West Slavs

West Slavs

The West Slavs are Slavic peoples speaking West Slavic languages. Czechs, Kashubians, Poles, Slovaks, and Sorbs are the ethnic groups that originated from the original Western Slavic tribes. Of these, the Kashubians were assimilated by the Poles, while the Sorbs were integrated within German society; the others retained their cultural identity to this very day. The societies of the West Slavs developed along the lines of other western European nations by coming into political affiliation with the Holy Roman Empire. [http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9378866?query=slavs&ct= Slav - Britannica Concise Encyclopedia - The online encyclopedia you can trust! ] ] The West Slavs experienced a cultural split with the other two main Slavic groups: while the East and South Slavs converted to Orthodox Christianity, thus being culturally influenced by the Byzantine Empire, the West Slavs converted to Roman Catholicism, thus coming under the cultural influence of the Latin Church and western europe.


The first Slavic states known from written sources inhabited by West Slavs were the Empire of Samo (623 - 658), the Principality of Moravia (8th c. - 833), the Principality of Nitra (8th c. - 833) and Great Moravia (833 - c. 907). The Sorbs and some of the other West Slavs came under direct Holy Roman Empire domination and had been strongly assimilated by Germans at the end of 19th century. The (eastern) Poles created their own state in the 10th century, which in the 20th century assimilated the Kashubians. For many centuries Poland has had close ties with its western neighbours, with the Polish ruler Bolesław I the Brave declared by Holy Roman Emperor Otto III as "Frater et Cooperator Imperii" ("Brother and Partner in the Empire") [http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/rezensionen/id=1433a Rez. MA: M. Borgolte (Hg.): Polen und Deutschland vor 1000 Jahren - H-Soz-u-Kult / Rezensionen / Bücher ] ] . The Czechs created their own state, Bohemia, in the 10th century and became part of the Holy Roman Empire , but unlike Poland, Bohemia became dependent to the Empire. The Slovaks gradually came under Hungarian domination in the 10th - 11th century. Both the Czechs and the Slovaks were under the Habsburg monarchy from 1526 to 1918 (Austria-Hungary from 1867 to 1918).

West Slavic ethnic groups ca. 10th c.

*Lechitic group
****Obotrites proper
****Polabians proper
***Veleti (Wilzi, Liutici)
****Kissini ("Kessiner", "Chizzinen", "Kyzziner")
****Circipani ("Zirzipanen")
***Ucri ("Ukr(an)i, Ukranen")
***Rani (Rujani)
***Hevelli ("Stodorani)
***Volinians (Velunzani)
***Pyritzans (Prissani)
*Czech-Slovak group
*Sorbs (Serbo-Lusatians)
**Milceni (Upper Sorbs)
**Lusatians (Lower Sorbs)

West Slavs from the Bavarian Geographer

In 845 the Bavarian Geographer listed several West Slavic ethnic groups in a territory(which is today, the country of Poland) and the surrounding area, including some non-Slavic groups:


See also

* West Slavic languages
* East Slavs
* South Slavs
* Poland
* Czech Republic
* Slovakia
* Lusatia


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