PASTORALISM AND THE ROMANIAN HISTORY. SHEEP BREEDSPEOPLE, LANGUAGES, GENES IN NORTHERN CARPATHIANS AND PANNONIA BASIN

Published in Scientific Papers. Series D. Animal Science., Vol. LVI
Written by Condrea DRAGANESCU

In SE Europe there are 4 local Romanian groups of sheep breeds. Old, useful genetic resources, they also are historical and archaeological documents. One of them, Valachian (erroneously named 'Zackel') reflects the Daco- Thracian descent of the Romanians; the other (Corkscrew horns Vallachian, erroneously named 'Racka“, Tsigai; and Ruda) are of Roman descent. These breeds could be useful to clarify some controversial history literature in SE Europe regarding the relationship between the peoples, their genes, and the languages they speak, especially since the genetic and linguistic trees of the human population in this region can be different. The North Carpathian countries are believed to be populated by people of Slavic origin. The old Vallachian and Tsigai sheep presence in this area is connected to an old presence of immigrant or autochthon Valachs who may have lost forcefully or willingly their language, and being assimilated produced different deviations of Slaves from their genetic type to the Romanian one. Hungarians, inhabitants of the former Roman Pannonia, are classified language-wise as Magyars, “which imposed its language on the local Romance-speaking population.” (Cavalli-Sforza 2000). Palaeogeneticaly it is demonstrated that modern-day Hungarians are genetically just only about 10% Magyars and according to some estimation about 50% Slavic, 30% Romanian (an underestimation), and some 10% German and Gypsy. The Vallachian (Zackel) sheep, present in Pannonia ad least since the Middle Ages, Corkscrews horns Vallachian (erroneously named Racka), Tsigai and Ruda attest the former presence of Romanians in this region and attest that “Hungarians” are ethnically somehow also Romanians. The Slav populations of the South Pannonia Basin countries, north of Jirecek lineare, according to some historical data (Noel Malcom 1994), some admixtures of Slavic people, Vlachs, and Valachs. Practically all the sheep breeds from the area are Vallachian (“Zackel”, named Promenka), Tsigai, Corkscrew horns Valachian, and Ruda. In spite of their linguistic diversity, the “nations” which immigrated during the Middle Ages from this part of Europe are perhaps somehow genetically similar to the assimilated Valachs, perhaps themselves with a former large intertribal variation, reflected by the intra and inter sheep group breed variation.

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Draganescu C. 2013, PASTORALISM AND THE ROMANIAN HISTORY. SHEEP BREEDSPEOPLE, LANGUAGES, GENES IN NORTHERN CARPATHIANS AND PANNONIA BASIN. Scientific Papers. Series D. Animal Science., Vol. LVI, ISSN 2285-5750, 16-24.


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