KozlerThis contribution was written on the turn of 1995/96, published in Tretji dan, 2000 (2), XXIX (261), 90-97, reprinted slightly supplemented in the book V nova obzorja z Veneti v Evropi 2000, pp. 102-111, ur. I. Tomažič, Editiones Veneti, Wien, Ljubljana 2000. In 2008 some remarks were added. Improvements of the translation into English and some additional remarks: Petr Jandáček 2009.


Author: Anton Perdih

For more than a decade (i.e. 1985-1996) there were continuing polemics whether the Slovenes are autochtonous in Slovenia or had they arrived as late as the 6th century A.D. If the case were as clear and doubtless as the opposing parties argue, then under the strenght of the arguments of one side, the weaker argumentation of the other side would be already discredited. Since this did not happen, an uninvolved observer has to put forth several questions. For example: Are proponents of both theses only repeating their own theses without considering the arguments of the other side? Or, do they check the argumentation of the other side only to see whether it agrees with their own thesis, and if it does not, they simly dismiss it without seriously testing its true value? Or, are the arguments of both sides of so equal value that one can not decide which one is of higher value?

As long as a serious comparative analysis of arguments of opposing sides is not made by someone, who is knowledgeable in these matters but uninvolved in the dispute, we are forced to formulate our own insights into these matters.

One of the last critical surveys on this matters was published by B. Grafenauer in the addendum to the Slovene translation of the book of Paul Deacon History of Langobards [1]. This paper is a good example of how a scientific paper is to be written. Grafenauer clearly presented numerous points of view regarding the history of Slovenes. He also identified those, which could be deemed weak points of his deductions. An excellent example of scientific writing! For the mocked Slovene "Venetologists" (to be identified as: J. Šavli, I. Tomažič, M. Bor [2]) it would be advisable to take him very seriously and to check in detail, item by item, where they may be wrong, as well as also where they are right.

(Rem. PJ: The timeframe which Šavli, Bor & Tomažič use should be moved back into antiquity. Everything happened much earlier than they had supposed.)

In this critical survey [1], Grafenauer on p. 376 states clearly: "In scientific historiography we have to deal, on the one hand with facts - which in a serious academic work are more or less concrete and subject to debate only in details (such details, of course, may yet be unknown!). On the other hand there are areas which are subject to interpretations influenced by historical focus and bias." On p. 403 he states: "A scientific approach to history must take into account all historical documents/sources. And that means all traces/evidence that ...".

On p. 382 Grafenauer reproaches Bor and Šavli with "... it is difficult to credit them both with any genuine findings or a true hypothesis or theory with scientific rigor", since they do not build on facts, but merely on statements lacking appropriate methodology and outside of the conventional historiography.

In his survey [1] I understood that Grafenauer bases his standpoint especially on three (by my understanding) cornerstones of argumentation:

#1 - indirect inference by going to the demise of particular dioceses on the territory of Slovenia, as he has no direct sources reporting about ancestors of Slovenes;

#2 - the Miklošič rule;

#3 - the question regarding the Vlachs.

So Grafenauer [1] presents on p. 321 the sources, which support his bias concerning the location of ancient Slovenes: "We have no direct and/or contemporary information about the timeframe of Slavic settlement in Eastern Alps and upper Sava Valley. We must rely on circumstantial evidence provided by synodal records of the patriarchate of Aquilea. These preserved records allow us to follow the devolution and consequential demise of the antique church organization at the end of the 6th century. Indirectly the timing of the downfall of the particular dioceses/bishopries corresponds to the (putative) advancement of Slavs". And somewhat later: "Besides the letters of Pope Gregory the Great is the most important source containing the data of this sort the Historia Langobardorum from the end of the 8thcentury."

And on p. 329: "From the year 579 comes the record of the Synod in Grado - in the text a falsificate, but with exact signatures taken from the authentic document." On p. 404 he writes that in the first book of F. Kos, Gradiva za zgodovino Slovencev v srednjem veku (1902) there are collected all written sources about the history of Slavs, of Slovene territory and of Slovenia from 500 to 800 AD. From these sources it can be clearly seen that the first mention of the Slavs in these territories commences after the year 590 AD.

Thus, the scientists who advocate the arrival of Slavs in the 6th century AD have at their disposal no facts and no direct contemporary reports that would directly confirm the arrival of Slavs in the 6th century AD. They rely only on indirect inferences and they present a lot of perfectly fabricated interpretations and devaluations of opponents\' statements.

(Rem. PJ: The absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence (of the Slavs).)

And what are the counter-arguments of the other (ridiculed) side? By their own summary [3] they have at their disposal three groups of arguments:

i - quotations from the same sources from 500 to 800 AD, [3] pp. 55-57,

ii - Slovene sounding names in now non-Slovene territories, [3] pp. 58-71,

iii - reading of Venetic [3] pp. 72-115, but also some Etruscan and Rhaetic inscriptions [2-4], and

iiii - later they added also the fourth one, the comparison of word similarity in Slovene and some other languages which are recognized as non-Slavic [2,5].

The Slovene "Venetologists" quote [2,3] the following direct sources: the Jordanes\' work from 551 AD, the Vita S. Columbani from about 615 AD, the Fredegarii Chronicon written around 650 AD, theHistoria Langobardorum [1] from around 783 AD.

They quote that Jordanes mentions Slavs using the names Windi, Sclavini and Anti; in Vita S. Columbani there stays "termini Venetiorum qui et Sclavi dicuntur" (territories of Veneti who are named also Slavs); in the Fredegarii Chronicon is written for the events in the years 623 to 631 AD "Sclavos coinomento Vinedos" (Slavs named also Vinedi), "marca Vinedorum", "Walucus dux Winedorum" [3], in theHistoria Langobardorum [1] p. 148 resp. 170 for the same territory before 600 AD "Sclaborum provinciam" resp. around 625 "Sclavorum regionem". This territory is the present Carinthia in Austria and not Veneto or Friul in Italy. The authors of these reports were not supporters of Slovenes, quite on the contrary.

Thusly, one side has for its assertions no direct contemporary sources and from those sources, which are available, does not use all the facts mentioned in them. The other side in the same sources obtains direct confirmations of its statements. Truly, only few ones, but more than one and they do not oppose each other. This is truly the case (as in Scripture) that the quote "The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone ..." (Ps 118, 22) becomes prophetic.

In science - in such a case the situation is clear. A hypothesis, made using explicit data in direct sources can not be annuled using a hypothesis based on interpretation of the same sources after the inconvenient data are ignored. "Contra factum non est argumentum". Especially not if also the other data in those sources can be easily included into the new hypothesis. A hypothesis can be refuted only with arguments being on a par or better. In present case only if there become available better direct sources that directly and explicitly present that the statements in the present sources are not true. Till then it is a valid and directly supported hypothesis.

On the other hand, a substantial number of credible indirect proofs may evoke a legitimate doubt about the reliability of a small amount of direct evidence. Therefore, let us look at some indirect evidence - the interpretations.

Among the interpretations the Miklošič Rule has a prominent position. This (Miklošič) Rule, which was promulgated about a hundred years ago, provides a crucial argument which the less sophisticated Slovene Venetologists of the time could not counter adequately. Thus they (the Slovene Venetologists of a hundred years ago) essentially capitulated to Miklošič. The Rule as presented by Grafenauer in three versions [1], pp. 343, 344 and 398, proposes that "before a toponym can be accepted as a Slavic place-name there must be independent evidence of Slavic habitation in the area." By this rule, no "Venetologic" etymological explanations would be acceptable, since they are made without knowing anything about the people having lived there as well as without the knowledge of the rules of their languagedevelopment from that time till present.

(Rem. PJ: This kind of thinking contained in the Miklošič Rule is a pre-Einsteinian dogma! Einstein invented the famous "Thought Experiment" in Bern, Switzerland 1905. Miklošič (1813-1891, retired 1886) formulated the Rule well before Einstein was inventing his "Thought Experiment". Telling the Slovene Venetologists of the Late Nineteen Hundreds that they cannot use Slovene etymology of place-names before they establish Slovene habitation in the area is like telling Einstein that he cannot contemplate the slowing down of a clock on a tower (as he is traveling away from it) until he can actually travel at the speed of light. We do Thought Experiments routinely now and have liberty to look at Slavic toponyms in Germany, Austria, Italy etc, with impunity which scholars did not have a century ago.

Compare: In some places on earth we find fossilized dinosaur foot prints, yet no fossilized dinosaurs. We take these fossilized dinosaur foot prints as a proof that the dinosaurs were walking there. By the Miklošič Rule, however, Slovene place names in Italy and Austria we must not attribute to Slovenes until we find "tangible" evidence of Slovenes, e.g. a fossilized one with his/hers ethnic appurtenance marked on his/hers remnants.)

The so-called Slovene "Venetologists", i.e. the reincarnated group of the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21th century namely as their second group of important evidence supports the use of the Slovene sounding toponyms in the territories where now no Slovene is spoken.

The Miklošič Rule is at the first glance faultless. However, it is not a general rule but a special and derived rule prepared from the general one for the particular question. The general rule would be something like this: An event is probable if it is confirmed from at least two different and independent points of view.

To judge the Slovoform sounding names the Slovene "Venetologists" are using, in my opinion instinctively, another special rule, derived from the same general rule:

A toponym is Slovene by origin if it sounds Slovene and if its Slovene meaning describes it as such as it really is. In other words: Where a toponym seems to be Slovene by origin and it describes the place in the same way as it would be described if Slovenes had lived there, then the conclusion is that the toponym is Slovene by origin and therefore Slovene (Slavoform) speakers lived there.Thus, in the polemics and semantics presented by the opposing sides deal with the interpretation of the two special rules derived from the singular general rule. Both special rules are formally of equal value since in both cases they infer the veracity of something using two independent points of view. One of these points of view is the same in both cases. The other one is different.

Do both rules obey the requirement of indepence of starting parameters? Yes, both of them suffice this requirement. In both cases the second parameter is independent of the first, and the common one, and vice versa. Are the second two parameters independent of one another? Can the knowledge about a society and the information contained in the words of these people be independent of each other? If we consider the same people, it is not. Can they oppose each other? If they derive from the same people, they can not. It is however possible that the evidence of one or the other is not available. Regretfully, in most cases only one of them is available. Rarely both survive. Must we neglect the known factor when the other one is not known? This would be against the general methodology of science, which demands that all known facts are to be considered.

The discutants have ignored till now that the two rules presented above are not of a form admissible by rules of debate, since the knowledge about a people and the information contained in its words are not two opposing facts. Regretfully they are not always available at the same time and if one of them is not available this does not mean that the other one should not be taken into account.

The value of the Miklošič Rule can be judged also by a different criterion. It demands in advance as one of the input data exactly that one, which is the result looked for by the Slovene "Venetologists": the territory having been settled once by the Slovene speaking people. The extent of the territory is that what is not known and what the Slovene "Venetologists" try to ascertain.

Both rules include in their consideration the territories in present Austria, Italy and Hungary, where historical records and other sources confirm beyond a doubt that from medieval to near-contemporary times Slovene dialects were spoken. But, alas, they are spoken there no more. Both rules have thus a common subset. And exactly this common subset shows that the Miklošič Rule makes use as one of its starting points the data set, which is a subset of the results of the "Venetological" rule. This is a reason for the conclusion that the Miklošič Rule is not on par with the "Venetological" rule but is by itself narrower.

By virtue of the fact that the Miklošič Rule demands the foreknowledge of the extent of ancient Slovene settlements, it is self-limiting (counterproductive rather than productive) as it precludes additional estimates of territorial extends of the Slavic settlement. Due to this limitation the Miklošič Rule is from the standpoint of the scientific methodology inferior. When used in an inappropriate way it is nonscientific, since it has no predictive value. In fact it is restrictive and denies prediction. The scientific method demands that a hypothesis has a predictive potency and not that it limits us to what we already know without using it.

An additional defect in Miklošič Rule is that it does not allow the improvements of its starting points, because it is selfcontained. Using Miklošič Rule it is not possible to verify either the correctness of the starting points (extent of settlement) or the results. The presumptions are taken to be such as they appear at the very moment, regardless the fact that the data sources for them are infrequent and scarce. The "Venetological" rule allows for the verification. The verification is possible just by the forecast of probable settlement, which can be checked using other approaches that are independent of the name of and its meaning.

Miklošič Rule is thus a confirmatory and not a rejective rule. What the Miklošič Rule corroborates, is very firmly corroborated. What it does not confirm is the evidence presented by toponomy. This is, however, not necessarily to be rejected.

Thus, to use the Miklošič Rule as a rejective rule is nonscientific. If other scientists would use it in the same way as some Slovene historians do, then the other disciplines of science would be till present in a similar position as they were before the time of Leonardo da Vinci. He did not wait to discover an old document where it would be written that the sea was once where now there are the mountains. He concluded from the stone (and the seashells within) that where he stood on high and dry land - there once was the bottom of the sea. His conclusion is still valid.

(Added in 2008: The Miklošič Rule is in fact only a half of a full rule. It demands proofs from only one of the two opposing camps. By rules of debate, similar rigor must be demanded from those who claim the late arrival of the Slavs (6th C. AD) and the total {or near total} absence of the Slavs beyond the Adriatic and Western Baltic Slope - and all points west of this N/S line. Thusly: Before a toponym is declared to be non-Slavic, proof(s) must be presented that patently no Slavs ever lived in the vicinity of Slavic sounding toponyms and the correspondence of their verbal descriptions to their physical or geological features must be demonstrably spurious and invalid. Additionally, if the claim is - that the populations around the Slavic-sounding toponyms were not Slavoform - then those claimants must provide evidence of the language of the people in the vicinity of the Slavic-sounding toponyms at the time of the coining of the names of the said land features. The claimants must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the residents spoke a radically different language from Slavoform. They need to name that language and ethnicity and provide their evolutionary past and future up to the present time.

The question of the Slavic etymology of Central and Western European toponomy must remain open (as well as a viable model) until it is replaced by a superior one. Until such model replacement is supported by irrefutable evidence - the ad nauseam repetition of the Miklošič Rule is a hollow, moot and obsolete concept. The absence of (more) evidence (of Slavic habitation) is not the equivalent of the evidence of absence of (more) Slavic settlements. It is only an indication that the question remains open and that we need to look for additional indicators and evidence.)

(Rem. PJ: If the toponomy were the only evidence - it would be a rather weak argument. However, when toponomy is butressed by many other forms of evidence: history, archaeology, inscriptions, genetics, oral tradition, etc. it fills an important void in the puzzle. When puzzle pieces are fitted together to gain understanding, some (one) piece must be the first to be analyzed. There aught be no rule which precludes toponomy from being the last nor the first puzzle piece.)

Due to all these insufficiencies it is not appropriate to ascribe to the Miklošič Rule any utility or veracity, which it in fact does not have, and one should not use it as a foundation to repudiate better rules. It is to be used as a confirmatory and not as a rejective rule.

This invalidation of the Miklošič Rule does not mean that the debate is finished.

On the contrary, each particular assertion is to be tested whether its formation was based upon the dogmatic fiat of the discredited Miklošič Rule instead of upon proper and impartial rules of evidence. The appealing to authorities, experts, voluminous books and hundreds of thousands of volumes does not help much, since these are not scientific arguments. Scientific arguments are only the irrefutable facts and inferences. We expect that the experts will try to find them, identify them and verify their sources. As long as they do not do it, we are entitled to consider that these are spurious arguments.

(Rem. PJ: Whole libraries of books had been written before the time of Renaissance proposing that the Earth was flat and was at the center of the Universe. All of these arguments are moot because they lacked empirical scientific foundation. Quoting such medieval sources is an exercise in absurdity.)

It is imperative to employ Ockham\'s Razor: "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" (Plurality should not be posited without necessity (law of parsimony). Ockham\'s razor together with the Bayesian analysis namely confirms the intuitive suppositions of scientists that a simpler hypothesis is more probably right, and that a hypothesis with less deliberately set parameters is by itself better. Only after consideration of these rules are the scientific statements trustworthy [6]. In a similar way as for the hypotheses this is valid also for the methods. Simpler methods are easier to be checked and verified and using simpler methods there is a higher probability to achieve a credible result than using complicated methods. However, complicated methods find favour with several scientists since they seem to be more learned. They are however in danger that some of their starting assumptions are not useful in particular cases. It is especially dangerous when the methodology is based on the supposition which is to be proven, and not independent of it. Thus, the methodology of both sides is to be rechecked also from this point of view.

As an additional important argument Grafenauer [1] presents the question of Vlahs or Valachs. If we look at this question from the local esoteric (Slovenian) point of view, he seems to be right. However, if we look at this question in Europe as a whole, we see a double situation. On the one hand it refers to the rest of "Celtic" people. On the other hand, the direction of nicknaming the neighbouring people as Vlahi, Lahi, Ljahi etc presents the direction from outside, exoteric, towards the ancient borders respectively towards the interior of the ancient Roman Empire as well as towards those parts of the ancient Roman Empire, where Romance languages were spoken after the Roman Empire was destroyed. Having this in mind, the "Vlahi argument" becomes doubtful but not yet refuted. At least what we should know better considering this argument is the history of presentday Romania and Romanians from the first century AD till about 1000 AD.

As their third set of arguments in their favour the Slovene "Venetologists" present their understanding of the Venetic, Etruscan, and Rhaetic inscriptions [2,4]. To me, this seems to be the weakest part of their argumentation. However, when it comes to the understanding of an ancient language, which no internationally recognized scientist is able to understand, I would trust the instincts of a wordsmith/poet and novelist who has sense for the languages and is linguistically qualified (as was the late Bor), and not to a scientist indoctrinated with the current doctrine, who would not look for the solution in that direction as the poet did. The epiphany I would give, without hesitation, to the poet and I would trust him at least as much as his scientific contemporaries. The last word, however, should not belong to the poet. I would expect that it would belong to the scientists who would take seriously the poet\'s approach, who would, impartially and without prejudice, collect the pros and the cons and who would finally after confronting all the evidence tell which approach is more credible. In no way I would demand from anybody to present, on his first attempt everything flawless, final and irrefutable. The results of hundreds of years of scholarly endeavours of best historians can not be surpassed in few years by three persons.

(Added in 2008: After reading some papers of non-Slavic (Italian) academic Venetologists I do not revoke the above statements; however, compared to them, Bor [2,4] appears as a pearl)

As the fourth set of arguments in the favour of the Slovene "Venetologists" is the fact that Slavic words sometimes share similar lexical domains and phonemic components with non-Slavic languages. Put another way - a Slovene sounding word is not necessarily of Slavic origin. The objection formulated this way is valid if the statement has been supported from one point of view only, i.e. from the sound of the word only. If, however, a Slovene sounding word has the same or similar meaning as in Slovene, then the statement is supported from two different and independent points of view and therefore it is possiblycorrect. This is of value especially if such a word with such a meaning is not to be found in antique languages like Latin or Greek. But even if it would be found in any of these languages, this would not be a final proof that the word is not of Old Slavic origin. Latin and Greek were namely formed in the first millenium BC, whereas the eventual pre-Indo-European/proto-Slavic would be much older and there would be the likelihood of transfer of some words into Greek and Latin during their formation. The supposition about the arrival of ancestors of Slovenes in the 6th century AD can not be a valid argument for repudiation of this reasoning. It is now only one of opposing assumptions. One for which there exists no direct proof. In the same way, the assumption that the pre-Indo-European/proto-Slavic and of proto-Slovene/Venetic are synonymous can in present situation not be used as an argument, since its validity is still being tested.

Grafenauer [1], p. 415, points out that a proper way of performing research is to do that without hypotheses given in advance and supporting them at any cost, as well as that the research has to be done sine ira et studio ("without anger and fondness" or "without hate and zealousness"). This is true. This applies to both sides. It is my impression, however, that just these ways of approach were lacking in the polemics till now. I cannot get rid of an unpleasant impression that there is going on first of all the checking whether the opponent\'s assertions fit to someones views, and not how much they are really serious and supported with valid arguments.

(Rem. PJ: In America there is a saying: "My mind is made up - don\'t confuse me with the facts".)

To perform research without having prepared the hypothesis in advance is really a good start of gathering the evidence. However, when there is collected a sufficient body of data, then it is also the time to set up working hypotheses. It is at this point that a researcher changes stride from inductive to deductive reasoning. He sets up a system for verification of his findings. Verification, yes, but not trying to demonstrate at any price their correctness. At distinguishing between a working hypothesis and a verified hypothesis I see the main weak point of 20th century Slovene "Venetologists". Some of them seem not to distinguish what is the working hypothesis and collecting of possible evidence that would be admissible as confirmation or rebuttal and what are credible arguments and the hypothesis confirmed using them. This was especially evident in first "Venetological" papers. Here I see one of the main reasons for critical challenges.

Representatives of both sides should therefore re-examine on their own side and not only on the opposite one, the judgement whether there has been self deceit in this respect. This is an examination of conscience as one ought to perform in academic circles to receive absolution for excesses and hubris. Following their discussions there arises several times the impression that on both sides, though not always wilful, it goes yet first of all to support the own hypothesis and in several cases also for unreadiness to engage oneself deeply into opponent\'s arguments and without regard to possible detrimental consequences for his own theses to try to find whether in them there is something good, possibly correct and acceptable.

The main difference between the two opposing hypotheses remains to be in the fact that one side with help of interpretations maintains that like the other peoples during their migrations, also the Slovenes migrated and arrived into their present territories as the last ones, arriving into an either upopulated or weekly defended territory or had ethnically cleansed it. The other side maintains based on statements in relevant sources about the identity of different designation for the same peoples and on interpretation of other facts that the Slavic/Slavoform speaking ancestors of Slovenes were living in the present Slovene territories already before those migrations, that they were the Veneti (more correctly Sloveneti ??), who were the true ancestors of Slovenes and part of the continuum of the Ancient Slavs.

The discutants should avoid mocking the opponents. In the history of science there are numerous cases where the leading scientists of that time have incapacitated their less recognized opponents by mockery. After decades, however, often after the death of those involved, there was a vindication in that, that the incapacitated and mocked authors were right. Political ideology or nationalism must never masquerade as science.

Last of all, look to those who provide the best scientific explanations in terms of adequacy, efficiency, elegance and parsimony. Such explanations should stand until such a time that they are replaced by formulas which are more adequate, more efficient, more elegant and more parsimonious. This is one of the foundations of the science. The discussions and counterpositions of arguments must be done in such a way that both parties have equal possibilities and opportunities to present their arguments and to struggle against the opponent\'s ones. This includes oral as well as written confrontations. Forbiding the publication to the other side indicates either a nonscientific approach or tacit acknowledgement of the weakness of the own position.

(Rem. PJ: Autochthonous status of Slavs is more adequate, efficient, elegant & parsimoniuos than the superfluous migration theory)

Along this line there is ample time and space to research flaws of argument on both sides. No author is God-like omniscient and unfallible. Everyone makes mistakes and the mistakes are to be removed - not the author. It would be the time to learn and remember that in the polemics is not to destroy the author but to remedy the weak points in his work.

Finally, I would like to add some thoughts [7]. First is the long-continued appearence of two opposing assertion about the origin of Slovenes. Usually after some decades it becomes clear who is right. In this case the controversy is lasting for centuries. In science it is not unusual that at the end it becomes clear that each side has something right and that a synergistic synthesis of apparently opposing assertions is to be made. Is it possible in present case? No problem!

For example:

First, the organization of the Hallstatt system was destroyed by intruding Celts, later by Romans. The Romans used Slovene territory as corridors for moving their armies and in appropriate places they erected their forts and settlements. This effected the indigeneous population. Then followed the intrusion of Markomans and the Roman counterattack, which brought to Slovenia the pestilence. All these events effected first of all the population within and close to the corridors. Then followed the administration of federates, the intrusion of Huns and the migration of peoples. It is reasonable to be expected that all these events caused the diminishing or even disappearence of the original population along the corridors. The original population remained less effected in remote areas as e.g. Kozjansko, Brkini, Tolminsko, Carinthia. Into more or less depopulated corridor valleys later settled on the one hand people from the remote areas and on the other hand the refugies from Pannonia escaping from the dominion of Avars.

(Rem. 2008: According to the analysis of the economic situation in the Byzantine Empire by F. Curta, The Making of the Slavs, 2001, there seems more probable that the refugees arrived mainly from the Balkans.)

That\'s it. There exist two mindsets: In remote areas the people still feel that they live there from time immemorial. In the central part of Slovenia they feel that it is not so long when their ancestors arrived there. All of them are now Slovenes. Somewhat different, yet Slovenes: a mixture of peoples of at least two Old Slavic origins. And here may be the source of most troubles, if we derive from two sources, whereas the people adhering to the Germanic paradigm demand that we ought be only from a third one (eg: The immigrants from the Pripyat River marshes).

(Rem. PJ: There are no absolutes - only gradations of truths when it comes to human populations.)

Second, Slovenian archaeologists have found a 45,000 years (Rem. 2008: By novel datations about 55,000 y) old bone flute. Where? In a cave having the toponym "Divje babe" (Engl.: Wild Old Women, Wild Hags).

(Rem. PJ: There is some indication that the bone flute found at the Neanderthal site of the cave of Divje Babe in Slovenia had the hole placement similar to the diatonic scale of five whole steps and two half steps as in do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do. If that were indeed so, then we would be obligated to attribute such musicological concepts to much greater antiquity than previously thought.)

They discovered also that the Neanderthals had not lived there for more than 30,000 years. How could the people living in the surrounding know to name just that cave with the name "Divje babe", if their ancestors arrived there in the 6th century AD or even later and into unpopulated places? Or if they would had driven off (or killed) a different population? Such a naming of a toponym is likely only if the ancestors of present population have seen the "Wild Old Women, Wild Hags" with their own eyes. This would however mean that the people of this lineage are living there for at least 30,000 years and that during all this long time span there did not take place any replacement of the people nor a substitution of the language. Open may be even the question, to whom the bone flute really belonged, to the ancestors of present people or to Neanderthals. From this reasoning follows a recommendation to Slovene "Venetologists" that they should use as the fifth group of arguments the Slovene oral tradition. Oral tradition regretfully in most cases does not tell exactly when and where something happend, but only what had occured. It is often transmitted quite reliably, even for tens of thousands years, usually covered with many additional layers of cultural meaning and survives only as vestiges.

Third, in view of all presented above, it seems that one of the latest models of ethnogenesis of Slavs [8] is only the northeastern part of the model of ethnogenesis of Eastern Slavs.

(Rem. PJ: Who in historical times continued their expansion toward modern day Vladivostok).

References

1. B Grafenauer: Ob tisočštiristoletnici slovanske naselitve na današnje slovensko narodnostno ozemlje. V knjigi Pavel Diakon: Zgodovina Langobardov, Obzorja, Maribor 1988, 321-422.

2. J. Šavli, M. Bor, I. Tomažič: Veneti First Builders of European Community. Editiones Veneti, Wien 1996.

3. I. Tomažič: Novo sporočilo knjige Veneti naši davni predniki Editiones Veneti, Wien/Ljubjana 1990.

4. I. Tomažič: Etruščani in Veneti. Editiones Veneti, Wien 1995

5 I. Tomažič: Slovenci. Kdo smo? Od kdaj in odkod izviramo? Editiones Veneti, Wien-Ljubljana 1999.

6. W. H. Jeffrys, J. O. Berger: Ockham\'s razor and Bayesian analysis. American Scientist, 1992, 80(1), 64-72.

7. Most of the text above this remark was written on the turn of 1995/96, submitted and not accepted in 1996; the text below this remark was written before 2000.

8. A. Pleterski: Model etnogeneze Slovanov na osnovi nekaterih novejših raziskav. Zgodovinski časopis, 1995, 49(4/101), 537-556.