Romania Modern History Part III

By | December 23, 2021

The activity of the princes, or voivodes as they called themselves with a word of Slavic origin, of Wallachia and Moldavia, between the century. XIV and the sec. XVII, was almost totally absorbed by the wars they had to sustain first against the Hungarians, who, masters of Transylvania, tended towards the mouth of the Danube, then against the Ottomans, who, subjected the Balkan, aspired to the dominion of the whole East, and against Poland that from central Europe was trying to open a way to the Black Sea. In these wars the constant concern of the princes – some of them like Stephen the Great (Stefan cel Mare, 1457-1504) of Moldavia and Michael the Valiant (Mihai Viteazul, 1593-1601) of Wallachia, stood out for their splendid victories – it was the defense of their own state and of the Orthodox religion; in their action there is no hint of a solidarity of race, not even in moments of greatest danger, not even when a prince, Michael the Valiant, manages for a moment to unite under his own dominion all the Romanian lands – Transylvania, Wallachia, Moldavia -; indeed, despite fighting against a common enemy, Wallachians and Moldavians are often at war with each other. But the fact of fighting for one’s country and for one’s faith against peoples of other languages ​​and other faiths, and, above all, the relations that the Turks established at that time between the two principalities and the West due to the demands of the struggle., could not fail to have an action on the process of differentiation of the Romanians in the face of neighboring peoples. For Romania 2002, please check commit4fitness.com.

The concept of Roman origin among the Carpathian Wallachians appears around the middle of the century. XVI. It is possible that before then that concept existed in popular tradition (it certainly existed among the Cisdanubian Wallachians several centuries ago) especially since the name by which the people indicated themselves was that of român (Romanian), a name which then began to prevail over the other as more suitable to indicate Romanian universality; but it is undoubted that it was not clarified except for the contacts that Transylvania and Moldavia had with the Western world and especially with Italy, where the humanists, from Poggio Bracciolini and Enea Silvio Piccolomini onwards, had already noted the Latin of the Romanian language and had traced its origin to the Roman colonization of the time of Trajan. The printing monks of the convent of Dealu, in 1532, to the Italian traveler Francesco Della Valle could not say more that their people were of Roman origin. The oldest Moldovan historian, Grigore Ureche (1590-1647), timidly adds to the notion of Roman origin: “in our language there are Latin voices”, but, a few years later, Miron Costin (1633-1691), who had studied in Padua, starting to write the history of his country, consecrates the first chapter to the “Italian brothers” and to Italy “paradise of the earth”, “nest of culture” and goes back from Trajan and the Latin colonization of Dacia.

His footsteps followed Dumitru Cantemir, a Moldavian historian, and the Wallachian Constantin Cantacuzino, who also studied philosophy and law in Padua and then brought Italian influence to the court of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688-1714). But a decisive step towards that conception and therefore towards the formation of a Romanian national conscience was taken in the century. XVIII by Transylvanian writers. In 1690 Transylvania had passed to Austria. Since that time, Catholic propaganda in that region had received a great boost. The Austrian government, which saw in the union of the Transylvanians with the Catholic Church a means to consolidate the recent acquisition, not only opened schools in the country spreading classical studies, but also sent young people who wanted to become students to the universities of Vienna and Rome. a higher culture or dedicated to the priesthood. The effect was contrary to Austrian expectations, because in those young people the classical culture and above all the sight of Rome exalted the awareness of Latinity and the pride of their own origin. Returning to their homeland, they resumed the tradition of the first Moldo-Wallachian chroniclers, developing it with historical and philological arguments and also giving it a political content, as on the one hand, as originally from the country, they claimed political rights in comparison with the Germans and Magyars, on the other they affirmed the spiritual unity of all Romanians. The main supporters of this current were Samuil Micu (1745-1806), Gheorghe Şincai (1753-1816), Petru Maior (1755-1821). To better bring out the Latinity of the Romanian language they not only advocated the adoption of the Latin alphabet (until then in the principalities, even when writing in the vernacular, the Cyrillic alphabet was used), but also supported the need to eliminate Romanian vocabulary for words of foreign origin, replacing them with the corresponding Latin or Italian. To the impulse towards national rebirth, which came, through the Transylvanian school, from Italy, was added, integrating it by introducing a current of political ideas, the one who came from France. It had as irradiation centers the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, where it was brought by the French secretaries and tutors that the Phanariotic ospodari, which happened in the second decade of the century. XVIII to the indigenous princes in the governments of Bucharest and Iaşi called to their courts. Since then, French schools and colleges arose in the two countries, spreading French culture and establishing a current of emigration and immigration between the principalities and France, through which the ideas of freedom and independence proclaimed by the revolution penetrated among the Romanians.. The cultural movement acquires a new impetus and becomes a political force.

Romania Modern History Part III