A is for About Romania


To start the story of Romania, my native country, allow me to first take you back in time.

One of the oldest civilization of Western Eurasia was the Romanian-Bulgarian Danube Valley (5000-3500BC),  remarkable in terms of ability to live in communities and artistic expression. 

Fast forward a few thousand years, and we have Dacia (the Dacian Kingdom) in the Balkans of today, near Slovakia, part of former Yugoslavia.

Here, Indo-European tribes intermingled with the natives, and came to be known as the Thracians, and later the Dacians.  

The Kingdom of Dacia came into existence in 86 BC, with its capital Sarmizegetuza, a city in modern-day Romania. Dacia’s ruler, King Burebista (82 BC to 44 BC), conquered and annexed the land from the Adriatic to the Black Sea.

The growth of Dacia was viewed as a threat to the might of Rome. Hence, Julius Caesar acknowledged the land of the Dacians, but kept a wary eye until the expansion of the kingdom became too much. King Burebista was murdered, and with his death Dacia seems to have fragmented.

Decebalus emerged as a strong king and united the Dacian provinces. The kingdom flourished. This again threatened Rome and Emperor Trajan launched an offensive against Dacia in 101 AD then in 106 AD. Dacia was conquered and incorporated into the Roman Empire.

A century later, Roman Emperor Aurelian withdrew from Dacia, but most Romans stayed behind. They named the province they occupied Romania.

In modern times, the nation consisted of three principalities — Transylvania (North and West), Moldavia (East), and Wallachia or Romania (South), briefly united as one country in 1599-1600 under Mihai Viteazu (Mihai, the Brave).

The principalities were disintegrated again under Ottoman and other occupations, until the end of WWI, when they united into one country.

The next century is a tumultuous one for Romania: WWII, the Communist period of 1947-1989, the 1989 Revolution, the ousting of a dictator, the transition to free market, and integration into the European Union.

It’s hard to do justice to such rich history in one blog post. So, I hope you’ll join me on this journey into the heart of Romania and meet the Romanian people, descendants of Dacians and Romans, occupants of an old-new country.  

Tomorrow’s post is Bucharest/Bucuresti (the capital of Romania). Hope to see you then.

Photo courtesy: Flag on the Poienari Fort, by andreistroe, Wikimedia, CC

47 responses to “A is for About Romania

  1. It does seem one blog post could hardly do justice. There is so much in your country’s past, and more recently, times that must have affected your family deeply. http://shells-tales-sails.blogspot.com/

  2. Hi Silvia .. that part of Europe – Asian – Mediterranean region has so so much history and to unravel it .. we learn so much. I know that early man lived around there .. I didn’t know about Dacia .. so now I know and can learn more as we follow through with you ..

    Western-Eurasia must be culturally and archaeologically so diverse – thanks for enlightening us ..

    Cheers Hilary

  3. I do love a bit of history, thank you :)

  4. What a tremendous amount of history compressed into your interesting post. Your country must be lovely that the Romans decided to stay behind.

    • The Romans love it there, I suppose, but they’d also been living there for a century when the pull back was ordered. That’s all they knew as far as homeland. Thanks, Susan.

  5. Lots of history, Sylvia, to try to condense – but I got it. So much of conquering and reconquering in the eastern European region – it can make your head spin. It seems, in light of the recent situation in the Ukraine, that this unfortunate urge to conquer hasn’t changed.

    • I agree, Noelle. The man (human) need to conquer will probably never change and it’s happening all over the world at this very moment, if not territorial, surely economical.

  6. I’ve been looking forward to reading your first post on Romania, and you certainly didn’t disappoint. I’m excited to learn more about the places and the people there.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

  7. Duh, I never made the connection between the country’s name and Roman occupation although it couldn’t be more in the face. ;-)

  8. beautifully and interestingly written Sylvia thank you! I just told Susan (friend in Phoenix where I am right now) about your blog post. She too was fascinated.
    Looking forward to reading about Bucuresti!
    Garden of Eden Blog

  9. You know, I can see this being a difficult theme because I’m sure there is SO MUCH you could write about each day. :) But even if you condense it and only write a little each day, I can promise you that I’m still getting 100% new knowledge. I know NOTHING about Romania (except what I just read), so this shall be a very educational month!

  10. I have a dear friend who lives in Transylvania and hope to visit there one day. The photos she send look breathtaking!

  11. What year did you leave the country? I imagine much has changed. Much can change in even one year! I’m excited to read more about Romania this month.

  12. I also know very very little about Romania, and I love learning about other countries. Enjoyed this post and looking forward to the others!

  13. Sylvia, thanks for this post about Romania! I am looking forward to visiting one day. I have been to Hungary, Croatia, Ukraine, but have not yet visited Romania! I am looking forward to your posts for the rest of the month!
    My first post is about Apple Pie! I wonder if later this month you will share anything about desserts in Romania… :)


  14. I love history and you’ve just taught me something…great job and you managed to be concise, not easy on this subject I wouldn’t have thought. Really looking forward to reading about your country…I’m planning a visit to the area later this summer actually so your posts are going to be perfect for me. :)
    On the A to Z Challenge Maggie@expatbrazil.

  15. I haven’t done much reading about Romanian history, though I’d love to learn more about it. I always found it interesting how it’s the one Eastern European nation which speaks a Romance language instead of a Slavic language.

  16. I’ll definitely be back for more of your posts. What in interesting history. I didn’t even realize the name was related to the Roman empire.

  17. Interesting start, I can’t wait to learn more from your A to Z!

  18. Way to go Silvia! We’re gonna rock the A-Z!

  19. My European history pretty much stops after the Romans, so I’m delighted to get this potted history. Looking forward to discovering 25 more gems about Romania this month :)
    Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April!

  20. I log dreading about the history of your country and look forward to tomorrow’s post as well.

  21. I loved reading about the history of your country. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s post!

  22. I look forward to reading more about Romania, Silvia. :)

  23. Donna B. McNicol [@dbmcnicol]

    Well done! Enjoyable and informative…keep it up!

    …a fellow A-Zer

  24. Great post. I do not know all that much about the great nation of Romania. As a cinephile, one of my favourite national cinemas these days is the so-called Black Wave (or New Wave) from Romania. This should be fun to learn more about the country as the month moves on. Especially since I don’t have to do any of the work and research stuff on my own. Ha! Seriously, this should be a god run. I’ll be back. See ya ’round the web.

  25. Romania was at the crux of so many peoples. Never realized that before!

  26. Thanks for visiting my blog today, and also thanks for a very informative post! This is a lot to digest! At least you have a month break it down into smaller bits.
    Donna Smith
    The A-to-Z Challenge
    Mainely Write

  27. Fascinating history, and one I honestly don’t know very well yet. Excited for more!

  28. I love the idea of you exploring your native country and taking us along for the journey. What a great theme! I’m looking forward to more!

  29. Very interesting and informative post! :)
    Cheers ~ Kaushik

  30. Fascinating! I’m looking forward to the rest of your posts. Maybe one day I’ll get to visit.

  31. I would love to learn about your country Silvia, it sounds like we’re going to get quite a history lesson this A to Z. I know it’s going to be very enjoyable!

  32. Wonderful post! I have always loved history, especially European countries which have such a long and varied past. Definitely looking forward to learning more about Romania. :)

  33. You’ve got really good posts, Silvia. Didn’t know you’re from Romania.

  34. What a fabulous idea to tell the history of your country through the alphabet. I’ve already read all the posts, you’ve posted (up to D) and look forward to learning more about your country with such rich history.

  35. Great idea! I’m up to speed with your posts now and will keep watching this space.

  36. Thanks for sharing these posts on Romania! I’m always up to learning more about the history, culture and beauty of different areas. I’ll keep watching!

  37. Thank you for this post – my husband is from Romania (Transylvania) – so this is really interesting to me! :)

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