Roman Empire and Slavic Tribes: How did the two peoples contact each other?


Ancient Rome is one of the most powerful civilizations of the ancient world. During the period of its greatest prosperity in the II century A.D. the empire stretched over 6.5 million km² and had a cultural impact on all countries of Europe, Asia and Africa.

What did the Romans think about the Slavs?

The ancestors of the Slavs are the Wends — a large people who controlled the territory from the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea to the northern Carpathians and the lower reaches of the Danube. The first mention of them

The Wends lived far from Rome, had almost no contact with the empire and were of no interest to the Romans. However, ancient scientists still left some information about the people and their lands.

From time to time, the Roman commanders set out the vanguard of their troops for reconnaissance operations in distant corners of the planet. In the II century BC. one of these regions was the territory of Central Russia.

Rome has organized more than 200 research missions, each numbering up to 2 thousand people. Remains of legionnaires, fragments of weapons and ammunition, as well as


Peculiar «adventures of a centurion in Russia»

The journey through the barbarian lands was long and dangerous. Many expeditions failed and died in foreign lands. This is probably why

Historian Publius Tacitus

Pliny the Elder

In the 1st-2nd centuries, the Wends dominated their neighbors. By the name of this people, the scientist Ptolemy Claudius

Tacitus also mentioned the peoples living north of the Wends: Fennes, Gellusia and Oxions. These were even more savage tribes who slept right on the ground, dressed in animal skins, had no iron and fought with arrows with bone tips. Some tribes had human heads and animal limbs.

The local climate disheartened travelers. Here snow was falling in large flakes, severe frosts set in and piercing winds blew. Pterophoros — the area in front of the Urals was referred to as the «Cursed Land», where everything around was thirsty for human death.

Be that as it may, by the 3rd century A.D. travel to Eastern Europe finally stopped, and a century later, the northern peoples broke through the borders of the empire, putting an end to the existence of the Western Roman Empire

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