Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 454 pages of information about Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic.

The patriotic efforts made to prevent the Bohemian language from gradually yielding to the German, are honourable and laudable; but whether they will have any ultimate result seems to be quite doubtful.  The times indeed are somewhat changed, since Jungmann called the present literature of Bohemia “the produce of a few enthusiasts, who, exposing themselves to the hatred of their enemies and the ingratitude of their countrymen, have devoted themselves to the resuscitation of a language, neither living nor dead.”  Twenty-five years have brought on a great revolution; and those enthusiasts are no longer “a few.”  But they have still a hard combat to fight.  It may be doubtful whether their strength will hold out to struggle against the torrent of time; which, in its resistless course, overwhelms the nations, and only throws their vestiges in scattered fragments on the banks, as feeble memorials to show to an inquiring posterity that they once existed.[52]

SECTION II.

LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE OF THE SLOVAKS.

The northwestern part of Hungary is inhabited by the Slovaks, a Slavic nation, who appear to be the direct descendants of the original Slavic settlers in Europe.  Numerous colonists of the same race are scattered all over the other parts of that country.  The Byzantine historians, and, somewhat later, the Russian annalist Nestor, speak of the region on the north of the Danube as being the primitive seat of the Slavi.  In early times the Sarmatae limigantes or Jazyges metanastae, nomadic tribes between the Danube and the Theiss, whose name indicates incontestably their having been Slavi,[53] are mentioned as having troubled the Byzantine empire.  But they soon disappeared entirely from history, and it is not before the ninth century, when they were already Christians, that we meet them again.  At that time Slovakia, in Slavic Slovansko, viz. the regions adjacent to the two rivers Waag and Gran, reappears as an ingredient part of the ephemeral kingdom of great Moravia.  The rest of Pannonia was inhabited by other Slavic tribes, by Bulgarians, Rumelians and Khazares.  In A.D. 894, the Magyars conquered Pannonia, drove back the Slovaks into the mountains, and made them tributary; whilst they themselves settled on the plains.  But although the Slovaks appear to have submitted to their fate, and to have thenceforth lived on good terms with their conquerors, it cannot unconditionally be said that the two nations were merged in each other; since, even after nearly a thousand years have passed, they still speak different languages.  The Magyars learned the arts of peace from the Slavi; who, besides being already Christians, had built many cities, and were mechanics, traders, agriculturists.  All words and terms relating to these occupations, the Magyars had to obtain from them.  The Slovaks on their side lost their national existence in that of their

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Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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