Venedi (венеди; venedy). Numerous tribes that occupied the territory between the Oder River and the Vistula River in the first centuries AD and then moved along the Buh River and the Sian River into the Dnister River region. The Venedi are mentioned by the ancient historians Pliny the Elder, Tacitus, Ptolemy, and Jordanis. Copying German archeologists, some historians in the past incorrectly called them Vandals. Most Slavic archeologists, including the Ukrainians Yaroslav Pasternak and Markiian Smishko, considered the Venedi to be ancestors of the western Slavs and identified them with members of the Przeworsk culture. Other scholars (including Soviet ones) took ‘Venedi’ to be the primordial name of the Slavs who inhabited the forest-steppe belt and Polisia between the Dnipro River and the Carpathian Mountains, as well as the southern part of Poland to the Oder River, at the beginning of the millennium.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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