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Slavs are an
ethno-linguistic group An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is a group that is unified by both a common ethnicity and language. Most ethnic groups share a first language. However, the term is often used to emphasise that language is a major basis for the e ...
of people who speak the various
Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavs, Slavic peoples or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic language, Proto- ...

Slavic languages
of the larger
Balto-Slavic The Balto-Slavic languages are a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It traditionally comprises the Baltic languages, Baltic and Slavic languages. Baltic and Slavic languages share several linguistic traits not found in any other ...
linguistic group of the
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or o ...
. They are native to
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
, stretching from
Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and generalised locations * Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa ...

Central
,
Southeastern The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...

Southeastern
and
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical reg ...

Eastern Europe
, all the way north and eastwards to Northeast Europe,
Northern Asia North Asia or Northern Asia, also referred to as Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the w ...
(
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
and the
Russian Far East The Russian Far East ( rus, Дальний Восток России, r=Dal'niy Vostok Rossii, p=ˈdalʲnʲɪj vɐˈstok rɐˈsʲiɪ) is a region in Northeast Asia Northeast Asia or Northeastern Asia is a geographical subregion of Asia ...

Russian Far East
), and
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
(especially
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan ( kk, Қазақстан, Qazaqstan; russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan,; russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no) is a country located mainly in ...
and
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan ( or ; tk, Türkmenistan, ), also known as Turkmenia, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basin, endorheic basins. There ar ...
), as well as historically in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
(particularly in Eastern Germany) and
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...
(including
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
). From the early 6th century they spread to inhabit most of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Today, there is a large Slavic diaspora throughout the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
, particularly in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
and
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
as a result of
immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective ident ...

immigration
. Slavs are the largest ethno-linguistic group in Europe. Present-day Slavic people are classified into
East Slavs The East Slavs are the most populous subgroup of the Slavs. They speak the East Slavic languages, and formed the majority of the population of the medieval state Kievan Rus', which all three independent East Slavic states (Belarus, Russia, and U ...
(chiefly
Belarusians Belarusians ( be, беларусы, biełarusy, russian: белорусы, byelorusy), also and Byelorussians (from the Byelorussian SSR The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR, or Byelorussian SSR; be, Беларуская Са ...
,
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = Wedding ceremony in the national Russian tradition. , population = 134 million , popplace = 117,319,000 , region1 = , pop1 = 7,170,00 ...

Russians
,
Rusyns Rusyns (), also known as Carpatho-Rusyns (), or Rusnaks (), are an East Slavic East Slavic may refer to: * East Slavic languages, one of three branches of the Slavic languages * East Slavs, a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the East Slav ...

Rusyns
, and
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
),
West Slavs The West Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the West Slavic languages. They separated from the early Slavs, common Slavic group around the 7th century, and established independent polities in Central Europe by the 8th to 9th centuri ...
(chiefly
Czechs The Czechs ( cs, Češi, ; singular masculine: ''Čech'' , singular feminine: ''Češka'' ), or the Czech people (), are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person ...
,
Kashubs The Kashubians ( csb, Kaszëbi; pl, Kaszubi; german: Kaschuben), also known as Cassubians or Kashubs, are a Lechitic ( West Slavic) ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person ...
,
Poles The Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the loc ...

Poles
,
Slovaks The Slovaks ( sk, Slováci, singular: ''Slovák'', feminine: ''Slovenka'', plural: ''Slovenky'') are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plura ...
, and
Sorbs Sorbs ( hsb, Serbja, dsb, Serby, german: Sorben, also known as Lusatians and Wends) are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that d ...
) and
South Slavs The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are n ...
(chiefly
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
,
Bulgarians Bulgarians ( bg, българи, Bǎlgari, ) are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Le ...
,
Croats Croats (; hr, Hrvati ), also known as Croatians, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. ...

Croats
,
Macedonians Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
,
Montenegrins Montenegrins (Montenegrin language, Montenegrin and Serbian language, Serbian: Crnogorci / Црногорци, or ; literal translation, lit. "Black Mountain People") are a South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to Montenegro. Genetic orig ...
,
Serbs Serbs ( sr-Cyr, Срби, Srbi, ) are a South Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from ...
and
Slovenes The Slovenes, also known as Slovenians ( sl, Slovenci ), are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), cust ...
). Most Slavs are traditionally
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...

Christians
.
Eastern Orthodox Christianity The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a Communion ( ...
, first introduced by missionaries from the Byzantine empire, is practiced by the majority of Slavs. The
Orthodox Slavs The Eastern Orthodox Slavs form a religious grouping of the Slavic peoples Slavs are a European ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the I ...

Orthodox Slavs
include the
Belarusians Belarusians ( be, беларусы, biełarusy, russian: белорусы, byelorusy), also and Byelorussians (from the Byelorussian SSR The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR, or Byelorussian SSR; be, Беларуская Са ...
,
Bulgarians Bulgarians ( bg, българи, Bǎlgari, ) are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Le ...
,
Macedonians Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
,
Montenegrins Montenegrins (Montenegrin language, Montenegrin and Serbian language, Serbian: Crnogorci / Црногорци, or ; literal translation, lit. "Black Mountain People") are a South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to Montenegro. Genetic orig ...
,
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = Wedding ceremony in the national Russian tradition. , population = 134 million , popplace = 117,319,000 , region1 = , pop1 = 7,170,00 ...

Russians
,
Serbs Serbs ( sr-Cyr, Срби, Srbi, ) are a South Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from ...
, and
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
and are defined by Orthodox customs and
Cyrillic script The Cyrillic script ( ) is a writing system used for various languages across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic languages, Slavic, Turkic languages, Turkic, Mongolic languages, Mongolic, Uralic languages, Uralic, Caucas ...
(
Montenegrins Montenegrins (Montenegrin language, Montenegrin and Serbian language, Serbian: Crnogorci / Црногорци, or ; literal translation, lit. "Black Mountain People") are a South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to Montenegro. Genetic orig ...
and
Serbians The term Serbians in English language is a polysemic word, with two distinctive meanings, derived from Morphology (linguistics), morphological differences: Morphology 1: Serbs, Serb-List of English suffixes, ian-English plurals, s, derived from ...
also use
Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is an alphabetic An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequ ...

Latin script
on equal terms). The second most common type of Christianity among the Slavs is
Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian r ...
, introduced by Latin-speaking missionaries from Western Europe. The Catholic Slavs include
Croats Croats (; hr, Hrvati ), also known as Croatians, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. ...

Croats
,
Czechs The Czechs ( cs, Češi, ; singular masculine: ''Čech'' , singular feminine: ''Češka'' ), or the Czech people (), are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person ...
,
Kashubs The Kashubians ( csb, Kaszëbi; pl, Kaszubi; german: Kaschuben), also known as Cassubians or Kashubs, are a Lechitic ( West Slavic) ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person ...
,
Poles The Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the loc ...

Poles
,
Silesians Silesians * pl, Ślązacy * cz, Slezané is a geographical term for the inhabitants of , a historical region in divided by the current national boundaries of , and the . According to M.E. Sharpe, Silesians inhabiting Poland are considered ...
,
Slovaks The Slovaks ( sk, Slováci, singular: ''Slovák'', feminine: ''Slovenka'', plural: ''Slovenky'') are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plura ...
,
Slovenes The Slovenes, also known as Slovenians ( sl, Slovenci ), are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), cust ...
and
Sorbs Sorbs ( hsb, Serbja, dsb, Serby, german: Sorben, also known as Lusatians and Wends) are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that d ...
and are defined by their
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
ate influence and heritage and connection to
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
. Millions of Slavs also belong to
Greek Catholic The term Greek Catholic Church can refer to a number of Eastern Catholic Churches following the Byzantine (Greek) liturgy, considered collectively or individually. The terms Greek Catholic, Greek Catholic church or Byzantine Catholic, Byzantine Ca ...
churches—that is, historically Orthodox communities that are now in visible unity with Rome and the Catholic Church, but which retain Byzantine practices, such as the
Rusyns Rusyns (), also known as Carpatho-Rusyns (), or Rusnaks (), are an East Slavic East Slavic may refer to: * East Slavic languages, one of three branches of the Slavic languages * East Slavs, a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the East Slav ...

Rusyns
, as well as significant minorities of
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
and
Belarusians Belarusians ( be, беларусы, biełarusy, russian: белорусы, byelorusy), also and Byelorussians (from the Byelorussian SSR The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR, or Byelorussian SSR; be, Беларуская Са ...
. There are also substantial
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
, in particular
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
, minorities, especially among the
West Slavs The West Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the West Slavic languages. They separated from the early Slavs, common Slavic group around the 7th century, and established independent polities in Central Europe by the 8th to 9th centuri ...
, such as the historical
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...

Bohemia
n (Czech)
Hussites The Hussites ( cs, Husité or ''Kališníci''; "Chalice People") were a Czech Proto-Protestant Proto-Protestantism, also called pre-Protestantism or pre-Reformation movements, refers to individuals and movements that propagated ideas similar ...

Hussites
. Some Slavic ethnic groups traditionally adhere to
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
. Muslim-majority Slavic ethnic groups include the
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
, Gorani, and
ethnic Muslims Muslims (in all South Slavic languages: ''Muslimani'', Муслимани) as a designation for a particular ethnic group, refers to one of six officially recognized constituent peoples of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The term was ado ...
. Significant Slavic Muslim communities inlclude ethnic Bulgarians (
Pomaks Pomaks ( bg, Помаци, Pomatsi; el, Πομάκοι, Pomákoi; tr, Pomaklar) are Bulgarian-speaking Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, diff ...

Pomaks
) and Macedonians (
Torbeši The Macedonian Muslims ( mk, Македонци-муслимани, Makedonci-muslimani), also known as Muslim Macedonians or ''Torbeši'' ( mk, Торбеши), and in some sources grouped together with Pomaks, are a minority religious group wit ...
). Modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are considerably diverse both genetically and culturally, and relations between them – even within the individual groups – range from "ethnic solidarity to mutual feelings of hostility".


Ethnonym

The oldest mention of the Slavic ethnonym is the 6th century AD
Procopius Procopius of Caesarea ( grc-gre, Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς ''Prokópios ho Kaisareús''; la, Procopius Caesariensis; – after 565) was a prominent late antique Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, fr ...
, writing in
Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...
, using various forms such as ''Sklaboi'' (), ''Sklabēnoi'' (), ''Sklauenoi'' (), ''Sthlabenoi'' (), or ''Sklabinoi'' (), while his contemporary
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
refers to the in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
. The oldest documents written in
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
, dating from the 9th century, attest the autonym as ''Slověne'' (). These forms point back to a Slavic
autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used ...
which can be reconstructed in
Proto-Slavic Proto-Slavic is the unattested, reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for ...
as , plural ''Slověne''. The reconstructed autonym is usually considered a derivation from ''slovo'' ("word"), originally denoting "people who speak (the same language)", i. e. people who understand each other, in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people, namely , meaning "silent, mute people" (from Slavic "
mute Muteness is a speech disorder in which a person lacks the ability to speak. Mute may also refer to: Technology * Mute (music), a device used to alter the sound of a musical instrument ** The mute switch or button on an electronic audio mixer, whic ...
, mumbling"). The word ''slovo'' ("word") and the related ''slava'' ("glory, fame") and ' ("hearing") originate from the
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
root ("be spoken of, glory"), cognate with Ancient Greek ( "fame"), as in the name
Pericles Pericles (; grc-x-attic, Περικλῆς, in Classical Attic; c. 495 – 429 BC) was a Greek statesman and general of Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Click ...

Pericles
, Latin ("be called"), and English . In Medieval and Early Modern sources written in Latin, Slavs are most commonly referred to as ''Sclaveni'', or in shortened version ''Sclavi''.


History


Origins


First mentions

Ancient Roman sources refer to the
Early Slavic The early Slavs were a diverse group of Tribe, tribal societies who lived during the Migration Period and the Early Middle Ages (approximately the 5th to the 10th centuries) in Central and Eastern Europe and established the foundations for the Sla ...
peoples as Veneti, who dwelt in a region of central Europe east of the
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
tribe of
Suebi The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally been d ...
, and west of the Iranian
Sarmatians The Sarmatians (; Ancient Greek, Greek: ; la, Sarmatae , ) were a large Iranian peoples, Iranian confederation that existed in classical antiquity, flourishing from about the fifth century BC to the fourth century AD. Originating in the centr ...
in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, between the upper
Vistula The Vistula (; pl, Wisła, , german: Weichsel) is the longest river in Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinc ...

Vistula
and
Dnieper } The Dnieper or Dnipro () is one of the major list of rivers of Europe, rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea. It is the longest river of Ukraine and ...

Dnieper
rivers. The Slavs under name of the '' Antes'' and the ''
Sclaveni The ' (in Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repub ...
'' first appear in
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
records in the early 6th century. Byzantine historiographers under emperor
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
(527–565), such as
Procopius of Caesarea Procopius of Caesarea ( grc-gre, Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς ''Prokópios ho Kaisareús''; la, Procopius Caesariensis; –after 565) was a prominent Late antiquity, late antique Byzantine Greeks, Byzantine scholar from Palaestin ...
,
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
and
Theophylact Simocatta Theophylact Simocatta ( Byzantine Greek: Θεοφύλακτος Σιμοκάτ(τ)ης ''Theophylaktos Simokat(t)es''; la, Theophylactus Simocattus) was an early seventh-century Byzantine historiographer, arguably ranking as the last historian of ...
describe tribes of these names emerging from the area of the
Carpathian Mountains The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians () are a range of mountains forming an arc throughout Central and Eastern Europe Central and Eastern Europe is a term encompassing the countries in Central Europe Central Europe is the central region ...

Carpathian Mountains
, the lower
Danube The Danube ( ; ) is the List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Russia. It flows through much of Central Europe, Central and Southeastern Europe, from the Black Forest into the Black Sea. It ...

Danube
and the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
, invading the Danubian provinces of the
Eastern Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...
.
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
, in his work ''
Getica ''De origine actibusque Getarum'' (''The Origin and Deeds of the Getae oths'), commonly abbreviated ''Getica'', written in Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
'' (written in 551 AD), describes the Veneti as a "populous nation" whose dwellings begin at the sources of the
Vistula The Vistula (; pl, Wisła, , german: Weichsel) is the longest river in Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinc ...

Vistula
and occupy "a great expanse of land". He also describes the Veneti as the ancestors of Antes and Slaveni, two early Slavic tribes, who appeared on the Byzantine frontier in the early 6th century. Procopius wrote in 545 that "the Sclaveni and the Antae actually had a single name in the remote past; for they were both called ''
Sporoi Sporoi ( el, Σπόροι) or Spori was according to Eastern Roman scholar Procopius Procopius of Caesarea ( grc-gre, Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς ''Prokópios ho Kaisareús''; la, Procopius Caesariensis; – after 565) was a promi ...
'' in olden times". The name ''Sporoi'' derives from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
σπείρω ("I scatter grain"). He described them as barbarians, who lived under democracy, believed in one god, "the maker of lightning" (
Perun In Slavic paganism, Slavic mythology, Perun (Cyrillic script, Cyrillic: Перýн) is the highest god of the Pantheon (religion), pantheon and the god of sky, thunder, lightning, storms, rain, law, war, fertility and oak trees. His other attri ...
), to whom they made a sacrifice. They lived in scattered housing and constantly changed settlement. In war, they were mainly
foot soldier Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantrymen or infanteer, i ...
s with small shields and spears, lightly clothed, some entering battle naked with only genitals covered. Their language is "barbarous" (that is, not Greek), and the two tribes are alike in appearance, being tall and robust, "while their bodies and hair are neither very fair or blond, nor indeed do they incline entirely to the dark type, but they are all slightly ruddy in color. And they live a hard life, giving no heed to bodily comforts..." Jordanes described the Sclaveni having swamps and forests for their cities. Another 6th-century source refers to them living among nearly impenetrable forests, rivers, lakes, and marshes.
Menander ProtectorMenander Protector (Menander the Guardsman, Menander the Byzantian; el, Μένανδρος Προτήκτωρ or Προτέκτωρ), Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continua ...
mentions a Daurentius (circa 577–579) who slew an Avar envoy of Khagan
Bayan I Bayan I reigned as the first khagan of the Avar Khaganate between 562 and 602. As the Göktürk Empire expanded westwards on the Eurasian Steppe during the 6th century, peoples such as the Pannonian Avars, Avars (also known as the ''Pseudo-Avars' ...
for asking the Slavs to accept the suzerainty of the Avars; Daurentius declined and is reported as saying: "Others do not conquer our land, we conquer theirs – so it shall always be for us".


Migrations

According to eastern homeland theory, prior to becoming known to the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...
world, Slavic-speaking tribes were part of the many multi-ethnic confederacies of
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
– such as the Sarmatian, Hun and Gothic empires. The Slavs emerged from obscurity when the westward movement of Germanic tribes in the 5th and 6th centuries CE (thought to be in conjunction with the movement of peoples from Siberia and Eastern Europe:
Huns The Huns were a nomadic people A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation which regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, pastoral ...

Huns
, and later
Avars Avar(s) or AVAR may refer to: Peoples and states * Avars (Caucasus), a modern Northeast Caucasian-speaking people in the North Caucasus, Dagestan, Russia **Avar language, the modern Northeast Caucasian language spoken by the Avars of the North Ca ...
and
Bulgars The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. They became known as nomadi ...

Bulgars
) started the great migration of the Slavs, who settled the lands abandoned by Germanic tribes fleeing the Huns and their allies: westward into the country between the Oder and the
Elbe The Elbe (, ; cs, Labe ; nds, Ilv or ''Elv''; Upper and dsb, Łobjo), historically in English also Elve, is one of the major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake o ...

Elbe
-
Saale The Saale (), also known as the Saxon Saale (german: Sächsische Saale) and Thuringian Saale (german: Thüringische Saale), is a river in Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It ...

Saale
line; southward into
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...

Bohemia
,
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a cult ...

Moravia
, much of present-day
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
, the
Pannonian plain alt=The Roman empire in red with a land in darker red; water is in pale blue, and non-Roman land in grey, The highlighted borders of the province of Pannonia within the Roman Empire The Pannonian Basin, or Carpathian Basin, is a large basin s ...
and the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
; and northward along the upper
Dnieper } The Dnieper or Dnipro () is one of the major list of rivers of Europe, rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea. It is the longest river of Ukraine and ...

Dnieper
river. It has also been suggested that some Slavs migrated with the
Vandals The Vandals were a Germanic peoples, Germanic people who first inhabited what is now southern Poland. They established Vandal Kingdom, Vandal kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean islands, and North Africa in the fifth century. The ...
to the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region ...

Iberian Peninsula
and even
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
. Around the 6th century, Slavs appeared on
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
borders in great numbers. Byzantine records note that Slav numbers were so great, that grass would not regrow where the Slavs had marched through. After a military movement even the
Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula and geographic regions of Greece, geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the ...
and
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
were reported to have Slavic settlements. This southern movement has traditionally been seen as an invasive expansion. By the end of the 6th century, Slavs had settled the Eastern Alps regions.
Pope Gregory I Pope Gregory I ( la, Gregorius I; – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was the from 3 September 590 to his death. He is known for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the , to convert the then- ...

Pope Gregory I
in 600 CE wrote to Maximus, the bishop of
Salona Salona ( grc, Σάλωνα) was an ancient city and the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia Dalmatia (; hr, Dalmacija ; it, Dalmazia; see names in other languages) is one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croati ...
(in
Dalmatia Dalmatia (; hr, Dalmacija ; it, Dalmazia; see #Name, names in other languages) is a region on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, a narrow belt stretching from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The Dalmatian Hin ...

Dalmatia
), in which he expresses concern about the arrival of the Slavs: ''"Et quidem de Sclavorum gente, quae vobis valde imminet, et affligor vehementer et conturbor. Affligor in his quae jam in vobis patior; conturbor, quia per Istriae aditum jam ad Italiam intrare coeperunt."'' ("I am both distressed and disturbed about the Slavs, who are pressing hard on you. I am distressed because I sympathize with you; I am disturbed because they have already begun to arrive in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
through the entry-point of
Istria Istria ( ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croatia (disambiguation) ...

Istria
.")


Middle Ages

When Slav migrations ended, their first
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
organizations appeared, each headed by a prince with a treasury and a defense force. In the 7th century, the Frankish merchant
Samo Samo founded the first recorded political union of Slavs, Slavic tribes, known as Samo's Empire (''realm'', ''kingdom'', or ''tribal union''), stretching from Silesia to present-day Slovenia, ruling from 623 until his death in 658. According to ...

Samo
supported the Slavs against their Avar rulers and became the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe,
Samo's Empire Samo's Empire (Also known as Samo's Kingdom or Samo's State) is the historiographical name for the West Slavs, West Slavic tribal union established by King ("Rex Sclavorum, Rex") Samo, which existed between 631 and 658 in Central Europe. The centr ...
. This early Slavic polity probably did not outlive its founder and ruler, but it was the foundation for later West Slavic states on its territory. The oldest of them was
Carantania Carantania, also known as Carentania ( sl, Karantanija, german: Karantanien, in Old Slavic ), was a early Slavs, Slavic principality that emerged in the second half of the 7th century, in the territory of present-day southern Austria and nort ...
; others are the
Principality of Nitra The Principality of Nitra ( sk, Nitrianske kniežatstvo, Nitriansko, Nitrava, lit=Duchy of Nitra, Nitravia, Nitrava; hu, Nyitrai Fejedelemség), also known as the Duchy of Nitra, was a West Slavic polity encompassing a group of settlements th ...
, the
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a cult ...

Moravia
n principality (see under
Great Moravia Great Moravia ( la, Regnum Marahensium; el, Μεγάλη Μοραβία, ''Meghálī Moravía''; cz, Velká Morava ; sk, Veľká Morava ; pl, Wielkie Morawy), or simply Moravia, was the first major state that was predominantly West Slavic to ...

Great Moravia
) and the
Balaton Principality The Slavs in Lower Pannonia were an early medieval The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century A century is a p ...

Balaton Principality
. The
First Bulgarian Empire The First Bulgarian Empire ( cu, блъгарьско цѣсарьствиѥ, blagarysko tsesarystviye) was a medieval Bulgar- Slavic and later Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

First Bulgarian Empire
was founded in 681 as an alliance between the ruling
Bulgars The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. They became known as nomadi ...

Bulgars
and the numerous
slavs Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are native to Eurasia, stretching from Central Europe, ...
in the area, and their language, the
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
, became the main and official language of the empire in 864. Bulgaria was instrumental in the spread of Slavic literacy and Christianity to the rest of the Slavic world. The expansion of the
Magyars Hungarians, also known as Magyars ( ; hu, magyarok ), are a nation and ethnic group native to Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország) and Kingdom of Hungary, historical Hungarian lands who share a common Hungarian culture, culture, Hungarian histor ...
into the
Carpathian Basin alt=The Roman empire in red with a land in darker red; water is in pale blue, and non-Roman land in grey, The highlighted borders of the province of Pannonia within the Roman Empire The Pannonian Basin, or Carpathian Basin, is a large basin ...

Carpathian Basin
and the
Germanization Germanisation, or Germanization, is the spread of the German language German ( Standard High German: , ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern ...
of
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...
gradually separated the
South Slavs The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are n ...
from the
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...
and
East Slavs The East Slavs are the most populous subgroup of the Slavs. They speak the East Slavic languages, and formed the majority of the population of the medieval state Kievan Rus', which all three independent East Slavic states (Belarus, Russia, and U ...
. Later Slavic states, which formed in the following centuries, included the
Kievan Rus' Kievan Rus' ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") or Kyivan Rus', was a loose federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a ...
, the
Second Bulgarian Empire The Second Bulgarian Empire (: Ц(а)рьство бл(ъ)гарское; bg, Второ българско царство, ''Vtorо Balgarskо Tsarstvo'') was a n state that existed between 1185 and 1396. A successor to the , it reached the p ...

Second Bulgarian Empire
, the
Kingdom of Poland Historical political entities *Kingdom of Poland "Kingdom of Poland" ( Polish: ''Królestwo Polskie'', Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was orig ...
,
Duchy of Bohemia The Duchy of Bohemia, also later referred to in English as the Czech Duchy, ( cs, České knížectví) was a monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New Coll ...
, the Kingdom of Croatia,
Banate of Bosnia The Banate of Bosnia ( sh, Banovina Bosna / Бановина Босна), or Bosnian Banate (''Bosanska banovina'' / Босанска бановина), was a medieval state based in what is today Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although Hungarian kings vie ...
and the
Serbian Empire The Serbian Empire ( sr, / , ) was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affa ...

Serbian Empire
.


Modern era

In the late 19th century, there were only four Slavic states in the world: the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. ...
, the
Principality of Serbia The Principality of Serbia ( sr, Кнежевина Србија, Kneževina Srbija) was a semi-independent state in the Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe i ...
, the
Principality of Montenegro The Principality of Montenegro ( sr, Књажевина Црна Горa, Knjaževina Crna Gora) was a former realm in Southeastern Europe that existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Nikola I, who then ...
and the
Principality of Bulgaria The Principality of Bulgaria ( bg, Княжество България, Knyazhestvo Balgariya) was a ''de facto'' independent, and ''de jure'' vassal state under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. It was established by the Treaty of Berlin, 1 ...
. In the
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exer ...
, out of approximately 50 million people, about 23 million were Slavs. The Slavic peoples who were, for the most part, denied a voice in the affairs of Austria-Hungary, called for national self-determination. Because of the vastness and diversity of the territory occupied by Slavic people, there were several centers of Slavic consolidation. At the beginning of the 20th century, following the end of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and the collapse of the
Central Powers The Central Powers, also known as the Central Empires,german: Mittelmächte; hu, Központi hatalmak; tr, İttifak Devletleri / ; bg, Централни сили, translit=Tsentralni sili was one of the two main coalitions that fought World W ...
, several Slavic nations re-emerged and became independent, such as the
Second Polish Republic The Second Polish Republic, at the time officially known as the Republic of Poland, was a country in Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Centr ...
,
First Czechoslovak Republic The First Czechoslovak Republic ( cs, První československá republika, sk, Prvá česko-slovenská republika), often colloquially referred to as the First Republic ( cs, První republika), was the first state that existed from 1918 to 1938, d ...
, and the
Kingdom of Yugoslavia The Kingdom of Yugoslavia ( sh, Kraljevina Jugoslavija / Краљевина Југославија; sl, Kraljevina Jugoslavija) was a state in Southeast Europe, Southeast and Central Europe that existed from 1918 until 1941. From 1918 to 1929 ...
(officially named Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes until 1929). After the end of the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
and subsequent collapse of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
,
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...

Czechoslovakia
, and
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...
, additional new Slavic states re-emerged, such as the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to ...
,
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...

Slovakia
,
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, l ...

Slovenia
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
,
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (fro ...

Montenegro
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A sub ...
,
Belarus , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Minsk Minsk ( be, Мінск , russian: link=no, Минск) is the capital and the largest city of Belarus, located on the Svislach (Berezina), Svislach and the now subterranean Nyamiha, Niam ...

Belarus
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
and
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
.


Pan-Slavism

Pan-Slavism #REDIRECT Pan-Slavism Pan-Slavism, a movement which crystallized in the mid-19th century, is the political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some pro ...

Pan-Slavism
, a movement which came into prominence in the mid-19th century, emphasized the common heritage and unity of all the Slavic peoples. The main focus was in the Balkans where the South Slavs had been ruled for centuries by other empires: the Byzantine Empire,
Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exe ...

Austria-Hungary
, the Ottoman Empire, and
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...
.


Languages

Proto-Slavic Proto-Slavic is the unattested, reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for ...
, the supposed ancestor language of all Slavic languages, is a descendant of common
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
, via a Balto-Slavic stage in which it developed numerous lexical and morphophonological isoglosses with the
Baltic language The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic languages, Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. Baltic languages are spoken by the Balts, mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Se ...
s. In the framework of the
Kurgan hypothesis The Kurgan hypothesis (also known as the Kurgan theory or Kurgan model) or Steppe theory is the most widely accepted proposal to identify the Proto-Indo-European homeland The Proto-Indo-European homeland (or Indo-European homeland) was the p ...
, "the Indo-Europeans who remained after the migrations rom the steppebecame speakers of Balto-Slavic". Proto-Slavic is defined as the last stage of the language preceding the geographical split of the historical
Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavs, Slavic peoples or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic language, Proto- ...

Slavic languages
. That language was uniform, and on the basis of borrowings from foreign languages and Slavic borrowings into other languages, cannot be said to have any recognizable dialects – this suggests that there was, at one time, a relatively small Proto-Slavic homeland. Slavic linguistic unity was to some extent visible as late as
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
(or
Old Bulgarian Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Si ...
) manuscripts which, though based on local Slavic speech of
Thessaloniki Thessaloniki (; el, Θεσσαλονίκη, ), also known as Thessalonica (), Saloniki or Salonica () is the second-largest city in Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in So ...

Thessaloniki
, could still serve the purpose of the first common Slavic literary language.
Slavic studies Slavic studies (North America), Slavonic studies (Britain and Ireland) or Slavistics (borrowed from Russian ''славистика'' or Polish ''slawistyka'') is the academic field of area studies concerned with Slavic peoples, Slavic areas, Slavic ...
began as an almost exclusively linguistic and philological enterprise. As early as 1833, Slavic languages were recognized as Indo-European. Standardised Slavic languages that have official status in at least one country are:
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
,
Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bosnia (region) or its inhabitants * Bosniaks, an ethnic group mainly inhabiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of three Ethnic gr ...
,
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
,
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
,
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
,
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
, Montenegrin,
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
,
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
,
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
,
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...
,
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
, and
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
. Russian is the most spoken among Slavic languages, and it is also the most spoken native language in Europe. The alphabets used for Slavic languages are frequently connected to the dominant religion among the respective ethnic groups. Orthodox Christians use the Cyrillic script, Cyrillic alphabet while Catholics use the Latin alphabet; the Bosniaks, who are Muslim, also use the Latin alphabet. Additionally, some Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Catholics and Latin Church, Western Catholics use the Cyrillic alphabet.
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
and Montenegrin use both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. There are also a Latin script to write in
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
, called Belarusian Latin alphabet, Łacinka and in
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
, called Ukrainian Latin alphabet, Latynka.


Ethno-cultural subdivisions

Slavs are customarily divided along geographical lines into three major subgroups:
West Slavs The West Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the West Slavic languages. They separated from the early Slavs, common Slavic group around the 7th century, and established independent polities in Central Europe by the 8th to 9th centuri ...
,
East Slavs The East Slavs are the most populous subgroup of the Slavs. They speak the East Slavic languages, and formed the majority of the population of the medieval state Kievan Rus', which all three independent East Slavic states (Belarus, Russia, and U ...
, and
South Slavs The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are n ...
, each with a different and a diverse background based on the unique history, religion and culture of particular Slavic groups within them. Apart from prehistorical archaeological cultures, the subgroups have had notable cultural contact with non-Slavic Bronze Age, Bronze- and Iron Age civilisations. Modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are considerably diverse both genetically and culturally, and relations between them – even within the individual ethnic groups themselves – are varied, ranging from a sense of connection to mutual feelings of hostility.
West Slavs The West Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the West Slavic languages. They separated from the early Slavs, common Slavic group around the 7th century, and established independent polities in Central Europe by the 8th to 9th centuri ...
originate from early Slavic tribes which settled in Central Europe after the East Germanic tribes had left this area during the migration period. They are noted as having mixed with Germans, Germanics, Hungarians, Celts (particularly the Boii), Old Prussians, and the Pannonian Avars. The West Slavs came under the influence of the Western Roman Empire (Latin) and of the Catholic Church.
East Slavs The East Slavs are the most populous subgroup of the Slavs. They speak the East Slavic languages, and formed the majority of the population of the medieval state Kievan Rus', which all three independent East Slavic states (Belarus, Russia, and U ...
have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed and contacted with Finnic peoples, Finns and Balts. Their early Slavic component, Antes people, Antes, mixed or absorbed Iranian peoples, Iranians, and later received influence from the Khazars and Vikings. The East Slavs trace their national origins to the tribal unions of
Kievan Rus' Kievan Rus' ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") or Kyivan Rus', was a loose federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a ...
and Rus' Khaganate, beginning in the 10th century. They came particularly under the influence of the Byzantine Empire and of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
South Slavs The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are n ...
from most of the region have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed with the local Proto-Balkanic tribes (Illyrian tribes, Illyrian, Dacian tribes, Dacian, Thracian tribes, Thracian, Paeonian tribes, Paeonian, Hellenic tribes), and Celtic tribes (particularly the Scordisci), as well as with Romans (and the Romanized remnants of the former groups), and also with remnants of temporarily settled invading East Germanic, Asiatic or Caucasian tribes such as Gepids,
Huns The Huns were a nomadic people A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation which regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, pastoral ...

Huns
,
Avars Avar(s) or AVAR may refer to: Peoples and states * Avars (Caucasus), a modern Northeast Caucasian-speaking people in the North Caucasus, Dagestan, Russia **Avar language, the modern Northeast Caucasian language spoken by the Avars of the North Ca ...
, Goths and
Bulgars The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. They became known as nomadi ...

Bulgars
. The original inhabitants of present-day Slovenia and continental Croatia have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed with Romans and romanized Celtic and Illyrian people as well as with Avars and Germanic peoples (Lombards and East Goths). The South Slavs (except the Slovenes and Croats) came under the cultural sphere of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire), of the Ottoman Empire and of the Eastern Orthodox Church and
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, while the Slovenes and the Croats were influenced by the Western Roman Empire (Latin) and thus by the Catholic Church in a similar fashion to that of the West Slavs.


Genetics

According to Y chromosome, Mitochondrial DNA, mDNA, and autosome, autosomal marker CCR5de132, the gene pool of East Slavs, Eastern(Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians) and West Slavs, Western Slavs (Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks) is identical, which is consistent with the proximity of their languages, demonstrating significant differences from neighboring Finno-Ugric, Turkic peoples, Turkic, and North Caucasian peoples. Such genetic homogeneity is somewhat unusual, given such a wide dispersal of Slavic populations, especially Russians. Together they form the basis of the "''East European''" gene cluster, which also includes non-Slavic Hungarians and Aromanians. Only
Poles The Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the loc ...

Poles
and Northern Russian dialects, Northern Russians among East and West Slavs belong to a different, “''Northern European''” genetic cluster, along with Balts, Germanic-speaking Europe, Germanic and Baltic Finnic peoples (Northern Russian populations are very similar to Balts). The 2006 Y-DNA study results "suggest that the Slavic expansion started from the territory of present-day Ukraine, thus supporting the hypothesis that places the earliest known homeland of Slavs in the basin of the middle
Dnieper } The Dnieper or Dnipro () is one of the major list of rivers of Europe, rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea. It is the longest river of Ukraine and ...

Dnieper
". According to genetic studies until 2020, the distribution, variance and frequency of the Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup, Y-DNA haplogroups Haplogroup R1a, R1a and Haplogroup I-M438#I2a-L621, I2 and their subclades R-M558, R-M458 and I-CTS10228 among
South Slavs The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are n ...
are in correlation with the spreading of Slavic languages during the medieval Slavic expansion from Eastern Europe, most probably from the territory of present day
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
and Lesser Poland, Southeastern Poland. Other studies conclude that the ancient Slavic homeland was in Pomerania, Germany. According to a 1919 Shakhmatov study, Slavic tribes from the Elbe and Vistula moved from west to east in two groups. The western group, gradually moving to the north, northeast and east. They would occupy the territories of present-day Belarus and the Pskov, Novgorod, and Smolensk areas of modern Russia. The second, moving south and southeast, gradually settled in the territories of modern Volhynia, Ukraine and the Carpathian Mountains. The Slavs would gradually occupy the territories that would make up the Kievan Rus Empire. Those territories being modern day Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.


Religion

The Slavic mythology, pagan Slavic populations Christianization of the Slavs, were Christianized between the 7th and 12th centuries. Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox Christianity is predominant among East and South Slavs, while Catholic Church, Catholicism is predominant among West Slavs and some western
South Slavs The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples Slavs are an ethno-linguistic group of people who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic language, Balto-Slavic linguistic group of the Indo-European languages. They are n ...
. The religious borders are largely comparable to the East–West Schism which began in the 11th century. Islam first arrived in the 7th century during the early Muslim conquests, and was gradually adopted by a number of Slavic ethnic groups through the centuries in the Balkans. Among Slavic populations who profess a religion, the majority of contemporary Christian Slavs are Orthodox, followed by Catholic, while a small minority are Protestant such as
Sorbs Sorbs ( hsb, Serbja, dsb, Serby, german: Sorben, also known as Lusatians and Wends) are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that d ...
and
Czechs The Czechs ( cs, Češi, ; singular masculine: ''Čech'' , singular feminine: ''Češka'' ), or the Czech people (), are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person ...
. The majority of Muslim Slavs follow the Hanafi school of the Sunni branch of Islam. Religious delineations by nationality can be very sharp; usually in the Slavic ethnic groups, the vast majority of religious people share the same religion. In the Czech Republic, Religion in the Czech Republic, 75% had no stated religion, according to the 2011 census. The 20th and 21st Centuries have seen a resurgence of interest in the Slavic paganism, pre-Christian beliefs of the Slavs, sparking the popularity of Slavic Native Faith. Mainly Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodoxy: *
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = Wedding ceremony in the national Russian tradition. , population = 134 million , popplace = 117,319,000 , region1 = , pop1 = 7,170,00 ...

Russians
*
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
*
Rusyns Rusyns (), also known as Carpatho-Rusyns (), or Rusnaks (), are an East Slavic East Slavic may refer to: * East Slavic languages, one of three branches of the Slavic languages * East Slavs, a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the East Slav ...

Rusyns
*
Serbians The term Serbians in English language is a polysemic word, with two distinctive meanings, derived from Morphology (linguistics), morphological differences: Morphology 1: Serbs, Serb-List of English suffixes, ian-English plurals, s, derived from ...
*
Bulgarians Bulgarians ( bg, българи, Bǎlgari, ) are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Le ...
*
Belarusians Belarusians ( be, беларусы, biełarusy, russian: белорусы, byelorusy), also and Byelorussians (from the Byelorussian SSR The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR, or Byelorussian SSR; be, Беларуская Са ...
*
Macedonians Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
* Montenegrins (ethnic group), Montenegrins Mainly
Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian r ...
: *
Poles The Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the loc ...

Poles
GUS,
Narodowy Spis Powszechny Ludnosci 2011: 4.4. Przynależność wyznaniowa (National Survey 2011: 4.4 Membership in faith communities)
' p. 99/337 (PDF file, direct download 3.3 MB).
(incl.
Silesians Silesians * pl, Ślązacy * cz, Slezané is a geographical term for the inhabitants of , a historical region in divided by the current national boundaries of , and the . According to M.E. Sharpe, Silesians inhabiting Poland are considered ...
, Kashubians, Gorals) *
Czechs The Czechs ( cs, Češi, ; singular masculine: ''Čech'' , singular feminine: ''Češka'' ), or the Czech people (), are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person ...
*
Croats Croats (; hr, Hrvati ), also known as Croatians, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. ...

Croats
(incl. Šokci) *
Slovaks The Slovaks ( sk, Slováci, singular: ''Slovák'', feminine: ''Slovenka'', plural: ''Slovenky'') are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plura ...
*
Slovenes The Slovenes, also known as Slovenians ( sl, Slovenci ), are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), cust ...
*
Sorbs Sorbs ( hsb, Serbja, dsb, Serby, german: Sorben, also known as Lusatians and Wends) are a West Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that d ...
* Bunjevci * Krashovani * Banat Bulgarians Mainly Islam in Europe, Islam: *
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
*
Pomaks Pomaks ( bg, Помаци, Pomatsi; el, Πομάκοι, Pomákoi; tr, Pomaklar) are Bulgarian-speaking Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, diff ...

Pomaks
* Gorani *
Torbeši The Macedonian Muslims ( mk, Македонци-муслимани, Makedonci-muslimani), also known as Muslim Macedonians or ''Torbeši'' ( mk, Торбеши), and in some sources grouped together with Pomaks, are a minority religious group wit ...
* Muslims (ethnic group), Ethnic Muslims


Relations with non-Slavic people

Throughout their history, Slavs came into contact with non-Slavic groups. In the postulated homeland region (present-day
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
), they had contacts with the Iranian
Sarmatians The Sarmatians (; Ancient Greek, Greek: ; la, Sarmatae , ) were a large Iranian peoples, Iranian confederation that existed in classical antiquity, flourishing from about the fifth century BC to the fourth century AD. Originating in the centr ...
and the Germanic Goths. After their subsequent spread, the Slavs began assimilating non-Slavic peoples. For example, in the Balkans, there were Prehistory of Southeastern Europe, Paleo-Balkan peoples, such as Romanized and Hellenization, Hellenized (Jireček Line) Illyrians, Thracians and Dacians, as well as Greeks and Celts, Celtic Scordisci and Serdi. Because Slavs were so numerous, most indigenous populations of the Balkans were Slavicized. Thracians and Illyrians mixed as ethnic groups in this period. A notable exception is Greece, where Sclaveni#Relationship between the Slavs in Byzantium, Slavs were Hellenized because Byzantine Greeks, Greeks were more numerous, especially with more Greeks returning to Greece in the 9th century and the influence of the church and administration, however, Slavicized regions within Macedonia (region), Macedonia, Thrace and Moesia Inferior also had a larger portion of locals compared to migrating Slavs. Other notable exceptions are the territory of present-day Romania and Hungary, where Slavs settled en route to present-day Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and East Thrace but assimilated, and the modern Albanians, Albanian nation which claims descent from Illyrians and other Balkan tribes. Ruling status of
Bulgars The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. They became known as nomadi ...

Bulgars
and their control of land cast the nominal legacy of the Bulgaria, Bulgarian country and people onto future generations, but Bulgars were gradually also Slavicized into the present-day South Slavic ethnic group known as
Bulgarians Bulgarians ( bg, българи, Bǎlgari, ) are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Le ...
. The Romance speakers within the fortified Dalmatian cities retained their culture and language for a long time. Dalmatian Romance was spoken until the high Middle Ages, but, they too were eventually assimilated into the body of Slavs. In the Western Balkans, South Slavs and Germanic Gepids intermarried with invaders, eventually producing a Slavicized population. In Central Europe, the West Slavs intermixed with Germanic peoples, Germanic, Hungarians, Hungarian, and Celts, Celtic peoples, while in Eastern Europe the East Slavs had encountered Baltic Finns, Finnic and Varangians, Scandinavian peoples. Scandinavians (Varangians) and Finnic peoples were involved in the Kievan Rus', early formation of the Rus' state but were completely Slavicized after a century. Some Finnic peoples, Finnic tribes in the north were also absorbed into the expanding Rus population. In the 11th and 12th centuries, constant incursions by nomadic Turkic peoples, Turkic tribes, such as the Kipchaks, Kipchak and the Pecheneg, caused a massive migration of East Slavic populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the north. In the Middle Ages, groups of Saxons, Saxon ore miners settled in medieval Bosnia,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
and Bulgaria, where they were Slavicized. ''Saqaliba'' refers to the Slavic Mercenary, mercenaries and Slavery, slaves in the medieval Arab world in
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
, Sicily and Al-Andalus. Saqaliba served as caliph's guards. In the 12th century, Baltic Slavic piracy, Slavic piracy in the Baltics increased. The Wendish Crusade was started against the Polabian Slavs in 1147, as a part of the Northern Crusades. The pagan chief of the Slavic Obotrites, Obodrite tribes, Niklot, began his open resistance when Lothar III, Holy Roman Emperor, invaded Slavic lands. In August 1160 Niklot was killed, and German colonization (''Ostsiedlung'') of the Elbe-Oder region began. In Hanoverian Wendland, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Lusatia, invaders started germanization. Early forms of germanization were described by German monks: Helmold in the manuscript ''Chronicon Slavorum'' and Adam of Bremen in ''Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum.'' The Polabian language survived until the beginning of the 19th century in what is now the German state of Lower Saxony. In Eastern Germany, around 20% of Germans have historic Slavic paternal ancestry, as revealed in Y-DNA testing. Similarly, in Germany, around 20% of the foreign surnames are of Slavic origin. History of the Cossacks, Cossacks, although Slavic and practicing Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox Christianity, came from a mix of ethnic backgrounds, including Tatars and other peoples. Initially, the Cossacks were a mini-subethnos, but now they are less than 5%, and most of them live in the south of Russia.The number of Cossacks according to the 2010 census
The Gorals of southern Poland and northern
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...

Slovakia
are partially descended from Romance-speaking Vlachs, who migrated into the region from the 14th to 17th centuries and were absorbed into the local population. The population of Moravian Wallachia also descended from the Vlachs. Conversely, some Slavs were assimilated into other populations. Although the majority continued towards Southeast Europe, attracted by the riches of the area that became the state of Bulgarian Empire, Bulgaria, a few remained in the Carpathian Basin in Central Europe and were assimilated into the Hungarian people, Magyar people. Numerous river and other place names in History of Romania, Romania have Slavic origin.Alexandru Xenopol, ''Istoria românilor din Dacia Traiană'', 1888, vol. I, p. 540


Population

There are an estimated 350 million Slavs worldwide.


See also

* Ethnic groups in Europe * Gord (archaeology) * Lech, Čech, and Rus * List of modern ethnic groups * List of Slavic tribes * Panethnicity * Pan-Slavic colors * Slavic names * Bulgarisation * Russification * Serbianisation * Polonization


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

; Primary sources * * ; Secondary sources * * * * * * * Curta Florin
The early Slavs in Bohemia and Moravia: a response to my critics
* * * * Lacey, Robert. 2003. ''Great Tales from English History''. Little, Brown and Company. New York. 2004. . * Lewis, Bernard. ''Race and Slavery in the Middle East''. Oxford Univ. Press. * * Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou, Maria. 1992
''The "Macedonian Question": A Historical Review''
© Association Internationale d'Etudes du Sud-Est Europeen (AIESEE, International Association of Southeast European Studies), Comité Grec. Corfu: Ionian University. (English translation of a 1988 work written in Greek.) * * * Rębała, Krzysztof, ''et al.''. 2007
Y-STR variation among Slavs: evidence for the Slavic homeland in the middle Dnieper basin
''Journal of Human Genetics'', May 2007, 52(5): 408–414. * *


Further reading

*


External links


Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeny in Eastern and Western Slavs, B. Malyarchuk, T. Grzybowski, M. Derenko, M. Perkova, T. Vanecek, J. Lazur, P. Gomolcaknd I. Tsybovsky, Oxford Journals
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Slavic Peoples Slavs, Indo-European peoples Modern Indo-European peoples