PART 5 – Ch.XXXIII.25
The Pelasgians or proto – Latins (Arimii)
Pelasgians from the northern parts of the
XXXIII. 25. Placi, Blaci, Belaci, Belce (Belcae), Feaci, etc.
Various Pelasgian pastoral tribes and populations appear with the ethnic names of Placi, Blaci, Belaci, Belce, etc, since very remote times.
Regarding this we shall reproduce here the following data:
These Placi, as Herodotus tells us (I. 57), had once
migrated from the territory of Athena, whose population had been formed in
ancient times by the Pelasgians
According to Artemidorus though,
who had lived around 100bc, the inhabitants near the Olympus in Bithynia had
been a colony of the Mysii (Getae) from north of the lower Danube (Strabo, libr. XII. 8. 1). Suidas also mentions on the
The Placii near the Olympus mountain in Bithynia, venerated with special piety the Great Mother or the Mother of Gods (Terra Mater), the supreme divinity of the ancient Pelasgian world, venerated especially as the mistress of the mountains, woods and pastures, the lady of the flocks and the shepherds (mater oreia). The sanctuary of the Great Mother at Placia, called Mater Plachiana, had reached in antiquity a special celebrity.
Pelasgian group of Placi dwelt in
prehistoric times near the Ida mountain, which dominated the fine plains of
The historical beginnings of this “sacred” citadel, with “high gates” were reduced therefore to the mythical times of the Pelasgian nation.
From Theba under the Placos mountain, was originally Andromache, the fine wife of Hector, the first Trojan hero, whose devotion to family is presented by Homer as follows:
“And when Hector reached the Scheean Gate, his
wife Andromache, who had brought him
a large dowry, met him running. She was the daughter of Ietion, who dwelt under
the woods called Placos, in Theba
from under the mountain Placos, a
prince who reigned over the brave people of
The sad premonition
of Andromache is soon confirmed. Hector is killed by Achilles, and when
Andromache receives this terrible news she laments as follows: “Oh! Hector, Oh!
Unhappy me, in what evil hour we were both born, you at
Greek name, whose more correct form seems to have been Aromache (as a son of Priam was called Aromachus – Hyginus,
Fab. 90), whose mother was called Laothoe
(Homer, Iliad, XXI. 85), appears as
one of the most noble figures of the Iliad. She was a model of conjugal and
maternal love, the type of the Blac
woman from near
[1. We reproduce here a few extracts from the lamentations (TN – bocete) of the Romanian women from the Carpathians (Marian, Inmormantarea la Romani, p. 123, 505 seqq):
At the gate of cemetery, we today part our ways,
Let’s pause and talk for a while, where shall we meet again.
My much beloved husband, how could you bear,
The little ones to leave, and make a widow of me.
We, from today onwards, father shall not have,
Neither father, nor pity, or life for me.
Who counseled you, this road to take, to go into the ground?
How could you bear, to leave your children,
Little and ignorant, nobody to care for them?
They will soon find out, there’s no pity without a father.
When you won’t be here, the strangers will berate us,
How could you bare, to leave us among strangers,
Always in torment and trouble, with tears on our cheeks.
As long as we shall live, nobody shall give us anything,
Always “go”, and always “come”, nobody to show us mercy ].
Another territory with the name Blacheia was, as Aristotle tells us (Suidas, see Blacha), on the shores of Asia Minor, close to the city Cyme, the country of Homer, north of the mouths of the river Hermus or Hermuna.
The mother of
Priam, the last king of
times the Pelasgians had formed, as we saw (see Ch.XXXII. 4), the local
The name “Blachi”
appears to have once been a general name for the inhabitants of the plains of
These Felahii form,
from an ethnographic point of view, the oldest nation of the population of
Finally, the name Felahi is also applied to our days to
the ancient inhabitants of
In Palestine, which before the invasion of the Hebrews was inhabited by the Pelasgian Amoreii, the books of the old testament mention one Balac or Balacus, a king of the Moabii, near the mountain Abarimon (of the White Arimonii).
An island near the
southern corner of
Polybius mentions in the western parts of the
With Homer, the name Plachos also appears under the form ‘Ylachos (Odyss. XIV. 204), the sound y being often replaced with b, ou and o.
Often the name ‘Ylachos
appears under the form Phylachos (Homer, Iliad, II. 705; Herodotus,
I. VIII. 85; Apollod. Bibl. I. 9.
4), which corresponds from an etymological point of view to Vulacos. Localities having the Greek
appear in various lands inhabited in antiquity by Pelasgians, in
A district with the
name Placia also existed, even
before the times of Trajan, in the Tauric
[2. The ancient Greeks changed often the original sound b with p. They said pallein instead of ballein, patein instead of batein, ‘Amprachia instead of ‘Ambrachia (Pherecydis, fragm. 101), etc. Ptolemy calls the Britannic islands Prettanichai nasoi, and the Byzantine historian Chalcocondyla, using the ancient Greek custom, writes Pogdanos instead of Bogdanos].
The Scythii, people with Pelasgian customs,
institutions and religious beliefs, appear with the authors of antiquity under
two general ethnic names. “The ancients”, writes Pliny, “have called the Scythii, Aramei”, meaning Aramani, which was without doubt their national
name; and the geographer Mela tells
us that almost all the populations of
We also find with Herodotus (lib. IV. c. 23) an important ethnographic note, about the so-called Arimphaei, who dwelt “on the foothills of the high mountains of Scythia” (near the Carpathians), note which says that these people, according to what the Greeks told, were phalachroi; a term which indicates in fact the race or family of this people, but which under this form had in Greek language also the meaning of people without hair, meaning bald.
An inhabitant of
A son of king
Amynta III of
On the triumphal
Almost all the
populations of southern
In Hispania, an ancient nation from the
The name of the
Belacii or Blacii also appears under various dialectal forms in the northern
An island near the
mouths of the
In Belgian Gallia, comprised of the lands
between the rivers Seine, Rhine and the North Sea, the most numerous and
powerful population was formed in the times of Caesar by the so-called Bellovacii, called by Strabo in two manuscripts of his, Balloacii (Geogr. Ed. Didot,
p.173).These Bellovacii or Balloacii belonged without doubt to the same family
of the Belacii of the
Finally, we also must add here that on some coins, predating the Roman domination, discovered in the regions of Armorica, or the north-west of Gallia, we find the name Vlatos (Revue celtique, t. XII, 404; t. XIV, 179), which is in fact identical with Vlacos.
In the Italic peninsula, the name of the Blacii appears under various forms,
since very remote times. Some of these names are reduced to the times of the
Pelasgian migrations, but others are introduced with the geographical writings
of the Greek authors. In this regard the words of Pliny are memorable: that he is truly ashamed to make the
geographical and ethnographic description of
Oblacus was the name of an Etruscan man from
Volsinii or Vulsinii (Dionys. Hal.
lib.XIX.12). He had been a brave commander, who had distinguished himself in
the war with Pyrrhus, the famous king of
Divus pater Falacer was an ancient Roman divinity,
with a particular cult. The great priest was called Flamen Falacer. The
etymology of the name must be phalachroi, found near the high
An ancient Etruscan city was called Felathri. Another locality called Falacrinum, Palacrinis in Greek form (Tab. Peut.) was on the territory of the Sabinii.
Italic tribes, which belonged to the ancient Pelasgian family, had names like Volci in Lucania, Volsci in
[3. In the language of the Volscii, once named Volosci and Volusci, we find the forms: vinu instead of vino and fasia instead of faciat, where the guttural c(k) had changed in a sibilant consonant, and the final t, letter characteristic for the third person, had disappeared (Corssen, De Volscorum lingua, p. 1.48. 50)].
It is like an
ethnographic thread, which passed through lower
We have now to
study here the origin and ethnic significance of the family name Flacus, which we often meet in
In fact, Flaccus, as family name, is only a simple literary form of Vlacus. In ancient Latin language, the sound v was often changed with f; so we find Folcatius and Volcatius, falvae and valvae, Felathri with the Etruscans and Volaterrae with the Romans, the native country of the famous satiric poet Aulus Persius Flaccus.
The etymology of this family name cannot be reduced in any case to the Latin word flaccus, “flap-eared man” (auribus flaccis), as some of the Roman authors had tried to explain it.
One of the most numerous and illustrious families of Rome had been the clan called Cornelia, of which came forth a significant number of great men, who had added to the glory of the Roman people, and among whom the most famous had been the Scipionii.
Some branches of this family had the co-names Blasio, Flaccus, Balbus, Barbatus, Dolabella, Lentulus, Lupus, Mammula, Maluginensis, Merula, Niger, Cethegus, Corculus, Crus, Rufus, Rufinus, Sisenna, Sylla, Vatia, etc. The name Blasio and Flaccus are synonymous, and both identical with Vlacus .
[4. In the language of the Slavs of
In Anonymus Belae reg. notarius. c. 25, the Blacii of Transilvania are called Blasii].
For many centuries, the patrician Cornelii had kept their particular traditional feast days. They had preserved until the times of Cicero the ancient rite of burial, the inhumation of the bodies of the deceased, and the placing in front of the graves the inscription “Hic situs est” (here rests).
The dictator Sylla
had been the first of this family who, as
In the country of Fagaras (tera Fagarasului), still exist today the ancient boyar families which have the names: Cornea, Balbu, Barbu, Barbat, Lencul, Lupul, Mamulea, Marginean, Negrea, Cotiga, Cocora, Carsa (Carja) , Rosu, Sesarma, Silea, Batia. (For the noble families of Fagaras, see our publication, Monumente p. ist. T. Fagarasului, Bucuresci, 1885).
[5. The ancients derived the name of the family Scipio from the word scipio (schipon), long staff hold by an important person, scepter (Isid. Orig. XVIII. 2. 5). With this meaning, the name Scipio is synonymous with the name of the noble family from Tera Fagarasului, Carsa = Carja (in Romanian carja means staff, cane, of a wealthy man, or a high dignitary. It is possible that the name of the family Crus (from the Cornelia clan), which the ancients could not explain, had in the beginning the same meaning. In French, crosse = carja = staff].
In the village Boteni near Campulung we also find the family Dolbea, and in the western mountains of Transilvania, the family Malageanu, the same names as Dolabella and Maluginensis.
The Cornelia clan,
which belonged to the minores gentes,
or those settled later in
[6.The clan Cornelia formed, as we see, a social group composed of a number of patrician and plebeian families, which did not derive from a single common ancestor. They were united among themselves though by traditions, customs, traditions, religious beliefs, and common geographical origin, and certainly all acknowledged from the beginning the military authority of the Cornelia family.
The clan Cornelia had also close
family associations with the clan Aemilia,
a branch of which had the co-name Barbula.
We note here that in Tera Fagarasului (
The poet Juvenal, who had lived in the time of
Domitian, presents Cornelia, the
mother of the Grachii, as a superb woman who despised the Latinii. He compared
her with Niobe, who considered herself more noble than the clan of Latona, and
told her to take her
In another satire
of his against the historic nobility, Juvenal alludes to the patrician families
We can therefore
suppose that the clan Cornelia, with its branches Flaccus and Blasio belonged
to the ancient Pelasgian trunk from north of the lower
With this occasion
we shall mention here one Publius
Cornelius, a native of
In 260ad, the
emperor Valerianus fell in Persian captivity. A large number of contenders
emerged in various parts of the empire, wanting to dispute the right of his son
Gallien, to the purple, the throne, and the empire. One of these contenders was
Regalianus (Regillianus), born in
In the times of
Valerianus’ reign, Regalianus had been the general commander of the Roman
A few silver coins (Eckhel, Doctr. Num. VII. 461; Arch. Epigr. Mitth. XVI. 239) exist from the time of Regalianus, which show on the obverse the face of the emperor with the crown of rays on his head and the inscription: IMP(erator) C.(Caesar, Caius, Cnaeus?) REGALIANVS AVG (ustus).
Some specimens of
these coins present on the reverse the figure of the god Apollo-Sun, with the
legend: ORIENS AVG(ustus). We
understand that Regalianus had wished to form, out of the eastern Roman
provinces, a separate empire of the Orient, from the Adriatica to the frontiers
Gallien though, after defeating all his adversaries, minted some coins, on which wrote the inscription: restitutor Orientis (re-conqueror of the Orient).
Regalianus is in
any case a Latinized name, but the historical enigma still endures: why
Regalianus, this representative of the ancient royal family of
In cannot be
contested though that some ancient traditions and new beliefs existed in
42 years after the
proclamation of Regalianus as emperor of the Orient, the throne of the
distinguished himself quickly and passed quickly through all the military
grades. The emperor Diocletian conferred him the title of Caesar, and gave him
the general command over the troupes of
We continue now with the matter of the ethnic term Flaccus instead of Vlacus.
In the second half of the 12th century, the crusaders praised the wealth of the region named Flachia, which was not far from Thessalonica (Ansbertus, Expedit. Friderici I imp. (Ed. Tauschinski et Pangeri).
Dominicus Marius Niger calls Flacci the Vlachi shepherds from the
In a 1534ad Latin
traditions, Flaccii or Vlacii from north of the lower
In his Odyssey (VI. v. 4 seqq), Homer tells us about a people called Feaci, who dwelt in a far away island, Scheria; which is the same as the beautiful island Veglia in the Adriatic, named in roman times Curicte and Corcyra (Caesar, B. C. lib. III. 10; C. I. L. vol. III. p. 398).
These Feacii, the author of the Odyssey says, had dwelt earlier en eyruchoro ‘Ypereie, the wide country Hyperia (from beyond), near the superb Cyclops. But being in a continuous state of unrest because of those, they had migrated and settled in Scheria island, where they later became famous navigators .
By their type,
mores and customs, the Feacii belonged to the Pelasgian family from the eastern
The name Feaci (Phaiaches) is identical
with Flacii or Flaci. It derives though from the forms Balaci=Falaci, with the changing of the suffix ac in iac (as in Rom.
Poliac, Ital. Polacco, Germ. Palak), and the disappearance of l (as in Ital. bestemmia, Lat.
blasphemia; Ital. mai pensieri, tai cose, instead of Lat.
In the Roman epoch,
the populations from the southern parts of
The dwellings of
the Bastarnii were on the north shore of the
formed a numerous and warlike people, which disposed of a great force in
cavalry and pedestrians. Around182bc, Filip of
On the Tabula Peutingeriana, the Bastarnii
appear under the name Blastarni (Tacit and Pliny also call Bastarni the inhabitants of
In the cosmography of Julius Honorius, they are called also Uasternae = Vasternae (Riese, Geogr. Lat. min. p. 40. 84). All these are more or less altered dialectal forms of the name “Blaci”.
The term Blastarni – or Blasterni, is the less corrupt version, which corresponds to the form Blasca(n)ni, Blasce(n)ni (Rom. Vlascani, Vlasceni).
In the language of
the Slav populations from the
The Great Mother of the Gods, Mater Plachiana, or a ech Plachias (C. I. L. 3657), was also called Plastena mater, as Pausanias writes (Descr. Gr. lib. V. 13. 7), meaning Mater Plastena = Blastena, name identical with Blascena or Vlascena.
Before ending this study about the forms of the name “Blac” in antiquity, we must also mention here the epithets bellax and bellaces, which some Latin authors used with a certain intention, in order to indicate the ethnic characteristics of some barbarian populations of Pelasgian origin.
So, we find with Priscianus the names: Sarmata bellax, Germanii bellaces and Pannonii bellaces (Descr. Orb. v. 274, 294, 314). The same term is used by the epic poet Lucanus for the inhabitants of the island Curicte (Veglia), under the form “bellaci genti curictum” (Phars. IV. 406).
In antiquity, almost all the Scythian populations, according to Mela, were known under the name Belcae. The same name appears with Priscianus under the form Sarmata bellax.
groups of Falahi existed on the
We find an allusion
to the name Valaci given to the
Ligurii of upper
The Ligurii of the Alps and Apennines, who until the times of Augustus still wore long tresses and were named Capillatii and Comatii, appear with Nigidius Figulus with the epithet fallaces (Micali, Italia av. il dom. d. Romani, t. 1, 1826, p. 89), although these Ligurii, as Diodorus Siculus writes, led a very tough life; they were poor people, but hard working. It is without any doubt that by the term “fallaces”, applied to the Ligurii, Nigidius Figulus indicates, in a scornful way, their ethnic name of Belaci, which we had become, we do not know how, an expression of scorn for the Pelasgian pastoral populations, ever since very obscure times.