The Tivertsi, also Tivertsy, Tiverians (Тиверці in Ukrainian, Тиверцы in Russian), were a tribe of early East Slavs which lived in the lands near the Dniester, and probably the lower Danube, that is in modern-day western Ukraine and Moldova and possibly in eastern Romania and southern Odessa oblast of Ukraine. Several settlements of Tivertsi are now archaeological sites in Ukraine and Moldova (Alcedar, Echimăuţi, Rudi and others).

The original information about the tribe is scarce. Tivertsi and Ulichs are briefly mentioned in early Ruthenian manuscripts, 863 being the earliest reference, 944 being the latest. The Primary Chronicle from the Laurentian Codex mentions that they lived by Dniester and Danube down to the sea (evidently, the Black Sea). The Hypatian Codex replaces Dniester with Dnieper. The Tver Chronicle mentions them in the year 883, mentioning their fight against Askold and Dir. A number of manuscripts mention in the year 885 that they fought with Oleg. They are mentioned as taking part in Oleg's expeditions in 907 and in Igor's expeditions in 944, the latter year being the last reference to Tivertsi in early East Slavic manuscripts. [1]

All other knowledge concerning them consists of the hypotheses of various historians.

George Vernadsky suggests that the name Tivertsi possibly originates from the fortress Turris of Justinian I, pointing out that the letter "u" was commonly rendered as "v" (or, rather, ypsilon), suggesting the common root "tvr" of Iranian origin.[2]

At the beginning of 10th century, the tribe became part of the Kievan Rus. Starting in the mid-10th century, the Tivertsi frequently carried on fights with the neighbouring Pechenegs and Cumans. In 12th and 13th centuries, some lands of Tivertsi were part of kingdom of Galicia and later the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. On the lands populated by Wallachians, from Transylvania, some Tivertsi were gradually assimilated by them. There also is a hypothesis that they are the predecessors of Hutsuls.

See also

  • List of Medieval Slavic tribes


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