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Up to the middle of the past millennium the Slavic peoples were without doubt aware of the fact that their ancestors had settled their territories from ancient times. Then in the Romanic world the idea was suggested that if the Germans, who arrived on the territory of the Roman Empire during the time of great migrations of peoples and who presently live west of the Slavic nations, then it must also be true that the Slavic tribes arrived and settled their territories at a somewhat later period in history. This idea was well accepted among German (or germanised) scholars and was developed further, up to its variant hypothesis that the Slavic people originate from the Pripjat marshes.

Misled by the new studies and theories proposed mainly by German historians, Slovenian scholars uncritically accepted and also implemented this doctrine. The few critical dissenting voices daring to oppose them were silenced. For decades this issue remained untouched and unquestioned until a few amateur scientists like the Rev. Tomažič, Dr. Šavli, and Mr. Bor again raised critical voices and opposed and questioned the historical truth of the accepted origin of the Slavic peoples. During the last two decades this issue still remains unsolved and obscure. Since the Slovenian nation would like at last to find the historical truth about its origins, the Slovenian Branch of the World Slovenian Congress organized the First International Topical Conference The Veneti within the Ethnogenesis of Central-European Populations as part of the long term project »Origins of the Slovenes«.

The aim of the conference was to collect as many facts, evidence and arguments as possible about our distant past up to the period of the great migrations of peoples and which could speak in favour of one or other theory, In this way the resulting confrontation of evidence and arguments and comparison of facts should reveal the most probable objective truth about our distant past. In pursuing this goal the conference partially succeeded and the outcome of the conference is presented in the present Proceedings.

The conference papers are presented either in Slovenian or in English, as chosen by the authors. However, most of the papers also have a summary in the complementary language.