January 24, 2010

Veneti and Slovenian History

When we speak of Slovenian history, we must understand that there are in reality two histories—the official and the unofficial.  The official history, disseminated in the 19th century by dominant history schools in central Europe, rests on two theories, both of which lack archaeological and documentary evidence.  The first is that Slovenians settled in their traditional lands in the 6th century A.D., and the second, that they are South Slavs.  Inasmuch as both of these theories are without scientific foundation, they survived only by reason of a variety of political controls.
All other aspects of Slovenian history were formulated to meet the requirements of the above two-pronged official framework.  This contrived account of our past was largely accepted as if it were scientifically proven, and although badly outdated, it remains part of educational systems everywhere.
There were at the same time a few people who came to different conclusions.  They understood that our forbears did not come from somewhere else in the 6th century—that they were an ancient, indigenous people in central Europe.  This is the so-called autochthonous theory.  A number of Slovenian scholars contributed to it:  grammarian Adam Bohorič (born 1520); historian Martin Baucer; historian, ethnologist Janez V. Valvasor; Dr. Janko Grampovčan; Davorin Žunkovič; Henrih Tuma, and others.  We must include here also the findings of the Italian researcher Guiseppe Sergi, who considered Slovenians as indigenous and descendents of the Veneti.  Along these lines gradually developed what we could now call the unofficial history.
That the Veneti were part of Slovenian history came into sharp focus in 1989 when three Slovenian researchers, Dr. Jožko Šavli, academician Matej Bor, and Father Ivan Tomažič published their findings in the book Veneti:  naši davni predniki.  The gist of their positions is as follows:  1) Slovenians lived in their lands long before the presumed settlement in the 6th century, 2) the name Veneti relates to the West Slavs, 3) Slovenians are their descendants and 4) Venetic and Slovenian languages were related.
The above theses accord with the Greek and Roman writers (Homer, Herodotus, Tacitus, Pliny) who used names Henetoi, Uenetoi, Enetoi and Veneti for Slavs.  Several more synonyms developed later:  Vinidi, Venedi, Vinedi, Winidi, Wendische, Windische.
The Venetic studies were considerably advanced in 1996, when the book Veneti:  naši davni predniki appeared in Canada in the English language under the title Veneti:  First Builders of European Community.  Its publisher was Father Tomažič.  It has been distributed among English speakers far and wide.  Many universities with Slavic Studies and Departments of Genetics now have Veneti; it is also available in many public libraries and libraries of some associations, also in the National Library of Canada and the Library of Congress in the USA.
Within its pages are many references to Veneti in relation to Slovenians.  Here are a few examples, “Fredegarii Chronicon (year 623) uses the name Winidi for Slovenians, ‘Sclavi coinomento Winidi,’ also ‘Venetii’ and ‘Vinidi,’ even ‘Vandali’ and ‘gens Wandalorum,’ their land is named ‘marca Winidorum’” (page 9).  Slovenian Prince Valuk is “Walucus dux Winedorum”(page 144).  There is also the often-cited equation of Slovenians with the Veneti by the author of Vitae S. Columbani, where he speaks about the “land of Veneti who are also called Slavs (Termini Venetiorum qui et Sclavi dicuntur).”  He did not know these Slavs as recent settlers (page 464).  Around the year 600 St. Columban wanted to spread the Christian faith among the Veneti in Noricum, present-day Austria.  This alone is a strong indication that Veneti were of Slavic origin, regardless of where they lived—in the Alps, the Pannonian plain, the Adriatic or elsewhere.
Primož Trubar was a Slovenian preacher and writer.  In 1551 he published a Slovenian catechism entitled Catechismus in der Windischenn Sprach / Catechism in the Windisch Language, which means that among speakers of German, the name Slowenen for Slovenians came into use later, probably in the 19th century.
Official historians maintain that the territory of present-day Austria was populated by Latinized Celts before the presumed arrival of Slavs.  But they do not say why the Celts, who had already been for several centuries under Roman rule and were therefore on an appreciably higher level of culture and defence skills, would have accepted the Slavic multitudes as its own ruling class, and adopted their language and their customs without going to war.  This is improbable.  To take the entire territory from the Adriatic Sea to the Danube River without major battles would have been impossible.  Yet no ancient writer mentions battles.  Why?  Probably because there were none.  The native village population was not the Latinized Celts, but Slovenians; that is, their ancestors.  Germans called them Windische.
One wonders why historians always look to the Celts for answers, and never to the indigenous Slovenians.  If the Celts were the original population of present-day Austria, why would there not be Celtic instead of Slovenian place-names?  One of the few Austrian professors, who is treating this subject states, “All place-names as far as the line between Linz and the eastern Tyrol, which bear any Slavic element — and there are exceptionally many of them — are by origin not ‘Slavic’ but Carinthian, that is, Slovenian . . . In truth these are Slovenian names, and there are an enormous number of them, as far as the Danube River in the north.”
Important contributions to the unofficial history are being made by genetics.  Unfortunately, this science, although a very precise and reliable tool, is not yet utilized in either archaeology or history.  If historians used it freely, without political interference, they would soon recognize that the history of Europe needs to be rewritten.  It is noteworthy that the book Veneti:  First Builders…has been cited several times in genetic publications such as “Annals of Human Genetics,” University College, London.
For many years Jože Škulj from Toronto, Canada, has been researching Sanskrit and genetics.  He has accumulated a large amount of data that also concerns Slovenians.  In his paper Etruscans, Veneti and Slovenians he states, “There is a genetic continuity between ancient Etruscans and Veneti and present-day Slovenians.  Genetic information makes it evident, that Slovenians are indigenous in their traditional lands as indicated by the mtDNA relationship with the 2,500-years-old skeletal remains of the Etruscans, particularly those of Adria.  Synthesizing the results of Vernesi et al and Malyarchuk et al, it becomes obvious that the present-day Slovenians carry more ‘Etruscan’ mtDNA HVS1 haplotypes than Tuscans [the presumed descendants of Etruscans].  Twice as many ‘Etruscan’ haplotypes are present in Slovenians than in Tuscans, namely:  CRS, 16261, 16223, 16311.  These were found in skeletal remains from Adria, Magliano/Marsiliana and also from Volterra.”
Venetic studies received additional support, when in 1999 a book appeared in Canada entitled Adieu to Brittany.  The author, Anthony Ambrozic, presents his work on the inscriptions of ancient Gaul, mainly from the provinces where Veneti lived and ruled before the Roman occupation.  The first and second parts of the book include more than forty inscriptions.  They are interpreted with the help of Slovenian, its dialects, and other Slavic languages.  The third part includes a review of a large number of toponyms with Slavic elements, names of islands, rivers, mountains, plains and so on.  His second book on this subject, Journey Back to the Garumna, appeared in 2000, where he continues the same theme, but with a much wider selection of details.  His third book, Gordian Knot Unbound, published in 2002, includes his work on Phrygian inscriptions from Asia Minor, inscriptions from Thrace, decipherment of the inscriptions “Spada di Verona,” “Plumergat” and others.
Since 2001 there have been in Slovenia four conferences in the series The Origins of Slovenians.  Many papers were presented by Slovenian and foreign researchers:  Contemporary Theory of Continuity (Slovenia); Veneti, Ancestors of Slavs (Russia); Linguistic and Genetic Correspondences Between Slavs and Indo-Aryans (Canada); Veneti in Pannonia (Slovenia); Linguistic Connections Between Basques and Slavs (USA).  The fifth conference is in preparation for summer 2005.

Anton Škerbinc

God Bless the Land Under Mount Triglav

Review by Ivan Sivec
Translated from Slovenian by Anton Škerbinc

The Veneti are again amongst us.  During the last year, 2007, Father Ivan Tomažič published a booklet in Slovenian, German and Italian languages on the subject of Veneti, titled God Bless the Land Under Mount Triglav.  The title is a paraphrase of a Venetic inscription from the Carnic Alps, and this article is the translation of the review of the booklet.  Last year also saw a new, improved and enlarged edition of Dr. Jožko Šavli’s Slovenska država Karantanija/The Slovenian State of Carantania.  The two publications appeared in time to coincide with the renewed interest among us Slovenians in our past.
Ivan Tomažič speaks of himself: “I left home in my childhood [age 13] in September 1932, not knowing that I would not see it again for 23 years.  I lived all the intervening years in foreign countries.  Other nations and languages became part of my life to the point that I nearly forgot my mother tongue, which I never really knew well; the elementary schools in our part of Slovenia were at that time Italian.  When after many years I arrived in Vienna, Austria, my interest in everything Slovenian awakened in me…
“Among these interests were also questions about our past.  The official theory states that we Slovenians arrived in our traditional lands in the 6th century AD; however, I found no evidence for this arrival.  The simple question, ‘Where were we before?’ could not be answered.  Although I was very occupied with the building of the student residence Korotan, I continued the search through history books.  Later, Jožko Šavli arrived in Vienna.  We had many discussions about Slovenian history, and we both wrote in the periodical Glas Korotana/Voice of Carinthia.  After our first public appearances the poet and academician Matej Bor took courage and published in Slovenia’s leading daily Delo his deciphering of Venetic inscriptions.  The three of us then together developed the arguments and substantiations about uninterrupted developments of the Slovenian nation from the distant past to the present day.
“Our collaboration was crowned in 1988 with the publication of the book Unsere Vorfahren die Veneter/Veneti: Our Ancestors and its presentation in the prestigious Beethoven Hall in the centre of Vienna.  The musical contribution for the occasion was provided by the Slovenian Octet.  In June 1989, we made one of our largest presentations of the Slovenian edition of the book Veneti naši davni predniki/Veneti: Our Distant Ancestors in the Union Hall, Ljubljana, Slovenia.  The crowd was too big to be accommodated in the large hall.  There, too, we experienced an unforgettable occasion, a national celebration…”
Ivan Tomažič was, and—in spite of his advanced age—still is the chaplain in one of Vienna’s hospitals.  In those earlier years, he also looked after the large Slovenian student residence, but even so, his concerns about Veneti were ever present.  His latest booklet reflects his tireless research: “Up till now we held the view that Slavs originated in the Lusatian culture.  We also placed the origins of the Veneti there, that is, in the 2nd millennium BC.  However, the new discoveries, strongly defended by Italian linguist Mario Alinei and the Belgian archaeologist Marcel Otte, state that the Slavic languages and nations also originated in the Late Stone Age [Neolithic].  According to Alinei, the Slavs were then the oldest and largest population, and he assigns to them the entire area from the Baltic Sea to the Balkans, almost half of Europe.”  And what is the latest view of the Veneti?  “Veneti are part of this wide Slavic—albeit not densely populated—territory, but they originate in the Lusatian culture, with its religious significance of the Urnfields.  People later named Veneti spread the religious concept of Urnfields [burial of urns with ashes in open fields] with a missionary zeal far and wide in the Slavic territory.
“In my view, the name Veneti originates in the ethnonym Slovani (Slavs) from its root slovo, meaning word.  Its adjective is sloven, and its noun is slovenet.  Inasmuch as the Greek and the Latin languages did not have the consonant group sl, the first syllable was dropped, and the Sloveneti became Veneti.  This is also evident from Mario Alinei’s book Origini dele Lingue Europee, Bologna 1996, of almost one thousand pages, in which he speaks about the original languages of Europe.  Clearly emphasized is also the Venetic language.”  The inscription found in the Carnic Alps, “Bug oša so višad,” is in modern Slovenian: “Naj bi Bog obšel to višavo/May God visit this highland.”  We find in the booklet interpretations of other Venetic inscriptions from northern Italy, present-day Slovenia, and Carinthia, Austria.
The booklet contains also many other explanations on the subject of Veneti and Slovenians, among them the example of the great religious teacher St. Jerome, who is at times mistakenly called St. Hieronim: “He was born in 347 to Roman parents in the now unknown Stridon, which could be the old Slovenian village Starod near Podgrad between Trst/Trieste and Reka, and could have been a Roman outpost.  He studied in Oglej/Aquileia.  He had connection to Ljubljana/Emona but spent most of his life in Rome and Bethlehem.  In his Commentary to Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, Jerome refers to the name Tychicus and gives an explanation in the following words: ‘Tychicus enim silens interpretatur/Tychicus actually means silent.’  How would St. Jerome know if he did not understand the Slovenian language, which he could have learned among the children of his birthplace, or in Oglej.”  The reports of Gothic historian Jordanes similarly show the presence of Slovenians, and so do the travel accounts through Slovenian territory by the grandfather of Paulus Diaconus, and the Slovenian name Zaloka on the Roman road map called Tabula Peutingeriana, etc.  Tomažič also touches on Carantania about which Dr. Šavli wrote Slovenska država Karantanija.  Tomažič writes: “The most important historical documentation for Slovenians is the report about two Bavarian attacks on the Slovenian state in the years 593 and 595 with the intention to plunder.  That means that the Slovenians had at that time an independent state in Noricum [present-day Austria], later named Carantania.  The exact translation from the Latin says: ‘In those days, Hildepart, the king of Franks, installed Tasilo as the king of Bavaria.  Who soon thereafter invaded the province of Slavs, overpowered them and returned to his homeland with much loot.’ (HL, IV, 7)  In the second attack the Bavarians were defeated.  This is an important documentation of Slovenian presence in their traditional lands before the year 593, even though the historians, who are defending the late arrival of Slovenians, are trying in every way to give the text a completely false meaning.  They say that this is a report about a battle between the arriving Slovenians and the Bavarians, which is completely at odds with the words of the text, which state clearly that the Bavarians attacked the Slovenian state.  Paulus Diaconus uses the term provincia, just as the Langobards did in regard to their own country in Italy.”
Another detail that is not commonly known is that the name Slovenia was recorded very early.  “The name Slovenia is found as early as the year 837 in the inscription: ‘territorium in Slavinia in loco nuncupato Ipusa/district in Slovenia, in the place called Ipuža’ (Enss in German), located in Inner Noricum [approx. the southern two thirds of present-day Austria] (Kos II. no. 21).”
Alinei says: “One of the most absurd results of the traditional chronology is the arrival of the Slavs—during historical times—to the immense territory such as it is, on which they dwell to this day” (Origini dele Lingue Europee, p. 183).  About Slovenians he says (ibid., pp. 745–747) that they took part during the 3rd millennium BC in the creation of Ladins (from Friuli in Italy to Switzerland) with the introduction of metallurgy from the Ljubljana moor in Slovenia.  As evidence he presents the development of cultures and various linguistic specialties in the Slovenian and Ladin languages, and also some toponyms; for example, Gardena (the older Gradina) from the Slovenian word grad/castle, fortification (ibid., pp. 748–752).  To this we could add hundreds of Slovenian place-names in the entire northern Italy and Switzerland.  Also the situla art with its centre in Slovenian provinces, the central Alps, and Bologna is not without importance.  “Slovenians are not from yesterday, our roots reach into the distant past.”
Devoted to the Veneti theory [Slovenian version of the Theory of Continuity], Ivan Tomažič says at the end of this chapter:  “How different, the findings of the Italian scientist compared to the self-deprecating explanations of Slovenian historians about the late arrival of Slavs and even later formation of Slovenians!”
In the booklet God Bless the Land Under Mount Triglav, there are also a number of interesting details about the language and ethnogenesis of Slovenians, including the chapter “From the Times of the Veneti to These Days.”  At the end there is a noteworthy bibliography showing the tireless efforts of the authors.
Ivan Sivec

Clearing the Misconceptions Over Slovenian Ethnic Origins

Excerpts from Article by Anton Skerbinc published in Prosveta, Year XC, No.30, July 29, 1998

A warm thank you to PROSVETA readers who very generously responded to my various articles on the new discoveries about our Slovenian origins. Some have gone out of their way to promote the book Veneti: First Builders of European Community, and many have purchased it for themselves, their friends or their children who will eventually want to know something about their roots. My thanks as well to the office of the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland for giving us, although only temporarily, a helping hand with the distribution of our book.
In the meantime, several people have expressed concern that the Venetic theory downgrades their ethnic identity. One person writes, "I am puzzled what it is you are trying to do, promoting this new idea that we Slovenes descended from Venetians. I always prided myself on my Slavic background. . ."
Had this gentleman read at least part of our book, his mind would have been set to rest. Slovenians did not descend from the Venetians, nor is anywhere in our book even a hint that that is the case. It is true, however, that Venetians are our distant relatives; they too descended from the proto-Slavic Veneti, but they were Latinized early on. Interestingly enough, Venetians have to this day not completely forgotten their Slavic origin. That is the reason, I should add, why the Italian edition of our book was so warmly received in Venice.
When the ancient Slavs, the bearers of the Urnfield culture, migrated from what is now Poland and eastern Germany, they spread their slavic language as well as their culture and religion. They reached present-day Austria and Slovenia around 1200 B.C., and 200 years later they are documented in northern Italy. They were generally called Winidi, Venedi, Veneti, Wenden or Windische, depending on the area and time.
The historical reality that Slovenians descended from the Veneti does not detract from our Slavic heritage. On the contrary, it extends our background far beyond the limits set by the official historiography and proves that Slovenians or their ancestors resided in their traditional lands uninterruptedly for a very long time. It shows that they are one of the original nations of central Europe.
Two more very common misconceptions are that the Slovenians are South Slavs and that the Slovenian language is a South Slavic dialect. Slovenians are West Slavs, and their language is West Slavic, Venetic, and has, for that very reason, preserved the oldest forms among Slavic languages. However, there is no doubt that after the last migration of Slavs into the Balkans in the sixth century A.D., there must have been some mingling of the old Venetic-Slovenian with the language of the newcomers.
I also received a communication from a professor who insisted that if Slovenians were to descend from Veneti (to him an Italic people), the Slovenian ethnic, linguistic and national identity would have to move through two linguistic and cultural structures, i.e.: from proto-Slavic to Venetic and from Venetic to Slovenian. For this reason, he has "major objections to the Slovenian/Venetic theory."
His inability to go beyond the old concepts reminds me very much of the Texas farmer, an ardent supporter of the Flat Earth Society, who was asked whether his views had changed of late. His response was "Thank God, where I stand the Earth is still flat."
There was obviously no moving through two ethnic, linguistic and cultural structures as the good professor maintains. He is merely restating the official position on the subject, a position that was particularly popular at the turn of the century and created havoc in the traditional Slovenian lands. It embodied a great deal of intellectual dishonesty and is without doubt out of date.
The Venetic theory as presented by Jozko Savli, Matej Bor and Ivan Tomazic, expresses an entirely new and innovative approach to the understanding of the historical and linguistic past of the Slovenian people.
For those who wish to test these ideas for themselves, Veneti is still the best book. Without studying it carefully, one is not well informed about Slovenian national origins or the general historical developments in that part of the world.

Veneti: First Builders of European Community, Tracing the History and Language of Early Ancestors of Slovenes, by Savli, Bor and Tomazic is still available for purchase. The price in the United States, Australia and other destinations is $29, postage and handling included. For more information or to order this important publication, write to Anton Skerbinc, Site 1, Box 17, R.R. 1, Boswell, BC, V0B1A0, Canada.
Anton Škerbinc


The solving of the mystery of Venetic and Etruscan inscriptions with the help of the Slovene language places before us the still open question regarding the initial formation of Indo-European languages. But before we examine this problem, we must recognize that the Venetic and Etruscan languages have to be included in this group. The Etruscan has till now been denied this right.
How and why did Indo-European languages develop? We can say that they formed from a language widely distributed in central Europe. The reasons are unknown but we can draw some conclusions from the later development of Latin based languages; the internal and external causes creating these languages are known to us. We can infer that Indo-European languages also formed as a result of specific internal and external circumstances. The internal conditions of the time are unknown; however, we have some understanding of the extraordinary influence of the invasion and domination of a warring people from the area of the Caucasus in the Late Stone Age (Neolithic) between 3000 and 2000 B.C. Their Battle-Axe culture imposed itself on the predominantly agricultural indigenous peoples. These new circumstances demanded new, improved communications which meant new languages. The change first unfolded in Europe itself, and then because of migrations spread eastward to Persia and India. The dawning of the Indo-European era was the first major turning point in the historical development of Europe.
There is also the question of the original language in Europe which served as the base for the first Indo-European languages. Among these we must count the Venetic and the Illyrian. I would venture to say that it was the Proto-Slavic language. A number of substantiations are presented later in this book.
In the Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic), European people already had important material cultures with correspondingly well-developed languages. Among archaeological remains of the Vinca culture-the middle Danubian area during the 6th to 4th millenniums B.C.-the Etruscologist professor Dr. Radivoje Pesic found all letters of the Etruscan alphabet. Obviously their language was already relatively advanced. The Ice Man from the Tyrolean glacier, dating back to 3300 B.C., provides evidence of an important, orderly society existing in that area. Also in the excavations at Abensberg on the Danube in Bavaria there are strong indications of life in well organized settlements. The thousands of flintstone (Feuerstein) mines found there, dating from 5000 B.C., indicate a prosperous culture based on trade with this "steel of the Stone Age" and the production of a variety of tools.
From the symbiosis of the old indigenous cultures and the new Battle-Axe culture, new societies and new languages formed. Around 1500 B.C., the Unetice (Aunjetitz) culture was known in central Europe. Within it the Indo-European components dominated, including the Kurgan or Mound-grave burial. There was a change around 1300 B.C. when the famous Lusatian culture established itself. Within this culture ancient indigenous elements prevailed; it was here that cremation of the dead and the burial of ashes in urns originated. This burial custom marks the beginning of the Urnfield culture, which spread its religious message with great speed through much of Europe.
The important question at this point concerns the bearers of this culture. Who were they? And who were the first people in central Europe, or possibly all of Europe, who outgrew the narrow constraints of tribal community and developed a higher level of social organization? Until the Second World War researchers identified the people of the Urnfield culture as Proto-Illyrians. More recent archaeological and historical data have led them to the conclusion that these people were Proto-Veneti, since it is known that the Illyrians never occupied the region of central Europe.
Numerous settlements of Urnfield people dating from 1200 B.C. were found around Ljubljana, Slovenia. We may conclude that the Veneti moved from this area farther south to Italy, a hypothesis that corresponds with the findings of the Italian scholar, Giuseppe Sergi, who presented evidence that the Veneti came to Italy from the north in the Bronze Age. It was this group of Veneti, inhabiting the territory between the Alps and the upper Adriatic, who founded the Este culture. Through this culture we are today best able to discover their identity and through them the identity of their predecessors.
The Veneti were a Slavic people; that is, they were the earliest known Slavs in the new form of the Indo-European reality. As the Urnfield culture spread, so did the Venetic (Slavic) language. The most authentic components of the ancient Venetic language have been preserved by the Slovenes who are still living in the region of the Este culture.
The aim of this book is to present evidence that will lead to fundamental changes in the contemporary views of European history.
In the first part of this book Dr. Josko Savli presents a survey of the prehistory of central Europe. He then takes us on a journey through the remains of the Venetic culture and language, especially in the Alpine region and northern Italy between the Po River and the Alps. Hundreds of names of mountains, valleys, rivers, and villages still exist today in this region and witness the past presence of Veneti -- a nation living on in its descendants, the majority of whom have lost the Venetic language.
In the second part of the book, the mysteries of the Venetic and Etruscan inscriptions are unveiled. These inscriptions belong to the oldest monuments of written language in Europe. Scholars had not been able to decipher them until linguist-academician Matej Bor found in the Slovene language the key to their translation. Although the Venetic inscriptions are more than 2000 years removed from contemporary Slovene, the similarities between the two languages are such that these important cultural monuments can still be understood.
These surprising discoveries have attracted not only admiration and approval from scholars and laymen, but also sharp criticism from those who cannot accept the fact that they made wrong decisions in the area of historiography and archaeological legacy.
The third part of the book was written as an answer to these critics, with the goal of dispelling false theories which have until now surrounded the Veneti and their identity.
We would like to break the barrier of silence which surrounds the Venetic culture and to present the reader with an unobstructed view of the ancient past of Europe, which is to some degree still reflected in the Slovene nation.
The reader will notice that this book was written at a specific time in the history of the Slovenes-before their independence. This is the reason for some sharp polemics, provoked especially in connection with entrenched ideological and historical views. We think the importance of the data presented speaks for itself. We also think that the book transcends all ideological positions. Needless to say, every effort was made to scrupulously avoid nationalistic motives. The principal purpose of this book is to determine those elements of material culture and historical events which link the nations of central Europe with their predecessors, the Veneti, regardless of the different languages involved. We would like to contribute to mutual understanding and recognition among the nations of Europe, to strengthen peace and friendship, especially among the nations living in the Alpine region, once the cultural and national centre of the Veneti.
Ivan Tomazic

Why attack Slovenians in 595?

In AD 595 King Tassilo of Bavaria attacked the Slovenian state (Sclaborum provinciam) and returned home with much booty:

Common sense and historical account collide with the fabricated 'historical facts'
"And he soon thereafter invaded the province of Slavs, overpowered them, and returned to his homeland with much loot . . . "
(Paulus Diaconus, History of Langobards, IV, 7, written in 783, Montecassino, Italy)

If the Slovenians had just arrived and occupied the area in the 6th century A.D., as we are told by current official historians, how could they have had such wealth as to entice the Bavarians to plunder?

If the Slovenians had arrived to conquer the land, they would have been the aggressors, but that was not the case. The report of Tassilo's incursion clearly states that it was the Slovenians who were attacked and ransacked in their own land.
Official historians and archaeologists, particularly in Austria, have tried in every way to discover a cultural break in the eastern Alps between antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, but they have had little success because there was no such break.  For those who wish to put these ideas in perspective and familiarize themselves with the basics of Slovenian history, the book VENETI, written by the economist Dr. Joz'ko Šavli, poet Matej Bor and Prof. Rev. Ivan Tomazic, is absolutely essential.  Combining many decades of research, VENETI offers a careful study of facts essential to the understanding of our past.
For example, in Part One of VENETI, we find countless examples of uninterrupted continuity of the Venetic/Slovenian village culture.  The ravaged Roman cities in Noricum are often cited as evidence of the cutural break.  On page 130 of VENETI, Dr. Šavli discusses this problem even more convincingly.  He states: "It is fairly accurate to say that with the destruction of Noricum's cities in late antiquity, its culture perished:  but we must be careful to recognize that what perished was the Roman system, the city culture, and not the rural farming communities where nine-tenths of the population lived."  And again on page 131, he writes: "If these cities were really destroyed by Slavs [Slovenians] there must have been major battles, but official historians only tell us that the inhabitants fled into Italy and Bavaria.
If the cities were deserted, why would the advancing Slavs burn them?  Because they were barbaric and did not know the value of ready-made accommodations?  Very unlikely.  Many armies of invaders passed through Noricum:  precisely who destroyed its cities is not known.  One thing, is certain and it needs to be repeated:  The destroyed cities of Noricum do not prove the arrival of Slavs [Slovenians] at that time."
While our historians and archaeologists try to convince us of the late formation and arrival of Slovenians, the place-names of Venetic/Slovenian origin throughout Austria, northern Italy, and eastern Switzerland tell us of the presence of our ancestors in the European Alps since antiquity.  Even 1250 years of the gradual progression of the German language in Austria has not completely destroyed the Slovenian language there.
The 6th century settlement theory implies that Slovenians moved within one generation from mud huts to the founding of their state of Carantania, and the total eradication of the language of the area's "older population".  This could have happened only in somebody's imagination, and it raises more questions than it answers.

by Anton Škerbinc
August 18, 1998

January 21, 2010

History of Slovenes in Europe

The recently published book Veneti: First Builders of European Community, Tracing the History and Language of Early Ancestors of Slovenes is the most comprehensive study of the early history of Slovenes, and is one of the few works to challenge the heavily flawed history writing of Central Europe.
The three authors, Dr. Jozko Šavli, an economics professor; Matej Bor, a linguist, poet, dramatist; and Ivan Tomazic a Catholic priest, all natives of Slovenia, worked separately researching the history and language of their nation. Later they joined forces and in 1988 published their findings first in the German language, in 1989 in Slovene, in 1991 in Italian, and finally in 1996 in English.
In the course of their research they discovered that the origin of Slovenes or Slovenians was shrouded in a number of improvised theories which had essentially no documentary or historical foundation, that these theories have been disseminated for nationalistic reasons by the dominant history schools of Central Europe since the middle of the last century, and have been accepted as the true account of the history of Slovenes. These makeshift theories were accepted by Slovenes themselves with very few exceptions.
The strongly held assumption that Slovenes were South Slavs, and that they came to their present homeland in the 6th century A.D., was found to be no more than a well-disguised device to "prove" that Slovenes had no indigenous rights of domicile in Central Europe, that they were intruders who had to be controlled, assimilated, and denationalized. The process of forced assimilation has been vigorously imposed for centuries and continues to be carried out by the dominant powers of Central Europe.
Equally unrealistic and hypothetical were the theories concerning the national identity of the ancient Veneti. The official Venetologists have maintained in the majority of cases - for no apparent reason - that the Veneti were an Italic people, although there were also some cautious indications that the Veneti, who came from the north into the area of the northern Adriatic and the Alps during the Bronze Age, could have been of Slavic origin. The latter suggestion was generally dismissed and research regarding the identity of the Veneti came practically to a standstill until the publication of this work.
According to Bor, the reason for the unproductive status of Venetic research is this: "The Slavic linguists have 'ceded' the Venetic language to western researchers, from among whom there is probably not one who has full command and intimate knowledge of the Old Slavic or the modern Slavic languages, and also of the surviving Slovene dialects which play an extremely important role in this undertaking."
Another area of unresolved study is the question of the proto-language of Central Europe. This problem is essentially straightforward; but, for no valid reason, it was dismissed by linguists. The leading Indo-Europeanists were generally satisfied with the view that the language of pre-Indo-European Europe was unknown, and that there was no need to probe beyond this assumption. This attitude prevails to this day.
However, the findings of Šavli, Bor, and Tomažič turned the existing historical and linguistic image of Europe upside-down, and created a profoundly disturbing new insight into Europe's distant past.
In Part One, Dr. Šavli presents a survey of the prehistory of central Europe. He then takes us on a journey through the remains of the Venetic culture and language, especially to the Alpine region and northern Italy between the Po River and the Alps. According to the authors, the Veneti (not to be confused with the Venetians) were a Proto-Slavic people, and they were the bearers of the Urnfield culture in Central Europe. They settled in Austria, Slovenia, northern Italy, and eastern Switzerland around 1200 B.C. In their original settlement area there are to this day countless Slovene place-names.
The reader will wonder why the connection between the Veneti and Slovene place-names. The answer is simple. According to the authors, the Slovenes are direct descendants of the Veneti. They are even now called the "Windische" by their German neighbours and "Vendek" by the Hungarians, and they still live in the territory of the ancient Venetic Este culture in Slovenia, Italy, Austria, and Hungary. Their language is closely linked to the Venetic language. In reality, most of the terms used by the ancient Veneti in creating the toponyms in the area of the Alps are still used in the modern Slovene language and its numerous dialects.
In Part Two, the mysteries of the Venetic inscriptions are unveiled. These inscriptions belong to the oldest monuments of written language in Europe. Scholars had not been able to decipher them until Matej Bor found in the Slovene language the key to their translation. Although the Venetic inscriptions are more than 2000 years removed from contemporary Slovene, the similarities between the two languages are such that these important cultural monuments can still be understood. Years of Bor's research into the Venetic inscriptions proved not only that the ancient Venetic language was (contrary to official linguistics) Proto-Slavic, but also that in the Slovene language is its continuation.
In Part Three, Ivan Tomazic brings together all components of the so-called Venetic theory: the earliest known people of Central Europe were the Proto-Slavic Veneti; the Slovenes are West Slavs, descendants of the Veneti; the original language of Central Europe before the arrival of the Indo-Europeans was Slavic.
He includes the important study of similarities between the Sanskrit and Slovene languages. The similarities are extensive and could have originated only around 2000 B.C. when the indigenous Slavic language of Central Europe and the language of the newly-arrived Indo-Europeans merged.
The individual segments of the study may seem puzzling or even preposterous at first sight, but one soon discovers that the totality of the so-called Venetic theory is well grounded and is the only plausible explanation for the problems plaguing the research into the indigenous language and the subsequent development of Indo-European languages. It also resolves the question of the ethnic identity of the bearers of the Urnfield culture and their descendants.
The authors maintain the difficulties of history writing in Europe are mainly those of political interference and nationalism. There is throughout the book a strong sense that solutions to all these questions could have been found long ago had there not been intense resistance on the part of those who were creating history to suit their own national agenda of prestige and superiority.
Veneti: First Builders of European Community represents a long overdue effort to review the flawed historic image of Central Europe. One of the aims of this work is to draw attention to the need for unbiased and improved research methods. It has attracted considerable attention and recognition among scholars and laymen in Europe. It has also drawn sharp criticism from those who cannot accept the fact that they made wrong decisions in the area of historiography and linguistic and archaeological legacy.
The authors have gathered an astonishing amount of material, creating an invaluable reference work which belongs in every public and private library and should be read by every student of history, particularly those interested in Central Europe and former Yugoslavia, and especially every person of Slovene descent.
"The book is worth ten times its selling price (a personal opinion). It is a must-read for anyone interested in the origins of the Slovene people and the restoration of Slovenian integrity with respect to understanding European history and pre-history.
"It is more than clear that we can no longer accept the 'Slovenians crawled out of the swamps and over the Carpathian Mountains to settle in Slovenia in the sixth century' theory - and good riddance to it! It has never been very flattering, and it is refreshing to see such clear evidence to the contrary. I recommend the book highly!" says Linda Lenassi Tomlin, President of the Canadian Chapter of The Slovenian Genealogy Society of America.
VENETI: FIRST BUILDERS OF EUROPEAN COMMUNITY is in English, published by Editiones Veneti, Vienna 1996; translated and printed in Canada, hardbound, 534 pages, 150 illustrations, index, USA and Australia 29.00 USD, Canada 34.00 CND. Postage included. Quantity discounts are available. For more information, or to order this important new publication write to:
Anton Škerbinc, Site 1, Box 17, R.R. 1, Boswell, B.C. VOB 1AO Canada
or Ivan Tomazic, Bennogasse 21, A -1080 Wien, Austria