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On Mon, 10 Apr 1995, Brent Kellmer wrote:
> The question of etymologies of both Walachia and Wales is an interesting
> point. The source for the root *walxo-z in Wales is pretty obvious --
> germanic invasions of the British Isles pushing the celts into the nooks
> and crannies of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. It'd be interesting in
> finding out if the term for Wales originates with the early Anglo-Saxon
> invasions or if it was a term applied by Germanic auxiliaries of the
> Romans who invaded England a few hundred years before the Angles came on
> the scene.
I shall have to forward some of these questions to a professor up in
Canada who is an expert on Romanian history and folklore.
> As for the root *walxo-z in Walachia, that gets a little more interesting
> and perhaps speculative. During the Roman period, germanic and gaulish
> auxiliaries were often settled in various parts of the empire far removed
> from their original homelands. That Romanian is a romance language makes
> Roman conquest of the area seem likely (I'm no expert on that -- most of
> my formal training is for the period ending 1000 years before the
> Romans). Does anyone know if germanic or gaulish auxiliaries were ever
> settled in the area that is now Romania? Depending upon the true
> etymology of *walxo-z, either could be a source for the name Walachia.
> If german auxiliaries, then the name might have originally been used for
> non-germanic inhabitants of the area; if gaulish, then it might have been
> used for the gaulish auxiliaries that moved in. All of this is mere
> speculation, of course, but I thought it might be of interest. The same
> argument (translocation of gaulish auxiliaries) has also been used to
> explain the occurences of the Arthur myths in places like the Caucasus
> Mtns and elsewhere.
This is what I've been trying to find out for myself, since, obviously, it
pertains to my persona. The Romans did settle in what is now known as
Romania (hence the name of the country -- modern Romanians frown upon the
older spellings 'Rumania' or 'Roumania'), and a quick comparison of
Romanian and Latin shows that they are indeed related languages (Romanian,
of course, probably having some Hungarian and Slavic influence as well).
The name of the people of that region was the Vlachs, although I'm not
sure if that term was given by Romans to the native Dacians, or vice versa.
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