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Hi, i'm a new user, and I just have a few suggestion.

I was born and raised until the age 11 in Voronezh.

This city is famous for its fighting during World War II, when Nazis occupied the left side of the river, and Russians were on the right. I was taught that in school, although I don't know if I can find references to that.

Another thing that I think that should be included in the article is an exlanation of what Black Earth means. Black Earth is the most fertile soil the world, and that's the type of soil Voronezh has. It's just a suggestion. I don't really know how to edit, so I'll just leave it up to the professionals. Thanks.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Thanks for your suggestion, an anonymous contributor. We do actually have an article on Black Earth (see chernozem). Since it is something that, strictly speaking, is not directly related to the city, no explanation need to be provided in the article. It can, however, be mentioned and wikilinked to.
As for WWII history, you are more than welcome to add that information yourself (just click the "edit this page" tab in the article). Don't worry about screwing up something—you'll learn the ropes as you go, and meanwhile someone will always be there to make corrections.
Welcome to Wikipedia, and hope to see you around!—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 15:20, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi! The article says that "Recent findings may push the settlement's foundation date as far back as the 4th century CE.", and the reference leads to the source in Russian. As a native Russian speaker, I must note that this source is a short news story in which a local historian says that Voronezh was mentioned in Book of Veles. This book is most likely a hoax (though somewhat debatable) so I think that part of article should be corrected (but my English isn't good enough to do it myself). Unfortunately Russian journalists don't care about reliability of their acclamations at all and should not be trusted (there is a statement later in the same news story saying that "the Book of Veles was officially recognized by the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2001", which is clearly a lie). (talk) 21:24, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi. There appears to be a small mistake in the article as it addresses TASS as a newspaper. To my understanding there was no newspaper run by TASS, that was in fact the central news agency of the Soviet Union. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:50, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Name and early history[edit]

From what little I can gather form the sources cited, some weird things seem to be going on regarding Voronezh's early history. Apparently it is some kind of local sport to come up with proofs that Voronezh is as ancient as possible. This ends up on Wikipedia via journalistic pieces such as this one, where we hear,

Светлана Полякова, историк, рассказывает: "Существует карта немецкого путешественника Карла фон Шпруннера, датированная 1125 годом. Называется она "Народы и княжества славян между Эльбой и Доном". И там на самом крайне правом рубеже обозначен наш город - именно на том месте, где Воронеж существует сейчас".

i.e. a historian, Svetlana Polyakova, is cited as saying that there is a "map by German traveller Karl von Sprunner, dated to the year 1125" which shows Voronezh. Wow, a medieval map of the Kievan Rus made by a German traveller! This is huge!

Except... the map in question is this one (1855), it is a 19th century historical map for 12th century Kievan Rus, and the "medieval traveller" is Karl Spruner von Merz (1803 – 1892). I seriously hope this is the journalist's mess and not the historian's. But the "historian" then goes on to talk about the Book of Veles (a modern hoax), so I guess we should just conclude not to use any of this.

What seems to be going on here is:

  • the current city was founded in the 16th century
  • there seems to be evidence for an earlier settlement (archaeological)?
  • there also seems to be mention of the toponym Voronezh in the Primary Chronicle
  • the 16th-century is named for the Voronezh River
  • there is a theory that the Voronezh river was named for the medieval settlement, and the modern settlement was then named for the river. But there is another reference we cite that derives the river name from a "river deity" name cognate to Varuna, so this seems to be anyone's guess.

--dab (𒁳) 10:16, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

I found this about the the mystery of the name Voronezh book, but I have difficulty detecting possibly humour or irony. Is this a crackpot publication, or is it a humorous collection of the history of goofy suggestions? (say, like BBC collecting etymologies for "yellowbelly" -- sometimes there are surprising similarities between British and Russian humour) The "raven and hedgehog" thing seems to suggest a joking tone (i.e. Lazarov wrote a book about the history of goofy local etymological speculation rather than himself being guilty of such, and our problem is naive edits who misunderstood the humour?) I am afraid my Russian is too poor to detect tongue-in-cheek humour unless they hit you over the head with it. --dab (𒁳) 11:03, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
If there is one thing to be said about the origins of the name "Voronezh", it's that no one knows for sure. It is exactly that which leaves the door open for all kinds of theories: some naïve, some silly, some doubtful, some very much crackpot; none holding up well upon closer examination. I don't have access to Lazarev's book, but from what little I've seen, it is definitely not a collection of humorous theories—the author is dead serious. Whether he collected local folklore for readers to review and decide, or if he is indeed a believer in some of it is hard to tell without actually seeing the book, but it certainly hasn't been meant as a joke.
There are exactly two theories which modern scholarship takes seriously. Both more or less agree that the actual city was named after the Voronezh River. One relates the name "Voronezh" to the personal name "Voroneg" (of Ukrainian provenance); another one suggests that the name is of Mordvin origin. Both theories are fairly plausible, but neither one is more plausible than another, so it's a wash. Lazarev's book might be an interesting read to learn what the alternative views are (if only to be able to recognize them), but including them into the article would be very much undue.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 4, 2015; 13:33 (UTC)