The Arvanites(Demetrios P. Demopoulos). Feb 8, 2012 15:28:23 GMT -5
Post by Hellenas on Feb 8, 2012 15:28:23 GMT -5
The Origin of the Hellenes:
(Their Roots, Related Peoples
Demetrios P. Demopoulos
After 10th century, especially during the 14th century, took place massive migrations of Albanians. Mostly Ghegs migrated to the neighboring Kosovo, of which they changed its ethnic structure. In a much smaller number (Schwidetzky I.) Albanians migrated in Epirus, the Peloponnese and the rest of southern Greece. These coming down in Greece "Arvanites" were Northern Epirots(Greeks), and Toscs(southern Albanians), many of whom already spoke Greek.
The downward of these Albanophones to southern Greece didn't happen then, because supposedly Greece was sparsely populated (as stated by some), but rather because it was very rich and flourishing agriculturally and commercially. This is attested by Frankish sources (Miller W.), since, as is known, by then the Franks occupied the area. This migration was similar of the recent (1990) downward in Greece.
And of those Arvanites who then came to southern Greece, many emigrated to Calabria and Sicily in the next two centuries (Johalas T.), like many Maniates , as in Greece had been imposed the brutal Turkish rule. Numerically, should therefore be left very few "Arvanites" in Greece since then. However, their number seemed multiplied later when, with the liberation of Greece, many communities spoke "Arvanitika". Thus arose the question on ethnological affiliation of these Arvanites. Such communities were established in Boeotia, Evoea, Attica, Argolidokorinthia and elsewhere.
D. Sourmelis ("Status summary of the city of Athens", 1842) explains that during the Turkish rule many Greek communities living with Arvanites, preferred to dress and speak Arvanite so to avoid Turkish persecution. For this reason the bilingual communities multiplied. "Where the Greek mixed with the Arvanite language, the Arvanite prevailed" asserts Biris K. (Arvanites, 1960). This is the prevailing view about the relatively populous Arvanite communities that had Greece after 1830. And this view, as we shall see, confirmed today and anthropologically.
Indeed, K. Stefanos since 1911 had indicated that no Arvanite community in Greece was not hyperbrachycephalic. Everywhere the average cephalic index ranged between 80 and 84, with slightly although tendency of the Arvanites of Argolis to hyperbrachycephaly but with severer deviation of the Arvanites of Attica, Euboea and Corinth to mesocephaly (N. Xirotiris, Professor of Physical Anthropology, 1975). These data of head index, which measured K. Stephanos, quite dissimilar to each other, however were not outside the range of the Greek cephalic index.
The recent research, however, of Th. Pitsiou (President of the Hellenic Anthropological Society) in Peloponnese ("Anthropological study of the population of the Peloponnese", 1978) confirmed that the Arvanites there, not only are not racially Dinarics, but they are more Mediterraneans than than the Greeks of Epirus. Thus, for example the height of the nose of the Arvanites is around 53.5, of the Epirotes (A. Poulianos, "The origin of the Greeks", 1968) approximately 55.5, while that of northalbanians according to the research of C. Coon, exceeding 58 mm. Also the width of the jaw, which to Dinarics is small, giving them the form of a triangular face (to Ghegs only 107.7), to the Arvanites exceeding 110 mm, as that of all other Peloponnesians- the Epirotes have around 109. But also the straight forehead, which is a genuine characteristic of the gracile Mediterranean race, found among the Arvanites in percentage of 90%, as among the rest of Peloponnesians, while to Ghegs is less than 40%. These and other evidence convince that "the Arvanites did not differ from the Greeks of the neighboring villages" (Th. Pitsios, President of the Hellenic Anthropological Society, "Anthropological study of the population of the Peloponnese," 1978). For this and the Franks did not distinguish them from the other Greeks ("they are only one people," they wrote) and distinguished only by language, but also from the torque to the military arts (K. Biris, "Arvanites" , 1960).
This military torque of the Arvanites that made the Franks to identify the name of "Arvanites" with that of "soldier", suggests a specificity in their psychic temperament . And today is actually known some specific features in the psychic character of the Arvanites, who considered quite hard, stubborn and self-seekers. D. Kabouroglou had from long noted ("History of Athens", 1969) this differentiation of them from the other Greeks, although admitting that they came from Epiros-and not from Albania, as the Turkalbanians (During the times of the Ottoman empire huge Albanian populations converted to Islam, especially Ghegs- northern Albanians). Such Islamized Albanians, known as "Turkalbanians", who combined the hardness of the character with the religious fanaticism, the Turks used in several places as combat forces ). But also Biris K. writes ("Arvanites", 1960) "As showed with their martial arts the Arvanites did not missed intelligence, but the absence of ingenuity made them harsh in ways and stubborn" (the known "stubborn Arvanite head "). This psychic specificity of Arvanites takes us back to the psychic description, we have done for the Dinaric race. Since psychic traits are almost equally convincing with anthropographic, concerning the raciality of a people, one can conclude that the Arvanites have a dinaric origin- although the Dinaric participation is minimal, as shown by physical evidence. The fact of contradiction between psychic and physical evidence confirms, how psychic racial traits can sometimes be steadier and more temporal than the physical, something which we had report elsewhere and interpret.
Because the Greek national consciousness of the Arvanitophones is undeniable, this consciousness is the other component of ethnicity, it can be argued without a doubt that they, although have some minimal Dinaric participation, like most Greeks, they do not differentiate ethnologically from the rest Greek people. Only language is not, of course, a presumption of ethnicity. After all, the Arvanite language is spoken little today, and only as a second language.
"The origin of the Hellenes", pages 217-220, year 2003.