Παρασκευή, 25 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

An interesting view on the origin of the word "Armanus" for the Aromanians - Vlachs


The subject is, of course, huge, so we will give a brief explanation in the space of a small article of a paper. First of all, the name ‘Vlachoi’ was given to them by other people. The Vlachs usually call themselves ‘Armani’, except ‘Moglenites’, who call themselves ‘Vlasi’.
Most scientists believe that the name ‘Armanus’ emerged from the Latin Romanus with the prosthetic ancient Greek ‘A’. Armanu <Ar (o) manu (s) <a + Romanus. The name is associated with the (Emperor) Karakala’s order (Latin: Edictum Antoninianum), 212 AD, by which the right of Roman citizenship was generalized to all residents of the Roman provinces (Latin: Romanus cives).  The terms ‘Aromunos’ / Aromunoi and Armanos / Armani are neologisms. The first came from the German term ‘Aromunen’ introduced by Gustav Veigand in the second half of the 19th century and was established in its Greek form by ‘Achilleas Lazaru’. The second term appeared in early Greek bibliography in the form ‘Armanii’ by ‘Sokratis Liakos’ and in its modern form ‘Armani’ by Nikolaos Mertzos etc. 
  A tireless researcher, ‘Giorgos Exarhos’, who studies the Aromanian-Vlach issue,  without political and national expediency,  giving respect to   professional and amateur Vlachologists (scientists or not) and  drawing tens of thousands of sources   in his books, especially in his book ,  ‘Ellinovlachoi’  tome  ‘Kastaniotis’  publications Athens 2001,  differentiates and considers that the word  results from the words  ‘Arimanni – Armannia’ that  were political-miltary  terms and expressed the way  of social organization of northern Italy by the Lombards (8th century AD), a fact that  leads to  the ascertainment  that the same way of social organization  in  Eastern Roman Empire  also existed   in Romagna, from the 4th AD century.
   Giorgos Exarhos is based on T. G. Kollias’ views, Professor of History (History of the Middle Ages, Athens, 2nd edition p. 383-384 University Press).Exarhos insists that if Kollias gave us the Latin sources from which he derived the information we will have extremely strong evidence that the name came from the word ‘Arimanni’. 
  Professor Kollias, in a few lines, states that ten hundreds of military groups (with the name «Arimannia" under the orders of a Centurion) settled in significant military locations.
   These groups had classes: The upper class consisted of predominantly liberal warriors (Latin: Arimanni, Exercitales). Their equipment (of Arimanni army) was proportional to their income. The lower class of the population included slaves and ‘freedmen’ = about to be free (Latin: Aldiones.  Most of them were free in-person, but ‘attached in land’ and subject to the custody of a Master). All these non-free and half free  (freedmen) with   insufficient income cultivated small pieces of land. 
  The fact that all main Aromanian-Vlachs’ settlements are alleys, musties and lookouts (vigles), and passes of great military importance, fully confirms the labelling (pointing out) of the historian (Kollias): "… groups of warriors (Arimanni) established by hundreds in some important areas…”
 It is sure that Aromanians-Vlachs do not come from these soldiers, but  by  the mountainous, native  people of  Pindos, who served in the Roman army were  enlatinized linguistically like  Gauls (Galatians), Spaniards, etc. Besides, it is well known that "there was a ‘Macedonians Legion’ composed of Macedonians mainly mountainous  who ,because of their  of infertile land ,accepted willingly  to rank  in the Roman legions, where they learned the corrupt military language of  Romans, as their  (military)service  lasted for about two decades. After their release from the army the settled in the place of their origin, ‘taking with them the Roman language’ (Stilpon Kyriakides, magazine‘Makedonika’, 5, 1961-1963).
  Ηundreds of Greeks (Thessalians, Acarnanians) have also fought with  Romans in Sicily, where  Pretoria  ‘L Lefkulos L. Licinius’ fought against Athinionas’ slave rebel (see Diodorus Sicilius, Library of historical relics). 
 Moreover, as Gustav Fr. Hertzberg states in his book ‘History of Greece during Roman domination’, P. Carolidis’ translation, Athens 1902, tome A, p. 419, and a lot of Greek people ( craftsmen, owners of taverns, merchants, priests, diviners, artists ,sculptors, painters, actors , athletes, swordsmen ,cooks, barbers, miracle-workers, doctors, scholars, teachers of youth, etc.) travelled to Rome to seek wealth and happiness. 
  From the previous reports, it is proved that Thessalians Akarnanians, Macedonians and other Greeks   for military and peaceful purposes, were found for long periods with the Romans, which means that they were and enlatinized in customs and language. When they returned to their home countries, they carried to their places the elements of Latin language, so a Greek-Latin language was created, namely the Armanian-Vlach language of-Greek territories. 
   (Such a phenomenon takes place right now in Greek island Carpathos. The majority of Carpathians have lived many years in America. Coming back to their homeland, they speak, now, not the idiom of Karpathos but a mixed language of Carpathian Greek and American English, a language that they themselves have called "Amerikanocarpathia" So, for the formation of this "language», which you hear whenever and wherever someone is in the villages of Carpathos, there was no need of residence movement of Americans there). 
 Finally,  Thessalians, Macedonians and Acarnanians, being warriors (Arimanni), after their return to their birthplace, it is reasonable to accept that they joined the "upper class, which consisted of free people , par excellence warriors (Arimanni, Exercitalis) as we mentioned before.. 
  This privilege status maintained throughout all period of Romagna (the Byzantine Empire) in all populations of Arimanni-Armani and then the Ottoman Empire has granted the same privileged status, too. It is not accidental The economic and administrative autonomy of all  Aromanian-Vlach settlements of Greek  territories in during Turkish rule is not casual, nor it is a coincidence that  they came under the protection of  Valide Sultan, ie  Queen Mother(of Sultan). 

Yannis Tsiamitros, teacher of traditional dances. 
The original article is in Greek and the translation
 in English is by Yannis. Tsiamitros, too) published
 in local paper “LAOS’, Town Veria, Greece on 20-02-2010

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