[Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [Index] [HMK Home] Lajos Kazar: Facts against fiction



Sibiu (Hermannstadt/Nagyszeben): Editura si Tiparul Lui W. Krafft, 1898, 1904, ,,TRANSYLVANIA,,

(summary of translation; notes)

The inhabitants of the area of later Transylvania (Ardeal; Hungarian Erdély) are first mentioned by Herodotos as Agathirses. Historians later speak of Getae and Dacians as inhabitants of the region in question. The Romans conquered it in 107 and turned it into the Roman province of Dacia. In 271 the Romans were displaced by the Goths. In the course of the great migration of peoples the Goths were forced to cede the area to the Huns; these were followed by the Vandals, later the Gepids (453-566) and the Avars; after the Avars, or possibly before them, came the Slavs whose language and customs left their traces on those of the Daco-Romans. In the 9th century appeared the Magyars/Hungarians in former Pannonia and from there they expanded their rule towards Transylvania, where Tuhutum founded the Gyula Dynasty. Gyula's descendant was defeated by Saint Stephen of Hungary for reasons both religious and dynastic. The Hungarian kings following Saint Stephen extended their power to the eastern parts of Transylvania, too. Transylvania governed itself under voivodes. The Rumanians, grouped around their own leaders, were not independent, but subordinated to the Székelys and Saxons. The privileged ,,nations": Hungarians, Székelys and Saxons kept the Rumanians in a state of serfdom and prevented their development and self-government.

N.B. The above is standard Daco-Roman-Rumanian version of Transylvania's history. Here at least the Gyula family is not presented as a ruling house of the Daco-roman population. The writer of the above article may have forgotten that the first schools for the Wallachians/Rumanians in Transylvania were set up by Hungarians and Germans at their own expense. Out of such initiatives eventually developed the so-called Transylvanian School, the very basis of Wallachian/Rumanian cultural development in Transylvania, but also in Moldavia and Wallachia.


Bucuresti: Cugetaria - Georgescu Delafras, post 1935, 'Transylvania,,

(summary of translation; notes)

In the antiquity Transylvania (Ardeal) was the land of the Dacians, which Emperor Trajan conquered in the 2nd century A.D. and turned into the Roman province called Dacia. This area was divided into Dacia Apulensis and Dacia Paralissensis. In the latter, the later Hategul region, was situated' the capital which for a long time remained the centre of the formation and self defence of the Rumanian people. The Daco-roman era left significant traces everywhere in Transylvania. - At the end of the 10th century the Magyars/Hungarians broke into Transylvania from the Pannonian Plain and finally conquered it in the 12th century. The less populous areas were settled in the 12th and 13th centuries with Germans and Székelys. The defence and administration of the country was in the hands of voivodes who, from the end of the 12th until the end of the 16th century, were appointed by the kings of Hungary. After the defeat of Hungary at Mohács in 1526, Transylvania came under Turkish power. - The name Ardeal, in Hungarian Erdély, derives from the inhabitants of the country. The German name is Siebenbürgen, the Russian Semigradie.

N.B. The writer of the above article felt so sure of the Daco-Roman-Rumanian continuity in what is now known as Transylvania that he/she even pointed out by name the Hategul area as an ancient Daco-roman-Rumanian centre. Now, Hategul, in which toponym -ul is the Rumanian definite article placed after the noun, is clearly the Rumanianized version of Hungarian Hátszeg, a composite word in which hát='fairly broad ridge', szeg='corner, spit of land'.

So the alleged, typical Daco-roman-Rumanian, ancient centre bore a Hungarian name, maybe as far back as the 3rd century A.D.? Similarly unfortunate for the Daco-roman-Rumanian propagandists is the origin of the toponym Ardeal which is claimed to have come from ,,the inhabitants of the country". But of which country? The name in question is clearly the somewhat corrupt pronunciation of Old Hungarian Erdel, a contraction of Erdö Elve 'the land beyond the forest-line', which makes sense only when one looks towards Transylvania from the Great Hungarian Plain. Of course, it is very embarrassing for the Rumanian propagandists that both Ardeal and Transylvania came to the Wallachians/Rumanians from the Hungarians. - The Magyars/Hungarians did not conquer ,,the Daco-Roman people's" Transylvania either in the 11th century, or in the 13th century, but took it around 895 when the Wallachian ancestors of the Rumanians still lived in the southern regions of the Balkan Peninsula. What is more, the Hungarian-speaking Székelys had been living in later Transylvania centuries earlier.


Bucuresti: Editura Politica, 1960, ,,TRANSYLVANIA,,

(summary of translation: notes)

In the area of later Transylvania existed the nucleus of the Dacian slave state. After the Romans had conquered this state, the area of later Transylvania formed part of Provincia Dacia. During feudal times the main strength of the Daco-Roman population was the village community. In the course of time such groupings were called ,,countries". Thus there existed Fagarasului country, Maramuresului country, Hategului country, Lapusului country, etc. On the territory of Transylvania the first political groupings mentioned by historiography appeared during the 10th and 11th centuries. Their better known leaders (voivodes) were Gelu, Glad and Menumorut. - In the 11th to 13th centuries Transylvania was conquered by the Hungarian feudal lords who lived on the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary. However, Transylvania preserved its organization as a voivodeship and thus its extensive autonomy. At the time of its conquest and in subsequent centuries the majority-forming Rumanian population was in a subordinated position. Nevertheless, the ,,countries" stayed, so the conquerors had to respect the organizational characteristics of the population and the local laws of the indigenous people.

In order to strengthen its rule over Transylvania, the Hungarian feudal state settled Germans and the Teutonic Knights there, whose task it was to defend, together with the Székelys, the borders of the Transylvanian voivodeship. In the first half of the 13th century began the economic development of Transylvania. Towns came into being, but the exploitation of the peasant class increased, and this resulted in several social upheavals. The Union in 1437 among the Hungarian nobles, the Székely leaders and the Saxon patricians was directed against the peasantry living in serfdom. The Union was a means of social exploitation which for the Rumanian population also meant national oppression.

N.B. The writer of the article is quite in error. The village communities allegedly turned ,,countries" named by him/her bring to light some most interesting information. 1/ Rumanian Fagarasului actually derives from Old Hungarian Fogaras '(an area) abounding in partridges' (cf. Old Hungarian fogor = fogoly 'partridge'; -s is an adjectival formant; cf. the village-name Belényes [also in Transylvania] '(an area) abounding in bisons', where Old Hungarian beleny = bölény 'bison'). 2/ Maramuresului is a borrowing of Old Hungarian Máramaros, the name of a Hungarian county in NE Historical Hungary, from the name of the small river Máramaros which is of Indo-European origin, meaning 'stagnant water'. 3/ Hategului is also a borrowing from Old Hungarian (see notes to Enciclopedia Cugetaria 1935). 4/ Lapusului is a borrowing of Old Hungarian Lápos 'marshy land' (cf. the ending -s as in Fogaras and Belényes). The Rumanian endings -ului are simply added to the originally Hungarian toponyms. Thus, instead of proving that the listed ,,countries" were Rumanian creations prior to their alleged ,,conquest" by the Hungarians, it becomes clear that all four ,,countries" were Hungarian settlement areas before the Wallachians immigrated into Transylvania.

The alleged Rumanian voivodes Gelu, Glad and Menumorut all bore Slav names. What a misfortune for the self-styled Daco-Romans of Latin tongue of sorts!

The Magyars/Hungarians took possession of the area later called Transylvania around 895. The Hungarian-speaking Székelys settled there and in other parts of the Carpathian Basin centuries earlier.

When the first German settlers were brought in (1143) by Géza II, there were no Wallachians/Rumanians in Transylvania yet. Until the Mongol invasion in 1241-42, the migrating Wallachians got no further north than the southern border region of Transylvania. If the Wallachians had been in various parts of Transylvania at the time of the arrival of the Hungarians, they might have been employed to guard the borders against the Pechenegs, Cumans and Mongols.

The peasant uprising of 1437-38 broke out because Hungarian peasants, adherents of the Roman Church, refused to pay the tithes in new money. Wallachian peasants, adherents of the Orthodox Church of Slav Rites rits: paid no tithes to the bishop of Transylvania, as they did not constitute his flock. Besides, in 1437 their numbers in Transylvania were insignificant in comparison with those of the Hungarian peasants. - The 1514 peasant uprising broke out in central Hungary and it is very doubtful whether there were any Wallachians among the rebelling peasants. The leader of that uprising was György Dózsa, a Székely-Hungarian from Transylvania. Because the Székelys now all live in Rumanian-held Transylvania, Rumanian historiography dares to expropriate the 1514 uprising as one of the Wallachians'/Rumanians' wars of independence against Hungarian rule. This must be one of the most bizarre distortions of history ever committed.

It is from such ,,historical sources" as exemplified above that too many non-Rumanian encyclopedias have likely taken their pertinent ,,information".

 [Table of Contents] [Previous] [Next] [Index] [HMK Home] Lajos Kazar: Facts against fiction