Coeris -- native tongue

My new maga has "covenant upbringing," and was raised at Coeris, Domus Magnus of House Tremere.

The covenant is in the mountains of Transylvania, to my knowledge.

After a quick net search, it seems the two most common languages in that area at that time were Hungarian and German.

Any thoughts on the native language spoken by the common folk at Coeris?


I'd say that the native language for someone who grows up in a Hermetic covenant would be Latin, rather than the language of the surrounding common folk. According to the book, a Covenant Upbringing character's native language isn't Latin; instead it's something closely-related to Latin that's spoken only at the covenant.

So for your character, "Coeris-dialect Latin" or "Tremere-dialect Latin" might be appropriate.

I don't really see why the book says Latin can't be a native language anyway, for characters who grow up around it. On the other hand, maybe the meaning is that Latin is by that point strictly an academic (and ecclesiastical) language, rather than an ordinary evolving language. In that case, making it necessarily a dialect is reasonable, but as far as communicating with other people who speak Latin it might as well be Latin.

So in that case, the character's native language might be "Latin (Coeris dialect)", with the dialect as a specialization that isn't readily changed.

Or perhaps we could invent a name for this Latinesque covenant tongue and call it Hermatin. :wink:

Let's create a hermetic linguistic fan base that will lead to its formal adoption in the texts by sheer force of popular usage! hehe.

Coeris was founded in the eighth century, but the Magyars only arrived in Transylvania in the tenth. IIRC German settlement of Transylvania – specifically the part known as Burzenland – only began in the early thirteenth century with the arrival of the Teutonic Knights on behalf of Andrew II of Hungary. Transylvania was a wild, sparsely populated backwater, and on top of that Coeris is a mountain fastness. It’s almost certainly isolated from mundane society and I’d imagine it hasn’t adopted Hungarian or German.

As for who lived in Transylvania before the Magyars arrived, no one’s certain. It’s a controversial topic as it impacts on Romanian national identity and the present-day status of Transylvania’s Hungarian minority. It could be that the Dacians, ruled for a century or so by the Romans, adopted their conquerors’ language and kept it despite successive waves of invaders and settlers (including Goths, Slavs and various peoples of the Steppes to the east such as Pechenegs and Cumans). Either that or the Romanian language came to Transylvania with the Vlachs, who spoke a Latin-based language and only migrated north from the Balkans in medieval times (Wallachia is named for them). There really isn’t conclusive evidence to prove one theory or the other.

In HOH:TL it states that the powerful allies Tremere brought with him to the First Tribunal were Dacian necromancers (p.112). These necromancers would surely have provided the bulk of Coeris’s original membership. The Dacian language – whatever it was in the eighth century – could be that of Coeris’s covenfolk down to the thirteenth century. Otherwise it’s likely to be Latin or some vulgar derivative. In either case Coeris is a prime candidate for the “Local Language” boon from Covenants.

Brollachan, you are my new hero. Thanks for this. This is perfect.

If, by chance, you know a Dacian male name for "he who allows spirits to rest," please pass it on.


I wasn't involved in the writing or playtesting of ArM5, but I'm fairly certain that the no-native Latin rule is to prevent all magi from taking Covenant Upbringing and getting a free 75 XPs.

Other Roman evidences and facts show the Dacian theory is a falsification. This romantic theory was created in the 15th or 16th century when the first Romanians got education and discovered the similarity of their language to Latin.

Supposing the magi have to search gifted children even far from their home Hungarian (also from Székely people), Romanian (=Vlach) languages must be general. Steppen people nearby were Cumans, Pechenegs and Uzes. In traces there may appear some Slavs (Bulgar, Serbian, or local Slav), Germans (most of them came after the Tatar (Mongol) invasion 1241-42).

Language of the grogs depends on the exact place of the covenant. It is around a language border. Give me a very detailed map with the place of Coeris and I can write the right language.
"Local Latin" is OK, if their origin is Romanian.

Coeris is also on the religion border of the Catholics (Hungarians, later the Germans) and Orthodoxes (Romanians, Bulgarians, etc.).

I can help you with historical Hungarian names.

I don't believe there is a Transylvanian Tribunal book in publication. My Storyteller has not determined the exact location of Coeris as of yet. Anyone have any thoughts as to the location, some sidebar in a book I may have missed?

Birbin, sadly, the link you provided comes up blank on my screen. The ads show, but the content is blank. I'm on a mac, and that may have something to do with it.

Firth, this appears to be a pretty good site for some ideas on history of the dacians, locations of their major fortresses and ways of life.

Hope it helps...

Edited to add: From what I can gather from a few quick searches, references to Coeris in the Vampire version of Tremere suggest that it is located in the Southern Carpathian range so you might just pick a spot from the map found under "pictures" (scroll all the way down to the bottom once the images load) in the link above.

Thanks Boxer, that's fantastic. Yesterday, I read a little about the religion and philosophy of the Dacians and their attitudes toward Death, and I think that a Dacian lineaage would fit my necromancer.

Birbin, I'm trying to understand your post a bit more clearly. Are you saying that the Dacians were NOT active in Transylvania, historically? That this is one of those dis-proved theories?

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Sorry. Dacians were in Transylvania and massacred or assimilated by Goths and/or Gepidians around the 4th-5th century.
I wanted to write the romanized Dacians are very debated because Romans needed 3-400 years to romanize many different nations and not 100 years. But the topic is about the language of Coeris.

Give me your e-mail and I can send you the list.
Are others able to see my page?
The southern part of the Carpathians were inhabited by Romanians if anybody. I think Dacian origin doesn't limit the nationality. It's up to you.
In the Hungarian folklore there are no death cults. I don't know the Romanian one but e.g. the vampires suit better to them.

ahh, thanks for the clarification Birbin.

I didn't mean to infer that I read about a death cult. I was responding to this philosopy that I read yesterday:

From Wikipedia's listing for "Dacia"

According to Herodotus History (book 4) account of the story of Zalmoxis (or Zamolxis), the Getae (speaking the same language as the Dacians - Strabo) believed in the immortality of the soul, and regarded death as merely a change of country. Their chief priest held a prominent position as the representative of the supreme deity, Zalmoxis."

This (extremely broad) view of the Dacian philosopy, plus what's written regarding House Tremere's history of the lineage as serving two gods of the underworld, helps shape my necromancer's own views on death, and why he practices this type of magic.

On a side note, I am still looking for a name for my mage. One of his preoccupations is putting the restless dead to "sleep" so that they may pass on to the next stage (after learning as much as he can from them, of course....) So I would like to find a suitable name for this habit.
I'm considering "Somnus," or perhaps "Thanatos." (From myth)

Yes, interesting page Birbin. Could you put the list of languages there as well?

We've had a saga in the southern carpathians. It died before getting into noble politics, though.

My page is about Hungary and there is a part on it with the settlers. I suggest that paragraph.
Southern Carpathian region is Romanian I know only a little about them. They grazed sheeps in the Carpathian mountains.

We recently had an arc that took our Tremere to Coeris.

The SG had the bulk of the grogs speaking Greek-- as a common language shared by the many different nationalities that comprised the turb there. I think that seemed pretty reasonable, given the longevity of the language, the central nature of the region, the relative adoption of the language by the Eastern Orthodoxy.

Something to consider. Isn't Greek also the preferred language of the Theban Tribunal?


Leonis_Bjornaer: You have a good point about Greek. That seems like the best choice. It's the local language of educated people, ruling class, and so forth, as well as a common language for people who have to communicate across borders between different local languages. It also satisfies the game's requirement that characters start with a language other than Latin.

Everything is possible. So Tremeres brought Greek settlers from the distant Greece in your saga.
Greek was used by the educated not the commoners. Something similar like the role of the Latin in the Catholic Europe.

Ummm, Medieval Greek was the language of the Byzantine empire...and unless you're putting Coeris some very different place, I have the feeling it's going to be influenced by the Byzantine Empire.

A good article I found showing the distribution of greek language was this one:

The Tremere don't have to bring Greeks to the turb for the greek language to have its place.

Consider the Jirecek Line and the influence the language had on the area.

Up to you...but I think greek is a good choice for the area.


Sorry I have no time to read that long articles now.
If you look at the map from the second link there is a line dividing the cultures and influences. Coeris is far from the Greeks because it is on the top of the picture (official site).
However we play in the Mythic Europe where the case of the Greek settlers is possible, too. Or anything else.
E.g. in our saga Coeris is around Bosnia because it was there in the old editions.

Check again, Birbin. I see the line on the map cutting right across the Northern and Southern Carpathians with the Southern portion clearly below the line into Greek territory.