Wallachians [or Vlachs; волохи; volokhy]. An eastern Romance people, the ancestors of the Romanians, who lived in the territories of what is now Romania and south of the Danube River from ca 500 AD. The earliest mention of the Vlachs is in the Primary Chronicle under the year 898. Because of invasions by the Tatars the Vlachs continued to move from beyond the Carpathian Mountains to the territory between the Carpathians and the Dnister River, the Prešov region, and Moldavia, and thus displaced the Slavic population. The independent Vlachian principalities of Wallachia (Muntenia) and Moldavia arose in the 14th century. Although the Ukrainian term (Волощина; Voloshchyna, Wallachia) designates the entire ancient territory of Romania, in Ukrainian historiography it often refers specifically to Moldavia.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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