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Old 01-06-2022, 10:26 PM   #41
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Romanians tend to get a little strange when it comes to slavic words and place-names in their language/region. Something is missing from their history books.

I find it odd to think the Vlachs gave up their cities to go roaming Europe with their sheep.
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Old 01-08-2022, 07:57 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Risto the Great View Post
Romanians tend to get a little strange when it comes to slavic words and place-names in their language/region. Something is missing from their history books.
Just a bit of background. It is assumed that the process of metathesis in early Slavic (e.g., swamp: balto > blato, coast: berg > breg, etc.) was complete by the late 8th century, but in some areas, it may have been in development well into the 9th century. Although limited in number, the same pre-metathesis Slavic vocabulary is apparently found in all of the Eastern Romance languages, which suggests they entered Proto-Romanian before its speakers began to break away and migrate from their linguistic homeland. Most of the noticeable Slavic influence in Eastern Romance languages is post-metathesis and came from OCS and/or surrounding Slavic languages. The Slavic influence in Albanian has a somewhat similar story.

Anyway, such was the degree of the Slavic element in Romanian, that some scholars even suggested it was a relexified Slavic language, meaning it was originally Slavic and kept most of its grammar but changed much of its vocabulary to Latin. This has, of course, been disputed by others. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Romanian scholars formed a group called the “Transylvanian School” after some of their Orthodox churches accepted the suzerainty of Rome. Once under Catholic influence, they strove to “cleanse” the Romanian language and bolster its Latin element. Their success was modest, but subsequent Romanian scholars incorporated a sizeable amount of vocabulary and some grammar from western Romance languages like French and Italian. These initiatives also led to the eventual replacement of the Cyrillic alphabet with Latin.
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Old 01-08-2022, 03:47 PM   #43
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As implied throughout, the information lends itself to a variety of interpretations and the sequence of events poses a number of questions. For example, why was there a prolonged silence on the part of chroniclers when it came to a native Latin-speaking community, be they in Dacia following the Roman withdrawal or in the Balkans after Latin was discontinued as the administrative language of the Roman Empire? Is it coincidental that Vlachs and Albanians were first recorded around the same time and within reasonable geographic proximity, given the region? And why was their existence attested so late, given their supposed pedigree? As the Vlachs were mentioned in several historical accounts beginning from the second half of the 11th century, why did it take more than 300 years (at least) before the “Roman” endonym was recorded? Why did authors of Slavonic and Greek written works, who were culturally and geographically closer to the Eastern Romance peoples, fail to record the “Roman” endonym earlier than their western counterparts? Did the churches of the Latin rite and the Italian humanists contribute to the propagation of the “Roman” endonym? What role did the civic and religious identities from the Roman and Ottoman empires play in the process? Were the developments uniform among Eastern Romance peoples on both side of the Danube, did one side influence the other, or did they occur concurrently before converging later in history? All food for thought. Anyway, if Carlin or anybody else interested in the topic finds disagreement with what has been written or wishes to fill in some blanks, feel free to provide your input.
1) For example, why was there a prolonged silence on the part of chroniclers when it came to a native Latin-speaking community, be they in Dacia following the Roman withdrawal or in the Balkans after Latin was discontinued as the administrative language of the Roman Empire? Is it coincidental that Vlachs and Albanians were first recorded around the same time and within reasonable geographic proximity, given the region?

The main reason(s) might be because there are few sources for the time period/centuries in question. For example, there are a lot of sources from the 17th or 18th centuries (western or eastern, from various angles, etc.), whereas from the 7th c. to roughly the 11th c., there are few sources. The question is, even the sources that we do have from that epoch can the sources be methodologically analyzed/processed in the right way, given the 'chaotic' or 'biased' content of the writings.

The whole Balkans is in the same predicament. If there were sufficient number of ('accurate') sources, we'd know the answers to many different questions. There are diametrically opposed interpretations to a lot of open questions today.

(My response to 1) applies to a couple of other questions, SoM. It is a general but specific reply that doesn't go into ethnic/linguistic 'proofs' or claims. More on that below.)

2) Did the churches of the Latin rite and the Italian humanists contribute to the propagation of the “Roman” endonym?

That might be likely, but I'm not sure how much contact the Catholics or Italian humanists had with the Orthodox Vlach populations. Even if they did, the Catholics' end goal would be to convert them to Latin rite Christianity (this mostly happened among the northern Albanians). Perhaps, I'm underestimating the whole episode when Innocent III's envoy arrived in Bulgaria in late December 1199, and asserted that he was informed that Kaloyan's forefathers had come "from the City of Rome".

If it's true as others say that Vlach-speakers lived mostly in rugged and mountainous areas, what were the methods of propagation in such inaccessible regions?

3) What role did the civic and religious identities from the Roman and Ottoman empires play in the process? Were the developments uniform among Eastern Romance peoples on both side of the Danube, did one side influence the other, or did they occur concurrently before converging later in history?

Million dollar question(s). IMO, if you answer these complex questions you can publish a book!

*) There wasn't exactly a 'silence' with respect to the native Latin-speaking community. I guess there is now a "famous" episode of "Torna, Torna Fratre" that has been debated at length, and originates from the 6th c./7th c. In Procopius' writings (5th c.), there are several forts/settlements listed that are of Latin origin. Also, in the 7th c., it was reported that the Bulgar Mauros spoke four languages, including "that of the Romans".

One may ask/question if this is considered "sufficient", as evidence. For example, is the language in question a sample of early Balkan Romance, or just a Byzantine/Roman command of Latin origin? Is the "that of the Roman" language early Balkan Romance or Latin? But I believe this has been largely settled.

PS - Example of a Latin inscription from 5th century AD that shows the evolution of the Latin term diēs = "day" in the eastern/early Balkan Romance languages:
https://www.macedoniantruth.org/foru...7&postcount=20

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Old 01-08-2022, 04:03 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Risto the Great View Post
Romanians tend to get a little strange when it comes to slavic words and place-names in their language/region. Something is missing from their history books.

I find it odd to think the Vlachs gave up their cities to go roaming Europe with their sheep.
Roaming with their sheep yet building prosperous towns before 'modern times' (i.e. Moscopole and others).
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Old 01-08-2022, 08:14 PM   #45
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The Mauros episode - posted back in 2019:
https://www.macedoniantruth.org/foru...&postcount=188

"But what can he mean by saying the Romans' language? It is evident that he means the vulgar Latin language of the populations in Thrace, from which after a time proceeded the contemporary Rumanian and the 'Vlahiki' of the 'Koutsovlahoi' language."
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Old 01-10-2022, 01:25 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Carlin View Post
The main reason(s) might be because there are few sources for the time period/centuries in question. For example, there are a lot of sources from the 17th or 18th centuries (western or eastern, from various angles, etc.), whereas from the 7th c. to roughly the 11th c., there are few sources. The question is, even the sources that we do have from that epoch can the sources be methodologically analyzed/processed in the right way, given the 'chaotic' or 'biased' content of the writings.
That's a valid argument, but let's set aside the inaccuracies that may exist in the content with regard to chronology, politics, genealogy, etc., and instead focus on the groups of people that were actually mentioned. As you point out, there were fewer sources in that period, but there is a decent amount of information in those that do exist, such as Nicephorus' History, Theophanes' Chronicle, Theophanes Continuatus and Porphyrogenitus' De Administrando Imperio. These sources mention a variety of different peoples from both sides of the Danube, but not the Vlachs (or Albanians). I can appreciate the whole 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence' perspective, but the absence of an identifiable and cohesive group who spoke, what was until relatively recently, the language of the ruling class, is strange. I am not sure why the sources would avoid noting the existence of a native Latin-speaking community who would (presumably) be favourably disposed towards Constantinople, when they quite freely mention a multitude of allied and enemy tribes that were in and around the empire. Either they were too small in number to notice or they weren’t there. Can you think of any other reason?
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Perhaps, I'm underestimating the whole episode when Innocent III's envoy arrived in Bulgaria in late December 1199, and asserted that he was informed that Kaloyan's forefathers had come "from the City of Rome".
Innocent made that assertion in a letter to Kaloyan. He either invented the lineage to placate Kaloyan and encourage him to come under the spiritual control of Catholicism, or Kaloyan directed one of his envoys in Rome to tell the story in the hope of obtaining a crown from the pope. Does the reference to Kaloyan as the leader of "the Bulgars and the Vlachs" in subsequent letters indicate such a heritage? Interestingly, a decade or so earlier John Cinnamus stated that the Vlachs were formerly colonists from Italy. As far as I've read, neither the letter of Innocent nor the works of Cinnamus point to when these forefathers or colonists travelled from Rome (or Italy) to the east of Europe. If they were referring to an ancient Roman pedigree, it doesn't appear to be explicit. Unless there are other documents that go into further detail, they could just as easily have been referring to a period more recent.
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If it's true as others say that Vlach-speakers lived mostly in rugged and mountainous areas, what were the methods of propagation in such inaccessible regions?
Were most of them in mountainous areas in the 15th century? Entities in both Wallachia and Moldova were already in existence by this time. Even if a sizeable amount of them were living or working in the mountains, one would have to assume that they had some sort of contact with their kinsmen in the lowlands who were exposed to humanists, missionaries and other travellers.
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There wasn't exactly a 'silence' with respect to the native Latin-speaking community. I guess there is now a "famous" episode of "Torna, Torna Fratre" that has been debated at length, and originates from the 6th c./7th c. In Procopius' writings (5th c.), there are several forts/settlements listed that are of Latin origin. Also, in the 7th c., it was reported that the Bulgar Mauros spoke four languages, including "that of the Romans".
The forts that Procopius wrote about had Latin, Thracian and Greek names. Many were overrun in the 7th century, particularly those on the Danube. The ”torna, torna” episode was recorded in the first half of the 7th century (although it refers to an event that is said to have occurred earlier) when the transition from Latin to Greek was still in progress. That the phrase was characterised as being in the “language of the land” is of no great consequence and its lack of depth is revealed by the fact that there is no such reference to that language (or one related to it) in the same land for several centuries afterwards. The episode concerning Mauros occurred in the second half of the 7th century, only a few decades after Latin was replaced with Greek. The Vlachs aren’t mentioned until 400 years later. I think that qualifies as an extensive period of silence.
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One may ask/question if this is considered "sufficient", as evidence. For example, is the language in question a sample of early Balkan Romance, or just a Byzantine/Roman command of Latin origin? Is the "that of the Roman" language early Balkan Romance or Latin? But I believe this has been largely settled.
There is only one word (“torna”) to go by, “fratre” was added to the story by Theophanes almost 200 years later. There is no record of which Latin words Mauros may have used. Do you believe it has been settled in favour of Latin or Eastern Romance?
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PS - Example of a Latin inscription from 5th century AD that shows the evolution of the Latin term diēs = "day" in the eastern/early Balkan Romance languages:
https://www.macedoniantruth.org/foru...7&postcount=20
Do you have a link that leads to more information on this inscription or the screenshot you provided? I would be interested to know if the d > z sound change was common in other Latin inscriptions from the region. Are you aware of any other examples?
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Old 01-10-2022, 10:49 PM   #47
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That's a valid argument, but let's set aside the inaccuracies that may exist in the content with regard to chronology, politics, genealogy, etc., and instead focus on the groups of people that were actually mentioned. As you point out, there were fewer sources in that period, but there is a decent amount of information in those that do exist, such as Nicephorus' History, Theophanes' Chronicle, Theophanes Continuatus and Porphyrogenitus' De Administrando Imperio. These sources mention a variety of different peoples from both sides of the Danube, but not the Vlachs (or Albanians). I can appreciate the whole 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence' perspective, but the absence of an identifiable and cohesive group who spoke, what was until relatively recently, the language of the ruling class, is strange. I am not sure why the sources would avoid noting the existence of a native Latin-speaking community who would (presumably) be favourably disposed towards Constantinople, when they quite freely mention a multitude of allied and enemy tribes that were in and around the empire. Either they were too small in number to notice or they weren’t there. Can you think of any other reason?
They were not absent. There were only Romans in earlier sources. It's an open question though - when, how, and why the 'exonym Vlach' developed in the Balkans (and eventually started to be used "consistently" from the 11th c.). It was likely transmitted from Germanic into (Old) Slavonic and Medieval Greek:

"Amusingly, they were just as imprecise about the Romans. The earliest term they use for the Britons is Weala. The name stuck, for it is the ancestor of the ethnonym 'Welsh'. But Britons were not only Wealas: Widsith, one of the earliest Anglo-Saxons poem, calls all citizens of the Roman Empire Rumwalas. Barbarians north of the Rhine and the Danube applied this ethnonym indiscriminately to all imperial citizens, from the Walloons in the Low Countries to the Wallachians in Romania. Just as Romans called all their North Sea Germanic enemies 'Saxons', so too the latter called all imperial citizens Weala."

Source: https://books.google.ca/books?id=26B...umwalas&f=true

I feel that you're anachronistically looking back and expecting to find 'Vlachs' where there are none. I'm not ruling out that some earlier source might surface which would place the Vlachs, in say, the 8th century AD, but I would be shocked if we ever find something with references to Vlachs from the 1st or 2nd century AD.

The problem with Albanians is somewhat similar, yet entirely different. Because they speak a unique language they don't get the "privilege" to harken back to the Roman empire. In the case of the Vlachs, it is clear cut. We know what the term signified in Slavonic: Latin/Romance speaker / Roman; even today, the Polish name for Italy is Włochy. Another example: Nennius was a 9th-century Welsh writer who wrote the Latin work Historia Brittonum. The interesting thing about this story is that it defines the Ostrogoths of Italy as "Vlachogoths" (Valagothi = Goths of 'Vlachia' or Italy).

Constantine Porphyrogenitus is a rather unreliable source (his writings are replete with references to Romans though). Cyril Mango touched on the subject. I posted it here back in 2017:
https://www.macedoniantruth.org/foru...&postcount=128

Cyril Mango says that Constantine "preferred to consult Strabo, Dionysius Periegetes, etc." instead of gathering precise information from local provincial governors, army commanders and fiscal agents.

Even later "Byzantine" writers were notoriously unreliable.

Quote:
Innocent made that assertion in a letter to Kaloyan. He either invented the lineage to placate Kaloyan and encourage him to come under the spiritual control of Catholicism, or Kaloyan directed one of his envoys in Rome to tell the story in the hope of obtaining a crown from the pope. Does the reference to Kaloyan as the leader of "the Bulgars and the Vlachs" in subsequent letters indicate such a heritage? Interestingly, a decade or so earlier John Cinnamus stated that the Vlachs were formerly colonists from Italy. As far as I've read, neither the letter of Innocent nor the works of Cinnamus point to when these forefathers or colonists travelled from Rome (or Italy) to the east of Europe. If they were referring to an ancient Roman pedigree, it doesn't appear to be explicit. Unless there are other documents that go into further detail, they could just as easily have been referring to a period more recent.

Were most of them in mountainous areas in the 15th century? Entities in both Wallachia and Moldova were already in existence by this time. Even if a sizeable amount of them were living or working in the mountains, one would have to assume that they had some sort of contact with their kinsmen in the lowlands who were exposed to humanists, missionaries and other travellers.
Anything is possible I guess, but there are no solid proofs/theories how the transmission and development might have happened. The fact that various "Vlach" groups (other than Meglen Vlachs) refer to themselves by their own unique "Roman" ethnic name is proof that these terminologies predate "modern times".

The Roman pedigree already existed in the Balkans way before the Pope or Kaloyan. Emperor Anastasius (491-518); to prove his (ethnic) Romanness, Anastasius claimed that he was biologically descended from a General of the Republic: he put it about that he was a descendant of Pompey the Great.

[Conversely, there is also Emperor Julian (331 – 363). Julian himself stated:

"...I myself am descended from the Mysians, who are absolutely inelegant, boorish, austere, uncivilized, and obstinately tenacious of their opinions, - all which are people of lamentable rusticity."]

Quote:
The forts that Procopius wrote about had Latin, Thracian and Greek names. Many were overrun in the 7th century, particularly those on the Danube. The ”torna, torna” episode was recorded in the first half of the 7th century (although it refers to an event that is said to have occurred earlier) when the transition from Latin to Greek was still in progress. That the phrase was characterised as being in the “language of the land” is of no great consequence and its lack of depth is revealed by the fact that there is no such reference to that language (or one related to it) in the same land for several centuries afterwards. The episode concerning Mauros occurred in the second half of the 7th century, only a few decades after Latin was replaced with Greek. The Vlachs aren’t mentioned until 400 years later. I think that qualifies as an extensive period of silence.

There is only one word (“torna”) to go by, “fratre” was added to the story by Theophanes almost 200 years later. There is no record of which Latin words Mauros may have used. Do you believe it has been settled in favour of Latin or Eastern Romance?
It seems that you are expecting clear cut and precise proofs and chronologies of how and when (and where) Latin morphed into Eastern Romance. There is no such proof. Morever, it seems you are rather skeptical and want to define "who" spoke Latin and "who" Eastern Romance, whereby there now exists a significant period of silence between the "two languages". We can apply this level of skepticism to any Balkan nationality.

Allow me to illustrate with an example:

Slavonic being "the language of the land" in much of the Balkans is of no great consequence, and there is no such reference to Serbian language in the "Serbian lands" for several centuries afterwards. The episodes and myths concerning some Slavic chieftains occurred in the 6th/7th c., and the Serbs aren’t mentioned by name until a few centuries later. Do you think this qualifies as an extensive period of silence between Old Slavonic and Serbian?

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Do you have a link that leads to more information on this inscription or the screenshot you provided? I would be interested to know if the d > z sound change was common in other Latin inscriptions from the region. Are you aware of any other examples?
Unfortunately, I don't have it. I'll try to dig it up. I am also not aware of any other examples.

Last edited by Carlin; 01-10-2022 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:36 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Carlin View Post
They were not absent.
I am curious to know how you can make that argument on the one hand, yet fail to provide any evidence that substantiates it on the other. I think I was rather precise with the criteria when referring to an “identifiable and cohesive group” that was a “native Latin-speaking community” – whatever they may have been called in the period between the 8th and 11th centuries.
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It's an open question though - when, how, and why the 'exonym Vlach' developed in the Balkans (and eventually started to be used "consistently" from the 11th c.). It was likely transmitted from Germanic into (Old) Slavonic and Medieval Greek
Germanic tribes had a significant presence along the Danube in late antiquity and that term, which referred to Roman and Romanised populations, was in use during that period. Perhaps a more pertinent question is why it was only applied to the Vlachs so late in history, given the claim of a continuous presence in that region since the days of Trajan.
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I feel that you're anachronistically looking back and expecting to find 'Vlachs' where there are none.
I am not sure how you came to that conclusion unless you misunderstood my point. I am less concerned about what they were called and more interested in why their presence was not documented during that period. They could have been called “Nation X” for all I care, the question remains, why was a native Latin-speaking community not specifically identified? I suppose one could argue that the sources simply lumped them in with others under the “Roman” designation, but even then, individuals and tribes of one heritage or another were often identified. A community who shared a linguistic kinship with the group who conceived the empire somehow escaped their attention? Possible, but strange nonetheless.
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Constantine Porphyrogenitus is a rather unreliable source (his writings are replete with references to Romans though). Cyril Mango touched on the subject. I posted it here back in 2017:
https://www.macedoniantruth.org/foru...&postcount=128 Cyril Mango says that Constantine "preferred to consult Strabo, Dionysius Periegetes, etc." instead of gathering precise information from local provincial governors, army commanders and fiscal agents. Even later "Byzantine" writers were notoriously unreliable.
That there was a disconnect between the aristocratic elite and the commoners is no great surprise and the same argument, to varying degrees, can also be made of many other sources from the Middle Ages. On that we can agree, although I would point out that Constantine Porphyrogenitus was not relying on Strabo when he mentioned certain tribes in the Balkans that existed during his lifetime. Notice how Mango also implies that he yearned for the Roman days of old and lamented the loss of the ancestral Latin language? If that were indeed the case, one may be excused for thinking he would jump at the chance to mention a native Latin-speaking community within his borders.
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The Roman pedigree already existed in the Balkans way before the Pope or Kaloyan. Emperor Anastasius (491-518); to prove his (ethnic) Romanness, Anastasius claimed that he was biologically descended from a General of the Republic: he put it about that he was a descendant of Pompey the Great.
Anastasius claiming descent from Pompey is marginally less fantastic than the myth about Alexander’s lineage from Zeus. It was wishful thinking to make a claim about the early Romans back then let alone almost 700 years later during the correspondence between Kaloyan and the pope.
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[Conversely, there is also Emperor Julian (331 – 363). Julian himself stated: "...I myself am descended from the Mysians, who are absolutely inelegant, boorish, austere, uncivilized, and obstinately tenacious of their opinions, - all which are people of lamentable rusticity."]
Quite an interesting characterisation by that anti-Christian graecophile. And he was referring to the population living on the banks of the Danube during his lifetime, in the middle of the 4th century. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the cultural penetration of Latin Rome in that part of the Balkans.
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It seems that you are expecting clear cut and precise proofs and chronologies of how and when (and where) Latin morphed into Eastern Romance. There is no such proof.
That is not what I am expecting. All I am doing is highlighting a problematic absence that is open to interpretation. You seem a little troubled by the possibility of exploring an interpretation that is outside the standard narrative. Don't be.
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Morever, it seems you are rather skeptical and want to define "who" spoke Latin and "who" Eastern Romance, whereby there now exists a significant period of silence between the "two languages".
The broader topic can do with a bit of healthy scepticism, and as the resident Roman enthusiast, you should welcome it. Think about what we, as Macedonians, have had to endure when challenged on our own history, then you will appreciate how an endeavour like this provides some perspective. Besides, it is genuinely an interesting subject. Now, about your reply above, I was merely pointing out that one word alone is insufficient to make a determination. Previously, you stated that the language used in the “torna” and Mauros episodes had been largely settled. So, I asked, and will ask again, do you believe it has been settled in favour of Latin or Eastern Romance?
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We can apply this level of skepticism to any Balkan nationality. Allow me to illustrate with an example: Slavonic being "the language of the land" in much of the Balkans is of no great consequence, and there is no such reference to Serbian language in the "Serbian lands" for several centuries afterwards. The episodes and myths concerning some Slavic chieftains occurred in the 6th/7th c., and the Serbs aren’t mentioned by name until a few centuries later. Do you think this qualifies as an extensive period of silence between Old Slavonic and Serbian?
I think you are smart enough to realise that what you have provided is a false equivalence that blurs language with identity. As an administrative and literary language backed by structured political institutions, Latin had a continuous presence in the Balkans for about 600 years, and that is taking the conquest of Thrace as a starting point. If the rest of the Balkans is taken into account, that period is even longer. From the second half of the 7th century, after Latin had lost its status, the sources do not appear to make any mention of a native community (by whatever ethnonym) that continued to use it as a primary spoken language in the Balkans (Dalmatia being a different story altogether). It would take 400 years, with the appearance of the Vlachs, for the first possible inference to be recorded about the existence of its Eastern Romance daughter language. The comparison with Slavic doesn’t stack up. The existence of Slavic may have been sporadically inferred in sources as it progressively disseminated in the Balkans during the 7th and 8th centuries, but a variant of it was established as a literary language in the 9th century. Since then, its use in the region has been repeatedly confirmed over the centuries and there was certainly no 400-year blackout between OCS and subsequent Slavic languages – whatever the languages or their speakers may have been called.

Allow me to proffer a somewhat more analogous example that may be found in Brittany, France. There, Gaulish probably died out before the 6th century (some suggest later, on little evidence) and Breton was attested from the 9th century. Both are from the same language family, both were/are spoken in the same region, one fell out of use centuries before the other one was attested, and the latter is geographically isolated from the rest of its modern sister languages. Note the striking parallels with Latin and Vlach. Despite both being Celtic languages, Breton was brought to that region by migrants from Britain, thus, it is not a direct continuation from Gaulish. I guess that is where the similarity with Latin and Vlach ends, or does it
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Unfortunately, I don't have it. I'll try to dig it up. I am also not aware of any other examples.
Thanks, if you find it, that would be great.
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Old 01-12-2022, 04:17 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
I am curious to know how you can make that argument on the one hand, yet fail to provide any evidence that substantiates it on the other. I think I was rather precise with the criteria when referring to an “identifiable and cohesive group” that was a “native Latin-speaking community” – whatever they may have been called in the period between the 8th and 11th centuries.
I thought that the first mention of Vlachs is from the 10th century?

They started to be mentioned more often/frequently from the 11th. c., but, nevertheless they were "first" mentioned in the 10th c. At least, that's what I think. Almost everywhere I look online they talk about George Kedrenos mentioning Vlachs in specifically 976 AD.

Is this the time period of interest? Between 8th and 10th c.? As we discussed previously there is an 8th c. 'anachronistic' reference regarding the "Vlachs" in connection with 'the Vlachs of the Rynchos' river; the original document containing the information is from the Konstamonitou monastery. (I am not sure and don't remember when the manuscript was actually written.)

Is there an 'anachronistic' 8th c. equivalent (or earlier) that mentions the Albanians in a similar manner?

Regardless, there is no mention of "Vlachs" during this 3-century epoch, but that doesn't imply they were absent. They were Roman provincials, or inhabitants of Roman empire. Do you think they were not Roman provincials and migrated into the Balkans and Dacia from elsewhere during these three centuries?

I would be interested to know your theory about this.

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Germanic tribes had a significant presence along the Danube in late antiquity and that term, which referred to Roman and Romanised populations, was in use during that period. Perhaps a more pertinent question is why it was only applied to the Vlachs so late in history, given the claim of a continuous presence in that region since the days of Trajan.

I am not sure how you came to that conclusion unless you misunderstood my point. I am less concerned about what they were called and more interested in why their presence was not documented during that period. They could have been called “Nation X” for all I care, the question remains, why was a native Latin-speaking community not specifically identified? I suppose one could argue that the sources simply lumped them in with others under the “Roman” designation, but even then, individuals and tribes of one heritage or another were often identified. A community who shared a linguistic kinship with the group who conceived the empire somehow escaped their attention? Possible, but strange nonetheless.
I guess we'll never know, perhaps due to scarcity of written sources.

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That there was a disconnect between the aristocratic elite and the commoners is no great surprise and the same argument, to varying degrees, can also be made of many other sources from the Middle Ages. On that we can agree, although I would point out that Constantine Porphyrogenitus was not relying on Strabo when he mentioned certain tribes in the Balkans that existed during his lifetime. Notice how Mango also implies that he yearned for the Roman days of old and lamented the loss of the ancestral Latin language? If that were indeed the case, one may be excused for thinking he would jump at the chance to mention a native Latin-speaking community within his borders.
Yes, I noticed that. We'll never know but I am of the opinion that the native Latin-speaking community were still Romans, or Roman citizens.

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Anastasius claiming descent from Pompey is marginally less fantastic than the myth about Alexander’s lineage from Zeus. It was wishful thinking to make a claim about the early Romans back then let alone almost 700 years later during the correspondence between Kaloyan and the pope.

Quite an interesting characterisation by that anti-Christian graecophile. And he was referring to the population living on the banks of the Danube during his lifetime, in the middle of the 4th century. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the cultural penetration of Latin Rome in that part of the Balkans.

That is not what I am expecting. All I am doing is highlighting a problematic absence that is open to interpretation. You seem a little troubled by the possibility of exploring an interpretation that is outside the standard narrative. Don't be.
I'd be interested to know your interpretation to all this. For me, I don't find it problematic at all.

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The broader topic can do with a bit of healthy scepticism, and as the resident Roman enthusiast, you should welcome it. Think about what we, as Macedonians, have had to endure when challenged on our own history, then you will appreciate how an endeavour like this provides some perspective. Besides, it is genuinely an interesting subject. Now, about your reply above, I was merely pointing out that one word alone is insufficient to make a determination. Previously, you stated that the language used in the “torna” and Mauros episodes had been largely settled. So, I asked, and will ask again, do you believe it has been settled in favour of Latin or Eastern Romance?
I believe it's been settled in favour of early eastern Romance, but I can't talk about Mauros, since there is no dialogue or words recorded that he used.

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I think you are smart enough to realise that what you have provided is a false equivalence that blurs language with identity. As an administrative and literary language backed by structured political institutions, Latin had a continuous presence in the Balkans for about 600 years, and that is taking the conquest of Thrace as a starting point. If the rest of the Balkans is taken into account, that period is even longer. From the second half of the 7th century, after Latin had lost its status, the sources do not appear to make any mention of a native community (by whatever ethnonym) that continued to use it as a primary spoken language in the Balkans (Dalmatia being a different story altogether). It would take 400 years, with the appearance of the Vlachs, for the first possible inference to be recorded about the existence of its Eastern Romance daughter language. The comparison with Slavic doesn’t stack up. The existence of Slavic may have been sporadically inferred in sources as it progressively disseminated in the Balkans during the 7th and 8th centuries, but a variant of it was established as a literary language in the 9th century. Since then, its use in the region has been repeatedly confirmed over the centuries and there was certainly no 400-year blackout between OCS and subsequent Slavic languages – whatever the languages or their speakers may have been called.
Do you think the Romans/various Latin-speakers were completely exterminated prior to the second half of the 7th century? Why / how is Dalmatia a different story?

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Allow me to proffer a somewhat more analogous example that may be found in Brittany, France. There, Gaulish probably died out before the 6th century (some suggest later, on little evidence) and Breton was attested from the 9th century. Both are from the same language family, both were/are spoken in the same region, one fell out of use centuries before the other one was attested, and the latter is geographically isolated from the rest of its modern sister languages. Note the striking parallels with Latin and Vlach. Despite both being Celtic languages, Breton was brought to that region by migrants from Britain, thus, it is not a direct continuation from Gaulish. I guess that is where the similarity with Latin and Vlach ends, or does it.
Are you saying that Vlachs migrated into the Balkans and Dacia from somewhere else, after the 7th c. AD?
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Old 01-13-2022, 07:28 PM   #50
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I will just jump in to ask SoM where you got the information on the lack of connection between Gaulish and Breton? To my understanding, Gaulish has never comfortably been classified within the Celtic family of languages and does share many similarities with the modern Brythonic languages (which would include Breton)
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