Re: [sig] Vlachs
- Thanks a lot Patricia!
Since I posted to the group I have found the following reference in the
Encyclopaedia Britannica which I include below.
The Vlachs that I came across in the Czech Republic are obviously a small
pocket of these people which ended up in northern Moravia where I was.
Thanks for your research and your interest.
Vlachs - also called ROMANIAN, or RUMAN, member of a European people
constituting the major element in the populations of Romania and Moldova, as
well as smaller groups located throughout the Balkan Peninsula, south and
west of the Danube River. Although their Slav neighbours gave them the name
Volokh, from which the term Vlach is derived, the Vlachs call themselves
Romani, Romeni, Rumeni, or Aromani.
The Vlachs emerged into history in the European Middle Ages, primarily in
the region south of the Danube. They traditionally claim to be descendants
of the ancient Romans who in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD occupied Dacia, a
Roman province located in the regions of Transylvania and the Carpathian
Mountains of modern Romania. Another theory suggests that their ancestors
were a Thracian tribe, native to the Roman province of Dacia, which
intermarried with the Roman colonists and assimilated their language and
culture. After the Romans evacuated Dacia (AD 271), the area was subjected
to a series of barbarian invasions. According to some scholars, the
Romanized Dacians remained in the area, probably taking refuge in the
Carpathian Mountains. They remained there for several centuries as shepherds
and primitive farmers, until conditions settled and they returned to the
The Romanized Dacian population may have moved south of the Danube when the
Romans left Dacia. After the barbarian invasions subsided, the Vlachs, seen
in this theory as a later group of immigrants, moved into the area from
their Romanized homelands south of the Danube or elsewhere in the Balkans.
This theory cites the major role the Vlachs played in the formation and
development of the Second Bulgarian Empire (also known as the Empire of
Vlachs and Bulgars; founded 1184) as evidence that the centre of the Vlach
population had shifted south of the Danube.
By the 13th century the Vlachs were re-established in the lands north of the
Danube, including Transylvania, where they constituted the bulk of the
peasant population. From Transylvania they migrated to Walachia ("Land of
the Vlachs") and Moldavia, which became independent principalities in the
13th and 14th centuries and combined to form Romania at the end of the 19th
Other Vlachs migrated to other regions of the Balkan Peninsula. The
Macedo-Vlachs, or Tzintzars, settled on the mountains of Thessaly. According
to the 12th-century Byzantine historian Anna Comnena, they founded the
independent state of Great Walachia, which covered the southern and central
Pindus Mountain ranges and part of Macedonia. (After the establishment of
the Latin Empire at Constantinople in 1204, Great Walachia was absorbed by
the Greek Despotate of Epirus; later it was annexed by the Serbs, and in
1393 it fell to the Turks.) Another Vlach settlement, called Little
Walachia, was located in Aetolia and Acarnania. In addition, Vlachs known as
Morlachs, or Mavrovlachi, inhabited areas in the mountains of Montenegro,
Hercegovina, and northern Albania as well as on the southern coast of
Dalmatia, where they founded Ragusa (modern Dubrovnik). In the 14th century
some Morlachs moved northward into Croatia. In the 15th century others,
later called Cici, settled in the Istrian Peninsula.
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