Romania is located at the junction of Eastern Europe and the Balkan Peninsula. It is the largest and most populous country on the Balkan Peninsula. It is sandwiched between the Slavic and Hungarian ethnic groups and belongs to the independent Romanian ethnic group.
The word "Romania" comes from Latin, which derives from the English "Romania", which originally means "the place of the Romans". The Roman Empire originated in the city of Rome, but after the demise of the Western Roman Empire, Germans poured into Italy. It is hard to say that the Italians living in Rome are descendants of the ancient Romans.
The Western Roman Empire died in 476 AD, and the Eastern Roman Empire died in 1453 AD. There have been many countries claiming to be the heirs of the Roman Empire, but none of them are descendants of the ancient Romans. So, where are the descendants of the ancient Romans? What is the relationship between Romania and the Roman Empire?
In 753 BC, on the banks of the Tiber River in the southwestern Italian peninsula, a city named Rome was established. In 27 BC, Octavian was crowned emperor and the Roman Empire was born. By 180 AD, the empire reached its largest territory, and the entire Mediterranean Sea was surrounded by its territory and became the inner lake of the empire.
The northern border of the Roman Empire in the Balkans was the Danube, and the Dacia on the north bank of the river often crossed the Danube to harass the imperial territory. These Dacias were brave and good at fighting, even in the time of Caesar and Octavian, the Romans were not able to conquer them.
The Dacias are the ancestors of modern Romanians. They came to this land as early as 3000 BC. They belonged to the ancient Thracians. Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, called them the "Guetas" and recorded that they were good at horseback riding and archery, and distinguished between aristocrats and commoners.
Before the rise of Rome, the Gettas had frequently traded with ancient Greek city-states, and many of them were regarded as servants and slaves of the ancient Greeks. They penetrated into all aspects of ancient Greek society and were deeply influenced by ancient Greek culture. , Build your own country.
The place where the Getas or Dacias are located is west of the Black Sea and north of the Danube. It has both fertile plains and hills for grazing. It is densely covered with jungles and rivers and is very suitable for human living. The population density is higher than that at that time. Most parts of Europe.
Therefore, almost at the same time when Octavian proclaimed the emperor, the Dacias had grown into a powerful regime along the Danube, posing a big threat to the border of the empire. However, the Roman Empire was busy conquering the eastern coast of the Mediterranean until the end of the first century AD that it had the energy to deal with the Dacia.
After several years of preparation, the Roman emperor Trajan built a bridge over the Danube before he completely defeated the Dacias and destroyed their country. In 106 AD, Dacia officially became a province of the Roman Empire.
In order to build this new province and make it the northern front line for the defense of the Balkans, the Roman Empire emigrated to here a large number of officials, soldiers, and professionals from all walks of life. The Romans called this new province full of opportunities the "Happy Dacia".
These Roman immigrants are of course citizens of the Roman Empire, but they are not strictly a Roman nation. From a small city-state on the Tiber River to a great empire that spans Europe, Asia, and Africa and surrounds the Mediterranean, the Romans rely not on immigration but cultural identity. As long as they recognize and accept Roman culture, they are Romans.
According to statistics from historians, 60-80% of the citizens of Rome in the heyday of the empire came from various provinces, that is, conquered areas, and most of them were descendants of liberated slaves. They spoke of Roman Latin Language, engaged in various industries. Therefore, most of the Roman immigrants flocking to Dacia are actually such "cultural Romans."
On the other hand, because the Roman Empire was still in general military service at the time, male citizens in Rome would get a piece of land after they were discharged from the army. As the empire expanded, veterans were assigned to remote areas and became landlords of various provinces. Dacia also has many such veterans. They are not only local landlords, but also officials of various administrative departments.
In Dacia cities, there are more Romans than Dacias. In the countryside, the opposite is true. Landlords from Rome hired large numbers of Dacias to cultivate the land. As a result, the Dacians began to learn Latin and served in the empire.
In 212 AD, the Roman emperor ordered the granting of Roman citizenship to all free citizens in the empire, including the Dacia. The equality of identities further enhanced the communication between Dacia and Romans, and intermarriage increased.
After several generations of fusion, a Dacia-Roman who speaks Latin and is mixed with Dacia vocabulary is formed. They are closer to the Romans in culture, customs and lifestyle, and still retain the ancient Dacia Tradition.
At this time, the Roman Empire, which had expanded to its limit, entered a period of decline, and nomads from Eastern and Central Europe kept attacking the Balkan borders of the empire. In order to use the Danube as the northern defense line to save the empire's defensive force, Dacia province was abandoned.
Beginning in AD 271, Roman nobles, high-ranking officials and wealthy people left Dacia one after another. Ordinary Dacia-Romans had nowhere to go, and had to resist the invasion of the barbarians while being tenacious in this ancestral land. To survive.
Although Dacia was abandoned by the empire and was briefly ruled by many barbarians, the Roman Empire still bordered it, and Dacia’s "Romanization" continued. Especially after Christianity became the state religion in 313 AD, most of the Dacia-Romans quickly converted to Christianity.
The decline of the empire exceeded everyone's imagination. In 395 AD, the Roman Emperor Theodosius I divided the empire into two parts, which were inherited by two sons, and the empire fell into division. In 476 AD, the Western Roman Empire was destroyed by the barbarians.
The Eastern Roman Empire tried to regain the territories of the Western Roman Empire in the middle of the 6th century, and almost succeeded, but ultimately fell short. The center of the Eastern Roman Empire had to be transferred to Greece, and the process of “Hellenicization” began.
The birthplace of the Roman Empire became the territory of the Germans. When the Frankish kingdom established by Germans accepted Christianity and recognized the status of the Pope of Rome, the original Roman citizens who remained here gradually became Germanic, and it is hard to be called "Romans."
Dacia was no different from other provinces at first, being successfully romanized. Later, it was precisely because it was abandoned very early to avoid Germanization and Hellenism. This is the main reason why they became descendants of the "Romans".
In the 7th century AD, the Eastern Roman Empire’s rule of the Balkans was attacked by the Yugoslavs. These Yugoslavs from the Eastern European plains occupied most of the land on the southern bank of the Danube, completely separating Dacia from the Eastern Roman Empire.
The Yugoslavs assimilated the Bolgars and became the most powerful force on the Balkans. Surprisingly, the Dacias not only succeeded in maintaining their national identity, but also assimilated a part of the Slavs.
In addition to Dacia-Romans culturally higher than the Slavs still in tribal society, making it difficult for them to identify with the early Slavic culture, Dacia’s special geographical environment also played a big role.
The towering Carpathian Mountains lie across the territory of Dacia, hindering the passage of various barbarians from invading the Balkan Peninsula, making them have to detour from the Pannonian Plain or the plains along the Black Sea, which is further west, and cannot completely defeat Dacia. Chia-Romans.
The ancestors of the Dacia were originally nomads who were good at riding and shooting. Coupled with the military skills learned from the Roman Empire, the fertile Dacia has a rich population. The combination of these factors formed a powerful nation that was able to withstand the invasion of Yugoslavia.
Therefore, after the Dacia-Romans assimilated a part of Yugoslavia, the Latin they used added a large number of Slavic words, which eventually formed Romanians and became the predecessor of the modern Romanian nation. According to estimates by historians, this process was completely completed in the 9th-10th century AD.
At the same time that the Romanian nation was formed, the Eastern Roman Empire also completed the Hellenization. Many historians believe that Roman culture itself is part of Greek culture. Although the Romans included Greece in their territory, they were spiritually conquered by the Greeks.
Before the split, both Latin and Greek were spoken in the empire. There were two versions of all official documents, and the eastern provinces used Greek as the main official language. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, all areas where Latin was the mother tongue fell, and the importance and popularity of Latin declined sharply.
In the 7th century AD, the Eastern Roman Empire announced that Latin was no longer officially used. Of the former Roman provinces, only Romanians retained Latin. However, because the barbarians cut off the land access, the Romanians were unable to maintain contact with the Holy See, so they were completely under the religious control of the Eastern Roman Empire.
In the middle of the 11th century AD, the Greek-speaking Holy See of Constantinople officially split from the Latin-speaking Holy See. The Holy See of Constantinople has since been called the Orthodox Church, and the Holy See is called the Catholic Church. Of course, the differences between them are by no means limited to language, and there are profound contradictions in doctrine and missionary power.
The Orthodox Church is the state religion of the Eastern Roman Empire. Relying on the cultural and military strength of the empire, the Yugoslavs converted to the Orthodox Church. Naturally, the Romanians would have no other choice. This was the only connection between the Romanians and the Eastern Roman Empire.
In the following hundreds of years, the nobility among the Romanians gradually became feudal lords. Because the terrain of Romania is divided by the Carpathian Mountains, the three principalities of Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldavia are formed in the west, south and east of the mountain.
The Principality of Transylvania was conquered by Hungary in the 12th century. With the demise of the Eastern Roman Empire, the two principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia claimed to the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, and all lost their independent status.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars brought a wave of ideological liberation and national independence to all of Europe. With the decline of the Ottoman Empire, in order to increase their influence in the Balkans and support the independence movements of the various ethnic groups ruled by the Ottomans, the European powers such as Britain, France and Russia took this opportunity to launch an independent struggle.
In February 1862, Wallachia and Moldavia, both under Ottoman rule, formed the "Kingdom of Romania". This was the first time that "Romania" appeared in official documents and became the name of the country.
After the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire, the "Romans" in the upper echelons of the empire disappeared faster than the Western Roman Empire a thousand years ago. Except for most of their deaths in the war, the surviving "Romans" were quickly assimilated by the various nations under their rule.
The Romanians were called "Romania" by other peoples because they retained the "Roman" ancestry and cultural customs and used Latin before the East and West split. Now, this title has finally become the name of their country.
The establishment of the "Kingdom of Romania" means the beginning of national independence for the Romanians. But at this time the "Romania Kingdom" was still attached to the Ottoman Empire, and it was only after the Russian-Turkish War in 1877 that it declared its separation from the Ottoman Empire.
In February 1880, after unremitting struggle, the "Kingdom of Romania" was recognized by all of Europe and officially became an independent country. In World War I, Romania went to war against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and took back Transylvania after the war. In 1918, Romania finally achieved the independence of all its territories.
After independence, Romania experienced World War II, joined and withdrawn from the Soviet-Eastern camp, and joined the European Union in 2006. Although the territory has changed, the Romanian principalities in history have basically been retained, forming a unified Romanian state.
The culture and religion of the Roman Empire still affect modern Europeans, but this empire does not have any direct successors, and only the Romanian nation can be regarded as its remnant. At the moment when he decided to abandon the Dacia province, the Roman emperor would not have expected this ending.