Polish Roots – Lechistan
Let’s revisit the original question. Someone wanted to know why in the movie With Fire and Sword” (or something like that) the Poles were called “lyakhy” or something similar by the Ukrainian Kokaks. I found a similar name for Poland as “Lechistan”, from the Turks. And names similar to Lyakhy used for the Poles by the Russians and Lithuanians. I also found anancient legend about a man named Lech whose subjects and followers were named Lechichi, and who was supposed to be an early founder of the Polish nation. Curiously enough Lech was from around Gniezno. Other people noted the standard story of the origin of Poland, that it began with the tribe of field dwellers called ‘polanie’! And where were THESE people from?
Curiously enough, from the region of Poznan/Gniezno!
Lengyel regék és mondák
I don’t dispute that most books claim that Poland comes from “pole”, field, but i was offering a counter theory not in vogue. I have heard of the Polanie, something I will have to look up further. My developing theory, though makess me want to ask, “So where’s “Lanie,” anyway?” My hypothesis could be wrong, but if I can learn somethign in the process, I’d be happy.
<s^lechtic>/<s^lechtic^na> : nobleman/woman, aristocrat
<s^lechta> : the nobility/aristocracy/peerage.
<ni’z^s^i’ s^lechta> : the minor/lesser nobility
It is possible that the Polanie from Poland were earlier called “Le,dzice” (cf. Hungarian Lengyel, Lengyelorszag, = Pole, Poland and Lithuanian – Lenkasz = Pole) Since “la,d” means “land” in Polish the older name would have the same meaning as the later one.
Already in the fourth century Alans were settled in Pannonia together with Goths and Huns under the leadership of Alatheus and Saphrac. They served as federates and regular soldiers and officers f.i. in the armies of Gratianus, Theodosius I and Stilicho. Groups of Alans were also settled in Italy and Gaul. The French name Alain has its roots in Alanus und Allen is the English form of it.
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.
Most Slavic scholars, however, argue against this, citing numerous similarities between Slavic and Iranian languages. The number of important Iranian loan words in common Slavonic argues for a “prolonged period of very close inter-ethnic relations.” This would place the original Slavic homeland further east, between the Bug and middle Dneiper rivers. The point at which the Slavic languages would have emerged as distinct from the older Indo-European koine would have been around 500 BC, quite late when compared with other European languages. The homeland would correspond roughly to modern eastern Poland and Belarus, with the Carpathian mountains as the southern border.
Kusi następująca hipoteza: Bałtowie (a wśród nich językowi przodkowie Słowian) są ta częścią Indoeuropejczyków Satem, którzy żyli nie na Stepie, lecz w Lasach. Ci Stepowi poszli dalej na południe i zasiedlili Iran, Azję Środkową i Indie.
The earliest verifiable historical reference to a Slavic people comes from Pliny, who describes a group of people called Spali or Spori in this same region. The name Spori is clearly related to the names of two later Slavic groups, the Sorbs of Lusatia and the Serbs. In his Deeds of the Goths, the sixth century Gothic historian Jordanes states that during the second century AD, during their migration from the Baltic to the Black Sea, the Goths encountered and defeated the Spali after crossing the Vistula. Our next notice is from the Byzantine historian Procopius, who describes two Slavic peoples along the Balkan frontiers. The first of these are called Sklaveni and lived along the lower Danube in modern day Romania. The Antes lived further to the east, on the Pontic Steppes. These three groups might well represent the core of the three branches of the Slavic family, identifying the Spali/Spori with the Western Slavs, the Sklaveni with the Balkan Slavs, and the Antes with the Russians and Ukrainians.
The Sklaveni and Antes began raiding into the Balkans during the reign of Justin I, but it was under Justinian that their attacks became a serious problem. The Slavs tended to act in concert with Turkic peoples of the steps, in the first place the Kutirgurs. A Slavic and Kutirgur force raided deep into the Balkans in 540, destroying thirty-two fortresses in Illyricum and plundering up to the walls of Constantinople. For the next twelve years, there was relative calm, but between 552 and 558 their attacks became a regular occurrence. In 559 came a massive assault and a siege of Constantinople, but the Byzantine fleet was able to cut off the barbarian’s retreat, and they sued for peace.
The third century A.D. witnessed the beginning of the great migrations of the Eurasian Steppes that lasted for almost a thousand years. People from the Far East moved to the west, pushing those living there and were in their way further to the west. The Sarmatians, or as they were known by the Greeks, the Sauromatae, left their homeland between the Aral Sea and the Volga river arund the third century, as other nomadic tribes, such as the Huns pushed them from the east. They came onto the land of the Scythians, who, weakened and less organized, succumbed to their fierce attacks and gave up their land. The occupation of the Pontic region marks the beginning of a relatively short, but nevertheless very significant era on the steppes, the ruling of the Sarmatians.
During the 6th century the area between the Merovingian Empire and the Avar Khaganate became ill-structured in terms of power… The Slavs were not only new arrivals, but were an entirely new ethnos, which for reasons not clearly understood had formed rapidly and unexpectedly in the 4th-5th centuries somewhere between forest and steppe on the edge of the civilisational sphere of the Chernyakov culture in the Ukraine
“The recorded history of the Slavs begins at a comparatively late moment, not before the sixth century A.D. By their earliest invasions of the Eastern Roman Empire, at the turn of the fifth century, they came for the first time into contact with the Greco-Roman world. “
Chronicle of Nestor:
“the famous Czech slavist DobrovskÝ wrote in 1810: ‘I am glad that such investigations are being made. But I am convinced that the Slavs are neither Dacians nor Thracians nor Illyrians. Slavs are Slavs and have a close relationship only with the Lithuanians.’
The theory that the Slavs were originally settled in the neighbourhood of the Danube was adopted by the early Polish and Czech chroniclers. The principal source for placing the Slavs in this region is a passage in the Chronicle of Nestor, which reads as follows: ‘The Slavs were settled along the Danube, where now is the Hungarian land and the Bulgarian. From there they separated and were called by their special names wherever they settled; those who came to the river Marava were called Moravians and others Czechs. . . other Slavs settled on the Vistula and were called Liakhs; and from these Liakhs were the Polyane; other Liakhs were the Lutici, the Mazovians and the Pomeranians.’ “
Vlachs who were induced to settle in places such as Wislok were rapidly assimilated by the Eastern Slavs and converted to the Orthodox religion:
“The most influential studies of Vlach impact in these parts are by Kazimierz Dobrowolski, Migracje Woloskie na ziemiach polskich (Lviv, 1930), and Dwa studia nad powstaniem kultury ludowej w Karpatach zachodnich (Cracow, 1938). However, there is no evidence in Fastnacht to suggest that the number of shepherds arriving in this part of the Carpathians from the Balkans was ever very large, and it seems clear that any Vlachs who were induced to settle in places such as Wislok were rapidly assimilated by the Eastern Slavs and converted to the Orthodox religion. For a more modern assessment of Vlach impact, see Omelian Stavrovsky, Slovatsko-polsko-ukrainskie prykordonnia do 19 stolitta (Bratislava, 1967). For an assessment of the complexity of the problems posed by the Vlachs in the Balkans see J. C. Campbell, Honour, family and patronage; a study of institutions and moral values in a Greek mountain community (Oxford, 1964), pp.1-6. “
Legacy of Medieval Lithuania: “As for why the Lithuanians were incapable of defending these lands from the Teutonic Knights, let us ask one question: why was it the Lithuanians and not the Teutonic Knights who governed these areas?. I am at a loss as to how to suggest the author might answer this question – perhaps he should label the stroked pottery culture Slavonic”