THE ETHNIC HISTORY OF THE GREEKS OF MARIUPOL’: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

ЕТНІЧНА ІСТОРІЯ НАРОДІВ ЄВРОПИ
Irina PONOMAREVA
Kyiv
THE ETHNIC HISTORY OF THE GREEKS
OF MARIUPOL’: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

Εικόνα
The Greeks of Mariupol’ living on the Azov area of Ukraine take their roots from the town they founded. In the year of 1778 the Christian Greeks of the Crimean Khanate moved on to the territory of Mariupol’ district of Ekaterinoslav province. They were headed by Metropolitan Ignatiy, the initiator of the migration. Having abandoned their prosperous Crimea, 18 thousand Greeks obtained an administrative and religious autonomy in the Azov area. Nowadays the number of Greeks living in Donetsk region run third in its ethnic structure (1,6 %). According to the population roll of 1989 the number of Greeks equaled 98 thousand people1 , but according to the population roll of 2001 the number decreased to 92,6 thousand people2 due to migrations to Greece.
The scientific interest lies in the fact that over a long period of time the Greeks have preserved their culture, traditions and language while being a constituent of various ethnic and social systems such as the Byzantine and the Osmanic Empires. Besides, another ethnic environment hasn’t affected the transformation of their selfconsciousness badly. The investigation of the ethnic processes that take place among the Greeks of the Azov area make it possible to typify the most complicated phenomena in the international interactions and in the intensity of the national and the cultural identity.
Several stages of the ethnic history of the Greeks of Mariupol’ have been described in various reviews and research works, but still there are a lot of aspects that require a complex investigation.
There is no unified picture of the ethnic history thus far. The majority of research works are aimed at investigation of ethnic and historical phenomena in the Crimean and the Azov periods. In fact, the pre-Crimean history of the Greeks of Mariupol’ and the current condition of the Greek Diaspora in the Azov area remain under investigated.
The term “The Greeks of Mariupol’” unites the two following ethnic entities: the Roomies whose language is divided into five dialects referred to the Greek group of the Indo-European language family3 , and the Aurums, who speak four dialects of the Turkish group of the Altaic language family4 . The both call themselves Greeks, but each group separated itself from the other. Nor did it maintain relations with the other one till the early 20th century, though they both had a common language for communication – Tatar. The Roomies settled down apart from the Aurums in the Crimea and the Azov area. They didn’t perform any marriages and had different thnonyms.
But their confessional adherence to Orthodoxy is one of the main criteria of their being Greek. The investigations of the current condition of the Greek Diaspora is an evidence to the above-mentioned phenomena being rife nowadays5.
Here a question arises: why do the Aurums and the Roomies speak different languages? Is it a consequence of their once being neighbors of the Crimean Tatars or an evidence to the fact that they moved on to the Crimea from different territories and at a different time? The materials available at present are in no condition to answer the questions asked. To have plosible hypothesis of the origin of the Greeks of Mariupol’ created, complex investigations on the basis of a possible historic and ethnographical material sharply bound to a certain territory and certain historical events are to be carried out. For the ethnic history to be highlighted, it’s necessary to tackle a set of research trends. In the set under consideration the linguistic, anthropological and cultural data alongside the Greeks illiteracy are of great interest. No doubt, the areal investigation of the ethnic processes on the coasts of the Black and the Mediterranean Seas are imperative. Moreover they should go beyond the investigations of the Greeks themselves. It could result in finding out of cultural isoglosses, lines on the geographical map, that could show the territorial spreading of a certain ethnic phenomenon.
Nowadays the investigation of practically all the aspects of ethnology of the Azov area Greeks are aimed at the objects and forms of expression. The emphasis is laid on description and systematization, rather then on the semantics of the material and spiritual culture. As a matter of fact, the lack of interdisciplinary investigation principle or any comparative studies bring about a unilateral character of the existing research works.

As far as © Irina Ponomareva the historical concepts, the ethnic history of the Greeks of ariupol’ is linked with the peoples of Balkan, Asia Minor, the Crimea, and the Azov area. Therefore it’s advisable to start to investigate the materials available with the linguistic data. The language is considered to be one of the most important attributes of the ethnic integrity.
The fact of the Roomies and the Aurums using different languages is not yet an evidence to their being different nations. Nor does the spoken language make different groups of people automatically belong to one ethnos.
The dialects of the Azov area Greeks are the best investigated theme. Nowadays there are well many research works concerned with the comparative analysis of the Roomies’ and the Aurums’ dialects. But the structural resemblances of the Azov Greeks’ languages to the languages of the Greeks of the Balkan, the Pontic Greeks and the Greeks of Asia minor are not under the investigation. The Greeks of Mariupol’ are bilingual and speak their mother tongue mainly in everyday life. Multiple attempts of Greek intelligentsia to revive their language and to develop the Greek literature are not a success thus far6.

The decrease of the population is undoubtedly caused by the ethnic assimilation, but the latest population roll reveals a decrease in ethnic consciousness as well, which couldn’t but be affected by the state policy of the 20th century aimed at hellinization and study of the modern Greek language that is in turn not the Azov area Greeks mother tongue. Distraction of the Greek population from learning their mother tongue has entailed the loss of their dialects and destruction of the ethnic self-consciousness.
The reconstruction of the facts which could influence the formation of the Aurums and the roomies is to be linked to the territories the Greek ethnic groups inhabited in different periods of their existence. In fact the ethnic processes in the Crimea and the Asian Minor various problems of the Greek of Mariupol’’s history is inseparably connected with are not investigated. These areas are a classical example of the complicated bond of ethnic, political, social, economic and cultural phenomena. Being at the crossroads of trade ways and the bridge between Europe and Asia, the areas have absorbed the phenomena of the East and the West. Therefore the ethnic history can be highlighted only if the forms of interaction, enrichment and correlation on the interdisciplinary level are worked out. Let’s give it and try to find out about the missing links important to the ethnic history along with periodization that would reflect the qualitative changes of the major characteristics of the ethnos.
It is the nation’s origin that is one of the most complicated and important aspects of the ethnic history. In this respect there is no grounded theory of the Greeks of Mariupol’ origin nowadays that could take their split into the two ethnic groups, the Roomies (the Hellinophones) and the Aurums (the Turkophones) into consideration. This fact was first discovered by the researchers of the late 20th century V.I.Grigorovitch7 and F.Braun8. The former referred the Aurums to the Alans and the latter referred to the Goths. The hypothesis of the Aurums’ Turkish origin was put forward by I.A.Korelov9 and A.N.Garkavets10 . But the majority of the investigators of the 20th century, such as A.A.Bertje – Delagar11 , A.I.Markevitch12 , I.I.Sokolov13 and M.Aradzhioni14 adheres to the hypothesis of the ethnic entity and the same origin roots of the Aurums and the Roomies. The scholars’ inabilityto carry out a critical analysis of many key moments in the Azov Greeks history is caused by the selective use of the sources and lack of the complex approach. It is possible to answer the question of origin only if various sources and literature are investigated.
The investigation of the early stage of the Azov Greeks’ ethnic history have always caused various difficulties to emerge. The data of anthropology can prove to be one of the few sources that make it possible to approach a solution of a problem. It is here that the anthropological materials enjoy a sort of dominance over the sources of other types. The data of anthropology make it possible to confirm the hypotheses that highlight the problem of the Greeks’ split according to the language principle. Or it may be caused by their once being neighbors of the Crimean Tatars. Or the linguistic distinctions between the Aurums and the Roomies can be explained by the fact that they came to the Crimea from different territories and at a different time. It is difficult to make conclusions at the present stage of investigation because of scarcity of the anthropological characteristics of the Azov area Greeks.
In the 1950s – 1960s the investigation of the Greek population of the Azov area was carried out by the Ukrainian anthropologist V.D.Dyachenko15 and the Greek anthropologist A.N.Poulanos16
. The investigation was held in two Greek villages, therefore no sure conclusions of the distinctions between the Aurums and the Roomies were able to be found. Only nowadays an opportunity of a profound investigation of the Greeks’ anthropology has emerged. Over the year of 2002 the Aurumian and Roomiean villages were investigated by S.P.Segeda. The program of the anthropological investigation included odonthological and dermathoglifical methods that make it possible to determine the degree of resemblance and distinctions between the  representatives of the two ethnic groups on the basis of a set of relevant features. As a result of the expedition work catalogues of anthropotypes of the Greeks of Mariupol’ at their residence (more than one thousand phenotypes) are compiled. The data gathered have started to be processed and preparation for the following stages of the anthropological investigation is continued.
By way of summing up the materials of the first stage, the ethnogenetic connections of the Azov area Greeks ЕТНІЧНА ІСТОРІЯ НАРОДІВ ЄВРОПИ 92 can be traced. Taking into consideration the corporal appearance of the Greeks of Mariupol’, it is notworthy that they are bound anthropologically with the population of the Balkan and the preseldzhukian and preorsmanic
population of Asia Minor on the one hand, and with the so-called brand new elements oguzo-turkish or oriental elements on the other hand. Over all the both groups belong to the South European type of the European race. The traits of Mediterranean, Minor Asian and Oriental anthropological type are present.
A great expedition work aimed at selection of the ethnographical material is being carried out nowadays in Mariupol’ Institute of Humanities. The research is aimed at the current condition of the Azov area Greeks. The research was in particular targeted at investigation of ethnonyms spread among the Greek population, such as the Greeks, the Hellens, the Roomies, the Aurums, the Tats and the Bazariots. The investigation by the philologist E.I.Nazariev18 who accentuates the semantics and traces the isoglosses of ethnonyms is of great interest. It significally widened the range of opportunities of modeling the ethnogenetic connections. With reference to the spreading of the term “Tats” which is used by the Azov area Greeks one can draw the isogloss as follows: the Iranian (Asia) — the Turks (Asia and Asia Minor) — the Osmanic Turks (Asian Minor) — the Tatars (the Crimean Peninsula) — the Greeks (the Crimea and the Azov area).
No doubt, the traditional culture study and its modern state are closely connected with the ethnical processes.
For the ethnical history study the traditional culture is a kind of the mirror, which reflects the ethnohistorical phenomena. This material can be considered as the basic one. But this trend researches mainly fixed and described the material and spiritual culture of the Greeks of the Azov area without practically any comparison and distinction of the Aurumian and the Roomiean Cultures. The exception is made for I.V.Ivanova’s works where the author fragmentary correlates the cultural phenomena with the analogous phenomena existing on the Minor Asia, the Trans Caucasus and the Balkan territories. The common life and cultural features were formed in the both groups as a result of their lasting existence in the borders of the Osmanic Empire and the Azov area. These features can especially be traced in the material culture facts dwellings, clothes, food) with the oriental influence prevailing19 .
Here we can trace the features common to those of the Tatar, the Osmanic, the Greek traditional cultures. But it’s also possible to sketch the separate areals due to the groups of features which testify the ethnogenetic and ethnocultural relationship of some peoples of these areas.
The Aurumian and the Roomiean folklore is rich in its contents and diverse in its genres. It is a matter of scientific interest for a wide range of scholars. All the more that it’s only the folklore samples that have been fixed by now. Though some research works distinguish between the epic and song genres of the Aurums and the Roomies due to their completely different genetic roots. S.I.Markov considers the Aurumian folklore as a superficial character and correlates it with the oriental character20. A.N.Garkovets, who studies the Aurumian dialects draws attention to their folklore speech which has the Turkish-Osmanic base. In the way of summing up we can say that the Osman traditional poetry has influenced the Crimean Tatar song art21 . Hence is the answer to the question – Why are lots of the Roomiean historical songs so incomprehensible? – The majority of these songs are borrowed from the Tatar language. Therefore the language of the Osman poetry as a constituent of the Tatar folklore is completely incomprehensive for the hellinophones. Such phenomenon isn’t observed in the Aurumian folklore as the Osman language is close and plain for the Aurums.
Being a source of the ethnic history, the calendar rituals are the versatile and many-layered phenomenon which comprises the compressed facts of different historical epochs and ethnocultures. In the Aurumian and Roomiean folklore some temporal periods are personified, holidays being the important part of them. Besides Saint George the particular respect is shown to saint Foydor, Triphon, Harlampiy, Stratilat, Konstantin, Panteleimon, who are little known among the Slavs. Though these holidays belong to those celebrated by the Christian Church, they have the ancient Greek root and in the remote past they were called as “eorte” or “urti” and ‘jorti” in the Greeks of Mariupol’ pronunciation. They took their names in the ancient Hellada and were devoted to the most-honored gods. “Jorti” B celebration is obligatory bound to “panair” celebration; “panair” being a patronal festival which comprises the elements of the pagancy and the Christianity. It includes such stages as a vow, a sacrifice, a collective meal, a public prayer and sport competitions22 . So, the holiday brought by the Greeks from the Crimea is a
classical ethnocultural interlace. In the whole it should be noted that the Balkan Greece influence is oftener manifested in the calendar rituality than the influence of the East.
As seen from the above mentioned examples, one of the Greeks of Mariupol’ development peculiarities is the influence of the direct participation of Algean World in the closest connection with the peoples of the Asia.
Therefore the Crimean – Minor Asian and the Balkan regions are definitely to be in the sphere of the scientific interests of those who study the ethnic history of the Greeks of Mariupol’. It is only areal research work of the enumerated scientific trends that can answer a lot of questions.

 1

Naulko V.I. Hto i vidkoly zhyve v Ukraini. – Kyiv, 1998. – P. 52.
2
Uriadovii kur’er . – 2002. – № 244. – P. 12.
3
Sokolov I.I. O iazyke grekov Mariupol’skogo i Stalinskogo okrugov // Iazyk i literatura. – 1930. – Vol. 6. – Pp. 49 – 67;
Spiridonov D.S. Istorychnyi interes vyvchennia govirok mariupol’s’kykh grekiv // Shidnyi svit. – Kharkiv, 1930. – Vol.
12 (3). – Pp. 171 – 181; Sergievskii M.V. Mariupol’skie govory // Izvestiia AN SSSR. Otdelenie obcshestvennykh nauk.
– Leningrad, 1934. – Pp. 533 – 587; Chernyshova T.N. Novogrecheskii govor sel Primorskogo (Urzufa) i Yalty,
Pervomaiskogo raiona Stalinskoi oblasti. – Kiev, 1958. – P. 8; Beletskii A.A. Grecheskie dialekty na Yugo-Vostoke
Ukrainy // Balkanskaia filologiia. – Leningrad, 1970. – Pp. 5 – 15; Tsarenko E.I. Rumeisko-tiurksko-vostochnoslavianskoe
leksicheskoe vzaimodeistvie v usloviiah Donbassa // Greki Ukrainy: istoriia i sovremennost’. – Donetsk, 1991. – P. 128.
4
Baskakov N.A. Tiurkskie iazyki. – Moskva, 1966; Garkovets A.N. O proishozhdenii i klassifikatsii urumskih govorov
Severnogo Priazov’ia // Sovetskaia tiurkologiia. – 1981. – № 2. – Pp. 46 – 58; Muratov S.N. Materialy po govoram
tiurkoiazychnyh grekov (urumov) Donetskoi oblasti USSR // Kratkie soobcsheniia instituta narodov Azii. – Leningrad,
1963. – № 72. – Pp. 178 – 191; Tenishev E.R. Govor urumov sela Praskovievka // Sovetskaia tiurkologiia. – 1973. – № 1.
– Pp. 79 – 96.
5
The field researches were conducted during 1994 – 2002 in the Greek villages of the Azov area.
6
Kior V.I., Totskaia I.V. O nekotorykh paradoksah iazykovoi situatsii v regione Priazov’ia // Greki Ukrainy: istoriia i
sovremennost’. – Donetsk, 1991. – Pp. 147 – 151.
7
Grigorovich V.I. Zapiski antikvara o poezdke ego na Kalku i Kal’mius. – Odessa, 1874.
8
Braun F. Mariupol’skie greki // Zhivaia starina. – 1891. – Vyp. 2.
9
Korelov I.A. Inoiazychnye greki (urumy) na territorii Gruzii // Izvestiia AN GSSR. Seriia istoriia iskusstva. – Tbilisi,
1990. – № 2.
10
Garkovets A.N. Tiurkskie iazyki na Ukraine. – Kiev, 1988; O proishozhdenii i klassifikatsii urumskih govorov Severnogo
Priazov’ia // Sovetskaia tiurkologiia. – 1981. – № 2. – Pp. 46 – 58.; Zmina tradytsiinogo poryadku sliv u tiurks’kyh
movah na Ukraini // Movoznavstvo. – 1983. – № 3. – Pp. 41 – 49; Rozvytok dieslova v tiurks’kyh movah na Ukraini. –
Kyiv, 1986; Tendentsii rozvytku pervynnogo diepryslivnyka na – A v tiurks’kyh movah na Ukraini // Movoznavstvo. –
1985. – № 1. – Pp. 50 – 58.; Pryntsyp stanovlennia ta rozvytku urums’koi pisennoi movy // Movoznavstvo. – 1986. – № 3.
– Pp. 55 – 57; Problemy vydilennia infinityva v urums’kii movi // Movoznavstvo. – 1981. – № 3. – Pp. 47 – 54; Razvitie
soglasovaniia v armiano-kypchakskom i urumskom iazykah // Izvestiia AN Kaz.SSR. Ser. filol. – 1987. – № 1. – Pp. 8
– 15; Urumy Nadazov’ia // Shidnyi svit. – 1993. – № 2. – Pp. 48 – 64; Foneticheskaia substitutsiia kak priem poetizatsii
urumskoj pesennoi rechi // Sovetskaia tiurkologiia. – 1986. – № 3. – Pp. 43 – 50.
11
Bert’e-Delagar A.L. Issledovanie nekotorykh nedoumennyh voprosov srednevekov’ia v Tavride // ITUAK. – 1920. –
Vyp. 57.
12
Markevich A.I. K voprosu o polozhenii khristian v Krymu vo vremka tatarskogo vladychestva. – Simferopol’, 1910.
13
Sokolov I.I Mariupol’skie greki // Trudy Instituta slavianovedenika AN SSSR. – Leningrad, 1932. – Vol. 1.
14
Aradzhioni M. Greki Kryma i Priazov’ia: istoriia izucheniia i istoriografiia etnicheskoi istorii i kul’tury. – Simferopol’,
1999.
15
D’iachenko V.D. Antropologichnii sklad ukrains’kogo narodu. – Kyiv, 1965.
16
Pulyanos A.N. K antropologii grekov SSSR // Voprosy antropologii. – 1960. – Vyp.4.
17
This conclusion is done on the basis of tables prepared by A.N.Pulyanos in the mentioned work and materials of the
field ethnographic expeditions in the Greek villages of the Azov area in 2002. (Anthropological researches were conducted
by S.P.Segeda)
18
Nazar’ev E. Islamizatsiia vizantiis’kogo naselennia Maloi Azii v epohu sel’dzhukidiv // Etnichna istoriia narodiv
Evropy. – Vyp. 6. – Kyiv, 2000. – Pp. 61 – 65; Pro pytannia protogenezu grekiv Ukrainy // Etnichna istoriia narodiv
Evropy. – Vyp. 4. – Kyiv, 2000. – Pp. 54 – 58; Opredelenie “ellin” i “rumei”, bytuiucshie na territorii ukrainskogo
Priazov’ia // Mariupol’: istoriia i perspektivy. – T. 2. – Mariupol’, 2002. – Pp. 40 – 43; (co-author I.Ponomareva) O
sloobrazovatel’nom analize v istoriko-etimologicheskih issledovaniiah (na primere etnonima “tatary”, bytuiucshego u
grekov ukrainskogo Priazov’ia) // Materialy 2 itogovoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii prepodavatelei Mariupol’skogo
gumanitarnogo instituta. – Mariupol’, 2000. – Pp. 75 – 77.
19
Bogaditsa T.K. Saenko R.I. Traditsionnaia narodnaia picsha mariupol’skikh grekov: istoriia i sovremennost’ // Ukraina
– Gretsiia: istorichna spadcshyna i perspektyvy spivrobitnytstva . – T. 1 – 2. – Mariupol’, 1999. – Pp. 396 – 399; Budina
O.R. Zhilicshe bolgar, grekov, albantsev. Material’naia kul’tura kompaktnyh etnicheskih grupp na Ukraine // Zhilicsha.
– Moscow, 1979; Kuftin B.A. Zhilicsha krymskih tatar a sviazi s istoriej zaseleniia poluostrova // Memuary
etnograficheskogo Otdeleniia Obcshestva liubitelei estestvoznaniia, antropologii i etnografii. – Moscow, 1925. – Vyp.
1. – Pp. 1 – 58; Ivanova Yu.V. Traditsionnaia kul’tura grecheskogo naseleniia Rossii – SSSR v ee istoricheskom razvitii
// Ukraina – Gretsiia: istoriia i sovremennost’. – Donetsk, 1991. – Pp. 173 – 181; Vliianie sotsial’no-ekonomicheskikh
uslovii i etnicheskih traditsii na odezhdu sel’skih zhitelei // Sovetskaia etnografiia. – 1979. – № 2. – Pp. 43 – 56.
20
Markov S.I. Zametki o byte grekov g. Mariupolia // Mariupol’ i ego okrestnosti. – Mariupol’, 1892.ЕТНІЧНА ІСТОРІЯ НАРОДІВ ЄВРОПИ
94
21
Garkovets A.N. Tiurskie iazyki na Ukraine. – Kiev, 1988. – P. 45, 50.
22
Liganova L. Pro osoblyvosti panaira – prestol’nogo sviata grekiv Pryazov’ia // Shidnyi svit. – № 1. – 2000. – Pp. 46 – 52.
Εικόνα

About brexians

Demetrios Georgalas (A Surviving Globalization Consultant) was born in 1961 in Bern and grew up in Athens. In1985, graduated from Surrey University with a Tourism Management BSc (Hons). In 1998, graduated from LMTB under Freie Universitat Berlin, with a Diploma Lasers in Medicine. His professional career was started in the private sector and at the same time he created his first consulting company D+G Consultants Inc. Worked for major multinationals in Greece and abroad (FMCGs / Pharmaceuticals / Tourism). Demetrios Georgalas, having established also Travelling 2 Greece a destination management company, while with the D+G Consultants working in the areas of BTL and special marketing projects. He is activated except from Greece in the Balkans and in Turkey, consulting his clientele with new innovative proposals. Apart from his enterprising activities, he dabbles at blogging, travelling and cooking while he is married and has two children. In conclusion Demetrios Georgalas is an Athenian, Greek, Agnostic, Traveller, & Liberal he likes sci-fi, photography, blogging, travelling and cooking and if you like fascism or any kind of dogma, keep out! Δημήτρης Κ. Γεωργαλάς Γεννήθηκε στην Αθήνα το 1961, σπούδασε Τουριστική Διαχείριση στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο και κατέχει μεταπτυχιακό τίτλο στην Βιοτεχνολογία. Έχει εργαστεί σε μεγάλα τουριστικά γραφεία του εσωτερικού, και σε πολυεθνικές σε Ελλάδα και Εξωτερικό, στο χώρο των φαρμάκων, των ιατρικών μηχανημάτων και των FMCG’s. Από το 2001 είναι ελεύθερος επαγγελματίας, με δραστηριότητα στην διαχείριση προορισμού, τον θεματικό τουρισμό και τις ειδικές ενέργειες marketing. Είναι παντρεμένος και πατέρας δυο παιδιών, διδάσκει ειδικά θέματα εξωτερικού εμπορίου και κοινωνικής δικτύωσης, σε επιχειρήσεις και οργανισμούς. Ασχολείται ενεργά με το διαδίκτυο από το 1993 με άμεση εμπλοκή στα κοινωνικά δίκτυα και στο «ιστολογείν». Φανατικός ταξιδευτής, ερασιτέχνης φωτογράφος, μαχόμενος αγνωστικός και φιλελεύθερος. Όραμά του μια Ευρωπαϊκή Ελλάδα. https://brexians.wordpress.com
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