Vlachs (English: // or // , or rarely // ), also Wallachians (and many other variants ), is a historical term from the Middle Ages that designates an exonym, mostly for the Romanians who lived north and south of the Danube.
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
The Romanians are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to Romania, that share a common Romanian culture, ancestry, and speak the Romanian language, the most widespread spoken Balkan Romance language which is descended from the Latin language. According to the 2011 Romanian census, just under 89% of Romania's citizens identified themselves as ethnic Romanians.
The Danube is Europe's second longest river, after the Volga. It is located in Central and Eastern Europe.
As a contemporary term, in the English language, the Vlachs are the Balkan Romance-speaking peoples who live south of the Danube in what are now eastern Serbia, southern Albania, northern Greece, North Macedonia, and southwestern Bulgaria, as indigenous ethnic groups, such as the Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians (Macedoromanians), and Macedo-Vlachs.In Polish and Hungarian, derivations of the term were also applied to Italians. The term also became a synonym in the Balkans for the social category of shepherds , and was also used for non-Romance-speaking peoples, in recent times in the western Balkans derogatively. There is also a Vlach diaspora in other European countries, especially Romania, as well as in North America and Australia.
The Balkan Romance languages, also known as Daco-Romance languages, form the easternmost sub-branch of the Romance language family.
The BalkansBAWL-kənz, also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various definitions and meanings, including geopolitical and historical. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria from the Serbian-Bulgarian border to the Black Sea coast. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea on the northwest, the Ionian Sea on the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south and southeast, and the Black Sea on the east and northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala, 2,925 metres (9,596 ft), in the Rila mountain range, Bulgaria.
Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. It borders Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest. The country claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia's population numbers approximately seven million, most of whom are Orthodox Christians. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the longest inhabited and largest citiеs in southeastern Europe.
"Vlachs" were initially identified and described during the 11th century by George Kedrenos. According to one origin theory, modern Romanians, Moldovans and Aromanians originated from Dacians.According to some linguists and scholars, the Eastern Romance languages prove the survival of the Thraco-Romans in the lower Danube basin during the Migration Period and western Balkan populations known as "Vlachs" also have had Romanized Illyrian origins.
George Kedrenos or Cedrenus was a Byzantine historian. In the 1050s he compiled Synopsis historion, which spanned the time from the biblical account of creation to his own day. Kedrenos is one of the few sources that discuss Khazar polities in existence after the sack of Atil in 969.
Several theories address the issue of the origin of the Romanians. The Romanian language descends from the Vulgar Latin dialects spoken in the Roman provinces north of the "Jireček Line" in Late Antiquity. The theory of Daco-Roman continuity argues that the Romanians are mainly descended from the Daco-Romans, a people developing through the cohabitation of the native Dacians and the Roman colonists in the province of Dacia Traiana north of the river Danube. The competing immigrationist theory states that the Romanians' ethnogenesis commenced in the provinces south of the river with Romanized local populations spreading through mountain refuges, both south to Greece and north through the Carpathian Mountains. Other theories state that the Romanized local populations were present over a wide area on both sides of the Danube and the river itself did not constitute an obstacle to permanent exchanges in both directions; according to the "admigration" theory, migrations from the Balkan Peninsula to the lands north of the Danube contributed to the survival of the Romance-speaking population in these territories.
Moldovans or Moldavians are the largest ethnic group of the Republic of Moldova, and a significant minority in Ukraine and Russia. Under the variant Moldavians, the term may also be used to refer to all inhabitants of the territory of historical Principality of Moldavia, currently divided among Romania (47.5%), Moldova (30.5%) and Ukraine (22%), regardless of ethnic identity.
Nowadays, Eastern Romance-speaking communities are estimated at 26–30 million people worldwide (including the Romanian diaspora and Moldovan diaspora).All Balkan countries have indigenous Romance-speaking minorities.
The Romanian diaspora is the ethnically Romanian population outside Romania and Moldova. The concept does not usually include the ethnic Romanians who live as natives in nearby states, chiefly those Romanians who live in Ukraine and Serbia. Therefore, the number of all Romanians abroad is estimated at about 4–12 million people, depending on one's definition of the term "Romanian" as well as the inclusion/exclusion of ethnic Romanians living in nearby countries where they are indigenous. The definition of "who is a Romanian?" may range from rigorous conservative estimates based on self-identification and official statistics to estimates that include people of Romanian ancestry born in their respective countries as well as people born to ethnic-minorities from Romania.
The Moldovan diaspora is a diaspora of Moldovan ancestry, including, depending on definition, ethnic Moldovans or citizens of Moldova of any ethnic origin. Very few of them have settled in other parts of the world, but there is a significant number of them in some countries, mostly in the former Soviet Union, Italy, Spain, Romania, Portugal, Greece, Canada and the United States.
The word Vlach/Wallachian (and other variants such as Vlah, Valah, Valach, Voloh, Blac, Oláh, Vlas, Ilac, Ulah, etc. : Volcae, Strabo and Ptolemy's Greek : Ouolkai). Via Latin, in Gothic, as *walhs, the ethnonym took on the meaning "foreigner" or "Romance-speaker", and was adopted into Greek Vláhi (Βλάχοι), Slavic Vlah, Hungarian oláh and olasz, etc. The root word was notably adopted in Germanic for Wales and Walloon, and in Switzerland for Romansh-speakers (German : Welsch), and in Poland Włochy or in Hungary olasz became an exonym for Italians.) is etymologically derived from the ethnonym of a Celtic tribe, adopted into Proto-Germanic *Walhaz , which meant "stranger", from *Wolkā- (Caesar's Latin
The Celts are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Europe identified by their use of Celtic languages and cultural similarities. The history of pre-Celtic Europe and the exact relationship between ethnic, linguistic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial. The exact geographic spread of the ancient Celts is disputed; in particular, the ways in which the Iron Age inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland should be regarded as Celts have become a subject of controversy. According to one theory, the common root of the Celtic languages, the Proto-Celtic language, arose in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC.
The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by a population of about 515 million people mainly in Europe, North America, Oceania and Southern Africa.
*Walhaz is a reconstructed Proto-Germanic word meaning "Roman", "Romance-speaker", or "Celtic-speaker". The term was used by the ancient Germanic peoples to describe inhabitants of the former Western Roman Empire, who were largely romanised and spoke Latin or Celtic languages. The adjectival form is attested in Old Norse valskr, meaning "French"; Old High German walhisk, meaning "Romance"; New High German welsch, used in Switzerland and South Tyrol for Romance speakers; Dutch Waals "Walloon"; Old English welisċ, wælisċ, wilisċ, meaning "Romano-British". The form of these words imply that they are descended from a Proto-Germanic form *walhiska-. It is attested in the Roman Iron Age from an inscription on one of the Tjurkö bracteates, where walhakurne "Roman/Gallic grain" is apparently a kenning for "gold".
Historically, the term was used primarily for the Romanians. Testimonies from the 13th-14th centuries show that, although in the European (and even extra-European) space they were called Vlachs or Wallachians (Oláh in Hungarian, Vláchoi (βλάχοι) in Greek, Volóxi (воло́хи) in Russian, Walachen in German, Valacchi in Italian, Valaques in French, Valacos in Spanish), the Romanians used for themselves the endonym "Rumân/Român", from the Latin "Romanus" (in memory of Rome).
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants ) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.
Via both Germanic and Latin, the term started to signify "stranger, foreigner" also in the Balkans, where it in its early form was used for Romance-speakers, but the term eventually took on the meaning of "shepherd, nomad".The Romance-speaking communities themselves however used the endonym (they called themselves) "Romans".
During the early history of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, there was a social class of Vlachs in Serbia and Ottoman Macedonia, made up of Christians who served as auxiliary forces and had the same rights as Muslims.In Croatia, the term became derogatory, and Vlasi was used for the ethnic Serb community who, despite being Slavic, were given the term due to the Orthodox faith which they shared with the Vlachs.
Romanian scholars have suggested that the term Vlach appeared for the first time in the Eastern Roman Empire and was subsequently spread to the Germanic- and then Slavic-speaking worlds through the Norsemen (possibly by Varangians), who were in trade and military contact with Byzantium during the early Middle Ages (see also Blakumen).
Nowadays, the term Vlachs (also known under other names, such as "Koutsovlachs", "Tsintsars", "Karagouni", "Chobani", "Vlasi", etc.) is used in scholarship for the Romance-speaking communities in the Balkans, especially those in Greece, Albania and North Macedonia. In Serbia the term Vlach (Serbian Vlah, plural Vlasi) is also used to refer to Romanian speakers, especially those living in eastern Serbia. Aromanians themselves use the endonym "Armãn" (plural "Armãni") or "Rãmãn" (plural "Rãmãni"), etymologically from "Romanus", meaning "Roman". Megleno-Romanians designate themselves with the Macedonian form Vla (plural Vlaš) in their own language.
Byzantine historians used the term Vlachs for Latin speakers.
The 7th century Byzantine historiographer Theophylact Simocatta wrote about “Blachernae” in connection with some historical data of the 6th century, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Maurice.
First precise data about Vlachs are in connection with the Vlachs of the Rynchos river; the original document containing the information is from the Konstamonitou monastery.
During the late 9th century the Hungarians invaded the Carpathian Basin, where the province of Pannonia was inhabited by the "Slavs [Sclavi], Bulgarians [Bulgarii] and Vlachs [Blachii], and the shepherds of the Romans [pastores Romanorum]" (sclauij, Bulgarij et Blachij, ac pastores romanorum —according to the Gesta Hungarorum , written around 1200 by the anonymous chancellor of King Béla III of Hungary.
George Kedrenos mentioned about Vlachs in 976. The Vlachs were guides and guards of Roman caravans in Balkans. Between Prespa and Kastoria they met and fought with a Bulgarian rebel named David. The Vlachs killed David in their first documented battle.
Mutahhar al-Maqdisi, "They say that in the Turkic neighbourhood there are the Khazars, Russians, Slavs, Waladj, Alans, Greeks and many other peoples."
Ibn al-Nadīm published in 938 the work “Kitāb al-Fihrist” mentioning “Turks, Bulgars and Vlahs” (using Blagha for Vlachs)
Byzantine writer Kekaumenos, author of the Strategikon (1078), described a 1066 revolt against the emperor in Northern Greece led by Nicolitzas Delphinas and other Vlachs.
The names Blakumen or Blökumenn is mentioned in Nordic sagas dating between the 11th–13th centuries, with respect to events that took place in either 1018 or 1019 somewhere at the northwestern part of the Black Sea and believed by some to be related to the Vlachs.
The Russian Primary Chronicle, written in ca. 1113, wrote when the Volochi (Vlachs) attacked the Slavs of the Danube and settled among them and oppressed them, the Slavs departed and settled on the Vistula, under the name of Leshi.The Hungarians drove away the Vlachs and took the land and settled there.
Traveler Benjamin of Tudela (1130–1173) of the Kingdom of Navarre was one of the first writers to use the word Vlachs for a Romance-speaking population.
Byzantine historian John Kinnamos described Leon Vatatzes' military expedition along the northern Danube, where Vatatzes mentioned the participation of Vlachs in battles with the Magyars (Hungarians) in 1166.
The uprising of brothers Asen and Peter was a revolt of Bulgarians and Vlachs living in the theme of Paristrion of the Byzantine Empire, caused by a tax increase. It began on 26 October 1185, the feast day of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki, and ended with the creation of the Second Bulgarian Empire, also known in its early history as the Empire of Bulgarians and Vlachs.
In 1213 an army of Romans (Vlachs), Transylvanian Saxons, and Pechenegs, led by Ioachim of Sibiu, attacked the Bulgars and Cumans from Vidin.After this, all Hungarian battles in the Carpathian region were supported by Romance-speaking soldiers from Transylvania.
At the end of the 13th century, during the reign of Ladislaus the Cuman, Simon de Kéza wrote about the Blacki people and placed them in Pannonia with the Huns.Archaeological discoveries indicate that Transylvania was gradually settled by the Magyars, and the last region defended by the Vlachs and Pechenegs (until 1200) was between the Olt River and the Carpathians.
Shortly after the fall of the Olt region, a church was built at the Cârța Monastery and Catholic German-speaking settlers from Rhineland and Mosel Valley (known as Transylvanian Saxons) began to settle in the Orthodox region.In the Diploma Andreanum issued by King Andrew II of Hungary in 1224, "silva blacorum et bissenorum" was given to the settlers. The Orthodox Vlachs spread further northward along the Carpathians to Poland, Slovakia, and Moravia and were granted autonomy under Ius Vlachonicum (Walachian law).
In 1285 Ladislaus the Cuman fought the Tatars and Cumans, arriving with his troops at the Moldova River. A town, Baia (near the said river), was documented in 1300 as settled by the Transylvanian Saxons (see also Foundation of Moldavia).In 1290 Ladislaus the Cuman was assassinated; the new Hungarian king allegedly drove voivode Radu Negru and his people across the Carpathians, where they formed Wallachia along with its first capital Câmpulung (see also Foundation of Wallachia).
The biggest caravan shipment between Podvisoki in Bosnia and Republic of Ragusa was recorded on August 9, 1428 where Vlachs transported 1500 modius of salt with 600 horses.
In addition to the ethnic groups of Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, and Istro-Romanians who emerged during the Migration Period, other Vlachs could be found as far north as Poland, as far west as Moravia and Dalmatia.In search of better pasture, they were called Vlasi or Valaši by the Slavs.
States mentioned in medieval chronicles were:
Regions and places are:
As national states appeared in the area of the former Ottoman Empire, new state borders were developed that divided the summer and winter habitats of many of the pastoral groups. During the Middle Ages, many Vlachs were shepherds who drove their flocks through the mountains of Central and Eastern Europe. Vlach shepherds may be found as far north as southern Poland (Podhale) and the eastern Czech Republic (Moravia) by following the Carpathians, the Dinaric Alps in the west, the Pindus Mountains in the south, and the Caucasus Mountains in the east.
The medieval Vlachs have elevated decorated funerary monuments in Herzegovina (Radimlja, Boljuni, Blidinje, etc) and surrounding countries. The Vlach origin of tombstones was attested by Bogumil Hrabak (1956) and Marian Wenzel (1962)and by the archeological and anthropological researches of skeleton remains from the graves under stećci.
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that in 1550 a foreign writer, the Italian Gromo, called the Banat "Valachia citeriore" (the Wallachia that stands on this side).
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Lower Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians. Wallachia is traditionally divided into two sections, Muntenia and Oltenia. Wallachia as a whole is sometimes referred to as Muntenia through identification with the larger of the two traditional sections.
Mircea the Elder was Voivode of Wallachia from 1386 until his death. The byname "elder" was given to him after his death in order to distinguish him from his grandson Mircea II, although some historians believe the epithet was given to him as a sign of respect by later generations. He is considered the most important Wallachian ruler during the Middle Ages and one of the great rulers of his era, and starting in the 19th century Romanian historiography has also referred to him as Mircea the Great.
The Aromanians are a Romance ethnic group native to the Balkans, traditionally living in northern and central Greece, central and southern Albania, North Macedonia, south-western Bulgaria and Serbia. The term Vlachs (Romanians) is used in Greece to refer to Aromanians, but this term is internationally used to encompass all Romance-speaking peoples of the Balkans and Tatra Mountains regions.
The Megleno-Romanians, Moglenite Vlachs or simply Meglenites or Vlachs are a small Eastern Romance people, originally inhabiting seven villages in the Moglena region spanning the Pella and Kilkis regional units of Central Macedonia, Greece, and one village, Huma, across the border in North Macedonia. These people live in an area of approximately 300 km2 in size. Unlike the Aromanian Vlachs, the other Romance speaking population in the same historic region, the Meglen Vlachs are traditionally sedentary agriculturalists, and not traditionally transhumants.
This article is about the history of the Aromanians. For the history of Northern Vlachs (Romanians), see History of Romania.
Blachernae was a suburb in the northwestern section of Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine Empire. It is the site of a water source and a number of prominent churches were built there, most notably the great Church of St. Mary of Blachernae, built by Empress Pulcheria in c. 450, expanded by Emperor Leo I and renovated by Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century.
The name of Romania (România) comes from the Romanian Român, which is a derivative of the Latin adjective Romanus (Roman). Romanians are a people living in Central and South-Eastern Europe speaking a Romance language.
There are several names of the Aromanians used throughout the Balkans, both autonyms and exonyms.
The term Thraco-Roman describes the Romanized culture of Thracians under the rule of the Roman Empire.
Apostol Mărgărit or Apostolos Margaritis was an Aromanian school teacher and writer. One of the most important voices of Aromanian emancipation in the 19th century, he conditioned Romania's policy toward the Aromanians, who started to have their own schools in their own language, thanks to Mărgărit's efforts.
Vlachs, are a community concentrated in the Vidin Province in the northwestern part of Bulgaria. Most of this people declare themselves vlasi (Vlachs) when asked in Bulgarian. The Vlachs in Bulgaria are not recognized as a national minority, and as an ethnic group and they don't have ethnic rights in schools or churches since the Interwar period.
This is a timeline of Romanian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Romania and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Romania.
Camil Bujor Mureşanu was a Romanian historian, professor, author, and translator.
Aromanian, also known as Macedo-Romanian or Vlach, is an Eastern Romance language, similar to Meglenoromanian, or a dialect of the Romanian language spoken in Southeastern Europe. Its speakers are called Aromanians or Vlachs.
Blakumen or Blökumenn were a people mentioned in Scandinavian sources dating from the 11th through 13th centuries. The name of their land, Blokumannaland, has also been preserved. Victor Spinei, Florin Curta, Florin Pintescu and other historians identify them as Romanians, while Omeljan Pritsak argues that they were Cumans. Judith Jesch adds the possibility that the terms meant "black men", the meaning of which is unclear. Historians identify Blokumannaland as the lands south of the Lower Danube which were inhabited by Vlachs in the Middle Ages, adding that the term may refer to either Wallachia or Africa in the modern Icelandic language.
After a series of quick tactical victories on the numerically overpowered Austro-Hungarian forces in Transylvania, in the autumn of 1916, the Romanian Army suffered a series of devastating defeats, which forced the Romanian military and administration to withdraw to Western Moldavia, allowing the Central Powers to occupy two thirds of the national territory, including the state capital, Bucharest.
The foreign policy of Romania in the years preceding the outbreak of World War I was characterized by the nation's need to contend with the rise and shifting rivalries of the Great Powers of the pre-war era. Its primary objectives were to maintain its territorial integrity and maintain friendly relations with neighboring nations. This culminated in Romania secretly joining the Triple Alliance in 1883. However, the nation would later reverse course, declaring neutrality for the first two years of the war before entering on the side of the Triple Entente in 1916.
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