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Main page » Non-Fiction » The Slavs: A Cultural and Historical Survey of the Slavonic Peoples

The Slavs: A Cultural and Historical Survey of the Slavonic Peoples


THE GREAT family of Slav peoples, which occupies most of eastern and south-eastern Europe and the northern portion of the continent of Asia, is composed of East Slavs (Great Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians);
West Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Lusations); and South Slavs (Slovenes, Groats, Serbs, Bosnians and Montenegrins, Macedonians and Bulgars).  Divided today into five states (of which three are federal, namely the USSR and the Republics of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, and two nonfederal:
Poland and Bulgaria), the mass of approximately 250,000,000 Slavs is particularly dense and homogeneous from the Oder to the Ural River, and from the Adriatic to the Black Sea. To the west and the south the limits of the Slav territories have varied little since the tenth century; only to the eastward has there been any marked extension, beginning in the sixteenth century, to reach the Pacific in the seventeenth and Central Asia in the nineteenth.
Do their history and the characteristic features of their civilization justify us in attempting a comprehensive study, devoted to the Slavs exclusively?  Have they a common culture? Is there such a thing as ‘Slav solidarity’?  Truth compels us to quote the following statement by the famous specialist in the Polish language, Baudoin de Courtenay (d. 1929), commenting on the appearance of a new Polish periodical entitled Slav Civilization (Kultura slowianska): ‘There is at the present time no specifically Slav civilization, common to all the Slavs and to none of the other peoples; and in all probability there never has been and never will be.[...]

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Tags: Slavs, eastern, which, Czechoslovakia, nonfederal, states, approximately, particularly