Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/638

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We may best begin our ethnic description by the apportionment of the entire Balkan Peninsula into three linguistic divisions, viz., the Greeks, the Slavs, and the Tatar-Turks. Of these the second is numerically the most important, comprising the Serbo-Croatians, the Albanians, and, in a measure, the Bulgarians. Their distribution is manifested upon our map, to which we have already directed attention. These Slavic-speaking peoples form not far from half the entire population. Next in order come the Greeks, who constitute probably about a third of the total. As our map shows, this Greek contingent is closely confined to the seacoast, with the exception of Thessaly, which, as an old Hellenic territory, we are not surprised to find Greek in speech to-day. The Slavs, contrasted with the Greeks, are primarily an inland population; the only place in all Europe, in fact, where they touch the sea is along the Adriatic coast. Even here the proportion of Greek intermixture is more considerable than our map would seem to imply. The interest of this fact is intensified because of the well-deserved reputation as admirable sailors which the modern Dalmatians possess. They are the only natural navigators of all the vast Slavic world. Everywhere else these peoples are noted rather for their aptitude for agriculture and allied pursuits. There is still another important point to be noted concerning the Greeks. They form not only the fringe of coast population in Asiatic as well as in European Turkey; they, with the Jews, monopolize the towns, devoting themselves to commerce as well as navigation. Jews and Greeks are the natural traders of the Orient. Thus is the linguistic segregation between Greek and Slav perpetuated, if not intensified, by seemingly natural aptitudes.

Perhaps the most surprising feature of our map of Turkey is the relative insignificance of the third element, the Turks. There were ten years ago, according to Couvreur, not above seven hundred and fifty thousand of them in all European Turkey. Bradaska estimated that they were outnumbered by the Slavs seven to one. Our map shows that they form the dominant element in the population only in eastern Bulgaria, where they indeed constitute a solid and coherent body. Everywhere else they are disseminated as a small minority among the Greeks or Slavs. Even about Constantinople itself the Greeks far outnumber them. In this connection we must bear in mind that we are now judging of these peoples in no sense by their physical characteristics, but merely by the speech upon their lips. Nowhere else in Europe, as we shall soon see, is this criterion so fallacious as in the Balkan states. Religion enters also as a confusing element. Sax's original map, from which ours is derived, distinguishes these religious affiliations as well as language. He was indeed the first to employ this additional test. The maze of tangled lan-