Romania, as a state of this name, arose in 1859 for the union of Wallachia and Moldavia into a single principality, which later became a kingdom. Its history begins properly from that date, but it cannot be understood without the knowledge of the previous events of the people who constitute its national base, of the two states that, by uniting, gave it origin and of the provinces that became part of it afterwards. 1859, since ideally it is only the continuation of their history. As for the states and provinces, these events are remembered in its place (see bessarabia ; moldova ; transylvania ; wallachia); but as far as the people are concerned, it is necessary here to outline their national evolution prior to 1859, since it transcends the political histories of those regions and presents a complex of problems much discussed by scholars and variously solved. For Romania 2006, please check computergees.com.
The first refers to the very origin of the Romanian people and its relations with the Roman world. It is known that the region which now bears the name of Romania in ancient times was called Dacia and that it was conquered by Trajan at the beginning of the century. II d. C. After the conquest, in order to ensure the possession of the new province and to promote its prosperity, the war having made many gaps among the indigenous population, Trajan transferred a large number of colonists “from all over the Roman world”. We do not have precise information on the origin of the settlers and on the extent of the movement in the historical sources and those that are deduced from the epigraphic investigations are not conclusive; one thing is certain, however, and that is that the Dacian population, which no matter how thin it was, could not have “completely disappeared” as some have said, it was quickly assimilated by Latin immigrants and soon formed a people of Latin language and culture only. The Romanization of Dacia under the empire is a historically established fact; but this Romanity was preserved in that region after the end of the Roman dominion and during the long period of invasions and barbarian dominations that goes from the century. III to XIII, and the current Romanians of Romania are therefore the descendants of the ancient Dacolatini? The opinions of scholars are divided in this regard, some arguing the continuity of the Roman tradition, others denying it. The contrast hinges mainly on the way of evaluating the extent of the eviction of Dacia ordered, around 274, by the emperor Aurelian (v.dacha). In that circumstance, according to some, the entire civilian population would have fled the country and moved south of the Danube; according to the others, only a part, that is constituted by the legionaries, the employees, the colonists who had recently come to that province, whose interests were linked to the actual Roman occupation.
The theory of complete abandonment is based above all on the text of the Aureliani Life, attributed to Vopiscus, where the provision is reported, and on the consideration that, after the withdrawal of the Roman administration and up to the century XII, during which time in ancient Dacia the Goths, the Sarmatians, the Huns, the Gepids, the Avars, the Slavs, the Bulgars, the Magyars, the Pecceneghi, the Cumans penetrated and subsequently dominated, in contemporary historical sources it is not the presence of Latin people is reported there, while those who lived on this side of the Danube in Moesia (Bulgaria), Macedonia and Dalmatia are mentioned. This theory, however, collides with a complex of facts. To the text of Vita Aureliani, however authoritative, it is not necessary to give, say the proponents of the country’s uninterrupted Roman nature, an absolute value. In and xed, it is true, it is stated that the provincials were then retired, as well as the army, but with that expression from the biographer they wanted to mitigate the gravity of the decision. Moreover, even if this was the order, it is not credible that it was carried out in its entirety and that all the civilian population withdrew: the eviction was ordered not when the Goths attacked Dacia, but some time later, when, that is, their collision was carried towards Illyria and Moesia. The government abandoned Dacia because the province could not be defended militarily and the Danube line was a firmer frontier for the empire; but what necessity could push the civilian population, already rooted in the country and having its most vital interests here, to withdraw? Not the fear of invasion, because this had already taken place when Aureliano’s order came; not the violence of the invaders, which must not have been more serious than those suffered later by other peoples, such as the Italians, the Gauls, the Iberians, who nevertheless remained in their place when the barbarians poured into their respective countries; not interest, because Dacia was rich in natural resources; not, finally, the impossibility of continuing to live in the ancestral homes, since the country was vast and the new arrivals were not too numerous or determined to take up permanent residence there as they showed by continuing their raids south of the Danube.