VENETI, SCANDINAVIA, RUSSIA – SOME OBSERVATIONS
Milan V. Smolej
Suvikuja 4B, 02120 Espoo, Finland; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This contribution is a sum-up of various informations, which were noted and collected by the author since he first came in touch with the Veneti question. The writer has lived in Finland more than 30 years and has traveled extensively in the areas described. This contribution does not pretend to be scientific, however – upon request sources can be quoted to people, showing particular interest.
1. Why Venäjä and venäläinen in Finnish for Russia and Russians?
First some very basic information about the Finns and Finnish related languages. They belong to the so-called Uralo-Fenno-Ugric ethnic group. Finns and its related ethnoses belong to autochthonous inhabitants of geographical area, which covers all northern parts of Eurasia - from Scandinavia over today’s Russia to Ural and Siberia. Linguistic evidence, toponyms and archaeological findings support this statement. Here some of these peoples existing until today in the a.m. areas: Finns, Estonians, Vatyaks, Veps, Carelians, Livians, Ingrians, Maris, Hants, Evenks, Enets, Mordvas, Voguls, Ostjaks, Samoyeds, Udmurtians etc. All these peoples have their distinct common culture and great linguistic similarity.
At the time the so-called tree of Indo-European languages was created, linguists did not know what to do with the Finns and their relatives. They simply created a new language group, put Finnish and all related languages in it, added Hungarians, and named this group Uralo-Ugro-Finnish. Without going into details, this division seems today unjust – Finnish and Hungarian is as similar as Slovene and Portuguese or Greek for example.
In Finland we have a very strong and influential Ugro-Finnish institute, which is doing a lot of good work, especially to preserve some rare and practically vanishing Ugro-Finnish languages and cultures. This is only natural, since Finland has always been a forerunner in world’s linguistics (Castren, Donner, Ahlquist and others). Finnish state radio is besides radio Vatican probably the only radio station in the world with regular weekly news in Latin.
Today the Finns call Russians venäläinen. The same root (ven) is to be found in all other Ugro-Finnish languages (cf. Hungarian Vendek for Slovenes). The Finnish etymological dictionary tells us, that venäläinen was first recorded in written in 1593. But what did this word stand for before that? We can only guess. The dictionary in a parrot-way explains this idiom as coming from German (name for all Slavs neighbours Wends, Windr etc.). Could this possibly mean that the Finns had no word of their own for Slavs?
It is evident, that Finns knew their neighbours and called them simply wend or venä. The same goes also for other members of the Fenno-Ugric group. Names like venäläinen, venä, vene and similar ones have since always been the name for any and all Venetic/Slavic tribes, wherever they may be, either in Scandinavian and Baltic area or in today’s Russia.
What about the name for Finland? A logical explanation would be, that ignorant European traders and travellers invented this name, as it was only logical to assume, that the same ethnos as on southern shores lived also on the northern shores of the Baltic Sea. Vinland, Finland – the country of the Veneti. The fact, that Finland is called by the Balts in its original version: Soome, Suomija only confirms this assumption. Assertions by some scientists, that venäläinen in old times related only to the Russians – is not acceptable. Living as neighbours to Scandinavians, Baltic Veneti and Russians, Finns used one expression for all Slavs.
No archaeological findings of Venetic settlements in Southern Finland were found. But – there are several findings, attributed to the Vikings. But what would plundering Vikings look for in harsh and poor Finland? The remains existing are undoubtedly a proof of regular trade connections over the Baltic Sea. An etymologically unexplainable expression ”vento” still exists in Finnish, which in the word ventovieras, means an unexpected, unknown guest, visitor. If one goes even further, also the name of the Kalevala hero Väinömäinen is etymologically unexplainable in Finnish. According to some scientists, it may mean that with Kalevala a Venetic messenger brought a new civilization to the North. We also know that the heroes, myths and philosophy of Kalevala are very similar to Aryan myths and legends.
2. Etymology of Rus and Ruotsi
With aid of etymology one can prove almost everything and almost nothing. Here are some examples to demonstrate how dangerous it is to use etymology as a basis of historical science.
Sweden is called in Finnish language Ruotsi. In first written records the expression was associated with a person coming from the West and being of Lutheran faith (Sweden turned Lutheran in the time of Reformation). However - in Norwegian Saame (Lappish) Ruošši still stands for Russian. The s.c. Norman theory of the history of Russia (about which later) explains Routs as coming possibly from the name of the Roslagen area in Sweden (in old Swedish called Roping) from where the Swedish rulers took the oarsmen to row their Viking boats. The same root is still to be found in Finnish word for splashing, flushing. Swedish for rowing is today simply ro with roddare for oarsman.
What can we say about this etymological interpretation? Very interesting, but nothing more. It seems, that Swedish Vikings were such outstanding oarsmen at that time that the whole country was named after them (?).
And more surprise is coming. In some Fenno languages – Ruoss even stands for a Finn!? Nestor of Kiew writes in his chronicle, that the Varyags settled in the land of Ilmen Slovenes, which was called at that time Rus. Other sources write, that the homeland of the tribe of Varyags was called Rus, after the tributary to Neman River. Also the Prussians (Po-rusi) got their name in a similar way, as they were neighbours to Varyags. The Baltic Sea was called at that time Varyag Sea. But extremely interesting is a Norwegian source, which explains, that Rus was the name for Swedes, given by the Finns. The Swedes again claim in their turn, that Vikings gave the name of Rus to Russia, after they conquered Nowgorod and Kiew.
On the other hand one Russian theory explains, that all Baltic area was Slav/Venetic and that all population of Scandinavia was Venetic. Just to quote one example. Mål still stands in Old Norwegian for language (sl. moljba, molitev etc.) Also the linguistic structure of Scandinavian languages is very close to Slavic. And quite like between Slavic languages – there is no real difference between Danish, Norwegian or Swedish language. Old Scandinavian sagas in many aspects support this theory. The kings of Sweden wore a title of kings of Vends and Vandals. And for Vandals we know, that they were a Venetic, a Slavic tribe.
But why do the Finns call their country Suomi? There is no answer to this enigma – it may be of Saame (Lappish) origin. Some say that it comes from suo (swamp, marsh, morast). Maybe we have here another important “scientific” parallel between Slavs and Finns – Slavs too came from the Carpathian swamps, didn’t they?
3. Vikings, Norman theory – Varyagi and Rus
Once upon a time - yes this is a fairytale - there lived a German historian, named Bauer, working for the Russian court. By the way – he did not even know Russian. At that time it was fashionable for the Russian high society to be very, very European. Bauer`s great contribution to the world’s historical science was his invention of Norman or Viking theory about the birth of Russia and creation of Kiew state. His ”scientific study” starts with the following “scientific” statement:
“If one presupposes that Varyags were Scandinavian Vikings and in this way of Germanic origin, the first state in Russia in Kiew was founded by Germanic tribes.”
This invented historical presumption was the basis for the later and until today worldwide-accepted official theory about the beginnings of Russia. According to Bauer Slavs were uncivilized savages until glorious Germanic Vikings brought them civilization. He also claims, that Slavs at that time were illiterate. The Vikings gave them not only their name (Rus), but also the ruling Rurik dynasty, supposed to be of Scandinavian origin. No wonder, that all Slavs in the eyes of Europe became a synonym for “Untermenschen”.
And the truth? Swedish interpretations throw unwillingly more light on this subject. They of course reproduce the famous Bauer theory and resolve all etymological and historical problems by simply stating, that - Vikings were called by Russians simply Varyagi and that’s it. The area from where these daring Vikings were supposed to originate, had at that time a population of some 50.000 people and capital Birka a few thousand. Who can seriously believe that this population could conquer Russia, bring them culture?
Varyagi were the finest tribe among the Baltic Veneti (most probably descendants of emigrated Veneti of Brittany). They were absolute rulers of the seas, trading from their capital Starigrad, called Venice of the Baltic. They also had contacts with their brethren; the tribe of Ilmen (Nowgorod) Slovenes and Varyags actually founded the town of Nowgorod as a replica to Starigrad. Sources tell us, that they originated from Gardarike in the Baltic, from the area of flourishing towns (garda, gorod, grad). Varyags were not fancy Vikings, even less a Germanic tribe.
Russian archaeological sources tell us, that until today only one typical s.c. Viking grave was found in all Russia. Furthermore, Nestor of Kiew reports clearly, that Varyags founded Kiew and Nowgorod and writes about them exclusively as Slovenes/Slavs. Medieval Arab historians write about their visits to Russia and list languages used in business: Arabic, Persian, French, Spanish, Italian and Slav –not a word about any Germanic, or even Swedish.
4. Hyperborea - an explanation?
Historians were shocked to find in Veda mythology a great variety of odd statements, which can only be explained by the assumption that Vedic people came to India not only from Europe but also from the very North of Europe – from the shores of the Arctic Ocean. In Rigveda we can read, that the constellation of Seven Wise (Big Ursus) is always visible in the sky. Yes, true – but not in India, only in the Arctic. Or a statement in Avesta, that the real homeland of Aryans was once a beautiful country, full of light – until some bad demons sent snow, ice, cold and eternal nights. These are only two of many puzzling statements in the holy scripts of early Aryans.
In human history drastic climatic changes occurred, due to the shifting of the Earth axis. We are allowed to believe that prehistorically Scandinavia and all the North Europe were densely populated. This is important to note also when talking about Veneti.
According to the official accepted history the Slavs in Russia were at the time of the so-called Viking conquest (around year 800) illiterate and received the art of writing from the Germans. We are also manipulated to believe that Germans (Vikings) gave Europe the runic script. It is not within the scope of this short essay to go into details (hundreds of books exist on this particular subject), so let me just quote some statements from the book of Russian scientist G.S. Grinevich Praslavjanskaja pismennost, published in 1999.
The book presents the results of deciphering not only a number of “Germanic” and “Scandinavian” runes, but analyses runic inscriptions from South Siberia, Northern Mongolia etc. A separate chapter is dedicated to Etruscans. The author proves in his book that all known runic inscriptions are written in Protoslavic language using the s.c. “Syllable writing system”. This writing was widely used by Slavs long before the introduction of Cyrillic and Glagolic script. Here are some interesting quotes from this book:
“... In the Danube and Dneper area have been found some 7.000 years old records written in Slavic syllable writing”.
“... The language of these records is undoubtedly Protoslavic and is both from grammatical point of view and its lexicography extremely close to today’s Russian”.
“..., including the oldest written records of our planet – Vinca culture.”
I doubt very much, that Grinevich was acquainted with Matej Bor`s work. Therefore it is even more stunning that their interpretations of some Etruscan texts are nearly identical.
6. Searching for the roots
Searching for the roots of Slovenes is an important task; to search for European roots is even more important. In future studies we will have to join our forces. It is not my slightest intention to promote panslavism, but as long as Western scholars (Slovenes included) do not know, do not read, do not study and do not use respective Russian sources on Veneti subject, we are all turning in a vicious circle.
We live today in a world of globalization, which is unscrupulously ruled by money. Money is not interested in historical truths. To support the sick aspirations of politicians, there will always be corrupt historians, ready to invent or falsify historical facts, providing they are paid for it. We have a good example in Slovenia in case of some Slovenian prominent and glorious historians and archaeologists. Their glory however vanishes outside their secure universities and institutes with their well paid jobs and is internationally equal to zero.
Who will rewrite the European history? When will our children and grandchildren have the chance to learn real history and no political lies and propaganda?
1. Миф о князе Рюрике в свете западнославянского происхождения славян, www.arya.ru
2. The Swedish Vikings. Luleå University, Sweden, www.luth.se
3. Erkki Ikonen, Aulis J. Joki, Reino Peltola: Suomalais-ugrilainen seura, Suomen kielen etymologinen sanakirja - Osa: 6 - Helsinki 1975-1978.
4. Tulajev P.V.: Veneti – predniki Slovanov, Белые альвы, Moskva 2000.
5. Альманах -Варвары - Москва 1999.
6. Гриневич Г.С.: Праславянская письменность - «Летопись» - Москва 1999.
7. Comrie Bernard: The languages of the Soviet Union, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1981
8. Sabaliauskas Algirdas: We the Balts, Science and Encyclopaedia Publishers, Vilnius 1993.
9. Гудз-Марков А.В.: Индоевропейская история Евразии - Происхождение славянского мира, Рикел-Радио и связь, Москва 1995.
10. Чудинов В.А.: Славяне – Письмо и имя, Издательский центр научных и учебных программ - Москва 2000.
11. Чудинов В.А.: Проблема дешифровки - создание силлабария – чтение смешанных надписей, Издательский центр научных и учебных программ, Москва 2000.
Avtor daje etimološka pojasnila za nazive za Rusijo, Ruse (Venäjä, venäläinen) in Švede (Ruotsi) v finšèini in njej sorodnih jezikih. Poudarja, da te besede jasno kažejo zgodovinsko sosešèino med Ugrofinci in Veneti/Slovani. Kritizira izmišljeno normansko (vikinško) teorijo o odkritju in ustanovitvi Rusije in Kijevske države. V luèi najnovejših ruskih raziskav analizira razlago runskih zapisov. Po teh ugotovitvah so vsi sedaj znani runski zapisi napisani v protoslovanskem jeziku v zlogovnem zapisu. Na koncu daje avtor svoje mišljenje o pokvarjenih zgodovinarjih, ki so ponaredili evropsko zgodovino.