Ludy Europy Wschodniej

The Author's intention was to provide an insight in the topics linked with the Polovtsians, a nomad people that have appeared in the history of Eastern Europe in the middle of the 11th century, before the last nomadic wave, referred to as “the Mongol Invasion”. The followers of Genghis Khan have caused changes in the culture of this part of the Continent and have significantly influenced the history of Kiev Ruthenia, Hungary, Poland and annihilated the Cumans. The consequences of the invasion and changes they have caused in Central-Eastern Europe finally lost their significance as late as in the 18th century.

The history of the Polovtsians' ancestors may be traced back to the first millennium and has genetic link with Central Asia. The cultural influences, changing throughout the consecutive centuries and radiating from the neighbouring powerful states: the Chinese Empire, the Sassanid Empire, Sogdiana, the Uyghur Khaganate, the Arab Caliphate and also from the foreign traditions of the Altay, Mongol, Manchurian-Tunguskan peoples have been quickly adapted by the Cumans, which resulted in the emergence of a unique culture. The “European” Polovtsians have also been influenced – most importantly of the culture of Kiev Ruthenia and, indirectly, of Byzantine culture.


What is left until today is a proof of a rich world of beliefs, a distinct material culture and a heritage in form of words, toponyms and rituals, which have been later overtaken by the Slavonic neighbours.