R1a  The R1a lineage is believed to have originated in the Eurasian Steppes north of the Black and Caspian Seas. This lineage is believed to have originated in a population of the Kurgan culture, known for the domestication of the horse (approximately 3000 B.C.E.). These people were also believed to be the first speakers of the Indo-European language group. This lineage is currently found in central and western Asia, India, and in Slavic populations of Eastern Europe, and is less common in Western Europe.


For 389ii the result 16 means 29 after reajustment.justified

DYS 389i       = 13
DYS 389ii-i =  = 16
Hence 13 + 16  = 29



  • R1a Haplotype #21

 R1a Haplotype #21

This haplotype is widespread, but is clearly most common in Eastern Europe, particularly Russia and Poland.

The conventional interpretation is to attribute any R1a haplotype found in a person of British descent to the Norse

Vikings, but this geographical match pattern - at least in theory - could support an ancestry among the Alans or

the Sarmatians.

However, far more Danes and Norwegians are likely to have settled in Britain than Alans or

Sarmatians.vote must go to the Scandinavians

  • R1a Haplotype #22

The match pattern for this haplotype falls exclusively in Russia, Poland and Germany, and appears to have a Baltic focus.

It most likely came to Britain with the Vikings.

  • R1a Haplotype #25


The haplotype below exhibits a large number of hits in parts of Saxony (e.g., Dresden, Chemnitz, Magdeburg, Leipzig

and Hamburg), as well as some in Poland, and one each in France and England. The high German match frequencies

are unusual for an R1a haplotype, and suggest an Anglo-Danish origin.

We would do well to remember that the Angles, and the Jutes in particular, originated from what is now known as

Denmark. Eastern Germanic tribes like the Suevi mixed with the Saxons. Roman auxiliaries from all over Germany

also served in Britain, and may have included members of such Baltic tribes as the Goths, the Heruls and the Rugians.

It is unrealistic to insist that all R1a in pre-Norman Britain would have been of exclusively Norwegian o

  • R1a Haplotype #25


Of the ten highest frequencies for the haplotype below, all but three fall in

Eastern Europe. This haplotype is relatively common among Hungarian Jews,

Bulgarian gypsies, who may ultimately be of Indian origin, and in the Caucasus.

Most of the other areas where it is common in Eastern Europe were subject to

Fenno-Scandinavian colonization, such as Latvia, Lithuania, Moscow and

Kiev. It is also relatively common in Norway - and appears at lower

levels in Sweden and Finland.

Some have speculated that Scandinavian R1a has a different geographical

pattern from Slavic R1a, in that the former has matches in India and the

Caucasus while the latter is confined to Eastern Europe. The match

pattern for this haplotype bears a strong bias towards the latter.

Nonetheless, it most likely came to Britain with the Vikings.



  • R1a Haplotype #20

This haplotype is extremely widespread, and its match pattern includes the "usual suspects" for R1a populations -

Scandinavians, Balts, Slavs, Southern and Central Asians. Top fifteen match frequencies include two samples of

North Indian Jats, one sample from the Caucasus, one each from Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia and

the Ukraine, two from Greece, one from Sweden and two from Norway.

The rule of thumb for R1a found in North Britain is to assume a Norse Viking origin. However, it is interesting to

note that, of the top five match frequencies, two may fall among samples that may ultimately be of Circassian or Scythian

origin - the Abkhazians and the Jats - and one each is from Russia and Greece, where Scythians, Sarmatians and other

steppe nomads had a presence for centuries.


VERY LONG TIME AGO                                                              

Central Norway











Geographical Locale


Caucasus [Abkhazian]


Panjab, India [Jat Sikhs]


Moscow, Russia


Chios, Greece


Central Norway


Vilnius, Lithuania


Oslo, Norway


Manchuria, China


Crete, Greece


Ljubljana, Slovenia


Bialystok, Poland [Old Believers]


Varmland, Sweden


Tartu, Estonia


Panjab, India [Jat Haryana]


Kiev, Ukraine


Wladiwostok, Russia [European]




England-Wales [Indo-Pakistani]


Wroclaw, Poland


London, England [Indo-Pakistani]


Munich, Bavaria


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [European]


Western Norway


Graz, Austria


Caucasus [Georgian]


Bialystok, Poland [Byelorussians]




Bulgaria [Romani]


Bialystok, Poland


Miercurea Ciuc, Romania [Szekely]





Archeological finds indicate that there were people in Norway about 12,000 years ago. They probably came from more southern regions, that is northern Germany, and travelled further north along the Norwegian coastline.

In the 9th century Norway consisted of a number of petty kingdoms. According to tradition, Harald Fairhair gathered the small kingdoms into one in 872 with the battle of Hafrsfjord. He became the first king of a united Norway.

The Viking age (8th to 11th centuries) was one of unification and expansion. The Norwegians established settlements in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and parts of the British Islands, and attempted to settle at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada (it is the Vinland of The Saga of Eric the Red). Norwegians founded the modern day Irish cities of Limerick and Waterford and established trading communities near the celtic settlements of Cork and Dublin which later became Ireland's two most important cities.




The first reference to Moscow dates from 1147 when Yuri Dolgoruki called upon the prince of the Novgorod Republic to "come to me, brother, to Moscow."[3] Nine years later, in 1156, Prince Yuriy Dolgorukiy of Kiev ordered the construction of a wooden wall, which had to be rebuilt multiple times, to surround the emerging Moscow.[4] After the sacking of 1237-1238, when the Mongols burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants, Moscow recovered and became the capital of an independent principality in 1327.[5] Its favorable position on the headwaters of the Volga river contributed to steady expansion. Moscow developed into a stable and prosperous principality for many years and attracted a large number of refugees from across Russia.

Under Ivan I the city replaced Tver as capital of Vladimir-Suzdal and became the sole collector of taxes for the Mongol rulers. By paying high tribute, Ivan won an important concession from the Khan. Unlike other principalities, Moscow was not divided among his sons but was passed intact to his eldest. In 1380, prince Dmitry Donskoy of Moscow led a united Russian army to an important victory over the Mongols in the Battle of Kulikovo. After that, Moscow took the leading role in liberating Russia from Mongol domination. In 1480, Ivan III had finally broken the Russians free from Tatar control, allowing Moscow to become the center of power in Russia.[6] The Russian capital, which had wandered from Kiev to Vladimir, came to rest in this city by the end of his reign, and Moscow became the capital of an empire that would eventually encompass all of present-day Russia, Siberia, and parts of other lands.

Some historians identify the city with Voruta, a legendary capital of Mindaugas crowned in 1253 as King of Lithuania. Initially a Baltic settlement, later Vilnius was also inhabitated by Slavs and, from at least the 11th century, by Jews. The city was first mentioned in written sources in 1323, after a wooden hillfort had been built by Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. In 1387, it was granted municipal rights by Jogaila, one of Gediminas' successors.


Between 1503 and 1522 the city was surrounded with walls that had nine city gates and three towers. Vilnius reached the peak of its development under the reign of Sigismund August, who moved his court there in 1544. In the following centuries, Vilnius became a constantly growing and developing city. This growth was due in part to the establishment of Vilnius University by Stephen Bathory in 1579. The university soon developed into one of the most important scientific and cultural centres of the region and the most notable scientific centre of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Political, economic and social life was in full swing in the town. In 1769, the Rasos Cemetery, one of the oldest surviving cemeteries in the city, was founded. Rapidly developing, the city was open to migrants from both East and West. Communities of Poles, Belarusians, Jews, Russians, Germans, Karaims, Ruthenians and others established themselves in the city. Each group made its contribution to the life of the city and crafts, trade and science prospered. In 1655 Vilnius was captured by Russian forces, pillaged and burned, and the population was massacred. The city's growth lost its momentum for many years, yet the number of inhabitants recovered and by the beginning of the 19th century the city was the third largest city in the Russian Empire.


Early history

In the 9th-6th centuries BC, the territory of modern Abkhazia was a part of the ancient kingdom of Colchis (Kolkha), which was absorbed in 63 BC into the Kingdom of Egrisi. Greek traders established ports along the Black Sea shoreline. One of those ports, Dioscurias, eventually developed into modern Sukhumi, Abkhazia's traditional capital.

The Roman Empire conquered Egrisi in the 1st century AD and ruled it until the 4th century, following which it regained a measure of independence, but remained within the Byzantine Empire's sphere of influence. Though the exact time when the population of Abkhazia was converted to Christianity is not determined, there is known that the Metropolitan of Pitius participated in the First Oecumenical Council in 325 in Nicea. Abkhazia was made an autonomous principality of the Byzantine Empire in the 7th century — a status it retained until the 9th century, when it was united with the province of Imereti and became known as the Abkhazian Kingdom. In 9-10th centuries the kings of Abkhazs were trying to unify all the Georgian provinces and in 1001 King Bagrat III Bagrationi of Abkhazia became the first king of the unified Georgian Kingdom. Because the Kingdom of Abkhazs was the leader of the unifying movement, the new Georgian kingdom was often called the "Kingdom of Abkhazs" in the Byzantine Empire.

In the 16th century, after the break-up of the united Georgian Kingdom, the area was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, during which the Abkhazians were partially converted to Islam. The Ottomans were pushed out by the Georgians, who established an autonomous Principality of Abkhazia (abxazetis samtavro in Georgian), ruled by the Shervashidze dynasty (aka Sharvashidze, or Chachba).


A recent study of the people of Indian Punjab, where about 40% or more of the population are Jats, suggest that the Jats are similar to other populations of the Indus Valley.The study involved a genealogical DNA test which examined single nucleotide polymorphisms (mutations in a single DNA "letter") on the Y chromosome (which occurs only in males). (See Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups for a listing and explanation.)

Jats seem to share many common haplotypes with German, Slavic, Baltic, Iranian and Central Asian groups.Unusually, Jat groups share only two haplotypes, one of which is also shared with the population of present-day Turkey, and have few matches with neighbouring Pakistani populations. This haplotype shared between the two Jat groups may be part of the Indo-Aryan (or Indo-European) genetic contribution to these populations, where as the haplotypes shared with other Eurasian populations may be due to the contribution of Indo-European Scythians (Saka, Massagetae) or White Huns. (These groups may of course all be branches of a larger ethnic complex.)

As for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Jats contain haplogroups typical of North India, Pakistan, and West Asia. This suggests that, at least for mtDNA, there is very little connection with Central Asian or northwest European populations, even though Jats share many male Y-SNP markers with these populations. Hence this suggests that there has been male migration in or out of the Jat population in historical times. Alternatively, the formation of the Jat population may have occurred in West Asia or North India.


700s BC

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Centuries: 9th century BC - 8th century BC - 7th century BC

Decades: 750s BC 740s BC 730s BC 720s BC 710s BC - 700s BC - 690s BC 680s BC 670s BC 660s BC 650s BC



Events and trends


Connection between Poles and Vandals

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In the Middle Ages and later there persisted a common false belief that the Vandals were ancestors of Poles or Slavic peoples. That belief originated probably because of two facts: first, confusion of the Venedes with Vandals and second, because both Venedes and Vandals in ancient times lived in areas later settled by Poles. In 796 in the Annales Alamanici one can find an excerpt saying Pipinus ... perrexit in regionem Wandalorum, et ipsi Wandali venerunt obvium ("Pippen went to regions of Vandals and the Vandals came to meet him"). In Annales Sangallenses the same raid (however put in 795 is summarised in one short message Wandali conquisiti sunt ("Vandals were destroyed")). This means that early medieval writers gave the name of Vandals to Avars.

Very soon after that in chronicles the name "Vandal" started to mean "Slavs" (eg. in the same Annales Alamanici about a raid of Charlemagne in the country of the Polabian Slavs: perrexit in regionem Wandalorum). In 1056 Annales Augustani mentioned defeat of Germans with Slavic Lucics (?) as exercitus Saxonum a Wandalis trucidatur ("an army of Saxons is destroyed by Vandals"). In the chronicle of Adam of Bremen there is a longer sentence:

Sclavania igitur, amplissima Germaniae provintia, a Winulis incolitur, qui olim dicti sum Wandali; decies maior esse fertur nostra Saxonia, presertim si Boemiam et eos, qui trans Oddaram sunt, Polanos, quaia nec habitu nec lingua discrepant, in partem adiecreris Sclavaniae

that is: "Slavania (Slavic lands), the biggest from Germanic countries, is inhabited by Winnils, who were formerly called Vandals. It is supposed to be bigger than our Saxony, especially when it would include Bohemians and Polans across the Oder, since they are no different in customs and language".

In 983-993 Gerhard of Augsburg in Miracula Sancti Oudalrici (about saint Udalric) called Mieszko I dux Wandalorum, Misico nomine.

Probably the first man who directly mentioned supposedly Vandalic roots of Poland was the Polish chronicler Wincenty Kadlubek in the 12th century, who wrote that Poles were once called Vandals, because they live next to the river Vandalus (Vistula), and that river received its name from the mythical queen Vanda who committed suicide by drowning in it. A similar story was told by the author of Wielkopolska chronicle from the 14th century, and then Dzierzwa from Krakow in the 14th century, who tried to give Slavic etymology to all known Vandalic names, like deriving Vanda from węda, that is fishing-rod.

In 12th century also Gerwazy from Tilbury, English writer in Otia imperialia wrote that citizens of Poland are called and are calling themselves Vandals. Similar thoughts gave German historian Albert Krantz (1450-1517) in Wandalia sive historia de Wandalorum vera origine, variis gentibus, crebris a aptria migrationibus, regnis item, etc where who consequently connected history of ancient Vandals and Slavs. The same was repeated by Falvio Blondi from Italy, and then Maciej Miechowita in Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis... from 1517. Other arguments that Vandals were Polish ancestors were supplied by Marcin Bielski in 15th century. The first Polish historian to deny any connection to Vandals and to criticise that idea was Marcin Kromer, bishop of Warmia, author of De origine et rebus gestis Polonorum from 1555.



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Sarmatia and Scythia in 100 BC, also shown is the extent of the Parthian Empire.


Sarmatia and Scythia in 100 BC, also shown is the extent of the Parthian Empire.

"Sarmatia Europæa" separated from "Sarmatia Asiatica" by the Tanais (the River Don), based on Greek literary sources, in a map printed in London, ca 1770.


"Sarmatia Europæa" separated from "Sarmatia Asiatica" by the Tanais (the River Don), based on Greek literary sources, in a map printed in London, ca 1770.

For the Semitic people, see Samaritan

The Sarmatians, Sarmatae or Sauromatae were a multi-ethnic confederacy mentioned by classical authors from Herodotus onward. Their major element in the south was undoubtedly Iranian, and perhaps in prehistory there was a founding Sarmatian tribe, or even two tribes: Sarmatians and Sauromatians (though this does seem unlikely, and pedantic in the extreme).

In history, however, many tribes were under the name, which was Sarmatian to some, and Sauromatian to others. Some authors say that they were the same. At their greatest reported extent these tribes ranged from the Vistula river to the mouth of the Danube and eastward to the Volga, and from the mysterious domain of the Hyperboreans in the north southward to the shores of the Black and Caspian seas, including the region between them as far as the Caucasus mountains.

The full array of peoples who went under the aegis of "Sarmatians" must have spoken many languages, but it is perhaps no coincidence that the boundary between the so-called Centum-Satem isogloss in the Indo-European languages apparently split at the European border of the Sarmatians. The Sarmatians flourished from an era before the earliest European historical sources and endured until the arrival of the Huns in the 4th century AD. That event shattered whatever political unity they still had, causing their constituent peoples to go their own ways. The Sarmatians who avoided Roman subordination eventually were wiped out or conquered by the Huns, and the Sarmatians are credited with turning the former lush land in their domain into a barren desert of infertile land.



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Svaneti (სვანეთი. Also known as Svanetia or Svania in Russian and Western languages) is a historic province in Georgia, in the northwestern part of the country. It is inhabited by the Svans (სვანები in Georgian), an ethnographic group of the Georgian people.






View of the Caucasus Mountains in Svaneti


View of the Caucasus Mountains in Svaneti

Surrounded by 3,000-5,000 meter peaks, Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in Europe. Four of the 10 highest peaks of the Caucasus are located in the region. The highest mountain in Georgia, Mount Shkhara at 5,201 meters (17,059 feet), is located in Svaneti. Other prominent peaks include Tetnuldi (4,974m./16,319ft.), Shota Rustaveli (4,960m./16,273ft.), Mt. Ushba (4,710m./15,453ft.), and Ailama (4,525m./14,842ft.).

Situated on the southern slopes of the central Greater Caucasus, the province extends over the upper valleys of the Rioni, Enguri and Tskhenistskali. Geographically and historically, the province has been divided into two parts – Zemo Svaneti (i.e., Upper Svaneti; the present day Mestia Raioni) and Kvemo Svaneti (i.e., Lower Svaneti; the present day Lentekhi raioni) – centering on the valleys of the upper reaches of the two rivers Enguri and Cxenis-c’q’ali, respectively. They are distributed between the present-day regions of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti respectively. Historical Svaneti also included the Kodori Gorge in the adjoining rebel province of Abkhazia, and part of the adjacent river valleys of Kuban and Baksan of Russia.



The landscape of Svaneti is dominated by mountains that are separated by deep gorges. Most of the region which lies below 1,800 meters (5,904ft.) above sea level is covered by mixed and coniferous forests. The forest zone is made up of tree species such as spruce, fir, beech, oak, and hornbeam. Other species that are less common but may still be found in some areas include chestnut, birch, maple, pine and box. The zone which extends from 1,800 meters to roughly about 3,000 meters (5,904-9,840ft.) above sea level consists of alpine meadows and grasslands. Eternal snows and glaciers take over in areas that are over 3,000 meters above sea level. Svaneti is notable for its glaciers and picturusque summits. Svaneti's signature peak is probably Mt. Ushba which towers over the Inguri Gorge and can be seen from many parts of the region.


The climate of Svaneti is humid and is influenced by the air masses coming in from the Black Sea throughout the year. Average temperatures and precipitation vary considerably with elevation. Annual precipitation ranges between 1000-3200mm (39-126 inches). The highest amount of precipitation falls on the Greater Caucasus Mountains. The region is characterized by very heavy snowfall in the winter and avalanches are a frequent occurrence. Snow cover may reach 5 meters (16.4 feet) in some areas. In general, the lowest regions of Svaneti (800-1200 meters/2624-3936 feet above sea level) are characterized by long, warm summers and relatively cold and snowy winters. Middle altitudes (1200-1800 meters above sea level) experience relatively warm summers and cold winters. Areas above 2000 meters above sea level lie within a zone that experiences short, cool summers (less than 3 months) and long and cold winters. Large parts of Svaneti lie above 3000 meters (9840 feet) above sea level, a zone which does not have a real summer. Due to Svaneti's close proximity to the Black Sea, the region is spared from the extremely cold winter temperatures that are characteristic of high mountains.


Medieval towers in Mestia, Upper Svaneti


Medieval towers in Mestia, Upper Svaneti

The Svans are usually identified with the Soanes mentioned by Strabo, who placed them more or less in the area still occupied by the modern-day Svans. The province had been a dependency of Colchis, and of its successor kingdom of Lazika (Egrisi) until AD 552, when the Suanians took advantage of the Lazic War, repudiated this connexion and went over to the Persians. The Byzantines wanted the region, for if they secured its passes, they could prevent Persian raids on the border areas of Lazica. With the end of the war (562), Suaneti again became part of Lazica. Then, the province joined Abkhazia to form a unified monarchy which was incorporated into the Kingdom of Georgia in the early 11th century. Svaneti became a saeristavo (duchy) within it, governed by an eristavi (duke). The province’s Orthodox culture flourished particularly during the Georgian “golden age” under Queen Tamar (r. 1184-1213), who was respected almost as goddess by the Svanetians. The legend has it that the duchy was annually visited by Tamar. The Svans had been known as fierce warriors for centuries. Their inflatable war banner was named Lemi (Lion) because of its shape.

The marauding Mongols never reached here and for a time Svaneti became a cultural safe house. Following the final disintegration of the Kingdom of Georgia in the 1460s, fighting broke out for controlling the province. Part of Upper Svaneti formed an independent principality, while Lower Svaneti was gradually subdued by the Mingrelian princes. Facing serious internal conflict, Prince Tsioq’ Dadeshkeliani of Svaneti signed a treaty of protectorate with the Imperial Russia on November 26, 1833. Difficult to access, the region retained significant autonomy until 1857, when Russia took advantage of the dynastic feud in Svaneti and effectively abolished the principality’s autonomy. In 1875, the Russians toughened their rule by imposing additional taxes. Protests ensued, and Russia deployed troops against the province. Despite having suffered heavy losses, the Russian army units eventually crushed the rebels burning their stronghold Khalde to the ground in 1876.

Part of the Russian governance of Kutais, Svaneti was divided into two districts (raions) – Mestia and Lentekhi under the Soviet rule. Scattered guerilla actions against the Bolsheviks occurred in the province in 1922-1924.

In 1987 avalanches destroyed several homes and killed seventy, mostly school children. Collapse of the Soviet Union, and subsequent civil war created severe socioeconomic problems in the region. While the Svan population resisted the unpleasant conditions of the high mountain environment they lived in for centuries, the increasing economic difficulties of the last two decades and frequent natural disasters – floods and landslides as of April 2005 ([1]) have brought about a strong tendency towards migration. The province became a safe haven for criminals threatening local residents and tourists. Large-scale anti-criminal operations carried out by the Georgian Special Forces as of March 2004 ([2]) resulted in significant improvement of the situation.



The Svans, indigenous population of the area, are ethnographic group of the Georgian people. Until the 1930s Mingrelians and Svans had their own census grouping, but were classified under the broader category of Georgian thereafter. They are Georgian Orthodox Christians, and were Christianized in the 4th-6th centuries. However, some remnants of old paganism have been maintained. Saint George (known as Jgëræg to the locals), a patron saint of Georgia, is the most respected saint. The Svans have retained many of their old traditions, including blood revenge. Their families are small, and the husband is the head of his family. The Svan really respect the older women in families.

Typically bilingual, they use both Georgian and their own, unwritten Svan language, which together with the Georgian, Megrelian, and Laz languages constitute the Kartvelian, or South Caucasian language family. The Svan language is being largely replaced by the Georgian proper.

Culture and tourism

Svaneti is known for their architectural treasures and picturesque landscapes. The Botany of Svanetia is legendary among travelers. The famous Svanetian towers erected mainly in the 9th-12th centuries, make the region’s villages more attractive. In the province are dozens of Georgian Orthodox churches and various fortified buildings. Architectural monuments of Upper Svaneti are included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Svan culture survives most wonderfully in its songs and dances. Svaneti boasts the most complex form of Georgian polyphonic singing, traditional to Georgian vocal music.

Sventevith, Svetovid, Suvid, Svantevit, Svantovit, Svantovít, Swantovít, Sventovit, Zvantevith, Świętowit, Sutvid, Vid. and, incorrectly, Światowit is the Polabian deity of war, fertility and abundance.

Sometimes referred to as Beli (or Byali) Vid, Beli = white, bright, shining (as in the folklore poem Vojevao Beli Vide/Tri god'ne s kleti Turci/A cet'ri s crni Ugri... - Beli Vid waged war/Three years with the damn Turks/And four with the black Hungarians).

Associated with war and divination. Described as a four-headed god with two heads looking front and two back. A statue portraying the god shows him with four heads, each one looking in a separate direction, a symbolical representation of the four diections of the compass, and also perhaps the four seasons of the year. Boris Rybakov argued for identification of the faces with the gods Perun, Svarog, Lada and Mokosh (c.f. Zbruch idol). Joined together, they see all four sides of the world. This gave rise to a false etymology of the name of the god as "worldseer" (svet = "world", vid = "sight"; Svetovid = "worldseer"). However, the forms Sventevith and Zvantewith show that the name derives from the word svętъ, meaning "saint, holy". The second stem is sometimes reconstructed as vit = "lord, ruler, winner". The name recorded in chronicles of contemporary Christian monks is Svantevit, which, if we assume it was properly transcribed, could be an adjective meaning aprox. "Dawning One" (svantev,svitanje = "dawning, raising of the Sun in the morning" + it, adjective suffix)).

He always carries his sword (sometimes bow) in one hand, and in the other a drinking horn. Svetovid had a white horse which was kept in his temple and taken care of by priests. It was believed Svantevit rode this horse in battle. The horse was used for divination. Victory in battle, merchant travels and a succsessful harvest all depended on Svantevit.

The main temple of Świętowit was located in Arkona on Rugia Island in the Baltic Sea (today Rügen, in Germany). According to various chronicles, the temple contained a giant wooden statue of Świętowit depicting him with four heads (or one head with four faces) and a horn of abundance. Each year the horn was filled with fresh mead.

The temple was also the seat of an oracle in which the chief priest predicted the future of his tribe by observing the behaviour of a white horse identified with Świętowit and casting dice. The temple also contained the treasury of the tribe and was defended by a group of 300 mounted warriors which formed the core of the tribal armed forces.

Some interpretations claim that Svetovit was in fact another name for Radegast or Belobog, while another states that Svetovit was a fake god, a Wendish construction based on the name St. Vitus. According to a questionable interpretation, Swietowit was a Rugian counterpart of the all-Slavic Perun common in Slavic mythology.

In Croatia, on the island of Brač, the highest peak is called Vid's Mountain; in the Dinaric Alps there is a peak called Suvid, and a Church of St.Vid. Among the Serbs, the cult of Svetovid is partially preserved through the Feast of St.Vitus - Vidovdan, one of the most important annual events in Serbian Orthodox Christian tradition.









Luxury and abundances. Pampiga parties in wards on big goods. Beautiful ships, side uniting clothing and weapons hammered of mästersmeder. As war gentlemen surrounded the itself with small armies of faithful men. The traveled runstenar, dug down silver wealths and built castles of wood. Political alliances with other aristokratiska families were created and was broken. Överklassens goods with your giant house low placed on heights that were visible wide about in Skandinaviens agriculture districts. Men and women that “the goods gentleman from Vendel” in Uppland and “härskarinnan from Köpingsvik” on Öland dominated your time.


Vendel era

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The Vendel era (550-793) is the name given to a Swedish part of the Germanic Iron Age (or, more generally, the Age of Migrations).

The migrations and the upheaval in Central Europe had lessened somewhat, and two power regions had appeared in Europe - the Central-occupying Franks, and the Slavic princedoms in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. A third power, the Catholic Church had begun to expand its influence.

In Scandinavia, the Germanic clan society was still very much alive. In Sweden, Old Uppsala was the centre of both religious and political life. It had both a well-known sacred grove, a royal estate (see Uppsala öd) and great Royal Mounds.

There were lively contacts with Central Europe and the Scandinavians continued to export iron, fur and slaves, and in return they acquired art and new innovations, such as the stirrup.

The finds in Vendel and Valsgärde show that Uppland was an important and powerful area consistent with the sagas' account of a Swedish kingdom. Some of the riches were probably acquired through the control of mining districts and the production of iron. The rulers had troops of mounted elite warriors with costly armour. Graves of mounted warriors have been found with stirrups and saddle ornaments of birds of prey in gilded bronze with incrusted garnets.

These mounted elite warriors reverberate in the work of the 6th century Goth scholar Jordanes who wrote that the Swedes had the best horses beside the Thuringians. They also echo much later in the Norse sagas, where king Adils is always described as fighting on horseback (both against Áli and Hrólf Kraki). Snorri Sturluson wrote that Adils had the best horses of his days.

Games were popular as is shown in finds of tafl games, including pawns and dice.

This is the time when Swedish pillaging expeditions start to explore the waterways of what was to become Russia.



Vendel (60°08′N 17°34′E) is a parish in the Swedish province of Uppland. It is the site of an ancient royal estate (part of a network of royal estates that have been the property of the Swedish kings since the Iron Age, called Uppsala öd).

The site has many graves from the 5th, 6th and 7th centuries. It also shows a large mound which local tradition calls Ottarshögen (the mound of Ohthere of the epic Beowulf). An excavation in 1917 revealed the remains of a powerful man who was buried in the beginning of the 6th century, the time of Ohthere.

Vendel has given its name to a period in the Scandinavian Iron Age, and it has often been suggested that the Germanic Vandals, or at least their kings, were connected to the site. A grave of Sutton Hoo (King Raedwald of East Anglia (?)) revealed that the man it contained wore virtually the same armour as what was found in the close burial site of Valsgärde.

The location has lent its name to a period in Swedish archaeology: the Vendel Age.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendel

The time between the Migration Period and the Viking Age, c AD 550-800, is known as the Vendel Period after a cemetery beside Vendel church, near one of the tributaries of the Fyris river in northern Uppland. Rulers of one of the most powerful dynasties in Uppland were buried there during both the Vendel Period and the Viking Age.

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Blekinge County

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Blekinge County, or Blekinge län is a County or län in the south of Sweden. It borders to the Counties of Skåne, Kronoberg, Kalmar and to the Baltic Sea.


Blekinge län


Map highlighting the location of Blekinge County in Sweden



SE-K, SE41


Residence City










2,941 km², 0.7% of Sweden;
ranked 21st


Reference: ranked list

150,625 inh., 51.2 inh/km²



See this ranked list





For History, Geography and Culture see: Blechingia

Blechingia, the historical province Blekinge, has virtually the same boundaries as the current administrative entity, Blekinge County.



Blekinge County was a part of Kalmar County between 1680 and 1683, due to the foundation of the naval base at Karlskrona.

The main aim of the County Administrative Board is to fulfil the goals set in national politics by the Parliament and the Government, to coordinate the interests and promote the development of the county, to establish regional goals and safeguard the due process of law in the handling of each case. The County Administrative Board is nominally a Government Agency headed by a Governor. See List of Blekinge Governors.



Main article: Blekinge County Council

Blekinge County Council, or Landstinget Blekinge, is a municipal entity that is independent of, but coterminous with, the County Administrative Board. Its main responsibilities lie in health care and public transportation issues for the county.




Main article: Heraldry of Blekinge

The County of Blekinge inherited its coat of arms from the province of Blechingia. When it is shown with a royal crown it represents the County Administrative Board.


Miscellaneous topics

External links

R1a Haplotype#22 with two points of difference,but my parents came from the region of Krakow./It means it is a recent migration.The chain is not broken, because we consider 4x16 =64 generations and there is place enough to outsiders.





vendel in the century IV  reconstitued in Blekinge

wanclik in the century XXI

wanclik in the century XX



28   12 instead of 13






The Vandals were first identified with Przeworsk culture in the 19th century [citation needed]. Controversy surrounds potential connections between the Vandals and another possibly Germanic tribe, the Lugii (Lygier, Lugier or Lygians). Some academics believe that either Lugii was an earlier name of the Vandals, or the Vandals were part of the Lugian federation.



The Przeworsk culture (green) in the first half of the 3rd century.

Przeworsk culture

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The green area is the Przeworsk culture in the first half of the 3rd century. The red area is the extent of the Wielbark culture, the yellow area is a Baltic culture (Yotvingian?), and the pink area is the Debczyn Culture. The dark blue area is the Roman Empire


The green area is the Przeworsk culture in the first half of the 3rd century. The red area is the extent of the Wielbark culture, the yellow area is a Baltic culture (Yotvingian?), and the pink area is the Debczyn Culture. The dark blue area is the Roman Empire

The Przeworsk culture is part of an Iron Age archaeological complex that dates from the 2nd century BC to the 4th century. It was located in what is now central and southern Poland and parts of eastern Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia ranging between the Odra and the middle and upper Vistula Rivers into the headwaters of the Dnestr and Tisza Rivers. It takes its name from the village near the town Przeworsk where the first artefacts were found.

The immediately preceding and more widespread Lusatian culture occupied this same area. To the east, in what is now northern Ukraine and southern Russia, was the Zarubintsy culture, to which it is linked as a larger archaeological complex. In the east and to the north of the Zarubintsy culture was the Chernoles culture, which is usually identified as a very early Slavic community, representing a stage near to Proto-Slavic.

At its northeastern edge, the Goths developed the Wielbark culture along the lower and middle Vistula. To the northeast of the Goths, there was a Baltic (and likely Baltic-speaking) culture, perhaps the Aesti.

Roman-era writers report this area as being occupied by Lugians. A substantial effort has been expended in the past to characterize this as an early Slavic-speaking community. Modern thinking, however, leans towards assigning the culture to an East-Germanic-speaking people who likely evolved into the Vandals, though doubtless there was overlapping interpenetration with Slavic-speakers. The early Burgundians occupied portions of the area towards the end of this cultural period. Certainly, however, the undisputedly Slavic-speaking Venedi were later found exactly here.




 The map shows the extent of the Wielbark culture (Goths) in red,

Wielbark Culture


Areas in the first half of the 3rd century: Wielbark culture (red) , Przeworsk culture (green), a Baltic culture (Aesti?, yellow), Dębczyn Culture (pink) and the Roman Empire (dark blue)


Areas in the first half of the 3rd century: Wielbark culture (red) , Przeworsk culture (green), a Baltic culture (Aesti?, yellow), Dębczyn Culture (pink) and the Roman Empire (dark blue)


Wielbark Culture (German: Willenberg Kultur, Polish: Kultura wielbarska) was an archaeological culture identified with the Goths which appeared during the first half of the 1st century AD. It replaced the local Oksywie Culture (Oxhöft Kultur), a culture which was part of the Przeworsk culture.

After a cemetery of over 3000 tombs was discovered in the time of the German Empire, the culture it was attributed to was named Willenberg Kultur in German after the nearest village, called Willenberg at the time (today Wielbark). It is located near Malbork (Marienburg), about 40km south of the Baltic Sea coast. In 1938, it was described as "gotisch-gepidischen Gräberfeldes Braunswalde-Willenberg bei Marienburg".

The report of the original excavation was rediscovered in 2004. A project of the Humboldt University in Berlin intends to restore and analyze it, in cooperation with Polish partners and funded by Dronning Margrethe og Prins Henriks Fond.







 Baltic culture (Aesti?) in yellow,


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



The yellow area is a Baltic culture (the Aesti?); the red area is the extent of the Wielbark culture in the first half of the 3rd century. The green area is the Przeworsk culture, and the pink area is the Debczyn Culture. The dark blue area is the Roman Empire


The yellow area is a Baltic culture (the Aesti?); the red area is the extent of the Wielbark culture in the first half of the 3rd century. The green area is the Przeworsk culture, and the pink area is the Debczyn Culture. The dark blue area is the Roman Empire

the Aesti (or Aestii) were a people described by the Roman historian Tacitus in his book Germania (ca. 98 CE). According to his account, the Aesti spoke a language related to that spoken in Britain; they worshipped a deity known as the 'mother of the gods', as well as the wild boar commonly found in the region; for weapons they used wooden clubs and occasionally iron implements; they were also the only people to gather and trade amber.

Most scholars identify the Aesti as ancient inhabitants of Prussia, speakers of a Baltic language closely related to modern Latvian and Lithuanian.

This identification is based primarily on their association with amber, a popular luxury item during the life of Tacitus, with known sources at the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic amber trade, which appears to have extended to the Mediterranean Sea, has been traced by archaeologists back to the Nordic Bronze Age; its major center was located in the region of Sambia.

Some historians think that the term Aesti may refer to all of the peoples living by the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, including the Estonians, who speak a language of the Finnic group. Tacitus mentions another people known as the Fenni (probably Sami), living in proximity to the Aesti; this could be an indication that the Aesti were forerunners of the Estonians rather than a linguistically Baltic people.

Whatever the case, it seems that the word was eventually applied specifically to Estonians and is the origin of the modern national name of Estonia, called Eistland in ancient Scandinavian Sagas and Estia, Hestia and Estonia in early Latin sources.





 The Roman Empire is purple.

Roman Empire

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Imperium Romanum
Roman Empire


The Roman Empire at its greatest extent under the rule of Trajan, ca. AD 116 .

National Motto:
Senatus Populusque Romanus
(Latin: The Senate and the People of

Symbolic animal:
(Latin: eagle)

The Roman Empire was a phase of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by an autocratic form of government. The earlier Roman Republic had been devastated and weakened by the conflict between Gaius Marius and Sulla, followed by the civil war of Julius Caesar against Pompey. During all these struggles hundreds of senators had fallen in battle, been executed, murdered, or had taken their own lives. The Roman Senate had been refilled by loyal friends of the First Triumvirate, and later on, by supporters of the Second Triumvirate. At last, Octavian (later to be known as Augustus) defeated his rival Mark Antony and completed this gradual subversion by thoroughly reorganizing the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

"Roman Empire" can also be used as translation of the expression, Imperium Romanum, probably the best-known Latin expression where the word imperium is used in the meaning of a territory; the "Roman Empire" denotes that part of the world under Roman rule. The expansion of this Roman territory beyond the borders of the initial city-state of Rome had started long before the state organization turned into an Empire. In its territorial peak after the conquest of Dacia by Trajan, the Roman Empire controlled approximately 5 900 000 km² (2,300,000 sq.mi.)[citation needed] of land surface, thereby being one of the largest empires during classical antiquity.

The precise date at which the Roman Republic changed into the Roman Empire is disputed, with the dates of Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the battle of Actium, September 2, 31 BC, and the date in which the Roman Senate granted Octavian the title Augustus, January 16, 27 BC, all being advanced as candidates. To confuse matters even further, Octavian officially proclaimed that he had saved the Roman Republic and carefully disguised his power under republican forms. Indeed, on the surface it might appear that the Republic was alive: consuls continued to be elected, tribunes of the plebeians continued to offer legislation, and senators still debated in the Roman Curia. However, it was Octavian who influenced everything and controlled the final decisions, and in final analysis, had the legions to back him up, if it ever became necessary.

The end of the Roman Empire is traditionally placed on 4 September 476, as the Western Roman Empire fell to Germanic invaders. However, this view neglects and fails to recognize the Eastern Roman Empire, widely known as the Byzantine Empire, which protected Roman law and culture. Based in Roman legal and cultural traditions, it was also heavily influenced by ancient Greek culture and language, and developed a distinct character that managed to survive and even thrive for another millennium, eventually being conquered on 29 May 1453 by the Ottoman Empire.

From the time of Augustus to the Fall of the Western Empire, Rome dominated Western Eurasia, comprising the majority of its population. The legacy of Rome on culture, law, technology, arts, language, religion, government, military, and architecture upon Western civilization remains to the present day.


Similarities of names have suggested homelands for the Vandals in Norway (Hallingdal), Sweden (Vendel), or Denmark (Vendsyssel). The Vandals are assumed to have crossed the Baltic into what is today Poland somewhere in the 2nd century BC, and to have settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. Tacitus recorded their presence between the Oder and Vistula rivers in Germania (AD 98); his identification was corroborated by later historians: according to Jordanes, they and the Rugians were displaced by the arrival of the Goths. This tradition supports the identification of the Vandals with the Przeworsk culture, since the Gothic Wielbark culture seems to have replaced a branch of that culture.

Main article: connection between Poles and Vandals

In medieval times, there was a popular belief that Vandals were ancestors of Poles. That belief originated probably because of two facts: first, confusion of the Venedes with Vandals and secondly, because both Venedes and Vandals in ancient times lived in areas later settled by Poles. In 796, in the Annales Alamanici, one can find an excerpt saying, "Pipinus ... perrexit in regionem Wandalorum, et ipsi Wandali venerunt obvium" ("Pepin went to the region of the Vandals, which Vandals did come out to oppose him"). In Annales Sangallenses, the same raid (however, put in 795) is summarised in one short message, "Wandali conquisiti sunt" ("The Vandals were destroyed"). This means that early medieval writers gave the name of Vandals to Avars.





Centum-Satem isogloss

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Centum redirects here. See Centum (disambiguation) for other uses of the term.

Diachronic map showing the Centum (blue) and Satem (red) areals. The supposed area of origin of Satemization is shown in darker red (Sintashta/Abashevo/Srubna  cultures).


Diachronic map showing the Centum (blue) and Satem (red) areals. The supposed area of origin of Satemization is shown in darker red (Sintashta/Abashevo/Srubna cultures).

Hypothetical situation around 2000 BC. The Corded Ware horizon is underlaid in yellow.


Hypothetical situation around 2000 BC. The Corded Ware horizon is underlaid in yellow.

The Centum-Satem division is an isogloss of the Indo-European language family, explaining the evolution of the three dorsal consonant rows reconstructed for Proto-Indo-European, *kʷ (labiovelars), *k (velars), and *; (palatovelars). The terms come from the words for the number "one hundred" in representative languages of each group (Latin centum and Avestan satəm).

The Satem languages include Indo-Iranian, Balto-Slavic (Baltic and Slavic), Albanian, Armenian and perhaps also a number of barely documented extinct languages, such as Thracian and Dacian. Although Albanian is treated as a Satem language, there may be some evidence that the plain velars and the labiovelars were not completely merged in Proto-Albanian.

The Centum group is often thought of as being identical to "non-Satem", i.e. as including all remaining dialects. More specifically, in the sense of Brugmann's "languages with labialization", the Centum group includes Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Greek, and possibly a number of minor and little known extinct groups (such as Venetic and the ancient Macedonian language and probably the Illyrian languages).

Tocharian, on the other hand, combined all rows into a single velar row, and is therefore typically considered "Centum", although the relative chronology of the change is unknown. Likewise, the proto-language of the Anatolian languages apparently did not undergo either the Satem or the Centum sound change. The velar rows remain separate in Luwian, while Hittite may secondarily have undergone a Centum change, but the exact phonology is unclear.



Proto-Indo-European dorsals

The Centum-Satem isogloss explains the evolution of the three dorsal rows reconstructed for PIE, *kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ (labiovelars), *k, *g, *gʰ (velars), and *, *ǵ, *ǵʰ; (palatovelars) in the daughter languages. A division into a Centum and a Satem group does only make sense with a view to the parent language with the full inventory of dorsals. Later sound changes within a specific branch of Indo-European that are similar to one of the changes, such as the palatalization of Latin k to s in some Romance languages or the merger of *kʷ with *k in the Goidelic languages, have no effect on the grouping.

August Schleicher in his 1871 Compendium assumes only a single velar row, k, g, gh. Karl Brugmann in his 1886 Grundriss accepts only two rows, denoting them q, g, gh "velar explosives" vs. , and g̑h "palatal explosives". Brugmann terms the Centum languages "languages with labialization" or "-languages" and the Satem languages "languages without labialization", and he opines that

For words and groups of words, which do not appear in any language with labialized velar-sound, [the "pure velars"] it must for the present be left undecided whether they ever had the -afterclap. (trans. J. Wright)

By the 1897 edition of his work, Brugmann changed his mind, accepting the centum vs. satem terminology introduced by von Badke in 1890. Accordingly, he denoted the labiovelars as q, qh, g, gh (also introducing voiceless aspirates).

The presence of three dorsal rows in the proto-language is still not universally accepted. The reconstructed "middle" row may also be an artifact of loaning between early daughter languages during the process of Satemization. For instance, Oswald Szemerényi (e.g., in his 1995 Introduction), while recognizing the usefulness of the distinction *kʷ, *k, * as symbolizing sound-correspondences does argue that the support for three phonologically distinct rows in PIE is insufficient and prefers a twofold notation of *kʷ, *k. Other scholars who assume two dorsal rows in PIE include Kuryłowicz (1935), Meillet (1937), Lehmann (1952), and Woodhouse (1998).



The Satem languages show the characteristic change of the so-called Proto-Indo-European palato-velars (*, *ǵ, *ǵʰ) into affricate and fricative consonants articulated in the front of the mouth. For example, * became Sanskrit ś [ʃ], Avestan, Russian and Armenian s, Lithuanian š [ʃ], and Albanian th [θ]. At the same time, the protolanguage velars (*k, *g, *gʰ) and labio-velars (*kʷ, *gʷ, *gʷʰ) merged in the Satem group, the latter losing their accompanying lip-rounding.

The Satem shift is conveniently illustrated with the word for '100', Proto-Indo-European *m̥tóm, which became e.g. Avestan satəm (hence the name of the group), Farsi sad, Lithuanian šimtas, Russian sto, etc., as contrasted with Latin centum (pron. [kentum]), English hund(red)- (with /h/ from earlier *k, see Grimm's law), Greek (he)katon, Welsh cant, etc. (The Albanian word qi


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lithuanians are the ethnic group native to Lithuania, where they number a little over 3 million [7]. Another million or more make up the Lithuanian diaspora, largely found in countries such as the United States, Brazil, Canada and Russia. Their native language is Lithuanian, one of only two surving members of the Baltic language family. According to the census conducted in 2001, 83.45% of the population of Lithuania proper identified themselves as Lithuanians, 6.74% as Poles, 6.31% as Russians, 1.23% as Belarusians, 2.27% as member of other ethnic groups. Most Lithuanians belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The Lietuvininkai, a part of the Lithuanian nation near the former German-Lithuanian border, were mostly Lutherans.




The territory of the Balts, including modern Lithuania, was once inhabited by several Baltic tribal entities (Sudovians, Lamatians, Curonians, Selonians, Samogitians, Nadruvians and others), attested by ancient sources and dating from prehistoric times. Over the centuries, and especially under the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, some of these tribes consolidated into the Lithuanian nation, mainly as a defense against the marauding Teutonic Order and Muscovite Russians. During the process they converted suddenly to Christianity. Lithuanians were the last surviving non-nomadic European nation to abandon paganism.

Since the time of Grand Duchy, Lithuanian territory has shrunk - once Lithuanians made up a majority of population not only in what is now Lithuania, but also in northwestern Belarus, in large areas of the territory of modern Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia, and in some parts of modern Latvia and Poland.

However, due to a late medieval view that the Lithuanian language was unprestigious, a preference for the Polish language in the territories of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, as well as a preference for the German language in the territories of the former East Prussia (now Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia), number of Lithuanian speakers shrank. Subsequent imperial Russian occupation accelerated this process due to process of russification (ban on public speaking and writing in Lithuanian (see, e.g., "Knygnešiai"), actions against Catholic church). It was believed by some at the time that the nation as such would become extinct within a few generations.

At the end of the 19th century a Lithuanian cultural and linguistic revival occurred. Some of Polish- and Belarusian-speaking Lithuanians still affiliated themselves with the Lithuanian nation, although others did not. Lithuania declared independence after World War I, which helped in national consolidation. A standard Lithuanian language was approved. However, the eastern parts of Lithuania were occupied by Poland as the Vilnius region, while the western were controlled by Germany. In 1940, Lithuania was invaded and occupied by the Soviet Union, and forced to join it as the Lithuanian SSR. The Germans and their allies, attacked the U.S.S.R., in June 1941, and from 1941-1944, Lithuania was occupied by Germany. The Germans retreated in 1944, and that occupier was replaced by another, and Lithuania was under the Soviet yoke. Long-standing communities of Lithuanians in the Kaliningrad Oblast ("Lithuania Minor"), and in the Belarusian SSR, were almost destroyed as a result.

The Lithuanian nation as such, remained primarily in Lithuania, in a few villages in Poland and Latvia, and also in the hearts and minds of a diaspora of emigrants. Some indigenous Lithuanians still remain in Belarus and Kaliningrad Oblast, but their number is small compared to what they used to be. Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, and was recognized by most countries, in 1991. It became a member of the European Union on May 1, 2004. Low birth rate and increased emigration after joining EU is threatening nation's future.

Ethnic composition of Lithuania

Main Article: Demographics of Lithuania

Lithuania among the Baltic states has the most homogeneous population. According to the census conducted in 2001, 83.45% of the population identified themselves as Lithuanians, 6.74% as Poles, 6.31% as Russians, 1.23% as Belarusians, 2.27% as member of other ethnic groups.

Poles are concentrated in the Vilnius region, area controlled by Poland in the interwar period. Especially large Pole communities are in Vilnius district municipality (61.3% of the population) and Šalčininkai district municipality (79.5%). Such concentration allows Election Action of Lithuania's Poles, an ethnic minority-based political party, to have political influence. This party held 1-2 seats in the parliament of Lithuania for the past decade. The party is more active in local politics and controls several municipality councils.

Russians, even though their number is very close to Poles, are much more evenly scattered and do not have a strong political party. The most prominent community lives in Visaginas city municipality (52%). Most of them are scientists who moved from Russia to work in the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. Lithuania is noted for success in limiting Russian worker migration during the Soviet occupation (1945-1990). A number of ethnic Russians left Lithuania after the declaration of independence in 1990.

In the past, ethnic composition of Lithuania has changed dramatically. The most prominent change is the extermination of the Jewish population during the Holocaust. Before the World War II about 7.5% of the population was Jewish; they were concentrated in cities and towns and had a significant influence on crafts and business. They were called Litvaks and had a strong culture. Population of Vilnius, sometimes nicknamed Northern Jerusalem, was about 30% Jewish. Almost all Jews were killed during the Nazi Germany occupation or later emigrated to the United States and Israel. Now there are only about 4,000 Jews living in Lithuania.


Cultural Subgroups

Beyond the various religious and ethnic groups currently residing in Lithuania, Lithuanians are usually divided into 5 groups: Samogitians, Sudovians, Aukštaitians, Dzūkians and Lietuvininks, the last of which is extinct. City dwellers are usually considered just Lithuanians, especially ones from large cities such as Vilnius or Kaunas.

The five groups are determinated according to certain region-specific traditions, dialects, historical divisions and such. There are also some stereotypes used in jokes about these subgroups, e.g. that Sudovians are supposedly frugal while Samogitians are stubborn.



Lithuanians are among the tallest people in the world. Average height of males is 181.3 cm, females - 167.5 cm. Height acceleration was fast through the 20th century although now it has slowed down. In the end of 19th century height of males was 163.5 cm and height of females was 153.3 cm. [1]


Distribution of Slavic peoples by language


Distribution of Slavic peoples by language

Countries inhabited by Slavic peoples


Countries inhabited by Slavic peoples

The Slavic peoples are a linguistic and ethnic branch of Indo-European peoples, living mainly in Europe. Since emerging from their original homeland (most commonly thought to be in Eastern Europe) in the early 6th century, they have inhabited most of eastern Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Many have later settled in Northern Asia or emigrated to other parts of the world.

Slavic peoples are traditionally divided along linguistic lines into West Slavic (including Czechs, Poles and Slovaks), East Slavic (including Belarussians, Russians, and Ukrainians), and South Slavic (including Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs and Slovenians). For a more comprehensive list, see Ethno-cultural subdivisions.





Audrone Bliujiene



The spread of amber in Lithuania and its popularity over different periods, application of amber in ornament production, changing trends in amber jewelry wear as well as the links of these customs with gender, sex, and, more generally, with the Lithuanian world outlook, are the Issues usually discussed based on ungrounded assumptions that the amber artifacts found in Lithuanian burial sites and the cultural strata of hill-forts and settlements had originated from the Lithuanian coast. It is unexpected, but Fig. 5. Step cut aber bead from Uzpelkiai Stray find, MLIM GEL 63237. Photo by Antanas Luksenascredible possibility, that Baltic Sea amber artifacts, belonging to different archeological sites across Lithuania, are not only local products, but also imports via different trade routes. As far as analysis of Lithuanian amber artifacts has established, raw amber was exported from the coast southwards. Lathed and semi-lathed amber beads found at the cemeteries in central Lithuania, the lower Nemunas region and even in coastal Lithuania and dated to the late Roman Iron Age - early Migration period, are imports of several workshops in the lower Vistula, Kuiavia areas, Mazurian Lakeland, Sambian peninsula and other regions. On the other hand, it should be noted, that amber beads of common shapes known since the Roman Iron Age onwards, figure-eight shaped beads-pendants and these of other less common shapes, as well as beads and other amber artifacts typical of the Vendel and the Viking Age were produced by local amber crafstmen in coastal Lithuania.



Though the knowledge provided by written sources on the Balts (Aestii - hesti, aesti) in the middle of the first millennium and the Roman period is only of general character, even these short accounts inform on the Baltic peoples and their trade in amber. The Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus (ca 55-120) was the first one to refer to gentes Aestiorum as all the Baltic tribes collectively in his opus Germania, 98. Tacitus mentions the gentes Aestiorum being distinct from others, as it is the only tribe of these known to Tacitus, to collect amber (in their language glaesum) on the Mare Suebicum (Baltic Sea) coast. Yet, being barbarian, they never explore the nature of amber and do not know it. The gentes Aestii bring raw amber to merchants, they take reward for it with surprise (Tacitas, 1972, 45; with Latin checked by Veronika Gerliakiene). This observation by Tacitus is of great value, as besides emphasizing the fact, that the Balts collect amber washed up by the sea, it also points out, that they bring it themselves to markets known to both sides involved in this trade. Since it is known that the Goths left the lower Vistula region in the second century, it is possible to assume that the area where the west Balts collect drift amber includes the lower Vistula region, Samland and coastal Lithuania. In modern language that would mean southeastern and eastern regions of the Baltic coast.

The Roman Caius Plinius Secundus (23-79) also mentions trade in amber in his Naturalis Historia. The book tells of a Neron's time expediton by a Roman nobleman (eques Romanus) from Carnuntum commercia, a Roman frontier fortress and important trade center in the middle reaches of the Danube, to the Baltic coast (amber-bearing island) to purchase amber. Researchers mentioned by C. Plinius Secundus, linked amber-bearing island with Samland peninsula, Lithuanian sea cost or island situated west of Jutland (Kolendo, 1985, p. 11-13; Michelbertas, 1995, p. 17-19). However, C. Plinius Secundus also mentions the fact that the Germanic tribes take amber to Pannonia, from where the Eneti provide it for the Romans (Naturalis Historia, XXXVII, 30-52; translation from Latin by Veronika Gerliakiene).

Claudius Ptolemy (ca 90-168) in his opus Geography mentions two Baltic tribes, Galindians and Sudovians (soudinoi; LIS, 1955, p. 19). These two tribes, having no access to the Baltic shores, could only control the area rich in mined amber in northwest Poland. The letter by the Ostrogoth King Theodoric written around 523-526, besides important political information contains references to trade in amber. This letter was retold by Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus (ca 487-ca 578). The letter by Theodoricus proves that the Balts were known in Europe of the fifth-sixth centuries and put efforts to continue and expand trade in amber, which was impacted by the processes of the Great Migration period. The inflow of amber to the Roman Empire in the fourth century was very significant though less then before (Wielowiejski, 1980 a, p. 14-21; Kolendo, 1990, p. 91-100). Jordanes, a Gothic historian, retelling Historica Gotica by Cassiodorus, mentions the Baltic peoples as involved in the processes of the Great Migration in Europe together with the Goths (Wolfram, 1990, p. 139-140). Therefore, based on references in written sources, conclusion can be drawn, that the Baltic peoples were present in culturally defined world of the period. Yet it should be noted, that besides the western Balts, other tribes, like Celts, Goths, and the peoples of Debczyn, Wielbark, Przeworsk, and Bogaczew cultures, later Olsztyn cultural group, were also involved in amber trade.

The lower Vistula region, Samland and the coast of Lithuania abounded in drift amber (Katinas, 1983, p. 10-11; Sidrys, 1994 a, fig. 1). The island of Fiun and western coast of the Jutland peninsula yielded raw amber to amber exporters in certain periods (Jensen, 1965, Kanen 1-3, Kolendo, 1985, p. 11; Katinas, 1983, p. 11). Northwestern Poland, the basin of the Narew river, the Mazurian Lakeland region, Pomerania not far away from Slupsk, also the environs of Gdansk were rich in mined amber (Kosmowska-Ceranowicz., Pietrzak, 1985, p. 49-51, rig. 18).



Schlesien in Polen 990-1202

"Für die politische Geschichte hält man sich am besten an das relativ Dauerhafte und übergeht damit einen kurzlebigen Wislanen-"Staat" um 900 an der oberen Weichsel, im späteren Kleinpolen. So erscheint Miesko I. (960 - um 992), ein Zeitgenosse der Kaiser Otto I., Otto II. und Otto III., im Gebiet der Polanen - und bereits Kujawien und Masowien mitbeherrschend - erstmals als Haupt eines Gemeinwesens von Rang im Licht der Historie."
Peter Moraw, Das Mittelalter (bis 1469), in Norbert Conrads (Hrg.), Schlesien, Deutsche Geschichte im Osten Europas, 2. verbesserte Auflage, Berlin 2002, S. 49

"Damit tritt diese Anfangssituation deutlich später auf als in Böhmen. Mieskos Herrschaftsgebiet hatte noch keinen greifbaren Namen. Erst im 11. Jahrhundert wird der Name Polens erwähnt, und zwar bei deutschen Geschichtsschreibern, also als Fremdbezeichung."
Moraw, aaO., S. 49

"Der Sohn Mieskos, Boleslaus der Kühne (992-1025), von dem an man den Nachweis der dynastischen Kontinuität der neuen Dynastie der Piasten als erbracht ansehen kann, schritt auf der gleichen Bahn nicht minder erfolgreich voran. Er vermochte sich wenigstens zeitweise für eine kaiserfreundliche Politik zu entscheiden (...). Im Jahr 1000 gelang ihm infolge der Zuneigung Kaiser Ottos III., der persönlich nach Gnesen gekommen war, eine beträchtliche, königsartige Aufwertung seiner Person."
Moraw. aaO., S. 53


Grabplatte des Herzogs Boleslaus I., des Schwiegervaters der hl. Hedwig, in der Klosterkirche von Leubus
Aus: J. Gottschalk: Hedwig von Andechs - Herzogin von Schlesien, Freiburg/ Br. 1982, S. 28

 "Das erste etwas ausführlichere Schriftzeugnis über den späteren schlesischen Raum stammt von dem sogenannten Bayerischen Geographen, vermutlich einem Mönch des Regensburger Klosters St. Emmeram aus der zweiten Hälfte des 9. Jahrhunderts. Demnach waren damals an der Oder vier slawische Stämme oder Völker ansässig, zu denen später noch zwei weitere hinzutraten: Von Norden nach Süden die Dedosizen an der mittleren Oder, die Boboranen am Bober, die Trebowanen östlich davon an der Oder, die Slensanen mitten in Schlesien um das spätere Breslau, die Opolanen im nördlichen und die Golensizen im südlichen Oberschlesien sowie iin Österreich-Schlesien (...). Von den überlegenen (oder schon zentral wohnenden?) Slensanen rührt der Name "Schlesien" her, der sich ähnlich wie im Falle Polens nach und nach auf das ganze Land ausgedehnt hat. Dies war wohl um die Mitte des 12. Jahrhunderts oder im 13. Jahrhundert abgeschlossen."
Moraw, aaO., S. 56f

"Wirkungsvoll im Sinn (...) der kommenden schlesischen Geschichte war erst die Auseinandersetzung zwischen den Premysliden aus Böhmen und Mähren und den Piasten aus Großpolen. Dabei hatten gemäß der europäischen Entwicklungsgeschichte die weiter westlich sitzenden Premysliden einen Vorsprung. Bevor die Herrschaft Mieskos (... ) ins Leben getreten war, hat Herzog Wratislaus I. von Böhmen (etwa 905-921) die Slawen an der Oder in ein Gebilde mit langer Zukunft, in sein Premyslidenreich, einbezogen, wie bald darauf sein Sohn Boleslaus I. (935-967) noch dazu das spätere Kleinpolen. Es spricht manches dafür, dass
Breslau durch Wratislaus, das jedenfalls diesen seinen Namen trägt, als Burganlage gegründet worden ist. Ebenso scheint Boleslaus durch Bunzlau bezeugt".
Moraw, aaO., S. 58


"Boleslaus I., der Lange (1163-1201), und Miesko (1163-1121) teilten Schlesien, jener zuerst offenbar auch im Namen des für eine geistliche Karriere bestimmten und daher in Fulda zurückbleibenden, bald auch verstorbenen Bruders Konrad. Die Teilung fiel zugunsten des Erstgenannten aus. Für Miesko verblieb nur das Gebiet um Ratibor und Teschen. Erst nach dem Tod des Älteren erweiterte er seine Herrschaft gewaltsam um Oppeln und das Umland. Da nicht viel später, nämlich 1220, das Erbrecht zwischen beiden Linien vertraglich ausgeschlossen wurde, war die kommende politische Zweiteilung Schlesiens fixiert."
Moraw, aaO, S. 62