Croatians

Article

January 21, 2022

Croats are a South Slavic people, mostly living in Croatia, where they make up about 90% of the population. There are a significant number of them in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they represent one of the three constituent peoples. Croats are mostly Roman Catholics, and their national language is Croatian, which is very similar to Serbian and Bosniak. There are a total of about 6,367,000 Croats (of which 4,367,000 in the former Yugoslavia (according to the 1991 census) and about 1,400,000 in the diaspora). Of that number, about 3,656,000 lived in 1991 in Croatia and 755,000 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Name

The etymology of the ethnonym "Croat" has not been fully elucidated to this day. However, it seems that the ethnonym has no Slavic roots. Today's form Hrvat originates from the reconstructed Proto-Slavic form * xъrvatъ or * xъrvatinъ. According to P. .. Shafarik, this word is derived from the West Slavic word hrbut - hill or mountain, which would mean those who live in the hills, ie. hill people, which made them the opposite of the Poles, ie. fields that lived in the field or in the plains. This thesis gained significance if we keep in mind that White Croatia was located in the Carpathians in the border area of ​​today's Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. Another source that supports this theory is the History of Past Summers, one of the oldest Slavic basic sources, which states that White Croats are so named after the area they inhabited. There is a tendency in science to explain the Slavic root . As evidence of the Iranian origin of the Croatian name, two tombstone inscriptions on the Greek alphabet from the 2nd or 3rd century are taken. found in Tanais (at the confluence of the Don and the Sea of ​​Azov). They mention the names ΧΟΡΟΑΘΟΣ (Horoathos) and ΧΟΡΟΥΑΘΟΣ (Horouathos), which is A. L. Pogodin in 1902 identified with the name of the Croats. According to Iranian theory, it is an Iranian ethnonym from the area of ​​Scythia north of the Black Sea, which was later used as a personal name, as is the case here. Ethnonyms were later taken over by Slavs from the northwestern neighborhood. Contacts between Slavic and Iranian groups in this area are documented by loans of Iranian origin from the Slavs (* horna "food", maybe * god).

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