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The Origins of the Rumanians

The Origins of the Rumanians

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Published by Tamás Keszi
Is Rumanian an indigenous development out of the Latin of the Roman
colonists in the area of Dacia to the north of the Danube, and has it been spoken
in the territory of present day Rumania ever since the times of the Roman
Empire? – or is it a more recent importation from elsewhere, presumably south or
west of the Danube? There has been a long debate over this point, not unrelated
to nationalist territorial claims. The “official” view is that the former of these two
hypotheses is valid, despite absence of concrete evidence to support it. The later
hypothesis has been, in general, rejected.
The merit of the present book is that it marshals and presents the evidence on
behalf of the second, or “non-Dacian” hypothesis. In the absence of detailed
historical records for the post-Imperial period in the non-Byzantine regions of the
Balkans, we must rely on the indirect evidence furnished by linguistic and other
cultural relaitonships. Dr. Du Nay has sifted and weighed the relevant material
with thorough and objective scholarship, making it evident that the “non-Dacian”
hypothesis must be taken seriously and reckoned with.
We shall of course never know what actually happened in those centuries
when Proto-Rumanian was being formed; nor exactly where it took shape, unless
by some chance we come into possession of more detailed historical accounts
than are at present known. In the meanwhile, it is good to have Dr. Du Nay´s
reasoned presentation of the “non-Dacian” side of the argument, to set over
against the dominant official view.
Is Rumanian an indigenous development out of the Latin of the Roman
colonists in the area of Dacia to the north of the Danube, and has it been spoken
in the territory of present day Rumania ever since the times of the Roman
Empire? – or is it a more recent importation from elsewhere, presumably south or
west of the Danube? There has been a long debate over this point, not unrelated
to nationalist territorial claims. The “official” view is that the former of these two
hypotheses is valid, despite absence of concrete evidence to support it. The later
hypothesis has been, in general, rejected.
The merit of the present book is that it marshals and presents the evidence on
behalf of the second, or “non-Dacian” hypothesis. In the absence of detailed
historical records for the post-Imperial period in the non-Byzantine regions of the
Balkans, we must rely on the indirect evidence furnished by linguistic and other
cultural relaitonships. Dr. Du Nay has sifted and weighed the relevant material
with thorough and objective scholarship, making it evident that the “non-Dacian”
hypothesis must be taken seriously and reckoned with.
We shall of course never know what actually happened in those centuries
when Proto-Rumanian was being formed; nor exactly where it took shape, unless
by some chance we come into possession of more detailed historical accounts
than are at present known. In the meanwhile, it is good to have Dr. Du Nay´s
reasoned presentation of the “non-Dacian” side of the argument, to set over
against the dominant official view.

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Published by: Tamás Keszi on Feb 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/30/2014

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