About the crossing of the Goths to the country of Scythia
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About the crossing of the Goths to the country of Scythia (“Oium”)

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1. About the Goths in Volhynia, Podolia and the Crimea

Goths – one of the famous warlike peoples of ancient times, a people-traveler, a people-army, whose main craft was war, robbery, looting and destruction; people who at the beginning of our era from Scandinavia came to the Baltic Pomerania, and from there through the Ukrainian lands reached the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov and the Don, settled in the Crimea, conquered the Northern Black Sea, Transnistria, Danube and Balkans, the people which in the IV century. converted to Christianity, and later withdrew from it, had his own script and even translated the Bible into his own language, the people who served Rome and then destroyed it, raided the Caucasus, Asia Minor and Greece, conquered the Apennine and Iberian Peninsulas, passed most of Europe: from Scandinavia in the north to the Crimea in the south and from the Don and the Caucasus in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west;in his distant travels he reached the islands of Cyprus and North Africa, but nowhere did he create a stable state, did not survive as a people and did not lay the foundation for any modern nation, and even in the early Middle Ages became a legendary myth.

About the crossing of the Goths to the country of Scythia ("Oium")But the Goths played a colossal role in the life of the whole of Europe – they had a significant impact on all peoples and states with which they were in the slightest contact, which affected their economic life, life, customs, language. However, the most important thing is that the Goths under the pressure of the Huns caused the Great Migration and destroyed the Roman Empire. The Goths left behind a great legacy, which is recorded in the monuments of archeology and writing, place names, European languages ​​and even in the names of people. Each of these elements of the historical and cultural heritage of the Goths is directly related to Ukraine: Velbar archaeological culture, a large number of geographical names, hundreds of Ukrainian words and expressions, some features of the Ukrainian language, architectural, construction and transport terminology and names of many Ukrainians.

The topic is ready to be very interesting and informative. Through the prism of the history of the Goths and their relations with the ancient Slavs between the Dniester, Western Bug and Dnieper rivers, an amazing picture of the past frontier and the first centuries of our era opens up.

Having passed through the entire territory of present-day Ukraine from Volyn Polissya to the northern Black Sea coast, the Goths settled in the south, including in the Crimea. At the end of the IV century. under the pressure of the Huns, the Goths left the Northern Black Sea Coast, crossed the Danube and took a very active part in the Great Migration. But not all Goths set out on a journey through Europe, some Gothic colonies existed for more than a thousand years in some parts of Ukraine, in particular in the village of Styborivka in the Lviv region. But the most famous fragment of the Goths were the Crimean Goths, who lived in the Crimea, where they settled in the late third century., Ancient authors called them trapezoids.

The Goths, who took part in the Great Migration, gradually dissolved among other ethnic groups. Crimean Goths retained their identity until the end of the XVIII century. They spoke Gothic, which belonged to a group of Germanic languages ​​and was very similar to German, at least the Goths and the Germans could easily understand each other.

These facts were first witnessed in writing by the Flemish writer, scientist and diplomat Ogier Giselin de Busbeck (1522-1592). During his stay in Istanbul, where he was an envoy of the Holy Roman Empire from 1554 to 1562, OG Busbeck met with two Crimean Goths, communicated with them and found that their language was close to German. The result of the communication was a dictionary of about 80 Gothic words, which are similar in vocabulary to the text of the Bible translated into Gothic in the 5th century by the educator Ulfilas.

The Crimean Goths, like the descendants of the Goths from the village of Styborivka in the Lviv region, preserved their Scandinavian ethnotype: fair skin, blond and red hair, freckles, gray and blue eyes. The Crimean Goths differed from the Crimean Tatars, Greeks and Turks of Crimea in their posture and language. A. de Busbeck wrote in the words of his Gothic interlocutors that the Crimean khan was recruiting a detachment of 800 men from among the Goths.

In the Crimea, the Goths created their own state – the principality of Theodore, which occupied the territory of the southwestern mountainous Crimea (XII-XV centuries). After the Ottoman conquest of Crimea, the principality, as an independent state unit, was abolished, and its capital, the fortress city of Theodore, was renamed Mangup.

About the crossing of the Goths to the country of Scythia ("Oium")The Crimean Goths have long accepted Orthodoxy, they had their own Kafin-Gothic metropolitanate and their own bishop, who were subordinate to the patriarch of Constantinople.
This factor became the main reason for the deportation of Crimean Goths by the Russians in 1798. After capturing Crimea in 1783, the tsarist government began measures to Russify it. For this purpose, ethnic Russians and Ukrainians were imported to the Crimea, and so-called foreigners were evicted: Crimean Tatars, Turks, Greeks, and Goths.

A special problem was the long-standing Gothic metropolis. By bribing the Russians managed to persuade the Gothic bishop to move to the Azov Sea, at his call, all the Goths went there. Mariupol became the new center, but other peoples also sank there, and the Goths assimilated into this conglomerate. This was not the case with either the Gothic metropolitanate or the Goth people, who lived compactly in the Crimea from the III-IV centuries, ie more than one and a half thousand years. But the memory of them did not die. The ruins of Gothic fortifications in Kalamita (now Inkerman near Sevastopol) and Mangup have survived to this day.

Crimean Goths were well remembered in Hitler’s Germany as well. After the capture of Crimea, Hitler planned to create a separate province in the south of Ukraine (Gotengau), and Crimea was to be turned into Gotenland – “Land of the Goths”. Simferopol was called Gothenburg, and Sevastopol Theodorisgafen.

The plans of Hitler and the German Nazis were the reason that in Soviet times the subject of the Goths was imposed a kind of taboo, it was not studied and almost nothing was written about it. In the 70s of the twentieth century. even the famous Goth-Hepida archeological culture was given a new name Velbarian, not to mention the Goths, but they played a very important role in the lives of many peoples of Europe, including the ancestors of Ukrainians and left a lot of memory in history, language and culture. . Therefore, in our time, the topic of ready is again in the spotlight of researchers.

Among the issues a special place is occupied by the problem of the river through which the Goths were transported to the country called by the historian Jordan – Oium; he identifies it with Scythia. The country of Oium began along the river, on which the Goths irreparably destroyed the crossing. Since the Goths headed south and to the Crimea, many researchers believed that this river was the Dnieper, and therefore, the country of Oium (Scythia) began on its left bank. Thus, the location of the Scythian country, also called Oium by the Gothic historian Jordan, also depends on the location of the Goth crossing. This country and its population are described not only by Jordan, but also by dozens of ancient authors. And if we assume that the place of the ill-fated crossing was in the lower reaches of the Dnieper, then Scythia (Oium) and its population, called Jordan by the Spalms, were located in the south of present-day Ukraine. But not everything is so simple. It was a completely different and much smaller river.

2. The problem of localization of the place of crossing was ready for the country of Scythia

Among the issues related to the stay of the Goths in the ancient lands of Ukraine, one of the most important and fundamental is the problem of locating their crossing the bridge over the border river, described by the Gothic historian Jordan in the work “On the origin and actions of the Goths. Getica. After crossing the crossing, the Goths, led by Philimer, entered the lands of Scythia, which Jordan called the land of Oium. The location of this country has not yet been established by science, so the question of the ethnicity of its population, called Jordan by the Spals, remained unresolved; they did not even try to connect it with any archeological culture.

Both the name of the country “Oium” and the name of the people “slept” nowhere else, except for Jordan’s work “Getica”. The correct definition of the territory of the country “Oyum” and its population depends on the correct decision of the question, what kind of border river it was – burned with all the subsequent logical constructions that follow from it.

At present, historical studies present different versions of the location of the bridge mentioned by Jordan, on which the Goths were transported. This, in turn, leads to an even greater number of hypotheses about the location of the country “Oium” and its population – burned. Here is not a complete list of them.

The publisher of Jordan’s Getika and the author of a thorough commentary on this work, O. Skrzhynska, claimed that Oium was “the ancient Greek Gilea on the left bank of the Lower Dnieper and its estuary.” The Austrian researcher of Goth history H. Wolfram wrote that the country “Oium” was located “in the valleys on the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov.” The Polish historian G. Lovmyansky also placed the Oium near the Sea of ​​Azov, and his compatriot T. Levitsky placed it on the northern coast of the Sea of ​​Azov and even on the Kerch Peninsula. The Russian historian GV Vernadsky believed that the Oium was near Kyiv, and the Soviet VN Toporov believed that it was in the Danube floodplains.

In the steppes of the South of present-day Ukraine, Oium was localized by German researchers W. Krause and E. Schwartz. Well-known modern researcher of Goths VP Budanova, although she drew attention to the presence in Jordan’s work of contradictions related to the country “Oium”, but suggested that this region could be located near the shores of Meotida, ie the Sea of ​​Azov. In the collective monograph of VP Budanova, AA Gorsky, and IE Yermolova, it is stated that the Goth movement “went to the Azov Sea through Polissya and some part of Scythia called Jordan” Oium. ” Its location remains controversial.

Thus, the issue of the sleeping mentioned by Jordan in the country of Oium is also unresolved. VP Budanova states: “The ethnicity of Jordan burned is controversial.” The question of the place and circumstances of the division of the Goths into two parts, the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths, as well as variants of their names, remains unanswered. Depending on where the researchers locate the bridge through which the Goths crossed, they locate the country “Oium”, the people burned and associated with this area the division of the Goths into two parts. Thus, the correct localization of the bridge, which “irreparably collapsed” during the crossing, depends on the clarification of many other issues related to the population of Ukraine in the first centuries of our era and, in particular, the Goths.

The description of the Goths crossing the river on the bridge, not named by Jordan, is one of the brightest episodes in his work. Because of the critical importance of this piece will quote in full:
“When it grew great multitude of the people (meaning Povislennya – D.CH.) and ruled just kept only fifth after King Filimer son Hadariha, he decided that able-bodied men ready to move from there with their families. In search of better lands and more favorable places, he came to the land of Scythia, which in their language was called “Oium”.

Filimer, fascinated by the rich wealth of those lands, transferred half of the army there, after which, as they say, the bridge over the river collapsed, irreparably collapsed, so that no one had the opportunity to cross or return.

It is said that the area is closed, surrounded by swamps and water funnels; thus nature itself made it invincible, uniting both the first and the second.

It is possible to believe the testimony of travelers that to this day there is the roar of cattle and human presence can be heard, although it can be heard from afar.

That part of the Goths, which was with Philimer, after crossing the river, was, they say, moved to the country of Oium and took possession of the coveted land. Here, without delay, they approach the sleeping tribe and, having started the battle, achieve victory. From here, as winners, they go to the extreme part of Scythia, adjacent to the Pontic Sea.

About the crossing of the Goths to the country of Scythia ("Oium")A well-known researcher of ancient sources and the author of the Russian translation of Jordan’s Getica, O. Skrzhinskaya, wrote in a commentary on it: Black Sea, was the Dnieper. Skrzhynska’s conclusion is largely based on the statement of the historian FA Brown that the place of the Goths crossing the Dnieper was “in the area of ​​the Great Meadow, where numerous straits and small lakes form wide swamps.” Concerning the destruction of the bridge during the Goth crossing, the eminent Austrian historian Herwig Wolfram wrote: “The river that divided the Goths was probably the Dnieper.” Practically the same opinion was expressed by the modern Ukrainian medievalist LV Voitovych: “It can be argued with a high degree of probability that the hypothesis of F.Brown is more plausible about crossing the Dnieper in the area of ​​Velykyi Luh or Oleshshya. ”

Ukrainian archaeologist IN Kozak held similar views, noting that “the Dnieper was obviously the river through which part of Filimer’s Goths crossed.” Yu. V. Glushko also wrote about the Dnieper as a place of crossing of Filimer to the country of Oium, he also repeated the version of their crossing “in the area of ​​the Big Meadow, probably, at the mouth of the navigable Dnieper, near the island of Khortytsia”.

The question of crossing the Goths across the border river over the bridge, which was irreparably destroyed, which led to the division of migrants, is not simple, so all the above researchers did not localize the river in a categorical form, but left some doubt that it happened on the Dnieper. However, the version about the crossing of the Goths across the bridge across the Dnieper for some reason became almost a textbook. Historical research even publishes diagrams depicting the movement of the Goths from Povislenie to the Azov Sea via the Dnieper below modern Zaporizhia.

It is worth noting that so far historians have not actually provided sufficient and convincing arguments for the location of the crossing of the Goths Filimer across the border river on the unfortunate bridge, in particular, on the Dnieper. In fact, we are only dealing with vague assumptions. In this regard, a valid proposal was made by the Russian scientist VN Toporov. Mainly sharing O. Skrzhynska’s opinion on the probability of crossing the Goths in the lower reaches of the Dnieper, he remarked: “Without denying such localization, one can still think of other possibilities.” So far no one was looking for such opportunities, so the Dnieper version of F. Brown and O. Ch. Skrzhynska was established as the main, but not the only one.
The Russian historian GV Vernadsky also wrote about the Dnieper as a place of crossing for Filimer, but he claimed that they moved through Polissya and crossed the Dnieper where Kyiv later grew, and from there to the left bank reached the Black Sea. GV Vernadsky substantiated his version of the Goth movement through Polissya and their overcoming of the Dnieper largely on the basis of the works of Western European and Scandinavian researchers.

Beginning in the 1920s, the version of the movement of the Goths from Povislenie through Polissya and Polissya swamps became traditional.

This hypothesis is based on Jordan’s words that the area inhabited by the Goths is surrounded by “swamps and bogs.” On this basis, researchers for some reason decided that such a region on the way to the advancement of the Goths should be Pripyat swamps. Based on this concept, the German historian N. Wagner wrote that if we agree with the traditional point of view, the researcher will see the route of movement of the Goths as follows: “The Goths move from the mouth of the Vistula to its upper reaches, then perhaps along the right tributary of the Western Bug reach the Pripyat swamps, overcome them and approach the Dnieper. They cross the Dnieper on the bridge. And only half of the tribe managed to do it, as the bridge collapsed and the other half of the Goths remained on the right bank of the Dnieper. Those Goths who crossed the Dnieper, enter the battle with the spals, defeat them and move to the Black Sea.

Although N. Wagner did not indicate exactly where on the Dnieper the Goths could arrange a crossing of the bridge, his hypothesis largely coincides with the opinion of GV Vernadsky. However, N. Wagner himself doubted the authenticity of Jordan’s report on the crossing of the river on the bridge, considered it a legend and expressed the opinion that the Gothic historian wrote so, based on the fact that the Goths lived on both banks of the Dnieper.
We will return to the version of the crossing of the Goths across the Dnieper, and now we will only deny N. Wagner’s last thesis. First, Jordan did not say anything about the Goths crossing the bridge across the Dnieper – he only wrote that “the bridge over the river was irreparably destroyed.” That is, Jordan did not mention the name of the river. Secondly, Jordan knew well about the Dnieper and mentioned it in the Getica six times. If the Goths crossed the Dnieper over the bridge, Jordan would write about it. Because Jordan did not name the river, he did not know it. Third, there is no reason to call a legend the description of the crossing of the Goths across the river on the bridge, which irreparably collapsed and divided the Goths into two parts. This event did take place, because it greatly impressed the Goths, was recorded in their national memory and in the time of Jordan (mid-VI century AD) about the irreparable destruction of the bridge,what happened in the late second – early third century. AD, the Goths still told in legends, sang in songs and even knew well the place of this unfortunate crossing, as Jordan himself writes: although it can be heard from afar. ”

About the crossing of the Goths to the country of Scythia ("Oium")The only thing we can show solidarity with N. Wagner is his doubt in the very possibility of crossing the bridge over the Dnieper. At that time (late II – early III century AD), the Goths were simply unable to build a bridge across the Dnieper in its middle or lower reaches, because here the depth and width of the river made such an attempt hopeless. But this in no way precludes the fact that the heavily swampy area where the bridge was irreparably destroyed was located on a completely different river.

By the way, N. Wagner, doubting the possibility of crossing the Goths on the bridge across the Dnieper, argued that the Goths could not pass through the swamps of Pripyat. He did not rule out the possibility of movement of Goths by trade, which connected the southern coast of the Baltic Sea with the plains of the Black Sea. According to N. Wagner, which was supported by VP Budanova, it could be the trade route Vistula – Western Bug – Dniester or Vistula – Western Bug – Southern Bug. This version is quite correct, logical and quite plausible, because to move all the people on the paved trade routes to the south is incomparably simpler and easier than to overcome the Pripyat swamps, numerous water obstacles of Polissya and the Dnieper in the summer. On these trade routes you should look for a river with an unfortunate bridge.

In his book The Gothic Way, the modern Russian archaeologist MB Shchukin noted that “the swamp south of the great flooded river Pripyat is very reminiscent of the area described by Jordan on the path of the Goths Filimer.” And although the researcher did not further develop the idea, it suggests a possibility of the crossing of the Goths through Pripyat, ie in the area of ​​Volyn Polissya.

MS Hrushevsky also drew attention to Volyn Polissya as a possible place for the crossing of the Goths: there on the ghats the power of the people failed and perished. After overcoming these swamps, the Goths moved to the land, which they nicknamed Oium.

Thus, in the works of domestic and foreign researchers, who touched upon the advance of the Goths through the territory of Ukraine, there are three versions of the location of Filimer’s army crossing the river: two – across the Dnieper in its lower reaches and near modern Kiev and one in Volyn Polissya without specific indication of the name of the river.

All three versions of the location of the crossing are based on an incorrect conclusion based on Jordan’s words that the area where the Goths crossed the bridge to Scythia (Oium) was “surrounded by swamps and water funnels.” Researchers have unjustifiably spread these words to all of Polissya, the Pripyat marshes, the Great Meadow in the Lower Dnieper, and even the Danube floodplains, that is, to large areas with an area of ​​hundreds and thousands of square kilometers. However, Jordan did not write about the vast expanses of Scythia (Oium), but only about the area adjacent to the bridge, that is, it is about the swampy banks of the river, not about some large swampy land. It follows that the reference of Jordan’s words to the large wetlands of Polissya, Velykyi Luh, or the Danube is unfounded, unfounded, and therefore erroneous. This is confirmed by the words of Jordan,that immediately after the crossing the Goths, led by Philimer, without delay attacked the local population, called them by the Spali, and achieved victory. This alone indicates that near the swampy banks of the unnamed Jordan River was a dry surface on which they slept and where their clash with the Goths took place. In the swamps of Polissya, Velykyi Luh on the Dnieper, or the floodplains of the Danube, the clash of the Goths with the burns seems unreal. But where did it take place?

3. About the version of the crossing of the Dnieper

To solve the problem, first of all, helps the work of Jordan himself “Getica”, in which he writes that after the crossing of the Philimer Goths without delay approach the tribe of the Sleep and, having won the battle, win. From here, as winners, they move to the extreme part of Scythia, adjacent to the Pontic Sea. From these words it is clear that the place of the Goths crossing the river on the ill-fated bridge was located on the opposite side from “the extreme part of Scythia, adjacent to the Pontic Sea.” The extreme part of Scythia near the Pontic, ie the Black Sea, was in the south, so its opposite side should be sought in the north, and it can not be the lower reaches of the Dnieper with its Great Meadow, because it is also located near the sea. The extreme northern part of Scythia could only be Volyn and Volyn Polissya, where the Goths penetrated from the neighboring Poveslenie,which is reliably attested by numerous monuments of Velbarian archeological culture. We will return to this topic, but first we need to consider in detail the versions of the Goths crossing the bridge across the Dnieper in Velykyi Luh or Olesha, and on the site of present-day Kyiv.

The version of F. Brown and O. Skrzhynska about the crossing of the Goths over the bridge across the Dnieper in the territory of Velykyi Luh, which is repeated by some researchers, should be strongly rejected for the following reasons.

About the crossing of the Goths to the country of Scythia ("Oium")The width of the Dnieper in its lower reaches is over a kilometer, and its depth here reaches from 6 to 10 meters. It is still extremely difficult to build a bridge at such a depth, and if we take into account its length together with the reed-covered floodplains a few kilometers near each shore, in ancient times it was not only impossible, but also completely unnecessary.

From ancient sources it is known that the Germanic tribes had no experience in building large bridges and overcame rivers mainly on ice in winter and through fords in summer. This is confirmed by toponyms with the bases Furt – “ford” in modern German-speaking countries: Erfurt, Frankfurt, Klagenfurt and others. Even through the much narrower and shallower Rhine, the Germans of that time did not cross bridges, but in other ways: on ice, wading, boats.

There is a lot of information in historical sources about ancient crossings across the Dnieper, but not on bridges. In particular, the Pechenegs in the X-XI centuries, and the Polovtsians in the XII-XIII centuries. and Tatars in the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries. overcame the Dnieper above the island of Khortytsia – on the Kichka crossing. In summer, Crimean Tatars often swam across the Dnieper near Taman, where the river is relatively calm. It follows that in earlier times they were traditional places of crossing. The Goths could have crossed them during a military campaign, but tens of thousands of carts with their families and household treasures, and burdened with large herds of cattle during the resettlement of all the people, could not do so.

Historical sources are silent about the presence of bridges on the Dnieper until the nineteenth century. In ancient times, the Dnieper was crossed, usually in winter when it froze, or in summer by ferry. The first Kyivan prince Kyi was a carrier, that is, he transported people, horses, and carts across the Dnieper by ferry. In the summer, the Goths could also cross by ferry – it was much easier and safer, and most importantly – faster compared to the construction of a grand bridge across the Dnieper.
O. Skrzhynska pointed out that Jordan’s work did not reflect such an important event as the Goth crossing of the Dnieper, without which they could not get to the Crimea and the Azov region. This circumstance, apparently, was the main reason why F. Brown, and after him O. Skrzhynska connected with the Dnieper Jordan’s story about the Goths crossing the river by a bridge.

In our opinion, Jordan’s silence about the Gothic crossing of the Dnieper has a more prosaic explanation. This transition did not cause them any trouble, so it was not reflected in the oral traditions and songs of the Goths – the main sources of the Jordan, about the information about their first resettlement. It is obvious that the Goths crossed the Dnieper in winter, when it froze. To cross the frozen crisis of the river is like crossing a field – the road is smooth. It was in this way that the Goths later crossed the Danube more than once and attacked the provinces of the Roman Empire. The winter crossing of the Dnieper did not create any problems for the Goths, it became an everyday event, so it did not leave noticeable traces in their oral traditions and songs, and therefore did not get to the pages of Jordan’s work.

To confirm the probability of a winter crossing of the Goths on the ice across the Dnieper, here are some examples from historical research, ancient and Byzantine sources about severe winters and freezing of the Danube, Azov and Black Seas and ice crossing the Kerch Strait and even the Bosphorus. An outstanding ancient geographer of the late first century. B.C. – beginning of the first century. not. Strabo wrote: “The ice at the mouth of Lake Meotia (Sea of ​​Azov, – D.Ch.) is so strong that… General Mithridates defeated the barbarians in cavalry, fighting on ice.” (Strabo II.1.16). Elsewhere, he writes that the Sea of ​​Azov is so frozen that “the sea route from Pantikapaion (Kerch, D.Ch.) to Phanagoria (an ancient city on the coast of the Taman Peninsula, – D.Ch.) becomes accessible for carts.” (Strabo VII.3.18). In the winter of 173-174 AD. The Danube is covered with such strong ice,that there was a battle of the Yazygs with the Romans.

About the crossing of the Goths to the country of Scythia ("Oium")Byzantine sources, in particular the “Short Chronicle” of George the Monk (Amartol) and the “Life of Empress Theodora”, describe a severe winter under Emperor Theophilus (died January 20, 842). Then “the salt sea froze from Chrysopolis to the harbor of the Bosporus and in the vicinity of Chalcedon due to the severe and severe winter, so that carts, pack cattle, and all the people moved across the sea on foot and on horseback for fifteen days.” Thus, not only the rivers, the Azov and Black Seas, but even the Bosphorus Strait in Constantinople froze. Theophanes the Confessor and Nicephorus the Patriarch left a description of the extremely severe winter of 763-764. They are almost identical. Here is how Theophanes wrote: “This year, in early October, began severe, severe frosts, not only in our lands, but even more so in the east, north, west, yes,that the sea of ​​the northern coast of the Pontus was petrified from the cold by 100 miles and 30 cubits in depth, from Zinchia to the Danube, the rivers Kufis, Dniester, and Dnieper, to the Necropolis, and the rest of the coast to Mesembria and Media. And when such ice was also covered with snow, its thickness increased to 20 cubits, and became like land, and people, wild and domestic animals walked on ice from Khazaria and Bulgaria and other neighboring tribes.

In the “Easter Chronicle” it is written that under the Emperor of Arcadia in 402 “the sea froze for 20 days like glass” 37. We are talking about the Black Sea near Constantinople; there it froze in 60938. According to the reports of Mykhailo Hlika (XII century) under the Byzantine emperor Vasily II, the Bulgarian slayers “in about 1010” a terrible winter fell, so that all the rivers, lakes and the sea itself froze “39. It is known that the Bosphorus Strait froze in 1621, 1663, 1823, 1849 and 1862.

In the description of the trip to Tana, at the mouth of the Don, the Venetian Josaphat Barbaro also has a record of freezing in 1479 of the Don River and the Sea of ​​Azov: “After passing Astrakhan, they came to the Taman steppes, Zabak (Azov, – D.Ch.) Sea; both the sea and the river Don were covered with ice. ” There are many such examples, but the most illustrative is the information of the Crimean Tatar chronicler of the seventeenth century. Gadzhi Megmet Senai Crimean, because they perfectly explain the essence of winter crossings through water obstacles. In his History of Khan Islam Giray III, G. Senai, describing the Crimean Tatar army’s march on the Caucasus in 1644, notes that on its seventh day severe frosts struck and a severe winter began, “the rivers on their way froze, and this facilitated the task is so much that it is superfluous to write. “That is, the frozen rivers were extremely conducive to the advance of troops, at that time it was well understood, and G. Senai used the phrase, “what is superfluous to write.” He goes on to describe the crossing of the ice by the Crimean Tatar troops across the Kerch Strait, noting that, with countless ships, the Tatars were unable to cross all their troops across the strait for 20 days, and continues: by road, like a bridge made of iron, so the crossing was very easy, and, in short, instead of a month, this distance was covered in a week. ” That’s the point – frozen rivers and even the Kerch Strait became flat roads, so in ancient times they were easily overcome.

This shows that in the distant past, not only the Dnieper froze, but also the Danube, the Azov and Black Seas, including the Bosphorus Strait in Constantinople. To this can be added the well-known Tmutarakan stone, the inscription on which states that in 1068 Prince Gleb measured the sea on ice from Tmutarakan to Korchev (Kerch Strait) and intended 14,000 fathoms. If the salt bound sea salt water for 23 km (the width of the Kerch Strait), then what about the fresh water of the Dnieper at a distance of one or two kilometers.

From the above it follows that a thousand and two thousand years ago, not only across the Danube and the Kerch Strait, but also across the Dniester and Dnieper in the winter it was possible to cross the crisis. The freezing of the Danube and the Kerch Strait in ancient times and the Middle Ages shows that global warming, which is now so much talked about, did not begin today. At the beginning of our era, overcoming the Danube, Dniester, Dnieper and others in the winter after the crisis must have been commonplace. This opinion is confirmed by observations of the Dnieper from the end of the eighteenth to the twentieth century, which were carried out by the administration of the Russian Empire. At this time, all rivers of Ukraine in winter were bound by ice for 2-3 months.

Thus, the Dnieper near Kyiv was annually covered with ice in the period from November 21 (in 1804) to January 29 (1822), and disappeared from February 7 (1843) to April 23 (1805). The shortest time when the river was frozen was 41 days (1824). In Katerynoslav (now the city of Dnipro) observations began later, but the overall picture was not very different from Kiev – the Dnieper here froze from November 22 (1862) to January 30 (1847), and disappeared between February 25, 1807 .) until April 19 (1808). The shortest time when the river was frozen was 40 days (1846).

A similar situation with the freezing of the Dnieper must have been at the turn of our era – the river was bound by ice for at least 40 days a year, which was enough for the passage of large masses of people, livestock, transportation of household treasures. It is obvious that in this way the Goths crossed the Dnieper during their journey to the Azov Sea. They could not build a bridge across the Dnieper for many reasons, and this was completely unnecessary for them.

In view of the above, the version of the crossing of the Goths across the Dnieper Bridge in Velykyi Luh should be rejected as unreliable.

Of course, on their way to the Azov Sea, the Goths had to cross the Dnieper, it is likely that they crossed somewhere in the Great Meadow or Olesha, but this could happen only in the winter on the ice and much later than their invasion of Oyum. That is, the passage of the Goths across the Dnieper cannot be connected with the description in Jordan’s “Getica”.

About the crossing of the Goths to the country of Scythia ("Oium")GV Vernadsky’s version of the Goths crossing the Polissya and crossing the bridge over the Dnieper near present-day Kyiv found no supporters and was arguably rejected by O. Skrzhynska. In the same way it is necessary to reject a similar version of N. Wagner. As another argument to deny such versions, it should be added that in the case of the movement of the Goths from Hanging through Polissya, they would have heavily forested and swampy terrain and a large number of water obstacles – the right tributaries of the Pripyat and Dnieper: Turia, Styr, Gorin, Sluchi, Tetereva, Uzha, Irpenya and others. And if we take into account that the Goths marched not only with the army, but with the whole nation – with their families, cattle, and household goods, then wandering across the rivers that flow across the road would make such a movement impossible. It should be noted that the main route from Volhynia and Galicia to Kiev until the end of the eighteenth century.went in the direction of Brody – Vasylkiv, he crossed numerous rivers and went along the watershed of the basins of Pripyat and Southern Bug; from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. it was called the Royal Road51. The names of streets and roads in Vasylkiv and Belgorodka are mentioned: Bridska road and Halytsky shliakh and Brodivska street of Kyiv in the direction of Belgorodka. This is one of the oldest roads in Ukraine, in many places it went along the border of steppe and forest, as indicated by the composition of the soil on both sides of it. The Goths must have known about this path, so they had no reason to make their way to the Dnieper through Polissya forests, swamps and rivers. But the Goths did not follow this path during their resettlement, because it lay away from their main goal – the Black Sea.

4. Jordan and his “Getica”

To better understand the version of the crossing of the Goths across the bridge over the river Volyn Polissya, we should briefly dwell on the person of Jordan and his work “On the origin and actions of the Goths. Getica is one of the most significant historical works of the early European Middle Ages. Jordan was born about 485 – died after 551, a Goth by birth, he was a notary (secretary) of the Alanian military leader Guntigis, and lived in the transition period from antiquity to the early Middle Ages, so he is called a late Roman historian52, and Byzantine historian, and Gothic historian or historian ready.

The basis of the “Getica” is “History of the Goths” in the 12 books of Flavius ​​Cassiodorus, in which, as Jordan writes: “The exposition is carried out by generations and kings from ancient times to the present day” 55. According to Jordan, he was able to use the work of F. Cassiodorus “for only three days” 56. F. Cassiodorus finished his work by 533.57. F. Cassiodorus himself (full name Flavius ​​Magna Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator (c. 490 – c. 585)) belonged to the most educated people of his time, he served under the rulers of the Ostrogothic kingdom for over 30 years, and in 507 became personal secretary of King Theodoric the Great58. He executed all royal orders and decrees59. By order of King F. Cassiodorus wrote the history of the Ostrogoths, using a variety of sources,including Mark Ablavius ​​(the surname is also written through “b” – Ablabius) – a Visigothic historian of the III – IV centuries, who described the march of the Goths to the Black Sea and their division into Ostrogoths and Visigoths (Ostrogoths and Vesigoths). Ablavi’s work also did not survive.

In Jordan’s Getica, events span the time since the Goths left Scandinavia, landed near the mouth of the Vistula, conquered the local tribes (1st century AD), and later moved to the Black Sea (2nd-3rd centuries AD). and from there – west to Italy and Spain (IV – VI centuries.). Thus, Jordan’s work covers events that took place in Scandinavia, Eastern, Central and Western Europe over half a thousand years.
In addition to the works of F. Cassiodorus and probably Ablavius ​​himself, Jordan used the works of other ancient authors, epic Goths: songs, legends and some other work on the history of the Visigoths by an unknown author.

Thus, Jordan could learn from F. Cassiodorus, Ablavius, an unknown author, a Gothic epic, or several of these sources at the same time about crossing the bridge, which was irreparably destroyed during Philemer’s Goths’ transition to Oyum. This event has been about 350 years since Jordan lived, so it is not surprising that Jordan could have omitted many important things, but what he reported is invaluable. The extraordinary value for the science of “Getika” Jordan is not only that it is an important and very important written source, covering the events of II – VI centuries. AD, which took place in the lands of present-day Ukraine, but also because only it preserved information from ancient sources: the works of F. Cassiodorus, Ablavius, an unknown Visigothic author and the Gothic epic, which, unfortunately, have not survived.

The vividly described episode of the crossing of the Goths, led by Filimer across the river, which irreparably collapsed, got into the “Getica” of Jordan is not accidental. For all the Goths it was a great misfortune and an event that is firmly ingrained in the memory of all the people. First, as Jordan himself noted, as a result of the destruction of the bridge, the river divided the Goths. In historical research, this division is associated with the Ostrogoths (Ostrogoths), led by members of the Amal family, to which Filimer belonged, and the Visigoths (Visigoths), led by leaders of the no less well-known Baltic family. Secondly, many families had to be separated, which led to family tragedies. Third, after crossing the bridge, the Goths found themselves in a new country, which Jordan called “Oium.” Fourth, upon entering Oium, the Goths immediately entered into battle with the local population, which they called the Spali, and defeated it.Fifth, many people died during the destruction of the bridge. This is indicated by Jordan’s words that “to this day the voices of cattle and the perceptible signs of human [being] can be heard there, although it seems to be heard from afar” 63. From these words it is evident that at the time of Jordan’s writing of his work (mid-sixth century) the Goths were well aware of the site of the ill-fated crossing that took place at the end of the second century; they even listened to something there; this indicates that the bridge was located on some important road. But where to look for it? The answer is suggested by the achievements of archeology.which took place at the end of the second century; they even listened to something there; this indicates that the bridge was located on some important road. But where to look for it? The answer is suggested by the achievements of archeology.which took place at the end of the second century; they even listened to something there; this indicates that the bridge was located on some important road. But where to look for it? The answer is suggested by the achievements of archeology.

5. Goths and monuments of Velbar culture of Volhynia and Podillya

According to archaeological research, it is known that the Goths, with whom the Velbar culture is associated, penetrated from Scandinavia to the southern coast of the Baltic Sea and the Lower Hanging in the first half of the first century. not. Having conquered the local tribes, the Goths gradually expanded the zone of their expansion and at the beginning of the second century. not. reached the Western Mazury in eastern Poland and modern Poznan in its southwest. In the second half of II – early III century. not. Velbar population penetrated into Mazovia, Podlasie, the interfluve of the Vistula and the Western Bug and into the basin of the northern tributaries of the latter. According to MB Schukin, DN Kozak and VD Baran, in the last quarter or at the end of the II – beginning of the III century. not. monuments of Velbarian culture appeared in Volhynia.

Thus, archeological materials give grounds to claim that the advance of the Goths from the shores of the Lower Poveslenie to Volhynia lasted about 150-200 years. Since the appearance of the Goths in Volhynia occurs at the end of the II – beginning of the III century. AD, it is obvious that it was then somewhere here and the famous crossing of the bridge, which was irreparably destroyed. The fact that the unfortunate city for the Goths must have been in Volhynia is evidenced not only by the fact that this region was located at the opposite end from the shores of the Black Sea in the direction of the Goths to the south, but also by the fact that in the Black Sea they appeared only in the middle of the third century, as evidenced by numerous written sources of the time. The first mention of the Goths in the North-Western Black Sea coast dates back to 238. It belongs to the court of Emperor Justinian Peter Patricia,in a work entitled “History” mentions the embassy of the Carps to the governor of Moesia, Thulius Menophilus, during which the Carps sought to receive payment from the Romans as well as the Goths.

It follows that as of 238 the Goths had already received some subsidies from the Romans in the Danube, it turns out that they arrived in the Lower Transnistria and Lower Danube much earlier. AM Remennikov claims that this happened in the first half of the third century. not. VP Budanova first called the first third of the third century. AD, as the time of the appearance of the Goths in the Northern Black Sea, and later claimed that the first mention of them in the Lower Danube dates back to 214 AD. From the 230s to the 260s there were ready campaigns of the Goths on the Black Sea and on land. During 255-257 the Goths had already made a series of devastating campaigns in the Black Sea.

In 269, the Goths organized the construction of 6,000 ships for a sea voyage at the mouth of the Dniester. It follows that Goth military units appeared in the Lower Transnistria in the first quarter of the third century. AD, and the bulk of the Goths arrived there a little later – in the middle of the third century. The arrival of the Goths in the North-Western Black Sea region is indicated by the fact that the Roman garrisons left the ancient Greek colonies of Tire and Olbia at the mouths of the Dniester and the Southern Bug between 253 and 269. Romans with newcomers from the far north and their allies.

Military operations were ready in the Danube and the Black Sea, leaving the Roman garrisons of Tire and Olbia indicate that in the middle of the third century. the Goths already dominated the North-Western Black Sea coast. It follows that at that time the resettlement of the Goths by all the people, together with their families and allied tribes, to the Lower Transnistria and the Danube became a fait accompli. Thus, the process of resettlement of Goths from the Lower Hanging to the Northern Black Sea coast lasted for about 200 years.

According to researchers, it took place gradually in several stages. Well-known Ukrainian archaeologist IK Sveshnikov, who studied monuments related to the Goths, in particular in Dytynychi near Dubno, wrote that the path of the Goths from the lower Vistula to the south “ran up the Vistula and the Western Bug, and then through Volyn in the direction of the Crimea. ”

The outstanding Ukrainian archaeologist VD Baran also writes about the Volyn direction of the Goth movement: As mentioned above, the Goths arrived in Volhynia at the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd centuries, and in the Lower Transnistria in the middle of the 3rd century, ie about 50 years after their appearance in the Volyn lands. It turns out that before the whole nation moved south to the Goths for several decades in Volhynia, their presence there is confirmed by monuments of Velbarian archaeological culture, common in the area from the Western Bug to Gorin. The long stay of the Goths in Volhynia and the Volyn-Podilsky border is evidenced by toponyms of Gothic origin and anthroponyms, especially in the village of Styborivka and its district, and, most importantly,- a significant legacy of the Goths in the modern Ukrainian language, including military, construction, transport, household terminology, in stories and even purely Gothic curses.

6. Where was the bridge to the country “Oium”?

Since Jordan clearly wrote that the crossing of the river across the river on the ill-fated bridge took place at the very beginning of their march from the Hanging to Scythia (Oium), this crossing could not be in the south, on the Black Sea coast, but only in the north – in Volhynia, this is where you should look for it. Jordan helps in this, writing that after crossing the river, the Goths “were, they say, displaced to the country of Oium.” There are two very important points in this little phrase.

First. The verb “say” used by Jordan clearly indicates that at the time of writing the Getica (c. 551 AD), the Goths were still talking about the ill-fated crossing of the late second and early third centuries. not. It is quite obvious that this event must have impressed the Goths very much, because they kept it in their memory for a long time and passed it from generation to generation in the folk epoch – songs and stories that Jordan himself heard.

Second. The river mentioned by Jordan had to be a border river – this is indicated by the words that after crossing the bridge the Goths were moved to the country of Oium. It turns out that before this river there was another country – neighboring with the country “Oium”. The Goths, led by King Philimer, came to the country of Scythia (Oium) from the Hanging. Thus, the Hanging itself was a neighboring country with Scythia (Oium). It follows that the western border of Scythia (Oium) should be sought not in the Azov and Northern Black Sea coasts, but near Povislenie.

Jordan calls the country in which the Goths found themselves after crossing the bridge over the river the lands of Scythia and clarifies that it was “called Oium in their language.” The researcher of Jordan’s work “Getika” O. Ch. Skrzhynska emphasizes that the word “Oium” is close to the Gothic Aujōm and means “land rich in water”, “river land”. To this day, the old German word “Au” or “Aue” has almost the same meaning: “The area surrounded by water is generously irrigated by rivers.”

The problem of the location of the country Oyum science has not been solved to date. O. Ch. Skrzhynska once wrote: “It is very important to at least outline where the Oyum region was located in order to try to establish where the Goths first settled when they came to the south, approaching the Black Sea coast.” Based on her own erroneous conclusion that the Goths crossed the bridge across the Dnieper in its lower reaches, O. Ch. Skrzhynska expressed the opinion that the country of Oium began on the Left Bank of the Dnieper. Thus, a logical judgment based on an unreliable source reference led to another incorrect conclusion. In fact, the left bank of the Dnieper in its lower reaches, ie the northern Black Sea coast, was located at the opposite end of Scythia (Oium) from the place where the Goths first arrived in their travels from Povislenie. This region, of course, was Volyn,which follows not only from the logic of the analysis of Jordan’s written information, but is also confirmed by the archeological monuments of the Velbar archeological culture and the toponyms of Gothic origin in Volhynia and Podillya. Thus, on the way of the Goths in their journey to all the people from Povislenie to the south of Volhynia and Volyn Polissya became the beginning of the country of Scythia, which the Goths in their own way called “Oium”. The Gothic definition of the term Oium as “a land rich in water”, “river country” is completely consistent with Volhynia – in fact, this land is rich in numerous rivers, streams and lakes. It was extremely important for ancient travelers to have small rivers on their way – places where they stopped to rest, eat horses, cattle, and stock up on water. Volyn, as well as the entire Ukrainian Forest-Steppe, is marked by such a character of the area, so the definition of the country Oyum as a region,rich in water and rivers, for this natural area is quite plausible.

To the name of the country Oium Jordan adds another – Scythia. Thus, “Oium” and “Scythia” are two names of one country. The name “Scythia” was first used in the V century. B.C. Herodotus, since then she lived in historical sources until the seventeenth century. By Scythia all the authors understood the territory of modern Ukraine from Pripyat in the north to the Black Sea coast in the south and from the upper reaches of the Dniester and the middle reaches of the Western Bug in the west to the Don in the east. Therefore, the name “Scythia” also indicates that this country began, if we go with the Hanging, in the middle reaches of the Western Bug.

According to the monuments of the Velbar archeological culture, the Goths appeared in Volhynia at the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd centuries. not. So, before that, they had to cross the Western Bug. On the section from Brest to Ustyluh, this river flows through heavily swampy and difficult terrain, so there the transition of the Goths to all the people was extremely inconvenient and difficult. The best and most convenient place to cross the Western Bug was and is the gap between the present Ustyluh and Sokal. It was at this point that the Goths had to cross the river, apparently this happened closer to Ustyluh. The Goths were transported by all the people, that is, with the army and families; children, old and infirm, had to carry food, clothes, and household items in carts; they drove with them flocks of cattle, flocks of sheep and goats. The total number of Goths and their allies who moved with them is unknown,but there must have been more than 200,000. How many of them crossed the bridge is unclear. Jordan writes that King Filimer “sent half the troops there, after which, as they say, the bridge over the river collapsed irreparably, so that no one was able to pass or return.” Of particular importance in this statement are the words that “the bridge over the river was irreparably destroyed.” If any part of the bridge collapsed, it would be repaired, and here the phrase “irreparably collapsed” was used. It turns out that the restoration of the bridge has become impossible. The question arises: “What happened to this bridge?”

In order to give a reliable answer to this question, it is necessary to find out what was the bridge over which the Goths crossed. At the narrowest point of the Western Bug River, its length could not be less than 30-40 m. This distance could be covered by a bridge arranged in three known ways.

First. Put boats along the river, tie them, and arrange a wooden deck on top of them. In this way, the Persian king Darius sent an army across the Danube to Scythia. Large vessels were used on the Danube, which ensured the relative stability of the deck. In the Western Buza, the boats were small, so they could not provide the necessary stability.

Second. The floating bridge on rafts was also not stable enough to ensure the passage of a large number of people, horses, cattle. Like the first option, it should be rejected.

The third method is the most likely. This is a bridge built on wooden supports that drive into the bottom of the river from boats. Supports connect among themselves cross and longitudinal wooden designs, and on a floor arrange a flooring. This bridge construction is the strongest and most reliable; besides, it is the simplest. In this way, bridges in Volhynia were built until the mid-1950s, and in some places, perhaps, they are still being built. The bridge on supports 30-40 m long protruded above the water surface not higher than 1 m, because otherwise you will not kill the resistance from the boat.

To correctly answer the question of what could have happened to such a bridge, you need to know the situation on the Western Buza and the peculiarities of this river, based at least on current experience. As a rule, in late May – in the first half of June in Volyn and Gologore-Voronyaki, where the Western Bug and its tributaries originate, there are often long rains and heavy rains, which cause heavy floods. It is worth mentioning here at least 2010, when the Western Bug and the Vistula came off the coast and caused unprecedented flooding of vast areas of Volyn Polissya and Poland. At that time, water reached not only the windows of houses, but also their roofs. That is, it rose by 3-6 or more meters and stood for several months!
Floods in Polissya, although an extraordinary but commonplace phenomenon, Polishchuks are accustomed to it and even have a saying. “The right of water,” they said as the element broke through dams, tore down bridges, flooded meadows, fields and forests. So it is now, so it was in the past.

The causes of floods are that Volyn is flat, and rivers, including the Western Bug, have a small slope, so they flow slowly, and in the upper reaches of the slope is significant and the speed is greater. During prolonged rains and heavy rains, the Western Bug does not have time to take all the water, there is stagnation and sudden overflow. Water demolishes everything in its path, especially bridges, and coming out of the shores, it floods the surrounding area, turns it into an impassable swamp and very often stands until autumn. At such a time, it is incredibly difficult to cross the Western Bug in its middle course, and it is impossible to cross the whole nation, with horses, cattle, and carts.

Imagine that the Goths in warm sunny weather began crossing the Western Bug. Within 20 days, they could transport half the troops and part of their families. It was here that the weather changed: heavy rains fell, water rose sharply in the Western Bug, the bridge became a kind of dam, which delayed everything that the river carries during downpours: bushes, branches, fallen trees, haystacks; a traffic jam formed, the water rose and raised the wooden bridge like a float with wooden supports, and then completely demolished the obstacle. The moment of the destruction of the bridge occurred when herds of cattle were driven across it – this is indicated by Jordan’s words that there “still hear the roar of cattle.” Further rise of water only 1-2 meters covered those supports that still survived. There is no trace left of the bridge. In addition, coming out of the shores,The Western Bug flooded the entire surrounding area on the left and right banks and made access to the river impossible. Here is the answer to why the bridge was destroyed “irreparably”.

In the situation after the bridge crash, the Goths were divided into two parts. One, led by King Philimer, had already crossed to the right bank of the Western Bug, and the other remained on the left.

Historical research suggests that during their travels south, the Goths split into two branches, the Ostrogoths (Grevtungs), also known as the Ostrogoths, and the Visigoths (Tervings), or Visigoths, after the bridge over the river collapsed. . In the III – IV centuries. not. the Ostrogoths, led by kings of the Amal family, settled in the Azov Sea, and the Visigoths, led by leaders of the Baltic family, lived in the Lower Transnistria and the Danube. Based on the erroneous conclusion about the crossing of the Goths on the bridge across the Dnieper in its lower course, the division of the Goths into two peoples is associated with this river and the Black Sea coast. The Dniester is also called, which allegedly “became the border between the Ostrogothic (Greitungi) and Visigothic (Tervingi) tribal alliances.” At the heart of all such discrepancies is the definition of place,where the Goths were divided into two peoples and where to look for the country “Oium” and the people called slept, is the defining problem – the location of the bridge over the bridge unnamed the Jordan River.

The above evidence and arguments convincingly show that the river where the Goths crossed the bridge to the country “Oium” was the Western Bug in the area somewhere near Ustyluh. Here, in Volhynia, the division of the Goths into two peoples was to take place.
The idea that the Goths were divided into two parts not in the Black Sea region, but in Volhynia, was first expressed by DN Kozak: , and not in the Northern Black Sea, as is customary in the literature, there was a division of the Gothic army (people) into two parts. However, the researcher did not name the reasons for this division, but they could be prosaic circumstances – the great flood and the destruction of the bridge on the Western Buza, which not only interrupted the crossing of the Goths and their allies, but also marked the division of the Goths into two separate peoples – Ostrogoths and Visigoths.

From the fact of crossing the Goths on the bridge, which was irreparably destroyed, on the Western Buza it follows that the country of Scythia, called Jordan and the second name “Oium”, began on its right bank of Volyn. It was here, in Volhynia, that the Goths attacked the local population, called Jordan by the Spali.

The time of the invasion of the Goths falls at the end of the II – beginning of the III century. not. Archaeological monuments of the late Zarubynets and Zubrytsia cultures, the bearers of which were Slavs, are connected with this period in Volyn. These Slavs are identified with the Venetians of ancient authors.

The correct location of the bridge and the river – the Western Bug, on which the Goths crossed to Scythia (Oium), clearly puts everything in its place and allows a relatively accurate reconstruction of events that took place in the lands of present-day Ukraine almost 1800 years ago.

7. Reconstruction of historical events

At the end of the second century. not. Goths and subordinate tribes of Vandals, Rugs, Pomeranians, Kashubians, etc. began the next stage of their resettlement to the south. This could have started in the first decade of May – when there were no more frosts and grass grew – the main food of horses and cattle.

Rising with all the people, the Goths and their allies moved from Povislenie in the direction of Volhynia. Here they faced one significant obstacle – the Western Bug. Having built a bridge on wooden supports, made of pre-prepared material, the Goths began the crossing. The construction of the bridge, 30-50 m long, had to take at least 4-6 days, and the crossing of 100,000 people took about 20 days. During the crossing, in the beginning – in the first half of June, heavy rains fell; during the flood, the water washed away the bridge and the cattle that crossed it; the river overflowed its banks, flooding the surrounding area, as a result of which nature itself divided the Goths in two. The part that, led by King Philimer, managed to cross, found itself in the lands of Volhynia, which Jordan called Scythia and Oium. That is, Scythia and Oium were adjacent to the Western Bug in its middle course. Concentrating forces,the Goths attacked the local Slavic population of the Venetians, called Jordan by the Spali. As a result, the Slavic monuments of the late Zarubynets and Zubrytsia cultures in Western Volhynia ceased to exist, and Velbar antiquities appeared in their place. Prominent Ukrainian archaeologist DN Kozak called this process the displacement of the local Slavic population by German aliens. Almost two hundred years of Goth domination began in Volhynia. However, the most important thing is different.

The location of Philimer’s crossing of the bridge over the Western Bug indicates that the border with Scythia, which Jordan called the country of Oium, ran here.

It should be noted here that the lands from the Carpathians to the Middle Dnieper are the ancestral home of the Slavs. This territory from the time of Herodotus (485-425 BC) ancient authors called Scythia, and from the II century. B.C. and to the third century. not. also called Sarmatia. It is under the name “European Sarmatia” of the lands of present-day Ukraine that the outstanding geographer of the 2nd century is depicted on the Eighth Map of Europe. not. Claudia Ptolemy. On this map, European Sarmatia borders Germany. The border between them ran approximately along the Oder and the Vistula. That is, Claudius Ptolemy marked the territory of the Proto-Slavs, their ancestral homeland, as European Sarmatia. The names “Scythia” and “Sarmatia” in relation to the territory of present-day Ukraine were used by historians and cartographers until the seventeenth century. Here it is worth mentioning the famous work of Alexandre Guagnini “Chronicle of European Sarmatia”. That is, the western border of the country under the names “Scythia” and “Sarmatia” began not in the North-Western Black Sea Coast, but in Volhynia and present-day Poland. This is another very good reason to conclude that the ill-fated bridge over which the Goths were transported to Scythia (Oium) was located not in the south of present-day Ukraine, but in its north, in Volhynia.

Thus, the Scythia (Oium) of Jordan began from the Western Bug and extended to the North-Western Black Sea coast. The people of this country are Jordan’s sleepers. The subject of the country of Oium and its people – the burning – is extremely important, but it deserves a separate and interesting study.

Dmytro CHOBIT, historian, member of the National Union of Writers of Ukraine, member of the National Union of Local Historians of Ukraine, magazine Sights of Ukraine, 2019

The project was implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation

Dmitro Chobit

historian, member of the National Union of Writers of Ukraine, member of the National Union of Local Historians of Ukraine

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