names, Zhitomir and Penkovka, refer to the earliest groupings of Slavs.
"The Zhitomir sites are located west of the Dbieper in the basin of the
River Teterev around the town of Zhitomir in Volynia, and the extend
westwards to south-eastern Poland" (p. 80, op.cit.). "From its
nuclear area the Zhitomir complex spread south, west and north, allowing
us to consider this as the original Sclavini territory" (p.84).
"From fragmentary notes of Jordanes, Procopius, Pseudo-Mauricius and
Menander, dating from the sixth century, some aspects of the living
conditions, habits, and appearance of the Sclavini can be reconstructed.
According to Jordanes their land stretched 'per immensa spatia' toward the
north; it was hardly penetrable because of the dense forests, the numbers
of wild animals and the many rivers. Villages were situated mostly
along rivers and not far from one another. Houses were poor, being
little more than scattered huts, the location of which was often
changed. In times of attack everyone fled to the forests and swamps,
thus luring the enemy into the treacherous forest as into a trap.
From the Strategicon of Pseudo-Mauricus we
know that the Scliavini possessed large numbers of cattle and that their
houses were full of grain, particularly wheat and millet. Various
authors remark that the Sclavini were sturdy people: they were not
bothered by heat, cold, weather or rain, and were able to withstand the
various insufficiencies of life better than Franks, Langobards, and other
blond peoples" (pp. 85-86). |