Page 1046

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

several centuries.

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