A Brief History of Romania
Romania's territory has been inhabited from times long past. It is here where, in the Neolithic, some of the most prolific European cultures, Cucuteni and Gumelnita, flourished. Known by the Greeks under the name of Gets and by the Romans as Dacians, the ancient inhabitants of the present Romanian territory were first mentioned by Herodotus.
Dacia was at the peak of its power under King Decebal (87-106 AD). After a first confrontation during the reign of Domitian (87-89), two extremely tough wars were necessary (101-102 and 105-106) to the Roman Empire, at the peak of its power under Emperor Trajan (98-117) to defeat Decebal and turn most of his kingdom into the Roman province called Dacia.
At the time when the Daco-Roman ethno-cultural symbiosis was achieved and finalised in the 6-7th centuries by the formation of the Romanian people, in the 2-4th centuries, the Daco-Romans adopted Christianity in a Latin garb.
During the 4-13th centuries the Romanian people were under the domination of migrating peoples - the Getae, the Huns, the Gepidae, the Avars, the Slavs, the Petchenegs, the Cumanians, the Tartars, and, amidst migrating waves, miraculously preserved its unity, including that of its language, spoken without dialectal variations.
Starting from the 10th century, Romanians lived in three principalities: Vallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. Until the 13th century, Hungarians occupied Transylvania and made it part of the Hungarian kingdom.
In the14th century, a new power will rise: The Ottoman Empire. During many centuries, romanian voivodes like Mircea the Old, Vlad the Impaler (the legendary Dracula), Stephen the Great and Holy, struggled with ottomans.
In 1600, for a short time, Michael the Brave (1593-1601) united all three Romanian principalities for the first time. Only in 1859, just two principalities, Valachia and Moldavia, succeeded to reunite in one country, under the name of Romania. First voivode of Romania was Alexandru Ioan Cuza.
In 1866, the new constitution proclaimed Romania a constitutional monarchy. The first king of Romania was, Carol I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a relative of the royal family of Prussia. In May 9/21, 1877 Romania declared its full state of independence.
After the World War I, in 1918, Romania united with Basarabia, Bukovina and Transylvania lead to the creation of the Great Romania. Romania was recognized as one big state at the international peace treaty from Paris in 1919.
After World War II, Romania lost in favor of the USSR, Basarabia (now Republic of Moldova) and Northern Bukovina. The whole power in Romania was taken over by the communists supported by the USSR. The first communist leader was Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej. Next was Nicolae Ceausescu with his wife, Elena until the revolution of December 1989.
Now, the democracy was re-established and the country joined European Union in 2007.