Origins of country

Throughout history, various parts of today’s territory of Romania were in the composition or under the administration of Dacia, the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Dacia and the Roman Empire

The Dacian kingdom reached its largest expanse during King Burebista. According to the information from Strabon, the Dacians lived in the mountainous area (and indicates the Mures River) to the upper part of the Danube (called Danubius – from the springs to Drobeta), and the Getae ruled the part of the cataracts, (today Cazane) named Istru up to the point where it flows into the Black Sea. He also says that “the Dacians have the same language with the Getae” and that “the Greeks have considered the Getae to be of the Thracian race.”

Trajan initiates a large campaign against the Dacians after becoming an imperator, a campaign known as the Dacian Wars, wars that will require the use of one-third of the total army of the Roman Empire. The result of the first campaign (101-102) was the attack of the Dacian capital, Sarmizegetusa, and the occupation of part of the country.

The Second Dacian War (105-106) ended with the defeat of Decebalus and his suicide, his kingdom being conquered and transformed into the Roman province of Dacia. After the Dacians were defeated, Traian organized the largest and most expensive festivity in Rome, which lasted for about 123 days, the amount of gold and silver brought from Dacia by the Romans being appreciated by the ancient chroniclers. Tens of thousands of Dacians were taken into slavery in Rome, and tens of thousands of Dacians fled Dacia to avoid slavery.

Fig. 4 – Trajan’s Column, Rome

Modern Romanian is considered a Romanic language. Also, even if it was occupied for a short period (107-271/276), Dacia was perhaps the most colonized province with people from all provinces of the empire, and Latin was imposed as a lingua franca, the process being the same , in some respects, with the European colonization of the United States and Latin America.

But the Roman domination of the province was difficult, some historians claiming that in the province of Roman Dacia there was no year without conflicts with the neighboring tribes not conquered by Rome. It is said that Hadrian, aware of the difficulty of maintaining Dacia, thought of abandoning the province, but what made him give up that thought was the safety of the Roman settlers in that region.[1] Between 271-275 AD.  The Aurelian withdrawal takes place.

The origins of the Romanians are one of the most debated problems in Romanian historiography, because it is related to the political context in which the Romanians claimed their independence in the territories they inhabited, against the dominant kingdoms (Austro-Hungary and Russia): the Romanian historians strived to demonstrate Romanian continuity in these territories, while Austro-Hungarians (later Germans) or Russians (and later also other Slavic countries) struggled to question it.[2]

Period of Principalities and Phanariot Age

In the first millennium, waves of migratory peoples migrated across the territory of Romania: the Goths in the 3rd-4th centuries, the Huns in the 4th century, the Gepids in the 5th century, the Slavs in the 7th century, the Hungarians in the 9th century, the Pecenes, in the X-XII centuries and the Tatars in the 13th century.

In the 13th century, the first quarters south of the Carpathians are attested. Subsequently, in the context of the feudal relations crystallization, due to the creation of favorable internal and external conditions (weakening the Hungarian pressure and diminishing the domination of the Tatars), the feudal states of Wallachia (1310), under Basarab I and Moldavia (1359), under Bogdan I. Among the rulers who played a more important role can be remembered: Alexandru cel Bun, Stefan cel Mare, Petru Rareş and Dimitrie Cantemir in Moldova, Mircea cel Bătrân, Vlad Ţepeş and Constantin Brâncoveanu Wallachia and Iancu de Hunedoara in Transylvania. Since the end of the fifteenth century, the two Principalities have gradually entered the sphere of influence of the Ottoman Empire.

Fig. 5 – Great Romanian rulers

Transylvania, was part, in the Middle Ages, of the Kingdom of Hungary, governed by the voivodes, and became a principle of its own, vassal of the Ottoman Empire of 1526. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries Michael the Brave reigned for a very short period of time over a large part of Romania’s territory, in fact, making the first union of the Romanian Principalities.

Fig. 6 – The union of 1601 under Mihai Viteazul

In the 18th century Moldavia and Wallachia maintained their internal autonomy, but in 1711 and 1716 respectively, the period of the Phanariot rulers, appointed directly by the Turks among the noble families of the Greeks of Constantinople, began. By concluding the dualist pact in 1867, Transylvania soon lost its political autonomy, being politically and administratively embedded in Hungary.



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