Kolokotronis the Albanian

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  • Amphipolis
    Banned
    • Aug 2014
    • 1328

    Originally posted by Liberator of Makedonija View Post
    Well there's a source right above us saying he was a Vlach and others in this thread saying he was an Arvanite, so how can that be?
    This is (another) reference of ZERO value. It's not clear what the author claims, but the nickname Bithegouras is actually Albanian, not Vlach. I don't speak any of the two languages, but according to Kolokotronis memoirs this embarrassing nickname was given to his ancestor by an Arvanite and Kolokotronis is actually the Greek translation of it. My English is not very good, I'll just say it means "Kim Kardashian butt".

    The 1890s British journal that calls him a "tall Albanian" is the most embarrassing one. This is the equivalent of a 1970s South African journal saying that Hitler was the British Prime Minister.

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    • Liberator of Makedonija
      Senior Member
      • Apr 2014
      • 1597

      Originally posted by Amphipolis View Post
      This is (another) reference of ZERO value. It's not clear what the author claims, but the nickname Bithegouras is actually Albanian, not Vlach. I don't speak any of the two languages, but according to Kolokotronis memoirs this embarrassing nickname was given to his ancestor by an Arvanite and Kolokotronis is actually the Greek translation of it. My English is not very good, I'll just say it means "Kim Kardashian butt".

      The 1890s British journal that calls him a "tall Albanian" is the most embarrassing one. This is the equivalent of a 1970s South African journal saying that Hitler was the British Prime Minister.
      So how I am interpreting this is that you do not believe Kolokotronis was anything but a Greek?
      I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

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      • Amphipolis
        Banned
        • Aug 2014
        • 1328

        Originally posted by Liberator of Makedonija View Post
        So how I am interpreting this is that you do not believe Kolokotronis was anything but a Greek?
        There isn't any doubt or mystery about his origins. This thread is mostly about internet crap. I've heard argument related to his dress or haircut, the etymology of his family surnames, Vlach legends that Kolokotronis remotely comes from their village etc.

        Arvanites, Vlachs, Greeks and Turks were very distinct people by 1820s.

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        • Liberator of Makedonija
          Senior Member
          • Apr 2014
          • 1597

          Originally posted by Amphipolis View Post
          There isn't any doubt or mystery about his origins. This thread is mostly about internet crap. I've heard argument related to his dress or haircut, the etymology of his family surnames, Vlach legends that Kolokotronis remotely comes from their village etc.

          Arvanites, Vlachs, Greeks and Turks were very distinct people by 1820s.
          I disagree, there is much doubt and mystery surrounding his origins in my opinion. Are you not just choosing to ignore the sources provided here?
          I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

          Comment

          • Amphipolis
            Banned
            • Aug 2014
            • 1328

            Originally posted by Liberator of Makedonija View Post
            I disagree, there is much doubt and mystery surrounding his origins in my opinion. Are you not just choosing to ignore the sources provided here?
            No, there's no doubt or mystery mentioned anywhere.

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            • Liberator of Makedonija
              Senior Member
              • Apr 2014
              • 1597

              Originally posted by Amphipolis View Post
              No, there's no doubt or mystery mentioned anywhere.
              So how do you explain the sources that refer to him as Arvanite/Vlach? Does that not cast doubt on the official Greek historiography that portrays as an ethnic Greek?
              I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

              Comment

              • tchaiku
                Member
                • Nov 2016
                • 786

                Kolokotronis was a Greek. But he held an Arvanite nickname and was mistaken as such from others.
                Last edited by tchaiku; 10-09-2018, 11:53 AM.

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                • Carlin
                  Senior Member
                  • Dec 2011
                  • 3332

                  Originally posted by tchaiku View Post
                  Kolokotroni's grandmother was Arvanite.
                  Did you change your mind?
                  Last edited by Carlin; 10-09-2018, 08:18 PM.

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                  • Albo
                    Member
                    • May 2014
                    • 304

                    Hi all.. Been a while.. did you all miss me.. :-p

                    Just to add something on Kolokotroni / Bithguri from for those who want to hear what an actual Arvanites has to say about his name and origins...

                    Intetesting read from Aristidh Kola:


                    Aristidh Kola: Albanians that made Greece

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                    • tchaiku
                      Member
                      • Nov 2016
                      • 786

                      Originally posted by Carlin15 View Post
                      Did you change your mind?
                      I didn't find anything about it in internet. That's why, aside from some western texts like in the OP.
                      Last edited by tchaiku; 10-10-2018, 12:51 AM.

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                      • tchaiku
                        Member
                        • Nov 2016
                        • 786

                        Originally posted by Amphipolis View Post
                        This is (another) reference of ZERO value. It's not clear what the author claims, but the nickname Bithegouras is actually Albanian, not Vlach. I don't speak any of the two languages, but according to Kolokotronis memoirs this embarrassing nickname was given to his ancestor by an Arvanite and Kolokotronis is actually the Greek translation of it. My English is not very good, I'll just say it means "Kim Kardashian butt".

                        The 1890s British journal that calls him a "tall Albanian" is the most embarrassing one. This is the equivalent of a 1970s South African journal saying that Hitler was the British Prime Minister.
                        No it means stoned-ass. (ass of stone)
                        If it's true, don't know why would anyone name someone like that.

                        Comment

                        • Albo
                          Member
                          • May 2014
                          • 304

                          The correct translation in an English sense would be = Hard ass!!

                          Makes plenty sense when used describing a fearless soldier !!

                          Comment

                          • Carlin
                            Senior Member
                            • Dec 2011
                            • 3332

                            The following isn't about whether there might be any doubt or mystery about his origins, or whether or not it is "defamatory" (or whether we're dealing with amateur historians, etc.). Both of the following citations come from Greece, and can hardly be considered as "malicious" or "slanderous".

                            I am simply asking (uncomfortable) questions and trying to ascertain their value.

                            1) In what sense is the phrase "βλαχικην διαλεκτον του/Vlach dialect" and the term "ο Βλαχος/the Vlach" being used below?

                            Μ. Οικονομου, Ιστορικα-Ελληνικη σειρα, tome 14, Αthens 1957, Page 143 -

                            ''Και παλιν ο Κολοκοτρωνης (ο Βλαχος ή κλεφτης, οπως τον ονομαζαν οι κοτσαμπασηδες), ο συκοφαντηθεις και ετι συκοφαντουμενος [...] με τη δημωδη βλαχικην διαλεκτον του και τας αφελεις παροιμιας και παραβολας του...''

                            What's an accurate translation of the above?

                            2) Also, what might be the translation of the relevant page below? It's page 113 from Sokratis Liakos, "The origins of the Vlachs". It appears that it is explained that Kolokotronis knew and spoke to the Vlach shepherds of Morea in the "dopia" language (“local language”) - this apparently comes from Tertsetis.

                            Last edited by Carlin; 10-11-2018, 11:59 PM.

                            Comment

                            • Carlin
                              Senior Member
                              • Dec 2011
                              • 3332

                              The following also seem to refer to Kolokotronis as a Vlach. Note: once again, all these claims come from Greece. Unless I am mistaken the oldest source from the list below appears to be from 1834.


                              Comment

                              • Carlin
                                Senior Member
                                • Dec 2011
                                • 3332

                                Albo's article from above. Full content below.


                                Aristidh Kola: Albanians that made Greece

                                URL:


                                Aristidh Kola’s article appeared on the issue Nr. 5 of “Besa” (June-July-August, 1984), at the time when the author was the secretary of the Association, while Jorgo Jeru was its President. The magazine which continues to be published today, dealt with themes relating to history, folklore, literature, as well as actual themes, similar to the other bimonthly magazine, “Arvanon“.

                                In addition to the numerous articles and many contacts with Arberesh diasporas in the Mediterranian area and in the world, Aristidh Kola’s work is immortalized in two of his famous books, “Arvanites and the origin of Greeks”, 1983, and “Language of Gods”, 1989.

                                By Aristidh Kola

                                Many readers, after publication of last issue of “Besa”, which had on the portrait “The Elder Of Morea” (wb: Theodor Kollokotroni/Theodoros Kolokotronis) with the subtitle “Great Arvanite fighter”, asked for additional data to support our view. In response, we are publishing the following article.

                                Interpretation of names of Kollokotron clan

                                According to Kollokotron himself, his grandfather, Jani Bocka consisted of a large stature and had a fairly bonny rear-end. At one time, an Albanian that had been looking at him, remarked: what is this bithgur (lit. stone-posterior)? Since then, indicated Kollokotron, his grandfather was stuck with the nickname “Bithgur”, which eventually replaced the family name Bocka. In fact, the meaning of Kollokotron as a word is a direct translation into Greek of Arvanite name “Bithgur”, that is hard posterior.

                                As it could be imagined, the people called the Elder Bithguri, while today’s voluble historians refer to him with the translated name, “Kollokotron”, which raises the question: as long as the people devotes its songs to its heroes (in verse and music) in its own language and not in the language of volubels, what has happened to the folk songs about Bithguri? We know songs about Bithguri, but evidently these are songs that have transformed by the volubles and which we today call folk songs, while the original folk songs have been buried by time. And unfortunately, this in not an isolated case.

                                As we indicated above, previous surname of Kollokotranes was Bo​​ka (Botsika). Now, what does the name mean and which language provides its meaning? By reading Kollokotron’s memoirs, I had found the answer. Theodor Kollokotroni indicates that the “son of Dhimos (​ergjini) was being called Boka and eventually gave -up his ​ergjini family name. The name referred to his small body and darkish complexion…”. Kollokotron indicates that this name was also a nickname referring to “insufficiency and darkness”. What’s important here is that he knew the meaning of the word, which people exactly would use such a nickname and what language this people spoke. But historians and biographers of the hero have never shed light on this. Evidently, Theodhor Kollokotroni new the Arvanite language and spoke it better than my grandfather who could not explain the meaning of the word, and I had to rely on dictionaries and discover that Bocka is in fact the name of a plant that we call wild onion…a plant which has a presence in Greece in 4 or 5 verities…the better known being the one that grows by the coast, and the one which is widespread in the region of Mesinia, the area considered the original home of Kollokotrons. The brownish bulb of this plant was believed to improve heart condition, and the old Arvanites used to hang on doors to keep distant from evil. From the word bocke, also known as kucupe or kutupe, did Theodhor Kollokotron’s prdecessor, Dhimo ​ergjini’s son got the nickname. Being that the young man was so small and had darkish complexion, he would not be called qiparis (onion) or plane, but was was called by the the name of the most common tuber plant in the region.

                                As it is seen, before they were called Bo​ka or Kollokotron, this klan was named ​ergjin. Kollokotron’s biographers write his surnames as Xhergjim, C​erjimi and also Serjini, making the sound more and more Greek. This practice was common with writers during the last century that included names such as Bulbulina to Vovolina, Bo​ari or Boxcar to Vokaris, etc. But the correct pronunciation of Kollokotron’s original name is ​erxhini or Xhergjini. Its first part, if its ​er (and for easier pronunciation is transformed to Xher), in Morean Arvanitika means shrewd, hassle, ‘devil’. Ambrosias Dedemadhis also backs this meaning, and I think this meaning is more appropriate than his alternate explanation that Xher comes from another Arvanitika root word for black.

                                It should be noted that surnames of the common Arvanites were adapted randomly from nicknames stuck for years, only rich families, families of great tradition, or distinguished families were given honorary names by the people. In this manner, for example, Paleologu, the last Byzantine emperor, was called Dragoshi, the small dragon by his fellow-worriers. At the same time, the possibility that at the time the name ​egrani in Messenia was first mentioned, at around 1500, the family head could have received an honorary name. But, if the meaning of the first part of the name is not definite, there is no question about the second part. The name Gjin was one of the most common among the Arvanite during their massive population of Peloponnesus …

                                The Kollokotronian woman

                                Kolloktrones, Bokas, ergjins or Bithgures lived on a typical Arvanite zone in Arvanite Morea, somewhere between Mesinia and Arcadia. They always married Aravnite women, and it could have not been differently because it was an unbroken custom until a few years before. Other people use to merry within the same religion, while Arvanites married within their kind, and even of different religion. That is why it is said that Arvanite ‘race’ has never mixed.

                                Our historians, the despots and old patriarchs consider a sin the marriage between a christian and a Muslim woman; and for the Muslim Arvanites they reserved the term “tukallvanos”, not only an anti-historic but also perfidious term, to create the impression of a people who are a product of a mixture between the Turks and the Albanians, which for Arvanites is totally untrue. And then, the Christian Arvanites they called Helens, and on the bases of this concoction, was built the post-revolutionary Greek historic chaos, and today’s ridiculous ignorance about history.

                                We can clearly see that Arvanite practice was followed by Kollokotrones. The wife of patriarch Kollokotron was from the Arvanite village, Rupaqi in Mesinia. The grandmother of Theodore Kollokotroni was from Arvanite village of Hrisovici in Arcadia… Kollokotron himself married Ekaterina Karuzon from Leondari in Arcadia (Many arvanites in Greece and southern Italy bear this name). His son, Pano, married the daughter of great Arvanite Bubulina, etc.

                                Kollokotrone’s close relationships

                                -Ndres of Trifalia. With this heroic people, the Elder of Morea successfully completed all important anti-Ottoman engagements. Ndres are also pure Arvanites. In the villages Sulimohoria of Trifilia from where they descend, Arvanitic language is still spoken today.

                                -The nephew of Kollokotron, Nikitera Stamatelopulos or Turkofagu, comes from the village of Turkoleka of Megalopolis of Arcadia, alias Turkolekas, in line with his origin. It is not known for sure if this name was changed to Turkotagos, but it is a fact that Nikitarai was known as a killer of turks. And the alias was a smart combination for the name Turkolekas, which which was being taken as of Turkish origin, but, in fact, at that time connoted Muslim Leka (a common Arvanite name, short for Alexander). Evidently, some Arvanites named Leka settled in that zone, in which eventually sprung the village of Nikitarai. It should be understood that during Ottoman occupation, that the term ‘turk’ in Greece was not to include only ethnic Turks, but all Muslim believers…

                                -Other close fellow-fighters were the Plaputas. We know the old Koli Plaputa and his son, Dhimiter, who was condemned to death together with Kollokotron by flat-ended people that took control of Greece on the account of western powers. Koli Plaputa was an Arvanites from Trifillian villages. After killing of a “turk”, indicate our garrulous, but I say a Muslim Arvanites because the Turks could not set foot nor would one find Turkish officials in Arvanite villages, Koli escaped and settled in the village Palumba in Jortuni. The meaning of this village’s name I found in a study done by Theodhor Kollokotron, the brave, alias Falesi, nephew of the Elder of Morea, published in the newspaper Acropolis, 1881, p. 732. Here he calls the elder Koli Plaputa also “Palumbioti”, meaning coming from Palumba. But this name in Arvanitic language, as in Latin languages, means pigeon. With the only difference being that in Arvanitic the vowels are dropped and the word takes the form of Plumbiot, Plmbiot, which lead to Plamputas and in Greek, Plaputas.

                                Kollokotron’s brotherly associates

                                In addition to close family and clan ties, Kollokotrones created brotherly association (v​llazerim, vlameri), again with Arvanites. Vllazarim the vlamri (vlamidhes) are Arvanite words and phenomenon. V​llamet (pl.)-Vlamidhes are mentioned in our history as a group of proselytes, secret members of Eteria Filikon, thus, indicating that the presence of this word at the creation of the organization says a lot about the origin of its creators. In this manner, the Kollokotrones were brotherly (Vellame) with Arvanites, and not only those of Christian faith, but also those of Muslim faith. As we mentioned above, Arvanites had no qualms about non-christian Arvanites. Only later, did they fall prey to the Patriarchate, despots, jabbering historians and big power agents, and shatter the Greek nation.

                                Kollokotroni’s more distinguished “brothers” were the Christian Marko Bicari and Muslim Ali Farmaqi. With the latter, Kollokotron devised the plan to liberating Morea, and according to his own words (see his memoirs), Kollokotron, the plan envisaged a government consisting of 24 members, of which 12 would be Christians and 12 Muslims. The new flag was going to have on one side the cross and on the other the crescent. But according to the practice of the time , which referred to the Muslims of the area as Turks, our ‘genial’ historians indicate that the Elder Kollokotron had planned to create a turko-greek state. It should be clearly understood, the new state was going to be made of Greeks only. But, at that time, it was the interest of some to have in Greece only Christians, while Kollokotron and his people were interested in a nation made-up of Greek citizens. Time showed, the latter were sacrificed as the former assumed control. This is the real truth that we have e asphyxiated, but continuing to ignore it, we can’t claim to know the neo-hellenic history. It would be impossible to interpret authentically hundreds and thousands facts that relate to the time of revolution, before and after, by closing our eyes to this historic truth.

                                Kollokotron’s fellow fighters

                                In addition to his natural close circle and the extended circle of supporters, Kollokotron’s fighters, his army men were arvanites, regardless of their faith, be they christian or muslim, be they from Morea or outside of it. We would see Theodore Kollokotron with Ndres of Morea during the revolution of 1821. A bit earlier, when together with Ali Farmaqi was struggling to free Morea, he would enlist for this cause over three thousand Arvanite Cams, most of them were of muslim faith. Later, when he was in Ionian islands, he would follow the arvanites ‘technique’ -cleft-as a sea pirate and join the “greek-albanian” legion, as the historians would call it. On this, it does not take much to figure who in the group was Greek and who was Albanian, at a time when the Christian Arvanites were referred as “Greek”, and those of Muslim faith as “Albanian”.

                                The Cams that joined Kollokotron a few years earlier had come to Morea with the notorious Beqars to crush by any means the uprising inspired by Orlovs, but later had turned against the Turks. So, it is with the same Cams that Kollokotron had fought against, now he allied for a common cause: to liberate Morea. While, Lalas, with whom he at the beginning had been allies, he was to leave at the mercy of the Christians. That’s how things worked out, internal conflicts were characteristic of our race. Cooperation for a common cause has been rare, or an exception to the rule, unfortunately. But, even when the Athenians, Thebans , and Spartans fought each other, no pretensions were made that one side was Greek, the other Persian-Greek and so on. If we don’t see the new greek history, as a continuous attempt by this people, on one hand, to unite regardless of religion, and on the other hand, the domestic wars that are incited by foreigners and own shortsightedness, then we will learn nothing from it.

                                Tradition, Customs, Honor

                                Beyond lingual explanations of Kollokotron surnames, exist other facts, as convincing, that basically conclusively prove the Arvanite origin of Kollokotrons. They are the traditions and customs that they still practice. It is his use of the honored fustanella, the cloak worn over his shoulders, and especially the sketch of his authentic living portrait, drawn by French colonel Voutier, with that peculiar “mode” -for those that don’t know- of shaven head at front, and the elongated combative pony tail in the back; an unmistakably Arvanite mode, as I had explained in the preceding issue of Besa. Yes, this is how all Arvanite fighters shaved their head, be they Muslim or Christian. And it wasn’t an older practice that the non-Arvanite Kollokotron borrowed. No, it is a deeply rooted tradition, custom or conviction, that has ancient origin, as I had explained. When Ali pasha, for the purpose of establishing uniformity in military force and “europeanize” them, ordered abandonment of the hair mode, the soldiers objected and Ali was forced to annul the order. The honored historians of the free Greece, perceived Kollokotron as they wanted. They never mentioned in subsequent biographies that he was an Arvanite, that he spoke the Arvanite language, or anything of the kind. On the contrary they created the icon of the merciless expeller of the Arvanites, with this classic representation of Morean Arvanite. They put all types of make-up on his figure, but he did not let them change one last thing: that ancient Arvanites warier haircut, which he kept unchanged up to the end of his life, thus undoing all the sand walls that demagogues built around him.

                                Kollokotron knew to write some, and had a fair knowledge of the official Greek language. He himself tells us in his memoirs that his best-loved book was the history of Skenderbeu (‘I read about the life of Skenderbeu. His achievements made me think…”). There is no need to say much. Those that attempted to separate the Muslim Arvanites from Christian Arvanites, calling the former “turkoallvanos” and the latter helens, did not know what to do with Skenderbeu, whom the people, Christian or Muslim, considered a national hero. The people did made such distinctions. Wherever there are Arvanites, from Asia Minor, in the Balkans, in Egypt and southern Italy, honor Skenderbeu as their hero. While us, convinced by our glorious scholars made sure to destroy every trace of his name, and Byzantine demons, Greek ruiners such as Theodosius, raise to the sky.

                                Logical Conclusion

                                Let’s conclude with the rational that has been stifled. For the historic fact that the post Byzantine era has been heavily influenced by the Arvanite element -and I personally think that is where the new Greek history commences. Knowing that after the destruction of Constantinople, it was they who challenged the Turks, under the leadership of chief lord of Mani Krokondhil Kladha; leaders like Petro Bua Sklepa that alone protected Morea…; and the fact that at that time Morea was labeled also Arvanite Morea, and had a majority Arvanite population; then the question arises, how and when did Morea cease to be Arvanite? Could it be from the time Arkadian Arvanites ceased speaking their language and changed their surnames with reductive suffixes -opulos and -pulos, so that Morea would not appear Arvanites? If in the era of Kollokotrones (1500-1800) Morea was undoubtedly Arvanites, then the object of proof would not be if Kollokotron was Arvanites, but, if he wasn’t. Doubters of his Arvanite origin would need proof for their contention, not vice versa.

                                Much has been kept hidden, but the truth springs into the open, from sources that its buriers would have never thought.

                                Prepared by Alqi Koiko, DITA, December 28, 2015
                                Last edited by Carlin; 02-02-2019, 09:44 AM.

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