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Re: Languages in fiction: The Triune Monarchy

From:Keith <kam@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 1:18
Thomas Leigh wrote :

"Avar: would this be the North Caucasian language we know as Avar? Or
could it refer to something else? Were there, historically, any other
people also referred to by the name Avar, whose language (or one related
to it) this could mean?"

The following is taken from The Penguin Atlas of Medieval History by
Colin McEvedy, probably out of date in many details by now, but
excellent for a
bird's eye view of European (and adjacent areas) History for people like
myself who were only really taught English History at school.

"562 AD ... In far Asia, the destruction of a great Mongolian Empire by
the revolt of its Turkish vassals (552) led to a westward flight of the
vanquished, known to the Chinese as the Jouan Jouan. The Turkish power
that was founded by this victory advanced rapidly and its western armies
crushed the White Huns in 553. On the defeat of their old enimies the
Persians quickly occupied the lands south of the Oxus, loudly claiming
the victory as their own. The amalgamated remnants of the Jouan Jouan
and the White Huns were known in the West as the AVARS [Presumably
Altaic like the Huns, but Turkish or Mongol branch ??? McEvedy gives
them a black dotted border like the Huns and Mongols, Turks get a border
of white circles]. Defeated again by the Turks (559) [of Turkistan, no
Turks anywhere near Asia Minor at this date!] they moved to the Russian
steppe, where Justinian paid them to subjugate the Huns and Slavs who
were habitual raiders of the Roman provinces in the Balkans (559 - 561).
Supreme from the Volga to the lower Danube, the Avars turned north and
west, subduing the Slavs as they went, till in 562 they came into
contact with the Franks on the Elbe. After a century's absence, the
Asiatic had returned to Europe."

From dominating much of eastern europe the Avars decline and from about
600 on they are confined to roughly modern Hungary which they dominate
until their destruction by a combined Frankish and Bulgarian attack in
796. Presumably *there* this didn't happen and a small Avar nation
survived to modern times.

"Glagolitic, Slovatchko: Presumably a Slavic language, still written in
the Glagolitic alphabet? What branch of Slavic, though?"

Weren't the Bulgarians the first slavs to write their language?
Glagolitic =
Bulgarian maybe. Slovatchko - a more northern type of South Slav lang?

"Romanou: Some variety of Balkan Romance? Romania also exists in this
world - Romania is the Triune Monarchy's eastern neighbor - so it's not
another name for Romanian. A sister language? Or, given that modern
Greek used to be known as R(h)omaic, could it be something related to

Could be Greek, or Romany maybe (or Rumanian).

"Vlox: Romany/Gypsy? (Given the contempt in which it was obviously

Vlox - what a name to conjure with! I'd guess it's from Valch-ish i.e. a
Latin based lang akin to Rumanian. "Valch" is supposed to be related to
"Welsh", a name the Germanic hords used to describe civilised ex-roman

Keith Mylchreest

le gach deogh dhorachd, a Thomais!