Author: Robert Petrič
Proofreading: Petr Jandáček

Summary
This paper is an analysis of the book Slavus Venedus Illyricus by Hacquet. The work annotates and investigates the received knowledge about origins and customs of the so called South Slavs. The definitions, which the author applies to the »Nation« which he investigates conform well to the qualities of the authochthonous Slavs.

Key words: History, Ethnology, Religion.

Belsazar or Balthasar Belsazar or Balthasar Hacquet (always signed as B. Hacquet) was born 1739 or 1740 in Brittany (France) and died 1815 in Vienna. His life’s work was largely dedicated to the study of the identity and expansion of the Nation of the Slavs. Thus we can read in his address to the monarch, from the introduction of the book Slavus-Venedus-Illyricus[1] :
»/.../ Since this expansive Nation of Slavs comprises two thirds of the populations of all of the Emperor states, I deemed it prudent to devote as much study as possible to these peoples. The opportunity presented itself in the form of my 43-year military and civil service to the Royal House.«
»/.../ Da die so ausgebreitete Nation der Slaven zwey Drittheile der Bevölkerung aller KaiserStaaten ausmachen, so dachte ich es sey sehr zweckmäſsig, diese Völker so viel möglich zu studieren, wozu ich um so mehr Gelegenheit bekam, durch meine dreyundvierzigjährige Militair - und Civildienste bey dem Erzhause.«


Hacquet entered history as an Ethnologist, Physician, natural scientist and a mountain climber. He lived mostly in Idrija (Slovenia) additionally he was active in Ljubljana as anatomy professor, in Lvov as natural science professor and in Krakow as a chemistry professor and a botanist. In 1782 he conquered the highest peak of today\'s Slovenia - Triglav, and can therefore be recognised as one of the premier alpinists. Julius Kugy’s statement confirms this feat as indeed a great achievement: »what Saussure was for Montblanc, that’s what Hacquet represented for Triglav«.[2]

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Fig. 1: Balthasar Hacquet

The history of the Slavs
For our readers Hacquet’s research project on the Slavs is profoundly interesting. In the aforementioned work (Slavus Venedus Illyricus), though it was criticised for shallowness, he concerns himself with original history. In the introduction he begins with the promulgation: »For the last 40 years I have lived amongst a nation which covers a greater territory than the Arabs ever did. This is the great and powerful nation of the Venedi, Winds /or Wends/, Sclavenes or today\'s Slavs. This people, who had their beginning in Europe at the borders of Italy or the Venetian and Tyrolian region in the west, (in former times this land was known as Cárnia) and they spread wide further into Rhaetia, Suevia and certainly to Franconia; see an example of the first country a).

a)  Oryctographia carniolica 3ter Theil Vorrede S. X. Leip. 4ter Th. C. f. 1778-89, man siehe auch in dem Bande Mappa Litho Hydrographica nat. Sla. Ad occidentem solem sitae. Ferner physikalisch-politische Reise aus den dinarischen in die norischen Alpen im Jahre 1780-83. 2. Th. Leip. 1785. 8. mit Kupf.

This nation /…/ was designated by most writers as Wends or Winds /… they/ referred to themselves as Slavenci. Now this people extend from the above mentioned countries on the left or eastern bank of the Adriatic sea downward to the border of Albania and backwards northward to the polar sea, from there they are more or less continuous, but nevertheless they are dominant over Kamchatka or Steinwarth to Aleutian islands, and to North America. From these facts it is to be seen, that the famous Romans did not measure-up to today\'s Slavs when compared to the areas they settled. Only very little of Asia and Africa was subjected to their /Roman/ rule, since the Slavs of the Russian realm occupied more territory, than China. And what about the Austrian, Turkish, and partly the Prussian state in the north-east? Doest the first not consist merely of Slavs? Only 2 to 3 million Hungarians d) and equal number Teutsche /Germans/ are the only peoples, who are mixed with the Slavs under the Austrian supremacy. Emperor Karl IV knew the conditions of his realm since he required in his aurea Bulla cap. 3, that each prince should speak good Wendisch, with the intention to make it a governing language. Also the immortal Joseph II. posed the question to the Ministers at the beginning of his reign as to which language should be the common language of the realm - Slavic or Teutsch /German/? It had remained German. Whether this was an advantage for the state is another question: for a negative /answer/ many arguments are present.

d) Schloetzer allgemeine nordische Geschichte. Seite 249. 4to. Halle 1771.«[3]

»Es sind bereits 40 Jahre, daſs ich mit der groſsen, mächtigen und mehr als jemals die Araber ausgebreiteten Nation der Veneden, Winden, Sklavenen oder heutigen Slaven lebe. Dieses Volk, welches dermalen in Europa seinen Anfang an den Grenzen Italiens oder des venetianischen und tiroler Gebieths in Westen nimmt, (vor Alters begrift man diese Länderstrecke unter den Namen Cárnia) hat sich durch solches noch weiter nach Rhätien, Suevia, und ohne Zweifel bis Franken erstreckt, wie ich ein Beyspiel vom ersten vom ersten Lande gegeben habe a).

a)       Oryctographia carniolica 3ter Theil Vorrede S. X. Leip. 4ter Th. C. f. 1778-89, man siehe auch in dem Bande Mappa Litho Hydrographica nat. Sla. Ad occidentem solem sitae. Ferner physikalisch-politische Reise aus den dinarischen in die norischen Alpen im Jahre 1780-83. 2. Th. Leip. 1785. 8. mit Kupf.

Diese Nation /.../ wurde von den mehresten Schriftstellern mit dem Namen Wenden oder Winden belegt, /... sie haben/ sich den Titel Slavenci /... gegeben/. Jetzo erstreckt sich dieses Volk von den oben erwähnten Ländern an dem linken oder östlichen Ufer des adriatischen Meers abwärts neben Albanien und rückwärts nach Norden an das Eismeer fort, von da mehr oder weniger ausgebreitet, aber doch herrschend über Kamtschatka oder Steinwarth zu dem aleutischen Inseln, und nach Nord-Amerika. Aus diesen ist zu ersehen, wie die so sehr ausgeschrieenen Römer gegen die heutigen Slaven im Betriff des Erdraums eingeengt waren. Nur sehr wenig von Asien und Afrika war ihrer /Römisher/ Herrschaft unterworfen, da hingegen die Slaven des russischen Reichs mehr Oberfläche, als China einnahmen. Und wo bleibt nun erst der österreichische, turkische, und zum Theil der preusische Staat in Nord-Osten? Besteht ersterer nicht beynahe blos aus Slaven? Nur 2 bis 3 Millionen Ungarn d) und eben so viele Teutsche, sind die einzigen Völker, welche unter der österreichischen Bothmäſsigkeit stehenden Slaven, gemischt sind. Kaiser Karl IV hat den Stand seines Reichs sehr wohl gekannt, da er in aurea Bulla cap. 3 verlangte, daſs jeder Kurfürst die wendische Sprache fertig reden solle, in der Absicht, selbige zu einer herrschenden Sprache zu machen. Auch der unsterbliche Joseph II. soll bey Anfang seiner Regierung die Frage an seine Minister gemacht haben; was für eine Sprache in seinem Reiche allgemein eingeführt werden solle, slavisch oder teutsch? Allein es blieb bei der letztern. Ob dies zum Vortheil des Staats gereiche, ist eine andere Frage: für das Negative sind viele Grunde vorhanden.

d) Schloetzer allgemeine nordische Geschichte. Seite 249. 4to. Halle 1771.«

Image
Slika 2: notranja platnica knjige

Straight from the beginning Hacquet designates the Slavs with several names, like Venedes, Winds and Sklavenes, to which he also attributes enormous settlement areas. Most interesting however is the definition of the Slavic genesis, which was supposed to be in the center of the Alps, formerly known as Carnia, with settlements stretching into Switzerland (Rhaetia)! With the narration at the designated time, under the Austrian dominion, almost exclusively Slavs are the population, he extends this spacious continuum of Slavic settlement also into the 18th Century. He affirms the latter with less well-known data, where he tells us that that, during the reign of emperors Karl IV. and Joseph II., Wendic (Slovenian) or Slavic nearly became a prevailing administrative language. The author was profoundly interested in the individual regions and their national customs. Here are some of the most pertinent excerpts from this part of the book:
Stran 19:
»Krajnci
Ti Krajnci, pred časom sicer imenovani Gorantanci, Gebirgländer /Goro-deželani/, Gorenci ali Oberländer /Gornje-deželani/ /.../
»Krainer oder Krainze
Diese Krainer, sonst vor Zeiten Gorantaner, Gebirgländer, Gorenzi oder Oberländer genannt /.../.«

The name Gorantaner, which is mentioned here is extremely similar the name Korotan (the wide area of Carinthia was once called Korotan). For some authors Korotan comes from the etymological source kar, čer > gora (cliff > mountain) and stan (accomodation, hut) explainably. In addition, although the etymology doesn’t seem completely clear, such an explanation sounds nevertheless more logical than the one from the Celtic word kara (rocky), because the Celtic influence could hardly have had such impact over extended alpine area (oronyms like Karni alps, Karavanken, Krn …). Perhaps Carinthians and Upper Carniolans were in antiquity more related as they are now!?

Stran 41:
»Istrians or Istrier (Istriane)
/.../ inhabitants of rural areas are only Slavs, however in the cities of the sea-coast Venetians or Italians /.../«
»Istrianer oder Istrier (Istriane)
/.../ Die mehresten Landleute sind blo
ſse Slaven, aber in den Stadten der Seeküste Venetianer oder Italiener /.../«

Hacquets impartiality supports the fact that he knew the rural people and they were also in Istria. In his eyes they were mostly Slavic. This is one more indicator that the medieval (and possibly also ancient) population of Istria was the foundation Stock of much of the Northern Adriatic Slavs.

Stran 99:
»Liburnians or Liburnci
Liburni so na pol Iliri, saj so še zmeraj precej pomešani z Wendi, katerih jezik delno govorijo.«
»Liburner oder Liburnci
Liburner sind halb Illyrer, da sie noch sehr mit Wenden vermischt und zum Theil von den letztern die Sprache haben.
«

It is known, that the name used for the today\'s city Rijeka was once Reka. One could attribute the Wendic influence to the old name, as the present name was surely a product of later name corruption. Also the above quotation speaks on behalf of such claim, where we can read that the Liburnians were once mixed with the Wends (Slovenes).

Stran 199:
»Slavonians or Slavinians (Slovenecz)
The present day Slavonia, Slavenskazeme, al Szlovensko Kralyesztvo /…/.
«
»Slavonier oder Slavinier (Slovenecz)
Das heutige Slavonien, Slavenskazeme, al Szlovensko Kralyesztvo /.../.
«

Ethnologically and historically seen here is the speech of important older derivatives of the names of this region (Slavonia). This shows that the word usage “Szlovenczi“ of Antol Vramec [4]: (16. Century) was authentic and surely meant a broader area of the today\'s region of Slavonia.

Hacquets view on the Slavic religion

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Fig. 3: Carica vazduha vodi i zemli (the Tzarina of air, water and earth)

Hacquet was very critical of the religion of the Slavs. In the chapter about religion he accused them, that they are not illuminated, too superstitious and that they are too focused on the Saints, which according to his opinion was a problem of the church organisation. About this topic Jurij Fikfak[5] from the Slovenian Ethnographic Institute in his essay O Hacquetovih upodobitvah in opisih drugega is writing in details. Very conspicious is also the observation of Maria, who is presented as a Queen of the elements, and should have served as a transition of ancient admiration of the three headed divinity Triglav of the old Slavs. She is supposed to have ruled over same three elements as it was in custom with Triglav. For illustration Hacquet used thereby a Vignette (fig. 3), which was actually mostly used among the northeast Slavs. In addition to the illustration he wrote: »One should take a look at the Vignette at the beginning of this introduction, where Maria is presented as the master of all elements, as the three headed divinity Triglav of the old Slavs, to which one attributed the rule over air, earth and water (Hacquet 1801-1808, 1: 12).«
»Man sehe die Vignette zu Anfang dieser Einleitung, wo Maria als die Beherrscherin aller Elemente vorgestellt ist, so wie die dreyköpfige Gottheit Triglav der alten Slaven, der man die Herrschaft über Luft, Erde und Wasser zuschrieb« (Hacquet 1801-1808, 1: 12).«

Conclusion
Hacquet’s writing presets an authentic, undistorted picture of his time, and offers, as such, a good insight into the picture of the Slavs in the Alps and Balkan areas. There are no traces of a massive migration in the early Middle Age at all! On the contrary; the beginning of the Slavs was right there - in the heart of the Alps! Hacquet lets us know this with certainty.



[1] Abbildung und Beschreibung der Südwest und östlichen Wenden, Illyrer und Slaven (Leipzig: Im Industrie-Comptoir. 1801 (NUK-U 466608; NUK 464777).

[2] Die Erschliessung der Ostalpen,  III. Band: Die Centralalpen östlich vom Brenner und die südlichen Kalkalpen,
unter Redaction von Prof. Dr. E. Richter, herausgegeben vom Deutschen und Österreichischen Alpenverein, Berlin, 1894.

[3] Abbildung und Beschreibung der Südwest und östlichen Wenden, Illyrer und Slaven (Leipzig: Im Industrie-Comptoir. 1801 (NUK-U 466608; NUK 464777).

[4] A. Vramec, Kronika, Ljubljana 1578.

[5] J. Fikfak, O Hacquetovih upodobitvah in opisih drugega, Hacquetia 2/2, 2003, str. 37-48, glej tudi http://www.zrc-sazu.si/isn/Publikacije/FikfakHacquet.pdf.