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History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness

Lucian Boia


Compiled for the English version by James Christian Brown

Texte intégral

1Note on the pronunciation of the Romanian names:

2The vowels a, e, i, o and u should generally be pronounced approximately as in Italian, with the exception of a final i, which is usually silent; i or e before another vowel sounds like English y (e.g. Ion resembles the English yon). The vowel â or î resembles the i in fill, and ă sounds like the a in about. The consonants ş and ţ are pronounced like English sh and tz respectively. When immediately followed by i or e, the letters c and g are pronounced as English ch in church and g in gem. In all other cases (including ch and gh before e and i) they are pronounced as in the English coat and goat.

3Adrianople (Edirne), Treaty of (1829): treaty concluding the Russian-Turkish war of 1828 to 1829; under its terms the Turkish right of intervention in Moldavia and Wallachia was limited and the autonomy of the principalities was increased; in the meantime they remained under Russian military occupation and administration until 1834.

4ALECSANDRI, Vasile (1818-90): one of the principal Romanian poets of the nineteenth century. A participant in the revolution of 1848 in Moldavia and in the movement for the union of the principalities, he served Cuza’s government as a diplomat and was later Minister Plenipotentiary in Paris from 1885 to 1890.

5ALEXANDER the Good: prince of Moldavia 1400 to 1432; a faithful ally of King Wladyslaw Jagiello of Poland, whose suzerainty he acknowledged. His reign saw consolidation of the Moldavian state, and the recognition by the Patriarch of Constantinople of an independent metropolitan see of Moldavia, based at Suceava.

6AMAN, Theodor (1831-1891): painter, a founding figure of modern Romanian visual art. His works include a number of paintings on historical themes.

7ANTONESCU, Ion (1882-1946): general (marshal from August 1941) and politician. Having been marginalized by Carol II, he was appointed prime minister in September 1940; the king abdicated a few days later. Antonescu established a dictatorial regime, initially in collaboration with the Legionaries (whom he later suppressed). The influence of Nazi Germany was strong, but actual German occupation was avoided. In June 1941 he led the country into war against the Soviet Union in alliance with Germany, seeking the liberation of Besarabia and northern Bukovina. Although these aims were achieved at first, the course of the war later turned against Romania. Antonescu was removed from power by a coup d’état led by the young king, Michael, in August 1944, and was subsequendy sentenced to death by a communist court and executed.

8ARGETOIANU, Constantin (1871-1952): diplomat before the First World War and politician in the interwar period, active in various parties; he was interior minister in General Averescu’s 1920—1921 government, shared leadership in the Iorga-Argetoianu government of 1931—32, and later supported the royal dictatorship of Carol II, under which he served briefly as prime minister in 1939. He was imprisoned by the communists in 1950 and died in prison in 1952.

9Aurelian withdrawal: the withdrawal of Roman civil and military organization from Dacia under Emperor Aurelian in 271; the imperial border was re-established at the Danube.

10ASACHI, Gheorghe (1788—1869): a leading promoter of modern Romanian education, the press, and the theatre in Moldavia.

11AVERESCU, Alexandru (1859-1938): general (later marshal) and politician. After organizing, in his capacity as war minister, the suppression of the 1907 peasant uprising, and directing operations against Bulgaria in the second Balkan war of 1913, he became a hero of the First World War, in which he led the Romanian army to victory at Mărăşti in 1917. He was briefly prime minister in 1918, again in 1920-21 as leader of the People’s Party, and in 1926-27. His second term was marked by the introduction of the important land reform of 1921.

12BĂLCESCU, Nicolae (1819-1852): revolutionary and historian. He was among the founders of the secret reformist society Frăţia (“The brotherhood”) in 1843, and played a leading role in the revolution of 1848 in Wallachia. He was a member of the provisional government set up in June 1848. In 1849 he attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Avram Iancu and the Hungarian revolutionary government. After the failure of the revolution he continued to work in exile for collaboration among revolutionaries of different nations.

13BĂRNUŢIU, Simion (1808-1864): a leading figure in the Romanian revolution of 1848 in Transylvania, subsequendy professor of public law and philosophy at the University of Iaşi in Moldavia.

14BASARAB I: prince of Wallachia c. 1310 to 1352, who unified the lands to the east and west of the River Olt, so establishing the core territory of the principality. He defeated an invading Hungarian army at the battle of Posada in 1330.

15BETHLEN, Gabriel (Bethlen Gábor): prince of Transylvania 1613 to 1629. Taking advantage of Emperor Ferdinand II’s engagement in the Thirty Years’ War he took control of much of Hungary in 1620 and was briefly nominated as king of Hungary, in opposition to the Catholic emperor, but he gave up his claim in return for guarantees of liberty for Hungarian Protestants. In 1627 he launched the project of a “kingdom of Dacia”, which would have united Transylvania and the Romanian principalities.

16BLAGA, Lucian (1895—1961): poet and philosopher. His principal philosophical works consist of three trilogies, of Knowledge, Culture and Values. Perhaps the most widely known element of his thinking is the notion of the “Mioritic space”, according to which the character of the Romanian people is determined by its origins in a land of rolling hills and valleys.

17Bobîlna Uprising (1437): a rising, largely of peasants, in western Transylvania, finally suppressed in 1438 after fierce fighting.

18BOGDAN: prince of Moldavia in the 1360s; regarded as the founder of the principality, having “dismounted” there after crossing the mountains from Maramureş to escape Hungarian rule.

19BOLINTINEANU, Dimitrie (1825-1872): poet, the author of several volumes of historical legends in verse.

20BRĂTIANU, Gheorghe (1898-1953): liberal politician and historian, son of Ion I. C. Brătianu. He died in a communist prison in 1953.

21BRATIANU, Ion C. (1821-1891): liberal politician. A member of a boyar family, he participated in the 1848 revolution in Wallachia and was later a leading figure in the movement to unite the principalities, and subsequendy in the replacement of A. I. Cuza as their ruler by Karl of Hohenzollem-Sigmaringen (later King Carol I). In 1875 he was one of the founders of the National Liberal Party. He served as prime minister almost continuously from 1876 to 1888, thus playing a key role in the war of independence and the proclamation of the kingdom.

22BRATIANU, Ion I. C. (1864-1927): son of Ion C. Bratianu, leader of the National Liberal Party, and prime minister during much of the period 1908 to 1927 (including the years of the First World War, the Paris peace conference, and creation of Greater Romania).

23BRÎNCOVEANU, Constantin: prince of Wallachia 1688 to 1714. He tried to strengthen the autonomy of the principality from the Turks, developing closer links with the Habsburg Empire, but he and his five sons were finally beheaded in Constantinople (having refused to convert to Islam in return for their lives), and the principality was subsequendy brought under closer Turkish control through the Phanariot regime. He is also noted for his support of the Orthodox Church and for the cultural achievements of his reign. The style of architecture seen in his palaces and churches was revived as a national style at the end of the nineteenth century. He is now considered a saint by the Romanian Orthodox Church.

24Bucegi: mountain range in the southern Carpathians, close to Sinaia and the royal palace of Peleş. Unusual rock formations in the mountains have fuelled speculations on the wilder fringes of Dacianism that they were the center of a mysterious lost civilization

25Bucharest, Treaty of (May 1918): treaty ending hostilities between Romania and Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, leaving Romania apparently defeated and with considerable losses of territory. Although ratified by Parliament it was never signed by King Ferdinand.

26BUCUR the Shepherd: the legendary founder of Bucharest.

27BUREBISTA: Getic ruler who united many of the Thracian tribes north of the Danube into a single kingdom in the mid-first century BC, and launched attacks on the Roman territories in the Balkans. He was finally killed in a rebellion around 40 BC and his kingdom divided.

28BUTEANU, Ioan (1821-1849) and DRAGOS, Ioan (1810-1849): Ioan Buteanu was one of the leaders of the Romanians fighting against Hungarian troops in the Apuseni mountains in 1848-49. Ioan Dragoş, on the other hand, was a supporter of the Hungarian revolution and a member of the Parliament in Pest, who negotiated with Avram Iancu on behalf of the Hungarian government. During the negotiations, Buteanu was captured and killed in the course of a Hungarian assault. Dragoş was considered a traitor by Avram Iancu’s Romanians, who killed him in reprisal.

29Călugăreni: battie, 1595, in which Michael the Brave was victorious over an Ottoman force commanded by Sinan Pasha (though he was unable to follow up the victory, and was forced to withdraw).

30CANTEMIR, Dimitrie (1673-1723): prince of Moldavia 1710 to 1711, the author of a number of scholarly works, including a history of the Ottoman Empire and a description of Moldavia. He joined Peter the Great in his war against the Turks, and went into exile in Russia when their campaign ended in failure; he later served Peter as a counselor.

31CARAGIALE, Ion Luca (1852-1912): writer and journalist; his social comedies and prose sketches of life in late-nineteenth-century Romania are among the best-known classics of Romanian literature.

32CARMEN SYLVA: pen name, as poetess, of Queen Elizabeth.

33CAROL I (1839-1914): prince of united Romania 1866 to 1881, and king 1881 to 1914. Following the abdication of A. I. Cuza in 1866, Karl of Hohenzollern—Sigmaringen was persuaded by Ion C. Brătianu to accept the throne of the united principalities. Shortly after his arrival he promulgated a new constitution based on that of Belgium, which affirmed the permanent union of the principalities under the name of Romania and made no mention of foreign guarantors or Ottoman suzerainty. He gained in popularity by his role at the head of the army in the war of independence of 1877—78, as a result of which Romania was internationally recognized as an independent kingdom in 1881. His sympathies in foreign affairs were pro-German, leading him to sign a secret alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1883, and to seek Romania’s entry into the First World War on their side in 1914.

34CAROL II (1893-1953): king of Romania 1930 to 1940, son of Ferdinand I. As crown prince he was notorious for his scandalous private life. Having renounced his right to the succession and gone into exile in 1925, he returned to claim the throne in 1930. In 1938 he established a corporatist dictatorship, replacing the political parties with his own Front for National Rebirth. He was forced to abdicate in September 1940, following the humiliating loss of Romanian territory earlier in the year.

35CARP, Petre (1837—1919): conservative politician and a founder of the Junimea group. In 1914 he was one of the few Romanian political leaders to favor entry into the Great War on the side of the Central Powers.

36CEAUŞESCU, Elena (1919-1989): wife of Nicolae Ceauşescu, holder of various academic tides, none of which she seems to have had any entitlement to; executed with her husband in December 1989.

37CEAUSESCU, Nicolae (1918-1989): communist leader. As a communist activist in the 1930s he was twice imprisoned. He later held various offices in the postwar communist regime. In 1965 he was elected first secretary of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, and went on to become president of the Council of State in 1967, and the first president of Romania in 1974, turning the office into a personal dictatorship. Initially his rule brought a period of relative liberalization within Romania, and he was admired abroad for his defiance of the Soviet Union over the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, repression increased, and the destructive effects of his policies became evident. He was overthrown in December 1989 and executed after a summary trial.

38CIORAN, Emil (1911-1995): philosopher, much preoccupied with themes of alienation and despair. He obtained a scholarship to study in France in 1937, and settled there permanently after the Second World War. He wrote thereafter in French, and is considered one of the great twentieth-century French stylists.

39CODREANU, Corneliu Zelea (1899-1938): founder of the Legionary Movement. He was imprisoned in 1938 and assassinated on the orders of King Carol II.

40COSBUC, George (1866-1918): one of the best known Romanian poets, associated particularly with traditionalist, rural themes.

41CRAINIC, Nichifor (1889-1972): poet of Orthodox religious inspiration and editor of the journal Gîndirea (The thought), close in his thinking to the Legionary Movement. He was imprisoned by the communists from 1947 to 1962.

42CREANGA, Ion (1837-1889): writer, one of the founding fathers of Romanian prose, best known for his literary folktales and childhood reminiscences. His story Ivan Turbincă tells of a Russian soldier who terrorizes the devil and tricks Death, who takes revenge on him by allowing him to live for ever.

43CRISTESCU, Gheorghe: the first general secretary (1921-1924) of the Communist Party of Romania, which was founded in 1921 as a result of the secession of the extreme Left from the Socialist Party.

44Cucuteni culture: a culture of the Neolithic period, named after a site in Moldavia dated to the centuries around 3,000 BC.

45CUZA, Alexandru loan (1820—1873): first ruler of the united provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia 1859 to 1866. Having been elected prince in both principalities, he worked to integrate them administratively into a single state, which from 1862 was commonly referred to as Romania. His reforms included the emancipation of the peasantry and major land redistribution. He was forced to abdicate in 1866.

46DECEBALUS: ruler of the Dacians 87 to 106 AD, and adversary of the Roman emperor Trajan in two wars. He committed suicide after the final Dacian defeat at Sarmizegetusa.

47DELAVRANCEA, Barbu Ştefănescu (1858-1918): writer and politician, renowned for his oratory.

48DESPINA: wife of Neagoe Basarab, who shared in his religious and cultural activities.

49DESPOT Vodă: prince of Moldavia 1561 to 1563. He was Lutheran, and declared religious toleration in Moldavia. The heavy taxation required to finance his project of an anti-Ottoman crusade provoked discontent, and he was killed by rebellious boyars.

50Dismounting (Descălecat): the term used in the traditional history of Moldavia and Wallachia for the founding event of the arrival of princes from Maramureş or Transylvania (Dragoş, Bogdan, and Negru Vodă).

51DOBROGEANU-GHEREA, Constantin (1855-1920): socialist leader and ideologist, and literary critic.

52DOJA, Gheorghe (Dózsa György, 1470-1514): Szekler noble, leader of an army raised in Transylvania to fight the Turks, which turned into a peasant rebellion against landlord abuses when the planned crusade was suspended. He was finally defeated at Timişoara, and brutally executed.

53DRAGOŞ (fl. mid-fourteenth century): voivode from Maramureş who was granted territory in northern Moldavia by the king of Hungary. His descendants were later ousted by Bogdan.

54DRAGOŞ, Ioan (1810-1849): see BUTEANU, Ioan.

55DROMICHETES: head of a Getic kingdom north of the Danube around 300 BC, who resisted attacks by the Macedonian ruler of Thrace, Lysimachus.

56DUCA, Ion G. (1879-1933): liberal politician, prime minister in 1933, assassinated in the same year by a group of Legionaries.

57ELIADE, Mircea (1907-1986): writer and historian of religions. In his youth he was sympathetic to the ideals of the Legionary movement. He served as Romanian Cultural Attache in London and later Lisbon during the Second World War, and settled in Paris in 1,945. He subsequendy moved to the U.S.A., and from 1957 was Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago.

58ELIZABETH, Queen (Elizabeth of Wied, 1843-1916): wife of King Carol I, also known as a poetess under the pen name Carmen Sylva.

59EMINESCU, Mihai (1850-1889): poet and journalist, a member of the Junimea group. Generally regarded as the national poet of Romania, he is commemorated by coundess statues, busts etc. throughout the country, and has become a symbolic representative of Romanian culture. As well as his concern with the national past and present, his poetry is characterized by a late romantic air of melancholy and a rich musicality of language.

60EUTROPIUS: fourth-century historian, author of a history of Rome from its foundation.

61FERDINAND I (1865-1927): king of Romania 1914 to 1927, nephew of Carol I. He and Queen Marie were crowned as sovereigns of Greater Romania in Alba Iulia in 1922.

62FORIS, Ştefan: general secretary of the Communist Party of Romania 1940 to 1944, assassinated on the orders of Gheorghiu-Dej and the other leaders of the Party in 1944.

63FRIMU, I. C. (1871-1919): socialist leader.

64GELU, GLAD, and MENUMORUT: voivodes in western Transylvania, the Banat, and Crişana, reported by the twelfth-century Hungarian chronicler Anomymus to have resisted the Hungarian invasion at the end of the ninth and beginning of the tenth centuries.

65GHEORGHIU, Ştefan (1879-1914): socialist leader.

66GHEORGHIU-DEJ, Gheorghe (1901-1965): communist leader. A railway worker, imprisoned in the 1930s for his communist activities, he became general secretary of the Communist Party of Romania in 1945 and was instrumental in gaining control of the government for the communists. Having eliminated his rivals, he was sole head of the Communist Party from 1952 until his death.

67GHICA, Grigore III: prince of Moldavia 1764 to 1767 and 1774 to 1777, and of Wallachia 1768 to 1769. He protested against the Austrian annexation of Bukovina in 1775, and was put to death by the Turks as a consequence

68Great Union: the union with Romania, in 1918, of territories previously under foreign rule, thus creating Greater Romania. Bessarabia was the first to unite (in March), followed by Bukovina (in November). Finally, Transylvania, along with the formerly Hungarian territories of the Banat, Crişana and Maramureş, united with Romania by the decision of a great assembly gathered in Alba Iulia on 1 December 1918 (confirmed by the Treaty of Trianon in 1920).

69Greater Romania: the Romanian state at its largest extent, in the period 1918 to 1940. Created by the Great Union of 1918, it was dismembered in 1940 by the annexation of northern Transylvania to Hungary, northern Bukovina and Bessarabia to the Soviet Union, and southern Dobrogea to Bulgaria. Of these, only northern Transylvania was restored to Romania after the Second World War.

70Grivitsa: fortification captured by the Romanian army in the course of the siege of the Turkish stronghold of Pleven in 1877, during the war of independence.

71Griviţa strike: 1933 strike of workers at the Griviţa railway workshops in Bucharest, later considered a key moment in the history of the communist movement.

72GROZA, Petru (1884-1958): politician, leader of the Ploughmen’s Front, a satellite party of the communist movement. In May 1945 he formed the first government dominated by communists. He was prime minister until 1952.

73From 1952 to 1958 he was president of the Presidium of the Great National Assembly (the collective presidency of the Romanian People’s Republic).

74HELIADE RĂDULESCU, Ion (1802-1872): writer, linguist, and politician, founder of the first Romanian newspaper, Curierul Românesc (The Romanian courier) in 1829, a participant in the revolution of 1848 in Wallachia, and a promoter of Western influence in Romanian culture.

75HOREA, CLOŠCA, and CRIŠAN: leaders of the peasant uprising of 1784 in Transylvania, against oppression by the nobility. After initially gaining control of large areas of western Transylvania, the rising was suppressed by an imperial army. Horea and Cloşca were brutally executed in 1785; Crişan committed suicide in prison.

76IANCU, Avram (1824-1872): revolutionary leader in Transylvania in 1848. As a result of the Hungarian revolutionary government’s decision to unite Transylvania to Hungary and its refusal to accept the demands of the Transylvanian Romanians, Avram Iancu led an army of Romanian peasants against the Hungarians in the Apuseni mountains. Peace was finally reached in 1849, thanks to the mediation of Nicolae Bălcescu, but the Hungarian revolution was suppressed by Russian forces shortly after. Iancu withdrew to live among the mountain peasants.

77IANCU of Hunedoara (Hunyadi János or John Hunyadi, c. 1407-1456): Hungarian nobleman of Romanian descent, who rose to become prince of Transylvania in 1441. In 1443-44 he led a massive and partially successful campaign against the Turks in the Balkans. From 1446 to 1453 he was governor of Hungary during the minority of László V. He died in 1456 shortly after inflicting a defeat on the Turks at Belgrade. His son, Matthias Corvinus, later became king of Hungary.

78IOAN Vodă the Terrible: prince of Moldavia 1572 to 1574, who suppressed rebellions on the part of the Moldavian boyars.

79IONESCU, Nae (1890-1940): philosopher, professor at the University of Bucharest, promoter of an existentialist philosophy which stressed “personal experience”. He was a formative influence on the young Romanian intellectuals of the interwar period, Mrcea Eliade and Mrcea Vulcănescu being among his disciples. He supported Carol II at first, and was later sympathetic to the Legionary Movement.

80IONIŢĂ (Kaloyan): ruler of the second Bulgarian tsardom, 1197 to 1207. He was the younger brother of its founders Petru and Asan (also known as Peter and Ivan Asen).

81IORGA, Nicolae (1871-1940): historian, professor at the University of Bucharest, and an exceptionally prolific writer of historical books and articles, a key figure in the development of Romanian historiography. As a politician before and during the First World War he militated for the Romanian national idea. He became prime minister in 1931—32. He was assassinated by the Legionaries in 1940.

82IPĂTESCU, Ana (1805-1875): heroine of the 1848 revolution in Wallachia. In June 1848 she played a leading role in the release of the members of the Provisional Government, who had been arrested by opponents of the revolution.

83KISELEFF (Kiselyov), Pavel Dmitriyevich: Russian general, charged with the administration of Wallachia and Moldavia from 1829 to 1834 (after the Treaty of Adrianople). He later served as a reforming minister in Russia and as Russian ambassador to Paris.

84KOGĂLNICEANU, Mihail (1817-1891): historian, an active participant in the Revolution of 1848 and advocate of the union of Moldavia and Wallachia; prime minister of the United Principalities 1863 to 1865.

85LAZĂR, Gheorghe (1779-1823): scholar and educationalist, founder of Romanian-language education in Wallachia, head of the Saint Sava School in Bucharest.

86Legionary Movement: political movement of the extreme Right, nationalist and anti-Semitic, with a strong element of Orthodox mysticism. The Legion of the Archangel Michael was founded by Corneliu Z. Codreanu in 1927. The movement was constituted as a political party, initially known as the Iron Guard, in 1930. Repressed by the Carolist regime in 1938—39, it came to power with Ion Antonescu in 1940. It was finally suppressed after a rebellion in 1941.

87LUPESCU, Elena: mistress of Carol II. Their relationship was the cause of his exclusion from the succession in 1925. She returned to Romania with him in 1930, despite the general disapproval of the Romanian political class.

88MAIORESCU, Titu (1840-1917): literary critic and conservative politician, a leading figure in the Junimea movement; prime minister 1912 to 1914.

89MANIU, Iuliu (1873-1953): politician. Before the First World War he was a campaigner for Romanian rights in Transylvania and served as a member of the Budapest Parliament from 1906. He played an important role in the events leading to the union of Transylvania with Romania in 1918, and was president of the interim governing council there from 1918 to 1920. Later, as leader of the National Peasant Party, he was prime minister of Romania three times between 1928 and 1933. He was a consistent opponent of the dictatorial regimes established in Romania from 1938 onwards. Having been arrested after the communist takeover, he died in prison in 1953.

90Mărăşeşti: battle in August 1917 in which a massive German advance on the Moldavian front was halted by the Romanians, under Eremia Grigorescu, after fourteen days of fighting.

91Mărăşti: battle in July 1917, in which a Romanian army commanded by General Averescu successfully pushed back the forces of the Central Powers.

92MARGHILOMAN, Alexandru (1854-1925): conservative politician. Having been one of the advocates of friendship with Germany, he was appointed prime minister in the spring of 1918, when Romania was forced to sue for a peace settlement with the Central Powers.

93MARIE, Queen (Marie of Edinburgh, 1875-1938): wife of King Ferdinand I. She influenced Romania’s entry into the First World War on the side of Britain and France.

94MATEI Basarab: prince of Wallachia 1632 to 1654; his reign saw the development of printing in Wallachia and the introduction of the Romanian language in the Church.

95MATTHIAS Corvinus: king of Hungary 1458 to 1490, son of Iancu of Hunedoara. He is renowned for his military and diplomatic achievements and as a patron of the arts.

96MICHAEL I (b. 1921): king of Romania 1927 to 1930 and 1940 to 1947 (interrupted by the return of his father Carol II in 1930). He played a central role in the coup d’etat of August 1944, by which the Antonescu regime was overthrown and Romania switched its allegiance from the Axis to the Allied side. Having attempted to resist the communist takeover he was finally forced to abdicate in 1947 and went into exile. After the fall of communism he was initially refused permission to enter the country. He was allowed to visit at Easter 1992, but was again refused entry two years later. This obstruction ended with the change of government in 1996.

97MICHAEL the Brave (1558-1601): prince of Wallachia 1593 to 1601, and briefly also of Transylvania and Moldavia in 1600. Rebelling against Turkish suzerainty in 1594, he joined the campaign of the Holy League of European powers against the Ottoman Empire. After being forced to withdraw after his victory at Călugăreni in 1595, he finally drove the Turks out of Wallachia with the aid of Sigismond Bathory of Transylvania, who had likewise rebelled. Although Michael had been forced to accept Transylvanian suzerainty as the price of Báthory’s support, he regained autonomy by an alliance with Emperor Rudolf II in 1598. When the new prince of Transylvania, Andreas Báthory, renewed the claim of suzerainty over Wallachia, called for Michael’s removal, and undertook to renew the payment of tribute to the Turks, Mchael invaded Transylvania in 1599 and took control of the principality. In 1600 he invaded Moldavia and ousted Ieremia Movilă, whose Polish allies favored peace with the Turks. He briefly succeeded in getting imperial recognition as prince of all three territories. However, the Habsburg general Giorgio Basta took advantage of a noble revolt against Michael in Transylvania in 1600 to regain control of the principality for the emperor. Meanwhile, Polish forces invaded Moldavia, restoring Ieremia Movila to the throne, and went on to set his brother Simion Movila on the throne of Wallachia. By the end of 1600 Michael had lost all three territories and was obliged to regain the support of Rudolf II. When Sigismond Bathory returned to power in Transylvania in 1601, Rudolf supported Michael’s invasion of the principality, this time in collaboration with Basta. Bathory was defeated, but Michael was assassinated at Basta’s instigation before he could take advantage of this new opportunity.

98MIRCEA the Old (or the Great): prince of Wallachia 1386 to 1418, in whose reign the principality reached its greatest extent, with the incorporation of Dobrogea. After defeating the Turks in his own territory at Rovine in 1394, he participated in King Sigismund of Hungary’s unsuccessful crusade which ended at the battle of Nicopolis in 1396. (His epithet “the Old” actually has nothing to do with his age: he was referred to in this way by later chroniclers to distinguish him from more recent rulers of the same name.)

99NASTASE, Ilie (b. 1946): a leading international tennis player in the 1970s, put forward in the local elections of June 1996 by the Romanian Party of Social Democracy (then in government) as candidate for mayor of Bucharest: he lost the election.

100NEAGOE Basarab: prince of Wallachia 1512 to 1521; the founder of the famous church at Curtea de Argeş, and author of the Slavonic work The Teachings of Neagoe Basarab to his son Teodosie.

101NEGRU VODA (Radu Negru): legendary founder of Wallachia, where he is said to have “dismounted” in the late thirteenth century, coming from Transylvania.

102NOICA, Constantin (1909-1987): philosopher. After being imprisoned from 1958 to 1964 he worked as a researcher in Bucharest, before moving, in 1975, to the mountain resort of Păltiniş, near Sibiu. There he continued to be visited by younger Romanian intellectuals, on whom he had a profound influence.

103Paris, Congress of (1856): Congress leading to the treaty which ended the Crimean War. The final treaty ended the Russian protectorate in Wallachia and Moldavia, leaving them under Turkish suzerainty with the European powers as guarantors. The southern part of Bessarabia (annexed by Russia in 1812) was restored to Moldavia. As a result of the deliberations of the Congress, it was decided that future constitutional arrangements in Wallachia and Moldavia should decided by an ad-hoc assembly in each principality, thus beginning the process which was to lead to the union of the principalities in 1859.

104PĂTRĂŞCANU, Lucreţiu (1900-1954): communist leader, one of the few intellectuals in the leadership of the Communist Party. He played an important role, as Communist Party representative, in the change of regime in August 1944, and was minister of justice from 1944 to 1948. As a promoter of a more national and less authoritarian version of communism, he was arrested in 1948 and executed in 1954.

105PAUKER, Ana (1893-1960): communist leader, of Jewish origin, representative of the Muscovite wing of the Party. She played an important role in the early years of the communist regime, and was foreign minister from 1947 to 1952. In 1952 she was removed from all positions of power by Gheorghiu-Dej.

106Peleş: casde, mainly in German style, built as a summer palace for King Carol I and Queen Elizabeth between 1875 and 1914, outside the mountain resort of Sinaia in the southern Carpathians

107PETRU Aron: prince of Moldavia three times between 1451 and 1457.

108PETRU Rareş: prince of Moldavia 1527 to 1538 and 1541 to 1546, an illegitimate son of Stephen the Great. He played an active part in the struggle between János Zápolyai and Ferdinand of Habsburg for control of Transylvania. Much of the famous external mural painting of the northern Moldavian monasteries dates from his reign.

109PETRU Şchiopul (the Lame): prince of Moldavia three times between 1574 and 1591.

110Phanariots: the name given to a series of Greek princes of Wallachia and Moldavia in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, so called because many of them came from the Phanar district, a Greek area of Constantinople.

111Quadrilateral: the southern part of Dobrogea, annexed by Romania in 1913 after the second Balkan war, and returned to Bulgaria in 1940.

112RADU Negru (see NEGRU VODĂ)

113RÁKÓCZI, Ferenc II (1676-1735): Hungarian nobleman, a leader of resistance to Habsburg dominance. He was elected prince of Transylvania in 1704 and continued his anti-Austrian campaign there; after Habsburg rule in Hungary and Transylvania was established by the Treaty of Szatmár (1711) he went into exile, finally settling in Turkey.

114Règlement Organique. constitution adopted in Wallachia (1831) and Moldavia (1832) under the Russian protectorate of 1829 to 1834 and subsequently ratified by the Turkish government. It provided for the election of princes from among the local aristocracy, and for the setting up of legislative assemblies dominated by the boyar class.

115ROLAND Borsa: prince of Transylvania three times between 1282 and 1293

116Rovine: battle fought in 1394; traditionally seen as a great victory of Mircea the Old over the superior forces of the Turkish sultan Bayazid I.

117RUSSO, Alecu (1819-1859): Moldavian writer, best known for his “Cintarea României” (Song of Romania).

118SADOVEANU, Mihail (1880-1961): one of the best-known Romanian novelists, and an active collaborator in the postwar communist takeover.

119Sarmizegetusa: Dacian citadel in southwestern Transylvania (near the town of Orăştie), the capital of Decebalus’s kingdom and the site of his final battle with the Roman invaders.

120Securitate: political police of the communist regime from 1948 until the revolution of 1989. Under Ceauşescu it permeated Romanian society through an extensive network of informers, and served as one of the principal bases of his power. It was replaced in 1990 by the Romanian Information Service (SRI).

121Siguranţă: under the law of 1929 concerning the organization of the Romanian police, that part of the police responsible for observing and combating actions directed against the safety of the public and the state. It was abolished in 1948 and replaced by the Securitate.

122ŞTEFĂNIŢĂ: prince of Moldavia 1517 to 1527, initially as a minor, with real power being in the hands of his tutor, the prominent boyar Luca Arbore. On reaching his majority he removed Arbore from his privileged position and subsequently had him executed.

123STEPHEN the Great: prince of Moldavia 1457 to 1504. Although he was initially an ally of Vlad Ţepeş of Wallachia, in 1462 he laid siege to the Wallachian port of Chilia, ostensibly to prevent it falling into Turkish hands, and so further weakened Vlad’s then precarious position. In 1475 the Turks invaded Moldavia. Stephen defeated Mehmet II’s army at the batde of Vaslui, and, despite a subsequent Turkish victory at Războieni, the Turks were forced to withdraw. Stephen was named the “athlete of Christ” by Pope Sixtus IV for his resistance to Ottoman expansion, but he received little help from other European rulers. He withstood a further Turkish invasion in 1484, but at the cost of the ports of Chilia and Cetatea Alba, and finally agreed to pay tribute to the Turks as the price of Moldavian independence. His daughter Elena married Ivan, son of Ivan III of Muscovy, in 1483. Stephen is now regarded as a saint by the Romanian Orthodox Church.

124TEODOROIU, Ecaterina (1894-1917): heroine of the First World War. After taking part in the defense of Tirgu Jiu in 1916, she became an officer in the Romanian army and was killed in battle the following year.

125TITULESCU, Nicolae (1882-1941): politician and diplomat. He was finance minister in 1917-18 and 1920-21, and foreign minister in 1927-28 and 1932-36. From 1920 to 1936 he represented Romania at the League of Nations, and he was president of the League in 1930 and 1931. He settled to France in 1936.

126Union of the Principalities: the union of Wallachia and Moldavia in 1859, achieved through the election of the same prince, A. I. Cuza, in both territories, and followed by the administrative integration of the principalities during his reign.

127VĂCĂRESCU, Ienăchiţă (c. 1740-1797): author of naive verses, a precursor of the modern Romanian poetry which emerged in the nineteenth century.

128VASILE Lupu (the Wolf): prince of Moldavia 1634 to 1653. He invaded Wallachia several times, seeking to gain control of it by placing his son on the throne in the place of Matei Basarab.

129VLAD Dracul (the Dragon, or the Devil): prince of Wallachia 1436 to 1442 and 1443 to 1447. He was initially an ally of Iancu of Hunedoara in his wars against the Turks, but Iancu later turned against him and supported the boyar rebellion which led to Vlad’s assassination in 1447. His nickname comes from the Order of the Dragon, with which he was invested by Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg.

130VLAD Ţepeş (the Impaler): prince of Wallachia, briefly in 1448, then from 1456 to 1462, and again briefly in 1476. He was the son of Vlad Dracul, hence the name “Dracula” by which he is best known outside Romania. He rebelled against Turkish suzerainty and attacked the Turkish territories south of the Danube, provoking a retaliatory invasion in 1462, led by Mehmet II in person. Vlad successfully harassed the Turkish army and horrified the sultan with the spectacle of a forest of impaled Turkish prisoners on the road to the capital Tîrgovişte, but he was forced to withdraw into Transylvania, leaving Wallachia under Turkish control. After a long period of captivity in Hungary he returned to his throne in 1476, but was quickly killed, probably by resentful boyars.

131VLADIMIRESCU, Tudor (c. 1780-1821): leader of a revolutionary movement in Wallachia, in alliance with the Etairist movement in Greece. In 1821 he raised a peasant army in Oltenia and took effective control of the government of Wallachia. Meanwhile, an Etairist force under Alexander Ypsilantis arrived from Moldavia. When a Turkish army entered Wallachia to restore order, Tudor’s continuing negotiations with the Turks and refusal to help the Etairists earned the hostility of Ypsilantis, who had him executed.

132Vodă: tide given to the princes of Wallachia and Moldavia, later sometimes used of the kings of Romania.

133VULCĂNESCU, Mircea (1904—1952): philosopher, sociologist, and economist, a disciple of Nae Ionescu. He served as an undersecretary of state in the Finance Ministry in Antonescu’s government. He died in a communist prison in 1952.

© Central European University Press, 2001

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