Well, shall we resume our pursuit of the trivial?

My last question, from A Book About A Thousand Things was about the Balkans, the mountainous region in southeastern Europe.

Mr. Stimpson has something to say about this mountain landscape, although it’s from a time before civil war and international intervention:

“Balkan is derived from a Turkish word signifying ‘mountain’. The Balkans are a range of mountains extending from the Yugoslavian frontier through central Bulgaria to the Black Sea. From the Balkan Mountains (really a pleonasm) the Balkan Peninsula received its name. It is the easternmost peninsula of southern Europe and is occupied by the Balkan States. This name was first applied in the nineteenth century to several small countries that had lately won their independence from the Ottoman Empire. At present the Balkan States are Bulgaria, Turkey in Europe, Greece, Albania, Yugoslavia and Rumania.”

He’s slightly critical, our Stimpson, of the place name (pleonasm is the use of more words than are necessary to convey meaning), and he died long before that wild region was carved up into smaller states and bombed by NATO. The new Balkan states are :

Countries which are significantly located in the peninsula:

(taken from Wikipedia.)

And while it remains to be seen if the price of liberty in this collection of countries was fair, let’s move on to Stimpson’s next question.

Who said, ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’?