THE SLAVS - UNIT PREVIEW
Welcome to the first unit preview of the new East of Rome team. For a start we would like to present you the new Slavic roster, which will be used partly by the Moravians and partly by another faction, newly integrated into EoR: The Slavic Tribes.
History of the Early Slavs
For hundreds of years, the Indo-European peoples (Proto-Slavs) that evolved to become the early Slavs lived unbeknownst to civilised nations in the area north of the Black Sea roughly corresponding to the Pripet rivers, forests and marshes in the Ukraine, though the exact location of their homeland is unknown and controversial.
During the later period of the Great Migrations, in the 6th century A.D., for numerous and differing reasons, the Slavs started migrating in substantial numbers to the West and the East, where they caught the attention first of the Eastern Roman Empire under Justinian, with historians such as Jordanes and Procopius mentioning new tribal groups under the name of the Antes and Sclaveni (the possible origin of word ‘’Slav’’) amongst many others emerging from Eastern Europe to ‘invade’ the Empire. Thus, the known history of the Slavic peoples commences with the Dark Ages.
The sudden migration of the numerous Slavs throughout the 6th and 7th centuries, which was probably slower and less numerous than originally thought, can be explained by them no longer being surrounded by the warlike Germanic tribes who oftentimes dominated the ‘Wends’, as they were known to them, in Eastern Europe, and who have now migrated west and south into the richer lands of the former Western Roman Empire. In addition, the nomad Steppe peoples such as the Huns and Sarmatians have recently become much weaker and thus, lost their hegemony on the Slavic tribes, which enabled the former to expand freely out of their hostile homeland, something that would be less pronounced with the invasion of the nomadic Avars in the mid-6th century.
The Slavic groups who went west and occupied a number of depopulated territories that once belonged to East Germanic tribes in order to fill the empty gap between them, became the West Slavs; the ancestors of the modern Poles, Sorbians, Czechs and Slovaks amongst others. Those who remained in their ancient homeland or that went north and east became the East Slavs; the ancestors of modern Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians, to name a few. The important tribes that went south will be examined shortly. Early Slavic population consisted mostly of farmers, hunters and woodsmen with a small and wealthier nobility that were often warriors and chieftains. Despite this, it is said they had no political structure or personality to lead them and thus, they did as they pleased, although this is highly unlikely and debatable. Armies consisted mostly of peasant levies and the already mentioned warrior class. The number of tribes and overall population grew considerably between the 6th and 8th centuries, outnumbering their neighbours, because of advances in agriculture such as crop rotation and the mouldboard plough.
The Invasion of the Balkans and Greece and the Southern Slavs
During the 6th and 7th centuries, an important number of expanding Slavic tribes out of the Danube River migrated south, invading and raiding the lands of the Balkans and Greece, then belonging to the Eastern Roman Empire. Some would even make it to the Peloponnesus of Southern Greece. They would become what is now known as the South Slavs, whose descendants, such as ex-Yugoslavs and Bulgarians, are as numerous and culturally different to this day. This prompted the Romans under Emperor Justinian to rebuild and strengthen their borders on the Danube. However, it did not stop the widespread destruction caused by the newcomers’ settlements and raids in the former provincial territories of Thrace and Greece nor the number of pillaged goods in the latter half of the 6th century. Nothing could prepare them for this coming storm. Slavs in the Balkans quickly assimilated local populations or they were dissolved themselves.
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Slavic Heavy Axemen
Slavic Heavy Spearmen
Slavic Druzhina Infantry
Slavic Druzhina Cavalry
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Justinius - Informatory Text
cedric37 - 2D
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