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Old 01-12-2022, 11:21 AM   #483
Carlin
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I have asked the following questions earlier, but posting them again. If Soldier of Macedon or anybody else might have any interest in the topic feel free to provide input.

1) Were Mardaites assimilated? Could it be possible that Mardaites ARE the later Albanians? If these are/were two separate ethnic groups, one is (at the minimum) forced to consider the possibility that the Mardaites of Epirus, Peloponnese, Aetolia, Theme of Dyrrhachium were assimilated by the Albanians.

2) Albanians, when they are first mentioned/and appear in the Balkans, they are described as non-Orthodox Christians. The Mardaites, at the time of their first mention and transplantation, were also non-Orthodox Christians. Is this a mere coincidence?

3) What is incorrect in the above questions/line of reasoning?


And now, a "rant".

In terms of validity of assimilation or migration processes, there are many examples to consider. Did you know that most now believe the Basques are a nation/ethnic group of southwestern Gaul (that is, France) that migrated/were pushed into their present location sometime in the 'post-Roman' centuries, most likely during the Visigothic period?

In short what follows are R. L. Trask's findings and arguments:
https://books.google.ca/books/about/...AJ&redir_esc=y

- The fragmentary remains of the ancient Aquitanian language of southwestern Gaul are so transparently Basque that we may safely regard Aquitanian as an ancestral form of Basque.

- There are very many place names in the Spanish Basque Country which are certainly not of Basque origin and which in many cases appear to be Indo-European. This is further evidence that much of the modern Basque Country was not Basque-speaking, or at least not predominantly Basque-speaking, in the Roman era.

- Echenique sees Basque as one of several languages spoken side by side in the ancient Basque Country, and suggests that bilingualism may have been common. Nevertheless, most specialists are satisfied that the Basque language was introduced into much of the Basque Country in post-Roman times, most likely during the Visigothic period. Consequently, the traditional view that Basque is a language of Spain which has extended itself to the north of the Pyrenees has had to be revised: we now see Basque as a language of Gaul which has spread south and west.


Why do I bring this up as a comparison? To illustrate perhaps that Basques did not require military domination, religion, state, institutions, alphabet/language, in order to migrate and impose themselves and their language in the Spanish Basque Country. Perhaps they assimilated "others", while "others" yet may have fled. The "causes" and "effects" are not always consistent. What's plainly obvious is that Basque as a language was as a language of Gaul which has spread south and west. Using the principle of analogy, it is not unlikely to argue that Albanian as a language has spread into the current territories from elsewhere (be it "elsewhere" in the Balkans or "outside" of Balkans, i.e. Mardaites). In summary, even the "Ancient" Basques originated from somewhere else where they currently live.

Interestingly, and as mentioned above - the fragmentary remains of the ancient Aquitanian language of southwestern Gaul are seemingly transparently Basque, that an "amateur" can supposedly make the connection. The (sad) reality is that we have nothing of the sort for Illyrian (or Mardaite, Albanian, or "Vlach"* for that matter). The amount of fragmentary remains of Aquitanian is much greater than what we have for Illlyrian. As a result, the linguistic theories that link Illyrian to Albanian can be questioned, and are more linguistic "speculations" which are based on scant amount of names/toponyms/words of origins that have "parallels" in different languages. My argument regarding the Mardaite origins does not rest on linguistics, ethnic theories or other speculations, but based on the primary textual sources that tell us the Mardaites were transplanted to the Balkans in seemingly significant numbers. In the end, we should at least explore and ask questions what happened to Mardaites.


* - "Vlach" is an exception here because it is a clear evolution of earlier Latin/Romanic dialects. We do not know how/when the linguistic evolution/transition happened. The oldest extant document written in Romanian/Vlach is from 1521 (it was written using the Cyrillic alphabet).
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