I’ve been reading and looking through a few history books lately, and I’ve come across a fascinating fact: a connection between Wallachia – former name of what is today Romania, and Wales. Since I live in Wales, this fact actually made me jump off my chair with excitement and joy – mainly because I found a connection with my ancestral home whilst trying to ‘blend-in’ with my new tribe here in the UK.
It all started with the Roman Empire – this global power that facilitated the fusion of cultures and their people which has effects even to this day.
Vlachs is a name given by the Germanic people to all Romanised territories. The name comes from the Celtic tribe Volcae – in today’s Switzerland, and it marks the time when this tribe was conquered by the Romans. It explains why across the whole of Europe, there are lands that still carry this Romanised-Celtic heritage.
Wales is one of them, because it had A Celtic population that was colonised by the Romans. Wallachia (Romania) is one of these lands, too – we have Celtic pockets of lands and communities in the North of the country. The Valons in Belgium, the ones that speak French as opposed to the Flemings, who speak Dutch, have their names originating from the same Volcae tribe. The Germans called Italians ‘Wahlen’ in the Middle Ages; and they called Pols and Slavs ‘Valachs’.
Apparently, Germans – when they don’t want to be nice and polite, call the French people ‘Welshe’. The French, on the other side, called the Germans ‘Boche’ (the letter B replacing the letter V or W, because of some sort of Greek influence. The Greek language doesn’t have the letter V)
I found this fascinating, how two countries so many miles apart are connected by language and history. There is a town in Romania called Deva – like the Roman name for Chester, and Dracula’s Castle is called Castelul Bran – like Dinas Bran Castell in Wales. I am sure that I can find more examples like this.