Today it is acknowledged – history was and still is written by victors. Through centuries we were taught history through their point of view and only lately things started to change.
For example, we have discovered that so called “barbarians” were not as wild and primitive as they were described by Ancient Romans – on the contrary, in many ways exactly Romans were those real barbarians, who annihilated other cultures and nations around them!
The same can be said about Baltic history and ancient Balts.
Our lands were the battlegrounds for bigger neighbouring nations through all the centuries and it is just the miracle that we – Latvians and Lithuanians did not went the same way as Old Prussians (they became extinct) and are still here, still have our language and culture survived. Our history, until the beginning of 20th century, mostly was written by such conquerors, victors – Germans, Poles, Swedes, Russian Empire and finally Soviet Union. In many cases those were writings ordered by the kings, church hierarchy or empire leaders to show events in a way they would prefer.
First archaeological excavations in Baltic region started around 17th century and were done by German enthusiasts. When they found beautifully fine made brooches, trappings, weapons and other things, they simply refused to believe that those things belonged to the so called “peasant” race, in whom Baltic native people purposefully were turned by that time. German, Ancient Greek, Slavic, but no way Baltic! Many of those things went to private collections or museums in foreign lands, like Berlin, London, Paris and Moscow. Many of those were lost or destroyed throughout the next centuries due to wars or simply by taking no cares. When our people got freedom in the beginning of 20th century, only then we, Balts, finally were able to take over our own past and history.
In times before, when scholars wrote about Europe’s past, pagan culture, traditions or folklore, they almost never mentioned Baltic people. As if we were not there, as if there were not crusades made against pagan Balts, as if we had not own rich and specific culture. But Balts were here and resided in the huge region by Baltic Sea and our pagan culture was on equal level as it was in pagan Germany, Ireland, France or Scandinavia before Christianity finally settled there. We came from the same indo-european roots as most of European nations – our history and culture is an inseparable from the common history of Europe!
Only at the end of 20th century tables started slowly to turn and new thinking was born. Finally historians are trying to get away from so called “ordered history”, from the old stereotypes and dogmas. But it is only just a beginning. Yet still there is “slippery” topics, no one likes to talk about: like Stalinism and Siberian slave-camps or Christianity’s crimes against humanity. The leaders of big nations still interpret significant events in a way they likes it. And still a lot of European people, who are interested in history, do not know anything about Balts. And that’s why I made this blog and that’s why me and the guys are doing our band SKYFORGER, where we can talk about Baltic history through the modern methods – extreme music!
Here you can read more about Balts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balts