Identity of Croatians in Ancient
April 23, 2002
Are Croatians Iranian?
April 23rd, 2002 Submitted by a Croatian friend.
Summary: The people of Croatia, a separated republic of the former
Yugoslavia, are almost fully certain about their Iranian origin. The
issue was reiterated in a symposium held by the Iranian cultural counsellorship
in the capital city of Zagreb with the participation of prominent Croat
historians and Iranologists. The report prepared by the symposium that
was held on September 16, 1998, put further emphasis on the subject
from various points of view and presented the documented evidence gathered
by the Croat scholars.
Text: To date, 120 Croat and non-Croat university professors as well
as several academics have compiled 249 research works of which many
have been printed in various publications and thereby have proven that
Croats are of Iranian origin.
There are many real evidences about the identity of ancient Croats
which all dismiss the theory that Croats are of Slavic origin. Although
research works on the Iranian origin of the Croats could not be publicized
due to censorship that was widely practiced at the time of the former
regime in Yugoslavia, the available documented evidences reveal that
the initiator of the effort on research about the Iranian origin of
the Croats lived two centuries ago.
In his thesis in 1797, the researcher made a study on the Iranian origin
of the Croats and reached the conclusion that the present day Croats
migrated from the western part of ancient Iran.
Following the formation of Yugoslavia in 1918, bigot Serbian Slavs
known as the "wolves" collected the original copies of the
research work and destroyed them in an attempt to conceal the truth
about the Iranian origin of the Croats. To date, only some portions
of the research work, that has been quoted in a report prepared by the
academy of sciences of the former Yugoslavia in 1938, is available.
One of the articles has quoted some police reports that the government
in the former Yugoslavia mounted pressures on Iranologists within the
period of 1918 to 1990. The article further proves that upon official
instructions by the former government, Croats had to be considered middle
ages Slavs. For this same reason, all the research works conducted over
the origin of the Croats were considered criminal acts and thus prohibited
for a period of 70 years. All the research papers compiled by Iranologists
were confiscated as documents against state interests and the researchers
were imprisoned or sent to detention camps. Four researchers were killed
by the Yugoslav secret police for making investigations over the issue.
However, there are other research works proving that 75 percent of
the Croats are different in origin from the Slavs from the genetic point
of view. On the other hand, studies show that there are less similarities
between domestic livestock, poultry and plants in the old time Croatia
with those in Europe, lending further proof to the fact that Croats
had most probably migrated from a region close to Asia to their present
Former Croat homeland and their migration
A manuscript dating back to 1370 B.C. has named the present day Croats
and their language as Hurrvuhe (resembling their modern name Hrvati).
In the era of the Achaemenid, especially at the time of Darius and
Cyrus I, the name of the eastern Iranian province Harauvatya and the
Croats of the ancient Iranian Harauvatis and Harahvaiti have been mentioned
12 times. In addition, two unearthed manuscripts belonging to the Croats
living in the second and third centuries B.C. in ancient Iran have referred
to the inhabitants of Horouathos and Horoathoi. In the year 418, Aryans
were dubbed as Horites and Zachariasrhetor, and in 559 the Aryan horse
riders were referred to as Hrvts who lived in the vicinity of Krima
and Azova, and in the 7th century Croats were called as Slavs.
Other articles offered to the symposium discussed the formation of
the empire at the time of Cyrus the Great, history of the Croats in
ancient Iran and the Croat's development from the time of ancient Indians
to the time of their migration in the middle ages from the Caucasus
through ancient Persia to the present Adriatic and the emergence of
the first traces of Croats, which could be classified as follow:
Harahvaiti and Harauvati in Iran and Afghanistan
Hurravat and Hurrvuhe in Armenia and Georgia
Horoouathos in Azov and the Black Sea
Present day Croats Horvati and Hrvati along the Adriatic
First contacts between old-time Slavs and Croats of ancient
Research works have been conducted on the relationship between the
language spoken by the Croats and the language the present-day Slavs
speak with an aim to identify possible similarities. However, the studies
do not dismiss the possibility that the old-time Croats were part of
ancient Iran at the time of the Persian Empire who later migrated to
Europe and their language change to Slavic.
Meanwhile, studies on the Croats indicate that the old-time Slavs did
not share the same race with the East European nations and that with
the migration of the Croats with the Iranian origin, they established
common cultural and lingual ties with each other.
Ties with old-time Slavs in the 4th century were first established
in Red Croatia under the title "Sarmatskim-Horitima" and also
after the 6th century in the realm of the Carpathians within the boundaries
of White Croatia (meaning "great") under the patronage of
the Iranian Croats who had been turned Slav due to the large population
of the Slavs.
Iranology and old-time language of Croats
Studies show that there had been various stages in which the Croats
had been pressured into accepting the language of the Slavs and annexation
into the former Yugoslavia. The idea was realized by the Serb nationalist
Vuk Karadzic whose slogan was "Serbs everywhere". He invited
all bigot Slavist Serbs to the Vienna Congress in the middle of the
19th century for a political and lingual consensus and for adopting
policies for the future of Yugoslavia. In the aftermath of the agreements
reached in the gathering the pro-Karadzic Slavists launched their activities
for the elimination of all signs of cultural and lingual differences
between the Serbs and the Croats. To this end, they changed the history
of the Croats and eliminated all the terms with Indo-Iranian roots that
did not exist in the Serbian language. Such a trend continued until
1918 when Yugoslavia was formed, and continued during the Yugoslav regime.
The process for the change of the spoken language of the Croats of
ancient Iran to the language of Slavs started in the 7th century and
continued up to the 20th century, forcefully followed by Yugoslavia.
Mazdaism, ancient myths and religion of Croats
In addition to similarities in language, common cultural aspects can
be pointed out as well. For example, reference can be made to the symbols
belonging to the old-time Christians that resembled symbols of Mazdaism
in ancient Iran.
A study in this connection has drawn a parallel between the language
used in Bosnia and littoral states and islands of the Adriatic Sea in
two separate sections. The study further elaborates how followers of
Mazda in ancient Iran converted to Christianity in Europe and how Mazdaism
was spread in Europe by the migration of the inhabitants of the above-mentioned
Other research works have studied the influence of traditions in ancient
Iran on the symbols of the roots of old Christianity from ancient times
to the middle ages.
Identity of Croat tribes
Research works conducted in the past decade discuss the similarities
between names and families used in ancient Iran and the names and families
in present-day Croatia. Some of these studies have pointed to the roots
of alphabetic letters in the Croat language and stressed that, contrary
to the claims of the Slavs, the roots of those letters are totally Iranic
and widely used in ancient times. Many manuscripts written with those
letters date back to before the 9th century.
Research studies on the style of dress of the Croats show that they
were dressed up as the Sassanid's and most of the local costumes of
women were exactly the same as those worn by women at the time of the
ancient Iranian empire.
Studies on other characteristics of the Croats, such as aquatic navigation,
reject the Slav presumption that the Croats were not originally sea
navigators and that they learned the art from the Italians. According
to the studies, there is evidence available that the Croats were acquainted
with sailing even before they encountered the Slavs. It should be noted
that local Croat navigators were known as "Indo-Iranian" and
"Slavs" in the Adriatic.
ZAGREB, Croatia, Oct 15, 2000 (Hina)