Origin of the Eastern Romance or Vlach Peoples

Nicu

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A little essay of sorts on a controversial topic:

Origin of Eastern Romance people or Vlachs (Romanians, Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, Istro-Romanians)
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There has been ample debate about the origins of Romanians and linguistically-related peoples throughout the Balkans. It is an issue at the intersection of history, linguistics, and genetics, and one that is particularly contentious because it relates to the original homeland of several of these people, and thus, has potential political implications for them. On the one hand, the mainstream theory pushed by Romanian history books is that the Romanian people of today are essentially a direct continuation of the Romanized Dacian colony in their current territory, north of the Danube, and many abroad have accepted this line of thinking, outside of the more particular academics interested specifically in the topic (perhaps many foreign historians simply don't care enough to look at the issue that closely, anyway). However, the earliest Romanian presence in the territory of the modern country of that name are only attested from around the early 13th century, which is much later than the abandonment of the Dacia colony in the late 3rd century. To explain the relative lack of evidence for Romanian speakers in the Dark Ages or early Middle Ages in their territory, they suppose that the Daco-Romans retreated to small rural fortress communities in the mountains, and only came out and multiplied later, spreading out over the land again. Hungarians on the other hand, often contend that the Romanians are descended from Vlach migrants from south of the Danube in the lower Balkans that only entered the territory of modern Romania in the Middle Ages, particularly during the time of the Bulgarian Empire. This issue also relates to the origin of the Aromanians, a people found in northern Greece, Macedonia, and a few other places around the Balkans who speak a closely-related language, part of the Eastern Romance or Balkan Romance subgroup. Vlach is a term used to refer to the different Eastern Romance speaking peoples in the Balkans and Central-East Europe, originally from a Germanic word adopted by the Slavs to mean foreigner, particularly Romance-speaking (it includes Romanians, Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, and Istro-Romanians, among a few other more obscure or extinct peoples). In fact Wallachia, the historical name of the region of southern Romania, derives from this same word, pointing to the origins of that nation. Traditional Romanian views see the Aromanians are basically a subtype of Romanians speaking a peculiar dialect of their language with other influences, perhaps an offshoot that moved further south. Many Aromanians went along with this view and drew closer to Romania, moving there and assimilating in many cases, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On the other hand, many others remained in Greece and opposed this view, seeing themselves as basically Greeks that were Latinized and speak a different language; this is essentially what the Greek view on the Aromanians is. Many of them want to assimilate and be treated as other Greeks rather than being associated with Romania or seen as some separate entity apart from Hellenes. The Greek opponents of the Romanian claim seem to believe that Romanians and Aromanians were the result of two separate and unrelated Latinization processes (and only have coincidental language ties due to both being Latinized, similar to how French and Spanish do, without any further special connection), although closer scrutiny of the linguistics shows this cannot be true, and a "Common or Proto Romanian" language was probably spoken up until around the start of the second millennium. The Greek Aromanian position is further complicated by the fact that there are Aromanians throughout the southern Balkans outside of Greece that claim no connection to Greece. As an aside, note that sometimes, the Romanian language proper is referred to as Daco-Romanian specifically, within a linguistic context when talking about other "Romanian" tongues, to differentiate it from them.


I believe that the original homeland of the Vlach/East Romance people (particularly those ancestral elements that gave them their language) is actually neither in northern Greece/the far southern Balkans, nor in what is now modern Romania north of the Danube, but rather somewhere in the central-northern Balkans, south of the Danube river but north of what is known as the Jirecek Line, which indicates the division of Latin and Greek speaking spheres in the ancient Balkans (Latin was spoken to the north and Greek to the south, although this was more of a general transitional zone and not a strict boundary, as exceptions were found, particularly the ancient Greek colonies in what is now the Dobrogea region of the Black Sea coast of Romania, like Tomis). Perhaps this presumed homeland would be somewhere in what is now northern and eastern Serbia, and northern and western Bulgaria, perhaps extending to northern (North) Macedonia. The area would roughly correspond with the province of Moesia, or also the new "Dacia" to the south of the river, after the Romans withdrew from the north (the provinces of Dacia Mediterranea and Ripensis). We can look at placenames, topographical history, and archaelogy to further elucidate this. Romania itself doesn't have many placenames that can be traced continuously to the Roman occupation in antiquity, or in cases that they are, they were often modified by Slavic, indicating a temporary change of linguistic hands. At the same time, the areas of Thessaly, and northern Greece where the Aromanians dwell also doesn't have a very ancient layer of toponyms relating to the Vlachs either. The idea that Greeks themselves were actually Latinized and converted to Latin speech is rather unlikely, given that Greek always maintained a stronger influence and prestige in the eastern parts of the Roman empire even when they were conquered, and this continued furthermore in Byzantine times as Latin was eclipsed by Greek in government too. Many of the Greeks would likely have been opposed to direct Latinization of their people, seeing Latin as being associated with a lower level of prestige and civilization than their own tongue perhaps. Furthermore, the Romans themselves admired the Greeks and held them on a pedestal of sorts (being influenced by them in many ways instead), although only in some ways, and this can be overstated sometimes. On the other hand, it is known that the other native Balkanic peoples to the north, such as the Thracians and Illyrians, were as a matter of fact Latinized. They had somewhat simpler civil organizations and would not have resisted the Latinization as the more advanced Greeks. Many of the emperors of the Late Roman Empire and early Byzantine Empire were of Romanized Thracian and Illyrian families (Constantine and Justinian and their families being some prominent examples - the latter in particular seen as being of low birth, from a family of rural provincial swineherds like his uncle Justin). The last natively Latin speaking emperors were from the mid to late 6th century. In the early 7th century emperor Heraclius shifted to Greek as the language of the empire since it had already been de-facto used in the east for a long time, taking the Greek title Basileus. By this time the Vulgar Latin speaking populations of the Balkans had been ravaged and dwindled by numerous invasions and wars on their territory.


So I would venture to guess that after the Slavic, Avar and Bulgar invasions of the early Middle Ages, and their subsequent raiding and settlement in the Balkan and Danubian lands, the Vlachs of the central Balkans became split up and more dispersed. Some eventually made the move north over the Danube river to Wallachia and Transylvania and later Moldova to populate what is now Romania (mixing of course with the locals that were already there to various degrees), probably during the era of the Bulgarian Empire. And other Vlachs moved south toward northern Greece and southern Macedonia, mixing with locals there and becoming the basis for the Aromanians, and perhaps Megleno-Romanians (interestingly this language seems to be a bit closer to Romanian itself than Aromanian is, occupying a bit of an intermediate space between them; it seems to have split off of Common Romanian later than Aromanian did). Some believe that the first evidence of this Common/Proto Romanian was in a late 6th century attestation in which the command "torna, torna, fratre" was uttered to tell some soldiers to turn around, though this is debated. The first real attested sample of the Romanian language as we know it is actually only from 1521, Neacșu's Letter.


Looking at the linguistic evidence, it would seem that Eastern Romance (including Romanian and Aromanian) did not split up much earlier than about 1000 years ago, give or take a century or two. These languages are intimately connected and intertwined in a way that must indicate a long period of commonality and a shared origin. They share the same phonetic developments and changes from Latin that characterize East Romance in general and separate them from other Romance languages to the West, including even Italian or its southern dialects. They maintained largely the same overlapping inherited Latin vocabulary, and often underwent the same unique, unusual semantic developments that other Neo-Latin tongues did not experience. There may be a similar level of relatedness as that between Spanish and Portuguese, perhaps. It is true that some differences also exist between the Latin vocabulary of Romanian and Aromanian, but these are mostly later innovations and further changes that each language made after they had split from each other. They also share a unique connection with Albanian (traditionally assumed to be the Daco-Thracian-Illyrian "substratum" although this cannot be proven) and share a similar stratum of early Slavic borrowings (to be distinguished from later Slavic borrowings made by Romanian due to increased exposure to those speakers compared to Aromanian's situation in Greece). Furthermore, they share some Medieval/Byzantine Greek borrowings in addition to the numerous later Greek borrowings Aromanian made. Some of the Greek terms in all of these East Romance languages were ancient, probably present in the local varieties of Vulgar Latin. It is true, however, that some Greek terms later entered Romanian through the Phanariotes of the Ottoman era, or in both languages via Turkish intermediates, and that some flavors of Aromanian absorbed some local South Slavic words depending on the geographic location of the respective dialect. Taking a close look and comparing vocabulary, there were many unique senses developed in these East Romance languages that indicate they must have been close together for a long time. Some words took sharp departures from the original Latin meanings but are shared among all the Vlach/Romanian languages. As one of many examples, take a look at the Latin verb 'mergo', meaning "to dip, immerse, plunge", leading to Romanian 'merg', Aromanian 'nerg(u)', Megleno-Romanian 'mierg', and Istro-Romanian 'meg' all meaning "to go", a shared and unusual generalization of a more specific original sense. Another example: Latin 'apprehendo' meaning "to grasp, comprehend, seize" developing into Romanian 'aprind' and Aromanian 'aprindu', both meaning "to light or turn on", while all the western Romance cognates instead mean either to "learn" or to "teach". Or how Latin 'plico' ("to fold") turned into Romanian 'plec/plecare' and Aromanian 'plec/plicari', both "to leave/depart", while western counterparts either mean "to fold" (Italian 'piegare') or instead to "arrive" (Spanish 'llegar', Portuguese 'chegar'). Unique diminutives and augmentatives, conjugation patterns, phonetics, etc. also betray the fact that the Romanian languages were once a unified entity later than other Romance languages began to diverge into major groups. For example intervocalic Latin -l- turning into -r-, or the use of suffixes like '-oi/-oaie' ('-oanji') and '-uț' ('-uts'), as well as inflecting first-pattern conjugation verbs with the infix '-ez' or -edz' and fourth-pattern conjugations with '-esc' or '-escu'. Latin -sc- before an 'i' or 'e' both became '-șt- / '-sht-' in the Vlach languages (compare Romanian 'știu' to Aromanian 'shtiu', both "to know", from Latin 'scio', a word that was lost in western Romance; see also Romanian 'românește' and Aromanian 'armãneashti') In some cases, Aromanian preserves an extra letter or sound that Romanian further went on to drop, giving additional hints as to the Latin etymology; in other cases, the situations were reversed, but it's important to note that all of these were later developments after the languages split. Even when borrowing foreign words, such as from Slavic, Greek, Albanian, or Turkish, they seem to develop similarly and use the same verb inflection patterns, noun genders, and types of suffixes (sometimes one needs to look at archaic or regional Romanian variants to see the full extent of these similarities though). Furthermore, certain common sound shifts in all branches of Romanian/East Romance, such as Latin long -o- turning into the diphthong -oa- were fairly certainly the result of Slavic influence and couldn't have happened before they became established in the Balkan region. Supposing Romanians and Aromanians were not a united people at this time and already in their modern respective locations, it is odd to imagine that they both developed the same way as a result of Slavic influence at different times, just coincidentally. All of these aforementioned things would be truly remarkable and highly unlikely if they had no more common link than simply being Romance languages. There's a reason why they are grouped together into a unit and Dalmatian in the west Balkans is typically excluded, despite some geographical proximity.


The relation to Albanian in particular deserves further mention. Traditionally, the few hundred words or so that seem to be in common between only Romanian (in a broad sense with all its sub-languages) and Albanian were considered to have represented a paleo-Balkan substratum, perhaps a connection between Dacian and Thracian or Illyrian tongues, and that Albanian was related to the un-Latinized form of what became Romanian/East Romance, or Albanian is basically a descendant or relative of Dacian or Daco-Moesian itself before Romanization. However, lately there have been closer looks taken at this, especially from outside of Romanian academia, and some theorize that the borrowings were mostly actually from Albanian into (proto-) Romanian, indicating a longer period of close habitation in the Balkans south of the Danube. At one point, proto-Albanian or some late form of Illyrian was probably more widespread throughout the Balkans than it is today, before many of its speakers were Slavicized, becoming assimilated into the South Slavic peoples. There were also numerous borrowings of some Vulgar Latin or proto-Romance in Albanian (up to several hundred), although it is uncertain whether these occurred before or after the formation of Romanian itself. Some of the Latin influences in Albanian also seem to reflect more western, Italo-Dalmatian influences. Speaking of this, Dalmatian is a now-extinct Romance language spoken in the western Balkans on the Adriatic coasts of what is now mostly Croatia. It is sometimes seen as the "missing link" between the Romanian family of East Romance and the Italian group; it is variably categorized either with East Romance or separate from it in the Italo-Dalmatian grouping. Many of its features are closer to Italian and Venetian (along with Istriot), but there are some interesting peculiarities it shares with East Romance proper, like Romanian. Either way, it certainly had a different path of development than Romanian, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian, which are all much closer to each other than to it. Some linguists have also noted a few similarities between Dalmatian, Romanian and Friulian in northeast Italy, which is categorized as a "Rhaeto-Romance" language. These may be coincidental, however. There are arguably more links between the Romanian languages and the languages and dialects of Southern Italy instead, such as Neapolitan and Sicilian, including some sounds not found in standard Italian, and the preservation of Latin '-u' in cases where it went on to become '-o' in other western Romance. Some links may also be explained by mutual Greek influence in antiquity compared to other Romance languages. Furthermore, variants of Albanian and Greek can be found in southern Italy as minority languages.


The vocabulary preserved in Eastern Romance or Vlach languages hints at some aspects of their history, subsistence, and lifestyle. It would seem that shepherding was a prominent profession among the early Vlachs, and still continues to be to this day in all the different branches. They may have been transhumanists moving around the Balkans with their herds in search of good pasture. This may be part of the reason they became so geographically widespread and dispersed over the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Even one of the Albanian words for shepherd 'rëmër' is derived from the name the Vlachs called themselves (from 'romanus'). The vocabulary also indicates that early Vlachs or Proto Romanians probably lived in smaller communities, often in mountainous, forested, or other remote areas, and stayed in little fortified settlements (look at the evolution of the Latin word civitatis ("city") to Romanian cetate ("fortress")).


Another point to look at is that the autonym, or name for themselves, that most of these Vlach people have is some descendant of Latin 'romanus', which meant Roman (Megleno-Romanian uniquely seems to have lost that term over time and adopted the exonym, or name that other people gave to them, vlași). Of course "Roman" by the late empire just meant anyone within the empire who had citizenship (it was extended to most people after the edict of Caracalla), identified as part of the Roman world and participated in its culture or spoke its language, regardless of their original ethnicity. That's why you had "Romans" from all kinds of diverse Romanized populations across the empire; the term Romansch for the minority language spoken in Switzerland and even the word Romance itself derived ultimately from this, via Old French and Latin 'romanice'. Within the Eastern Romance or Vlach langauges, Romanian has 'român' (originally 'rumân' before being partially re-Latinized), Aromanian has 'armãn' (it was a typical linguistic innovation of Aromanian to add an initial 'a-' before 'r'), and Istro-Romanian has 'rumăr'. If we subscribe to the mainstream idea that Romanians formed originally totally north of the Danube from the short-lived, less than 200 year colony there (with Romanization of the independent-minded Dacians known to not have always been the smoothest process), it would seem rather remarkable that the people there still preserved a form of this name 'romanus' for themselves from the 2nd and 3rd centuries, having been largely cut off from the Roman world after that. It would probably make more sense for them to have spent a longer time within the empire to the south to develop this identity strongly enough to maintain the 'romanus' autonym. It may have been helped by the fact that the other Eastern Romans around them who would become the Byzantines still did maintain their name and identity as some variant of "Roman", even if speaking Greek.


An interesting aside about the word Vlach: it originated probably ultimately from the name of a Celtic/Gaulish tribe, the Volcae, and was used by early Germanic tribes to refer to foreigners (like the root of the words Welsh/Wales) and later came to apply to Romance/Latin speakers. This was eventually also transferred to the Slavic peoples with similar connotation as Romance-speaking foreigner. In fact, in Polish the word Włoch is used to refer to Italian while Wołoch refers to Vlachs or Wallacians/Romanians. There is also the Hungarian word olasz, meaning Italian, while the related term oláh refers to Romanians (although this has a derogatory connotation today), and these terms were taken from Slavic languages. As for the original Romanian word for Slavs, it seems to have been preserved in the now rare and archaic 'șcheau', which has also become a surname, and often referred specifically to South Slavs like Bulgarians or Serbs, because those were the people that the early Romanians were around at the time their language was developing. In Aromanian this word 'shcljau' went on to develop the more common meaning of servant (the word slave in English derives from Slavs ultimately because many of them were enslaved by the Byzantines in the Early Middle Ages; compare also Italian 'schiavo').


Finally, the obscure and dwindling, now almost extinct Istro-Romanian language deserves a brief mention; it seems to be a later offshoot of Transylvanian Romanian, probably around the 14th-15th century, whose speakers migrated to the Istrian peninsula in Croatia and have been now mostly assimilated. There are fewer than five hundred speakers of this language today. It also took on a local character as the population mingled with the Croats and others in the area, and almost seems to approach the status of a hybrid language, with more Slavic loans than Romanian itself, including in basic numbers from one to ten.


Which brings me to another point. Although all four of these modern branches or descendants of Proto-Romanian today ((Daco-)Romanian, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian) derived from the same base inherited lexicon, they each seemed to, over time, prefer certain words and grammatical conventions to others; this is completely normal and expected in the evolutions of languages, as dialects become geographically dispersed and split apart, slowly beginning the process of turning into separate actual languages, incorporating other influences from their new environments. In some cases, some forms of this early Romanian lost some vocabulary entirely that others preserved, and vice-versa. In some cases, one language or dialect might use a certain word commonly while the others only preserved that word as an archaicism, mostly preserved in texts of past centuries but lost over time in the common parlance. Sometimes the meaning shifts further away from the original Latin in one of the languages than in the other, but you can still make out a connection. Some people also seem to get the mistaken idea that Aromanian represents a more whole or pure form of Romanian, which is not entirely true; it is not necessarily any more "Latin" than regular Romanian (if anything the former actually probably lost a little more of the Latin vocab than the latter did). What is true, however, is that Aromanian and the other two less spoken languages Megleno- and Istro-Romanian are less altered and showcase a more organic or natural evolution. It is true that Romanian has been modified to an extent in the 19th century, which thousands of words borrowed from French, Italian, and Latin to match the other Romance languages, and adapt to a more modern world (many of these being in scholarly realms, or pertaining to technology, science, or more abstract and modern concepts, often reflecting international words shared by many European languages). Many of these same words were themselves borrowed from Latin into the other Romance languages like French and Italian during the Renaissance and late Middle Ages by the learned, and partly adapted to the languages. It's also true that a fair amount of older Slavic vocabulary in Romanian was relegated to obsolescence and regional use, being replaced by these neologisms. But many concepts that the new words described were new and did not previously exist, since the language was one of relatively basic and simple life up until then, when industry began changing things. Aromanian and such did not undergo this degree of borrowing, although they do have some international words. Most of their borrowing ended up being from Greek but this was usually a more gradual and organic process.






Many Romanians would be rather against this "migration" theory that has been described thus far, because it would mean, in their view, that they weren't always in their land, but it is not that simple if one really thinks about it. For one, there may well have been many remnants of the Latinized (and un-Latinized) Dacians on their land even after the retreat of the Roman legions and official abandonment of the colony. They may have gradually been assimilated into or absorbed by other peoples that later came through the land and perhaps lost their langauge, becoming Germanicized and Slavicized, before the Romance-speaking Vlachs from the south moved back up and brought their language to the land again (or rather, it was perhaps the original natives doing the assimilating depending on your perspective, even though the language shifted, similar to what probably happened to what became "Balkan Slavs" south of the river). So in some way there may have been a good degree of continuity, despite various linguistic shifts or replacements (that we can sadly not trace with any certainty due to lack of documentation). After the legions retreated in the late 3rd century under the emperor Aurelian, it was occupied by Goths, and then they came under the dominion of the Hunnic empire for a little while, which was followed by the other East Germanic tribe, the Gepids, after that collapsed. Archaeological evidence does show some evidence of Late Roman artifacts in Romania around this time, but it is not certain that it represented continued habitation by the same group necessarily. Then of course, the Slavic tribes arrived (Antes and Sclavenians) and settled throughout the area, particularly the lowlands as they were mostly an agricultural people - and a fair amount of Romanian vocabulary in this domain comes from Slavic sources. And after, various migratory Turkic tribes came through and ruled over the lands, such as the Avars, Bulgars, and later the Pechenegs and Cumans; these peoples probably did not make a significant genetic impact on the region but were still the ones that were politically relevant as the ruling elite (thus they are often shown on maps of the Middle Ages as ruling in the region); the accumulated older layers of native inhabitants surely still remained and formed the backbone of the people, but were probably relegated to lower social status, especially as serfdom took off. Finally the Magyars entered the Carpathian Basin in the late 9th century, eventually founding the kingdom of Hungary, but also occupied parts of Transylvania.


To also look at it another way, the Vlachs of the central-northern Balkans may have been at least partly descended from the retreated Roman colony of Dacia to the north, which was resettled in this Dacia Ripensis or Mediterranea, or Moesia. So if this was where the Vlachs who eventually moved back up to Romania in the Middle Ages came from, you can also suppose a different sort of population continuity from there as well, even if not necessarily in the same place the whole time. Some academics believe in a compromoise, 'ad-migration' solution where some Romanian speakers/Vlachs always existed north of the Danube to some extent (at least in Wallachia/Oltenia and southern Transylvania), and were added to or reinforced by additional Vlach migrants from the south. It's hard to tell if this is true or not due to lack of records, but it is certainly not impossible at least. Furthermore, in a more general sense, even if the direct (linguistic at least) ancestors of the Romanians may not have been the actual Daco-Romans of Trajan's colony, the main takeaway point is that they were certainly descended from some kind of Romanized paleo-Balkanic people like Thracians or Illyrians, which were likely not that different from the Dacians anyway, and probably related, especially in the case of the Thracians, which many ancient writers noted (see the Getae tribe as well).


When I am talking about these population movements, I am tracing it mostly along the lines of the languages they carried. As far as the actual genetic makeup of the modern peoples called Romanians and Aromanians today, that is more nuanced and complicated, since language can cover up many underlying elements. I am not saying that Romanians and Aromanians are the same people, or that we should expect these modern peoples to be identical genetically or anthropologically today; nor am I suggesting that either of these peoples are identical to the ancestral Vlach population that their languages and cultures sprouted from. They likely each partly descend from them but went in different directions so to speak. The ones that became modern Romanians to the north assimilated the existing people there, including many Slavs, some Germans, and perhaps remnants of older Dacian populations left over (and maybe a sprinkling of later nomads). The ones that became Aromanians mixed with and absorbed other Balkan peoples and Greeks over time. I've met a fair amount of Greeks who have noted that they may have, say, a Vlach uncle or grandparent, so this integration and mixing is not uncommon. So in a way, the modern Greek Vlachs are right in that many of them are at least partly actually Greek to some extent, from a genetic point of view. How recently they began to blend with Greeks and whether they were more seperated populations in the past for much of their history is uncertain. Based on Byzantine records in the high to later Middle Ages, it seems the Vlachs were rather unruly and wished to be fiercly independent, often causing problems for the rulers and coming out of their mountain homes to raid. It may have not really been until the modern nationalist movements of the late 18th and early 19th century that the push toward assimilation and a common cultural identity arose. Also, Aromanians in other parts of the Balkans like Albania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia lack the Greek identity and tend to be less opposed to considering more of a link with Romanians. So there is definitely some political and nationalist influence at work here to consider.


Looking at genetics, the answers are blurry. It seems that all Balkan people, including Romanians and Aromanians, are difficult to distinguish from each other genetically, perhaps either because their common roots were not sufficiently distinguished, or rather there has been so much subsequent intermixing of different peoples in the Balkans, regardless of language (Slavic, Romance, Greek, Albanian, Turkish, etc.) that it is hard to make strong conclusions based on this. So this at least does point to a possibility of this theory being true. It does seem like Romanians, particularly from the more northern and eastern reaches of their country, draw closer to Slavic Eastern Europe, while Aromanians tend to cluster closer to southern peoples like Greeks and Albanians, due to intermixture. But there is still a good degree of overlap between them, of course. Depending on the region of the country or even the individuals themselves, a person may cluster anywhere in the Balkan group, and you may get a wide amount of genetic disparity within members of the same nation, like in Romania. When you look at it critically, Romanians were formed from an amalgamation of several once rather different peoples that came together (some more southern European and Mediterranean leaning, or Balkan natives, and others more Slavic/Germanic and Central/Eastern European). There is a decent amount of phenotypical variety found in the country according to old anthropological studies, although the field as such is now considered largely outdated. Aromanians can also be varied depending on the country they live in, whether it be Greece, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, etc. so they are not necessarily a completely coherent unit anymore either. It is also worthwhile to note that despite the various migrations that coursed through the Balkan/Southeast European region, the base genetic profile doesn't seem to have radically or fundamentally changed since antiquity and what was likely there before written history was recorded. Major haplogroups do overlap to an extent between these peoples, although even within populations over time, they can shift internally as one becomes more dominant than another, so they are not necessarily the only or best place to look.


Either way, the regions of Moldova and northern Transylvania were definitely not occupied by Vlachs or East Romance speakers until relatively late, around the early 14th century, and not Romanized during antiquity. Even the legend of Moldavia's founding by Dragoș indicates it was Romanian/Vlachs from the Maramureș area that moved into the region, and there were undoubtedly existing people there (likely Slavic speakers) already that were linguistically assimilated into the Vlachs. This may be why the region, along with Bessarabia, has an arguably stronger Slavic influence (culturally/phonetically/genetically, etc.), because the Vlach presence is more recent and not as deep as other regions of Romania such as, say, Oltenia in the southwest. If Romanians themselves are not even genetically and anthropologically homogenous across the different regions of their country, why would one expect them to be so with the other Vlachs like Aromanians and Megleno-Romanians further to the south? This divergence is normal and expected for human populations that spread and become dispersed over time.


Some may argue that the Vlachs that are perhaps the closest to the original ones are the remnants in northern/eastern Serbia, although this is difficult to prove, as their population may also have moved back there later. Many of the Vlachs that remained in the original homeland were likely later assimilated into the Bulgarian and Serbian peoples, for example. As late as the 12th century, you have notable Vlachs in Bulgaria appear in the historical record, however. One prominent example may be the Asen brothers that founded the Second Bulgarian Empire, although this idea is sometimes contentious among Bulgarians. Some refer to this empire as that of the "Bulgarians and Vlachs", and papal sources referred to it as "Bulgaria and Vlachia", with the region of northern Bulgaria north of the Balkan mountains in particular being associated with Vlachs. It was around the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire's suzerainty over southern Romania/Wallachia (vying for regional power against the Hungarians from the northwest) in the early 13th century that the earliest Romanian political entities seem to emerge north of the Danube, with 'voivodes' trying to gain more local autonomy or quasi-independence. Vlachs were often used by the empires they lived in to fight in their wars. With the collapse of the Mongol Golden Horde's indirect influence in the region, as well as that of Hungary's, Vlach leaders like Radu Negru (possibly legendary) and Basarab founded the state of Wallachia. Looking at other early Vlach states or polities, we do see the emergence of a Greater Wallachia/Vlachia in Thessaly (alongside a nearby "Upper Vlachia" in Epirus and "Little Vlachia") around the same time as the emergence of Wallachia to the north of the Danube, in what would eventually become Romania. In early texts the Vlachs of Greece seem to have been associated with the Bessi, an ancient Thracian tribe, although whether or not this was a misleadingly classicizing or "archaicizing" tendency of the time is uncertain (similarly to how many nomadic horse cultures that arrived in the early Middle Ages were associated with "Scythians"). Though the ancestors of Romanized Balkan natives may have possibly produced some early Byzantine emperors, their remnants were overshadowed by the Greek elite and Greek-speaking majority of the empire over time (not to mention being cut off by Avar, Bulgar, and Slavic invasions), and remained in smaller rural mountain units, and were often fiercely independent-minded, rebelling against the empire in the later Middle Ages. Vlach rebellions in Greece and Bulgaria were not uncommon from the 11th century onward. There were also other areas associated with Vlachs in Central Europe, like Moravia and even parts of southern Poland, although any remnants of them in these areas have been long assimilated (leaving traces such as the name of a local cheese, bryndza). Vlach tombs are found in Bosnia and elements of the culture can be found in other traces throughout the Balkans, where the connotations of the word Vlach are varied and diverse. In some cases it refered to shepherds, or to Orthodox Christians. Another interesting people that are sometimes associated with the Vlachs are the Sarakantsani of Greece, which speak Greek but have a similar traditionally shepherding based lifestyle in the rural highlands, and were in the past distinct from the bulk of the mainstream Greek population. This may be just due to coincidence though, or there may be a deeper tie (perhaps these are linguistically Hellenized people that were originally Vlachs? Who knows. There are several other theories as to their origin).


The attitude and staunch resistance many Greek Vlachs take to the Romanian stance on their origin is actually completely understandable given the situation. These people were raised and educated as essentially being Greek and are proud of that. That is all they knew. To have some people from another country try to suddenly claim them for themselves can understandably provoke some irritation. Also, consider that the idea of Greek or Hellenic is of course one of prestige, given the illustrious history of the people, so it makes sense that they would want to hold on to that identity, despite their different language. I do believe that in the more distant past, the Aromanians/Vlachs had a rather different lifestyle as shepherds in the mountainous terrain and small villages than the Greeks themselves, who may have been more urbanized or engaged in seafaring and commerce, or settled agriculture. But in modern times, that distinction has been blurred and Vlachs have assimilated quite well into the rest of Greek society over the centuries. On the other hand, one can see why Romanians would also like to emphasize the link with other Vlachs, establishing their presence across a wider area than just that of the modern state of Romania. However, regardless of their probably shared (partial) origins, the different branches of Vlachs that we have discussed here have differentiated themselves over time, each becoming unique and distinct peoples with their own cultures. This is normal and expected when people have been separated by space and time. One can still see similarities, and historically we can say that they were usually involved in pastoralism as a traditional way of life, and tended to prefer the more rugged mountainous terrains of Southeastern Europe. In sum, while I would not say the various Vlachs are the same people, they did likely share a common ancestor which may not even be in an area that is currently inhabited by Romance-speakers, although not far either. I believe that a more careful, nuanced approach to this issue is needed, because it sometimes seems like just a tug of war between Romania and Greece over the Aromanian Vlachs and their origins, with neither side wanting to budge. Occam's Razor (at least as it is popularly understood) may not apply as well in this situation; at a surface glance, the simplest, most direct, and most elegant explanation as to modern Romania's existence is that they are the direct continuation of the remnants of the Dacian colony of Rome, but reality is not always so simple. Sometimes it is worth taking a deeper look at the historical records and examining things critically in light of the existing evidence we have. Sometimes things don't add up as nicely as we may want them to. My theory and solution may not be the most popular, but I believe it makes the most sense with all things considered. I'm not saying its perfect and addresses everything, and there may be some inaccuracies. But I do not have any particular agenda, and realize that history is often much more complicated than people tend to view it as. Any comments or discussion is welcome. Thank you.
 
what did the Dacians speak before use a Latin based language ??
 
Well unfortunately they don't have written evidence of the Dacian language itself other than place names and the names of various plants, and all of these were through the filter of some Latinized form. There are tons of theories about it, the most common being that it was related to Thracian, which itself is also sparsely attested.

The fact that there are some words shared uniquely with Albanian by itself does not necessarily prove that the substratum was Dacian in particular and not some other paleo-Balkan language. Some try to conveniently bend this to their reasoning by assuming that Albanian is then a descendant of Dacian, which simply can't be proven. And it can also mean that these shared words were borrowed later from a period of close co-existence.
 
From Joachim Matzinger:

Matzinger (2018), Lexicon of Albanian in Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics (vol. 3), De Gruyter:


Although it is widely believed that Albanian goes back to Illyrian or even Thracian, this view cannot be seriously upheld from the linguistic point of view (see Matzinger 2009). None of the ancient personal or local names ascribed to Illyrian are continued in Albanian without interruption (e.g. the place-name Shkodra is merely a loan from Latin Scodra). Consequently, Albanian cannot be regarded as an offspring of Illyrian or even Thracian but must be considered to be a modern continuation of some other undocumented Indo-European Balkan idiom. However, Albanian is closely related to Illyrian and also Messapic (a language spoken in Southern Italy in antiquity but originally of Balkan origin), which is why Albanian in some instances may shed some light on the explanation of Messapic as well as Illyrian words (see Matzinger 2005): (Messapic-) Oenotrian ῥινός ‘clouds’ ~ Old Geg rẽ, Old Tosk rē ‘cloud’, the Messapic gloss βρένδο- ‘stag’ and the place-name Brundisium (Italian Bríndisi) ~ Old Geg brĩ, or the name of the Illyrian tribe of the Taulantioi ~ Albanian dallëndyshe ‘swallow’ (see Eichner 2004: 10 f.).

What complicates the connection between Albanian and Bessian is the fact that (a) 'Thracian' has only survived marginally and especially Bessian completely Joachim Matzinger (Vienna), Munich November 30, 2016
16 is unknown(27) and above all (b) the individual Albanian and Thracian sound history
shows separate reflexes that cannot be combined as results of one language!

Albanian shares a considerable number of words in common with Rumanian (see Solta 1980: 3 f., 125 f. and Vătăşescu 1997). Some of them are remnants of an old inherited vocabulary (e.g. Albanian thark ‘pen for young livestock’ ~ Rumanian ţarc ‘id.’), while others comprise a younger category of Latin words attested in some cases only in Albanian and Rumanian (e.g. Albanian mëngon ‘get up very early’ ~ Rumanian mâneca ‘id.’ ← Latin *mānicāre ‘id.’). Both classes emerged from old and intensive contacts between the Proto-Albanians and the ancestors of the Rumanians. A widespread opinion regards the older category of the Albano-Rumanian common lexicon as the reflex of an ancient substratum of Thracian, Dacian, or unknown origin (a collection of these words is Brâncuş 1983). Aside from a few single words of perhaps non-Indo-European origin (Albanian modhullë ‘yellow vetchling [Lathyrus aphaca]’ ~ Rumanian mazăre ‘pea’), the largest part of this alleged substratum common to both Albanian and Rumanian consists simply of loan-words in Rumanian from Proto-Albanian, e.g. Rumanian ţarc ‘pen for young livestock’ from Proto-Albanian */tsárka-/ (Modern Albanian thark). The derivational base of this noun is continued in the Old Albanian verb thurën ‘interweave’ (< IE */k̑erH-/ ‘weave’, cf. Latin crātis ‘pen’; see details in Schumacher 2009: 43−45).



It is a characteristic feature of the Albanian language to be open to loan-words from various sources. The oldest stratum is found in Ancient Greek loans, which result from contacts between Greeks and speakers of Proto-Albanian from about 600 BCE onward. Subsequent to the Roman occupation of the Balkans, Proto-Albanian was heavily influenced by Latin. Single words as well as a good many derivational suffixes were taken over.

The Greek loan-words are of various chonological origins. The oldest are of Ancient Greek (Doric) provenance, mostly designations of vegetables, spices, fruits, animals, and tools (cf. Old Geg drapënë, modern Albanian drapër ‘sickle’ ← δρέπανον ‘id.’, Old Geg lakënë, modern Albanian lakër ‘cabbage’ ← λάχανον ‘potherbs’, presh ‘leek’ ← πράσον ‘id.’). These loans resulted from the earliest contacts between Greeks − either colonists of the Adriatic coastal regions or more probably Greek merchants in the Balkan hinterland − and Proto-Albanians from the 8th century BCE on.

Serbo-Croat. Nîš, Alban. Nish: The ancient name has been handed down in several variations,
so a.o. Greek (old) NaϊssÒj, (Byzantine) N£ϊsoj, °on, Na‹soj ~ Latin. Naissus, Naisum,
Naessum, Nessus(19) . It should be recognized that the serbocroat. Form Nîš neither from a
greek. another latin. Basic shape can come as at the time of arrival
of the Slavs around 550 probably with a monophthongized basic form */Né̜sus/
would be calculated, which would have resulted in Slav. **Něsъ or **Nesъ. The (already older) opinion
after which serbocroat. Nîš from the alban. form is adopted by G. SCHRAMM,
Eroberer, p. 308 in my opinion wrongly rejected.(20) Is taken as the starting point for the
development */Na.ís(s)os/(21), the following processes would have resulted: */Nə.íʃə(h)/
> */Nə.íʃə/ > */Nṑʃ(ə)/(22) > */Nṑʃ/ led to be the source of Slavic borrowing
could. It follows from the fact that the development of the ancient name form to that
Source form from which the Slavic form of the name is borrowed, definitely and precisely only with alban.
Sound developments is comparable. However, given the evidence, it cannot be ruled out
be that this development to */Nīʃ/ (→ slav./serbokroat. Nîš) ultimately one
attributable to a regional idiom that is not identical to Albanian


This guy is a pretty good linguist actually, if you ignore these trolls who create fake internet maps or try to claim that this guy says Albanian is supposedly Thracian that was spoken in Western Bulgaria and South-Eastern Serbia.
 
Befor i thought as many others that romance speakers in the South Balkan, timok vlach and Romanians were not the same, and even argued for it, but this year after not trying to be bias and a bit of logic, i have come to the same conclussion what you wrote here, more or less that we are the same, but just diffred apart from each other during the years, and mixed with others, so autosomali we may not be identical today, but we came from the same ancestors
 
I know this old but things I disagree with is that north Romianians plot with eastern slavs that wrong all romanians plot with Balkanites( serbs, Bulgarians, Croats, and Bosnians) also on k13, g25 Romianians get little to no Germanic. They are just a mix of Balkan and Slavic just like all Balkanites check this dorkymon from athorgenica (rip) collected all this samples edit for the link ihad to make a different post I don't know why tho
 
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Yes! Most of them do plot with Croats, Bosnians and Serbs, but we have to taket in to considuration that Croats, and Bosniens are heavy weighters in the Balkans with Slavic DNA, they are about 60% +/- 5% and Serbs around 50% so i would say that that rep of Moldova exept the Southern part and northern part of Romania, do plot with then, but are more Slavic then Balkan, but for the rest of Romania a would say the range from 30-45% give or take so an average Romania as a hole is about 60% Paleo Balkan and 40% slavic if we dont count some other minor ancestory.. and yes wow awsome job on the Romanian/Moldavian collection, most impresive
 
Yes! Most of them do plot with Croats, Bosnians and Serbs, but we have to taket in to considuration that Croats, and Bosniens are heavy weighters in the Balkans with Slavic DNA, they are about 60% +/- 5% and Serbs around 50% so i would say that that rep of Moldova exept the Southern part and northern part of Romania, do plot with then, but are more Slavic then Balkan, but for the rest of Romania a would say the range from 30-45% give or take so an average Romania as a hole is about 60% Paleo Balkan and 40% slavic if we dont count some other minor ancestory.. and yes wow awsome job on the Romanian/Moldavian collection, most impresive
Actually ( I hate being the actually guy )Moldovans from the rep have a bit more slavic then Balkan but they are mid to high 50s Slavic except extreme north
 
I think we have to distinguish between different Vlachs and Vlachs and Romanians, also Romanians of different regions.

Like the most likely origin of the Vlachs are the resettled Daco-Romans from the province of Dacia which were put into Moesia. There those Daco-Romans mixed with other Roman/Romanised people, including Thracians and Illyrians.

The only remaining question is, whether some Daco-Roman elements survived North of the Danube, in Southern Romania, probably some splinters even in more Northern parts of the country.

When the Southern Vlachs from South of the Danube expanded North again, they encountered probably other Daco-Roman remains as well as, and that was the majority, Slavs, with which they mixed and which they soaked up. That way, the more North one goes, the more Northern and Slavic-like Romance speakers become.

Those Vlachs and Romance speakers which remained in the South didn't just receive that Northern admixture as much, but mixed with locals from the Central and Southern Balkans, Aegeans, depending on their position.

The next issue is Romanians from different provinces, because very clearly, Northern Romanians and Moldovans are more likely to have Slavic, mostly Ruthenian admixture than those from Wallachia.

Something similar applies to other kinds of admixture, especially German and Hungarian-Szekler, which is also more likely for those Romanians which lived for a prolonged period of time in the direct vicinity of these people and either mixed with, or assimilated some of them.

I think all of that is pretty clear and straightforward but the question of how many Daco-Roman elements survived North of the Danube and were later incorporated into the Romanian people or even earlier into the local Slavic tribes as well. That's not as clear and can only be answered by ancient DNA.

Even the direct comparison of some more Southern Vlach/Romance groups is incomplete, because apparently there wasn't just a migration from the North to the South, but Vlach migrations in the opposite direction happened as well. This means more Northern admixture was brought by Vlachs as far as Greece. How much is up to debate, we need aDNA to answer that.

Most of the Daco-Romans from the old province of Dacia were transferred to Moesia, to the newly founded province of Dacia (ripensis):

Late_roman_province_Thracia_Outcut_from_Roman_provinces_of_Illyricum%2C_Macedonia%2C_Dacia%2C_Moesia%2C_Pannonia_and_Thracia.jpg



I think that the newly founded South Danubian provinces of Dacia and Moesia superior were the homeland for the Vlachs/Romanians. This would also explain the gene and reciprocal influence of Albanians and Vlachs, since I think that the Albanian homeland was the neighbouring province of Dardania. This would have made the Daco-Romans and Proto-Albanians direct neighbours.

Why Albanians ended up with more E-V13 than the Vlachs is the only remaining mystery and it might be attributed to a strong group of tribal Dacians which were resettled into those provinces and became a socially dominant part of the emerging Proto-Albanians - IMHO.

Such tribal Dacians would have had a much higher proportion of E-V13 than the already mixed Daco-Roman population of the provinces.
 
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I think we have to distinguish between different Vlachs and Vlachs and Romanians, also Romanians of different regions.

Like the most likely origin of the Vlachs are the resettled Daco-Romans from the province of Dacia which were put into Moesia. There those Daco-Romans mixed with other Roman/Romanised people, including Thracians and Illyrians.

The only remaining question is, whether some Daco-Roman elements survived North of the Danube, in Southern Romania, probably some splinters even in more Northern parts of the country.

When the Southern Vlachs from South of the Danube expanded North again, they encountered probably other Daco-Roman remains as well as, and that was the majority, Slavs, with which they mixed and which they soaked up. That way, the more North one goes, the more Northern and Slavic-like Romance speakers become.

Those Vlachs and Romance speakers which remained in the South didn't just receive that Northern admixture as much, but mixed with locals from the Central and Southern Balkans, Aegeans, depending on their position.

The next issue is Romanians from different provinces, because very clearly, Northern Romanians and Moldovans are more likely to have Slavic, mostly Ruthenian admixture than those from Wallachia.

Something similar applies to other kinds of admixture, especially German and Hungarian-Szekler, which is also more likely for those Romanians which lived for a prolonged period of time in the direct vicinity of these people and either mixed with, or assimilated some of them.

I think all of that is pretty clear and straightforward but the question of how many Daco-Roman elements survived North of the Danube and were later incorporated into the Romanian people or even earlier into the local Slavic tribes as well. That's not as clear and can only be answered by ancient DNA.

Even the direct comparison of some more Southern Vlach/Romance groups is incomplete, because apparently there wasn't just a migration from the North to the South, but Vlach migrations in the opposite direction happened as well. This means more Northern admixture was brought by Vlachs as far as Greece. How much is up to debate, we need aDNA to answer that.

Most of the Daco-Romans from the old province of Dacia were transferred to Moesia, to the newly founded province of Dacia (ripensis):

Late_roman_province_Thracia_Outcut_from_Roman_provinces_of_Illyricum%2C_Macedonia%2C_Dacia%2C_Moesia%2C_Pannonia_and_Thracia.jpg



I think that the newly founded South Danubian provinces of Dacia and Moesia superior were the homeland for the Vlachs/Romanians. This would also explain the gene and reciprocal influence of Albanians and Vlachs, since I think that the Albanian homeland was the neighbouring province of Dardania. This would have made the Daco-Romans and Proto-Albanians direct neighbours.

Why Albanians ended up with more E-V13 than the Vlachs is the only remaining mystery and it might be attributed to a strong group of tribal Dacians which were resettled into those provinces and became a socially dominant part of the emerging Proto-Albanians - IMHO.

Such tribal Dacians would have had a much higher proportion of E-V13 than the already mixed Daco-Roman population of the provinces.
The region with the most slavic dna in Romania is Bukovina and botosani and they are in the high 50 percentage for Slavic. Also I hate that that term local slavs it makes seem that Romanians dont belong in Romania or something. Also romanians don't really have any Germanic dna
 
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Also their are southern Moldovans from both Republic and Romania side that plot with Wallachians and southern translyianans
 
The region with the most slavic dna in Romania is Bukovina and botosani and they are in the high 50 percentage for Slavic. Also I hate that that term local slavs it makes seem that Romanians dont belong in Romania or something. Also romanians don't really have any Germanic dna

Of course, the local Slavic element was long incorporated into the Romanians, with the exception of some Ruthenian areas in Northern Romania, in which a Slavic element survived for a longer period of time.
As for the Germanic, the problem is that G25 sometimes fails to recognise minor admixtures, especially if the wrong references being used. This can only be solved with more ancient DNA, like explained before.

What I forgot to mention before is the steppe admixture many Romanians have, which seems to be transmitted by one of the various steppe groups which lived in Romania (original Magyars, Pechenegs, Cumans etc.). I noticed that the Romanian average has about 0,5-2 percent East Asian admixture from this source.
Since this admixture is so widespread, it might help to pin the exact origin of the core Romanian group down, since it seems to have spread with the core Vlach-Romanian group and is not a regionally very restricted phenomenon.
 
Of course, the local Slavic element was long incorporated into the Romanians, with the exception of some Ruthenian areas in Northern Romania, in which a Slavic element survived for a longer period of time.
As for the Germanic, the problem is that G25 sometimes fails to recognise minor admixtures, especially if the wrong references being used. This can only be solved with more ancient DNA, like explained before.

What I forgot to mention before is the steppe admixture many Romanians have, which seems to be transmitted by one of the various steppe groups which lived in Romania (original Magyars, Pechenegs, Cumans etc.). I noticed that the Romanian average has about 0,5-2 percent East Asian admixture from this source.
Since this admixture is so widespread, it might help to pin the exact origin of the core Romanian group down, since it seems to have spread with the core Vlach-Romanian group and is not a regionally very restricted phenomenon.
Thing is it goes both ways Romianians from north Moldova have the most slavic all the romanians but the ruysn and the hutsuls there are the most southern shifted of east slavs. I have unrelated question how come Bosnians have a lot of Slavic dna ? Was the area was barely populated ?
 
Thing is it goes both ways Romianians from north Moldova have the most slavic all the romanians but the ruysn and the hutsuls there are the most southern shifted of east slavs. I have unrelated question how come Bosnians have a lot of Slavic dna ? Was the area was barely populated ?

That's an open question, but to me it looks like Serbs and Bulgarians simply had more Vlach admixture than Bosniaks had. In favour of that are also uniparentals, with some Serbian and Bulgarian regions having way more E-V13 than the average of Bosniaks. Even in Bosnia a lot of the E-V13 carriers are ethnic Serbs.

The relationship of E-V13 and I-M253 to I2a-din is exactly the opposite between Bosniaks and Serbs. Serbs have therefore both more Vlach and German(ic) admixture compared to Bosniaks. I think that's the main difference.
 
That's an open question, but to me it looks like Serbs and Bulgarians simply had more Vlach admixture than Bosniaks had. In favour of that are also uniparentals, with some Serbian and Bulgarian regions having way more E-V13 than the average of Bosniaks. Even in Bosnia a lot of the E-V13 carriers are ethnic Serbs.

The relationship of E-V13 and I-M253 to I2a-din is exactly the opposite between Bosniaks and Serbs. Serbs have therefore both more Vlach and German(ic) admixture compared to Bosniaks. I think that's the main difference.
One thing I realized that halpo groups and autosomal dna don't match. For example Romianians and Bulgarians have different halpogroups but autosomally they plot together
 
One thing I realized that halpo groups and autosomal dna don't match. For example Romianians and Bulgarians have different halpogroups but autosomally they plot together

Well, in the Balkans we have a general problem with autosomal profiles already in the Bronze and Iron Age, because there were clear gradients running through the Balkans, autosomally, but the ethnolinguistic partition happened on the basis of patrilineages, by and large (Daco-Thracians E-V13, Illyrians J-L283, Greeks J2a etc.).

The differences between Bulgarians and Southern Romanians are not that big, though.
 
Well, in the Balkans we have a general problem with autosomal profiles already in the Bronze and Iron Age, because there were clear gradients running through the Balkans, autosomally, but the ethnolinguistic partition happened on the basis of patrilineages, by and large (Daco-Thracians E-V13, Illyrians J-L283, Greeks J2a etc.).

The differences between Bulgarians and Southern Romanians are not that big, though.
Yeah Wallachians, southern translyianans, banat, southern Moldovans, and western Bulgarians plot really close. Thanks to dorkymons project. Ok I will stop bothering you now
 
That's an open question, but to me it looks like Serbs and Bulgarians simply had more Vlach admixture than Bosniaks had. In favour of that are also uniparentals, with some Serbian and Bulgarian regions having way more E-V13 than the average of Bosniaks. Even in Bosnia a lot of the E-V13 carriers are ethnic Serbs.

The relationship of E-V13 and I-M253 to I2a-din is exactly the opposite between Bosniaks and Serbs. Serbs have therefore both more Vlach and German(ic) admixture compared to Bosniaks. I think that's the main difference.
If one looks at i belive it was yours E-V13 Frequency Maps, were E-V13 is most frequently in Serbia, is Serbian Banat that has a relativly big population of Romanians or ancestors of Romania, same goes for eastern Serbia in the Timok region and suronding area that has a relatively big Romanian/Vlach population/ ancestors, and lastly, from Nis area that probably have a lot of Bulgarian ancestors to Kosovo and the sandzak region that has got probably alot of Vlach and Albanian ancestors, what am trying to say is that it looks or seems like the Serbs dont realy have that much more E-V13 then Bosnia or Croatia, becouse it probably comes from the more recent settlers there of the last 100 to 250 years, or am i wrong? how would the frequency look like if we took them out of the equation, would it be rufly the same or significantly less, and that goes for all the other Balkan haplogroups
 
If one looks at i belive it was yours E-V13 Frequency Maps, were E-V13 is most frequently in Serbia, is Serbian Banat that has a relativly big population of Romanians or ancestors of Romania, same goes for eastern Serbia in the Timok region and suronding area that has a relatively big Romanian/Vlach population/ ancestors, and lastly, from Nis area that probably have a lot of Bulgarian ancestors to Kosovo and the sandzak region that has got probably alot of Vlach and Albanian ancestors, what am trying to say is that it looks or seems like the Serbs dont realy have that much more E-V13 then Bosnia or Croatia, becouse it probably comes from the more recent settlers there of the last 100 to 250 years, or am i wrong? how would the frequency look like if we took them out of the equation, would it be rufly the same or significantly less, and that goes for all the other Balkan haplogroups

That's the point I was making about Bosnia, that not just in the Eastern regions with higher historical Vlach and Southern with higher Albanian influences, but also in Western regions and Bosnia the Serbs have still more E-V13 and I-M253, but less I-Y3120. The difference in R-Z282 is not as big, which makes me think we're dealing with a genuinely Serbian mix with higher non-Slavic (especially Vlach and Germanic) admixture. Of course, the total average being even more shifted due to the Eastern and Southern provinces. At the same time the autosomal difference is not even as big as it would be if just counting patrilineages, which again points to a more solid male transmitted impact from Vlach/Dacian and Germanic males in the Serbian founder group already, not just secondary admixture, which came into play as well.

Like some people argued in the past that the high E-V13 in Bulgarians is all Albanian, kind of, yet the actual results with more testers points to a different scenario and most of it being genuinely Slavic-Vlach Bulgarian. Here too I think its part of the Serbian foundation and not just more recent admixture - which is there too and just adds up.

But even if its later Vlach and Albanian admixture to a large degree, its well-distributed well beyond the borderzones.
 

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