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BALKAN PENINSULA

probably exceed 300,000. They are seldom found in large numbers at any great distance from the sea, and usually congregate in the principal towns and commercial centres, such as Adrianople, Constantza, Varna and Philippopolis; there are also detached colonies at Melnik, Stanimaka, Kavakly, Niegush and elsewhere. The Greek inhabitants of the Peninsula and adjacent islands probably number 4,500,000. The remainder of the population is for the most part composed of Armenians, Jews and gipsies. The Armenians, like the Greeks, congregate in the principal centres of trade, especially at Constantinople; their numbers were greatly reduced by the massacres of 1896. The Jews are most numerous at Salonica where they form half the population. The gipsies are scattered widely throughout the Peninsula; they are found not only in wandering troops, as elsewhere in Europe, but in settlements or cantonments in the neighbourhood of towns and villages.

Religions.—Owing to the numerous conversions to Islam which followed the Turkish conquest, the Mahommedan population of the Peninsula is largely in excess of the purely Turkish element. More than half the Albanian nation and 35% of the inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the creed of the conquering race. Among the Bulgars and Greeks the conversions were less numerous. The Bulgarian Mahommedans, or Pomaks, who inhabit the valleys of Rhodope and certain districts in northern Bulgaria, are numerically insignificant; the Greek followers of Islam are almost confined to Crete. The whole Moslem population of the Peninsula is about 3,300,000. The great bulk of the Christian population belongs to the Orthodox Church, of which the oecumenical patriarch at Constantinople is the nominal head, having precedence over all other ecclesiastical dignitaries. The Bulgarian, Servian, Montenegrin and Greek churches are, however, in reality autocephalous. The Bulgarian church enjoys an exceptional position, inasmuch as its spiritual chief, the exarch, who resides at Constantinople, controls the Bulgarian prelates in European Turkey as well as those in the kingdom of Bulgaria. On the other hand, the Greek prelates in Bulgaria are subject to the patriarch. Religious and political questions are intimately connected in eastern Europe. The heads of the various religious communities are the only representatives of the Christian population recognized by the Turkish government; they possess a seat in the local administrative councils and supervise the Christian schools. The efforts of the several branches of the Orthodox Church to obtain a separate organization in the Turkish dominions are to be attributed exclusively to political motives, as no difference of dogma divides them. The Serbo-Croats of Dalmatia, and Croatia-Slavonia, some of the Gheg tribes in Albania, about 21% of the Bosnians, a still smaller number of Bulgarians in the kingdom and in Macedonia and a few Greeks in the islands belong to the Roman Catholic Church. A certain number of Bulgars at Kukush in Macedonia and elsewhere form a “uniate” church, which accepts the authority and dogma of Rome, but preserves the Orthodox rite and discipline. The Armenians are divided between the Gregorian and Uniate-Armenian churches, each under a patriarch. The other Christian confessions are numerically inconsiderable. The Gagaüzi in Eastern Bulgaria, a Turanian and Turkish-speaking race, profess Christianity.

Languages.—Until comparatively recent times Turkish and Greek were the only languages systematically taught or officially recognized in the Balkan lands subject to Turkish rule. The first, the speech of the conquering race, was the official language; the second, owing to the intellectual and literary superiority of the Greeks, their educational zeal and the privileges acquired by their church, became the language of the upper classes among the Christians. The Slavonic masses, however, both Servian and Bulgarian, preserved their language, which saved these nationalities from extinction. The Servian dialect extending into regions which escaped the Turkish yoke, enjoyed certain advantages denied to the Bulgarian: in free Montenegro the first Slavonic printing-press was founded in 1493; at Ragusa, a century later, Servian literature attained a high degree of excellence. Bulgarian, for nearly four centuries, ceased to be a written language except in a few monasteries; a literary revival, which began about the middle of the 18th century, was the first symptom of returning national consciousness. The Servian, Bulgarian and Rumanian languages have borrowed largely from the Turkish in their vocabularies, but not in their structural forms, and have adopted many words from the Greek. Modern Greek has also a large number of Turkish words which are rejected in the artificial literary language. The revival of the various Balkan nationalities was in every case accompanied or preceded by a literary movement; in Servian literature, under the influence of Obradovich and Vuk Karajich, the popular idiom, notwithstanding the opposition of the priesthood, superseded the ecclesiastical Russian-Slavonic; in Bulgaria the eastern dialect, that of the Sredna Gora, prevailed. Among the Greeks, whose literature never suffered a complete eclipse, a similar effort to restore the classical tongue resulted in a kind of compromise; the conventional literary language, which is neither ancient nor modern, differs widely from the vernacular. Albanian, the only surviving remnant of the ancient Thraco-Illyrian speech, affords an interesting study to philologists. It undoubtedly belongs to the Indo-European family, but its earlier forms cannot, unfortunately, be ascertained owing to the absence of literary monuments. Certain remarkable analogies between Albanian and the other languages of the Peninsula, especially Bulgarian and Rumanian, have been supposed to point to the influence exercised by the primitive speech upon the idioms of the immigrant races.

History.—The great Slavonic immigration, which changed the ethnographic face of the Peninsula, began in the 3rd century A.D. and continued at intervals throughout the following four centuries. At the beginning of this movement the Byzantine empire was in actual or nominal possession of all the regions south of the Danube; the greater part of the native Thraco-Illyrian population of the interior had been romanized and spoke Latin. The Thracians, the progenitors of the Vlachs, took refuge in the mountainous districts and for some centuries disappeared from history: originally an agricultural people, they became nomad shepherds. In Albania the aboriginal Illyrian element, which preserved its ancient language, maintained itself in the mountains and eventually forced back the immigrant race. The Greeks, who occupied the maritime and southern regions, were driven to the sea-coast, the islands and the fortified towns. Slavonic place-names, still existing in every portion of the Peninsula, bear witness to the multitude of the invaders and the permanency of their settlements. In the 6th century the Slavs penetrated to the Morea, where a Slavonic dialect was spoken down to the middle of the 15th century. In the 7th the Serbo-Croats invaded the north-western regions (Croatia, Servia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro and northern Albania); they expelled or assimilated the Illyrian population, now represented in Dalmatia by the slavonized Morlachs or Mavro-Vlachs, and appropriated the old Roman colonies on the Adriatic coast. At the end of the 7th century the Bulgars, a Turanian race, crossed the Danube and subjected the Slavonic inhabitants of Moesia and Thrace, but were soon assimilated by the conquered population, which had already become partly civilized. Under their tsar Krum (802-815) the Bulgars invaded the districts of Adrianople and central Macedonia; under Simeon (893-927), who fixed his capital at Preslav, their empire extended from the Adriatic to the Black Sea. In 971 “the first Bulgarian empire” was overthrown by the emperor John Zimisces, but Bulgarian power was soon revived under the Shishman dynasty at Ochrida. In 1014 Tsar Samuel of Ochrida, who had conquered the greater part of the Peninsula, was defeated at Belasitza by the Greek emperor Basil II., and the “western Bulgarian empire” came to an end. In the 10th century the Vlachs reappear as an independent power in Southern Macedonia and the Pindus district, which were known as Great Walachia (Μεγάλη Βλαχία). The Serbs, who owing to the dissensions of their zhupans or chiefs, had hitherto failed to take a prominent part in the history of the Peninsula, attained unity under Stephen Nemanya (1169–1195), the founder of the Nemanyich dynasty. A new Bulgarian power, known as the “second” or “Bulgaro-Vlach empire,” was founded at Trnovo in 1186 under the brothers Ivan and Peter Asên, who led a revolt of Vlachs and Bulgars against the Greeks. In 1204 Constantinople was captured by the Latins of the Fourth Crusade, and Baldwin of Flanders was crowned emperor; the Venetians acquired several maritime towns and islands, and Frankish feudal dynasties were established in Salonica, Athens, Achaea and elsewhere. Greek rule, however, survived in the despotate of Epirus under princes of the imperial house of the Angeli. The Latin tenure of Constantinople lasted only 57 years; the imperial city was recaptured in 1261 by Michael VIII. Palaeologus, but most of the feudal Latin states continued to exist till the Turkish conquest; the Venetians retained their possessions for several centuries later and waged continual wars with the Turks. In 1230 Theodore of Epirus, who had conquered Albania, Great Walachia and Macedonia, was overthrown at Klokotnitza by Ivan Asên II., the greatest of Bulgarian monarchs (1218–1241), who defeated Baldwin at Adrianople and extended his sway over most of the Peninsula. The Bulgarian power declined after