West Slavs

West Slav tribes in the 9th and 10th centuries
Reconstruction of the Slavic temple in Groß Raden
West Slavic languages

The West Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the West Slavic languages.

- West Slavs

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Northern Germany, c. 1000 AD

Circipania

Medieval territory in what is now northeastern Germany.

Medieval territory in what is now northeastern Germany.

Northern Germany, c. 1000 AD

The region developed in the 10th and 11th centuries, when it was the tribal territory of the Circipanes (Circipanen, Zirzipanen), a West Slavic tribe which along with the neighboring tribes was a part of the Lutici federation.

Battle between the Slavs and the Scythians — painting by Viktor Vasnetsov (1881).

Early Slavs

The early Slavs were a diverse group of tribal societies who lived during the Migration Period and the Early Middle Ages (approximately the 5th to the 10th centuries) in Central and Eastern Europe and established the foundations for the Slavic nations through the Slavic states of the High Middle Ages.

The early Slavs were a diverse group of tribal societies who lived during the Migration Period and the Early Middle Ages (approximately the 5th to the 10th centuries) in Central and Eastern Europe and established the foundations for the Slavic nations through the Slavic states of the High Middle Ages.

Battle between the Slavs and the Scythians — painting by Viktor Vasnetsov (1881).
Distribution of Venedi (Slavic), Sarmatian (Iranian) and Germanic tribes on the frontier of the Roman empire in 125 AD. Byzantine sources describe the Veneti as the ancestors of the Sclaveni (Slavs).
Map of the Slavic homeland. Early Slavic artifacts are most often linked to the Przeworsk and Zarubintsy cultures.
Slavic language distribution, with the Prague-Penkov-Kolochin complex in pink, and the area of Slavic river names in red.
The origin and migration of Slavs in Europe in the 5th to the 10th centuries AD:
Southeastern Europe in 520, showing the Byzantine Empire under Justin I and the Ostrogothic Kingdom with Migration Period peoples along their borders.
7th-century Slavic cultures (the Prague-Penkov-Kolochin complex). The Prague and the Mogilla cultures reflect the separation of the early Western Slavs (the Sukow-Dziedzice group in the northwest may be the earliest Slavic expansion to the Baltic Sea); the Kolochin culture represents the early East Slavs; the Penkovka culture and its southwestward extension, the Ipoteşti-Cândeşti culture, demonstrate early Slavic expansion into the Balkans, which would later result in the separation of the South Slavs, associated with the Antes people of Byzantine historiography. In the Carpathian basin, the Eurasian Avars began to be Slavicized during the Slavic settlement of the Eastern Alps.
Slavic ceramic pottery vessel, c. 8th century AD
Slavic fibula brooch, c. 7th century AD
Reconstruction of a Slavic hilltop Grod in Birów, Poland
Reconstruction of a Slavic settlement in Torgelow, Germany
Reconstruction of a Slavic gatehouse in Thunau am Kamp, Austria. The site excavated in the 1980s dates back to the era of the Great Moravian Empire in the 9th and 10th centuries.
An example of early Slavic armor
Svetovid, a Slavic deity of war, fertility and abundance
Baška tablet found in Croatia and inscribed in Church Slavonic, records King Zvonimir's donation of land to a Benedictine abbey, c. 1100
Fresco of Saints Cyril and Methodius, both Byzantine Christian missionaries to the Southern Slavs.
Page of the Gospel of Mark from Codex Zographensis, an Old Church Slavonic manuscript written in Glagolitic script.
Map of Europe in 814 showing the distribution of the Slavic tribes and the First Bulgarian Empire in relation to the Carolingian Empire and the Byzantine Empire.

By the 12th century, they were the core population of a number of medieval Christian states: East Slavs in the Kievan Rus', South Slavs in the Bulgarian Empire, the Principality of Serbia, the Kingdom of Croatia and the Banate of Bosnia, and West Slavs in the Principality of Nitra, Great Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia, and the Kingdom of Poland.

Tollensians

The Tollensians (Tholenzi, Dołężanie, Tolężanie, Dolency, Doleczanie) were a West Slavic tribe inhabiting the shores of the lower and middle Tollense (Dołęża) river, after which they were named.

Holy Roman Empire

Political entity in Western, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Political entity in Western, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

The change of territory of the Holy Roman Empire superimposed on present-day state borders
The double-headed eagle with coats of arms of individual states, the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire (painting from 1510)
The change of territory of the Holy Roman Empire superimposed on present-day state borders
A map of the Carolingian Empire (a.k.a. Francia, the Frankish Empire) within Europe circa 814 CE.
The Holy Roman Empire during the Ottonian Dynasty
The Holy Roman Empire between 972 and 1032
The Hohenstaufen-ruled Holy Roman Empire and Kingdom of Sicily. Imperial and directly held Hohenstaufen lands in the Empire are shown in bright yellow.
The Reichssturmfahne, a military banner during the 13th and early 14th centuries
Lands of the Bohemian Crown since the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV
An illustration from Schedelsche Weltchronik depicting the structure of the Reich: The Holy Roman Emperor is sitting; on his right are three ecclesiastics; on his left are four secular electors.
The Holy Roman Empire when the Golden Bull of 1356 was signed
Innsbruck, most important political centre under Maximilian, seat of the Hofkammer (Court Treasury) and the Court Chancery, which functioned as "the most influential body in Maximilian's government". Painting of Albrecht Dürer (1496)
Maximilian I paying attention to an execution instead of watching the betrothal of his son Philip the Handsome and Joanna of Castile. The top right corner shows Cain and Abel. Satire against Maximilian's legal reform, associated with imperial tyranny. Created on behalf of the councilors of Augsburg. Plate 89 of Von der Arztney bayder Glück by the Petrarcameister.
Personification of the Reich as Germania by Jörg Kölderer, 1512. The "German woman", wearing her hair loose and a crown, sitting on the Imperial throne, corresponds both to the self-image of Maximilian I as King of Germany and the formula Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (omitting other nations). While usually depicted during the Middle Age as subordinate to both imperial power and Italia or Gallia, she now takes central stage in Maximilian's Triumphal Procession, being carried in front of Roma.
The Holy Roman Empire during the 16th century
Carta itineraria europae by Waldseemüller, 1520 (dedicated to Emperor Charles V)
The Holy Roman Empire around 1600, superimposed over current state borders
Religion in the Holy Roman Empire on the eve of the Thirty Years' War
The Empire after the Peace of Westphalia, 1648
The Empire on the eve of the French Revolution, 1789
The crown of the Holy Roman Empire (2nd half of the 10th century), now held in the Schatzkammer (Vienna)
The Seven Prince-electors (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340)
A map of the Empire showing division into Circles in 1512
Vienna, circa 1580 by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg
Front page of the Peace of Augsburg, which laid the legal groundwork for two co-existing religious confessions (Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism) in the German-speaking states of the Holy Roman Empire

During the Hohenstaufen period, German princes facilitated a successful, peaceful eastward settlement of lands that were uninhabited or inhabited sparsely by West Slavs.

A bilingual sign in Niesendorf/Niža Wjes near Bautzen

Sorbian languages

A bilingual sign in Niesendorf/Niža Wjes near Bautzen

The Sorbian languages (, serbska rěc) are two closely related and partially mutually intelligible languages spoken by the Sorbs, a West Slavic minority in the Lusatia region of eastern Germany.

Otto III from the Gospels of Otto III

Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor

Holy Roman Emperor from 996 until his early death in 1002.

Holy Roman Emperor from 996 until his early death in 1002.

Otto III from the Gospels of Otto III
Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, served as Otto III's regent from 983 to 984. Following a failed rebellion to claim the throne from himself, Henry II was forced to pass the regency to Otto III's mother Theophanu.
Otto III's mother Theophanu served as his regent from 984 until her death in 991.
The Northern March (outlined in red) and the Billung March were abandoned by the Empire following the Great Slav Rising of 983.
12C stained glass depiction of Otto III, Strasbourg Cathedral
The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire. Otto III was crowned as emperor in 994 by Pope Gregory V.
The Tomb of Hadrian, stronghold of the Crescentii family, was besieged by Otto III in 998. Otto III's soldiers breached the stronghold and executed the rebellious Crescentius II.
Poland during the reign of Mieszko I.
Monument of the meeting of Emperor Otto III with the Polish ruler Bolesław the Brave in Ilva (now Szprotawa in Poland) in 1000.
Poland during the reign of Bolesław the Brave and Otto's route to Gniezno.
Duke Bolesław I of Poland was given a replica of Holy Lance in 1000 following the Congress of Gniezno.
Italy around 1000, shortly before Otto III's death in 1002

The Lutici federation of West Slavic Polabian tribes had remained quiet during the early years of Otto III's reign, even during Henry II's failed rebellion.

Slovincian language

Slovincian is the language formerly spoken by the Slovincians (Słowińcë, Słowińcy, Slowinzen, Lebakaschuben), a West Slavic tribe living between lakes Gardno and Łebsko near Słupsk in Pomerania.

Moravians

Moravia within the European Union
Moravians, painting by Václav Malý
Traditional Moravian costumes during festival

Moravians (Moravané or colloquially Moraváci, outdated Moravci) are a West Slavic ethnographic group from the Moravia region of the Czech Republic, who speak the Moravian dialects of Czech or Common Czech or a mixed form of both.

Lands of the Hevelli and Sprevane, about 1150

Hevelli

The Hevelli or Hevellians/ Navellasîni (sometimes Havolane; Heveller or Stodoranen; Hawelanie or Stodoranie; Havolané or Stodorané) were a tribe of the Polabian Slavs, who settled around the middle Havel river in the present-day Havelland region of Brandenburg in eastern Germany from the 8th century onwards.

The Hevelli or Hevellians/ Navellasîni (sometimes Havolane; Heveller or Stodoranen; Hawelanie or Stodoranie; Havolané or Stodorané) were a tribe of the Polabian Slavs, who settled around the middle Havel river in the present-day Havelland region of Brandenburg in eastern Germany from the 8th century onwards.

Lands of the Hevelli and Sprevane, about 1150

West Slavic tribes ("Wends") had settled in the Germania Slavica region from the 7th century onwards.

Christianization of the Rani; Slavic settlements, German towns with pagan temples and Christian monasteries

Rani (Slavic tribe)

Christianization of the Rani; Slavic settlements, German towns with pagan temples and Christian monasteries
A priest of Svantevit depicted on a stone from Arkona, now in the church of Altenkirchen.
Bishop Absalon topples the god Svantevit at Arkona. Painting by Laurits Tuxen.

The Rani or Rujani (Ranen, Rujanen) were a West Slavic tribe based on the island of Rugia (Rügen) and the southwestern mainland across the Strelasund in what is today northeastern Germany.