Romanian History and Culture

A Library of Knowledge from the Web. An Educational Website

Transylvania - The Roots of Ethnic Conflict

 http://www.hungarianhistory.com/lib/transy/transy06.htm

RUMANIANS, VLACHS OR WALLACHIANS

 The most difficult task facing the historian in dealing with the ethnic character of the medieval Hungarian kingdom is the problem concerning the origin of the Rumanians. This has been debated and disputed, and much ink has been spilled on all sides in heated and acrimonious debates that have not resolved the basic issues satisfactorily. Our study focuses on the ethnic elements that made up the Hungarian state in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; we can therefore avoid getting involved in the question of Daco-Rumanian continuity and thus eliminate at least one major controversy. With strict reliance on documentary evidence, we shall try to trace the increasingly important role that the Rumanians played in Transylvania in the period under discussion.

There is no written evidence for the presence of Rumanians in Transylvania prior to the beginning of the thirteenth century, although we must emphasize that all documentation for this generally underdeveloped area is meager. From the location of the first settlements it seems probable that the Rumanian migration into Transylvania began sometime in the twelfth century, first as a trickle. Later, when the situation in Wallachia and the Balkans became more threatening due to the Turkish expansion in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the trickle became a steady stream.

The Vlachs first appeared in the vicinity of Hátszeg (Hateg) and Fogaras (Fagaras) around 1206-09.[53] These were small settlements, and until the middle of the thirteenth century there is no evidence of any major group of Vlachs living in Transylvania, for the examination of all geographic names, mountains, rivers, towns, and villages shows a preponderance of Magyar, some Slavic, a few German, but no Rumanian names.[54] Following the Tatar invasions and especially in the late thirteenth century, a number of royal fortifications were established in the southern border areas. Subsequently, the kings of Hungary employed large numbers of Vlachs in these frontier defense areas. Other settlements followed. With the authorization of László IV, sixty Rumanian families were settled on the lands of the bishop of Transylvania.[55] Other early settlements were established mainly in Bihar (Bihor) and Hunyad (Hunedoara) counties and in the districts of Brassó (Brasov, Kronstadt) and Szeben (Nagyszeben, Sibiu, Hermannstadt). Even with these settlements, in 1301 there were only nine places in all of Transylvania where the habitation of Rumanians can be proven by documentation.[56] In the following 100 years, the number of places with Rumanian names increased considerably. In the charters and documents from 1301 to 1350, there were 820 place names mentioned, of which 641 are Hungarian, 36 Rumanian, and the others Slavic or German. Fifty years later (1400), the known town and village names had risen to 1,757, of which 1,355 are Hungarian and 76 Rumanian. While we must be careful not to put too much credence in these numbers, simply because place names alone do not necessarily reflect the exact character of the populations, still, we cannot ignore the significance of these statistics. It is quite clear that prior to 1300 the number of Rumanians in Transylvania must have been small, and even in the mid-fourteenth century the numbers do not reveal a massive population block.[57] It is important to remember that the fact that many Rumanians still followed a seminomadic existence, herding their flocks in mountainous regions, makes any estimate of their true numbers difficult.

The social organization of the Rumanians who settled in Transylvania was relatively simple. The various groups of wandering herdsmen and soldiers were under the leadership of a voivode and of a knez or kenéz. These local leaders were the major official contact between the Rumanians and the Hungarian political or ecclesiastical authority.[58] Generally the kenéz offered the services of his people to the captain of a royal fortification or to a feudal lord.

The condition of the Rumanian population does show a marked difference between those who were in royal service and those who lived on the lands of secular or ecclesiastical lords.

The Vlachs on royal estates or fortifications were more likely to keep their freedom and were often granted extensive privileges and immunities by the kings. The Rumanian inhabitants of the great feudal estates, on the other hand, often sank to the level of exploited serfs.[59] This explains why a large number of the Rumanian peasantry took part in the great Peasant Revolt of 1437 in Transylvania. Many Rumanians found themselves on the lower level of the socioeconomic ladder and were probably even more exploited than the Magyar-speaking peasantry and townspeople. To the downtrodden Vlach peasantry the relief promised by the leaders of the revolt was something worth fighting for. Rumanians were present at the signing of the first Treaty of Kolozsmonostor (Manastur) on July 6, 1437, together with the representatives of the Magyar-speaking peasantry.[60] Mention must also be made of the problem of the religious cleavage between the Vlachs and the ecclesiastical authority of the Hungarian state. The Vlachs were Orthodox and resented any efforts, especially during the reign of Louis the Great, to force the Roman faith upon them. Attempts to impose the payment of ecclesiastical tithes upon the Rumanians met with widespread resistance.[61] In order to wean a kenéz away from his Orthodox religion, Hungarian nobility was bestowed on him if he would turn Catholic. A number of them did, and several kenéz families made the transition to Magyar nobility, showing little regard for their former people. They had become members of the ruling class.

By the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, there were major blocks of Rumanian inhabitants in the counties of Hunyad, Temes, Krassó, Fogaras, and Máramaros. Many of these regions had royal immunities and are known to have cooperated with each other on a regular basis. New waves of settlers continued to cross the Carpathians from Wallachia and added to the ever increasing number of Rumanian settlements in Transylvania and also along the lower Danube area of Hungary. The Turkish expansion in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries only furthered this development. Although still excluded from the "Three Nations" that made up the political power in Transylvania, the Rumanians were becoming an increasingly significant force as a result of their numbers.

 

SLAVIC SETTLEMENTS: SLOVAKIAN, CROATIAN, SLAVONIAN, AND RUTHENIAN

 

A wide variety of Slavic populations could be found within the borders of the Hungarian kingdom. Since much of the area of the Magyar state had been inhabited by diverse groups of Slavs even before the Hungarian conquest of the ninth century, there are only a few areas in the central plains where Slavic place names are missing. Slavic place names can also be found in scattered locations throughout the Transylvanian region.[62]

The largest group of Slavic inhabitants in Hungary proper were the Slovaks, who inhabited the northern tier of counties. If we superimposed the map of modern Slovakia upon this region, we would find that the sparsely populated northern area was inhabited predominantly by Slovaks, although the feudal nobility was Magyar. The lower counties of the modern Slovak state, however, were inhabited mainly by Hungarians, while in the middle band of counties there was a varied mix of populations between these two groups, with some Germans thrown in. While it is true that there was a slow northward expansion of the Magyar element in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, there was also a corresponding southward movement of the Slovaks.[63] The result was a thorough mix where so-called ethnic boundaries are impossible to establish. During the course of the fifteenth century, the Slovaks made some headway in establishing themselves in the formerly almost exclusively German-dominated cities.[64] As a result of the Hussite wars, there was also some movement of Czechs, or Bohemians, into the area of northern Hungary. This was especially true during the period when Jan Giskra was overlord of this area. Some of his Czech warriors settled down permanently in these territories.

Another area inhabited by a Slavic population was the region of Croatia and Slavonia, autonomous parts of the Hungarian kingdom. Slavonia was the western part of the land between the Dráva and Száva rivers. The area comprising Valkó, Szerém, and Pozsega counties was then still a part of Hungary. Valkó and Szerém were inhabited mainly by Magyars and Pozsega was already predominantly Slavonian, with only a few Hungarians.65 Beyond the Száva River lay Croatia, and south of that, in the area increasingly threatened by the Turks, were Serbians.

The last group mentioned by Miklós Oláh in his "Hungaria" were the Ruthenians, who in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were still a very small ethnic group within the Hungarian state. They first settled in the area of Máramaros in eastern Hungary during the thirteenth century. Under the reign of Louis the Great, other Ruthenians were allowed to settle, here and in Bereg County.[66] Subsequently, the Ruthenians expanded mainly toward the north, into the areas of Ung, Zemplén, Sáros, and Szepes counties. Their social and economic conditions were unfortunately among the most miserable of any ethnic group. Unlike many of the Rumanians who were settled on royal estates and enjoyed some privileges, the majority of the Ruthenian population was located on private feudal domains.[67] Their leaders were at a disadvantage in securing privileges for themselves and for their people, nor did

the Ruthenians enjoy royal protection as some Rumanians did. Almost invariably they sank to the level of serfdom.

 

CUMANS, JAZIGES, AND OTHERS

 

Finally, we come to a number of smaller groups who deserve mention but are not generally of great importance. First among these were the Cumans (Kunok), a people of Turkic origin who were first admitted into the kingdom by Béla IV prior to the Mongol invasion. Subsequently, other smaller groups joined them. In return for military service, they were given a large block of territory between the Danube and Tisza rivers. Their nomadic lifestyle and primitive ways caused friction with the native Magyars. Eventually, however, they settled down and were Christianized, and the process of assimilation began. Surrounded by almost purely Magyar-inhabited areas, it is not surprising that by the end of the fifteenth century the Cumans had become Hungarian in speech, although they clung to the privileges granted to them by the kings and still performed their military obligations as prescribed by the charters. The Jaziges (Jászok), probably of Alan descent, settled north of the Cumans in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and enjoyed some of the latter's privileges. They, too, were linguistically assimilated into their Magyar surroundings by the end of the medieval period.68

Jews lived in some of the Hungarian urban centers but were never as numerous as they were in Spain, Germany, or Poland. The major medieval Jewish centers were in Buda, Sopron, Székesfehérvár, and Kõszeg. Mention should also be made of Italian merchants found in a number of cities but especially numerous in Esztergom and Buda.

 

CONCLUSIONS AND OBSERVATIONS

 

A synthesis such as this can do no more than give a broad outline of the multiethnic nature of the Hungarian kingdom in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Two important questions have to be raised and answered in order to make our treatment complete and dispel any possible misunderstandings. First, was there such a thing as a "nationality policy" adopted by the kings or ruling elements of Hungarian society toward the non-Magyar population, and second, was there ever a conscious "Magyarization" of the ethnic minorities living within the borders of the kingdom? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding No. The presence of non-Magyar elements was used by the kings, the nobility, and the Church for their diverse and often selfish reasons. The goals could be political, economic, or military, and to

achieve these aims the various ethnic groups could be used or even abused by the ruling classes. Nor was there a conscious policy of creating a multiethnic state in the Carpathian Basin. The fact that it did develop is the result of forces that were not willfully set into motion. Furthermore, there is no indication that there were efforts made by any segment of society to assimilate the non-Magyar elements by force. Fifteenth-century people just did not think in these terms. Depending on such factors as geography, social mobility, marriage, or even religious preference, certain non-Magyars became assimilated into the majority population, but at the same time some Hungarians became Slovaks or Germans in speech and customs.

In looking at late-medieval Hungary, do we detect the seeds of future ethnic conflict? Again, the answer is negative. Multiethnic states were common in the fifteenth century and they are common even today. That this particular state eventually broke up is due to many factors but was certainly not inevitable. If we look upon the multiplicity of causes that brought about the destruction of this multiethnic state, there can be no doubt that the curse of blind, excessive nationalism is among the most obvious, and unfortunately its bitter fruits are still with us today.

  

THE NATIO HUNGARICA

http://www.hungarianhistory.com/lib/transy/transy05.htm 

The roots of ethnic conflict in Transylvania go back at least as far as the collapse of the feudal kingdom of Hungary on the blood-soaked plains of Mohács. This battle against the Ottoman Turks in 1526 resulted in the division and depopulation of the once powerful and prosperous kingdom of Matthias Rex (1458--90). The Hungary that had provided stability for Eastern Europe for over 500 years was now subjected to depredations from both East and West. Transylvania, which had been an integral part of this kingdom, henceforth faced an uncertain future as the Habsburgs and the Ottomans attempted to consolidate their hold over northwestern and central Hungary respectively.

The defeat at Mohács opened an age of constant conflict. The Hungarian population was dramatically and drastically reduced in the ceaseless military struggles. Many sections of the former kingdom were totally depopulated. It was during these critical years of the Turkish wars that Transylvania gained added significance for the peoples of Eastern Europe. The Hungarian princes who governed it from 1541 until the end of the seventeenth century provided continuity to the quest for Hungarian independence. At the same time, Transylvania became a haven for the Rumanian populations of Wallachia and Moldavia.

The study by L. S. Domonkos provides an ethnic profile of the medieval kingdom of Hungary on the eve of the Battle of Mohács. It sketches the ethnic composition and the prevailing state order of which Transylvania was an integral part. Domonkos also shows that the relations between these diverse groups were not confrontational along ethnic lines.

 

The Multiethnic Character of the Hungarian
Kingdom in the Later Middle Ages
by L. S. DOMONKOS

THE NATIO HUNGARICA

 The Hungarian kingdom in the late Middle Ages was not a national state in the modern sense of the word, but a multiethnic political unit in which the Magyar nobility held the dominant position. In this respect Hungary is not unique, for the medieval period does not offer examples of national states.

Hungary had within its borders a large number of non-Magyar inhabitants in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries who were nevertheless members of the "Natio Hungarica" or "Natio Hungarorum," irrespective of the ethnic background. The terms of "Natio Hungarica" or "Natio Hungarorum" should be viewed basically as indicators of geographic and not ethnic origin. An individual belonged to the "Hungarian Nation" if he or she resided under the authority of the king of Hungary, i.e., in the lands of the Hungarian crown.[1] Probably the clearest illustration of this point can be drawn from late medieval university practices. A large number of students from the Hungarian kingdom attended the University of Vienna in the fifteenth century, where the scholars were divided into four "nations," following the model of the great University of Paris. These nations were the Austrian, which also included Italy; the Rhenish, comprising the Rhineland and Western Europe; the Hungarian, with the Slavic areas added; and the Saxon, to which belonged students from northern and eastern Germany, Scandinavia, and England.[2] If, for example, a student from one of the Transylvanian Saxon towns enrolled at the University of Vienna, as Thomas Altenberg of Szeben (Hermannstadt, Sibiu) did in 1453, he was inscribed into the registers of the Hungarian Nation[3] and not the Saxon Nation, for the simple reason that he came from a territory of the Hungarian crown. The fact that Thomas Altenberg spoke German and might have felt more at home in the Austrian, Rhenish, or Saxon nations at the University does not enter the picture at all. He was, because of the geographic location of his home, a member of the Natio Hungarica.[4]

The Hungarian kingdom in the fifteenth century comprised a geographic entity bounded by the Carpathian Mountain range in the north, east, and southeast, and by the Danube and Száva (Sava) rivers in the south and southwest. The western border with Austria did not follow any major geographical barrier or line. The area of the kingdom was about 300,000 square kilometers (or 124,000 square miles) and included the regions of Hungary proper, Croatia-Slavonia, and for a time the coast of Dalmatia. The population of fifteenth-century Hungary (including Transylvania but excluding Croatia-Slavonia), has been estimated to have been between 3.4 and 4 million inhabitants. The more conservative figure given by Erik Molnár,[5] who based his calculations on a family unit of four members, is probably more nearly correct than the estimates of István Szabó, who took a five-member peasant family as the norm.[6] It is interesting to note that in 1720, almost 200 years after the Battle of Mohács, the population of the same area is still 3.5 to 4 million.[7] This gives some indication of the devastation caused by the Turkish wars. Under the authority of the Hungarian crown, the areas of Transylvania and Croatia-Slavonia enjoyed a degree of autonomy in their political and administrative life but were parts of the regnum Hungariae. The kingdom was subdivided into counties, of which fifty-seven were in Hungary proper, seven in Transylvania, and seven in the Slavonian area. South of the Száva River frontier were a number of military districts (bánságok), which were buffer areas against Turkish expansion and scenes of a number of campaigns against the Ottomans during the early period of the reign of Matthias Corvinus.

In the early sixteenth century, Miklós Oláh (1493--1568), humanist scholar, friend of Erasmus, and later archbishop of Esztergom --- and as his name indicates, of Rumanian origin --- composed an important geographic treatise entitled "Hungaria,"[8] in which he gave an invaluable description of the kingdom as it was before the Turkish devastation. Oláh's work has been studied with care by art historians, but it is also important to us because in Chapter XIX of "Hungaria," Oláh enumerated the various inhabitants found in Hungary during his own lifetime. He describes these as follows: "The territory of the Hungarian kingdom contains in our time diverse nations, [namely] Hungarians, Germans, Bohemians, Slavs, Croatians, Saxons, Székelys, Vlachs, Serbs, Cumans, Jaziges, Ruthenians, and most recently Turks."[9] Oláh mentions twelve "nations" who resided under the sovereignty of the Hungarian crown. These same twelve groups were present during the 200 years prior to the Battle of Mohács, which is the period on which we plan to focus. It is well known that Mohács brought about the destruction of the medieval Hungarian monarchy and ushered in great

changes that also effected the subsequent ethnic composition of the state, to the detriment of the once dominant Magyar element. Following roughly the outline presented by Oláh, let us examine the twelve "nations" and their major characteristics during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

 

THE MAGYAR ELEMENT AND THE SZÉKELYS

 

The first mentioned "nation" were the Magyars, who were the dominant ethnic group in the Hungarian kingdom in the late Middle Ages. Not only were the Magyars the politically significant element, but they also constituted the vast majority of the population. By the end of the fifteenth century, the kingdom was more thoroughly Hungarian than it ever was until the post-Trianon era of the twentieth century.[10]

Our most reliable, although unfortunately incomplete, sources of information concerning the wealth, size, population density, etc. of the late medieval Hungarian state are the taxation records of 1494--95. These were prepared during the tenure of Zsigmond Ernuszt, bishop of Pécs and treasurer (thesaurarius) of the realm, who in 1496 was accused of having stolen a sizeable sum from the treasury. In order to clear himself, Ernuszt prepared elaborate accounts for the period 1494--95, which are an invaluable source for the study of the social and economic conditions of the period.[11]

Elemér Mályusz, one of the most renowned Hungarian medievalists, estimated on the basis of taxation documents that 77.25 percent of those employed in agricultural pursuits in the fifteenth century were Magyars. This is based on the analysis of the names of the taxpayers. Mályusz also found that about 17 percent of the names were such that it is impossible to determine the ethnic group to which the individual belonged. Some of these were undoubtedly also Hungarians, which would push the percentage up further, to about 80 percent.[12]

The Magyar population was concentrated in the lower-lying regions of the Carpathian Basin, in the plateau areas, and in the river valleys. Since there was, for a long period, an ample land reserve, the less desirable areas were left to others or remained unoccupied. Particularly strong were the settlements in the counties of Baranya, Tolna, Bács, and Bodrog. Towns and villages in the valleys of the Körös, Szamos, and Maros in eastern Hungary were inhabited predominantly by Hungarians. The same is true of the lower valley of the Vág and Nyitra rivers in northwestern Hungary. The evidence presented by surviving charters and other documents from the fourteenth and fifteenth

centuries is overwhelming: the place names are predominantly Hungarian, indicating that the majority of the population was in fact Magyar.[13]

If one were to draw a map showing ethnic distribution in Hungary, the more mountainous regions would show the presence of Slovak, Rumanian, or Ruthenian inhabitants in large areas. This, however, should be viewed with a certain amount of caution because of the great differences in the density of the population between the counties on the plain and in the Carpathian or Transylvanian regions. Mountains and forests can give livelihood to much smaller numbers of people; consequently, settlements were of more modest proportions in these regions. Furthermore, since many of these mountain settlements were of more recent foundation, they were also less populous.[14] To illustrate density of population, we must again turn to the tax lists of 1495, which measure the number of porta (tax-paying units) per county. There were 15,000 portas in Baranya, 11,000 in Somogy, and 10,000 in Tolna County. At the same time there were 300 portas in Árva County, 790 in Liptó, and 1,420 in Zólyom[15] all located in the mountainous areas of northern Hungary. It is clear that the population of the Magyar-inhabited plains counties was several times the number of inhabitants that could be found in the border counties, which were generally more sparsely inhabited and where the Hungarian population was a smaller proportion of the total.

Of the fifty-seven counties that made up Hungary proper, twenty-two counties formed a coherent block of Magyar-inhabited areas. Around this core were twenty-six counties where other "national" or ethnic groups were present in larger or smaller numbers. And, finally, there was a number of counties in which the Magyar element was probably less than 20 percent. Seven of these were in the northernmost part of the kingdom: Trencsén, Árva, Turóc, Liptó, Zólyom, Szepes, and Sáros. Two, Máramaros County in the east and Pozsega in the southwest, had few Hungarian inhabitants, although even there the nobility was predominantly Magyar.[16]

In general, we can say that the weight of the Hungarian population was to be found in the south, in those regions that fell under Turkish domination first and remained subjugated for the longest. It is there that the tragedy of Hungarian history can be found. While the southern counties would be depopulated, the northern would be able to grow relatively unimpeded. In 1495, there were 2.75 portas per square kilometer in Tolna County and .80 porta per square kilometer in Trencsén County. Yet, in 1870, Trencsén County had 258,000 inhabitants, Tolna 222,000.[17]

Two areas under the Hungarian crown but with some degree of autonomy were the Croatian-Slavonian region and Transylvania. The number of Hungarians in Slavonia was small. Except for a few members of the nobility, the percentage of Magyars in this region was insignificant.

In Transylvania, the situation was quite different. There were three administrative units in Transylvania: the Saxon region (Szászföld), the Székely region (Székelyföld), and the Seven Counties (Belsõszolnok, Doboka, Kolozs, Torda, Küküllõ, Fehér and Hunyad). The Saxon region was obviously German; the Székelys were Magyars; and in the seven counties the total population was about two-thirds Magyar, and one-third Rumanian (Vlachs, Wallachians).[18] In some areas, the number of Vlachs (Wallachians) was probably higher.

We have until now been concerned mainly with the peasantry, which, after all, was the bulk of the population. Let us now examine briefly the other segments of the Magyars, namely the nobility and the urban dwellers. The "political nation" was made up of the nobility, secular and ecclesiastic, which constituted about 5 percent of the total population. The vast majority of these belonged to the petty or lesser nobility, which was almost exclusively Magyar. Among the barons and prelates, however, there were many who rose to prominence although of non-Hungarian ancestry. Random examples of this can be seen in the case of the Cillei (Cilli) family, the powerful competitors of the Hunyadis. The Croatian-Slavonian Frangepán and Vitrovec families were also considered barons of the Hungarian kingdom.[19] Although some Hungarian historians have tried to disprove that the Hunyadi family was of Vlach (Wallachian) origin, the overwhelming evidence supports the view that they indeed were not Magyars, but rose in the service of the Hungarian king, received nobility, intermarried with Magyar noble families, and thus rose to prominence.[20] A large number of others were also able to make this transition, among them the famous Drágffy, Majláth, and Nádasdi families.[21] Similarly, leaders of the Slovak, Ruthenian, and Saxon communities made their way into the ranks of Hungarian nobles. There are, however, instances where the reverse situation was also evident. Magyar nobles living in predominantly Slovak-inhabited areas became linguistically assimilated to their subjects, as is evident from their correspondence by the sixteenth century.[22] Generally, it was advantageous for any person, regardless of ethnic background, to join the ruling class rather than to be part of the exploited segment of society.

Among the prelates there was also a number of important men who rose to prominence in the Hungarian state, although they were

ethnically not Magyars. Excellent examples of this are provided by the careers of Archbishop János Vitéz of Esztergom and of his nephew, the great humanist-poet Janus Pannonius, bishop of Pécs (Fünfkirchen). The Vitéz family was of Slavonian origin and had intermarried with Magyar nobility.[23] Vitéz was one of the most loyal supporters of Hunyadi, and under Matthias was eventually rewarded with the offices of chancellor and primate of Hungary. Janus Pannonius was a member of the Royal Council and privy chancellor. It was obviously ability that determined the rise of these men and not the question of whether they were Magyar or Slavonian. Other examples abound: the successor of Janus as bishop of Pécs was Zsigmond Ernuszt, whose family originated from Austria and who was probably partially Jewish. György Szathmári, bishop of Várad (Oradea, Grosswardein) and later of Pécs, was born of German parents in Kassa (Kosice, Kaschau) while Johann Filipecz, bishop of Várad, was a Moravian. László Vingárdi Geréb, bishop of Transylvania, was a member of a Saxon family that made the transition to the Magyar nobility in the course of the fifteenth century. All these men served the Hungarian kingdom without being of Magyar ancestry and had a strong attachment to the "Natio Hungarica," of which they were an integral part.

When we examine the backgrounds of the heads of the "political nation," namely the kings, we find that the Hungarian kingdom was ruled by men who were, for the most part, non-Magyars. The list of rulers for the fifteenth century presents a curious picture. Sigismund (1378--1437) was of the House of Luxembourg. Although a stranger in Hungary at first, by the end of his reign he often wore Magyar dress, swore in Hungarian, and was buried next to his hero, Saint László, at Várad. Albert (1437--39) was a Habsburg, Wladislaw I (1440--44) a Pole. János Hunyadi, regent (1446--52), was of Rumanian ancestry; László V (1444--57) lived most of his life abroad and probably knew little if any Hungarian. The only "true Magyar" king was Matthias (1458--90), succeeded by the Polish Wladislaw II (1490--1516). The ethnically predominantly Magyar kingdom of Hungary was ruled by non-Hungarian kings through most of the fifteenth century.

Turning our attention away from nobles, prelates, and kings, we find that the population of the urban centers was predominantly non-Magyar. Hungary was slow to develop cities. The growth of towns before the Tatar invasion was minimal, and even in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the number of true cities was very small.[24] The Decree of 1514 enumerated those cities (civitas) that by virtue of their privileges could be counted as genuine urban centers. Altogether there were only twenty-four in the whole kingdom, the most important of

which were the free royal cities of Buda (Ofen), Pest, Kassa, Pozsony (Bratislava, Pressburg), Nagyszombat, Bártfa, Eperjes, and Sopron (Ödenburg).[25] By 1500, however, there were about 750 market towns (oppidum, mezõváros) throughout the land.[26] It is an interesting Hungarian phenomenon that from the second half of the fifteenth century onward the growth of the civitas stagnated, while the number of oppida increased considerably.[27] The population of the market towns was often made up of German settlers (hospites, guests) in the early fourteenth century. During the course of the next 100 years, however, large numbers of Magyar and Slavic settlers took up their residence in the market towns. In the areas inhabited predominantly by Hungarians, the oppida became mainly Magyar, while in areas where the Slavic population was the majority, their movement to the market towns made those particular settlements Slavic.[28] Our information about the development of oppida in the Transylvanian area is fragmentary. The almost complete monopoly of the Germans as urban settlers was eventually broken down by the movement of both Magyar and Slavic populations into the cities and towns.

This urbanization trend was a general European phenomenon and is not peculiar to the Hungarian kingdom. Two obvious results of this population movement were the abandonment of villages in many formerly inhabited areas[29] and the increase of Magyar and Slavic elements in the urban centers. The fact that many towns had increasingly mixed populations made it possible to weaken the ethnic identity of the non-Magyars, especially of the Germans. This led in some instances to the "Magyarization" of some individuals, just as others lost their German identity and became part of their Slovak environment. In Buda, for example, the Ohnwein family became Bornemissza during the course of the fifteenth century.[30] In Eperjes, the entry of Magyars into town life and their growing influence has been demonstrated by the study of Béla Iványi.[31] Towns such as Székesfehérvár and Esztergom were almost completely Magyar by 1500, although they had had large French, Flemish, and Italian populations in the previous centuries. Szeged and Óbuda were always Magyar. Pest was changing from a predominantly German to predominantly Hungarian town. In Buda, the German-speaking population was still very strong. Only in the fifteenth century were the Hungarians able to force the Germans to agree to the rotation of the judgeship (judocus) so that one year the incumbent was German, the next Hungarian.[32] The German preponderance at Buda can best be seen in the organization of the parishes on Castle Hill. The Hungarian parish was the Church of Saint Mary Magdalena, a simpler, smaller structure. The German parish church, named after Our Lady (today

Matthias or Coronation Church), was a far more imposing and larger structure than the parish of the Magyars. The laws of the capital city of Hungary were written in German and are known as the Ofner Stadtrecht.[33] Buda became a Hungarian city only in the twentieth century.

Before leaving the subject of the Hungarian element, let us turn briefly to the examination of the Székelys (Siculi, Seklers). In origin and language, they were Magyars and lived as a compact block in the eastern part of Transylvania called the Székelyföld. All the Székelys were considered noble and as such owed military service but paid no taxes to the king.[34] The royal representative in the region was called the ispán (comes sicolorum), whose primary function was to lead the Székely military units in case of war. Their social organization still reflected the vestiges of the clans that made up the "Székely nation." Originally, there were seven territorial units based upon these clans, each of which was called a szék. From these, several subunits (fiúszék) were formed in the course of time. At the head of each szék there was an elected captain (hadnagy, later kapitány) and a judge.[35] Together, all the Székelys formed the Universitas Sicolorum, one of the three administrative units of Transylvania. The population was originally divided into two major classes based upon the type of military service that they performed; i.e., those who fought on foot were called darabant and those who fought on horseback, lófõ. In 1473, Matthias Corvinus reorganized them militarily and created three classes, namely the primor, who led a troop of Székelys into battle; the primipilatus, composed of the lófõ, who constituted the cavalry; and the pixidarius, made up of those who fought on foot.[36]

This autonomous block of Magyar-speaking inhabitants in Transylvania was able to retain its language, customs and institutions throughout the late Middle Ages and for centuries thereafter.

 

From English as a Romance language to Romanian as a Romance language discution on the web.

 

 Subject:
            England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Sat, 09 Dec 2000 04:20:29 GMT
       From:
            Tristan Jones <Tristan@mail.scm-rpg.com.au>
   Reply-To:
            tristanjones54@hotmail.com
Organization:
            ICQ Number #78885601
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if


I want to have an discussion how could you turn England into a Romance
speaking country or at least Wales and Cornwall as Romance speaking
areas.


My suggestion:
Maybe an earlier Roman conquest of Britain say around Caesar's time or
Large numbers of retired Roman soldiers settling Britain, along with a
mass export of British slaves. Maybe coupled with a less serve
Anglo-Saxon invasion with allows the Romance dialect of Britain to
contuide on. Latin Dialect in Dacia (Romania) survived the Slavic
migrations more of less intact with some changes
. Maybe the Anglo-Saxon
invasion puts in Germanic elements into the Romance language the British
would be speaking in this timeline.

--
If you deny your roots, you deny yourself as a person

Subject:
            Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Sat, 09 Dec 2000 18:54:41 -0400
       From:
            Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
Organization:
            Posted via Supernews, http://www.supernews.com
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1


Tristan Jones wrote:
>
> I want to have an discussion how could you turn England into a Romance
> speaking country or at least Wales and Cornwall as Romance speaking
> areas.

Are you familiar with the Brithenig language? It's an artificial
language that was constructed by someone -- if you search on Altavista
or Google you'll be able to find the pages. Anyway, it assumes that the
Britons were Romanized as thoroughly as the Celts of Gaul, and that when
the Anglo-Saxons invaded the more unified Brithenig-speakers were able
to create a substantial kingdom out of Wales, Cornwall, and most of
western England.

> My suggestion:
> Maybe an earlier Roman conquest of Britain say around Caesar's time or
> Large numbers of retired Roman soldiers settling Britain, along with a
> mass export of British slaves. Maybe coupled with a less serve
> Anglo-Saxon invasion with allows the Romance dialect of Britain to
> contuide on. Latin Dialect in Dacia (Romania) survived the Slavic
> migrations more of less intact with some changes. Maybe the Anglo-Saxon
> invasion puts in Germanic elements into the Romance language the British
> would be speaking in this timeline.

Um, the general consensus is that Latin in Dacia did _not_ survive to
the present day, but that rather, sometime in the 11th or 12th
centuries, nomadic Vlachs from the mountains of Bosnia, Serbia, and
geographic Macedonia went down to the Romanian plains (fertile but
historically open to invasions from the east by horse-mounted nomads)
once the invasions ended to take advantage of the empty land
.

The Vlach-speakers of Moldavia and Wallachia gradually differentiated
themselves from the Vlach-speakers of the western and southern Balkans;
by the time that Turkey had conquered the area, the Romanians had
managed to establish themselves firmly in both areas, and to establish a
foothold in traditionally multiethnic Transylvania.

Too, modern Romanian has been subjected since the early 19th century to
significant reforms in order to bring it into conformity with western
European Latin languages, particularly French and Italian. Case endings
were changes, the Cyrillic script rejected and Roman script adopted,
French and Italian words were imported en masse, and so on.

Some people have suggested that Romanian should belong to a language
group separate from that of the Romance languages. I think that's an
over-exaggeration -- whatever its historical origins, modern Romanian is
clearly a Romance language -- but Romanian circa 1400 or 1600 might well
not have belonged to the Romance family of languages.

> --
> If you deny your roots, you deny yourself as a person

_________________
Randy McDonald

mcdonald@isn.net
rmcdonald@upei.ca
_________________

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Mon, 01 Jan 2001 20:57:03 GMT
       From:
            nospam-alxander@pipeline.com (Alexander N. Bossy)
Organization:
            MindSpring Enterprises
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5


On Sat, 09 Dec 2000 18:54:41 -0400 Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
wrote:


> Tristan Jones wrote:
>

> > Latin Dialect in Dacia (Romania) survived the Slavic
> > migrations more of less intact with some changes. Maybe the Anglo-Saxon
> > invasion puts in Germanic elements into the Romance language the British
> > would be speaking in this timeline.
>
> Um, the general consensus is that Latin in Dacia did _not_ survive to
> the present day, but that rather, sometime in the 11th or 12th
> centuries, nomadic Vlachs from the mountains of Bosnia, Serbia, and
> geographic Macedonia went down to the Romanian plains (fertile but
> historically open to invasions from the east by horse-mounted nomads)
> once the invasions ended to take advantage of the empty land.

This is 100% NOT accepted by modern scholars.  The proposition that
Romanians were later migrants into modern Romania  was a 19th century
Austrian theory, to justify Hungarian, and therefore Austrian, rule
over Transylvania. By the mid-1970's, the  the extensive
archaeological evidence laid it to rest.  Historians of the subject no
longer give any creedence to it -- the literature on the subject of
Romanian origins doesn't even mention it any longer. When the subject
came up on s.c.m and s.c.r., the only post-1980 references that anyone
could come back to were one line references in books on Bosnia and
Kosovo, which either didn't have any references, or else gave late
ninetheeth century sources
.

> The Vlach-speakers of Moldavia and Wallachia gradually differentiated
> themselves from the Vlach-speakers of the western and southern Balkans;

While of course there were cultural exchanges between Romanians and
the other Latin-speaking peoples in the Balkans, there are clear
linguistic differences: for example, Romanian keeps the older Latin
form, while the other Romance languages, including the Dalmatian
dialects use more modern Latin forms.  These linguistic artifacts
suggest that the East Latin dialect from which Romanian is derived was
isolated from the mass of Latin speakers at about the time of the
Slavic invasions.  That isolated group of Latin speakers is most
likely to have been the surviving Latin population in Transylvania.

The Dalmatian population, only seperated from Italy by the Adriatic,
adopted the more modern words.  There seems to have been more cultural
difussion between Romanians and the Vlach populations in in Bulgaria
and Greece.  However, there is as much evidence for a southern
movement of Romanians as a northern movement of Vlachs.

> by the time that Turkey had conquered the area, the Romanians had
> managed to establish themselves firmly in both areas, and to establish a
> foothold in traditionally multiethnic Transylvania.

Actually, both Romanian and Hungarian sources agree that Moldavia and
Wallachia were founded by refugees *fleeing* Hungarian rule in
Transylvania.

> Too, modern Romanian has been subjected since the early 19th century to
> significant reforms in order to bring it into conformity with western
> European Latin languages, particularly French and Italian.

There certainly was an importation of many French words.  But, those
words were added to the existing vocabulary.  It did not replace it.
In many, if not most cases, the new words did not exist in the
existing pre-modern vocabulary.

> Case endings
> were changes,

They weren't changed.  They were systematized -- it had far more in
common with America's simplification of our spelling compared to
British English. There wasn't a change in the way that words are
pronounced, but rather a translitteration that matched the way words
are pronounced rather than a litteral translation of every Cyrilic
letter to the corresponding Latin letter.

> the Cyrillic script rejected and Roman script adopted,

This was done primarily to root Romania in the West, not to
"de-Slavinize" Romanian.  In this, Turkey serves as another example:
they abandoned the Arabic alphabet for the Latin alphabet in order to
root themselves to the west.

> Some people have suggested that Romanian should belong to a language
> group separate from that of the Romance languages.

Given that Romanian is the only modern Romance language to retain the
Latin declensions, this separate group would have to contain Latin as
well.

> I think that's an
> over-exaggeration -- whatever its historical origins, modern Romanian is
> clearly a Romance language -- but Romanian circa 1400 or 1600 might well
> not have belonged to the Romance family of languages.

This kind of world view would require that we reclassify English as a
Romance language since its vocabulary is about 80% Latin, compared to
Romanian's 25-30% Slavic word origins. We haven't classified English
as a Romance language because its grammar is Germanic.  Likewise, we
classify Romanian as a Romance language because its grammar not only
is Latin in origin, but remains far closer to Latin than *any* of the
other modern Romance languages. This has been true since the other
Romance languages dropped their declentions .

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Tue, 02 Jan 2001 19:09:56 -0400
       From:
            Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
Organization:
            Posted via Supernews, http://www.supernews.com
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6


Alexander N. Bossy wrote:
>
> On Sat, 09 Dec 2000 18:54:41 -0400 Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
> wrote:
>
> [deletia]
>
> This is 100% NOT accepted by modern scholars.  The proposition that
> Romanians were later migrants into modern Romania  was a 19th century
> Austrian theory, to justify Hungarian, and therefore Austrian, rule
> over Transylvania. By the mid-1970's, the  the extensive
> archaeological evidence laid it to rest.  Historians of the subject no
> longer give any creedence to it -- the literature on the subject of
> Romanian origins doesn't even mention it any longer. When the subject
> came up on s.c.m and s.c.r., the only post-1980 references that anyone
> could come back to were one line references in books on Bosnia and
> Kosovo, which either didn't have any references, or else gave late
> ninetheeth century sources.

Really? I hadn't been aware of that -- I certainly didn't try to use
that theory to mean that Romanians in Transylvania are illegitimate
interlopers, or anything equally ridiculous.


> > The Vlach-speakers of Moldavia and Wallachia gradually differentiated
> > themselves from the Vlach-speakers of the western and southern Balkans;
>
> While of course there were cultural exchanges between Romanians and
> the other Latin-speaking peoples in the Balkans, there are clear
> linguistic differences: for example, Romanian keeps the older Latin
> form, while the other Romance languages, including the Dalmatian
> dialects use more modern Latin forms.  These linguistic artifacts
> suggest that the East Latin dialect from which Romanian is derived was
> isolated from the mass of Latin speakers at about the time of the
> Slavic invasions.  That isolated group of Latin speakers is most
> likely to have been the surviving Latin population in Transylvania
.

OK, I definitely grant you the fact of the isolation of
Romanian-speakers from the rest of Romance-speaking Europe.

> The Dalmatian population, only seperated from Italy by the Adriatic,
> adopted the more modern words.  There seems to have been more cultural
> difussion between Romanians and the Vlach populations in in Bulgaria
> and Greece.  However, there is as much evidence for a southern
> movement of Romanians as a northern movement of Vlachs.

Perhaps there were both.

> > by the time that Turkey had conquered the area, the Romanians had
> > managed to establish themselves firmly in both areas, and to establish a
> > foothold in traditionally multiethnic Transylvania.
>
> Actually, both Romanian and Hungarian sources agree that Moldavia and
> Wallachia were founded by refugees *fleeing* Hungarian rule in
> Transylvania.

Really? What were the precise circumstances of this flight -- political
oppression, or economic reasons?

Still, I'm not sure about the population density in the Romanian plains.
Texts on modern Romania's history that I've read have suggested that at
the beginning of the 20th century, there were only a couple of million
Romanians living in the Moldavian and Wallachian plains, and that
immigration played as much of a role as natural increase in leading to
the subsequent tenfold growth of the Romanian population of the next two
centuries.

It might well be that despite the raids of nomads from central Eurasia,
there was always at least a small Romanian-speaking population living on
the Wallachian and Moldavian plains, but that from the late Middle Ages
on the local populations were supplemented by Vlach migrants from the
Balkans and Romanian migrants from Transylvania. Or is this an unfounded
view?

> [deletia of exact nature of Romanian language reform; thanks for the info]
>
> [deletia]
>
> > Some people have suggested that Romanian should belong to a language
> > group separate from that of the Romance languages.
>
> Given that Romanian is the only modern Romance language to retain the
> Latin declensions, this separate group would have to contain Latin as
> well.

Well, from the _modern_ Romance languages.

> > I think that's an
> > over-exaggeration -- whatever its historical origins, modern Romanian is
> > clearly a Romance language -- but Romanian circa 1400 or 1600 might well
> > not have belonged to the Romance family of languages.
>
> This kind of world view would require that we reclassify English as a
> Romance language since its vocabulary is about 80% Latin, compared to
> Romanian's 25-30% Slavic word origins. We haven't classified English
> as a Romance language because its grammar is Germanic.  Likewise, we
> classify Romanian as a Romance language because its grammar not only
> is Latin in origin, but remains far closer to Latin than *any* of the
> other modern Romance languages. This has been true since the other
> Romance languages dropped their declentions.

Well, I could try to make a half-serious argument and say that
Romanian's similarity to Latin doesn't necessarily qualify it as a
member of the modern Romance languages, but I won't.

My thanks for bringing your knowledge into this debate.

_________________
Randy McDonald

mcdonald@isn.net
rmcdonald@upei.ca
_________________

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Mon, 08 Jan 2001 04:30:09 GMT
       From:
            nospam-alxander@pipeline.com (Alexander N. Bossy)
Organization:
            MindSpring Enterprises
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7


On Tue, 02 Jan 2001 19:09:56 -0400, Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
wrote:

> Alexander N. Bossy wrote:
> >
> > On Sat, 09 Dec 2000 18:54:41 -0400 Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
> > wrote:
> >
> > [deletia]
> >
> > This is 100% NOT accepted by modern scholars.  The proposition that
> > Romanians were later migrants into modern Romania  was a 19th century
> > Austrian theory, to justify Hungarian, and therefore Austrian, rule
> > over Transylvania. By the mid-1970's, the  the extensive
> > archaeological evidence laid it to rest.  Historians of the subject no
> > longer give any creedence to it -- the literature on the subject of
> > Romanian origins doesn't even mention it any longer. When the subject
> > came up on s.c.m and s.c.r., the only post-1980 references that anyone
> > could come back to were one line references in books on Bosnia and
> > Kosovo, which either didn't have any references, or else gave late
> > ninetheeth century sources.
>
> Really? I hadn't been aware of that -- I certainly didn't try to use
> that theory to mean that Romanians in Transylvania are illegitimate
> interlopers, or anything equally ridiculous.

I didn't mean to imply that you were.  I was just giving some of the
history behind it.  Of course, claiming a right to rule based on prior
inhabitation was a step up from the earlier arguments based on the
right of conquest. Hopefully, in the 21st century the ideological
underpinnings for the right to rule will be based on the consent of
the governed.

Romanian origins remains a thorny issue for the Hungarian revanchists,
because prior inhabitation is the only way that they can claim
Transylvania, since the majority of the population is ethnic Romanian.
There is also an underlying fear on the part of many moderate
Hungarians that an official recognition of Romanian continuity would
be used to justify an ethnic cleansing of Transylvania's Hungarian
minority.  I do not think that it is a rational fear, but it does
exist, and people like Tudor don't help at all.

Of course, this kind of argument isn't limited to Central Europe.  In
my college days, there was a very strong ideological movement among
many of the ultra-Zionists that cliamed that Palestine had been left
almost completely depopulated until Jewish imigrants and refugees
start arriving in the late nineteenth centuries.

> > > The Vlach-speakers of Moldavia and Wallachia gradually differentiated
> > > themselves from the Vlach-speakers of the western and southern Balkans;
> >
> > While of course there were cultural exchanges between Romanians and
> > the other Latin-speaking peoples in the Balkans, there are clear
> > linguistic differences: for example, Romanian keeps the older Latin
> > form, while the other Romance languages, including the Dalmatian
> > dialects use more modern Latin forms.  These linguistic artifacts
> > suggest that the East Latin dialect from which Romanian is derived was
> > isolated from the mass of Latin speakers at about the time of the
> > Slavic invasions.  That isolated group of Latin speakers is most
> > likely to have been the surviving Latin population in Transylvania.
>
> OK, I definitely grant you the fact of the isolation of
> Romanian-speakers from the rest of Romance-speaking Europe.
>
> > The Dalmatian population, only seperated from Italy by the Adriatic,
> > adopted the more modern words.  There seems to have been more cultural
> > difussion between Romanians and the Vlach populations in in Bulgaria
> > and Greece.  However, there is as much evidence for a southern
> > movement of Romanians as a northern movement of Vlachs.
>
> Perhaps there were both.

I'd tend to agree with you, though I suspect that the direction varied
enormously over time, depending about where the nasty invaders were
coming from at that time.  My own feeling is that more of the
migration was southwards than northwards since the greater population
of Romance speakers lived in the north. Adding support to this is the
fact that Romanian is a very homogeneous language, which would suggest
that the language developed in a single area (e,g., the Carpathian
basin, and spread out from there.

I think that the core area where Romanians evolved as a people was
somewhat south of the area currently inhabited by Romanians, including
some parts of northern Bulgaria and probably not including all of the
areas in the north of Romania and north and east of Moldova. But, the
archaeological record needs to be filled out significantly before
we'll really know.

> > > by the time that Turkey had conquered the area, the Romanians had
> > > managed to establish themselves firmly in both areas, and to establish a
> > > foothold in traditionally multiethnic Transylvania.
> >
> > Actually, both Romanian and Hungarian sources agree that Moldavia and
> > Wallachia were founded by refugees *fleeing* Hungarian rule in
> > Transylvania.
>
> Really? What were the precise circumstances of this flight -- political
> oppression, or economic reasons?

Political and religious.  The Hungarians decreed that only Catholics
could be nobles within the Kingdom of Hungary. That gave the Romanian
nobility three choices: conversion, renunciation of their bloodlines,
or exile. Significant numbers choose the last option.

> Still, I'm not sure about the population density in the Romanian plains.
> Texts on modern Romania's history that I've read have suggested that at
> the beginning of the 20th century, there were only a couple of million
> Romanians living in the Moldavian and Wallachian plains, and that
> immigration played as much of a role as natural increase in leading to
> the subsequent tenfold growth of the Romanian population of the next two
> centuries.

I think that you made a typo here.

> It might well be that despite the raids of nomads from central Eurasia,
> there was always at least a small Romanian-speaking population living on
> the Wallachian and Moldavian plains, but that from the late Middle Ages
> on the local populations were supplemented by Vlach migrants from the
> Balkans and Romanian migrants from Transylvania. Or is this an unfounded
> view?

There is always a little guesswork involved because the written record
is quite limited. However, if you look at the Carpathians, they do
make an excellent hiding place, and many of the traditional Romanian
peasant huts are very difficult to see: they are made out of the same
materials as the countryside, are often half underground, and have
moss and lichens growing on their roofs. In historical times, we know
that these constructions were used to make it difficult for the Turks
to raid.  There were also many villages where the houses were up to a
mile and half apart for the same reason. Many villages are located far
from their fields since its difficult to hide a field from a raiding
enemy.

I suspect that more of the peasants survived in the plains than one
would otherwise expect (remember they were heavily forested).  I also
think that its clear that the Carpathians were a final refuge when
things got really tough down in the plains.  They are extremely
rugged, with many ravines, narrow gorges and hidden valleys.  (Think
of what you feel that Transylvania *should* look like -- it does). A
few boulders rolled down from the mountain tops would keep all but the
most determined enemies at bay.

Given the fact that Romania had -- and has -- a huge proportion of
shepherds, I expect that the native knowledge about the mountains
turned them into especially formidable defenses and/or escape when
necessary. They certainly served that function against the Turks --
which is why none of the Romanian principalities were every reduced to
provinces while the proud kingdoms all around them were.

> > [deletia of exact nature of Romanian language reform; thanks for the info]
> >
> > [deletia]
> >
> > > Some people have suggested that Romanian should belong to a language
> > > group separate from that of the Romance languages.
> >
> > Given that Romanian is the only modern Romance language to retain the
> > Latin declensions, this separate group would have to contain Latin as
> > well.
>
> Well, from the _modern_ Romance languages.

But, do French, Italian, Spanish, etc. have any common ancestral
language after Latin?  Is there any case in which sister languages are
grouped together in one group apart from their common parent language?
I don't know enough about linguistics to say that it doessn't
happened, but I wouldn't expect it.

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            10 Dec 2000 03:48:09 GMT
       From:
            coyu@aol.com (Coyu)
Organization:
            AOL http://www.aol.com
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1


Randy McDonald wrote:

>Are you familiar with the Brithenig language? It's an artificial
>language that was constructed by someone -- if you search on Altavista
>or Google you'll be able to find the pages. Anyway, it assumes that the
>Britons were Romanized as thoroughly as the Celts of Gaul, and that when
>the Anglo-Saxons invaded the more unified Brithenig-speakers were able
>to create a substantial kingdom out of Wales, Cornwall, and most of
>western England.

It's the damnedest thing - a Romance language with those peculiar
Welsh mutations. I second the recommendation.

>Some people have suggested that Romanian should belong to a language
>group separate from that of the Romance languages. I think that's an
>over-exaggeration -- whatever its historical origins, modern Romanian is
>clearly a Romance language -- but Romanian circa 1400 or 1600 might well
>not have belonged to the Romance family of languages.

That seems an extreme statement. Romanian and the Slavic
languages have some major differences in their grammar - how the
verbs are used, for instance. 19th century linguistic reforms are
unlikely to have changed _that_.

And there seems to be a fair amount of continuity between Romanian
folklore and that of the lowland Balkans. Embroidery, mythical figures,
etc. Rather different from that of the highlands.

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Sun, 10 Dec 2000 10:11:47 -0400
       From:
            Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
Organization:
            Posted via Supernews, http://www.supernews.com
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1 , 2


Coyu wrote:
>
> Randy McDonald wrote:
>
> >Are you familiar with the Brithenig language? It's an artificial
> >language that was constructed by someone -- if you search on Altavista
> >or Google you'll be able to find the pages. Anyway, it assumes that the
> >Britons were Romanized as thoroughly as the Celts of Gaul, and that when
> >the Anglo-Saxons invaded the more unified Brithenig-speakers were able
> >to create a substantial kingdom out of Wales, Cornwall, and most of
> >western England.
>
> It's the damnedest thing - a Romance language with those peculiar
> Welsh mutations. I second the recommendation.

It's just a pity that more people aren't aware of it.

> >Some people have suggested that Romanian should belong to a language
> >group separate from that of the Romance languages. I think that's an
> >over-exaggeration -- whatever its historical origins, modern Romanian is
> >clearly a Romance language -- but Romanian circa 1400 or 1600 might well
> >not have belonged to the Romance family of languages.
>
> That seems an extreme statement. Romanian and the Slavic
> languages have some major differences in their grammar - how the
> verbs are used, for instance. 19th century linguistic reforms are
> unlikely to have changed _that_.

I'm not sure -- I seem to recall from some source that the Romanian
linguistic reformers really did try quite hard to bring the Romanian
language into conformity with the other Romance languages, and to
establish the country as a Latin country. I suspect that the very term
"Romanian" is a neologism -- from my (admittedly cursory) reading of
Balkan history, it wasn't used before the 19th century.

> And there seems to be a fair amount of continuity between Romanian
> folklore and that of the lowland Balkans. Embroidery, mythical figures,
> etc. Rather different from that of the highlands.

True, but that can as easily be explained by the Vlach settlers mixing
with the natives of the Romanian plains, whoever they were.

_________________
Randy McDonald

mcdonald@isn.net
rmcdonald@upei.ca
_________________

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Mon, 01 Jan 2001 20:57:05 GMT
       From:
            nospam-alxander@pipeline.com (Alexander N. Bossy)
Organization:
            MindSpring Enterprises
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5


On un, 10 Dec 2000 10:11:47 -0400  Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
wrote:

> > >Some people have suggested that Romanian should belong to a language
> > >group separate from that of the Romance languages. I think that's an
> > >over-exaggeration -- whatever its historical origins, modern Romanian is
> > >clearly a Romance language -- but Romanian circa 1400 or 1600 might well
> > >not have belonged to the Romance family of languages.
> >
> > That seems an extreme statement. Romanian and the Slavic
> > languages have some major differences in their grammar - how the
> > verbs are used, for instance. 19th century linguistic reforms are
> > unlikely to have changed _that_.
>
> I'm not sure -- I seem to recall from some source that the Romanian
> linguistic reformers really did try quite hard to bring the Romanian
> language into conformity with the other Romance languages, and to
> establish the country as a Latin country.

There were certainly ideological attachments to France, and Napoleon
III's support of Romanian unification was based on the idea that
Romanians were a Latin island in a Sea of Slavs under the Ottoman
yoke. But, the attachment to France was manifested by learning French
(which everyone who was anyone did) rather than changing Romanian.

> I suspect that the very term
> "Romanian" is a neologism -- from my (admittedly cursory) reading of
> Balkan history, it wasn't used before the 19th century.

Nope.  Wallachia always called itself "the Roman(ian) land", and
Moldavia and Wallachia usually refered to eachother as "the other
Roman(ian) land".  I'm not sure why this should suprise you given that
the Greeks also called themselves Romans at the time.

For those who are interested, Wallachia (and Wales) are both derived
from the Germanic word for stranger.  The Slaves adopted it to refer
to the Latin peoples, thus named one Romanian principality Wallachia,
and the Latin shepherds in the Balkans Vlachs.

> > And there seems to be a fair amount of continuity between Romanian
> > folklore and that of the lowland Balkans. Embroidery, mythical figures,
> > etc. Rather different from that of the highlands.
>
> True, but that can as easily be explained by the Vlach settlers mixing
> with the natives of the Romanian plains, whoever they were.

The archaeological evidence clearly a cultural continuity after the
Roman withdrawal.  While the Slavs clearly made major inroads in the
region -- completely extinguishing the Latin cultural traditions from
the archaeological record in the Danube delta, for example -- the
evidence makes it quite clear who the natives were.  The Carpathian
Alps offer a very good explanation about why the Latin population
could survive better in Dacia than it did in Moesia or Illyria.

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Tue, 02 Jan 2001 19:01:17 -0400
       From:
            Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
Organization:
            Posted via Supernews, http://www.supernews.com
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6


Alexander N. Bossy wrote:
>
> On un, 10 Dec 2000 10:11:47 -0400  Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
> wrote:
>
> [deletia]
>
> Nope.  Wallachia always called itself "the Roman(ian) land", and
> Moldavia and Wallachia usually refered to eachother as "the other
> Roman(ian) land".  I'm not sure why this should suprise you given that
> the Greeks also called themselves Romans at the time.

OK, thanks for bringing me up to speed on that. So there _was_ a
conception among Romanian-speakers that they were inheritors of Rome in
the Balkans that didn't date from the Modern Era? I did not know that.

> For those who are interested, Wallachia (and Wales)

And Wallonia.

> are both derived
> from the Germanic word for stranger.  The Slaves adopted it to refer
> to the Latin peoples, thus named one Romanian principality Wallachia,
> and the Latin shepherds in the Balkans Vlachs.
>
> > > And there seems to be a fair amount of continuity between Romanian
> > > folklore and that of the lowland Balkans. Embroidery, mythical figures,
> > > etc. Rather different from that of the highlands.
> >
> > True, but that can as easily be explained by the Vlach settlers mixing
> > with the natives of the Romanian plains, whoever they were.
>
> The archaeological evidence clearly a cultural continuity after the
> Roman withdrawal.  While the Slavs clearly made major inroads in the
> region -- completely extinguishing the Latin cultural traditions from
> the archaeological record in the Danube delta, for example -- the
> evidence makes it quite clear who the natives were.  The Carpathian
> Alps offer a very good explanation about why the Latin population
> could survive better in Dacia than it did in Moesia or Illyria.

Hmm. To be sure, though, wouldn't that raise the question of what
happened to the Latin Dacians of the lowlands? Perhaps it might be that
modern Romanians descend from migrants from the highlands of the
Carpathians, not the Balkans, to the lowlands.

_________________
Randy McDonald

mcdonald@isn.net
rmcdonald@upei.ca
_________________

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Mon, 08 Jan 2001 04:35:21 GMT
       From:
            nospam-alxander@pipeline.com (Alexander N. Bossy)
Organization:
            MindSpring Enterprises
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7


On Tue, 02 Jan 2001 19:01:17 -0400, Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
wrote:

Randy McDonald wrote:

> Alexander N. Bossy wrote:
> >
> > On un, 10 Dec 2000 10:11:47 -0400  Randy McDonald <mcdonald@isn.net>
> > wrote:
>
> > The archaeological evidence clearly a cultural continuity after the
> > Roman withdrawal.  While the Slavs clearly made major inroads in the
> > region -- completely extinguishing the Latin cultural traditions from
> > the archaeological record in the Danube delta, for example -- the
> > evidence makes it quite clear who the natives were.  The Carpathian
> > Alps offer a very good explanation about why the Latin population
> > could survive better in Dacia than it did in Moesia or Illyria.
>
> Hmm. To be sure, though, wouldn't that raise the question of what
> happened to the Latin Dacians of the lowlands? Perhaps it might be that
> modern Romanians descend from migrants from the highlands of the
> Carpathians, not the Balkans, to the lowlands.

I think that its more complex than that.  For example, in English, the
words for livestock (cow, sheep, chicken) are Anglo-Saxon.  The
corresponding words for food (beef, mutton, poultry) are French,
giving a us a clue about the linguistic aspects of post Conquest
English social structure.  In Romanian, the words to describe parts of
a house are Latin.  The words to describe the corresponding parts of a
barn are Slavic. Based on that kind of linguistic evidence, I think
that what we had wasn't a simple repopulating of the Slavic lowlands,
but rather a conquest of the Slavs, and their assimilation into the
Latin population. If there wasn't a war of extermination during the
Latin re-conquest, I tend to think that there wasn't a war  of
extermination during the Slavic invasions either. Instead, I think
that the situation was more similar to the Danelaw in England.
Initially, the two populations were hostile, but a conversion of the
barbarians to Christianity, and steady intermarriage led to the
formation of a new people, in Britain, the English emerged out of the
Anglo-Saxon and Danish union, in Romania, the Romanians emerged out of
an East Latin and Slavic union.

Linguistic, as well as some archaeological, evidence supports a belief
that the Latin population in Dacia remained Christian: in Romanian,
the basic Christian terminology is of Latin origin.  The Orthodox
religious terminology is of Old Slavonic or Greek origin. So, there
probably was a Dacian equivalent to the Celtic church in Ireland.

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Sun, 10 Dec 2000 23:40:23 GMT
       From:
            DF (not@home.yet)
   Reply-To:
            nobody@home.yet
Organization:
            EarthLink Inc. -- http://www.EarthLink.net
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1 , 2 , 3


Randy McDonald wrote:
>Coyu wrote:
>>Randy McDonald wrote:
>>>Are you familiar with the Brithenig language? It's an artificial
>>>language that was constructed by someone -- if you search on Altavista
>>>or Google you'll be able to find the pages. Anyway, it assumes that the
>>>Britons were Romanized as thoroughly as the Celts of Gaul, and that when
>>>the Anglo-Saxons invaded the more unified Brithenig-speakers were able
>>>to create a substantial kingdom out of Wales, Cornwall, and most of
>>>western England.
>>   It's the damnedest thing - a Romance language with those peculiar
>>   Welsh mutations. I second the recommendation.
>      It's just a pity that more people aren't aware of it.
         Just looked it up.  Looks like fun.  Thanks for the pointer.

Subject:
            Re: Brithenig and Re: England as a Romance speaking country
       Date:
            Mon, 11 Dec 2000 10:52:42 -0600
       From:
            weaire gavin allen <weaire@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Organization:
            University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Newsgroups:
            soc.history.what-if
References:
            1 , 2 , 3 , 4



On Sun, 10 Dec 2000, it was written:

> Randy McDonald wrote:
> >Coyu wrote:
> >>Randy McDonald wrote:
> >>>Are you familiar with the Brithenig language? It's an artificial
> >>>language that was constructed by someone -- if you search on Altavista
> >>>or Google you'll be able to find the pages. Anyway, it assumes that the
> >>>Britons were Romanized as thoroughly as the Celts of Gaul, and that when
> >>>the Anglo-Saxons invaded the more unified Brithenig-speakers were able
> >>>to create a substantial kingdom out of Wales, Cornwall, and most of
> >>>western England.
> >>   It's the damnedest thing - a Romance language with those peculiar
> >>   Welsh mutations. I second the recommendation.
> >      It's just a pity that more people aren't aware of it.
>          Just looked it up.  Looks like fun.  Thanks for the pointer.
>


        We had a discussion on SHWI about the political AH aspects of it a
few years ago, if anyone cares.  The thread title was "Cambria" or
"Kingdom of Cambria," IIRC.


        Gavin Weaire.

 

Recent Videos

1581 views - 1 comment
1616 views - 0 comments
1841 views - 0 comments
1450 views - 0 comments

Webs Counter