The Middle Ages

Waves of migrating peoples, including the Goths, Huns, Avars, Slavs, liulgars and Magyars (Hungarians), swept across this territory from I he 4th to the 10th centuries, each leaving their mark on local culture, language and the gene pool. Romanians survived in village communities and gradually assimilated the Slavs and other peoples who settled there. By the 10th century a fragmented feudal system ruled by a military class appeared.

The Illustrated History of Romania (http://domino .kappa.ro/guvern /istoria-e.html) is one of the best places to get the ins and outs of the political vicissitudes of this fascinating country.

Dacians are first recorded in the area of present-day Transylvania from their trade with Greeks.

Dacia becomes a Roman province (until 271).

TIMELINE 650 BC

AD 106

Dacians are first recorded in the area of present-day Transylvania from their trade with Greeks.

Dacia becomes a Roman province (until 271).

jii IIHI It m

Ml lih'.ll Hl^ll 4 ilt-Mllrtl glli! Infillliliillvr liltliuy ill lite Mtlijyim 111

The Balkan Vlachs: Born to Assimilate? Is an essay worth reading at www.farsarotul.org/nl18

_t.htm for greater understanding of the origins of the Vlachs, considered modern Romanians' ancestors.

t-, ii I 'll , tiiin i llit Mugyurs expanded into Transylvania,

,t til. mi i ihi i |nilliliin Mountains, and by the 13th century ill ,i | .„n,( |t mmU iv,h tin tiulonomous principality under the Hungarian i (MM

I Ii||niuii|t ilpviistiitlng Tartar raids on Transylvania in 1241 and I j ( I inn hi l,i IV of Hungary persuaded German Saxons to settle in I itiimi Ivtinlti with free land and tax incentives. He wanted to defend llit i town's south-eastern flank. He also granted the Szekelys (pl32) - a I lungiirian ethnic group who had earlier migrated to the region with the Magyars - autonomy in return for their military support.

In the 14th century, Prince Basarab I (r 1310-52) united various political formations in the region south of the Carpathians to create the first Romanian principality - Wallachia, dubbed Tara Romaneasca (Romanian Land). It's indigenous peasantry became known as Vlachs.

Peasants dominated the populations of these medieval principalities. In Wallachia and Moldavia peasants were subjugated as serfs to the landed aristocracy (boyars), a hereditary class. There were some free, land-owning peasants (mo$neni) too. The two principalities were ruled by a prince who was also the military leader. Most noblemen were Hungarian; the peasants were Romanians. After a 1437 peasant uprising in Transylvania, Magyar nobles formed a political alliance with the Szekely and Saxon leaders. This Union of the Three Nations became the constitutional basis for government in Transylvania in the 16th century.

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