbreeding within a complex inducing environment, willingly using languages found around them as their lingua franca, calling it their own in the hopes of expanding their proxy wars at a future allotted time)  An obvious egregious klepto-attempt at retro-appropriation reaching back aeons and contradicting linear historical markers, but in the end is just seen for the historical tomfoolery that it is.  A desperate attempt to affirm themselves and their history, but in actuality only results in a form of self-immolation. A futility similar to a recently arrived Cymothoa exigua boasting of it's long history and history of the fish and it's tongue, hence implying it's own history tied to and being the same as the fish and it's tongue, but that tongue is no more now, the fishes tongue died long ago and has just been replaced by the Cymothoa exigua itself, it is the foreign new tongue pretending to be the real tongue, sadly the fish is just going along for the ride, it swims to and fro conditioned to believe now that the new tongue is the tongue that it had all along.

.....If the imposed ethnonym true history was to be discovered by the populace, they may openly revolt and discard it, blaming their own hierarchy and leaders for blinding them and leading them astray. Accuse them of being puppet masters and charlatans espousing fictionalized legends and only promises of future ethnicon assignments and successful proxy wars  With no foreseeable host tribes to conquer and replenish their ranks and prestige, their regressing hierarchy base and power structure would greatly affect the already subordinate ethnicon tribal populace, possibly extending to a chain reaction of events causing the whole ethnicon to eventually fall and collapse in on itself, an ethnicon implosion. (Reminiscent of the legends of an ageless ouroboros again, but in this instance the serpent is devouring it's own head first, convinced that it will taste good and reap rewards of many lands and people to devour as well. Example: "From whence our ethnonym leaders and teachers!? The golden chicken had layed, but the egg has not hatched, it is spoiled and foul in the days sun! Tell us!!! Are we to search for our ethnonym in the deep dark waters then?, under the rocks and the bellies of crawling sea creatures!!???...Tell us oh wise wizard priests of the almighty serb, will the almighty Serb descend from the Serbian clouds to our Serbian clay to give us a new ethnonym?!..and more Serbian lands in Greece that the Satans have stolen from us, just like they stole our Serbian bread and Serbian milk in Babylon, in the frozen northern plains, at the sea of sand and our clay in China!!??)...They may perhaps also possibly eventually be assimilated by other tribes/peoples/nations, the great unstoppable cosmic reversal, so to speak. This phenomena has been recorded numerous times throughout history, well known example cases were the ancient Etruscan and Illyrian hierarchy structure and power bases who left behind only some toponyms, buildings and artifacts but mostly just sparse ethnicon mentions in history books for posterity. One can also include the more recent example of the Lombards in Italy among others.

One can then see the problem.. Namely, 2 divergent ethnonym histories, each with a different genesis. One an acceptance of a Roman appellation which over time came to be accepted as the tribes ethnicon, or at least by a portion of them, who then forced it on the remaining.  The other a slightly older genesis that involved a 'modus operandi' by the Iranic/Alanic tribe who were the original possessors of the ethnonym. The ethnonym spreading through osmosis initially, then begetting ethnicon assignments and proxy wars. Either way however, there is a common parallel between the 2 histories to take into consideration.  It is plain to see that in both instances the ethnonym was without a doubt an example of an externally imposed ethnicon assignment. The proverbial serf receiving his name from his master in both cases. (This reminds me of some material I came across from a Russian historian, who was of the opinion that the original Serbs indeed were Iranic/Alanic people, not related to the Slavic Veneti in any way.  In a nutshell, he went on to explain quite convincingly, that those original Serbs were appropriating their name onto various Iranic and Turkic peoples during their move westwards, however that when they reached the Slavic populated lands of Central Europa and could go no further, that they were not very numerous at all, and were in danger of disappearing. It was only after they proceeded to start using the language of the Slavs they encountered around them as their new lingua franca, that they managed to exist and avoid being attacked and destroyed as intruders and accomplices of the Huns. He went on to explain that later the Serb tribe did move south, after the Croats/Hrvati had already arrived in Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum at the request of the Roman emperor Heraclius. The Serbs southward travel had indeed been completed after arriving in Greece. However, after a few generations the Greeks arose and forced them to leave because of their pillaging. After they eventually finally reached the area of modern day Belgrade, they then had become slaves for the Easter Roman Empire.(Although history tells us that they were definitely not very populous, Alba Bugarica (later named Belgrade by the Bulgarians) was founded, populated and ruled by the Bulgarians from the start, the first Slavic people to do so history tells us) They were now just one tribe of various Slavic tribes who were already in the area before them yet who were unable to form home rule yet. They were soon all labelled as Servs by the Romans, since that is what they called any people in those lands centuries before the Iranic/Alanic Serbs even arrived into Europe with the Huns. Areas which would become a recruiting ground and reserve pool for slave soldiers. Many of the slaves/servs were taken and forcefully conscripted to be the empires soldiers to Gordoservon. (Again meaning the habitation of the servs/slaves, not regarding any sort of specific ethnic group) Over time the Serbs tried to appropriate this similar sounding Roman given Serv appellation (An appellation which may quite possibly come to mean the same thing, but just a dialectical change of the same name from Greek/Roman writers vis-a-vis the Franks) coming to mean a synthesis and correlation between the Serb tribe who were not very populous, and the Non-Serbs no matter what Slavic or even Non-Slavic speaking people were to be found in the areas, hence attempting to make Serbs where there really weren't any and never were.  Another example of ethnonym appropriation and an ethnicon assignment at the same time, by a coersion-osmosis tactic originating from a 3rd party, and which did eventually lead to limited and localized Serb proxy wars, however independently of and without the 3rd parties original intent, and taking a number of centuries to become noticeable. (A similar erroneous scenario would be in ascribing the Adriatic Veneti to be the same as the Gaulish Veneti or Slavic Vistula Veneti when there is absolutely no relation between them any of them)  I must say, the other information I read made his presented ideas and proofs sound very plausible and logical. I have a pdf of the Russian historians work and there is more interesting information found throughout regarding the early Slavs, where we originated from, our connection to Baltic peoples, the origins of the Finns and much more but which isn't really the purpose of this blog.)

*Now, the reader may argue for a similarity of circumstance to that relationship that exists between modern day Russians and the northern Rus tribes of the early middle ages, however that point is moot, without any foundation and not requiring a dialectical examination. In the case of the Russian people it was a direct result of the gradual and mutually beneficial relationship between the already indigenous and neigbouring peoples, there was absolutely no usurpation, imposed ethnicon or appropriation by an intruder involved whatsoever, and especially no ethnicon proxy wars. Nor even any coersion attempts for that matter. This is proven from written sourced material. (A person leaving their house to go next door because they were invited for dinner and drinks and encouraged to relax can not be said to be "usurping" their neighbours house using proxy war tactics. This would be a fictionalized paradox)  If the situation was that today the modern day nation of Russia was instead named "Varangia" after the Varangian Guards invaded and forcefully usurped the Slavic culture/linguistic power base in the middle ages and then continued a cyclical pattern of proxy wars to expand and multiply, then that would possibly be grounds for some type of comparative similarity study.  The preceding few points were not originally an intended part of this blog, but only added afterwards to help explain and supplement some previously added source material and is solely for the benefit of the reader....If you're one of those types who have an interest to know even more about even earlier history of the Croats, of Slavs in general, of the Balto-Slavs, of Goths, Varangians and Hallstat culture etc, it's really not the purpose of this blog. For that you'll have to read more about the Kurgan hypothesis, Proto-Indo-European Urheimat hypotheses and even about the R1a1a gene. (which some have coined as the "Slavic gene", they even have tshirts now in different colours and sizes believe it or not)  For those really smarty pants types who need lots of numbers, decimal points, fractions, phylogeographic chromosome distributions, haplogroups and percentage graphs concerning early Croatian history in relation to other European nations and peoples, then you should check out  (There's interesting information about the autochthonous European Y chromosome haplogroup percentages between Croatian and Scandinavian areas and which are contemporaneous with the Last Glacial Maximum, which buttress some of my previous points) Or you can just remember East-European type (Eu19 or R1a) and Germanic-Dinaric haplogroup (Eu7 or I) being the types that are relevant to Croatians most......


A scene from the documentary.

Croatian Kings is the biggest Croatian documentary series. Shot in full 1080p HD, directed by Domagoj Buric and produced by Croatian National television (HRT). Our task was to create quite wide range of visual effects work. From crowd replication, digital wounds, historical building reconstruction, matte paintings to full 3D environments with CG soldiers and destruction. We are very proud to have been a part of this historical project and to work with such a great team of people. 

The documentary series discusses and revolves around the centuries leading up to the formation of the "Kingdom of Croatia" under King Tomislav in 925, and afterwards.    

Kingdom of Croatia Formed (925): The Slav tribe of the Croats form the Kingdom of Croatia (shaded in link). The Croats would maintain their distinct identity throughout history, even while under long periods of foreign suzerainty or in alliance with neighboring empires, Especially Carolingian dynasties and Byzantium in the early years of Croatian rulers. Upon the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991, they once again became a sovereign nation.

Interestingly, not known to many, while the Croatian Kingdom was growing in power and strength, Our immediate neighbors to the east for many years was the First Bulgarian Empire. Even the city of Belgrade was mentioned for the first time when it was a part of the Bulgarian realms. (Sure there were the Croato-Bulgarian wars, but that was almost 1200 years ago, they fought, made up and then exchanged gifts)  For an interesting look at more archeological finds during the rule of Croatian princes, dukes and kings/queens, (Including swords, jewellery, armour, pottery etc, check out this link with much more information

Instead of using nationalist groundless claims and sophistry in pseudo-history fiction telling, but rather after reading all the presented information and taking into account the earliest Byzantine and other written material, as well as the older Imperial archive sources from which they used, the above would be very close to a factual representation of what today's Croatia should rightfully and historically correct look like. (Not exact, but a very close representation. The oldest written material would actually enlarge Croatia's borders)  It correlates to ancient written sources (Many of which I didn't add here or present due their being so numerous and requiring translations)...particularly from DAI in describing the inclusion (as already shown and discussed) of DalmatiaPannonia and Illyricum, to being where Croat tribes are recorded as being the first Slavs to have settled in,  This is contrary to the fairly recent Serbian chetnik-nationalist claims which whimsically portrays only Serbs even well into Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and as far as into Greece. It also correlates closely to 9th century records of where the Croatian realms eastern border existed (also already discussed and shown)...with the Bulgarian First Empire under Simeon I as well as other recorded Croatian-Bulgarian Wars, all this before the expansion of the Byzantine empire towards Croatian lands. The map also takes into account the written and spoken history of the western variant Croatian dialects, which are recorded in numerous ancient sources as being a part of the Croatian language and culture continuum and spheres throughout their existence. The map of course also takes into account these Croat settled lands many centuries before the Ottoman incursions into Europe.  Literary history continuity from even the middle ages also supports the above map.  Croatian, Papal, Frankish, Byzantine, Hungarian, Venetian and other sources as well.  (Note - The above map is not updated to the current situation and does not take into account the Republic of  Kosovo which is an independent country now)

Here is a link to a pdf with lots more information and some very good photos from HRT:  Also, for those who are able to understand Croatian, you may want to actually watch episode 7 first, then 1 to 6. Episode 7 actually starts with the arrival of the Croat tribes to the Adriatic and their early dukes/principalities, from the time of the Avar and Slavic siege of Constantinople.

If by chance the video series link is discontinued, don't fret. You can watch the series HERE and other places I found too if you hunt around.  Just Google "Hrvatski Kraljevi" and "Croatian Kings" etc and you'll find links.  I still recommend reading the introduction to each episode found here before watching at any other link.

1 - The series "Croatian Kings" is a special  documentary and educational project which consists of seven 50-minute episodes.  This is the first time in Croatian film and media history that the earliest, and in many ways the most interesting period of Croatian history, will be presented on the screen - from their  arrival at the beginning of the 7th century to the end of the native Croat Trpimirovic ruling dynasty and personal union with Hungary at about the year 1100.  In this unique series of Croatian rulers, Trpimir, Tomislav, Držislav, Petar Kresimir IV, Zvonimir and many others will receive a face and character for the first time. From early Croatian Duke Borna, who as a vassal of the still present powerful and expanding Franks, to the other independent Croatian Dukes intent to defy the Frankish empire and fight  for the Croat name and realms alone. The Frankish empire and missionaries, as well as Byzantium and others will start to deal directly with only Croat rulers and their realms now. The early middle ages were abound with competing politics and empires, and the early Croatian realms were untouched as well.  Only a populous and great people's name would rise to become known between large encroaching empires, masters of their own realms in those times.  Discussion and various stories will be mentioned and dissected.  Viewers will see how tuberculosis was a plague in those times, contributing to life expectancies of only around 30 years.  The introduction of medicines will help with life expectancy, contributing to the building of churches, fortresses and the rising of communities and eventual cities. The flowering of artistic works in stone, Croatian early Dukes leaving behind their names and titles for posterity.  Viewers will be able to see large early medieval battles of  Croats against the  Bulgarians, Byzantines, Saracens, and Hungarians as well as the coronation of Croatian kings. Croatian ruins, as well as large churches and  buildings destroyed through the centuries of  battles and the Ottoman empire will be reconstructed using CG technology.

2 - The second episode starts with the first peak of the Croatian state - the time of the great ruler Prince Trpimir. We will see his struggles against Byzantium where he defeated a mighty empire, as well as his other victories, like the one against the Bulgarians.  We will introduce Trpimir as a great patron of the Church and culture in general, the arrival of the great dissident theologian and philosopher Gottschalk, who spent some time at the court of Prince Trpimir. Trpimir was the first ruler to be called "Dux Chroatorum" - Duke of the Croats.  Furthermore, we will also meet Duke Domagoj, who after his death, because of his stubborness and control of the Adriatic with his pirates,  the Venetians had called  "the severest leader of the Slavs."(pessimus dux Sclavorum)  This willfull and aggressive, yet brave Croatian prince fought on all sides.  He led Croatian soldiers even to participate in the Frankish siege of Italian Bari, which at that time was suffering at the hands of the Arabs.  Pope John VIII refered to Domagoj in letters as his "Famous Duke". (glourisus dux) Viewers will be able to enjoy the spectacular scenes of the siege. In addition, Ljutiša. one of our seven travelling villagers in this episode, will fall into debt bondage, and his friends will save him from slave labor.

3 - The third episode begins with the alleged murder of Prince Zdeslav, the son of Trpimir who reigned only a few months. Prince Branimir then takes the throne as one of the most important rulers of this age.  We will see the first cultural flowering of Croatian.  Branimir left behind for us inscriptions in stone bearing Branimir's name, a rare and  large number for that time which almost no other European monarch of that era can boast. During Branimir's time ruling in Croatia, many churches were built, some of them of very monumental proportions. In addition, Branimir also led a successful foreign policy.  In Branimir's time Venetians had to pay taxes to the Croatian state for their ships traveling along the Croatian coast.  Pope John VIII. sent him a letter, addressing  him as Duke of the Croats (Dux Chroatorum) blessing the Prince and the Croatian people, which is one of the most important documents in Croatian history.  In this same episode we also learn about Prince Muncimir, who also led a vigorous foreign policy.  He was even embroiled in the turmoils of the neighboring Servs, also known as Triballians or Sarmatians who were living in the Bulgarian Lands and Albanian Lands that were called Rascia.  When their exiled leaders were searching for protection, the Triballians/Serbs were recieved at his court for their safety,  before they took power again in Rascia.  Our group of seven villagers in this episode will taste beans for the very first time, a relatively new food ingredient that did not penetrate into Europe until the 10th century, and seems to have affected even the architecture of that time. The drinking of alcohol, which was common amongst the still largely rural pagan Croats, was initially frowned upon by church leaders due to the memory of it's connection to Roman pagan deities, however it was soon acceptable again, and even considered as an effective medical elixir.  Through the adventures of our seven villagers, we will witness the drinking of alcohol and eating habits of medieval times, but also the propensity to violence, which was a common part of the political and daily culture of those times.  Twice our rambunctious villagers will even get into fisticuffs.


4 - In this 4th episode, we learn about the man who may be the most important Croatian icon and name from that era - King Tomislav. We will see his battle against the Bulgarians, in which he decisively defeated then made peace with, and his successful policy towards Byzantine ruled Dalmatian towns. King Tomislav it seems, was the first Croatian king who successfully administered all the Dalmatian towns within his realm. We will see the Split church councils of the years 925 and 928, where besides Tomislav, also Bishop Gregory of Nin participated. After Tomislav there was civil war around the throne of Croatia in the 10th century, which ended in the overthrow and execution of King Miroslav and then coming to power of his brother Michael Krešimir II, who during his military campaigns was helped by the famous Croatian ban Pribina. We will see the 7 villagers in this episode go on a pilgrimage to the North Italian city of Cividale. Through their stories we will find out all the important and interesting things about medieval pilgrimages.

5 - In this 5th episode, we will familiarize ourselves with the era of  Stephen Držislav I, the first of the Croatian rulers who bore the title of king of Dalmatia and Croatia.  After the long and stable reign of Držislav,  his three sons, Svetoslav, Krešimir and Gojslav, clashed to become next to rule on the  throne. Svetoslav was ousted from the throne and Petar Krešimir III  ruled Croatia.  In this episode we will also meet one of the greatest of Croatian rulers, Petar Krešimir IV. We will see his mighty fleet and the flourishing of arts and culture during his time. In this episode, we will again follow the adventures of the seven travelling Croatian peasants. They will travel from the the rural hinterlands near Kozjak, come across a pastor who was bothered by the pagan superstitions of his parishioners, and gave orders to them to cut down the nearby ancient sacred trees of the old Slavs. We will see them work as wage laborers in the reconstruction of the roof at the basilica in Solin, a town on the Adriatic coast.  We will also see them in their free time to start fishing, which was a new experience for our travellers from the hinterland, but which will supply them and others with abundant sea food for tasty meals and a new staple in their daily diet.  You will see the delightful reaction of the very first Croatian and person in recorded history to ever eat steak with lobster and shrimp, then proceed to invent a garlic and butter dipping sauce by accident. (I made that last sentence up for medieval humour)


6 - This sixth episode begins with a magnificent scene from the coronation of King Zvonimir in the seaside town of Solin, at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Moses.(Hollow Church) This king is of one of the greatest monarchs in Croatian  history. He made an agreement with Pope Gregory VII., who sent him a crown and scepter. He married a Hungarian princess Helen I (Jelena Lijepa), which connected him also to the royal families of Poland, Denmark, Byzantium and Bulgaria, and he led a very active foreign policy. Viewers will learn how much historical truth, and how much mythology is in the story about the  murder of King Zvonimir.  Also, we will see the last years of this Croatian ruling dynasty, as Croatia is joined to Hungary with the assenting of Croatian nobles in the "Pacta Conventa",  as well as the death of King Petar Svačić during the legendary battle of Gvozd. This episode will see Žitimir, one of our travelling village heroes, get married. Through the story of his wedding, we will find out much about the position of women in the Middle Ages and about medieval views on sexuality. We will see how many marriages were performed without the involvement of the church, especially in rural areas, and that mortality rates were especially high for children in those times.

7 - In the final episode of this series we take a step back, going back several hundred years, to the time that preceded the creation of the Croatian state. After spectacular opening scenes of the siege of Constantinople in 626 by Slavs as well as Avars, we will show the time of the simultaneous arrival of the Croats into this area, making a new homeland for themselves in Dalmatia. We will deal with the legend of the five brothers and two sisters, who according to the legend, led the Croats during their immigration all the way to the shores of the Adriatic. (Including discussion about the very old Czech legend that describes the migration of seven brothers led by Čech (Czech), from Croatia to Bohemia amazingly)  Experts describe how relying on ancient texts, initially Croats were found not only in the mentioned commonly known "White Croatia" lands, but the interesting problem that even according to Alfred the Great in his "Geography of Europe", who relied on the writings of Orosius, that the Croat inhabited lands were to be found north of Great Moravia as well.  We'll find out all the important information about the origin of the Croats and of their religious conversions, with input from European historians discussing the arrival of the Croatian tribes  and how our earliest neighbours to the east were not Raskians, Tribalians, or Servs (Srbs) but Bulgarians.  (Also discussed will be the less well known interesting fact that only Croatian history in that era and area, has the highly prized distinction of leaving behind monuments and written records in not only the early (Precursor to Cyrillic) Glagolitic script in the Croatian language, and even instances of early Croatian/Western Cyrillic script (Mainly among Croats in B-H and along some coastal areas during Byzantine times)... like some other nations, but historically most importantly Croatians have a long tradition using the Latin language and then using Latin script simultaneously for writing Croatian, with Latin taking the increasingly predominant role since the Middle Ages in literature and de jure in government.  This de facto made Latin the official Croatian script of choice many centuries ago.   That a nation and people's language was for a time simultaneously and independently using 3 scripts in parallel is still considered a European phenomena to this day!  (Croatians had been given special rights to use the Croatian language in religious services in Glagolitic script, but over time Latin script was chosen as the main script, in literature, in government and all other vernacular writings)  The role of the Franks, as well as Byzantium and Rome in Christianiazing the early Croat realms is explored and discussed. Finally, this episode will come to a close where the first episode begins - at the beginning of the 9th century. i.e. the beginning of the time of the first Croatian rulers and Croatian state. (Episode 1)

Addendum: So What Events Happened After Episode 7?

Partial view of the remains of Knin Fortress

If you've read  and watched the video series up to this point, you basically have the nuts and bolts about the origins of and beginnings of the Croatian nation.  However, perhaps some of you out there may still be interested about the events immediately after the days of the Croatian Kings, Queens, Dukes, Princes etc, right through the following 8 centuries. If  you've already dabbled into the history of the Kingdom of Croatia (Medieval) from the year 1102 (Time of the Pacta Conventa) to the 20th century, then you will have noticed that parts of the Croatian Kingdom/Croatian lands through parts of the following centuries and in different areas were called Dalmatia and Slavonia also. That is on top of a simply Croatia named entity. This may leave some people scratching their heads, but it's very simple.This was a common occurrence in some other parts of the later Austrian and Hungarian empires, and those with knowledge about early European history will already know this. I will just try to explain to those who are not familiar with these topics.

From the announcement of the premiere of the opera Nikola Šubić Zrinski, Zagreb 1876, by composer Ivan Zajc

(I'm going to try to really crunch a lot of information here now, to just give you the gist of it. Similar political and national lands name changing and coats of arms being used was going on around all of Europe in those times, and especially the Slavic countries such as Poland, Czech lands, Slovak (Bohemia, Moravia...etc)  When King Tomislav was Duke of Dalmation Croatia and then incorporated the northern lands (Pannonian Croatia) up to where the Hungarians were to be found, his realm and title was known as the Kingdom of Croatia/King of Croats. (King Zvonimir before becoming King was also Ban/Duke of Slavonia, which was a part of the Croatian Kingdom and ruled by his predessor Peter Krešimir IV)

King Tomislav was crowned King by the Pope and was recognized by all neighboring powers circa. 925.  Dalmatia at that time was a much coveted historic and also strategic area, the possession and ruling of it was a great honor and showed that the ruler was powerful.  Having your name associated with ruling Dalmatia meant respect. It meant neighboring empires knew you were a somebody, so to speak.  That is why it was beneficial and a sign of power to be recognized and present yourself in those times with not only the title of Duke/King of Croats and Croatia, but as a little extra bragging rights/prestige sometimes was implied when being addressed as Duke of Croatia and Dalmatia,  King of Croats and Dalmatia. It just sounds more awesome and signifies a powerful monarch, and the person will know who is in charge. It grabs attention and conveys a sense of authority. The name of "Dalmatia" for the area was in use for centuries, powerful world monarchs knew where it was and what it meant  Like having the added Dr. or Prof. in front of your name in a telephone book.  Just one current analogy of many that may help explain is the case of current heir to the British throne, who if he was King today, would also still be addressed as Charles, Prince of Wales

Now during the reign of King Tomislav, (As you've already read or seen above), he was able to unite all the lands where Croats lived. Dalmation Croatia and the more northern Panonian Croatia were joined into one all encompassing Croatian Kingdom. It was for the first time in history all united and the start of almost 200 years of strictly Croatian Royalty and Kings ruling the Croatian Kingdom, the culmination of previous Croatian Dukes and Princes.  (Which also included significant parts of modern day BiH btw)  About 180 years later the Croatian lands were still united under one King, but after his death in battle against the encroaching Hungarians, it was decided by the Croatian nobles that they would willingly join to the Hungarian crown rather than be in ongoing and bloody wars for years. Croatia at the time was without a male heir, trouble was brewing still with the Byzantines and then Norman raids. Venice was also expanding all throughout the Mediterranean. A Croatian Kingdom could not afford to battle the growing empires around it without a very high cost and numerous deaths. A new way of administering and protecting the Croatian lands and ruling them had to be made with an encroaching Hungarian state approaching from the north. The Croatian nobles stepped in, who as representatives of the Croatian Kingdom, bargained for a peaceful union with Hungary.

A scene portraying the death of the last native Croatian king Petar Snačić at the Battle of Gvozd Mountain against the Hungarians in 1097. Shortly after this the Croatian kingdom willingly joined the Hungarian crown. Painting by Oton Iveković.

The Pacta Conventa (Latin for 'the conditions agreed upon') is signed by a group of Croatian nobles (who formed a 'House of Lords'). This concedes the throne to the person of the Hungarian king, Ladislas, in exchange for guaranteed autonomy of the Croatian realms. This respects the principle 'Regnum regi non prescribit leges' (literally, 'the kingdom doesn't prescribe laws to another kingdom'). This essentially ensured the two kingdoms are separate while sharing the same ruler. Five years of negotiations between Croatia's remaining noblemen and the later Hungarian king Coloman followed thereafter. Finally, in 1102, an historic settlement was reached (Pacta Conventa) by which the Croats agreed to officially recognize Coloman as king of the union. In return, Coloman promised to maintain Croatia as a separate kingdom, not to settle Croatia with Hungarians, to guarantee Croatia's self-governance under a Ban (royal governor) and to respect all the rights, laws and privileges of the Croatian Kingdom. A separate Croatian Sabor (Parliament) was to be responsible for the laws and ruling of ALL THE CROATIAN LANDS, administered by the one powerful Ban, who then was only accountable to the king. (This is important to know, the the Croatian Ban/Viceroy represented the one and united Croatian Kingdom within Hungary. A Ban/Viceroy was an historic term going back many centuries to the times of the early Croatian Dukes and Kings who would appoint their own Bans as well. It existed without interruption until it was temporarily abolished in the newly made Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918) 

The Croatian lands within Austria-Hungary in 1885.

Map source:  


So now you know that after Croatia joined the Hungarian crown, there was just the one Ban/Viceroy for all the Croatian territory which was then accountable only to the Hungarian King.  But around 1225 it was decided for Croatia to be put into two administrative regions.  Dalmatian-Croatia  (Dalmacija-Hrvatska) and Panonian-Croatia. which now would be called "Slavonia" (Meaning "Slav Land")...a name which would differentiate it from the Hungarian inhabited lands proper, and also a name used by previous Croatian Dukes who governed it for and answered to their supreme ruler, the Croatian King. It was done to simplify things, streamline, but mainly because it made it more efficient to govern with representative ban's, and so also easier to protect from foreign incursions and attacks.

From 1876 the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia on the Croatian Parliament building.

Again, to keep it short and simple (based on lot's of material I've read over the years related to the Croatian history of those times) but also to avoid writing another long fact filled post within a post. (This kind of stuff involves a lot facts and dates, and people and agreements etc. I may come back and edit this part in the future and add the proper links, this is just the gist of it)...I will also show that contrary to Greater Serb propaganda during parts of the 19th century and even the Serb aggression of the 90's, (and once in while even these days on some kooky stupid-talk forums) that these Croatian lands and kingdoms which are rooted in the early medieval Croatian Duchies and Kingdom of Croatia, were NEVER part of any Serb entity, never at any time in history nor for any amount of time. On the contrary this fallacy-reality is actually the opposite of the reality those Serbs use when they start pointing fingers at some ridiculous maps they just drew up, some archaic anonymous sketch or just some recently photoshopped map images with lots of arrows while drinking and singing songs. If you've read this post up to now then you already know this.

The coat of arms of the Croatian Triune Kingdom found on the tiled roof of the 800 yr old church of St. Marks in Zagreb. The tiled design was constructed in 1880. Beside to the right is the coat of arms of the city of Zagreb.

The main point of this extra addition is also to help explain a very wise thing (Very wise indeed)  that the medieval Croatian nobles did at the time that the Croatian lands were going to be governed in 2 provinces. (Something that may seem confusing to some when reading some maps of those times, but in retrospect was brilliant and important, and I'll show you why)  Shortly after 1225 the Croatian nobles mainly from the coastal Croatian areas, still also referred to at times under the ancient name of Dalmatia, had convened together and forwarded an agreement with the Hungarian king.....Recall, up until that time, even after the union of the Kingdom of Croatia with Hungary, there was still only one single Ban/Viceroy who governed ALL the Croatian lands.

However now, rather than have the lands of the Croatian Kingdom administered in 2 parts, they decided to make an agreement with the King of Hungary to rename a section of the Croatian lands, a section that overlapped and connected the 2 new separately administered regions. They decided to rename a portion of the central/northern area as just simply "Croatia".  This fact and agreed upon political name change ultimately guaranteed that the memory and name of the medieval "Kingdom of Croatia" would never be forgotten or lost to antiquity.  It would continue on. This agreement between the king and Croatian nobles guaranteed de jure and de facto that it would be recalled, and more importantly, prescribed in law and charters and acknowledged by their common king as to who the lands ultimately belonged to and originated from. (The Croatian nobility were also known for being trustworthy. They held many political positions and received many career promotions, especially in the military, at court and often in the higher functions in the government and judiciary) Even though the Croatian nobility was born in the so-called Dalmatian region, they then also relocated to the northwest. Sure Croatians lived in it, people spoke Croatian, Croatia was guaranteed certain rights and privileges within Hungary-Croatia, Croatian nobles would retain rights and privileges and Croatia would have it's Bans and Sabor, but keeping this specifically "Croatia" named entity in the middle, keeping both halves together, was even much more strategic, important and logical. This relocation of the Croatian nobles and their administrative duties was the genesis of the post medieval and modern day Sabor. (Croatian Parliament)

 Croatian nobleman and Ban of Croatia Nikola Šubić Zrinski during the historic Battle of Szigetvar. (Croatian: Bitka kod Sigeta) In 1566 with a small force of 2,300 mainly Croatian soldiers, he heroically defended the fortress of Szigetvár for the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy against the whole Ottoman forces (120,000 soldiers) led by the Ottoman Sultan "Suleiman the Magnificent" himself.  Nikola Šubić Zrinski was known all across Europe for this last stand which halted the Muslim Jihads into Europe and is today seen as a hero by both Hungarians and Croatians. He perished with most of the defenders and caused about 30,000 deaths to the Muslim armies, which included paid Serb volunteers. Even the Turkish Sultan himself died during this conflict which blocked and stopped the Ottoman advance towards Vienna. The importance of the battle was considered so great that the French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu was reported to have described it as "the battle that saved civilization.

Klis Fortress (Croatian Tvrđava Klis) is a medieval fortress situated above a village bearing the same name, near the city of Split, in central Dalmatia, Croatia. From its origin as a small stronghold to becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times throughout it's long history. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served a pivotal role in the defense of Dalmatian Croatia, especially against the Ottoman Jihad attempts to Islamicize Europe. In 1518 the "Prince of Klis" Petar Kružić defended the fortress for decades against the Turks. (More information at

Through the following chaotic centuries in Europe, as internal borders and external borders changed due to the Byzantine empire, Venetians and the Ottomans, at times after 13th century for strategic and better political functioning reasons, this is why on some maps one can see parts of the Croatian administered lands written as Croatia-Slavonia and Croatia-Dalmatia. All in all, (summa summarum), we then see the results of the agreements between the Croatian nobles' and the Hungarian king were very logical, practical and fortuitous. (This mirrored in a way, what some Croatian nobles did about 125 years earlier.  At that time when the Croatian Kingdom joined the Hungarian Crown, some Croatian nobles had decided instead to relocate to the less accessible Bosnia, with a degree of more freedom and the start of another semi-autonomous, yet allied with Hungary-Croatia, ruling realm. Around the year 1100 those nobles joined the Croatian people in Bosnia and ruled with more freedom and privileges. This area that was for centuries a part of the Croatian Kingdom, because of external factors came to be administered as a realm separate. (You can ask any historian and they will tell you the same, there were no 'Bosnian tribes' arriving to the area over 6 centuries earlier, Bosnia can be considered as a type of 'Bohemia' or 'Moravia' vis-a-vis modern day Czech Republic and Slovakia.) In effect, the Croatian nobles there were exempt from outright Hungarian co-ruling. Because it was less accessible and more mountainous, these factors eventually also contributed to the rise of a short lived so-called Bosnian kingdom, which was importantly still oriented towards Hungary-Croatia. (However, it was to become detached from it's centuries of being a part of the Croatian realms especially after the later Turkish/Serb incursions)

 The coat of arms of the Croatian noble family "Novosel". They were influential during the period in history marked by the Ottoman wars in Europe in the Kingdom of Croatia and Hungary in the later Austro-Hungarian Empire. Novosels in the 15th century were highly expressed in the battles against the Jihads of the Turks, as evidenced by the coat of arms of Duke Mark (Marko) Novosel portrayed as a Wolf and holding the severed head of the Turkish Duke. 

***Supplementary information: The Brethren of the Croatian Dragon (Croatian: Braća hrvatskoga zmaja) is a Croatian historical and cultural society established in 1905. In 1907, the Brethren claimed to have found the remains of Petar Zrinski and Fran Krsto Frankopan, and by 1919 those were moved to the Zagreb Cathedral. (See THE ORDER OF THE DRAGON AS REFLECTED IN HUNGARIAN AND CROATIAN HERALDRY)  The Society of the" Brethren of the Croatian Dragon" is the legal successor of the Croatian variant of the Dragon Knights order "equestris Ordo Draconis" (Croatian: (Red Zmajskih Vitezova)  Croatian-Hungarian King and Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg  founded the "Order of the Dragons" (Latin: Societas Draconistrarum, literally. "Society of the Dragonists") in the year 1408 with the primary aim of defending against the incursions of Islam and the Turkish Ottoman advances into Europe. The Croatian noble and Ban (Governor) Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić was one of the early members of the order, other Croatian nobles later also became members. Coincidentally,  the "equestris Ordo Draconis" (Latin) also had the famous Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia within it's ranks. (Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia  is better known to us today as Vlad Ţepeş or Vlad III the Impaler and also known commonly by his patronymic Dracula) Interestingly, the Croatian noble family of the House of Novosel (coat of arms seen above featuring a wolf) in turn is connected with the same famous family Ţepeş (House of Drăculeşti) and Count Dracula (Vlad Ţepeș) In the hall above the Stone Gate in Zagreb there is a large heraldic tree containing coats-of-arms of all the members between 1905 and 1940, with the arms of the knights of the original "Order of the Dragons" of 1408 at the bottom.***

...So we see that this was extremely wise what the Croatian nobles in conjunction with the common Hungarian-Croatian crown did around 1225, because even though the newly named "Slavonia" and historical "Dalmacija" region were still considered as part of the Croatian Kingdom/lands that were under the Crown of St. Stephen, there would now always still be a reminder, a namesake territory for posterity that would never let it be forgotten that all these lands were/are the sums of the older Kingdom of Croatia. (Again, as political winds changed, If one has studied the history of many other nations in Europe, this act of specifically naming a region/district/province/ etc, as a specific namesake region of the national lands is rare. (And I mean very rare, the closest analogy is of when a city is named as a namesake city, The Principality of Monaco-Monaco capital, Mexico-Mexico City, San Marino-San Marino city, Luxembourg-|Luxembourg city..etc)  There these Croatian nobles from the other areas of the Croatian Kingdom, (especially from the Dalmatia region which is where the first Croatian duchies and King Tomislav's "Kingdom of Croatia" was founded)...kept the memory and name alive.  The first session of Sabor (Croatian Parliament) was convened outside of the Dalmatian area of Croatia for the very first time in the city of Zagreb in 1273. Eventually, Croats throughout the Croatian lands and realms within Hungary went on to play a major part in the history of Europe, and protecting their lands from the new Muslim Jihads and the threat and incursions of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Croats took part not only in the early battle of Kosovo with various other nations, but also the early Battle of Varna in 1444 (It was shortly after this that the Serbs refused to fight along with Hungary-Croatia against the Muslim incursions at the Second Battle of Kosovo, but even decided to ally themselves with the Turkish Ottomans) Croatian soldiers however fought for centuries, along with other European nations, for a free Europe and western ideals and civilization. (See Croatian-Ottoman WarsHundred Years Croatian-Ottoman WarOttoman-Habsburg warsCroats and the Ottoman empire etc)

Sisak Fortress or "The Old Town" (Croatian: Stari Grad) is a 16th century triangular fortress of the Old Town of Sisak.  It is well-preserved and was turned into the Native Museum. Construction of Sisak fortress, at the confluence of the Kupa and Sava rivers, started in 1544.  On 22nd June 1593, the field in front of the fortress became the scene of one of the most important battles in Croatian history. The fortress is famous for the victory of the joint forces of Croats and Carniolans over the Turks in 1593, known as the Battle of Sisak. It was one of the early significant defeats of the up-to-then invincible Turkish army on European territory.  In mid-June 1593, with an army of about 12000 men, Hasan Pasha reaches the fortress of Sisak and besieges it for the third time. At the same time, the Croatian army, 5000 men strong, assembled near Zagreb. The joint army of the Holy Roman Empire pounded the massed attackers with heavy artillery fire.  The Croat defenders with the Habsburg reinforcement broke the Ottoman siege and repulsed the enemy back towards the Kupa river. The victory has ever since played a major role in the history of Croatia. It was the decisive turning point in Christian-Muslim relations, an historic victory where a three times larger Turkish army was defeated and brought to an end 300 years of Ottoman attacks and Jihads.  News of the victory resounded throughout Europe because now the whole of Christian Europe was relieved of great immediate Muslim danger. These days programs take place planned by the Sisak City Museum, including re-enactments, festivals, concerts. Stari Grad has also become a restaurant. More information at

The flag of Ban/Prime Minister of Croatia Josip Jelačić from 1848.

So, we see that the Croatian lands, although administered separately, were always connected and parts of the greater whole, ie: the continuation of the medieval Kingdom of Croatia. Since 1681 it has been formally styled as the Congregatio Regnorum Croatie, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae (Diet of Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia) When one reads the history of those times, from the 12th to the 20th century, one will come across often material and maps that will show this Croatian namesake Kingdom included, sometimes as a part of the Kingdom of Croatia-Dalmatia or Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia right up until the 19th century when eventually all 3 were again one entity/Kingdom. All during this time also, one will come across many instances of the "Croatian" chequey coat of arms found along with the administrative Slavonian coat of arms and Dalmation coat of arms as well.  One will also notice that they were always grouped together when Croatian lands were represented on Hungarian or Austro-Hungarian coats of arms images, paintings, monuments or official empire and royal documents.  Even though divided administratively, they were all sums of the equation in which they all added up to...."Croatia". The Croatian name was never extinguished through all the later centuries, nor Croatian political presence. The Croatian Kingdom is the only nation of Europe that is directly and historically tied from the start to these regions and areas.  You can click HERE to see what I mean.

Map of the Croatian lands dedicated to Petar Zrinski, ban of Croatia. The map was created at the workshop of Joannes Blaeu in Amsterdam as an addition to the work by Ivan Lučić, "De Regno Dalmatiae et Croatiae libri sex", Amsterdam, 1666. Blaeu had inserted the map in Atlas Maior in 1667, and dedicated it to the Croatian ban Petar Zrinski . At the bottom of the map in the middle it reads...

......"To the most illustrious and noble lord, Prince Peter of Zrin, the ban of the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia, hereditary ban of the Littoral, hereditary captain of the Legrad fortress and Medimurje peninsula, master and hereditary prince of Lika, Odorje, Krbava, Omis, Klis, Skradin, Ostrovica, Bribir etc.., Master of Kostajnica and the sliver mine at Gvozdansko, councillor and chamberlain to his anointed imperial majesty, master Ioannes Blaeu dedicates this map"

 1663 - Pierre Duval "Les confins des Chrestiens et des Turcs" from the times of Ottoman empire incursions.

*Note- The title of Ban is pronounced as "Bahn" like in the word "Autobahn".

*Also the Croatian word "Kralj" which means "King" is derived from the name "Karolus Magnus". (Charles the Great in Latin) and the Croatian word "Knez" (Kniaz/Knyaz is some other Slavic languages) which means "Duke/Prince/King" is derived from the Gothic/Old Germanic word "Kuningaz" which means the same.

It's a little known fact that there is still a community of Croats in parts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia even these days. During the Turkish Ottoman invasions in the 1500's, up to 150,000 Croats migrated or were transferred to other places within the Austro-Hungarian empire as the Islamic Jihad incursions gained momentum leaving large areas desolate. Namely to East AustriaWest HungaryCzech Republic and Slovakia. Above is a recent Croatian folk performance in Moravia. (This added piece of related information in no way implies that these areas are "Croat lands". More information Here and Here)

In regards to the Dalmatia region especially, because of incursions in the following centuries from Tatars and the Ottomans, this maneuver had profound implications. Because of the balance of power shifting at various times over the following centuries also, it was administered for a time in part by Byzantium, the Venetians and co-ruled with the Hungarians (With Croatian noble assent), even Napolean's France for a few years and then even Austria. Everybody was fighting to have it as a part of their realms, or extension of their empire. The sizes of all 3 regions varied throughout the centuries because of this and because of the Ottoman empire advances, sometimes they were portrayed  bigger, sometimes smaller, as with many other regions in Europe.  Fastforwarding, It was in 1868 however that the Croatian-Hungarian Settlement (Nagodba) was eventually signed which brought all 3 Croatian lands officially back together again as one entity and it was proclaimed as the Croatian Triune Kingdom.  All 3 regions were back home so to speak, united and indivisible, sort of like all the previous German states.  All becoming one political and national entity. As I've stated before, similar events like this took place with other nation states in Europe as well.

After the revolutions all across Europe in 1848, the Croatian Ban (Prime Minster) decided to make Croatian the official language again in the Croatian lands. With support of the Croatian Parliament he also decided to make more visible Croatian symbols and coats of arms.  He proceeded to start the minting of currency which included coins called the"Križar". These were to be used in the Croatian lands within the Habsburg Empire.  The coins contained a coat of arms which represented the "Triune Kingdom" and the Croatian state lands continuum.

The coat of arms commemorating this at that time was an amalgamation of all 3 Croatian regions, (or to be more precise, the two halves of Croatian lands that were separated, again united under the central banner of Croatia and the Croatian people in it), similar to the Czech Republic coat of arms  and other European nations. All 3 historic Croatian lands were once again as one, governed by one Croatian Ban. (Although not including modern day Bosnian areas that were previously part of the Croatian Kingdom, the Ottoman incursions over the centuries had affected permanently the political makeup of the region)  Shortly after Croatia joining the Hungarian crown, the Croatian Bans still governed the area, but over time it was  treated as a buffer entity by Hungary-Croatia and then Austria.  However it's coat of arms was also always still grouped together with Croatian coats of arms as well through the centuries. It was considered Turkish occupied Croatian territory.  The presence of the Ottoman empire through the centuries had implications regarding border issues, mainly regarding the Croatian/Bosnian realms.  It also had language and cultural effects on Serbia as well over the next 500 years. This can in a way be correlated to the names of  Bohemia and Moravia actually belonging to the Czechs and Slovaks. Until the last century and emergence of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the above names were used for centuries while part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

From a publication of the Croatian national anthem in 1835.

From 1895 the Triune Kingdom of Croatia coat of arms atop the Croatian National Theatre building in Zagreb.

In 1874, Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski published various archival funds and collections in his work Codex Diplomaticus, that is now kept in the Croatian State Archives, (  demonstrating documents from all periods that speak of the Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia; the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia; the Kingdom Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia....

Privileges – Privilegia Regnorum Croatiae, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae, dated 1377

Protocols – Protocolla Congregatio generalis Regnorum Croatiae, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae, dated 1557

Minutes – Acta Congregationum Regni, dated 1562

Minutes – Transumpta documentorum iura Croatica tangentium, dated 1249 (Transcript documents of the rights of the "Croatian Tangents")

The "Triune Kingdom of Croatia" was also incorporated into this cap badge of the  Royal Croatian Home Guard (Croatian: Kraljevsko Hrvatsko Domobranstvo, often simply Domobranstvo or Domobran in singular), in German "Croatisch-Slawonische Landwehr" was the Croatian army section of the Royal Hungarian Army (Hungarian: Magyar Kiralyi Honvedseg), which existed from 1868 to 1918. The force was created by decree of the Croatian Parliament on December 5, 1868 as a result of the Croatian-Hungarian Settlement.

The settlement specified four conditions:
  1. Croats would serve their military service within Croatia
  2. Military training would be conducted in Croatian
  3. Cadet and Domobran (Croatian Home Guard) academies would be formed
  4. Croatian military units could take on Croatian names

This final addition by me, regarding post medieval Croatian history, is very brief and involves quite a bit of information as well.  (It's no easy task trying to condense over 900 years of Croatian/European history into a few paragraphs)  However,  hopefully it answered some questions regarding as to why through the centuries after the Croatian Kingdom union with the Kingdom of Hungary, some maps would show Croatia, some didn't, sometimes the land mass named Croatia was smaller, and sometimes much larger. Sometimes Dalmatia was bigger or smaller, (Again, mainly due to the Ottoman empire advances and retreats again)..and why a part was governed even by Napoleon for a time...etc.

I also hope it answered some questions regarding the terms "Kingdom of Croatia-Dalmatia" and "Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia"  and "Kingdom of Croatia-Dalmatia-Slavonia" used over the past centuries. Interestingly also, it was in the Dalmatia region where a large part of rich Croatian literary classics and history emerged from. Croatian renaissance classics were penned there in the Croatian language, even during the times it was not directly ruled by Croatian Bans/Governors, but under foreign administration, by Venice or Austria. (The factor of the more northern areas being where the bulk of Ottoman armies were amassing for their push into Europe over the centuries had contributed to this. These southern coastal areas were more free from the battlefields for a longer time and so Croatian literary history was able to flourish and still be connected to western Europe and civilization)

Croatian coat of arms in front of Croatian History Institute, Zagreb (Coat of Arms of United Kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia)

A painting by Dragutin Weingärtner 1885, entitled "The Session of the Croatian Assembly in 1848", is kept in the Varaždin Town Museum. The flag hoisted is the tricolor with the coat of arms of the Croatian Triune Kingdom. The scene shows Ban (Governor) Josip Jelačić addressing the MP's of the National Assembly regarding support for homeland defence and arming the Croatian Army.

Leaflet praising the Sabor (Croatian Parliament) of the Triune Kingdom in the decision to make Croatian the official language of the Croatian Parliament instead of Latin in 1847.  The Croatian Triune Kingdom coat of arms is at top of page.

The most important thing though that I hope I have shown to the reader is as to why since the 13th century a specific land area was simply and strategically renamed as "Croatia" by the Croatian nobles, and the long lasting historical importance of this. The Croatian name existed at all times. All through the following centuries, never did Serb flags, symbols and Greater Serbian politics and dreams reign in Croatian lands, or succeed in even attempting to "Serbianize" those lands. It was written in stone and in the stars. This also gives me an opportunity to touch upon another related topic, namely the increasing number of "Serbs" in neighboring Bosnia and Hercegovina from the time of the appearance of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. That region of Europe was a very strategic area for the Ottomans and their Jihads, the easiest route to try and conquer the rest of Europe. As much as the Islamic Ottoman empire hated Christianity, hated Orthodox Christianity, hated Serbian Orthodoxy...they hated Western Europe ideals and Roman Catholicism the most of all. Why?...Because they were the last hurdle and obstacle to completely taking over the rest of Europe, they were the continuity of many centuries of European history and so the final obstacle and armies that had to be conquered for a complete and irreversible victory.

The Turkish strategy was that if there was going to be Christianity to deal with for a time in their newly conquered lands, it was better to deal with just one organization, and so best of all to deal with the Serb Orthodox religion, a religion who's patriarch was based in their very own new capital city...Istanbul. (formerly known as Constantinople of the Byzantine empire) A patriarch that would be very easy to push around and who would even help their cause.  It made things a lot easier for them and also gave the Serbs more opportunity to attempt to make more "Serbs" from Non-Serb people, by whichever means necessary. Many instances have been recorded of Serb church leaders telling their flock to assist the Turks, so as to spread along with them in unison to their new occupied territories. Serb local lords and those under them were prompted to fight for the Turkish Jihad forces, and so hopefully more Serb church presence and prestige. To cut in on the competition so to speak.  And that pretty well sums it up.  500 years of "Serbianizing" people while under Turkish occupation, and sometimes with their assistance, is a lot of time to make more new "Serbs" from non-Serbs. This isn't me making things up, but rather documented historical fact. (For centuries after the Ottoman empire started encroaching into Europe, right into Hungary and even the very gates of Vienna, large areas of Bosnia were still considered and mapped as "Turkish Croatia" even by the Ottomans themselves, until the 20th century, example below)

During the 15th and 16th century a part of the territory of the Croatian Kingdom occupied by the Ottoman Empire In the 19th century, after it became clear that the Croatian population, owing to that occupation, permanently perished or was displaced, the new name Bosanska Krajina (Bosnian Frontier) was used and replaced the old term of Turkish Croatia which is connected with the first Croatians states and Kingdom. It remained so until today.

From 1102 the Croats had shared together with Hungarians a newly built state under common Hungarian and Croatian kings. The kings were crowned twice: with the Hungarian and the Croatian crown. From that time on, the Croats were dreaming about having their own independent state again for centuries, and it was revived after almost nine centuries in 1991.

During this very long period, parts of Croatian soil were dominated by Venetians, Italy (in the first half of the 20th century), the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburgs. Among all the nations reigned by the Habsburgs (Czechs, Poles, Slovenians and others) the Croats are together with Austrians and Hungarians the only ones who have preserved an uninterrupted continuity of their state since the Early Middle Ages, even if within the larger empire. Furthermore, as stated by one of best Croatian historians Vjekoslav Klaic, the Croatian Kingdom was the oldest one in the Habsburg Monarchy, it's uninterrupted state continuity from the Early Middle Ages actually makes it older than the Austrian, Hungarian or the Czech Kingdom.

Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Croatia within Austira-Hungary 1890. More old Croatian coat of arms images Here

The city of Rijeka in 1689

During many centuries, the Croats had their bans (viceroys) and their assembly called Sabor. The oldest known Sabor was held in Split in 925 and in 928 (devoted more to religious than to secular questions), and in 1076 when Dmitar Zvonimir was elected the Croatian King by the ``unanimous choice of the clergy and the people''. The Croats even preserved these important state institutions of ban and Sabor also when they decided to enter the Habsburg state (1527--1918). Today the Sabor has the meaning of the Croatian Parliament.

It is interesting that Dante Alghieri (13/14th centuries) mentions the Croatian pilgrims to Italy in his Divine Comedy (Paradiso XXXI, 103-108):

Qual è colui che forse di Croazia
viene a veder la Veronica nostra
che per l'antica fame non sen sazia,
ma dice nel penser, fin che si mostra
"Segnor mio, Gesù Cristo, Dio verace,
or fu sì fatta la sembienza vostra?"

It would be difficult to trace all the interesting historical personalities that connect the Croats with other nations of Europe. Ivan VI Frankopan was a master of the Royal Palace Stäkebórg, and also led the entire estate of the Royal Court in Sweden. He lived there from 1427(?) until 1433, and was a close friend to Eric VII of Pomerania, the second common King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. How did Ivan VI get there? Well, when King Eric VII traveled to the Holy Land in 1424, he also passed through parts of Croatia. His travel back to his homeland also led him through Croatian lands. It is known that he visited Dubrovnik, Omis and Senj. It was probably in Senj that King Eric VII met Ivan VI, and made friends with him. Ivan VI Frankopan became known in Sweden as Johann Valle or Jany Franchi. During an uprising of Swedes against the Danish authorities, led by Engelbreksston, Ivan VI was at the Royal Palace. Upon his return to Croatia he became the Ban (viceroy) of Croatia.

I owe this information to dr Petar Strcic, director of the Archives of HAZU (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts)

State seal of the Kingdom of Croatia is imprinted in the middle of the Cetingrad Charter in 1527, during the time of the historic Parliament on Cetin. The chequy pattern from this point especially, went on to become synonymous with Croatians and directly tied to the middle ages kingdom of Croatia. In the following centuries the Croatian chequy in various versions also went on to become central in Croatian identity during the centuries of wars against the Jihads of the Ottoman empire and other threats against the Croatian people.

What kept alive a sense of common Croat identity among the separated and subjugated Croatians through the centuries, therefore, was not the Catholic religion, this was just one aspect that played an important contributing role.  It was literature and the memory of history sustained by the intellectual elite. During the Renaissance era, Venetian ruled Dalmatia and Dubrovnik gave birth to influential intellectuals, mostly minor aristocrats and clergymen, Jesuits especially, who kept alive the memory of Croatia and the Croatian language when they composed or translated plays and books from Italian and Latin into the vernacular. It also did not matter that the dialects of Dalmatia and Dubrovnik were different from each other. From Dubrovnik to Split to Zagreb, capital of the Habsburg ruled north. They were all still regarded simply as dialects of Croatian. When the bishop of Modrus, had the Roman Missal printed in the vernacular in 1532, the title on the frontispiece was Misal Hrvacki (the Croatian Missal), and when Marko Marulić (1450-1524) of Split published the first known vernacular poem in Dalmatia in 1521, "Judith", he reminded on the title that it had been composed "u versih hrvacki slozena," ie: "in Croatian verses." The Dubrovnik poet Dominko Zlatarić (1555-1610) explained on the frontispiece of his 1597 translation of Sophocles' tragedy Elektra and Tasso's Aminta that it had been "iz vece tudieh jezika u Hrvacki izlozene," ie: "translated from the great foreign languages into Croatian".  No matter what any centuries later Schemers or alternate psuedo-history writers and their minions in Serbia were striving towards, even Croatian literary history also shows us otherwise. (More on this particular subject at

In the late 19th century, a movement, desire and drive to reorganize the bipartite Empire into tripartite one was initiated, the third part being a Croatian state, equal in status to Austria and Hungary. Numerous Croatian politicians in the 1880's were supporters of this 3rd Slavic kingdom and entity within the empire, as it would also unite the Croats living within it's borders who were at the time separated by Austrian and Hungarian spheres. The borders coincidentally would have been almost exactly as the borders were during the Kingdom of Croatia in the 10th century. Among the Habsburg family the supporters of reorganizing the empire from a dualist to a trialist one were Archduke Leopold Salvator, who served as a artillery officer in Zagreb 1894-1900, Crown Prince Rudolf, who was a supporter of federalization of the monarchy, and Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the prominent supporter of the trialist reorganization of the monarchy.

All this background information of Croatian history points to a very important fact. Namely, that among all the nations that eventually were to become at some point and time, a part of the Habsburg crown lands (Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Slovenians, Romanians, Ukrainians and others)...the Croats are together with Austrians and Hungarians the only ones who have preserved an uninterrupted continuity of their state since the first Croatian states and kingdom ruled by Croatian royalty in the Early Middle Ages. As stated by one of best Croatian historians Vjekoslav Klaic, the Croatian Kingdom really was actually the oldest one in the Habsburg Monarchy, because it was in existence before the Austrian, Hungarian or the Czech Kingdom.

One of the most blatant terrorist acts of the Belgrade regime in Croatia took place in Senj on May 9, 1937.  Serb gendarmes acting on behalf of the Serb dictator king, killed and wounded several young people just for displaying the Croatian flag and singing folk songs. The killed were: Katica Tonkovic (girl), Marko Smolcic, Franjo Jelaca, Nikola Bevandic, Tomo Niksic, and Petar Frkovic, and the wounded: Jakov Milkovic, Ante Dosen, Branko Milinkovic, Zlatko Vlahinic, Vladimir Nizija, and Mile Biljan. The above picture was taken during the funeral mass of the killed at St. John’s Church in Gospic. More information HereAs was the Serbian custom through the centuries to proclaim as "Serb lands" wherever any Serbs migrated to in Europe, this tradition continued after 1919. Areas previously attempted at being "Serbianized" were in Montenegro, Macedonia, BIH and areas elsewhere which have never been Serbian, but even populated by Non-Slavic peoples. The Serbian Orthodox Church acted as a de facto national church of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia imposing it's policies in collusion through the dictator king. During this period as just one example, a Serbian Orthodox church was built on the almost entirely Catholic Croat populated island of Vis and a part of the local population was threatened and ethnically intimidated to convert . This was also to become the modus operandi of the the Royalist Serbian chetniks and armed nationalists in the first few months of WWII as well, when numerous large scale atrocities were committed against Croatian civilians, women, children and other Non-Serbs again.(video)

The flag of the Banovina of Croatia  (Banovina Hrvatska) from 1939. Throughout the 1920's and 1930's, Croatian discontent at the political discrimination, financial wrongdoings, numerous incidents of harassment (and shock and outrage at killings) by the Belgrade regime dictatorship led to changes. It culminated into a temporary solution, however did not include all the historic Croatian lands. Croatian politicians and people were again desiring self rule,  freedom in their lands and a continuation of the very early Croatian Kingdom of the middle ages. After 20 years of the Belgrade regime royal dictatorship, the political agreement of the Banovina of Croatia was an initial first step towards eventual full autonomy and independence again.  

 A Banovina of Croatia government issued document in the town of Slavonski Brod from 1940.

 In 1939, the Banovina of Croatia concluded a special agreement with the National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. This provided for the issue of an independent Croatian currency, which was to be named the kuna, and was to circulate alongside the Yugoslav dinar.  Ivo Kerdić (1881-1953), the renowned Croatian sculptor and medalist, had been commissioned to provide designs for the coins, and he got as far as creating plaster models of some of them. Two of these models survived and they are now kept at the Glyptotheque Museum in Zagreb.

Probably unbeknownst to many not familiar with this topic, the flag of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (During it's time as a unit of Communist Yugoslavia) contained only the red communist star in the middle of it's tricolour red, white and blue flag.  This was the case also with the flags of the other Republics that were included, and of course the official Yugoslav state flag itself.  This was done to signify communist rule and was a policy of Tito's ruled Yugoslavia to disregard each nations individual history and identity (in some cases their language and even existence) and transform them instead into just Jugo-slavs (South Slavs).  However, it's less well known (and important to know) that the official "Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia" from 1947 until independence in 1990 actually still continued to incorporate the centuries old and historic "Croatian coat of arms" as seen above. The above are just a few examples which show that the ultimate desire and aim was Croatian independence again, simply a continuation of Croatian statehood from the time before joining Hungary over 900 years previously.

I hope that I explained and proved again that "Greater Serbia/chetnik" propaganda over the years, emanating  from basements smelling of alcohol, potatoes and maybe dirty socks, is a bunch of self-deluded fantasy history and wishful thinking. Their delusions that Croatia has never, ever existed, that there was no Croatian Kingdom, no Croats, no Croatian history until just recently. Agendas based on made up ideologies, shitty made maps and squiggly lines and arrows.... in the end is just plain ol'  B.S.  As a last parting sidenote to this post, I came across something amusing.  As you may have noticed at the link to the above photo of Knin Fortress at the beginning of this addendeum section, Knin Fortress is very important in Croatian early and medieval history. It played a central part in numerous epic Croatian historical moments. Well, it seems your friendly neighbourhood kook Serb chetnik/ultranationalist types have uploaded another Serbo-funtime video to Youtube. Hooray! Using the backdrop of of Knin Fortress of all places, a Serb flag and the song they were singing while celebrating the events of 9-11...Yaaawn. I hope they remembered to send a copy to all their Serbian heroes at the Serbian wing at the Hague. (How very greater serbian or whatever)

Yep, a lot has happened since even just 879 people.  That's over 1134 years worth of people, places and events to have to sift through, so I barely touched upon it.  (Even overlooking the previously mentioned Beneficiary of Duke Trpmir or Cividale Gospel which extends back further and documents even to the 8th century)  After first arriving to the Adriatic and Dalmatia in the 5th-7th centuries, the official first international recognition of Croatia came in 879 from Pope John VIII, (Image of the letter below)  It was sent to Duke Branimir on May 21 in the year 879 with his blessing to "...the glorious Croatian Duke, the whole Croatian people and lands".  This was the first time that the Croatian nation and state was officially recognized as a political and national entity.  (at that time international legitimacy was given by the Pope) This actually then makes Croatia one of the oldest Nation States in all of Europe. The same people with the same ethnic name (which we brought with us) existing continually in the same lands which we then named after ourselves. More Here

The official Coat of Arms of the Republic of Croatia since 1990 to today, as seen on the official flag of the Republic of Croatia.