This article is from the Greece FAQ, by Nikolaos (Nick) C. Fotis, email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
In response to a recent posting on s.c.bulgarian about Vlachs, I would like
to quote a few references, as well as some information on Greek
Vlachs (Koutsovlachs) from Evangelos Averoff-Tositsas' book "The
political side of the Koutsovlach affair" (first published in 1948).
First, the references, which, according to the author, cover all
theories concerning the roots of that Balkan group/tribe/nation:
A. Keramopoulou. Ti eivai oi koutsoblaxoi. Athens, 1939.
M. Xrusoxoou. Blaxoi kai koutsoblaxoi. Athens, 1909.
Th. Capidan. Les Macedo-roumains du Pinde. Paris, 1937.
N. Jorga. Introduction a la connaissance de la Roumanie et des
Roumains. Bucarest, 1927.
G. Bratianu. Une enigme et un miracle historique, le peuple
roumain. Bucarest, 1937.
B. Recatas. L' etat actuel du bilinguisme chez les Macedo-roumains
du Pinde et le role de la femme dans la language. Paris, 1934.
A.J.B. Wace-M.S. Thompson. The nomads of the Balkans. London, 1914.
Ilia Barbulescu. Relations des Roumains avec les Serbes, les Boulgares,
les Grecs et la Croatie en liaison avec la question
macedo-roumaine. Jasi, 1921.
Jovan Cvijic. La Peninsule Balcanique. Paris, 1918.
Jacques Ancel. Peuples et nations des Balkans. Paris, 1926.
G.A.Virgilij. La Questione Rumeliota. Bitonto, 1909.
Two additional references (in Greek), somewhat more specialized, are:
K. Nikolaidou. Etumologikov Le3ikov tns Koutsoblaxikns Glwssns. Athens, 1909.
A. Xatznmixaln. Oi ev tw Ellnvosxoleiw Metsobou dida3avtes kai
didax8evtes. Iwavviva, 1940.
In his book, Mr. Averoff-Tositsas focuses on the efforts by Romania
and Italy, prior to WW II and during WW II, respectively, to claim
the Vlachs of Greece--a semi-nomadic people of (usually) Greek
conscience who speak a Romanian/Latin dialect--as their brethren.
Romanian efforts were focused on the establishment of schools and
scholarships luring the poor, while Italian efforts were based on
military occupation and the fascinating claim that the Vlachs were
the descendants of the Fifth Roman Legion! Romanian propaganda was
more successful, resorting even to transplanted songs about "the
pretty gal waiting beyond the Black Sea" or "the brother in the
great Vlach plain"; the end of a song is particularly illuminating:
"K' nti foumlou atselou gritsesklou "Because that Greek tobacco
Ntounikat i minti alorou" has darkened their mind"
The origins of and relations among Vlachs living in various parts
of the Balkans are complicated and certainly not known to me; I
understand that those of southern Yugoslavia & Bulgaria often consider
themselves to be Greek (no statistics available), but I guess this
changes as one gets closer to Romania. (I hope other netters can
provide more information.) Within Greece, Vlachs are considered to
be Greek, although somewhat different; it is said that their men make
good husbands, while their women can be fatally attractive, "having
young men stabbing each other by their aprons" ("stis podies tous
sfazovtai pallnkaria"). I hope to provide some personal impressions,
based on a trip passing through the Vlach village of Samarina, in a
future posting (scg, only).
I would like to conclude with a few words about Mr. Averoff-Tositsas,
who passed away on 1/2/90: a Vlach himself, he was a major figure of
post-war Greek politics, having played a major role in the Cyprus affair,
the passage from dictatorship to democracy, etc; in addition to this, he
was an author and play-writer, art collector, cheese-maker and owner of
20,000 almond trees.