Aromanians in Greece, Albania and Bulgaria

Psellos

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
2,666
the Polis
Cover your selves guys...we are sending agents to hellenize you all...:lol:

Don't you understand that if you had a solid identity now and in the past...you would not even discuss about hellenization... If some of your ancestors were a bit confused its not our fault... they should had opened their medieval and ancient albanian and romanian books and strenghthen their identity...:zany:
 
Oct 2013
14,438
Europix
... If some of your ancestors were a bit confused its not our fault... they should had opened their medieval and ancient albanian and romanian books and strenghthen their identity...:zany:
You know, it might be questioned how many Greek use to open a book in medieval times. Or, how many books written in Greek, had really something to do with Greek people. Or how many of the authors writing in Greek were Greeks . In medieval times.

But also, You could have had formulated Your point by argumenting politely and intelligently that a small enclaved community, surrounded by one people (that had also the "atout" of a great culture) has naturally the tendency to be influenced by that culture, influence that can become an assimilation in time. And that was most of the time not imposed by the Greeks, even if sometimes, the Greek state didn't had the best aproach towards minorities.

Well, instead, You choose phrases with a bit too much sarcasm, and, if I may, a too superior air.

I am lucky to have some Greek friends, so I know that You are one of the very few exceptions that are not honoring the great people and culture they are related with ...
 

Perix

Ad Honoris
Dec 2009
10,009
Romania
....You are one of the very few exceptions that are not honoring the great people and culture they are related with ...
Yes, Psellos, he is right! Unfortunately, I don't share his opinion that are only few greeks like you. But, as I saw in these videos, is encouraging that awesome greeks exist. I wish them good luck in changing people like you!
 
Dec 2009
5,558
Poland
Or, how many books written in Greek, had really something to do with Greek people.
Indeed, for example many Jews were writing in Greek language - already during the Hellenistic period.

Alexandria in Ptolemaic Egypt was the largest Jewish Diaspora community in the world at that time.

According to Philo of Alexandria, Jews in Alexandria numbered 40% of the city's population during the 1st century AD.

In Egypt as a whole, there were around 1 million Jews in the 1st century AD (about 12% of population).
 
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Psellos

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
2,666
the Polis
Indeed, for example many Jews were writing in Greek language - already during the Hellenistic period.

Alexandria in Ptolemaic Egypt was the largest Jewish Diaspora community in the world at that time.

According to Philo of Alexandria, Jews in Alexandria numbered 40% of the city's population during the 1st century AD.

In Egypt as a whole, there were around 1 million Jews in the 1st century AD (about 12% of population).
Of course. We of course know Philo and Josephus. They expressed themselves in Greek, and describe in the text that they are not Greeks and not their native tongue. Of course in Alexandria the most populous element was the Greek, next were the local Copts, and the Jews after them.
 
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Jul 2012
760
Australia
Nice discussion guys from one standing on the outside looking in.

My interest in the Balkans is understanding the development of slavic cultures and states, and the dynamics of ethnicity and nationalism, so in the process I am interested in related Balkan developments. The Aromanians/Vlahs are indeed intriguing. Never really heard of them before following Balkan threads on Historum. Even checked some of my old history books on the area and sure enough they do get a mention in some distant references together with many other minor groups.

Just to share a few thoughts with you.

I accept that Vlah is a word first used by Goths to name the non-Goth peoples they encountered. That is, Vlah means foreigner; a very generalised term. So how does Vlah become used for a specific group of people by non-gothic people?

I'll answer that question shortly. What we do need to appreciate is that the political landscape of the Balkans has been extraordinarily volatile for over a millenia. Moreso than other areas of Europe, the Balkans have witnessed groups outside the Balkans projecting their power into it, severely undermining the ability of local groups to evolve their political and cultural units in their own choosing.

The first cataclysmic change for the Balkans was the arrival of the Romans and Roman civilisation, which the local tribes and states (apart from the Greeks, for whom the Romans had a special status anyway), readily accepted. In large part these tribes became latin speakers and integrated into Roman civilisation.

The next cataclysmic change was the Age of Migrations and the arrival of the Slavs specifically. A new cultural zone would now develop with the slavs, quite different to the preceding Roman, Greek and Illyrian/Thracian/Dacian.

Finally there was the arrival of the Ottomans and Islam.

Then there were the Avars, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Western Crusaders, Venetians, vying for some influence over the area in some way at some time.

In all this it was difficult for any continuing state or culture to develop and reproduce itself according to its own choosing. In time new states and cultures did emerge, but their definitions viz its neighbours were not that clear; less so in defining ones geography.

When Roman civilization slowly declined it was not replaced by anything enduring. It is only in the 20th and 21st centuries that we are seeing something stable emerge.
The old ways of life slowly died out in most areas, the speed and extent varied according to proximity to other ways of life, the time spent in the sphere of some other's influence, the extent of competitors. In this landscape, some of the old
survived - areas that were easy to avoid direct or penetrating contact with power centres. In this way some areas could maintain some semblance of their old way of life. In this way some latin language-based people survived.

Vlah seems a good word for these remnants of a by-gone world, and in relation to the new cultures that emerged, did sound foreign. The cost of holding onto these old ways was being left out of the developments of the time. The best areas to survive were hard to get to areas, like mountains. The lifestyle that they would develop would be one that is supported by their environment - no wonder shepherding features prominently among Vlahs. That's not to deny that some did participate in the life of their host communities.

These groups that are now labelled Vlah (Aromanians included) need not be connected in any biological, social or cultural ways. Vlah is a label that was imposed by outsiders that in time became accepted by the grooup. They are just the people that do not fit in the majority cultural environment; in some areas they were more dominant than in others. Their similarities are linked to original language base (Latin) and socio-economic activities that sustained them. By the luck of history they have survived to this day.

Unfortunately when the new states of the Balkans were being negotiated in the 19th century, by violent and political means, the lack of even a rudimentary Vlah state structure, due only to their lack of contiguous geographical spread and access to diversified resources, meant they missed out in the new nation-state game. They are now an outside, fragmented group. The modern world is not kind to outside groups and the rewards of modern society have been going to the majority cultural units. No surprise their numbers are declining and they are at the mercy of their host culture's good nature. r
Then there is the matter of Romanians who claim to be descendent from Vlahs. The territory of Romania (ex TRansylvania) could not support indigenously created states before the 14th century as this area was constantly receiving migrating tribes from the steppes. Only when this finished - the Tartars and Mongols were the last - could states develop and prosper. So Wallachia under Besarab now gets going, and later, Moldavians expand into the area further north. By now the people of this area were a mix of many sources - of early inhabitiants, Slavs, Bulgars and a host of all the asiatic tribes that past through here. To think that this region could claim some sort of continuous heritage from the past is not sustainable. Certainly various strains survived, but that is a long way short of claiming a continuous heritage. What develops here is new - it may have many components, and some more pronounced than others, but it is still new.

The question is why when 3 states joined into one did they want to highlight the Latin connection, and not their other strains, or just stand on their own? A Romanian state had an interest in distinguishing itself from the Catholic states of Hungary to the west and Poland to the north and the Islamic religion of the Ottomans, from the Greek Phanariots that ran the administration and the religious dependence on the Greek Orthodox Church, and the increasing territorial threats from the Russians to the north.

Once the idea of a Romania stressing its Latin roots was established, the idea of nation-states generally accepted, and boundaries between the emerging states in the Balkans not yet properly defined, making a Vlah-Romanian connection helped to advance the Romanian cause.

Vlahs and Aromanians survived in some form as they had viable local communities. But these communties did not stretch to the state culture which was dominated by another cultural unit. Where local communities had little contact with the state culture they could reprodue their local culture. However, as more people get drawn into the modern globalised world - through education and employment, by replicating trends seen on TV, in magazines, on the internet - the relevance of the local community culture diminishes. Fewer people are left to reproduce it and in time the local culture dies. This seems to be what is happening in Greece. Aromanians there are not adverse to bi-culturalism and appear to accept Aromanian receding to the personal level. Of course there will be some individuals and groups that will lament this development. However, once a group population drops below a threshold level and does not create its own state level culture, then it is at risk. It may find a new life as a minority and make an arrangement with the dominant culture, but it remains at risk of fading away.

A wealthy, sophisticated modern society is good at allowing small groups to survive within the state culture when it sees diversity as a positive, a contributor to the strength of the society. Ethnic and minority groups can be easily accomodated in this manner. But if the wealth and sophication does not exist then diversity may be a threat.

Here's an interest contemporary blog on the death of language and culture - nothing to do with the Balkans, but relevant nevertheless:
David Malouf | Songs From The Wood

In summary, Vlahs and Aromanians are a remanent of earlier latin-speaking people who survived in some areas thanks to the lack of consistent state formations around them. Now that states in the Balkans are formalising, their position has become more marginal. Romania has given them a home, but elsewhere Vlah and Aromanian communities are making their arrangements with their host countries in various ways that may well result with their final assimilation. Where the state boundaries are not yet fully agreed and formalised there the Vlahs and Aromanians may exist in greater numbers and be a focal point of political life.
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,932
Romania
These groups that are now labelled Vlah (Aromanians included) need not be connected in any biological, social or cultural ways. Vlah is a label that was imposed by outsiders that in time became accepted by the grooup. They are just the people that do not fit in the majority cultural environment; in some areas they were more dominant than in others. Their similarities are linked to original language base (Latin) and socio-economic activities that sustained them. By the luck of history they have survived to this day.
Letting aside other aspects, a familiarization with Romanian and Aromanian etc. languages will show you that your assumption re: they "need not be connected [...]" is false, because their similarities are more deeper than those implied by a simple common original base in Latin.
 

Perix

Ad Honoris
Dec 2009
10,009
Romania
Nice discussion guys from one standing on the outside looking in.

My interest in the Balkans is understanding the development of slavic cultures and states, and the dynamics of ethnicity and nationalism, so in the process I am interested in related Balkan developments. The Aromanians/Vlahs are indeed intriguing. Never really heard of them before following Balkan threads on Historum. Even checked some of my old history books on the area and sure enough they do get a mention in some distant references together with many other minor groups.

Just to share a few thoughts with you.

I accept that Vlah is a word first used by Goths to name the non-Goth peoples they encountered. That is, Vlah means foreigner; a very generalised term. So how does Vlah become used for a specific group of people by non-gothic people?

I'll answer that question shortly. What we do need to appreciate is that the political landscape of the Balkans has been extraordinarily volatile for over a millenia. Moreso than other areas of Europe, the Balkans have witnessed groups outside the Balkans projecting their power into it, severely undermining the ability of local groups to evolve their political and cultural units in their own choosing.

The first cataclysmic change for the Balkans was the arrival of the Romans and Roman civilisation, which the local tribes and states (apart from the Greeks, for whom the Romans had a special status anyway), readily accepted. In large part these tribes became latin speakers and integrated into Roman civilisation.

The next cataclysmic change was the Age of Migrations and the arrival of the Slavs specifically. A new cultural zone would now develop with the slavs, quite different to the preceding Roman, Greek and Illyrian/Thracian/Dacian.

Finally there was the arrival of the Ottomans and Islam.

Then there were the Avars, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Western Crusaders, Venetians, vying for some influence over the area in some way at some time.

In all this it was difficult for any continuing state or culture to develop and reproduce itself according to its own choosing. In time new states and cultures did emerge, but their definitions viz its neighbours were not that clear; less so in defining ones geography.

When Roman civilization slowly declined it was not replaced by anything enduring. It is only in the 20th and 21st centuries that we are seeing something stable emerge.
The old ways of life slowly died out in most areas, the speed and extent varied according to proximity to other ways of life, the time spent in the sphere of some other's influence, the extent of competitors. In this landscape, some of the old
survived - areas that were easy to avoid direct or penetrating contact with power centres. In this way some areas could maintain some semblance of their old way of life. In this way some latin language-based people survived.

Vlah seems a good word for these remnants of a by-gone world, and in relation to the new cultures that emerged, did sound foreign. The cost of holding onto these old ways was being left out of the developments of the time. The best areas to survive were hard to get to areas, like mountains. The lifestyle that they would develop would be one that is supported by their environment - no wonder shepherding features prominently among Vlahs. That's not to deny that some did participate in the life of their host communities.

These groups that are now labelled Vlah (Aromanians included) need not be connected in any biological, social or cultural ways. Vlah is a label that was imposed by outsiders that in time became accepted by the grooup. They are just the people that do not fit in the majority cultural environment; in some areas they were more dominant than in others. Their similarities are linked to original language base (Latin) and socio-economic activities that sustained them. By the luck of history they have survived to this day.

Unfortunately when the new states of the Balkans were being negotiated in the 19th century, by violent and political means, the lack of even a rudimentary Vlah state structure, due only to their lack of contiguous geographical spread and access to diversified resources, meant they missed out in the new nation-state game. They are now an outside, fragmented group. The modern world is not kind to outside groups and the rewards of modern society have been going to the majority cultural units. No surprise their numbers are declining and they are at the mercy of their host culture's good nature. r
Then there is the matter of Romanians who claim to be descendent from Vlahs. The territory of Romania (ex TRansylvania) could not support indigenously created states before the 14th century as this area was constantly receiving migrating tribes from the steppes. Only when this finished - the Tartars and Mongols were the last - could states develop and prosper. So Wallachia under Besarab now gets going, and later, Moldavians expand into the area further north. By now the people of this area were a mix of many sources - of early inhabitiants, Slavs, Bulgars and a host of all the asiatic tribes that past through here. To think that this region could claim some sort of continuous heritage from the past is not sustainable. Certainly various strains survived, but that is a long way short of claiming a continuous heritage. What develops here is new - it may have many components, and some more pronounced than others, but it is still new.

The question is why when 3 states joined into one did they want to highlight the Latin connection, and not their other strains, or just stand on their own? A Romanian state had an interest in distinguishing itself from the Catholic states of Hungary to the west and Poland to the north and the Islamic religion of the Ottomans, from the Greek Phanariots that ran the administration and the religious dependence on the Greek Orthodox Church, and the increasing territorial threats from the Russians to the north.

Once the idea of a Romania stressing its Latin roots was established, the idea of nation-states generally accepted, and boundaries between the emerging states in the Balkans not yet properly defined, making a Vlah-Romanian connection helped to advance the Romanian cause.

Vlahs and Aromanians survived in some form as they had viable local communities. But these communties did not stretch to the state culture which was dominated by another cultural unit. Where local communities had little contact with the state culture they could reprodue their local culture. However, as more people get drawn into the modern globalised world - through education and employment, by replicating trends seen on TV, in magazines, on the internet - the relevance of the local community culture diminishes. Fewer people are left to reproduce it and in time the local culture dies. This seems to be what is happening in Greece. Aromanians there are not adverse to bi-culturalism and appear to accept Aromanian receding to the personal level. Of course there will be some individuals and groups that will lament this development. However, once a group population drops below a threshold level and does not create its own state level culture, then it is at risk. It may find a new life as a minority and make an arrangement with the dominant culture, but it remains at risk of fading away.

A wealthy, sophisticated modern society is good at allowing small groups to survive within the state culture when it sees diversity as a positive, a contributor to the strength of the society. Ethnic and minority groups can be easily accomodated in this manner. But if the wealth and sophication does not exist then diversity may be a threat.

Here's an interest contemporary blog on the death of language and culture - nothing to do with the Balkans, but relevant nevertheless:
David Malouf | Songs From The Wood

In summary, Vlahs and Aromanians are a remanent of earlier latin-speaking people who survived in some areas thanks to the lack of consistent state formations around them. Now that states in the Balkans are formalising, their position has become more marginal. Romania has given them a home, but elsewhere Vlah and Aromanian communities are making their arrangements with their host countries in various ways that may well result with their final assimilation. Where the state boundaries are not yet fully agreed and formalised there the Vlahs and Aromanians may exist in greater numbers and be a focal point of political life.
this is a decent assertion, but, if the theme is about them, aromanian and romanian languages deserve a better analyse: it would reveal no way of initial separate development of the two languages and peoples. Also, the areal of the "vlachs"(both romanian and romanians" between 7 cnt to 19 cnt, deserve a better approach: it would reveal "vlachs" lived in their natural habitat, not too much menanced by diverse turmoils and invassions
 

Psellos

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
2,666
the Polis
this is a decent assertion, but, if the theme is about them, aromanian and romanian languages deserve a better analyse: it would reveal no way of initial separate development of the two languages and peoples. Also, the areal of the "vlachs"(both romanian and romanians" between 7 cnt to 19 cnt, deserve a better approach: it would reveal "vlachs" lived in their natural habitat, not too much menanced by diverse turmoils and invassions
Well we know few, or to be more precise...nothing, for romance languages before 1500...and even later...what kind of conclusions can we have. Balkan area is a huge area, that latinised people from Paionia and Dacia could have romanised and have produced similar dialects, as they've probably done.
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,932
Romania
Well we know few, or to be more precise...nothing, for romance languages before 1500...and even later...what kind of conclusions can we have. Balkan area is a huge area, that latinised people from Paionia and Dacia could have romanised and have produced similar dialects, as they've probably done.
Purely abstract talking again, try to read some serious books on the subject. BTW, letting aside the information which I already provided in this thread and others similar, as you like to quote Byzantine authors, did you read Laonikos Chalkokondyles' ([ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laonikos_Chalkokondyles]Laonikos Chalkokondyles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]) Proofs of Histories? About Romanians see especially 77-78, the Aromanians are mentioned at 34,35 and 319,35. For those interested, the Romanian translation is available at dacoromanica.ro, search for „Expuneri istorice/Chalcocondil, Laonic”.
 
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