Great Vlachia

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  • Liberator of Makedonija
    Senior Member
    • Apr 2014
    • 1597

    Great Vlachia

    Stumbled upon a wikipedia page on a Great Vlachia/Great Wallachia, a 12th century province located in Thessaly and later the general name for Thessaly for the next 2 centuries. Supposedly named after the large Vlach population in the region at the time. Creating this thread for any relevant information on this topic.

    Link to article:
    I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.
  • Starling
    • Sep 2017
    • 153

    “The” Other Europe in the Middle Ages: Avars, Bulgars, Khazars and Cumans, p.393:

    The Kipçak world in the thirteenth century

    [...] been a "hospodar of Walachia," as pletnevar thought (60). Whilst 'Walachia' was the name of the first Romanian principality north of the Lower Danube, the same polity for which Ottoman chroniclers eflâk (Ottoman Turkish letters) (61), 'Vlachia' in Balkan sources usually meant either Bulgaria or Thessaly, in the latter case often within the phrase 'Great Vlachia' (Μεγάλη Βλαχια) (62).

    60. Pletneva, 1990, 182.
    61. Taeschner, 1951, I:247.
    62. Darrouzès 1990 pp. 66-67(no. 2755 of May 1383) and 197 -98 (no 2919 of March 1393); Hunger 1978b, 121 and 123; Bees 1909, 616-617 with note 124; Lazarou 1993, 28 and 209; Nicol 1984, 72-75; Ferjancic 1974, 1-11; Zakythinos 1948, 42-44. See also Darrouzès 1981, 402 which mentions "the [bishopric] of Domenikos in Vlachia under the metropolitan see of Larissa" ([του Λαρίσσης και ούτως] και εν τη Βλαχία ο Δομενικου) in a list of episcopal see elevated to the rank of archbishoprics. Larissa was, and still is, the main city of Thessaly. The phrase 'Great Vlachia' was also used in the mid-1100s by the Jewish traveler Benjamin Tudela. (Adler 1907, 17). The first Byzantine author to mention Great Vlachia is Nicetas Choniates (Dieten 1975, 638). See also A. Kazhdan 1991b, 2183. It was the Latin conquest of Constantinople in 1204 that turned 'Vlachia' into an official name. In the Partitio terrarum Imperii Romanie, 'Blachie' is Thessaly: "Orium Larisse et Provintia Blachie, cum personalibus et monasteribus in eis existentibus" (Carile 1965 211 and 281-282). 'La grande Blachie' by Henri de Valenciennes (Longnon 1948, 49), the Μεγάλη Βλαχια by George Acropolites (Heisenberg and Wirth, I:43 and 61-62), while Pachymeres wrote of Μεγαλοβλαχιται in the army Michael II Comnenus Ducas of Epirus in 1258 (Failler 1984, I:117). See also Zalatarski 1972, III:278 with n. 2. According to Kazhdan 1991b, 2183 "after Pachymeres the term Megale Vlachia disappears and reappears only in the fifteenth century as a designation not for the district in Thessaly but for a region on the Lower and Middle Danube." This is doubtful. Indeed, George Sphrantzes, who lived during the second half of the fifteenth century, called Walachia north of the Danube Μεγάλη Βλαχια, while reserving Μικρά Βλαχια for the Thessalian Vlachia. (Maisano 1990, 28, 172, and 192). However, the Byzantine documentary sources give another picture. In a 1366 chrysobul of Symeon Uros Paleologus, the Emperor in Thessaly between 1355 and 1371, Vlachia is Thessaly (Solov'ev and Moshin 1936, 252). Another prostagma of the same ruler dated 1357 also mentioned the Thessalian Vachia (Solov'ev and Moshin 1936, 210) moreover, in the Ekthesis Nea, a textbook of the chancery of the Patriarchate of Constantinople composed in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, there is a statement in the chapter "How the patriarch writes to a despot, who is not the son of the Emperor". The text reads: και ει μην ενι ρωμαίος άνθρωπος και τον ευγενέστατων, ου προστίθησι το όνομα αυτού ει δε βάρβαρος οίος ην ο Τομπρότιτζάς και οι της Βλαχίας δεσπόται και οι του Αλβανού προστίθησι και του όνομα, ("And if [the letter is addressed] to a Roman, who is a noble one, his name should not be written; if he is a barbarian, like Dobrotitzas, or the despots of Vlachia, or the rulers of Albania, the name should be written"). See Darrouzès 1969, 56. Since no late fourteenth - or early fifteenth - century voyvode of either Walachia or Moldavia bore the title of despot (see above), the address in the Ekthesis Nea must refer to the Thessalian despots, who received their title from the emperor (Ferjancic 1974, 8-10). Dobrotitza mentioned in the text was a local ruler of Dobrudja, who died in 1387. As a consequence, the address in the Ekthesis Nea must ante-date Dobrotiza's death. He had been a Byzantine client from 1347, following his defeat by Emperor John VI Cantacuzene (1347-1354). The title of despot was bestowed upon him [...]
    I don't know where to find the letters for the first bit. I also didn't bother doing all the accents. Kinda weird to have such long footnotes. There are more mentions of Vlachia on other pages but that was the only part with Great Vlachia.

    A bunch other book results I haven't had time to read:

    Latins and Greeks in the Eastern Mediterranean after 1204

    Imagining frontiers, contesting identities

    The History of Greece: From Its Conquest by the Crusaders to its Conquest by the Turks, and of the Empire of Trebizond: 1204-1461

    Also found this:


    • tchaiku
      • Nov 2016
      • 786

      1066 Revolt in Thessaly
      In 1066 a serious revolt had broken out against the empire. this time in Thessaly. The rebels were Bulgarians and Vlachs; this shows that both of these peoples existed in significant numbers this far south. In fact so many Vlachs lived in Thessaly that pan of it was then called Valachia in the sources. The rebels were chiefly free men, not living on estates, but paying their taxes directly to the state. The revolt began in the region of Larissa, where in 1065 there was a great deal of dissatisfac-tion among the local populace over increases in taxation and corrup-tion in its collection. The Bulgarians and Vlachs began to speak of revolt, and came together, deciding to revolt jointly. Word of their plans reached a powerful magnate of Larissa named Nikulica Delfin, who had his own fortress, garrisoned with his own men and supplied with his own weapons. He was one of the most powerful men in Thessaly and the population looked to him as their lord. He, disgruntled with Constantinopolitan politics, rarely went to court, and stayed at home as a provincial strong man. But he was not happy about the brewing rebellion, so he went to Constantinople to warn the emperor of the situation that was developing in Larissa and to call on him to reduce taxes to appease the potential rebels. The emperor brushed him off and took neither reform nor defensive mea-sures, so Nikulica returned to Larissa. The Vlach and Bulgar allies, meanwhile, had increased their propaganda and had drawn into the movement many people from the town of Trikkala. Nikulica, seeing the movement growing, tried to talk them out of a revolt. Unimpressed by his arguments, the rebels called on him to lead them. After all, he had a fortress and a well-equipped private army. He tried to avoid involvement by pointing out to them that his two sons were then in Constantinople and would be sure to suffer if he joined the revolt. The rebels, however, forced him to take a leadership position. The revolt was soon in full swing. Supported by both townsmen and countrymen, it spread north toward the Bulgarian border. But though

      SOURCE: John V. A. Fine, ‎John Van Antwerp Fine - 1991
      The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century.