Lives Journal 2 

Radivoje Peshich

 

 CATENA MUNDI

 

CATENA MUNDI

(Link of the World – Balkan)

 

I accuse the silence

Let the river flow down its way,

but let it not destroy my home. Escape shall not be my defense

I have nowhere to go

This soil is my own.

 

The early European civilizations with their epicenter in the Middle Danube Basin expanded their circle towards the south and the north, but always along the vertical line tending towards the east-west, being in complete concordance with the natural movement direction due to the order of harmonious rhythm of spiritual mechanism from which they stemmed and through which they lasted or even have been lasting ever since, unperceived by the eye of the modern technology and spiritual instrumentation.

The tendency of the east west has, however, an opposite direction, being the ever-inexorable tendency towards the source of light. Tills confirms the early European civilizations to have stuck to their dormant equilibrium in pursuit of the sense of living and existence, as they represented the existential equilibrium proper on which unity of their structure, as the universal survival principle was based. Neither did the civilizations have come out of their dormant equilibrium, nor entered into it, but, nevertheless, disturbance had occurred and, inter alia, threw into oblivion the early European civilizations, excluding thus their impact on the development of later generations, which would oppose this disturbance by renewal of disregarded orders of things or by introduction of new models. The new models have, however, neither renewed to a sufficient extent the disregarded order of  things, nor based their projections on right foundations. It may have been only an illusion to be able to conquer the unconquerable time and space, but in any case, it is a consequence of the e disregarded orders of things. New projections demanded radical changes, which meant erasement of past traces, as the new concepts collided with the heritage.

The past was given new contents and new sense. In a word, the past was created in spite of the tact that its reality could not have been an essential hindrance in implementation of new projections concepts. Consequently, the breakthrough lo the very roots of the Slav civilization was paralyzed. It was concealed behind imprecise interpretations of ethnic regions across Europe in the writings of ancient historiographers and thereafter by the Indo-European linguistic theory as well as the theory on the belated Slav literacy. The geographic maps of Europe were marked, inter alia, with less known or unknown tribes, less known or unknown ethnic formations, situated in a kind of transitory fashion on the European soil, often without origin or fate.

The new world was represented by chosen ethnic formations often with qualities usurped from the ethnic formations left out by the choice. All ethnic formations inhabiting Europe at the time of creation of the new world, willingly or not, took direct or indirect part in its creation. The role of the Slav civilization was screened once again and geography acquired once more different forms, not concurring with the real picture of the world. This will bring about catastrophic consequences in the further development of the now, already new, European civilization. They will be recurring  in  very  near  time  intervals,  which  could simultaneously be both a message and a moral.

The Middle Danube Basin, as the source and center of the European and Slav civilizations, draws out the line, the east west, or the west east. Old name for the Danube was Istar, from Etruscan histrio or ister, or according to Roman grammarians, from Illyrian istra, there from comes Istra (terra rossa) from red soil on which Istra is situated in the north of the Adriatic. The inhabitants of Lepenski Vir on the Danube, 7000 years B.C. covered the floors of their abodes with red soil. The Canaanites, who lived in Syrian-Palestinian region at the end of the third millennium B.C., are known by red soil. The Greek equivalent tor red soil is Phoenicia. Stefan Byzantine and Eustathius, however, mention the name of Mataos, meaning Mother, for the Istar - the Danube. 11 we take into consideration length of its How at the banks of which several ethnic formations found their motherly abode, the origin of its name is self-sufficient.

During the lifetime of Strabon and Ptolemy, the geographic maps of Europe showed a mountain ridge stretching uninterruptedly from the B lack Sea to the Alps. During the Renaissance, the ridge was called Catena Mundi. Its east part, not far from Istanbul was called Hemus. The real name for the classic Hemus was Balkan as discovered in the last century (19th). In spite of the fact that the geographers (A. Zeune, 1808) mistook the central for the eastern ridge, this part of Europe, connected by the mountain ridge from the Black Sea to the Alps, is called the Balkan Peninsula. On the east of the Balkan Peninsula is Asia Minor encompassing Anatolia and on the west is the Apennine Peninsula. The etymology of Anatolia (Anadolia) runs as follows: Anadolu stems from ana – mother and dolu – a lot, many, meaning a lot of mothers, or the country of a lot of mothers. The etymology of Balkan has identical content, balk – means a meeting place, a beehive, and ani – mothers. Hence, it means a meeting place of mothers. The etymology of the Apennine Peninsula comes from ape – meaning a bee, from Latin Apis, the same as the Egyptian deity (the bull), worshiped by the Slavs as a symbol of energy and light and nini – from Greek children i.e. a beehive in which bees (mothers) live with their children.

From the earliest history, the three peninsulas were the real beehives of tribes and nations of same origin or of kindred people. The oldest were the Pelasgi, the historical presence of which across the regions of the present Balkans, Asia Minor and Apennine Peninsula was documented. The others were: Thracians and Illyrians, Mesapy and Mezians. Yapodi Yapigi, Pelagonians and Peonians, Dardanians and Bryggis i.e. Phryggis (Phrygians), Enetoi, Vendis i.e. Venelis to he found in Paphlagonia in Asia Minor, across the present Balkans in the Middle Danube Basin, along the rivers the Timok and the Morava up to the Vardar and further on across the north of Italy, the present Switzerland, Austria and Germany up to the Baltics, proved by science to be the Slavs.

Later on, these vast expanses will be covered by Rome, Greece and Byzantium as representatives of a new civilization. But they neither came to empty territories nor did they create heritage of a new civilization without the world, which had its homeland in these regions. The spirit ol that world is built in into the foundations of these new civilizations and what is of primary importance, that very spirit outlived all of them. It is of utmost importance to say it openly.

All efforts on the part of various religions and ideologies to alienate this world, to divide it into smaller communities, to force their divisions and migrations in order easy to conquer it definitively, both materially and spiritually, could not deprive them of their origins. The past and I lie sources cannot be annulled either by rejection of historical facts, by changes of geography or by introduction of new social systems. Many brute forces were destroyed right here in these regions, across this chain of the world (catena nnimit) for the function of a chain is not only to connect, but also to terminate the violent passions. Rupture of only one link causes rupture of the whole chain, as confirmed by history. Bearing this in mind, the Balkans, being the crossroad and treasury of earliest European civilizations, as if at this moment, by its geographic situation and its fate, obliges the representatives of the new European civilization, the primary aim of which is community of nations, to appreciate the up to now disregarded survival principles of previous civilizations as well as the principle that only the energy accumulated in past decades could bring about true spiritual and material recovery. One must, even now, not forget that the literacy as a light sprung up right from the Balkan soil. And that represents one of the greatest heritages of the civilized Mankind.

 

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The article Catena Mundi by Serbian archaeologist Radivoje Peshich (1931-1993; from the book I accuse the silence, Peshich & sinovi, Beograd, 2001) represents condensely the core of his pioneering research: Slavic Balkans as a key »oppressed phenomenon« of European civilization; see also his treatise On the traces of autochthonous Slavs in the Balkans, Revija SRP 91-92, June 2009. (Note by editor I. A.)

 

 

 

 

TRACES OF SLAV AUTOCHTHONY ON THE BALKANS

 

The finds of cultures discovered on Neolithic sites from Crete to Thessaly, across the Vardar and Kosovo regions, along the river Morava and the Middle Danube Basins and further up to the north, up to the rivers the Dnepr and the Dnestr encompassing Tripolje culture* as well, are mutually affiliated and, consequently, suggesting affinity of ethnic formations. Ancient historiographers, however, most often are very controversial in their information concerning ethnic formations that inhabited these vast expanses of land. Some hints, though vague and uncertain, could be found with some of them. The hazy suppositions by Herodotus about tribes and ethnic formations, more or less far away from his possible perception, caused a series of contradictions and unreliabilities, thus causing his contemporaries and later historiographers to double these suspicions instead of to clear them up and offer necessary reconstructions. As a result, truth had to be surrendered to the time and searched for in the only true historic archives, in the bowels of the earth. This was the only reliable documentation left over as an inviolable testimony of the very far past.

When the Englishman Arthur Evans discovered Cretan-Minoan civilization (1900/04), the historiography had to push the beginnings of the Hellenic civilization much further into the past and face itself with a civilization, named by historiographers, pre-Greek. The question: who were the real representatives of the said civilization, has remained yet unanswered. The Pelasgi ethnic areas, as mentioned by Homer and Herodotus, covering next to Crete and Mycenae, regions of the west part of the Asia Minor, across the whole of the Balkan Peninsula up to the Apennine Peninsula, were connected to the Thracians according to B. Georgiev,1 to the Illyrians according to Locher-Hutterbach,2 while in their later period, when the definite assimilation took place, Milan Budimir connected one part of the Pelasgi to the Hellenes and the other part to the Slavs. In his comparative study Homems Slavicis dialectis cognata lingua (1829) Gregorius Dankowsky. supported by documents, discusses Homer's Pelasgi language as a substratum of Slav languages. The encyclopedist Alian was the one to point out to the existence of the Iliad in the language of the Bryggis (Bryggians or Phrygians) close relations of the Dardanians. Bearing this in mind the Iliad had existed prior to 560 year B.C. when the Pejistrat the Tyrant ordered its new edition in the Greek language.

The Armenian writer, Moses von Chorene, from the V century A.D. wrote Thrace had consisted of five smaller states and a larger one inhabited by seven Slav tribes.

The Veneti ethnic formation, mentioned as well by Homer and Herodotus about the II millennium, is to be found in Asia Minor along the river Helis in Paphlagonia and by the Ponte's shores, between the Black and the Caspian Seas, in Russia, and there from to the Baltic Sea. Further, we find the Venetis in Norick, in upper Tyro I, up to the Boden Lake, named after them Lacum veneticus, then in the Krajina (part of present Croatia) and along the Adriatic. Appian3 finds the Venetis in the Middle and Lower Danube Basins, while, according to related sources, Contzen4 finds them along the river Timok, the river Morava to the river Vardar and from there, across the whole of present Kosovo and Sandzak, up to the Montenegrin seaside. The Gothic historiographer Jomandes from the VI century A.D. wrote in his work Getica »that the numerous Veneti tribe calls itself Sclavini and Anti« and that during his lifetime they were named »Veneti, Anti, Sclavini«. In the same work, he explicitly wrote: »Scriptores aequivalenter modo Venedos, modo Venetas ac Vindos scripserunt, sesub hoc nomine semper Vindos seu Sclavos intellexerunt«.

Polibiy considers the Venetis to belong to one of the Illyrian branches. By doing so he indirectly connects the Venetis with the Pelasgi, while Hellanic, Myrsal and Plutarch connect the Etruscans i.e. Rasens with the Pelasgi. If we take into account the climate of the Apennine Peninsula, its nearness and close mutual communications between the Etruscans and the Venetis, nearly identical script and related languages, this component should, by all means, be taken into consideration.

In his study The Greeks and the Pelasgi (Beograd, 1950) Milan Budimir, supporting by documents, points out to one of the oldest Indo-European substratum on the Balkans, the Pelasgi, as he named them, and this is, as we have already mentioned, in accordance with statements and hints of preceding historiographers. Budimir concludes, that the Thracians, Illyrians and Macedonians developed from the said substratum. At this point it would be opportune to remember the findings of the renown French historiographer Cyprien Robert disclosed in his voluminous study Le monde Slave I, II (Paris, 1852). Robert fails to make distinction between the Illyrians and the Slavs and speaks of the latter to stem, like the Hellenes, from the Pelasgi' body, both by the language and the culture.

Herodotus writes that the Venetis and the Illyrians were in the neighborhood with the Dardanians and the Macedonians, but does not know anything about their affiliation, for, why would otherwise these Venetis, together with the Peoncians and the Bryggis (Phrygians) join the Dardanians and set jointly out to Troy to take part in the Trojan wars. Strabon and Appian find the Dardanians and the Illyrians affiliated, while Polibiy makes distinctions between them.

There is no basis whatsoever to identify dardanos as »a man of dark hair« as quite inconvincibly suggested by the linguist August Fick. Dardan cannot either be connected to Dardhus, meaning a pear in the Albanian vocabulary. Dada means a bee in the so-called pre-Greek, which we would closely define as Pelasgi. But that is only the first layer of identification. Dardbya in Sanskrit means stability, steadiness, force, power. The deity Turan with the Etruscans means one giving gifts (daritelj, dariteijica in Serbian) both in masculine and feminine senses. Old Slav daronosie is Greek doropsoria, meaning bringing of gifts. Accordingly, from the compound Dardan, Dardania, Dardaneli we get the Slav da-dat (give, given), dar-doneo (gift-brought) or dar-dao-nama (gift given to us) or dar-doneli (gift brought by) being in accordance with the Pelasgi darda (a bee), the one giving a gift, that is to say, dariteijica (she-giver of gifts) alike the Etruscan turan (or dardan). All this has been reflected in many Slav anthroponyms (B ogdan, Vojdan, Gordan, Jordan, Lordan, Prodan, Slob(o)dan, etc. ). Sanskrit discovers the whole essence of dara-darivanja-daronosia (gift-giving of gifts-bringing of gifts) as an ethic category of stability, steadiness and power from which dar (the gift) accrues as such. Accordingly, ras stems from ars (there from Arsava between Panphilia, Capadokia and Cyprus) and belongs to the Pelasgi toponymia in which one should search lor the Etruscan Rashni, Rashani, Raseni or for the Serbian Razi, Rasi, Rashani (as Serbs were called at one time). This is analogue to the ethnonym Sarmat, which demands an anagrammatical identification rasmat. A wild cat (ris) is an Etruscan deity. named by them ras. It is a similar deity to the one held in the hand by Gilgamesh on the well-known relief. At this point, we should keep in mind the Eydian town of Sard and the most recent researches of Massimo Pitau5 that the Etruscans came to Italy from Sardinia in the XV or the XIV century B.C. The Pelasgi hydronym Prasijas for the present-day Eake of Dojran comes into this category having in its root ras. Accordingly, Sarmat, Sarmatians, Sarmatia or Rasmat is nothing else but the ancestors' land of the Rasians or matushka Ras (mother of the Rasians) as the Russians would put it (from Sanskrit matr-mother). Domatros is the great Pelasgi deity, accepted by neighboring tribes, but the Sarmatians where the only ones to write its name with their exuberant script, no doubt originating from Vincha, due to its identity with it.

Nestor Kievski, in his Annals from the XII century A.D., writes that the Slavs inhabited the regions along the Danube and that they kept their own names even when migrating, accepting also the names of places they had moved to. Those inhabiting the Morava region became the Moravians, the others the Czechs. Some of the Slavs called themselves white Croatians, the others Serbs. According to Nestor, land of the Slavs ancestors was situated on the borders of the Middle and Lower Danube Basins and in the Panonian Plane.

During the lifetime of Herodotus, however, the Slavs were known only in ethnic formations as the Venetis. Illyrians, Thracians, Scythians, Antis, Neuris or Dardanians, Bryggis, Dalmatians, Peoncians, Mezians, Yapodi, etc. They all were connected, to a lesser or greater extent, by the name of the Pelasgi, suggesting a synonym for the Slavs. According to Gilbert Muray6 pelas could be interpreted by: closely related, next of kin, to be a neighbor to someone, sociable, friendly, but this interpretation fails to have foundations enough for closer etymology. If, however, we accept the usual transition of P into B, Pelasgi (Pelast in Serbian) will become Belasgi (Belast, meaning whitely in Serbian). The Pelasgi were called by ancient nations white Gods or the primal inhabitants of the Levant, being the ancient name for old Phoenicia. Accordingly, if we care to accept the meaning of Pelasgi's word pleistoi, a name for the ascetics who lived in the Middle Danube Basin and worshiped Helios cult and therefore had been shiny or enlightened, the etymology brings us to the concept of light, that is to say, to luminescent-gleaming-radiant. If radiant is identified with holy, then everything represents existence in the name of holiness. In Sanskrit, light is satyasam-satyam-tmth, and sam - to be (to be in the light, i.e. to be in the truth), all that is holy demands respect, honor, worship. The dialectics of the concept moves up the line.' light - holiness - worship. This is a more logic way of etymology for the Pelasgi.

Pre-Indo-European or Yaphet phase in the Slav development encompasses the Illyrians, Thracians, Scythians and Sarmatians and already mentioned Etruscans as well as Kimerians (Kineris or Iberis – Kymberis), which M. Budimir,7 interpreting the term sebar (the older form simb/e/ro), identifies with later Serbian Slavs.

Mavro Orbini8 follows the photic theory and he finds the ethno geneses of the Slavs in ethnic formations of: the Sarmatians, Scythians, Vendis (Venetis), Antis, Sirbis (Serbs), Shwedis, Finns, Prussians, Vandalis, Burgundis, Ghoties, Polomis, Bohemians, Bulgarians, Illyrians, Thracians etc. Not many paid sufficient attention to Marko Orbini's theory nor was it sufficiently verified to be rejected, but, any way, a fact remains of the Slav traces in the past to be found up to the present days in all regions mentioned by Orbini, from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands up to England, Germany, Austria and Italy. In addition to Nestor Kievski's Annals and the history of The Slav Kingdom by Marko Orbini, the deep past of the Slav history was disclosed in the so-called Isenbeck's slabs, parts of the text of which were deciphered and published for the first time in 1954-1959 in San Francisco, edited by A. A. Kura and J. Miroljubov. The complete edition of this unusual document of the Slav history under the title of The Veles Book appeared in ten volumes with a translation into Ukrainian, edited by M. Skripnik in the Hag in 1967. An unknown writer wrote on these slabs in a pre-Cyrillic script the Slav history from 650 B.C up to the IX or X centuries A.D. on the basis of which one may presume it was written in the IX or X centuries. The newly discovered unusual chronicle of the Slavs sets in motion basic questions of the Slav ethno genesis and the Slav history drawing the attention of scientific circles to the mention of the Slavs in the epoch before Christ on the vast expanses ol the European and on one part of the Asian continents.

The great researcher of the Slav history, Pavel Joseph Schaffarick,9 has had no doubts whatsoever of the autochthonism of the Slavs on the Balkans. On the basis of documents, he rejected any credibility of Porphyrogenitus' s information concerning the professed migration of the Slavs and their settlement on the Balkan Peninsula in the VII century. Schaffarick rejects categorically the credibility of Porphyrogenitus's information and explains its »intricacy« as purposeful, in order to implement its »political apology«. The history of research into the problems of the Slavs' origin faced such and similar apologies of current politics before and after Schaffarick. Political apologies can in no way be accepted as the history, but only as some other kind of »history«.

New archaeological discoveries during the 19th and 20th centuries offered a profuse documentation definitively rejecting all doubts, intricacies and history charades. The archaeological, ethnological, semiological and linguistic researches of our century (20th) represent the new lights of the history, refusing to close any more its eyes in front of the facts. The so-called Panslavism, arisen not as a pressure over history, but as a protection from Pannordism in history, caused a vacuum of considerations and indulgencies in front of the fundamental facts. It seems this was the essential purpose of such a challenge.

The archaeological researches of V.V. Hvojka10 in the regions along the rivers the Dnepr and the Dnestr discovered plentiful cultural finds from the Neolithic, known in archaeology as Tripoli culture. On the basis of a wide analysis of the finds pertaining to this culture, made by Hvojka and later by Rudenko, T.S. Pesak, M.M. Gerasimov, F.K. Chemish and B.V. Gomurig, a conclusion had been reached that the culture pertained to a native agricultural nation, »which could have been non other but our forefathers Pre-Slavs (or Proto-Slavs), which preceded and survived on our terrain up to now all the known movements and invasions of other foreign tribes, and the descendants of which have succeeded to keep under their reign the vast regions of their forefathers to these present days.« The renowned archaeologist Hvojka, in his further conclusions, points out, inter alia, that the beginning of the Tripolje culture could be dated to 3500 B.C. By the general type of their real monuments and by the basis of their social structure established thereon, this culture is most closely connected with the cultures in the Middle Danube Basin, with that on the whole territory of the Balkan Peninsula, in Thessaly and with the oldest cultural center of the Mediterranean – with Mycenae and Crete, and in the east with Asia Minor. All this prompted many archaeologists to mark the Tripolje culture as pre-Mycenaean.

Having in mind all this documentation and very rich cultural finds on Neolithic sites in Yugoslavia (Lepenski Vir, Starchevo, Vincha, etc.), on sites in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, we have no foundation to doubt the affiliation or affinity of those finds on such vast territories, regardless of some mild differences in style. The very early appearance of literacy (Vincha script) and its widespread testifies of the high level of cultivation of this cultural area, which could have easily been the foundation on which the Crete-Minoan civilization flourished. The Middle Danube Basin, particularly the part on the border of the Middle and the South ones, being the cradle of literacy, which was widespread, systematized and in constant everyday use, shows the consciousness that turned this heritage of human spirit into holiness. It was a result of common thoughts, common ideals and common tendencies. Anthropological researches across these regions showed the common features of that world which knew to use fertility of its soil to express its creative energy.

The great Pelasgi tree grew out of that fertile soil and its branches reached the shores of the Mediterranean, the Caspian, the Baltic, the North and the Tyrrhenian Seas. This is confirmed by the rich documentation in the archives of the earth bowels. The history cannot find more credible documentation than that.

  

 

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1 L'éthnogenèse paléobalkanique d'apres les donnes linguistique; Sofia, 1971.

2 Die Pelasger; Wien, 1960.

3 Bellum Mithrid; 1, 5.

4 Die Veneter, 1875.

5 Massimo Pitau, La lingua dei Sardi Nuragici e degli Etruschi; Sassari, 1981.

6 The Rice of the Greek Epic; London, 1907.

7 From the Balkan Sources, Beograd, 1969

8 The Kingdom of the Slavs. 1601

9 Slovenski starozhitnosti. Praha, 1837

10 Drevne obitateli; Kiev, 1913.

* Tripolje culture – name according to village Tripolje by Kiev in Ukraine

 

 

Translated from Serbian by Olivera Popovich

 

 

RADIVOJE PESHICH (1931 - 1993), Serbian archaeologist, professor at the University of Belgrade, Rome and Milan; the main thesis of his research opus is that the Slavs are the inhabitants of the main part of Europe and a part of Asia (in Asia Minor, Troy, etc.) for many millenniums, and that the Danube area (Lepenski vir, Vincha) has been the center of their original culture, with its epoch-making invention of the first linear-letter-script in the history of humanity (beginnings of this script he dated into 8000 years BC, before sumerian, oldindian, chinese, egyptian writing etc.); with his unique erudition, he analysed a specific  system of signs (he introduced it in Milan in 1987; Lucijan Vuga organised his lecture in Slovenia) of that script, and found out that the Apennine Etruscans and Veneti as their immediate branches and after them the other ancient peoples have been used only its modifications. Accordingly to Peshich, nowaday time demands of the Slavs a radical autoreflection of their own identity, chaoticly broken in horrors experienced especially in the 20th century; at the same, it should be restored their from ancient times originating contribution to the human civilization, for the leading postrenaissance pangermanism has been made many systematic attempts to erase that cotribution.

The above two articles are two chapters from the book I accuse the silence (2001), one of the publications issued by the Peshich's descendants in Belgrade (Serbia). In the first line, the article Catena mundi condensely represents the core of Peshich's pioneering research: the Balkans and the Slavs as the key »opressed phenomenon« of European civilization.

(Note by ed. I.A.)

 

 

 

Slovenian (gajica)

Slovenian (bohorichica)