1046 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
Bohemians, the Pomeranians, and the Lithuanians.
As already said, it is held by some ethnologists that these Slavic, or Slavonic, tribes
were originally an offshoot from the great
Teutonic stock of mankind. Be that as it
may, it is certain that the Slavic group of
barbarians have exercised a less important influence upon the destinies of modern Europe
and the world than have the Teutonic nations.
The Bosnians came into Europe in the
seventh century. Their first impact was upon
the people of ILLyria, whom they dislodged
from a portion of the country. They have
their modern representatives in the people of
Albania, where they constitute the ruling
class, embracing the beys, nobility, and landowners. The Servians first made their appearance in Thrace, whence they came into the country which now bears their name. In
the early days of the Empire they were conquered by the Romans, and were attached to
the province of Illyricum, the Servian district
being designated as Moesia Superior. This
country was overrun by the Ostrogoths and
the Huns. It was afterward attached to the
Byzantine Empire, until the middle of the
seventh century, when it was devastated by
the Avars, to whom a portion of the lands
was permanently allotted. Servia then remained a dependency of the Eastern Empire
until the time of the Crusades.
The Croatians, or Croats, belonged to the
Illyrico-Servian branch of the Slavic race.
Their primitive European settlement seems to
have been in the southwestern angle of Hungary. This country was originally a part of
Pannonia, and became a part of the Empire
in the times of Augustus. It was overrun
first by the Goths and afterwards by the
Avars. It then became subject to the Eastern
Empire, and so remained until the tenth century, when the Croatian princes became independent.
The Wendi, or Wends, were one of the
north-western tribes of the Slavic family.
From the fourth to the ninth century they
were found in the country stretching from the
Saale and the Elbe northward to the Eider.
In the times of Charlemagne they became aggressive, and were driven back by that warrior in the direction of the Vistula. Subsequently they were well-nigh exterminated by
the German kings, and by the sixteenth century they existed only as a scattered population in Brandenburg and Cilicia.
The Poles constitute one of the principal
branches of the Slavic race. Their first European appearance seems to have been in the
country which now bears their name. Somewhat later they spread into the region between
the Oder and the Vistula. They were known
as the Polans, meaning the People of the
Plain, and soon became the most conspicuous
of all the Slavic nations.
The Bohemians grew from the tribe of
the Boii, classified by Caesar among the Celtic
peoples of Gaul. They were displaced, from
their original settlements by the Marcomanni.
They migrated into Bavaria and Bohemia,
and were subsequently incorporated with
Slavic Czechs. German colonists also settled
in the country, and the people became composite. Of their own accord the Bohemians
sought annexation to the empire of Charlemagne, with which they were associated for
The tribes known as Moravians made their
appearance in the early times of the Empire,
in the country which still bears their name.
Here with difficulty they maintained themselves against the successive assaults of the
Quadi, the Rugii, the Heruli, and the Lombards. The country was subsequently conquered by Charlemagne, who, after his
usual manner, imposed tribute upon the
Moravians and obliged them to accept the
Christian religion. Of the ancient Pomeranians very little is known, except that they
were of the Slavic race and constituted a part
of the old monarchy of the Wends. The
same may be said of the Lusatians, who
seem to have been a mixture of the Wendic
and Germanic stock, and who, after a period
of independence, were reduced to the tributary relation by Henry the First of Germany.
The Livoniqans first made their appearance
in the country stretching eastward from the
bay of Riga. The modern representatives of
the race are found in the Finns and Letts;
but neither the ancient country nor its