You are not brothers to us
Why disappeared the most mysterious people in Russia.
“No you are not Slavs, you are actually Finno-Ugric peoples!” — such accusations in a polemical fervor often address to the Russian people, some residents of one of the neighboring countries Russia. And then followed a long discussion about that in the times of Kievan Rus on the territory of Central Russia was inhabited by Finnish tribes, which supposedly is the ancestors of the Russian. It is clear that such a senseless and primitive demagogic technique was used solely for propaganda purposes, to gratify the wounded and not yet completely formed the national consciousness.
“Ribbon.ru” explains why such claims are untenable, but at the same time give us the opportunity to recall a little-known pages of our early history.
We all know that between the Volga and the Oka was not only the core of the Russian state, but also a place where it was formed and entered the historical arena of the Russian people. But if you look closely at a map of Central Russia, you will notice the amazing regularity — many toponyms (place names) are obviously of non-Slavic origin. For example — Moscow, Oka, Yakhroma, vex Lehto, Nero, Dalgopol, Nerekhta, Paced, Kineshma, Kostroma, Kaluga, Vologda, Ohtomo, Shuya, Valday and Seliger, Kirzhach, Klyazma, Koloksha, Khokhloma, Viria, Pakhra, Taldom and many others.
And if we look at historical maps thousands of years old, it will be found that the region at that time was almost exclusively populated by Finnish tribes, muroma, Meshchera and Merya.
Therefore, many of the above place names are of Finnish origin. And if the names of Meschera, and Murom has survived to the present day in the names of the suburban natural areas and the well known town of the Vladimir region, then Mary was left almost nothing.
The tribe of Merya in ancient times occupied a vast territory of Silesia from the banks of the Moscow river near the modern Volga to Zvenigorod and Galich lake. By the way, the current Galich in the Kostroma region, founded by immigrants from modern Halych in Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine (it was the names Galicia and Galicia), originally called Galich Merskiy.
Meria lived in small settlements along the banks of many rivers and lakes, trying not to go too far in the dense forest. They were engaged mainly by gathering, hunting, fishing and animal husbandry. Archaeologists believe that before the arrival of Slavs in present agriculture in Central Russia was almost non-existent. This is not surprising: the region and later has long been considered a zone of risky agriculture. Due to adverse climatic conditions, the soil often gave very poor yields.
Meria were pagans, they had spread the cult of sacred stones. One of them is the Blue stone is preserved on the shore of lake Pleshcheyevo near Pereslavl-Zalessky and is still a place of veneration for pilgrims. Dead people Merya burned on a large funeral pyres on the banks of rivers and lakes. Breeding center Meria scientists believe the sarsky ancient settlement, which existed from the VII century on the southern shore of lake Nero in Yaroslavl region, where archaeologists found a large quantity of silver coins from Europe. What then happened to Carskim settlement, had it related to near emerged in the IX century Rostov the Great — on this account, historians still argue.
Slavic colonization of Silesia began at the end of the first Millennium of our era. It took place in waves from three directions. First from the Northwest and West (the current of Veliky Novgorod and Smolensk came Ilmen Slavs and krivichs). Then from the South arrived Vyatichi, northerners and Radimichi. Finally, in the time of old Russian state on the territory of the Volga-Oka rivers began the mass migration of the inhabitants of the southern and South-Western Russia. Curiously, built new cities, they often gave the names of native places: besides the already mentioned Galich, Vladimir, Pereyaslavl, Przemysl, Toompea and many others. The colonization of the region the Slavs were so extensive that in the pre-Mongol period, their numerical dominance was unquestionable.
The arrival of the Slavs
What then happened to the indigenous Finnish population? Where it went: was it destroyed by aliens, whether they assimilated or went further into the woods?
Apparently, mostly Slavic, the development of the area took place peacefully, that does not preclude individual clashes and conflicts. Archaeological data show that over time the Slavs and the Finns lived together or close by. For example, in Thimerisol town near Yaroslavl (the city itself was founded by Rostov Prince Yaroslav the Wise on the site of a small Finnish settlements), scientists found how the Slavic and Merya and Scandinavian burial. Regarding the latter, it should not surprise you — that the Vikings have long dominated in this region.
Apparently, because of the very small population of Silesia Finnish tribes to the beginning of colonization of the Slavs of those subsequently disappeared completely among strangers.
Such rapid assimilation should not be surprising: besides the fact that the Slavs were much more, they were at a higher level of political development than the natives. For example, historian Vasily Klyuchevsky wrote that weird Finnish tribes “was not in the tradition of the Veche gatherings”, so characteristic of the inhabitants of Kiev, Chernigov and Rostov and Suzdal. During the development of Zalesie Slavic settlers in the first place not settled in the free territories, and on lands that are already developed local Finnish population. Perhaps because of this, some part of Meria, have long lived between the Volga and the Oka, then went further into the impenetrable forests of Volga. Some scientists equate these people with modern or even Mari, Mordovians (Erzya and Moksha).
Some researchers believe that the medium still left an impressive legacy in our language. For example, only the Eastern Slavs is characteristic of the Finno-Ugric languages the possessive lexical structure “I have”. Indeed, a pole, a Czech or a Croat in such a case say, “I have.” The influence of the Merya language also explain the peculiarity of the declension of nouns masculine, where in the genitive together with the common Slavic form, (a lot of people to bring a Cup of tea) there is a typical Finnish variant-a, I (a lot of people to bring tea). Many Russian dialect words the proponents of this theory also derive from Finnish. It is difficult to judge how true this is — Merya language was not preserved till our days and did not leave behind a reliable written sources. To detect its echoes in the local dialects of the Russian language and failed, and the attempts of some enthusiasts to restore or construct Merya lexical system in the scientific sense uncertain.