The slopes of Pindus afford excellent pasture for the flocks of the Vlach shepherds.
In Transylvania, however, the common peril evoked by the Turkish incursion and a simultaneous rising of the Vlach peasantry had knit together the jarring interests of Magyars, Saxons and Szeklers, a union which, under the national hero, the voivode Janos Hunyadi, was destined for a while to turn the tide of war.
The landless younger sons of the gentry and the Servian and Vlach immigrants provided him with excellent and practically inexhaustible military material.
The Greeks had in all some 7000 men, Suliotes, Albanians, armatoli from Rumelia, and some irregular Bulgarian and Vlach cavalry.
In winter, when great numbers of Vlach herdsmen take up their quarters in the town, its population exceeds that of Larissa.
Northern Aetolia remains a desolate region, inhabited mainly by Vlach shepherds.
Only a portion of the widely-spread Ruman or Vlach race, which extends over a great part of Transylvania, south Hungary and Bessarabia, as well as the Rumanian kingdom, falls within the limits of the Peninsula.
A new Bulgarian power, known as the "second" or "Bulgaro-Vlach empire," was founded at Trnovo in 1186 under the brothers Ivan and Peter Asen, who led a revolt of Vlachs and Bulgars against the Greeks.
At Bucharest, whither he advanced after some weeks' delay, it became plain that he could not rely on the Vlach peasantry to rise on behalf of the Greeks; even the disconcerting expedient of his Vlach ally Theodore Vladimiresco, who called on the peasants to present a petition to the sultan against Phanariot misrule, failed to stir the people from their apathy.
Rumanian historians have striven, by Vlachs piecing together the stray fragments of evidence which survive, to prove that their Vlach ancestors had not, as sometimes alleged, been reduced to a scattered community of nomadic shepherds, dwelling among the Carpathians as the serfs of their more powerful neighbours.
The researches of HaSdeu, Xenopol and other historians tend to show the existence of a highly organized Vlach society in Transylvania, Oltland and certain districts of Hungary and Moldavia; of a settled commonalty, agricultural rather than pastoral; and of a hereditary feudal nobility, bound to pay tribute and render military service to the Hungarian crown, but enjoying many privileges, which were defined by a distinct customary law (jus valahicum) .
Although the characteristic titles of voivode, knez and ban (all implying military as well as civil authority) are of Slavonic origin, and perhaps derived from the practice of the later Bulgarian (or Bulgaro-Vlachian) empire, the growth of Vlach feudal institutions is attributed to German influences, which permeated through Hungarian channels into the Vlach world, and transformed the primitive tribal chiefs into a feudal aristocracy of boiars or boyards 2 (nobles).
These legendary accounts seem to show that the Moldavian voivodate was founded, like that of Walachia, by Vlach immigrants from Hungary, during the first half of the 14th century.
About 1780 Riga Velestiniul, a Hellenized Vlach from Macedonia who is also known by the purely Greek name of Rigas Phereos, had founded in Bucharest a patriotic and revolutionary association known as the Society of Friends (e'Taepia 7c;'v 4LXcvv) which gradually attained great in- The fiuence.
South of the Danube its chief political interest centred in the Kutzo-Vlach communities in Macedonia, which were the object of a Panhellenic propaganda most offensive to Rumanian nationalism.