Among the Slavs the Balkan Mountain is called the Old Mountain (Stara Planina, or archaic Matora Gora/Matorni Gori meaning the same). Greeks call it Haemus (Aemon, Haemimons, Hem, Emus) derived from an unattested Thracian word, meaning 'mountain range'. "Balkan" comes from a Turkish word meaning "a chain of wooded mountains". In places like Turkmenistan and the eastern shores of the Caspian Sea one still encounters this name, such as the Balkan Peninsula and the Balkan Province in Turkmenistan.

The first attested time the name "Balkan" was used in the West for the mountain range in Bulgaria was in a letter sent in 1490 to Pope Innocent VIII by Buonaccorsi Callimaco, an Italian humanist, writer and diplomat. English traveler John Morritt introduced this term into the English literature at the end of the 18th century, and other authors started applying the name to the wider area between the Adriatic and the Black Sea. The concept of the "Balkans" was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808, yet the peninsula of the region had the name "Peninsula of Haemus" since the Antiquity. The name for the region "Balkans" entered in use after the new name for the mountain range "Balkan Mountains" supplented "Haemus Mountains" by popularity.


Since we got rid of the Ottomans, I do believe we should get rid of their foreign legacy as well. Will the original term "slav. Old Mountain/Stara Planina" or "greek. Haemos" enter in use by popularity, depends if we will use it in a positive way, or not.

For me the Balkans is a negative term, with negative connotations from a negative time for us all that come from the 'old peninsula'.

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Stara Planina (The Old Mountain)