- Jan 2017
- Republika Srpska
In the image above, in the third column we have the supposed Vinča script, a long standing feature in Serb pseudohistorical circles. The Vinča writing is apparently the oldest writing in history, 373 years older than the oldest Sumerian writing and it is apparently the script from which other script such as Etruscan and Latin are descended. Of course, Serbian Cyrillic is considered the purest form of the ancient Vinča writing. However, is there any truth in the story of Vinča script?
Well, this is what we know about the Vinča culture. It was a Neolithic culture based in the Balkans, mostly in Serbia and existed in the 6th and 5th millenium BC. Miloje Vasić, the man who discovered the Vinča site, did note certain symbols and carvings associated with the culture but, unlike what modern pseudohistorians claim, never claimed those symbols represented a form of writing. No, the story of Vinča script starts with a man, Svetislav Bilbija, a member of the Institute of Etruscan Studies in Chicago. There was only a slight problem with the Institute. No one ever heard of it. But I digress. In 1984 he published a book Staroevropski jezik i poreklo Etruraca (Old European language and the origin of the Etruscans). In it, he interprets Etruscan language by using Serbian Cyrillic. Bilbija also claimed that Etruscans should be called Rascians and that their language was the same language used today by the Serbs. Thing is, it seems that Biblija was not the most unbiased source on the matter. He seems to have suffered from the "Ancient Aliens" syndrome in which you already decide what the result is and then you mold the evidence in order to suit your theory. One example: he translated the word Cerun (meaning Geryon, a figure in the Heraclean tasks) as Perun, an old Slavic god. This is not the only example. Throughout the book Bilbija translates old Etruscan words in order to make them fit the Serbian language.
Yet the true start of Vinča script came with a man named Radivoje Pešić. Who is Radivoje Pešić? We simply have no idea. We know he was born in Veles in what is today North Macedonia and lived in Italy. He was apparently a professor on multiple universities yet no reliable records of his academic career exist. In fact, his claim about the Vinča writing was not published in a book, but instead presented in a number of newspaper articles which were only composed into a book in 1995 after Pešić's death. Pešić claimed that the Vinča script has 26 letters but the evidence he presents is...rather questionable. He literally says that he studied the Vinča fragments in detail and...that is it. That is Pešić's evidence. His study of the fragments. I mean, okay, but he was making some bold claims: one would guess that such claims would need more evidence that an interpretation of the fragments made by a man whose academic credibility is rather questionable. And his further analysis proved that other writing systems descended from the Vinča script. In fact, we know that an important part of Pešić's biography is a lie. He was apparently forced to leave Yugoslavia because of his claims yet a 1987 poll conducted among archeologists in Yugoslavia showed that most of them had never even heard about Pešić.
So, Vinča script is an interesting idea, but ultimately only a myth popularized by the rising Serbian nationalism of the 1990s and believed to this day.