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From which Slavic tribes did the Russians actually descend
From which Slavic tribes did the Russians actually descend

By the 9th century, the Eastern Slavs had about 15 large alliances of tribes or, as the chronicler Nestor calls them, tribal reigns. Among the ancestors of the Great Russians, two tribes should be distinguished - the Vyatichi and the Ilmen Slovenes. The lands of these two unions were completely within the borders of modern Russia. The rest of the Slavic peoples can be considered the common ancestors of the Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians, since during their existence they occupied the territories of several modern states at once.

Polish origin of the Vyatichi

The temple rings are a typical female adornment of the Vyatichi

According to the Tale of Bygone Years, the Vyatichi came to the Russian land in the 8th century AD. and settled in the basin of the Upper and Middle Oka. The last mentions of this people date back to the 13th century, but their legacy can be traced back to the 17th century.

In history, the Vyatichi are known as a freedom-loving and militant people - the Kiev princes had to capture them at least four times. They prayed to the idol gods and venerated the Magi, flatly refusing to be baptized and betray the faith of their pagan ancestors. Even church historians recognize the baptism of the Vyatichi as the longest process - they accepted Christianity only in the 15th century.

The "Tale of Bygone Years" directly indicates that the Vyatichi, like the Radimichi, descended from the Western Slavs - Poles (from the "Lyakh clan"). In the annals, the monk Nestor tells the legend about two brothers-lyakhah - Radim and Vyatko, who became genealogical heroes and ancestors of the Slavic peoples. Vyatko came to the Russian land and "sat down with his family on the Oka" - the territory of the present Moscow, Oryol, Kaluga and other neighboring regions. The route of movement from the Polish Pomorie to the Russian Plain can be traced by some toponyms and hydronyms, for example, along the Pena, Vyacha, Ratomka and Dvina (Dzivna) rivers.

Before the Vyatichi, the Balts lived in the upper reaches of the Oka, as evidenced by the monuments of the Moschinsk culture found by archaeologists. Many researchers believe that the Baltic substrate had a significant impact on the further development of the Vyatichi tribal union. The Balts did not leave the lands occupied by the Slavs, but continued to coexist on the same territory, which could not but affect the traditions, economic culture and anthropological appearance of the Vyatichi.

The remains from the Moscow burial mounds allow us to conclude that the Vyatichi were characterized by an elongated skull, a narrow face and a wide, moderately protruding nose with a high bridge of the nose. Soviet anthropologists G.F. Debets and T.A. Trofimov was considered by the Vyatichi to be of the Caucasian type, while they did not deny the presence of insignificant Subural impurities characteristic of the Finno-Ugric peoples.

Radimichi - ancestors of Belarusians and part of Russians

Reconstruction of the appearance of a woman of the Radimichi tribe

The scientific literature does not give a consensus about the origin of the Radimichi. According to the chronicle legend, they came to the territory of Russia from the Lyash lands under the leadership of their leader - Radim. The Radimichs lived in the interfluve of the upper Dnieper and Desna along the course of the Sozh River - in the territories of the Gommel and Mogilev regions of Belarus. Until the 10th century, the Slavic union retained its independence, had its own army and ruled over peoples through tribal leaders. In 885, Prophetic Oleg took power over them and forced them to pay tribute.In 984, the Radimichi finally joined Kievan Rus.

There are several theories that contradict the chronicle version of the Lyash origin of the Radimichs. Most linguists believe that the name of the tribe is of Baltic origin. The closest to this ethnonym are the terms radimas (finding) and radimviete (location). Slavist and ethnographer E.F. Karsky believed that the Radimichi moved to Sozh from the more western regions, where they were neighbors with the Poles, but they themselves were not Ylyakhs. This point of view was shared by the Czech archaeologist L. Niederle. He considered the basins of the Bug and Narev to be the birthplace of the "Radim tribe".

Anthropological characteristics of the Radimichi are similar to the rest of the Western Slavs - an oblong skull, a prominent nose, but a wider face than that of their chronicled "relatives" of the Vyatichi.

Krivichi is the largest tribal union among all Slavs

Krivichi burial mounds in the Tsaritsyn forest park

The Krivichi represented the most extensive ethnic community within the forest zone of Eastern Europe, they lived not on the territory of modern Belarus, Pskov and Smolensk regions. Chronicle Krivichi is a collective concept that includes the Polotsk, Smolensk and Pskov-Izborsk branches.

The Polotsk tribe that inhabited the territory of modern Vitebsk and Minsk regions is the Slavic core of the Krivichi. It was in the basin of the Western Dvina that the largest tribal union of the Slavs was formed, as mentioned in the Tale of Bygone Years. In VII-VIII Polotsk Krivichi moved to the east, where the Baltic tribes and some part of the Finno-Ugrians were assimilated.

After the formation of Kievan Rus, the Krivichi, together with the Vyatichi, took an active part in the colonization of the eastern lands - the modern Tver, Vladimir, Kostroma, Ryazan, Yaroslavl and Nizhny Novgorod regions. Separate tribes occupied the north of the Moscow region and the Vologda region, where they assimilated the local Finnish population of the Dyakovo culture.

Krivichi are characterized by high growth, a long and narrow skull, a protruding, but not straight nose and a sharp chin.

Ilmen Slovenes, or why are they considered newcomers from the Dnieper region?

Novgorod burial hills

Ilmen Slovenes are the northernmost East Slavic tribe that inhabited the territories of the Ilmen basin and the upper reaches of the Mologa. Archeologically, this tribal union is identified with the so-called "hill culture", which is characterized by high embankments in burial places.

Some scientists consider the Dnieper region to be the ancestral home of the Slovenes, while others argue that the carriers of the hill culture descended from the indigenous inhabitants of the Baltic Sea region, as they have much in common in the construction of dwellings and defensive fortresses. Soviet archaeologist P.N. Tretyakov shared the point of view about the Dnieper origin, pointing out the similarities in the construction of burial mounds. But at the same time, he did not deny the possibility of their interaction with the Baltic Slavs.

The "Tale of Bygone Years" says that the Ilmen Slovenes, together with the Krivichs, called on the Varangians to reign and participated in military campaigns. It is also believed that they made a significant contribution to the economic development of Russia, establishing trade relations with Pomerania, the islands of Rügen, Gotland, Prussian and Arab merchants.

After Veliky Novgorod became the capital of Slovenes, the inhabitants of these lands began to be called Novgorodians, and their descendants still live in the Novgorod region.

The anthropological appearance of the Slovenians was somewhat different from most of the other East Slavic peoples. They are characterized by mesorania (average indicators of the ratio of the length and width of the skull), a wide and fleshy nose.

Border northerners

Jewelry of the Eastern Slavs

Despite this name, the northerners lived much south of the Slovenes. Their locations were the basins of the Desna, Seim, Northern Donets and Sula. One half of the representatives of the northerners occupied the current territories of Ukraine (Sumy and Chernigov regions), and the other lived on the lands of modern Russia (Belgorod, Kursk and Bryansk regions).

The western border separating the Seversk land from the meadows was the Dnieper. In the east, they coexisted with the Vyatichi, in the north - with the Radimichs and Balts-Goliad.

The existence of the tribal association of the Sivertsy as a state unit can be traced from the 8th to the 10th centuries. The last mention in chronicles dates back to 1024.

How the northerners appeared on their historical land is not known for certain. There are several theories on this score. For example, Lev Gumilev believed that these were Savirs nomads assimilated by the Slavs. Historian V.P. Kobychev expressed a hypothesis about the resettlement of the Sivertsy from the western or southern Slavic lands. A tribe with the same name was known in the 7th-10th centuries in the lower Danube region in Bulgaria. And further migration to the east, according to Kobychev, can be explained by the Great Migration of Peoples.

The origin of the name of the tribal union is also questionable. According to V.V. Sedov, it has Scythian-Sarmatian roots and is translated as "black" (Chernigov).

For the anthropological type of northerners, oblong faces, a strongly protruding nose (more than that of other Slavs), thin brushes and small stature are characteristic.

Due to the fact that the Slavs everywhere on their way encountered the pre-Slavic population, you can to argue that there are no Slavs without impurities at all.

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