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  • Writer's picturepeter clings

Toponyms in the De Administrando Imperio familiar today

There are quite a few toponyms that are familiar to a modern reader. In this blog post I am listing them with the source text for future reference

At the end of the chapter '9. Of the coming of the Russians in the 'monoxyla' from Russia to Constantinople' the following text appears:

The actual translation of the text is "But when the weather is propitious, they put to sea and come to the river called Aspros, and after resting there too in like manner, they again set out and come to the Selinas, to the so-called branch of the Danube river". In the text Selinas is the branch called Sulina of the Danube Delta

At the end of the chapter '37. Of the nation of the Pechenegs' the name of the River Dnister (Nistru) is named as Danastreos

At the end of the chapter '38. Of the genealogy of the nation of the Turks, and whence they are descended.' the following text appears:

The highlighted names of the Rivers are Troullos, Broutos amd Seretos which look similar to and sound as the modern day Trotus, Prut, and Siret. These rivers were defining the location of the tribe of Khabaroi that joined the Tourkoi while living in the so called Etelkoz. The entire confederation was lead by the Voievod Lebedias and the county was called Lebedia

In the chapter '40. Of the clans of the Kabaroi and the Turks' the following text with toponyms appear

The names of revers highlight in the text above are Timisis, Morisis, Krisos, and Titza which look similar and sound as the modern day Timis, Mures, Cris, and Tisa. These rivers are mentioned when describing the location of the Tourkoi who were said to have lived beyond the Danube and the Sava river (spelled exactly the same in the Greek text). The name of the river Toutis

As it is in the case of the title Voievode (see my previous blog), these toponyms point to an informer that had good contacts with the local people. That informer is actually mentioned in the text as the spatharocanditate Petronas, sour named Camaterius (see chapter 42) who is also named as Boilas captain-general of Nicopolis who was serving his emperor in the east during the siege of Mastaton (see chapter 46 On the Iberians). The name of the informer is quite Romanian. Petronas is a diminutive from Petre, Camateriu (money lender), Boilas (predecessor word fro Boier, as in cattle herds owner). This Petronas built the fort city of Sarkel or 'White House' the city of the Chazars

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