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Old 11-08-2012, 07:38 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by Risto the Great View Post
Apparently "Dobra" means goat herder in some ancient Greek dialect.
RTG
I thought it was a Macedonian shepherd who herded Greeks like goats?
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:30 PM   #122
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Author C Warren Hollister identifies specifically the emperors in early Byzantine history. "Medieval Europe: A Short History" 1998 publ. McGraw Hill (textbooks).
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:55 PM   #123
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I just read the entire thread, and I noticed no1 provided sources written in Macedonian, despite its status as the native language of the empire's second city and of many emperors and lots of ppl in general. Yet, many here claim that while the greek language survived and evolved, its native speakers became non-existent in a mere 200-300 years. I have to remind you that the greek mainland was not the only territory inhabited by greeks. The empire's core, Asia minor, was full of greek cities. The presence of greeks in the former magna graecia in south Italy was the reason the empire managed to hold it for many years, despite the lombard invasion in other parts of Italy.

And lastly, why the heck would they speak Greek if the greeks were no longer existent? Why didnt they keep latin or make macedonian, bulgarian, armenian etc their official language? While its true that many non greeks eventually learned greek, I find it difficult to accept that the entire population discarded their native tongue for a language spoken by a pressumably dead people. Besides that, the greek world of antiquity numbered millions upon millions of people, even more than modern greeks. Do you seriously think that such large groups of people somehow magically dissappeared, yet almost all ethnicities around them, despire being considerably smaller in numbers, survived intact? (yes, I am talking about Macedonians). The truth is somewhere in the middle. Both Macedonians and greeks survived, the latter however were simply far more numerous than the former, and that's why they influenced all ethnicities around them, hence greek=lingua franca.

Btw, even today greeks can be called romioi, meaning romans. None can deny that Greeks were far more dedicated to the idea of the Empire than the Romans themselves. The Greeks certainly are more worthy to bear the title of Romans, since they kept the empire afloat for more than 1000 years after Rome fell.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:16 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by EricTheRed View Post
I just read the entire thread, and I noticed no1 provided sources written in Macedonian, despite its status as the native language of the empire's second city and of many emperors and lots of ppl in general. Yet, many here claim that while the greek language survived and evolved, its native speakers became non-existent in a mere 200-300 years. I have to remind you that the greek mainland was not the only territory inhabited by greeks. The empire's core, Asia minor, was full of greek cities. The presence of greeks in the former magna graecia in south Italy was the reason the empire managed to hold it for many years, despite the lombard invasion in other parts of Italy.

And lastly, why the heck would they speak Greek if the greeks were no longer existent? Why didnt they keep latin or make macedonian, bulgarian, armenian etc their official language? While its true that many non greeks eventually learned greek, I find it difficult to accept that the entire population discarded their native tongue for a language spoken by a pressumably dead people. Besides that, the greek world of antiquity numbered millions upon millions of people, even more than modern greeks. Do you seriously think that such large groups of people somehow magically dissappeared, yet almost all ethnicities around them, despire being considerably smaller in numbers, survived intact? (yes, I am talking about Macedonians). The truth is somewhere in the middle. Both Macedonians and greeks survived, the latter however were simply far more numerous than the former, and that's why they influenced all ethnicities around them, hence greek=lingua franca.

Btw, even today greeks can be called romioi, meaning romans. None can deny that Greeks were far more dedicated to the idea of the Empire than the Romans themselves. The Greeks certainly are more worthy to bear the title of Romans, since they kept the empire afloat for more than 1000 years after Rome fell.
Hi Eric,

You make some interesting points, and one is almost prepared to sympathize with your point of view -- which an outsider could classify as common sense.

However, you fail to take into account several factors and historical facts, which ultimately lay waste to your arguments.

1) Even Brendan Oswald stated that the Greek language, being the lingua franca, was not really a way to distinguish ethnicity - in the Middle Ages. By dint of learning the Greek language, anybody could enter the administrative, ecclesiastical or military hierarchy. It was the language of the elite, and vast majority of the populations in Balkans and Asia Minor were illiterate and did not speak Greek - the language of the administration and of the elite.

2) There was no policy of enforced hellenization of the populations of the Empire.

3) From the early 7th century until 11th century AD, most "Byzantine" emperors and their retinue and court, were ethnic Armenians. If they were not ethnic Armenians, they were Syrians, Khazars, and/or of mixed and diverse stock (unfortunately there were literally no ethnic Greeks). Prior to the 7th century ALL Byzantine/Roman emperors and army were Latinized Thracians and Illyrians (in short, population that would later be identified as Vlachs or Romans/Romaioi). It was the ethnic Armenian elite that introduced the Greek language in the administration of "Byzantium".

3) The lands of Balkans and Asia Minor were an astonishing ethnic and racial mix. South of Albania, Macedonia, and Bulgaria were regions thickly populated by Vlachs, Albanians, Slavs, Armenians, Turks, Venetians, Catalans, and other peoples. Medieval chroniclers are strangely vague, and most of the time "ethnic Greeks" do not figure and do not appear in any historical reports. As an example, in 730 AD, a life of St. Pancratius of Taormina mentioned Avars (meaning probably Slavs) as inhabiting the countryside around Athens. The parts of Greece most thoroughly Slavicized were Thessaly, the western Peloponnesus, and Epirus. Isidore of Seville recorded that the "SLAVS TOOK GREECE FROM THE ROMANS".

Etc.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:06 PM   #125
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Eric - define greek. What did it mean to be one back then?
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:05 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by EricTheRed View Post
I just read the entire thread, and I noticed no1 provided sources written in Macedonian, despite its status as the native language of the empire's second city and of many emperors and lots of ppl in general. Yet, many here claim that while the greek language survived and evolved, its native speakers became non-existent in a mere 200-300 years. I have to remind you that the greek mainland was not the only territory inhabited by greeks. The empire's core, Asia minor, was full of greek cities. The presence of greeks in the former magna graecia in south Italy was the reason the empire managed to hold it for many years, despite the lombard invasion in other parts of Italy.

And lastly, why the heck would they speak Greek if the greeks were no longer existent? Why didnt they keep latin or make macedonian, bulgarian, armenian etc their official language? While its true that many non greeks eventually learned greek, I find it difficult to accept that the entire population discarded their native tongue for a language spoken by a pressumably dead people. Besides that, the greek world of antiquity numbered millions upon millions of people, even more than modern greeks. Do you seriously think that such large groups of people somehow magically dissappeared, yet almost all ethnicities around them, despire being considerably smaller in numbers, survived intact? (yes, I am talking about Macedonians). The truth is somewhere in the middle. Both Macedonians and greeks survived, the latter however were simply far more numerous than the former, and that's why they influenced all ethnicities around them, hence greek=lingua franca.

Btw, even today greeks can be called romioi, meaning romans. None can deny that Greeks were far more dedicated to the idea of the Empire than the Romans themselves. The Greeks certainly are more worthy to bear the title of Romans, since they kept the empire afloat for more than 1000 years after Rome fell.
You know a few years ago I found an interesting quote from a Greek (apparently a real one) from around 1st or 2nd century AD (give or take) that called Rome 'a Greek city'. The meaning 'Greek' itself is so vague that its uses included cultural, ecclesiastical, stereotypical, derogatorial, etc. labels that the use of the word 'Greek' held as much water as use of the word 'Roman' would. I find it hard to believe that a bunch of city-states with no real borders at the time, as well as becoming a depository of ethnicities for many many centuries, could keep a hold of their ethnic make up without a few smudges here and devastating plagues there.
Armenians were really Romans too. So were the Albanians and Vlachs settled in what would later become modern greece. So were many other ethnic groups. Greece ,however, suffered so many bouts of depopulation that the East Romans had to constantly refill these areas with whatever was at hand or near.
Sorry pal. You're not related to a dead ancient race. It's so highly improbable that you need to stick to the myth of hellenism. That is why it was created. Paparigopoulos invented a great mythistory, with German help, for people who 'spoke Albanian and called themselves Romans'.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:01 PM   #127
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Personally, I don't believe that Greeks speakers have disappeared. Even if there were, in the past, massive migrations of various peoples (Slavs, Albanians, Vlachs etc...) into the territory of Modern Greece, the existence in the 19th century of the Tsakonian dialect proves that [ethnic]Greeks Speakers survived, at least in the Peloponese, since ancient times (The Tsakonian dialect is a Doric dialect, a vernicular, widely spoken in Greece before the Koine, here's a map of 1890 showing that the Tsakonian dialect was spoken in the Peloponese). I don't adhere to the myth of the total extinction of natives Greeks speakers, I'm sorry. Even if 75% of the component of Modern Greece was of Albanians, Slavs, Vlachs ... I really think that there was at least 25% of native Greeks speakers in Modern Greece. By the way we, Macedonians, keep saying that even if there was a (hypothetical) Slavic migration, that the settlers didn't exterminate the natives. Why only use this logic for our case, but not for the Greek case? Guys, don't create myths and don't fall in them, myths are poisonous and their consequences are dangerous.

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Old 04-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Solid View Post
Personally, I don't believe that Greeks speakers have disappeared. Even if there were, in the past, massive migrations of various peoples (Slavs, Albanians, Vlachs etc...) into the territory of Modern Greece, the existence in the 19th century of the Tsakonian dialect proves that [ethnic]Greeks Speakers survived, at least in the Peloponese, since ancient times (The Tsakonian dialect is a Doric dialect, a vernicular, widely spoken in Greece before the Koine, here's a map of 1890 showing that the Tsakonian dialect was spoken in the Peloponese). I don't adhere to the myth of the total extinction of natives Greeks speakers, I'm sorry. Even if 75% of the component of Modern Greece was of Albanians, Slavs, Vlachs ... I really think that there was at least 25% of native Greeks speakers in Modern Greece. By the way we, Macedonians, keep saying that even if there was a (hypothetical) Slavic migration, that the settlers didn't exterminate the natives. Why only use this logic for our case, but not for the Greek case? Guys, don't create myths and don't fall in them, myths are poisonous and their consequences are dangerous.
Of course you wouldn't. You're some sort greek. Albanian Greek, Vlacho Greek, Turkish Greek, etc. Macedonians don't know much about the mythic 'tsakonian' dialect. But this is the biggest grk myth being pushed in hopes of praying for someone to fall for this BS. Nice try though Soft.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:42 PM   #129
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I will address the points Carlin made.

1) and 3): I understand that from your point of view no native greek elite existed. I have to ask again then: if the Armenians were such a great elite within the Empire, why didn't they push for their native tongue to gain influence among their subjects. I ask the same question about Thracians and Illyrians(not really sure if they actually had a written language though). Moreover, regarding the Armenian case, I have to remind you of the Armenian kingdom ruled by the Bagratuni dynasty and its offspring minor kingdoms, which were a major force in Asia minor from roughly 800-1100 A.D., only to be subdued by ERE. I find it strange that the ethnic Armenian elite within the Empire would wage war against their brethren, while at the same time leaving other much more serious foes practically unchallenged(e.g Lombards, Normans, Bulgarians etc). What about the Phocas family, which actually dominated the whole political scene for centuries, producing Emperors, Ceasars, Generals(and I think Patriarchs) etc. Would you classify them as Armenians, Khazars, Slavs etc? Their power lay in the coasts of Asia Minor, which until the beginning of 1000 AD was defended successfully by the empire. The area was always populated by mostly Greeks, hence it was considered as a core region, and that's why ERE managed to keep it even after Constantinople itself fell in 1204.

If you check the maps of ERE during the 1100 years it existed, you'll notice it's core provinces were Constantinople, mainland Greece and Asia minor, while it managed to maintain control over Sicily, Cyprus and Southern Italy for far longer periods of time than other provinces. Is it a mere coincidence that these exact same regions were the centres of the Greek world as well, during the ancient period?(ancient to us, for the people living during 200-300 AD for instance, it was modern history)

While parts of mainland Greece were indeed invaded, the same happened to Macedonian lands as well. Yet, how come all native greeks immediately perished, while Macedonians survived almost intact? I'll remind you again that the greeks were FAR more numerous and widespread.

2) In point 1 you said that almost all ethnicities had to learn the greek language if they wanted to partake in politics, bussiness, administration etc. While its true that dodecatheism was terminated from the very beginning of ERE, I dont think that religion was the only thing defining greek culture and civilization. The language was far more important. So, while the greek(and roman btw) religion was not enforced, usage of the greek language was.

Regarding the whole issue of greeks not being mentioned in sources: since the sources differentiate the various ethnicities within the Empire(Macedonians, Slavs, Avars, Armenians etc) from Eastern Romans, a major question comes to mind: Who were the Eastern Romans? They cant be Latins, since no major latin populances existed in the Eastern Empire. They cant also be Macedonians, Slavs, Avars, Armenians, Khazars etc, according to the sources provided in this topic at least.The Eastern Romans spoke and wrotte in Greek, lived in historically Greek regions and defended them more fiercely than all other provinces, as history proves. Why do you guys find it so strange that they were actually native Greeks? They considered themselves the heirs of Rome(Byzantim{greek colony}=Second Rome=Constantinople), or the civilized Greco-Roman world, to be exact(the Romans considered the greeks to be the only civilized people besides themselves)., and that's why they called themselves as Romans.

Hence, why would a historian of those times differentiate the Greeks from the Eastern Romans? They were one and the same.

Their competitors recognized that they were native Greeks as well.
For instance, in Annales Fuldenses, frankish chronicles of the latter half of the 10th century, ERE is referred to as Imperium Graecorum by the historiographer. Many certified historians like Ostrogosky, Moravsick, Browning, Norwich etc share the same view. And I dont want to hear the bs that these esteemed scientists were on someone's payroll, its insulting towards them.

Regarding your question Dejan, the greeks of those times were the Eastern Romans. For a small amount of time, all paganists were called Hellenes, but dodecatheism soon perished. Lets not forget that Apostle Paul, among others, preached in almost all of the main greek cities. It is still no coincidence that the New Testament was written in Greek. Christianity became quickly a part of the consience of most native Greeks of those ages. During the last 1100 years of the Roman Empire, it was not the Latins that were the backbone of Rome, but the native Greeks, the other half of the civilized world that constituted the core of the Roman Empire. Hence, the Greeks were the actual Romans of the middle ages, not the Italians/Latins(the latter ofc disagreed and considered them as greek). The Macedonians, Slavs, Avars etc were not regarded as Romans, according to the sources provided in this topic.

I would ask you to define Macedonian in those ages, but this would be an unreasonable question, because its almost 2000 years ago. Naturally, neither you or me or any human without access to a time machine can accuratelly define what Macedonian or Greek meant in those ages. I base my answers on historiography and common sense/logic(both of them Greek concepts), yet I recognize that I could be wrong about everything. The same applies to you guys as well, though. It's far better to avoid absolute conclusions in such discussions. In the end, all of us are simply hypothesising(yet another greek concept).
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:52 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by TrueMacedonian View Post
Of course you wouldn't. You're some sort greek. Albanian Greek, Vlacho Greek, Turkish Greek, etc. Macedonians don't know much about the mythic 'tsakonian' dialect. But this is the biggest grk myth being pushed in hopes of praying for someone to fall for this BS. Nice try though Soft.
I don't know why but I expected this kind of reaction. I'm not gonna start a debate with you TM, so label me what you want, insult me etc ... I don't give a damn.
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