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The 'Second Bulgarian Empire.' Its Origin and History to 1204
R. Wolff

APPENDIX A. See above, Note 21.

The bibliography on the Vlachs of the Balkans is very large. This note, which reviews all the sources known to me, refers only to some of the better secondary books and articles. For the evidence of place-names and the Vita Sancti Severini that the population living on the right bank of the Danube in the sixth century were Romani, see N. Iorga, 'La "Romania" danubienne et les barbares au Vie siècle,' Revue Belge de philologie et d'histoire, III (1924), 35-51. The chief clue by which the ancestors of the Vlachs are recognized in the earlier sources is their use of a Latin language. Thus, in Theophylactus Simocatta there appears a famous passage, repeated and added to by Theophanes. In 586, while a Byzantine army was marching in the Balkans against the Avars, the baggage on one of the pack mules began to slip. A muleteer's shout, in the language of the country () of  (in some mss. ), or, as Theophanes has it,  was misunderstood by the troops as a signal for retreat; and a panic ensued. (Theophylacti Simocattae Historiae [ed. C. De Boor, Leipzig, 1887], p. 100; Theophanes, ed. De Boor, I, 258.) Until recently this passage has been universally accepted as demonstrating that the language of the Thracian region in which the Byzantine troops were operating was Latin, and that the soldiers and the local population were


Vlachs. This has now been challenged by a Greek and a Hungarian scholar: G. Kolias, , XIV (1938), 295-299; and M. Gyóni, 'Az Állítólagos Legrégibb Román Nyelvemlék [Das angebliche älteste rumänische Sprachdenkmal],' Archivum Philologicum [Egytemes Philologiai Közlöny], LXV (1942), pp. 11 (Magyar with German summary). They argue that torna is common to Serbian as well as to Romance languages other than Rumanian or Vlach, that it had passed into the ordinary military language of command in the Byzantine army and therefore cannot be taken as indicating anything particular about the origin of the soldiers, and that the term epichorio simply means Latin, without reference to the country through which the troops were moving. However this may be, after this now somewhat dubious passage relating to the late sixth century, there is silence with respect to the Vlachs in the narrative sources for about four hundred years. They do not reappear until a passage of Skylitzes referring to the year 976.

The numerous articles of Rumanian historians which theorize about this interim period argue, for example, that the word  (Romani) in sources such as Procopius and Menander Protector denotes this Latin-speaking people; but this, it seems to me, cannot satisfactorily be proved. See, for example, I. Siadbei, 'Sur les plus anciens sources de l'histoire des Roumains,' Annuaire de L'Institut de philologie et d'histoire orientales, II (1934), Mélanges Bidez, II, 861-868, who also cites, without quoting the Greek, a passage from the life of St Demetrius of Thessalonica, of the second half of the seventh century, Migne, PG, CXVI, col. 1367, which he thinks shows a clear distinction drawn between the Greek language and the languages of the Romans, Slavs, and Bulgars. (Migne, PG, CXVI, col. 1368: .) H. Gelzer, 'Die Genesis der byzantinischen Themenverfassing,' Abhandlungen der phil.-hist. Klasse der K. sächsichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, XVIII (1899), 49, also quotes this passage, indicating that he believes the 'language of the Rhomaeans' is here Latin. Elsewhere in the same text, however,  seems to mean Greeks. I think that Siadbei's conclusions cannot yet be accepted. For some of Iorga's attempts to bridge the gap between Theophylact and Skylitzes see 'Le Danube d'Empire,' Mélanges offerts à M. Gustave Schlumberger (Paris, 1924), I, 14-22; 'Les plus anciens états Slavo-Roumains sur la rive gauche du Danube,' Revue des Études Slaves, V (1925), 171-176; 'Entre Slaves et Roumains,' L'Art byzantin chez les Slaves. Les Balkans, Premier Recueil dédié à  la mémoire de Théodore Uspenskii (Paris, 1930), pp. 41-49. Further evidence on this intervening period, not noted by Iorga in these articles, has been thought to exist in a text found at Kastamonitou by Porphyry Uspenskii. See M. Lascaris, 'Les Vlachorynchines, une mise à point,' Revue historique du Sud-Est Européen, XX (1943), 182-189. Referring to 'the time of the iconoclasts' this text mentions peoples called Richenoi (or Vlachorichenoi) and Sagoudatoi as coming from Bulgaria across Macedonia to Athos: The , referred to elsewhere only in the Acts of St Demetrius already cited, are there said to be Slavs. There has been considerable scholarly discussion of the Vlachorichenoi; but Lascaris' demonstration that the manuscript in which the passage occurs is of the seventeenth century at the earliest makes it unnecessary to summarize all the other learned conjectures, to which, in any case, he refers. The appearance in the Acts of St Demetrius, in close connection with the 'Richinoi,' however, of the Latin word  for house, leads Lascaris to surmise that the tradition at least of the Vlachorichenoi may be genuine. Pending further discoveries, however, the text cannot be taken as a bona fide reference to the Vlachs or to a Latin-speaking Balkan people between Theophylact and Cedrenus. Finally, Latin origin has been claimed for two little-known Bulgarian khans of the eighth century, who appear in the (epigraphic) sources as Sabinus and Paganus; Iorga regularly refers to them as Vlachs without further evidence. I am not in a position to judge the philological argument here (the Bulgarians explain their names from Turkish roots), but apparently the names may well be Turkish.

In the year 976 the Vlachs appear as such for the first time, when Skylitzes (ed. Bonn, II, 436) reports that they killed David, eldest of the Comitopouloi, and brother of Samuel, at a place between Kastoria and Prespa called 'Fair Oaks.' In 1014, (Ibid., p. 457), Basil II was defeated by Samuel at a pass called Kimba Longus or Kleidion which is almost surely the equivalent of the Rumanian Campulung (Campus longus), a frequently-used place name. (On these two passages, see now M. Gyóni, 'Skylitzes et les Vlaques,' Revue d'histoire Comparée, XXV Nouvelle Serie VI [1947], 155-173). In 1017, during the same wars, the spies of John Vladimir, Aaron's son and Samuel's rival, warned him of Basil's approach (ibid., p. 466): ,'


which may well represent a Vlach form ‘vgitsi’ from Latin 'fugite.' In 1020, when Basil issued his decree for the reorganization of the Bulgarian church, to which we have already referred, he specifically placed the 'Vlachs of all Bulgaria' under the jurisdiction of the new Archbishop of Ochrida (Gelzer, loc. cit.t BZ, II, 46): 
and one of the bishoprics listed is  (ibid., I, p. 47). For more details on the Archbishopric of Achrida, see Gelzer, 'Der Patriarchat von Achrida,' Abhandlungen der Sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften Phil.-hist. Klasse, XX (1902), 231 pages (separate pagination), especially pp. 3-11. I have not seen I. Snegarov, Istoriya na Ochridskata archiepiskopiya 2 vols. (Sofia, 1924).

At this time (s.a. 1027) comes the first reference to the Vlachs in a western source, Annales Barenses, MGH SS, V, 53, where they are described as forming part of Constantine VIII's expedition to Sicily: ‘ ... descendit in Italiam cum exercitu magno, i.e. Russorum, Guandalorum, Turcorum, Burgarorum, Vlachorum, Macedonum, aliarumque ut caperet Siciliam.'

It is Kekaumenos, however, whose Strategikon gives the first full description of the Vlachs of Thessaly (which was shortly to become known as ) stressing their practice of transhumance and their bad reputation (quoted at the head of this article), and telling the story of their revolt of 1066. His Logos Nouthetetikos reports that they were placed by Basil II under the rule of a special official: Nikoulitza, grandfather of the author, was named to the post in exchange for his office of domestic of the excubitors:  (Cecaumenos, ed. Vassilievsky and Jernstedt, p. 96.) The Hungarian scholar, M. Gyóni, is at present in the midst of a series of studies submitting all the passages relative to the Vlachs in the Byzantine sources to a searching re-examination. See his 'L'Oeuvre de Kekaumenos, Source de l'histoire Rou-maine,' Revue de Vllistoire Comparée, XXIII, Nouvelle Série III (1945), 96-180. This is a French translation of his Magyar monograph, A Legrégibb Vélemény A Román Nép Eredetéröl (Budapest, 1944), pp. 87 [The Oldest Theory on the Origin of the Rumanian People]. Gyóni reproduces from Vassilievsky and Jernstedt on pp. 75-87 all the passages relating to the Vlachs, with Hungarian translation; these are omitted from the French translation.

Anna Comnena repeatedly refers to the Vlachs in Macedonia and Thrace. She notes that they live among the Bulgarians, and that they lead a nomadic life: in fact she equates nomadism with the Vlachs. They had a village named  (Alexias, ed. Reifferscheid, I, 169; ed. B. Leib [Paris, 1943], II, 24), recently plausibly identified with , called by the Latins 'Nazoresca.' See M. Gyóni, ‘Egy Vlách Falu Neve Anna Komnene Alexiasában' [Un village vlacque de 1'Alexiade], Archivum Philologicum [Egyetemes Philologiai Közlány], LXXI (1948), 22-31, (Magyar with French summary). They had a leader named Pudilos, and acted as guides for the Cumans in the Balkan mountains: the first instance of a partnership which was to last for many years. (Alexias, ed. Reifferscheid, II, 8, 61, 62; ed. Leib, II, 135, 193, 194.)

During the reign of Alexius Comnenus, in 1104, a group of three hundred Vlach families is reported selling food, particularly cheese, to the monks on Athos; according to the source, they disguised their wives and daughters as men, and, the Vlach ladies proving complaisant, there was a great scandal upon the mountain, until the Vlachs were driven out by order of the Emperor, amid a virtual revolt of the monks. P. Meyer, Die Haupturkunde für die Geschichte des Athosklosters (Leipzig, 1894), pp. 164 ff. W. Tomaschek, ‘Zur Kunde der Hämushalbinsel,' Sitzungsberichte der K. Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften, XCIX (1882), 474-478, also mentions this incident, which he dates in 1097. See A. Sacerdoteanu, 'Vlahii din Calcidica,' In Memoria lui Vasile Pârvan (Bucharest, 1934), pp. 303-311. See also M. Gyóni, ‘Les Vlaques du Mont Athos au debut du XIIe siècle,' Études Slaves et Roumaines, I (1948), 30-42, a careful study, in which it is argued that the Vlachs were probably attempting to flee from onerous imperial taxation to the immune regions of Athos, and that Vlach women frequently wore male attire. The date here used, 1104, results from the discussion of Gyóni, based largely on Dölger, Regesten, 2 Teil, p. 49, no. 1226. Two Georgian saints' lives, belonging to the second and third quarters of the eleventh century, testify to the presence on Athos of a people whose name the Georgian text gives as Borgalni, Bulgarians, and who are also called Slavs, but who, Professor R. P. Blake informs me, may well have been Vlachs. P. Peeters, 'Histoires Monastiques Georgiennes,' Analecta Bollandiana, XXXVI-XXXVII (1917-1919), pp. 51 and 105. The Georgian author calls them (according to Peeters' Latin translation): ‘ ... homines plane


stupidi, brutis similes, inverecundi, impura reptilia depascentes,' and represents them as worshipping an ancient marble statue as a goddess. This the saintly hero of the Vita (George the Athonite) destroys.

Benjamin of Tudela in 1160 reports the brigandage of the Balkan Vlachs, and adds the interesting detail that they rob but do not kill Jews, whom they regard as brethren, giving their own children Jewish names. The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela (ed. M. N. Adler, London, 1907), p. 11. This is often regarded as fabulous gossip; but the reference to Old Testament names among the Balkan peoples has a real enough foundation: the Comitopouloi, for example, all bore them.

These are all the significant and unmistakable references in the sources to the Vlachs before the revolt of 1186 and the foundation of the 'second Bulgarian Empire.' No one secondary authority makes use of them all. For the language of the Balkan Vlachs, see T. Capidan, Aromânii, dialectul Aromân, Academia Româna, Studii si cercetarii, XX (1932); the book of C. Murnu, Vlahia Mare (Bucharest, 1913) has not been available to me, nor has his article 'Les Remains de la Bulgarie médiévale,' Balcania, I (1938), pp. 1-21. A. J. B. Wace and M. S. Thompson, The Nomads of the Balkans (New York, n.d. but 1913) gives a good picture of these Vlachs in the twentieth century. See also G. Weigand, Die Aromunen (Leipzig, 1895), I. Some portions of the first chapter of L. Tamas, 'Remains, Romans, et Roumains dans l'histoire de la Dacie Trajane,' Archivum Europae Centra-Orientalis, I (Budapest, 1935), 1-96, are useful, despite a strong Magyar bias. I have not seen S. Puscariu, 'L'ancienneté des établissements macédoroumains,' Balcania, I (1938), 22-30. R. Röosler's classic work (much disliked by Rumanians), Românische Studien (Leipzig, 1879), contains a monograph (pp. 66-145) entitled 'Die Wohnsitze der Romänen im Mittelalter' of which pp. 100 ff. are concerned with the Balkan Vlachs. See also N. Iorga, Études Byzantines (Bucharest, 1939) I, 3-33, 98-136, 205-223; and Histoire des Roumains et de la Romanité Orientate (Bucharest, 1937), III, 7 ff., 77 ff. A recent work, A. D. Keramopoulos,  (Athens, 1939), has not been accessible to me. It maintains that the Balkan Vlachs were originally Greeks, and has been unfavorably reviewed by T. Elwert, Byzantinische Zeitschrift, XLI (1941), 497-502. See also A. Sacerdoteanu, 'Considérations sur l'histoire des Roumains au Moyen-Âge.' Mélanges de l’École Roumaine en France (1928), pp. 103-245, especially pp. 216 ff.

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