The Slavic colonization of the Balkan peninsula occurred in two waves. The Montenegrins came in the first wave, in the 6th century, from the region between the Baltic Sea and the present-day city of Hanover, Germany. The Serbs and Croats came in the second wave in the 7th century.
In the Baltic, the Montenegrins' ancestors lived in an area called Slavia and were known as the Velet and Odobriti tribes. Those tribes longed for the warmer waters of the Mediterranean Sea and settled in the Roman province of Prevalis, where they found the urban Roman settlements of Kotor, Risan, Budva, Bar, Ulcinj and Duklja (which lie within the borders of present-day Montenegro) and also the native Illyrian tribes, the predecessors of today's Albanians.
The Montenegrins were pagans, but through coexistence and assimilation they accepted Christianity from the Romans. They brought with them the name of the old native country Slavia and more than 860 toponyms. Even today there are in the Baltic around 800 settlements, rivers, lakes and mountains with names similar to corresponding places in Montenegro.
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www.montenegro.org Last updated on 24 April 1997