Wends (Old English: Winedas [ˈwi.ne.dɑs]; Old Norse: Vindar; German: Wenden [ˈvɛn.dn̩], Winden [ˈvɪn.dn̩]; Danish: vendere; Swedish: vender; Polish: Wendowie, Czech: Wendové) is a historical name for Slavs living near Germanic settlement areas. It refers not to a homogeneous people, but to various peoples, tribes or groups depending on where and when it was used. In the modern day, communities identifying as Wendish exist in Slovenia, Austria, Lusatia, Texas,[1] and Australia.[2]

The Limes Saxoniae border between the Saxons and the Lechites Obotrites, established about 810 in present-day Schleswig-Holstein
Germaniae veteris typus (Old Germany). Aestui, Venedi, Gythones and Ingaevones are visible on the right upper corner of the map. Edited by Willem and Joan Blaeu, 1645.

In German-speaking Europe during the Middle Ages, the term "Wends" was interpreted as synonymous with "Slavs" and sporadically used in literature to refer to West Slavs and South Slavs living within the Holy Roman Empire. The name has possibly survived in Finnic languages (Finnish: Venäjä [ˈʋe̞.næ.jæ], Estonian: Vene [ˈve.ne], Karelian: Veneä), denoting modern Russia.[3][4]

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Wends, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.