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Subject: [BURGENLAND-NEWSLETTER-L] BB News No. 56A dtd 30 April 1999 (edited)
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 07:36:10 EDT

(issued biweekly by
April 30, 1999
(all rights reserved)

This second section of the 3 section newsletter is the second installment of
The Teklits Translation of "Volk an der Grenze ..." (People on the Border),
the history of the Croatians in Burgenland, written by Johann Dobrovich. We
are bringing you most of this book in serial form. Chapters 4 through 7 are
included in this issue.

by Johann Dobrovich, translated by Frank Teklits
(with assistance of Albert and Inge Schuch)
printed via email by permission of the publishers

Chapter IV - Theories about the Pre-Historic Period of the Croats

The first Croat names we find are on inscriptions from the 2nd and 3rd
centuries in Tanais, where the city of Azov is situated today at the mouth of
the river Don in the Sea of Azov. In the era of the Roman Emperors, Tanais
was an active Greek trading colony. The crossroads for the commerce of
numerous neighboring people was located here. There are two preserved grave
inscriptions in this city with the names Horoathos and Horovathos. (By
comparison, Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenet speaks of a Croatian leader
"Hrobatus" from the country of "Hrobatien".) If we omit the Greek ending os,
we have the Croatian country's name of "Horvat".
Responsible scientists agree among themselves that these two names, Horoath
and Horovath, are correlated and pertain to members of the Croatian people,
or a Croat tribe who came into the Greek colony of Tanais. Many of today's
leaders in Slavonia, Croatia, Hungary, & Austria had families named Horvath
who sought refuge during the Turkish Wars. Niko Zupanic (note12) cites
different examples that indicate that during the Roman times several leaders
in Tanais had surnames that defined their nationality. These examples prove
that in the time of the Romans in this country, newcomers were so named that
their surname defined their origin. This thesis gains some credibility if we
consider other possible links of the Croats to the Iranian world, since a
Croatian tribe lived in the proximity of the Sea of Azov during the time of
the Roman Emperors. Niko Zupanic(12), Hauptmann(12), and Sakac(14) developed
the theory of the Iranian origin of the Croats in the last few years based on
the epitaphs found on the graves. With the help of this theory, many previous
unintelligible aspects of the early Croatian history are clarified today, so
that it has received much attention in research. It should be noted that only
the thesis of the Iranian origin of the Croats can explain the name
"Horvath", the title of a Croat dignitary Banus, the names "White" and "Red
Croatian", and the Bogumile phenomenon. According to this theory, the Croats
were a branch of the Caucasian Iranians, who lived somewhere in the western
Caucasus during the era of the Roman Emperors. The Caucasian Anten were
another branch of this group. In the 2nd and 3rd century, they fought with
the Goths who dominated the rulers of the south Russian steppes and the
Slavs. The Mongolian Huns who were Asiatic horsemen, found Europe towards the
end of the 4th Century AD, and demolished the Empire of the East Goths in
Southern Russia. Thus began the migration of the people. Some fled before the
Huns;others followed them as allies or subjects. During the rule of Attila,
the sphere of influence of the Huns extended from the Chinese wall to the
Rhine River and from the Red Sea to the Baltic Sea. The Iranian Croats and
Anten were defeated in the Hun assault, the others were included as allies in
the Hun Empire. The Huns sat between Danube and the Theiss in the Pannonian
plain holding the Slavs in check, while the Croats and Anten remained
behind the Carpathian Mountains.We find the first traces of the Croats at the
Weichsel (Vistula) River in the early phases of the migration into the
Germanic Hervasaga, perhaps the German name for the Carpathian Mountains,
Hervadja-fjoll. In the 5th Century, the Croats controlled the lower part of
the river Vistula so that tribes wandering through had to search for other
passageways for a long time.

After the death of Attila in 453, the Croats and Anten (Antes-a Caucasian
tribe later Slavizised) were freed from the yoke of the Huns. They dominated
a weak Slavic upper class via warfare and took their language and customs. In
consideration of the writings of the Byzantines Jordans, Prokops, King
Mauritius, Menandres, and of others, like the so-called Bavarian Geographer
(19th century), the Arabian author Masudi (16) and the Nestorian Chronicle,
Hauptmann comes to the following conclusion in view of the coexistence of the
Antens and Slavs. In the 5th Century, the Anten had already formed an
alliance with the Slavs in the area of today's Russia, from which an expanded
realm developed in 6th century. This realm was under the guidance of Mezamers
around 550, and was so powerful that it stopped the tide of the Avars for a
long time. At that time, the alliance between the Anten and Slavs included
all of western Galicia and some of Silesia, so that this realm extended from
the Oder River to the Black Sea. Its center lay at the bow in the State of
Cervenjana, in the future Red Russia.

Notes: 12Niko Zupanic = "The primordial Croats" in the collected works
of King TomislavO kavkasko Sakac = "Of the Caucasian-Iranian ancestry
of the Croats"

14 Comparing Kings of the Svevladischen House of
In the middle of the 6th century the Avars succeeded in destroying the
Antisch-Slav Empire, and from this time the name Anten disappears from

16 The Arab Masudi says,"As discord came along, the
organization disintegrated, and the population garnered for themselves. Each
nation selected their ruler." The Croats living at the Weichsel (Vistula)
River led an independent existence since that time. The original Iranian
Croats commingled with the subjected Slavs. An independent Croatian people
with a Slavic language had already begun to come into existence in the 5th
century."The Antish-Slavic leaven began at that time, under the wings of the
Antish State and in the framework of the colossal Hun Empire, to create the
beginnings of the Greater or White Croatia in the Slavic areas by the
Weichsel (Vistula) river."

17 A branch of the Croats living in the north turned against the
Avars and broke their power in the old Roman province of Dalmatia during the
time of the wars of liberation of the western Slavs under Samo (623 - 658),
and after the siege of Konstantinopel by the Persians and Avars. At that time
a new southern Croatia developed, while the old Croatia still continued on in
the north. Some sources still mention its existence in the 9th to the 11th
century. In his paper "The Iranian Origins of the Croats according to C.

18 Sakac says that the Old Iranian Croats lived between the Don River
and the Caucasus. By this he means that they came from the Old Persian
province of "Harahwati". We find this name on three stone monuments of the
Persian King Darius I (522-496 BC). Sakac maintains that the first Croats by
the Vistula River are descendants of settlers from the Old Persian province
of Harahwati. The Old Persian sacred script Awesta speaks of the
"Harahwaiti". Acceptance of the origin of the Croats from the Old Persian
province of "Harahwati" can still be
supported by the following examples. The Swiss Orientalist L de Saussure says
the old Iranians would have defined the directions with a color-coded system.
Green was the color for the east, white for the west, black for the north and
red for the south. The Greek historical recorder Herodet (who died around 425
AD) reports that the old Persians called the sea which was situated south of
them the Red Sea, which is known today as the Indian Ocean. They called the
sea to the north of them the Black Sea, and sea to the west of them the White
Sea.When we read in a later chapter of this treatise about the "White
Croats", it implies that Croatia was situated west of the original Croatia,
i.e. in Galicia and Bohemia. Today's Montenegro was called "Red Croatia" in
early history because it was situated to the south of White Croatia. The
titles of high Croatian dignitaries, "Banus" and "Zupan" have the same
meaning in the Croatian and Persian languages. The individual next in rank to
the King was called "Ban" in old Iran just as it was in Croatia until 1918,
The term "Zupan" is an old-Iranian administrative title. The early Croats
were divided into Zupanien's (Komitate- Counties), and they were under the
administration of a Zupan. These were structured under an "Erlauchten Banus",
("Noble Ban"), who resided in Zagreb (Agram). This Iranian theory, according
to which the ancestors of today's Croats lived in the Caucasus, is based on
the so-called Gothic theory according to which the Croats had been a branch
of the Goths. A leading indication of this was that the Croats had the same
energy to create their own country as did the Goths, but which the other
Slavic branches lacked.

17 Sakac= "Of the Caucasian-Iranian ancestry of the Croats"

Chapter V- The First Centuries in the New Homeland
The emergence of a Croatian army in the Balkans was quite valuable for the
Byzantine Empire. The fall of the Avar rule in the earlier Roman provinces of
Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyria made it possible for the Byzantine emperor, to
concentrate its entire military strength on the Arabs and Saracens. After
overpowering Persia and the Byzantine Provinces of Palestine and Syria, they
conquered the cities of Jerusalem, Antiochia, and Edessa, and all of Egypt
with the exception of Alexandria. In the year 1643, Alexandria also opened
the gates for the Arabs. It is valid to question what fate would have dealt
to the Byzantine Empire and Southeastern Europe in that time would they have
had the peace loving Croats in place of the hostile Avars as neighbors. Thus
Constantine III, the grandson of Emperor Herakles, was able to stop the Arab
invasion, and obtain peace with the new enemy for a long time with favorable
terms. Only then could Constantine III think of strengthening the Empire in
the Balkans. In a conscientious consideration of the distribution of power in
the Southeast at that time, one must admit that the Croats who appeared in
the Balkans in this critical time and destroyed the Southern Avar Empire,
saved the East Roman Empire and Southeastern Europe from the harsh reign of
the Turks for a long time. The Croats lived in their new homeland as the
Greek historical writer Prokop already wrote from old Slovenia: "No one
person prevails over mankind, they live together in a democracy." Over a long
period of time, all power was centered in the hands of numerous Zupans
(District Leaders) who were a few prominent and aristocratic leaders. The
King left them alone, he did not interfere in their internal affairs, and was
content with being a nominal administrator. The Croats were aware of the fact
that they lived in the realm of an Emperor who did not exert direct influence
over them.The Northern Croats met numerous so-called Southern Slavs in their
new homeland that came here from the left bank of the Danube since the 6th
Century. They had settled here south of the Danube River since 547. Under
the weak reign of Emperor Phokas (606 - 610) new, and powerful groups of
Slavic tribes settled in the sparsely settled Byzantine Provinces.

Emperor Herakles war against the Persians (610-615) was a favorable
opportunity for the Slavs to expand into all East Roman provinces i.e. in
Pannonia, Illyria, Thrace and up to the Peloponnese. The Croats were the
dominant nationality while sharing their new homeland with the southern
Slavs. Some Avars still lived among them, about whom Emperor Constantine
Prophyrogenet wrote in the 10th Century:...."And one sees in them, that they
are Avars."

The remnants of the native Illyrian inhabitants probably also lived among the
southern Slavs. The largest minorities were the Romans whom the Croats called
"Walachs". The majority of these Romans lived in the coastal regions where
they controlled shipping for a long time. A smaller portion of them lived as
herdsmen scattered in the mountains.

Internal unrest and unfortunate wars weakened the East Roman Empire. The
Dalmatian Croats became the subjects of Carl the Great (Charlemagne), the
ruler of the Franks, under whom they remained until 878. Carl gave the
Croatians the freedom to choose their rulers and obligated them to military
aid and delivery of gifts, otherwise he gave them a free hand. The last
Croats in Pannonia and Dalmatia converted to Christianity during his reign.
The first known Christian Prince of the Croats was Viseslav (around 806), and
his residence was in the city of Nin. When the descendants of Carl the Great
suppressed the Croats, they defended themselves and were forever free from
the rule of the Franks in 877.

Under the reign of Prince Branimir (879 - 892), the Byzantine Emperor had to
position his primary strength to the east against the Arabs. Branimir adeptly
took advantage of this predicament, and the Croats with the help of Rome,
became independent in ecclesiastical and political affairs. The Kingdom of
Croatia became a principality in the year 925. Prince Tomislav, who later
became King, unified the Pannonian and Dalmatian Croats. Under his reign, the
Patriarch of Konstantinopel relinquished their past jurisdiction over the
cities and islands of Dalmatia, and returned it to the Pope. The Roman
Emperor transferred the administration and defense of Croatia to the Croat
Regent. Starting with the King Tomislav I, the Croats had their own national
kings for 170 years.

Stefan Drzislav merits being mentioned among the successors of Tomislav. In
return for his military assistance in the war against the Bulgarians, the
Byzantine Emperor confirmed the transfer of the former cities and islands of
Dalmatia to him by conferring on Stefan the title of King by sending him
Crown, Scepter, and Sword. Drzislav was the first crowned King of Croatia and

Radovan died in 1083, and was the only son of the last Croatian King Zvonimir
and Queen Helene, who was the sister of Hungarian King Ladislaus. Ladislaus,
the King of Hungary, was appointed to the Croatian Throne in 1089 by a party
of Croatian magnates and representatives of the cities of Dalmatia upon the
death of King Zvonimir. Beginning with the year 1097, the Croatians and
Hungarians had a common King for 429 years and were allied in a personal

Chapter VI- The First Croatian State in the South

The following remarks provide information on the borders of those countries
conquered by the Croatians during their expansion in the south. Emperor
Constantine Prophyrogenet speaks of Dalmatia, Pannonia, and Illyria.
Montenegro, western Serbia and part of today's Carinthia still border on
today's Croatia.

The four Croatian countries of White Croatia, Pannonia, Red Croatia, and
Carantania were created in this expanse. The area of White Croatia and
Croatian Pannonia remain in today's Croatia, but Croatia could not retain the
other two countries.

1. White Croatia, within today's Dalmatia and Bosnia, was the focal point of
the Croatian settlers. It extends from the small stream Rasa in Istria, to
the River Cetina in Dalmatia, south and west of the rivers Der and Drina.
This was the most heavily settled area by the Croats, and it was the center
of political power and the focal point of all internal political
communication of the Croats starting with the initial arrival of the Croats
up to the time of the Turkish invasion. Here the Croatian name was
transferred for the first time to the Pre-Croatian Slavic inhabitants, a fact
confirmed by Archdeacon Thomas already in the 13th century. According to
Constantine Prophyrogenet, the Croatian land between Istria and the small
river of Cetina around the middle of the 10th century was known only as
Croatia. According to a statement from the Russian Chronicle, Nestor and
others, it was also called White Croatia to distinguish it from the other
southern Croatian areas.

2. Pannonian Croatia extended from the north of White Croatia to the Rivers
Mur, Drava and the Danube. Two centers emerged in this country in the former
Roman towns of Siscia (Sisek) and Sirmium (Mitrovica). Only the westerly
portions of this territorial tract were continuously included in the Croatian
community of states. Sirmium (Mitrovica) was a part of Hungary for a long
time. White Croatia was more densely settled than Pannonia-Croatia. Pannonia
Croatia was adjoined to the Prince of Svatopluk's Moravian Empire during the
time of Prince Bratislav (880 - 900 AD). This nation bordered on the old
Greater Croatia, the homeland left behind by the southward migrating Croats
in the 7th century.

By the end of the 9th Century, the sphere of influence of the Slavic Princes
in the region extended from the Vistula (Weichsel) River to the Adriatic Sea.

This self-contained unity was destroyed by the invasion of Hungary and by the
destruction of the Moravian Empire. During the time of the Dalmatian Croatian
King Tomislav, when Hungary as a wedge separated the northern and southern
Slavs from each other, Pannonia-Croatia was united with White Croatia. After
the personal union of Croatia and Hungary (1091), the area between the Kulpa,
Sava, and Drava Rivers was called the Country of Slovenia from the 12th to
the 16th centuries. Pannonian Croatia was settled for the second time by the
Croats after many left White and Red Croatia for the north during the Turkish
war. Ever since this time, the core of the territory of Croatia has been
located between the Mur, Drava, Danube, Sava, and Kulpa rivers.

3. The small country of Red Croatia was situated between the little stream of
Narenta and the Skutari Lake, and its eastern boundary was the upper course
of the Drina River. On the whole, Red Croatia was situated in today's
Montenegro. Similarly Pannonia-Croatia was also a nation of subordinated
importance to Red
Croatia, and up to the middle of the 10th Century was combined with White and
Pannonian Croatia. It was a national sovereignty known as the Kingdom of
Duklja from this time on. Towards the end of the 12th century, it was under
Serbian sovereignty.

4. Carantania was the fourth Commonwealth created by the Croats, but which
the Slovenians had settled. The ancestors of today's Slovenians penetrated
the holdings of the Langobards in the former Roman Province of Noricum, and
up to the end 6th century, took possession of the entire territory from the
Adriatic sea to the sources of the Drava, Save, and Mur rivers. Valuk, the
first Slovenian Duke appeared around 640, and his seat was on the river Glan
in today's Karnburg (Krnskigrad). Underneath the castle was the "stone
throne", on which the free Slovenian farmers still enthroned their Duke in
1414. Carantania fell to Bavaria in 772 and soon thereafter was under the
sovereignty of the Franks.

At the same time, when the political power of the southern Croats achieved
its apex in their homeland, the Croats disappeared in the former Large
Croatia, because the remaining Croatian population was essentially depleted.

Chapter VII -The National Structure of the Croatian Countries to Year 1500

The pre-Croats of Slovenia were the majority of the inhabitants found by the
Croats in the south, whose arrival into the new homeland has already been
described. Waves of these Croatian warriors merged into a nation with the
same customs and language. The process of amalgamation was fulfilled without
extraordinary difficulties because the linguistic differences between the
people were minimal.

The Romans, or rather the Romanized Illyrian Celts, formed the predominant
part of the non-Slavic population after the arrival of the Croats. They had
been scattered by the Avars from the north and the south, and they drifted
towards the east and the Adriatic Sea. They formed two social layers after
the arrival of the Croats. The citizens of the Dalmatian Nation who were well
to do, retrieved their islands from the Avars, and resumed the
Christianization of the Croats on the mainland. These Romans were called
Latiners in the 12th Century. The Croats forced their way into the Roman
cities of Dalmatia during the time of the Croatian Kings.The 2nd ethnic group
of Romans consisted of herdsmen, who were pushed into the mountains from the
fruitful plains by the Croats. The Croatians called them "black Walachs" to
differentiate them from the urban Walachs (Morowalachs).The Latin seaside
inhabitants in the states of Zara (Zadar), Trau (Trogir), Spalato (Split),
Ragusa (Dubrovnik), and Cattaro (Kotor) were already significantly
intermingled with Croatians in the 11th Century. The Croatianization of the
cities by the Adriatic coast progressed rapidly in the 12th Century. The
clergy welcomed Pope Alexander with Croatian songs when he visited the city
of Zara in 1177 AD. In the year 1345 AD when the citizens of the State of
Zara dispatched a delegation to the Croatian-Hungarian King Ludwig I with the
petition that the King liberate them from the Venetians, all of the delegates
had Croatian names. The Croatianization process took place more rapidly in
the smaller villages along the Adriatic Sea. The Dalmatian Nation was Croat
at the end 14th Century, partly by influx, partly by assimilation. The
aristocratic upper classes in the coastal territories of Dalmatia remained
Roman and were not amalgamated with the Croats. German, Hungarian, and
Italian craftsmen settled in the free cities situated between the Kulpa,
Sava, and Drava rivers as early as the 13th Century. Organized guilds of
Croatian, German and Italian nationalities were found in Zagreb (Agram) in
the 14th century.

The crafty Morowalachs expanded very strongly in an easterly direction in the
14th Century. They were mainly in Macedonia and Thessalonica which bore the
name Greater Walachia (Megale Vlahia) in the 13th and 14th centuries. The
Walachs at that time still spoke the Roman language.

A Walach or Roman settlement area extended along the Adriatic from Cattaro to
Istria in the 12th century opposite from the eastern Walachs. New Walachs
moved into the Croatian countries in the 14th century, but for the most part
they were Slavic. According to Ferdo Sisic's "Povijest Hrvata u vrijeme
narodnih vladara" (History of the Croatians to the time of the current
National Rulers, Zagreb, 1925, Page 276), the word "Vlah had no meaning in
the nationality since the XIII Century. This was the result of a greater part
of the Slavic population being occupied with cattle breeding, and hence were
called Walachs. There were "Croatian Walachs" already in 1322. Walachs Alpine
dairies were mentioned in the area of Lika (south of Fiume) in 1344, and also
eight years later in the surroundings of Zara. They moved gradually from the
hills into the cities and onto the islands. Walach Alpine dairies crowded the
area from Dalmatia to Fiume (Rijeka) at the start of the 15th century. The
Walachs did not have fixed residences because they lived in chalets as
herdsmen moving frequently. They were known as the "Croatian Walachs" in the
surroundings of the city of Lika, and were believers of the Catholic faith.
Walachs were mentioned as being from the Tulic Family in the district of
Vrlica (south of Zengg).

Walach immigrants lived in West Slovenia around Esseg (Osiek) and in Sirmien
from the 12th until the 14th centuries except for a few, isolated Hungarian
immigrants. Hungarians streamed into the land between the Drava and Sava
rivers, especially in the 14th century. The king distributed land among the
Hungarian aristocrats who brought their subjects with them.
(to be continued in future newsletters. This newsletter continues as no.

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