Originally, Vistula Venedy/Veneti was the term for several groups of Slavs. Tacitus visiting Vistula region in 98AD stated that Venedy settled east of Vistula River. During that times there were probably no Slavs settled between Oder and Elbe rivers. Later, the term was applied to the Slavs living near Germans by the Germans. For the Scandinavians Wends were Slavs living on the Baltic coast ie. the Polabian Slavs.

The Finnish term for the Russian is “Venäjä”, which is etymologically similar to Venedy. The term Venäjä may have been a loanword from Germanic. In addition, some linguists suggested that the term for eastern Slavic tribe “Viatiches” may have been derived from the term “Venedy”. But this is only a hypothesis. And Viatiches settled along Oka River in western Russia (between Moscow, south-eastern Belarus and north-western Ukraine). To make things more complicated the term Vend may also have been applied to a Baltic tribe or Baltic tribes in the past. A Baltic tribed settled in north-western Latvia around Ventspils city was known as Vends. The region has toponyms related to the term Vends.

Some sources claim that in the 13th century there were actual historic people called Wends or Vends living as far as northern Latvia (east of the Baltic Sea) around the city of Wenden. Henry of Livonia (Henricus de Lettis) in his 13th-century Latin chronicle described a tribe called the Vindi.

The only remaining Wends are the Lusatian Sorbs, who are a separate Slavic ethnicity.


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