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Re: Vlachs (long)

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  • Alastair Millar
    Catweasle asked... ... Ah, now here we have a subject of recurrent debate... I m afraid that you ve hit on a complicated topic as your list debut! In the
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 2, 2000
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      Catweasle asked...

      >I am a new member and wonder if anybody knows anything
      >about a mountain people who live in the north east Czech
      >republic who are called by the local Czechs - Vlachs?

      Ah, now here we have a subject of recurrent debate... I'm afraid that you've
      hit on a complicated topic as your list debut!

      In the beginning...
      It is generally accepted by Czech scholars that the occupation of what is
      now the Czech Republic by the Slavs was a complicated affair, which took
      place in two main waves (in the 6th and late 7th centuries if memory serves
      me right). Members of various tribes settled here, including Croats
      (Chorvatove or Charvatove, settling in NE Bohemia), Serbs/Sorbs (Srbove,
      N.Bohemia), Luchans (Luc'ane, W. Bohemia) and of course Czechs (Cechove, in
      the Prague Basin). It would appear that the Vlachs were among them - but
      precisely when they arrived is unclear.

      Today there is still an (imprecisely defined) area known as Valas'sko (lit.
      Vlach-land, or "Moravian Wallachia"), and the element can be seen in town
      names like the tongue-twisting Valas'ske Mezir'ic'i (lit. "Wallachian
      [place] between the streams"), and Valas'ske Klobouky (lit. "Wallachian
      Hats").

      If you glance into the only widely-available general history of this part of
      the world - the rather politicised and now hugely outdated "History of
      Czechoslovakia in Outline" (J.V. Polis'ensky, ISBN 80-85195-05-04, regularly
      reprinted for the tourists I think) - you'll find two references to the
      area:

      [referring to anti-Catholic unrest after the Battle of the White Mountain]
      ""What a difference between the treachery of Albert (sic) of Wallenstein, a
      renegade from the Czech Unity of Bretheren, who helped to destroy his
      country-men ... and the hard defence of East Moravian peasants and shepherds
      from Wallachia, who remained true to the old faith and to their leaders in
      exile for two generations, who allied with enemies of the Hapsburg Emperor
      and were defeated only in spring 1645 after the departure of the Swedish
      troops!""

      and (out of period, sorry)...

      ""In 1777 the flames of discontent and rebeliion appeared in Moravian
      Wallachia, where Protestant traditions were kept alive by ministers coming
      from Silesia and Slovakia""

      BUT, some words of caution for your research...
      Firstly, and with a bow to m'lady Isabelle, the word "vlach" in some
      Czech/Moravian dialects now simply means "mountain shepherd" (the balance of
      opinion is that the word comes from the name of the people, not vice versa,
      but...).

      Secondly, Vlas'sko (without the first "a") is an old word for Italy, and the
      word Vlach in older documents usually means an Italian!

      Given the fact that many tribes seem to have fragmented and sent settlers to
      different parts of Europe, a link to the Wallachian (or northern Greek)
      Vlachs cannot be ruled out. After all, don't forget that there are still
      small relict populations of Czechs in Serbia and the Ukraine, too... But
      where the Vlachs might have come from originally is very much an open
      question, as m'lady Isabelle has already pointed out...

      >They have their own language which presumably is a dialect of Romanian.

      I think you'll find that the Moravian Vlachs actually speak a dialect of
      Czech that is heavy in Polish, Slovak and perhaps Sorbian
      borrowings/influences.

      >They have a distinctive national dress and in particular an
      >unusually shaped traditional 'mountain axe' and a very
      >wide leather belt both of which are considered very significant
      >in there culture.

      Every region of Bohemia has its own "kroj" or folk costume. Since Halloween
      has just passed, you might like to compare these lines from the original
      "Dracula" (pub.1897)...

      ""The strangest figures we saw were the Slovaks, who are more barbarian than
      the rest, with their big cowboy hats, great baggy dirty-white trousers,
      white linen shirts and enormous heavy leather belts, nearly a foot wide, all
      studded over with brass nails...""

      and a few pages later

      ""On this [leiterwagon] were sure to be seated quite a group of home-coming
      pesants, the Cszeks with their white, and the Slovaks with their coloured,
      sheepskins, the latter carrying lance-fashion their long staves, with axe at
      the end.""

      Hope some of this helps.

      BTW, if Czech is your interest, don't forget to have a look at Anez'ka's
      Czech Knowledge Pages at
      http://www.crosswinds.net/czech-rep/~anezka/knowledge.html and my own
      collection of SIG links (mainly related to Bohemia & Moravia) at
      http://www.geocities.com/alastairmillar ... and if the Czech language is
      your thing, be sure to look at http://www.geocities.com/CzechEd (the web's
      largest collection of links to online Czech language resources) too.

      Cheers!

      Alastair

      ---------------------------
      Alastair Millar, BSc(Hons)
      Consultancy and translation for the heritage industry
      e-mail: alastair@..., http://www.skriptorium.cz
      P.O.Box 685, CZ 111 21 Prague 1, Czech Republic
    • Judwiga Czarna Pika
      The Tatra mountains of Poland also boast these outfits... the men wear the white decorated shirts, the wide belts, red and white striped trousers and the
      Message 2 of 13 , Nov 2, 2000
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        The Tatra mountains of Poland also boast these outfits... the men wear the
        white decorated shirts, the wide belts, red and white striped trousers and
        the mountain axe also!!!
        Judwiga


        >
        >
        > >They have a distinctive national dress and in particular an
        > >unusually shaped traditional 'mountain axe' and a very
        > >wide leather belt both of which are considered very significant
        > >in there culture.
        >
        > Every region of Bohemia has its own "kroj" or folk costume. Since
        Halloween
        > has just passed, you might like to compare these lines from the original
        > "Dracula" (pub.1897)...
        >
        > ""On this [leiterwagon] were sure to be seated quite a group of
        home-coming
        > pesants, the Cszeks with their white, and the Slovaks with their coloured,
        > sheepskins, the latter carrying lance-fashion their long staves, with axe
        at
        > the end.""
        >
        > Hope some of this helps.
        >
        > BTW, if Czech is your interest, don't forget to have a look at Anez'ka's
        > Czech Knowledge Pages at
        > http://www.crosswinds.net/czech-rep/~anezka/knowledge.html and my own
        > collection of SIG links (mainly related to Bohemia & Moravia) at
        > http://www.geocities.com/alastairmillar ... and if the Czech language is
        > your thing, be sure to look at http://www.geocities.com/CzechEd (the web's
        > largest collection of links to online Czech language resources) too.
        >
        > Cheers!
        >
        > Alastair
        >
        > ---------------------------
        > Alastair Millar, BSc(Hons)
        > Consultancy and translation for the heritage industry
        > e-mail: alastair@..., http://www.skriptorium.cz
        > P.O.Box 685, CZ 111 21 Prague 1, Czech Republic
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >



        Judwiga Czarna Pika
      • catweasle
        Dear Alastair, Thank you for the erudite, detailed and gentlemanly reply. Your knowledge of these things is astounding. Yes, I visited the town you mention -
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 2, 2000
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          Dear Alastair,
          Thank you for the erudite, detailed and gentlemanly reply. Your knowledge
          of these things is astounding. Yes, I visited the town you mention -
          Valas'ske Mezir'ic'i over twenty years ago during the Communist period. In
          fairness to them the town was spotless and they had built a typical Vlach
          village, [a folk museum rather like Skansen in Stockholm.] I have Moravian
          friends who live in Vsetin which is only about twenty miles from the Vlach
          cultural centre.


          It is interesting that the Vlachs are a subject of recurrent debate... but
          like you I find these little pockets of ethnicity fascinating.

          Of great interest to me also was the fact of the similarity between the name
          Vlach and the Czech name for Italians. I wonder if etymologically it could
          be that the Italians lived on the other side of the [southern] mountains and
          so the sobriquet 'Vlach' [mountain men,] was appropriate?
          Thank you for the information so patiently and generously given and also for
          the websites to follow up.

          Sincerely,

          Catweasle.
        • Alastair Millar
          Catweasle wrote... ... You re most welcome... but I confess that you caught me on a good day, I m not nearly so gentlemanly IRL! (or on the list most of the
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 3, 2000
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            Catweasle wrote...

            >Thank you for the erudite, detailed and gentlemanly reply.

            You're most welcome... but I confess that you caught me on a good day, I'm
            not nearly so gentlemanly IRL! (or on the list most of the time, come to
            think of it...)

            >Your knowledge of these things is astounding.
            [shakes head vigorously]
            You're kind, but I have some advantages - like living here with a Czech wife
            I can ask questions of, and the fact that I both work in the heritage
            industry and translate a lot of historical and archaeological material, much
            (most) of which has not appeared previously in English. On the other hand,
            what little I know generally stops at the border as a result, and I'm not an
            SCA member... but you can't have everything!!!

            Do you get out to this part of the world often? I haven't visited the
            Wallachian Open-Air Museum in Roz'nov pod Radhos'tem - mainly because it's
            at the opposite end of the country and I have to rely on public transport -
            but (to crib from the back of a tourist map I translated a couple of years
            ago) it currently includes:

            ""
            The wooden township: a collection of vernacular buildings, documenting the
            lifestyle and standards of living of burgesses, bailiffs and craftsmen.
            The mill dale: an area of technical water-powered structures, including a
            mill, a fulling mill, a water-powered sawmill, an oil plant and a water
            hammer.
            The Wallachian village: a collection of residential and other buildings,
            characterising the lifestyle, economy, employment and homes of the
            inhabitants of a Wallachian village.
            ""

            FWIW the Czech word for "open-air muzeum" is <skanzen>!


            >It is interesting that the Vlachs are a subject of recurrent debate...
            >but like you I find these little pockets of ethnicity fascinating.

            There is, unfortunately, debate about whether they arrived during the
            occupation of the land by the Slavs or later (cf your Britannica quote),
            whether they came from Romania or elsewhere, and whether or not they are
            actually related to the Romanies... And of course all questions of
            race/ethnicity are controversial here...

            I think your point about "vlach" coming to be applied to Italians is
            probably right - thinking of Alpine transhumance in particular.

            >Thank you for the information so patiently and generously
            >given and also for the websites to follow up.

            My pleasure - after all, the SIG exists so that people can "share what they
            know"...

            Cheers!

            Alastair

            ---------------------------
            Alastair Millar, BSc(Hons)
            Consultancy and translation for the heritage industry
            e-mail: alastair@..., http://www.skriptorium.cz
            P.O.Box 685, CZ 111 21 Prague 1, Czech Republic
          • Robert J Welenc
            Greetings, gentle cousins! I am looking for documentation for the Romanian form of Elizabeth and am not finding a whole lot of information on Romanian names.
            Message 5 of 13 , Nov 3, 2000
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              Greetings, gentle cousins!

              I am looking for documentation for the Romanian form of 'Elizabeth'
              and am not finding a whole lot of information on Romanian names.

              The client believes it to be 'Elisabeta', which seems to be a logical
              form.

              Alanna
              ***********
              Saying of the day:
              Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
            • bmccoy@chapelperilous.net
              ... I ve seen both Elisabeta and Elisaveta used in reference to Sucevita Monastery in Romania (near Punta, at the edge of the Carpathinas) and a 16th
              Message 6 of 13 , Nov 3, 2000
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                On Fri, 3 Nov 2000, Robert J Welenc wrote:

                > I am looking for documentation for the Romanian form of 'Elizabeth'
                > and am not finding a whole lot of information on Romanian names.
                >
                > The client believes it to be 'Elisabeta', which seems to be a logical
                > form.

                I've seen both 'Elisabeta' and 'Elisaveta' used in reference to Sucevita
                Monastery in Romania (near Punta, at the edge of the Carpathinas) and a
                16th century woman of that name to whom the monastery was dedicated to --
                she apparently murdered her husband so her two sones could inherit the
                throne.

                Check out this:

                http://www.rotravel.com/romania/monasteries/sucev.htm

                That should get you started.

                Istvan
                http://www.chapelperilous.net
                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Life is a hospital in which every patient is possessed by the desire to
                change his bed.
                -- Charles Baudelaire
              • vespirus@socrates.berkeley.edu
                The series of Teach Yourself Books now has a volume called Beginner s Russian Script , which teaches the basics of reading Cyrillic (printed and
                Message 7 of 13 , Nov 24, 2000
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                  The series of "Teach Yourself Books" now has a volume called "Beginner's
                  Russian Script", which teaches the basics of reading Cyrillic (printed and
                  handwritten) one step at a time. I've always had trouble with Cyrillic,
                  and the book has helped me already, even though I've only had it a few
                  days. I'd recommend it for anyone wanting to learn a language (such as
                  Russian) that uses Cyrillic, or for anyone wanting to teach a class on the
                  subject. It's in paperback, and costs only $12.95. (ISBN 0-658-00950-8)

                  --Walraven
                • Britta Parsons
                  The Teach Yourself series is pretty good; anyone know if there is an equivalent for learning Old Church Slavonic? Vasilisa Myshkina
                  Message 8 of 13 , Nov 24, 2000
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                    The "Teach Yourself" series is pretty good; anyone know if there is an
                    equivalent for learning Old Church Slavonic?

                    Vasilisa Myshkina
                    ________________________________________________________________
                    GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
                    Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
                    Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit:
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                  • MHoll@aol.com
                    In a message dated 11/24/2000 9:35:08 PM Central Standard Time, ... No, I think they re only for modern languages. Predslava.
                    Message 9 of 13 , Nov 24, 2000
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                      In a message dated 11/24/2000 9:35:08 PM Central Standard Time,
                      vasalisa@... writes:

                      > The "Teach Yourself" series is pretty good; anyone know if there is an
                      > equivalent for learning Old Church Slavonic?

                      No, I think they're only for modern languages.

                      Predslava.
                    • timbo@marcon.org
                      A friend sent me this. HOT GAME OF THE DAY European Wars: Cossacks Go to war in 16th century Europe http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?62734:1743488
                      Message 10 of 13 , Nov 25, 2000
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                        A friend sent me this.

                        HOT GAME OF THE DAY
                        European Wars: Cossacks
                        Go to war in 16th century Europe
                        http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?62734:1743488
                      • V. J. Boitchenko
                        I know there is a Church Slavonic E-Tutor web site at http://www.orthodoxepubsoc.org/ I do not know if it is any good since I speak Russian and have a good
                        Message 11 of 13 , Nov 26, 2000
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                          I know there is a Church Slavonic E-Tutor web site at
                           
                           
                          I do not know if it is any good since I speak Russian and have a good command of Church Slavonic and the Tutor starts from the very basics, and as far as I understand, it is targeted to English speaking audience. I heard that it is rather good though.
                           
                          There are also various resources on the internet where you can download fonts for Church Slavonic and Slavonic style English fonts.
                           
                          yours,
                           
                          v
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Friday, November 24, 2000 10:30 PM
                          Subject: Re: [sig] Russian Script

                          The "Teach Yourself" series is pretty good; anyone know if there is an
                          equivalent for learning Old Church Slavonic?

                          Vasilisa Myshkina
                          ________________________________________________________________
                          GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
                          Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
                          Join Juno today!  For your FREE software, visit:
                          http://dl.www.juno.com/get/tagj.

                        • V. J. Boitchenko
                          Dmitriy! To the best of my knowledge the Old Russian has never been codified. Besides that, there would be different stages in the development of the Old
                          Message 12 of 13 , Nov 26, 2000
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                            Dmitriy!
                             
                            To the best of my knowledge the Old Russian has never been codified. Besides that, there would be different stages in the development of the Old Russian and it would be very difficult to do.
                             
                            As to Church Slavonic, there are all kinds of synodal editions and their translations into English. I can only suggest that you browse the web or if you are on the East Coast by any chance you can check at any of the three Russian seminaries whichever one is closest to you. Many church websites will provide various links for book stores as well.
                             
                            I would never recommend anyone with no knowledge of Russian or any other Slavic language to try more than reading rules.
                             
                            Best wishes,
                             
                            v
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2000 7:08 PM
                            Subject: Re: [sig] Russian Script

                            I looked at the site http://www.orthodoxepubsoc.org/ and the descrption says
                            that it only teaches how to pronounce prayers and such, but does not teach
                            vocabularly or grammar.  Probably useful for american orthodox, but not for
                            us..
                            Do you know by any chance a good church slavonic tutorial or textbook in
                            (modern) Russian?  Russian is my native language, print or internet is
                            equally good.  I found this: http://chslav.hypermart.net/ while writing the
                            e-mail, has anyone used the stuff there?

                            Same question, but for Old Russian (Drevnerusskiy)?

                            -Dmitriy
                               Shelomianin(SCA)
                               Ryaboy (Mundanely)



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                          • Dmitriy V. Ryaboy
                            I looked at the site http://www.orthodoxepubsoc.org/ and the descrption says that it only teaches how to pronounce prayers and such, but does not teach
                            Message 13 of 13 , Nov 26, 2000
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                              I looked at the site http://www.orthodoxepubsoc.org/ and the descrption says
                              that it only teaches how to pronounce prayers and such, but does not teach
                              vocabularly or grammar. Probably useful for american orthodox, but not for
                              us..
                              Do you know by any chance a good church slavonic tutorial or textbook in
                              (modern) Russian? Russian is my native language, print or internet is
                              equally good. I found this: http://chslav.hypermart.net/ while writing the
                              e-mail, has anyone used the stuff there?

                              Same question, but for Old Russian (Drevnerusskiy)?

                              -Dmitriy
                              Shelomianin(SCA)
                              Ryaboy (Mundanely)



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