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Old 12-04-2008, 05:49 AM   #1
Soldier of Macedon
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Default Related Balkan Tribes

Strabo makes the Thracian origins of Macedonia clear in his books. He also reveals alot more information in terms of relations between the various 'barbarian' peoples.
Quote:
They gave the name of Upper Macedonia to the country about Lyncestis, Pelagonia, Orestias, and Elimia. Later writers called it Macedonia the Free, and some extend the name of Macedonia to all the country as far as Corcyra, at the same time assigning as their reasons, the mode of cutting their hair, their language, the use of the chlamys, and similar things in which they resemble the Macedonians; some of them, however, speak two languages. On the dissolution of the Macedonian empire, they fell under the power of the Romans. Book 7, Chapter 7,8.
In the above quote by Strabo there is a clear statement of linguistic relations between the Macedonians and the Epirote, and some can even speak 'two languages', leaving little doubt that the first would be the native 'barbarian' tongue while the latter would be either Greek or less likely Latin. The below quote supports the fact of linguistic relations among the 'barbarians' beginning north of 'Greece' and stretching beyond the Danube, the exact same situation with today's Slavic-speaking people.
Quote:
.............but if he should say they were but an invention, as there were no Mysians in Thrace, he will be guilty of a palpable misstatement, for even in our own times Aelius Catus has removed from the opposite side of the Danube into Thrace fifty thousand Getae, who speak a language cognate with the Thracian. They still inhabit the very spot, and pass by the name of Moesi. Book 7, Chapter 3, 10.
The Getae are linguistically related to the Thracians and they have historically live along and beyond the Danube. During Roman times, the author Jordanes describes names such as Gradivus, Filimer, Thuidimer, Valamir and Vidimer for the Getae, whom he calls Goths, and speak of Macedonian lands as the place that some of the Getae inhabit.
Quote:
....Thiudimer the king, perceiving his own good fortune and that of his son, was not content with this alone, but set forth from the city of Naissus, leaving only a few men behind as a guard. He himself advanced to Thessalonica, where Hilarianus the Patrician, appointed by the Emperor, was stationed with his army. When Hilarianus beheld Thessalonica surrounded by an entrenchment and saw that he could not resist attack, he sent an embassy to Thiudimer the king and by the offer of gifts turned him aside from destroying the city. Then the Roman general entered upon a truce with the Goths and of his own accord handed over to them those places they inhabited, namely Cyrrhus, Pella, Europus, Methone, Pydna, Beroea, and another which is called Dium.
Theophylact Simocatta openly calls the Slavic tribes that were attacking the Roman establishment within the Balkans as 'Getae', his intentions perfectly clear, "for this is the older name for the barbarians." In another passage with reference to another Slavic attack against the Romans, he states the following:
Quote:
As for the Getae, that is to say the herds of Sclavenes, they were fiercly ravaging the regions of Thrace………….
A distinctive pattern emerges here which reveals much closer ties among the barbarians on both sides of the Danube, and it is significant to note that the Slavic tribes that were attacking the Romans were identified as one in the same as the Getae (Thracians). Another peculiar link can be seen in the example of how the name of some Slavic tribes came to also represent a 'Slave' in Roman terminology, largely due to the amount of slaves that were taken by the Romans from the areas around the Balkans, Danube and adjacent regions. Here is what Strabo says in relation to the name of the Getae in a similar context:
Quote:
There was, from ancient times, another division of these people which still exists; thus, some they call Dacians and others Getae: the Getae extend towards the Euxine and the east, but the Dacians are situated on the opposite side towards Germany and the sources of the Danube, whom I consider to have been called Daci from a very early period. Whence also amongst the Attics the names of Getae and Davi were customary for slaves. This at least is more probable than to consider them as taken from the Scythians who are named Daae, for they live far beyond Hyrcania, and it is not likely that slaves would be brought all that way into Attica. It was usual with them to call their slaves after the name of the nation from whence they were brought, as Lydus and Syrus, or else by a name much in use in their own country, as, for a Phrygian, Manes or Midas; for a Paphlagonian, Tibius. Book 7, Chapter 3, 12.
This is an extremely interesting parallel that deserves attention, as the people of the same regions underwent the same events. Given the much larger amount of territory inhabited by Slavic-speaking people than any other linguistic group in Europe, and the linguistic relations and continuim shared by the ancient Balkan peoples, probability points to a large native group of people (speaking a language that at some point in time during the 6th-9th centuries came to be commonly referred to as Slavic - From Slovo = Word) are living now, where they have always been.
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