- Oct 2013
Serdica was actually founded by the celtic tribe Serdi, it was populated with thracians, slavs and bulgars among other ethnicities. It wasn't 100% slavs.
However it's really interesting why indeed the roman chronicles refer to them as Sauromatians. Because at the time that was written, the times of steppen warriors were long gone. This was at the time when the first bulgarian empire was gone after ruling the area for 300+ years, the area was under Roman rule and still they called them Sauromatian.
Thank You!This theory belongs to James Prichard i believe. A quote from his 'Ethnography of Europe', page 433 "..Slavonians of the middle age were the same people who had been long known under the name of Sarmatae."
Source: Ethnography of Europe 3d ed.1841
Also it should be noted that sauromatae form was used by the earlier greek writers, whilst sarmatae was used by later greek and roman writers. Medieval byzantine writers as Attaleiates liked to use archaic terms from the distant past hence his sauromatae instead of sarmatae.
Sauromat for Slavs is simply a semantic slip, IMHO.
It happened often. In the same period, Western Catholics were called "Latins" altho Latin people and language disappeared for centuries, they were also called "Franji", although they weren't all Franks, for example.
That Slavs were called "Sauromant" in the chronicles isn't any proof that the Sauromant/Sarmat were actually Slavs. Exactly like in the same quote Petcheneg were called "Scythian", altho they weren't.