B. PHILIP LOZINSKI, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Montreal, studied with Professor Vernadsky as a graduate student at Yale University from 1947 through 1951. He received his Ph.D. in the History of Art there in 1958. Earlier study was at the University of Warsaw and the University of Grenoble. In 1949 he received the M.A. degree from Yale University. He taught History of Art at Connecticut College in the summer of 1949, at Yale during the academic year 1960-61, and at the University of British Columbia in the summer of 1961. From 1947 through 1949 he was a Research Assistant at the Yale Art Gallery and from 1957 through 1959 an Associate in Research in History at Yale. His fields of specialization are Medieval, Iranian, and Slavic Art. His publications include The Original Homeland of the Parthians (The Hague, 1959) and numerous articles and book reviews in scholarly journals.
In the present paper I shall suggest another explanation, not too far removed from the solutions proposed hitherto, but based on evidence other than philological considerations alone. The basis for deciphering the meaning of any proper name should be looked for in its social importance in the group using it, in the possible traditions and uses of the name, and above all in the semantics and the cultural concepts of the time rather than of our own period.
Let us first examine the possible shortcomings of various extant explanations of the meaning of the name Slav.
The derivation of this name from the word slovo meaning "word" is illogical. A community of language could hardly be indicated by the noun "word." For such a designation one would rather expect a word for "language," or "speech" or any equivalent thereof. The only known use of "word" as a symbolic designation refers to the "word" as Logos, or to the Book. In such a case the name Slav would have religious connotations. The term "word," as Logos, would be rather an exalted name for a people who, to our knowledge, never had any crusading religious drives, nor left any trace of a revealed religion in their traditions, even if their religion was monotheistic.  We may, however, retain the idea that religious connotations were, perhaps, implicit in the name.
The use of such a term as slava, "glory," for the proper name of a population is entirely without parallel. It might conceivably have been part of a dynastic title, but scarcely that of a group of nations, whose written history does not contain sufficient evidence for such a claim.
As to the identification with the Latin sclavus, which in later Medieval times seems to have been connected with the name of the Slavs,  the difficulty is of a historical nature. No Roman sources contain the name "Slav" in any form. It appears first in sixth-century Byzantine sources, written in Greek, as "Sklavini." The Byzantines, historically, were the first to come in contact with the migrating Slavs, recording their existence and their name. The name was not given to them by the Greeks. The Byzantine historians customarily recorded the foreign name of a population group as the one used by the group itself, or as it was passed on by an intermediary. We must remember that certain Slavic groups retained the designation "Slav" as their proper name. These are the West Slavic populations of the Slovaks and Slovenes, and the Eastern Slovieni of Novgorod. We may consider this sufficient proof that: the name was not borrowed by the Slavs from Latin through Byzantine Greeks but must have been their own. It is worth noting, however, that the name of the Slavs in Arabic, Saqlaba, seems to suggest Latin etymology from "sclavus." There is also no historical evidence for the possibility that the Arabs borrowed the name from the Latin-speaking populations, or from the Byzantines. Arabic records concerning the Slavs were, if not earlier, much more ample and more accurate  than those of the Byzantine historians, who were many months of travel distant from the Slavs according to the earliest Byzantine reports.  The Arabs, who were in direct touch with the Slavs, could hardly have borrowed the name from the Byzantines. It is even less likely that they took it from the Latin-speaking populations with whom they had for long no direct contact as far as we know. The form of the name used by the Arabs, and by the Byzantines, remains inexplicable. Only further studies may establish the proper sequence, by tracing the linguistic groups through which the name of the Slavs passed to emerge in Greek as Sklavini, and in Arabic as Saqlaba. As a working hypothesis I might suggest that both forms are derived from the same source. To derive one from the other without additional supporting evidence would be premature, but we may well suppose a common origin for both. It is possible that we have two names of different origins applied to the same people: Slavs (Slovenin") and Saqlaba. The Slavs would have been the name used by the people themselves. The Sak-laba, which is not an Arabic word , does not derive from “Slav” or any other form thereof. More probably it is a name connected with some region, later used to designate the people who came to this area.  just as the name Germani, originally Celtic, was applied to Teutonic populations when they took over the same territory. 
The proper name of the Slavs must have been derived from a Slavic word, designating their most important characteristic and distinguishing them from any other population group. It could not have been the name of the language, usually derived from the proper name of a population. The geographical  derivation seems tenuous, as such place names, although extant, are of little importance. Moreover place names, when not topographical descriptions, derive almost invariably from names of peoples, not vice-versa. This is especially true for the first millenium A.D. as it is attested by Stephanus Byzantinus.  The name of the Slavs might have been taken from the name of a clan or a tribe, but here again we have no historical evidence that such a clan or tribe ruled the whole Slavic branch of nations at any time.  In any case their name must have had some specific meaning before it became that of a family, clan or tribe. We should look, then, for the meaning of the name "Slav" in their language.
The name of the Slavs, according to recent linguistic studies, derives from the Indo-European root slov-, with a short vowel o. The Proto-slavic form would, accordingly, have been Slovenin". The East Slavic variation with a instead of o would, then, be a later development, possibly connected with the Russian pronunciation of unstressed o as a, the so-called akanie. This is considered to have occurred in the XII-XIII century, although Vaillant  claimed that it was extant already in the Common Slavic. Such variety of opinions proves that not. all the linguistic definitions may claim general support, and that all the reconstructions are hypothetical and subject to change. They are far from being definite solutions, as our knowledge of the early stages of the Slavic language is not satisfactory. Thus in the preliterary period the form with a might have been current in the East Slavic, which at the time stood Very close to the West Slavic.
Slav – Slovenin" – is certainly a Slavic name and it came to other languages from Slavic. The Western Europeans first encountered the Western Slavs, supposedly using the form with o. And yet all the Western Europeans since the tenth century used the form with a. As we know this a may have represented as well the Slavic long a as the short o. The first variation seems more probable, as it may have been supported by the compound propoer names, such as Polish Boguslaw and Wladyslaw, or Russian Sviatoslav, Iaroslav, etc. [13a], where the element – slav" presents us with a vowel a not o, both in Eastern and Western Slavic.
I should like to present an alternate hypothesis, that the root of the original designation of the Slavs was rather slav than slov-, and to propose a different interpretation of the meaning of the name in terms of its semantic and historic raison d'etre.
What were the strongest characteristics of an early society? Not the nationality, as this modern concept did not exist in early societies; not the language, as the name of the language would have been derived from the name of the group, not vice-versa. The strongest were those of religion which distinguished the group from all others, providing the foundation of the whole cultural entity.
In the first millenium A.D. the Christians of Europe were the counterpart of the Mohammedans and the Buddhists of Asia; Jews formed a group in terms of their religion not their speech, or their social or "national" affinities. Other designations of peoples or states were primarily those of the names of dynasties or of particular rulers. The pagans, in turn, had their own definition of populations of other religions, and, naturally, a name for their co-believers. Religious interests were indeed of primary concern throughout the period.
The name of the Slavs first emerged during the second part of the first millennium A.D. The name may have had religious connotations, meaning, or value. The tradition of a religious designation of people has survived among the Slavs until the present. In Eastern Poland and Western Russia only the educated distinguished themselves or others according to their national or linguistic affiliations. In popular usage the national names of Poles, White Russian, or Ukrainians are nonexistent. "National" differences were, and still are, expressed in terms of religion: Catholic meaning Polish, and orthodox, pravoslavny, used as the equivalent of Russian, Ukrainian, Small Russian, or White Russian.
The term prawoslawny, pravoslavny, seems to offer a key to the name "Slav." It is composed of two words: prawo, meaning "law," "right," and "right side," and slawny from the root slav-, "glorify" in the sense of "worshipping." Whether prawoslawny, pravoslavny means right, proper, or law-worshipping, is not the question. We are concenrned only with the name Slav which I propose was derived from the early self-designation of the Slavs as "worshippers."
The Slavs were probably comparatively secluded from outside influences, at least in the early period during which they were forming a unified linguistic group and social organization very likely based on one religion. Thus anyone belonging to their group was a "worshipper," others were "pagans," whatever word was used for this purpose. This attitude is normal in any religious group, and was no doubt exceedingly strong in earlier times. Cuius regio eius religio – any one belonging to, or joining, a linguistic, social, and political entity automatically had to become a worshipper of the god or gods of the group.
The term pravo-slavny is a compound, and as all compounds in Slavic a direct translation from a foreign language, in this case from Greek. In Greek orthodoxos the doxa retained the connotations of "worship," or "belief," "faith," especially in Medieval Greek.  Thus the meaning of the Slavic component at the time of the translation must have been similarly "worship," "worshipping." And indeed slav- had this particular meaning. Slav'n" is "pertaining to worship" with an adjective-forming suffix; it has both a passive and an active meaning, although at present only the former is used. The meaning of "Slav" would be, then, a "worshipper," "one who glorifies God." In the compound, translated from the Greek, the "worshipper" became the "right worshipper," or the rightfully worshipping. The compound translation from the Greek might have been used to distinguish the Christians, or the proper Christian worshippers, from the people called Slavs – "worshippers," who were pagans, or, according to many Arabic historians, sectarian Christians even before the official conversion, in particular Jacobites, that is heretical, not rightful worshippers. 
The word used in this sense in the eighteenth century is recorded by Strahlenberg,  who calls "Weynachts Masquerade" – slavenie. The worshipping function of Christmas popular rituals is too well known to require elaboration, and the term denotes this function (Deistvie po glag. slaviti ) .
This meaning of the name "Slav" would be an exact counterpart of the general usage of the second part of the first millenium A.D. from Europe to China. Manichaeans, Nestorians, Buddhists, Fire Worshippers, Mohammedans, Saracens, Pagans, Bogumils, and finally Christians are temrs prevailing in the sources of the time, especially in what we would call international relationships, in distinguishing the background, often the origins of individuals or large groups of populations.
To all these religious designations of populations I propose that the name of the Slavs, meaning worshippers, be added.
The translation of the name "Slav" as "worshipper" would clarify the proper names of the Slavs containing this element. The so-called topographic explanation of the name "Slav" would also fit into the above explanation. Slavenin" would designate a man originating in the country of "worshippers," for the members of this religion the only true one. Even today a pagan of whatever denomination is not a worshipper in the eyes of the members of different religious groups.
The religious origin of the group name was of primary importance for the Slavic society, as is evidenced by another term designating a social group of the Slavs. The Russian word for peasant is krestianin, formed in the same way as Russian Slavianin, Polish Slowianin, and in simple translation meaning Christian. Following the Arabic historians and the evidence of archaeology I have suggested elsewhere  that the Slavs were sectarian Christians before the official Christianization of the upper social level of society which was, in all probability, of a different stock. The Slavs, according to Oriental historians, were Jacobites (Monophysites),  a sect exiled to the East from Byzantium in the sixth century.  Strong traces of monophysitism are still preserved in Russian religious life.  The Byzantine empire in the tenth century tried hard to eradicate this heresy at home, and no doubt directed similar persecutions in Russia. This is exemplified by the strife for the Metropolitan see of Kiev, occupied by a monophysite bishop before the final establishment of an orthodox metropolitan in 1037 (or 1054?)  The Russian word for "peasant" suggests that the new masters of the Kievan Rus, converted to orthodoxy, changed the social aspect of the populations they ruled. The old sectarian Christians, presumably the Polianie, Drevichanie, Viatyche, Radymiche, etc., were pushed to the bottom of the social scale, or driven out to the West, as their names appear later in Poland with all the accompanying place names of each group.  The krestianin who remained in Russia became a peasant on the land which he had held previously as his own. In an early medieval population social distinctions were of much more importance than national ones. In this case the designation of a creed marked the distinction of a social class. This is an additional indication that the religious definition contained in the root slav- was of primary significance in this society which used religious terms for names of population groups, whether as that of a cultural entity – Slavs – or as that of a social class – krestianin.
The preceding explanation of the name of the Slavs may have a specific bearing on early Slavic history. Such a religious derivation of a proper name was suggested recently by Professor Vernadsky for the Alans:
"The Alans were often referred to under another name, that of As (Asii). It seems probable that the Alans and the Asii had been originally two separate tribes, or clans, but that later they merged together. In my opinion the name Asii is of religious origin. In Avestan the stem yaz expresses the notion of 'worship'. Yazata means 'who must be worshipped,' hence 'deity', 'divine power' (in Ossetian izaed means 'angel', 'spirit'). A demon named Az is occasionally mentioned in the Avesta. In Manichaean texts Az is called 'the evil mother of all demons' and also a 'death demon'. For the Minichaeans, naturally, former deities became evil spirits." 
The similar formation of the name of the "As" (Alans) and the "Slavs" in all probability reflects the close cultural relationships of these populations. Professor Vernadsky  was the first, in modern times, to suggest that the Slavs had direct Iranian antecedents. The derivation of both names from religious designations, as suggested above, may be considered as additional evidence, especially as most of the Slavic gods bear purely Iranian, or Indian, names.  One of the Slavic groups, the Poles, called themselves Sarmatians; this name was recorded very early in Western Medieval chronicles , which lends credence to the traditions recorded in Polish chronicles edited at the waning of the Middle Ages, according to which they were in touch with the Iranians.  In Antiquity the Sarmatians, as is well known, were the Alans.  The meaning of the name "Sarmata" in Iranian is the "council."  It refers not to the nationality or language, but to the social organization of the Alans, ruled by a supreme council, appointing the king.  The role of the council in early Slavic history is well known, especially among the Western Slavs. Thus the social, or political, organization of the Iranian Alans and Polish Slavs offers evidence of their affiliation. Both groups used the Iranian word for "council" derived from the type of their ruling body. They must have been in very close proximity to affect such borrowings and exchange of influences. These were of such important nature, defining the whole structure of the society, that we are obliged to start thinking in terms of direct intermingling of population groups.
The explanation of the name of the Slavs as "worshippers" fits the cultural and sociological pattern of early Slavic history. Moreover it is in perfect agreement with certain significant aspects of their history, and enlarges the scope of our approach to the problem of Slavic history and origins. It reaffirms the Asiatic connection of the Slavs, a new trend emerging in research, which should be investigated.
The work of Professor Vernadsky prepared the ground for this kind of approach. Early Slavic history was not as static as the nineteenth-century historians believed. The dynamic forces in evidence during the first millennium A.D. brought about great changes, recorded by Oriental historians, and preserved in popular traditions. The great migrations which took place on a continental scale, bringing the Slavs into the Iranian orbit and producing close affiliations in the field of religion, must have been followed by subsequent moves which finally brought such Iranian elements to the present Slavic territories, at the same time putting the Slavs in the European historical horizons.
(*) This paper was read, in part, at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Slavists and the Association des specialistes et est-europeens du Canada de l’Est in Montreal, June 13, 1961.
1. I wish to express my thanks to Dr. Benjamin Jegers of the University of Lund, Sweden, Dr. Josef Trypucko of Uppsala University, and Professor Alexander Schenker of Yale University, for their kind advice on the linguistic aspects of this essay.
2. Vasmer, M., Russisches etymologisches Woerterbuch (Heidelberg, 1955), II, 656, cf. 662. Cf. Preobrazhensky, A. G., Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language (New York, 1951), pp. 318, 328; Entwistle, W. J., R Morison, W. A., Russian and the Slavonic Languages (London, 1949); Otrebski, J., Slowiane. Rozqiazanie odwiecznej zagadki ich nazw (Poznan, 1947), passim; Rudnyckyj, J. B., The origin of the name Slav ("Onomastica, 21, " Winnipeg, Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences, 1961), passim; Kirschbaum, J. M., "A Note on a New Theory on the Origin of the Name 'Slav'," Etudes slaves et est-europeenes. Slavic and East European Studies, Montreal, III (1958), 106-109.
3. Pettazzoni, R., The All Knowing God (London, 1956), pp. 247-252. The author underlines the connection of Slavic religion with Siberia.
4. Verlinden, H., "L'origine de sclavus – esclave," Bulletin Du Cange, XVII (1943), 97-128.
5. Hammer Purgstal, J. v., Sur les origines russes (St. Petersburg, 1827); Harkavy, A., Skazaniia musulmanskikh pisatelei o Slavianakh i Russkikh (St. Petersburg, 1870); Marquart, J., Osteuropaeische und ostasiatische Streifzuege (Leipzig, 1905); Lewicki, T., Zrodla arabskie do dziejow slowiariszczynzny ("Fontes origines Polonorum illustrantes. Fontes orientales, I", Wroc1aw, 1956) and the review by Lozinski, B. P., Speculum, XXXIII (1958), 418-421.
6. Theophylactus Simocatta, VI, 2 in Dietrich, K., Byzantinische Quellen zur Laender- und Voelkekunde ("Quellen und Forschungen zur Erd- und Kulturkunde, V", Leipzig, 1912), II, 66. This text becomes understandable in the light of the record preserved by Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, ed. & tr. E. A. W. Budge (Oxford, 1952), I, 76-84, according to which the Slavs came from the north to the Caspian Sea, whence the Bulgarians turned west and migrated farther, to the confines of Byzantium. This must have occurred after the sending of a Slavic embassy to the Byzantine court, described by the source of Theophylactus Simocatta.
7. According to Dr. Ch. Adams, of the Islamic Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Saqlab, as a four-syllable word, is probably not Arabic, but a word from another language. In Lur's Lexikon Saqlab is given as a designation of fair-headed or fair-skinned people.
8. I would like to suggest that Arabic Saqlaba was derived from Saka, the name of an Iranian population living north of the Caspian sea in pre-Christian times. Saka, from sah, sak, meaning 'lord,' referred to the social organization, a type later called feudal (for bibliography see Lozinski, B. P., The Original Homeland of the Purthians (Hague, 1959), pp. 29 f. Saqlaba, possibly a compound name, might have been a survival of the earlier name Saka, referring to the same geographical region and to a similar social organization of the inhabitants, differences of population notwithstanding. The change from Saka to Greek Sklavini might have occurred by elimination of the vowel and addition of suffixes. In the same way Persian (and Arabic) sakirlat, ‘textle,’ primarily wool, became scarlatum, ‘scarlet’ in the Latin of the Middle Ages: Hontum-Schindler, A., "The word scarlet," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, N.S., VI (1910), 265-265.
9. Stuempel, G., Name und Nationalitet der Germanen ("Klio, Beiheft 25," Leipzig, 193,2 ), pp. 60, 65 f., 70.; Feist, S., Germanen und Kelten (Baden-Baden, 1948), 28 f., 32, 50.
10. Many Slavic scholars believe that the name Slav is derived from the place-name: Rudnicki, M., "L'habitat primordial des Slaves apres l epoque i.e., " Slavia occidentalis, XVIII (1939-47), 207., Moszynski, K., Pierwotny zasieg jezyka praslowianskiego ("Polska Akademja Umiejetnosci. Komitet jazykoznawczy. Prace, 16," Wroclaw, 1957), pp. 138-47, Bartek, H., "The Origin of Slovan and Slovak, " Slovakia, VIII (1958), 30-48, also in Most (The Bridge), a quarterly for Slovak culture, Cleveland, Ohio, III (1956), 20-32. Cf. Cross, S. H., Slavic Civilization through the Ages (Cambridge, Mass., 1948), pp. 9 f.
11. Ethnicon (Leipzig, 1839), passim.
12. The Slavnik dynasty, replaced by the Przemyslides, might have been considered such a clan, that is, one which gave its name to all the Slavs, except that we have no evidence of any kind for such a possibility. To my knowledge there are not even any legends which suggest that this dynasty ever ruled over all the Slavs.
13. Vaillant, A., Grammaire comparee des langues slaves ("Collection 'Les langues du monde,'" Paris, 1950), I, 107.
13a. Zwolinski, P., "Funkcja slowotworcza elementu -slaw w staropolskich imionach osobowych," Biuletyn Polskiego Towarzystwa Jezykoznawczego, X (1950), pp. 166-185.
14. Sophocles, E. A., Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine periods (Boston, 1870), pp. 392 f. Cf. Schumann, K., Die griechischen Lehnbildungen und Lehnbedeutungen ("Osteuropa Institut an der Freien Universitaet Berlin. Slavische Veroeffentlichungen, 16," Berlin, 1958), p. 49.
15. Masudi, Les prairies d'or, ed. & tr. C. Barbier de Maynard (Paris, 1861-77), III, 62,. a1-Bekhri as quoted by G. Kabuda, "Ibrahmi ibn Jakub," Roczniki historyczne, XVI (1947), 177 f, Bar Hebraeus, op. cit., I, 104.
16. Strahlenberg, P. J., Des Nord- und Ostliche Theil von Europe and Asia (Stockholm, 1730), pp. 224, 231.
17. Akademiia nauk SSSR. Institut Russkago iazyka., Slovar russkago iazyka v chetyrekh tomakh. (Moskva, 1961), IV, 179.
18. Lozinski, B. P., "Early Slavonic Art as Historical Evidence', Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, to be published.
19. see note 15.
20. Buckelr, G., Anna Comnena (Oxford, 1929), indes, s.v.
21. Fedotov, G.P., The Russian Religious Mind (Cambridge, Mass., 1946), p. 85.
23. "Polians who are now called Rus," quoted by J. Jakobson, "Minor Native Sources for the Early History of the Slavic Church," Harvard Slavic Studies, II (1954), 43; Bujak, F., "Skad przyszli Radymicz i Wjatycze na Rus," Swiutowit, XX (1948), 59-114., Paszkiewicz, H., The Origin of Russia (New York,1954), pp. 354-358, 365-580; Czekanowski, J., Wstep do historii Slowian (Poznan, 1957), pp. 195-199. All the authors interpret the migration as proceeding from the West to the East but offer no proof. Archaeological material suggests the contrary: Hensel, W., "Pochodzenie Slowian," Wiadomosci archeologiczne, XX (1954), 211-218, as do the recent linguistic studies: Ulaszyn,H., Praojczyzna Slowian (Lodzkie Towarzystwo Naukowe, wydz. I, nr. 57, Lodz, 1959), 102. Cf. Vernadsky, G., "The origin of the name Rus," Suedost-Forschungen, XV (1956), 171, and Lozinski, supra, n. 17; Dvornik, F., The Slavs. Their Early History and Civilization (Boston, 1956), pp. 26 f.; Marquart, op. cit., 111, 188 f., Vernadsky, G., "Das fruehe Slawentum. Das Ostslawentum bis zum Mongolensturm," Historia mundi (Bern, 1956), V, 284.
24. Vernadsky, G., The Origins of Russia (Oxford, 1959), p. 49.
25. Vernadsky, G., Ancient Russia (New Haven, 1951), pp. 50-55; an older, less scholarly attempt in this direction: Cuno, J. G., Forschungen im Gebiete der alten Voelkerkunde. Die Skythen (Berlin, 1870), pp. 225-286.
26. Vernadsky, G., Kievan Russia (New Haven, 1951), pp. 50-55; Krappe, A. N., "La chute du paganisme a Kiev," Revue des eludes slaves, XVII (1937), 208. Rozwadowski, J., "Stosunki leksykalne miedzy jazykami slowianskimi a iranskiemi," Rocznik orientalistyczny, I (1914/15), 95-110, esp. 110.
27. Ulewicz, T., "Okolo genealogii sarmatyzmu," Pamietnik slowianski, I, (1949), 105-107.
28. Bohomolec, F., Zbior dziejow polskich (Warszawa, 1767-68), III, Cromer M., Kronika, 5, 17, 19, 28; IV, Guagnino, A., Kronika Sarmucyey europeyskiey, 1 f., 7, 13, 16, 513.; Magistri Vincenti ep. Cracoviensis, Chronica Polonorum, ed. A. Przeidziecki (Krakow, 1862), 76 (cf. Paszkiewicz, op. cit., 360); Bielski, M., Kronika Polska (N. ed., Krakow, 1597), Introduction, passim., cf. Chrzanowski, I., Marcin Bielski (Lwow, 1926), 101-108, 504.
29. Vernadsky, G., "Der sarmatische Hintergrund der germanischen Voelkerwanderung," Saeculum, II (1952), 340-347., idem, Ancient Russia, pp. 74-90.
30. Vernadsky, G., and Dzanty, Dzambulant, "The Ossetian Tale of Iry Dada and Mstislav," Journal of American Folklore, LXIX (1956), 234, n. 39.
31. Strabo, XI, ix, 3.
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