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Old 02-27-2016, 05:33 PM   #2
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Balkan Peninsula

Rumanians – These people, who are locally called Vlachs, are the most scattered of all the people of the Balkans. They have a common language, of Latin derivation, and a common pastoral nomadic economy, but their racial type varies widely from region to region. In Walachia, for example, the main element in the population resembles that of Bulgaria to the south, being of medium height, with dark hair and eyes, narrow forehead and nose and head of medium breadth. These features indicate a tall variety of the Mediterranean race. Farther north in Moldavia, where the Rumanian plain abuts on the black earth region, there is a higher proportion of individuals of the Neo-Danubian race, fairer and with flatter and broader faces and more snub noses. To the west, however, just over the crest of the Carpathians in Bukovina, the Vlach population belongs to the Dinaric race. Their heads are appreciably broader and larger than those of the plains folk, their stature taller, their faces longer and broader, their noses larger and more prominent and the backs of their heads much flatter. The Vlachs of Macedonia and Istria appear also to belong substantially to the same tall, dark, prominent-nosed and broad-headed Dinaric race.
In short the Vlachs have no racial uniformity but represent the descendants of the aborigines who, during the 150 years of Roman rule in the province of Dacia, in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., adopted something of the language and civilization of their rulers. After the withdrawal of Roman rule they were scattered by the various incursions of the Goths, Slavs, Bulgars and Turkic peoples, but survived in isolated mountain districts in many parts of the Balkans, especially in Macedonia, northern Greece and southern Albania, where they took to a pastoral, seminomadic economy. Their physical features no doubt varied from one district to another at the time when they first came under Roman influence, and have since become even more localized as a result of intermixture of the various groups with their immediate neighbours.
The Slavic word Vlach means “foreigner,” and it appears to be related to the terms Welsh and Walloon in Western Europe.
Not only are the Vlachs or Rumanians proper, as defined by language and culture, widely scattered through the Balkans outside Rumania, but the inhabitants of Rumania itself are very mixed, and in the district of Dobruja, for example (a small plateau enclosed between the Black sea and the lower reaches of the Danube),E. Pittard remarked, besides the Vlachs, representatives of the following peoples: Bulgars, Ottoman Turks, Gaguz, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians, gypsies and Jews. These last two groups form important minorities throughout the Balkans, and since they are particularly concentrated in Rumania, it will be convenient to consider them at this point.
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