See also: Balkans (homonymy)
The word Balkan is Turkish: it indicated in the beginning the Montagne S crossing the Bulgaria and the Serbia in the East-West and named direction " Stara planina " (" old chaîne") in Bulgarian Serbo-Croatian and and " Haemos Oros" (" mounts enneigés") in Greek. " Balkan" mean in Turkish " sticky of blood " , perhaps because of the rough fights which the Turks had to lead to the 14th century for the conquest of these areas.
Geography and History
The term “Balkans” appeared in the French language during the 18th century to indicate an area of the south-east of the Europe. One includes in Balkans all the areas of Europe of south-east which are with the southern of 3 cours d' water, the the Danube of the Save and Krka thus:
- the European part of Turkey, 4% of the territory (the Roumélie),
- the littoral part of Romania (Dobrogée or Dobroudja),
- the Slavic one (ARYM),
- Serbia, without the area of Voïvodine which is in Central Europe,
- Croatia, without the Slavonie, it also in Central Europe,
- and for the south of the country, the north of the country is in Central Europe.
This area covers a total surface of 550 000 km ² and gathers a population of 53 million inhabitants. Although this point is the subject of debate, one the southern third of Romania (Valachie) can be regarded as belonging to the surface of Balkans.
In Western historiography, a certain condescension gave at the end “Balkans” a pejorative connotation: thus “balkanization” indicates a process of destructuration political. That resulted in using the more neutral term of Europe of South-east . Thus the online news Balkan Times is itself famous Southeast European Times in 2003.
But the term “Balkans” made before any reference to a cultural surface, i.e. a unit made up of groups and languages different, but which share nevertheless a certain number of common cultural features, heritage of a common past. The Papacostea historian established six layers of the Balkan cream slice historical which can explain what makes today this area, a cultural surface with whole share, and which, according to its terms, defines the Homo balcanicus ; the modern historians such NR. Djuvara, add a seventh to it:
1. the influence of the substrate thraco-illyrien and Helene, which starts during the first Indo-European migrations, 2000 years before J.C., and acts until the first official constructions of the area (which were described in the Iliade nine centuries before J.C but are probably older);
2. the federalism Macedonian and hellenistic civilization (of the reign of Philippe 1st of Macedonia five centuries before J.C until the catch of Greece by Rome);
3. the romanisation, which contributed to the Balkan unification through the construction of roads and the army, and continued with a cultural synthesis in the basin of bottom the Danube. This one is diffused via the Valaques (Rumanian Aroumains and ), pastoral populations which survive on the piémonts, while in the plains the Slavic ones settle;
6. the Othoman Islam (of 1453 to the Treated of Lausanne);
Balkans Othoman by Red-headed Jean-Paul, honorary Research director at CNRS.
- Mail of French-speaking Balkans Media of reference on Balkans
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