Coat of arms of Romania
The coat of arms of Romania was adopted in the Romanian Parliament on 10 September 1992 as a representative coat of arms for Romania. It is based on the Lesser Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Romania, redesigned by Victor Dima; as a central element, it shows a golden aquila holding a cross in its beak, a mace and a sword in its claws. It consists of the three colors which represent the colors of the national flag; the coat of arms was augmented on 11 July 2016 to add a representation of the Steel Crown of Romania. The idea behind the design of the coat of arms of Romania dates from 1859, when the two Romanian countries and Moldavia, united under Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza; the two heraldic symbols, the golden aquila and the aurochs, were juxtaposed. Until 1866, there were many variants of the coat of arms, regarding the background color and the number of times the two main elements where represented. In 1866, after Carol I was elected Prince of Romania, the shield was divided into quarters: in the first and fourth an eagle was depicted, in the second and third the aurochs.
After 1872, the coat of arms included the symbol of southern Bessarabia, two dolphins, in the fourth quarter. The coat of arms remained unchanged until 1922, after World War I, when Transylvania was united with the Kingdom of Romania; the coat of arms of Transylvania was placed in the fourth quarter, with the Turul replaced by a black aquila, the third quarter depicted the joined coats of arms of Banat and Oltenia, the coat of arms of Dobruja was placed in an insertion. The shield was placed on the chest of a golden crossed and crowned aquila, as a symbol of the Latinity of the Romanians; the aquila was placed on a blue shield, capped with the Steel Crown. The coat of arms had three versions: lesser and greater. After 1948, the Communist authorities changed the coat of arms; the coat of arms was rather an emblem, faithful to the Communist pattern: a landscape surrounded by stocks of wheat tied together with a cloth in the colors of the national flag. Until 1989, there were four variants, the first being changed shortly after 1948, again changed in 1956, in 1966, when Romania ceased to be a People's Republic and became a Socialist Republic.
After the 1989 Revolution, the idea came up of giving Romania a new, representative coat of arms. In fact, the symbol of the Revolution was the flag with a hole in its middle where the communist coat of arms had been cut out; the heraldic commission set up to design a new coat of arms for Romania worked intensely, subjecting to the Parliament two final designs which were combined. What emerged is the current design adopted by the two chambers of the Romanian Parliament in their joint session on September 10, 1992. In April 2016, deputies of the Judiciary Committee endorsed a bill voted by the Senate that returns the crown on the head of the eagle and mandates the public authorities to replace the existing emblems and seals to those provided by law until 31 December 2018; the bill was adopted by the Chamber of Deputies on 8 June 2016 and promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis on 11 July 2016. The shield surmounting the eagle is divided into five fields, one for each historical province of Romania with its traditional symbol: golden aquila - Wallachia aurochs - Moldavia and Bukovina dolphins - Seaside: Bessarabia/Budjak and Dobruja a black aquila, seven castles, a sun and a moon - Transylvania, Maramureș and Crișana lion and Trajan's bridge - Oltenia and the BanatRomania’s coat of arms has as a central element the golden aquila holding an Orthodox cross.
Traditionally, this eagle appears in the arms of the Argeș county, the town of Pitești and the town of Curtea de Argeș. It stands for the "nest of the nucleus around which Wallachia was organised. Since July 11, 2016 the coat of arms has been altered to include the heraldic representation of the Steel Crown of King Carol. A symbol of its royal past and a token for the period during 1881 and 1947 when Romania was de facto and de jure a monarchy, ruled by the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen house through its Romanian branch, founded by Carol; the aquila, being the symbol of Latinity and a heraldic bird of the first order, symbolises courage, the soaring toward great heights, grandeur. It is to be found in Transylvania’s coat of arms; the shield on which it is placed is azure. The eagle holds in its talons the insignia of sovereignty: a mace and a sword, the latter reminding of Moldavia’s ruler, Stephen the Great whereas the mace reminds of Michael the Brave, the first unifier of the Romanian Countries.
On the bird’s chest there is a quartered escutcheon with the symbols of the historical Romanian provinces as well as two dolphins reminding of the country’s Black Sea Coast. In the first quarter, Wallachia’s coat of arms, an aquila or holding in its beak a golden Orthodox cross, accompanied by a golden sun on th
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, Moldova to the east, it has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres, Romania is the 12th largest country and the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having 20 million inhabitants, its capital and largest city is Bucharest, other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Brașov. The River Danube, Europe's second-longest river, rises in Germany's Black Forest and flows in a general southeast direction for 2,857 km, coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romania's Danube Delta; the Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest, include Moldoveanu Peak, at an altitude of 2,544 m. Modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.
The new state named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. Following World War I, when Romania fought on the side of the Allied powers, Bessarabia, Transylvania as well as parts of Banat, Crișana, Maramureș became part of the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. In June–August 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and Second Vienna Award, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, Northern Transylvania to Hungary. In November 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact and in June 1941 entered World War II on the Axis side, fighting against the Soviet Union until August 1944, when it joined the Allies and recovered Northern Transylvania. Following the war, under the occupation of the Red Army's forces, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards a market economy; the sovereign state of Romania is a developing country and ranks 52nd in the Human Development Index.
It has the world's 47th largest economy by nominal GDP and an annual economic growth rate of 7%, the highest in the EU at the time. Following rapid economic growth in the early 2000s, Romania has an economy predominantly based on services, is a producer and net exporter of machines and electric energy, featuring companies like Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom, it has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, part of NATO since 2004, part of the European Union since 2007. An overwhelming majority of the population identifies themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians and are native speakers of Romanian, a Romance language. Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome"; the first known use of the appellation was attested to in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania and Wallachia. The oldest known surviving document written in Romanian, a 1521 letter known as the "Letter of Neacșu from Câmpulung", is notable for including the first documented occurrence of the country's name: Wallachia is mentioned as Țeara Rumânească.
Two spelling forms: român and rumân were used interchangeably until sociolinguistic developments in the late 17th century led to semantic differentiation of the two forms: rumân came to mean "bondsman", while român retained the original ethnolinguistic meaning. After the abolition of serfdom in 1746, the word rumân fell out of use and the spelling stabilised to the form român. Tudor Vladimirescu, a revolutionary leader of the early 19th century, used the term Rumânia to refer to the principality of Wallachia."The use of the name Romania to refer to the common homeland of all Romanians—its modern-day meaning—was first documented in the early 19th century. The name has been in use since 11 December 1861. In English, the name of the country was spelt Rumania or Roumania. Romania became the predominant spelling around 1975. Romania is the official English-language spelling used by the Romanian government. A handful of other languages have switched to "o" like English, but most languages continue to prefer forms with u, e.g. French Roumanie and Swedish Rumänien, Spanish Rumania, Polish Rumunia, Russian Румыния, Japanese ルーマニア.
1859–1862: United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia 1862–1866: Romanian United Principalities or Romania 1866–1881: Romania or Principality of Romania 1881–1947: Kingdom of Romania or Romania 1947–1965: Romanian People's Republic or Romania 1965–December, 1989: Socialist Republic of Romania or Romania December, 1989–present: Romania Human remains found in Peștera cu Oase, radiocarbon dated as being from circa 40,000 years ago, represent the oldest known Homo sapiens in Europe. Neolithic techniques and agriculture spread after the arrival of a mixed group of people from Thessaly in the 6th millenium BC. Excavations near a salt spring at Lunca yielded the earliest evidence for salt exploitation in Europe; the first permanent settlements appeared in the Neolithic. Some of them developed into "proto-cities"; the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture—the best known archaeological culture of Old Europe—flourished in Muntenia, southeastern Transylvania and northeastern Moldavia in the 3rd m
Cluj-Napoca known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania, the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is equidistant from Bucharest and Belgrade. Located in the Someșul Mic River valley, the city is considered the unofficial capital to the historical province of Transylvania. From 1790 to 1848 and from 1861 to 1867, it was the official capital of the Grand Principality of Transylvania; as of 2011, 324,576 inhabitants lived within the city limits, marking a slight increase from the figure recorded at the 2002 census. The Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area has a population of 411,379 people, while the population of the peri-urban area exceeds 420,000 residents; the new metropolitan government of Cluj-Napoca became operational in December 2008. According to a 2007 estimate provided by the County Population Register Service, the city hosts a visible population of students and other non-residents—an average of over 20,000 people each year during 2004–2007.
The city spreads out from St. Michael's Church in Unirii Square, built in the 14th century and named after the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of Cluj-Napoca; the boundaries of the municipality contain an area of 179.52 square kilometres. Cluj-Napoca experienced a decade of decline during the 1990s, its international reputation suffering from the policies of its mayor at the time, Gheorghe Funar. Today, the city is one of the most important academic, cultural and business centres in Romania. Among other institutions, it hosts the country's largest university, Babeș-Bolyai University, with its botanical garden. Cluj-Napoca held the titles of European Youth Capital in 2015 and European City of Sport in 2018. On the site of the city was a pre-Roman settlement named Napoca. After the AD 106 Roman conquest of the area, the place was known as Municipium Aelium Hadrianum Napoca. Possible etymologies for Napoca or Napuca include the names of some Dacian tribes such as the Naparis or Napaei, the Greek term napos, meaning "timbered valley" or the Indo-European root *snā-p-, "to flow, to swim, damp".
The first written mention of the city's current name – as a Royal Borough – was in 1213 under the Medieval Latin name Castrum Clus. Despite the fact that Clus as a county name was recorded in the 1173 document Thomas comes Clusiensis, it is believed that the county's designation derives from the name of the castrum, which might have existed prior to its first mention in 1213, not vice versa. With respect to the name of this camp, it is accepted as a derivation from the Latin term clausa – clusa, meaning "closed place", "strait", "ravine". Similar senses are attributed to the Slavic term kluč, meaning "a key" and the German Klause – Kluse; the Latin and Slavic names have been attributed to the valley that narrows or closes between hills just to the west of Cluj-Mănăștur. An alternative hypothesis relates the name of the city to its first magistrate, Miklus – Miklós / Kolos; the Hungarian form Kolozsvár, first recorded in 1246 as Kulusuar, underwent various phonetic changes over the years. Its Saxon name Clusenburg/Clusenbvrg appeared in 1348.
The Romanian name of the city used to be spelled alternately as Cluj or Cluș, the latter being the case in Mihai Eminescu's Poesis. In 1974, the communist authorities added "-Napoca" to the city's name as a nationalist gesture, emphasising its pre-Roman roots; the full name is used outside of official contexts. In Yiddish it is known as קלאזין or קלויזענבורג; the nickname "treasure city" was acquired in the late 16th century, refers to the wealth amassed by residents, including in the precious metals trade. The phrase is kincses város in Hungarian, given in Romanian as orașul comoară; the Roman Empire conquered Dacia in AD 101 and 106, during the rule of Trajan, the Roman settlement Napoca, established thereafter, is first recorded on a milestone discovered in 1758 in the vicinity of the city. Trajan's successor Hadrian granted Napoca the status of municipium as municipium Aelium Hadrianum Napocenses. In the 2nd century AD, the city gained the status of a colonia as Colonia Aurelia Napoca. Napoca became thus the seat of a procurator.
The colonia was evacuated in 274 by the Romans. There are no references to urban settlement on the site for the better part of a millennium thereafter. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, two groups of buildings existed on the current site of the city: the wooden fortress at Cluj-Mănăștur and the civilian settlement developed around the current Piața Muzeului in the city centre. Although the precise date of the conquest of Transylvania by the Hungarians is not known, the earliest Hungarian artifacts found in the region are dated to the first half of the 10th century. In any case, after that time, the city became part of the Kingdom of Hungary. King Stephen I made the city the seat of the castle county of Kolozs, King Saint Ladislaus I of Hungary founded the abbey of Cluj-Mănăștur, destroyed during the Tatar invasions in 12
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London; the city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, contiguous with its capital, Potsdam; the two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions. Berlin straddles the banks of the River Spree, which flows into the River Havel in the western borough of Spandau. Among the city's main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree and Dahme rivers. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, gardens, rivers and lakes; the city lies in the Central German dialect area, the Berlin dialect being a variant of the Lusatian-New Marchian dialects.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided. East Berlin was declared capital of East Germany. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany. Berlin is a world city of culture, politics and science, its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail traffic and has a complex public transportation network; the metropolis is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology and electronics.
Berlin is home to world-renowned universities, orchestras and entertainment venues, is host to many sporting events. Its Zoological Garden is one of the most popular worldwide. With the world's oldest large-scale movie studio complex, Berlin is an popular location for international film productions; the city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, contemporary arts and a high quality of living. Since the 2000s Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene. Berlin lies in northeastern Germany, east of the River Saale, that once constituted, together with the River Elbe, the eastern border of the Frankish Realm. While the Frankish Realm was inhabited by Germanic tribes like the Franks and the Saxons, the regions east of the border rivers were inhabited by Slavic tribes; this is why most of the villages in northeastern Germany bear Slavic-derived names. Typical Germanised place name suffixes of Slavic origin are -ow, -itz, -vitz, -witz, -itzsch and -in, prefixes are Windisch and Wendisch.
The name Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of today's Berlin, may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl-. Since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city, it is therefore a canting arm. Of Berlin's twelve boroughs, five bear a Slavic-derived name: Pankow, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Treptow-Köpenick and Spandau. Of its ninety-six neighborhoods, twenty-two bear a Slavic-derived name: Altglienicke, Alt-Treptow, Buch, Gatow, Kladow, Köpenick, Lankwitz, Lübars, Marzahn, Prenzlauer Berg, Schmöckwitz, Stadtrandsiedlung Malchow, Steglitz and Zehlendorf; the neighborhood of Moabit bears a French-derived name, Französisch Buchholz is named after the Huguenots. The earliest evidence of settlements in the area of today's Berlin are a wooden beam dated from 1192, remnants of a house foundation dated to 1174, found in excavations in Berlin Mitte; the first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century.
Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920. The central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document, Berlin, across the Spree in what is now called the Nikolaiviertel, is referenced in a document from 1244. 1237 is considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties, profited from the staple right on the two important trade routes Via Imperii and from Bruges to Novgorod. In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external policy, their internal administrations still being separated. In 1415, Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. During the 15th century, his successors established Berlin-Cölln as capital of the margraviate, subsequent members of the Hohenzol
The Romanians are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to Romania, that share a common Romanian culture and speak the Romanian language, the most widespread spoken Eastern Romance language, descended from the Latin language. According to the 2011 Romanian census, just under 89% of Romania's citizens identified themselves as ethnic Romanians. In one interpretation of the census results in Moldova, the Moldovans are counted as Romanians, which would mean that the latter form part of the majority in that country as well. Romanians are an ethnic minority in several nearby countries situated in Central Eastern Europe in Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Today, estimates of the number of Romanian people worldwide vary from 26 to 30 million according to various sources, evidently depending on the definition of the term'Romanian', Romanians native to Romania and Republic of Moldova and their afferent diasporas, native speakers of Romanian, as well as other Eastern Romance-speaking groups considered by most scholars and the Romanian Academy as a constituent part of the broader Romanian people Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, Istro-Romanians, Vlachs in Serbia, in Croatia, in Bulgaria, or in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Inhabited by the ancient Dacians, part of today's territory of Romania was conquered by the Roman Empire in 106, when Trajan's army defeated the army of Dacia's ruler Decebalus. The Roman administration withdrew two centuries under the pressure of the Goths and Carpi. Two theories account for the origin of the Romanian people. One, known as the Daco-Roman continuity theory, posits that they are descendants of Romans and Romanized indigenous peoples living in the Roman Province of Dacia, while the other posits that the Romanians are descendants of Romans and Romanized indigenous populations of the former Roman provinces of Illyria, Moesia and Macedon, the ancestors of Romanians migrated from these Roman provinces south of the Danube into the area which they inhabit today. According to the first theory, the Romanians are descended from indigenous populations that inhabited what is now Romania and its immediate environs: Thracians and Roman legionnaires and colonists. In the course of the two wars with the Roman legions, between AD 101–102 and AD 105–106 the emperor Trajan succeeded in defeating the Dacians and the greatest part of Dacia became a Roman province.
The colonisation with Roman or Romanized elements, the use of the Latin language and the assimilation of Roman civilisation as well as the intense development of urban centres led to the Romanization of part of the autochthonous population in Dacia. This process was concluded by the 10th century when the assimilation of the Slavs by the Daco-Romanians was completed. According to the south-of-the-Danube origin theory, the Romanians' ancestors, a combination of Romans and Romanized peoples of Illyria and Thrace, moved northward across the Danube river into modern-day Romania. Small population groups speaking several versions of Romanian still exist south of the Danube in Greece, Macedonia and Serbia, but it is not known whether they themselves migrated from more northern parts of the Balkans, including Dacia; the south-of-the Danube theory favours northern Albania and/or Moesia as the more specific places of Romanian ethnogenesis. Small genetic differences were found among Southeastern European populations and those of the Dniester–Carpathian region.
Despite this low level of differentiation between them, tree reconstruction and principal component analyses allowed a distinction between Balkan–Carpathian and Balkan Mediterranean population groups. The genetic affinities among Dniester–Carpathian and southeastern European populations do not reflect their linguistic relationships. According to the report, the results indicate that the ethnic and genetic differentiations occurred in these regions to a considerable extent independently of each other. During the Middle Ages Romanians were known as Vlachs, a blanket term of Germanic origin, from the word Walha, used by ancient Germanic peoples to refer to Romance-speaking and Celtic neighbours. Besides the separation of some groups during the Age of Migration, many Vlachs could be found all over the Balkans, in Transylvania, across Carpathian Mountains as far north as Poland and as far west as the regions of Moravia, some went as far east as Volhynia of western Ukraine, the present-day Croatia where the Morlachs disappeared, while the Catholic and Orthodox Vlachs took Croat and Serb national identity.
Because of the migrations that followed – such as those of Slavs, Bulgars and Tatars – the Romanians were organised in agricultural communes, developing large centralised states only in the 14th century, when the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia emerged to fight the Ottoman Empire. During the late Middle Ages, prominent medieval Romanian monarchs such as Bogdan of Moldavia, Stephen the Great, Mircea the Elder, Michael the Brave, or Vlad the Impaler took part in the history of Central Europe by waging tumultuous wars and leading noteworthy crusades against the continuously expanding Ottoman Empire, at ti
Culture of Romania
The culture of Romania is the product of its geography and its distinct historical evolution. It is theorized and speculated that Romanians and the Vlachs are the combination of descendants of Roman colonists and people indigenous to the region who were Romanized; the Dacian people, one of the major indigenous peoples of southeast Europe are one of the predecessors of the Proto-Romanians. It is believed that a mixture of Dacians and Illyrians are the predecessors of the modern Romanians, Megleno-Romanians, Istro-Romanians. Modern Romanian culture visibly reflects a tremendous amount of both Balkan and Eastern European influences. In addition, Romanian culture shares several similarities with other ancient cultures such as that of the Armenians. During late Antiquity and Middle Ages, the major influences came from the Slavic peoples who migrated and settled south of the Danube. Romania's history has been full of rebounds: the culturally productive epochs were those of stability, when the people proved quite an impressive resourcefulness in making up for less propitious periods and were able to rejoin the mainstream of European culture.
This stands true for the years after the Phanariote-Ottoman period, at the beginning of the 19th century, when Romanians had a favourable historical context and Romania started to become westernized with French influences, which they pursued and at a fast pace. From the end of the 18th century, the sons of the upper classes started having their education in Paris, French became a genuine second language of culture for Romanians; the modeling role of France in the fields of political ideas and law, as well as in literature was paralleled, from the mid-19th century down to World War I, by German culture as well, which triggered constant relationships with the German world not only at a cultural level but in daily life as well. With the arrival of Soviet Communism in the area, Romania adopted many Slavic influences, Russian was a taught in the country during Romania's socialist years; until the 14th century, small states were spread across the territory of Transylvania and Moldavia. The medieval principalities Wallachia and Moldavia arose around that time in the area on the southern and eastern sides of the Carpathian Mountains.
Moldavia and Wallachia were both situated on important commercial routes crossed by Polish, Greek, Armenian and Venetian merchants, connecting them well to the evolving culture of medieval Europe. Grigore Ureche's chronicle, Letopiseţul Ţărîi Moldovei, covering the period from 1359 to 1594, is a important source of information about life and personalities in Moldavia, it is among the first non-religious Romanian literary texts. The first printed book, a prayer book in Slavonic, was produced in Wallachia in 1508 and the first book in Romanian, a catechism, was printed in Transylvania, in 1544. At the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, European humanism influenced the works of Miron Costin and Ion Neculce, the Moldavian chroniclers who continued Ureche's work. Constantin Brâncoveanu, prince of Wallachia, was a great patron of the arts and was a local Renaissance figure. During Şerban Cantacuzino's reign the monks at the monastery of Snagov, near Bucharest published in 1688 the first translated and printed Romanian Bible.
The first successful attempts at written Romanian-language poetry were made in 1673 when Dosoftei, a Moldavian metropolitan in Iaşi, published a Romanian metrical psalter. Dimitrie Cantemir, a Moldavian prince, was an important personality of the medieval period in Moldavia, his interests included philosophy, music, linguistics and geography, the most important works containing information about the Romanian regions were Descriptio Moldaviae published in 1769 and Hronicul vechimii a romano-moldo-valahilor, the first critical history of Romania. His works were known in western Europe, as he authored writings in Latin: Descriptio Moldaviae and Incrementa atque decrementa aulae othomanicae, printed in English in 1734–1735, in French and German. In Transylvania, although they formed the majority of the population, Romanians were seen as a "tolerated nation" by the Austrian leadership of the province, were not proportionally represented in political life and the Transylvanian Diet. At the end of the 18th century an emancipation movement known as the Transylvanian School formed, which tried to emphasize that the Romanian people were of Roman origin, adopted the modern Latin-based Romanian alphabet.
It accepted the leadership of the pope over the Romanian church of Transylvania, thus forming the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church. In 1791, they issued a petition to Emperor Leopold II of Austria, named Supplex Libellus Valachorum based on the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, demanding equal political rights