Xenopoliana, X, 2001
Discursul istoric între realitate și ficțiune.
Complementarități și antinomii
NARRATING NATIONAL UTOPIA.
THE CASE MOSCHOPOLIS IN THE AROMANIAN NATIONAL DISCOURSE
1. THE ORIGINS OF THE MOSCHOPOLITAN UTOPIA. AN
2. A PERFECT CITY FOR NATIONAL INTERESTS
3. IMAGINING MOSCHOPOLIS
1. THE ORIGINS OF THE MOSCHOPOLITAN UTOPIA. AN ENLIGHTENMENT-ROMANTIC PROJECT
In the last quarter of the eighteenth century, more precisely in 1774,
Johann Thunmann, professor of philosophy at Halle University, published Ordentlichen
Lehrers des Beredsamkeit und Philosophie auf der Universität zu Halle Über die
Geschichte der Östlichen Europäischen Völker [Orderly Lessons of Eloquence and
Philosophy held at University of Halle on the History of East European People], in which
he had included brief considerations on the history and the language of Vlachs. Thunman
was eagerly stimulated by a list of Vlach words, composed by his contemporary fellow
Theodoros Anastasiu Kavalliotes10 and published four years earlier, under the
title Protopiria. Das dreisprächige Wörterverzeichnis von Theodoros Anastasiu
Kavalliotes aus Moschopolis, gedruckt 1770 in Venedig:
albanisch-deutsch-neugriechischich-aromunisch/ neu bearbeit, mit dem heutigen Zustande der
albanischen Schriftsprache verglichen [Protopiria. Three Lists of Words in Three
Languages made by Thedoros Anastasiu Kavalliotes from Moschopolis, printed in 1770 in
Venice: Albanian-German-New Greek-Aromanian/ New edition, with the today's Situation of
the Albanian written Language]. What did Thunmann urge and all those who would follow him
to study these populations and to pay a special attention to this region, which Karl Emil
Franzos called "halb-Asien"?11 Even Thunman himself thought that the
whole Eastern Europe was "an immense and wildly uncultivated cropland" and he
denounced historical circumstances as the main causes for such a deplorable situation of
peoples who had been living within the region.12 According to scholars who
studied the economic and cultural backwardness in civilization of eastern nations,13
the presence of many active merchants from the Ottoman Empire in Central Europe provoked
scholars to pay attention and to study peripheral populations on their history and
culture, chiefly of those from the Southeastern Europe. The study of ancient history,
language and cultural patterns of the ancient Greek world whipped also Westerners
curiosity to examine the present cultural patterns and especially the nature of habits,
differences, and mentalities as compared to Western model, of merchants' milieu that came
from the Balkans. Within groups of Balkan merchants, the Greeks were perceived as the most
economically active and they bore an unconfused mark of their culture. Studies proved that
those who were generally considered "Greeks", were actually not only
"Greeks", in the ethnical and language-speaking sense of the term, but also
"Vlachs" or "Aromanians"14 who declared themselves as
"Greeks", in religious and confessional meaning.15 Thunmann's printed
lists of words were probably taken of Greek-Aromanian speakers from Central Europe. It was
a certainty for Thunmann that the richest segment of Balkan merchants came from
Moschopolis, an economically animated urban settlement, with links, which spread out from
Northern Europe toward the Near Orient.16
Apart from its real existence, which is not my focused object to analyze but an indirect aspect, Moschopolis is nowadays better known for its stormy disappearance. On this exceptional bloody event from its blurred history I shall concentrate onwards which is the major reason that gave birth to the Moschopolitan utopia. On larger and various series of theories and fiction bases, from Thunmann to Boga, Moschopolis unfolds its mind-blowing existence. The British historian Tom J. Winnifrith gathered archaeological artifacts and pieces of discourse on Moschopolis17 and tried to offer an interpretation of these sources:
"Moschopolis in Eastern Albania rose to being the second city in the Balkans well before 1769 when it was sacked by Albanians for the first time. This sack was followed by a second wave of destruction in 1788, and Ali Pasha in the early nineteenth century merely completed the process, compelling at the same time the Vlachs in the area to flee eastwards and northwards. In the time of Leake, and of Wace and Thompson a century later, Moschopolis was still a byword for a great city greatly fallen, and they were able to record the building of the monastery church in 1632, the building of vast numbers of other churches between 1700 and 1766, and mention an unknown historian, whose manuscript, was to be found in the monastery, recording the great days of the town in the seventeenth century."18
The first and immediate question, which might be raised concerns the
causes of those two waves of savage violence. One might ask himself on causes that
generated such a climate of general animosity and let me to enter historical studies and
political actions in order to have a complete picture of practical reasoning of
transforming a city into a narrative. The provided explanations on Moschopolis' decease
have an important political bias and they might be regarded as interpretations and
classified into two groups of theories. The first theory consists of explanations19
on the outcomes of the war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire from 1768 to 1774. Due to
an increasing sympathy for Russia among Greeks, that war was the subterfuge by which the
Ottoman administration wanted to punish Greek's Rusophilia. Max Demeter Peyfuss created
the second theory20 and it consists of a group of three hypotheses. According
to the first, there is a possibility that Moschopolis was the victim of fights among
different Muslim local elites, which speculating the weakness of the Turkish central
authority tried to strengthen their own authority over the region.21 The second
hypothesis states that "gangs of outlaws, formed, at that time, by Christians"
crushed Moschopolis.22 The third possible answer envisaged Moschopolis as a
powerful centre of the Greek nationalism which tried to get rid of the Ottoman control and
to set free all Orthodox nations from the Balkans.
According to the Aromanian national canon, Moschopolis symbolizes the highest degree attained in the material and spiritual civilization of Aromanians and it is the ideal model of living the nationness, which all national references must include. At the same time, Moschopolis is a reference for both Aromanian and Romanian national discourses.23 Referring to what Sorin Antohi noticed notably that "the ideal scene of Plato's utopia is polis, an urban island in natural and rural picture, a structure of the built-up urbanity, assaulted by barbarity",24 it is to be said that Moschopolis has precisely that function in the Aromanian national mythology. The suitable mechanism for producing "the Aromanianness" is that of "nationalism at a distance" (Benedict Anderson), according to whom a social human group, which migrated from an area, in certain historical circumstances, would develop a form of national consciousness. After the final wave of vandalism from 1788, the majority of the Moschopolitan economical elite migrated towards Central Europe.25 Abroad from their heimat and under Romantic influences, Aromanians with Moschopolitan origins built up three dimensions of their utopian national ontology: "the city", "the nation", and "the paradise", with an enormous impact over national character. Through the lenses of the Moschopolitan outstanding achievements, Aromanians became an urban elite,26 with a strong national consciousness. The Habsburg exile of Moschopolitan elites and their encounters with the Latinist theory enounced by the Romanian scholars grouped in Școala Ardeleană [The Transylvanian School],27 gave the ideological support for national revival. Starting with 1810, the Aromanian national historiography nationalized Moschopolis, as Rogers Brubaker conceptualised his theory of "nationalizing state",28 and most of the produced texts contributed to the formation of the ongoing and common image of Moschopolis as a city.
Despite this tendency, which moulded the historiography of the nineteenth century on Moschopolis, it is important to accent those views, which deviated from the standardized formula of writing history. Ioan Arginteanu is one of those few examples and in spite of his nationalistic feelings; his accounts on the Aromanians' past were not so dogmatic. In the case of Moschopolis' he expressed a shocking statement for a nationalist: he was almost happy for Moschopolis' wreck, because "the Byzantine cultural centre of Moschopolis had wholly Hellenised all Moschopolitan people and, perhaps, all Romanians from the surrounding area, if it would not have been destroyed by Albanians".29 The historian of those years, much closer to an oral tradition and to collections of documents than a contemporary one, was aware of the fact that Moschopolis was most likely a bilingual city unless it was completely a Greek one. And, for the sake of the future of his own nation, he is happy that his nation was "saved" even that "salvation" engendered sighs and nostalgia. C. Constante, who noticed that in Moschopolis functioned "a Greek printing press", where those printed publications "were very rarely circulated in the Aromanian language" also expressed the same idea of a "positive destruction".30 As regards to the alphabets and the language of contents of the Moschopolitan books, Arginteanu also stated that there were very few printed books with Latin characters and fewer books in the Latin language, and those books printed with Latin characters were highly used by local intellectuals.31 Conversely, A. Wace and M. Thompson manifested their serious doubts regarding the existence itself of such a printing press functioning in Moschopolis.32
As I have tried to indicate heretofore, Kavalliotes' book includes four languages, and for one of them - the Albanian one - there is a special mention. What are the reasons of the other's presence? Surely, the German version was included for the Western scholars' usage and particularly for the German-speakers. Otherwise, it must have been a French version, as French was the language of intellectual texts in the eighteenth century; the Greek version was naturally that of the intellectual language of the Balkans. The mysterious presence is that of the Aromanian language among the others. The most common explanation, whether one simply guides on those earlier affirmations, is that the Aromanian language was in the same situation as the Albanian did: intellectually undeveloped and without written standards. Surveying the written sources, one can barely find a significant amount of any type of written evidences referring to any intellectual usage of Aromanian. The oldest texts, written in Aromanian, are dated to 173133 and this is a quite good enough reason to affirm that those virtually educated Aromanians elites used all their intellectual skills practising the Greek language, meanwhile the illiterates developing an oral type of culture.34 This dichotomy which had persisted in Aromanian culture did not generate a national of sentiment of any kind, and Arginteanu stressed it very categorically noting that "during the Middle Ages, the Macedo-Romanians did not have any form of consciousness about their linguistic kinship with Romanians from the Northern Danube" and "their vague consciousness of their Romanian origins" was established on "oral tradition, unsupported by any historical testimony."35 Searching for an interpretation to explain Kavalliotes' reason for his linguistic undertaking, Peyfuss considers that those lists of words were set up in order to disseminate the Greek language neither on behalf of Aromanian, nor any other Balkan idiom,36 and Victor Papacostea, who also worked on Kavalliotes' dictionary, sustains this opinion. Papacostea's conclusions undoubtedly confirm Peyfuss' assumption by discovering of three texts written in Greek by Kavalliotes,37 which have never been translated into Aromanian.
By and large, Kavalliotes might be set in a longer tradition, which was involved in the propagation of the Greek language, which started with Daniel of Moschopolis, a priest, who published around 1760 a successful dictionary.38 Commenting on Daniel's earlier work, Arginteanu noticed that Daniel had printed in 1802 in Venice a dictionary in four languages for the study of the Greek language whose task was to spread Greek, motive clearly revealed even from the very beginning of the dictionary:
"Be happy, you Albanians, Aromanians and Bulgarians/ And be all prepared to become Greeks/ Leave your barbarian language, dialect, and tradition/ Which will seem legends to your descendants."39
The Moschopolitan tradition in making the Greek nation was hijacked by Constantin Oukoutas, an Aromanian priest who used to live in Poznan, to where he came from Moschopolis as an emigrant after the city' sacks. He published in 1797 at the Aromanian brothers Markides Pouliou's printing press from Vienna a booklet for abecedarian children.40 Starting with Oukoutas, who might be considered the first generation of Aromanian nationalists, the Moschopolitan Aromanian elites underwent a program of "nationalizing" the newly Romantic tendency causing linguistic cleavages and national separations between Aromanians and Greeks on one hand, and among all Balkan nations on the other hand. This is the first stage of the Moschopolitan Aromanian elites towards a new identity, namely the cultural emancipation from the Greek model and from now onwards there was a desire to promote Aromanian and to remove any professional name or negative connotations.41 The second generation was represented by two Aromanians known as Latinists, both of them were born in the Habsburg Empire and having Moschopolitan ancestors, namely Constantin Roja and Mihail G. Boiagi, who were active in the first two decades of the nineteenth century as a part of the Latinist discourse. Roja used to think on himself as being a Vallachus Voscopolitanus,42 and in 1808 he published Cercetări asupra românilor sau așa-numiților vlahi care locuiesc dincolo de Dunăre [Researches concerning Romanians or the so-called Vlachs, who live beyond the Danube] written in Greek. To prevent any possible objection, Roja writes:
"Probably some of those readers of mine will seem very shocked: what is the explanation for the presence of a text written in Greek? We need to be understood by nationalists from Hungary, by those from Turkey and by all from surrounding countries, finally, by all the others. It is not possible to write only in Romanian, not because of the weakness of language, but because I also want to do a favour to all others who understand and read only the common Greek."43
By such harsh stances, Roja was known as a radical adherent to Latinism
which was the chief paradigm for the majority of Romanian scholars at the beginning of the
nineteenth century, and one of his stiff confidence was that endlessly preached "the
national evolution", to which was possible to give an impulse only learning Latin;
all non-Latin words from Romanian were considered by Roja as "foreign
impurities" and they urgently had to be liquidated. In the next year, Roja published Măiestria ghiovăsirii românești cu litere
latinești, care sînt literele românilor ceale vechi [The Art
of Writing in Romanian with Latin characters, which are the oldest Characters of
Romanians] in which he pleaded for the use of Latin characters in the territories
inhabited by Romanians, and his headstrong goal was the rebirth of the Romanian language
from the mixture between Romanian and Aromanian.
The second exponent of Aromanian Latinism was Mihail G. Boiagi, having a doubtful and unclear Moschopolitan genealogy,44 who kept working on philology as a good follower of the Moschopolitan tradition inaugurated in the second half of the eighteenth century: he published the first scientifically conceived Aromanian grammar as such, and also included Greek and German versions. In addition, he composed a Bulgarian grammar and a Serbian one, as well as a textbook for teaching Greek, his polyglot skills affording him to try a standardization of those languages, which theretofore had not had an impressively written culture. His strong opinion for the plurality of languages urged him to record that
"any language is a hypostasis of the human spirit; the more languages someone learns, the more things he knows . But someone does not gain these things only by a single language, if that language were the most perfect in the world. The desire of those who moan for a single language is both useless and foolish from a practical point of view."45
It may be noticed that Moschopolitan elites from the Habsburg Empire had launched a double project based on both Enlightenment and Romanticism co-ordinates, but to a smaller scale: to disseminate knowledge among ordinary people - culture and education, two of the most forceful ideals of Enlightenment - and to make them conscious of their destiny both as men and as citizens46 and to prepare them act like citizens of a resurrected nation. Arginteanu unequivocally emphasized this overwhelming role played by exiled Moschopolitans
"the truly cultural movement, as a purely national tendency, was produced by those Macedo-Romanians who emigrated to Austria and Hungary, where they reified the science and classical civilization from Moschopolis. Being in contact with the great patriots from Transylvania . Moschopolitan scholars themselves shone with patriotism and published valuable texts that manifested a powerful and enlightened national consciousness."47
That febrile activity of Moschopolitan elites seemed not to pay much attention to the lost greatness of the city and proved a relative weak presence of it within the collective memory after its demolition. At least the sources cannot describe clearly such a persistent sentiment among former inhabitants. The lack of a "moaning and groaning" attitude is indeed a mystery after such a terrifying catastrophe like that of vanishing of an imposing settlement.48 It is sure that the exiled Moschopolis had remained silent for a couples of decades and its mourning appeared later on. This uncanny situation may influence one in guessing that Moschopolis, as presented in today's discourse, is the creation of nationalist ideology. Conversely, the real Moschopolis, which has not existed on national bases, through its ruins, its dead, and its ecstatic story as a blessed place, has never been ceasing to persuade any reader. The entire history of Vlachs became a history of Moschopolitan brave deeds combined with mournfully unfulfilled aspirations and most of its features, usually those positive, were unfolded over all individuals and writing on Moschopolis was the new type of narrating national history viewed as the main burden of intellectuals.
10 The biographical data regarding Teodoros A. Kavalliotes' life is unsure and many lacunae shade his existence. These lacunae do not allow one to give exact information on his life. It seems to be that he lived in Moschopolis somewhere during the second half of the eighteenth century until around 1800.
11 Klaus Heitmann quotes Franzos in his works on the image of Romanians in the German linguistic sphere. Hence, the quotes shall be taken from the Romanian version as Imaginea românilor în spațiul lingvistic german (The Image of Romanians in the German linguistic Space) (București: Ed. Univers, 1995), p. 41.
12 Idem, p. 54.
13 This theme has a recent career, mainly after 1989, when the totalitarian regimes of East-Central Europe inevitably collapsed. Two of the authors got the greatest fame: Larry Wolff, for his study devoted to the region, and Maria Todorova whose book on the Balkans fitted in with the questions linked to the wars from former Yugoslavia. Searching the history of the concept of Eastern Europe and showing that the West-East division is relatively new, Wolff thought "it was Western Europe that invented Eastern Europe as its complementary other half in the eighteenth century, the age of Enlightenment". See Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe. The Map of Civilization on the Mind of Enlightenment (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1995), p. 4.
14 Mentioned for the first time in a Byzantine chronicle from the tenth or the eleventh century, Vlachs or Aromanians are a Latin-speakers group of people who were spreading predominantly over the Southeastern part of actual Bulgaria, islands in today's Macedonia, Eastern Albania, Northern Greece, and Southern Serbia.
15 It was a usual sense to name the Orthodox Church, "the Greek Church", and the Catholic Church as "the Roman Church". The confusion of terms was typical of the Early Modern period and the change of it started after the national idea reshaped the debate on identity.
16 Today's Voskopoje, Moschopolis was located in the Western part of the Ottoman Empire (the South-East of today's Albania). Travelling through Balkans, Tom J. Winnifrith observes hitherto the presence of Vlachs in that area: "Voskopoje, formerly Moschopolis, is the most famous Vlach settlement and indeed in the eighteenth century was one of the largest towns in the Balkans. Reduced to a shadow of its former greatness by Ali Pasha, it suffered heavily again in the Second World War." See Tom J. Winnifrith, The Vlachs: The History of a Balkan People (London: Duckworth, 1987), p. 35.
17 Winnifrith' second book on Aromanians is less scrupulous and more based on his travels throughout the Balkans. I utilise only his first book, which is cited above, but for supplementary details on Aromanian aspects I also indicate T. J. Winnifrith, Shattered Eagles: Balkan Fragments (London: Duckworth, 1995).
18 Winnifrith, The Vlachs, p. 130.
19 Ioan Arginteanu, Istoria românilor macedoneni (The History of Macedo-Romanians) (București, 1904), p. 233. Here, I want to eliminate a possible misunderstanding: "Aromanians", "Vlachs", "Macedo-Romanians" are many names used to designate the same ethnic group; also they call themselves "Armâni". Turning back to Arginteanu's interpretation on Moschopolis' sack, he advances a number of 50,000 "Greeks" killed by Muslim Albanians. He also affirms that Greeks, Aromanians and the Christian Albanians inhabitants of the city and its hinterland were massacred by the Turkish army and by the Muslim Albanian paramilitary forces.
20 Max Demeter Peyfuss, Chestiunea aromânească. Evoluția ei de la origini pînă la pacea de la București (1913) și poziția Austro-Ungariei (The Aromanian Issue. Its Evolution from Origins until the Peace from Bucharest (1913) and the Stance of Austria-Hungary) (București: Ed. Enciclopedică, 1994), p. 123.
21 One of those cases was Ali Pasha, the blamed notable for Moschopolis' devastation, who, although he manifested both ambitions of ruling by himself in central and southern Albania and northern Greece and imperial ambitions (the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte intended to set Ali on the throne of the Ottoman Empire), he maintained his loyalty to the sultan. See Stanford Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 267-271.
22 Peyfuss, loc. cit., p. 123.
23 Sometimes perceived as an imperialistic discourse, which suffocates the other versions of "Romanianness", the Romanian national discourse has constantly engulfed all other Balkan versions, which claim Latin origins. The Aromanian national canon has admitted the Romanian supremacy, only recently has it manifested independence in standardizing the language and in writing history. One of the hottest debates, which have been lasting for a couple of years, divided some of the Aromanian intelectuals into two groups. The first one is radical and considers Aromanian and Aromanians as separated language and nation, which infers, in their opinion, which a new national cannon has to be built. The second one is moderate and thinks that Aromanian and Aromanians is a distinct facet of a greater Romanian language and Romanian nation.
24 Sorin Antohi, Utopica. Studii asupra imaginarului social (Utopica. Studies on Social Imaginary) (București: Ed. Științifică, 1991), pp. 61-62.
25 The refugees from Moschopolis founded many colonies in Vienna, Buda and Pest. There were some "Greek companies" mentioned before 1788, but after that date many new colonies were set up, especially in the Habsburg Empire. The first conflict between Greeks and Aromanians, which concerned the edifice of the Orthodox parish from Pest, is mentioned around 1802.
26 Theodor Capidan considers that Moschopolitans were the elite of Aromanians; they were "beautiful, urbanized, educated". See Theodor Capidan, Aromânii. Studiu lingvistic (The Aromanians. A Linguistic Study) (București: Imprimeria Națională, 1932), p. 35.
27 Appeared in the beginning of the nineteenth century and developed by the Romanian intellectuals from the Habsburg Empire, the Latinist theory stated that Romanians are the direct descendants of the Roman Empire. The actions of Latinists were concentrated on linguistics and history and they were the promoters of the standardized Romanian language as a Neo-Latin one.
28 See Rogers Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
29 Arginteanu, op. cit., p. 259.
30 C. Constante, Macedoromânii (The Macedo-Romanians) (București, 1943), p. 30. Arginteanu also considers that printed materials from Moschopolis were released in the Greek language. See Arginteanu, op. cit., p. 259.
31 Constante, loc. cit., p. 30.
32 A. Wace, M. Thompson, The Nomads of the Balkans (London, 1914), quoted by Winnfrith, The Vlachs, p. 131. In this particular detail, Wace and Thompson's reservations have a deductive support; it may be noticed that Kavalliotes published his dictionary in Venice. Either this proves that Wace and Thompson's doubts are well-founded or at least it can be discussed, or other reasons made Kavalliotes choose to print his book elsewhere. The existence or the non-existence of a printing press in Moschopolis was a very important detail since it revealed the cultural function of the city throughout the region, and it was a testimony for national discourse to support an active presence of the Aromanians during the historical times. If this printing press was a real enterprise then we could surmise that it was a source for Greek books.
33 There are two pieces of linguistic artefacts: the first is a lithography found in the village of Ardenica and the second is an undated inscription from a jar (See Peyfuss, op. cit., p. 23). Interpreting these poor evidences, Hristu Cândroveanu is a very good example of the so-called "protochronism". For a better understanding of what follows hereunder, it must be add that the oldest text written in Romanian is a letter, which was dated in 1521. Cândroveanu states that the Aromanian writer Leonida (Nida) Boga said to him that ". in the Aromanian village of Linotipi from Greece, there is the church devoted to Saint Zechariah, whose frontispiece bears an inscription written in Aromanian which was decrypted as follows: 'Whoever will enter this church and cross himself piously, may God help him." See Nida Boga, Voshopolea (The Moschopolis) (București: Ed. Fundației Culturale Aromâne "Dimăndarea Părintească", 1994), p. 191. According to Boga, the inscription is dated at 1426, therefore almost one hundred years before the first known document printed in Romanian.
34 Theodor Capidan stated that the Aromanian language was standardised by Franz Miklosich and Gustav Meyer towards the end of the eighteenth century. See Capidan, op. cit., pp. 49-50.
35 Arginteanu, op. cit., p. 278.
36 See Peyfuss, op. cit., p. 24.
37 Those texts are three writings concerning logic, physics and metaphysics. For a complete analysis of them, see Victor Papacostea, Civilizație românescă, civilizație balcanică (The Romanian Civilization as a Balkan Civilization) (București: Ed. Eminescu, 1983), p. 368.
38 In Peyfuss' book, (p. 24) one finds the title "Lexikon Tetragloson", while in Winnifrith's (The Vlachs, p. 137) the title is "Eisagogiki Didaskalia". Winnifrith considers that Daniel of Moschopolis "gives words and phrases in Greek, Albanian, Vlach, and Bulgarian, but the latter three languages are all written in Greek characters. Dimitrios Darvaris from Klisoura published a simple Greek grammar for Slavs and Vlachs, only mentioning incidentally that he was a Vlach, although he did write in Roman characters."
39 Arginteanu, op. cit., pp. 260-261. The translation made by Capidan is slightly different: "Albanians, Romanians, Bulgarians and other speakers be happy/ and be all prepared to become Greeks/ By leaving your barbarian language, voice, and habits". (Capidan, op. cit., p. 61, note 1).
40 That booklet is considered the first Aromanian book for abecedarians and it was entitled Noua pedagogie sau Abecedar ușor spre a învăța pe copiii tineri carte românească în deobște întrebuințare la Aromâni (Româno-Vlahi) (New Pedagogy or Basic Abecedary for teaching young Children the Romanian Language, especially for the Usage of Aromanians or Romanian-Vlachs) (Posen - Wien, 1797).
41 The main sense of the word "Vlach" was "shepherd", with no national connotations. This fact was recognised by the majority of all scholars who studied the problem of Vlachs. Winnifrith writes that "the word blachos in Greek can mean merely a shepherd, and this has resulted in confusion between Vlachs and other nomads . and a reluctance to admit that Vlachs could be anything other than nomadic shepherds, when in fact they have risen to positions of wealth and distinction as merchants and craftsmen. The word can also have a derogatory connotation, and perhaps this is one reason why most Vlachs . do not call themselves by this name, though they recognise it." (Winnifrith, The Vlachs..., p. 1).
42 Actually, he came from Monastir (today's Republic of Macedonia) to the Habsburg Empire and studied medical science in Buda.
43 See Peyfuss, op. cit., p. 25.
44 About Boiagi's place and year of birth there are quite different opinions. While Peyfuss thinks that Boiagi was born in Buda in 1780, Cândroveanu considers that Boiagi was born in Moschopolis in 1770. See Peyfuss, op. cit., p. 26, and Hristu Cândroveanu, Antologie de proză aromână (Anthology of Aromanian Prose) (București: Ed. Univers, 1977), p. 195.
45 Mihail G. Boiagi, Gramatică română sau macedo-română (Romanian or Macedo-Romanian Grammar) (București: Tipografia Curții Regale, 1915), p. X.
46 This is one of the most debated dichotomy of Enlightenment, made by Moses Mendelssohn in article "On the Question: What is Enlightenment?" in James Schmidt, ed., What is Enlightenment? Eighteenth-Century Answers and Twentieth-Century Questions (Berkeley - Los Angeles - London, University of California Press, 1996), p. 54.
47 Arginteanu, op. cit., p. 266.
48 The area of Moschopolis and how big it was actually as a city is another subject of investigation. Quoted by Neagu Djuvara, the unbiased historian Peyfuss advances the figure of 20,000 inhabitants. According to Pouqueville, the French consul in the Ottoman Empire during the assault on Moschopolis, the settlement had between 40,000 and 60,000 inhabitants. Peyfuss considers Pouqueville's estimation exaggerated but the nationalist discourse adopted enthusiastically Pouqueville's testimony. See Peyfuss' study in Neagu Djuvara, ed., Aromânii. Istorie. Limbă. Destin (Aromanians. History. Language. Destiny) (București: Ed. Fundației Culturale Române, 1996), p. 101.