Rumelia

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Map of Rumelia in 1801

Rumelia (Ottoman Turkish: روم ايلى‎, Rūm-ėli; Modern Turkish: Rumeli; Greek: Ρωμυλία), etymologically "Land of the Romans" was the name of a historical region in Southeast Europe that was administered by the Ottoman Empire, mainly the Balkan Peninsula. Rumelia included the provinces of Thrace, Macedonia and Moesia, today's Bulgaria and Turkish Thrace, bounded to the north by the rivers Sava and Danube, west by the Adriatic coast, and south by the Morea. In 1844, Rumelia spanned 325,805 km² – an area larger than mainland Norway.[1]

Owing to administrative changes between 1870 and 1875, the name ceased to correspond to any political division. Eastern Rumelia was constituted as an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. Today, in Turkey, the word Trakya (Thrace) has mostly replaced Rumeli (Rumelia) when referring to the part of Turkey which is in Europe (provinces of Edirne, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, the northern part of Çanakkale Province and the western part of Istanbul Province), though Rumelia remains in use in some historical and geographic contexts.

Etymology[edit]

The term Rûm means "Roman", while Rumelia (Turkish: Rumeli) means "Land of the Romans" and is a loanword from Latin and Greek in the Turkish language, referring to the lands occupied by the Ottoman Turks after the Byzantine Empire, that was at the time still known as the Roman Empire (the German historian, Hieronymus Wolf, first coined the neologism "Byzantine Empire" in 1557 in his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ[2]). Various languages in the Balkans have long used the descriptor "Roman" to refer to the lands of the former Roman empire. Indeed, today the term survives in the region as Bosnian: Rumelija, Greek: Ρωμυλία, Romylía, or Ρούμελη, Roúmeli; Albanian: Rumelia; Macedonian and Serbian: Румелија, Rumelija and Bulgarian: Румелия, Rumeliya. The old Latin Genoese documents use the term Romania, which was the common name for the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages.

Originally, the Seljuk Turks used the name "Land of the Rûm" (Romans) for defining Anatolia, which the armies of the Seljuk Empire gradually conquered from the former Roman Empire following the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Later, under the Ottoman Empire (1077–1307) the region because The Seljuk Sultanate of Rum.

However, following the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into the regions of Anatolia and the Balkans in the second half of the 14th century, and following the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453 by Mehmed II, the term Rumeli (Land of the Romans) came to apply exclusively to the Balkan region of the Ottoman Empire. This region remained primarily populated by Christians.

Geography[edit]

Rumeli Hisarı (Rumelian Fortress, 1452) on the European shore of the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul.

Rumelia included the provinces of Thrace, Macedonia and Moesia, today's Bulgaria and Turkish Thrace, bounded to the north by the rivers Sava and Danube, west by the Adriatic coast, and south by the Morea.[3] The name Rumelia was ultimately applied to a province composed of central Albania and north-western Macedonia, with Bitola for its chief town.

Owing to administrative changes effected between 1870 and 1875, the name ceased to correspond to any political division. Eastern Rumelia was constituted as an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin, 1878,[3] but on September 6, 1885, after a bloodless revolution, it was united with Bulgaria.[4] The Kosovo Vilayet was created in 1877.[5]

Today, in Turkey, the word Trakya (Thrace) has mostly replaced Rumeli (Rumelia) when referring to the part of Turkey which is in Europe (provinces of Edirne, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, the northern part of Çanakkale Province and the western part of Istanbul Province), though Rumelia remains in use in historical contexts and the word is used in the context of the culture of current Turkish populations of the Balkans and descendants of Turkish immigrants from the Balkans. This region in Turkey is also referred to as Eastern Thrace or Turkish Thrace. In Greece, the term Ρούμελη (Rumeli) has been used since Ottoman times to refer to Central Greece, especially when juxtaposed with the Peloponnese or Morea. The word Rumeli is also used in some cases (mostly by Istanbul denizens) to refer exclusively to the part of Istanbul Province that is situated west of the Bosphorus.

Map of Rumelia in 1795

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dimitrov et al. (2017) Bitola – from Eyalet capital to regional centre in the Republic of Macedonia, Urban Development Issues, vol. 55, pp. 67–82 DOI: 10.2478/udi-2018-0006. Researchgate.net. Retrieved 1 August 2019
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica – Rumelia at Encyclopædia Britannica.com
  3. ^ a b Reclus, Onésime; Ibáñez, Vicente Blasco; Reclus, Élisée; Doré, Gustave (1907). Novísima Geografía Universal (in Spanish). Madrid La Edit. Española-Americana. p. 636. OCLC 432767489.
  4. ^ Frucht, Richard (2004). Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 807. ISBN 1576078000.
  5. ^ Verena Knaus; Gail Warrander (2010). Kosovo. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 11. ISBN 1841623318.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°00′00″N 21°20′00″E / 41.0000°N 21.3333°E / 41.0000; 21.3333