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.
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 Czech, Polish and Hungarian, derivations of the term were also applied to Italians. In the Slovene the term Lahi has been used to designate Italians. In the last 70 years the word Italijani prevailed over Lahi. 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.
"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.
Nowadays, Eastern Romance-speaking communities are estimated at 26–30 million people worldwide (including the Romanian diaspora and Moldovan diaspora).
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
Historically, the term was used primarily for the Romanians.Testimonies from the 13th to 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). Vlachs are referred in late Byzantine documents as Bulgaro-Albano-Vlachs ("Bulgaralbanitoblahos"), or Serbo-Albano-Bulgaro-Vlachs
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". Term Vlach can denote various ethnic elements: "Slovak, Hungarian, Balkan, Transylvanian, Romanian, or even Albanian".
During the early history of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, there was a military class of Vlachs in Serbia and Ottoman Macedonia, made up of Christians who served as auxiliary forces and had the same rights as Muslims, but their origin is not entirely clear.Some Greeks used “vlachos” as a pejorative term. The term "Vlachs" can be used in the whole Balkan area in derogatory way because nomads are traditionally considered "dirty" and "aggressive". Some Croats used that term for Serbs, the city dwellers, the country people and so on. While the Hapsburgs called all Orthodox settlers Vlachs. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the Bosnians called inhabitants of Dubrovnik as Vlachs, in Žumberak members of the Greek Catholic Church were called Vlachs, in Carniola residents of Žumberak in general were Vlachs. In Posavina and Bihać area Muslims called Vlachs as Christians (both Orthodox and Catholics) while Catholics under that name consider Orthodox Christians. For residents of the Dalmatian islands Vlachs are population which live in the Biokovo area, Kajkavian inhabitants of northwestern Croatia all Shtokavian immigrants (either Croats or Serbs) call as Vlachs. The name Vlach in Dalmatia also has negative connotations ie "newcomer", "peasant", "ignorant" while in Istria the ethnonym Vlach is used to make a distinction between the native Croats and newly settled Istro-Romanian and Slavic population which coming in the 15th and 16th century.
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.
The Hellenic chronicle could possibly qualify to the first testimony of Vlachs in Pannonia and Eastern Europe during the time of Attila.
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.
Chroniclers John Skylitzes and George Kedrenos wrote that in 971, during battles between Romans and Varangians led by Sveinald (Sviatoslav), the dwellers of North side of Danube came to Emperor John I Tzimiskes and they handed over their fortresses and the Emperor sent troops to guard the fortresses. During those times, Northern part of Danube were dwelled by sedentary Vlachs and tribes of nomad Pechenegs who lived in tents.
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.
In the Bulgarian state of the 11th and 12th century, Vlachs live in large numbers, and they where equals to the Bulgarian population.
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 the 14th century royal charters include and some segregation policies declaring that "a Serb shall not marry a Vlach."
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.
Some researchers, like Bogumil Hrabak and Marian Wenzel, theorized that the origins of Stećci tombstones, which appeared in medieval Bosnia between 12th and 16th century, could be attributed to Vlach burial culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina of that times.
According to Ilona Czamańska "for several recent centuries the investigation of the Vlachian ethno genesis was so much dominated by political issues that any progress in this respect was incredibly difficult." Migration of the Vlachs may be the key for solving the problem of ethno genesis, but the problem is that many migrations were in multiple directions during the same time. These migrations were not just part of the Balkans and the Carpathians, they exist and in the Caucasus, the Adriatic islands and possibly over the entire region of the Mediterranean Sea. Because of this, our knowledge concerning primary migrations of the Vlachs and the ethno genesis is more than modes.
Note: The Vlach Connection
that in 1550 a foreign writer, the Italian Gromo, called the Banat "Valachia citeriore" (the Wallachia that stands on this side).
Romanian is a Balkan Romance language spoken by approximately 24–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language. According to another estimate, there are about 34 million people worldwide who can speak Romanian, of whom 30 million speak it as a native language. It is an official and national language of both Romania and Moldova and is one of the official languages of the European Union.
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.
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 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.
Common Romanian, also known as Ancient Romanian (străromâna), Balkan Latin or (inaccurately) as Proto-Romanian, is a hypothetical and unattested Romance language evolved from Vulgar Latin and considered to have been spoken by the ancestors of today's Romanians and related Balkan Latin peoples (Vlachs) before c. 900.
*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 forms 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".
Morlachs has been an exonym used for a rural Christian community in Herzegovina, Lika and the Dalmatian Hinterland. The term was initially used for a Vlach pastoralist community in the mountains of Croatia in the second half of the 14th until the early 16th century. Later, when the community straddled the Venetian–Ottoman border in the 17th century, it referred to Slavic-speaking, mainly Eastern Orthodox but also Roman Catholic people. The Vlach ie Morlach population of Herzegovina and Dalmatian hinterland from the Venetian and Turkish side were of either Roman Catholic or Christian Orthodox faith. Venetian sources from 17th and 18th century make no distinction between Orthodox and Catholics, they call all Christians as Morlacs. The exonym ceased to be used in an ethnic sense by the end of the 18th century, and came to be viewed as derogatory, but has been renewed as a social or cultural anthropological subject. With the nation-building in the 19th century, the population of the Dalmatian Hinterland espoused either a Serb or Croat ethnic identity, but preserved some common sociocultural outlines.
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 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 term Thraco-Roman describes the Romanized culture of Thracians under the rule of the Roman Empire.
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.
A controversy exists over the national identity and name of the native language of the main ethnic group in Moldova. The issue more frequently disputed is whether Moldovans constitute a subgroup of Romanians or a separate ethnic group. While there is wide agreement about the existence of a common language, the controversy persists about the use of the term "Moldovan language" in certain political contexts.
Aromanian, also known as Macedo-Romanian or Vlach, is an Eastern Romance language, similar to Megleno-Romanian, or a dialect of the Romanian language spoken in Southeastern Europe. Its speakers are called Aromanians or Vlachs.
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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