I have been reading many books and reports in the past 2-3 years about the "new" history of the Slavic peoples. It has lead me to a conclusion that there never was one Slavic nation ever, but since the prehistoric age there always were different tribes who spoke similar languages what today we call Slavic languages. I have also managed to create, thanks to many texts I read, a table on how did modern Slavs got the name Slavs. The word Slav probably derived from the word slave, since most of our ancestors served as slaves to the ancient empire. Bat it also could derived from the word slava (glory) or pravoslavi.
As for the words: Veneti, Slovania, Anti, Vandali; I created the following table:
The name Vani is very ancient. In most proto-Slavic languages it
means "people", precisely "farmers". In ancient Sanskrit it means
"wise men". Adding the word "slovo", meaning "word", we also see
a connection between the ancient Slavic peoples and the fact that
the one of the ancient writings (possibly the very first) was a
Slavic script. So it would say "the people who know how to write"
or "literary people". And since many forms and inscriptions were
found written in many Slavic languages, the name Slovani makes sense.
As for the other names: Veneti and Anti, these are most likely Roman and Greek forms of the name Vani. Also, the ancient Germanic N was pronounced more like NT, ND, or NG, so Vani to Vanti or Vandi. In time letter V was lost so it became Anti.
The name Vandali (in my opinion) comes from Vani and "dil", an ancient proto-Slavic word meaning "horse", like in krokodil" - "water horse". So Vandals could mean "people who ride horses" or simply "horsemen". But that is just my own theory.
Other names such as: Serbs - from the word "serp" (sickle), could mean "farmers", "the ones who use the sickle"; Scythians - from a proto-Russian word "skit" modern "skot" (cattle), could mean something like "shepherds", or "the ones who tend cattle"; Macedonians - from "majka" (mother) and "dom" (home) - "mother\'s home", simply "homeland"; Polish - from the word "pole" (field) - "the ones who live in the field", "farmers".
The following is a map I colored which represents the locations of the ancient proto-Slavs:
The dark grey colored areas represent the lands in which various
ancient Slavic peoples formed an overwhelming majority. The oldest
of the lands inhabited by proto-Slavs is most likely the „Slavic
Mesopotamia" in central Asia, bellow the Pamir mountain. Pamir means
"pa" archaic form of "pra" and "mir" (world), so it must mean "the
ancient world". The two rivers here also wear Slavic names:
Amu-Darja - "amu" or "nam" (to us) and "darja" or "daruje" (gives),
so it could means "to us it gives" most likely fertile mud and soil;
and Sir-Darja - "sir" or "surja" modern "zemlja" (soil, ground)
and again "darja", so it could mean "giving us soil". Both rivers
flow into the Aral Sea. Aral derives from "aralo" modern "ralo"
(plow), so it probably means "plowed" sea. And if you didn\'t notice,
the letter A looks like a plow when placed sideways.
The second most likely place is Macedonia. Over 450.000 inscriptions in ancient Slavic scripts have been found on the territory of modern Macedonian republic alone. This could mean that Macedonia is the oldest of the Slavic homelands.
After that comes central Europe and Ukraine which were probably settled later by various of Slavic nations.
In the holy "Book of Veles" it is mentioned that before ancestors of modern Serbs, Croats, Russians, Poles and Ukrainians came to the "seven river basin", the land was inhabited by peoples who spoke a similar language to theirs. These were the Scythians and the "seven river basin" is still located in modern Ukraine and Russia. The interesting thing is that it all occurred around 10th century BC. My theory is that the "Slavic Mesopotamia" was over flown with sand from the Asian deserts and that land became un-fertile. This caused its inhabitants to pack their backs and leave. Most of them moved west but there were many who went in different direction.
As for the Veneti in Europe, they probably moved there from Asia Minor some 10000-5000 years BC. But that\'s what I think.
The medium gray colored areas represent lands mostly inhabited by Slavic peoples (for example: Illyricum which was inhabited mostly by Illyrians but also many Slavs), but also many other peoples.
The light grey areas represent a minority of Slavic peoples or the lands in which they served as slaves: Greece, Rome, Egypt, China.
Some other books from various
prof. V. A. Chudinov\'s (many translations of ancient Slavic inscriptions) documentations (can\'t remember his books);
Miloš Drastích: "(Slo)Wans from the shadows? - Expedition into the past II";
Antonin Horak: "Completely different about the Slavs";
Dominik Hudec: "The great mistake Great Moravia";
The Book of Veles
Tomáš Spevák, B. Petrovec/Vojvodina/Serbia & Montenegro