Talk:Vistula Veneti

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Old Stuff (heading added 11/5/2015)[edit]

I copied this from Timeline of Slovene history and forgot to finish the job. Mikkalai 04:03, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Venedes and Adriatic Veneti[edit]

Shouldn't the quote "no evidence whatsoever" be referenced more exactly than simply many Western scholars? ralphb 16:08, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Why there is remark that the Finnish and Estonian words would have anything to do with the Vends ? Both of these words dont have any ethnic connotation. Vene = Boat , Veneläiset = Boatpeople. They simply refer to people moving around the riversystems using boats. More likely both words mean the original inhabitants on nortwest russia (Finnic people).

Not true. ven(h)e and venä/vena are two different roots. In all Fennougric languages (except for Estonian) the boat and the Russian have two different roots. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:47, 24 December 2015 (UTC)


The English name for Venedes, Veneti is Wends. These articles should be merged together.--Termer 05:58, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I strongly agree. They should be merged. There is no solid proof whatsoever for the claim that the ancient Venedes were ethnolinguistically any different from medieval Wends. All of the 'proofs', mentioned in the article, are circumstantial as well as controversial, and should be understood as one-sided academic constructs, made with one intention only - of pushing the Slavic 'motherland' as far east as possible. The fact remains - no Roman or Greek author speaks of Slavs anywhere in Europe or Asia, so unless we are to think that the Slavs fell from the sky in the 6th century and suddenly populated half of Europe, the only logical assumption can be that the Venedi of Pliny the Elder and Tacitus as well as the Ouenedai of Ptolemy were of the same ethnicity as the Venethi of Jordanes.
Or are we supposed to believe that some obscure tribe called Stauanoi (questionable indentification with the Byzantine term 'Sklabenoi'), mentioned only by Ptolemy - along with some fifty other tribes of European Sarmatia - managed somehow 1) not only to completely overrun a much larger Venetic ethnos, but 2) also the 48 or so other Sarmatian tribes (despite the supposed servitude of early Slavs to the Huns, the Goths and the Avars in this period), as well as 3) to invade south of the Danube and totally destroy such well established ancient peoples as the Illyrians, Pannonians, Noricans... and finally 4) become the largest ethnic group of Europe. All this in four centuries from Ptolemy to Jordanes. They must have had high natality, these Stauanoi. 16:44, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Identifications of Veneti as Slavs[edit]

Since Jalen has removed the template proposing the merger of this article with the Wends article and therefore the merger is not likely to happen any time soon, while taking into account that two of the nine scholars to whom references in the article are currently being made, are Slovenes, as well as the fact that several contributors to the article are - as a result of Veneti being a matter of some controversy in Slovenia - also Slovenes (Jalen, XJamRastafire,,…), I propose that a sentence be added to the article in order to show the view of the most prominent of modern Slovene historians – Bogo Grafenauer – on the ethnic identity of the ancient Baltic Veneti, as mentioned by Tacitus, Pliny the Elder, and Ptolemy. This I propose for the sake of the article's NPOV.

Namely, I propose that under the section “Identifications of Veneti as Slavs” the sentence:

Modern history has rejected such interpretations and clearly distinguishes two matters: one is the existence of several different ancient peoples by the name of Veneti, and the other one is the fact that Germanic peoples adopted that ethnonym for their easterly neighbours, the Slavs.

be changed to:

Some modern linguists (Schenker 1996: 3-5) have rejected such interpretations and clearly distinguish two matters: one is the existence of several different ancient peoples by the name of Veneti, and the other one is the fact that Germanic peoples adopted that ethnonym for their easterly neighbours, the Slavs. However, the historian Bogo Grafenauer, when speaking of the identity of ancient Venedes as mentioned by Tacitus, Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy, ignores the hypothetical identification of the Sarmatian tribe Stauanoi with Slavs, and agrees with the interpretations of Niederle and Lehr-Splawinski, by stating that the names “Venedi / Veneti in this space and time beyond any doubt refer to Slavs” (Grafenauer 1988: 411).

With the following being added to the references:

Bradač, Fran, Bogo Grafenauer, and Kajetan Gantar (1988). Zgodovina Langobardov = Historia Langobardorum. Maribor: Založba obzorja, 1988.

(Also, the colon should be replaced by a full stop behind the year in both references to Hans Krahe so that the style of all the references will be the same.) 17:33, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not saying the articles have to be merged. Even though someone up there strongly agrees with me...What I'm saying is that Venedes is not the name used in English. And it should be at least mentioned that Wends and Venedes are considered the same by many. The Wends article has made some progress since, so should this one. --Termer 04:31, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Since I am a native speaker of Slovenian I checked the claims put forward by the above anon user. Firstly, the book Zgodovina Langobardov from 1988 is actually a Slovenian translation of the 8th century AD history book Historia Langobardorum by Paul the Deacon. The mentioned Slovenian scholars are merely translators and authors of introductory text.
On pages 376-422 in this book, Bogo Grafenauer presents a detailed critical review of autochthonist theories on the origins of Slovenians, in particular the Slovenian-Venetic theory which emerged in 1980s (and is also mentioned in this article under section Identification of Veneti as Slavs). On pages 410-1, Grafenauer examines written historical sources from 1st century AD onwards that mention the ethnonym Venedi, t.i. Pliny, Tacitus, Ptolemy and finally, the Tabula Peutingeriana. With regard to the latter, Grafenauer first mentions that the names Lupiones Sarmatae and Venadis Sarmatae are written north of the Carpathian mountains, and subsequently, that Venedi are mentioned along the Black Sea, between the mouths of the Danube and Dniester. It is ibidem that he makes the following assertment: The name "Venedi/Veneti" in this place and in this time undoubtedly already refers to Slavs, although the latter never applied this name to themselves and we may therefore reasonably conclude that it is of non-Slavic origin (Grafenauer 1988: 411). That is, he was referring specifically to the Venedi mentioned along the Black Sea on the Tabula Peutingeriana, without equating them with the Venedi mentioned by Tacitus and Ptolemy. To the contrary, when examining Tacitus' testimonials, he underlines that their customs are more similar to those of Germani rather than Sarmatae. Grafenauer's conclusions with regard to Tabula Peutingeriana are logical since in the 4th century the ethnonym Venedi, as he himself states, already referred to Slavs, having been adopted by the Germanic peoples for their easterly neighbours (the Slavs). I should particularly underline what Grafenauer has to say on page 410 with regard to the relation between Veneti and Slavs, referring to Polish archeologist Witold Hensel:
Around 2000 [BC], within the framework of the Old Indo-European Community, the area of the Balto-Slavic community (which originated in the east) comprised a quadrangle, reaching from the mouth of the Vistula to the effluence of the San into the Vistula, then to the Dnieper on the effluence of the Desna, and slightly north from the mouth of the Nemen. Between 900 and 700 this IE wave collided with the Veneti between the Oder and Vistula rivers, having assimilated them: since that time, Germanic peoples have used the name Veneti for the easterly, Slavic population...In the last century BC, the development of the Slavic community is expressed in two parts, in the forming of the Przeworsk culture in the we, and the Zarubintsy culture in the east, all of this within the mentioned broad territorial limits. (Grafenauer 1988: 410, referring to W. Hensel: Etnogeneza Slowian, Mali slownik, 1972, pages 434-444).
As can be seen from these quotations, Grafenauer's views are fully in accordance with the ones presented in the article. --Jalen 15:50, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
No, they are not. Either you are deliberately misinforming, or you need to check again. Grafenauer doesn’t limit the identification of Veneti as Slavs only on the Venedi, mentioned along the Black Sea on the Tabula Peutingeriana. He first speaks of Veneti mentioned by Pliny the Elder, then of those mentioned by Tacitus, he then moves to Veneti as mentioned by Ptolemy, then he talks of Veneti on Tabula Peutingeriana and then he says:
The name "Venedi/Veneti" in this place and in this time undoubtedly already refers to Slavs, although the latter never applied this name to themselves and we may therefore reasonably conclude that it is of non-Slavic origin. In relation with this data Niederle has already in 1902 justifiably written: “These Baltic Venedi/Veneti of ancient sources are undoubtedly Slavs, but only these Baltic. I don’t know if we could find anyone today, who would dare to resist this thesis.” (Grafenauer 1988: 410-411)
Do you understand what ‘opravičeno’ (justifiably) and Baltic means?
Never did I say that Grafenauer was an advocate of Venetic theory, nor that he disagreed with the claim, that the Baltic Veneti were originally non-Slavic. However the Veneti as mentioned by Tacitus, and Ptolemy were, according to Grafenauer, Slavs.
Currently the article is saying:
The Germanic tradition of designating the Slavs with the name of Wenden/Winden and Jordanes’ appellation of Slavs by the name Venethi in 551 led some medieval chronists and historians to identify the ancient Veneti mentioned by Pliny, Tacitus and Ptolemy as Slavs. In addition, phonetic similarity and geographic proximity of the ethnicons Veneti and Vandali inspired a similar erroneous belief that the Germanic people of Vandals were Slavs as well (Steinacher 2004; see also Origins of Vandals). Such conceptions persisted into 16th century and resurfaced in 19th century where they provided the basis for interpretations of the history and origins of Slavs (Steinacher 2002: 31-35). Modern history has rejected such interpretations and clearly distinguishes two matters: one is the existence of several different ancient peoples by the name of Veneti, and the other one is the fact that Germanic peoples adopted that ethnonym for their easterly neighbours, the Slavs.
According to this, the article is claiming that ALL OF MODERN HISTORY has rejected the identification of Veneti mentioned by Pliny the Elder, Tacitus and Ptolemy as Slavs. This is not true as Grafenauer - who was not merely a translator, but a yet-to-be-surpassed Slovene historian - didn’t live in medieval times. 18:45, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

At least as far as Tacitus is concerned, I do not see Grafenauer unanimously declaring Tacitus' Veneti as Slavs, nor do Tacitus' testimonials lead to such conclusions: Historian Tacitus (deceased in 98) in his work Germania is slightly more precise, yet he begins by doubting whether to align the people of Veneti (Venetorum) with Germani or Sarmatae, for they had partly adopted the habits of one group and partly of the other. [Quoting Tacitus:] I would rather count them among Germani, since they build houses and wear long shileds, and they like to march and do so deftly...Interesting here is the criterion for relating the tribesobviously, for Tacitus, it was not language (how much could he have known about it?) but the way of life (Grafenauer 1988: 410-1). What I wished to point out and what Grafenauer agrees with is the following: Early Balto-Slavic peoples collided with the Veneti between the Oder and Vistula rivers, having assimilated them: since that time, Germanic peoples have used the name Veneti for the easterly, Slavic population. This does not change the point of the article: the Veneti were originally different from Slavs, but later assimilated with them. The ethnonym remained. Grafenauer's subsequent references to Tacitus, Ptolemy, and Pliny are important by underlining that it is the name Veneti/Venedi that refers to Slavs and we know from its etymology that it is of non-Slavic origin. Since the Proto-Germanic forms were *Wenethoz/*Weneđoz (both Steinacher and Pokorny mention that two parallel forms existed), Venedi is a latinised form of the Germanic appellation. As regards the latter part of the article, I actually tend to agree with you that it needed corrections since by the time the ethnonym Veneti/Venedi appears in historical sources, it no longer designates the ancient Veneti but rather an early stage of Slavs. Even Pleterski states (not without reservations) that it is hypothetically possible that the Venethi of Tacitus might be located in the area of the Zarubintsy culture, and hence it is likely that they were already slavicised at that time (although Tacitus explicitly states that their habits resembled those of the Germani rather than Sarmatae). To make this argument clearer, I have renamed the section on historical sources and moved it below the section on the relation between Veneti and Slavs. --Jalen 21:17, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I checked with Steinacher: According to his thesis, Tacitus used the older form Venethi, while Pliny and Ptolemy applied the later form Venedi.
I also find the following assertions by Steinacher important:

Der in der slawischen Überlieferung niemals vorkommende Venedername wurde von Cassiodor-Jordanes dann im sechsten Jahrhundert auf die Slawen angewandt. Die ältere Forschung sah in den Berichten des Plinius, Tacitus und Ptolemaios über die Venedi/Venethi die ersten Nachrichten über Slawen, die östlich der Weichsel siedelten. Diese Vorstellung läßt sich bis ins 16. Jahrhundert zurückverfolgen und erhielt durch die "Slawischen Althertümer" des Pragers Pavel Josef Schafarschik, der auf den Ideen Herders aufbauend eine slawische Urgeschichte zu rekonstruieren versuchte, eine lange rezipierte wissenschaftliche Begründung. Festzuhalten bleibt, daß weder die nicht näher zuordenbaren Veneder im Oststeeraum, noch die eisenzeitlichen italischen Veneter etwas mit den mittelalterlichen Slawen zu tun haben. Erst durch die Gleichsetzung des Jordanes im sechsten Jahrhundert wird diese Verbindung hergestellt und von der Forschung des 19. Jahrhunderts als Basis weitreichender Deutungsmodelle verwendet. Der Veneter- wie der Antenname (letzterer siehe unten) scheint auf germanische bzw. awarische Fremdbezeichnungen zurückzugehen. Die ethnographischen Angaben der antiken Autoren sind im Fall der Venedi/Venethi jedenfalls höchst unpräzise (Steinacher 2002: 33-34).

For now I have corrected the section on Identification of Veneti as Slavs to read as follows:

Early scholars and historians viewed the reports on Venedi/Venethi by Tacitus, Pliny and Ptolemy as the earliest historical attestation of Slavs...Modern history nowadays clearly distinguishes two matters: one is the existence of several different ancient peoples by the name of Veneti, and the other one is the fact that Germanic peoples adopted that ethnonym for their easterly neighbours, the Slavs.

Taking into consideration Tacitus, Pliny and Ptolemy, it is IMO legitimate to say that at that time, the name Venedi/Venethi may already have applied to Slavs, but as you see, modern views on this are not without reservations. Steinacher underlines that the ethnographic implications by the ancient authors are highly imprecise and Schenker's reasonings on the Ouenedai mentioned by Ptolemy are based on linguistic facts. --Jalen 21:43, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I see you've added a paragraph in front of your earlier response and you are still doubtful that Grafenauer was agreeing with Niederle. Considering how we continue to disagree on what Grafenauer was saying, it just goes to show how our pre-existing knowledge, preconceptions as well as our prejudice influences the way we read and interpret one and the same text, written in a language of which we are both native speakers. We are heading into the field of communication studies as well as cultural studies now.
I very much doubt Grafenauer was disagreeing with Niederle. Note how he goes directly from speaking about Tacitus’ Veneti to Ptolemy’s Veneti and on to Tabula Peutingeriana where he first speaks of Venadis Sarmatae and then goes directly to the Venedi along the Black Sea without there being a single sentence in between wherein he would differentiate among the Slavic character of these Black Sea Veneti and the (supposedly) non-Slavic character of the Baltic Veneti. He then says how Niederle has justifiably identified the Baltic Veneti as Slavs and then he writes: In the same way Slavdom among Veneti is being limited only to the Veneti of the Baltic also by Lehr-Splawinski and the whole of critical historiography and philology (Grafenauer 1988: 411).
As you have noticed yourself in your earlier reply, he also says: Concerning the formation of Slavs… I should like to limit myself on presenting the view of today’s leading Polish archeologist Witold Hensel on the ethnogenesis of Slavs: “Around 2000 [BC], within the framework of the Old Indo-European Community, the area of the Balto-Slavic community (which originated in the east) comprised a quadrangle, reaching from the mouth of the Vistula to the effluence of the San into the Vistula, then to the Dnieper on the effluence of the Desna, and slightly north from the mouth of the Nemen. Between 900 and 700 [BC] this IE wave collided with the Veneti between the Oder and Vistula rivers, having assimilated them: since that time, Germanic peoples have used the name Veneti for the easterly, Slavic population. From the mid-first millennium BC onwards Slavic ethnogenesis encompasses the area from Pomerania (between the mouths of the Oder and the Vistula) southwards to the Carpathians and from mid-Vistula eastwards to Dnieper on a broad area northwards and southwards around the affluence of Desna” (Grafenauer 1988: 410, referring to W. Hensel: Etnogeneza Slowian, Mali slownik, 1972, pages 434-444).
Surely, if he had been in a disagreement with Niederle and Lehr-Splawinski over the identification of Baltic Veneti as Slavs, he would have 1) written at least one sentence to explain why, 2) he wouldn’t have presented only the view of Hensel, according to which Germanic peoples have used the name Veneti for Slavs since 900-700 BC onward, and 3) would have never used the phrase and the whole of critical historiography since this would imply that he was excluding himself from critical historiography.
Tacitus is indeed interesting. He does conclude Veneti should be considered Germanic, due to their culture being more similar to that of Germanic peoples. But the natural question then arises – what was it that nevertheless made him think of their relatedness to the Sarmatae? If their culture was closer to Germanic peoples, what else but language (and possibly religion?) could make him think of them as Sarmatians? Isn’t it so for the Wends also – culturally closer to Germans, linguistically closer to Russians? Just a thought.
My point is, considering you yourself tend to agree that Veneti in the time of Tacitus may well have been Slavs – and according to Grafenauer they were Slavs – it follows that the term Veneti, as was used by Romans for the population along the Baltic, referred to Slavs from the earliest written records onward. You hit the nail on the head when you say in your response below (in the section ‘requested move’), how the very point of the article is that pre-historic Veneti were ethnolinguistically different from Slavs. But is that really the point of the article named Veneti/Venedes? If the earliest written account of these Veneti refers to Slavs already, shouldn’t the article be about early Slavs, living there in the timeframe between (at least) the first and the fifth century AD, about what we know of their lifestyle, culture, religion etc. from written sources and from archeology.
Yes, the article is more neutral now when you have removed the word similar in front of erroneous, and have made some changes in the rest of the article, but still… Most of the article is basically a presentation of arguments for a claim that original Veneti were not Slavic. Something everyone – in principle – agrees with, but does it really belong to this article? 19:12, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Vendi = Slavs, end argument. Next people will be saying Lusati weren't Slavs either. Veneti? With a "t"? I don't know, a lot of people think a latinized Germanic word for Venedi is used to describe everything from Venetians (of Venice) to Veneti (of Anglia). Blame Ceasar, he knew of Homers Veneti and when he heard the Germanic Wendoz in Gaul he made an unfounded connection between the two and henceforth named any tribe acting like those he saw in Gaul as "Veneti" (ie democratic barbarian/farmers who also lived off the land/forest/rivers). It's practically impossible to sift through a millenia of misconceptions without having access to the original work, so don't even try. (talk) 06:00, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

I think it's highly surprising that no-one mentions that Estonians to this day call Russians "venelased" and Russia "venemaa". (talk) 15:47, 19 July 2013 (UTC)


I have moved the discussion on Wends under a separate chapter to distinguish from the debate on the requested move. Please use the latter debate solely for proposals on the title move. --Jalen 17:33, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

There simply is no other name for them in English than Wends. The use of any other ‘name’ will simply reaffirm a point of view that the Veneti, mentioned by Tacitus, and living along the Baltic, were not Slavic. Those who agree with this view naturally need to find another name, so all sorts of euphemisms are invented, but of course then problems arise in agreeing which one should be used. You want to make an article on pre-historic Veneti, who were pre-Slavic, call them proto-Veneti or call them Indoeuropeans, but don’t then say that they were mentioned by Tacitus, as they were long Slavic in his time. In my opinion this article should be called Wends, and then, if one insists that ancient Wends were not the same Wends as Wends, a disambiguation page should be made: 1) Wends (ancient), 2) Wends (modern). And in the Wends (ancient) article both views should be presented for the sake of neutrality. 15:14, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Wrong. The term Wends refers to West Slavs that had settled in eastern Germany by the 5th century CE. This article is not about Wends, it is about the ancient people of Veneti along the Vistula and Oder rivers. Modern academic views, as based on the ascertainments of the linguistic and archeological sciences, agree that they were ethnolinguistically different from Slavs. This is the very point of the article. --Jalen 16:00, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
The Venedi mentioned by Tacitus in the 1st century AD may indeed have already been slavicised at that time, but that does not change what the archeological and linguistic data have to say for at least a millennium before that. --Jalen 16:04, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

linguistic data? Please Jalen refer to any published sources while coming up with such claims. Even though everything has said makes sense for me. It's totally acceptable to list any alternative perspectives as long as it's properly sourced. Therefor saying "Wrong" is not an argument.--Termer 15:50, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Here's one example: There is no reason to doubt that by the sixth century the Slavs were on the Vistula (though it is quite unlikely that they had by then reached the Baltic). This does not mean, however, that they had to be there in the time of Tacitus. During the intervening four hundred years Europe underwent its most momentous transformations, as the fall of Rome and the Hunnic invasions started the ethnic whirligig known as the Great Migrations...Nor can the German practice of designating their Slavic neighbors by the names Wenden or Winden help us in solving the question of the ethnic character of the Veneti. Transfers of names from one ethnic group to another have frequently occurred in history and signify no more than some kind of spatial and temporal contiguity between the two communities. The German usage may merely indicate that some non-Germanic Veneti lived in the area occupied later by the West Slavs and that the Germans transferred the name of the former to the latter...There is no reason, however, to assume that the transfer of the name Veneti to the Slavs occurred much before the sixth century. There is also no compelling evidence to justify the claim that Jordanes’ identification of the Veneti with the Slavs reflects an ancient situation. The Slavicization of the Veneti is possible in the sixth century but most improbable in the first...Quite aside from these considerations, the very fact that the ancient sources locate the Veneti on the Baltic provides the most persuasive argument against their identification with the Slavs. The point is that Slavic vocabulary does not contain any indication that the early Slavs were exposed to the sea. Proto-Slavic had no maritime terminology whatsoever, be it in the domain of seafaring, sea fishing, boat building, or sea trade. Especially striking is the absence of a Proto-Slavic word for amber, the most important item of export from the shores of the Baltic to the Mediterranean. In view of this, the very fact that Ptolemy refers to the Baltic as the Venedic Bay appears to rule out a possible identification of the Veneti of his times with the Slavs. (A. Schenker (1996): The Dawn of Slavic, p. 3-4).

Other linguistic data (e.g. hydronymy of the Vistula-Oder region) and published sources are mentioned in the article, under sections Ethnic character of the Veneti, Origin of the ethnonym Veneti and Relation between Veneti and Slavs. If you read the latter section particularly, you may come to an understanding where the term Wends originates from. Unfortunately, with all due respect, nothing that the user has said makes sense to me (such as the claim that the people mentioned by Tacitus as Venethi were long (sic!) Slavic in his time, when Tacitus himself makes no assertion on their ethnolinguistic identity, or, when speaking of their habits, he states that they were culturally more similar to the Germani rather than Sarmatae), nor are his claims supported with any reputable scholarly sources. Best regards, Jalen 17:33, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I have tried to depart from this debate on a more peaceful note in my last comment (in the section ‘Identification of Veneti as Slavs’) by saying our disagreement over what Grafenauer was claiming may be the result of different types of reading and interpreting texts that inevitably have to do with our different subjective perceptions of reality as transmitted through communication. But your latest comment has forced me to reply once more.
I will highlight again the view presented by Grafenauer, when quoting Hensel: Between 900 and 700 [BC] this IE wave collided with the Veneti between the Oder and Vistula rivers, having assimilated them: since that time, Germanic peoples have used the name Veneti for the easterly, Slavic population. Eight centuries lies between 700 BC and Tacitus’ time. So accordingly they were long (since) Slavic in his time. Or do you still think the only Slavs of, say, Ptolemy’s time, were those obscure Stauanoi, whose name might have more to do with names such as Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan etc. than with the ethnonym Slavs anyway?
Everything Schenker has to say about the lack of maritime terminology from early Slavic (and the lack of the word for amber; as well as the issue of hydronymy of the Vistula-Oder region) can be explained by the scenario of Slavic ethnogenesis as presented by Hensel, and quoted by Grafenauer. According to this scenario original (Balto)-Slavs lived inland and then between 900-700 BC collided with the pre-Slavic population between the Baltic on the North and the mouths of the Oder and the Vistula on the West and the East, as is clear to everyone from our ad hoc translations of Grafenauer’s comment to the History of the Langobards in the section above.
The point is that different views on Veneti and the time period in which they can beyond doubt (beyond any German scholar opposing) be recognised as Slavs have existed for over a century. Grafenauer was agreeing with Niederle and others, while you seem to disagree. For this reason you have written most of the article accordingly. Then, when I proposed the article be written in a more NPOV style, you have tried to present Grafenauer’s views differently from the way they are actually written, and you have now moved my proposal on how the article should be called into a separate section, thus disqualifying it from the debate (which I would ask you not to do in the future; you don’t see anyone moving your comments around). When you say – nor are his claims supported with any reputable scholarly sources – you are unjustly disqualifying Grafenauer – a respected Slovene historian – from reputable scholarly sources. 13:35, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

VenedesNorthern Veneti or Vistula Veneti

I agree that the ethnonym Venedes is not used in English literature, perhaps this is one of the causes for confusion, since the assumption that the two ethnicons are considered the same by many is wrong. German appellation Wenden reflects the tradition of Germanic peoples referring to their Slavic neighbours as *Wenethoz, the name having been originally adopted from one of the ancient IE peoples known as Veneti. My suggestions for now are Northern Veneti or Vistula Veneti. A. Schenker also uses Baltic Veneti but that solution may again be confusing, since it could imply relation to Baltic peoples. --Jalen 07:42, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the article could use a title move, although I am not sure of an ideal title. "Venedes" has been used in English, but all references on Google Books are from the 19th century. "Northern Veneti" was also used in the 19th century. Schenker uses "Vistula Veneti". Olessi 13:39, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

True. There does not seem to be a single prevalent term, so a compromise solution has to be chosen. --Jalen 14:32, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Schenker actually uses Vistula/Baltic Veneti as the introductory term. Personally, I would vote against choosing Baltic Veneti for, as I said, it might sound ambiguous as it could imply relation to Baltic peoples (e.g. the ancestors of modern Lithuanians, Latvians etc.). Vistula Veneti seems better and more precise as regards the original habitat of this ancient IE ethnos, t.i. the Vistula river basin. --Jalen 19:17, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

My proposal for the title – Wends (ancient) – is in the comment you have moved. You say yourself how the term Baltic Veneti is inappropriate as it may imply a connection with the Balto-(Slavic) peoples, a connection you don’t seem to recognise, although you did earlier say you tend to agree with me that Veneti of Tacitus may well be Slavs. Similarly I would oppose the use of the term Northern Veneti as it may imply a connection to Nordic peoples (also, which Veneti are then Southern: the Adriatic Veneti, the Paphlagonians or the ones mentioned by Herodotus in Illyria?). The term Vistula Veneti – despite Schenker’s use of it – is problematic also, since it implies they were living only along the Vistula, which is not the case as is stated in the article itself. Nor can one simply call them Veneti because other Veneti were living in other parts of Europe at the same time. So every name we could use has its problems, but these problems arise only because they are not called Wends. The term Wends is however the only historically used term in commonly spoken English for the people of the Baltic, who were in Latin language called Veneti. The pre-Slavic Veneti, accordingly to what was said by Grafenauer when quoting Hensel, were not called anything in Latin because Romans between 900-700 BC didn’t know of any Baltic people. In fact, according to Grafenauer when quoting Hensel, the Romans of the time of pre-Slavic Veneti were not even Latin yet. You want to make an article on pre-Latin Romans, and provide arguments for reasons that lead us to conclude they were indeed not Latin, go ahead, but don’t call such an article Romans, call it Etruscans. 13:35, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

It is only that I have realised that all of the above anon comments belong to one and the same user. You could have avoided this inconvenience by logging in under a username, for it is confusing to follow this debate with so may comments signed under different IP addresses.

True, different opinions exist as to when exactly the Veneti encountered the Balto-Slavic continuum. You ask whether I disagree with the timeframe proposed by Hensel. I would say I doubt whether his timeframe is accurate on the grounds that most of the recent scholarship I have had the chance to study puts it at a more later date. By my memory, Gołąb does so (unfortunately I don't have the book with me right now), M. Snoj in his foreword to Slovenian Etymological Dictionary says the Balto-Slavic community is believed to have existed until 4th cent. BC (that would be 400-300 BC, Snoj 2003: VII). Pleterski, for his part, links the Veneti-Balto-Slavs encounter with the emergence of the Zarubintsy culture, which emerged around 300 BC and lasted until about 200 AD. Early Zarubintsy culture, according to Pleterski, seems to fit in well with the most ancient Slavic hydronyms.

Before you come with the argument that even under such timeframe, by 98 AD Veneti would have long been Slavic, please bear in mind that the ethnogenesis of Slavs was a gradual process and that there were still later archeological cultures that are also linked to Slavic ethnogenesis, e.g. the Kiev and Chernyakhiv cultures, the former being particularly the first identifiable Slavic culture. Furthermore, Polish archeologists (e.g. Parczewski, who is also quoted in the article) nowadays believe Slavs are not native to Poland, but came there from the east. Modern scholarship advocates an easterly origin of Slavs.

To my knowledge, scholars do not entirely agree on the exact locus of Tacitus' Venethi. Pleterski states it is plausible that they could be linked to late-stage Zarubintsy culture, but not without reservations. He quotes another scholar claiming one should be cautious in localising Tacitus' Venethi, for Tacitus' reports are imprecise and may contain rhetoric elements.

You have twice claimed that Wends is the only term used in English for the ancient IE people of the Baltic-Vistula area. I'm sorry but this not so. The term Wends or the original German Wenden/Winden refers to medieval West Slavs who settled in what is now Eastern Germany. When speaking of the ancient IE people, scholars speak of Veneti, not of Wends. The case is not about any Latin names here. Those ancient IE people in Poland called themselves *Veneti which can be reconstructed by linguistic method. The Proto-Germanic reconstruction *Wenethoz is a perfectly normal rendition, by the established sound laws, of what would have entered into Proto-Germanic as *Veneti. The attested Germanic forms actually point to two accentuation patterns of the Pre-Germanic input which, according to Steinacher, bespeaks the antiquity of this name. *Wenethoz evolved into OHG Winida and hence Modern German Wenden/Winden. An analogous example is perhaps the Slavic appelation Vlahi for various Romance peoples which was adopted via Germanic and originally referred to a Celtic people Volcae. Volcae was adopted into PGmc as *Walhoz, the latter having been transformed in Proto-Slavic to *Volxě and hence South-Slavic Vlahi. Would be accurate to say that there were no ancient Volcae but only ancient Vlachs? I believe not. Your proposal for ancient Wends projects the ethnonym Wends to at least the 1st millennium BC if not even deeper. Can you please quote a reputable scholarly source that speaks of ancient Wends? Please corroborate your proposal with good academic sources.

My proposal for Vistula Veneti is not a contrivance by itself, it is based on Schenker's book. A disambiguating attribute is necessary to distinguish these Veneti from the Adriatic ones. IMO, Vistula Veneti seems to be the most reasonable solution as regards the original habitat of the ancient IE people in Poland. Other suggestions are welcome as long as they are based on proper academic sources. --Jalen 21:48, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

  • It does not seem like there is a strong consensus here for any particular title here, although almost everyone agrees that a change would be advisable. I doubt that anyone working at Wikipedia:Requested moves has the specialized knowledge necessary to deal with this move request in an informed manner, but most of the titles being advocated here are redlinks, which means that any WP:BOLD editor can move the page without administrative assistance. The discussion here seems to be collegial, so a move might prompt further discussion. I will remove the listing from WP:RM for now, but feel free to relist the page if you run into any specific trouble. Dekimasuよ! 07:48, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Dekimasu. I am not particularly knowledgeable about the "Venedes", although I do agree the article should not be merged into Wends. I would not object to Vistula, Baltic, or Northern V... Olessi 19:54, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

The article has now been moved to Vistula Veneti. I made redirects for the other two versions (Baltic/Northern Veneti). --Jalen 08:47, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


"An analogous example is the name Böhmer, formerly applied by Germans to the Czechs, which originally was the name of a Celtic tribe Boii who dwelt in Bohemia before the Serbs (before they moved south) and later the Czechs."

I am not sure about this. In one czech book (from the author, who writes about history of Sudetenland) I read, that word Böhmer was used for all people, that lived in this area, contrasting with Tschechen, that was used only for people from slav descent. Can anyone explain it in greater detail, please? --Milhaus (talk) 10:22, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Merging needed: "Relation between Veneti and Slavs" with "Identifications of Veneti as Slavs"[edit]

I 'd like to contribute some references on the matter but I wonder where to put them. Why are there two separate sections on the same subject? It's obvious to me that a major cleanup and merging of the two sections is needed Dipa1965 (talk) 09:24, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The article mentions a possibly slavic people to the east of the Veneti, named "Souobenoi". This could be related to Swabians, because Souobens sounds similar in pronounciation and they lived in a similar area. Rakovsky98.219.184.48 (talk) 07:21, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

term "Soubenoi" is latin perversion name of Savi (latin Savus river - modern Sava and Sava as old name for Slava) or Sabi, Soubens. Slavs did not come from 0 as official history wants to show them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:14, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Inconsistent map[edit]

The map pictures the Veneti as a Balto-Slavic group, somewhere east of Vistula. But the text of the article suggests they were probably a centum group (thus not Balto-Slavic) in Vistula basin. Daizus (talk) 01:17, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

I've removed the two pictures until a better one is found, since at least one of the pictures specifically referred to the period of Slavic migrations during which the Veneti had probably long ceased to exist as a distinct ethnicon. --Jalen (talk) 14:40, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

modern rewriting / perversion of the history[edit]

Antique Slavs were by historians called "Veneti", but current, modern "historians" call Veneti as "germanic"...

So who was correct. The antique historians, living in the era of Veneti themselves or modern historians living in 19-21th century AD.

Please read carefully WP:PRIMARY (the Wikipedia policy on sources, original research etc): I am quoting an extract from there that will be very interesting to you: Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources and, to a lesser extent, on tertiary sources. Secondary or tertiary sources are needed to establish the topic's notability and to avoid novel interpretations of primary sources, though primary sources are permitted if used carefully. Material based purely on primary sources should be avoided. All interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source, rather than to the original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors. --Dipa1965 (talk) 10:59, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Initial V in Pre-Germanic?[edit]

Is this correct? Germanic V often alternates with F, as in loaf/loaves, but that doesn't seem to apply here; in some North and West Germanic languages another V derives from W, but that's much later, a medieval sound-shift. (talk) 01:57, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Is the link to the Bug River article correct?[edit]

In the section "Relation between Veneti, Balts and Slavs," there is this sentence: "The earliest origins of Slavs seem to lie in the area between the Middle Dnieper and the Bug rivers, where the most archaic Slavic hydronyms have been established." The link to the Bug River goes to an article about the Southern Bug River. There is a note there distinguishing the Southern Bug River from the Bug River. Depending on which river is meant, the area would be displaced by quite a bit to the south and east. I have no idea which river is correct. Lucy Kemnitzer (talk) 19:04, 25 January 2014 (UTC)Lucy Kemnitzer

Map is totally wrong!![edit]

The red line on the map indicates a part of the Rhine; the Vistula river is several hundred kilometres to the east in Poland! unbelievable...

Vistula Veneti=Vidivarii[edit]

There are opinions that Vistula Veneti are Vidivarii (Vi[ni]di+varii) from ger. Viniden.

Also re: Sarmatian Venedi, in original text is "quidam haec habitari ad Vistlam usque fluvium a Sarmatis, Venedis, Sciris, Hirris tradunt," different tribes. Link:*.html

Vielba (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 15:05, 8 December 2014 (UTC)


I am very confused over the name "Vistula Veneti", which is nonexistent. As to avoid ambiguity with Adriatic Veneti (which also needs a move) and Veneti (Gaul), a move to Veneti (Slavs) is far better. G-search has "Veneti"+"Slavs" (248), "Venetes"+"Slavs" (140), "Venethi"+"Slavs" (120).--Zoupan 19:38, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

While making a new search on Gbooks, it seems "Venedi" is used slightly more. "Venedi" "Wends" (219), "Venedi" "Slavic" (201) "Venedi" "Slavs" (198), compared to "Veneti" "Slavic" (230), "Veneti" "Wends" (216), "Veneti" "Slavs" (112). Note that "Venedi" is far less ambiguous than "Veneti".--Zoupan 02:06, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

You're confusing things. The "Vistula Veneti" and the "Wends" were two different peoples with similar and related names. Wends were Slavs, straight up. The Vistula Veneti, or "Baltic Veneti" may have been the ancestors of the Slavs, but they may have been a lot of different things. Illyrians even. Or some independent off shoot of the Indo-European family.
Because you appear to be confused about the scope of the article (which is understandable, the naming does make it confusing) you've sort of turned the article into something which it's not suppose to be. Volunteer Marek  02:18, 6 November 2015 (UTC)