*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.........
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......
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.
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)
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 day) In 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)
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.
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
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)
".....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, Theudemir, Valamir, Videmir and Vithimir. Do these not even sound Slavic? (related to Muncimir? Branimir? Trpimir? Zvonimir? Krešimir? Selimir? 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?..to Clodomir and Marcomir? See croatiansurnames.blogspot.ca and merovichmerovingianscroatianhistory.blogspot.ca 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)
....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 this...it 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.
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.
.... 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 example...got 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/Hrvatska...it's all just Onymics
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.
Interestingly also, another point to be taken for consideration about the widespread population of Croatian inhabited areas is the writings of Cosmas of Prague:
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 Here, Here and Here)
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 Lendians. He 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)
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)...it 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"
.....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.....
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.
*(Note- The location of Illyricum, Dalmatia, and Pannonia)
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)
(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)
......."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)
(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 Here, Here 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)"....
.......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 time...at 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)
.....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)..in 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).....
".....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")...today'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 eth) 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.
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)
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)...as 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.
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 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)
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.....
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 Gaj. All 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 Slav...ie 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.
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.
*(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)
"....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 www.mhas-split.hr) 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)
- 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 croatiansurnames.blogspot.ca)
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:
- from Proto-Germanic, or Proto-East-Germanic;
- from Gothic, which have spread to all Slavic languages;
- from Southeast/Central Gothic, which were confined only to the Slavic South through the Croats.
- from Old High German.
...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 Chrout. During 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)
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.
More info: www.hercegbosna.org
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......
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.
...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 Here. Peter 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.....
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) www.perseus.tufts.edu
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?")..to 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 Dalmatia, Pannonia 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...
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 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.
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 Pannonia, Illyricum 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 endonymmap.com)
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,kievan.rus.primarychronicle.blogspot.ca (Pages 53, 56, 64, 72, 119)
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 Here, Here and Here)
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 Dalmatia, Pannonia 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 croatsrussianprimarychronicle.blogspot.ca and croatiansurnames.blogspot.ca)
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.
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 .wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch digraph)
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......
*( 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......
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: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Slavs
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 .wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch 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.
"......'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)
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: www.uncp.edu
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.........
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 www.montenegrina.net)
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)
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......"
"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.....
.....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 eth) 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.
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.
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..
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'.
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 ethnicon..it'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)...as 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 neuron.mefst.hr. (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......
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 Dalmatia, Pannonia 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: hrt.hr/uploads/media/Hrvatski_kraljevi.pdf 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.
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.
Map source: web.ku.edu/~eceurope/hist557/lect7.htm
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)
...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,...eg: 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 Wars, Hundred Years Croatian-Ottoman War, Ottoman-Habsburg wars, Croats and the Ottoman empire etc)
The flag of Ban/Prime Minister of Croatia Josip Jelačić from 1848.
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, (arhinet.arhiv.hr) 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....
- Croats would serve their military service within Croatia
- Military training would be conducted in Croatian
- Cadet and Domobran (Croatian Home Guard) academies would be formed
- Croatian military units could take on Croatian names
It is interesting that Dante Alghieri (13/14th centuries) mentions the Croatian pilgrims to Italy in his Divine Comedy (Paradiso XXXI, 103-108):
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.
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.