Re: [tied] RE:Re: Continuity & Britain

From: george knysh
Message: 20723
Date: 2003-04-02

--- S & L <mbusines@...> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "george knysh" <gknysh@...>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003
> Subject: Re: [tied] Re: continuity ( it was slavic
> "dalto")
> "What is your evidence for large masses of Rumanians
> north of the Danube
> before the 12th-14th centuries?"
> You can find a decent comment on this topic under
> the name
> "The Vlach Connection and Further Reflections on
> Roman History"
> by Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy,
> Los Angeles Valley
> College

*****GK: I'm aware of this source (and of many similar
ones). But that was not the question. I did not ask
for speculation (plausible or implausible) but for
evidence. Cf. further between the lines.*****
> .
> "While the Romans withdrew their legions,
> administrators, and many colonists
> [ie ~271], it does seem unlikely that ALL the
> inhabitants of Dacia, which
> before the Roman conquest had been a fairly unified
> and formidable state,
> would have left.

*****GK: That is a plausible assumption.*****

Any unassimilated rural population,
> especially, would have
> had no particular reason to leave -- rule by some
> Germans might not have
> seemed worse, and perhaps better, than Roman rule.

*****GK: But this is in need of proof. The fact that
ALL did not leave does not entail the conclusion that
MOST unassimilated rurals stayed. I imagine that the
aristocrats would have been keen to have a servicing
peasant population in their new haunts.*****

> The archaeology reported
> by modern Romanians indicates a continuity of the
> material culture,

*****GK: Of SOME continuity, here and there, and of
much heterogeneity due to the incoming

even if
> urban areas decline precipitiously and there is
> little in the way of
> epigraphic material. Romanians like to point out
> that rural costume even
> today looks like the Dacian costume of Trajan's
> Column in Rome.

******GK: The same column which ends the tale with a
representation of masses of Dacians leaving their
conquered country?******

Coin hoards
> indicate, especially for the 4th century, a
> continuing cash economy, which
> means continuing trade contact with the Empire.

******GK: The Goths liked to trade with the Empire.
There are a lot of coin hoards in Ukraine as

> even allowed for the
> penetration of some Christianity. What percentage of
> this remaining
> population was Latin speaking, and what percentage
> was still using the old
> Dacian language, is impossible, in the absence of
> the records of a literate
> culture, to say.

> Not only did the original Dacia drop out of history
> in 271, but the later
> Dacias did so also, after the Avars and Slavs
> breached the Danube frontier
> and poured into the Balkans in 602. Only the
> conversion of Bulgaria to
> Christianity in 879, with the introduction of the
> Cyrillic alphabet,
> returned the region to literacy. As it happens, only
> one other place in the
> Roman Empire dropped out of history in quite the
> same way. That was Britain.
> The withdrawl of Roman forces in 410 drops Britain
> into a void very similar
> to that of the Dacias, and for a while all that is
> apparent is the descent
> of sea-going Germans -- the Angles, Saxons, and
> Jutes. When literate culture
> returns,

*****GK: With Gildas the Briton. That's what's missing
in the Old Dacia.*****

dramatically evident in the history of the
> English church written
> by the Venerable Bede in 731, we suddenly see the
> results. Roman Britain has
> disappeared from most of the island, with Romanized
> Celtic speakers pushed
> into Wales and Cornwall.

*****GK: And an important Celtic presence in the
north(west) also.*****

The Cornish were under such
> pressure that many of
> them crossed over to Brittany. The Celtic speakers
> of Cornwall have today
> disappeared, but the Bretons are very much alive and
> aware of their past.
> Although the Angles and Saxons inherited the old
> Roman place names, and came
> to tell the King Arthur stories by which the
> conflicts of the 5th century
> were vaguely remembered, Saxon England owed little
> enough to the culture it
> had displaced.
> Roman Britain survives in Wales and Brittany. Even
> pre-Roman culture
> survives in Spain, where the mountains in the North
> harbor the Basques,
> whose language has no obvious affinities to any
> other. This is revealing.
> The geography of England poses few obstacles to
> conquest, but both the Welsh
> and the Basques held out in mountains -- relatively
> modest mountains
> perhaps, no more than 3000 feet in Wales and not
> much more than 7500 feet on
> the south side of the Ebro valley in Spain (though
> over 11,000 feet in the
> nearby Pyrenees), but something that could impose
> significant costs to
> invaders -- in the Middle Ages, the Basque country
> was the basis of the long
> independent Kingdom of Navarre. Americans need only
> remember how the
> Appalachians, which don't get much over 6000 feet,
> originally hindered
> westward movement. The Transylvanian plateau, in
> comparison to these,
> provides a formidable redoubt.

******GK: Not that formidable. It was occupied by all
the recorded invaders who dominated Old Dacia after
the Romans...*****

The Danube River
> itself tells the tale, since
> it must make a broad detour to the south, around the
> whole area. The
> southern branch of the Carpathians, the
> Transylvanian Alps, has peaks over
> 8000 feet high, and even the western side goes up to
> 6000 feet in the Bihor
> mountains. This makes it immediately obvious why
> nomads tended to pass
> around, like the Danube. Nomads like flat
> grasslands, which are present on
> the Hungarian plain and in the Danube Valley of
> Wallachia, but not in the
> mountains or up on the Transylvanian plateau. We
> should expect to find an
> autochthonous population in Daco-Romania just as
> must as in Wales or
> Navarre".

******GK: Obviously Ross is not well informed about
the archaeological evidence for Goths, Gepids, Avars,
Slavs and so on on this Transylvanian plateau...****
> .
> The complete comment at
> Personally, I think it is worth reading.

*****GK: And criticizing.******
> S o r i n
> P.S. And, by the way, the name is ROMANIA and
> Romanian(s). RUMI^N/Rumanians
> could be considered by some connoisseurs as a
> derogatory word.

******GK: I earlier used the Ukrainian form
("Rumuny"). I think other Slavic languages have it
also. But I now try to consistently write "Romanians"
in English. Apologies for any slips.******

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