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Carlin15 03-24-2019 05:02 PM

The Slavs of Arethas of Caesarea

Arethas of Caesarea (circa 860 – circa 939) was the Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. In 1912 a Greek schola, Sōcratēs Kougeas, pointed out (in the periodical, Neos Hellenomnemon, Νέος Ελληνομνήμων, 1912, starting at p. 472) a reference to Slavs in scholium written by Arethas in the chronicle of patriarch Nicephorus (in a manuscript written in 932). That scholium discusses the Slavic invasion of Greece:

[SIZE="3"]“On the fourth year of his reign [Nicephorus] took place the transfer of Patras of the Peloponnesus, our country, from the Calabrian city of Rhegium to the ancient city of Patras. For it had been driven away or rather forced to migrate by the nation of the Slavs when they invaded the First and Second Thessaly and in addition the country of the Aeniantes and that of the Locrians, both the Epiknemidian and Ozolians, and also ancient Epirus, Attica and Euboea and the Peloponnesus, driving away and destroying the noble Hellenic nations.”[/SIZE]

[SIZE="3"]“They [the Slavs] dwelt there from the sixth year of the region of Maurice [587/588] to the fourth year of that of Nicephorus [805/806] at whose time the governor for the Peloponnesus was sent to the eastern part of the Peloponnesus, from Corinth to Malea, because that part was free of Slavs. One of these governors, a native of Lesser Armenia, and a member of the family called Skleroi, clashing with the Slavic tribes, conquered them in war and obliterated them completely and enabled the ancient inhabitants to recover their own. For the mentioned emperor, having inquired where the colony was, reestablished the people not he ancient soil and granted to Patras, which was a bishopric before this, the prerogatives of a metropolis.”[/SIZE]

The above confirms much of what had been written in the (presumably later) Chronicle of Monemvasia which is why Kougeas set the two texts side by side above.


Carlin15 03-31-2019 10:30 PM

1) "[B]I watched the Koutsovlachi disappear in Thessaly over a period of twenty years. I remember the first time I went up there in 1957, I was stunned, it was another world--it was Rumania[/B]. Blond, blue-eyed women wearing incredibly beautiful costumes: white, with about twelve to fifteen inches of thick fringes at the bottom, in saffron, black, and ocher. And everywhere I went, there were ducks and geese, which I didn't see anywhere else in Greece. Ducks and geese and pigs--standard east and central European farm culture. But I saw all of that disappear."

-- "A Point of Contact: An Interview with Nikos Stavroulakis," by Peter Pappas in The Greek American (January 9, 1988)

2) "In this same period [early 17th century], many people settled down on the outskirts of Thessalonica in Asvestochorion (Kirets-Kioi) to the south of a church beside the rill known as [B]Vlachikos Lakkos[/B]. [B]Apparently they still spoke Vlach.[/B] They were craftsmen--tailors, dyers, jewellers, shoemakers, and so on. They were also more civilized than the local inhabitants, to whom they referred disparagingly as "peasants."

[B][COLOR="red"]The people of the [U]Agrafa[/U]...moved to the east across the Sea of Marmara and [U]colonized villages along the coast of Asia Minor[/COLOR][/U].[/B] Others went north and settled in Philippopolis (now Plovdiv) where there were also Greek immigrants from Epirus, Moschopolis (the exodus from this city was occasioned by its destruction), Rhodes, and the district of Stenemachos. However, [B]most of the migrants from the [U]Agrafa[/U] went even further north to the Danubian principalities, where [U][COLOR="red"]their Latin dialect[/COLOR][/U] apparently facilitated intercourse with the indigenous peoples of those lands[/B]. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as evidence of their prosperity, these expatriates built handsome homes and beautiful churches in the Agrafa, the Aspropotamos, and generally throughout the Pindus and its spurs. These churches still serve as reminders of the close relationships between the Greeks from the Agrafa and the countries to which they migrated, notably Rumania."

-- The Greek Nation: 1453-1669, Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos (New Jersey, 1976).

3) "[B]The triumph of Vlach cooking however is [/B][I][B]Pita[/B][/I][B], which may be considered the Vlach national dish[/B] ... All kinds of [I]pita[/I] are good, but perhaps the best is that made with leeks, nettles or some similar vegetable. For some obscure reason this dish is practically confined to the Vlachs, and is rarely to be seen in any Greek village."

-- Wace & Thompson, The Nomads of the Balkans (New York, 1913)

4) "I have seen the excellent Greek school for girls at Monastir where Vlach maidens are painfully taught to construe their Xenophone. The ludicrous mistakes of grammar which one heard in the lower forms were enough to show that the teachers were drilling these children in a foreign tongue. It is easy to taboo every word of Vlach within the schoolroom walls. But outside on the steps when Urania quarrels with Aspasia over her broken doll, she expresses her feelings in fluent and natural Vlach."

-- H.N.Brailsford, Macedonia (London, 1903)

5) "Whenever a stranger appears, Metsovo does its best to disguise its Vlach origin, and pretends to be purely Greek. An interesting paper by a Greek doctor, Mr. Spiridhon Sokolis, who practised there in [B]1861[/B] shews how great a change has taken place in recent years. [B]At that time with only a few exceptions none of the women or boys up to the age of ten knew Greek at all, so that Dr. Sokolis had to employ an interpreter[/B]. The men, however, could speak Greek freely as it was an essential language for commerce."

-- Wace & Thompson, Nomads of the Balkans (NY, 1914)

6) "Nevertheless the Vlachs were regarded as regular subjects, served in the army and were required to pay the same taxes as the rest of the country population. There was something in their attitude and activities, however, that marked them as hostile aliens. For instance, in the uprising of the Bulgarians during the reign of Isaac Angelus, Vlachs seem to have taken the initiative. And [B]when in 1284 Andronicus II learned that the Bulgarians were about to invade Thrace, [B]his first measure of defense was to remove the Vlachs in Thrace ... [/B][U][COLOR="Red"]to Asia Minor[/COLOR][/U][/B]."

-- Peter Charanis, "The Formation of the Greek People" (1975)

Carlin15 04-12-2019 11:38 PM




Carlin15 04-16-2019 10:42 PM

Joannes Kinnamos (or John Cinnamus, born shortly after 1143 & died after 1185) connects the Vlachs with the settlers from Italy.


tchaiku 04-23-2019 06:57 AM

[QUOTE=Carlin15;179774][SIZE=3][COLOR="#0000CD"][B]"...Kekaumenos explains in the eleventh century that the Vlachs are spread over Epirus and Macedonia [U]but that[/U] [COLOR="Red"]most of them live in Hellas[/COLOR].”[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]


I think Hellas means Thessaly in this context.

Carlin15 04-23-2019 11:50 PM

[QUOTE=tchaiku;180489]I think Hellas means Thessaly in this context.

There are a few possible [I]meanings[/I] here, but [B]Hellas=Thessaly[/B] in this context is likely based on an (incorrect) assumption, in my opinion, that Vlachs lived primarily/only in Thessaly.

If Kekaumenos meant Hellas=Thessaly in this context, why did he not apply the same "context" to the regions of Epirus or Macedonia as well? Why did he not use the "terms" Nicopolis or Thessalonica?


FYI - note that the Theme of Hellas included not just Thessaly, but the entirety of Boeotia, Attica and Euboea (and some smaller nearby islands). [U]The Theme of Hellas literally touches on Corinth.[/U]

And... [SIZE="3"][COLOR="Red"][B]We have an 11th century Testimony which states that “Sikyon is in the country of VLACHIA IN HELLAS” (= Σικυών εστιν η χώρα των Ελλαδικών Βλάχων).[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]

And famously, Sikyon is the city in Corinth region - the capital Corinth which Roman settlers rebuilt and dwelt in.

From the language of the people living there came the numerous "Vlach" toponyms in the Peloponnese, such as Mounte Skouve / Munte Skuve.

Above is Page 70 from the book "The Origins of Vlachs", by Sokratis Liakos. Original post - link:

Google search results for "Σικυών εστιν η χώρα των Ελλαδικών Βλάχων" in [B]Johannes Tzetzes[/B] and [B]Marcianus[/B]:



tchaiku 04-24-2019 12:56 PM

For Carlin - Look it this way Epirus and Macedonia were a part of Greece, then why did the author specify it that way. He could've said most Vlachs live in Hellas without mentioning the other part.
Now what you assumed would apply in this context eg:
Vlachs are spread over Albania but most of them live in Greece.

Carlin15 04-28-2019 04:39 PM

[QUOTE=tchaiku;180496]For Carlin - Look it this way Epirus and Macedonia were a part of Greece, then why did the author specify it that way. He could've said most Vlachs live in Hellas without mentioning the other part.
Now what you assumed would apply in this context eg:
Vlachs are spread over Albania but most of them live in Greece.[/QUOTE]

Could you elaborate?

Why do you think that Thessaly=Hellas?

From the wiki link you provided we can read the following about [I]Hellas[/I] (the "boundaries" of [I]Hellas[/I] were obviously in flux):

- During the 10th and 11th centuries, [B][I]Hellas was often governed jointly with the Peloponnese[/I][/B] under a single strategos, and as the civilian administration rose in importance, the same practice appears there as well, with protonotarioi, praetores and kritai being appointed for both themes.

- [I][B]Thessaly appears to have been detached from Hellas and joined to the theme of Thessalonica from the early 11th century[/B][/I]—though the Spercheios valley remained part of Hellas—until sometime in the 12th century.

- The strategos of Hellas is still attested for much of the 11th century, and a doux of Thebes and Euripus after the middle of the 12th century.

My basic point here is that Vlachs lived in Hellas, and the "boundaries" of [I]this[/I] Hellas seemed to have changed over time. What did Kekaumenos mean by it? Did he mean only Thessaly? Possible, and if so, why and how was this concluded?

"Hellas" could have easily encompassed areas adjacent and/or south of Thessaly (i.e. the testimony “Sikyon is in the country of VLACHIA IN HELLAS” is a good indication of it).

Carlin15 05-31-2019 05:55 PM

[B]Andreas Tzimas[/B] (Greek: Ανδρέας Τζήμας; Kastoria, 1 September 1909 – Prague, 1 December 1972), known also under his World War II-era nom de guerre of Vasilis Samariniotis, was [B]a leading Greek Communist politician[/B], best known as one of the leading triumvirate of the Greek People's Liberation Army during the Axis occupation of Greece. After the war, he fell into disfavour and died in obscurity in exile in Prague.


- The eldest of four children, [B]Tzimas was born to the family of Dimitrios Tzimas, [COLOR="Blue"]a Vlach jurist and lawyer from Samarina[/COLOR][/B]. [B][COLOR="blue"]His mother, Ourania Alvanou, came from Moschopolis[/COLOR] in what is now Albania[/B]. Born in Kastoria, [B][COLOR="blue"]Tzimas spent his first years in Skopje[/COLOR][/B], where his father had moved, until the Balkan Wars led the family to relocate once more to Kastoria, which now had passed from the Ottoman Empire to the Kingdom of Greece.

- He was imprisoned in the Akronauplia prison, where he remained until after the German invasion of Greece. He was released by the new German authorities on 1 July 1941 due to the intervention of the Bulgarian government, which sought the release of any prisoners of Macedonian descent, who were deemed to be pro-Bulgarian. [B][COLOR="blue"]Although not a Macedonian himself, Tzimas spoke the language[/COLOR], and managed to be released as well (along with a few others like him)[/B].

- [B]Despite his distinguished role in the Greek Resistance, after liberation he fell into disfavour with the party establishment[/B]: his failure to be elected to the Central Committee in 1945 was followed by his arrest and exile to Ikaria.

Carlin15 07-27-2019 08:15 AM


[SIZE="3"][B]The Slavs in the Peloponnese: New evidence from rescue excavations in Arcadia[/B][/SIZE]

[I]Vortrag von Dr. Demetrios Athanasoulis (Athen)[/I]

Within the years 2009-2010, the former 25th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities conducted numerous rescue excavations in the prefecture of Arcadia during the construction of a new national road crossing the Peloponnese. This public project was an opportunity for new archaeological investigations concerning the unknown settlement history in the Peloponnese during the Dark Ages and the Middle Byzantine Period.

[B][COLOR="Red"]Among the most interesting discoveries were [U]two cemeteries of the 7th-9th/10th c.[/U], consisting of pits with cremation urns, being undeniably a burial custom linked with Early Slavic populations and reflecting the migration and installation of the Slavs in the very south of the Byzantine Empire.[/COLOR][/B] In particular, in one of the cemeteries appeared graves with inhumations next to traditional cremations, reflecting furthermore the process of the Christianization of the Slavs during the Middle Ages. Slavic burial practices were also detectable in a Christian cemetery of the Byzantine period by the presence of a cremation urn among the inhumations, but also by finds of slow wheel made pots in some of the graves.

[COLOR="Red"][B]These unique archaeological findings were the starting point to establish a research group to examine the [U]still unknown Slavic culture of the Byzantine Peloponnese[/U].[/B][/COLOR] Aim of this lecture is, to give an insight into the current state of this research.

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