Serbs in Croatia Mainly Vlach Origin

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Croat

Australia

#1 Nov 21, 2008
Approximately 70 % of Serbs in Croatia have Vlach (also known as Wallach) origins. The remaining are mainly Croats who have been Serbianized since. Therefore there are hardly any ethnic Serbs in Croatia, even Bosnia for that matter.

Dominic Mandic details this history as follows:

The Turkish Colonization of the Orthodox Wallachs in the Croatian lands

The Wallachs played a dual role in the relations with the Turks. A few of the Orthodox Wallachs and part of the Catholic Wallachs from Duklja and Bosnia fled before the Turks to the Christian lands in the west i.e. the republic of Dubrovnik, Croatia, Hungary, Austria and Venice. We have a record of this in the resolutions of the Lesser Council of Dubrovnik passed in 1386 and 1390 allowing the Wallachs of the neighbouring regions to seek asylum on the soil of Dubrovnik with their cattle, but unarmed. Mehmed II the Conqueror on September 24th, 1472 requested Dubrovnik to forbid the Wallachs fleeing to the Christian west access to its territory.(17)

In the meantime the great majority of Wallachs, both Orthodox in the central Balkans and Catholics in Herzegovina and Duklja, anticipated with joy the new situation created by the Turkish ruler, which vouchsafed to them vast ranges for themselves and their cattle and promised to improve their social position. Therefore the Wallachs placed themselves at the service of the Turkish conquerors. They remained Orthodox or Catholic in their creed as before except for some, especially high-ranking members of society, who were converted to Islam in order to secure for themselves ad their families special privileges and prominent administrative positions from the Turkish authorities. The Turks especially appreciated and used to good advantage their experience in carrying goods and the skill and speed with which they crossed the mountain regions. Accordingly they employed them as auxiliary troops, entrusting to them the conveyance of military supplies, the carrying out of spying operations and hit-and-run raids and the patrol of mountain ravines and boundaries in general. Therefore wherever the Turks advanced, they took groups of Wallachs with them, guaranteeing them by law certain rights in return for regular duties. Indeed each Wallach family would be allotted a homestead along a new boundary for which they had to pay an annual rent of one florin i.e. one gold ducat, being almost completely exempted from any other tax or tribute. Whence they came to be called ‘Florin’ or ‘Ducat’ Wallachs (in Turkish ‘Filurdji Eflakan’). In the beginning a Wallachian ‘katun’ or ‘djemat’ at whose head was a ‘katunar’ or ‘primikur’ i.e. headman, consisted of twenty houses, later fifty.(19)

The first Turkish military colonies of Orthodox Wallachs on Croatian soil began in the middle of the XV century west of the Drina around Zvornik, Srebrenica and Visegrad, and after the fall of Bosnia in 1463 around Tesanj, Maglaj, Foca and Ulog. In southern and western Herzegovina there were no Turkish colonies of Orthodox Wallachs because the Catholic Wallachs in Travunja, Duklja and Zahumlje did not flee at the approach of the Turks, but remained to put themselves at the disposal of the Turks. When the Catholic parishes of these regions lost all their clergy in the second half of the XVI century, then some Catholic Wallachs were converted to Islam, but most passed over to Orthodoxy.
Croat

Australia

#2 Nov 21, 2008
The Wallachs remained in central and western Zahumlje and with the passing of the time assimilated with the native Catholic Croats. After the fall of the banate of Srebrenica (1512 – 16) Wallachian settlements sprouted up in the vicinity of Usora, Vrbanja, Uskoplje, Kupres, Duvno and Glamoc. These Wallachs came to Bosnia from the sanjak of Smederevo and eastern Herzegovina.(19) In 1522 the hinterland of Adriatic Croatia, with Knin and Skradin, fell to the Turks. Then an Orthodox population of so-called ‘Florin’ Wallachs was settled around Knin, Nutjak and Vrlika. After the fall of Obrovac in 1526,‘Florin’ Wallachs settled around Benkovac, Obrovac and throughout Lika.(20) In 1577 the Turks settled the Wallachs in twenty abandoned cities in Lika (21) and in 1638 in Kladusa there were 120 Moslem and Wallachian houses.(22)

At the end of 1536 and the outset of 1537 central Slavonia with Djakovo and Pozega fell to the Turks.(23) In 1536 the Turks revoked the privileges enjoyed by the Wallachs in the sanjak of Smederevo and in eastern Bosnia.(24) This situation compelled the more competitive of the Wallachs to migrate from there to the new Turkish lands in central Slavonia. In 1543 Orahovica, Valpovo and Pakrac fell. Whereupon an Orthodox population of ‘Florin’ Wallachs were settled there, especially on Mount Psun and Papuk. As a result the whole area from Pozega to Pakrac and from Nova Gradiska to Vocin began to be called ‘Little Wallachia’.(25) In 1566 in the sanjak of Pakrac there were 398 Wallachian houses, including 57 houses belonging to Islamized native Croatian Wallachs converted from Catholicism.(26)

In 1551 General Ivan Lenkovic informed Ferdinand I that the Turks were bringing with them several thousand ‘Morlaks’ or Wallachs from Turkish-occupied Europe and settling them around the upper Unac and in the plain of Kossovo near Knin.(27) In 1560 Lenkovic also informed Vienna that the Turks, after the fall of Novigrad and of the greater part of the valley of the Una, were bringing in Wallachs and native Moslems from the interior of Bosnia into these regions.(28) After the fall of Bihac in 1592 the Bosnian beglerbey Hasan-pasha Predojevic settled Orthodox Wallachs from eastern Herzegovina, especially those of his own Predojevic clan, in the central part of Pounje around Brekovica, Ripac, Ostrovica and Vrla Draga up to Sokolovac.(29) With this colonization the Ijekavian speech spoken in Duklja and Herzegovina, which the Romance Wallachs from the sanjak of Smederevo would in time adopt, was introduced to these regions.

It is known from contemporary sources that in 1540 there were 9,879 Wallachian houses in the sanjak of Bosnia (30) i.e. around 70,000 people. Approximately one-fifth were Catholic or native Croatian Wallachs who had enlisted in the Turkish military service in order to obtain the privileges of Wallachian law. The rest were newcomers, Orthodox Wallachs of non-Slavic origin. According to an account given by the apostolic delegate Peter Masarechi in 1624 the Bosnian pashadom had a population of 900,000 Moslems, 300,000 Catholics and 150,000 Orthodox Christians, around 20,000 of which lived at that time outside the confines of modern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Of the rest of the total Orthodox population 50,000 had been converted from Catholicism to Orthodoxy. Around 80,000 Orthodox Christians were descended from non-Slavic Wallachs, who at that time spoke at home mostly their Romance language.
Croat

Australia

#3 Nov 21, 2008
With the defeat of the Turks at Sisak in 1593 and their failures encountered at the outset of the Long War (1593 – 1606) the Christians in the Turkish empire began to loose faith in their masters and to flee to the Christian West. In a proclamation to the Bosnians on April 14th, 1595 the emperor Rudolph II promised to all his aid and protection if they should only rebel against the Turks.(32) Even the ‘Florin’ Wallachs of the Orthodox faith lost confidence in their masters. In 1595 and 1596 bishop Radoslav with thirty Orthodox priests and several Wallachian leaders from the valley of the Una informed the Croatian ban and bishop that the Wallachs of the Una were about to rise up against the Turks and pass over to the Christian side, but that they had reneged at the last moment.(33) In 1595 Basil, the Orthodox bishop of Orahovica in Turkish-held Slavonia, fled to Croatia and settled in the monastery of Marac near Cazma. So the first Orthodox diocese in free Croatia was established.(34) Basil’s successor, Simon Vratanja, joined with the Uniates and recognized the bishop of Zagreb as his metropolitan.(35) In the spring of 1598 500 Wallachs fled to Croatia.(36) In the same year quite a few Wallachs were colonized at Krizevci on the domains of the bishopric of Zagreb. In 1599 Wallachian fugitives were settled in Ivanic, also on the domains of the bishopric of Zagreb (37) and the Croatian ban Ivan Draskovic and General Lenkovic settled Wallachs in Gomirje, promising to them the same rights as the Uskoks had.(38) In 1603 and the following years the Croatian general Vid Kisel settled Wallachs at Lic.(39) In 1609 thirty-three households were settled in Brlog and 523 Wallachs, including 170 armed men, in the area between Modrus, Ogulin and Ostarija. In 1611 twelve more Wallach households were settled in Brlog.(40) By 1628 1,200 Wallachian households had immigrated to Croatia,(41) more than one quarter of which were Croatian Catholic ‘Predavci’ from Bosnia and ‘Slavonians’ from central Slavonia who had enjoyed the privileges granted to Wallachs in Turkish territory. One has to include among all the Wallachs the fifteen villages on the domains of the bishopric of Zagreb in Dubrava near Cazma, where in 1635 "Wallachs and Predavci intermingled with Slavonians" are mentioned as inhabitants.(42) Before 1658 ninety Wallachian households were settled around Otocac and in 1659 around thirty households on the plain of Gacko.(43) In 1665 Nikola Dokmanovic, leader of the Wallachs of Gomirje, called himself a Croat.(44) In 1672 ninety Wallachian households were settled in Dabar in northern Lika.(45)
Croat

Australia

#4 Nov 21, 2008
During the wars of Vienna (1683 – 99) the Western Christian powers liberated Dalmatia to the Dinaric Alps, all of Lika and Pokuplje, Slavonia and Hungary from the Turks. During this time about 100,000 Catholic Croats emigrated from Bosnian and Herzegovina, but an even greater number of Moslem Croats in their retreat from the liberated provinces of Croatia and southern Hungary rushed to take their place.(46) The great majority of Orthodox Wallachs settled by the Turks in these liberated regions remained where they stood. Separate groups of Wallachs also crossed over to liberated Croatian soil from regions still under Turkish sovereignty, particularly from Bosnia. In 1688 Mikulic, the bishop of Zagreb, settled some "people from Rasa, called Wallachs" on the domains of the abbey of Topusko.(47) In 1690 Lika contained the following Wallachian settlements: fifty households in Parzariste, forty in Siroka Kula and thirty in Korenica.(48) In 1705 in Plasko there were thirty Wallachian households and in 1711 there were 200 Croatian and Wallachian households on the plain of Rakovacko.(49) In 1714 218 Orthodox households, mostly of the Greek nationality, immigrated to the Croatian littoral from the Levant.(50) Martin Borkovic, bishop of Senj, reported in 1712 that in this time Lika was inhabited by Bunjevci Croats who had immigrated from Bosnia eighty years ago, by Croats who had migrated from Carniola after the liberation of Lika, by native Croats converted from Islam to the Catholic Creed, and by Orthodox Wallachs. About 1,000 of these Bunjevci and about 2,000 to 2,500 of the former Moslem Croats, were fit to bear arms. The Orthodox Wallachs were relatively the strongest group. According to the report of the war council in Vienna in 1701 there were 11,000 Wallachs living between the Una and the Kupa and up to 30,000 in the Varazdin and Petrinja regions.(52) Driven by hunger and ill treatment at the hands of the military commanders of Lika, more than 5000 Wallachian families, including 1,011 men fit to bear arms, crossed over into Srijem and southern Hungary in 1715.(53) In 1730 there were sixteen Orthodox parishes in Lika.(54)
Croat

Australia

#5 Nov 21, 2008
In the second half of the XVIII century, particularly after the destruction of Moskopolje in 1769 and 1788, the Orthodox Tzintzars came to Croatia. They were ethnic Wallachs who had been cattle herders, but had switched over to the urban trades and in the process had become craftsmen, artisans and merchants. They settled in Mostar, Sarajevo, Zemun, Novi Sad, Osijek, Bosanksi Brod, Zagreb, Karlovac etc. These Tzintzars founded the majority of the subsequent Serbian commercial firms in Croatia.(55)

The architect of the organization of the Orthodox church in Croatia and Hungary in 1695 was the patriarch of Pec Arsenius III Crnojevic. For the regions south of the Sava and west of the Una the diocese of Karlovac was established with its seat in the monastery of Gomirje near Ogulin, and after 1721 in Plasko. The Varazdin region of the military cordon fell under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Pakrac and eastern Slavonia and Srijem with its seat in Krusedol. Arsenius III Crnojevic and Arsenius IV Jovanovic Sakabenta retained with them from Pec the title of patriarch. All their successors bore the title of metropolitan and recognized the overlordship of the patriarch of Pec until 1766 when the Turks abolished that patriarchate and from then on their supreme head was the patriarch in Istanbul. On December 15th, 1848 the metropolitan Josip Rajanci obtained from the emperor Franz Joseph the privilege of titling himself patriarch of the Serbs. This applied also to his successors.(56)

The Conversion of Catholic Croats to Orthodoxy

In southeastern Croatia, in Travunja and medieval Duklja, as early as the hegemony of the Nemanjids, part of the Catholic Croats had been converted by force to Orthodoxy with the result that Catholic bishops, priests and friars were expelled and replaced by Orthodox priests and monks.(57) Far more than this, a considerable number of Catholic Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina were converted to Orthodoxy during the Turkish hegemony (1463 – 1878). The main reason for this was the shortage of active Catholic clergy. Indeed before the Turks began to occupy any region the Catholic clergy, lay and ecclesiastical, fled with a part of the native population. For the Croatian Catholics who refused to abandon their ancestral soil only the Franciscans remained with some Glagolitic priests here and there. Yet neither of them were enough to minister to the people, particularly after 1524 when almost all the Franciscan monasteries in Turkish Bosnia were demolished. There was an especially severe shortage of Catholic priests in the diocese of Trebinje, in eastern Bosnia and in Turkish Croatia between the Urbas and Una rivers.

Another reason for the conversion of Catholic Croats to Orthodoxy was the perseverance of the Serbian patriarchs and of those in Istanbul working through their bishops, priests and monks. Here and there Catholics themselves converted to Orthodoxy of their own free will in order to be protected from the Turkish oppression and to remain Christian, albeit of a different confession. When the new Gregorian calendar was introduced in Bosnia in 1590 a certain number of Catholic passed over to Orthodoxy in order to remain firm in the "old faith." (58)
Croat

Australia

#6 Nov 21, 2008
From the available sources one can follow the conversion of Catholics in eastern Herzegovina most clearly. The Croatian Capuchin Fra Bernardin Pomazanic who in 1529 journeyed from Dubrovnik to Istanbul, found many Orthodox Christians between Bilec and Gacko and in Gacko itself. These people had been Catholic, but had passed over to Eastern Orthodoxy due to a shortage of Catholic priests.(59) The Jesuit Giulio Mancinelli (1537 – 1618) states on the basis of his personal experience as a missionary in the bishopric of Trebinje that "because of the shortage of Catholic priest almost all of the people there have become Orthodox." (60) The native bishops in the plain of Popovo, Fra Benedikt Medvjedovic and Fra Dominik Andrijas wrote in a memorandum to the Congregation of Propaganda in 1622: "In Popovo, not even fifty years ago, there were about 380 Catholic households which converted to Orthodoxy because they had neither their own priests nor bishop…of the twelve (Catholic) churches, the schismatics (Orthodox) took four for themselves, most those which had passed over to Orthodoxy." (61)

In a report in 1627 bishop Andrijas wrote to Rome that in Dubrave between Stolac and Mostar there were still 250 Catholic households which had not seen a Catholic priest for ten to twelve years and had to have recourse to Orthodox priests for their baptisms, weddings and sometimes even for their religious services.(62)

Another region in which many Catholic Croats passed over to Orthodoxy was northeastern Bosnia. At the end of the XIV and the outset of the XV century it was the most Catholic part of the Bosnian kingdom. At that time between the Bosna and the Drina there were ten Franciscan monasteries.(63) In the meantime Sigismund I (1378 – 1437) have in fief to the Serbian despot Lazar Lazarevic in 1412 the territories which he had wrested from the Bosnian kings, i.e. Macva, Usorn and Srebrenica. Lazarevic lost no time in converting by force the Catholics and Bogomils to Orthodoxy. Still more vehement was his successor Djuradj Brankovic (1427 – 56).(64) St. John Capistrano, who participated in the defense of Belgrade, wrote abut this to pope Callixtus III on July 4th, 1455: "The Little Brethren serving in the vicariate of Bosnia are complaining that the schismatics (Orthodox) of Rasa are doing much harm to them and to the believers of the Holy Roman church. Specifically that they were baptizing Catholics against their will and that sometimes they deprived them of their property and put them in prison." (65)
Croat

Australia

#7 Nov 21, 2008
Sultan Bayazid II (1481 – 1512) in an imperial edict of 1488 extended his protection over the Catholics of the sanjak of Zvornik. In this he was opposing the Serbian patriarch and metropolitan who had requested that the Catholics pay them the church tithe. In this edict it is emphasized that the Catholics had lived there "since the time of the sultan’s conquest" i.e. that they were native to Bosnia, whereas those under the jurisdiction of the Serbian patriarch were newcomers.(66) Likewise the sultan extended his protection over Catholics of Srebrenica and Novo Brdo, by an edict of August 17th, 1498.(67) In 1561 the Moslem judge of Zvornik informed the Porte "that the Catholic population of the district had come before the law to complain how Serbian-Wallachian and Romanian priests have been going around from village to village demanding contributions according to their custom" which the sultan had expressly forbidden.(68) This tells us that in 1561 Catholic Croats still lived as before in the villages of the sanjak of Zvornik. In 1575 the imperial kaimakam issued an ordinance forbidding Moslems judges to marry Catholics in Foca (69) and in Prijepolje and Cajnica.(70) From this one can conclude that Catholics still lived in Podrinje at that time. However in the second half of the XVI century, on account to the Turkish persecutions of Catholics and mostly because of the persistent machinations of the restored Serbian patriarchate in Pec (1557), Catholics almost disappeared from northeastern Bosnia. One part was converted to Islam and the majority to Orthodoxy.(71) On an official visit in 1600 bishop Balicevic found in Srebrenica 200 Catholic households, but in the villages around Zvornik there were no more "Catholics at all, but there were more Orthodox than Moslem households." (72) In 1674 bishop Ogramic wrote that in the extensive parish of Skakava in the Posavina, east of the river Bosna, here were only 995 Catholics. "The rest, Turks and Orthodox, are very numerous, although only a short time ago most all were Catholics." (73)

The third major are in which many Catholic Croats were converted to Orthodoxy was Turkish Croatia between the Vrbas and Una rivers. When the Turks arrived in Bosnia these regions were purely Catholic and thoroughly settled. Due to the fighting with the Turks particularly from the fall of Jajce in 1528 until the fall of Bihac in 1592 a good many Croats of these regions either perished or were taken captive or else migrated to free Croatian territory. However a considerable part of the Croats remained in their ancestral domiciles and were converted to Islam or to Orthodoxy. The modern Orthodox Christians with swarthy features in those regions are descended from non-Slavic Wallachs brought over by the Turks from Old Wallachia, the Durmitor mountains and eastern Herzegovina, whereas those with a fair and ruddy complexion, blue eyes and fair hair are the descendants of the native Croats converted to Orthodoxy under the Turkish hegemony. This is confirmed by a tradition of the many Orthodox families of these regions who affirm that they are the ancient residents of these regions, such as were only the Catholic Croats.(74) Milan Karanovic, erstwhile Orthodox priest, conducted an inquiry into the origin of the population in the Bosnian Krajina and had this to say about the natives of the region: "It appears that the native Orthodox group is both racially and ethnically the dame as the native Islamized Catholic group in central Bosnia." (75)
Croat

Australia

#8 Nov 21, 2008
Even on free Croatian soil some Catholic Croats went over to Orthodoxy. In this case it was the so-called ‘Predavci’ and the ‘Slavonians’ among the Catholic Croats who were converted They had sought refuge in Croatia from the Turks at the end of the XVI and outset of the XVII centuries. The ‘Predavci’ were ancient residents of Bosnia, the ‘Slavonians’ of Slavonia. As conscripts in the Turkish army they enjoyed the privileges that the Turks gave to the ethnic Wallachs. The Hapsburgs made an agreement with these ethnic Wallachs who crossed over into Croatia that they would enjoy the same status granted to the Wallachs already within their domains.(76) Petricic, bishop of Zagreb, wrote in 1666 that the ‘Predavci’ went to the Wallachian assemblies and that the Wallachian judges presided over the trials of both ‘Predavci’ and ‘Slavonians’.(77) As the Croatian nobles and the diets demanded that the Wallachs pay taxes and be subject to them (78), on the recommendation of a royal commissariat in Varazdin a tentative proposal was made on September 6th, 1635 that only genuine ethnic Wallachs should enjoy the Wallachian privileges and that "each and every Predavac and Slavonian known to be other than a son of a Wallach" (79) should be debarred from these privileges. To this end Ferdinand III passed the resolutions on March 3rd, 1639, December 10th, 1643 and February 21st, 1648 (80). However the ‘Predavci’ and ‘Slavonians’ refused to give up their Wallachian privileges so that these laws had the effect of brining them into still closer contact with the ethnic Wallachs of the Orthodox creed. During the prolonged contestation over the Wallachian privileges which lasted the entire XVII century, a good part of these ‘Predavci’ and ‘Slavonians’ passed over to Orthodoxy, as was recorded by the Croatian historian Baltazar Kercelic.(81) The fact that the present-day Serbs in Dalmatia live mainly in the centres of the old Croatian Wallachs around Obrovac, Benkovac, Knin and Vrlika tells us that the old Croatian Wallachs in those areas intermingled with the new ‘Florin’ Wallachs from Turkish territory and were converted to Orthodoxy when the Turks occupied these areas. Some descendants of these old Croatian Wallachs have maintained their Ikavian speech up to the present day.(82) The Cakavian dialect of one part of Zumberak also indicates to us that the Catholic Uskoks from Senj, speaking this Cakavian dialect, settle in Zumberak in 1617.(84) They too with the passing of time were converted to the Orthodox faith or to the Uniate church.
Croat

Australia

#9 Nov 21, 2008
The Serbianization of non-Slavic Wallachs and of Orthodox Croats

The descendants of the Carpathian and Balkan Wallachs lived as a completely distinct group, right up to Turkish times, in the midst of the people among whom they settled i.e. the Serbs, the Byzantines, the Bulgarians and others. This fostered among the Wallachs throughout the whole middle ages, even when they lived in small groups, a strong sense of national solidarity as well as disposing them to preserve their Romance language which they had adopted from the Romans in the first century of the Christian era. In modern Romania, where they constituted the majority of the population in relation to the other nationalities, these Wallachs developed as a political nation and called themselves Romans in the Romance language which they speak.(85) In Macedonia the Wallachian Aromuni have preserved their Romance language and the sentiment that they are ethnically different right up until this day.(86) In other regions where they were in the minority the Wallachs quite early became conversant in two languages, speaking their Romance language at home and the language of the people with whom they dwelt. When the Wallachs came from the central Balkans into Croatia as conscripts in the Turkish army at the end of the XV and during the XVI and XVII centuries, they still spoke their own language at home. The Venetian geographer Dominic Negri explicitly attests this in 1557 for the Dalmatian Wallachs.(87) This is also proven by the fact that the Wallachs who reached Croatia from Serbia did not at all form even a tiny enclave in Serbian Ekavitsa, but adopted the Ikavian and Ijekavian speeches of the Stokavian dialect which they encountered in Croatia. During the XVII and especially the XVIII and XIX centuries the Wallachs, being a national minority, abandoned their Wallachian language, not even using it at home.

Socially and financially the Turks granted the Wallachs equal status with their other Christian subjects, when they made these Wallachian transients and nomads either possessors or permanent residents in the military colonies of the ‘Florin’ Wallachs or serfs liable to pay one quarter of their revenues to the beys on whose estates they were settled. Because of their special privileges the Wallachs indeed acquired a higher financial and social status than the Christians as a whole, including Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs and Croats, formerly political nations. This made it possible for the Wallachs to intermarry with the members of the other Christian nations, because the Turks did not prohibit the intermarriage of members of different nations. The Orthodox church and modern nationalist movements played an essential and decisive role in determining which nationality the Wallachs would adopt as theirs.

The Wallachs of the Balkans, indeed, lived on the territory of the Byzantine empire and observed the Eastern rite, belonging to the Orthodox church after the great schism of 1054. A small number of these semi-nomadic ethnic Wallachs were priests. In general Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian priests followed them in ministry, depending on whose territory them inhabited. Since among the Orthodox nations religion and nationality are very much intertwined, the Greek priests impressed upon the Wallachs that they being of the Greek Orthodox faith, they must consequently be Greek in culture. The Bulgarian and Serb priests in their respective national territories did likewise.(88)
Croat

Australia

#10 Nov 21, 2008
As we have seen the Orthodox Wallachs came to Croatia from Serbia as Turkish military conscripts as early as the fall of Bosnia in 1463 and afterwards. Orthodox priests and monks, subject to the authority of the bishops of Dabar and Milesevo, themselves suffragans of the Serbian patriarch in Pec, came in the wake of these Wallachs. It is precisely these Serbian priests and monks who ministered to the Wallachs and correlated the Orthodox faith with Serbian nationality and thereby introduced the Serbian culture into Bosnia and Herzegovina and since the beginning of the XVI century even into free Croatia (Banovina) and Dalmatia. Accordingly since the XVI century albeit rarely we find some names of Wallachs of the ‘Serbian faith’ who even call themselves Serbs.(89) The Serbian monks, seeking Russian support, extended the Serbian name to include all of the ‘Florin’ Wallachs in Croatia who had fled from the Turks.(90)

Nonetheless the Croatian Wallachs up to the end of the XVIII century were conscious of being a distinct ethnic group different from the other nations.(91) Only at the outset of the XIX century when in the Balkans the semi-independent and independent states of Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria had been created did the descendants of the erstwhile Wallachs forsake their own particularity and assimilated with those nations.

The systematic Serbianization of non-Slavic Wallachs and Orthodox Croats and the emergence of the Serbs in Croatia began with the ‘master plan’ of Ilija Garasanin in 1844 and especially with the establishment of the Serbian committee in Belgrade in 1862. The committee’s main function was to follow the master plan in spreading Serbian propaganda and infiltrating the neighbouring states of Turkey and Austria.(92) That same year of 1862, under the influence of the Serbian prince Michael (1860 – 68) and his minister Ilija Garasanin, a Serbian committee was set up in Sarajevo under the chairmanship of the Orthodox priest Bogoljub Petranovic. It proclaimed the ethnic name of ‘Wallach’ to be an affront and set itself the task of having the Serbian name adopted instead of ‘Wallachs’ and ‘Christians’ as the Orthodox in Bosnia and Herzegovina were usually called up to that time.(93) This activity was particularly intensified during the uprising in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1875 to 1878 and during the first years of Austro-Hungarian rule (1878 – 1918). The spread of Serbianism was carried on through propaganda committees, Orthodox confessional schools, the press, singing and sports clubs (Sokol). The Orthodox clergy was especially active, enjoying as it did a great reputation among the Orthodox believers.(94)

The rise of nationalism and the Illyrian movement in Croatia and Dalmatia for the most part found the Orthodox i.e. the descendants of Wallachs and others, on the side of the Croats fighting for the unity of all Croatian lands in one Croatian state.(95) Ban Khuen-Hedervary (1883 – 1903) directed Serbian propaganda at the Croatian Orthodox in order to draw them away from the Croatian cause and make them his own instruments in the battle to destroy Croatian constitutional freedom. However up until 1918 many Orthodox in Croatia considered themselves Croats. So did the poet Peter Preradovic, general Borojevic, M. Michaljevic and others. In 1871 when the fervent Croatian patriot Eugen Kvaternik instigated a rebellion in Rakovica with the express purpose of freeing Croatia from the "Schwabian-Hungarian yoke" and of setting up a free Croatian state, most of his co-insurgents were of the Orthodox faith.(96) It was just during the first and second Yugoslavia that the Orthodox in Croatia generally became Serbianized.
Croat

Australia

#11 Nov 21, 2008
Our investigations have led us to believe that of the Serbs presently in Bosnia and Herzegovina 32 to 35% are descended from Orthodox Croats, 50 to 52% are from non-Slavic Wallachs, 6 to 7% are from Serbianized Bulgarians, Greeks, Armenians and Albanians and 8 to 10% from genuine ethnic Serbs who came there mainly during Austro-Hungarian rule and during the time of the two Yugoslavias.(97)

In Boka Kotorska a number of ethnic Serbs settled permanently at the end of the Candian Wars (1645 – 69).(98) Ethnic Serbs began to colonize Srijem as early as the rule of the Serbian despots (1412 – 59). A particularly large number of them came during the great migration of Serbs under Arsenius III Crnojevic in 1690 and Arsenius IV from 1737 to 1739. At that time some ethnic Serbs settled in the rest of Croatia prior to 1918. Of the Serbs presently in northwestern Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun and Banija not more then two-thirds (66 to 70%) originated from non-Slavic Orthodox Wallachs who came with the Turks into the regions beyond Bosnia and Slavonia.(100) About one quarter of these Serbs trace their origin from Orthodox Croats:‘Predavci’,‘Slavonians’ , native Croats speaking the Cakavian and Kaikavian dialect in the military cordon and Croatian converts to Orthodoxy of the Ijekavian speech of eastern Herzegovina and medieval Duklja. On 2 or 3% of these at the most originate from ethnic Serbs.
Croat

Australia

#12 Nov 21, 2008
In summary,

It is a myth that Krajina Serbs are believed to be ethnic Serbs. This is only true for negligibly small percentage.

After the demise of the Turks, the Vlach (who more or less flourished in the time of the Turks) took the Serbian identity to unify and grab power. The Serb identity really just is a front. Today ethnic Serbs mainly live in Vojvodina and that is it. Central Serbia is mainly comprised of people of Vlach origin. To this day there are places in Serbia where the Vlach still speak their medi-evil romance language.
Croat

Australia

#13 Nov 21, 2008
Also a thing to note. There are Serbs in Croatia that speak the Cajkavian dialect. This is a clear indicator that these people were once Croats as this dialect has purely Croat origins that can be traced back to White Croatia in Poland/Ukraine.

The Serbs on the other hand do not spaek their dialect from White Serbia (small part in Eastern Germany). This dialect known as Western Slavonic is not spoken in the Balkans. It is an absolute myth therefore that the Stokavian dialect is exclusively Serbian!

“UNITING CROATIA”

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#14 Jan 13, 2009
Croat wrote:
Also a thing to note. There are Serbs in Croatia that speak the Cajkavian dialect. This is a clear indicator that these people were once Croats as this dialect has purely Croat origins that can be traced back to White Croatia in Poland/Ukraine.
The Serbs on the other hand do not spaek their dialect from White Serbia (small part in Eastern Germany). This dialect known as Western Slavonic is not spoken in the Balkans. It is an absolute myth therefore that the Stokavian dialect is exclusively Serbian!
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RedStar Army

Lugano, Switzerland

#15 Jan 14, 2009
Let me explain you something. There are vlahs, and there are serbians. Two different things. There cant be any vlahs of serb origin.

“UNITING CROATIA”

Since: Jan 09

Location hidden

#16 Jan 14, 2009
RedStar Army wrote:
Let me explain you something. There are vlahs, and there are serbians. Two different things. There cant be any vlahs of serb origin.
did you know milivoj is a vlah and is giving serbs a bad name?
Emilius Rumanu

Cluj, Romania

#17 Apr 30, 2012
Vlach is a exonim.Others gave us this name.No "vlach" calls himself vlach,as no german calls himself "german",but "deutsch".So,we call ourselves romanians,rumanians,and no "vlachs"..Yes,the majority of the "serbs" in Bosnia and Croatia are of romanian extract.Please,do not "vlach" us!!
UruEuWauWau

Blumenau, Brazil

#18 Apr 30, 2012
Yep, they are. Nego sto. Vlasi, 100%. ;-D Nuum vo mai mbebeda, nuum vo mai mbebeda, jah dexei d bebe q gvadent mi fai mau. ;-D
Catholic Serbs

Slovenia

#19 May 7, 2012
Croat wrote:
Approximately 70 % of Serbs in Croatia have Vlach (also known as Wallach) origins..
And 100% of Croats are just Catholic Serbs
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...
Serbs in Croatia are Serbian origin 100% not Vlah
suki

Adelaide, Australia

#20 May 14, 2012
Ubi vlaha da srbin nema brata!

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