Early Slavs and Goths
Goths, or more precisely, the Gothic tribes, in the I – II century. n er went from the area of Scandza (Scandinavia) to Eastern Europe, according to Jordan, the only source on these events.
They arrived in Scythia, in the Oium region, the lands about which “they say that the terrain is closed, surrounded by swamps and deep waters”. The question arises, what is this Oyuma? Some researchers believe that if it is located in the "Scythia", it means that this is the steppes of the Black Sea. Others believe that “Scythia” is, roughly speaking, the whole of Eastern Europe, and its border river, according to the Jordan, which relied on the ancient tradition, is Vistula or Wisla. From where the campaign began and ready. The Goths enter the region on the Scythian border - on the Vistula or Vistula River. “Scythia” is not the steppes of the Black Sea region, but the designation of Eastern Europe. They fall into the territory bounded by the Vistula River and “swamps and whirlpools”, which corresponds to the Polish Pomerania region: Narevsky swamps are located in the north, Pinskie (Belarus) in the east, and Lyubelshchyna (Poland) in the west. Gothic Aujom (Oium) is a land surrounded by water, watery terrain.
Jordan writes that the Goths fought here and conquered some people slept [spali], but according to archeology, it was the early Slavs who lived in this territory. The word "slept" is steadily associated with the "giant." And Procopius of Caesarea wrote that initially the Slavs were called "disputes", explaining that they are strongly scattered on the ground. Researchers labor Jordan suggest that we are talking about the same people - the Slavs.
It is interesting that the Lithuanians called their southern neighbors (Belarusians) Guts (gudas) or ... Goths. It is possible to understand this name, given the fact that the ancestors historical Lithuania was the southern neighbors, under the rule of the Goths, who conquered the territory of Mazovia, Podlasia (the area of the modern city of Bialystok) and Volyn. This happened in the second half of the XNUMXnd century A.D. e.
The Goths seized land on the Vistula, which led to an outflow of part of the local population to the south. It should be noted that this territory (Przeworsk archeological culture) was inhabited by Slavs with the presence of the German element.
The Goths themselves did not linger here, but in small groups at first they also moved south, drawing into their movement other tribes that were on their way.
Przeworskaya culture and migration directions are ready for the Black Sea. Source: Sedov V. V. Slavyane. Old Russian people. M., 2005
According to archeology, this migration was as follows. The Visigoths were part of the first wave, they occupied the territory in the south along the right of the Dniester (Trul) - the lands of the Goths, the Dacians, at the end of the 2nd century, hence, perhaps, the history of Jordan was named the History of the Goths. Already at the beginning of the III century, the warlike Goths appear in the Lower Danube region, and in 242 they already howl on the side of the Romans against the Sassanian Iran.
Ostrogoths followed them. Part joined the Visigoths, while others settled on the route, large masses were on the lower reaches of the Dnieper, probably, up to the Sea of Azov.
Chernyakhovskaya archaeological culture
At this time, as indicated by archaeological sources, Chernyakhov archeological culture is formed in Eastern Europe (in the village of Chernyakhov in the Middle Dnieper region).
“Within the maximum limits, the culture covers a vast territory - from the Seversky Donets in the north-east to the Danube in the south-west from the headwaters of the Bug and the tributaries of the Pripyat in the north-west to the lower Dnieper in the south-east. The most saturated with monuments of the region are the Middle Dnieper, the upper and middle reaches of the Southern Bug, the Dniester and the Prut interfluve, the Northern Black Sea region, Nadporoje. Monuments on the left bank of the Dnieper, as well as in the steppe strip separating the Middle Dnieper and the Northern Black Sea region are relatively rare. ”
Who participated in the formation of this culture?
There are different, sometimes diametrically opposite opinions on this issue.
First, it is a theory suggesting that this culture belongs to the ancestors of the Slavs who lived here.
Second, a number of researchers point to the key role of the German element.
The first rests on the problem of the previous one, in the region of the Middle Dnieper, Seedset, Pripyat - Zarubinets culture. Again, some historians consider it early Slavic, close to Przeworsk culture, others associate it with the Balts. There is an opinion that the speakers of this culture in the language plan occupied an intermediate position between the Slavs and the Western Balts.
Spearheads Burial Chaplin. Zarubintsy archaeological culture. SHM. Moscow. Russia. Photo author
On the other hand, regardless of ethnicity, some believe that it has become an integral part of the emerging Chernyakhov culture, others point to a time lag of a hundred years between the disappearance of the first carriers and the appearance of the second culture carriers.
The southern range of steppes and forest-steppe was occupied by Sarmatian and late Scythian tribes.
Sarmat. II – III centuries. GE. St. Petersburg. Russia. Photo author
Other researchers believe that the Chernyakhov culture is formed on the basis of the Sarmatian substrate, through its assimilation by the Slavs, with the participation of the Balts and the Germans in the formation of this culture.
The advancement of the Slavs into the region (Przeworsk culture) together or simultaneously with the Germanic tribes (Velbar culture) created the prerequisites for its formation.
Many researchers do not see the genetic connection between the Chernyakhov culture and the genesis of the Eastern Slavs.
For those interested in the details of this problem, I recommend the literature cited at the end of the article.
The area of this culture is huge, different ethnic elements prevailed in various parts, but there is no need to talk about the complete predominance of the German element in this process throughout the territory. However, it should be noted that this issue is open because of the specifics of the sources (archeological data). If we believe the written sources that have come down to us, then the tribes of the Germans, Slavs and Sarmatians lived separately and compactly. What is below.
Thus, Sarmatians, Slavs, Germans, Balts and, on the periphery, even Thracians participated in the formation of the Chernyakhov culture.
The masses of the Germans and Slavs advancing here assimilate the autochthonous population. About the movement here is ready to write Jordan. This process is especially intensive in the middle and lower Dnieper region, where the once militant nomadic Sarmatian-Iranian groups are being absorbed by the newcomers.
At one time, the emergence of riders of Sarmatians in Eastern Europe and on the borders of Rome made significant changes in the military affairs of the empire. Divisions of riders of spearmen in scaled armor were created. Riders began to use two-handed spears (contas), swords with a ring, a loop for a sword belt with a sheath, a composite helmet appeared in the army that would become dominant in Europe for at least six centuries. From the Sarmatians, the Roman army received a dragon banner. Obviously, they had an impact on the military affairs of the sedentary forest population of the south-east of Eastern Europe.
Sarmatians lived on this territory in the forest-steppe part of Eastern Europe from the 1st – 2nd centuries. What are the causes of assimilation?
Sarmatians were in the process of settling to the ground, although the military nomadic skills persist; most likely, the Sarmatian and Late Scythian population was few in comparison with the Slavs, as Jordan wrote:
“... from the source of the Vistula River on the vast spaces inhabited by a large tribe of Veneti. Although now their names vary with different genera and habitats, they are mostly still called Slavs and Antes. ”
Archaeologists and philologists emphasize that the Slavs are absorbing the Iranian component only within the framework of the Chernyakhov archeological culture. Researchers note that it was during this period that intensive contacts of the Slavic population with the carriers of the Iranian component (Sarmatians and Alans) took place, but contacts with the Sarmatians whom Tacitus mentioned started earlier.
At the same time, the ethnonym Croat appeared, comparable to Sarmatian. This word is traditionally erected to the Iranian lexeme xryvat with the meaning “keep watch”, “guardian of cattle”. The word "Serb", "North", some researchers refer to Iranian borrowing, as well as the term "Rus", which refers to the concepts: light (Ossetian), radiance (Persian).
In this era, deities were borrowed from the pantheron of the Eastern Slavs, Horse and Simargl, as well as the Ukrainian Wii, which goes back to the Iranian god of war, wind, revenge and death.
Slavs recognize the words "power, tribute". They are introduced to the tactics and armament of the steppe warriors, the "control system" of nomadic tribes, which contributed to the accumulation of military skills by Slavic tribes and clans.
Parts of protective equipment of Sarmatians. II – III centuries. GE. St. Petersburg. Russia. Photo author
In parallel with the development of the Chernyakhov archeological culture, there is a separate process of the formation of the Slavic community on its southern border (from the middle reaches of the Dnieper, between the Dnieper and Dniester rivers).
So, Chernyakhov culture was one (conditionally one) in material terms, but it belonged to speakers of different language groups.
"State" of Germanarich
The Goths (Ostrogoths), who settled on the lands along the middle and lower reaches of the Dnieper, on its right bank, lived as separate tribes and did not attempt to unite. But at this time a new threat appeared in the east. Despite the fact that ancient historians tell of a sudden invasion of nomads into the territory of Eastern Europe, it is obvious that this attack was preceded by reports from Alans and other Iranian-speaking ethnic groups who fled from the Huns. It was under the influence of these external factors that the process of uniting the tribes of this region began with the Gothic king Germanariche or Ermanariche.
Jordan, the author of the 6th century, in order to praise the royal gothic family of Amals, to which Germanarich belonged, “expanded” the number of tribes he conquered, possibly on the basis of some Roman “Dorozhnik”. It is possible that the listed peoples and tribes entered the sphere of influence ready at different stages of their advancement from north to south, but to speak about the “state of Germanarich” from the Baltic to the Black Sea and from the Carpathians to the Sea of Azov is not at all necessary.
Germanarikh, having crushed the tribal alliance of his serious rivals, the Erules or Heruls, who, according to Jordan, lived near the Sea of Azov (Meotids), began a struggle with the Slavs. As our source writes:
"... although they were worthy of contempt because [of their weakness] weaponsThey were, however, powerful due to their multiplicity and tried to resist at first. ”
This struggle was connected with the formation of the first political union among the Slavs, which went down in history as the “Antov state”. Jordan writes that Germanarich began a war against the Wends. So, they were defeated and entered into the "union" of Germanarich. ["Getica" 119].
It is interesting that, on the one hand, we see a single archaeological Chernyakhov culture that unites all inhabitants of early public education, on the other hand, the presence of different ethnic components indicates its extreme instability militarily.
Combining this, as you can imagine, was quite tense. In the course of it, an episode occurred when Germanaric executed his wife, Sunilda. from the Rosomonov tribe, in retaliation, her brothers seriously wounded the king. ["Getica" 129]. Rosomony is a tribe about which one can speak only hypothetically, there is not any reliable news about him. Perhaps it was a direct member of the "state of Germanarich."
In such difficult conditions for the Gothic tribal union, the Huns launched an invasion of the territory of the “state of Germanaric”.
Huns in Europe. V century Fig. Angus McBride Ed. "Osprey"
Ostgoths, most likely not supported by other tribes and associations from the “Germanarich State,” were defeated. All tribes, including the Slavs who lived in this part of Eastern Europe, fell into submission to the Huns. The population of Chernyakhov culture was subjected to destruction. Here is what Ammianus Marcellinus writes:
“And now the Huns, having passed through the lands of the Alans, who border on the Grettuns and are usually called Tanaits, made a terrible extermination and devastation for them, and they made an alliance with the survivors and annexed them to themselves. With their assistance, they boldly broke through a sudden attack into the vast and fertile lands of Ermenrich, a very militant king, whom neighboring nations feared because of his many and varied military exploits. Struck by the force of this sudden storm, Ermenrich for a long time tried to give them a decisive rebuff and fight them off; but as the rumor increasingly intensified the horror of the advancing disasters, he put an end to the fear of the great dangers of voluntary death. "
Rider. V century Bryansk. SHM. Moscow. Russia. Photo author
Slavs: the first tribal alliance
When the bulk of the Huns moved to the territory of Central and Western Europe, drawing into this stream and the local population, probably their power in the forest-steppes of Eastern Europe somewhat weakened, they decided to use the Ostrogoths led by Vitimira (Ammian Marcellin) or Vinitaria (Jordan) from the genus Amal [Vinithario tamen Amalo]. These events occur at the end of IV. or the very beginning of V c.
Remaining under the Huns, he decided to restore power ready over the Slavs, called the Antes, and perhaps return the hegemony ready in the Black Sea region. But at the initial stage was defeated.
Thus, the Slavic tribes and groups begin to unite into a single tribal union. The territory inhabited by the Ants in the period under review is a forest-steppe territory from the Dniester to the Dnieper, and mass concentration was observed on the right bank of the Dnieper.
Anty [Greek Ἅνται-, Antae] - the etymology of the term is controversial, one of the variants from the other Indian anta- end, edge, by analogy with the “Ukraine” - margin, it is possible that the name arose during the period of contact with the Sarmatians. There is an opinion that this is the self-name of the Alanian or Sarmatian-Scythian tribes, hence, for example, the famous Roxallan tribe. Whether the Slavs of these regions called themselves by that name was a big question, the Germans continued to call them Venetians, as the name Vinitarii testifies to.
Having achieved victory, Vinitarius crucified the king of the ants of God, his sons and seventy elders, “in order to intimidate, so that the corpses of the crucified double the fear of the conquered” [“Getica“ 247].
Historians have different views on these events, described in the legend, which apparently reached the Jordan in the form of an oral tale. The author clearly indicated the war is ready with the Antes-Veneti (Slavs), therefore the hypothesis of collisions with the Antes-Alans is hardly appropriate.
Ants act here as a union of the tribes, which was under the supreme protection of the first ready, and then the Huns, gradually gaining strength. Moreover, the legend indicates the system of power of the Slavs, where there are elders and leader of the union, God of God.
His name originates in the Slavic language environment, and is associated with the term "leader" (vozh / god).
While the name of Vinitaria itself suggests that this is not a proper name, although it occurs later in the Early Middle Ages, but the name of the winner of the Slavs-Wends: Vinithariy - the Gothic language - Vinithaharjis - the winner of the Veneti, and his name Vitimir.
The attempt of Vitimir or Vinitar to shed the power of the Huns and reclaim the hegemony in Eastern Europe was not crowned with success. Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that he fought with the Alans, hiring some Hunnic tribe against them. But he was killed in a battle on the Arak River, presumably the Dnieper, the Huns regained power over all the Black Sea tribes, including the Ants.
There is a difficult struggle of various tribal unions for hegemony in the steppes and forest-steppes of Eastern Europe.
Archaeological sources show that the Dniester-Dnieper interfluve continues to be inhabited by Slavs-Antes, a new Penkovsky archaeological culture appears and begins to form, much inferior to Chernyakhovskaya.
Its carriers cover not only the above described territory, but expand their range to the east, up to the Volga region, and to the west - to the Danube. A distinctive feature of this culture was the wearing by women of one finger brooch, brooches, produced locally and created under the influence of the Germanic (Gothic) finger brooches, but with characteristic features. These fibulae were not characteristic of the whole Slavic world, but belonged only to the ants.
The period of great migration or movement to the south of the Slavs began.
To be continued ...
Sources and literature:
Ammianus Marcellinus Story. Per. Yu. V. Kulakovsky and A. I. Sonny. Intro. article L. Yu. Lukomsky. SPb., 2000.
Jordan. On the origin and act of the Geth. Translation E. Ch. Skrzhinskoy. SPb., 1997.
Niederle L. Slavic Antiquities, M., 2013.
Rybakov B. A. Paganism of ancient Russia. M., 1988.
Sedov V.V. Slavs. Old Russian people. Historical and archaeological research. M., 2005.
Slavs and their neighbors. At the end of I millennium BC. er - the first half of I millennium n. er Edited by B. A. Rybakov. M., 1993.
Sedov V.V. The Origin and Early History of the Slavs M., 1979.
Vernadsky G.V. Ancient Rus. Tver, Moscow, 1996.
Herwig Wolfram. Goths. From the beginnings to the middle of the VI century. Translated from German by B. Milovidov, M. Schukin. SPb., 2003.
Shmidt L. Geschichte der deutschen.Stämme bis zum Ausgang der Völkerwanderung. Die Ostegermanen. München. 1934.