Slavs = slaves?

Aug 2012
98
I keep hearing conflicting information on this, putting aside the matter of what the relation is between the words, whether "slav" derives from "slave" or the other way around or neither, were slavs indeed enslaved historically (to a greater extent than other people) and when and by whom?
 
Feb 2015
470
Belgrade,Serbia
No."Slav" and "slave" are just coincidental.

The Slavic autonym *Slověninъ is usually considered a derivation from slovo "word", originally denoting "people who speak (the same language)," i.e. people who understand each other, in contrast to the Slavic word denoting "foreign people" – němci, meaning "mumbling, murmuring people" (from Slavic *němъ – "mumbling, mute"). The latter word may be the derivation of words to denote German/Germanic people in many later Slavic languages: e.g., Czech Němec, Slovak Nemec, Slovene Nemec, Belarusian, Russian and Bulgarian Немец, Serbian Немац, Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian Nijemac, Polish Niemiec, Ukrainian Німець, etc., but another theory states that rather these words are derived from the name of the Nemetes tribe, which is derived from the Celtic root nemeto-
 
Dec 2014
1,493
autobahn
No."Slav" and "slave" are just coincidental.
Koenraad elst doesnt think so. He states that baltic slavs were the last remaining pagans in europe and when christianity became official religion in rome, they asked the slavs to be taken as slaves from which the name slave itself came since slavs came to be identified with a person who is not free. will post a link to the video in a while.
 
Dec 2014
1,493
autobahn
As far as I see from Wikipedia, he's not specialized in that area.
So? does one have to specalize in that area to know about it? He grew up in a catholic school and studied christian theology before moving to India and learning about indic studies
 

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,896
Western Eurasia
It is only like this in English, correct?
no, related words are used in most western languages, apparently all coming from medieval Latin Sclavus that in turn came from Byzantine Greek. I guess the name of the Slavs got this secondary meaning of servant in the 7th century after Balkan Slav peoples were subdued or 1-2 centuries later when Eastern Slav slaves were also popular import into the Byzantine Empire (through Black sea trade). Of course for the original meaning of the self name of the Slavs, the post by Marklas can be the correct one.
 

Tsar

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
2,010
Serbia
So? does one have to specalize in that area to know about it? He grew up in a catholic school and studied christian theology before moving to India and learning about indic studies
Sure, I can make original researches about the history of the Ancient Egypt, but the problem will be that I will ignore thousands of factors (just like Elst ignored the fact that the Lithuanians aren't Slavic) and contexts (just like Elst ignored the fact that the Christianity became an "official" religion in Rome far before most of the Germanic tribes became Christian, let alone the Slavic tribes).
 

Zhang LaoYong

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
5,123
On the prowl.
no, related words are used in most western languages, apparently all coming from medieval Latin Sclavus that in turn came from Byzantine Greek. I guess the name of the Slavs got this secondary meaning of servant in the 7th century after Balkan Slav peoples were subdued or 1-2 centuries later when Eastern Slav slaves were also popular import into the Byzantine Empire (through Black sea trade). Of course for the original meaning of the self name of the Slavs, the post by Marklas can be the correct one.
Thank you, I appreciate the answer. I do not know where the root of these words/names come from or what they looked like originally there. I thought perhaps it was similar in English, like the thread title, and maybe they were different in origin. Languages are fascinating I think, so this is an interesting topic and I thank you for your post.