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  • Writer's picturepeter clings

About Dark Ages and the emergence of the Vlachs

I have been fascinated by the history preceding the fall of the Roman Empire from the perspective of a descendant of the population from that entity. That is for there are lessons to learn about those needy times.

The topic of Dark Ages in South Eastern Europe is dominated by far by the Byzantine Empire, the nomadic Avars, Bulgars, and the Slavic entities which managed to produce impressions in the meagre written source that survived to these days.

Not much was noted about the Latins and their descendants in the region. That is surprising for in more modern times, which I count after the 14th century, those Latins epitomized by the Vlachs and the Romanians came to produce significant footprints in the region, both historically and demographically.

I am not trying to explain why that is, but only to highlight a few snippets from ancient sources to make a case that the post Roman Latin communities in Eastern Europe survived only under the Avar rule as closely associated to them.

The oldest item in my list is the introductory phrase from the Miracles of Saint Demetrius

The story about Kouver tells about a large popular resettlement of Latins near the city of Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia today) conducted by the Avars in the early 7th century. That location was known in the Roman times as the Province of Pannonia.

Four centuries later Kekaumenos, a Byzantine General, wrote in his Strategikon that the Vlachs of Epirus, including his father in law Nikoulitzas Delphinas were originally immigrants from the Sirmium region, where river Sava flows into the Danube or Pannonia.

The western writers took over that information and left written accounts about those Vlachs from Pannonia. Anonymi descriptio Europae Orientalis Constantinopolitanum relays the same information passed down from the 7th century miracles of Saint Demetrios in the following paragraphs


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