|Lajos Kazar: Facts against fiction|
Crowell Collier & MacMillan, Inc., 1967, ,,TRANSYLVANIA,,, ,,ROMANIA,,
(extracts and notes)
,,From A.D. 271, when the Roman Emperor Aurelian ordered its evacuation, until after the arrival of the Magyars on the Middle Danube in 896, its history is unrecorded, and great controversy rages over whether a Romanized Dacian population survived the barbarian migrations of the Dark Ages. Against the probability of such survival stand the facts that all the pre-Magyar place names are Slav -- except a few river names which are pre-Slav, but not Latin or Dacian -- and that the Latin dialect out of which the modern Romanian language has evolved contains peculiarities which point to a formative period passed in the western Balkans,,.
N.B. The above description is quite in accord with pertinent objective statements of encyclopedias prior to 1920.
,,In any case, the Magyars certainly found no substantial and organized polity when they arrived on the frontiers of Transylvania. One of the magyar tribes occupied some of Transylvania's western valleys in the ninth century, but did not penetrate far into the interior. In 1003 Stephen I (Saint Stephen) incorporated Transylvania into the Hungarian state which he was founding. From the first, however, Transylvania was given its own political organization and largely settled with non-magyars,,.
N.B. Because numerous propagandists like to portray the incorporation of Transylvania into the Hungarian state as a decisive step in subjugating the allegedly autochthonous ,,Dacian-Roman,, population whose heirs present-day Rumanians claim to be, it is necessary to point out that in 1003 Stephen I wrested the area in question from his own uncle, Gyula. It is true that it ,,was given its own political organization", but it is incorrect to say that it ,,was largely settled with non-Magyars,,, as will be seen further on. The term ,,Transylvania,, is anachronistically applied to the area in question prior to the 12th century. Until then Old Hungarian Erdö Elve and its contracted form: Erdel 'the land beyond the forest-line' (as viewed from the Great Hungarian Plain) were in use.
,,By the thirteenth century, when colonization was completed in outline, the valleys behind the eastern and south-eastern passes had been settled with Szekels, a people of uncertain origin, not identical with the magyars, but akin to them, and by that time Magyar-speakin"G.
N.B. In connection with the Szekels (Hung. Székelys) it has been pointed out above that -- according to their own, firm tradition -- these people were settled in the Carpathian Basin, the traditional Historic Hungary, long before the arrival there of the Magyars, and were most likely a part of the Avar population whose rule there lasted from 567 until about 800. While the Avars were composed of groups some of whom most likely spoke Turkic languages, the Székelys -- according to their place-names -- must have had a Uralic language, the same as the magyars. At any rate, in the area of later Transylvania they could hardly have learnt their exemplary Magyar language. For one reason, they had contact with the magyars on one side only, on the other hand they had as neighbours the Turkic speaking Cumans, and from the mid-12th century the German-speaking Saxons. Thus, they lived almost in isolation inside the eastern and south-eastern passes of the Carpathians. There is no record anywhere, not even a hint in the tradition of the Székelys or in the testimony of historical linguists which would suggest that the Székelys ever had a language other than Uralic magyar.
Since most place-names in Transylvania were either pre-magyar Slav or magyar/Hungarian until the arrival of German settlers, and because Slavs were not settled on a scale by the rulers of Hungary until the 18th century, the clause ,,largely settled with non-Magyars,, as referring to the area of later Transylvania stands in need of correction.
,,Historical documents record the presence of isolated Vlachs (people from Wallachia) in small numbers; the area around Fagaras figured for a time as a sort of Vlach national preserve".
N.B. The earliest historical documents relating to the Vlachs anywhere in the area in question put them on the southern border, but not before the beginning of the 13th century. The Vlachs' first appearance on the southern edges of traditional Historic Hungary is quite in accord with their northward migration from the southern and south-western areas of the Balkan Peninsula.
Under the heading ,,ROMANIA - Ethnology and Languages" we read inter alia as follows:
,,The present-day area of Romania was settled before the Christian Era by a Thracian tribe called the Dacians by the Romans and Getae by the Greeks. The Dacians adopted and preserved many basic features of the Roman way of life and the Latin language following the roman conquest of the area in A.D. 105-106. However, they took over fewer customs, institutions, and artifacts from the Slavs or from Byzantium through the Slavs. After the decline of the roman Empire, the present-day area of Romania was settled and dominated by various ethnic groups that attempted the forced assimilation of the native element. For this reason Romania became the home of various minorities, the most important of which are the Hungarians and the Székelys, who live mostly in Transylvania,,.
N.B. As we read above, the history of the area of Transylvania, which is in present-days Rumania, ,,is unrecorded" between 271 and 896. It is an uncontested fact that the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia did not exist before the 14th century. Earlier no ,,Dacian-Roman,,, or Vlach or Wallachian, or Moldavian, or Rumanian/Roumanian/Romanian state had ever existed, and every scientific argument speaks against the survival of a ,,Dacian-roman,, population in the area of present-day Rumania. In view of this, how can the writer of the immediately above quoted lines know that ,,various ethnic groups ... attempted the forced assimilation of the native element", as a result of which ,,Romania became the home of various minorities"?
Does the writer of the article know of such attempts by the Goths, Huns, Gepids, Avars, Bulgars, who followed the Romans in the area in question? Or does he/she accuse the Hungarians/Magyars and Saxon Germans of ,,attempted forced assimilation" of the Wallachians/Vlachs who began to seep into their settlement areas from the 13th century onward? Does he/she count as ,,forced assimilation" the humanitarian actions from 1545 onward by Transylvanian Hungarians and Saxons to establish at their own expense schools for the quite uneducated Vlachs who, together with their hardly better educated priests, did not even know the Latin script and language until then?
The sentence: ,,For this reason Romania became the home of various minorities ..." plainly echoes the chagrin of Bucharest propagandists. After Rumania had swallowed South Dobruja in 1913, Bessarabia in 1918, Bukovina in 1919, traditional Transylvania in 1920, half of the Banat, the whole of Máramaros and large tracts of the almost entirely Hungarian-inhabited Hungarian Great Plain, Rumanian governments began to complain of too large masses of ethnic minorities living in Great Rumania which they would have liked to have seen as an ethnically and linguistically ,,unitary state". They did not stop at mere complaining, however. Since 1920 they have done their level best to make Great Rumania a ,,unitary state". They have done this by disregarding their treaty obligations, signed in Paris on the 9th December 1919, with regard to the rights of their very large ethnic minorities; in law, proudly shown to the outside world, those rights were certainly guaranteed, but in practice they have been most outrageously flouted to the present day. One wonders, indeed, what name should be given to the actions of successive Rumanian governments since 1920 for the actual forced assimilation and/or virtual expulsion practiced by them?
Chicago: Consolidated Publishers, 1961, ,,TRANSYLVANIA"
(extracts and notes)
Originally part of the Roman colony of Dacia established in the 2nd century A.D., Transylvania passed to the Magyars by 1003 and in 1526 became a vassal state of Turkey. In 1691 it became part of Hungary, and it was successively a grand principality, a part of Austria, and again a part of Hungary. The Treaty of Trianon of 1920 included it in Rumania. Area about 24,000 square miles; est. pop. (1957) 3,500,000".
N.B. Although short, this description is close to factual. From it the reader can deduce that at least since 1003 the area in question has had a lot to do with Hungary. The towns in 1961, after 41 years of Rumanian rule, could hardly have been inhabited by ,,large German and Magyar populations", if they had not been founded and maintained by them. In 1961 the towns had, overall, far larger magyar/Hungarian populations than German. The fact that no town has ever been founded by Rumanians on the soil of Transylvania, and even in 1961 the Rumanians lived mainly in the rural areas shows that their role in the political life of Transylvania cannot have been significant until 1920. It is a telling point that they have never complained of provable displacement by the Hungarians and/or the Saxon Germans. The area of about 24,000 square miles refers to traditional Transylvania, without the large additions which Rumania also received in 1920; the area of today's Transylvania is 39,462 square miles or almost 103,000 square kilometres.
Chicago: Field Enterprises Educational Corp., 1975, ,,Transylvania,,, ,,ROMANIA,,
(extracts and notes)
,,Transylvania ... is a geographical region of Romania near the Hungarian border. It covers an area of about 38,500 square miles (99,000 square kilometres). The majority of its people are Romanians. But about 11/2 million Magyars, or Hungarians, also live there. The Carpathian Mountains and the Transylvanian Alps separate the region from the rest of Romania. ...- History. For years, Romania and Hungary quarreled over Transylvania. magyars conquered the Romanians in the 900's. From 1526 to 1699, Transylvania was part of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. It was under Hungarian control from 1699 to 1867, when it once again became part of Hungary. During World War I, Romania joined the Allies after being promised Transylvania. After the war, Transylvania became part of Romania. In August 1940, Germany and Italy forced Romania to give northern Transylvania to Hungary. After World War II, Transylvania was returned to Romania, and lost its political identity".
N.B. The number of the Hungarian population in Transylvania has been consistently and grossly understated by every Rumanian census taken since 1920. Objective estimates put the number even in 1975 at approx. 21/2 million. The article makes no mention of the Transylvanian German population which in 1975 was still over 200,000. Why this neglect?
The statement: ,,Magyars conquered the Romanians in the 900's" is fictitious and is a repetition of the standard Daco-Roman propaganda line. Around 900, the ancestors of the Rumanians were called the equivalents of Vlachs who then did not even live north of the Danube, let alone in what later became known as Transylvania. The writer of the quoted article must have had knowledge of the scientific debate about the alleged existence of a ,,Daco-roman population" in the area in question, yet he/she put down as a fact the conquest of ,,the Romanians" by the magyars. This is strange in an encyclopedia where only tested facts are expected. - The article is wrong again regarding ,,Hungarian control [of Transylvania] from 1699 to 1867". During almost the whole of that time Transylvania was under the control of the Habsburgs who, although kings of Hungary, preferred to rule Transylvania as a separate area in order to weaken the Hungarian element in their empire. During the wars of independence led respectively by Prince Ferenc Rákóczi (1703-1711) and Lajos Kossuth (1848-1849) Transylvania was, indeed, united with the rest of Hungary, and again from 1867 until 1920.
In August 1940 it was Rumania that requested arbitration by Germany and Italy. These states did not force Rumania to return northern Transylvania to Hungary. But of course, it sounds fine to emphasize ,,forcin"G, even when it is untrue. Propaganda can thereby cover up the fact that Rumania was a quite significant ally of Hitler until August 23rd, 1944, and that in 1941-42 she carved out astonishingly large territories for herself at the cost of Russia.
Turning to the article 'ROMANIA,,, under the subsection ,,Ancestry and population" we read: ,,Romania is a communist country in Eastern Europe. Its name means land of Romans. The country is so called because it was part of the Roman Empire during ancient times. The Romanians are the only Eastern Europeans who trace their ancestry and their language back to the Romans,,.
N.B. If the name ,,Romania,, means ,,land of the Romans,,, then it is a misnomer, for the inhabitants of Rumania cannot rightly be called Romans and the survival of any Romans in what was Provincia Dacia between A.D. 106 and 271 is not proven at all. Before President and Conducator Ceausescu had decided that Rumania's name should to changed to Romania - even in the cataloguing entries of the libraries in the English speaking world - it was in English either Rumania or Roumania. One wonders why the Rumanians before Ceausescu's time were satisfied with the traditional name of their country if it was really wrong?
The statement: ,,The country is so called because it was part of the Roman Empire during ancient times" causes one to smile. Much larger areas than the roman Provincia Dacia, which were once parts of the roman Empire, are now inhabited by Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Frenchmen, Englishmen, Germans etc., yet none of these peoples have changed the names of their respective countries to ,,Romania,,. One cannot escape the feeling that Ceausescu wanted to make absolutely certain that the whole world should believe that the Rumanians are Romans. However, the tracing of the Rumanians' ancestry to the Romans stands on frighteningly shaky ground, notwithstanding definite statements to the contrary planted in famous encyclopedias.
,,The Romanians are descended from the Dacians, Romans, and such tribes as the Goths, Huns, and Slavs. The Dacians lived in what is now Romania as early as the 300's B.C. The Romans occupied the country in the A.D. 100's and 200's, and the tribes began living there after the Romans left".
N.B. In the early 1800's Rumanians (or rather Wallachians, as they used to call themselves until the second half of the 19th century) proudly declared that they were of pure Latin blood, and their language was truer to Latin than was Italian. Surprisingly, according to the above quoted lines, the Rumanians in 1975 also acknowledge as their ancestors the Dacians, the Goths, the Slavs and - horrible to relate - the Huns! Was it not somewhat immodest of Ceausescu to emphasize so much his people's Roman ancestry, even if it had been proven beyond reasonable doubt?
Such names for Rumania as Dacia, Gothia, Slavia, Hunnia might have been given the same chance, especially because the Huns and the Goths held much larger areas of what later became Romania than the Romans. And why have the Gepids, the Avars, the Magyars/Hungarians and the Cumans been left out of the Rumanian ancestry, when these peoples, too, once held larger chunks of today's Rumania than did the Romans? Was there some bias in the choice by any chance?
Under subsection ,,History - Early Days" we find inter alia:
,,The Romans under Emperor Trajan, conquered Dacia in A.D. 106 and made it a province of the Roman Empire. roman soldiers occupied Dacia and roman colonists settled there. The Romans intermarried with the Dacians, who adopted roman customs and the Latin language. Dacia became known as Romania because of the roman occupation and influence".
N.B. We know from roman history that by 106 A.D. the common soldiers of the roman legions were drawn from all parts of the Empire and often hired from outside. Thus apart from the use of Latin as the language of command, the everyday language of any number of the soldiers was not Latin. Nor were most colonists Latin speaking, because it was precisely Emperor Traian whose law forbade the inhabitants of Italy to migrate to the new colonies, lest Italy became filled up with foreigners. The defeated, proud Dacians were hardly keen on intermarrying with their brutal conquerors. Under such conditions how likely is it that in a mere 165 years the autochthonous Dacian population became a Latin speaking ,,Daco-Roman,, or ,,Dacian-roman" one, when under much more favourable conditions and after some 400 years of roman rule no Latin speaking population worth mentioning remained in Britain?
Even allowing for the possibility that the veteran legionaries married Dacian women, would it not stand to reason that their offspring would speak the language of the Dacian mother rather than the questionably Latin language of the father? And strangely enough the Rumanian language does not contain a single word which can objectively be shown to be of Dacian origin. How well does then the Daco-roman theory stand up to scrutiny? And how can a famous encyclopedia so unquestioningly stand behind it?
,,Earlier, during the 1000's, Hungary had taken over most of what is now northern Romania. This area, called Transylvania, had many Romanian people. But it did not become part of Romania until the 1900's".
N.B. In connection with Transylvania's history, in the same encyclopedia we saw this: ,,Magyars conquered the Romanians in the 900's". How can the same encyclopedia in its same edition err so grossly? The statement: ,,This area had many Romanian people" is at least useless for the studious reader, because it does not say at what period did Transylvania have many Rumanians, or more precisely, Wallachians. If it implies that there were many Wallachians/Rumanians on the soil of what is now known as Transylvania, either in the 900's or the 1000's, then we see a historically quite false statement. One cannot escape the impression that the writers of the quoted article received false information from somewhere and they failed to check it for reliability.
Of the maps complementing the article ,,ROMANIA - History", those for the years 1350 and 1861 are quite misleading. In 1350, the Principality of Moldavia did not yet include Outer Moldavia (Bessarabia) and Bukovina; that part of eastern Hungary which is now known as Transylvania was not attached to Moldavia and Wallachia until 1920; the principalities Moldavia and Wallachia were, until about 1600, vassal states of the Kingdom of Hungary under whose protection they arose in the 14th century. Regarding both maps in question one must say that that part of eastern Hungary which is now known as Transylvania was surely not divided from Hungary by the borderline which was drawn in the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. Such ,,documentation" is normally referred to as falsified history.
Chicago, London, Sydney, Toronto; World Book Inc., 1989, ,,Transylvania,,, ,,ROMANIA,,
Regarding Transylvania, the 1989 edition contains much the same information and misinformation as the 1975 edition, but in addition it treats Dracula, alias Vlad the Impaler, an extremely cruel ruler of Wallachia (south of Transylvania) in the mid-1400's. Although ,,Count Dracula,, is invariably linked with Transylvania, he and his subjects were certainly not Transylvanians but Wallachians/Rumanians. Only Bram Stoker, English author of the Gothic novel Dracula (1897) linked the story with the romantic-sounding name of Transylvania.
Under ,,Romania - Ancestry and People" the text of the 1975 edition is reprinted with little change.
Under ,,Romania - History" again we see little change in comparison with the 1975 edition. The complementing maps relating to the years 1350 and 1861, respectively, are as false as the corresponding ones in the 1975 edition (see remarks above).
Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier Inc., 1986, ,,TRANSYLVANIA,,, ,,ROMANIA,,
(extracts and notes)
,,Transylvania. This region in west central Romania is extraordinarily blessed with agricultural, timber, and mineral resources. Along with corn and wheat, its plains produce other cereals, potatoes, sugar beets, flax and hemp. It is a prime area for the raising of sheep as well as of pig and cattle. Together with the Banat, it possesses Romania's chief deposits of metallic minerals - iron ore, manganese, chrome, molybdenum, copper, lead, zinc, silver, gold, antimony, bauxite, mercury, and uranium. It also has large deposits of coal, lignite, methane gas, and salt".
N.B. The article also describes some important Transylvanian towns and their significance in relation to Rumania's economy.
Romania - The people ,,About 88% of Romania's population consists of ethnic Romanians. ... Ethnic Romanians trace their origins to the Dacians, a Thracian people conquered and colonized by the Romans in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. Dacia became one of the most Romanized of the provinces of the Roman Empire, and Latin left its imprint on the language that evolved into modern Romanian,,.
N.B. If Dacia became ,,one of the most Romanized of the provinces of the roman Empire,,, then it also became one in which no objective archaeological trace of a surviving Romanized population has been found. At any rate, roman rule in Dacia lasted at best 165 years, while in Britain some 400. Was any appreciable Latin speaking population left in Britain after the withdrawal of the Romans? No? And could it be objectively ascertained that Dacia was among the ,,most Romanized,, roman provinces? So far it could not. Then why make such a cock-sure statement?
Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier Inc., 1990, ,,ROMANIA,,
(extracts and notes)
,,The Romans, under Emperor Trajan, came seeking the gold and grain of the Dacians, and to secure the northern frontier of their empire on the Danube. ... In 107 the conquered kingdom was made into the Roman province of Dacia, with roughly the same boundaries as present-day Romania,,.
N.B. The clause ,,with roughly the same boundaries as present-day Romania,, is, among other things, what Bucharest propagandists would like the world to believe. See, however, in this book, the map complementing the article ,,The nationalities of Dacia during the roman period", where it is shown that large tracts of later Hungary, Moldavia and Wallachia, which are now parts of Rumania, were never under roman rule.
,,The Romans ruled Dacia for more than a century and a half. Latin-speaking colonists came from all parts of the Roman Empire. ... roman culture and Latin Christianity passed from the newcomers to the native population".
N.B. The colonists who went to Dacia ,,from all parts of the roman Empire,, are claimed by Bucharest propagandists to have been Latin-speaking. In fact, Latin was merely a lingua franca among them, as is English among New Australians, or German among Gastarbeiter in Germany. The colonists of Dacia had quite heterogeneous mother tongues. Emperor Trajan's law forbade that people from Italy migrate to the new colonies, lest their places be taken by an inundation of foreigners. Some aspects of Roman culture and Latin Christianity likely passed to the native Dacian population, but it would be preposterous to assume, as the quotation suggests, that the subjugated Dacian, or the alleged ,,Daco-roman,,, population was Latin Christian, or any other Christian, by the end of roman rule in 271. There is simply no proof of this, and the whole thing sounds more like a fairy-tale than history.
,,The Daco-roman Link. It is impossible to determine with scientific certainty what happened to the Dacian population after the departure of the roman legions and during the succeeding seven centuries of invasions. The way the question is answered, however, has a crucial bearing on whether the Romanians have a historical right to all the territories Romania has ruled since 1918, particularly to Transylvania,,.
N.B. The above quotation is a particularly lucid formulation of the problem surrounding Rumania's claim to Transylvania on the ground of ,,historical right".
,,Those who support their historical right argue that the Romanian-speaking people who reappeared in the ravaged former Roman province after the period of invasions was over were direct descendants of the earlier Latinized Daco-roman population. It is asserted that during the invasions the Daco-Romans had taken refuge in the Carpathians and then returned to the foothills and plains of Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania when the marauders had left".
N.B. Again, the stated Daco-roman argument and story are faultless. But one cannot avoid some immediately occurring thoughts. Where ,,in the Carpathians" were the alleged ,,Daco-Romans,, hiding for so many centuries? If they did not take refuge in caves, they had to build very thick-walled dwellings against the terribly cold winters of the area in question. But then archaeology should have produced the remnants of such dwellings. In the case of continued habitation in such settlements, the names of villages, wells, hills, rivers, brooks, lakes, etc. in the ,,Daco-Roman,, language should have been preserved. If the ,,Daco-roman,, ancestors hid in caves, which are quite numerous in the Carpathians, then their exact locations should be given. Rumania has never published any listing of such caves. And where are the excavated burial grounds, over almost a millennium, of a whole nation?
,,Those who oppose the Romanian claim argue that Dacia was completely deserted by the Romans and the Dacians and was later repopulated by a Latin-speaking Balkan people, the so called Vlachs, who migrated to the area from south of the Danube. Hungarian scholars insist that when the ancient Hungarians, the Magyars, entered Transylvania in the 10th century A.D., they found it almost completely uninhabited and not, as the Romanian claimants would have it, populated by the descendants of Daco-Romanians. Thus Hungarian scholars reject any Romanian claim to Transylvania that is based on Romanian occupation prior to their own".
N.B This is a correct presentation of the argument in a nut-shell opposing the Daco-Roman theory.
,,A vast amount of conflicting linguistic, toponymic, and archaeological evidence and centuries of learned argument have not resolved the heated controversy. Nevertheless, Romanians have clung tightly to the belief in their Daco-roman origins. At times it has become an obsession, leading them to see themselves as kin to the French, Spanish, and Italians, and the defenders of Latin civilization in eastern Europe,,.
N.B. One could add that a chief founder of the so-called Transylvanian School of the Rumanian intelligentsia, the Uniate priest Gheorghe Sincai, asserted in his epoch-making book Hronica Romanilor ('Chronicle of the Rumanians', Buda [later Budapest], 1807; printed in Cyrillic for the Rumanian public) that the Rumanians were of pure Roman blood, a ,,pure race". As to the Rumanians being ,,the defenders of Latin civilization in eastern Europe,, it is opportune to recall that not even their priests were acquainted with the Latin letters and language until 1545 from when on Transylvanian Hungarians and Germans printed books and opened schools for them. The language of the liturgy of the Wallachians/Rumanians was neither Latin, nor Rumanian, but Church Slavic written in Cyrillic.
,,After the Romans left and until the 10th century, the Dacian lands were invaded by a long series of plundering and migratory peoples from the East: - Goths, Huns, Gepidae, Avars, Slavs, Bulgars, Pechenegs, and Cumans. None founded important or lasting states, and all were either assimilated or moved on".
N.B. The Pechenegs, a Turkic-speaking Asian people, who followed on the heels of the Hungarians, were never masters of the area of later Transylvania, nor were the Cumans, still later arrivals in southeastern Europe. However, the Avar Empire in Central Europe did last for 21/2 centuries.
,,Because of their numbers, the Slavs, in the 6th-7th centuries, are believed to have had an especially strong impact on the language and culture of the indigenous peoples. And in the 9th century the Bulgarians introduced Byzantine Christianity into Moldavia and Walachia".
N.B. One wonders, on the language and culture of which indigenous peoples did the Slavs have ,,an especially strong impact" in the 6th-7th centuries? Does the writer of the article allude to some ,,Daco-Romans,, whose presence there is not proven at all? Objective history tells us that in 567 the Avars who probably spoke Uralic and/or Altaic language(s) defeated the Germanic-speaking Gepids in an area which roughly corresponds to what is now known as Transylvania. Many Gepids stayed in their settlements and lived together with the Avars who remained masters of the Carpathian Basin until approx. 800. Has it been shown that the Slavs had an especially strong impact on the languages of these peoples? Or are these peoples not counted as indigenous? Or has the writer of the quoted article fallen victim to Rumanian propaganda which would have us believe that the astonishingly large Slav bulk - close to 50% - of the Rumanian vocabulary embedded itself into the ,,Daco-Roman language" on the land which later became Transylvania? And that in a time when the ,,Daco-roman population" was allegedly hiding ,,in the Carpathians"?
It is true that after the defeat of the Avar Empire by Charlemagne and the Bulgars, the latter became the masters of the eastern half of the Carpathian Basin. However, it would have been impossible for them to bring any Christianity to Moldavia and Wallachia in the 9th century as these principalities only came into existence in the 14th century. The mentioning of ,,Byzantine Christianity,, in connection with Moldavia and Wallachia seems to have come into the picture as an attempt to explain why the Wallachian/Rumanian ancestors, who had migrated northward from the south of the Balkan Peninsula, from the earliest records on belonged to the Byzantine Orthodox Church of Slav Rites rits:. But are such attempts not amounting to falsifying history?
,,The Hungarians (Magyars), whose settlement of Transylvania proved so fateful, migrated from the steppes north of the Black Sea to the Pannonian Plain in present-day Hungary and settled there at the end of the 9th century A.D. They began expanding into Transylvania in the 10th century, turning it into a dependency at the beginning of the 11th. They fortified it, established a Latin bishopric at Alba Iulia, and planted large numbers of colonists in it, including Szeklers, a kindred tribe, and Germans".
N.B. From whose point of view did the settlement of Transylvania by the Hungarians/magyars prove ,,so fateful"? Did the writer of the quoted passage identify with a particular people of the area in question? Why should the Hungarians/Magyars be inferior to the self-styled ,,Daco-Romans,,? Is it because they ,,migrated from the steppes north of the Black Sea,,? One cannot escape the feeling that for the writer of the quoted passage the appearance of every non-"Daco-Roman people" in the area in question was undesirable. He/she keeps coming back to ,,the indigenous peoples" as if he/she had a text in hand which was written by Bucharest propagandists.
It is historically false to give the name of the place, where in 1009 the Hungarians established the first Latin bishopric of Erdel/Transylvania, as Alba Iulia instead of Gyulafehérvár ('Gyula's white fort'). Rumanian Alba Iulia is a late naming, and an odd one at that, for it means 'white Julia'. By far the largest part of those who figure in the taxation and other documents of Erdel/Transylvania before the middle of the 13th century were Hungarian/Magyar-speaking.
,,Soon afterward, the two principalities (i.e., Wallachia and Moldavia) had to face a new threat from the south, the advancing Ottoman Turks. After the disastrous defeat of the Christian armies at Kossovo in 1389, the rulers of both of them as well as of Transylvania tried, for more than a century, to hold the Turks at the Danube. They included such notable Walachians as Mircea the Old and Vlad (Dracul) Tepes,'The Impaler', of Dracula fame; the remarkably successful János Hunyadi (John of Hunedoara), the governor of Transylvania, who was of Romanian origin; and the Moldavian Stephen the Great,,.
N.B. Isn't it odd that the main role in resisting the Ottoman Turks is allotted to the rulers of Wallachia and Moldavia, with Transylvania also mentioned? Not one word is said about the fact that the main power resisting the Turks in the 14th to 17th centuries was the Kingdom of Hungary of which Transylvania constituted an essential part until 1526. The quoted passage suggests that Transylvania was even in the 14th and 15th centuries in some sort of ,,Daco-Roman,, unity with Wallachia and Moldavia. The passage speaks of János Hunyadi as one of the rulers within such a unity. János Hunyadi may or may not have been partly of Wallachian/Rumanian origin. His mother, Erzsébet Morsinai, was definitely Hungarian and his natural father is said to have been Zsigmond/Sigismund, king of Hungary, later emperor of Germany. Hunyadi was not only voivode of Transylvania but also regent of Hungary. He led a series of famous campaigns against the Turks. When he lost battle, it was several times due to the Wallachians going over to the Turks.
,,Sporadic resistance (after the Turkish occupation of Wallachia and Moldavia) continued. Michael the Brave, who became the ruler of Walachia in 1593, was especially successful. He defeated not only the Turkish forces in 1595 but also the Hungarian prince of Transylvania in 1599, uniting all three regions under his rule for the first time. His reign was brief (he was murdered in 1601) but long enough for him to became the symbol of Romanian unity".
N.B. It is true that Michael the Brave was a valiant fighter. But it is equally true - although not likely to be mentioned by Bucharest propagandists - that the elite of his army was Székely Hungarian, led by Székely Hungarians. It is again true that he was at the head of the mainly Székely Hungarian army of Transylvanian Székelys which defeated Prince Andreas Báthori, ruler of Transylvania. As vassal of the Kingdom of Hungary, Michael had been authorized by Rudolf, emperor of Germany and king of Hungary, to take control of Transylvania temporarily, after years of internecine struggle there. The Székelys hated the Báthoris because the latter had taken away their nobility and degraded them to serfdom. When Michael became bothersome, Rudolf encouraged his army commander, Basta, to murder him.
Hardly anything illustrates better romantic Rumanian historiography than the role allotted to Michael the Brave. He is supposed to have united ,,all the regions" for the first time, in other writings ,,all the three Romanian regions", which is untrue, because in 1699 Transylvania's population was only fractionally Wallachian/Rumanian. Even if the Wallachian/Rumanian immigrants and refugees had been in the majority, that circumstance would not have made Transylvania Wallachian/Rumanian, for they had only been admitted on condition of becoming loyal subjects of the Hungarian Crown.
|Lajos Kazar: Facts against fiction|