"The Dacians - People of Ancient Times"
10. Other arguments
- The Romanians are today a numerous people. Therefore, it can be hardly imagined that the cradle of the Romanians is a small region, for example the center of the Balkans (the valleys of the Morava and Timoc rivers). There are known enough cases in which a language spoken by a small population witnessed a considerable expansion, but this was possible only through conquests, due to a certain military or cultural prestige of the language, and definitely this isn't the case of the Romanians.
- The Romanian word �pam�nt� (�earth�) has a very interesting etymology: It comes from the Latin word �pavimentum� which meant �paving�. What we remark is that only north of the Danube this word is widely used, so only north the river the urban population was forced to move, suddenly and massively, in the countryside.
- Another word that testifies the formatiion of the Romanians north of the Danube is the word �luna� (both �month� and �moon�). Romanian is the only Romance language that uses the same word for the celestial body and for the period of time. This fact wouldn�t have told us much if there hadn�t been discovered an inscription in Roman Dacia, where the word was used for is temporal meaning. If we add that for the Romanians from south of the Danube the word doesn�t have this double significance, the permanence of it on the territory of Dacia and the continuity of the autochthons are evident conclusion.
10. The resemblances between the Romanian and the Albanian languages
- In these last paragraphs I shall surpasss the strict problem of proving the continuity, because what I shall expose has a special importance for the destiny of the Dacian people.
- The links between the Romanian and the Albanian languages are numerous and have always represented one of the main arguments of the immigration theory.
- First of all, of the 160 words that aree considered to have a Dacian origin, 90 can also be found in Albanian. Many of these are basic words in the two languages (brad - fir, m�nz - colt, g�t - neck, buza - lip) and evidently belong to an ancient background.
- There are many other resamblences: the sound a which is the same in both languages (written � in Albanian), the transformation of n in r (the rotacism of n), the rithm of the words (/ \ _), the postposed article - at these can be added many evolutions of words, but I won�t list them in this article.
- Any linguist will see in these resambleences a common background and not simple borrowings resulted from geographical closeness. The genetic relationship between the two peoples is evident.
- The Albanian, although it isn�t a Romannce language, it presents an important Latin component. We have to remark that the ancient Latin element is very close to that of the Romanian: the vocalism is identical and different from that of the other Romance languages, the double use of the article, the same form for the genitive and the dative cases (although the two distinct cases exist), many words that are missing in other Romance languages, or words that only in the two languages have a new meaning, etc. It is important to underline the fact that these resemblances don�t exist between the Albanian and the Dalmatian, the language spoken by the Romanized Illyrians from the coast of the Adriatic Sea, so the Albanian must have been formed in the sphere of the Eastern part of the Romanized Balkans.
- In the following paragraphs, I shall prresent arguments that prove that the Albanians descend from the Dacians that were not Romanized.
- This theory if sustained by well-known linguists, like the Italian linguist Giuliano Bonfante, or the Bulgarian Vladimir Georgiev. The Albanian scholars, are mostly adepts of the Illyrian origin, but we can doubt their objectivity, as the desire to prove their autochthony is quite evident.
- Unfortunately, the Romanian historians and linguist haven�t much studied this problem, and they analyzed it only in the context of the Romanian continuity.
11. The origin of the Albanians
- First of all, we should notice that thee origin of the Albanians is just as problematic as that of the Romanians, because both appear in the written history only in the 10th century.
- In the second half of the first millennnium the Albanians inhabited the region of the cities Nis, Skopje and Stip - this fact is mainly testified by the names of these cities, which feature an Albanian phonetic evolution.
- There are many arguments against the Allbanian autochthony in modern Albania and against their Illyrian origin: the names of the cities (Dures, Skoder) and the rest of the toponymy, which is generally of Slavic; the maritime terminology which is entirely borrowed: the main occupation represented by sheep raising.
- The lack of the ancient Greek words in the Albanian language, together with the presence of numerous Latin words, excludes the ancestors of the Albanians from the territory of Greek influence, which also included the southern part of modern Albania.
- But, the starting point of any study off the Albanians� origin must always be the connection between Albanian and Romanian. The interpretation of the resemblances can only lead to the conclusion that the Romanians and the Albanians were once the same people, a part of which was Romanized and other that was not. The fact that more than half of the words of the ancient , not Latin, layer of the Romanian, can only be found in Albanian, forbids us to accept the idea that the bases of the two modern languages, are constituted of two different ancient languages, only a little related.
- Thus, the Illyrian origin of the Albaniians becomes very improbable. We know that the Balkan Peninsula (the central and northern part) was inhabited in antiquity by three large peoples:
12. The Albanians - Dacians that were not Romanized
- Proving a Dacian presence south of the Danube are not only the names of settlements with the Dacian ending (dava), but also the historical information about the displacement of once 100.000 and other time 50.000 Dacians from north of the Danube (these two stages of colonization took place before the Roman conquest of Dacia, during the rule of Claudius and Augustus).
- But the origin of the Albanians doesn�tt have to be based just on the Dacians and Thracians that lived at the beginning of the Christian era on this territory. Other facts testify a migration of Dacians that were not Romanized, from the north of the Danube, and that occurred later, in the 4th century AD.
- This migration is also necessary due too the certain Romanization of the center of the Balkans for many centuries, being improbable that a large population escaped the Romanization.
- An astonishing fact is that among the 990 words that are common for the Romanian and the Albanian languages, less than a half can be found in the southern dialects of the Romanians (the Macedo-Romanian and Megleno-Romanian languages). More than that, an important characteristic that links the two languages is also absent in these dialects - the rotacism of n (that is present in the southern dialect of the Albanian). I must mention that the rotacism is found at the Istro-Romanians and the Romanian in Crisana and Maramures - the Istro-Romanians are evidently originating from the Western regions of the formation territory of the Romanians.
- This facts suggest a migration of not-RRomanized Dacians, from outside the border of the Roman Dacia, but there are even more proofs. A fact of major importance is the transfer of the entire tribe of the Carps inside the Roman Empire, in the last years of the 3rd century. This information is recorded by three ancient writers and if confirmed by archeology.
- The Carps, a Dacian tribe living in Molldova, witnessed a significant development during the 3rd century, attacking many times Dacia and other Roman provinces. At the end of the 3rd century the settlements of the Carps disappear and Moldova is occupied by the Goths. Thus the migration of the Carps is a certainty. We even know the place in the empire where they were colonized - it is the region of the modern city of Pecs, in Hungary. However, we cannot be so radical to suppose that the Carps were entirely removed from the north of the Danube; there exists information about Carps that continue to attack the empire, and archeological findings attest their presence in the abandoned province of Dacia.
- From all these elements we can draw a cconclusion concerning the ancestors of the Albanians.
- The Albanians were formed of Dacians thhat migrated from the north of the Danube and that intermingled with the Dacian-Thracian-Illyrian population from the center of the Balkans, the Dacian language being the one that prevailed.
- In their migration from the region of PPecs to the center of the Balkans, the Carps were probably joined by Dacians from the north-west of Dacia (which are attested in large number for the 3rd-4th c.). This migration was caused by the devastating invasion of the Huns (the end of the 4th century). It is well known that this invasion caused dislocations of populations - the best example is that of the Goths that abandoned Moldova and Eastern Muntenia to move in the Empire. Even Attila, in the middle of the 5th century, when the center of the Hun empire if placed between the Danube and Tisza rivers, demands that the people he subdued and who abandoned their settlements to establish themselves in the Byzantine Empire, be returned to him.
- Thus, before the arrival of the Slavs, the Proto-Albanians live in the region of Nis, Skopje, Stip, and later (the 9th-10th c.) they will move south-west, occupying the territory of modern Albania. Still, we can accept and extend to the west of the cradle of the Albanians, including a part of the Dinaric Mountains, but this limit is hard to be identified.
- I shall end with one last linguistic faact concerning the name of the Carpathian Mountains. This toponym, with an evident connection with the name of the Carps, has no explanation in the Romanian language (this is true for the whole toponymy that was preserved from the time of the Dacians). But there exists a language that can explain the meaning of this name: in Albanian, the word �carp�� means �stone�, so the Carpathians are nothing but the �Stony Mountains�.
Copyright © 2006 Mihai Ciocârlie
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