Monday, February 7, 2011

Romaiika - Byzantine Greek in Trabzon Today

via wikipedia

I knew about exctinct languages - nobody speaks Latin anymore - and endangered languages? Any small ethnic population deals with that problem - but endangered extinct languages are a new thing to me. I was blogging around the blogs, looking for interesting Byzantine stuff and I came across Romaiika. It's classical, Byzantine-style Greek....and you find it on the coast on the Black sea near Trabzon, Turkey. (Empire of Trebizond on the map at right. Do you see New Armenia? That's the Cilicia of my MS.)

Originally a Byzantine successor state, Trebizond was eventually cut off from the rest of the Greek speaking world. Somehow a small muslim population in the mountains, exempted from Turkish/Greek population exchanges, has preserved the centuries old dialect of Romaiika. So Byzantine Greek is extinct, but it's's endangered. This video explains the unique situation of Romaiika best:

Isn't that amazing? Did any of you think that Turkey could be so green? Did you know that Trabzon was probably part of the story of Jason and the Argonauts?

And hey! I'm joining a blog platform building Crusade over at Rach Writes. (You know I love Crusades, right?) There are tons of great bloggers out there, and some you have my back, but thought I'd add a few more to my little circle of commiserators, ya know...maybe learn a little more about my craft and the publishing world, etc.

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Rachael Harrie said...

"Circle of commiserators" - love it! :)



Rula Sinara said...

Very interesting! Languages fascinate me.

Creepy Query Girl said...

OH I envy that woman. Learning languages, traveling the world and documenting the evolution of lost languages. 'sigh'. So neat! Thanks for sharing this!

Old Kitty said...

Ooooh darn - I can't watch this until I get home as I'm at work!!! I love languages with such ancient history barely clinging to life in this modern age!!! Long may they exist and be spoken and passed on!! Take care

Unknown said...

I've had an interest in studying language origins lately. This is really cool.

Carolyn V said...

Great interview. I took a linguistics class last year for my degree. It's just fascinating!

Colene Murphy said...

Wow! So interesting!!

Hart Johnson said...

Oh this is cool! I love language stuff and it makes total sense that an isolated area might have evolved differently than the rest of the language (which presumably had far more influences from other languages)

Golden Eagle said...

That's so interesting!

Great post.

LTM said...

isn't that amazing??? I can't believe they preserved the language like that. I mean, OK, I can, but still. How fascinating.

And good luck w/the crusade! YGG~ :o) <3

Christopher said...

That's really fascinating stuff. It's amazing how much of the ancient is still here with us if you only know where to look.


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