A few words about the identity of the Slavs, yesterday, today and tomorrow Cover Image

A few words about the identity of the Slavs, yesterday, today and tomorrow
A few words about the identity of the Slavs, yesterday, today and tomorrow

Author(s): Martin Homza
Subject(s): Ethnohistory, Social history, Special Historiographies:, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Culture and social structure
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: Slavs; Slavic identity; Great Moravia; Sts Cyril and Methodius;

Summary/Abstract: This paper brings together the considerations that for many years the author has gathered on the origin, identity and successful expansion of the Slavs throughout the world. The author notes that although the issue of post-Roman social self-identification has been discussed for several decades not only in Europe but also worldwide, a deeper understanding of the apparition and expansion of the Slavic identity has not yet been achieved. In the author’s opinion, the success of the Slavic identity was the result of the quality and attractiveness of the Slavic cultural memory, whose evolution shows three basic stages following the necessary starting point, i.e. the revolutionary decision taken by the military community at the Low and Middle Danube to adopt the name Slav. The first phase is the formation of their cultural memory, which just like that of other barbarian military communities (gentes) in the aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire, was built on the literary (oral) transmission of the narrative that told the glorious deeds of the community and its elite (ruler, dynasty, retinue). The second and third stages of the development of the Slavic identity constitute the historically relatively short period of the Great Moravia, beginning and ending in the 9th century. On a political level, the increased attractiveness of the self-identification concept of the Slavic elites resulted in the vastest territorial expansion of the land of the Danubian Slavs during the reign of Svatopluk I and the formal constitution of the Slavic Kingdom, which was recognised by both, Rome and the Empire. On a cultural level, however, the success of the Moymirid dynasty was outperformed by the missionary work of St. Constantine the Philosopher and his brother St Methodius, who created the Slavic alphabet and the Slavonic liturgical language, translated the Sacred Scriptures, wrote some original literature works, etc. The author considers the Christian concept of self-identification, built on the identical wording of the word Logos, i.e. Slovo (Word) and Slovan (Slav) — which was developed by St. Constantine the Philosopher — to have become the nomen est omen of the past, the present and the future of the Slavs.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 1 (23)
  • Page Range: 3-41
  • Page Count: 39
  • Language: English