Pastoralists of the Balkan Peninsula (q.v.) who speak a Romance language, and whose ancestors probably originated in ancient Dacia (q.v.). For centuries they moved their sheep and goats from winter pastures in the plains to summer pastures in the mountains, as far south as the Pindos and Thessaly (qq.v.), appearing first in Byzantine sources of the 11th century, e.g., in the works ofAnna Komnene and Kekaumenos (qq.v.). Niketas Choniates (q.v.) suggests that Peter of Bulgaria and his brother Asen I (qq.v.), founders of the Second Bulgarian Empire (q.v.), were Vlachs.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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