| Fiction over fact|
|How it didn't happen|
Protochronism (Romanian: Protocronism) is a pejorative term referring to various pseudohistorical, pseudolinguistic, and pseudoarchaeological theories that claim that Romania is the cradle of civilization, that all or many peoples are branches of Romanians, and that all or many languages are derived from Romanian, among other things. Like most pseudosciences, Protochronism does this by drowning the reader or viewer in a flood of half-truths, cherry-picked quotes, non sequiturs, misrepresentations of others' views, and outright falsehoods — an avalanche of arguments which the non-savvy might mistake for proofs.
The phenomenon of national exceptionalists attempting to prove the superiority and primordiality of their nation through all sorts of outlandish ideas exists in perhaps all countries; however, Romania has actually created a specific word to refer to this.
Like feel-good pseudosciences in general, Protochronism is very popular among laymen, but not among specialists in the relevant fields. Indeed, more often than not the "experts" featured in Protochronist publications, shows, and documentaries are professionals in medicine, engineering, mathematics, and other fields that are completely unrelated to the study of Romanian history. Professional historians, on the other hand, take a dim view of Protochronism. In one article, one group of Romanian historians lamented the fact that Google search results about the Dacians overwhelmingly link to Protochronist sites, and that non-historians are being acclaimed as the ultimate source of historical truth. There have been at least two letters signed by Romanian historians, archaeologists and philologists (47 in these two alone) protesting against Protochronism.
There is also a strong conspiratorial bent in Protochronism. Protochronists will often claim that they know the "truth" (namely, that Romanians are the Aryan master race), and that this knowledge is being suppressed by "them", a nebulous, fiendish anti-Romanian coalition which includes, of course, the Romanian scientific establishment and any Romanian who doesn't agree with them.[note 1]
- 1 Dacomania
- 2 Linguistic claims
- 2.1 Punjabi is descended from Romanian
- 2.2 Romani is descended from Romanian
- 2.3 Romanian is simpler, has more "primordial syllables", and uses reduplication more than other languages
- 2.4 Linguistic change is due to academies and their invented standard languages
- 2.5 An 18th century visitor to Romania said Romanian is an Italian dialect
- 2.6 Other languages have many Romanian words
- 2.7 The words Deutsch/Dutch are derived from the word Dacian
- 2.8 The Romance languages are not descended from Latin
- 2.9 Romanian is the richest European language
- 2.10 Romanian dictionaries contain erroneous etymologies
- 2.11 The Goths and Getae were the same people
- 2.12 The Germanic peoples are descended from the Getae
- 3 Archaeological claims
- 4 Historical claims
- 5 Miscellaneous claims
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
“”The French conducted archaeological excavations and found remains of copper wires 50 meters underground. After they were carefully examined by scientists, it was concluded that the ancestors of the French, the Gauls, created an underground telephone network.
In response to this unexpected news, the Germans, in order not to be outdone, also started to dig. 70 meters underground, they found remains of glass; after analyzing this glass, they concluded that their ancestors, the Goths, created an underground fiber optic network.
One important subset of Protochronism is Dacomania (or, alternatively, Thracomania), which specifically focuses on the ancient Dacians (also known as the Getae or Geto-Dacians) who inhabited what is now Romania.
Just as France has a strong self-identification with the Gauls, and Greece with the Ancient Greeks, Dacia figures prominently in Romania's culture. Some Romanian nationalists have taken this identification with the Dacians further, and have tried to prove that Romanians are not descended[note 2] from Daco-Romans, but pure Dacians, with no Roman ancestry whatsoever.[note 3] One theory based on this assumption is that the language spoken by the Dacians before the Roman conquest is actually the ancestor of Latin.[note 4] According to this (unsubstantiated) theory, the Dacian language (of which there are very few, if any, remains) migrated from Dacia to Italy, and from there, it became the language of Rome, and thus, later, of most of Europe. When the Romans conquered Dacia, they allegedly found that the Dacians spoke the same language they did. So everybody speaking a Romance language, from the Americas, to Africa, to Europe, is actually speaking various forms of Dacian.
Punjabi is descended from Romanian
Yet another wacko and unsubstantiated theory is that Punjabi is actually a form of Romanian. How is this possible? Well, the Dacians (under various names) actually extended over a huge swath of land, from Central Europe all the way to China and India. The Punjabi are the descendants of one of these branches of Dacians that settled in India approximately 2500 years ago; the fact that 2000 Punjabi words are similar to Romanian ones proves this.[note 5] In addition, many of these 2000 words are also similar to Latin ones, and since there was no Roman Empire 2500 years ago, when the Dacians entered India, that proves the Dacians spoke Latin before the Romans did (and definitely not that the Romanians are actually Indians). QED.
Of course, it is difficult to analyze this claim, since no word list of alleged cognates is actually provided.
Interestingly enough, extremely similar arguments exist in other countries, as well. For instance, one article in Bulgarian cites an Indian professor of Slavistics claiming that there are over a thousand similar words in Bulgarian and Hindi. These are not just any words; they are basic words relating to the family and home, that could by no means be borrowed. Not only that, there are many Bulgarian names and toponyms that have clear meanings in Hindi! These facts and others prove (allegedly) that Indians are actually Bulgarians. Another article purports to show that Croatian is derived from Sanskrit, citing several words that are similar in the two languages.
Romani is descended from Romanian
A study of Swedish Romani by Olof Gjerdman and Erik Ljundberg states that the Romani dialect spoken in Sweden contains over a thousand words of Romanian origin. Supposedly, these are inherited cognates which demonstrate that Romani evolved from Romanian and that Romanian is Proto-Indo-European. The Proto-Indo-Europeans (called "Aryans" and equated with Romanians) migrated from present-day Romania to India, and some of these speakers (Romanies) then migrated from India to Sweden, bringing with them this large number of ancestral Romanian words. (Also, the Roma used to look "just like us", but they acquired their present color as a result of intermarriage with the Indian natives.) And nobody's ever thought to study the connection between the Romanian elements in Romani and Romanian itself!
However, this proposed trajectory of the migration is false, as can be shown both linguistically and historically.
First of all, this large number of Romanian words exists only in some Romani dialects. Romani linguistics divides Romani dialects into two groups, Vlax (Romanian-influenced) and non-Vlax (non-Romanian-influenced), a classification first formulated by Bernard Gilliat-Smith in 1914-1915. Linguist Brian D. Joseph writes: "The Vlax dialects of Romani are descended from dialects that were spoken for a significant period of time in Romania and contain a salient proportion of Romanian loanwords". The book written by Ljundberg and Gjerdman, The Language of the Swedish Coppersmith Gipsy Johan Dimitri Taikon, studied, specifically, Kalderash Romani, which is a Vlax Romani dialect. An article in the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society states, "Vlax dialects differ from others [...] especially in the presence of a great number of Rumanian loanwords which are absent or rare in most non-Vlax varieties." This doesn't fit the idea that Romani descends from Romanian. Such wild variation in the number of Romanian words in Romani dialects is far more likely to be due to post-migration borrowing.
It is also known that the Kalderash migrated to Sweden from Romania in the 19th century. The book ‘Gypsies’, ‘Travellers’ and ‘peasants’ A study on ethnic boundary drawing in Finland and Sweden, c.1860-1925 by historian Miika Tervonen mentions:
“”"the arrival of [...] Eastern European Kalderash Roma into Sweden between 1880 and 1914. These families were a tiny detach from the European-wide westward migration of several East European Roma roughly from 1860 onwards."
Gypsy politics and social change: the development of ethnic ideology and pressure politics among British gypsies from Victorian reformism to Romany nationalism speaks of "a population of 850 Kalderash, who emigrated to Sweden from the Balkans at the very end of the nineteenth century."
Not only that, but the family of Johan Dimitri Taikon, the specific individual whose dialect Gjerdman and Ljundberg studied, originally came from Romania. The book From Coppersmith to Nurse: Alyosha, the Son of a Gypsy Chief by Gunilla Lundgren and Alyosha Taikon (Johan's son) says:
“”In 1860 entry restrictions [to Sweden] were lifted, resulting in a new wave of immigration, principally of Alyosha's clan. These Kalderash Gypsies had left Romania and travelled in Russia after the liberation from a form of serfdom that was not very different from the slavery in the United States.
So, in actual fact, the Kalderash Romanies migrated not directly to Sweden, but rather to Romania, remained there a few centuries (while borrowing significantly from Romanian), and then moved to Sweden. This suggests that the Romanian elements of Kaldarash are in fact relatively recent borrowings, not millennia-old ancient cognates.
Furthermore, languages borrowing massive amounts of words from others is in no way unusual. The large quantity of Norman-French, Latin, and Greek borrowings in English offers one notable example. Another is Maltese, which, despite being a Semitic language, has a lexicon that is only 40% Semitic, the rest deriving from Italian and English. This does not, however, mean that English is descended from French or that Maltese is descended from Italian – this is known for a fact because the oldest extent texts in these languages do not have these borrowings. (For instance, Old English texts written prior to the Norman Conquest, such as the poem Beowulf, deploy a vocabulary that is clearly very much Germanic, and contain no Norman loanwords.)
Note that the quotes given from Ljundberg and Gjerdman's book state only that the dialect they studied contains many Romanian words. The authors most certainly do not say that Romani is descended from Romanian.[note 6] This is a typical characteristic of Protochronist arguments: they will cite a source saying one thing, and then draw a conclusion that is not at all implied by the cited statement.
As for the bit about no one having thought to study the connection between Romani and Romanian, the mouseover text of the following xkcd comic may be relevant (not only for this claim, but for Protochronism in general):
Romanian is simpler, has more "primordial syllables", and uses reduplication more than other languages
Now, if all the other Indo-European languages are so different, how is it that only Romanian has remained the same for thousands of years? For one thing, Romanian is more phonetic than other languages. For instance, whereas in Romanian the words om (man) and pai (straw) are pronounced as written, in French, for instance, these words are pronounced the same, but have extra unpronounced letters when spelled (homme, and paille). This means that Romanian is simpler than French. Also, Romanian has many words with one syllable. These facts indicate that Romanian is the simplest and most economical language. Now, the original language must also have been very simple, since, not having writing, its speakers would have had trouble remembering long words (just think of the difficulties children have when learning to speak!) As Romanian is so simple, it must be more ancient than all other languages!
The argument conflates spoken languages and writing systems. According to one linguist, "Yet another telltale sign of pseudo-linguistics is a conflation of sounds and letters. [...] But all too many journalists penning pieces on language are not clear on this distinction. For example, as Frenkel writes about the origins of the Australian accent: “The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol”—yet “alphabet” refers to letters, not sounds, and Australians use the exact same alphabet as the British and the Americans."
It is Romanian's orthography, not Romanian itself, that is simpler. The person making the argument himself noted that the French and Romanian pronunciations of these two words are identical, and that it is only the writing that is different — this contradicts the claim that Romanian is more economical. Not to mention that Romanian has gone through multiple different orthographies, starting with Cyrillic, then a Latin one with redundant letters (such as silent us at the end of words, and multiple etymological letters to represent a single sound), and finally, in the 20th century, Romanian's current orthography. The argument implies that merely by changing the spelling of a language, one can cause it to be more or less primordial. For instance, if French orthography were reformed to be phonetic, and Romanian orthography were more complex (in the 19th century, an etymological orthography was devised that rendered the word țară (earth) as tierra, but it didn't catch on) the roles would be reversed, and it would be French that would be simpler and "older" than Romanian. This reasoning is, of course, completely absurd.
Another argument is that ma is a "primordial syllable", as evidenced by the word "mama". Since there are more ma-containing words in Romanian than any other language, Romanian must be a "primordial" language; namely, Proto-Indo-European (PIE).
Neither claim — that Romanian is "simpler" (whatever that means) or that the syllable ma occurs in it more frequently than in other languages — is backed up by any evidence, which in this case would be statistics comparing Romanian's lexicon with that of every other Indo-European language. Even if they were true, there is no reason to believe that either factor has anything to do with the "age" of a language. (What would it even mean to say that one modern language is "older" than another?)
One "decisive" argument in favor of the idea that Romanian is the original language is that:
“”Romanian is the only language in Europe, and perhaps the world, in which terms relating to basic physiological functions and close familial relations were conceived through reduplication of syllables.
As examples, we are given the words mama [mother], tata [father], tete [nanny], gaga [woman], nana [older sister/woman], nene [an older person; an uncle], papa [food], caca [excrement], pipi [urine], lala, lele [used for a woman older than oneself], dada [older woman/sister], baba [old woman], and țața [older sister/woman]. This "is a rational act, not the result of 'children's babbling', as many dictionaries of various languages claim of the word mama."
One could make many objections to this.
First, it is unclear what it means for these words to be "intentionally" formed through reduplication, nor how this, if true, would demonstrate Romanian's being the original language.
Second, even if Romanian's basic vocabulary did make use of reduplication more than any other language, it is not clear how this would be an indication of the language being "ancient."
Third, non-reduplicative terms are ignored. Sister is suroră or soră; brother is frate; grandmother is bunică and grandfather is bunic; uncle is unchi; aunt is mătușă; grandson/nephew is nepot; cousin is văr (male) or verișoară (female); parent is părinte; urine is piș; excrement is căcat; food is mâncare. It takes quite the mental feat to look at this list and conclude that Romanian's basic familial and physiological vocabulary is reduplicative in nature. It would be more accurate to say that Romanian happens to contain some words of which some forms consist of two identical syllables (see the fifth reason) — something that is probably true of most languages.
Fourth, one can find similar examples of reduplication in many other languages, for instance English: Papa, mama, nana, pee-pee, poo-poo, doo-doo, bye-bye, gaga, wee-wee, and boo-boo. Similar examples can be found for other languages, and most such words are indeed the result of "baby talk"; according to Historical Linguistics: An Introduction, such nursery words exist in many languages, generally taking forms like mama, nana, papa, baba, tata, dada and caca, and "do not provide reliable support for distant genetic proposals."
Fifth, the list cherry picks only reduplicative forms of words, mixing different grammatical forms. Several of the words are not the base form. For instance, mama, dada, papa, nana, gaga, tata, tete, țața and baba are the forms with definite articles. The syllables in the pairs are not identical in the unarticulated forms mamă, dadă, papă, nană, gagă, țetă, tată, țață and babă (ă is pronounced /ə/). The list contains many definite forms, yet at the same time includes the indefinite words lele (definite form: lelea), pipi (definite form: pipiul), and nene (definite form: nenea) — it jumbles articulated and unarticulated forms together, selecting only the reduplicative ones.
Sixth, there are many languages (granted, non-Indo-European ones) in which reduplication is very prevalent and an integral part of their grammar; if use of reduplication correlated with "primordiality", and Romanian were Proto-Indo-European, one would expect Romanian to use it roughly as frequently as these other languages, or at least to use it as some sort of grammatical feature. But it does not. Reduplication in Romanian is incidental, occurs infrequently, and serves no grammatical function – as in other Indo-European languages. However, in Indonesian, for example, reduplication forms the plural, and also has other grammatical functions, such as forming both a tense roughly equivalent to the English progressive tense, as well as reciprocals. Consider, for instance, the Indonesian phrase Bapak-bapak, ibu-ibu, dan saudara-saudara, yang saya hormati... (Honored ladies, gentlemen, and friends...) In Hawaiian, reduplication is used for "frequentative, increased, or plural action" and sometimes also to form diminutives. Hence there are words like wikiwiki (quickly, from wiki), lelele and lelelele (to beat swiftly), hihihi (to entangle, from hihi), helehele (to cut up, from hele), pepepe (small, fine-meshed, from pepe), papapā (from pā) and Humuhumunukunuku‘apua‘a (reef triggerfish). Romanian has nothing like this.
The methodology seems to be the following: arbitrarily make up criteria and unilaterally declare they indicate the age of a language, and then assert, without any proof, that some language corresponds to these ad hoc criteria better than any other. This procedure is not new. The 16th-century Dutchman Johannes Goropius claimed that Dutch was the Adamic language, arguing that it had more short words than any other language; since shorter words are generally "older" (whatever that means), Dutch must be the oldest language from which all others are derived. The claim that one's native language is Proto-World (or at least some very ancient ancestor of many other languages), that it has remained unchanged for thousands upon thousands of years, and that it is (for some reason) all the other languages that have diverged, is not unique to Protochronism. Similar theories can be found regarding many other languages as well.
Linguistic change is due to academies and their invented standard languages
All Indo-European languages were all initially very similar. However, they diverged over time as a result of artificial changes imposed by academies on the people. For instance, in Germany there was no single German language; there were only many innumerable mutually unintelligible dialects, as a result of which the Standard German language was created for common use. Rural Romanian, however, is unaffected by such artificial changes, so it must be identical to the Original Tonguetm.
"Rural" dialects exist in all languages; there is nothing special about Romanian in this regard. Also, notice that language change and unintelligibility is alleged to be due to "academies" and "standard languages", but at the same time it is said that the German dialects were "mutually unintelligible" before the creation of Standard German. If languages by nature do not change unless modified by "the powers that be", one wonders why non-standard (i.e., "popular") dialects of languages are usually so very different from each other, as opposed to exactly the same. Indeed, it is usually the case that vernacular or regional dialects are much more divergent from each other than standard varieties. Surely if linguistic change were the result of top-down coercion, exactly the opposite would be the case.
Many examples can be given of linguistic diversity and change unrelated to any academies.
Take Romanian. Speakers of Romanian (as those of many other languages) will often, when speaking and writing, use English words and calques from English that do not appear in Romanian dictionaries. Can it really be said that this is due to the Romanian Academy forcing Romanian speakers to use Englishisms? Of course not! Indeed, academies are notorious for being conservative and slow to recognize innovations in a language. Often an English word will be used for a long time before it is "officially" included in a Romanian dictionary. This is one example of change occurring independently of any linguistic regulation; in many other cases (France being a notable example), change happens despite academies' wishes.
Consider, too, Romani. It is a quintessentially vernacular language with no government or central regulatory authority to impose a standard on its speakers, and it displays significant diversity. Its dialects are quite different from each other in both vocabulary and grammar, and each dialect has incorporated words from the particular languages it has come into contact with.
An 18th century visitor to Romania said Romanian is an Italian dialect
A count in the service of Catherine the Great, von Reimers, passed through Romania, and published a book in 1793 which contained the statement "Italian is a Romanian dialect." Now, this is the speaker's recollection of what the original text says, not a verbatim quote ("I don't have the book with me right now"), and no further context is given, so it is not really possible to judge whether this interpretation of the original text is accurate. While neither the full name of the author nor the title of the book are given, it is likely that the work in question is Heinrich Christoph von Reimers's travelogue Reise der Russisch-Kaiserlichen ausserordentlichen Gesandtschaft an die Othomanische Pforte im Jahr 1793. It does not appear to contain the cited assertion, but in Volume 1 (in which von Reimers visits Wallachia and Moldavia, among other places), there are several passages which mention Italian or Romanian. In one of them, von Reimers compares a Russian dialect to Italian as spoken by a Tuscan:
“”The dialect of the people of this region now started to change, so that, compared to the Moscow Russian dialect, it sounded the way Roman Italian would sound in the mouth of a Tuscan.
In another, he notes some similarities between Romanian and Italian, and provides a list of words to illustrate this:
“”The Moldavian language, which is derived from and a corrupt dialect of Wallachian, has many words that are similar to Italian. Here is a list of some words that I collected during my travels:
Elsewhere, von Reimers compares the difference between Romanian and Italian to that between Russian and Bulgarian:
“”I met an old Bulgarian during an evening walk in the village. He greeted me warmly, and, since Bulgarian is very close to Russian, I struck up a conversation with him. He answered me in Bulgarian, and we understood each other quite well. While my knowledge of Italian helped me in Moldavia and Wallachia, here in Bulgaria it was my knowledge of Russian that was of use. I therefore spoke with the common man of the province, and found out quite a lot of interesting news from him.
It is possible that the assertion that Italian is a dialect of Romanian is simply a misremembered version of one or more of these quotes. But even if none of these passages have anything to do with the claim, and von Reimers does say somewhere that "Italian is a Romanian dialect", this is a rather poor argument.
For one thing, just because something is written in an old book does not make it true. The 17th and 18th-century Italian Cardinal Mezzofanti, a renowned polyglot, possessed a library with many books for learning languages. A bibliography of his library was published in 1851, but its grouping of languages leaves something to be desired. Maltese (which, as mentioned earlier, is a Semitic language) is listed as an "Italian dialect"; Japanese is a subgroup of Chinese; Breton (a Celtic language) is listed as a "French dialect"; the various Celtic languages of the British Isles are listed under "English" and are classified as "dialects of England"; and finally, Romanian (called "Slavo-Wallachian") is listed as a Slavic language. It would be absurd to cite this book as proof of anything.
Going into any bookstore or library, one can find many contemporary books that are full of (or at least contain) nonsense. For example, one language-learning textbook contains the statement that English is descended from Sanskrit. Now, where could the author have gotten this "fact"? Most likely it is due to misremembering, or reading some misinformation-containing language book or article written by a layman. The statement is extremely brief, unsubstantiated, mentioned only in passing, and completely unrelated to the main point of the book: Namely, learning languages. Yet one could very well imagine a modern or future Indian nationalist citing this inconsequential parenthetical remark to show that civilization started in India!
Furthermore, an isolated statement by some noble who was not even a philologist is by no means evidence. He may simply have noted the similarity between Italian and Romanian and assumed, without actually having any background linguistic knowledge, that Italian was a Romanian dialect. The argument amounts more or less to: "Italian is derived from Romanian because some random tourist said so 200 years ago." This does not a proof make. Travelogues by modern authors often contain false claims, speculations, and half-remembered facts about the local cultures. Why would the situation have been any different hundreds of years ago?
Other languages have many Romanian words
In Old French texts, there are over 1000 clearly Romanian words. There is also a vague statement to the effect that "When I look in dictionaries of various languages, I find hundreds of Romanian words!" This must mean French and all these other languages are derived from Romanian.
This is a very strange argument. By the same logic, one could say that it is Romanian that has Old French words, and that it is Romanian that is descended from Old French! (This inversion actually makes more sense, since Romanian is a modern language and Old French is not.) If it were true, as nationalists so often claim, that linguistic descent can be proven just by listing similar words, then every language would be descended from every other language; since every language contains countless thousands of words, it is inevitable that, in a comparison of two or more languages, some will be similar or identical. It is nonsensical to compare an ancient language and a modern one and then claim that the former is descended from the latter. A person can't be descended from somebody younger than him! It also makes no sense to compare two languages spoken at the same moment in time and claim that one is descended from the other. Rather, if they are indeed genetically related, it would be more accurate to say that they share a common ancestor. Not to mention that similarities between languages are not necessarily due to genetic relationships. If two coetaneous languages have clear lexical and/or grammatical similarities, this could be due to any of four possibilities: the two sharing a common ancestor; borrowing taking place, either between the two or from some other language(s), or both; there being simply coincidental resemblances; or some combination of the previous three.
The words Deutsch/Dutch are derived from the word Dacian
The Romanian word for Dacians, daci (pronounced /dat͡ʃʲ/), is similar to the Germanic words Deutsch, Dutch, and others. This supposedly indicates that the two words have in fact the same etymology: namely, that Deutsch is derived from Dacian, and that therefore the Germanic peoples call themselves "Dacians".
Before diving into why this is wrong, let us examine some cases of superficially similar, yet unquestionably unrelated, words.
Consider the English word much, and the Spanish word mucho. They both mean more or less the same thing and are pronounced very similarly. Might they not have the same origin? Well, to answer this question, we need to go back in time to the previous stages of English and Spanish. The Old Spanish word was indeed spelled the same as it is now, mucho, and appears in this form in the Old Spanish epic poem Cantar de Mio Cid, as in the line non puedo traer el aver ca mucho es pesado. However, the original Old English forms of the word much, namely myċel and micel, were in fact quite different from today's word. In Old English texts, we find phrases such as "And þā wæs mycel ȳst windes geworden" ("And there arose a great storm of wind", Mark 4:37) and "micel morgen-swēg" ("loud moan in the morn", Beowulf, line 129). Not only that, we also have transitional forms in Middle English. Hence Chaucer's Canterbury Tales contains lines like "To lifte him up, and muchel care and wo," and "So muche hath yit thy whirling up and doun". The word has several cognates in other Germanic languages, including (but not limited to) the Old Norse mikill and Gothic mikils. On the basis of such cognates, the original Proto-Germanic word has been reconstructed as *mekilaz.
So though the modern words "much" and "mucho" are very similar, if we look at the histories of these words, we find that in the past there was a greater difference between the two and that they independently evolved in such a way as to coincidentally come to resemble each other. It is because of such flukes of linguistic change that it is important to compare the oldest known forms of words, and not the ones that appear in modern languages. The futility of attempting to derive etymologies without taking linguistic evolution into account is illustrated by the following humorous dialogue:
“”A dialog between a Real Scientist (RS) and Mini-Fomenko (MF) in the style of Erasmus of Rotterdam:
RS: The Japanese for "woman" is "onna".
Two tendencies in the above exchange can be noted.
First, a jumbling together of concepts from vastly different time periods. Instead of comparing Old Japanese to contemporary languages, Mini-Fomenko is comparing it to Modern English, a language spoken over a millennium later. The Old English ancestor of the word woman, however, is wifman, a compound of wif (woman) and man (person).
Second, a tendency to regard newly learned knowledge or data as being necessarily derived from that with which one is already familiar. He never stops to consider that it might be the other way around (i.e., Russian being derived from Japanese), or that the similarities might be just coincidences. This is a typical characteristic of nationalist pseudoscience: similarities are always said to be because of "your nation being descended from mine," never vice versa. One could reverse such claims and say, for example, that it is daci that is derived from Deutsch, and that therefore the Dacians were Germans. Jovan I. Deretić claims, among other things, that many peoples (including Romanians) are actually Serbs; a Protochronist's reaction to this might be, "What do you mean, Romanians are Serbs?! You're the ones who are supposed to be descended from us! Quit being so nationalistic!"[note 10]
Let's take another example. A Bulgarian nationalist might concoct some theory about the Romans in fact being Bulgarians that goes something like this. In Latin, there was often a confusion between the letters b and v, owing to their being pronounced the same. The Romans often misspelled words by writing b instead of v and vice-versa. In the 5th century, one grammarian had "to give rules about when to write v and when b." Now, in Latin, the word "vulgar" meant "popular", as in "relating to the people". Now, where could this word come from? Well, clearly, it must come from Bulgar, because the Roman people was Bulgarian. Indeed, in Spanish, the words vulgar and búlgaro are both pronounced with an initial /b/.[note 11] Clearly, this all demonstrates that vulgar (i.e., Bulgar) Latin was in fact Bulgarian! So not only are the Indians Bulgarians, as mentioned earlier, but so are the Romans and Romance peoples! Right?
For one thing, although these typos involving b and v did indeed exist, they only occur from the 1st century onwards. Before that, the two letters were never mixed up and represented distinct phonemes, as is supported by the testimonies of the Roman grammarians, who describe "b" and "v" as representing different sounds. The Ancient Greeks, when transliterating Roman words and names, wrote β for b and ου for v, which also supports this theory. Furthermore, the reference to Spanish is not particularly relevant, since we know that in Latin v and b were, unlike in Spanish, pronounced differently. Just because the Spanish word begins with /b/ does not mean that it is the original pronunciation. As mentioned above, one must look at the oldest extant forms of languages.
Now, let's get back to the comparison of Deutsch/Dutch and daci and examine their history. In Ancient Greek, all words related to the Dacians were spelled with κ, pronounced /k/. Hence we have Δακίᾱ ("Dacia") and Δάκης ("Dacian"), among others. In Latin, the words dacia and daci were also pronounced with a hard /k/ sound. How do we know this? There are various sources of evidence indicating that c had only one pronunciation. In the texts of the Roman grammarians, we find very in-depth and thorough explanations regarding Latin pronunciation, including descriptions of letters with multiple possible pronunciations, but nowhere in these detailed sources do we find any indication that c was pronounced differently before i or e or that it had more than one pronunciation. (From the explanations of Latin pronunciation, we learn, just to give a few examples, that the words tu and vos were pronounced with the lips protruding in the direction of the person one is speaking to; that there were long and short vowels, and that the two types were pronounced differently (so that the Latin long e is not only longer, but also pronounced differently, than the Latin short e); and that there were two types of l's, a "thin" (hence non-velarized) l, [l], and a "fat" (hence velarized) l, [ɫ].) Indeed, not only that, but when speaking of the letters c, k, and q, they often noted that the existence of two of the three letters was superfluous, which indicates that they all had the same pronunciation. The Roman rhetorician Quintillian, while discussing the superfluity of having both the letters c and k in the Latin alphabet, specifically stated that c had only one pronunciation before all vowels. In transliterations between Latin and Ancient Greek, the Latin c is regularly transcribed as κ (and vice-versa), even before i or e. Hence in Ancient Greek, Cicero is spelled Κικέρων and censor is κηνσορ, and the Romans transliterated κιθάρα as cithara and Κύθηρα as Cythera, among many other examples. In addition, Latin inscriptions sometimes contain misspelled words which contain k instead of c before the letters e and i, which indicates that the writers had trouble knowing whether to write ci/ki or ce/ke because of the pairs having the same pronunciation.[note 12] (The /k/ pronunciation has survived in some forms of Romance, so it cannot be argued that it is non-existent in modern Romance languages. For instance, the Latin word centum (hundred) resulted in the Logudorese Sardinian kentu.)
In short, all the evidence points to c having the pronunciation /k/ — and not /tʃ/ — in Latin.
So where does this leave us? On the one hand, we have the words Δακίᾱ, Dacia, and derivatives, used by the Dacians' contemporaries and both pronounced with a [k] sound. On the other, we have the Old High German word duit-isc, from which Deutsch and Dutch are derived. Hence, when we compare the oldest forms of the words – /dakia/ or /daki/ and duit-isc – we find that the difference is much greater than that between the modern-day daci and "Dutch". The similarity between the modern words Deutsch/Dutch and the Romanian daci is therefore demonstrably a fluke of language change.
Now, it would be nonsensical to look at the Romanian pronunciation, given that thousands of years separate modern Romanian from the Dacians, and that we know the pronunciations used by the Dacians' contemporaries — namely, the Romans and Greeks. But even if we assume, as Protochronists claim, that Romanian has remained unchanged for thousands of years, and that the Romanian daci is the original word, we find that there is a significant difference between duit-isc and daci, so the comparison still fails.
It must also be noted that nationalists in many other countries follow essentially the same reasoning, except instead of citing ethnonyms that sound similar to daci, they point to ones that resemble the name of their own ethnic group (or an ancient ethnic group that they claim is its ancestor). Among such derivations are "Sarmatian" (or Sarbatian) as being from "Serbian" and etrusci (Etruscans) as being from "et-ruski".[note 13] The mere fact that such similarities are touted by nationalists in many different countries in support of completely contradictory theories indicates that maybe this methodology is not all that reliable.
The Romance languages are not descended from Latin
Protochronists, in their zealous attempts to show that many modern languages are derived from Romanian, will often cite works by some authors or linguists who argue that the Romance languages are not descended from Latin. One argument is that many languages changed relatively little over the course of the centuries. For instance, modern Spanish and Catalan are essentially the same as Old Spanish and Old Catalan, and the American varieties of Spanish and English continue to be very similar to their European counterparts. Yet how is it that Latin lost all its cases and invented articles where none existed before, and that there are no transitional forms between Latin and the Romance languages? German, for instance, did not lose its cases, so why would the Romance languages?
However, there are documented examples of languages changing, often significantly and fundamentally.
One (perhaps not so drastic) example is Old French. Old French did indeed have a case system (albeit a very reduced one), consisting of subject and oblique cases. In the course of the evolution of Old French into Middle French, the distinction between cases was lost "towards the end of the 13th century". So here we do have an example of a transitional form from Latin to Romance.
In addition, there are several examples in the Germanic languages of loss of cases (German notwithstanding). The gradual disappearance of cases in English is well documented. Old English had three genders, four cases, and dual personal pronouns. In Early Middle English, the distinction between genders was only "partially kept up", and the personal pronouns lost two of their cases, as well as their dual forms. In later forms of Middle English, the nouns "lost nearly all traces of grammatical gender", as well as the rest of the cases, which now occurred only rarely. Among the North Germanic languages, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian (though not Icelandic), have all lost the case inflections of Old Norse, and spoken Faroese has almost completely done away with the Old Norse genitive case. In addition, Danish has only two genders, compared to the three of Old Norse.
Another example would be Bulgarian. Modern Bulgarian is unusual among the Slavic languages in that, unlike all other Slavic languages, it has definite articles, no infinitive, and lacks cases. However, this was not true of Old Bulgarian, a much more typical Slavic language, with 7 cases, an infinitive, and no articles. In Middle Bulgarian, we see these features eroding, with "a general confusion of letters, inflexions, forms", the loss of the dual number, and the development of the definite article. Finally, the cases and infinitive became absent in modern Bulgarian. So here we have, in the Slavic languages, almost an exact parallel to the transformation of Latin to Romance, exhibiting both a shedding of cases and the development of articles.
As can be seen, the drastic evolution of Latin has numerous parallels in other language families, and is not at all unique.
Not to mention that one can find linguists to support all sorts of (often contradictory) non-mainstream theories. According to one Spanish linguist, for instance, Basque is the world's oldest language, and the one from which Latin, Ancient Greek, and the Romance languages are descended — an unconventional theory, also promoted by a linguist, which nevertheless directly contradicts Protochronism. There are also many other languages which are claimed to be "the original" one. These theories can't all be right. The mere fact that a theory is supported by an actual expert does not necessarily mean it is true.
Another argument, advanced by the engineer Yves Cortez in his book Le français ne vient pas du latin (French is not descended from Latin), is based on a lexical, rather than grammatical, comparison. According to Cortez, there are many Latin words that do not exist in Romance languages, and this must mean that the latter are not descended from Latin, but from some form of Proto-Romance (which, according to Cortez, is "Old Italian", and not Romanian).
Now, different languages have different vocabularies, which, of course, will never overlap completely. It is the nature of language change for words to become less often used (and sometimes disappear altogether), to undergo semantic shifts, and sometimes to even be created (neologisms). In English, many Germanic words from Old English have survived, but are used more rarely and/or have a different meaning, with the original sense being taken over by a Latin or French borrowing. For instance, the Old English and Middle English for very was sore, but nowadays very (of French origin) is the primary word, and the adverb sore, though it still exists, is now much less frequent. Similarly, the Old English dēor, meaning animal, became deor, der, dor in Middle English (with the senses "animal; deer") and finally the modern English deer. So though English has inherited the word deer from Old English (as shown by these intermediate forms), it has a different meaning, and the original sense is now represented by the loanword animal. In Old English, the word horse could be represented by either hros or merah. Horse is the descendant of the former, yet the fact that mearh no longer exists (though its feminine form, mere, evolved into the modern mare) does not mean English is not descended from Old English.
But getting back to Latin, some of the words claimed by Cortez to indicate the non-Latin origin of the Romance languages are as follows: foedus (treaty; cf. tratado, tratato); bellum (war; cf. război, guerre); cladus (cf. dezastru, desastro); pugna (fight; cf. lotta, luptă, lutte); cras (tomorrow; cf. demain, domani); saxum (stone); and litus (beach). Since the Romance languages use other words to indicate these concepts, this must mean they are not derived from Latin. (It might also be relevant to note that, according to Cortez, French is derived from "Old Italian", not Romanian.)
But let us examine these more closely. Foedus became the French words fédéral and (via its derivative foederatio) fédération. Tratado and similar words are derived from the Latin tractare. Pugna is derived from pugnus (fist), which resulted in the Romance words pumn, poing, and pugno. In addition, the words lutte, lotta and luptă are all derived from the Latin lucta (fight). (A similar phonetic shift of ct to pt, tt or t can be found in the change of Latin coctus (cooked) to cotta in Italian, copt in Romanian, and cuit in French; compare also the words otto, opt and huit, from Latin octo.) Cras exists in Portuguese (as an archaic term) and Sardinian, and demain and domani come from the Latin de mane or de e mane, which are attested in Martial and the Vulgate. Saxum became the Italian sasso and the Portuguese seixo. (Compare the phonetic changes in the Italian frassino and Portuguese freixo, from the Latin fraxinus.) Litus resulted, via its derived form litoralis, in the Spanish litoral, Italian littorale, and French littoral. Bellum has survived in the words rebelle, ribelde and others, from the verb rebellare (to rebel, revolt), which is derived from re- and bellare (to wage war, from bellum).
Hence many of the words alleged to be exclusive to Latin do exist in Romance, either as a word or a morpheme, and many of the alleged "non-Latin" Romance words actually are derived from Latin. As for the ones that have not survived in Romance, it is to be expected that some words would disappear over the centuries.
Ironically, one could use this exact same reasoning to argue against the Protochronist claim that the Romance languages developed from Romanian. For example, there are no Romance languages besides Romanian that contain the words inimă (heart; cf. cuore, cœur, corazón, coração), dar (but; cf. ma, mas, mais), nădejde (hope; cf. speranza, esperanza, espérance), or război (war; cf. guerre, guerra) — so how could they possibly be descended from Romanian?!?!?! Indeed, one could also argue this way against any language developing from any other language, since over the course of history, words are lost as a matter of course.
Another source Protochronists love to cite as "proof" that Romanian is not descended from Latin is the book No venimos del latín (We don't come from Latin), which argues that Latin has no living descendants. Unfortunately for Protochronists, this work, which makes use of many of the same flawed arguments as that of Cortez, has been debunked.
Romanian is the richest European language
Romanian is a very rich language. And not only is it rich, it's the richest! Look at all these words and expressions that have no direct equivalent in English or other languages! Yes, sir, Romanian is such a wonderful language.
The speaker has previously claimed that rural Romanian has remained unchanged for thousands of years, that it is the simplest language, and that the illiterate speakers of the "primordial language" (Romanian) would have had trouble remembering long words (which implies that rural Romanian does not have them.) It seems rather strange to say that Romanian has these qualities and is simultaneously "the richest language."
Moreover, all languages have words and phrases that have no literal equivalent in others. This is not unique to Romanian.
In any case, it is unclear what this claim has to do with the show's agenda of showing that Romania is the cradle of civilization and that Romanians are the Aryan master race.
Romanian dictionaries contain erroneous etymologies
One article criticizes Romanian dictionaries for containing completely false etymologies. But do they really? Let's see.
The author claims that many Romanian words are erroneously listed in Romanian dictionaries as being of Hungarian origin:
“”This significant error (which is not limited to Hungarian) is due to Alex[andru] Cihac (1825 – 1887), ignorant as far as linguistics is concerned, who, without any underlying method, looked up words in dictionaries of the languages spoken around Romania and, when he found a word similar to a Romanian one, without taking into account difference of meaning or structure, and only on the basis of similarity, declared that the Romanian word was derived from the language in question. In short, Cihac's "method" was as follows: the word is also in Hungarian, therefore it is from Hungarian; it is also in Bulgarian, therefore from Bulgarian, etc, making the origins of thousands of purely Romanian words foreign.
Whether or not Cihac did base his etymologies merely on superficial similarities or not, it is interesting that the author here has exactly described Protochronists' methodology. All similarities with other languages or cultures, they declare, must be because they are derived from Romanian, and not vice-versa — an attitude which is nowhere more evident than in this article.
It contains a list comparing 10 words in Romanian with their translations in Ancient and Modern Greek, and also showing the "official" etymology given in a Romanian dictionary (annoyingly, the Greek words are not given in the original orthography, but rather in some kind of strange idiosyncratic transliteration, which makes verification more difficult). According to the author, this demonstrates that:
“”There are 10 close similarities between Ancient Greek and Romanian, while there are only two between Ancient and Modern Greek. Even though the analyzed sample is not large enough to justify drawing any absolute conclusions, it offers the beginnings of research that might lead to such conclusions.
There are a number of problems with this. For one thing, one could even more easily compile a list composed entirely of words that are shared between Ancient and Modern Greek and non-existent in Romanian. For another, in the given examples there are 3 similarities between Ancient and Modern Greek, not 2. In addition, many of the words cited are in fact also part of Modern Greek. "PonoV" (that is, πονος), which is presented in the list as existing only in Ancient Greek, is also present in Modern Greek. "Agridion" (ἀγρίδιον; little field, garden) is a diminutive of "agros" (αγρός), which does exist in Modern Greek. One of the words is "kaukh", defined as "a vessel for drinking". It is unclear what the original Greek spelling is supposed to be, but searching καυκε, καυκι, or καυκη in dictionaries of Ancient Greek yields no results. "Ostrakon" (ὄστρακον), which is presented as meaning "bowl" but can also mean "shell", is present in Modern Greek in the form "ostrako" (όστρακο), which means "shell". One of the Romanian words in the list is pizdă (cunt), which is claimed to be equivalent to the Ancient Greek "pistiV", translated in the article as "guarantee". The problem with the derivation of this word as being from Ancient Greek is that pizda exists in many (perhaps all) Slavic languages with exactly the same meaning as in Romanian, whereas the semantic similarity between "guarantee" and "cunt" is nonexistent. (Indeed, the similarities in meaning between several of the Romanian words and the alleged Ancient Greek equivalents are quite tenuous.) So, upon further examination, we find that, of the given Ancient Greek words, at least 6 exist in Modern Greek, and 9 have some resemblance to Romanian words. A far cry from the original 2 and 10 claimed.
Furthermore, one could just as easily cherry-pick words to "suggest" or "offer the beginnings of research into" the idea that any other language is "closer" to Ancient Greek than Modern Greek is, or indeed to "cast doubt" on the affiliation of any two languages. Following this methodology, one could "suggest" that, for example, English is "closer" to Latin than Spanish is. Consider the words mayor/alcalde, village/aldea, and store/almacén. The first member of each pair is an English word derived from Latin, and the second is the Arabic-derived equivalent in Spanish. Yet this does not mean English is more Latin than Spanish is or that Spanish is descended from Arabic!
One could create lists of phonetically and semantically similar words for any languages. All languages have at least tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of words, and this means that if you compare any two languages, many words will be similar just by chance. One could compile word lists to "prove" a relationship between any two languages, even ones that have no relation to each other whatsoever. This also applies to individual words. Consider the word and. There are countless thousands of languages in the world, and consequently thousands of ways of expressing the concept "and". Of these many pronunciations, it is inevitable that some or even many will be coincidentally similar or identical to "and". It would be entirely possible for someone attempting to show that all languages are derived from English to compile a list of many such similar pronunciations. But this list would merely contain many similar words from various languages; it would certainly not prove that they all have the same origin, and much less that English, as opposed to any of the other languages, is the words' original source. Such attempts to "demonstrate" the higher value of one's language are not exclusive to Romanian; they are found all around the world. Bulgarian-Hindi, Sanskrit-Croatian, and Hungarian-Hebrew comparisons are just some of the many, many, many attempts of some to prove the superiority of their ethnic group and language. Genetic relationships between languages are demonstrated not by merely listing similar words (otherwise, every language would be derived from every other language), but by showing the existence of regular sound changes by means of the comparative method.[note 14]
Other comments regarding this list are:
“”If Romanian is older than French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. – which is true – and these are much older in Europe than the Slavic languages, Modern Greek, Bulgarian,[note 15] Hungarian, etc., how could a Romanian word that can be found in Latin, Hellenic, or the so-called Romance languages, be derived from Hungarian, Bulgarian, the Slavic languages, or even Modern Greek? Modern Greek is a late language, with few Hellenic words. In any case, the number of identical elements or similarities in the vernacular language is greater between Romanian and Ancient Greek than between Modern Greek and Ancient Greek.
As far as the words in the list above, how is it possible for the word ponos, which is identical in both form and meaning in Romanian and Ancient Greek, and unknown in Modern Greek, to have come from Slavic (?), as the Bucharest Institute of Linguistics claims?
It is possible to say that languages, or stages of languages, spoken at different points in time are earlier or later (or, if one prefers, "older" or "younger"). For instance, Old Norse is earlier than Swedish, and later than Latin. Old English is earlier than Modern English, and later than Gothic. But one cannot possibly say that two languages spoken at the same moment in time have different ages. It quite simply makes no sense. One cannot say that any modern language is "younger" than Romanian; Modern Greek is just as "old" as Romanian. Hence the claim that Romanian cannot borrow words from other languages because they are all "newer" than it is senseless – a fact which is demonstrated by the recent influx of borrowings from English.
There are also problems with the statement about the word ponos (which, in Romanian, means "insult" and "accusation", among other things). For one thing, πονος, contrary to the article's claim, does indeed exist in Modern Greek. For another, the logic is puzzling: if Ancient Greek had a word pronounced ponos, why would this in any way preclude the possibility of Romanian borrowing a similar word from Slavic? The author seems to think that if Ancient Greek had a given word, then all similarly pronounced words in later languages must also be derived from it — a strange and untenable position, given the nature of language change.
The question mark in parentheses after the word "Slavic" [slavă] indicates the author's bafflement at the apparent reference to a supposedly existing generic "Slavic language". Indeed, a few paragraphs later, he asks, "Which Slavic language?" and lists various living Slavic languages in which the word either does not exist or has a radically different meaning than in Romanian (for instance, he notes that it exists in Russian, "but means diarrhea!") This is probably because of unfamiliarity with Slavic linguistics. When a dictionary derives a word as being from "Slavic", it means what are in English called Church Slavonic and Old Church Slavonic. Just as these two languages can be called either "Slavic" or "Slavonic" in English, so too in Romanian they can be called alternately slavă or slavonă. Indeed, in one Old Church Slavonic dictionary, we find the word "поносъ", meaning "defamation" (as in Romanian). In another, we find the verb ponositi, defined as "upbraid".
“”Baros, which appears with the same meaning in Romanian and Ancient Greek, but not Modern Greek – where we find an echivalent varos, varea, varia(?) – is said by the Dex [a Romanian dictionary] to derive from the Gypsy baros. Were there Gypsies in Europe when Ancient Greek was still spoken? History has not discovered any yet[.]
Furthermore, the Gypsy language does not have this word. How can a person give what they do not have?
A simple look-up in a Greek dictionary would suffice to show that the word βαρος means "weight, heaviness" in both Ancient and Modern Greek. Furthermore, just because several languages have words pronounced baros does not automatically mean they have the same origin (since words change over time, they can coincidentally come to resemble each other), so the fact that the Roma did not exist in Europe 2000 years ago is irrelevant. And while the Romani word baros given by the DEX indeed does not seem to appear in Romani dictionaries, dictionaries such as the DER (Romanian Etymological Dictionary) and others derive it from the Romani baro (large, big; mighty, powerful; chief, general) and bares (very, greatly), which do.
Next we are given a list of words whose Ancient Greek pronunciations are more similar to Romanian than to Modern Greek: baros (cf. Romanian baros, Modern Greek varos), barbaros (cf. Romanian barbar, Modern Greek varvaros), biblioteke (cf. Romanian bibliotecă, Modern Greek vivlioteke), and bolborizo (cf. Romanian bolborosi, Modern Greek vorvorizo).
“”How could the identical pronunciations in Ancient Greek and Romanian be explained, if these languages were not related and coetaneous?
The reasoning of this sentence is unclear, but seems to be as follows. If Romanian is an ancient language, then it must be more similar to ancient languages than to modern ones. Since these Romanian words are more similar to the forms in ancient languages, this must indicate that Romanian is an ancient language, and not a modern (or, to use his terminology, "late") one. While it may be true that Romanian is more similar to Ancient Greek as far as these four words are concerned, gramatically and lexically more generally, this is not the case. Hittite and Sanskrit have 8 cases, Old Church Slavonic and Old Persian have 7, Latin has 6, Ancient and Modern Greek have 4, while Romanian has only 2 (or 3, if you count the vocative). Romanian also has multiple grammatical features which it shares with other modern languages in the Balkan Sprachbund, but not with ancient languages. This includes a postfixed definite article, a feature existing in Albanian and Modern (but not Old) Bulgarian. In both Ancient and Modern Greek, on the other hand, the definite article is a separate word occurring before the noun. Another is the replacement of the infinitive by the subjunctive in many cases, a feature shared with Modern (but not Ancient) Greek, and Modern Bulgarian (which has no infinitive at all).
In addition, the cited words also begin with /b/ in other languages, such as English and French, among others. The word "barbarian" is also pronounced with an initial /b/ in Turkish, Hebrew, and Hungarian, for instance, none of which are Indo-European languages. One could just as well say that this shows that all these languages were spoken at the same time as Ancient Greek. Besides which, the reason Greek-derived words like "barbarian" in various non-Greek languages (such as French, English, and Romanian) have the consonant /b/ as opposed to the Modern Greek /v/ is that they were borrowed from Ancient Greek (or in some cases from Latin, which in turn borrowed them from Ancient Greek); consequently, the words in these languages preserve the original archaic pronunciation of the consonant β, and do not reflect the subsequent changes in pronunciation found in later stages of Greek. As for the word bolborosi, it is said to be of onomatopoeic origin.
“”If baros really derived from the Gypsy language, as the Dex, without any justification, claims, the Western languages would have to consider the word baron (very frequent in French, English, etc.,) to be of Gypsy origin ...
Well, no, they would not. Baron and baros are two different words. The fact that they are superficially similar does not imply that they have the same origin. The English word baron was borrowed from French around 1200, when, as the author has noted, the Romani had not yet migrated to Europe; its ultimate origin is unknown, but is considered to probably be from the Late Latin baro.
“”... which would confirm R. L. Turner's A comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages, Oxford, 1962, in which English, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, etc., etc., are considered "subdialect of European Gypsy", a theory we cannot subscribe to.
Oh, so for all the Indo-European (i.e., Aryan) languages to be descended from Romanian is not only possible, but natural, but for the Indo-Aryan Romani to be Proto-Indo-European is ludicrous and completely out of the question. Gee, now why could that be...
This passage is also based on a gross misinterpretation of Turner's book. Nowhere does it state that these languages are "subdialects of European Gypsy". Rather, page xviii contains a list of abbreviations which include "eng. English dialect of European Gypsy", "bul. Bulgarian dialect of European Gypsy", "germ. German dialect of European Gypsy", "boh. Bohemian dialect of European Gypsy", "hung. Hungarian dialect of European Gypsy", "it. Italian dialect of European Gypsy", and so on. As can be seen, the abbreviations "eng" and "germ" obviously refer to the Romani dialects spoken in England and Germany, respectively, not to English and German themselves. This convention is not at all unusual in the context of the dictionary, since the book's subject matter concerns only the Indo-Aryan linguistic group (of which the mentioned European languages do not form a part), and Romani is the only Indo-Aryan language spoken in those countries (excluding immigrant languages). Turner is most certainly not stating that the languages of Europe are all dialects of Romani. Even if he were, such a claim would be no more ridiculous than the idea that they are dialects of Romanian.
The DEX's explanation of the origin of the Romanian word grădină (garden) is that it is derived from "bg., sb. gradina." The author objects to the idea that the grădină could possibly come from Bulgar, and goes on for some time about the fact that the Bulgar language has long since been extinct and is almost completely unknown. "How could an unknown language have loaned words to a primordial language [i.e, Romanian] that is at least 5 millennia old?!" Of course, this is a confusion caused by the fact that in Romanian the concepts "Bulgar" and "Bulgarian" are represented by the same word, bulgar. When a dictionary says grădină derives from bg, it is referring to the modern Slavic language (which, in case you were wondering, does indeed have the word градина), not the extinct and said to be Turkic language of the Bulgars. Even if we assume that Bulgarian and Bulgaria were wiped off the face of the earth 1000 years ago, that still leaves Serbian. Also, a language cannot be X years old; such an idea makes no sense.
The author assumes that the Ancient Greek word ἀγρίδιον is related to grădină, and sets up a straw man that Romanian dictionaries claim that ἀγρίδιον is a borrowing of the Bulgar word gradina:
“”The matter becomes even stranger when it is discovered that Bulgar loaned words to the lexicon of Hellenic, which disappeared before Bulgar even existed.
Of course, Romanian dictionaries make no such claim. They merely state the that Romanian word grădină is derived from the Bulgarian gradina, and say nothing about Bulgar or Ancient Greek. The author's reasoning seems to be as follows. The Ancient Greek word ἀγρίδιον has the same origin as the Romanian grădină; Romanian dictionaries derive grădină as being from Bulgar; therefore, Romanian dictionaries say that the Ancient Greek and Romanian words are derived from Bulgar. This mess of an argument is wrong on several counts. For one thing, it is the author's opinion that ἀγρίδιον is related to the Romanian word, not the dictionaries'. When a dictionary lists the Romanian word grădină as being from a certain language, it is not saying that the Ancient Greek word ἀγρίδιον is also from that same language. In fact, it is not making any claims regarding ἀγρίδιον at all. The author's assumption (here as elsewhere in the article) seems to be that the etymologies found in Romanian dictionaries list the ultimate origin of words, which is not the case. They generally list only the particular language from which the Romanian word is derived. For instance, one dictionary derives the Romanian word kabuki as being from "engl., fr. kabuki", but obviously it is not saying that Japanese somehow borrowed kabuki from French. The word ἀγρίδιον is also not related to grădină; it is, as mentioned previously, a diminutive of αγρός, which does not resemble the Romanian word at all. In other words, the author's derivation is based on superficial similarity, and does not take into account the actual base form of the word. Finally, the dictionary's etymology refers to Bulgarian, not Bulgar.
“”In fact, Bulgar, if it existed, disappeared in 1048 – 1018 when Basil II the Bulgar Slayer (976 – 1025) liquidated the Bulgars (who were mongoloids and easy to spot). A language does not disappear except through the disappearance of those that speak it.
Even if it has been called "Bulgarian", the population of the South of the Danube never changed its composition, or character, as their appearance shows. The Bulgar mongoloid type does not exist in Bulgaria any more. This is probably the explanation for the reality that the Bulgarian lexicon is 38% Romanian. The academician Vladimir Georgiev says: "Many of the identical lexical elements are for the most part Greek or Turkish borrowings. There are many linguistic calques. Thus Bulgarian and Romanian are not directly related as far as their origin is concerned, but 38% of their lexicons consist of identical or similar words."
The author seems determined not to let this "Bulgar" thing die. No one (besides the Bulgarian equivalent of Protochronists) is saying that grădină is a Bulgar word or that Bulgar still exists. This is a straw man based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what dictionary etymologies represent.
In addition, the author appears to believe that the only way Bulgar could have gone extinct is if its speakers had been exterminated. Which is simply not true. Language death is more often due to pressures on a community to adopt a more widely spoken language than due to complete extermination. This is the case with many Native American tribes that are completely monolingual in English or other European languages not because they were completely wiped out (otherwise they would, obviously, not exist), but because the last speakers of those languages did not pass them on to the next generations. This can also been seen in the case of immigrants. After a generation or two of descendants, the original language spoken by the immigrant(s) will be replaced entirely by the language of the host culture.
This is also why the author's association of language with genetics is highly dubious ("Bulgar mongoloid type"? Seriously?) In fact, not only is it a dubious statement, but it contradicts other assertions he has made. When claiming that Romani is descended from Romanian, the fact that the Roma do not look like Romanians did not bother him in the least, but now all of a sudden he asserts that linguistic descent must also match racial appearance. A statement which can be refuted by noting the many monolingual Spanish-speaking Latin Americans who have very much Amerindian appearances, or the fact that Hungarians are white despite speaking a language of Asian origin. Imagine saying that a given Latin American doesn't actually speak Spanish, or that an African American doesn't speak English, because they "don't look European"!
Note also the fact that the Georgiev quote clearly states that the shared elements of Romanian and Bulgarian are mainly borrowings from other languages. Despite this, the author simply assumes that these similarities are all in fact of Romanian origin — the very same approach he criticized at the beginning of the article.
“”Dușman [enemy] cannot derive from Turkish, because it is a Persian word, not Turkish, and exists also in Hellenic. How could the Turks – the first certain historical mentions of this nation's ancestors in Central Asia (the Altai Mountains) dating from the sixth century A.D [...] – have loaned words to the lexicon of Classical Hellenic, which had disappeared long before the first mention of the Turks?
Again, all it takes is a look in a dictionary to see that düşman is the Turkish word for "enemy". (Starting to see a pattern here?) Turkish did borrow the word from Persian, but so what? This does not mean that other languages cannot, in their turn, borrow it from Turkish. Furthermore, Romanian dictionaries say only that duşman is a loanword from Turkish; this does not imply that Turkish could not have borrowed it from somewhere else or that the Greek word is also derived from Turkish. According to An Etymological Dictionary of Persian, English and other Indo-European Languages, page 113, the Persian word došman derives from the Avestan word duš, duž (bad), which is from the Indo-European *dus (bad, evil). The Indo-European root also became the very productive Greek prefix δυσ (dus; bad); this prefix is a component of the Ancient (and Modern) Greek word δυσμενής (dusmenes; enemy), which is a compound of δυσ- and μένος (which means, among other things, intent or purpose). In Romanian, by contrast, the components duș and man mean nothing. So yes, the Romanian dușman is related to the Greek word, but in a completely different way than the author claims.
“”The word cioban [shepherd], however, is not Turkish, but Persian; Turkish borrowed it from Persian. But the Persians originated in the Carpathian Basin, so that the word is Carpathian, and by no means Turkic.
When a dictionary says that the Romanian cioban (which is pronounced /t͡ʃo'ban/) is derived from Turkish, it means that it entered Romanian by way of Turkish, not necessarily that Turkish is the ultimate origin of the word. Besides which, the majority view among scholars is that the origin of the Indo-Europeans was (as mentioned later in this article) not in the Carpathian Basin. Even if the Indo-Europeans did originate there, this would not by any stretch of the imagination imply that they spoke Romanian.
The author cites Pliny as mentioning cebanus caseus, a type of cheese, and suggests it could have been "(prepared by shepherds?)" He notes that it was prepared in Liguria, which the Turks never reached. (Incidentally, this phrase is also cited by supporters of the Venetic theory.)
However, the given translation is erroneous, as cebanus does not refer to shepherds. The author seems to be parsing the word as being an adjective ceban-us deriving from a noun ceban supposedly meaning shepherd. However, the word's actual morphological division is ceba-nus; according to one Latin dictionary, cebanus means "from Ceba", a town in Italy whose modern name is Ceva (cf. Romanus, from Roma). According to the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, "In the middle ages [Ceba] was a strong fortress defending the confines of Piedmont towards Liguria" and its "cheese (caseus cebanus) was famous in Roman times". The book A Summary of Geography and History both ancient and modern by Alexander Adam, page 757, states "CEBA, Ceva, a town in Piedmont; whence caseus Cebanus, Plin. 11, 4s. 97."
The author is probably also pronouncing the first word as /t͡ʃebanus/, reflecting Romanian orthography. (This is evidenced by his television appearances, in which he consistently pronounces the Latin ce and ci as /t͡ʃe/ and /t͡ʃi/.) However, as demonstrated earlier in this article, ce in Latin was pronounced /ke/, which reduces the similarity by quite a bit. There is only a very tenuous similarity between /kebanus/ and the Romanian /t͡ʃoban/, and this resemblance disappears almost completely when we ignore the adjectival ending and use the root form ceba: compare /keba/ and /t͡ʃoban/.
There is a list of Hungarian words attested in the 13th and 14th centuries, along with the Romanian word from which they are allegedly derived. Given that the oldest known document in Romanian, Neacșu's letter, was written in 1521, it is quite a stretch to say that these words are derived from a language attested only centuries later. The fact that the Hungarian words are attested earlier suggests (though, of course, does not demonstrate) that the words have been present in Hungarian longer than they have in Romanian.
“”Cârpă [cloth] could not come from Bulgar unless it could be proven that Bulgar had such a word and that it loaned it to Latin, French, English, Walloon, etc. This is not possible, so the etymology given in the Dex is only the result of ignorance or machiavellianism; it is, as I have shown, merely the result of superficially comparing words' pronunciations. Bulgar has the word kappa, but it means crag! See [...] attested in Central Europe many centuries before the ephemeral presence of the Bulgars in Europe. For the presence of cârpă (Lat. carpia) in Western languages, see Littré, 1873, vol. I, p. 568.
Once again, the same error: when a dictionary refers to bg, it means Bulgarian, not Bulgar. Indeed, in one Bulgarian dictionary, lo and behold, we find the word кърпа, defined as "(piece of) cloth". The Romanian Etymological Dictionary derives cârpă from the Slavic krŭpa, "cf. bg. kŭrpŭ, sb. krpa, slov. kerpa." In addition, the dictionary is not stating that Bulgarian is the ultimate origin of the word. It only mentions the particular source from which the Romanian word is derived. In any case, earlier in the article, the author was going on about how the Bulgar language is completely unknown (and perhaps didn't even exist), and now is saying that this language has the word kappa. Why? Who knows.
Another article claims to highlight the "absurdity" of many etymologies found in the DEX, a Romanian dictionary.
“”In the first place, it should be emphasized that, according to the DEX, Romanians were NOT capable of creating words!!! [...] Consequently, they borrowed their entire vocabulary from the Latins, Slavs, Hungarians, Bulgars, and anywhere else, but by no means from the Geto-Dacians! Even the few words that were said to be of Geto-Dacian origin have recently been described as being of "unknown origin"...
All words have to come from somewhere. Occasionally, a word will be coined (a neologism), but in the majority of cases, a given word will be either a borrowing or derived from a previous stage of the language. It is natural for Romanian to have borrowed words from its linguistic neighbors. Why wouldn't it? All languages do so; it is nothing to be ashamed of.
The article is also beating up a strawman (or rather constructing one, since it contains no actual counterarguments). It is not said that Romanian "cannot possibly have Dacian words", but merely that etymologies deriving a given word from Dacian will be speculative and uncertain. It is not really possible to say definitively that any particular word is derived from Dacian, since the Dacian language is almost completely unknown, and there are no Dacian words to compare Romanian ones to.
“”Hence, we discover ideas that are completely ridiculous. Just think that, according to the DEX, a Latin Găina [hen] (a word derived from Latin, according to the DEX), has a Slavic partner, a Cocoș [rooster] (a word derived from Slavic, according to the DEX), with which it produces Latin Pui [chicks], because it's the one with stronger genes. More than that, the genetic mutations are even more prominent in other species of fowls. Hence the Bulgarian Gâsca [goose] and Gânsacul [gander] give birth, on Romanian territory, to Neo-Greek Boboci [ducklings]. [Random bolding in the original.]
Now this is just silly. The etymologies of the words have nothing to do with genetics. All these examples demonstrate is the lovely diversity of Romanian vocabulary. Other languages have similarly varied word pairs. For instance, in English, "mare" and "fowl" are from Old English, while "stallion" and "poultry" are from French. In Hungarian, kakas (rooster) is Slavic, while tyúk (hen) is Turkic; lúd (goose) is Finno-Ugric, while gúnár (gander) is Germanic; kanca (mare) is Slavic, while csődör (stallion) is Turkic.
All this said, there are many words whose ultimate origins are unknown. Dictionaries of a language X may sometimes say that such and such word comes from language Y, while dictionaries of language Y may say it comes from language X. This is true. However, just as some argue "We don't know, therefore aliens," Protochronists say, "We don't know, therefore Dacians." Whenever there is something that is not known, they confidently claim that it must have involved Romanians. This is not a productive approach.
The Goths and Getae were the same people
The Swede Carolus Lundius said that the Goths and Getae were the same people, and believed the Swedes came from Dacia. Being a Swede, he could by no means be biased in favor of Romanian nationalism. (In fact, a statement is made in one episode of The Dacians to the effect that "only foreign sources will be cited, to avoid accusations of nationalist bias.")
Now, just because someone is a foreigner does not necessarily mean they are right. One can find "foreigners" to support all sorts of such theories. The Indian professor supporting Bulgarian nationalist theories was one example. Another would be Leo Wiener, who, in Contributions toward a history of Arabico-Gothic culture, claimed that Germanic mythology is of Arabic origin, and that the vocabulary of the Germanic languages is derived from Latin and Arabic. The Brit Gavin Menzies claims the Chinese discovered America first, and that various Native American peoples are in fact descendants of Chinese settlers and speak Chinese. One Brazilian claims that Jesus never existed, the name being derived from Sanskrit, and the entire story being taken from Indian religion. Two non-Indian anglophones claim that Jesus was an initiate of Indian religion, and that Christianity is of Indian origin. (Some Protochronists similarly derive the word Isus (Jesus) as being from the Romanian Îi Sus (He is on high), and argue that Christianity started in Romania.) One article written by a Brit lists many similarities between Croatian and Sanskrit and concludes the former is descended from the latter. The 19th-century minister John Campbell, in his work The Hittites, claimed that the Hittites (who are to some Turkish nationalists what the Getae are to Protochronists[note 16]) were the "ancestors of the Japanese, Albanians, Basques, Iroquois, Mexicans, and Peruvians." One site contains a list of many quotations by non-Serb authors which supposedly support the idea that the Serbs are the European master race. The Sun Language Theory, according to which all languages are derived from Turkish, was in large part due to the work of the linguist Hermann F. Kvergić. The Frenchman Henri Nicolas Frey wrote books entitled Annamite [Vietnamese], the Mother Tongue: the Common Origin of the Celtic, Semitic, Sudanese and Indochinese Races and The Prehistoric Egyptians Identified with the Annamites on the Evidence of the Hieroglyphic Inscriptions, and also "emphasize[d] the similarity between the name of the city [London] and the two Vietnamese words lœun and dœun which can both mean low, inferior, muddy'". One article cites several non-Lithuanian scholars and historical documents in support of the assertion that the Goths were Lithuanian. In short, you can find foreigners promoting the "primordiality" or superiority of any country or ethnic group whatsoever.
The appeal to Lundius's supposed impartiality implies that Lundius was a supporter of the idea of Romanian supremacy. However, nothing could be further from the truth. While he could not be considered a Romanian nationalist, he was indeed a Swedish nationalist.
Protochronists argue as follows: Romanians and Getae are the same people; the Goths and Getae were the same people; therefore, the territory inhabited by Goths/Getae was in fact inhabited by Romanians.
Lundius' argument was actually quite the opposite. The Swedes and Goths are the same people; the Goths and Getae were the same people; therefore, the territory inhabited by Goths/Getae was in fact inhabited by Swedes. Indeed, in Lundius' work, he states several times that it is Sweden from which the Goths/Getae originated, and from there migrated to other places. In other words, the book itself says the exact opposite of what the Protochronists claim!
But leaving the somewhat irrelevant question of motivation aside, the fact of the matter is that the Gothic language has survived in the form of a quite substantial Bible translation by the Goth Ulfilas. Thanks to this document, it is known without the slightest shadow of a doubt that Gothic is a Germanic language. Compare the following versions of the Lord's Prayer in Romanian, Gothic, various forms of Old High German, and Old English:
|Romanian||Gothic||Old High German (Alemannic)||Old High German (Bavarian)||Old High German (East Franconian)||Old High German (South Rhine Franconian)||Old English|
|Tatăl nostru Care ești în ceruri,
sfințească-se numele Tău,
|Atta unsar þu in himinam,
weihnai namo þein.
|Fater unseer, thu pist in himile,
uuihi namun dinan,
|Fater unsēr, thu in himilom bist,
giuuīhit sī namo thīn.
|Fater unser, thū thār bist in himile,
sī geheilagōt thīn namo,
|Fater unser, du pist in himilum.
Kauuihit si namo din.
|Fæder ūre þū þe eart on heofonum,|
Sī þīn nama ġehālgod.
There are many Germanic cognates in Gothic. Fadar,[note 17] which doesn't appear in this particular passage ("father"; OE. Faedar, OHG. fater); himinan ("heaven"; OE. heofonum. OHG. himmile); airþa ("earth"; OE., eorðan , OHG. erdu, erthu); unsar, ("our"; OE. ūser, ūre, OHG. unser); swa ("so"; OE. swa, OHG. so); hlaif ("bread"; OE. hlaf (which became "loaf" in Modern English)); gif uns himma daga ("give us this day"; compare OE. syle ūs tō dæġ and OHG-B. gib uns hiutu). The list goes on and on. But more importantly, there are a number of sound laws which show Gothic to be related to the other Germanic languages.
The Gothic text is completely different from the Romanian; it is, however, quite clearly similar to the other listed Germanic languages. (Notwithstanding the extraordinarily ignorant assertion of the Romanian Wikipedia's article on Ulfilas that Gothic contains no Germanic words and is a mixture of Latin, Greek, and other languages.) To claim that the Goths and Getae spoke the same tongue automatically disqualifies Romanian as being their language.
The Germanic peoples are descended from the Getae
One Protochronist theory holds that that the Geto-Dacians spoke Romanian, that the Scythians and Geto-Dacians were the same people, that Romanian is Proto-Indo-European, and that Romania is the Proto-Indo-European urheimat. In support of this, a book by Friedrich Wilhelm Bergmann is cited, Les Gétes ou la filiation généalogique des Scythes aux Gètes et des Gètes aux Germains aux Scandinaves (The Getae, or the genealogical affiliation of the Scythians to the Getae and of the Getae to the Germans and Scandinavians), which claims the Germanic peoples are descended from the Getae (and therefore, imply Protochronists, from Romanians). However, the historical vision put forth by Bergmann contradicts that of this particular Protochronist theory in numerous aspects — notably, in that Romanians are completely absent.
According to Bergmann, the historical development of the Indo-European peoples is as follows. At the top is Japhetic (a now obsolete term meaning "Indo-European"), one of whose branches is Scythian. Scythian is in turn subdivided into Getic and Sarmatian, from which the Germanic and Slavic peoples, respectively, are descended. In other words, where Protochronists put the Getae at the top of the hierarchy, Bergmann describes them as just one of the many Indo-European branches and puts them near the bottom. Furthermore, while Bergmann does claims that the Germanic peoples are the Getae's descendants, he lists them as their only descendants. In other words, in his view, the Romance and Slavic peoples are not descended from the Getae. Bergmann describes, too, the Getae and Scythians as being separate (but related) groups, and specifically describes Getic and Scythian as being separate languages.
One glaring statement near the beginning of the book outright contradicts the idea of the Indo-European homeland being in Romania:
“”An irrefutable truth discovered by serious research, unaffected by any religious or dogmatic biases, and which is a consequence of linguistic, ethnological, and archaeological work, as far as they have progressed today, is that Europe, just as it is geographically only an appendage of Asia, is also an appendage as far as the origin of its population is concerned. Everything points to Europe never having had any indigenous peoples — that is to say, peoples born originally on its soil; all its primitive inhabitants, including the ancestors of the Basques, originally descended from peoples that came from the North-West or South-West of Asia. Asia is the birthplace and cradle of all the indigenous peoples of Europe.
Bergmann also makes the following statements:
“”The individual genius of the Scythian race, its distinctive characteristics, its qualities and defects, is in Antiquity more neatly and purely represented in the language, customs, religion, and history of the Saxons, North Germans, and Scandinavians, than in the language, customs, religion, and history of the Franks, Suebi, Alamanni, and South Germans, nations somewhat bastardized by their mixture with Celtic or Slavic peoples.[note 18]
“”The history of the peoples of the Getic branch would thus have come to a complete end with the disappearance of the names of the Getae, Goths, Dacians, and Gepids in South-East Europe, and the Scythian race would have continued only in the Sarmatian branch, had not various tribes of the Getic branch, in the fifth century before our era, gone to Germany and Scandinavia and preserved and continued, in these countries of Central and Northern Europe, the blood, customs, idioms, and traditions of the Scythian race. And, indeed, the tribes that peopled Scandinavia and Germany were chiefly of the Getic, and not Sarmatian, branch.
“”At the time when the Germanic and Scandinavian idioms split from Getic, the Getic language had already developed dialects, Gothic being the most well known. Gothic and Gepidic seem to have preserved, better than Getic and Dacian, the ancient Scythian pronunciation.
Where Protochronists attempt to make it seem as though Les Gétes supports the idea of the Germanic peoples being both descended from and subordinate to the Geto-Romanian master race, if one actually reads the book, it becomes clear that it says something else entirely. If anything, Bergmann seems to be saying that the Getae were practically Germans, just as Protochonists claim the Getae were essentially (or even identical to) Romanians. He argues that, of the contemporarily extent ethnic groups, the Germanic peoples are linguistically, genetically, and culturally the closest to the Getae, as well as their only descendants. (Ironically, the Protochronist claim that the Goths and Getae were the same people would actually support Bergmann's theory, since the Goths did indeed speak a Germanic language.) Bergmann also claims the origin of the Indo-Europeans is Asia, not Romania, and mentions several Scythian words that do not exist in Romanian, such as Pakus (venerable), apia (earth), konus (nice), and daviketas (intelligence). Does any of this sound like a ringing endorsement of Protochronism? Hardly. Indeed, it contradicts it almost completely.
Scythian, it may also be mentioned, was a vague term historically used to refer to many different and unrelated peoples. The equation of the Scythians with the Getae by some authors of antiquity does not necessarily imply they had anything to do with each other. Because of the indiscriminate use of the word Scythian by the ancients, nationalists of many different ethnic groups, such as Serbians and Hungarians, also claim the Scythians as their own.
Finally, it must be said that none of the preceding claims made by Bergmann (or, for that matter, Protochronists) regarding these ancient peoples are accepted by modern scholarship. So little is known about the Scythian and Getic languages that it is not possible to draw definitive conclusions as to their nature or origins.
Romania is part of Gimbutas' Old Europe
Marija Gimbutas is quoted as saying, in response to a question regarding the existence of human archaeological remains from the 5th millennium B.C., that nothing was found in France, Spain, or England, but thousands of statuettes were found in Romania from that time period. (The source of this statement is not given.) Then a map of Gimbutas' Old Europe culture, in which these objects were found, is shown. (Old Europe is a region including not only Romania, but also the Balkans and a significant part of Italy). The implication is that the Aryans originated in Romania.
Second, Gimbutas argued that Old Europe was a pre-Indo-European (hence, non-Aryan) culture which was wiped out by Indo-Europeans invaders migrating from the East and originating at the location of the Yamna culture, which is located in modern-day Ukraine and Russia. (The theory that the Yamna culture represents the origins of the Indo-Europeans is known as the Kurgan hypothesis, and is the majority view regarding IE origins, the minority one being the Anatolian theory, which proposes the Indo-Europeans originated in Anatolia.) The theory actually held by Gimbutas, then, contradicts the idea that PIE originated in Romania.
Third, and more importantly, the fact that Romanian happens to be spoken nowadays in the area designated by Gimbutas as Old Europe in no way means that Romanian was also spoken there 7000 years ago. There are many languages besides Romanian currently spoken in "Old Europe", and one could, by the same logic, argue that Serbian or Albanian is the original Indo-European language. (Indeed, there is at least one Serbian nationalist article that displays a map of Gimbutas' Old Europe to support its arguments regarding the Serbs' alleged antiquity.) To put it another way, the fact that modern-day Turkish happens to be spoken on the former territory of the Hittite Empire does not mean Turkish is Hittite (or even descended from Hittite), and, similarly, Arabic is neither Ancient Egyptian, nor Akkadian, nor Sumerian.
Romania is the Proto-Indo-European homeland
Some Protochronists will cite sources saying that the Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in the Carpathic area, and claim that this must indicate Romanians are the Indo-European master race, and that Romania is the cradle of civilization.
However, the fact of the matter is that the exact location of the PIE homeland is very speculative. There are many different competing hypotheses as to the origin of the Proto-Indo-Europeans (such as the prevailing Kurgan Hypothesis mentioned in the previous section), and it would be trivial for a nationalist to cherry-pick a source supporting any one of these hypotheses in support of the idea that their ethnic group is somehow "primordial."
In addition, geographical proximity to the PIE homeland in no way indicates a particular linguistic or genetic connection. For instance, let's say the Kurgan Hypothesis were true. Could the Ukrainians and Russians now living at the location of the Yamna culture be said to have any special connection to the Proto-Indo-Europeans? Could it be said that Ukranian must be Proto-Indo-European, or that the inhabitants of Ukraine are genetically closer to the Proto-Indo-Europeans? Certainly not. Indeed, Russian and Ukranians surely did not even exist when Proto-Indo-European was spoken. The connection to the people of the Yamna culture would be merely geographical. A Turkish nationalist could also cite various sources supportive of the Anatolian Hypothesis in an attempt to demonstrate their theory of Turkish supremacy. But, naturally, the Turks would have no real relationship with whatever people happened to live there thousands of years ago. Similarly, even if the Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in what is now Romania, to say that they spoke Romanian or had anything to do with modern-day Romanians is laughable. Romania would merely happen to be located on the spot where the Proto-Indo-Europeans once lived. Indeed, the Germans, Hungarians, Slavs, and other ethnic groups of Romania would have just as much to do with the Proto-Indo-Europeans as Romanians: That is, nothing at all.
Above-ground salt exists only in Romania
Salt is essential for the human body; it cannot survive without sodium. Animals will sometimes go hundreds of miles to lick salt. Thousands of years ago, when mobility and transportation were limited, human populations must have centered around a source of salt to be able to survive. And the only region where salt can be found above-ground is Romania. In the neighboring countries, there is no salt. Serbia has no salt whatsoever, it imports Carpathian salt; Bulgaria and Hungary likewise. In fact, "I read somewhere that" the Hungarians conquered the Carpathian Basin in order to gain access to its salt resources. (Also, in response to a question as to whether such salt sources might exist in Asia, "I've looked all over at the Chinese border and found no above-ground salt there either.") There is, indeed, an underground salt mine at Salzburg, but how could someone living during the Neolithic know where to dig? And with what tools? Clearly, Romania is the only place the Indo-Europeans could have originated.
Oh, boy... Where to start?
There are many sites in Europe where above-ground salt can be found, such as the salt mountain in Cardona, Spain, and "the lagoon areas of Morbihan, the highly saline springs from Halle/Salle and Bad Nauheim in Germany, the salt springs and saline lagoons from inner Spain." Provence and Sardinia, among other regions, are also famous for their salt-filled marshes:
“”Exploitation of sea salt, through evaporation by fire in vessels or by the sun in plates, is a very old practice. Sites dating to the Gaulish period have been found that could very well be associated with salt marshes. The Romans very systematically exploited the salt marshes of Languedoc, Provence, and Sardinia. On the Mediterranean coast salt marshes were actively exploited during the Middle Ages and still are today. The salines of Aigues-Mortes, in particular, are mentioned from the 13th century onwards; they were exploited by the monks of Psalmodi and Saint-Gilles, and later by the city of Aigues-Mortes.
Some mines in the Alps are known to have been active since the Neolithic:
“”Salt mining in the Alps began in Neolithic times as proved by numerous archaeological finds in Hallstatt and Hallein (in 1573 and 1616 the bodies of two prehistoric miners were detected, well preserved in the salt) and continues until today.
According to one source:
“”The systematic mining, manufacture, and transportation of salt have their origin in the Neolithic Period. The earliest salt use is argued to have taken place on Lake Yuncheng in the Northern Province of Shanxi, China, by 6000 BC. In Europe the earliest evidence of salt exploitation comes from salt mines at Cardona, Spain, dating to 6200–5600 BP. It is likely that Paleolithic (the old stone age which began 2.6 million years ago and ended 10 000–12 000 y ago) or Holocene (10 000 y ago to the present) hunter-gatherers living in coastal areas may have dipped food in seawater or used dried seawater salt in a manner similar to nearly all Polynesian societies at the time of European contact.
For another thing, salt can be produced by evaporating sea water through a process known as briquetage, which is known to have been practiced in many areas of Europe, not just Romania; the oldest known briquetage dates to the 5th millennium B.C., and was found in Poland. This is not the only way, either. According to the book Forest Farmers and Stockherders: Early Agriculture and Its Consequences in North-Central Europe, other sources of salt include: "the mining of rock salt, the burning of plants with a high salt content and the leaching of salt from their ashes, and evaporation of brine from saline. [...] The best evidence for Neolithic salt production at salines comes from the area around Krakow in southern Poland." According to the same book, those who subsist on a primarily carnivorous diet (i.e., non-agricultural peoples) get all their required sodium from meat and fish and do not need to seek out other sources of salt.
Not to mention that many European countries are significant producers of salt. Serbia and Bulgaria are, contrary to the show's claims, among the top 80 salt producers in the world, with Bulgaria being only slightly behind Romania (it is number 22 on the list, compared to Romania's 19). Among European countries, France, Ukraine, and Belarus produce more salt than Romania does.
In short, the claim that Romania is the only significant source of salt in Europe (or at least, this seems to be the idea) is completely false.
Ancient golden artefacts are found in Romania and no other European country
A Romanian edition of National Geographic is cited, which contains a map of Romania with superimposed golden objects of various sizes and in different locations in Romania. The show claims that these golden artefacts are from 5000 to 6000 years old, and that no other country "has anything like this". Now, as we are told neither the specific issue number in which the map appeared, nor what the article accompanying the map said, we cannot know in what context that map was situated, and since the specific source of the claim is not stated, it cannot be verified. However, we do seem to face a strange implication. In Romania, there are very many ancient golden archaeological finds – but once we cross the border into another country, these finds disappear. Now, the fact of the matter is, countries are not natural entities. They are abstract, arbitrary lines on a map. The borders of modern-day Romania (and of most European countries) were drawn after World War II; it is difficult to see why the distribution of Neolithic golden objects in Europe would correspond to an area delineated in the 20th century.
The oldest golden treasure known is, at any rate, the Varna Necropolis, dating to the 5th millennium B.C. Golden artefacts dating to the late 3rd millennium B.C. have also been found in what is now Ireland.
Romania has the world's oldest swastikas
Allegedly, the oldest example of a swastika dates back over 7000 years and was found in Romania. All other ancient swastikas occur millennia later. These two facts must mean that the swastika originated in the "Carpatho-Danubian-Pontic" area and spread everywhere else.
In actual fact, the oldest swastika currently known was found in Mezin, Ukraine, and dates back to 10,000 BCE.
Ancient swastikas can be found in other regions of Europe, too. Nationalists from other countries (such as Bulgaria and Serbia) likewise claim that the presence of these swastikas (which they also claim are "the oldest known") in their countries is proof that humanity or civilization originated there, and that their ethnicity is the "original people".
But even assuming that the swastika did originate in one of these regions, this does not imply that all peoples also originated there. It could very well have spread through cultural diffusion. Christianity originated in Israel, but this does not mean that all Christians are ethnically Jewish or that humanity started in Israel. Similarly, being a Muslim does not automatically make one an Arab, and being a Buddhist does not make one Indian.
The presence of swastikas or objects from thousands of years ago proves only that people existed in that place at that time, but it does not shed any light as to the language that they spoke. There is no connection between the shape of a swastika and Romanian (or any other language, for that matter). Rather, it is likely that from that time period to the present, there has been a continual string of languages being replaced in that area, with Romanian happening to be the latest member of this group. Imagine an alternate universe in which all speakers of Romanian had been assimilated in the Middle Ages by one of the many languages at one point spoken in what would have become Romania (say, Avar). Imagine further that in the 20th century, some Avar nationalists claim that Avar has been spoken on its current territory since the beginning of time, and justify this assertion with the statement, "Just look at these gazillion-year-old swastikas!" Clearly, such an argument would be absurd. It remains absurd when one replaces Avar with Romanian. To say that the swastika is a "Romanian" or "Serbian" symbol is to project modern-day constructs onto time periods where they did not exist. There was certainly no such thing as Romanians, Serbians, or any other modern-day European ethnic group in 7000 BCE. Even if the swastika did originate in Romania, it would be Romanian in the same way the pyramids are Arabic – that is, not at all.
The Romans came from "Ausonian" Dacians
According to Protochronists, the Romans considered Latin to be derived from the Ausonian language, and Ausonian was, in fact, Dacian. Verses by Ovid, who was exiled to Tomis (modern-day Constanța, Romania), are cited that are purported to make an equivalence between the Getae and Ausones, such as the follow lines from Letters From The Black Sea:
“”Maxima pars hominum nec te, pulcherinna, curant [sic][note 19]
Roma, nec Ausonii militis arma tinent.
This supposedly means:
“”In the highest degree, the Ausonian warriors brandish their arms, and not you, beautiful and cultivated Rome, not you!
In this translation, Ovid is contrasting the Romans and Ausones as two belligerent, opposing groups. Protochronists imply that "Ausonian" here is referring to the inhabitants of the region where Ovid was exiled – namely, the Dacians. However, this is an erroneous interpretation. For one thing, the said passage is a mistranslation. It really says:
“”The greatest part of these men care not for thee, most beauteous Rome, and fear not the arms of the Ausonian soldiers.
Ausonian is, then, not opposed to Roman, but rather seems to be complementing it. Indeed, the word "Ausonian" has in fact nothing to do with the Dacians; according to one English edition of Ovid's works: "Ausonia was properly the land of the Ausones, in the southern part of Italy; but the poets use it to signify the whole of Italy." In other words, "Ausonian" is really a synonym of "Roman" or "Latin", not "Dacian". Indeed, one translator renders these lines thus, translating "Ausonian" as "Italian":
“”For the most part, glorious Rome, these people neither care about you,
nor fear the weapons of Italian soldiers.
Line 199 of the second book of Ovid's Tristia supposedly reads, "I was exiled to the frontier of Ausonia, at the border with Sarmatia", where "Ausonia" is claimed to refer to Dacia. But actually, Ausonia is a reference to the Roman Empire. The cited sentence is a misquote; the relevant passage from Tristia is as follows (this translation renders Ausonio as "Italian"):
“”So far north Rome extends, west of the Euxine Sea:
the Basternae and the Sarmatians hold the nearby region.
Indeed, in several verses, Ovid specifically draws a clear distinction between the (Ausonian) Romans and the "uncivilized" Getae:
“”In truth, even in this land (than which there is none more uncivilized) the name of friendship moves the hearts of barbarians. What ought ye to do, who are born in the Ausonian City, [i.e., Rome] when such actions affect the ruthless Getae?
“”There is no one among this people who can by chance translate into Latin, words in general use. I, who am a poet of Rome (pardon me, ye Muses), am compelled to say many things in the Sarmatian[note 20] language. I am ashamed, I confess it; for now, from long disuse, scarcely do the Latin expressions occur to me; and I have no doubt but that there are no few barbarisms in this little work. That is not the fault of the man, but of the place. But, that I may not lose all acquaintance with the Ausonian tongue, and my voice become dumb in its native language, I talk to myself, and I run over the unaccustomed words, and repeat the unfortunate exponents of my pursuits.
“”I have to make myself understood by gestures.
Here I’m the barbarian no one comprehends,
So while Ovid, a speaker of "Ausonian", was in Dacia, he talked to himself in order not to forget the language, and was unable to communicate with the Dacians. If the word "Ausonian" referred to Dacian, this would not make any sense whatsoever.
The trucks come from the ducks
According to one well-known (and possibly apocryphal) story, Romanian president Ion Iliescu, while delivering a speech in English, said, "The ducks come from the trucks." This strange sentence was the result of adding the English plural s to the Romanian words dac (Dacian) and trac (Thracian). What Iliescu was attempting to say, then, was "The Dacians come from the Thracians."[note 21] The identification of the Dacians as being a Thracian tribe is found in Herodotus, who describes the Dacians as being the "noblest as well as the most just of all the Thracian tribes", a phrase widely taught in Romanian schools.[note 22]
Protochronists, on the other hand, challenge this "dogma" by claiming that it is in fact the trucks who come from the ducks, not vice-versa. In support of this assertion, they vaguely cite the historian Cassius Dio as having written, "let us not forget that Trajan was a true-born Thracian. The fights between Trajan and Decebalus were fratricidal wars, and the Thracians were Dacians." None of these sources ever specify what work this quote is taken from. In fact, it is apocryphal – it quite simply does not exist in any of Cassius Dio's writings.
Trajan was a Thracian
In addition to the sentence mentioned in the previous section, another piece of "evidence" Protochronists claim support the idea that Trajan was a Thracian is a book by "the historian" Jesús Pardo, according to which the Roman Emperor Trajan wrote a testament in which he described himself as a Thracian. Unfortunately, there are two problems with this: 1) Pardo is a journalist, not a historian, and 2) the said book, Yo, Marco Elio Trajano (translated into Romanian as Eu, Marcus Ulpius Traianus), is in fact a historical novel written in 1991.
The simple fact is that Trajan was from Spain, being from a family that had left Italy several centuries earlier to settle in south-east Spain.
Various peoples are called "Wallachs"
The usual explanation given in Romania as to the meaning of the word "Vlach" is that it is a word "used by foreigners to refer to Romanians." A disastrous interpretation! In fact, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, Wallach refers to the native populations of England, and by semantic shift this word became Welsh. The French, Italians, and Celts are also known by names related to the word Welsh. They refer to themselves by various forms of the word Wallach. Therefore, this indicates that all these peoples originated in Romania.
First of all, how could it possibly be concluded that these peoples are of Romanian origin? As there are several ethnicities described by this word, you cannot just arbitrarily single out one of them as being "the original". The argument is based on some very strange logic. Various peoples are called Wallachs; Romanians are called Wallachs; therefore, all Wallachs are Romanians. One could use this same reasoning to claim that it is the Romanians that are Welsh! This is typical of arguments used in nationalist pseudohistory: they will list similarities between various groups and then arbitrarily assert that the nationalist's ethnic group is their original source.
Second, though the Welsh do, when speaking English, refer to themselves as Welsh, in the Welsh language itself, they refer to themselves by the native Celtic word cymraeg, and to Wales as cymru, which are are unrelated to the word "Welsh" and its derivative "Wales". Welsh is a word used by the English conquerors to refer to the native Celtic population, and the Welsh only started referring to themselves by this word when they started speaking English. "Welsh" is not a native autonym.
The same applies to these other "self-designations." To quote one etymological dictionary:
“”Old English Wielisc, Wylisc (West Saxon), Welisc, Wælisc (Anglian and Kentish) "foreign; British (not Anglo-Saxon), Welsh; not free, servile," from Wealh, Walh "Celt, Briton, Welshman, non-Germanic foreigner;" in Tolkien's definition, "common Gmc. name for a man of what we should call Celtic speech," but also applied in Germanic languages to speakers of Latin, hence Old High German Walh, Walah "Celt, Roman, Gaulish," and Old Norse Val-land "France," Valir "Gauls, non-Germanic inhabitants of France" (Danish vælsk "Italian, French, southern"); [...] Borrowed in Old Church Slavonic as vlachu, and applied to the Rumanians, hence Wallachia.
Wallach is, then, a generic word originally used by the Germanic peoples to describe foreigners, and, in some cases, was borrowed by these foreigners themselves, as in the case of the Welsh.
There are many similar historical cases of words referring to many, unrelated ethnic groups. For instance, "Frank" was widely used to denote not only the Franks or French, but also Western Europeans in general, regardless of their specific origin. During the Crusades, to give just one example, the Arabs lumped all the invaders (who were, of course, of diverse origin) under the generic term "Frank." But obviously this does not mean that all Western European languages are descended from Frankish or that the Franks (or French) are "the primordial people."
Another example would be the word "Indian", which is widely used to refer to many peoples who have nothing in common beyond the fact that they live in the Americas. The phrase "the Indian language" was widely used, and, indeed, as late as the 19th century books were published with titles like Observations on the Indian Language and The Indian grammar begun: or, An essay to bring the Indian language into rules, for the help of such as desire to learn the same, for the furtherance of the Gospel among them. There is, of course, no such thing as "the Indian language"; this nomenclature is, rather, the result of the European colonizers' ignorance and lack of desire to distinguish between the various indigenous peoples of the Americas. There are in fact hundreds of different languages in the Americas, many of which are completely unrelated, despite their all being grouped under the terms "Indian" or "Amerindian". It would be absurd to take such generic denominations as proof that the many different ethnic groups of the Americas are all the same people (and much less that any particular one of them is the "original" one) or that they have anything to do with India. The absurdity of the Protochronist argument can be seen when changed into the following variant: "The usual explanation among Cherokees as to the meaning of the word 'Indian' is that it is a word 'used by foreigners to refer to Cherokees.' A disastrous interpretation! In fact, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, Indian refers to the native populations of the Americas. The Inuit, Ojibwe, and Incas are also known by names related to the word Indian. They refer to themselves by various forms of the word Indian. Therefore, this indicates that all these peoples were originally Cherokees."
The English word "Moor" was similarly generic. It is derived from the Latin maurus (Mauritanian), but was later extended to apply to North African Muslims and Muslims in general. According to one etymological dictionary: "Being a dark people in relation to Europeans, their name in the Middle Ages was a synonym for 'Negro;' later (16c.-17c.) used indiscriminately of Muslims (Persians, Arabs, etc.) but especially those in India." (Similarly, the Romanian word arap (also pronounced harap) can refer to either Arabs or Black people.) The phrase "the Moorish language" was also used, and was applied not only to Arabic, but also to Urdu, Turkish, and various other different and unrelated languages of Africa, India, and the Philippines. "The Moorish language" was essentially a catch-all term for languages spoken by Muslim people; the fact that two languages were both called by Europeans "Moorish" in no way implied an actual genetic relationship. The Spanish word moro (which has the same origin as "Moor"), likewise, is used to apply to unrelated Muslim peoples. When the Spanish arrived in the Philippines, they referred to the native Muslims as moros, a name which has stuck; the Muslims of the Philippines are also called Moro in English. But none of this implies that these peoples have anything to do with Mauretania or Arabs, and it would be ridiculous to assert that Arabic is Proto-World or that Mauretania must be the cradle of civilization, simply because the vague and faintly racist word "Moorish" was widely used by Europeans.
The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia gives a number of other examples of such vague names:
“”A.I.Terenozhkin considers that Hesiod's reference to the Scythians is merely an anachronism, resulting from a confusion of ethnic names, which is common in the authors of antiquity.
“”Priscus tells us that the Akatzirs were of Scythian ethnicity (ἔθνος) but, another time, refers to them as Huns;[note 23] neither of these terms had, at that time, a clearly defined content.
“”The Chinese were just as prone to link any northern Barbarian with the Hsiung-nu as Byzantine historians were to see Scythians (or later: Huns) in their western counterparts.
“”The Yüeh-chih movement from the Upper Hi to the Oxus had forced some of the tribes, for whom the generic word "Scythian" had been used by Strabo, to move into the areas held by the Parthians.
“”The letter obviously refers to the occupation of Lo-yang by the Southern Hsiung-nu, and some consider its contents proof of the Hsiung-nu-Hun identity. The flaw in this argument is its disregard of the fact that the name Hun has been used consistently as a generic for many barbarian or barbarous peoples - for example in Byzantine sources in which Hungarians or Ottomans are often called Huns. The Germans are neither Huns nor Hsiung-nu, though in his correspondence with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill calls them Huns.
If an ethnonym is applied to many different peoples, this does necessarily imply that they have anything to do with each other. Rather, such broad designations are very often born out of either a lack of knowledge or desire to distinguish between the various groups of outsiders. Nationalists in many countries, not just Romania, also seize upon these indiscriminately applied labels as proof that they are a master race. They will note that they, or their supposed ancestors, were historically equated with a group which in turn was identified with many other ethnicities, and then conclude that all these names are just alternate ways of referring to Romanians, Serbians, Hungarians, Turks, Bulgarians, Hindus, or what have you. (Imagine a Cherokee claiming that Cherokee is Proto-Amerindian because Native Americans are all named Indians "just like us!" This would clearly be preposterous, yet this is essentially the logic behind all these nationalists' arguments.) Blinded by their ethnocentrism, they never stop to think that such conclusions are based on their arbitrarily taking their own ethnicity as the starting point, and that any one of the other groups could, by the same logic, be "the master race".
Denmark was founded by Dacians
Sources from the Middle Ages in Medieval Latin often refer to Denmark as Dacia. This is taken to mean that Denmark was founded by Dacians and that the Danes are in fact Dacians. However, it was not uncommon for the same name to refer to multiple unrelated regions. For instance, Albania could refer to: Albania, the country in the Balkans; Caucasian Albania, in modern Azerbaijan (the language spoken in Caucasian Albania was called Caucasian Albanian, and is unrelated to European Albanian); and Albania, a name for Scotland derived from a Latinization of Albion. Iberia was used to referred to not only the Iberian peninsula comprising modern-day Spain and Portugal, but also to a region in what is now Georgia. Yet one could not say that the Scottish and Azerbaijanis are really Albanians, or that the Spanish have anything to do with Georgians!
The name Dacia seems to be due to scholars of that period misinterpreting historical documents. Paulus Orosius, during "the Gothic period in Eastern Europe", wrote of "Dacia, where also Gothia lies." Because Dacia was full of Goths at that time, it had the alternate name Gothia. However, since the Goths were thought to have originated in Scandinavia, later medieval historians interpreted this to mean that Dacia referred to the Goths' homeland further north, and placed it as such in maps. This confusion appears for the first time in the 11th century in the chronicles of two Norman writers, "although both of them also were aware that the population of Dacia referred to themselves as 'Danes' and to their country as 'Denmark'".
The Greeks spoke Getic
In Clement of Alexandria's Stromata, the Scythian sage Anacharsis, to those who objected to the "Barbarians' tongue", replied that "In my opinion, the Greeks speak Scythian." There was no such thing as Scythians (claims the show); Scythia was only a geographical region. Rather, Scythians were just one of the many names of the Getae. Therefore, what this passage indicates is that the Greeks spoke Getic.
The person making this argument has elsewhere claimed that Romanian has remained unchanged for thousands of years, that Romanian was the language of the Getae, and that the Getae were the same people as the Goths. In this context, it appears that what he is claiming is that the Romanian-speaking Scythians and the Ancient Greeks spoke the same language; as there is a huge difference between Romanian and Ancient Greek, this does not make much sense. In addition, Gothic (as noted earlier in this article) is a Germanic language very unlike Ancient Greek, so assuming this alleged Gotho-Geto-Scythian people spoke Gothic, the idea that their language was the same as Ancient Greek doesn't hold up under scrutiny in this case either.
Furthermore, Anacharsis' quote does not appear to mean what the show thinks it means. One French translation runs as follows:
“”Si quelqu'un se récrie contre l'idiome barbare, je lui répondrai par ce mot d'Anacharsis:
« Le grec est à mon oreille ce que le scythe est à l'oreille des Grecs. »
Where Le grec est à mon oreille ce que le scythe est à l'oreille des Grecs means "Greek is to my ears what Scythian is to the Greeks'". A more literal English translation of the quote reads, "All the Greeks speak Scythian to me." It would seem that the sentence is not intended to be taken literally. Consider the expression "It's all Greek to me" and its variants in different languages (which sometimes replace Greek with other languages like Chinese or Hebrew). When someone says, "It's Greek to me," they are using the word "Greek" to mean not actual Greek, but rather speech or writing that is difficult to understand, or even gibberish. Similarly, by "Scythian", Anacharsis appears to mean not the Scythian language itself, but simply an unpleasant or ugly way of speaking. In other words, Anacharsis' quote is apparently a retort to the Greeks' condescending attitudes towards "barbarians" ("You say Scythian is barbaric? Well, in that case, you Greeks all speak Scythian to me"), not a statement that the Scythians and Greeks literally spoke the same language.
Romania is the center of Europe/the world
In one Protochronist TV show attempting to demonstrate that Romanians are the Indo-European master race, various sources (including a French geographer) are cited as saying that Romania is "Central European" or "the center of Europe", and therefore (says the show) most emphatically not South-Eastern European.[note 24]
One of the maps shown is, amusingly, a map of Europe which is completely borderless except for a conveniently outlined, centrally placed Romania with four arrows emanating from it. Of course, Europe is a more or less arbitrary division of Eurasia, such that by defining Europe in various ways you can change its "center" to be in any of several different places. Many other European countries claim or have claimed to be "the center of Europe", including Lithuania, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine. To say Romania is the "center of Europe" (or, in other words, the center of eastern Eurasia) is like declaring a location to be the center of "northern Asia" and claiming that this somehow confers upon it some magical superiority. And as long as we're talking about French geographers, a 1989 expedition by the French National Geographic Institute concluded that the center of Europe is located in Lithuania.
Even if the geographical center of Europe were located in Romania, this would be an absolutely trivial statement proving nothing whatsoever. Though the significance of this idea that Romania is the center of Europe is never explicitly stated, the implication seems to be that the origin of the Proto-Indo-Europeans must be somewhere in the middle of the area populated by Indo-European peoples. Which is, of course, absurd. One could just as well say that Finno-Ugric originated at the midway point between Hungary, Estonia, and Finland, or that Spanish originated in the Atlantic Ocean, between Spain and Latin America. Besides which, Europe is only one region of the Indo-European linguistic area. It is, after all, called the Indo-European language family. If Romania is the center of Europe, this must necessarily mean that the middle point between Europe and India is somewhere else. Not to mention that the Indo-European languages have been constantly expanding across the world – if such a highly doubtful thing as the "geographical middle" of the Indo-European world could even be said to exist, it would nevertheless be continuously changing due to migration and colonization.
The Borgia map, a 15th-century world map whose central point is within Romania, is also cited. This position must indicate that Romania was considered to be the center or origin of European civilization (or something; the reasoning is not entirely clear). The trouble with this is that mappae mundi can be found with centers in various places, such as Arabia or the Mediterranean Sea, among other regions.
One map with the English title "Physical Geography" appears to show Romania as being the center of the world. One major problem with this idea, however, is that the Earth is not flat. It is round. As such, no point on its surface can possibly be considered its "center". If you look at a globe of the Earth, you would be hard pressed to identify the "center" of its surface. Consequently, it is completely nonsensical to say that any region is "the center of the world." (Though this hasn't stopped nationalists in other countries creating maps which present their country as being exactly that.)
Besides which, 0° longitude, the prime meridian, by definition (though a completely arbitrary definition, to be sure) runs through Greenwich, London, and intersects with the equator at the Gulf of Guinea. Even if the intersection of the prime meridian and the equator were in Romania, it must be noted that the conventional way the Earth is represented in maps is just that — a convention. There is no objective reason for maps being the way they are. They could just as well have Antarctica in the North, or Asia in the West and the Americas in the East, for example. In other words, with the right map, one can make the Earth's geographical center be absolutely anywhere.[note 25]
On a somewhat related note, the host of the Romanian TV show Vax Populi in one episode went around asking people on the street various questions about the Earth. In response to the question "What shape does the Earth have?" one passerby replied, "Well, the shape of Romania, what else!" One comment on this video mocked nationalistic attitudes by describing the (actually just innocently ignorant) passerby as being "A TRUE GETO-DACIAN, WORTHY OF THE MEMORY OF BASARAB THE FOUNDER."[note 26] Indeed, a common attitude among Protochronists seems to be that if you believe their absurd and often contradictory theories, you're a "friend of Romania" or a "true Romanian patriot", while if you don't, you're not a true Romanian or are even anti-Romanian (and probably Hungarian) scum.
The Vatican has secret documents proving Latin is descended from Romanian
Micheál Ledwith, a theologian at the Vatican, ended one interview broadcast on Romanian television (and having nothing to do with the linguistic nature of Latin and Romanian) by stating that Latin is descended from Romanian. Protochronists imply that this is because Ledwith had special access to the Vatican Secret Archives, and based this conclusion on hidden documents found in the Archives. Unfortunately, as usual, Protochronists get it wrong completely.
For one thing, the Vatican's "secret" archives are not secret. They were opened up to scholars in 1881, and over a thousand researchers visit them each year. Indeed, the word "Secret" is in fact a mistranslation of the word secretum, which would be more accurately translated as "personal" or "private", and refers to the Popes' personal letters. It is true that papal papers written after 1939 are withheld from scholars, but obviously works of such a late date and such a specific type cannot have any particularly consequential bearing on the origin of Latin. Even if the Vatican Secret Archives did contain documents proving Latin to be descended from some form of Proto-Romanian, they would be accessible to linguists wishing to analyze them, not just to Ledwith.
In addition, the claim that Ledwith's assertion was based on clandestine documents known only to him was not made by Ledwith, but is in fact a Protochronist invention having nothing to do with what Ledwith actually said. When he stated that Latin was derived from Romanian, he did not make any mention of his opinion having anything to do with the Vatican Secret Archives. In the same interview (which, again, was not about Romanian or Latin), after lamenting that the Vatican Secret Archives were not catalogued and not being made use of as fully as they could be because of lack of interest, Ledwith stated: "So, is there some colossal secret being held in the Vatican Secret Archive? I don't know! Neither does anyone else." By this, Ledwith meant that if the Vatican Secret Archives did contain some ground-breaking, previously unknown knowledge (and maybe it didn't), no one got around to finding it yet, due to lack of effort. So not only does Ledwith not say he possesses esoteric knowledge exclusive to him, he actually denies it.
Also, Ledwith is a theologian, not a linguist. Even if Ledwith did come to the conclusion that Latin is derived from Romanian by reading documents available only to him, a theologian's opinion about linguistic matters is about as relevant as an actor's opinion about the age of the universe or the shape of the earth.[note 27]
Finally, Ledwith's assertion is also just that: an assertion. Ledwith was simply expressing an opinion without attempting to prove it. He did not cite any sources or references in support of the claim, and provided no evidence. Stripped of Protochronists' hysterical additions to Ledwith's claim, the argument essentially boils down to: Latin is descended from Romanian, because somebody said so. That's it. This could hardly be said to be earth-shattering evidence.
- Cabal in Kabul, a blog by linguist Dan Alexe containing many articles critical of Protochronism. It has articles in Romanian, English, and French, and a section about dacopatie ("dacopathy").
- A Challenge for Dacologists, by Sorin Olteanu.
- Institutul Dacic de Ortodoxism Cuantic (The Dacian Institute of Quantum Orthodoxy), a group satirizing Protochronism.
- Velico Dacus, a blog dedicated to debunking Protochronist claims.
- Adevăruri despre Daciști ("The Truth About Dacists"), another blog dedicated to debunking Protochronism. The title is a reference to the website Adevărul Despre Daci ("The Truth about The Dacians").
- Cabal in Kabul, a blog by linguist Dan Alexe containing many articles critical of Protochronism. It has articles in Romanian, English, and French, and a section about dacopatie ("dacopathy").
- Slopa, a blog containing many critiques of Protochronist arguments.
- 10 Dovezi incontestabile că Domnul Isus a fost dac (10 irrefutable proofs that Jesus was a Dacian), a satirical article.
- Dacomania, sau cum mai falsificăm istoria ("Dacomania, or the new ways in which we falsify history")
- Mânz, brânză, dezamăgire. Am fost la festivalul dacilor, ca să nu mergi tu ("I went to the Dacian festival, so you don't have to")
- Dacii reali erau mult mai puțin tulburători decât vor dacomanii să credem ("The real Dacians were much less unsettling than the Dacomaniacs would have us believe")
- Teme Tracomanice ("Thracomanic Themes"), by Sorin Olteanu.
- Tăbliţele de plumb "davogete" ("The 'Davogetic' Lead Tablets"), by Sorin Olteanu.
- Fenomenul Dacoman V2.0 ("The Dacomanic Phenomenon V2.0")
- Fenomenul Dacoman - Promotori și Aderenți ("The Dacomanic Phenomenon - Supporters and Adherents")
- Dacii, când se uneau, erau de nespălat
- Meteahnă, a satirical short story about "excesses of patriotism", by the famous Romanian writer Ion Luca Caragiale.
- The Son of God may have been born in Dacia, a Controversial Theory. "Controversial", eh?
- Einstein stole the Theory of Relativity from Eminescu (Romania's national poet) — including the famous equation E=MC², which is really a corrupted form of Eminescu's original equation for the speed of light, V=MC² [sic]
- Funar a descoperit veriga lipsă dintre Iisus și România: dacii, Vice
- La vremuri noi, tot ei. Resurgența protocronismului
- This is ironic, given that some Romanian critics of Protochronism are quite nationalistic, and sometimes make nationalist statements in the very same articles in which they denounce Protochronism. To say that they are "anti-Romanian" is laughable.
- All ethnic groups are "mixed-breed", having their origins all over the place. After circa 2000 years of migrations and cohabitation with neighboring ethnicities (and the resulting interbreeding), the genetic connection between ancient and modern Greeks, the French and Gauls, Bulgarians and Bulgars, and Romanians and Dacians (and so on) is likely to be minimal to non-existent. (That is, the genetic relatedness of a given ancient ethnic group to a modern one claiming to be its descendant is probably no stronger than its relatedness to the modern ethnicity's neighbors.) Every individual alive today has, due to the exponential nature of genealogy, millions of (almost certainly very diverse) ancestors, such that it is absurd to say that any contemporary individual is descended from the Dacians, Huns, Hittites or any other single ancient people. Linguistically, none of these claims of descent (except that of the Greeks) can be true. Romanians do not speak Dacian, ergo they cannot be Dacians; the French do not speak Gaulish, ergo they cannot be Gauls; and so on. If non-linguistic factors are taken into account, then there are many different influences from a wide variety of groups, and it would be absurd to single out the Dacians in particular to the exclusion of all the others. As two articles note:
“”The evidence suggests that in the almost 2000 years since the Dacian Wars, the original genetic base of the local populations has been extremely diluted, to the extent that it is difficult to distinguish the original elements – whatever they may have been. The Romanians are not Romans, Daco-Romans, or Dacians. The Romanians are, like all the surrounding peoples, the result of the genetic and cultural exchanges between the inhabitants of these regions.
Original in Romanian: Datele sugerează că în cei aproape 2000 de ani de istorie de după războaiele Daco-Romane, fondul genetic original al populațiilor locale s-a diluat foarte mult, încât cu greu se mai disting elementele originale – oricare ar fi fost ele. Românii nu sunt romani, daco-romani sau daci. Românii, la fel ca toate popoarele din jur, sunt rezultatul schimburilor genetice și culturale între locuitorii acestor zone.
“”We are the descendants not only of Rome, but of many different civilizations and cultures (Thracians, Dacians, Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Cumans, Pechenegs, Turks, Hungarians, etc.), each one contributing in a certain proportion.
Original in Romanian: Nu suntem doar urmaşii Romei ci suntem o sumă a mai multor civilizaţii şi culturi (traci, daci, greci, romani, slavi, cumani, pecenegi, turci, maghiari, etc.), fiecare într-o anumită proporţie specifică.
(See also the article Popoarele ca o şaormă cu de toate)
This all means that statements to the effect that "my ancestors were better than your ancestors" (where the word "ancestors" refers to an entire ethnic group rather than traceable individuals) are pretty much meaningless.
One review of the history book Neglected Barbarians, which is about lesser-studied ancient ethnic groups, contains the statement: "Even barbarians with persistent and documented identities may fall into neglect, however, if the particular group has failed to be claimed as part of a modern nationalist-historical narrative." Note the word "claimed." All nations are the result of an amalgamation of many different ethnic groups. A typical characteristic of nationalist ideologies such as Protochronism is that they latch onto one or a few of these groups as being "our ancestors" while ignoring or despising all the rest. (Incidentally, Neglected Barbarians was edited by the Romanian historian Florin Curta, who signed one of the anti-Protochronist letters mentioned at the beginning of this article.)
- Protochronists are apt to paint the Dacians as the pinnacle of perfection, and the Romans as degenerate scum — which, interestingly, resembles the Anglo-Saxon Foundation's opinion of the Normans.
- In another sense entirely, this might be true. Many historical linguists identify the Indo-Europeans with the Yamna culture or kurgan-burial cultures. The westward movement of this culture into parts of current Romania and Bulgaria may well represent the expansion of the western Indo-European dialects. But Vulgar Latin is fairly obviously a necessary intermediate step between any form of Late Proto-Indo-European and contemporary Romanian.
- And it has absolutely nothing to do with both of them being Indo-European languages. At all. Note also that the ancient Dacians were in contact with the Scythian peoples of the Pontic steppe, who spoke an Indo-Iranian language from the same subfamily as Punjabi.
- Indeed, the book several times refers to Romani's non-Indian (including Romanian) elements as borrowings.
- There is no known genetic relationship between Japonic and Austronesian. This line was perhaps added to extend the dialogue.
- Woman or grandmother.
- This is a very common tactic used by Protochronists. They will expound some theory of Dacian/Romanian supremacy, and then claim that it is being covered up because of other countries being nationalistic (though not necessarily in that order).
- To be more precise, the phoneme represented by the letters v and b — which have the same pronunciation — can be realized as either [b] or [β]. Hence the possible pronunciations of the two words include not only [bul'gar] and ['bulgaro], but also pairs like [βul'gar] and ['βulgaro], [bul'gar] and ['βulgaro], and [βul'gar] and ['bulgaro]. See these audio files, and Introducción a la fonética y fonología del español.
- The same phenomenon can be observed in many languages. For instance, because Spanish orthography uses the letters v and b to represent the same phoneme, Spanish speakers who are bad spellers will often confuse them, such as by writing bez instead of vez. In Bulgarian, а is sometimes pronounced the same as ъ, and the same is valid for о and у, as a result of which they are sometimes mixed up – a fact alluded to in the title of the prescriptivist essay В "устътъ" или в "главътъ", which deliberately misspells the words устата and главата by spelling the definite article -ата phonetically with the letter ъ.
- See also "How to Write Pseudohistory", a satirical article which mocks, specifically, Russian pseudohistory (including the etrusci/et-ruski derivation), but is also applicable to pseudohistory in general.
- See also Acquired stupidity epidemic in Hungary: Hungarian not a Uralic language? by Jaakko Häkkinen, which lists a number of sound correspondences between Hungarian and Mansi.
- Or perhaps Bulgar; the original word used is bulgară, which can mean either Bulgarian or Bulgar.
- See for example this article, which claims the Hittites were Turks. Just as Protochronists cite "totally impartial non-Romanians" who claim various peoples are descended from the Getae (and therefore, say the Protochronists, Romanians), so too could a Turkish nationalist cite Campbell's work as "proof" that the Japanese and all the other mentioned peoples are Turks.
- See Galatians 4:6, "aþþan þatei sijuþ jus sunjus gudis, insandida guþ ahman sunaus seinis in hairtona izwara hropjandan: abba, fadar!" ("And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.")
- This statement is not quite as terrible as it seems. Bergmann, in a footnote on pages 84-85, states that mixed races are stronger, and that "pure-blooded" peoples tend to be intellectually and morally weak. Still dubious, but not as racist, at least.
- The poem actually says: pulcherrima, curat. The fact that these typos are present, uncorrected, on several Protochronist sites suggests that some of the Protochronists who cite this verse do not actually know Latin.
- Like "Scythian", "Sarmatian" was a generic word that was not necessarily tied to a single ethnic group: "Sarmatia was used as a general name for Europe east of the Carpathians and north of the Black Sea. Ovid often calls the region of Tomis, Sarmatian. By his day a Sarmatian tribe, the Roxolani, had reached as far west as the Danube basin."
- According to another version of the story, what he meant to say was "The drugs come from the trucks."
- The reason for this, of course, is to inculcate the patriotic idea that "Our ancestors were better than everyone else's." This idea, naturally, does not make much sense, since Romanians have mixed ancestors just like everyone else (as mentioned in note 2). Not to mention that the full sentence is not entirely positive:
“”The Thracians of Salmydessus, and those who dwelt above the cities of Apollonia and Mesembria–the Scyrmiadae and Nipsaeans, as they are called–gave themselves up to Darius without a struggle; but the Getae obstinately defending themselves, were forthwith enslaved, notwithstanding that they are the noblest as well as the most just of all the Thracian tribes.
Original in Ancient Greek: Πρὶν δὲ ἀπικέσθαι ἐπὶ τὸν Ἴστρον, πρώτους αἱρέει Γέτας τοὺς ἀθανατίζοντας. οἱ μὲν γὰρ τὸν Σαλμυδησσὸν ἔχοντες Θρήικες καὶ ὑπὲρ Ἀπολλωνίης τε καὶ Μεσαμβρίης πόλιος οἰκημένοι, καλεύμενοι δὲ Κυρμιάναι καὶ Νιψαῖοι, ἀμαχητὶ σφέας αὐτοὺς παρέδοσαν Δαρείῳ· οἱ δὲ Γέται πρὸς ἀγνωμοσύνην τραπόμενοι αὐτίκα ἐδουλώθησαν, Θρηίκων ἐόντες ἀνδρηιότατοι καὶ δικαιότατοι.
- HUNGARIANS ARE THE SCYTHIAN MASTER RACE!!!!!111!!11one!! Not.
- It sounds like the well-known pastime of trying to prove that "We're not from Eastern Europe" (or, in the Balkans, "We're not from the Balkans") practiced by other countries in the area as well. Incidentally, in one video, "The geographical limit between the Balkans and Central Europe", Slavoj Žižek satirized the stereotypes associated with the words "Balkans" and "Central Europe".
- If you do away with the equator's alignment with the Earth's axis of rotation, that is. If you don't, this limits your options somewhat: Romania, for instance, could by no means be made to be the center of the world (see the second image above).
- In the original, "UN ADEVĂRAT GETO-DAC, VREDNIC DE MEMORIA LUI BASARAB ÎNTEMEIETORUL!" In another episode of Vax Populi various people on the street are asked "What language are we speaking?" and are completely incapable of answering the question, with the responses ranging from "I have no idea," to "Latin," to "Italian." (Though, obviously, these examples were cherry-picked for the final cut for their being particularly ignorant, since the usual normal answers would be boring.) One person was not able to say what language she was speaking, but nevertheless said it had something to do with "Dacians and Romans." So even though she had no idea what her own language was called, she had at least heard of the Dacians. Makes you think about the priorities of whoever taught her this stuff.
- In case you need a reminder of the remarkable ways in which original sources can be transformed in the process of transmission by laymen, here are some statements followed by their interpretation by certain non-experts:
"One Romani dialect has many Romanian words." (ROMANI IS DESCENDED FROM ROMANIAN!!!!!)
"Italian and Romanian are fairly similar and somewhat mutually intelligible." (ITALIAN IS A ROMANIAN DIALECT!!!!!)
"Romanian and Bulgarian have many Greek and Turkish words." (BULGARIAN HAS LOTS OF ROMANIAN WORDS!!!!!!)
"If the Germanic peoples hadn't survived, the Dacians would have disappeared off the face of the earth." (THE GERMANS ARE DACIANS [and therefore Romanians]!!!11!!1!ONE!1!111!!ONEONE!!!!11)
Even if Ledwith claimed to have based his opinion on "hidden secrets" (which he most certainly did not), "trust me" is not good enough. Pics, or it didn't happen.
- Istoricii din Alba Iulia se revoltă împotriva "dacologilor", Historia.ro.
- Protest Against the Presence of Dacomaniacs at the 43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo (in English and Romanian)
- Zamolxe, da! Dar Zamolxianismul, nu! Este o aiureală! Dacă nu cumva o diversiune
- A Comparative Investigation of Romanian and Hungarian Ethno-Pagan Blogs by Hubbes Laszlo-Attila, which describes both Romanian and Hungarian neopagan religions inspired by nationalist ideas.
- În Asia, 80.000.000 de oameni vorbesc limba română! (In Asia, 80,000,000 people speak Romanian!)
- Смисълът на израза “дилмано, дилберо” от известната народна песен “Дилмано, дилберо, кажи ми как се сади пиперо?”. The specific words of the Indian professor were, "ООО ДА, ТЕ СА НАД ХИЛЯДА, ПРИ ТОВА НЕ СА СЛУЧАЙНИ, А СА НАЙ-ВАЖНИТЕ - ТЕЗИ СВЪРЗАНИ С ДОМА, РОДА И СЕМЕЙСТВОТО. ТОВА СА ТАКИВА ДУМИ, КОИТО НЕ СЕ ПРЕДАВАТ КАТО ЧУЖДИЦИ ОТ ЕДИН ЕЗИК В ДРУГ. ВСИЧКИТЕ ВИ РЕДКИ РОДНИНСКИ ДУМИ СА СЪЩИТЕ В ХИНДИ. ГЛЕДАЙКИ НАС, ИНДИЙЦИТЕ СЕГА ВИЕ ВИЖДАТЕ ВАС ПРЕДИ ДВЕ ХИЛЯДИ ГОДИНИ. ДОКАТО ВИЕ СТЕ МНОГО ВЪЗПРИЕМЧИВИ КЪМ КУЛТУРНИ ЯВЛЕНИЯ, ИНДИЙЦИТЕ СА ИЗКЛЮЧИТЕЛНО КОНСЕРВАТИВНИ И НЕ СА СИ ПРОМЕНИЛИ ОБИЧАИТЕ ПРЕЗ ПОСЛЕДНИТЕ 2000 ГОДИНИ."
- Sanskrit in Croatia: From Sarasvati to Hrvati
- "The Development of Romani Linguistics" by Ian Hancock, in Languages and Cultures: Studies in Honor of Edgar C. Polomé, page 200.
- Romany languages, Encyclopedia Britannica.
- A brief history of Romani linguistics
- "In 1915, a major division was posited by Bernard Gilliat-Smith between Vlax and non-Vlax dialects", Gypsy Dialects: A Selective Annotated Bibliography of Materials for the Practical Study of Romani, page 6.
- Bernard Gilliat-Smith and his Romani linguistic work
- Second Migration, Education of Roma Children in Europe.
- Brian D. Joseph, When Languages Collide: Perspectives on Language Conflict, Language Competition, and Language Coexistence, page 287.
- Anthony Grant, Donation from Dacia: the impact of Romanian on Kalderash Romani
- "Linguistically, Vlax dialects differ from others in some minor grammatical and phonological differences from other varieties, but especially in the presence of a great number of Rumanian loanwords which are absent or rare in most non-Vlax varieties[.]" Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society, 1998, - Page 145
- ‘Gypsies’, Travellers’ and ‘peasants’ A study on ethnic boundary drawing in Finland and Sweden, c.1860-1925, Miika Tervonen, pages 86-87.
- Thomas Alan Acton, Gypsy politics and social change: the development of ethnic ideology and pressure politics among British gypsies from Victorian reformism to Romany nationalism.
- "In 1860 entry restrictions [to Sweden] were lifted, resulting in a new wave of immigration, principally of Alyosha's clan. These Kalderash Gypsies had left Romania and travelled in Russia after the liberation from a form of serfdom that was not very different from the slavery in the United States." From Coppersmith to Nurse: Alyosha, the Son of a Gypsy Chief, "Introduction", xiii.
- See also the book The Romani Gypsies by linguist Yaron Matras, which mentions the migration of Roma from Romania to many other parts of Europe in the nineteenth century. It also contains the follow passage: "The Kelderasha, Lovara, Curara, and Vurdonara are Vlax Roms and share similar customs and dialects. They seem to have formed as groups in the Banat and Transylvanian regions of Romania. Many left the region during the nineteenth century. [...] Vlax Romani communities are found all across Europe in urban centers such as Moscow, Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, Hamburg, and Vienna, as well as in North and South America."
- Maltese, Malti, Languages Across Europe, BBC.
- For Maltese, see: https://vassallohistory.wordpress.com/history-of-the-maltese-language/the-cantilena/
- A Guide to the Perplexed: How to Identify Pseudo-Linguistic Articles in the Media, Asya Pereltsvaig.
- LANGUAGE CLASSIFICATION AND MANIPULATION IN ROMANIA AND MOLDOVA, Chase Faucheux, page 88.
- For the probable origin of the words mama and papa, see Larry Trask's essay Where do Mama and Papp words come from?
- O Mare Bazaconie: Limba Romana este Limba Primordiala
- Campbell, Lyle, Historical Linguistics: An Introduction, pages 321-322.
- See Dexonline.ro for declensions and definitions of all Romanian words mentioned in this section.
- Double Double, Morphology and Trouble: Looking into Reduplication in Indonesia, Meladel Mistica, Timothy Baldwin.
- Reduplication of Nouns and Adjectives in Indonesian
- 6 Verb Affixes and Thematic
- Hawaiian dictionary
- The Low Countries
- Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots?, Gaston Dorren.
- . See also this comment thread.
- A comment on the Language Log post "Edenics." Many of the comments on the article are quite good (and often hilarious, such as this one).
- The Sun Language Theory, according to which Turkish is Proto-World.
- Devaneya Pavanar, who believed Tamil is the original language from which all others are derived.
- "In the case of modern Basque, virtually all words starting with “Vowel-Consonant-Vowel” (VCV) are invented, not modified or developed. They form almost exactly half of the Basque vocabulary. The other half was probably inherited from the languages spoken in Neolithic and Paleolithic times. Originally the VCV half was in the tightly controlled domain of the clergy, that's why it did not change in 5,000 years. [...] The Neolithic half was always in the domain of the people and subject to change or modification. However, this change was kept at a minimum because the pre-literate peoples had professional storytellers going from tribe to tribe, who insisted on maintaining the original language and word order. " INVENTED VERSUS CONSTRUCTED LANGUAGES
- Basque is the world's oldest language
- Latin, Ancient Greek, and the Romance languages are all descended from Basque
- The Basques were the First Europeans and Basque is the First Language. Contains statements like "A study reveals that the genetic origin of the British is a tribe of fishermen from the Iberian peninsula" and "The famous monoliths of Stonehenge could have been built by Celtic tribes from Spain."
- El guarani. This article is ostensibly about computational analysis of the Guarani lexicon, but quickly devolves into comparisons between Guarani, Sanskrit, and Ancient Greek. It concludes that Guarani must be Proto-World, unchanged for thousands of years. ("It is undoubtedly true that Guarani does not descend from any language; it merely sprang up naturally from observation of the world that surrounds us." Also, "How is it that [Guarani did not] stray from its roots over the centuries?" There is a mention of Homer's "Eurythmy", with the Greek letters having certain meanings, such as A meaning "clear, open" and I meaning "thin, small", among other cited examples. "These values, these gestures of the letters, do not coincide with any language besides Greek, yet we are astonished to find that they are exactly the same in Guarani. [...] We would say that one could invent words, based on Homer's descriptions and Eurythmy, which would then be perfectly understandable to any speaker of Guarani." ) We also find the bizarre assertion that Guarani is so logical that it resembles an artificial language like Esperanto (!) more than it does a natural one.
- English (and all other Eurasian languages) originated from Russian
- Korean is the root of the east-west language!
- [RO] Romgleza || Froostrari 3
- Conversatie In Romgleza [Sector 7]
- "This vocabulary is unstable and is often replaced by words from a new contact language, in the case of Slovak Roma living in the Czech Republic, from the Czech language." The Language of the Roma.
- "All Romani dialects have been influenced by contact with other languages in the regions where they are spoken. In some areas of the world, the dialect speakers have adopted not only lexical items but also grammatical structures from the local languages with which they are in contact. This has been the case in Spain, for example." Is Romani Always a Dialect?
- Von Reimers, pages 31-32.
- Von Reimers, page 113.
- Von Reimers, page 147.
- Catalogo della libreria dell' eminentissimo cardinale Giuseppi Mezzofanti
- For an article about such a book, see "Oh Sleepies!" by Mark Lieberman.
- Proto-World, Zompist.
- Cantar del Mío Cid/Destierro del Cid1
- Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader, From the Gospels: St. Mark, Chap. IV.
- Beowulf, edited by Alfred John Wyatt.
- The Oldest English Epic, translated by Francis Barton Gummere.
- Much, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Превед драгукину, Lingvofreaks. Lingvofreaks is a blog dedicated to exposing pseudolinguistics. (See also the Russian RationalWiki's article on лингвофричество.)
диалог между Настоящим Ученым (НУ) и Мини-Фоменко (МФ) в стиле Эразма Роттердамского:
НУ: Женщина по-японски - onna.
МФ: О! Да это же русская ОНА! Японский происходит от русского!
НУ: Нет, дорогой друг, onna происходит от старояпонского womina.
МФ: Ага! Это очень похоже на английское woman! Значит японский происходит от английского!
НУ: Стой, Семпличино. Womina происходит от праяпонского *bəmina.
МФ: О, да это же почти femina! F часто переходит в b, значит bəmina происходит из латыни.
НУ: О нет, дорогой, *bəmina наиболее вероятно происходит из праавстронезийского *bəbina.
МФ: Ну конечно же! Это же русская БАБА! Австронезийский происходит от русского (повизгивая убегает).
- Woman, Online Etymological Dictionary.
- Vox Latina, W. Sidney Allen, page 41.
- See Plutarch's Lives. "Μάρκου δὲ Βρούτου πρόγονος ἦν Ἰούνιος Βροῦτος", meaning "Marcus Brutus was a descendant of that Junius Brutus".
- Elements of Latin pronunciation, Samuel Stehman Haldeman, pages 51-55.
- On the Evolution of the Short High Vowels of Latin Into Romance, Andrea Calabrese, pages 73-74.
- Vox Latina, pages 33, 34.
- Latin Pronunciation, Peck Tracy.
- Latin Pronunciation and the Latin Alphabet, Leonard Tafel.
- What Latin Sounded Like - and how we know
- Vox Latina, page 14.
- Guitar, Online Etymology Dictionary. "Latin cithara, from Greek kithara".
- A Few Remarks on the Pronunciation of Latin, H. A. Munro.
- Dutch, Etymonline.com.
- O poreklu srpskog naroda i imena (On the origin of the Serbian people and name). Contains quotes by such world-renowned experts as "A Bavarian Geographer" and "Russian Archaeologists".
- , srpskifront.com. Why, yes, it is a Serbian version of Stormfront, why do you ask?
- Grammaire sommaire de l'ancien français, by J. Bonnard, Am. Salmon, pages 20-21.
- Old French Online, Brigitte L.M. Bauer and Jonathan Slocum, University of Texas at Austin, Linguistics Research Center.
- In Search of Universal Grammar: From Old Norse to Zoque, page 135.
- Anglo-Saxon Primer, by Henry Sweet.
- First Middle English Primer, Henry Sweet.
- The Nordic Languages, An International Handbook of the History of the North Germanic Languages, edited by Oskar Bandle et al., volume 1, page 20.
- An Introduction to Modern Faroese, W. B. Lockwood, page 28.
- Building Up Aspect: A Study of Aspect and Related Categories in Bulgarian, Maria Stambolieva, page 31.
- See this forum thread and this comment (both in French) for discussions of Cortez' work.
- Sore, Online Etymological Dictionary.
- A Glossary for the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
- Middle English Dictionary, University of Michigan.
- Deer, Online Etymological Dictionary.
- Mare, Online Etymological Dictionary.
- Federal, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Federation, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Pugnacious, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Pumn, dexonline.ro.
- Poing, Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales.
- An Etymological Dictionary of the Latin Language by Francis Edward Jackson Valpy.
- Lupta, Dexonline.ro.
- Cras, Priberam.pt.
- Cras, Dizionario Sardo Unificato.
- Demain, Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales.
- Dimani, Domani, Dizionario Etimologico Online.
- Sasso, Dizionario Etimologico Online.
- Asse, Dizionario Etimologico Online.
- Frassino, Dizionario Etimologico Online.
- Littoral, Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales.
- Littorale, Litorale, Dizionario Etimologico Online.
- Rebel, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Ribelle, Dizionario Etimologico Online.
- „Nu venim din latină”
- Erreseina-No venimos del latín, Ander Ros Cubas
- ἀγρίδιον, Henry George Liddell; Robert Scott , A Greek-English Lexicon.
- ὄστρακον, Henry George Liddell; Robert Scott , A Greek-English Lexicon.
- pizdă, dexonline.ro.
- Appendix:Proto-Slavic/pizda, en.wiktionary.org.
- Village, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Mayor, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Store, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Comparative method and linguistic reconstruction"
- Historical Linguistics.
- Ponos, Dexonline.ro.
- Slava, dexonline.ro.
- Старославянский словарь, by Э. Благова, Р. М. Цейтлин, С. Геродес et al., page 478.
- Base Form Dictionary, Old Church Slavonic Online.
- βάρος, Henry George Liddell; Robert Scott , A Greek-English Lexicon.
- Baros, Dexonline.ro.
- "Declension", Hittite Grammar.
- Sanskrit Grammar, William Dwight Whitney.
- "NUMBER AND CASE", New Latin Grammar.
- An Overview of Greek Grammar, Harry Foundalis.
- Classical Greek Online, Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum, University of Texas.
- Albanian Online, University of Texas.
- Greek Verbs: an Introduction for the Learner, Harry Foundalis.
- barbarian, en.wiktionary.org.
- Barbare, Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales.
- Barbarian, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Barbar, dexonline.ro. Note that barbar is described as being a loanword from French or Latin.
- Bibliography, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Bolborosi, dexonline.ro.
- Baron, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Abbreviations, A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages, Sir Ralph Lilley Turner.
- Garden, Slovored.com.
- Kabuki, Dexonline.ro.
- Dusman, Wordreference.com.
- An Etymological Dictionary of Persian, English and other Indo-European Languages, Ali Nourai.
- Dys-, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- μένος, Henry George Liddell; Robert Scott , A Greek-English Lexicon.
- A Vocabulary of the Attic Language by S. C. WOODHOUSE, page 273.
- δυσμενής, Dictionary of Standard Modern Greek.
- δυσμενής , lexigram.gr.
- In Romanian, duș is a loanword from French meaning "shower", but obviously this has absolutely no relevance to the matter at hand.
- Roman, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 7, Project Gutenberg.
- cârpă, dexonline.ro.
- Stallion, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Poultry, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Fowl, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Contributions toward a history of Arabico-Gothic culture
- See also this review of Wiener's book by Henry Bradley.
- , a skeptical article by Christopher Culver. See also this article for similar claims about Hungarian.
- The Literary Omnipresence of Jesus, Nirmukta.
- Renasterea Daciei?
- The Hittites; their inscriptions and their history
- The Turkish Language Reform: A Catastrophic Success, Geoffrey Lewis.
- Word Games, The Linguistic Evidence in Black Athena
- Etymology of London
- Carolus Lundius despre geti, goti, sciti, si alte fantasme
- Matthew chapter 6, Wulfila.be.
- Wilhelm Braune, Althochdeutsches lesebuch: Zusammengestellt und mit glossar versehen.
- Complete Anglo-Saxon Bible In Reprint
- The Lord's Prayer in English
- See "Base Form Dictionary", Gothic Online, Jonathan Slocum and Todd B. Krause, Linguistics Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
- Father, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Heaven, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Earth, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Our, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Chapter 1: Personal Pronouns.
- So, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Loaf, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Sound Rules, Gothic Online Lesson 2, Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum, The University of Texas at Austin, Linguistics Research Center.
- Wulfila, ro.wikipedia.org.
- Les Gétes, page 135.
- Les Gétes, page 5.
- Les Gétes, page 14.
- Les Gétes, page 50.
- Les Gétes, page 139.
- Les Gétes, page 134.
- The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, edited by Denis Sinor, pages 98, 179, 191, 287.
- THE GODDESS THEORY : Controversial UCLA Archeologist Marija Gimbutas Argues That the World Was at Peace When God Was a Woman
- Indo-European Languages Evolution and Locale Maps, Jonathan Slocum. "[A] people living somewhere in the general vicinity of the Pontic Steppe north of the Black Sea and east to the Caspian."
- How Old is the Indo-European Language Family? Illumination or More Moths to the Flame?, Quentin D. Atkinson & Russell D. Gray.
- See  and  for articles that, similarly, claim to show that the Serbs have in fact occupied their current position since the Neolithic and are the original Indo-Europeans.
- Such as the 1922 book The Cambridge History of India.
- Montaña de sal de Cardona
- "First salt making in Europe: a global overview from Neolithic times" by Olivier Weller, in Archaeology of Salt.
- L'exploitation du sel marin en France, Société géologique de France.
- Outline of the geology of Austria and selected excursions, Volumes 34-35, Geologische Bundesanstalt, page 194.
- Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century
- "Human populations subsisting primarily on a meat diet do not require extra salt, for the mineral salts in animals and fish can be readily absorbed by the body. [...] There are three potential sources of salt that can be exploited by inland populations. These are the mining of rock salt, the burning of plants with a high salt content and the leaching of salt from their ashes, and evaporation of brine from saline. [...] The best evidence for Neolithic salt production at salines comes from the area around Krakow in southern Poland." Forest Farmers and Stockherders: Early Agriculture and Its Consequences in North-Central Europe, page 194, Peter Bogucki.
- Salt, indexmundi.com.
- Cornwall was scene of prehistoric gold rush, says new research, David Keys, 4 June 2015, The Independent.
- . Claims the worldwide distribution of swastikas is due to the Bulgars going around the world spreading it everywhere.
- THRACIANS AND BULGARIANS: ONE AND THE SAME PEOPLE. Contains picture of artefacts with swastikas.
- Kukasti krst je srpski simbol (The swastika is a Serbian symbol), Jovan I. Deretić.
- The fasti; Tristia; Pontic epistles; Ibi; and, Halieuticon of Ovid, translated by Henry Thomas Riley.
- Riley, page 7.
- Ovid: Ex Ponto, translated by A. S. Kline.
- Ovid: Tristia, translated by A. S. Kline.
- Letters From The Black Sea, Book 3, translated by A. S. Kline.
- Riley, page 427.
- Dacii. Despre amăgirea protocronismului şi alte mistificări, Dragoş Măndescu, Historia.ro.
- The Thracians were Dacians
- Dacii, noi dezvăluiri. The video at the bottom of the page talks about Pardo's book at 8:30-9:00.
- Jesús Pardo, Esferalibros.com.
- Jesús Pardo publica hoy su nueva novela, 'La gran derrota de Diocleciano', culturaclasica.com.
- Meijer, Fik (2001) (in Dutch). Keizers sterven niet in bed: Van Caesar tot Romulus Augustulus, 44 v. Chr. - 476 n. Chr.. Amsterdam: Athenaeum - Polak & Van Gennep. ISBN 9789025334154.
- Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru/A Dictionary of the Welsh Language.
- The Making of Europe, Robert Bartlett, pages 101-105.
- Observations on the Indian Language, Experience Mayhew, 1884.
- The Indian grammar begun: or, An essay to bring the Indian language into rules, for the help of such as desire to learn the same, for the furtherance of the Gospel among them, John Eliot.
- HISTORY OF ARIZONA, Volume VII, CHAPTER I. INDIANS OF ARIZONA. "The Tartar Chinese speak the dialect of the Apaches. The Apaches bear a striking resemblance to the Tartar. About the year 1885, W. B. Horton, who had served as County Superintendent of Schools, at Tucson, was appointed Post Trader at Camp Apache, and went to San Francisco to purchase his stock, where he hired a Chinese cook. His kitchen adjoined his sleeping apartment, and one evening while in his room he heard in the kitchen some Indians talking. Wondering what they were doing there at that hour of the night, he opened the door and found his cook conversing with an Apache. He asked his cook where he had acquired the Indian language. The cook said: 'He speak all same me. I Tartar Chinese; he speak same me, little different, not much.' At Williams, in Navajo County, is another Tartar Chinaman, Gee Jim, who converses freely with the Apaches in his native language. From these facts it would seem that the Apache is of Tartar origin." It is likely that the so-called "Tartar Chinese" are in fact Apache pretending to be Chinese, or vice-versa. They probably laughed heartily at the man's gullibility. "Can you believe that guy? He actually bought my excuse that I could speak Apache because I was Chinese! What a dope."
- moro, ra, Diccionario de la lengua española.
- Kuder, E. M.. (1945). The Moros in the Philippines. The Far Eastern Quarterly, 4(2), 119–126.
- Moor, Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Through The Rebel Country of The Moors, Albert H. Danforth.
- Morisco, Wordnik.com.
- James Scurry.
- History of the Conquest of Florida, Garcilaso de la Vega.
- The earliest Hindustani grammar
- Don Quixote Dictionary
- Inclosure 1 in No. 174: Memorandum. "From a contract, of which a copy translated from the Moorish language of Mindanao ... "
- Law of the Jungle, Bert Cardullo, The Hudson Review, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Winter, 1992), pp. 639-647. "'Tilai' means 'the law' or 'the code of honor' in the local Moorish language." The language in question is probably Mossi (also known as Moore).
- The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organization. With additional descriptions of all the species hitherto named, and of many not before noticed, by Edward Griffith and others. Volume 4, Baron Cuvier. "In India all the varieties are known by the general name of Hog-deer, and called in the Moorish language used in the country, Parrah." Parrah may perhaps refer to the Hindi पाढ़ा or the Punjabi پاڑہ ہرن.
- A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume IX., Robert Kerr. "They speak a kind of Moorish language, somewhat difficult to learn; so that I could only pick up the few words following, which may serve to ask for provisions and fruits, by such as do not understand Portuguese, or in speaking to any of the natives who have not that language.
Gumbey, a bullock. Buze, a goat. Coquo, a hen. Sinzano, a needle. Seiavoye, cocoa-nuts. Demon, lemons. Mage, water. Surra, a kind of drink. Soutan, the king. Quename, a pine-apple. Cartassa, paper. Tudah, oranges. Arembo, bracelets. Figo, plantains." The language is possibly Shimaore (also known as Maore Comorian) or another language of Mayotte (the island visited by Kerr). "Goat" in Shimaore is mbuzi, and "water" is maji.
- Urdu language, Library of Congress Subject Headings.
- The Oldest Grammar of Hindustani, Tej K. Bhatia, Syracuse Scholar, Volume 4, Issue 2, 1983. "He notes the dominance of three languages–Hindustani, Persian, and 'Moorish'–on the Indian linguistic scene and describes their impact on each other and on the other Indian languages. The term 'Moorish' meant 'Muslim' in European languages of the time, but in the context of India it came to refer specifically to the Dakkini (Deccan) variety of Hindustani."
- Dictionary, Malayalim and English, Rev. E. Laseron, C.M.S. Press, Kottayam, 1856, page 68: "The Turkish or Moorish language."
- Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary 1908. "Morisco, mo-ris′ko, n. the Moorish language: a Moorish dance or dancer: Moorish architecture: one of the Moors who remained in Spain after the fall of Granada in 1492.—adj. Moorish—(obs.) Morisk′."
- Albanian: A Person from Albany, New York, Scotland, or Albania
- Antique & Early Medieval Periods, 500 B.C. - 650 A.D., Najaf Museyibli, Smithsonian Institute.
- Why Dacia?, Johnny Grandjean Gøgsig Jakobsen and Jarl Gallén.
- STROMATES. LIVRE I. - ΚΛΗΜΕΝΤΟΣ ΣΤΡΩΜΑΤΕΩΝ ΠΡΩΤΟΣ Chapitres XIII à XX, translation by M. DE GENOUDE.
- The Stromata, Book I, Chapter 16, Translated by William Wilson.
- it's all Greek to me, en.wiktionary.org.
- 498 - Monumental Drift: Europe’s Many Midpoints
- Geographical midpoint of Europe
- The geographical center of Europe, visitlithuania.net.
- A country at the center of Europe: Hungary
- Imago Mundi de Honorius of Autum, The Sawley Map.
- Anglo-Saxon World Map
- Henricus Martellus Germanus.
- Ravenna mappa mundi
- Laurent Fries World Map
- De Virga world map.
- A Short Introduction to Pan-Turanism. This article includes a map, from a Turkish nationalist work, which depicts Turania (the alleged homeland of the Turks) as the center of the world, and the region where all peoples originated.
- Where is zero degrees latitude and zero degrees longitude?, About.com.
- How the north ended up on top of the map, Nick Danforth.
- PE CE PLANETĂ SUNTEM ! (What planet are we on?).
- Former Catholic Priest Micheál Ledwith says that Latin came from Romanian
- What’s hidden in the Vatican Secret Archives?
- TABLE OF THE ADMITTANCES TO THE VATICAN SECRET ARCHIVES IN THE LAST YEARS
- The Secret City, Slate.
- The Vatican opens its Secret Archives to dispel Dan Brown myths
- TVR Cluj - Interview with Miceal Ledwith Part 2 09dec2012 59m55s