|Lajos Kazar: Facts against fiction|
Chicago etc. 15th ed. (1974-84 printings), ,,ROMANIA,,, ,,TRANSYLVANIA,,, ,,VLACHS"
(extracts and notes)
This edition of E.B. consisted of 19 volumes MACROPAEDIA, 10 volumes MICROPAEDIA and 1 volume PROPAEDIA. Extracts are taken from the MACROPAEDIA and MICROPAEDIA volumes without separate references.
,,In terms of relief, it [i.e., Rumania] is Carpathian, for the vast arc of that European mountain range and its extension, the Transylvanian Alps, sweeps across the country from north to south, encircling the Transylvanian Basin on the west like a huge amphitheatre".
Under the subsection ,,Ethnic origins - Ancient heritages" we read:
,,In the great folk migrations that followed the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Dacian-roman population of the region led a life in which farming and particularly nomadic herding played an important part. They lived in small settlements, sometimes retiring to places providing better shelter in these troubled centuries, a process which facilitated the development of pasture grazing. Life was not entirely nomadic, however, and a primitive agriculture was practiced on the upland terraces and in the more secluded river valleys".
N.B. No name of any settlement of ,,the Dacian-roman population" is given, and not even archaeological sites, where proof of this nice history has been found, are mentioned. The whole tenor of this kind of history is that of a pretty fairy-tale in which embellishment is desirable, but proof is not necessary at all.
The story continues:
,,Thus the ethnic core of contemporary Romania developed in the more remote regions, although settlement did take place on the more exposed plains. As a result of the Romanization of the native Dacian population, which took place on the contemporary territory of Romania towards the end of the 1st millennium A.D., both the Romanian people and the Romanian language -- currently the mother tongue of almost 90% of the people, and characterized by its Romance linguistic affiliation and Latin grammatical structure -- came into bein"G.
N.B. The terms Romania and Romanian are in this text never interchanged with earlier Rumania/Roumania and Rumanian/Roumanian, respectively. President Nicolae Ceausescu saw to it, indeed. The entire text is astonishingly similar to texts disseminated throughout the world by the Ceausescu regime which were printed, of course, in the school books of Rumania.
The story runs on:
,,The formation of the Romanian language took place in the 7th to 10th centuries; the first mention of Wallachs, the name given to Romanian peoples by their neighbours, appears in the 9th century".
N.B. One wonders whether the Wallachians/Rumanians called themselves ,,Dacian-Romans,, prior to the 9th century. If so why did they cast that ethnic name off so readily? And had their neighbours no name for them earlier?
Since the ,,Dacian-Roman,, population is, by implication, assumed by the authors of the article to have continued its life on the land known once as the province of Dacia and later as Transylvania, one wonders, indeed, how the masses of Greek, Turkish and Albanian loan words got into Rumanian, when no Greek, Turkish or Albanian population had ever been recorded on the soil of the alleged heartland of Rumania.
The story makes no mention of peoples such as the Germanic Goths, the Ural-Altaic Huns, Avars, Bulgars and Hungarians having settled in succession exactly in the area in question, but after some reference to the development of the densest Rumanian settlements during ,,the feudal period" in the ,,Subcarpathian areas", i.e., those joining the traditional borders of Transylvania on the south, we read the following:
,,In the 13 century, the ethnic heritage of Romania was complicated by further intrusions into the country: Saxons, Szeklers and Teutonic knights settled in the Transylvanian region, particularly in the Carpathians, and the proliferation of mining activities also brought in foreign elements".
N.B. What country of ,,the Dacian-Romans,, was there in the 13th century? No contemporary historical work reveals any knowledge of such a country. It is pure fiction. And how interesting that the words ,,further intrusion" do away with the explanation of the appearance there, after the Romans' withdrawal in 271, of the Goths, Huns, Gepids, Avars, Bulgars and Hungarians. How simple it is to relate the ,,intrusion into the country" -- which must, of course, be understood as the possession of the ,,Dacian-Roman population" -- of the Saxons, the Szeklers and the Teutonic Knights. Why did the descendants of the valiant Dacians and Romans not oppose them at all? Were there no memorable battles won or lost? Or were not the Saxons and the Teutonic Knights called in by Hungarian kings as earlier editions of E.B. and other encyclopedias/lexica related these events with exact dates? Weren't the Teutonic knights driven out of ,,the country" in 1225 by András/Andreas II, king of Hungary? By what right did he do so, if ,,the country" was that of ,,the Dacian-roman population"? Weren't the Székelys/Szeklers a notable branch of the Hungarian/Magyar nation?
In view of the above, the treatment of Transylvania must appear intriguing, indeed.
,,Transylvania, historic eastern European region; after forming part of Hungary (11th-16th centuries), it was an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire (16th-17th centuries), and then was returned to Hungary at the end of the 17th century; later, it was incorporated into Romania (1918)".
N.B. As pointed out earlier, the area in question became a part of the Hungarian state at the end of the 9th century, but Stephen I (996-1038) had to wage wars at the beginning of the 11th century against his own relations to consolidate his rule there, too. Transylvania was not incorporated into Rumania until the signing of the Treaty of Trianon in 1920.
,,Having formed the nucleus of the Dacian (Getic) kingdom (flourished 1st century B.C. - 1st century A.D.) and the Roman province of Dacia (after A.D. 106), Transylvania was overrun by a succession of barbarian tribes (e.g., Germanic, Ural-Altaic, and Slavic) following the withdrawal of the roman legions in A.D. 271. Finally, the Magyars (Hungarians) conquered the area at the end of the 9th century, and firmly established their control over it in 1003 when king Stephen I, according to legend, defeated the native prince Gyula,,.
N.B. Prince Gyula was the uncle of king Stephen I and was defeated by the young ruler not ,,according to legend", but in fact.
It is strange that the article ,,ROMANIA,, in the 1974 MACROPAEDIA portion of E.B. practically skips the possession of later Transylvania by peoples listed above by the 1974 MICROPAEDIA portion. Yet ,,the country" of which the writer of the article ,,Romania,, gave an account with regard to the 13th and 14th centuries must have been Transylvania, because all Daco-Roman writings are unanimous that the birthplace of Rumania was that part of the roman province of Dacia which is now known as Transylvania. Can such an omission be conducive to good scholarship? Why hedge about ,,the country"?
,,The Magyars encouraged the political and economic development of the region. Despite the interruption caused by the Mongol invasion of 1241, Transylvania (while remaining part of the Hungarian kingdom) evolved during the following centuries into a distinctive autonomous unit, with its special voivode (or governor), a united, although heterogeneous, nobility (descended from Szekler, Saxon and Magyar colonists), and its own constitution".
N.B. This presentation is correct, excepting the term ,,colonists" as applied to magyars and Székelys/Szeklers. The ancestors of the former were the new masters of the Carpathian Basin; the ancestors of latter had inhabited the soil of later Transylvania prior to the arrival of the Magyars and were most likely one part of the Avar population whose rule lasted from 567 until about 800. Large Székely settlement areas have been attested in various other parts of the Carpathian Basin, too. Colonists in Transylvania were the ancestors of the Saxons and other, later arrivals who settled there with the permission of Hungary.
As regards the ,,VLACHS", the 1974 E.B. -- MICROPAEDIA summarizes the previous theses regarding this people (also called Volokh, Walach, Romani, Romeni and ARomani) whose traditional claim is that they are the ,,descendants of the ancient Romans who in the second and third centuries occupied Dacia, a Roman province located in the regions of Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains of Modern Rumania,,.
Against this, by 1974, a ,,more generally accepted theory" assigns a Thracian tribe as ,,native to the roman province of Dacia,,, which is said to have intermarried with the colonists planted in Provincia Dacia by Rome.
Of course, by 1974, almost a decade into Nicolae Ceausescu's reign, official Rumania was bent on emphasizing the importance of Thracian, and thereby, Dacian, ancestry of the Rumanians. Thus claims to Transylvania could be pushed back by several centuries. Indeed, the 2050th anniversary of the birth of the Rumanian state, right on the soil of Transylvania, was celebrated with great fanfare (as mentioned earlier) in 1980, thus going back in time to 70 B.C. when, as Nicolae Ceausescu's advisers decided, Burebista, king of the Thracian-related Dacians, consolidated his rule.
,,Another theory suggests that the Romanized Dacian or Vlach population moved south of the Danube when the Romans left Dacia, and, after the invasions subsided, migrated northward back to their native habitat. This theory cites the major role the Vlachs played in the formation and development of the Second Bulgarian Empire (also known as the Empire of Vlachs and Bulgars; founded 1184) as evidence that the centre of the Vlach population had shifted south of the Danube,,.
N.B. Quite intriguing in this theory is the appellation ,,the Romanized Dacian or Vlach population". Since the ethnic name ,,Vlach,, is too closely tied up with the Rumanians, and this could raise suspicions about their Roman ancestry, the names ,,Romanized Dacian,, and ,,Vlach,, are made coterminous. At the same time it is proposed that during the invasions of the area in question, i.e., between 271 A.D. and the 13th century, ,,the Romanized Dacian or Vlach population" did not live on the soil of Transylvania, but far south of it, and south of the Danube, thus on the Balkan Peninsula.
In that case, after an absence of a millennium, were the Vlachs/Rumanians entitled to claim former Dacia, later Transylvania as their inheritance? Would not the descendants of the Goths, if they returned from Spain, be sooner entitled to that land? After all, their forebears lived there from 271 until approx. 400 when the Huns drove them away. And at least they resisted the Huns valiantly.
Truly intriguing is the next passage of the story:
,,By the 13th century the Vlachs were re-established in the lands north of the Danube, including Transylvania, where they comprised the bulk of the peasant population. From Transylvania they migrated to Walachia (Land of the Vlachs) and Moldavia, which became independent principalities in the 13th and 14th centuries and combined to form Romania at the end of the 19th century".
N.B. Just imagine: notwithstanding the fact that Erdély/Transylvania was firmly in the possession of the Hungarians and Saxons, ,,by the 13th century the Vlachs were re-established" even in Transylvania. As simply as that!
Objective, as against romantic and wishful, history tells us that as late as the second half of the 13th century ,,the land north of the Danube,, on the outer side of the Carpathian Mountains was inhabited by the Turkish-speaking Kuns/Cumans/Comans whose converting to Rome-centred Christianity was proceeding well since 1224 under the aegis of the Kingdom of Hungary. From 1227 on Cumania figured as a vassal state of Hungary, and eventually tens of thousands of Cumans settled in the centre of the Carpathian Basin where their descendants still live.
The Dominican religious order, charged with the conversion of the Cumans, sent back reports to Hungary and rome which speak of Hungarian and German settlers who were induced to move from Transylvania to neighbouring Cumania for a while to support and protect the newly established bishopric of Milkov. The reports also relate that at the beginning of the 13th century small Vlach groups appeared in Cumania, but on the whole they were schizmatic [Siculus Verus, A nemzetek és vallások története Romániában, (The history of nations and religions in Rumania) Youngstown, Ohio: Catholic Hungarians' Sunday, 1980, p. 25.].
If at the beginning of the 13th century the Vlachs only began to appear in Cumania, i.e., outside of Transylvania, then how reliable is the statement above according to which by the 13th century they ,,were re-established in the lands north of the Danube, including Transylvania,,?
One cannot avoid the feeling that the paragraph starting with the words ,,by the 13th century" is not a continuation of the theory which is mentioned in the preceding paragraph, but sheer propaganda taken over from Rumanian professional propagandists. For what is one to make of the ensuing, utterly untrue statement that by the 13th century the Vlachs in Transylvania ,,comprised the bulk of the peasant population" (emphasis added), and were apparently so numerous that they could spare enough emigrants to found Wallachia and Moldavia in the 13th and 14th centuries?
And just how could they establish those ,,independent principalities" when the whole area in question was the possession of Hungary? The authors of the paragraph might have thought that most users of the encyclopedias are too ignorant of history and geography to question their statements.
Chicago etc., 1985, ,,ROMANIA,,
(extracts and notes)
The article ,,Romania,, offers a few changes in comparison with the 1974 E.B. - MACROPAEDIA. Thus the subsection ,,The people - Ethnic origins - The feudal period" tells us that:
,,in the 13th century, the existing largely Romanian population was augmented by colonists brought to Transylvania, particularly into the Carpathians, and including Saxons, Szeklers and Teutonic Knights,,.
By comparison, the 1974 E.B. - Macropaedia stated:
,,In the 13th century, the ethnic heritage of Romania was complicated by further intrusions into the country: Saxons, Szeklers, and the Teutonic knights settled in the Transylvanian region, particularly in the Carpathians".
N.B. One can almost sense the indignation because ,,the existing largely Romanian population" of ,,the ethnic heritage of Romania,, had to undergo changes in the 13th century which are evidently to be understood as having been undesirable. There were unwelcome intrusions ,,into the country". If earlier it was not yet enunciated into whose country those intruders had moved, by 1974 it is made unmistakable: for how else could those ,,intrusions" have complicated ,,the ethnic heritage of Romania,,?
It was shown above that by the end of the 13th century on the soil of Transylvania out of 511 villages only three bore names derived from the Rumanian language (and until 1920 no towns at all). Under such conditions how could the population of Transylvania have been ,,largely Romanian,, at that time? Such a claim looks like an ever returning, sheer fabrication and staple Ceausescu-propaganda.
,,The country" in which such elements as Hungarian-speaking Székelys/Szeklers settled was not Wallachia, nor Moldavia, which principalities did not even exist in the 13th century, much less Rumania/Romania, which did not exist before the second half of the 19th century, but the Kingdom of Hungary. The Saxons and the German Teutonic Knights were called in by the kings of Hungary in the 12th and 13th centuries. Neither these people, nor the kings of Hungary needed to ask the Vlachs to allow such actions. In the 12th century the Vlachs as sheep- and goat-herders at best visited in summer the mountain pastures of the South Carpathian Mountains, but had no permanent settlements within the borders of Hungary. Why then the indignation?
Again, the use of the words ,,Romania,, and ,,Romanian,, in relation to the 13th century is historically false, for Rumania/Roumania was created as late as the 19th century (events: 1862, 1878, 1881). It is an interesting aside that until approx. 1969 the cataloguing entries in the larger libraries of the English speaking countries showed Rumania(N) or Roumania(N). Then suddenly hints were dropped to the libraries to change all such entries to ROMANIA(N). It was approx. four years into the reign of Nicolae Ceausescu. One wonders whether the ,,hint" was not political.
Under the subsection ,,History" of the 1985 E.B. - Macropaedia we find further interesting statements, e.g.:
,,The people who entered [the territory of Provincia Dacia] after the conquest [by Emperor Trajan in 106 A.D.] were able to impose new cults and customs from all parts of the Roman Empire, and the influence of the Latin language on modern Romanian remains the most striking survival in this region from ancient times".
N.B. Has the survival of this influence been demonstrated on the toponyms of Transylvania? We know full well that it has not. And this is the terminal weakness of the Daco-roman-Rumanian theory. That is why the Latin grammatical and -- to a surprisingly small extent -- lexical nature of Rumanian is so heavily emphasized. But such features of Rumanian could have been acquired in the middle or the southwest of the Balkan Peninsula by groups of people having no blood relationship with the ,,Dacian-Romans,,, even if there was such a people at all.
,,From the 3rd to the 12th century wave after wave of barbarian invaders from the east passed over the undefended country -- first the Germanic Goths and Gepidae, then Slavs, followed by the Avars, and in the second half of the 7th century by the Bulgars. The Bulgarian domination, lasting for two centuries, allowed a rudimentary civic life to take shape, and it was the Bulgars who, after conversion of their tsar Boris in 864, brought Christianity in its eastern form to the ancestors of the Romanians, building on earlier Latin foundations".
N.B. The expression ,,the undefended country" raises the question: whose country? If the author of the article means Rumania, why doesn't he/she say so? We are left in the darkness because the writing down of either Rumania or Romania for that period would be a glaring inanity. But the suggested ,,country" can only allude to Rumania/Romania.
In the above quoted passage the claim is made that it was the Bulgars who arrived in ,,the undefended country" in the second half of the 7th century. Accepted historical sources tell us that the Bulgars, a people of Hunnic-Turkic extraction, together with masses of allied Slavs, founded Bulgaria in 681 A.D. Here we are told that about the same time the Bulgars also entered ,,the undefended country", the core of which is, of course, to be understood as the area of later Transylvania. Now, the masters of that area, as of the whole Carpathian Basin, were at that time the Ural-Altaic Avars. So whose was ,,the undefended country" at that time?
The above passage also tells us that it was the Bulgars who brought Christianity to ,,the ancestors of the Romanians", but only ,,after the conversion of .... tsar Boris in 864", although the Bulgars were ,,building on earlier Latin foundations". How very convenient! This way one can claim that the ,,Dacian-Roman,, ancestors had turned to Christianity on Latin foundations much earlier, but one can also overcome the objection that the Rumanian ancestors were consistently mentioned in history as adherents of the Orthodox Church of Slav Rites rits:. Surprisingly there are no records either in Rome, or in Byzantium of any ,,Dacian-Romans,, accepting Christianity on the soil of later Transylvania or anywhere else. This is odd.
The subsection ,,History" relates further:
,,One school of historians maintains that the Daco-roman population north of the Danube was obliterated during these invasions and that the Romanians of today are descended from Vlach tribes south of the river who pushed northward in the early 13th century. The Romanian view, supported by linguistic and other evidence, is that the Roman withdrawal affected only the military and official classes, while the body of the Daco-roman inhabitants were driven by the invaders into the Carpathians, becoming the Vlachs of Transylvania,,.
N.B. If it had been the case, ,,the body of the Daco-roman inhabitants" would have wittingly and unwisely abandoned roman military protection to become exposed to the ravaging barbarians that had forced the Romans' withdrawal.
And since we know from roman history that before the legions withdrew they had to destroy every building, including aqueducts, bridges and mine installations lest they be used by the Goths, one wonders, indeed, how the ,,Daco-Romans,, had survived before the invaders drove them into the Carpathians? Shouldn't the alleged descendants be able to show us, where the remains of the thick-walled buildings, or where the caves are in which their ancestors spent the terribly cold, long winters in the Carpathians for about a thousand years? Again, where are the excavated cemeteries and other cultic places of the ,,Daco-Romans,,, attesting to that period? And how is it explained that the language of ,,the Vlachs of Transylvania,, shows such astonishing morphological and lexical similarities with Albanian which was never spoken in the vicinity or on the soil of Transylvania? And how did the masses of Greek loan-words get into the language of ,,the Vlachs of Transylvania,, when Greek was never spoken by any people in or around Transylvania?
We are told further as follows:
,,Transylvania, regarded by Romanians as the cradle of their nation, was conquered in the 11th century by King Stephen I. of Hungary, but all records of its early inhabitants were destroyed in the Tatar-Mongol invasion of that country in 1241".
N.B. The impression is inescapable that only the official Rumanian view is put.
The clause ,, ... but all records of its [i.e. Transylvania's] early inhabitants were destroyed in the Tatar-Mongol invasion of that country" is simply not true, although it would suit Rumanian propagandists. Many documents relating to donations of property did not perish, because they were very carefully guarded. Thus, for instance, the famous document attesting the donation of a substantial part of the Hungarian king's land (Königsboden) to the Saxons in 1224 has been preserved in its original text. Similarly the documentation of ordeals held at Várad (later called NagyVárad, since 1920 Rumanian Oradea Mare or simply Oradea, an adaptation of Old Hungarian Warad) between 1205 and 1238 has been preserved.
The Latin manuscript was printed in book form in 1551, and several copies are extant. Although the competency of the bishopric of Várad extended over all eastern Hungary, including the whole of Transylvania, among the approx. 600 place-names and approx. 2,500 names of persons involved in the trials the document, called Regestrum Varadiense ('Register of VArad'), contains not a single name rooted in the Rumanian language. Yet Transylvanian documents of later centuries are not lacking in names of Vlachs/Rumanians. Why keep silent about extant 13th century documents? Why deny their existence?
Chicago etc., 1985, ,,Transylvania,,
The article ,,Transylvania,, in this edition is quite similar to that found in the 1974 and 1978 editions of E.B. - Micropaedia. It is stated clearly that ,,the Magyars (Hungarians) conquered the area at the end of the 9th century and firmly established their control over it in 1003". References to maps pertaining to Transylvania, Romania and the Vlach migration, as well other references, were omitted, but the one-volume PROPAEDIA was retained and a two-volume Index was added.
Chicago etc., 1991, ,,Transylvania,,
(extracts and notes)
Here the text of the article ,,Transylvania,, generally follows that of the 1985 edition. When the description of the early history of what became Transylvania gets past the withdrawal of the Roman legions around 270 A.D., we read:
,,Thereafter the Romanized Dacian inhabitants either moved into the mountains and preserved their culture or migrated southward. The area then was repopulated by peoples from the Romanized lands south of the Danube River or from the Balkans. The Magyars (Hungarians) conquered the area at the end of the 9th century".
N.B. So the user of E.B. is given to understand -- without a shadow of doubt -- that there was such a people as ,,the Romanized Dacian inhabitants" who either stayed behind in Provincia Dacia after the withdrawal of the roman legions, or migrated southward. It is not indicated how far south they migrated, but the idea of their remaining fairly close to the alleged cradle of the Wallachians/Rumanians, i.e., Transylvania, is suggested by the clause ,,the area then (emphasis added) was repopulated by peoples from the Romanized lands south of the Danube River or from the Balkans,,. Consequently -- according to the message of the article -- erstwhile Provincia Dacia either remained partly populated by ,,Romanized Dacians" or became repopulated by peoples somehow related to the ,,Romanized Dacians". This is exactly what Mr. Nicolae Ceausescu so ardently wanted the whole world to believe.
Just to which year, or century, or millennium the adverb ,,then" in the quotation refers is not stated, nor can we learn from the text what peoples took part in the repopulation, nor whether the components of such peoples were perhaps refugees threatened by the Turks and/or their own feudal masters, as was the case with most Wallachians/Rumanians who found refuge in Hungarian Transylvania. Indeed, no word is lost in this regard. It would be instructive to know -- why?
It would have been instructive, indeed, to clarify this aspect, because if it is admitted that the repopulation, say, after the end of the 9th century brought in largely refugees or economic migrants, such as seasonally migrating sheep- and goat-herders, then the statement (found further down in the article): ,,when Austria-Hungary was defeated in World War I, the Romanians of Transylvania in late 1918 proclaimed the land united with Romania,, (emphasis added) sounds somewhat peculiar. By what right did people, whose ancestors were received into Hungary as refugees and economic migrants, grab an opportunity, such as defeat in war of the host country, to ,,unite" the land, on which their ancestors had been allowed to settle, with a foreign, hostile country?
Why not state clearly when the said repopulation occurred? So far we have read in the E.B. that between the time of the abandoning of Dacia by the Romans (approx. 270 A.D.) and the 13th century there was an almost incessant coming and going of barbarian peoples on the soil of later Transylvania. If ,,the Romanized Dacian inhabitants" were so frightened of the barbarians, then, as common sense would tell us, they could not have successfully repopulated the area in question prior to the end of the incursions, i.e., the frightful Tatar-Mongol campaign of 1241-42. And objective -- as distinct from propagandistic -- history teaches exactly that the Vlachs only appeared in larger groups on the soil of later Transylvania after the Tatar-Mongol invasion as tolerated people (Latin tolerati).
Chicago etc., 1992, ,,ROMANIA,,,"WALACHIA"
(extracts and notes)
The subsection ,,THE PEOPLE - Ethnic composition" under ,,Romania,, emphasizes the same theme as the 1985 E.B. - Macropaedia under subsection ,,THE PEOPLE - Ethnic origins", namely the following:
,,Roman influence [on ,,the present territory of Romania,,] was profound, creating a civilization that managed to maintain its identity during the great folk migrations that followed the collapse of the empire. The Dacian-roman population of the region led a life in which farming and particularly transhumance played an important part. They lived in small settlements, sometimes retiring to places providing better shelter in the troubled centuries. ... Thus the ethnic core of contemporary Romania developed in the remoter regions, although settlement did take place on the more exposed plains".
N.B. One is forced to rub one's eyes when reading the above passage. Has it by any chance been taken over from a modern Rumanian history book? Are there no longer any doubts regarding the survival of a Romanized population in the area of Dacia after the historically well attested withdrawal of all colonists and military personnel around 270 A.D.?
What body of non-Rumanian historians has proven wrong the statement of the 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, which reads:
,, ... the Walachians or Roumanians [in Transylvania], 1,146,611 in number, a mixed race, [are] not entitled to the descent they claim from the early Roman colonists of Dacia,,?
Or has it become sufficient by today boldly to repeat a propagandistic text over and over again, especially with the help of encyclopedias, to have it accepted as factual?
Under subsection ,,History", ,,Dacia,, we find both in the 1985 and 1992 E.B. Macropaedia edition the following interesting statement:
,,The new roman province was at first put under a consular legate with at least two legions, but under Hadrian it was divided: Dacia Superior under a praetorian legate comprised Transylvania, with a single legion at Apulum (Alba Iulia, German Karlsburg), while Dacia Inferior in what was afterward Walachia was governed by a procurator".
N.B. The statement appears to be correct. Observe, however, that while the term ,,Walachia" is explained as that which was applied ,,afterward" to the Roman possession Dacia Inferior, no explanation is attached to the term ,,Transylvania" which name also did not exist in roman times, in fact not until the 12th century, and then only as the Latin translation of Old Hungarian Erdel. One wonders, why this omission? The suspicion is inescapable that the author of the article wanted the reader to believe that the Latin sounding geographical name Transylvania was in existence as early as the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., which circumstance would give Rumania all the more historical right to posses the area in question in the 20th century.
Again, the modern equivalents of roman Apulum are given, in Rumanian Alba Iulia, in German Karlsburg, but not in Hungarian. Yet the township was founded neither by the Rumanians, nor by the Germans, but by Hungarians, when the Hungarian/Magyar commander Gyula, at the end of the 9th century, established his seat on the ruins of former Apulum and named it Gyula-fehér-vár, i.e., 'Gyula's white fortress'. In the 10th century his baptized descendants ordered a basilica to be built there; after the Tatar-Mongol invasion of 1241-42, still in the 13th century, a large Romanesque-style cathedral was built there, again by Hungarians (it still stands; picture on p. 46).
Also, it was a descendant of Gyula, the uncle of Stephen I (St. Stephen of Hungary), who had to be defeated by this nephew around 1003, because this uncle had aimed at ruling a separate kingdom. Stephen I made Gyulafehérvár the centre of administration in Erdel (the later Transylvania) and in 1009 laid the foundations of a future, central bishopric there. For centuries Gyulafehérvár remained the seat of Erdel's/Transylvania's regional rulers under the sceptre of Hungary. In 1991 the Roman Catholic bishopric of former Gyulafehérvár was raised to the rank of archbishopric.
Now, the name Gyulafehérvár was, somewhat ridiculously, translated, centuries after its foundation, into Wallachian/Rumanian as Alba Iulia, i.e., 'white Julia'. The German name of the township was first Weissenburg i.e., 'white fortress', which was a fair approximation; after the German - Austrian emperor Karl VI, who figured as Hungarian king Károly III (1711-40), who ordered the building of an important fort there, the German name was changed to Karlsburg, i.e. 'Karl's fort'.
Why mention only the secondary Rumanian and German names of the township, why not the far more important primary, Hungarian name? One's suspicion is that the omission was not accidental, but made on purpose. Since the Germans can hardly lay claim to Transylvania, but the Hungarians still might, so it is expedient to make the world believe that Alba Iulia never had anything to do with Hungary and the Hungarians. Such can be a successful Daco-Roman propaganda drive, if it goes unchallenged.
Under subsection ,,WALACHIA", the 1992 printing, similarly to the 1985 E.B. - Macropaedia, writes inter alia:
,, ... a local chronicle of the 16th century entitled 'History of the Ruman Land Since the Arrival of the Rumans ...' gives 1290 as the date of the founding of the Walachian state, asserting that in that year a voivode (prince) of Fagaras in southern Transylvania crossed the mountains with a body of followers and established himself at Cimpulung in the foothills ...; the southward movement at that period of Vlach peoples from the mountains to the Danubian plain can be affirmed with certainty. Walachia itself was known to its people as Muntenia, land of the mountains, after their former home".
By comparison, the 1992 printing of E.B. - Micropaedia, under ,,ROMANIA,, - ,,History" writes:
,,The first Romanian state, Walachia ('Land of the Vlachs') appeared during the early 14th century, and a second, Moldavia, was founded in 1349 east of the Carpathians in the Prut River valley; but in the late 14th century Walachia, and in 1455 Moldavia, became vassal states of the Ottoman Empire".
N.B. It is strange that no mention is made of the Kuns/Cumans/Comans who in 1227 became the vassals of the king of Hungary; because Walachia and Moldavia were founded on the former land of the Cumans, the new principalities were ipso facto in vassalage to Hungary. Their respective histories were fairly accurately recorded in Hungary, especially on account of the detailed reports of Hungarian church activities in what was in the 13th century known as Cumania.
It is true that in the second half of the 13th century there was a small Vlach settlement, under a Vlach voivode, in the Fogaras area, one of the southern border regions of Transylvania, and in 1290 the then voivode led his people over the traditional border into what later became Wallachia. A Hungarian royal document dated in 1324 contains, inter alia, the following: ,, ... ad Bazarab woyuodam nostrum Transalpinum,, ('at Basarab, our Transalpine voivode), [Siculus Verus: A nemzetek és vallások története Romániában, (The history of peoples and religions in Rumania), Youngstown, Ohio: Katolikus Magyarok Vasárnapja, 1980, p. 27.].
The subsection ,,Walachia" in the 1985 and 1992 printings of E.B. - Macropaedia also writes:
,,Historians who deny the continuity of Daco-Roman (Vlach) settlements in Transylvania have to postulate a northward migration of Vlachs from across the Danube to the Carpathians at the beginning of the 13th century to account for the indisputable southward movement in its close. The search for a new home in the south was due to the consolidation of Hungarian feudal power in Transylvania and of the feudal system, to the arrival of German settlers, and to the growing proselytizing zeal of the Hungarian kings as faithful servants of the papacy".
N.B. Not merely in the 13th century, but also centuries later the Vlachs were in the habit of crossing in and out of Transylvania, partly in pursuit of their traditional transhumance as sheep- and goat-herders, partly to try to find better conditions. Between the 13th and 20th centuries they have kept up their immigration into Transylvania, most heavily in the 18th century. There is any amount of documentary evidence for this, and one can find it with little effort, say, in Vienna. Thus, ,,historians who deny the continuity of Daco-Roman (Vlach) settlements in Transylvania,, do not ,,have to postulate a northward migration of Vlachs", because it is well proven from various angles. The reasoning expressed in the passage quoted above sounds desperate.
One is disappointed, indeed, to see such sop printed by E.B.
|Lajos Kazar: Facts against fiction|