Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Galindan language
 
Several millenniums ago the Baltic tribes inhabited vast dorest regions in East Europe, and their settlements existed along the rivers Neman, Vistula, Daugava, Upper Dnepr, Bug, Narev and even Oka. Nowadays only toponimic research can tell us that some names of hills and rivers in this wide area are of the certain Baltic origin. And Old Russian manuscripts also mention several Baltic tribes who was still alive in the 8th and 9th centuries in European Russia. One of them was Galindans, Goliad' in Russian.

The place names of the same language are found in two places: in southern Prussia, where along with Old Prussian Galindan was spoken, and also nor far from Moscow, on the river Protva, where ancient Russian authors place Goliad' tribe. As we do not know any other names of those Baltic nations who used to live in modern Russia, Galindans may be the only one known. It looks like this tribe originally lived in Baltic areal, in southern Prussia, together with Sudovian and Prussian ethnic groups. But later Galindans migrated far eastwards and settled in Middle Russia where they were finally assimilated by the Slavs in the 10th century.

Galindan language existed in south Prussia until the 14th century and is studies by many place names from German documents of the period. The structure and the vocabulary of it is quite similar to Old Prussian and some linguists even consider Galindan and Sudovian just the dialects of Old Prussian. The language must be placed among the so-called "external" Baltic tongues together with Prussian in the west, Sudovian in the south and Selonian in the east. These external languages suffered great influence by Slavic languages around them and were completely assimilated by Russian, Belorussian and Polish, becoming the substratum in them. External Baltic peoples were better known by ancient authors: Ptolemeus mentions "galindans" and "sudavans" in his works.
 

Baltic Links