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Slavs - 100-600 AD

Ancient authors of the I-II centuries report on the first memorials about Slavs (under the name of venedy) on the territory of present-day Ukraine. According to their works venedy (Ptolemej also proposed a perverted name - stavany) localized in the forest-steppe region from the Dnipro River to the Visla River, between balty tribes and alany. Later on Byzantine historians mention Slavs under such names as venety, anty and sklaviny. On the territory described according to ancient sources as Slavonic, archeologists outline several cultures, among which zarubenets'ka and chernyakhivs'ka are of most significance.

With the year 471, the name Sarmatia disappears entirely, and it is replaced in the Byzantine historians with that of Slavia-Sclavonia. The Slavi or Sloveni, advanced westward, in the rear of the Germans. They extend already over the immense plains of modern Prussia, Poland, and Russia. They drive the last German tribes across the Elbe. They occupy the fertile valley of Bojenheim (Bohemia), and the Carpathian ridge separates them from the Longobards and Gepidae on the Danube. They were divided into many kindred nationalities.

In the closing stages of Great settling (VI-VII centuries) the Slavs played the main role in migration flows. They conquered and in the course of time settled practically all Balkan peninsula, territories to Elba (Laby), lakes Ilmen', Volho-Oks'ke country between two rivers and the Northern Black Sea. During migration density of the population has deeply decreased. Occupying, as a rule, inhabited territory, the Slavs could not escape an impact of local people. Along with the division from the main Slavonic center it resulted in growing differences between distant tribe unions.

Archeological facts, verifying information of written sources, testify, that between the V-VI centuries on the territory of sklaviny and anty local cultural habitats have been formed gradually transforming into unions of local Slavonic tribes. Their hypothetic names are known from Russian chronicles of the later period: polyany - on Kyivshchyna and Kanivshchyna, derevlyany - on Kyiv Polissya and Eastern Volyn', ulychi - on the south from polyany, in the Southern Podniprov'ya and Pobuzhzhya, tyvertsi - in the country between two Rivers Serednij Dniestr and Prut, duliby- in the upper Dniestr and basin of the Western Buh, croats - in the Carpathian region, siveryany - on the Northern left-bank of the Dniper River along the Desna and Sejm Rivers. Steppe Podniprov'ya from the left side of the Dnipro was inhabited mixed up with alany, Bulgarians and Slavs independent on established by Turkic people in the VII century the Khozarsky state (kohanat).

Making review of the ancient Ukrainian history it is impossible not to mention Greek city-colonies of the Northern Black Sea. Their appearance was one of the episodes of ancient Hellas inhabitants settling on the Mediterranean basin in the VIII-VI centuries B.C. The most ancient colony, established here in the VII century B.C. by immigrants from Ionic Milet, was the settlement on the island (at those times peninsula) of Berezan' at mouth of the Buho-Dnistrovsky estuary, as well as the city of Pantikapej (nowadays the city of Kerch). During the VI-V centuries B.C. on Kerchensky and Tamansky peninsulas the cities of Feodosiya, Fanahoriya, Gorgippa (Anapa), Germonassa (Tamanska) etc. appeared, at the same on the western Crimean coast Khersones was founded (in the limits of the modern city of Sevastopil), on the coast of Dnistrovsky estuary - Tyra and Nikonij, and at mouth of Pivdennyj Buh - Olviya.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 13:34:12 ZULU