The War of Numbers
and its First Victim:
by Nikola MINOV
Our long-time responsibility
has been to count ourselves,
to know how many of us there are.
At present, we know that the latest battles for conquering Ottoman Macedonia in 1912/13 were led with heavy artillery and that weapon power had the final say in the allocation of the Ottoman heritage in Europe. However, the last battle for Macedonia was preceded by a large number of lesser battles in which the churches and schools were on the battlefields, while the weapons used were the cross and school books. These attempts for spiritual and intellectual conquering of the Christian peoples in Macedonia on the part of their Balkan neighbours were regularly followed by statistical records of the newly found Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs and Romanians. Ever since the new followers had been registered and, more often than not, after the number of these duly registered followers would have been doubled at least, the “objective” statistical results would have been presented in public and the statistician “successfully” proved that the largest number of inhabitants in Macedonia had the same nationality as his.
The first victim of this war of numbers for the conquering of Macedonia was one of the small Christian peoples in the country – the Aromanians (Vlachs). Insufficiently numerous or compact to be a serious candidate in the battle for the Ottoman heritage, but sufficiently numerous and prevalent throughout Macedonia to enable an excellent negotiating position to those who manage to achieve patronage over them, the Aromanians, as Henry Noel Brailsford penetratingly noted, became the pivot of Macedonian question. Greek statesmen were aware that north of Kastoria (Aromanian: Kusturea; Macedonian: Kostur) it was only the Aromanians who gave Hellenism a foothold. It was for that reason, and with the aim to justify its territorial aspirations toward parts of Macedonia, that Greece had no other choice but to represent the Aromanians as Greeks. Hence, the number of Aromanians in Greek statistical data is always lower than the numbers which can be found in all other statistics. In Bulgaria, they were acquainted with the significance of the Aromanians for Hellenism in Macedonia. Thus, they emphasized the existence and the respectable number of the Aromanian, non-Greek, population in Macedonia. However, that was solely the case as regards territories of Greek interest. In parts of Macedonia toward which the Greek kingdom had no aspirations, Bulgarian statisticians practically do not register Aromanians and most frequently represent them as Bulgarians. The position of Bucharest was yet more complex. Due to its geographical location, Romania had no opportunity for territorial expansion onto Macedonian territory. Nevertheless, Romania’s southern neighbor, Bulgaria, had that opportunity and in Bucharest they knew that the existence of a Romanian constituent in Macedonia, which Romania took care of and patronized, would be an excellent tactical method to exert pressure on Bulgaria to make territorial concessions in Dobrogea. The Aromanians were given the role to be Romanians. This is the reason why the number of Aromanians in Macedonia has always been the greatest in Romanian statistical data, although the Aromanians have regularly been presented as Romanians.
Henceforth we will focus on the issue of pinning down the number of the Aromanian population and its pervasiveness in Macedonia in the last decades of the Ottoman rule. Even today, this issue arises as a serious object in political speculations and unless entirely comprehended, it would be difficult to understand the conditions in which the Balkan states developed their propaganda against the Aromanians, its chances of success and the justification of their territorial aspirations.
Never have so many contradictory arguments been made for the number of any of the Balkan peoples as there have been for the Aromanians. Situated in almost all corners of Macedonia, the Aromanians fail to form a compact majority in any larger territorial unit. Scattered as they were in isolated mountain villages or in town communities, they commonly acted as makeweight in politics, as opposed to a well defined political force with clearly defined goals and territorial aspirations. Owing to that, their number in Macedonia became the subject of manipulation which was welcomed by the Balkan statisticians who could prove to the world public the domination of “their” population in Macedonia. These circumstances manifoldly complicate any attempts of historians today to reach an approximate figure representing the number of the Macedonian Aromanians in the respective period. Among the numerous diligently and thoroughly made statistics, numerical estimates for which it remains unknown how the wrongdoer obtained them and pseudo statistics in which the foreign element is decreased or omitted intentionally, it is essential to take into account the provenience of the statistician, the aims of the statistics and the manner in which the statistician reached the concluding number.
We do not claim to provide an accurate figure of the Aromanian population in Macedonia at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. In fact, we maintain that it would be impossible even for the contemporaries who conducted thorough field research. Our goal is to review several statistical data from the given period and using comparative analysis of some to reach a number which, in our opinion, approximates the genuine number of the Aromanian population in Macedonia in the period we are interested in.
The first problem we encountered was the definition of the term Macedonia. Throughout history, this term has had different meanings and usages. As Duncan Perry properly notes, attempts to delimit the boundaries of Macedonia, in any but the most general terms, are fruitless since ethnic claims, coupled with historical, political and diplomatic considerations, render an exact delineation impossible. Thus, while for Greek statisticians Macedonia regularly included only the Salonica and Bitola (Monastir) Vilayets i.e the territories where Greek and hellenicised population lived, for the Bulgarian statistician Macedonia was where one could find Slavic population, so the territories south of Haliacmon river and around Pindus mountains were generously left to anyone interested in them. To make the confusion worse, the Romanians sometimes used the broad term Macedonia even for parts of Albania. At other times, for the more precise grouping of the Aromanian population in the Ottoman Empire, Macedonia was shrunk to the borders of the Salonica Vilayet and part of the Kosovo Vilayet, while the biggest part of the Bitola Vilayet was sacrificed for the benefit of Albania and Epirus.
This paper uses the geographical term Macedonia for those territories which Vasil Kanchov processed in his statistics, the only difference being that we add to Macedonia the kaza (administrative division) of Katerini, which belonged to the Salonica Vilayet.
A much more serious problem than the arbitrariness of the statisticians when defening Macedonia, are the difficulties which the researcher had in the field itself. First, it was the summer-winter migration of the Aromanian stock breeders and the risk of counting the same people twice, once in their summer homes and another time in their winter homes. This was wisely used on the part of the Romanian statisticians. Another option was not to count them at all provided the statistics was about the Macedonian Vilayets and was conducted during the winter season when most of these stock breeders spent their winters in their Thessalian plains. Some Aromanian nomads, such as the Farsherots, were constantly on the move in summer and winter, and escaped even the most skillful statistics. A similar problem was the second category of Aromanian travelers i.e small scale traders or craftsmen who were prevalent in almost all Balkan centres. Due to their jobs, they remained at the same place for only several years, which was enough not to have them listed neither in their birthplace nor in the place of their current whereabouts.
In addition, it is necessary to be acquainted with the method used to generate the statistical data. Three statistics made according to the origin, language and political views provided three different results. Those who wished to overstate the number of the Aromanians in Macedonia used to their advantage the Aromanian origin of that category of people whose ancestors had long ago been hellenicised or slavicised, and those who wished to decrease the number of the Aromanians regularly used their ecclesiastical jurisdiction under the Patriarchy, whereby the Aromanians were considered Greeks.
The political views should not even be taken into consideration. While for a valuable consideration people in the more civilized countries are ready to vote Liberal or Conservative - noted William Miller in 1897 - in Macedonia they changed their nationality for hard cash. During several generations, some families changed two, three or even four national ideas, and for certain individuals, nationality presented a profession which enabled them a comfortable lifestyle and substantial material gain. Despite opportunism, fear of being deported was often the reason why the Aromanians declared themselves as Greeks, Bulgarians or other nationalities. The feature which distinguishes the Aromanians from the neighbouring ethnic groups is neither their religion, nor their political orientation, but their language. On account of that, we give priority to the language principle. However, due to the multilingualism of the majority of the Aromanians, there is risk of some of them being inappropriately considered something they actually were not.
The origin of the statistics is no less important. Depending on the goals of the statistician and what he wanted to indicate, a great part of those statistics were politically conditioned and biased in certain areas. What primarily needs to be taken into account is the Romanian statistics whose aim was to increase the number of “the Romanian population in Macedonia” and the Greek statistics which go to the other extreme and drastically decrease the number of Aromanians, representing them as Greeks. On the other hand, in the theocratic Ottoman Empire ethnic identity was suppressed at the expense of religious identity. Furthermore, the Ottoman authorities listed only the male population, not according to nationality but according to their religion. Such Turkish statistics, based on unreliable data from the Ottoman Nüfus Defteri (one kind of register), presented in the official sālnāme (official yearbooks of the Ottoman government, the provincial authorities and some civilian and military institutions), cannot be seriously accepted while counting the Aromanian population. They registered the Muslims because of military service and the others because of tax. In order to avoid tax, it was often the practice to reduce the number of children. It occurred mainly in such areas which were remote, as most of the Aromanian villages, in fact, were, and in some instances Christians even bribed the officials to intentionally note a smaller population number.
As regards the numerous western European travelogue writers, scientists, diplomats and statisticians, political conditioning of their statistics cannot be ruled out completely. The Great Powers had their political interests in Macedonia and depending on those interests it was desirable that the number of Aromanians be presented as bigger or smaller than the actual one. Many times, owing to the unfamiliarity with the situation in the field, foreign diplomats simply transferred the data served by their informers, who most often were Aromanians or Greeks hired at the consulates and whose interest was that the number of Aromanians be increased or decreased. The difficulty in obtaining credible statistical data was often as a result of the geographical position of the Aromanian villages which the European visitors, out of fear or ignorance, did not even visit. This, along with the multilingualism of the Aromanians, led to many European travelogue writers not even mentioning the Aromanians in Macedonia in their travel notes, but, precisely due to the multilingualism, many of them casted doubts on the Greek or Slavic origin of some of the inhabitants of Macedonia, thus started seeing Aromanians in them. This was beautifully depicted by British diplomat Sir Charles Eliot:
“They remind one of those ingenious pictures in which an animal or a human face is concealed so as not to be obvious on first inspection, though when once seen it appears to be the principal feature of the drawing. In the same way, one may live and travel in the Balkan lands without seeing or hearing anything of the Vlachs, until one’s eyes are opened. Then one runs the risk of going to the opposite extreme, and thinking, like Roumanian patriots, that most of the inhabitants of Macedonia are Vlachs in disguise.”
The majority of Macedonian Aromanians settled in Macedonia during the Ottoman rule. The old medieval Vlachs had been slavicised or hellenicised to a great extent. The main migrations from Epirus, Southwestern Macedonia and Albania toward various parts of Macedonia occurred in the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, after the developed Aromanian settlements of Voskopojë (ar. Moscopole), Niçë (ar. Nicea), Nikolicë (ar. Nikulitsa), Grammousta (ar. Gramostea), Linotopi (ar. Lintopea), Shipckë (ar. Shipska) etc., had been destroyed. The wealthier class of this population moved to the larger centres of the Habsburg Monarchy and the rest populated Macedonia. After inhabiting Macedonia, part of them settled in the towns and another part populated the high mountainous areas. Due to various reasons, the Aromanians did not remain static, but were constantly on the move. In this process, new settlements and villages were formed as well as new Aromanian colonies in towns where there had not been any Aromanians previously. On the other hand, there was a decrease in the population of the Aromanians in their initial settlements in Macedonia or their abandonment altogether. These circumstances were the reason why a certain number of Aromanian villages had not been listed in the early statistics at all, and in some towns the Aromanians were not recorded as they had not lived there at the time the statistical data had been prepared.
In the period covered in this paper, the Aromanians lived almost in all parts of Macedonia. Nevertheless, they were most numerous in the Bitola and Salonica Vilayets, whereas in the Macedonian part of the Kosovo Vilayet, they mostly inhabited the larger towns working as traders and craftsmen. According to the population number, the Bitola Vilayet had the biggest Aromanian population. They were most compact in the Grevena kaza, more precisely in the Pindus villages of Avdella (ar. Avdela/Avela), Perivoli (ar. Pirivole/Mbirvole), Samarina, Smixi (ar. Zmikse), Krania (ar. Turia), Mikrolivado (ar. Labanitsă), Kallithea (ar. Baltino) with its satellite settlements of Prionia (ar. Bozuva/Hlyapi) and Yeoryitsa (ar. Yiuryitsa), and the town of Grevena (ar. Grebini). Avdella, Samarina, Smixi and Perivoli were transhumant settlements. Their inhabitants were predominantly stock breeders who went to lower areas in Macedonia and Thessaly during the winters. Krania and Kallithea were inhabited all year long. Grevena had solely 20 Aromanian houses in summer, but in winter that number increased to 200. Consequently, the Greeks were the majority in town in summer whereas in winter, the majority was Aromanian.
In kaza Kaylar (Greek: Ptolemaida), on the slopes of Mount Askio, the Aromanians were the majority in Vlasti (ar. Blatsa) and Sisssani (ar. Shainjlji). In this kaza the Farsherot Aromanians settled in a hut settlement near Ano Grammatiko, called Călivili di Gramaticuva.
Aromanian villages Polla Nera (ar. Fetitsa), Ayios Dimitrios (ar. Căndruva) and Patima (ar. Paticina) were situated on the southern slopes of Mount Voras (mk. Nidže) and on the northern slopes of Vermio, in Edessa kaza.
In the Nasliç kaza (gr. Neapolis), there were Aromanians in the small town of Siatista and in the Aromanian village of Namata (ar. Pipilishta) on mount Askio. Aromanians also lived in the villages of Tsotyli and Eratyra together with the Greeks.
There also was a large Aromanian colony in the town of Kozani, in kaza Kozani, which had been hellenicised for the most part. While visiting the town of Kozani in 1880, British diplomat and historian Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol, noted that “In the 900 houses of this city there are scarcely twenty where around the family fireside any other language is spoken than the old Latin-sounding Wallach. (Still) the prosperous townsfolk would be deeply hurt if any doubt were hinted as to the genuineness of their Hellenism”. The Aromanian primacy in Kozani was also noted by Spiridon Gopčević, who counted 4,000 inhabitants in 1888. Around 3,000 of them were Aromanian, 100 were Serbian, while the others were of Greek origin.
The Aromanians were scattered everywhere in kaza Kastoria. This kaza bordered the old Aromanian settlements on Mount Gramos. Actually, some of the former Aromanian villages on Gramos, such as Linotopi and Grammousta, geographically belonged to Macedonia. The Aromanian population in kaza Kastoria was most numerous in the Aromanian town of Kleisoura (ar. Clisura). Great number of the Christian population in the town of Kastoria was of Aromanian origin. When Victor Bérard visited Kastoria toward the end of the 19th century, Aromanian was spoken or at least understood in every Christian house, which, beyond doubt, indicates the strong Aromanian presence in this town. In the mid-nineteenth century, one of the Greek propaganda leaders in Kastoria, the teacher Anastassios Piheon, reports that the town’s Greek upper class was mainly made up of Aromanian families who had eventually settled in Kastoria after leaving Moscopole, Nikolicë, Vithkuq, and elsewhere. The Aromanians lived in Argos Orestiko (ar. Hrupistă/Rupistă) and the village of Grammousta, and in the Macedonian settlements there almost was no village without at least 4-5 Aromanian families. In 1905 the secretary of the Bulgarian Exarchate, Dimitar Mishev (alias D. M. Brancoff), recorded the presence of small groups of Aromanian families among the inhabitants of villages near Kastoria, such as Vassiliada (mk. Zagoričani), Pendavryssos (mk. Želegože), Korissos (mk. Gorenci) and Kalohori (mk. Dobrolišta). After the collapse of Linotopi, some poor Linotopean families settled in nearby Nestorio (mk. Nestram), where they were assimilated by the more numerous Macedonian villagers. The Aromanians from the other Macedonian villages in kaza Kastoria faced a similar destiny. The Aromanian language was soon forgotten, but the Macedonians in Kastoria area continued to refer to their fellow villagers who traced their origins to Gramos as Vlachs.
In kaza Florina were the Aromanian town of Nymfaio (ar. Niviastă) and the Aromanian villages Pisoderi (ar. Pisuderea) and Bazdravitsa. Hut settlements called Călivili Papadia and Călivili Murihova were formed on the slopes of Mount Voras in the north-eastern parts of the kaza. Mixed with the orthodox Albanians, the Aromanians also inhabited the villages Flambouro (ar. Niguvanlji), Drosopigi (ar. Belkameni) and Lehovo. The small Aromanian colonies in Florina (ar. Hlernu/Hleru; mk. Lerin) and in the villages Perikopi (mk. Prekopana) and Vatohori (mk. Breznica) were nearly slavicised.
In the northern and central parts of the Bitola Vilayet, the Aromanians were most numerous in kaza Bitola. Here, apart from the “New Moscopole” – Bitola (ar. Bitule), which had the largest urban Aromanian population in the Balkans throughout the 19 century, was Bitola’s rival for the role of the “New Moscopole” – Kruševo (ar. Crushuva), as well as the Aromanians villages of Nižepole (ar. Nijopuli), Magarevo (ar. Magaruva), Trnovo (ar. Tărnuva), Malovište (ar. Muluvishti) and Gopeš (ar. Gopishi). Following Macedonians, the Aromanians were the second most numerous population in the town of Resen (ar. Areshanj) and the nearby village of Jankovec (ar. Iankuvets). The summer settlement of Călivili Istoc, founded by transhumant Aromanians from Perivoli, was situated on the Petrina mountain between Resen and Ohrid.
In kaza Ohrid, there were Aromanians in the towns of Ohrid (ar. Ohărda) and Struga, and in the villages Dolna Belica (ar. Beala di-Nghios) and Gorna Belica (ar. Beala di-Nsus). The Aromanians in Ohrid came from Epirus and the Aromanian settlements in southern Albania and Frashër. It is here that they formed Upper and Lower Village which merged with the town of Ohrid when it expanded in the middle of the 19th century. They became Ohrid neighbourhoods by the names of Gorno Vlaško Maalo and Dolno Vlaško Maalo. Around 1800, approximately 400 Aromanian families lived in Ohrid. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Aromanian population in the town was so diminished that Dolno Vlaško Maalo was almost cleared of Aromanians. The exoduses from Niçë and Llëngë (ar. Lănga) led to the establishment of two new Aromanian villages on mount Jablanica. First Gorna Belica was established, high on the slopes of Jablanica, and shortly afterwards Dolna Belica, down in the foothills. The Aromanians in Struga were principally traders and craftsmen from Gorna Belica and Dolna Belica who stayed in town from Sunday to Friday, but spent Saturdays in their villages. Some smaller Aromanian groups settled in the Drimkol area near Struga, in the villages of Drenok and Modrič, while some Farsherot groups from Gorna and Dolna Belica later settled in the villages of Vevčani, Višni, Podgorci and Labuništa.
In the Prilep kaza, there were Aromanians in the town of Prilep (ar. Părleap) and the Mariovo villages Gradešnica, Bešišta and Budimerci. Aromanian traders, of which most with origin from Kruševo, inhabited the town of Kičevo as well.
In the Salonica Vilayet, the Aromanians, or more precisely the Meglen Vlachs, were most numerous in the Gevgeli kaza, in the area Vlacho-Meglen and its villages Notia (ar. Nănta), Perikleia (ar. Birislav), Langadia (ar. Luguntsa), Arhangelos (ar. Oshani), Skra (ar. Liumnitsa), Karpi (ar. Tsărna Reka), Huma (ar. Uma), Koupa (ar. Cupa), Konsko (ar. Coinsco) and Sermenin (ar. Sirminina). Notia was completely islamicised whereas Konsko, Karpi and Sermenin were in the process of slavicisation. In the region of Meglen was the large Aromanian village of Megala Livadia (ar. Marile Livădz), founded by Aromanians from Grammousta who spent their summers in Livadia and their winters in Salonica surroundings and Kassandra. By 1899 the village had been ownership of Turkish bays from Giannitsa. Afterwards it was repurchased by the Aromanians from Livadia. There was also a small Aromanian colony in Gevgelija (ar. Ghevgheli), comprised of Aromanians from Kruševo, Prilep and Vlacho-Meglen.
In the neighbouring Giannitsa kaza, several Aromanian families settled in the town of Giannitsa. The Meglen Vlach village of Kastaneri (ar. Barovitsa), whose inhabitants were slavicised to a great extent, belongs to this kaza. In 1909, when Theodor Capidan visited the village, only the adults spoke the Megleno-Vlach dialect.
In the Salonica kaza, there were many Aromanian stock breeders, but their winter dwellings were impermanent and they were therefore registered in their summer lodgings. In this kaza there was a large group of Aromanians only in the town of Salonica (ar. Sărună).
Aromanians were numerous in the kaza of Veria as well, where they were the most numerous ethnic group following the Greeks. They had an absolute majority in the mountainous regions west of the town of Veria (ar. Veryea), on mount Vermio, where the villages of Kato Vermio (ar. Selia di-Nghios) and Ano Vermio (ar. Selia di-Nsus), Marousia (ar. Marusha), Mikra Santa (ar. Cearkoveanj), Vromopigado (ar. Volada), Koumaria (ar. Doleanj), Xirolivadi (ar. Ksirulivadi) and Castania were situated. Large Aromanian colonies could be found in the towns of Veria and Naoussa (ar. Naustă).
In the kaza of Katerini, the Aromanians were fairly numerous during the winter season when the Aromanians from Olympus, Mariovo, Ano Vermio, Veria, Edessa (ar. Vudena; mk. Voden), Flambourari and the Grevena area moved down toward Katerini and the coast. By the end of the 19th century some Aromanians from Samarina established the hut settlements of Kolindros and Kalyvia tou Zissi.
In the Strumica kaza, the Aromanians and their herds went up the Ogražden mountain, but in winter they went down to the fields of Salonica and in the vicinity of Langadas, east of Salonica.
In the second half of the 18th century, about 250 Aromanian families inhabited Veles (ar. Velis). The decrease of the number of Aromanians in the town ensued the decline of trade in Veles in the second half of the 19th century. In 1900 Kanchov recorded only 500 Aromanians in Veles. Some Aromanians settled in Bogomila, between Veles and Prilep, near the Babuna pass. In 1879 there were 20 Aromanian families in Bogomila. Until the First World War, their number rose to 30 families. Most of them were eventually assimilated by the Macedonian villagers.
The first Aromanians settled in Serres (ar. Siar/Nsiar) and the whole of the subsequent Serres sanjak in the first half of the 17th century. These settlers may have acted as a kind of advance guard for the Aromanian settlements that sprang up in Eastern Macedonia later on.
The most significant Aromanian colony within the whole sanjak settled in Serres and was gradually hellenicised, and also in Irakleia (ar. Giumaia di-Nghios), where the Aromanian language was preserved. The Aromanians in Serres mostly came from Moscopole, Aspropotamos, Malakassi, Zagori, Konitsa, Olympus and the Grevena area. Those in Irakleia were mostly from Vovoussa (ar. Băiasa), but also from Moscopole, Mount Olympus (Vlaholivado and Kokkinopilos), Aspropotamos (Gardiki and Ayia Paraskevi), Grevena area (Avdella) and Nymfaio. In kaza Serres, a group of Grammoustian Aromanians established the hut settlement Laďlias (ar. Călivili di-Ncheare). They were later joined by settlers from Avdella. The Aromanians in this kaza also settled among the Macedonian population in the smaller villages of Hionohori (mk. Karli Kjoj), Marmaras (mk. Orehovec) and Elaionas (mk. Dutlija).
In kaza Zihni, the Aromanians settled among the Macedonians, Turks and Greeks in Alistrati, Mikropoli (mk. Krlukovo), Kallithea (mk. Egri Dere), Mandili (mk. Mandilevo), Agios Hristoforos (mk. Oravište), Rodolivos (mk. Radoliovo) and Kormista (mk. Kormišta).
The Aromanians, with over 1000 inhabitants, were also numerous in Ano Poroia (ar. Poroya di-Nsus) in kaza Demir Hisar (gr. Sidirokastro; mk. Valovišta), where Aromanians from Avdella, Smixi, Vovoussa and Nymfaio settled. They were the only inhabitants in the village of Omalo (ar. Ramna) which was established by Aromanians from Nymfaio. In this kaza, Aromanians from Aspropotamos, Malakassi, Zagori, Gramos and Avdella settled in the town of Sidirokastro, as well as in the village of Filyra (ar. Liposh) and in some hut settlements.
Several Aromanian families from Irakleia settled in Nevrokop (now Gotse Delchev) in 1844. On Pirin, Menoikio, Agkistro, Alibotush, Vrontous, Stargach and Mauro Vouno Mountains there were nomad huts by the villages Petrovo, Dzhigurovo, Gorno Spanchevo, Bozhdovo (ar. Bojduva), Shatrovo (ar. Shatra), Lopovo (ar. Lopuva), Pirin, Gorna Sushitsa, Popovi Livadi (ar. Papa Cair), Marmaras (mk. Orehovec), Leukogeia (mk. Belotinci), Eksohi (mk. V’zmen), Perithori (mk. Starčišta), Vathytopos (mk. Trlis), Kapnofyto (mk. Crvišta), Ahladohori (mk. Krušovo), Ankistro (mk. Sengelovo), and most probably in Vlahi as well. In Pirin Macedonia, in the Melnik, Petrich, Gorna Dzhumaya and Razlog kazas, a larger or smaller number of Aromanians lived in the towns of Melnik, Petrich, Blagoevgrad (ar. Giumaia di-Nsus) and Mehomia, in addition to Mount Rila villages of Rsovo, Bistritsa, Strumski Chiflik (now Strumsko, part of Blagoevgrad), Arzach, Belitsa, Bachevo, Sofan and Kara Mandra.
In easternmost parts of Macedonia, in kazas Drama, Eleftheroupoli, Kavala and Sari Shaban, Aromanians could be found in the larger towns and villages: Drama, Kavala, Eleftheroupoli (mk. Pravišta), Prosotsani, Nigrita, Doxato, Agios Athanasios (mk. Boren), Kyrya and Chrysoupoli (Sari Shaban). In many cases they were the first Christians to settle as merchants and craftsmen in villages that had been exclusively Turkish until then.
In the kazas from the Salonica Vilayet where a large presence of Aromanians had not been noted, they worked as traders and lived in the towns such as Edessa, Negotino and Kavadarci. Kanchov calculated that 250 Aromanians lived on Mount Athos.
In Macedonia, the smallest number of Aromanians lived in the Kosovo Vilayet. Here, some of them, mostly traders from Kruševo, settled in the bigger towns Skopje (ar. Scopia), Kumanovo (ar. Cumanuva), Gostivar, Kočani, and others with their herds occupied the pastures on Mounts Osogovo and Plačkovica, where they formed the summer hut settlements of Kalin Kamen, Košarica, Samari, Lopen, Ponikva, Čatal, Lisec, Kitka, Jamište, Oždenica, Duračka Reka, Stanci, Čupino, Kartal, Kolarnica, Kukla, Kara Tepe, Asanlija etc. These Aromanians spent their winters in the town of Kočani, Kriva Palanka and in the villages Spančevo, Sokolarci, Vrbica, Lepopelci, Ularci, Banja, Nivičani, Pantelej and Buniš. Kanchov recorded Aromanian stock breeders in the Polog region in North-Western Macedonia as well.
The list would be excessively lengthy if we were to denote all the places in which there were Aromanians. In some villages, such as the Macedonian villages in Koresteia (mk. Korešta) region, there were 5-10 Aromanian homes which is also the case in many other villages in Macedonia. It will be satisfactory to conclude that the Aromanians lived in almost all parts of Macedonia. Nonetheless, they did not form a significant majority in any of them. Where they were more numerous, they always lived in immediate vicinity of other Christian groups in Macedonia or together with them.
There are plenty of statistics about the number of the Aromanians in Macedonia, mainly within the population statistics of European Turkey. As regards most of them, we do not know by what means the author reached the figure presented to us and all we can do is accept it or reject it without being able to address it critically. Various numbers are given depending on the period when the statistics was made, the origin of its author and its definition of “Macedonia”. However, even in cases when the region is clearly defined, when the time span is merely several years and even when the authors are of the same nationality, the figures they present regarding the population number of the Aromanians frequently differ considerably. Within that context, we enclose 5 statistics about the population number of the Aromanians in the Macedonian part of the Bitola Vilayet, made in the period from 1896 to 1902 by Italian consuls in Bitola, Arturo Scaniglia and Gaetani D’Aragona di Castelmola, by Russian Bitola consul Alexandr Rostkovskiy, by French vice consul in Bitola Max Choublier and by auditor of Romanian schools in the region of Bitola, Ioan Ciulli.
Macedonian part of Bitola Vilayet
Evidently, the difference in the figures offered is vast. However, if we review the statistics in detail in order to see who was behind them and what their goal was, we will comprehend the rationale for the considerable difference among the five statistics.
In the period when Scaniglia and D’Aragona were the Italian consuls in Bitola, the royal interpreter was Mihail Pinetta, who was the son-in-law of inspector general of Romanian schools and churches in Turkey, Apostol Mărgărit, and lecturer аt the Romanian lyceum in Bitola. Due to the frequent absence of the Italian consuls, Pinetta carried out the duties of the consul and only representative of Italy in the town on many occasions. Within the context of general Italian policy in the region, it was to Scaniglia and D’Aragona’s benefit that the number of the Aromanians and Albanians be presented higher than the actual one. Provided we add the undeniable participation of Pinetta in the making of both statistics, we will understand the reason for the larger number they offered. In Rostkovskiy’s statistics, and within the context of Russian policy in the Balkans, a contrary inclination can be noticed i.e. an increase in the number of Slavic population to the disadvantage of the other population. Rostkovskiy’s statistics is thorough, but as regards the number of the Aromanians is utterly unrealistic. According to him, the Aromanian village of Nižepole had 470 inhabitants, and the town of Bitola had 3500 Aromanians. In comparison with all other statistics, regardless of their origin, these numbers had been reduced significantly and did not correspond to reality. The same inclination, or ignorance, can be noticed in Choublier’s work. Geographer Ioan Ciulli’s statistics remained unpublished and was prepared for his personal use. As a scholar, and subsequently a school auditor, Ciulli visited the Aromanian settlements in the Bitola Vilayet several times a year and was familiar with the situation in the field. However, he too expressed doubt about some of the figures he prepared himself, and for some villages added smaller figures in brackets, which made the final figure for the Aromanian population in the Macedonian part of the Bitola Vilayet draw near 65000 inhabitants.
The bigger the territory to which the statistics refer, the bigger the differences among them. In the enclosed five tables we present the numerical estimates of Balkan and Western-European provenience for the number of the Aromanian population in Macedonia. All data refers to Macedonia, with the exception of part of the Greek statistics which do not include the Kosovo Vilayet.
Western—European statistics – Macedonia
The differences become even more drastic when Balkan statistics are compared, especially when Greek statistics are compared with Romanian ones. Great differences can be seen within the Greek statistics in which in 1856, future Greek Foreign Minister Alexandros Rizos Rangavis stated that 600000 Aromanians lived in European Turkey whereas in 1904, Greek sources estimated that there were 9653 Aromanians in Macedonia.
Greek and Romanian statistics – Macedonia
Aromanian statistics – Macedonia
Serbian and Bulgarian statistics – Macedonia
Turkish and Albanian statistics – Macedonia
Any comment is superfluous. The above given figures present the distorted demographic representation and are just about useless. In the war of figures led for Macedonia by prime ministers, ministers, university professors, scholars and journalists, battles were won by adding or subtracting one zero. Scientific research was in the background giving way to political interests.
Vasil Kanchov’s and Gustav Weigand’s statistics
Bulgarian Vasil Kanchov’s and German Gustav Weigand’s statistics are characterised by a more serious and critical approach. They have been accepted as such and widely used, primarily in Macedonian and Bulgarian historiography. Nevertheless, with certain notable exceptions, Macedonian and Bulgarian historians present the data from these statistics as they had been offered by the authors, without having them critically processed. Owing to the scientific value of these statistics and their popularity and acceptance, we will focus on them and will point out their faults so as to complement them and thus get closer to the number of the Aromanian population in Macedonia during the respective period.
a) Vasil Kanchov’s statistics
In the 1890s, as inspector general of the Bulgarian schools in European Turkey, Kanchov regularly travelled in Macedonia and collected valuable historical, geographical, statistical and ethnographic materials. Macedonia, Ethnography and Statistics published in 1900 was the synthesis of his research of many years.
According to him, 80767 Aromanians lived in Macedonia in 1900, of which 77267 were Christians and 3500 were Muslims. There is an initial fault when calculating this figure. The analysis of Kanchov’s final calculations reveals that the number of Christian Aromanians was 74324 but not 77267 as he had calculated. Another fault in Kanchov’s calculations has been detected in the Gevgeli kaza data, where he calculated that there were 12930 Meglen Vlachs instead of 13030. Consistent with that, the final number of Aromanians in Macedonia according to Kanchov was not 80767 but 77924, of which 74424 were Christians and the remaining 3500 were Muslims.
The fact that the Bulgarian ethnographer never even visited most of the Aromanian villages, primarily those villages in the kazas where there were no Bulgarian schools is a second issue. While preparing the statistics for the Grevena, Kozani and Nasliç kazas, he depended on second-hand information he collected on the way. Concerning the kaza of Nasliç, he obtained the information from two millers from the Kastanohoria (mk. Kostenarija) region and from two Aromanian horse traders. The third irregularity is the arbitrary calculation of the population, which was not made by its number, but by the number of houses in the town or village. In order to obtain the number of inhabitants of a town or village, Kanchov did not conduct a thorough census, which in reality was not always possible. Instead, he multiplied the number of houses with a number he thought suitable. In the 1900 statistics he did not state the number he used to multiply the number of Aromanian houses, but we can infer that from his earlier research, which is the main basis for the 1900 statistics. Therefore, regarding the Aromanians who lived in the towns and the wealthier villages in the Serres, Zihni, Demir Hisar and Nevrokop kazas he calculated 5 or 5.5 inhabitants per house and regarding summer hut settlements in Melnik, Gorna Dzhumaya and Razlog regions, 6 inhabitants per house, although he admitted that the Aromanian nomads “were difficult to deal with”. In our opinion, such estimates are not realistic. English archaeologists Alan Wace and Maurice Thompson, who spent several months living among Aromanian nomads in several Aromanian villages in Pindus and its surroundings, maintained that the number of 5 inhabitants per house was too small and that the real number was much higher. In the village of Megala Livadia (Meglen area), male children stayed in their parents’ house until the parents died even despite getting married or having children. Theodor Capidan stayed in a house in Megala Livadia in which the parents lived with their five sons, five daughters-in-law and 18 grandchildren. The same situation was the case with the other Gramostean Aromanians. In 1901, in the village of Kato Vermio there were 380 houses, 569 families and 3400 inhabitants or on average, 9 inhabitants per house. Weigand wrote that one two-storey house in Trikala was a home to exactly 50 people, all of which were Aromanian. Kanchov’s estimate that generally five people lived in the Aromanian houses in the towns can be accepted, but the average of 6 persons per house for the numerous Aromanian nomads is completely unacceptable.
What is also unacceptable is the manner in which Kanchov bulgarised and hellenicised certain Aromanian settlements. He stated that in Salonica there was a large Aromanian colony where the adults still spoke Aromanian, which was also used by the newly settled Aromanians from Mount Olympus. However, when making the final calculations, he stated that there were no Aromanians in Salonica at all. He did the same concerning the town of Serres and the villages Siatista and Nigrita. He admitted that in Serres there were around 400 Aromanian houses where the adults still spoke Aromanian, but, at the end, he recorded them under the column Greek.  He considered the Meglen Vlachs from the villages Karpi and Kastaneri Bulgarians, due to the rapid process of slavicisation which was in progress. Finally, this statistic lacks the kaza of Katerini, which Kanchov did not consider part of Macedonia, because there was not a Slavic element in it.
According to Weigand’s statistics, 6000 Aromanians lived in kaza Katerini. In Serres, Salonica and Nigrita there were 5500. Kanchov calculated 5630 inhabitants in Siatista, Karpi and Kastaneri, but improperly regarded them as Greek and Bulgarian. Provided we add these 17130 Aromanians to the above calculated 77924, we will reach a figure of 95054 Aromanians. Nevertheless, if in addition we calculate a higher average than 6 inhabitants per house for the Aromanian summer villages, the final figure will arrive at between 110000 and 120000 Aromanians of the total of 2 million inhabitants in Macedonia.
b) Gustav Weigand’s statistics
German linguist Gustav Weigand’s statistics encompassed exclusively the Aromanian population and was made based on his personal research in Macedonia, Epirus, Albania and Greece in the period between 30th April 1889 and 24th May 1890. The principle used by Weigand differs from Kanchov’s principle in the fact that the German scholar counted only the houses which were inhabited and formed the final figure for a village after having reviewed the census records and having talked to the influential people from the village, the leaders and several villagers. Concerning the houses where one family resided, Weigand increased the number of houses fivefold in order to obtain a figure for the total number of inhabitants, at the same time being well familiar with the fact that many houses were homes to more than one family and taking that in consideration while preparing the statistics.
According to Weigand, 62405 Aromanians lived in Macedonia. At first sight, this figure is small and rather unacceptable but understandable if we see which territories Weigand included in Macedonia, which Aromanian settlements he visited and what the principle of calculation of the number of the Aromanian population living in the places he had not visited was. This figure did not include the Vlachs from Meglen, which he thought to be a different ethnic group. Neither did Weigand include the villages Gorna Belica and Dolna Belica which he assigned to Albania, the Pindus villages Avdella, Perivoli, Smixi, Krania and Samarina which he assigned to Epirus and the Katerini kaza which he eventually assigned to Thessaly. He completely disregarded the Aromanians from the Kosovo Vilayet, the Aromanians in the Gorna Dzhumaya, Razlog, Nevrokop, Petrich, Drama, Sari Shaban, Giannitsa, Tikveš and Mount Athos kazas, as well as some villages in the Melnik and Prilep kazas. Weigand visited 33 of the 56 settlements in Macedonia where he had thought Aromanians lived. However, he did not visit 23 settlements, of which 15 were purely Aromanian. Concerning the settlements he had not visited, he stated the official figures from the census records, previously admitting that they were notably lower than those in reality.
If we add to the figure 62405, or more precisely 63331 (see note 172) the Meglen Vlachs and the Macedonian Aromanians which Weigand assigned to Albania, Epirus and Thessaly, whose number was 30000 according to him, and the Aromanians from the Kosovo Vilayet and the above mentioned kazas which Weigand did not calculate, but according to Kanchov were 8509, then the final figure would be 100914 i.e. 101840 Aromanians in Macedonia. Whereas regarding many settlements Weigand used the official Ottoman statistics which did not depict reality, we can rightfully conclude that the number of Aromanians was higher and reached 110000-120000 inhabitants, which in our view comes closest to the number of the Aromanian element in Macedonia toward the end of the 19th century. The number would have been significantly higher if we counted all the people with Aromanian origins, who were gradually assimilated through mixed marriages and the cultural influence of the neighbouring nations.
As you would expect, the number of Aromanian inhabitants in Macedonia was not a fixed category. The birthrate factor led to an increase in the population but the political changes, primarily the changes of the border between Greece and Turkey, work related emigration and mixed marriages which proved the Aromanians easiest to assimilate, resulted in a continual decrease of the number of Macedonian Aromanians.
The Aromanians even now feel the consequences of the war of numbers which took its tool on thousands of “victims” in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. But could it perhaps be that the war is still in progress? According to the latest official censuses, solely 9695 Aromanians live on the above- mentioned territories and all are on Republic of Macedonia’s territory. In the Greek and Bulgarian parts of Macedonia, the official number of the Aromanian population equals zero.●
1. Unpublished sources
Microfilmed fonds in the State Archive of the Republic of Macedonia (ДАРМ)
- Fond Problema 15- Şcoli şi biserici, m- 2351
Archival department of the Institute of National History- Skopje (АО ИНИ)
- Податоци за селото Негован, “Фламбуро”, Леринцка околија, Хр. IV. 45
2. Published sources
Британски дипломатически документи по българския национален въпрос, Том I, 1878-1893, Съставители: Весела Трайкова, Александър Гребенаров, Румен Караганев и Румяна Прахова, София, 1993
Британски документи за историјата на Македонија, Том IV, 1857-1885 (Редакција Драги Ѓорѓиев), Скопје, 2003
GALLON Silvano, Rapporti politici dei regi consoli d’Italia a Monastir (1895-1916), Bitola, 2004
ГЕОРГИЕВ Величко и ТРИФОНОВ Стайко, Екзарх Български Йосиф I, Писма и доклади, София, 1994
Српски извори за историјата на македонскиот народ, 1912-1914, Избор, редакција и коментар Глигор Тодоровски, Скопје, 1979
Turchia, Il vilaiet di Monastir, Rapporto del cav. O. Gaetani D’Aragona Di Castelmola, R. Console in Monastir, Bolletino del Ministero degli affari esteri, Roma, 1902
B. General works, Monographs, Memoirs, Articles
ΑΓΓΕΛΟΥ Τηλέμαχος, Μεγάροβο-Τύρνοβο τα δύο ελληνικά φρούρια της πόλεως Μοναστηρίου και φωλέα του ελληνισμού της Δυτικής Μακεδονίας, Θεσσαλονίκη, 1954
Α. Κ. Γ., Τύρνοβον-Μεγάροβον, In: Μακεδονικό Ημερολόγιο 1908, Αθήνα 1908
BANCIU Ax., Suflete uitate- Dr. Vasilie Glodariu (4 mart 1832-16 Ian. 1899), In: Ţara Bârsei, IV/5, Braşov, 1932
БАРБОЛОВ Георги, Историята на Армъните и взаимоотношенията им с Българите, София, 2000
BAŢARIA N., Calatorii pe la Aromâni, II, Bitolia-Resna-Ohrida, In: Graiu Bun, I/10, Bucureşti, 1907
BAŢARIA N., Istoricul fundărei oraşului Cruşova, In: Lumina (Bitolia), II/5, Bucureşti, 1904
BELIMACE C., Descrierea Molovişteĭ, In: Primul Almanah Macedo-Român, Constanţa, 1900
BÉRARD Victor, La Turquie et l’Hellénisme contemporain, Paris, 1897
БИТОВСКИ Крсте, Грчката “Македонска борба” 1904-1908, Скопје, 2001
БИТОСКИ К., Бројот и составот на населението во Битолскиот вилает во крајот на XIX век, In: Историја, VI/1, Скопје, 1970
BOGA T.L., Românii din Macedonia, Epir, Tesalia, Albania, Bulgaria şi Serbia (Note etnografice şi statistice), Bucureşti, 1913
BRAGA Sevold, Die rechtslage der aromunische minderheit in Griechenland, Skopje, 2004
BRAILSFORD N.H., Macedonia, Its races and their future, London, 1906
BRANCOFF M.D, La Macédoine et sa population chrétienne, Paris 1905
BURADA T. Theodor, Cercetari despre şcoalele românesci din Turcia, Bucuresci, 1890
CANACHEU Demetru, Comuna Livezi, In: Lumina (Bitolia), IV/6, Bucureşti, 1906
CAPIDAN Th., Macedoromânii, Etnografie, istorie, limbă, Bucureşti, 1942
CAPIDAN Theodor, Meglenoromânii, Istoria şi graiul lor, Vol. I, Bucureşti, 1925
ЧАКАРЈАНЕВСКИ Ѓорѓи и АВРАМОВСКИ Стојан, Некои видувања за Власите во Македонија кон крајот на XIX и во почетокот на XX век, In: Зб. Власите на Балканот, Скопје, 2005
CHIROL Valentine M., Twixt Greek and Turk or Jottings during a journey through Thessaly, Macedonia and Epirus in the autumn of 1880, Edinburgh & London, 1881
CIARĂ Constantin, Înfiinţarea şcolii Române din Giumaia de sus, In: Graiul Românesc, VII/2-3-4, Bucureşti, 1933
CICMA N.C., Comuna Turia, In: Lumina (Bitolia), V/10, Bucureşti, 1907
CIOLACHE St. Costică, Comuna Beala-de-Jos, In: Lumina (Bitolia), VI/4, Bucureşti, 1908
CIONESCU N. Steriu, O scurtă descripţiune a Cruşoveĭ, In: Primul Almanah Macedo-Român, Constanţa, 1900
CIUMETTI S. Ioan, Călivele-Badralexi ică Seliă din ghios, In: Frăţiliă, I/8, Bucuresci, 1901
CORDESCU Virgiliu Mihail, 1866-1906, Istoricul şcoalelor Române din Turcia, Sofia şi Turtucaia din Bulgaria şi al seminariilor de limba Româna din Lipsca, Viena şi Berlin, Bucureşti, 1906
COUVREUR Aug., La Turquie d’Europe et les états des Balkans, In: Bulletin, Société royale Belge de géographie, An. 14/1890, Bruxelles, 1890
ДАСКАЛОВ Георги, Армъните в Гърция, История на един непризнат народ, София, 2005
DE GAVANA I., Noul orăşel aromânesc Dolliani, In: Almanah Macedo-Român 1902, Bucureşti, 1902
DELACAMARA, Salonicul saǔ Săruna, In: Lumina (Bitolia), II/2, Bucureşti, 1904
DIAMANDI Vasilie, Renseignements statistiques sur la population Roumaine de la péninsula des Balkans, Paris, 1906
DIAMANDI-SAMARINA T.N. , Samarina, In: Almanah Macedo-Român 1902, Bucureşti, 1902
ДИМЕСКИ Димитар, Македонското националноослободително движење во Битолскиот вилает, (1893-1903), Second edition, Скопје, 1982
DRAPEYRON Ludovic, Questions d’Orient et questions d’Occident, In: Revue de géographie, Tome XLI, Paris, 1897
DRĂGHICESCU Berciu Adina, Românii din Balcani: cultură şi spiritualitate – Sfârşitul secolului al XIX-lea- începutul secolului al XX-lea, Bucureşti, 1996
ФИЛИПОВИЋ Миленко, Номадски Цинцари на Ограждену, In: Гласник географског друштва, XXIV, Београд, 1938
FISCHER L., La terreur en Macédoine, In: Revue catholique d’Alsace, An. XXIV/1905, Strasbourg, 1905
GHICA Constantin, Oraşelul Vlaho-Clisura, In: Lumina (Bitolia), II/4, Bucureşti, 1904
ГОПЧЕВИЋ Спиридон, Стара Србија и Македонија, Београд 1890
ЃОРЃИЕВ Ванчо, Слобода или смрт, Македонското револуционерно националноослободително движење во Солунскиот вилает 1893-1903 година, Скопје, 2003
GRIVA Sandu, Aromâňĭļi dit câzălu Florina, In: Frăţiliă, I/7, Bucuresci, 1901
HÂCIU Anastase , Aromânii, Comerţ, Industrie, Arte, Expansiune, Civilizaţie, Ediţia a II-a, Constanţa, 2003
IOTA Naum Iota, Cronica-a anjlor 1820-1878, Cronica-a Badralexadzlor, Scopia, 2002
Историја на Крушево и Крушевско, книга прва, Крушево, 1978
KAHL Thede, The Islamisation of the Meglen Vlachs [Megleno-Romanians]: The Village of Nânti [Nótia] and the “Nântinets” in Present-Day Turkey, In: Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, 34/1, s.l 2006
КАТАРЏИЕВ Иван, Серската област (1780-1879), Економски, политички и културен преглед, Скопје, 1961
ΚΑΤΣΑΝΗΣ Α. Νίκος – ΝΤΙΝΑΣ ∆. Κώστας , Οι Βλάχοι του Νοµού Σερρών και της Ανατολικής Μακεδονίας , Σέρρες , 2008
КИРЈАЗОВСКИ Р., За романската пропаганда во Македонија, In: Историја, V/2, Скопје, 1969
ΚΙΖΑΣ Γεώργιος , Μεγάροβον, In: Μακεδονικό Ημερολόγιο 1910, Αθήνα 1909
КОМАН Вирџил, Општи видувања во врска со местото на Мегленитите во рамките на Ароманците на Балканот, In: Документи V/1, Скопје, 2008
ΚΟΥΚΟΥΔΗΣ Ι. Αστέριος, Μελέτες για τους Βλάχους -1- Η Θεσσαλονίκη και οι Βλάχοι, Θεσσαλονίκη, 2000
ΚΟΥΚΟΥΔΗΣ Ι. Αστέριος, Μελέτες για τους Βλάχους - 3- Οι Ολύμπιοι Βλάχοι και τα Βλαχομογλενά, Θεσσαλονίκη, 2001
ΚΟΥΚΟΥΔΗΣ Ι. Αστέριος, Μελέτες για τους Βλάχους - 4- Οι Βεργιάνοι Βλάχοι και οι Αρβανιτόβλαχοι της Κεντρικής Μακεδονίας, Θεσσαλονίκη, 2001
KOUKOUDIS I. Asterios, The Vlachs: Metropolis and Diaspora, Thessaloniki 2003
КЪНЧОВ Васил, Избрани произведения, Том I, София, 1970
КЪНЧОВ Васил, Македония, Етнография и статистика, Second edition, София, 1996
ΛΟΥΣΤΑΣ Αργ. Νικόλαος, Η ιστορία του Νυμφαίου-Νέβεσκας Φλωρίνης: συμβολή των Νυμφαιωτών στην εθνική, ιστορική, οικονομική, πολιτιστική και παραδοσιακή ζωή του, Θεσσαλονίκη, 1988
Македония и Одринско, Статистика на населението от 1873 г., София, 1995
MANTEGAZZA Vico, Macedonia, Milano, 1903
MĂRGĂRIT Apostol, Apostol Mărgărit şi şcolile române de peste Dunare, In: Convorbiri Literare, VIII/9, Iassi, 1874
MICHĂILEANU Stefan , Raporturi dintre rase in Macedonia, In: Macedonia-Revista Românilor din Peninsula Balcanica, I/2, Bucuresci, 1888
MILLER W., “The promised land” of the Balkan Peninsula, In: Cosmopolis, VIII/22, Paris, 1897
МЛАДЕНОВЪ Кирилъ, Областъта Мегленъ въ Македония, Историко-етнографски прегледъ и народностни борби, София, 1936
ΜΠΑΛΛΑΣ Νικόλαος, Ιστορία του Κρουσόβου, Θεσσαλονίκη 1962
ΜΠΙΡΚΑΣ Κώστας, Αβδέλλα, Η αλπική κωμόπολη, Αετοφωλιά της ένδοξης Πίνδου, Ιωλκός-Αθήνα, 1978
ΝΑΣΙΚΑΣ Γ. Αθ., Το χωριό μας η Σμίξη του Νομού Γρεβενών, Αθήνα, 1971
N(icolae). B(atzaria), Cum eram, In: Frăţiliă, I/5, Bucuresci, 1901
NENIŢESCU Ioan, De la Românii din Turcia Europeana, Studiu etnic şi statistic asupra Armânilor, Bucuresci, 1895
NERO T., Comuna Pisuderi, In: Lumina (Bitolia), IV/11-12, Bucureşti, 1906
NERO Theodor, Aromânii din cazaua Florina, In: Lumina (Bitolia), II/6, Bucureşti, 1904
NERO Theodor, Orăşelul Niveasta saǔ Nevesca, In: Lumina (Bitolia), II/1, Bucureşti, 1904
NERRO Ch., Comuna Belcamen şi împrejurimi, In: Lumina (Bitolia), I/4, Bucureşti, 1903
NICOLAĎDČS Cléanthčs, La Macédoine, Berlin, 1899
NICOLESCU Dimitrie, Târnova şi Magarova, In: Lumina (Bitolia), II/6, Bucureşti, 1904
ODYSSEUS, Turkey in Europe, London, 1900
ΟΙΚΟΝΟΜΟΥ Π. Παντελής, Το Λέχοβο στην ιστορική του πορεία, Θεσσαλονίκη 1976
PAPAHAGI Nicolas, Les Roumains de Turquie, Bucarest, 1905
PAPAHAGI N. Pericle, Megleno-Româniĭ, Studiŭ etnografico-filologic, Partea I, Extras din Analele Academieĭ Române, Seria II, Tom XXV, Memoriile secţiunii literare, Bucuresci, 1902
PAPA IANUŞI Vasile, Selia de sus, In: Lumina (Bitolia), I/10, Bucureşti, 1903
PAPA IANUŞ Vasile, Aromâniǐ Olimpianǐ, Caterina-Cariţa, In: Lumina (Bitolia), II/2, Bucureşti, 1904
ΠΑΠΑΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ Ν. Πέτρος, Ο Εξισλαμισμός του μακεδονικού χωριού, „Νοτίων’’, In: Μακεδονικό Ημερολόγιο 1909, Αθήνα 1908
ПАПАНАЧЕ К., Рефлексии врз историската и политичката судбина на Ароманците, Скопје 2001, 174.
PAPA-STERESCU Demetru, Aromânĭli Grămosteanĭ de la sinorlu vurgărescu, In: Frăţilĭa, I/4, Bucuresci, 1901
PAPAZISI Pericle, Beala de sus, In: Lumina (Bitolia), IV/9, Bucureşti, 1906
PELLEGRINI Battista, Verso la Guerra? Il dissidio fra l’Italia e l’Austria, Roma, 1907
PENCOVICI Alexandru, Despre Romanii din Macedonia şi Muntele Atos- impresiuni de caletorie, Bucureşti, 1885
ΠΕΝΝΑΣ Θ. Πέτρος, Τα Άνω Πορόια Σερρών, Το διαμάντι του Μπέλλες, Ιστορία και Λαογραφία, Αθήνα 1989
PERDICHI I. Lazăr, Schiţă monografică despre comuna românească Doliani, In: Lumina (Grebena), I/4, Bucureşti, 1936
PERRY M. Duncan, The politics of terror: the Macedonian liberation movements 1893-1903, Durham and London, 1988
PETCU Dumitru, Schiţă monografică asupra comunei Selia, In: Lumina (Grebena), I/1, Bucureşti, 1936
PIAHA Ioan, Aromânii din ţinutul Seres, In: Lumina (Bitolia), II/5, Bucureşti, 1904
PICOT M.E., Roumains de la Macčdoine, Paris, 1875
POPAZISI Pericle, Comuna Poroi de sus, In: Lumina (Bitolia), IV/5, Bucureşti, 1906
POPNICOLA Nico, Muluvishti, Monografia a hoarăljei, Bituli, 2008
POPNICOLA Nico, Tărnova, Monografia a hoarăljei, Bituli, 2009
ПОПОВИЋ Д. Ј., О Цинцарима, Прилози питању постанка нашег грађанског друштва, Second edition, Београд, 1937
ПОПОВ Жеко, Румъния и българският национален въпрос (Македония и Добруджа), 1903-1913Г., София, 2004
PUPPA C. Ioan, Romania faţă de cestiunea macedoneana, Bucuresci, 1903
RUVA Gh., Schiţă monografică asupra comunei Vlaho-Clisura, In: Lumina (Grebena), I/2, Bucureşti, 1936
САЈКОСКИ Ѓорѓија, Власите во Кичево во почетокот на XX век, In: Зб. Власите на Балканот, Скопје, 2005
ΣΑΡΑΝΤΗΣ Κ. Π. Θεόδωρος, Το χωριό Περιβόλι Γρεβενών, Αθήνα 1977
SCRIMA Leonida, Perivole cuib de vulturi. (Versiune întregită după ediţia grecească.) Partea II-a, Monografia comunei aromâne Perivoli – Munţii Pindului – Macedonia, Bucureşti, 1975
ŞADIMA D., Vlahĭli di Turya, In: Almanah Macedo-Român, Anul IV-1903, Bucuresci, 1903
ШАПКАРЕВЪ А. К., Кратко историкогеографско описание на градоветѣ Охридъ и Струга, In: Сборник на Българското книжовно дружество, кн.I, София, 1901
Statistica, Makedonie şi Epir, In: Almanah Macedo-Român, Anul IV-1903, Bucuresci, 1903
ΣΧΙΝΑ Θ. Νικολάου, Μακεδονίας, Ηπείρου Νέας Οροθετικής Γραμμής και Θεσσαλίας, Αθήνα, 1886
ΣΥΜΕΩΝΙΔΗΣ Π. Χ., Σαμαρίνα, In: Μακεδονικά 7, Θεσσαλονίκη 1967
TANAŞOCA Şerban Nicolae, Un izvor inedit privitor la istoria aromânilor din regiunea Veriei, In: Almanah macedo-român, Bucureşti, 1992
ТОМОСКИ Т., Еден опис на Македонија од 1905 година, In: Историја, V/2, Скопје, 1969
ΤΟΠΑΛΗΣ Αναστασίος, Τα χωριά Ανω και Κάτω Μπεάλα, λιμνολεκάνη Στρούγκας- Αχριδας, In: Μακεδονικά 12, Θεσσαλονίκη 1972
ТРАЙЧЕВ Георги, Отпразднуването праздника на Св. Св. Кирилъ и Методий въ гр. Сѣръ, In: Ил. Илинденъ, год. III, кн. 4 (24), София, 1930
ТРАЈАНОВСКИ Тодор, Власите во Охрид, Охрид, 1999
ТРАЈАНОВСКИ Тодор, Влашките родови во Струшко: прилог кон историјата на народностите во Македонија, Скопје 1979
ТРАЈАН Тодор, Ароманите на балканските простори низ XX век- Статистика (Почеток на XX век, почеток на XXI век), In: Симпозиум 100 години од прокламирањето на империјалниот акт ираде, Битола, 2005
ТРИФУНОСКИ Ф. Јован, Битољско-Прилепска котлина, Антропогеографска проучавања, Београд, 1998
ТРИФУНОСКИ Ф. Јован, Варошица Крушево, Прилог проучавању варошица у Н.Р. Македонији, Гласник етнографског института Српске академије наука, књ. IV-VI, Београд,1955-1957
ТРИФУНОСКИ Ф. Јован, Гопеш, Годишен зборник на филозофски факултет, Природно-математички оддел, кн. 9, Скопје, 1957
ТРПКОСКИ-ТРПКУ Ј. Вангел, Власите на Балканот, Скопје, 1986
ΤΣΑΜΗ Λ. Αντιγόνη, Το Πισοδέρι Φλώρινας στο πέρασμα των αιώνων, Θεσσαλονίκη, 1992
ΤΣΙΡΟΣ Γ. Ζήκος, Η Βλάστη (τέως Μπλάτσι), τόμοι 1-3, Θεσσαλονίκη 1964
UN NIVIŞTEAN, Niveasta ică Niveasca, In: Revista Pindul, I/5, s.l, 1899
ΒΑΚΟΥΦΑΡΗΣ Δ. Περικλής, Η ιστορική Κλεισούρα Καστοριάς, Θεσσαλονίκη, 2005
VIRGILJ Amadori Giovani, La questione Rumeliota (Macedonia, Vecchia Serbia, Albania, Epiro) e la politica Italiana, Volume Primo, Bitonto, 1908
ΒΟΓΑΣ Αναστάσης, Φλάμπουρο Φλωρίνης, 1861-1944, Φλώρινα, 1993
VOLOAGĂ I., Comuna Perivole, In: Lumina (Bitolia), V/3, Bucureşti, 1907
ΒΟΥΛΤΣΙΑΔΗΣ Κ. Γεώργιος, Η Προσωτσάνη μέσα από την ιστορία, Τα γεγονότα στην Ανατολική Μακεδονία, 1450-1994, Θεσσαλονίκη, 1995
WACE A.J.B and THOMPSON M.S., The nomads of the Balkans, An account of life and customs among the Vlachs of Northern Pindus, London, 1914
WEIGAND Gustav, Die Aromunen, Ethnographisch-Philologisch-Historische untersuchung über das volk der sogenannten Makedo-Romanen oder Zinzaren, Vol. 1, Leipzig, 1895
WEIGAND Gustav, Die sprache der Olympo-Walachen, Nebst einer einleitung über land und leute, Leipzig, 1888
WEIGAND Gustav, Vlacho-Meglen, Eine ethnographisch-philologische untersuchung, Leipzig, 1892
WINNIFRITH J.T., The Vlachs, The history of a Balkan people, London, 1987
ΧΑΝΙΩΤΗΣ Ν. Δημητρίος, Η Καλλιθέα Γρεβενών, Αθήνα 1978
ΧΡΙΣΤΙΔΗΣ Ι. , Η Μηλόβιστα, In: Μακεδονικό Ημερολόγιο 1910, Αθήνα 1909
ZOGRAFU C. şi G. MIHCI, Orăşelul Resna şi Comuna Iancoveţi, In: Lumina II/7-8, Bitolia 1904
ZUCA G., Comuna Gopeşi, In: Lumina (Bitolia), III/7-8, Bucureşti, 1905
ZUCA G., Româniǐ din Tesalia şi Epir, In: Lumina (Bitolia), I/11, Bucureşti, 1903
ZUCA Theodor, Samarina, In: Lumina (Grebena), I/4, Bucureşti, 1936
Ecoul Macedoniei (Bucharest)
BRAILSFORD, 1906: 187.
- In northernmost areas of Macedonia, the Aromanians did not settle at all until 1874, after the construction of the railroad line Skopje-Vranje. The Aromanian traders from Kruševo, Bitola, Prilep, Serres, Kavala and Thessaloniki settled in Skopje after 1874 and by the Balkan Wars almost all of the economy in the town was in the hands of the 150 families from Kruševo, among which most prominent were Dicea, Papatheodosi, Crangu, Sapungi, Shcodreanu, Comati, Lazu, Catzavolu and Shcaperda. These Aromanians in Skopje inhabited Vlaško Maalo. The settlement of Aromanian tailors, goldsmiths, bankers and hotel owners from Kruševo, Nymfaio, Veles and Malovište in Kumanovo occurred at the same time as the settlement of the Aromanians in Skopje (HÂCIU, 2003: 210-212; ТРПКОСКИ-ТРПКУ, 1986: 91).
- The search for new pastures led to the formation of summer hut settlements which grew constantly and turned into larger villages where the Aromanians remained even in the course of the winter season. Such were the cases with Kato Vermio, on Mount Vermio, which was formed in 1822 by several families from Avdella and Perivoli, and subsequently grew to become a village with 3000 inhabitants (IOTA, 2002: 18; TANAŞOCA, 1992: 216-217), the village Xirolivadi, abandoned by the native Greek population and reinhabited by Aromanians (HÂCIU, 2003: 100), the hut settlement Călivili Papadia in Mariovo (kaza Florina) formed toward the end of the 19th century by about 50 Farsherot families (CORDESCU, 1906: 135), as well as the villages Ayios Dimitrios, Patima, Călivili di Gramaticuva and Polla Nera in the Edessa and Ptolemaida region, formed by Aromanian leaders Mita Zdru, Hristu Papanicola, Gushu Celea and Tea Cusha (HÂCIU, 2003: 221-222).
- Banditry and rebellion resulted in the wealthier families moving away from some Aromanian small towns and villages. The town of Kleisoura had about 1000 houses in 1878. But, after the attack of the rebels who were active in western Macedonia during that period, the wealthiest inhabitants were taken hostage and following their release, most of them left the town for good (GHICA, 1904: 117). When H.N. Brailsford visited Kleisoura after the Ilinden Uprising, he was witness to a decayed town, half of whose houses were vacant. In its glory days however, it was the home of families with pianos and German governesses (BRAILSFORD, 1906: 177).
- In 1880 Samarina, situated on Mount Pindus, was a large summer village with 15000 inhabitants who spent the winter months in the warmer Thessalian plains. With the demarcation of the new border between Turkey and Greece in 1881, crossing the border twice a year was not worthwhile, thus a large number of Samarina inhabitants stopped returning to the village and stayed in Greece for good. This led to the number of villagers decrease twofold and even threefold (HÂCIU, 2003: 89-90; CORDESCU, 1906: 148). Prior to 1881, the Pindus village of Perivoli had 800 houses, but when Thessaly was annexed to Greece ľ of the Perivoli population stayed in their winter homes and never returned to their home village on Mount Pindus (HÂCIU, 2003: 98).
Ever since 1867, when the Salonica Vilayet was formed, and until 1903,
plenty of reorganisation occurred within these vilayets. In this paper,
we use the administrative division from the end of the 19th
ЃОРЃИЕВ, 2003: 51-54;