Tag Archives: “Digenes Akritas”

Hmm…interesting etymological observation

14 Sep

The common Indo-European root between “άκρη” in Greek — “akre” — and krai/kraj in Slavic languages…?

From my post, Turkish Alevis and Syrian (or Lebanese…or Turkish?) Alawites — a Twitter exchange:

The “akrites” were the Byzantine border warlords who defended the Empire’s southern frontier — the άκρη or “edge” [akre] — which as I mentioned here is what the word “krai” or “kraj” in Ukraine means, or in Serbo-Croatian Krajina — but were half-Arab culturally and every other way themselves.  The most famous is the ballad of “Digenes Akritas” who was born of a Greek father and Arab mother.   

war_map

The Krajina region of Croatia (in green…roughly…it didn’t include Dubrovnik) where the Hapsburgs settled large numbers of Serbs starting in the 17th century, to guard their “kraj” — their frontier — against the Ottomans.  With Krajina Serbs the bearers of this tradition of armed frontiersmen, this was arguably the tinder-box region of Serbian minority Croatia where the whole war began.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

Turkish Alevis and Syrian (or Lebanese…or Turkish?) Alawites — a Twitter exchange

13 Sep

I recently stumbled on a tweet on my account that I had somehow missed from August 2012 about an article from the Times around that time (As Syria War Roils, Unrest Among Sects Hits TurkeyAugust 4, 2012   The post — mine — was called: Syrian Alawites and Turkish Alevis closer than I thought”  (August 5th, 2012 on the Jadde)

I’ll just paste the Tweet exchange all here even if it’s kind of messy-looking:

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