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1785

The abstract from the book
"Travelling by Ladoga and Onego lakes"
by academician N.Ozeretskovsky

Part VII

...The historical notes about the ancient times of Olonets region and the peoples that lived there are following.

According the oldest Russian and foreign writers acknowledged to be very probable and approved by the Notes about the Russian history, the lands of the Olonets region belonged to the ancient Rosses or Russes, who, by their courage and bravery spread their possessions from Finland to as far to the east as the Belt Mountains1 and from the White sea as far to the south as Dvina River and Polotsk region. So all Karelia, part of Lapland, the lands of the Great Russia2 and Pomorie with Perm were called Rus before coming of the Slavs.

The ancient inhabitants of Olonets Gubernia with the high sureness may be said to be Permians, of the great Perm or Biarmia that spread from Pechora and Vychegda rivers to Finland and occupied all old Karelia and modern Olonets, Archangelsk and Vologda regions3. If the similarity of languages proofs the common origin of the nations or long close interaction, the modern languages of Karelians and Zyranians4 - old inhabitants of Archangelsk Gubernia - can prove the aforesaid. Many nations lived under the common name of Biarmians - starting from Finland: Karelians, then to the East - Emi5, Dvinians, Yugra, Saami6 and then Perm. Initially they had their own princes, well-known by their bravery and battles, but later came under the arm of Russia. The exact time of the conquest of the Biarmia is not known, but it is well-known that later Karelia was a possession7 of Novgorod and its inhabitants at the beginning of XIII century were often sent for loot or vengeance on Emi and Sumi - the nations that lived at that time nearby.

The borders of the ancient Karelia, that was bordering with Finland and acted as a war theatre with Sumi, Emi and constant enemy of Novgorod - Swedes can even now be estimated by the Russian settlements going from the Southern shores of the Onego Lake to Karelian Shore of the White Sea. Russians occupied these places, very fit for fishing, and pushed the pristine inhabitants to the inside of the land. The nearest to Russian settlements (situated not farther than 20 miles away) are still called The First Karelia.

The inhabitants of these places still use their natural language, on which Russian do not speak.

Of the aforesaid nations that lived previously in Biarmia Emi and Sumi should be specially noted. Especially because they were the nation closest to Russia and for about two centuries were at constant war with Novgorod. The reseacher of Russian history Mr.Tatischev proposed that Emi lived on the Northern part of the Ladoga Lake, from Karelia to Dvina River5. The towns of Kemsky Ostrog and Sumsky Ostrog, still having old names supports this idea. It is also supported by the facts that Sumi and Emi were close neighbours and accomplices of the raids on Russia. They always fight together and at any sign of possible loot came together on the boats. That proofs that they lived close to each other. And if Sumsky Ostrog can be said as a place where Sumi lived, the Emi should be have modern town of Kem as their capital8.

  1. Old Russian name for Ural Mountains.
  2. The territory of the Great Moscow Principality at XVI cent.
  3. Modern data does not support the existance of so big Ugro-Finnish state on that territory. There existed a number of Ugro-Finnish tribes and principalities on this territory, including, according the verbal Karelo-Finnish tradition, the principality Rus.
  4. Modern Komi.
  5. This statement is absolutely not in the line with the modern historical data.
  6. The autor made a mistake placing Saami - linguistically close to initially more southern Karelians, Finns, Veps (Dvinians). Saami tribes were forced by this Southern newcomers to the Northern parts of the region.
  7. At Novgorod times Karelian principalities were vassals of Novgorod, still having internal independence.
  8. Sumi and Emi lived on the South-West part of modern Finland.

Part I

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